James Dondero has been a resident of Dallas for nearly 15 years. He is the president of Highland Capital Management, an alternative investment management company. Mr. Dondero co-founded the company in 1993 with Mr. Mark Okado. The firm’s headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas. The company is proud of its deep roots in the city.
For the last 25 years, James has led his firm with a high standard of integrity and dedication to public service. An important part of his mission as president is his company’s commitment to philanthropic activities. James Dondero has made charitable giving a heartfields priority from the beginning stages of Highland Capital. A foundation was set up to help make an ongoing positive impact on the Dallas community. Highland’s generous contributions continue to benefit Dallas residents in need of assistance and the community at large.
The company was launched in Los Angeles, and Highland Capital’s headquarters were located there until 1994. The company was moved to Dallas, and James immediately set out to make Dallas its focal point as Highland’s new home. Highland Capital is a dynamic investment firm, and it operates globally from its Texas location. The firm’s philanthropy is focused on the local community in which it operates, and the city that is home to its many employees.
The Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc. was founded as the philanthropic chapter of the company. Highland Capital Management, through the foundation, has been generous donor to a large number of worthy organizations. Some of these include The Family Place, Education is Freedom, The Dallas Zoo, the Southern Methodist University’s Tower Scholars, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dondero envisions that their contributory gifts are to help make up a part of a larger strategy of philanthropy in Dallas. He hopes that his giving helps to provide opportunities for which the non-profit organizations can work along with each other for an even greater impact.
To that end, Mr. Dondero has partnered with Ms. Linda Owen, the former CEO of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. She gives endlessly of her time and energy to the Highland foundation in order to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. Ms. Owens also ensures that Highland Capital Management’s efforts are made available to newer non-profit agencies in the community. She helps to coordinate their efforts in that all of the non-profit causes are working with each other to accomplish the most good. Dondero has said,“The civic community in Dallas gets things done.”
As a part of its contributions, the company gifted a $2 million endowment to the Southern Methodist University scholarship program. The endowment was given to help fund the program that supports exceptional undergraduate students who are pursuing their studies in politics and international affairs. It also works to bring the importance of ethical public service to the forefront.
When a large or small company generously supports the community, the company is displaying its commitment to corporate social responsibility. James Dondero and Highland Capital Management are helping to do their part in building a sense of community in Dallas. Philanthropic efforts made by a company will likely enable other local businesses to do the same, and the whole community will reap the benefits. It also reflects positively on a company by its customers. People want to do business with a company that is concerned about its neighbors in the community. In these and in many other ways, philanthropy can positively make a difference.