A native of Mexico with engineering in his blood, Ignacio Herrera never felt like he had a foothold in the Dallas community until his involvement with Leadership Dallas in 2011 gave him the experience he needed. Now a project manager at KDC, Herrera helps manage the development of Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano, but he’s just as focused on giving back to the community.
Leadership Dallas “focuses on things from education to politics to healthcare to the home office,” he says. “You get to learn about several dynamics of the city, which can easily be compared to the vastness of a real estate project.”
During Herrera’s time in Leadership Dallas, his project focused on the renovation of Turtle Creek Recovery Center, one of the longest-existing mental health institution in North Texas. Herrera is now on the board of directors for the nonprofit.
“The community that matters the most is yours, wherever you are,” he says. “You learn a lot about yourself by devoting your time to give back to the community.”
Herrera still frequently meets with classmates, as well as those from 2012, for whom he was class adviser. He also participates in the annual alumni day of service, which keeps him connected to the program and the community.
“Anybody who is willing to invest the time into a program like Leadership Dallas can certainly become part of a strong leadership force in the city,” he says. “It will not only change your life, but it will also empower you to make a positive impact in the community.”