|Address||2 Grantley Court |
Dallas, Texas 75230, United States
|| February 07, 1941
|Last Modifed||TX DEM|
May 23, 2007 02:48pm
|Info||Sam Coats was born in a farmhouse on a dirt road near La Feria, Texas. The fifth of six children, he was brought up to believe that he could reach his dreams by working hard and treating others with respect. Throughout his career as a public servant, civic leader, and corporate turnaround specialist, Sam has made these values the centerpiece of his leadership. Now he’s bringing those same values to the race to be the next mayor of Dallas. |
Sam Coats went to college at Southwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his law degree. After law school, Sam settled in Dallas with his wife, Judy. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1970 and quickly earned a reputation as a courageous reformer who wasn’t afraid to stand up to his party’s leadership when it was the right thing to do.
Sam’s record as a civic leader didn’t end when he left the legislature. He has served as chairman of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and the Dallas Long Range Water Supply Plan. He served as co-chairman of the United Negro College Fund, and as a board member of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army, and the Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America.
After leaving the legislature, Sam entered the business world, where he made a career out of proving people wrong. When he joined Continental Airlines as a senior executive, it had just become the first U.S. carrier to file for bankruptcy twice. Analysts doubted whether the new management team could turn things around, but Sam and his colleagues defied the odds and led one of the most dramatic turnarounds in airline history.
When Sam was hired as CEO of Schlotzsky’s, Inc. in 2004, the company was bankrupt and its stock had plummeted 96% in five years. Sam defied the odds again and helped put the firm back in the black, saving hundreds of mom-and-pop franchise owners from financial ruin.
Sam faced an even bigger challenge in 2006 when he was asked to help end the bitter feud between Dallas and Fort Worth over the Wright Amendment. For more than 25 years, efforts to end the Wright Amendment’s restrictions on flights at Love Field had failed. Dallas travelers were stuck with high fares and long travel times. But Sam helped break the stalemate and negotiate a historic compromise to phase out the restrictions, lower air fares, and protect the neighborhoods around Love Field against increases in noise and pollution.
Sam’s career has taught him what leadership is all about. When Sam was hired as a Vice President at Southwest Airlines, he was intrigued how CEO Herb Kelleher often gave more face time to flight attendants and mechanics than his senior executives. He saw firsthand that Kelleher’s employee-first management style was a big reason why Southwest thrived while other airlines struggled. Employee ownership programs meant that flight attendants and mechanics were as invested in the company’s future as senior executives. The result is one of the greatest success stories in recent corporate history.
Now Sam is running for mayor to bring his leadership skills to the challenges we face as a city. Dallas needs a mayor who can cut through the shouting at City Hall to build consensus, just like Sam did in the Wright Amendment negotiations. Dallas needs a mayor who can get the city’s economy back on track, just like Sam did as a turnaround CEO. And as he learned at Southwest, Dallas needs a mayor who understands that our city will thrive only if every citizen – not just a fortunate few – are invested in our success.