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March 15, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Jack Lowe Jr., CEO and chairman of the board of TDIndustries Ltd. will receive the 2002 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from the SMU Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

Lowe will receive his award at a private luncheon at noon Wednesday, March 27, in the SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, 3140 Dyer St.

The award, named in memory of one of Dallas' most influential mayors, recognizes a local citizen whose self-sacrifice and work on behalf of the community embody the democratic principles of public virtue. Jonsson, who died in 1995, served as mayor of Dallas from 1964 to 1971. The award, given annually by the Maguire Center, is represented by a bronze relief of Jonsson and carries the inscription "public virtue." Past recipients of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award are Curtis W. Meadows Jr., former president of the Meadows Foundation; Charles C. Sprague, president emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; the late Stanley Marcus, chairman emeritus of Neiman Marcus; and William T. Solomon, chairman and CEO of Austin Industries Inc.

"Jack Lowe Jr. is the center point of a phenomenal culture at TDIndustries, a company that is consistently ranked as one of America's best places to work," said Richard Mason, director of the Maguire Center and the SMU Carr P. Collins Jr. Distinguished Professor of Management Information Sciences. "All corporate information is open and transparent, and every member of the organization is treated with the highest degree of dignity and respect. Creating careers for its people is the company's primary mission. Profits follow naturally because everyone is so dedicated to serving their customers. Jack Lowe Jr. has been very active personally in civic affairs, but by energizing so many civic-minded employees, his personal impact on the community has been multiplied manyfold."

TDIndustries Ltd. is an employee-owned, national mechanical construction and service firm, founded as Texas Distributors in 1946 by Jack Lowe Sr. Lowe Jr. has been CEO of the company since 1980. For several decades, TDIndustries Ltd. has been at the forefront of a novel style of management known as servant leadership. Developed by former AT&T executive Robert K. Greenleaf, whose Quaker beliefs shaped his business philosophy, servant leadership reverses the normal hierarchical management structures found in most companies. In companies that use servant-leadership principles, executives work side by side with their employees in very supportive ways. The idea is to train employees to be self-sufficient and to develop skills that will enable them to perform as well as or better than their managers.

Lowe is recognized as one of the nation's leading practitioners of servant leadership. A Fortune magazine article summarized his management style: "He has no reserved parking space, answers his own phone and works in an eight-by-eleven foot cubicle." Lowe frequently speaks to other companies and business schools about servant leadership and chairs the board of trustees of The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership in Indianapolis. According to Fortune magazine's annual survey, TDIndustries Ltd. has been one of the top six companies to work for in America for the last five years. It also earned a spot in the 1993 best-selling book, The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. The company has won awards for its customer service and quality standards, including being named the 1996 National Contractor of the Year by the 18,000-member Associated Builders and Contractors, winning a 1998 Texas Quality Award from Quality Texas Foundation, and receiving a 2001 Supplier Excellence Award from Texas Instruments.

Lowe is active in several civic and industry organizations, including serving on the boards of the Dallas Citizens Council, QUOIN (Associated General Contractors), Salesmanship Club of Dallas, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Zoological Society, the advisory council of the Communities Foundation of Texas, Quality Texas Foundation, Texas Business and Education Coalition, and the Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas.

His past community service includes serving on the boards of the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross, Center for Non-Profit Management, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Dallas County Community College District Foundation, Greater Dallas Chamber, and Construction Education Foundation. He is the past president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Dallas Alliance, and the Community Council of Greater Dallas.

Among his many awards and honors, he is the recipient of the Crystal Achievement Award from the National Association of Women in Construction, the Ethics Award from the Preston Center Rotary Club, the SIR Award from the Associated General Contractors, Dallas Chapter, (Service Integrity and Responsibility) and the Alumni Award from Leadership Dallas. He also received the 2000 National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Principle-Centered Leadership presented by the Franklin Covey Co. in Palm Springs, Calif.

Lowe graduated magna cum laude from Rice University and served two years in the U.S. Navy before joining TDIndustries.

A $2.5 million gift to SMU from Dallas oilman Cary M. Maguire established the Maguire Center in 1995. Since its inception, this universitywide center has hosted conferences on business ethics, managed care, media ethics, philanthropy, contracts and promises, urban politics and college athletics. The Maguire Center serves as a forum for the exploration of the common good and brings together, with resources and opportunities for ethical reflection, those who confront issues of ethical importance.

Toward these ends, the center organizes faculty seminars and lectures that cross disciplinary, professional, racial, cultural and gender lines. The center also strengthens the ethics component of SMU's undergraduate and professional curriculum and awards grants to SMU students who wish to study issues in ethics or engage in community service.