January 2022 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Shelby Bruhn
It’s my privilege to be a member of Northeast Leadership Forum for the past 10 years, with the six most recent of those serving on the Board of Directors.
During this time, I have served as treasurer for both NLF and the NLF Foundation, which has provided me with a great appreciation of how our organization operates and how we benefit our community through providing scholarships.
I grew up in Sulphur Springs, so I appreciate the value of living in a smaller community – which most of what Northeast Tarrant County consists of, with a collection of 16 small cities just outside the city of Fort Worth.
Professionally, I’m a community banker, because I enjoy the role that bankers can make when we roll up our sleeves to serve local businesses. I joined Valliance Bank (VBank) in Fort Worth as President of the downtown location, and was promoted to Texas President of VBank, and I am now Chief Lending Officer for the entire corporation.
I am thankful for Randy McCauley at Providence Bank of Texas in Southlake, because he recruited me to the area to become his Executive Vice President/Chief Lending Officer many years ago. Randy introduced me to NLF, and I appreciate him introducing me to you.
My priority for 2022 is influence.

Northeast Leadership Forum carries and promotes influence through how we provide a forum for chambers of commerce, school superintendents, mayors, economic development directors, and nonprofits.
Through our quarterly breakfast speakers, you will see Eli Mercer, our chair-elect, engage us with speakers to grow our awareness and our influence in areas vital to the success of Northeast Tarrant County and beyond.
Please mark your calendar now because Dr. Ray Perryman – a Nobel Prize Finalist for Economics – will keynote our Annual Award Luncheon on Friday, April 1, at the Marriott Hotel in Westlake.
Please allow me to thank my predecessor, and mentor, Howard Shotwell, who has led us through so much of the pandemic. Howard has been an inspiration to so many of us in how he has led and consistently used his influence to benefit others. I only hope that I can leave a legacy half as powerful as Howard’s emphasis on scholarships, particularly those related to workforce development in the trades, and growing our partnership with Tarrant County College.
Under his leadership, and the efforts of Shannon Watt, NLF added 25 new members in 2021!
Let's commit to being valuable resources during the balance of this pandemic. You can count on me to support anything that grows the influence of NLF and of our members. I will always be receptive to your ideas, so please contact me at 817-235-1702 or at SBruhn@v.bank.

-Shelby Bruhn
New Officers to Lead into 2022

Following Howard Shotwell’s successful year that included impressive new membership growth and trade-focused scholarship funding, your NLF board of directors has elected the following officers for 2022:
Shelby Bruhn
Valliance Bank
Eli Mercer
Venture Business Impact
RaDonna Hessel
Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
Shannon Watt
Frost Bank
Howard Shotwell
R&D Associates, Inc.
Past Chair
NLF Board Adopts Shorter Mission Statement

The purpose of a mission statement is to define the purpose of an organization very succinctly – “the WHY” – and to leave “the HOW” to be defined and implemented separately.
Your Board voted on Tuesday, January 11, to revise the mission statement to make it more memorable and repeatable.
The previous version:
The purpose of the Northeast Leadership Forum is to enhance and promote the economic vitality and quality of life in Northeast Tarrant County by providing leadership, forums, and information exchanges for its members and acting as a catalyst for communications, collaboration, and cooperation.
The new version:
The purpose of the Northeast Leadership Forum is to enhance and promote the economic vitality and quality of life in Northeast Tarrant County.
Breakfast Meeting Speakers Attract Impressive Crowds

Our membership continues to grow in part because of the quality of programs we have and the enthusiasm of our members. Our commitment for 2022 is to recruit even more speakers to help us expand our influence by learning more about our community, its resources and how to serve even better.
Please join us on Tuesday, February 8, to hear from two executive leaders, Patrick Brophey and Christopher Lee.

How North Texas Commission speaks on our behalf in Austin and Beyond.
Patrick Brophey is the Manager of Stakeholder Relations and Legislative Planning. He works closely with the Commission’s Board of Directors and senior-level committees and task forces on advocacy issues. He oversees the planning and development of the Commission’s legislative priorities.
Patrick is a 2018 graduate of TCU, where he studied Communications and Political Science.
Christopher Lee joined the North Texas Commission at the start of this year. As Director of State Relations, he leads NTC's legislative tracking and relationships. He works closely on advocacy issues as part of the Commission's Legislative Team and manages the Higher Education Committee.
Christopher graduated from the University of North Texas, where he served as Student Regent in 2017. Previously he worked with the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, JUUL Labs and the Texas Legislature. He brings more than five years of experience in local, state, and federal policy and politics to the NTC team.

