Darren James, president and chief operating officer of commercial HVAC Design/Build contractor KAI Texas, recently completed a 10-month leadership development program through the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Each year since 1976, the Dallas Regional Chamber celebrates the graduation of 55 leaders who are making a difference in their communities. The 10-month program begins in September with an overnight retreat. Each month, the participants focus on a specific issue relevant to the Dallas region, such as education, healthcare, an other topics, and attend class one Friday of each month to study the month’s topic in-depth.
Each Leadership Dallas class is required to complete a class project over the course of the 10-month program. This year, the class focused on improving the Jeffries Street Learning Center in South Dallas. After months of hard work, the 2009 Leadership Dallas Class was able to raise $65,000 in cash and in-kind donations to improve the learning center’s facilities.
The class also presented the Jeffries Street Learning Center with a check for $20,000. James was pleased with the progress made by himself and his colleagues during the program. “We not only learned about the issues facing the Dallas community, but we were able to use that knowledge and work as a team to make a positive difference in the lives of children attending the Jeffries Street Learning Center. I'm so proud to be a member of this year’s graduating class,” James says.
James is active in the Dallas community in other ways. He is 2010 Chair Elect for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors for Dallas County and the University of Kansas School of Architecture Advisory Board. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Council of Greater Dallas and chairs the Technology Committee and is on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Architectural Foundation. He will serve as one of four class advisors for the Leadership Dallas Class of 2010.
KAI Texas employs more than 25 Design/Build professionals, and an additional 65 personnel through its sister company. It provides program management, construction management, architecture, and mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) engineering services.