Ross Perot, Jr., chairman of both Hillwood, one of the nation’s top real estate developers, and the Perot Group, an investment management firm, has been inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor. The induction took place at a Hillwood employee meeting in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Through Perot’s leadership, the Hillwood team has coordinated significant transportation infrastructure development and expansion projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Most notably he led the creation of the 17,000-acre, master-planned AllianceTexas development, which includes Fort Worth Alliance Airport, the world’s first industrial airport, and the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, known as the “grandfather of inland ports.”
“We are pleased to bestow this tremendous honor upon one of the most visionary transportation leaders of the 21st century,” said Dennis Christiansen, agency director of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), which administers the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor. “Through the innovative transportation infrastructure developed at AllianceTexas and other high-profile developments, Mr. Perot is significantly increasing economic development in our state.”
Since 1990, AllianceTexas, a public-private partnership, has had an economic impact of $43.74 billion, attracted more than 300 companies and created more than 31,000 jobs. The development, which was recently recognized as one of the country’s fastest growing communities, is less than 50 percent complete.
The Alliance Global Logistics Hub at AllianceTexas is a model for multimodal transportation hubs and public-private partnerships. It connects key transportation infrastructure, including an airport, intermodal terminal, Class I rail lines and regional highways, with manufacturing and distribution facilities, enabling improved supply chain efficiencies.
“By integrating commercial air, rail and highway transportation systems through his Alliance project and connecting North Texas more seamlessly to the country and the world, Ross has had an immeasurable impact on the development and future prospects of the Dallas/Fort Worth region,” said David Laney, former chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission and the National Rail Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) Board of Directors. “He understands that mobility and connectivity are paramount in attracting and retaining businesses and residents for North Texas and ensuring quality of life.”
Perot also was instrumental in the development of Texas State Highway 170, which connects Alliance Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He helped form the 35W Coalition, which has worked with government entities to improve the highway between downtown Fort Worth and the Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, Perot’s Hillwood team led the Victory development in downtown Dallas, a 72-acre complex that is home to the American Airlines Center and the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars sports teams.
“For thousands of years, transportation has been making and breaking communities, states and nations — even civilizations,” Perot said in accepting the honor. “Over the last 50-plus years, the Interstate Highway System has proven to be a powerful economic differentiator for the United States. Today, success requires a multimodal, physical transportation infrastructure that moves people, goods and services efficiently and safely. Only by working together with our many partners — both in government and the private sector —have we been able to create and implement this vision. I want to thank Dennis, David and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute for this honor.”
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Perot previously served as CEO and chairman of Perot Systems Corporation, a global technology company. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 1992 and served as chairman of the U.S. Air Force Memorial. He received the Gold Medal Award for Extraordinary Service from President Ronald Reagan, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.
Perot becomes the 38th member of the Hall of Honor, which was established in 2000 by TTI as a way to recognize select individuals who played pivotal roles in the advancement of transportation in Texas and the nation. Each individual inducted is recognized by a plaque on permanent display in the hall, which is located at TTI on the campus of Texas A&M University.