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More than 70 Chamber members gathered at the Kimbell Art Museum to hear about new projects and existing developments at the West Area Council meeting last Wednesday.

From the City of Fort Worth, Robert Sturns, Economic Development Director, and Roger Venables, Assistant Director of Property Management, gave updates on the Walsh development, Las Vegas Trail improvements, the City's new economic development plan and more. See the presentation here.

From left to right:
Michael Wheaton, Wortham Insurance & Risk Management and West Area Council Chairman; Roger Venables and Roger Sturns, City of Fort Worth.
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Iron chefs: At the Cast Iron in the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, you can have lunch, dinner or a pre-theater meal. The kiddos have their own menu. And then there is breakfast. Good morning, Sunshine! Mr. B skipped the breakfast buffet; it was early and he had to be able to walk or stumble out for the rest of the work day. Instead, from the menu, he was enticed by the short rib and chorizo hash offering, with two eggs sunny side up and redneck cheddar cheese grits. But his eyes kept wandering to the soft scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, sriracha mayo and chives on a toasted brioche bun. Fortunately, you won't have to make a tough choice with this $50 gift card.

B, my Main man
: Yes, Mr. B is prone to exaggeration, but just a bit. So when he says MAIN ST. Arts Festival is the greatest arts gathering in the U.S., you can take it to the streets as fact.  Mr. B was thinking about a possible giveaway and, lo and behold, Claire-voyant Pavlov PR pro Claire Armstrong was working a giveaway from Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives. DFWI produces the festival, which has two stages of musical performances and one very long street for arts and artisans of all kinds. Claire rang the Pavlov bell with an offer of a MAIN ST. commemorative poster and admission for two to the VIP Pavilion all four days! The Pavilion is directly across from the University of Texas at Arlington MAIN ST. stage and nightly includes two complimentary drink tickets and light dinner from The Capital Grille.

FWSO goes Pops: Thomas Lauderdale would go to political and networking events around Portland, Ore., and was unimpressed with the music offerings. So he formed the "positively fabulous Pink Martini (band), which takes you on a multi-lingual, genre-defying journey that's sure to delight and entertain." In up to 25 different languages, Pink Martini performs a "rollicking, around-the-world musical adventure, brilliantly combining elements of classical, jazz, world music and timeless pop." Melanie (what the) Hecht has two tickets for Pink Martini's un-taxing April 15 concert at Bass Performance Hall with members of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra string section. This is quite a finale for the FWSO's Pops Season.

Tech talk: What might AT&T's 5G do for communications? How might Elevate air taxis from Bell and Uber change transportation? Might Facebook become a media platform with or against Netflix? Technology is transforming our lives at lightning speed, and the Fort Worth Business Press' Business for Breakfast April 4 at the Fort Worth Club explores where innovation and technology are taking us. TechFW Director Hayden Blackburn moderates the panel discussion. Lauren (Oy) Vay texted a ticket for two readers.

Congratulations to the March 21st Prize Winners: 
  • Kirsten Ward, Ridgmar Wellness
  • Emmanuel Armah, Oncor
  • Chloe Rodriguez, Camp Fire First Texas
  • Angie Gallaway, Ronald McDonald House Fort Worth
  • Stephen Raeside, Tarrant Area Food Bank
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HE SAID, SHE SAID, THEY SAIDSoundBytes
Handy man: Chris Handy of ClosedWon says he is a "good husband." When a sudden (must-attend) Colorado ski trip with the guys materialized during wife Bethany's birthday, he had Favor deliver breakfast from Paul's Donuts (donuts, hero sandwiches, tacos...). The delivery guy even sang happy birthday. Chris expects Bethany will be buying additional birthday gifts, plural, for herownself.

THIS is the way to propose: Marcus McKee walked into Signarama Fort Worth wanting to propose to Angel Flores. Brandon Coufal, Signarama's Mr. Production, came up with a roadside monument marker (at right).  It reads, in part: A COUPLE OF TEXAS LOVE BIRDS ... On this picturesque site overlooking the Brazos River and Possum Kingdom Lake, a native Texan professed his undying love for his beautiful sweetheart. Marcus McKee extended an engagement ring: "Angel Flores, you have already made me happier than words can express. Will you continue to make me the world's happiest man as my wife?" ... She said yes. The two embraced, shared a passionate kiss, and rode off into the Texas sunset to live happily ever after.
 
EZ breezy: Most Chamber Leads Groups have a complicated process to vet potential members to the group. Not so, Cowtown Leads Group. "Your $50 check clears, you're in," said leader Susan Shaw of her namesake insurance company.
 
Easter tip: The Bunny Bundt decorated cake at Nothing Bundt Cake is so hoppin' cute.

Name game: Bell Helicopter changed its name to Bell. Wonder if Fort Worth will change Bell Helicopter Blvd.? Maybe call it Blue Bell Blvd. and honor two legends at once?

#metoo: You think the subject might come up during tomorrow's Chamber 2018 Employment Law Update presented by Haynes and Boone?
"Sometimes you just need something to laugh at ... and I let it be me."  

-- Michele (Sign Queen) Klepser
Sign-a-rama
    
Advocating for this hire: How effective is Rebecca Montgomery, who starts as the Chamber's Senior Veep of Advocacy April 9? When she was Veep of External Affairs at Trinity Metro, Mr. B would beg and beseech her for more and quicker routes from east Fort Worth to downtown. For a year, she worked on it and in the interim sent Uber or Lyft to personally drive Mr. B to and fro. How is that for service! Said Brandom Gengelbach, Executive Veep of Economic Development: "Rebecca brings established relationships and a wealth of experience with the Texas Legislature, Fort Worth City Council and other public partners to represent the interests of our stakeholders and help advocate for a stronger business climate." At one time, Montgomery was executive director of the USS Fort Worth Commissioning & Support Committee.

What in the world! The stories of new gadgets after Pepper Sims' return from the promotions market always are fascinating. The owner of Pepper-L Specialties offered up some highlights:
  • A ball cap with lights under the brim; it's great for reading or when the electricity goes out.
  • A bio-degradable rag bag that doubles as a micro-fiber screen cleaner. Wash it or throw it out when done.
  • A coaster that fits in a car's drink holder and absorbs moisture.
  • A solar-powered water bottle that can serve as a flashlight and has a Bluetooth speaker included.
  • A pencil that you plant when the lead is finished so foliage can grow.
From a guy just back from Spring Break: "You cannot realistically expect to maintain consistently high levels of productivity and effectiveness in your role within your organization if you don't take time to renew and recharge," says HR pro and SVP Steve Peglar of the Whitney Smith Company.

No 1 in air force:  At Visit Fort Worth's warehouse home during SXSW, hundreds of visitors to sponsor Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II simulator received a cockpit view and a personal lesson from a fighter pilot. This F-35 is a 5th generation fighter, a single-seat, single-engine jet combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. It is being built for at least 11 countries. This morning, officials from South Korea will celebrate the real deal, a "rollout" of the first Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-35A Lightning II.

Kudos: Balcom Agency has been selected by the American Advertising Federation's Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame as this year's recipient of the Governor's Award. Previous honorees have been super agencies Moroch in Dallas, GSD&M in Austin and Lopez Negrete Communications in Houston.
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Our new Fort Worth relocation guides are FREE for members, expanding companies, hospitals, hotels and realtors who would like to come by and pick them up (no shipping charge). One box (50 copies!) per member.

For one free copy of the relocation guide to be shipped, order here.

Email Katie Kassler or call 817-338-3377 to schedule pickup or for more information. See more of our publications in our online store.
 
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