TEXAS RESEARCH ALLIANCE

ABOUT US

Connecting Research & Innovation in Dallas-Fort Worth

Committed to Growing Research in Dallas-Fort Worth

On May 1st, 2014, the Alliance for Higher Education, whose board of directors are the presidents of the Arlington, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Richardson Chambers of Commerce, began doing business as the Texas Research Alliance (TRA). TRA was created to help business and government find and engage the research and innovation resources and expertise in North Texas. 

A comprehensive study conducted by the Dallas Regional Chamber has shown that while companies in the region spend $4B on research annually, only a small percent of that spend goes to resources in North Texas. This same study shows that while North Texas companies would prefer to work with local experts, they are not aware of our region’s capabilities or how to engage. 

TRA’s goal is to bridge this gap by connecting businesses and government with North Texas universities and innovative growth/start-up companies.

Our mission is to actively grow the base of research capacity and technology commercialization in North Texas by engaging industry, philanthropic, university, and state support to implement programs that increase research at our local institutions of higher education and create economic benefit for the region

Executive Director

Dr. Victor Fishman

Dr. Victor Fishman

Executive Director, Texas Research Alliance

Dr. Victor Fishman

Executive Director, Texas Research Alliance

Dr. Victor Fishman

Executive Director, Texas Research Alliance

Dr. Fishman has served at the organizational interface for industry, government and academia. Prior to the Texas Research Alliance, he served as Associate Vice President for Applied Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Fishman built the full range of high performance computing, additive and subtractive manufacturing and mechanical design and prototyping capabilities that supported both industry and faculty. At Penn State University, he held the industrial and government agency portfolios for the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), a DoD level University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). His work covered both classified and unclassified programs with government and industry partners. Prior to his retirement and for the last six years of his tenure, Dr. Fishman served as Head of the Washington Office with responsibilities across ARL’s government and industry sponsor base. Dr. Fishman has held significant industry leadership positions in pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, technology transfer, and new technology development and commercialization. Dr. Fishman serves on the board of the National Defense Industrial Association. He served in the U.S. Army, separating after six years at the rank of Captain. Dr. Fishman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. degree from Clemson University and an undergraduate B.S. degree from the University of Miami, Florida.

Dr. Fishman has served at the organizational interface for industry, government and academia. Prior to the Texas Research Alliance, he served as Associate Vice President for Applied Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Fishman built the full range of high performance computing, additive and subtractive manufacturing and mechanical design and prototyping capabilities that supported both industry and faculty. At Penn State University, he held the industrial and government agency portfolios for the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), a DoD level University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). His work covered both classified and unclassified programs with government and industry partners. Prior to his retirement and for the last six years of his tenure, Dr. Fishman served as Head of the Washington Office with responsibilities across ARL’s government and industry sponsor base. Dr. Fishman has held significant industry leadership positions in pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, technology transfer, and new technology development and commercialization. Dr. Fishman serves on the board of the National Defense Industrial Association. He served in the U.S. Army, separating after six years at the rank of Captain. Dr. Fishman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. degree from Clemson University and an undergraduate B.S. degree from the University of Miami, Florida.

