The Arlington Chamber of Commerce honors Dan Dipert Travel and Transportation, JDog Junk Removal and Hauling and the Junior League of Arlington for their high levels of community service and altruism.
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The Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s annual Spirit of America: 2019 Salute to Small Business event represents a localized version of the Academy Awards: overdue recognition for remarkable performances that inevitably include high levels of community service and altruism.
That trend remains consistently true for this year’s three primary recipients, Dan Dipert Travel and Transportation in the For-Profit category, JDog Junk Removal and Hauling in the Veteran-Owned component and Junior League of Arlington as the nonprofit.
All the winners will be recognized at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on May 3 at the Arlington Sheraton.
"Small business is the heart of our economy and our community," chamber CEO Michael Jacobson said. "Our small-business award recipients this year epitomize the values of exemplary customer service, a quality product, strong leadership and a commitment to making a difference in our community."
Jacobson notes, by way of example, that the 47-year-old Dipert company – the current owner is Autumn Dipert Brown – has so many links with community philanthropy that locals sometime forget the company is also a regional travel-industry leader particularly famed for luxurious bus charters.
Examples of that altruism include the Dan Dipert Career Technical Center, a relatively new campus in the Arlington Independent School District that provides an assortment of vocational training opportunities. Or the Dan Dipert University Welcome Center on the UTA campus. Or there’s Women Inspiring Philanthropy, created by Linda Dipert, channeling tens of thousands of dollars into entities that range from Dental Health Arlington to the Arlington Boys & Girls Club. And it was the Dipert family that organized the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market at Arlington.
The company’s founder, Dan Dipert, is a former chair of the Arlington Chamber and 2015 recipient of the chamber’s highest recognition, the Star Award.
JDog Junk Removal: After Army stints in Kuwait and Iraq, JDog local operator John Ortiz knew he had a few requirements for civilian life. Those included being his own boss and helping out other vets. His entrepreneurial approach was to do both and also provide an answer to a question that often bedevils both residential and commercial clients: How do I get rid of all this stuff I no longer need?
JDog today does exactly that, with more than 70 percent of its staff being military veterans, many of whom are referred to the company by veterans organization through the Compensated Work Therapy Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The JDog team also provides volunteers for an assortment of other community betterment projects via Heroes for Hope, Metro Care Services, Relay For Life, the Presbyterian Night Shelter and the Salvation Army. There’s also a JDog Foundation that focuses on supporting veterans and their families.
Junior League of Arlington: The league – founded in 1975 – is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Members are encouraged to then take the skills they learn and utilize them in their daily lives as well as in other organizations in the community, which in turn will truly impact and improve the community.
League projects are currently supported by funds raised from its Corn Hole Tournament, Purses With a Purpose, Cookies With the Clauses, Plates for a Purpose and Tee It Up for Charity TopGolf Tournament. These events enable the league to initiate new community projects and to continually finance existing projects, such as the Center for Community Service.
League members’ efforts have provided a major bonus for the city’s quality of life. JLA has given more than $2.5 million to the Arlington community since its inception, while providing tens of thousands of volunteer hours. League members donate their time by volunteering in a variety of ways. Some of these include community partner projects, working on league fundraisers, public relations, center management placements, and Done in a Day projects, which are one-day volunteer projects for which agencies submit requests for volunteers.
www.arlingtontx.com, Arlington Chamber 817-275-2613
O.K. Carter is a former editor and publisher of the Arlington Citizen-Journal and was also Arlington publisher and columnist for the Star-Telegram and founding editor of Arlington Today Magazine. He’s the author of the definitive book on Arlington’s colorful history, Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys: Essays on Arlington.