January 8, 2020
Presented By
Chris Strayer, recently promoted to EVP of Economic Development, presented updates at Ridglea Country Club on the  Fort Worth Chamber’s   business retention and expansion efforts, including the annual goals, projects won and the target industries that the Economic Development team is focusing on. Additionally, guest speaker Andy Taft, President of  Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. , discussed current and upcoming projects and growth in the downtown area.
Pictured (L to R):  Taft, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. ; Strayer, Fort Worth Chamber.
Click on the links below to enter for prizes
Best in class: 15 years of applying and 15 years of bribes from Mr. B and B2B Insider to win a Chamber small business of the year award and … 15 years of rejection. And now, there’s a new President who never has been on the bribe list and what’s a Mr. B to do. He’s never been a sore loser, though, and Mr. B will be attending the Forte Awards Jan. 30 at The Ashton Depot. If it’s half as good a recognition party as last year, well, you should plan to attend, too. With the assistance of Presenting Sponsor Bank of Texas, three category winners will be announced. And of the nine finalists, one ultimately will be selected small business of the year. The Chamber’s Brittany Brookens, cheerleader supreme for small businesses, has a pair of tickets for one reader.
Rollin’, rollin’ on the river: From 1939-1942, Glenn Miller was “In The Mood,” the greatest songmeister of his time. Enough so that he was able to produce an album called 100 Greatest Hits. Today Glenn Miller is Director of Marketing for Trinity Metro. “Sorry, Mr. B, no relation. Just cruel parents!” Glenn C. Miller wrote. (Still, the music trivia was noteworthy.) Glenn is riding high as a road and railmeister, promoting the greatness of Trinity Metro’s buses, TEXRail and TRE. Last Jan. 10, TEXRail debuted to much fanfare and it’s only gotten better. Just ask the nearly 560,000 passengers who rode during the first year. The 27-mile, every-30-minute, commuter rail line operates between downtown and DFW International Airport’s Terminal B . Its amenities include a designated quiet car, seat back tray tables, overhead luggage racks, vertical bike racks and USB charging ports. Trinity Metro sells an unlimited Local Month Pass good for all three beast modes of transportation for $80. Glenn and boss buser Laura Hanna have put together a February monthly pass (Leap Year, so an extra day) and a Trinity Metro gift bag for one reader.
Please Friend me: Casa Mañana has a new Children’s Theater family musical with 12 performances Jan. 31-Feb. 16. It’s called Frank-N-Friend and it is so new that Wikipedia doesn’t even have it identified. Journalist Mr. B found out that “super-smart Oliver, a new kid in school, has two cool new friends, Michael and Kendra, but also has run-ins with Butch, the dreaded school bully. With the help of his new friends and an advanced, top-secret computer, Oliver builds Frank-N-Friend: the fastest, strongest and coolest protector a kid has ever had!” In addition to confronting Butch the Bully, Frank-N-Friend introduces the boys to H.D. Bun and Frank Enstein and teaches them about true friendships. B2B Insider true friend Lindsey Rushen-ed over a 4-pack of tickets for opening night, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m.
These Threads are awesome: Mr. B is a huge fan of Chamber member Printed Threads , which not only can merchandise your company by putting its name on almost anything, but it can do embroidery; design, develop and produce creative concepts and packages; and do fulfillment. Mr. B was hoping for a B2B Insider giveaway until he noticed the client relations manager was named Justin Schlegel. Justin is a great guy and even intro’d Mr. B to Printed Threads’ El Capitan, Brett Bowden. Fellow Double B launched Printed Threads in his garage in 2011 and set out with one mission: to help people. Brett and Justin have this giveaway to help one company — 200 custom, one-color, screen-printed koozies.
Congratulations to the December 18th
Prize Winners:

  • Laura Stewart, Lockheed Martin
  • Ben Wallace, Site Barricades
  • Tamara Rodgers, American National Bank of Texas
  • Wendy Lee, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains
School daze: The Chamber and Fort Worth ISD are teaming to allow businesses to see how the school district is preparing students for the workforce. First field trip – bring your permission slip signed by the boss – is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. next Tuesday to North Side High. It will offer a look at the education and training of students for jobs in engineering, auto repair and the culinary arts. It’s free to participate. Register to attend today.