Board of Directors

Bill Sproull

Bill Sproull

President and CEO, Richardson Chamber of Commerce

Bill Sproull

President and CEO, Richardson Chamber of Commerce

Bill Sproull

President and CEO, Richardson Chamber of Commerce

Chairman of the Board, Texas Research Alliance

William “Bill” C. Sproull is president and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, Tech Titans (formerly the Metroplex Technology Business Council-MTBC) and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP). His leadership with these organizations involves an intricate and delicate knowledge of economic development; technology trends; educational institutions; media savvy; local, state and federal government policy and legislation; along with the behind-the-scenes politics of managing internal and external stateholders for organizations that have a large influence within the North Texas region. Under Bill’s leadership, both the Richardson Chamber and the REDP have achieved the highest accreditations possible in their industry, while Tech Titans is the largest tech trade association in the Southwest. Previously he held the senior economic development position at the Greater Dallas Chamber, the McKinney Economic Development Corporation and at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. Sproull is a graduate of Baylor University, where he received a BA degree with a double major in economics and political science. Sproull was elected by his peers as 2014 Chairman of the Board of the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional association in the world for economic developers.  He also serves on the University of Texas at Dallas Development Board, the North Texas Commission, and the Board of the Technology Councils of North America. He was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2006 to the Board of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a half-billion dollar investment fund, which he later chaired. Sproull’s recent industry recruitment success is evidenced by the 2013 expansion by State Farm to Richardson in the largest real estate deal in North Texas history, a 1.5 million square foot, 7,000 employee regional headquarters. In addition, the editors of Site Selection magazine selected the $3 billion Texas Instruments’ Project Emmitt, on which he was leader, as the Top Development Deal nationally of 2003. His economic development teams have been selected three times by Site Selection as one of the top 10 development groups in the U.S. in 1994, 1997 and 2004. Sproull was inducted into the Tech Titans Hall of Fame in 2010.  He is also the recipient of the highest award bestowed by the UT-Dallas upon a non-alumnus for his support of the University.

Brandom Gengelbach

Brandom Gengelbach

President and CEO, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Brandom Gengelbach

President and CEO, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Brandom Gengelbach

President and CEO, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Board Member, Texas Research Alliance


Brandom Gengelbach was named President of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in October of 2019. He joined the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Vice President of Economic Development in 2016, where he oversaw business attraction and retention efforts, talent development, small business initiatives and advocacy, the four pillars of the Chamber’s strategic plan known as Fortify. Brandom is an economic development and chamber of commerce professional with 18 years of diverse foreign and domestic experience in Nashville, Indianapolis and Brisbane, Australia. In his previous positions, he marketed city assets, providing key information and determining client needs to solicit company relocations or expansions into a city. He grew up in Houston and the Plano-Addison area and holds a B.A. from Samford University and an MBA from the University of Southampton, near London, where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. An avid cyclist and Boston Marathon qualifier, Brandom and his wife Alison have two sons, Tyler and William.

Michael Jacobson

Michael Jacobson

President & CEO, Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce

Michael Jacobson

President & CEO, Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce

Michael Jacobson

President & CEO, Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce

Treasurer, Texas Research Alliance


Michael Jacobson was appointed President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in February 2016. The Arlington Chamber of Commerce represents the interest of over 900 businesses in the greater Arlington area, championing economic and community prosperity. Prior to this position Michael Jacobson was director of Intel’s Corporate Responsibility Office. In this role, he was responsible for leading Intel’s corporate responsibility strategy with stakeholders across the company. He led an experienced team of experts in corporate social responsibility, strategic alliances, marketing and communications, stakeholder management and reporting who were committed to building upon Intel’s performance as a leading corporate citizen.
Michael managed Intel’s Corporate team in California and Texas where he was responsible for leading corporate responsibility programs, philanthropic investments and public policy. Michael also worked in Intel’s Corporate Real Estate and Site Development Group as a site selection manager. In this capacity, Michael was responsible for evaluating locations across the globe for potential Intel investment. Jacobson came to Intel from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce where he was a director of business development. During his four-year tenure with the Chamber, Fort Worth ranked in the top ten in the United States for business recruitment. Intel was one of the companies that he helped recruit to Fort Worth. Jacobson joined the Fort Worth Chamber after serving eight years in Washington D.C. He held positions as assistant to the deputy secretary for management planning and operations for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, special assistant to the Commissioner for the Social Security Administration and special assistant to the Administrator of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Jacobson received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Baylor University in 1984.

