24 episodes

The most valuable companies in the world are maximizing their revenues by improving their inclusion and diversity strategies. But what does it take for a company to be “In the Black” from a diversity and economic standpoint? Join T. Dallas Smith, the founder of one of the largest Black-owned commercial real estate firms in the country, as he speaks with other champions for change who challenge the status quo to improve the lives of others. If you’re looking to transform the dominant narrative in the commercial real estate industry, this is the podcast for you, In the Black with T. Dallas Smith, a production of Forbes Books.

In the Black T. Dallas Smith

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 7 Ratings

The most valuable companies in the world are maximizing their revenues by improving their inclusion and diversity strategies. But what does it take for a company to be “In the Black” from a diversity and economic standpoint? Join T. Dallas Smith, the founder of one of the largest Black-owned commercial real estate firms in the country, as he speaks with other champions for change who challenge the status quo to improve the lives of others. If you’re looking to transform the dominant narrative in the commercial real estate industry, this is the podcast for you, In the Black with T. Dallas Smith, a production of Forbes Books.

    Transforming Corporate Real Estate: Michael Ford's Visionary Approach (Part Two)

    Transforming Corporate Real Estate: Michael Ford's Visionary Approach (Part Two)

    In the second half of this compelling episode, the conversation takes a more personal turn as Michael Ford opens up about his upbringing in Alabama and the experiences that have shaped his life journey. He'll share insightful stories about what it was like growing up in the South, providing a window into the values and lessons that laid the foundation for his future success. Ford will also reveal the entertaining tale of how his wife managed to convince him to relocate to the unlikely destination of Fargo, North Dakota. Listeners will get to know the man behind the executive title as he recounts this pivotal decision that took his career and family on an unexpected adventure to the frozen northern plains. With his trademark blend of strategic thinking and down-to-earth candor, Michael Ford promises to not only impart invaluable wisdom for professional growth but also remind us of the importance of embracing life's detours and drawing strength from our roots. Don't miss this engaging glimpse into the personal side of one of corporate America's most transformative leaders.

    • 13 min
    Transforming Corporate Real Estate: Michael Ford's Visionary Approach (Part One)

    Transforming Corporate Real Estate: Michael Ford's Visionary Approach (Part One)

    On this episode of In the Black, Dallas is joined by Michael Ford, a groundbreaking change agent renowned for seamlessly blending strategy, analysis, and innovative solutions to drive operational excellence. As the Senior Vice President of Global Real Estate and Security at AT&T, Ford oversees a vast portfolio of nearly 200 million square feet while safeguarding the company's valuable assets - his strategic foresight and operational insight position him as a true catalyst for transforming companies and boldly shaping the future of work. Before joining AT&T, Ford served an impressive 18-year tenure at Microsoft, culminating in his position as Corporate Vice President of Global Workplace Services, where he led a team dedicated to delivering interconnected, sustainable, and secure workplaces across 113 countries, enhancing employee experience throughout the real estate lifecycle for over 200,000 global employees. With his wealth of experience and visionary approach, Michael Ford promises to offer invaluable insights into optimizing corporate real estate strategies, fostering operational excellence, and future-proofing organizations. 

    • 17 min
    Powering Progress: Chris Womack's Trailblazing Leadership at Southern Company (Part Two)

    Powering Progress: Chris Womack's Trailblazing Leadership at Southern Company (Part Two)

    The conversation takes a profound turn as Dallas and Chris delve into the significance of fostering hope in the younger generation and empowering the leaders of tomorrow. They explore how leaders can play a pivotal role in creating opportunities, providing mentorship, and instilling the values of service and resilience in youth. Chris shares insights from his upbringing and the mentors who inspired him, underscoring the lasting impact such guidance can have. He reveals how Southern Company's ethos is deeply rooted in corporate social responsibility, driving initiatives that uplift communities and open doors for the next generation.  Their mission extends far beyond providing electricity; it's about empowering people, igniting potential, and leaving a legacy of progress that brightens the lives of all they serve.

    About Chris Womack:  Chris is the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Southern Company, one of the nation’s leading energy providers serving 9 million customers nationwide.Prior to his current role, since 2021 he served as chairman, president, and CEO of Georgia Power, leading Southern Company’s largest subsidiary.He assumed leadership of Georgia Power after serving as executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company where he led overall external positioning and branding efforts including the company’s public policy strategies and oversaw the company’s governmental and regulatory affairs, corporate communication initiatives and other external and strategic business engagements.A native of Greenville, Alabama, Womack joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within Southern Company and its subsidiaries. He has served as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for coal, gas, and hydro generation for Georgia Power and Savannah Electric. Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.Prior to joining Southern Company, Womack worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.. He served as a legislative aide for former Congressman Leon E. Panetta and as staff director for the Subcommittee on Personnel and Police for the Committee on House Administration.Womack is co-chair of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Customer Solutions Policy Committee and a member of the board of directors of Invesco Ltd. and the Georgia Ports Authority. He is past chair of the board of the East Lake Foundation and is on the national board of The First Tee. Womack has chaired the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau board and the Atlanta Sports Council. He has received numerous honors, awards, and recognitions.He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree from The American University, and he completed the Stanford Executive Program in 2001. 

