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James Dondero Offers His Gifts of Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy to the Dallas Community

Highland Capital Management logo (PRNewsFoto/Highland Capital Management)

Things are looking bright for Dallas, Texas, thanks to the generosity of entrepreneur and philanthropist James (Jim) Dondero. Mr. Dondero is the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, LP. The firm has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. James Dondero is a man with a strong sense of commitment to his community. His zeal and energy help him take on a wide array of projects.

James Dondero has earned two separate Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and finance. Mr. Dondero also studied at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. His college degrees have given him the ability to advance his career. His understanding of financial matters enables him to manage his own company while also contributing to the Dallas economy.

Working his way up from JPMorgan Chase & Co., he landed a prestigious job at American Express. During this period of his career, James Dondero was responsible for managing $1 billion in fixed income funds. In 1989, he was hired as the CEO of Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary. Using his natural talents and experience, James helped the tiny business grown into an impressive $2 billion company. His determination and hard work enabled him to progress to the stage in his life when he was ready to start his own firm.

In 1993, James Dondero became the co-founder of Highland Capital Management, LP. He quickly earned his share of fame as a global leader within the alternative credit industry. Highland Capital Management primarily works with helping private investors with their equity accounts, distressed situations, long-only funds and credit hedge funds.

Even though a typical day for James Dondero is anything but average, James Dondero manages to take the time to get involved in his community. His passion has caused him to support several important ventures including a recent contribution to the Dallas Zoo. Dallas residents mourned the day when the Dallas Zoo decided to close the hippopotamus (hippo) habitat in 2001. The decision was made after one of the senior hippos died.

Due to popular demand, zoo managers recently decided to rebuild the habitat. The zoo needed $14 million in donations. James Dondero generously donated $1 million. Today, people have opportunities to look at the hippos living in the Highland Capital Lodge which was named after its generous benefactor’s financial credit firm.

James Dondero explained that his basic philosophy was always geared toward assisting projects that were meant to point Dallas in a positive direction. His success has not turned him into a powerful entrepreneur who only cares about himself. Instead, he is delighted to manage a business that gives back to the community.

Assisting the Dallas Zoo is only one of his many projects. Highland Capital Management has also contributed funds to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, the Perot Museum of Natural Science, the Education is Freedom Charity and the Tower Scholars program sponsored by Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Due to his passion for philanthropic causes, James Dondero recently joined forces with Mary Jalonick, the CEO and president of The Dallas Foundation. Ms. Jalonick has an impressive background researching various charities requiring donations. Since his association with Mary Jalonick, James Dondero has committed more than $3 million to his annual philanthropic budget.

In addition, Ms. Jalonick and Mr. Dondero founded the Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc. as a way to assist James in choosing charitable organizations. The foundation enthusiastically offers financial support to civic organizations, students and military veterans. James Dondero continues to offer grants throughout each year. His grants support a multitude of charities in Dallas.

In addition to his collaboration with Ms. Jalonick, Mr. Dondero formed a business relationship with Linda Owen. Ms. Owen is the previous chief operating officer of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. Her job at The Dallas Foundation is to make sure that James knows about the different nonprofit agencies focusing on improving conditions in the North Texas area.

Mr. Dondero mentioned that Ms. Owen’s philanthropic efforts help Highland Capital Management continue its support for nonprofit agencies in Dallas. Since his association with Ms. Owen, Highland Capital Management has been able to assist new charities including The Family Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Highland Capital Management offered a $1 million challenge grant to help The Family Place.

James Dondero’s firm recently became involved in hosting a special Mother’s Day gathering at the Dallas Zoo. Contributions from participants were used to donate extra funds to help The Family Place residents. James Dondero, entrepreneur and philanthropist, has a spiritual vision for the community of Dallas. He is dedicated to ensuring that Dallas is a prime example of an ideal city where people enjoy working, going to college and living their lives in peace and harmony.

Connect with James Dondero on Twitter.