MATA Gets Kudos for Historic Preservation
Preservation Dallas selected MATA to receive the organization’s 2018 Stewardship Award. It’s a first in the award’s history: The accolade generally recognizes architects and the like, who restore historic buildings and sites throughout Dallas.
“We’ve never given the Stewardship Award to something that moves before,” said David Preziozi, the organization’s executive director. “But we wanted to recognize MATA’s wonderful work in bringing back a significant part of Dallas’ history. It hasn’t been an easy task – a lot of hard work went into restoring those trolley cars, and Dallas is a more historically vibrant place for their efforts. The M-Line is a true icon.”
So far, MATA has restored six vintage streetcars, and currently is restoring a seventh.
Preservation Dallas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Dallas’ historic character, and the restoration of the city’s architectural and cultural resources.
Accolades for MATA M-Line’s New President
As a boy growing up in Chicago, Victor Cervantes was fascinated by the way things work. That interest only intensified as he grew older. “I’ve always been especially drawn in by anything that has wheels – old cars, motorcycles, you name it,” he says.
He seems to have landed in the right place: MATA, where he joined as the agency’s new president in February.
After earning his degree in electronics engineering, Cervantes embarked on a long and varied career that took him all over the map, literally and figuratively. He’s worked at Motorola, Unisys and Nortel Networks for more than 15 years, where he was – among other roles – vice president of wireless engineering; a knack for marketing and a way with people found him gravitating toward sales, product management and market development.
Eventually, Cervantes became a regional managing director for that company, where he was responsible for all aspects of the organization – human resources, technology, sales, finance and operations – with clients throughout Mexico and most of Latin America.
An entrepreneurial bent got the best of him, and after a few years, Cervantes decamped to San Antonio, where he owned several franchise outlets. After selling them, he had his eyes open for the next opportunity. That’s when MATA Board member Doug Nichols stepped in.
“I’ve known Doug for years, and he mentioned to me that MATA was looking for a new president.,” he says. “I decided to look into the organization and I liked what I saw.”
With his background in marketing, management, operations and familiarity working with technology, Cervantes is ideally suited for the position. He’s especially excited about the problemsolving – and fun – of retrofitting vintage rail cars with modern technology. “This is why I became an engineer in the first place!” he says.
MATA is happy to welcome Vic Cervantes aboard. The M-Line’s New President group presented the Stewardship Award in the “Special Recognition” category to MATA at a ceremony in May.