Dale Petroskey

Dale Petroskey

President and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber

Dale Petroskey

President and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber

Dale Petroskey

President and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber

Secretary, Texas Research Alliance

Dale A. Petroskey assumed the position of President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) on April 1, 2014. He works with the Board, staff, and more than 800 member companies to increase economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life for all people throughout the region. The DRC focuses on economic development initiatives, improving education at all levels, and setting public policy direction designed to maintain a healthy business climate in North Texas. Mr. Petroskey brings to the DRC a strong background in public policy, strategic communications, and non-profit management, having held leadership positions in all three sectors – public, private, and non- profit – for more than 35 years. After graduating from Michigan State University, he worked 18 years in Washington, D.C., where he served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bill Goodling (PA), Assistant White House Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan, and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation under then-Secretary Elizabeth Dole. At The White House, Mr. Petroskey served as a spokesman for President Reagan and led the staff responsible for the preparation of every official White House document released to the media. In addition, he traveled extensively and accompanied the President to his historic first meetings with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 1985, and in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986. He also accompanied the President and Mrs. Reagan to Camp David on 10 different weekends. From 1988-1999, Mr. Petroskey served as a senior executive at the National Geographic Society, the world’s largest educational membership organization. He was named the first-ever Vice President of Public Affairs in 1988 and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Mission Programs in 1996. In that role, he was the senior executive responsible for the committee that funded scientific research and exploration projects for well-known scientists and explorers such as Jane Goodall, Bob Ballard, and Sylvia Earle. He also oversaw a 50-state geography education program, which still includes the National Geography Bee, which was hosted by Alex Trebek, as well as exhibits, the public lectures program, and fundraising. From 1999-2008, Mr. Petroskey was President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, where he was the primary link to all living Hall of Famers and their families and led the day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s best-known and most respected museums – a premier symbol of American achievement. While there, he was instrumental in launching the museum’s first-ever national traveling exhibition, Baseball As America, which was seen by more than 2 million visitors in 15 respected museums throughout the U.S., including the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science in Fair Park. The first induction ceremony Mr. Petroskey oversaw in 1999 welcomed George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, and Orlando Cepeda to the Hall of Fame in front of a crowd of 50,000 – the largest to that point. That number was eclipsed in 2007, the final induction of Mr. Petroskey’s tenure, when Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn drew more than 75,000. Membership grew from 4,000 to 32,000 during his tenure, and he also helped create the Hall of Fame’s Development Office, which now provides an important source of revenue. One of his greatest sources of satisfaction and pride was working closely with the Board to initiate and implement a one-time-only, five-year study and process for considering and electing Negro League players, managers, and executives. That process resulted in the election of 17 Negro Leaguers in 2006, nearly doubling the number in the Hall of Fame. From 2008-2010, Mr. Petroskey served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Community Development for the Texas Rangers, where he led the reorganization of the Texas Rangers Foundation, resulting in a focus on children in need and a much greater awareness in the community. He also made more than 70 speeches throughout North Texas to share the story of the Rangers on the field and in the community. While with the Rangers, Mr. Petroskey served on the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board, the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, and the United Way of Greater Dallas campaign. Mr. Petroskey was also Vice President of Public Affairs for Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy), the nation’s fourth largest energy company. He worked mostly with Oxy’s five general managers throughout California and other key senior-level managers on challenging legislative and regulatory issues, local community engagement, public education, and charitable contributions. Mr. Petroskey is a member of numerous Boards, including the Dallas Citizens Council, The Salvation Army of DFW, Dallas Medical Resources, Educate Dallas, SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, The Alfalfa Club of Washington, D.C., the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Clayton Kershaw’s Challenge, the National Medal of Honor Museum Host Committee, and the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council. Mr. Petroskey and his wife, Ann, both graduates of Michigan State University, have been married since 1978. They have three grown children: Kathleen, an SMU graduate living and working in Dallas; Frank, a Tufts University graduate living and working in London; and Claire, a College of Charleston graduate living and working in Charleston, South Carolina.

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