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Annual Members Luncheon

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Finding Your Adventure through a Connected World

For 40 years, DFW International Airport has connected North Texans to adventures across the world. During the North Texas Commission’s 43rd Annual Members’ Luncheon on September 12, the celebration of four decades of “the new big airport’s” service to our region culminated with 900 business and community leaders gathered together at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

Inspired by DFW Airport’s mission of Connecting the World, the North Texas Commission invited the legendary scientific and educational organization National Geographic to take the stage to show how interconnected we are across the world.

The luncheon opened with internationally-acclaimed Cliburn pianist, Tomoki Sakata, treating the nearly sold-out audience to a private concert. Sakata, who has performed all over the world in major cities such as Paris and Moscow, flew to North Texas from Tokyo for the performance, reinforcing that having a major international airport in our region benefits the arts and culture community as much as the business community.

Following Sakata’s performance, the CEO of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Sean Donohue, took the stage. Donohue discussed the importance of business development in the area, and praised the North Texas region for providing such an enormous amount of support for DFW Airport.

Donohue then gave way to National Geographic’s CEO and President Gary Knell. Knell gave a brief history of National Geographic and its impact on the world, before explaining how they plan to continue inspiring growth and exploration through today’s modern media. Knell noted that whether people like it or not, television is our greatest teacher, so it’s important that National Geographic embraces the medium.

For decades, National Geographic has been highly regarded for telling stories through their tremendous work in the field of photography. Thanks to the growing world of social media, they have been able to maintain their reputation while connecting with a younger generation. Knell noted that National Geographic has the largest Instagram account in the world, and explained that through the popular photo sharing app they have been able to bring the excitement of exploration to everyone’s fingertips.

To further discuss National Geographic’s commitment to exploring our ever-changing world, guests were next treated to remarks from noted geneticist and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Spencer Wells. Wells, who has traveled to the furthest corners of the globe studying the earliest days of man, discussed how genetics explain diversity in society. As director of National Geographic’s Genographic Project, Wells delved into some of his detailed studies about the evolution of humans. He also showed guests a clip of his special “Journey of Man” to further illustrate the work he’s done in the field of genetics.

The North Texas region is fortunate to be a large, diverse region with a world-class international airport. We add a new person every 5 minutes – and many of these people come to North Texas to find their adventures. With the phenomenal growth of international routes added to DFW Airport, where will you find your next adventure?

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