We appreciate Patrick and Christopher for joining us!
We thank VBank for being
our breakfast sponsor.
Click below to register for this event!
Please remember to RSVP and bring guests to hear
this powerful message.
Nominations Due for NLF Distinguished Leadership Award
Please devote some time to think about nominating the most deserving recipient for the NLF Distinguished Leadership Award, our highest honor. The award recognizes that person who has given many years of service to the Northeast Tarrant County area.
The selection criteria are as follows:
  • Service in civic or educational roles, non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, elected office or other areas that allowed the individual to make general contributions to the quality of life and well-being of the residents of the Northeast Tarrant County area
  • Preferably, positive involvement in multiple areas of our community with innovative activities and leadership qualities
  • Various volunteer responsibilities and longevity in one or more organizations
We require two nominators for each candidate. Each nomination may also include up to three letters of support. For a list of previous honorees, as well as the nomination information and formplease click here.

The due date for your nominations is
Tuesday, February 15, at 5:00 p.m.

Please return completed form by:
Emailing to Mary Frazior at maryfrazior@heb.org
Mail to: HEB Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Drawer 969
Bedford, TX 76095
*postmark by 02/15/22
Drop off at the HEB Chamber office at:
2109 Martin Dr., Bedford, TX 76021
We were pleased to recognize
John Fletcher
Owner of Fletcher Consulting Public Relations
with the 2020 Distinguished Leadership Award.
World Renowned Economist, Dr. Ray Perryman, to Keynote Award Luncheon

Dr. Ray Perryman, who Texas Monthly calls “the most quoted man in Texas,” will keynote the NLF Annual Award Banquet on Friday, April 1, at the Marriott in Westlake.
As the pre-eminent economist in the United States, his client list includes:
  • Over 2,500 clients
  • 2/3 of the Global 25
  • Over half the Fortune 100
  • The 12 largest technology firms in the world
  • 10 U.S. Cabinet Departments
  • The 9 largest firms in the U.S.
  • The 6 largest energy companies operating in the U.S.
  • The 5 largest U.S. banking institutions
Dr. Perryman, who holds a BS in Mathematics from Baylor University and a PhD in Economics from Rice University, has received more than his share of prestigious accolades:

  • Outstanding Young Person of the World for Business and Economic Innovation
  • Texan of the Year – Texas Legislative Conference
  • Distinguished Service Medal – Baylor University
  • Texas Leadership Hall of Fame
  • Most Dynamic Economic Researcher in the U.S. – Global Insights
  • Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development – International Trade Council
Perhaps his most cherished his honor is “The state’s pre-eminent economist and a barbecue connoisseur” by that newspaper east of Highway 360.
We are honored that Linebarger Law Firm & Texas Health HEB have already jumped the gun and ordered the first tables for the event.

Make plans now to attend and confirm your table reservations!
Grow Your INFLUENCE: Keep NLF Dynamic and Growing
As you interact with business and community leaders who impress you, please invite them to our next membership breakfast meeting on Tuesday, February 8. 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 may 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 welcome visitors and new members to our breakfast meetings because growing the power of networks is one of the main benefits of NLF.

Please reach out to Shannon Watt, our membership chairman, if you have a prospect: shannon.watt@frostbank.com or 817-733-8485.
Tarrant County Public Health Update

With the continuing spread of the Omicron variant, Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinnie Taneja recommends caution. The Community Spread Level is at the highest possible level. Key indicators as of last Friday were:

  • Total hospital bed occupancy rate: 94%
  • Beds occupied by Covid-19 patients in Tarrant County: 30%
  • 7-day average of positive Covid-19 cases:
  • Peaked at 40.94% on Friday, Jan. 21
Covid-19 Testing
The federal government has now made Covid-19 testing kits available for free. Go to COVIDtests.gov for more information. Visit this link for a complete list of Covid-19 testing sites. The listed sites in Northeast Tarrant County are located at:
  • Heritage Church of Christ: 4201 Heritage Trace Parkway, Fort Worth, 76244 (Saliva test – open to all ages)
  • Northeast Annex: 837 Brown Trail, Bedford, 76022 (Shallow nasal swab test - open to all ages)
  • Tarrant County College, Northeast Campus: 828 Harwood, Hurst, 76054 (Shallow nasal swab test)
  • Watauga Public Health Center: 6601 Watauga Road, Watauga, 76148 (Shallow nasal swab test)
In addition to these locations, the hotline may help you identify a pharmacy near you that may be more convenient for location and open hours. Please call 817-248-6299 for assistance.
Mark Your Calendar
2022 NLF Event Schedule
Annual Award Luncheon
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Westlake Marriott Hotel

Keynote speaker: Dr. Ray Perryman
Economist & Nobel Prize in Economics finalist
Membership Breakfast Meetings
Location: Hurst Conference Center
Networking: 7:15 a.m. • Breakfast Open: 7:30 a.m. • Program Starts: 7:45 a.m.
Heart of North Texas
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: TBD
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact John Fletcher at (817) 205-2334.