June 2022 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Shelby Bruhn
Good Thursday morning!
We had quite a surprise for the 21 graduated high school seniors that attended our June 14 NLF breakfast. While each of them – most of them with at least one parent joining them – looked forward to being introduced as a scholarship recipient, none of them expected to receive a new Dell laptop computer, compliments of Coca-Cola Southwest Bottling Company.
We thank our NLF Foundation scholarship selection committee and the Nancy and Alan Hamm Foundation for their matching funds.
Our keynote speaker, Wes Lyons from Eagle Venture Fund and WayMaker Funds in Southlake, delivered a most insightful presentation on Impact Investing, through which companies and communities are seeing investments that deliver a social return in addition to financial returns.
Membership Chairman Craig Hulse welcomed our new members: Cathy Neece Brown (James L. West Center for Dementia Care), Dr. Joe Harrington (HEB ISD), Gary Hulsey (Hulsey Associates Building Systems and Mayor of Haslett), Shelly Lemman (Innovative Ways), David Rudko (Better Way Coaching, LLC , Johnette Van Eeden (Star Wellness), and Randy White (Randy White Real estate).
As community leaders, we express our appreciation to Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes for the leadership role they are playing in deploying $400 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds. Their committee is currently evaluating the proposals from area non-profits, and we understand that the next round of funds will target workforce development for small businesses (with 50 employees and below) and additional non-profits.
Please see details in the ARPA article below.

Our Heart of North Texas leadership team of Kathryn Rotter, RaDonna Hessel, and Craig Hulse, is well underway with our 25th edition, titled, “May the Workforce be with You, Now and in the Future.” The date has been changed to Wednesday, November 2 and the venue will be the Hurst Conference Center. For sponsorships 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. 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 90s, the 100-degree forecasts will resume next week.
I will always be receptive to your ideas, so please contact me at 817-564-2300 or at sbruhn@ffin.com.

-Shelby Bruhn
Wes Lyons Impresses NLF Members and High School Graduates at June 14 breakfast

One of the emerging trends in community development is the focus on “Impact Investing,” as Wes Lyons from Eagle Venture Fund and WayMaker Funds explained at our June 14 breakfast.
He shared that early-stage companies are interested in transforming their communities with their investments more than ever before. Wes stated that of the $40 trillion in current development, over $1 trillion has been dedicated to projects with local community impact and that more investment firms are moving in this direction.
His key points included:

  • While most companies in the 1990s focused primarily on making money, there was a significantly greater interest in adding an environmental and social mandate that benefits their local communities

  • Companies are now articulating a social conscience that helps build their brand while also helping the firm stand out in the recruiting process

  • These companies tend to enjoy lower turn as their employees become more loyal to companies that commit to their communities

  • The focus on community impact has attracted the attention and financial muscle of a new kind of venture capitalists that support the new philosophy

Wes’ presentation impressed our 45 guests which consisted of 21 NLF Foundation scholarship recipients and most of them brought at least one parent with them.
We express our appreciation to O. Trevino Construction for sponsoring our breakfast. Vanessa Copeland donated the sponsor’s segment to the United Way of Tarrant County, allowing Faye Beaulieu to share timely information on how the United Way is serving our community during the pandemic.
ARPA Grants are in Progress

Tarrant County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes and his team are pleased to inform you that Tarrant County 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 $27,000, depending upon your number of employees retained.
The short application period begins July 11, 2022, at noon
and ends August 31, 2022, at 5 p.m.

It is highly recommended that you bookmark the link below and begin collecting the required documents in preparation for the portal going live on July 11.
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.”
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.
Please mark your calendar for 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: $5,000
  • Platinum Sponsor: $3,500
  • 25th Anniversary Sponsor: $2,500
  • Silver Sponsor: $1,000
  • Table Sponsor: $600
  • Individual Tickets: $75
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 (radonna@grapevinechamber.org) for more details about how your company may become a supporter of this event.
And please remember that the net proceeds of the Heart of North Texas are a major source of funding for our scholarship program.
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.
Chamber of Commerce Leadership Programs Recruiting Now
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

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.
Dave Rudko
President/COO, Better Way Coaching

Dave Rudko has always lived a disciplined life. He started his training at the Naval Academy in 1988 and during his 20+ year naval career, he served aboard the USS Carl Vinson and in support of the expeditionary and aviation communities. Dave also served as an instructor at the Navy Supply Corps School, where he taught supply chain management, food service, retail operations, and aviation logistics. Throughout his service, he was recognized for propelling organizational growth and influencing large-scale cultural change while building and guiding top-performing cross-functional teams.
Following his Navy retirement, he became Business Administrator for Crown of Life Church and School in Colleyville. After being certified as a leadership and organizational development coach & trainer with Maxwell Leadership and a certified DISC Human Behavior consultant with Personality Insights, Dave became Chief Operating Officer of Providence World, an international nonprofit that focused on transforming global communities.
Today, Dave serves as President/COO of Better Way Coaching, where he equips and empowers small business and nonprofit leaders who are committed to building thriving communities through enhanced collaboration.
He and his wife Crystal live in Keller. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School. Dave is also a graduate of Leadership Colleyville.
Johnette van Eeden

Johnette van Eeden is a serial entrepreneur who founded Star Wellness in 2002, offering onsite medical testing, vaccinations, & vascular ultrasound services directly to employees in the workplace. Since 2017, Star Wellness has been recognized as one of the top 10 onsite biometric screening companies in the United States.
Johnette is an entrepreneur at heart and is involved in various entrepreneur organizations. Her community interests include serving on the Board of 6 Stones and she has been a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and various private schools.
She was featured in a March 2014 profile by D Magazine that highlighted her passion for competitive target shooting. 
Johnette attended the University of Texas at Arlington, and she has successfully completed Executive Education programs in Entrepreneurship through the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University.
Johnette is a fifth-generation Bedford resident and currently lives in Hurst with her husband, Willie. They have two adult children.
Mark Your Calendar
Membership Breakfast Meetings
Location: Hurst Conference Center
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 John Fletcher at (817) 205-2334.