CIC’s Mike Rawlings Profiled in Boston College Magazine

Mike Rawlings was elected mayor of Dallas, Texas, on June 18, 2011, defeating the city’s former police chief David Kunkle in a runoff election. Rawlings, the former CEO of several corporations including Pizza Hut, ran on a pledge to promote economic development in the nation’s ninth-largest city. “People have often accused me of ‘thinking big’, and that’s the attitude I plan to bring to Dallas City Hall,” the Texas native said in his June 27 inaugural address, promising to improve Dallas public schools, increase transparency and accountability in city government, expand the tax base in southern Dallas, and “make our diversity a trademark.”

A communications and philosophy major who played defensive end on the Boston College football team, Rawlings went on to spend some 20 years at marketing communications firms in Dallas, including DDB Needham Dallas Group (formerly Tracy-Locke), the largest agency in the Southwest, where he was CEO from 1991 to 1996. From 1997 to 2003 he led Pizza Hut, and in 2004 he helped found CIC Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm, becoming vice chairman.

Appointed by a previous mayor in 2005 as chair of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, a volunteer position, Rawlings became known as the city’s “homeless czar.” After the city committed close to $24 million toward the Bridge, a facility to provide shelter, health care, and other services to the chronically homeless, he oversaw its construction and raised $12 million in private donations for its operations. “There is no question I’ve got access,” Rawlings said about his fundraising efforts. But people don’t give money because they’re your friends. People give money because there is a big idea they can get excited about.”

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