2014 North Dallas Chamber Event Bios

Coach Del Harris

Del Harris:

Coach, Vice President of the Texas Legends team in the NBA Development League

Del has been a highly successful basketball coach at every level over an amazing career spanning 53 years. His accomplishments—which are too numerous to list—include becoming the 19th NBA coach to win 500 regular season games and NBA coach of the year in 1995. Del has been a valuable assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, and was the first foreign head coach of the Chinese national team leading them to a surprising victory over Serbia in the 2004 Olympics.

An ordained minister, Del’s latest book, On Point—Four steps to better life teams teaches valuable life lessons learned through his experiences and Christian faith. In addition, he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, having appeared in various television and movie productions.

Del has five children, nine grandchildren and lives with his wife, Ann, in the Dallas area. Del and Ann are very active in worthy causes including their foundation and City House in Frisco.

Walter Merrill

Walter Merrill:

Vice President, Key Initiatives for Enterprise Accounts, IBM

Although with IBM for over 30 years, Walter has had 10 different careers in the company with escalating responsibilities including building high performance teams. He is currently in charge of introducing new technology to customers and identifying joint areas for investment across all IBM brands.

Walter is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin holding a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree.  He is a founding a member of the Neeley Connections Board at Texas Christian University, where he mentored MBA candidates.  He is a partner in Victoria Pool Service and Supply in South Texas, which gives him insight and experience in small business operations and issues.

Walter is married to Wendy; they have 4 children, ages 9-22.  He is involved in coaching youth sports, and enjoys tennis, photography, and reading.

Tom Slone

Tom Slone:

Chairman and CEO of Touchstone Communications

Tom has a record of leading unprecedented organizational growth. At the pinnacle of his thirty years at Associates First Capital, Tom was President when the company had more than $33 billion in managed assets and 14,000 employees.

He is currently leading Touchstone Communications, a fast-growing company providing business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions to the financial services industry, including lead generation, real estate processing, bankruptcy processing, and collections for leading companies in the U.S. and U.K.

Tom is the author of Grounders: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey of Baseball, History, and Mentoring: a story of a trip he and other mentors took with three of his grandsons and two boys from an after school program to attend 10 Major League Baseball games in 10 cities over 21 days. In the book, Tom shares 33 lessons for leadership and mentoring he applied in his work and on this special journey.

Tom is very active in good causes including Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America, Little Big Shots and the H.O.P.E. Farm in Fort Worth. He and his wife, Fran, reside in Colleyville, Texas and have four children and seven grandchildren.