Home CEO James Dondero: Entrepreneurial Hero in the Heart of Texas

James Dondero: Entrepreneurial Hero in the Heart of Texas


Dallas philanthropist James Dondero has a mission to support the people of Dallas, Texas. Working from sunrise to sunset, Mr. Dondero accomplishes his mission every day. His efforts to help a wide array of charities recently led him to his involvement with a significant project at the Dallas Zoo.

The good citizens of Dallas have sorely missed the presence of hippos that formerly resided at the zoo. Since 2001, when the zoo’s management team decided to shut down the hippo habitat, people have no longer had the pleasure of watching their beloved hippos. The shutdown occurred when Papa, the senior hippo, passed away. At the time, Dallas Zoo officials felt that there was no longer a need for the hippo habitat. It turned out that the officials made a mistake. Consequently, they recently decided to rectify the situation with the help of entrepreneur James Dondero.

Mr. Dondero was informed about an important decision to construct a brand new habitat for hippos and immediately volunteered to make a substantial contribution to the tune of $1 million. The new construction required approximately $14 million. Changing the name from the hippo habitat to the hippo outpost, the new home for hippos includes approximately two acres and incorporates the Highland Capital Lodge named after its benefactor, James Dondero.

When the news story about a grand opening of the Simmons Hippo Outpost was released, Dallas residents could hardly wait to stampede the door of the Dallas Zoo. CEO Gregg Hudson stated that the outpost has been successful in attracting impressive numbers of visitors. Hippo magic was in the air and families could once again become fascinated and enthralled by the exotic animals.

The Highland Capital Lodge was a unique idea. Plans for the lodge included having a place where James Dondero can hold special events. In fact, one event has already benefited The Family Place, a shelter for men who have been victims of domestic violence. A special Mother’s Day event held at the Highland Capital Lodge enabled The Family Place to receive extra money for its residents.

The new hippo habitat, called Simmons Hippo Outpost, is the home of two adorable hippos that go by the names of Adhama and Boipelo. Adhama is the male and junior in the relationship. Visitors to the zoo love watching Adhama dancing in the water. People view the hippos through glass zoo enclosures. Boipelo, the older female partner, has been carefully paired with Adhama. The matchmaking efforts look as though they have been successful. Zoo officials hope to see the birth of a baby hippo in the near future.

In addition to his involvement with the Dallas Zoo venture, James Dondero continues to find other ways to enrich the city of Dallas. His enthusiasm for helping others continues to expand as the visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist develops new ideas. Mr. Dondero wants the people of Dallas to know that he is committed to offering his money and time whenever and wherever needs arise.

In addition to his part in the construction of the new hippo outpost and lodge, Highland Capital Management LP has been involved in donating money to various charities. James Dondero is the Co-Founder of Highland Capital Management LP. His company has donated funds to the Perot Museum of Natural Science, the Education is Freedom organization and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

In addition, James Dondero, with the help of Mary Jalonick, founded the Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc. Ms. Jalonick is the current president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation and is a valuable colleague. Mr. Dondero values her insight and opinions about organizations and charities that need his assistance. The Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc. offers financial assistance to veterans, civic organizations and students in the Dallas area.

James Dondero studied at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. When James Dondero first started out in his career, he worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Later, he began working for American Express. Typical of a true entrepreneur’s mindset, he eventually became the Co-Founder of Highland Capital Management, LP. The company has it headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Focusing on private equity accounts and credit hedge funds, James Dondero uses his expertise to make a difference in the financial world.

Another venture involves Mr. Dondero’s joining forces with Linda Owen, the former chief financial officer of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. Linda Owen helps James Dondero in his efforts to contribute available funds to several nonprofit organizations. The combined efforts of these two philanthropists ensure that Texas will receive funds for future renovations.

James Dondero presents an image of the ideal philanthropist. His life is dedicated to making a positive difference in Dallas. His charitable endeavors have benefited numerous people of all ages who live in the Dallas vicinity. Without James Dondero, Dallas would lack a true benefactor and friend. However, Mr. Dondero’s efforts do not end with Dallas. He continues to seek out other charitable organizations in need of his financial assistance.

James Dondero has contributed funds to charities located around the world. His main passion is focused on helping students who want to have better educations. He is also dedicated to helping American veterans. Highland Capital Management LP is not just about finance and credit. The business focuses on serving its local community and worldwide communities under the wise guidance of James Dondero.