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 upon Dallas’ top influencers and the nonprofits they support. Today, we’re speaking with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman.
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 speak to the longtime chair of the NorthPark Ambassador program, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman herself. She has lent her name to many causes over the years — this year, she’s pledging her support for Children’s Health. As one of the largest and most prestigious pediatric healthcare providers in North Texas, the hospital cares for children through more than 750,000 patient visits each year. The Children’s Health system includes its flagship hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, as well as Children’s Medical Center Plano, Our Children’s House inpatient rehabilitation hospital, the Children’s Healthcare Network, specialty centers, rehabilitation facilities, and physician services.
“Children’s Health provides wonderful care and innovative treatments for children who are fighting difficult battles,” Schlegel Whitman says. “It is impossible to walk the halls of Children’s Health and not recognize the meaningful work of everyone who contributes to the wonderful care they give and feel immense gratitude to those who make it possible.”
Returning to NorthPark Center’s Ambassador lineup is NorthPark + Children’s Present: A Season of Giving during the holidays with all proceeds of NorthPark Center Santa visits benefiting Children’s Health. Santa will also surprise children who are in-patients during the holidays. During the past two years, the efforts raised $230,000 for the cause.
Your favorite NorthPark memory.
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman: NorthPark is a big part of my life and I have so many great memories! I certainly smile when I think back on all of the years of bell ringing with my family as my father signs us up to work the red kettles for the Salvation Army at NorthPark every year. It is a very special Christmas tradition for our family.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Schlegel Whitman: I love a celebration, so I like to dress, design my home and live in a joyful and cheerful way!
Who are your role models?
KSW: I am so blessed to have so many amazing women in my life that I look up to. I admire them for their generosity, commitment to our community, and friendship. Both of my grandmothers are also great role models for me. They have both passed away but they both had a strong faith and lived very purpose-driven lives. My paternal grandmother took care of the elderly and my maternal grandmother kept 36 foster children over the years.
How do you find a moment of balance while getting it all done?
KSW: There is not such a thing! I think you just do your best every day.
The best advice you’ve ever heard?
KSW: My father dropped my siblings and me off at school every day with the phrase “Work hard. Be Good.” I heard that every morning of my life for years and it stuck. He has a book out and it is full of so many of his great words of wisdom and stories about his entrepreneurial journey.
On the importance of giving back.
KSW: It is so wonderful all the way around! Not only does it help the recipient but there is no greater joy for the giver as well!