The Dickey Foundation

The Dickey Foundation was founded by former Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey. During her time on the Commissioners Court and in other public service roles, she became close to many first responders. On the evening of July 7, 2016, fourteen police officers were injured or killed. Many of these officers were not wearing proper protective armor or had out of date safety equipment. Mrs. Dickey saw this tragedy and pledged that this would not happen again on her watch, founding the Dickey Foundation with a mission to help protect first responders. Since its founding, the Foundation has worked with franchisees across North Texas and the nation, providing more than $250,000 in grants since its inception.

The Dickey Foundation, formerly known as Barbecue, Boots and Badges, supports first responders in communities across the United States. The foundation provides financial opportunities, safety equipment such as protective armor, firefighting gear, rescue equipment and overall support for local first responders. Although its reach is national, the efforts are extremely local.

“The Dickey Foundation was created to support the brave men and women who risk their lives every day to ensure their communities safety”, says Maurine Dickey, Founder of The Dickeys Foundation. “Our goal is to continuously give first responders and their families the necessary support to ensure their safety and success in the communities they serve.”

Board of Directors

Maurine Dickey

Commissioner Maurine Dickey served two four-year terms as a Dallas County Commissioner from 2005 to 2013. Prior to her election to the Dallas County Commissioners Court, Maurine served as the former Chairman of the Parkland Hospital Board of Managers, and was the only County Commissioner to have ever served on the Parkland Board.

While a Commissioner, Maurine was very involved in regional issues such as transportation and high speed rail. She represented Dallas County on the North Central Texas’ Council of Governments’ Regional Transportation Commission, as well as serving on the COG’s Board of Directors. She chaired the County’s Clean Air Task Force and served as the Vice President of the Texas High Speed Rail Corporation. While at the County she also helped start and was chair of the non-profit Prostitute Diversion Initiative that partnered with the Dallas Police Department in changing the paradigm for many of the women caught in prostitution and provided a way to offer them an escape through treatment rather than jail.

For six and a half years she served on and was Chairman of the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory Services, an agency that is devoted to the protection of children. She also served as chair of the Dallas County Child Welfare Board, served on the County Juvenile Board. She was a founding member of CPS Community Partners and The Rainbow Room in 1990.

Maurine and Roland Dickey have two grown sons. The Dickey family are all graduates of Southern Methodist University. The family owns Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain. Dickey’s was originally established by Roland’s father in 1941. The original store on Knox & Central has been in operation almost 80 years .

Roland Dickey, Jr.

Roland Dickey, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Capital Group, the holding company of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. The grandson of the company’s founder, Roland Dickey Jr. began working for the family brand early on, learning the trades of the family smoking process from his dad. He went on to earn his degree in Business Administration at Southern Methodist University and came back to his family’s brand in 1999, where he then transitioned into his current leadership role in 2016. Under Roland Dickey Jr.’s leadership, the Dallas-based, third-generation family business has expanded from 20 locations to more than 500 nationwide and internationally.

Roland oversees the Dickey Family portfolio of businesses, which include retail products, manufacturers, real estate, metal fabrication and distribution companies.

Roland Dickey Jr. was named to Nation’s Restaurant News 50 most powerful people in foodservice in 2017 and in 2014 he earned a spot on the Restaurant Business Top 20 Leadership Power List. He was also named to D Magazine’s Top 500 CEO list in 2017 and 2018. Other accolades Roland Dickey Jr. has accumulated during his time as CEO include earning Global Franchise Best Food and Drink Franchise 2019 award and QSR’s Best Franchise Deal in 2012 and 2015 .

Laura Rea Dickey

Laura Rea Dickey currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Laura has been with the brand since 2009 and most recently served as Chief Information Officer before transitioning to CEO in 2017. Laura has worked in the marketing and information technology fields for over 20 years, and has led the marketing, IT and training teams at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. during her time there.

Laura was named to the 2019 Nations Restaurant News Power list. She has been named among Fast Casual Magazine’s Top 25 Mover and Shakers executive list for the past four years. Laura was recognized by The Dallas Business Journal as a top Woman in Technology award recipient in 2015. Laura was also named to D Magazine’s Top 500 CEO’s list for 2019. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospitality Technology in 2019 for her work utilizing Amazon’s voice technology in restaurant operations in partnership with IOLAP.

After graduating from Texas Christian University, Laura went on to work at agencies such as Murray Brown Creative Group, The Richards Group and The Point Group. Through her years of agency experience, Laura worked with brands such as W Hotels, American Heart Association, Blue Mesa, La Madeline and Chick-Fil-A. Laura also lead marketing for the Student Housing portfolio for Fairfield Development. Laura’s specialty is the intersection of technology and marketing, turning data insights into brand and business solutions.

