Society / Profiles

Dallas Difference Makers — Lifestyle Guru Kimberly Schlegel Whitman On the Joy of Giving Back and Her Secret Weapon

BY Promoted Series Correspondent // 01.22.18
photography Samantha Jane

They are entrepreneurs and art patrons, executives and serious philanthropists. And they all effect change in Dallas in a personal way. PaperCity is zooming in on NorthPark Center’s 2018 Luxury Ambassadors as they embark on a year of supporting charities close to their hearts. This is the first in a 10-part series.


Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Lifestyle expert, author, Southern Living editor at large

Cause: The Human Trafficking Institute

Why The Human Trafficking Institute matters. Hearing about the impact of [taking just] one step against a trafficker made an impression on me. The potential the Institute has to impact this problem globally is exciting. 

On doing it all. I don’t really find balance! Setting an example for my kids of loving my work is what motivates me. My husband likes to say, “You are like a Ferrari. When you are running smoothly, things are great but when you break down, there isn’t a mechanic in town who can fix you!” I try to take every day with a smile and find joy in my faith, family, friends and work. Some days I remember that more than others.

What you hope to teach your children. What a crazy world they are growing up in. I hope to set the example that there is great joy in giving back to others. I pray they will be generous and empathetic to everyone around them.

Mothers and sisters. My mother is a juggler. She can have 100 things going on around her at once and not drop a single ball. I don’t know how she does it. My sisters are the same way. My brother says we are “get-er-done” girls. Both of my sisters made forging a career in a new field look easy. They both saw something they were interested in doing and went after it. I admire that.

What it really means to be a lifestyle expert. I have found so much joy in my career. I love to share little things that might inspire someone to create a new memory, craft a new tradition, or find a new take on a daunting task that might make it more joyful. I enjoy writing about it in my books, sharing it in TV segments and speaking engagements, or on my blog and on social media.

Entertaining secret weapon. My husband. He is a master at making everyone feel welcome and at home.

The importance of giving back. No one ever sat me down and said, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” but it was understood that great fulfillment and joy came from helping those in need. My maternal and paternal grandparents were very generous of spirit and gracious with everyone around them. For my parents, it has always been a part of their lifestyle — and we saw that throughout our childhood.

More about this series: Dallas is a city famed for giving back. Each year, NorthPark Center recognizes our city’s most influential philanthropists who are making differences in our community to garner further exposure for their favorite charities. 

NorthPark Center Luxury Ambassadors are hand-selected for their contributions and efforts in the areas of visual and performing arts, children’s causes, and research in health and sciences. Each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center for various initiatives and events benefiting their favorite North Texas non-profit institutions. 

The program was formed in 2016 as an extension of the shopping center’s “Fifty Years of Giving” anniversary celebration in 2015.

Part of the Special Series:

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