As NorthPark Center embarks on its fifth year of celebrating its Ambassador program― an idea spearheaded by Nancy A. Nasher and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman― a spotlight shines bright on Dallas’ top influencers and the nonprofits they support. Today, we’re focusing on Amanda Dillard Shufeldt.
Hand-selected for their philanthropic contributions, each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center and its retailers for various events and initiatives to benefit their respective charitable organizations. This year’s Ambassadors are threaded together with a solid commitment to the community. Events that support causes important to them are united in the ultimate spirit of fashion, art, and stylish philanthropy.
Today, we catch up with Amanda Dillard Shufeldt, as the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala takes place in April. She serves as the nonprofit’s ambassador for NorthPark, which also hosts the always-anticipated Children’s Cancer Fund Model Reveal. The nonprofit champions children in their fight against cancer through strategic investments in research and care in North Texas.
Why are you so passionate about your chosen charitable organization?
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: Children’s Cancer Fund, and the amazing work they do, was first brought to my attention by our District Manager, Shannon Smith, who was the Store Manager of Dillard’s NorthPark at the time. Dillard’s had been donating the clothing to the CCF Gala Honoree Models under her direction and she told me how much she enjoyed helping the children choose their outfits and making it a special day for them.
It brings me such joy to be able to give each of the honorees a chance to celebrate their bravery and strength as they walk the runway with an escort picked especially for them based on their interests and future aspirations. This year’s honorees have been waiting since 2020 for their chance to walk the runway and I am so honored that I get to be a small part of giving each of them this opportunity.
Your favorite NorthPark memory.
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: Actually, I introduced my now husband, then boyfriend, to my father at NorthPark. My father always wants to have dinner with me when he is in town visiting stores and often we will dine at one of the restaurants at NorthPark. On this particular occasion, it was a 5 p.m. dinner at PF Changs, because my father likes to dine early so he can return home to my mother. My father wasn’t quite sure about this new man in my life, who I was bringing to our dinner, and when introduced he said to Charlie, “I heard from some friends of mine that you are really smart,” he waited for Charlie to say “Thank You” and then followed up with, “but everyone says that about the kids they know.” Fortunately, Charlie laughed it off and they got along famously.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: My style has always leaned toward classic and tailored but I like to take risks with my accessories. Unexpected jewelry, fantastic shoes, or a fabulous handbag can make an outfit.
NorthPark Center is at the center of combining art and fashion. Describe your own art and fashion interests.
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: NorthPark is not only one of the top shopping centers in the country with an unparalleled tenant mix but it is also a destination for truly exceptional public art. Public art is incredibly important and I appreciate so much that the Nasher Haemisegger Family has prioritized sharing their incredible collection with us all. I think it is wonderful that individuals who might not otherwise visit a museum or gallery are shopping amongst the work of some of the greatest contemporary artists.
Charlie and I are both involved with Katy Trail Art, an initiative planned to help to continue to expand the role of contemporary art in public spaces in Dallas by bringing world-class installations to the Katy Trail. We hope the initiative will spark dialogue, encourage self-reflection, challenge assumptions, foster community building, and possibly even inspire some future artists as they enjoy the trail with their families!
Who are your role models?
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: My parents. My mother helped me learn to be confident and tenacious but also always kind and gracious. She doesn’t have a jealous bone in her body and I appreciate that she taught me to always be truly happy for and celebrate the successes of others. We can all shine! My father has the most giving spirit. He strongly believes we must help those who are not currently in a position to help themselves. His actions taught me the importance of giving back to our community. He also taught me to take others from where they are coming from and not expect them to be coming from the same place that I am.
We all have different backgrounds and life experiences that shape our viewpoints and can learn so much when we really listen to one another. They are both the most loyal and true friends you could find. They both taught me the importance of cherishing and honoring my friendships and being there for others through the good and the bad.
What are two fun facts about you?
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: During the summer following my sophomore year of college, I had the experience of living in a commune, the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
Some people got a COVID puppy, but we got a COVID motorhome. We have been spending time visiting and camping in state and national parks for the past two summers and on the long weekend breaks. It has been such a fun experience for our family and it makes me super nostalgic because many of my best childhood memories are from summers spent driving cross country visiting our nation’s parks with my parents and two brothers. I love being able to share this experience with Charlie and my daughters.
How do you find a moment of balance while getting it all done?
Amanda Dillard Shufeldt: Balance, what’s that, lol? My father always took us with him to the office and on store visits. I don’t think I ever had a childhood vacation that didn’t involve visiting a Dillard’s store or a competitor’s store if we didn’t have any stores in that region. My mother was the same and took me along with her to any engagements that she had. I think I live my life similarly in that one of my daughters is sitting next to me working on her homework while I answer these questions and they are often popping into my Zoom calls or otherwise with me when I am working and they are not in school. Not sure if that is balance, but I grew up with the lines between work-time and family-time pretty blurred so it is all I know.
Charlie and I do make it a point to carve out time for just the two of us and also with each of our three children individually. They really enjoy having their own personal time with each of us and we enjoy it so much as well.