Northeast Leadership Forum Newsletter
APRIL 2019
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Vanessa Copeland
Annual Meeting Success, Growing New Members

    I hope you were among the 250 attendees at our sold-out 28 th Annual Meeting and Award Luncheon on March 29. We completely filled the banquet room at The Marq in Southlake, and everything went very well.
     Jim "Mattress Mack" was as inspirational as promised as he shared examples of President Bush 41, Mother Theresa, cardiology pioneer Dr. Bud Frazier and Yvonne Streit (who started a school for children with Down syndrome). In his speech about "A life built for others," he challenged each of us to become "a life force for good."
     The luncheon also saw retiring North Richland Hills city councilman Tom Lombard receive our Distinguished Leadership Award from last year's honoree, Rebecca Barksdale. Tom is a solid example of Mattress Mack's challenge to become a life force for good.
     Charlie Powell surprised our audience with a $22,000 check presentation from Nancy & Alan Hamm Foundation. This scholarship money is in addition to the amount we have already budgeted through the NLF Foundation.
     I want to thank our banquet committee - chairman Randy Clinton along with RaDonna Hessel, Randy McCauley, Shelby Bruhn and John Fletcher - for driving this event to be such a success. We appreciate the cooperation of the staff at The Marq and our caterer, Ted Bilsky form Scratch Catering, for preparing such a delicious meal that we're still talking about. If you enjoyed the lemon meringue pie shooters for dessert, you can thank RaDonna for choosing them!
     We all appreciate all the table sponsors for your support because you played a major role in filling the room. And one very important expression of appreciation : Bedford Mayor Jim Griffin, who chaired NLF this past year. We are grateful for Jim's outstanding leadership. He was unable to attend because he was playing a role in the Texas Municipal League conference at the same time.
     I also want to thank Shannon Watt, our membership director, for planning another very successful event - our Wine Tasting & Network Event that took place at Messina Hof Winery in downtown Grapevine. We had excellent attendance among our own members and prospective members.
     We look forward to adding several new members from this event, so please remember to invite prospects to our May 7 breakfast. Guests attend at no charge.
    Thanks to each of you for all that you do in Northeast Tarrant County and with NLF. We are successful because of your commitment to and passion for growing leaders in our region. If you have ideas or suggestions, or if I can be of help, please contact me at or 817-223-6944.
- Vanessa

When someone asks you, "What does NLF do?", this
response  invites the person to want to learn more:

"We help develop new leaders and provide valuable connections  to help them succeed. 
We also strive to publicly recognize  the truly outstanding leaders in our community."


Annual Meeting a Resounding Success
      What an outstanding event we had with our Annual Meeting and Award Luncheon on Friday, March 29. The Marq was a beautiful venue and the food - catered by Scratch Catering in Southlake - was outstanding.
     Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale flew in from Houston to share his insights on how to make a difference in our world. Key take-aways were:
  • Life is not about you or me; it's about leaving a legacy of helping people.
  • Stop asking "Why me?" only when things don't go our way. Also ask, "Why me?" about why we are blessed, and why we are fortunate enough to be in the situations and place (Yeah, Northeast Tarrant County!) where we live, work and play.
  • We should be a life force for good.
     Through his real-life examples, he inspired us to be more generous with our own time, talents and treasure. Mack puts his words into action, as he has given so freely of his resources and his time - he asked us to pay his honorarium to, a Houston nonprofit that serves people battling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) -and is one of Houston's largest philanthropists.  You can share Mack's friends with friends and associates by clicking on this link .
     Chairman Vanessa presented Mack with our Distinguished Service Award plaque in recognition for his long-term commitment to serving others.

The luncheon allowed us to recognize Tom Lombard with the NLF Distinguished Leadership Award for his service to the North Richland Hills city council and to his home community at large. The 2018 recipient, Rebecca Barksdale, introduce Tom and presented his award to him.
     Charlie Powell has been working for months to create the $22,000 scholarship program that Vanessa mentioned in her column. He has been a good friend of the Hamm family and serves on their foundation board. We appreciate the generosity that Nancy and Alan have expressed through this gesture, and it was so appropriate that Nancy was able to join us for the presentation.
     Over the last three years, we have had former Chief of Counterintelligence of the CIA, the only three-time leader of the Blue Angels and now, a legendary community advocate and philanthropist. Let's look forward to next year's luncheon!

Scholarship Recipients

    The Northeast Leadership Forum Foundation scholarship committee announces the following graduating high school seniors from Northeast Tarrant County are receiving $1,000 scholarships. We will introduce you to many of them at next week's May 7 breakfast meeting.
     We are very thankful for the Nancy & Alan Hamm Foundation for providing an additional $22,000 in scholarships for this year's graduating seniors. This allowed us to raise our number of recipients to 33.

Birdville ISD
  • Birdville High: Maia Anguiano and Lauren Wheeler
  • Haltom High: Lisa Nguyen and Miguel Portillo
  • Richland High: Raistlyn Camphuysen and Caitlin Hoffman
Carroll ISD
  • Carroll High: Charlotte Lanier and Alexis Holden
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Grapevine High: Georgia Neill and Olivia Bradshaw
  • Colleyville High: Collin Losack and Kiran Sagani
  • L.D. Bell High: Erin Millican and Verena Sorial
  • Trinity High: Christina van Waasbergen
Keller ISD
  • Central High: Donald Scott
  • Fossil Ridge High: Vince Vennedick Banks and Hope Waid
  • Keller High: Troy Chmiel, Jr., and Katie Lane Whitfield
  • Timber Creek High: Hannah Endres and Brendan A. Smith
Northwest ISD
  • Byron Nelson High: Sarah Vincenzo and Samantha Alley
  • Eaton High: Matthew Weaver and Kyzer Polzin
  • Northwest High: Hulen Howard and Chris Muniz Vargas
  • Steele Accelerated: Gabrielle McLean and Kay-Lynn Rogers
Westlake Academy
  • Westlake Academy: Luke Bertaux and Anishka Peter

     We thank our scholarship selection committee, which consists of chairperson Carolyn Sims, Faye Beaulieu, Randy Clinton, Larry Darlage, Bob Golden, Jim Griffin, Karin Parsinen, Howard Shotwell, Ginny Tigue and Susan Young.

