Non-Profit Group Charged with Stewardship of Downtown Dallas’ Thanks-Giving Square Names CEO and President, Chairman and Director
The Thanks-Giving Foundation, the non-profit group that owns and operates Thanks-Giving Square, a private garden and public space of reflection in Downtown Dallas, announces leadership changes effective January 1. The organization’s board of directors has elected Kyle W. Ogden, chairman of the Carroll Company, as president and CEO; Christopher B. Trowbridge, partner at Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP, as chairman of the board; and Robert B. Kent, North Texas Area Director for the Trust for Public Land, as a member of the board. Ogden succeeds Chris Slaughter, who led the organization since 2010. Trowbridge succeeds Jennifer Altabef, who chaired the board of directors since 2012 and who will remain on the board as a member and immediate past chair.
Thanks-Giving Square, opened in 1976 and designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, is an urban oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas which features a landscaped meditation garden and non-denominational chapel. It was the city’s first public-private partnership, designed to inspire gratitude and honor the great American and world traditions of thanksgiving. The Thanks-Giving Foundation works to ensure that the space “celebrate(s) values, thoughts and spirituality” through an array of events, exhibitions and celebrations throughout the year. It is a welcoming environment for people of all faiths and traditions.
“Kyle, Chris and Robert all are accomplished leaders. It’s gratifying and reassuring to know that Thanks-Giving Square – one of the city’s crown jewels and a force for unifying our community – has such a strong set of proactive champions,” said Slaughter. “I look forward to continuing to support the mission of the Foundation and initiatives such as ‘Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square,’ a broad and diverse coalition of Dallas’ faith leaders, dedicated to a shared vision of unity based on peace and justice for the North Texas community.”
Ogden is chairman of the Garland, Tex.-based Carroll Company. Under his leadership, the company became the nation’s largest manufacturer of private branded institutional cleaning and maintenance chemicals, with 250+ employees and revenues north of $50M. After 30 years also serving as president and CEO, he reduced his role at the company last year. A long-time Dallas resident, Ogden is active in the civic and philanthropic communities, including volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and serving on the board of directors for Redeemed Women – a Dallas-based non-profit dedicated to “transforming women to lead independent lives by building relationships and addressing their spiritual, physical and vocational needs.” He earned both his M.B.A. (‘79) and his B.A. (‘77) at the University of Texas at Austin.
Trowbridge is Chair of the Litigation Section at Bell Nunnally, a business law firm based in Dallas. As a trial attorney with particular emphasis on complex business disputes, Chris maintains an active docket and regularly tries cases before juries, judges and arbitration panels across the country. Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in 2017 and 2018, selected as a “Texas Super Lawyer®” from 2013 to 2017, and previously named in “Legal Leaders on the Rise” and “Litigator of the Week” by Texas Lawyer, Chris is well-known for vigorously protecting his clients’ interests in high-stakes legal matters. Engaged with his community, and beyond his involvement with the Thanks-Giving Foundation, Trowbridge is a recent chairman of the board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas; a member of the Communities Foundation of Texas Advisory Council; and a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber, Southern Dallas Task Force. He earned both his J.D. (‘98) and his B.B.A. (‘95) from Baylor University.
Kent is a non-profit professional who has served since 2014 as the North Texas Area Director for the national Trust for Public Land, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating parks and protecting land for public use. While at the Trust for Public Land’s regional office in Dallas, Kent launched “Smart Growth for Dallas” – a public-private partnership with the City of Dallas aimed at improving the city’s environmental, social and economic resiliency through the identification and establishment of new parks and the protection of open spaces. He also helped organized the coalition “Friends of Dallas Parks,” helping secure $250 million for parks as part of the city’s 2017 Capital Bond Program. Kent is on the board of directors for Union – a non-profit Dallas coffee shop and ministry of the United Methodist Church – and is a member of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ “Mayor’s Star Council,” serving on the Project Committee. He earned an M.S., with Distinction, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland (‘11) and a B.A. from Baylor University (‘09).
The Thanks-Giving Foundation operates Downtown Dallas’ Thanks-Giving Square and provides resources so that citizens from diverse backgrounds can use thanksgiving and gratitude as ways to heal divisions and enhance mutual understanding. As an advocate of interfaith dialogue, the Thanks-Giving Foundation has organized international convocations and seminars to promote understanding, harmony and friendship in a community of diverse faith traditions and cultures. Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square fosters and sustains this multi-faith dialogue through a broad and diverse coalition of Dallas’ faith leaders, dedicated to service, hope and a shared vision of unity and justice for the North Texas community. A longtime United Nations (U.N.) Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Thanks-Giving Foundation inspired the U.N. to adopt the year 2000 as the “Year of World Thanksgiving.” In 2012, the foundation received the “Spirit of the United Nations Award for Youth Outreach.”