Find out “Who’s Who” and meet the notable names of the Red Tie Gala, learn more about their accomplishments, their service to the DFW community, and their role in our 20-year history. Learn more about the Red Tie Gala and buy your tickets here.
Red Tie Gala Co-Chairs
Susan Salka is the Chief Executive Officer of AMN Healthcare, (NYSE:AMN) and a Director on the Board of McKesson.
Scott Salka is a retired biotech entrepreneurs and executive
Together, they share a passion of philanthropy and service to their communities and global health and equity issues. Scott and Susan have been financial supporters and/or fundraising chairs for several organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, North Texas Food Bank, Hopes Door New Beginning, International Esperanza Project, Campanile Foundation, and Cancer Support Community North Texas.
Laura Wheat has served as Mayor of the Town of Westlake since 2008. As Mayor, she has helped manage significant commercial and residential growth, attract top companies to Westlake, and oversee the development of several new neighborhoods in one of the country’s most affluent towns.
Since 2008, she has also served as President of the Board of Trustees of Westlake Academy, the only municipally owned charter school in Texas. The K-12 International Baccalaureate World School is committed to providing students with the highest quality education so that they can become lifelong learners with a worldview.
For more than three decades, Laura has served in leadership roles on the boards of more than a dozen charitable organizations, supporting strategic efforts and leading significant initiatives for causes that have personal meaning, including cancer, education, healthcare, and adoption. In 2002, she and her husband, Doug, were driving forces behind bringing Cancer Support Community North Texas to life in Dallas. She currently chairs the Board of Directors for the International Esperanza Project; is Chairman-Elect for The Gladney Center for Adoption; and serves on the board of the JPS Hospital Foundation.
Together, Laura and Doug have raised four children and currently enjoy two grandchildren. Through thick and thin, Laura works to remain focused on her guiding principles of choosing happiness on a daily basis and helping others find it for themselves.
Douglas D. Wheat is President and founder of Wheat Investments, a Dallas-Fort Worth based investment firm. Prior to founding Wheat Investments, Mr. Wheat was founder of Southlake Equity Group in 2006 and Haas Wheat and Partners in 1992. Before joining Haas Wheat, Mr. Wheat was a member of the merchant banking group of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. (“DLJ”) where he specialized in leveraged buyout financings. As a Senior Vice President and subsequently a principal at DLJ, Mr. Wheat played a key role in the development of the firm’s merchant banking and leveraged buyout business. Mr. Wheat is one of a few select number of individuals inducted into the DLJ Hall of Fame of Super Achievers.
Mr. Wheat currently chairs the boards of AMN Healthcare, International Seaways, and Overseas Shipholding Group. Prior board affiliations include Playtex Products, Inc. (Chairman from 2004 to 2006), ALC Communications Corporation, Alliance Imaging, Inc., Grand Slam Acquisition, Inc., Specialty Foods Corporations, Smarte Carte Corporation, Walls Holding Company, Inc., and Nebraska Book Company.
Mr. Wheat received both his J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Kansas where he was subsequently named a distinguished alumnus. His prior civic affiliations include Chairman of the KU First Capital Campaign for the University of Kansas Law School, director of The Gladney Fund (Fort Worth, Texas), and trustee of St. Mark’s School of Texas.
Douglas D. Hawthorne, LFACHE, retired from Texas Health Resources as the Founding Chief Executive Officer Emeritus on December 31, 2019, after fifty years of service with the same healthcare organization.
Guided by the mission of improving the health of the people in the communities served by Texas Health, Mr. Hawthorne successfully implemented a unique vision while conquering several challenges. Perhaps the largest was overseeing the joining of several highly successful healthcare brands — Presbyterian Healthcare Resources, Harris Methodist Hospitals, and Arlington Memorial Hospital — in creating Texas Health Resources. Under Mr. Hawthorne’s leadership, Texas Health and its member organizations received numerous awards. Several Texas Health hospitals have been recognized nationally for clinical excellence.
In addition to helping lead the formation of Texas Health, Mr. Hawthorne’s other notable career achievements include nine mentions in Modern Healthcare magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” and being named among the “HealthLeaders 20” in 2013 for making a difference in health care. In 2014 he was inducted as a Legend into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and was honored with lifetime achievement awards in both the Fort Worth Business Press Healthcare Heroes and D CEO Excellence in Healthcare programs. He also received Cancer Support Community North Texas’ Thrive Award for Community in Action.
A leader and contributor, Mr. Hawthorne currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Trinity University, the American Hospital Association’s President’s Forum, Ardent Health Services, Caron Treatment Centers, and the Bank of Oklahoma Corporate Board (BOKF). He serves on the Dallas Advisory Board for The Nature Conservancy, Communities Foundation of Texas, The State Fair of Texas, and the National Board of the March of Dimes. He is a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, a Reserve Elder at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church, and a Lifetime Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Known as a philanthropist and volunteer, Mr. Hawthorne and his wife Martha helped establish and fund a primary health clinic in Tanzania. Working with a team of health professionals and family members, the Hawthornes helped prepare the Open Arms clinic for its opening in June 2011. The Hawthornes who have made multiple mission trips were honored by Empower African Children and Grace for Impact for their labor of love in establishing the much-needed clinic.
The Hawthorne family includes Doug and Martha’s five children, their spouses, and eight grandchildren.
Hannah Davis is the host of Good Morning Texas at WFAA in Dallas. You’ll have to wake up early to catch Hannah, where she shares stories about inspiring people, small businesses making it work, and non-profits that make the world a better place every day.
On Daybreak, her previous role, Hannah created and hosts the series, “Rise and Shiners” where her team goes undercover to profile everyday heroes and surprise them with a story that details their positive impact in the community.
Hannah believes stories can bring people together, offer solace for those who feel alone, and teach us to see the humanity in our neighbors.
Like almost every person on this planet, Hannah has been impacted by cancer. She lost three grandparents to the disease and her family was forever marked by the passing of Hannah’s uncle Billy when he was only 8 years old.
Hannah knows that every day there are men and women bravely navigating life with a cancer diagnosis as well as the people who love them. She believes that telling their stories can help us all to show empathy and support in our daily lives.
Besides talking for a living, Hannah loves animals, hiking, and good food. If you have any recommendations on where to find cute puppies, beautiful trails, or tasty meals send her a message on social media.
Hannah is honored to be here and can’t wait to hear your stories.
Red Tie Gala 2022 Honoree
This year, we’re proud to recognize the Mary Kay Ash Foundation with our Thrive Award for Community in Action for their continued support of Cancer Support Community North Texas and their decades-long commitment to finding cure for cancers affecting women through funding cancer research, awareness initiatives, community outreach programs, and advocacy for legislation to ensure women are healthy and safe.