Wine Tasting & Networking Event - Success!

       Over 40 participants visited our inaugural Wine Tasting & Networking Event on Thursday, April 11, at Messina Hof Winery in downtown Grapevine.
Membership chairman Shannon Watt organized and underwrote the occasion through Frost Bank. Due to the success of this networking event, which drew double-digits of prospective members, we look forward to another social in the future.  Please reach out to the guests you met and let's help them recognize the value of NLF membership.


Keep NLF Dynamic and Growing

     What an outstanding turnout we had at both our annual meeting and the April 11 Wine & Networking event, and we're seeing new member continue to join as a result of these efforts.
of guests at our February breakfast! Now, let's take it one step further by inviting these guests to become members of Northeast Leadership Forum. We look forward to proposing and voting on new member applications at our June board meeting.
    As you interact with business and community leaders who impress you, please invite them to our next meeting, which will be our breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 7. These influencers are making a difference in our area, so let's invite them to participate in NLF. Membership is the lifeblood of our organization.
    For any prospective NLF members you know, 
click here  to download the membership application. We want both established and emerging leaders to continue joining our organization to further the dynamic growth of Northeast Tarrant County. 
    We ask you to warmly welcome visitors and new members to our breakfast meetings. Growing the power of networks is one of the main benefits of NLF.

New Member Profiles

Ellen McEwen
   Ellen has served as Vice President (aka Head Cheerleader) of the Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce since January 2017, where she is a relationship specialist with more than 20 years of service.
     Ellen's passion for serving is what led her to her current position. She grew up in Colorado, where she attended the University of Northern Colorado. Her corporate career afforded her the opportunity to live in many states before settling down in Texas with her husband, Clark, and son, Dylan, where they proudly reside in North Richland Hills.
     Besides the volunteer work that Ellen and her family enjoy, they also love to fish, golf, bowl, and ski.
Jonathan Phillips 
    Jonathan Phillips began his career in municipal government over 15 years ago with the City of Fort Worth. Phillips has also served the cities of Lewisville; Keller; Roswell, NM, and most recently the Town of Trophy Club. Currently serving as the Director of Administrative and Financial Services for the Town of Trophy Club, Jonathan is responsible for directing major functions of the municipal government for the town of 15,000 residents and provides leadership to multiple department/division heads; including Finance, Human Resources, Administration, Information Technology, Communications, and the Municipal Court.
     He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas, a master's degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Arlington, is a Certified Public Manager, and he earned a Certificate of Government Finance from Texas Tech University.
            Jonathan and his wife, DeAnna, reside in Johnson County and are the proud parents of a son, Anderson. They love to travel, try new food and restaurants and enjoy the outdoors.

May Breakfast to Feature Election Procedures

    We look forward to our next breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 7. With election season approaching, now is the perfect time to learn about election processes in Tarrant County and how they're managed - from registration to vote tabulation.
     Let's look forward to hearing from Heider I. Garcia, the Tarrant County Elections Administrator. His responsibilities include procuring election machinery and ensuring it is fully functional for voting and tabulation, recruiting and training volunteers, and coordinating with all municipalities and jurisdictions that hold elections. 
     Part of his message will address the upcoming May 1 Vote Centers Town Hall Meeting that will be held at the Precinct 3 Courthouse in Hurst at 6:00 p.m.
    You'll no doubt be surprised to learn everything that goes on behind the scenes when we hear from Mr. Garcia next Thursday, May 7.  We encourage you to invite a guest/prospective member for this very interesting program. Please RSVP for yourself and your guest when you receive your email reminder.

Roundtables Make Strong Connections

    One of the most valuable aspects of Northeast Leadership Forum is the way our roundtables provide opportunities for peer groups to meet, share ideas and collaborate. Here are some of our latest updates:
  • Chambers of Commerce: Executives met yesterday, April 29, in Southlake.
  • Mayors: Held their dinner meeting on March 21 at the Tarrant County Precinct 3 Courthouse, hosted by County Judge Glen Whitley and Commissioner Gary Fickes.
  • Superintendents: Are celebrating the good news from the Texas Legislature that will provide additional funding for our public-school districts. They moved their March meeting until after the final legislation is passed.
  • Economic Development Directors: Met on Tuesday, March 12 and they will participate in annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention in Las Vegas in mid-May
  • Nonprofits: Have had their first meeting of a smaller group and are expanding to reach out to even more nonprofits. They also plan to work with Fort Worth's Community Action Partnership.

Mark Your Calendar

For 2019, all breakfast meetings will be at the Hurst Conference Center:  Please notice that the May 7 meeting is NOT on the second Tuesday of the month and mark your calendar accordingly. 
  • Tuesday, May 7, at 7:30 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, August 13, at 7:30 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, October 8, at 7:30 a.m. 

Additional meetings:
  • Wednesday, May 1, at 6:00 p.m.: Voting Town Hall Meeting at NE Tarrant Courthouse
  • Friday, November 1: Heart of North Texas Conference day, August 14, 7:30 a.m.
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