Board Chair Richie Butler is the senior pastor of the historic St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas and Founder of Project Unity.
Under his visionary leadership, Project Unity offers community building and diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions through its “Together We” programs like Together We Ball, Together We Dine, Together We Learn, and Together We Sing.
As a civic leader, in response to the five Dallas police officers who were ambushed in 2016, Richie launched the Year of Unity, a community-wide initiative to help bridge racial community divides where the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, served as the Honorary Chair.
In 2020, he launched the Together We Test and Together We Vaccinate programs to address a lack of COVID-19 testing and vaccines in communities of color which resulted in more than 10,000 being tested and vaccinated. He launched the Together We Can initiative to address the question, “What can I do?” in response to the death of George Floyd. The Together We Can program has attracted Fortune 500 companies, universities, foundations, and grassroots organizations partners.
Richie has over 20 years of experience in private equity real estate investment management, with extensive real estate development, finance and institutional fund management experience. Richie has been responsible for nearly $1 billion of institutional real estate investment and fund management activity throughout the U.S.
Previously, Richie was the senior managing director of the Prescott Realty Group, a senior vice president of CityView, a managing partner of Solomon Partners and a bank officer with Bank of America. In addition, he was the deputy political director for U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Richie was also the founding senior pastor of Union Cathedral. In 2014, he successfully merged Union Cathedral, an independent interdenominational church, with the historic St. Paul United Methodist Church in downtown Dallas.
Richie holds two bachelor’s degrees from Southern Methodist University and a master’s in theology from Harvard University; he’s also done extended studies in Urban Planning at MIT. He was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship to study art history and political science in Europe.
Richie and his wife, Neisha Strambler-Butler, have two young adult children, Emily and Ford.
“I’m honored to serve with this important group of community leaders. Building on my experience in business and my commitment and passion for my faith community, I will work to help strengthen CFT’s role and legacy as a place where nonprofits and donors come to together to serve the important needs of our community." — Richie Butler
Community Leadership / Board Service
In addition to his service to CFT, Richie’s current board appointments include Southern Methodist University board of trustees and the Texas Methodist Foundation board of trustees. Richie also serves on the independent board of directors of Brookshire Grocery Company.
Richie is a recipient of the 2021 Dallas Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity Award, and the 2021 Collin County Business Alliance Leadership Award. He is a past recipient of the SMU Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award, the Dallas Business Journal's Minority Business Leader award, and the Dallas Bar Association Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice award. He has also been recognized by D CEO as one of the “17 Stars of Tomorrow in Commercial Real Estate.”