James Dondero is one of the founders and the current President of Highland Capital Management. The company operates out of Dallas, Texas and supports charitable organizations by donating millions of dollars each and every year. Not only does Dondero support these organizations through financial donations but by following his leadership, executives of Highland Capital have provided invaluable counsel that has helped strengthen the internal infrastructure of the same organizations they have financially supported for so long. Following almost 5 years of labor and planning, the Dallas Zoo was able to fulfill their mission of establishing a functioning 2 acre hippopotamus exhibit thanks in large part to the philanthropic support by Dondero.
After over 15 years without the hippopotamus, the Dallas Zoo has received enough demand and support in order to bring the natives of Savannah back in their care. The 2 hippos that will be on the display in the hippo exhibit are a male named Adhama and a female named Biopelo. Their exhibit boasts a 120,000-gallon pool, a hippo barn with more pools inside, an underwater viewing gallery, and a ridge above the exhibit that displays a herd of Okapi. Highland Capital’s donation of a million dollars was allocated towards building a lodge for the hippo exhibit that will feature educational information and will be able to host private events. Donors like Dondero’s company have received recognition from Dallas’ mayor, Mike Rawling, who believes that the hippo exhibit’s construction would not have been possible without their support and has noted Dondero’s philanthropic efforts as an inspiration to him. Dondero’s philanthropic work has extended outside of the Dallas Zoo by influencing other significant organizations like the American Heart Association, the Centre of Brain Health and even the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.