In its sixth year, NorthPark Center’s Ambassador program boldly merges all things fashion, art and philanthropy. The assembly of Ambassadors ― an idea generated in tandem by Nancy A. Nasher and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman ― shines a spotlight on Dallas’ top influencers and the causes most significant and important to them.
Chosen specifically for their philanthropic endeavors, each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center and its retailers for a variety of events and initiatives to benefit their respective charitable organizations. From a not-to-miss fashion show to a magical holiday season, NorthPark provides a platform to get the mission of these organizations out there and ignite significant impact all year long.
Today we catch up with The Family Place board member and NorthPark Ambassador Lisa Sherrod. Countless NorthPark Center businesses rally together to support the mission of The Family Place with the well-known Partners Card series. The nonprofit’s mission empowers survivors of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling and skills that create independence. Through Dallas’ premiere shopping event, each individual Partners Card sale empowers The Family Place to provide one night of safety for a victim of family violence. More than 700 restaurant and retail partners, many of which are at NorthPark Center, join each year to support the mission.
“I am proud to serve on the board of The Family Place (TFP) which is the largest service provider to survivors of domestic violence in Texas,” Sherrod says. “TFP offers comprehensive services ranging from emergency shelter for women, men, and children, counseling, job readiness, and transitional housing, among a host of other critical services.”
Tell us about a specific memory from time spent working with The Family Place.
I am particularly proud of the work taking place at TFP’s Southern Dallas Counseling Center (SDCC) and the African American Domestic Violence Council (AADVC). I’ve had the opportunity to visit the center, meet with staff, and learn more about day-to-day needs, operations, and goals. Since 1997, The Family Place SDCC has provided counseling and case management services in the southern sector of Dallas. The services are provided at no charge to survivors of family violence. Services include individual counseling, case management, support groups, parenting classes, and domestic violence education groups.
What was it for you that first instilled the value of giving back to your community?
Talking with my grandmother, who was a nurse and worked at a shipyard during World War II to do her part — in addition to my mother enrolling me in Girl Scouts or my father enlisting me to deliver lunches to poll workers as a college student. All had a tremendous impact in shaping my view on my need to be an active and informed member of society. This is best conveyed in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”
Who have been your strongest role models?
Certainly my parents who have all influenced my outlook on life and career since I was a child. My mother and stepmother were in law school at the same time, and I saw them develop a system of co-existing that was very powerful for me. I’ve also had dynamic bosses who invested in me, including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who I worked for in Washington, D.C. and Dallas.
Dan Waldmann at Tenet Health and Mike Peterson at AT&T, who have all positioned me with strong foundations at the respective organizations. There are others in the community like Marvin Singleton and Angela Ross who believed in me, and I am eternally grateful.
NorthPark Center is at the center of combining art and fashion. Can you describe your own personal art and fashion interests?
Definitely classic. Structured bags like the Prada Saffiano and crisp white blouses and wide leg black trousers from CH Carolina Herrera. Black patent leather flats from Prada are staples in my wardrobe and it’s always exciting to visit NorthPark and see how collections are captured. Whether it’s a quick run into J.Crew or Nordstrom for a fragrance replenish, visiting NorthPark never gets old. I appreciate the Center’s history, architecture, and new additions that capture Dallas’ quintessential sophistication. My sister lives in Washington, D.C. and never fails to mention my Dallas style of which I am very proud.
What do you do to unwind?
Spending time with myself, with no distractions by phone or television. This allows me to regroup by taking note of all things I am grateful for in life and consider what I’d like to focus on next.
Fondest memory (or memories!) spent at NorthPark Center?
The holiday performances by dance troupes and seeing families and the community spellbound by the dancing, singing and music. It brings me great joy to see everyone fill both floors to watch outstanding local talent. I also love the gingerbread tree display outside Nordstrom during the holidays and playing dress up at CH Carolina Herrera which are a few of my favorite memories at NorthPark.
Upcoming events that you are looking forward to?
October is an exciting month for The Family Place. In addition to the 2023 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, The Family Place Partners Card kicks off on October 27, with participating retailers and restaurants all over the city, including NorthPark. It’s a great way to kick off your holiday shopping.
The Family Place Partners Card is the best way to support Dallas charity efforts while patronizing local businesses. Proceeds of the city-wide program help The Family Place continue its efforts to end the cycle of family violence.
Words of advice you would give to your younger self?
Don’t doubt yourself. Trust your instincts. You have everything it takes to make it and you will.