Words to celebrate : “Calories don't count over the holidays!” according to Meryl Gunter at Clayton Youth Enrichment .
Job hunting: The Chamber’s Economic Development group ended 2019 with 85 active projects working and 90 new projects; 15 of the 175 are corporate headquarters. That pipeline includes 16,000 jobs and $2.5 billion impact. 
What evil lurks within: Jaime Ortiz, owner JDog Junk Removal, swears she got a call from a man to come take away 50 zombies from his garage? “Zombies?” she asked. “Zombies,” he assured. Leery, JDog went out there and … yes, removed 50 zombie standing figures used as paintball targets. 
Wild & crazy celebration: Not sure what you did New Year’s Eve, but JTaylor tax partner Sarah Caldwell was part of a group that ran 35.5 miles from Fort Worth to Dallas.
“Best job I've ever had. It just didn't always work out like I planned.”

--John Ashour, President
Interconnect Wiring
Branding a leader 101: Karen Lindsey, a faculty member within the TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communications , teaches public relations, consults with new university presidents and offers crisis communications. She offered that and a whole lot of digital media tips to the Chamber’s Women’s Insight Network.
  • “Brand is a promise of an experience; it’s more than a slogan or logo … those are identifiers.”
  • “I’m not a fan of posting the same message on all platforms; each platform has a different purpose."
  • “Don’t post without a strategy.” What is the narrative? What is your mission statement, your goals, your values?
  • “Quality (art/photos) matters!”
  • “The best humor online is self-deprecating.”
Being a leader 101 : The Chamber’s recent Impact Your Business luncheon featured a panel discussing leadership within a small business. Moderator was design-build hall of famer David Bloxom, Speed Fab-Crete . Panelists were owners Nikole Dickman, Envoy Managed Services , Trelaine Mapp, Source Building Group and Allen Wallach, Pavlov .
Some highlights:
  • Trelaine: “Fortunate to be in a robust area, but growth is not without its challenges. Leaders should appreciate a diversity of personalities.”
  • Allen: We couldn’t function without leaders at each level. I do not micro-manage. I’m not a cheerleader. I think your paycheck says you are wanted here. (Chuckling) I hire people to handle the soft skills.”
  • Nikole: Her strongest trait? “Humility. My team knows I have its best interests at heart. And everyone knows their opinion is important.”
Funster punsters: The Chamber’s Netty Matthews is part of a merry group of punsters. She wrote, “Did you hear about Dracula passing out at midnight on New Year’s Eve? There was a count down.” To which John Quiroz replied: “Did anyone even bat an eye?”
Acting out: Dennis Roberson, tournament manager of the Charles Schwab Challenge , has his own (happy) challenge these days. Youngest son, Alex, a senior at Keller Central, is part of an award-winning drama group at the high school. Newsies last year; Sister Act this year. State UIL champ last year for a one-act play. Alex’s college applications include auditions to be considered for arts programs.
Downtown doodling: Andy Taft, President at Downtown Fort Worth, Inc ., says downtown has added 2,000 hotel rooms to 4,500 since 2015. And more are planned on the way to 10,000. He says the hottest downtown quadrant this decade will be areas surrounding the revamped Fort Worth Convention Center, including 1,000 hotel rooms and 1,000 residences. There also will be a makeover for the Belknap/Weatherford/Heritage Park area. 
Click icons below for details and to register
Fort Worth ISD
Business Leader Campus Visit
Jan. 14 - 11:00 a.m.
North Side High School
January Meetup
Jan. 29 - 5:30 p.m.
Funky Picnic Brewery
Forte Awards Night (Small Business of the Year)
Jan. 30 - 6:00 p.m.
The Ashton Depot
State of the City
Feb. 28 - 11:15 a.m.
Fort Worth Convention Center
Annual Meeting
April 7, 2020
Ribbon Cutting
(see events)
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