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North Texas Commission’s 43rd DFW Airport’s 40th Annual Members’ Luncheon Celebrates Anniversary

July 23, 2014 at 5:00:00 AM

Keynote Speaker, National Geographic CEO Gary Knell, Encourages Global Adventures Friday, September 12, Noon, Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas

NORTH TEXAS – The North Texas Commission, a regional non-profit organization that markets North Texas, advocates issues that have no city or county borders and fosters collaboration, celebrates 40 years of connecting the world during the 43rd luncheon, presented by DFW International Airport, will be held Friday, September 12 at noon at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and features National Geographic CEO, Gary Knell and Spencer Wells, population geneticist and explorer-in-residence in charge of the Genographic project as keynote speakers.

The North Texas Commission’s history is deeply rooted with DFW Airport. Founded in 1971, the NTC brought together leaders from across North Texas with the specific goal of building the airport to propel the region on the global stage.

DFW Airport opened in 1974 uniting North Texas into what has become the fastest-growing large region in the United States. Today, DFW International Airport is widely recognized as one of the top airports in the world with an annual economic impact of $32 billion and 55 international destinations.

“DFW International Airport has given North Texans 40 years of global exploration,” said Mabrie Jackson, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission. “There is no better way to celebrate world exploration than with the iconic publication that has been delivering us fascinating stories and beautiful photography for 125 years. National Geographic’s Gary Knell will have us all eager to find our own adventure from DFW Airport.”

Gary E. Knell joined the National Geographic Society as president and CEO in January 2014. He has been a member of the Society’s board of trustees since April 2013 and has served on the board of governors of the National Geographic Education Foundation since November 2003. Before joining National Geographic, Knell served as the president and CEO of National Public Radio with a media career that spans nearly three decades, including 22 years at Sesame Workshop.

Spencer Wells is a scientist, author, and documentary filmmaker set an extraordinary goal for himself—using DNA from indigenous peoples, he aimed to document and create the first-ever map of human migration, showing how humans came to populate the planet after leaving the cradle of Africa some 60,000 years ago. A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Wells also serves as Director of the Genographic Project—a partnership with IBM, the Waitt Family Foundation, and National Geographic, and the most ambitious research project in the Society’s 125-year history. Wells’ journey of discovery began at the University of Texas, where he enrolled at 16, majored in biology, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa three years later. He then pursued his Ph.D. at Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral training at Stanford University’s School of Medicine with Luca Cavalli-Sforza, considered the “father of anthropological genetics.”

The 43rd Annual Members’ Luncheon is presented by DFW International Airport. Additional support is provided by Breitling Energy, Lockheed Martin and Texas Health Resources at the Platinum Level. Ruby Level sponsors are AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Verizon/Verizon Wireless.

Tables begin at $1,500 and individual tickets begin at $130 (NTC member rates). Ticket reservations and additional information can be found at

Established in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a regional non-profit consortium of businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development entities and higher education institutions in the North Texas region. The North Texas Commission improves the economic vitality, infrastructure and lifestyle of North Texas by marketing the region, promoting collaboration and advocating on critical issues.

Founded in 1888, National Geographic is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its magazines, cable channels, TV documentaries, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media, radio, merchandise and digital partnerships. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. Education activities include National Geographic Explorer classroom magazine, national and international geography competitions, state geographic alliances and professional development resources for teachers.

Media Contact:
Kimberly Walton
North Texas Commission
972-989-4559 (cell)

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