July 2022 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Shelby Bruhn
Good Friday morning!
I trust that you are enjoying family vacations and that you are staying cool and safe inside in this 100-plus-degree weather.
Recent reports from Tarrant County Public Health Director, Vinny Taneja, confirm that the newest strain of Covid-19, Omicron BA.5, has become one of the dominant variants in the United States and here in North Texas.
BA.5 is the most dominant strain to date and is able to evade immunity from Covid infection and vaccination. In vulnerable populations, this strain can have lasting effects for weeks and months, so I caution you to be careful, particularly when around others indoors.
Please click on this link for current updates from Tarrant County Public Health.
On a more positive front, the ARPA (American Relief Plan Act) grant program launched through Tarrant County on July 11. If you own a small business with 50 or fewer employees that qualifies, you could receive $2,500 for the business and $1,000 per employee up to a total maximum of $27,500. Please visit www.tarrantcounty.com/recovery for complete details.
Our Heart of North Texas leadership team of Kathryn Rotter, RaDonna Hessel, and Craig Hulse, continue to lead their committee to craft an impressive agenda for our 25th edition, titled, “May the Workforce be with You, Now and in the Future.” Sponsorships and table registrations are rolling in, so don’t miss out! Typically held on a Friday, please note, this year, the date and time is Wednesday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. to 1:30p.m at the Hurst Conference Center. For sponsorships, registration and more information, please contact RaDonna at radonna@grapevinechamber.org.
We look forward to our next breakfast on Tuesday, August 16, at the Hurst Conference Center. Cameron Cushman, Assistant Vice President of Innovation Ecosystems at The University of North Texas Health Science Center, will provide insights on HSC Net, a startup and small business incubator.
Please continue to seek out community leaders to join NLF, so we can continue to grow our influence while also growing the influence of our new members.
Finally, please be cautious of the extreme heat that we are experiencing. While this week’s temperatures will be in the lower 100-degree range, we have a slight chance for possible rain and 99-degree highs this coming weekend, so pull out your sweaters!
I will always be receptive to your ideas, so please contact me at 817-564-2300 or at sbruhn@ffin.com.

-Shelby Bruhn
ARPA Grants are in Progress

Tarrant County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes and his team have launched the recently allocated $25 million for another round of grants to small businesses that remain affected by the pandemic. Grant amounts range between $2,500 to $27,500, depending upon your number of employees retained. 
The short application period is now in effect and will end on
August 31, 2022, at 5 p.m., or whenever the fund is depleted.
It is highly recommended that you bookmark the link below and begin collecting the required documents and move swiftly.

Grant funding will be depleted quickly given the number of eligible applicants. To determine eligibility please CLICK HERE for the document that explains both the program and required documentation in detail, or visit the website listed below. 
Details Emerging on
25th Annual Heart of North Texas Conference
What a clever title for the 25th anniversary of the Heart of North Texas:
“May the Workforce be With You, Now and in the Future.”
Sponsors are confirming their participation for this marquee event, so please respond now.
Kathryn Rotter, RaDonna Hessel, and Craig Hulse have been leading their committee in a combination of in-person and Zoom meetings to launch our major November event. The date will be Wednesday, November 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hurst Conference Center. 
Please note that this meeting is on the first Wednesday instead of the first Friday of the month. Sponsorship levels are:

  • Presenting Sponsor: SOLD
  • Platinum Sponsor: $3,500
  • 25th Anniversary Sponsor: $2,500
  • Silver Sponsor: $1,000
  • Table Sponsor: $600
  • Individual Tickets: $75

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Kyle Hartung – Associate Vice President, Jobs for the Future (JFF)
  • Topic - Work Based Learning / Teen Employment / In-Demand Skills
  • AJ Griffin – CEO Founder – Paycom
  • Topic - Future of Human Resources and Workforce
  • Julian Alvarez III – Commissioner - Texas Workforce Commission
  • Topic – Texas Workforce Challenges, Trends and Opportunities
  • CyLynn Braswell, Ed.D – Frontline Education -Local CTE principal representing all NLF ISDs
  • Topic – Regional view Career & Technical Education (CTE) trends
In addition to what is becoming a fantastic line-up, the event will include both breakfast and lunch. We are riding a wave of continued success at the Heart of North Texas due to the relevance of our agendas and the outstanding quality speakers.
Please click below to view the sponsorship flyer or contact RaDonna Hessel for more details about how your company may become a supporter of this event.
Please remember that the net proceeds of the Heart of North Texas are a major source of funding for our scholarship program.
Chamber of Commerce Leadership Programs Are in Final Days of Recruiting New Classes
Please reach out to your local chamber of commerce and ask about their leadership program. Most of our chambers are winding down their recruitment campaigns.
One of the signs of a vibrant community and its chamber of commerce is a powerful leadership program that opens the doors for the next generation of leaders. Each of the chambers of commerce affiliated with Northeast Leadership Forum is accepting nominations for its leadership program.
Northeast Leadership Forum is providing a 50% leadership tuition scholarship for one person in each of the chambers of commerce leadership programs in our area.
This is your opportunity to identify emerging leaders and seasoned leaders within your company or organization to grow their circle of influence and connections. All Chambers of Commerce listed below participate in leadership programs. Please contact them directly for more information. 
Colleyville Chamber of Commerce
Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
HEB Chamber of Commerce
Keller Chamber of Commerce
*in partnership with the City of Keller
Metroplex Chamber of Commerce
Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce
Southlake Chamber of Commerce

