Place ONE: MAYOR Rachel Proctor
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Rachel L. Proctor was elected as the 22nd Mayor of the City of DeSoto in February 2021 and re-elected for her first official term in May 2022.
Texas-bred entrepreneur, Rachel L. Proctor, has revolutionized the way people lead in business and public service. She was first elected to City Council in a Special Election in March 2013 and was re-elected in a General Election in May 2014, winning the election overwhelmingly with 78% of the vote.
Rachel also served as the Mayor Pro Tem for the City of DeSoto, Texas from May 2016 until May 2019.
Ms. Proctor is a proud DeSoto High School graduate, Class of 1999. She began her journey through DeSoto schools beginning at Northside Elementary, The Meadows Intermediate School (now Meadows Elementary), East Junior High (now East Middle School) and ending at the Flagship - DeSoto High School.
During those formative years, Rachel realized her love for leadership serving as Honor Society President, Student Council President, Sophomore Class President and as a Senior Class Officer. As a Senior in high school, Rachel also was the Mascot "Elliot the Eagle".
Through her service as an elected official, Rachel recognizes the unique needs of a community that comes with serving on the local level. Proudly, she has championed a Pay Day Loan ordinance that established business regulations for payday lending institutions to help reduce the abusive behaviors and practices of predatory lending institutions in the community. She has also worked to establish the first and second phases of a Transportation Program to provide benefits to low to moderate income residents to help them with assistance with transportation around essential services such as doctor’s appointments, trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, etc. The second phase of this will expand this transportation benefit to our general population.
Moreover, in 2017, Rachel was instrumental in the conceptualization and presentation of the idea for the "Grow DeSoto Marketplace", a business incubator within the city that provides affordable rents, business mentoring and support for small business start-ups. Had it not been for leadership coming together during that time to think outside of the box, the space, which used to be an Ace Hardware Store, would have become a dollar store. The ultimate goal of providing the opportunity is to lower the barriers to entry for new entrepreneurs as well as provide them with business education and support to be able to move out of the incubator within 2 years and into a brick and mortar space within the city of DeSoto.
Rachel has held numerous leadership positions in DeSoto and Dallas County which include:
- Served as a DeSoto Chamber of Commerce Board Member
- Former Leadership Southwest Board Member
- Former Board member for the Dallas County Child Welfare Board which acts in an advisory role to Child Protective Services
- Dallas County Juvenile Department Youth Services Advisory Board Liaison
- Served as the Chair of the City of DeSoto Audit and Finance Committee
- Served as Liaison for the City Council to the Economic Development Corporation
- Served on the DeSoto Public Library Advisory Board
Ms. Proctor is the Owner and Administrative Director of the Neighborhood Christian Learning Center of Dallas, Inc. NCLC of Dallas has been owned and operated by Rachel’s family for nearly 30 years. The center is Nationally Accredited through the National Accreditation Commission and is now entering into its 10th year as an offsite campus for Dallas ISD in their School Readiness Initiative and has been designated by the Texas Education Agency as a “Pre-K Center of Excellence”.
As a consummate entrepreneur and savvy business woman, Rachel grew up watching her dad build businesses and she began working alongside him starting at the tender age of 12. It was that opportunity that planted a seed that would grow into her deep desire to help other aspiring business owners realize the dream of charting their own course in life through entrepreneurship and by building businesses that spur economic growth in the community. Rachel is a two-time published author as well as a host of multiple live events to help women entrepreneurs get their start in business and leadership.
Community service is at the heart of everything Rachel does. Her love for her alma mater, DeSoto High School, fueled her to launch a non-profit called EMERGE Leadership, Inc. (ELI) which helps female, first-generation college students navigate the journey from high school to college through creative programming and scholarship opportunities. To date, ELI has provided young women with scholarships totaling nearly $25,000 since its inception in 2013 and also provides students with laptops and other technology to use to further their college education.
Emerge Leadership, Inc. hosted the "Journey Conference" in 2014. This event served over 150 mothers and daughters within DeSoto ISD, providing them with workshop sessions on Money Matters, Self-Defense and Dating Safety, Etiquette, Time Management, and other important topics for young women.
From that, Rachel became a Founding Member of the DeSoto ISD "Female Leadership Forum" which hosted its Inaugural event in December 2015.
As a first-generation college student herself, Rachel saw a need to help parents and students get ahead of the curve of the ever-changing landscape of navigating life after High School graduation. As a result, she partnered with DeSoto ISD, the City of DeSoto, the Department of Education, and UNT Dallas to host the "College Bootcamp". This half-day event aided parents with completing the FAFSA application and other financial aid options, essay writing assistance, Military Recruitment, scholarship research and more.
She has been recognized by the
• Dallas Business Journal as an inductee in the 2016 "Top 40 Under 40" Class.
• Rachel is also a 2015 DeSoto High School Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee.
• She is also a recipient of the 27th Annual Distinguished African-American Alumni Award presented by the University of Texas at Arlington African American Alumni Chapter
• Lancaster, Texas Chamber of Commerce as a leader to look out for in their “Top 40 Under Forty” 2013 Class.
• JL Turner Legal Association awarded her with the 2018 Hon. Cleo Steele Committed Mentor Award
• National Council of Negro Women's 2018 Community Leadership Award
• Steed Society Female Success Factor Award naming her as one of the “Top 25 Women of Dallas” for 2014
• Mabel Chandler Distinguished Award from the Elite News for her service to Dallas County
• South Dallas Business & Professional Women's Club Ombudswoman Award for her contributions to youth.
• She was voted “Best Elected Official” in the Focus Daily News Readers Choice Awards.
• Community Service Award by the Old Chisholm Trail Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Rachel is a Licensed Minister and hosts annual women's luncheons and retreats. Her signature event, Morsels and Mentorship, serves as a safe space that empowers women with faith and strategies they can implement daily to grow in faith, life, love and business.
She is also an honorary member of the DeSoto Golden Voices Choir. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington and she is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.