“I’ve always been a maverick in a number of ways,” says businesswoman and philanthropist Stacie McDavid.
Feeling equally at home in the boardroom or in the horse arena, McDavid is chief executive officer of real estate business McDavid Investments Co.
A champion nonprofessional cutting horse rider, she also owns an equine breeding and training business, along with husband David McDavid, known for his eponymous automobile dealership empire.
One of the few women in the auto industry at the time, she played a key role in breaking gender barriers and in the growth and success of the auto giant, which the couple sold in 1997.
“I’ve traded my stilettos for cowboy boots,” she says.
A native of Denton, McDavid is a third generation Lebanese-American. She grew up in an athletically and academically gifted family. Her father, a coach and educator, had a great influence on her, she says.
“I could throw a ball before I could walk. I literally lived on a baseball field growing up,” she says. “I wanted to play football for Denton High School. I thought I could compete with those boys.”
McDavid attended Texas Woman’s University on a track and field scholarship. At the age of 22, she opened and operated a franchise of 32 National Health Studios across Texas and Florida.
Today, McDavid wears many hats as an active member of multiple organizations within the community.
“My grandmother always said I never do anything in moderation,” she says. “But cumulatively, we can all make a difference.”
She’s currently vice president and executive board member of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and a board member of the Fort Worth Zoo and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
She is a campaign co-chair for Forward Fort Worth Partnership, a committee member of Living Legends and a committee member of Tarrant County Food Bank. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and Designing Texas.
She’s a lifetime member of the National Cutting Horse Association and a member of the American Quarter Horse and American Paint Horse associations.
Earlier this year, McDavid was inducted into the National Cutting Horse Association Non Pro Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
“I never thought I’d make the NCHA hall of fame. I was tickled to death,” she says. “Another highlight was being inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Needless to say I was overwhelmed by that. It’s not my prowess. It’s the training we’ve had and the horses we’ve had.”
In 2011, McDavid was recognized as Northwood University’s Distinguished Woman and in 2009 she received the Association of Fundraising Professionals Award for Tarrant County.
McDavid is a supporter of All Saints Episcopal School, the University of Texas Longhorn Foundation, Happy Hill Farm Academy, TCU Ranch Management, Wisdom Works Ministry, Dallas Theological Seminary, Baylor University Judge Ed Kinkeade Endowed Scholarship Fund in Law, Nancy Lieberman Foundation, and Performing Arts Fort Worth, where the rehearsal and performance studio is named after the McDavid family.
“I am humbled by this award,” McDavid says of being named a Great Woman. “Others have believed in David and me all along the way. All I’ve ever wanted to do is to be a good family member and good steward of our money and then to ride off into the sunset on my horse.”
– Betty Dillard