In her time as CEO, Laura has continued the brands expansion and overseen the development of the first international locations with restaurants in the UAE, specifically Abu Dabi and Dubai. Laura also helped pioneer the third party delivery program for the brand, contributing to positive same stores sales in all digital channels for the past three years. Under Laura’s leadership, the brand also launched its first major menu addition in four years debuting six new signature sauces and adding pit-smoked chicken wings to the core menu in 2019. As CIO, Laura implemented a new technology infrastructure for the brand bringing parity and integration to data reporting, information security and all digital sales channels. Laura developed a proprietary data platform in 2015, called Smoke Stack which was profiled for its innovation by Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. Laura also lead the in-house development of several proprietary technology projects including a new Point-Of-Sale System, Online Ordering system, Loyalty Program, Consumer APP, CRM platform and Inventory Management system .

Betsy Orton - Executive Director

Betsy has extensive nonprofit experience and a successful 15-year track record in nonprofit leadership, management, communications and fundraising. She previously served as Chief Development Officer for Mi Escuelita Preschool where she nearly doubled the school’s budget and enrollment. She was the founding Executive Director for After-School All-Stars North Texas, as well as Director of Development and Marketing for the Texas Trees Foundation. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Betsy has led marketing initiatives for several nonprofit organizations including American Red Cross and Friends of the Katy Trail .

Terry Conner - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Terry is a Senior Counsel at international corporate law firm Haynes and Boone. He has more than 40 years of experience practicing in the area of business transactions, including oil and gas, finance, leveraged lending, syndicated lending, margin loans, loan restructuring/workouts and technology transactions. He has served as the chair of Haynes and Boone’s Finance Practice, the firm’s Financial Partner and the firm’s Managing Partner. Terry holds a J.D. and B.A. from The University of Texas .

Beverly Johnson - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Beverly has over 20 years of experience as a business leader in the areas of finance, marketing, supply management, and manufacturing operations. She has also worked as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies and major franchises. Beverly serves on the Advisory Board for Financial Literacy and Personal Finance at The University of Texas at Arlington, as a Congressional Military Liaison to the U.S. Military Academy and chairperson for West Point LEADS (Leadership Ethics and Diversity in STEM) .

Joe King - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Joe King is an active 25-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. He serves as the liaison between the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas District Attorney’s office, as well as training all investigative units in case filing.

Prior to working in Legal Services, Joe investigated street level narcotics sales in southern Dallas and worked closely with Dallas Narcotics, FBI, ATF and the DEA on numerous cases.

Joe continues his passion for service off-duty as he is also a Board Member of the nonprofit Assist the Officer Foundation that provides assistance for first responders and their families facing injury, illness or death.

Hon. Rob Kyker - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Rob Kyker is the owner of R&D Sales and CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Crockett Retreat Center. Previously Rob served as a Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Texas Credit Union Department (Chairman of Rules committee). He also served as a Commissioner and Vice Chairman of Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Commissioner for Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and has served on many other political boards and election teams .

Robert Owens - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

After serving in the Vietnam War and the Marines, Lt. Robert Owens joined the Dallas Police Department and served in Patrol, SWAT, Vice and Communications Div. Special Projects in 1974. After 40 years of service, Lt. Owens retired from the Dallas Police Department. Additionally, he has volunteered as an adjunct instructor for the State Department Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and Homeland Security WMD Tactical Environment course .

Morgan Plott - The Dickey Foundation - Board Member

Morgan Plott currently is the Executive Fundraising Coordinator for Benchmark Mortgage. Morgan spent over 15 years working in intercollegiate athletics where he gained valuable experience in event management and development .

Gary Stapleton - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Gary Stapleton is the President of Stapleton Truck Lines LLC based in McKinney, Texas. Gary's career has spanned various business industries including oil and gas, wind farming, real estate development and the trucking industry. He enjoys giving back to his local community and has experience serving with other nonprofits including the Pat and Emmitt Smith Foundation as well as the Kyle Busch Foundation.

Lupe Valdez - The Dickey Foundation – Board Member

Lupe Valdez has worked in law enforcement for more than 40 years, most recently serving as Sheriff of Dallas County. Lupe was elected to four terms as Sheriff and served from 2005-2017. As Sheriff, Lupe addressed conditions at county jail facilities, including overpopulation and health concerns of mentally ill inmates. Prior to becoming Sheriff, Lupe worked to protect the lives and property of American citizens at home and abroad as a captain in the U.S. National Guard and as a federal agent. Sheriff Valdez was a candidate for Governor of Texas in 2018 .