The expert in high yield credit, James Dondero has become one of the world’s leading alternative investment specialists through his Highland Capital company. James Dondero has made a number of high-profile business deals but believes the need to give back to the people of Dallas, Texas is the most important part of the work he undertakes each day. Among the high-profile philanthropic causes, the former JP Morgan Chase broker has undertaken is an innovative new habitat for the hippo’s at Dallas Zoo along with an event stage and lodge-style viewing areas.
James Dondero based his Highland Capital brand in 1993 in Dallas, Texas and began his career with the desire to build a brighter future for members of the local community. Always an active philanthropist, Dondero set out to make a quick impact on the community with a number of board-level positions with local groups such as ReuNight. The ReuNight brand has been assisting the women and families of Dallas affected by domestic violence for decades with the support of Highland Capital. James Dondero acted as the Honorary Chair of the ReuNight event in 2016 which was held in support of The Family Place programs dedicated to protecting those affected by domestic violence.
The second area of concern for James Dondero has been his work with Dallas Zoo, which has included the creation of a hippo habitat following the arrival of the animals in Texas. Dallas Zoo’s last remaining hippo died in 2001 leaving a large gap in the number of animal exhibits on show to the public. In 2016, Dallas Zoo broke ground in a new hippo habitat created at a cost of $14 million, of which $1 million was donated by James Dondero and Highland Capital. Keeping the new arrivals as happy as possible is the aim of the zoo and includes a 120,000-gallon waterhole and large underwater viewing area.
The pizza chain company Papa Johns has told its
customers that they should expect better conduct from its employees and
executives. In a recent social media video, the company looked to help restore
its reputation after a backlash stemming from racial remarks by the founder.
While the company is looking to move on to restore its image to customers, the
founder John Schnatter is working towards regaining control of his
company. He said that he worked very hard to build the company and believes
that it is within his right to get back control. Schnatter has expressed a
desire for support from customer during this difficult time for the company.
In an effort to address the recent backlash
towards the company, Steve Ritchie wrote a letter to customers, employees and
franchisees. This letter was intended to inform these people that the company
will strive to have better personal conduct as well as work towards making the company more diverse. The company sales have dropped by a considerable margin after the
founder made racially insensitive remarks. According to the chief executive
officer Steve Ritchie, the sales of the company are expected to drop even more
during the next year.
Due to the declining sales and damage to the
company reputation, Steve Ritchie is looking to focus on making Papa Johns more
considerate of people of different backgrounds. He has visited a number of
locations in cities such a Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago. During his
visits, he has listened to the feedback of franchisees and employees on how the company can do better
in terms of being more relatable to diverse populations. After receiving this
feedback, Steve Ritchie has looked to start programs such as unconscious bias
training and getting an advisory group to address diversity, equality and
inclusion in the workplace. The pizza chain will develop a couple of long term
initiatives in the near future. These will include establishing the Papa Johns minority
owned franchise expansion and development program and the formation of a
foundation that makes a positive impact on local communities. This will
hopefully help Papa Johns overcome the consequences of its current backlash.