August 16 Breakfast to Feature
Cameron Cushman:
Our August 16 breakfast speaker will be Cameron Cushman, Assistant Vice President of Innovation Ecosystems at The University of North Texas Health Science Center.
He will provide insights on HSC Next, a startup and small business incubator in Fort Worth that provides resources for innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs
Cameron has more than a decade of experience building entrepreneurial communities, having worked for President George W. Bush and later at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. There, he led several initiatives to help build entrepreneurial communities. Cameron also co-founded 1 Million Cups, the weekly educational event for entrepreneurs that is now in 180 U.S. cities – including North Richland Hills – and in 30 countries.
Please invite colleagues in this space of innovation/entrepreneurship for a most enlightening program.
Membership Continues to Grow

We welcomed seven new members to our June 14 NLF breakfast as we continue to grow the influence of our organization and of our new members.
As you interact with business and community leaders who impress you, please invite them to sit at your table for our next NLF breakfast on Tuesday morning, August 16 at the Hurst Conference Center. 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 to join our organization to further the dynamic growth of Northeast Tarrant County. 
We specifically 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 Craig Hulse, our membership chairman, if you have a prospect: chulse@nrhtx.com or 972-849-3858.
New Member Profiles
Please welcome two of our newest members of NLF.
Dr. Joe Harrington
Superintendent, HEB Independent School District

The HEB ISD Board of Trustees approved Joe Harrington, Ed.D. as Superintendent of Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District at the March 28 board meeting. He previously served HEB ISD as Deputy Superintendent for Educational Operations and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Administration.

His philosophy in life and work: “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” so he is a constant learner and motivator to help engage and motivate his team of administrators, educators, and support staff as they energize the district's students.

Joe taught science and high school biology and coached student-athletes for 16 years before becoming an assistant principal and principal in Northwest ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

He holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas; a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Buffalo State College; and Superintendent, Principal, and Secondary Science Teacher certifications from the Texas Education Agency. He is a member of the Mid-Cities Pacesetters Rotary Club and is on the board of 6 Stones Mission Network. Dr. Harrington and Jenny, his wife of 33 years, live in Euless and attend Ash Lane Methodist Church. They have two grown children
Shelly Lemman
CEO, Innovative Ways

Shelly Lemman obtained her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Life happened and the next thing she knew, she was 10 years into being a stay-at-home mom helping make ends meet by teaching preschool when the itch to further her education hit.
She returned to her alma mater, Texas Tech with the support of her loving husband and young family, and completed her Master's Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Orientation and Mobility.
In 2011, Shelly brought her newly acquired education to Easter Seals and entered the realm of disabilities support as an employment consultant. As her passion for what she did grew over the years, she decided to branch out on her own and in 2019 started Innovative Ways. In this capacity, she is now a licensed vendor in the state of Texas working with the Texas Workforce Commission serving the community by matching individuals with disabilities to jobs in which they can be successful.
In the past 10 years, Shelly has taken on the role of an instructor in the STEPS (formerly Pathways) program at Tarrant County Community College. She left her position prior to the Spring 2022 semester with the goal of starting a private school specializing in teaching Independent Living Skills. This, based on her experiences over the years, is a much-needed resource in the community.
Shelly lives in Bedford with her husband of 20+ years and their five children.
Mark Your Calendar
Membership Breakfast Meetings
Networking: 7:15 a.m. • Breakfast Open: 7:30 a.m. • Program Starts: 7:45 a.m.
Tuesday, February 8

Tuesday, June 14
Wes Lyons, Eagle Venture Fund
Sponsored by:
O. Trevino Construction
Cameron Cushman,
Innovation Ecosystems, UNT Health Science Center

25th Annual Heart of North Texas Conference
'May the Workforce be With You, Now and in the Future.'
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Hurst Conference Center
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Radonna Hessell.