    • 19 min
    Powering Progress: Chris Womack's Trailblazing Leadership at Southern Company (Part One)

    Powering Progress: Chris Womack's Trailblazing Leadership at Southern Company (Part One)

    In the latest installment of In the Black with T. Dallas Smith, the spotlight shines on Chris Womack, the trailblazing Chairman, President, and CEO of Southern Company. Born in humble circumstances in Greenville, Alabama, Chris' remarkable journey has been defined by vision, determination, and an unwavering commitment to service. Over his 30-year tenure at Southern Company, he has consistently broken new ground, ascending through a succession of leadership roles to elevate the company to new heights of excellence.  In this insightful conversation, T. Dallas delves into Chris' inspiring story, exploring the philosophies and strategies that have fueled his ascent.

    About Chris Womack:  Chris is the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Southern Company, one of the nation’s leading energy providers serving 9 million customers nationwide.Prior to his current role, since 2021 he served as chairman, president, and CEO of Georgia Power, leading Southern Company’s largest subsidiary.He assumed leadership of Georgia Power after serving as executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company where he led overall external positioning and branding efforts including the company’s public policy strategies and oversaw the company’s governmental and regulatory affairs, corporate communication initiatives and other external and strategic business engagements.A native of Greenville, Alabama, Womack joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within Southern Company and its subsidiaries. He has served as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for coal, gas, and hydro generation for Georgia Power and Savannah Electric. Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.Prior to joining Southern Company, Womack worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.. He served as a legislative aide for former Congressman Leon E. Panetta and as staff director for the Subcommittee on Personnel and Police for the Committee on House Administration.Womack is co-chair of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Customer Solutions Policy Committee and a member of the board of directors of Invesco Ltd. and the Georgia Ports Authority. He is past chair of the board of the East Lake Foundation and is on the national board of The First Tee. Womack has chaired the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau board and the Atlanta Sports Council. He has received numerous honors, awards, and recognitions.He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree from The American University, and he completed the Stanford Executive Program in 2001. 

    • 17 min
    Navigating the Heights of Commercial Real Estate with Leonte Benton (Part Two)

    Navigating the Heights of Commercial Real Estate with Leonte Benton (Part Two)

    In the second half of this episode, Dallas and Leonte delve into the unique culture at T. Dallas Smith & Company, exploring the values and dynamics that contribute to their success. Leonte Benton opens up about his firsthand experiences and the transformative impact of being part of this esteemed company. A highlight of the episode is Leonte's recounting of his first meeting with T. Dallas Smith, providing an intimate glimpse into the beginnings of a partnership that has significantly shaped the landscape of commercial real estate. Join them as they reflect on pivotal moments, discuss the collaborative spirit within the company, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of their dynamic team. This segment promises to be an engaging blend of professional insights, personal anecdotes, and a closer look at the thriving culture driving T. Dallas Smith & Company's continued success. Don't miss this opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the relationships that make it flourish.

    • 24 min
    Navigating the Heights of Commercial Real Estate with Leonte Benton (Part One)

    Navigating the Heights of Commercial Real Estate with Leonte Benton (Part One)

    In this week's "In the Black" episode, T. Dallas Smith explores the realm of commercial real estate alongside the dynamic Leonte Benton, President of T. Dallas Smith & Company. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Benton has orchestrated major transactions with corporate giants like AT&T and Fed-Ex. His inspiring journey from Atlanta showcases resilience and determination. Carving out a prominent place in Atlanta's business landscape, Benton has earned respect from peers, solidifying himself as an influential voice in the industry. Join Dallas and Leonte in this compelling episode as they unravel the intricacies of commercial real estate, share valuable insights, and delve into the mindset that leads to success. This episode brims with inspiration, wisdom, and a celebration of hard work and community engagement to motivate and uplift audiences by the incredible journey of a true business visionary.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Jeff B ATL ,

Very interesting!

Dallas does a great job with his interviews!
-Jeff B. / JLL

Prncpal ,

Young woo

A down to earth, interesting and informative conversation that bridges two minority communities. Young Woo’s path is extraordinary and inspiring.

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