Friday, September 19, 2014

Dallas Dweller: Jill Tananbaum

Dallas is full of colorful characters. There are those you see monthly in the society pages, whose stories are legendary in this town. But, this feature is inspired by the people that I think you should know more about because of their fabulous style, interesting back-story or amazing accomplishments. Dallas Dweller seeks to introduce you to these fabulous faces. There are many in this town that devote themselves to charitable causes to help them climb the social ladder. And then there are those like Jill Tananbaum, who just roll up there sleeves and do the dirty work with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Today, OSC Contributor Alison Weinstein introduces you to philanthropy's golden girl.

2014 CBB Co-Chairs Cindy Stager and Jill Tananbaum
Dallas Dweller: Jill Tananbaum
by Alison Weinstein

This year will mark the 41st anniversary for one of Dallas' most iconic fĂȘtes, Cattle Baron's Ball.  Co-Chair Jill Tananbaum is as cool as cucumber despite the fact that she is in charge of the world's largest single-night fundraiser for cancer research and looking to raise a record-goal of $3.5 million dollars.

Cattle Barons has long been a beneficiary of her time, but it is only in recent years that her work to help find a cure for cancer turned personal. In 2005, Jill, herself, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, cancer free, Jill says she is grateful to be alive to raise her children and is intent on giving back to everyone who helped and supported her through her journey. You can aid Jill in her goal to eradicate cancer by attending this annual boot scootin' gala at Gilley's on October 18 featuring Kenny Chesney.

Making plaster handprint molds for the Town of Highland Park's Centennial Celebration coming up October 17-19

Born in New York and raised in California, Jill landed in Dallas in 1994 by accident. A lawyer, Jill’s New York City firm asked her to work in Hong Kong for a few years. While getting situated for her move, an opportunity suddenly emerged in Dallas and the rest is history. Jill has been a judicial intern for US Supreme Court Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, held positions with two highly prestigious firms and is now CEO of her own litigation consulting firm. With her razor-sharp intellect and drive to contribute to her community, Jill's passion for giving back is relentless. “Jill’s commitment to her causes is purposeful and sincere,” says long-time friend and Chairman of The JCC Board, Angela Horowitz. “She listens carefully to the needs of the organization and offers only the most thoughtful and well-researched solutions. In this world where everyone is in perpetual motion, Jill's service is truly unique." It's traits like these that make Jill one of the most sought-after volunteers in our great city. Other organizations that have benefited from Jill's efforts include The Aaron Family JCC, The Vogel Alcove, Turtle Creek Recovery Center, The Sandler-Kenner Foundation, and TACA (The Arts Community Alliance).

On Jill's unexpected move to The Big D twenty years ago, I have 4 words: How lucky are we?


OSC:  What is your Cattle Baron’s legacy?

JT:  Along with CBB Committee Member, Jonika Nix, I was instrumental in helping to develop a partnership between the American Cancer Society and Driven Experiences (DE), a professional off-road racing program whose team motto is “Driven To Fight Cancer.” ACS is now sponsoring the DE Baja1000 Truck Running in November. We want and need every mile sponsored by race time. I plan to help ACS and the DE team raise money for cancer research for many years to come.

OSC:  When you need some “me” time to relax, where do you go or what do you do to relax and recharge?

JT:  I workout with the Builtco training team, get massages and go on walks with friends in areas of town that I don’t normally frequent.

OSC:  What are your favorite restaurants?

JT:  Mesero Miguel, Shinsei and City Cafe to Go.

OSC:  Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

JT:  I’m the first person on my dad’s side of the family to be born in the United States. And, I cook my kids a full hot breakfast every morning. And pack their lunches for school each day.

OSC:  What do you think makes Dallas such a great place to live, work and raise a family?

JT:  The people who live here/the community believe in working together to grow DALLAS and make it a great place to live, raise and family, work, obtain excellent medical care, and have a rich cultural experience. In the 20 years that I’ve lived here, Dallas has grown so much. I cannot wait to see and experience what the future will bring to Dallas.

About Alison Weinstein  A freelance writer and TV news producer, Weinstein started her career with CondĂ© Nast Publications and ultimately followed her passion to television news at MSNBC in New York. Now in Dallas for over ten years, Alison has worked with NBC Network’s Southwest Bureau and other major network news divisions as a field producer. Making a difference in the community is also a terrific passion and Alison is honored to serve in leadership roles for Heroes for Children and The Dallas Holocaust Museum. Alison loves spending quality time with her husband, Michael and their two children, Carter & Ashley.