Dallas Startup Week is a free five day event highlighting the amazing startup culture of Dallas. Join in for a few events hosted all around town to learn, network and help make Dallas better for everyone. 

avatar for John Crawford

John Crawford

Downtown Dallas Inc.
President & CEO
Dallas, Texas

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is a private non-profit organization serving as the primary advocate and champion for Downtown, ensuring that Downtown grows as a vibrant center of urban life, recognized locally and globally for the quality of its business, hospitality, entertainment, living, and cultural environments. John Crawford was named President and CEO after serving as the volunteer Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2006.

John brings to DDI over 30 years of successful marketing and general management experience as a senior executive with four Fortune 500 firms, and experience as a professional services executive, consultant, and partner with firms in the legal, insurance, and real estate industries. His experience also includes serving on the development team of the two largest real estate projects in the Downtown area – the 1.7 million-square-foot Bank of America Plaza and the 1.4 million-square-foot Cityplace.

Over $2 billion of investment has been made in Downtown Dallas since John took the helm as President and CEO of DDI in 2007. The Downtown residential population has grown by over 50% and retail absorption has increased by 20%. New parks have been built, multi-modal roadways are in the works, and the Downtown Dallas pedestrian landscape is transforming into an authentic, walkable environment. From a resurgence of corporate relocations, to residential,
hotel, and commercial development projects, CEOs, developers, and small-business owners are finding value in a Downtown address.

In December of 2012, Cheryl Hall with the Dallas Morning News recognized John in her article “Shaping a better Big D” as the business leader playing the pivotal role in reviving Downtown Dallas and is respectfully referred to as “The Mayor of Downtown”. In August of 2013, he was selected for Honorary Membership in the Texas Society of Architects for his contributions and leadership in stimulating and accelerating the renaissance of Downtown Dallas.

Beyond Downtown, John is a long-standing community leader in Dallas, lending his expertise to numerous civic and charitable organizations. Some of his past and present involvement includes serving as Chairman of the Board of organizations such as: the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce (Dallas Regional Chamber); Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau; Cotton Bowl Athletic Association; March of Dimes; and the Greater Dallas Planning Council. He has served on the Board of Directors of: The Dallas Citizens Council; Greater Dallas Crime Commission; American Red Cross; United Way; The Salvation Army; State Fair of Texas; North Texas Commission; Dallas International Sports Commission; State Board of Governors-Texas Partnership for Economic Development; Honorary French Consul for North Texas; Salesmanship Club of Dallas; and Host Committee for Super Bowl XLV.

Furthermore, Crawford has a long history with City government as Chair of the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Task Force, a member of the City Plan Commission, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Crime, and Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board. A complete list of John Crawford’s civic involvement follows.


Past Chairman:

§ Central Dallas Association/Downtown Dallas, Inc.
§ Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce (Dallas Regional Chamber) § Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
§ Cotton Bowl Athletic Association
§ Greater Dallas Planning Council
§ Highland Park United Methodist Church
§ Metroplex Chambers of Commerce Regional Mobility Task Force § Urban Chambers of Commerce in Texas Educational Coalition
§ Dallas Area Sports and Entertainment Assessment Group
§ Community Transportation Forum
§ Big XII Post-Season Basketball Tournament
§ Cotton Bowl Parade
§ State Fair Preview Night
§ March of Dimes

Board of Directors:

§ Dallas Citizens Council
§ American Red Cross, Executive Committee
§ Greater Dallas Crime Commission
§ United Way
§ Dallas International Sports Commission
§ North Texas Commission
§ Salvation Army, Executive Committee
§ DFW International Trade Resource Center
§ Dallas Together Forum
§ North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee
§ Friends of Fair Park, Executive Committee
§ Family Gateway Homeless Shelter
§ State Fair of Texas
§ Dallas Arboretum
§ Host Committee – Super Bowl XLV
§ State Board of Governors – Texas Partnership for Economic Development § Honorary French Consul of North Texas
§ Northwood University Board of Governors
§ DFW International Airport Marketing Committee
§ Life Member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas
§ Linz Award Advisory Committee
§ Dallas Historical Society Advisory Committee

City of Dallas:

§ Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Crime
§ Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board
§ Plan & Zoning Commission
§ Chair of the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Task Force 

My Speakers Sessions

Monday, March 2

9:00am CST