August 2021 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Howard Shotwell
Northeast Tarrant County continues to offer a vibrant environment for business in the face of the Delta variant of Covid. Business continues to flourish by and large with the constraints of workers continuing to be a challenge.
School is back in session in our area, so let’s encourage all our teachers and administrators as they return to in-person education. They will continue to face challenges and they need our support.
Tarrant County has been offering Covid testing at the Northeast Courthouse at 645 Grapevine Highway on Monday mornings this month. The numbers jumped dramatically in the past weeks, starting with just 5 participants the first week, to over 100 the second week and over 200 this past Monday, August 23. Yesterday (August 30) was the final day of testing at the courthouse, and that mission will be taken over by local fire departments.

Hurst Fire Station 1 at 2100 Precinct Line Rd is one of the vaccine locations. All three vaccines are available for first and second doses as well as the booster. This clinic is only open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Consideration for wearing or not wearing masks has led to serious conversations and even some protests in our area, with the issue facing about a 50-50 split. From schools to public events, each side has been passionate in sharing its feelings in public forums and in personal communication with our elected officials.
I ask you to be considerate when expressing your opinions, remembering that the elected members serving on each of our school boards and city councils are doing so on an unpaid basis because of their desire to serve our community.
In addition to our volunteer public servants, some of the most overworked people in our area are our healthcare providers in the hospitals. They face worker shortages at a time when the demand for their services is extremely high.
I was impressed this past Friday when a local company delivered 600 candy bars so that all 600 staff members of the day shift at Texas Health Resources Harris HEB Hospital in Bedford could enjoy a burst of energy.
We should all ask what we can do to encourage our first responders in this time of stress and high demand.
Some of our major events are on the horizon, with high school and college football. Major festivals are returning and our local chambers of commerce have been hosting their annual events.
Tarrant County officials are in the early stages of planning for distribution of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funds. Unlike the CARES Act, which distributed funding on an immediate impact basis, the ARPA money is intended to provide longer term solutions. Commissioner Fickes explained the program very well at the August 12 luncheon of the HEB Chamber of Commerce.
We thank the City of Grapevine for sponsoring our August 10 breakfast meeting that featured Dr. Kristen Bennett from Tarrant County College. As Executive Vice President of Advancement, she shared encouraging insights on how TCC is providing next-level training for existing employees and offering to customize training for growing industries. We were impressed when she announced that TCC will match scholarship funding that any organization such as ours provides.
We wish each of our local chambers of commerce well as they launch their leadership programs for this year. Leadership programs help identify and equip emerging leaders to serve on our communities’ committees, boards and commissions. Some of our existing school board and council members are graduates of their chamber leadership initiatives.
Let’s look forward to some nice fall weather and our mixer on September 30, and our next breakfast on Tuesday, October 12, at the Hurst Conference Center. And following that breakfast will be our Heart of North Texas Conference on Friday, November 5. We thank Eli Mercer, RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse for their leadership in directing the conference committee.

-Howard Shotwell
Heart of North Texas Theme:
Building for an Economic Boom
Eli Mercer and his fellow committee chairs RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse are leading their committee to plan and present yet another insightful and interesting Heart of North Texas Conference.
The committee has confirmed this year’s theme: Building for an Economic Boom. The agenda is coming together nicely, and we will announce the final details of our program in our September newsletter.
Sponsors have renewed with tremendous enthusiasm as we prepare for how to prepare for the successful future that lies ahead of us.
As you review the list of sponsors below, please contact Eli to confirm your sponsorship or table sponsorship because we are closing in on yet another sold-out event.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their partnership with NLF and support for the Heart of North Texas:

Luncheon Sponsor
Texas Health Resources:
Texas Health HEB
Texas Health Southlake
Texas Health Resources Foundation

Breakfast Sponsor
Tarrant County College - Northeast
Networking Break #1 Sponsor
Venture Business Impact (VBI)
Networking Break #2 Sponsor
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley
Networking Break #3 Sponsor
Frost Bank
Our table sponsors so far include:
  • United Way of Tarrant County
  • City of North Richland Hills
  • R&D Associates, Inc.
  • Accelerate DFW Foundation
  • Legend Bank
  • City of Haslet
  • Valliance Bank
  • City of Hurst
For information on sponsorships and tables, please reach out to Eli Mercer at
TCC Executive Vice President of Advancement, Dr. Kristen Bennett, shared encouraging news that aligns well with NLF’s focus on technical education.
She shared that TCC has created a certificate program and offers technical programs that are designed to prepare workers to accelerate their skills training as they prepare for promising career opportunities.
Dr. Bennett offered these take-aways:
  • The TCC Foundation will match the donations provided by any organization what wants to work with the college
  • TCC NE campus is working with the State of Texas to offer certificate and technical programs to re-skill and up-skill the workforce to meet the needs of business and to reinvigorate the workforce pipeline of workers in our area
  • TCC NE is creating higher level skills training and two-year certificates for individuals who are differently abled
  •  TCC is offering apprenticeships that provide skills training in partnership with local employers that generate on-the-job training with real-world applications, all in cooperation with the U.S Department of Labor
  • TCC is seeking employers who would like the college to provide customized training solutions to meet company needs for new and existing employees
If you have any questions for Dr. Bennett, please reach her at
1 Million Cups Program Continues to Grow

The 1 Million Cups initiative continues to attract the attention and participation of entrepreneurs across the nation and in our local community.
Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed the 1 Million Cups program in 2012.
The free program is designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the nation, and has grown to more than 160 communities.
The Northeast Tarrant County Chapter meets at the NRH Library at 9015 Grand Avenue in North Richland Hills on a monthly basis. The hybrid format allows participants to attend in person or virtually.
To register and place this week’s meeting – which takes place this Wednesday, September 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., - on your calendar, please click on the “Watch the Livestream” link to gain access to the Zoom login information.
The NRH chapter is seeking speakers – start-ups wishing to present their challenges to obtain feedback and ideas from community experts. Please visit and select NE Tarrant County to be considered.
You may also email Craig Hulse at for more information.
United Way of Tarrant County
City of North Richland Hills
R&D Associates, Inc.
Accelerate DFW Foundation
Legend Bank
City of Haslet
Valliance Bank
For information on sponsorships and tables, please reach out to Eli Mercer at
Membership & Networking Event on Sept. 30

Please mark your calendar for Thursday, September 30, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., for our next social, to be held at HG Sply Co., one of the extremely popular restaurants in Trophy Club.
This is our opportunity to invite prospective new members to visit over drinks and appetizers in a comfortable, casual setting. We’ll also be inviting both long-term and new members to join us.
Let’s look forward to introducing new prospective members to the powerful influence of Northeast Leadership Forum. For more information or to volunteer, please reach out to Shannon Watt, our Membership Director, at 817-733-8485.
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson to Address October 12 Breakfast

Sharen Wilson, who we know as a member of NLF and as a strong and passionate public servant, will be our keynote speaker at the October 12 breakfast that will be held at the 7:30 a.m. at the Hurst Conference Center.
After 23 years on the bench as a criminal judge, where she was known as “the toughest judge in Tarrant County,” she took office as Tarrant County’s Criminal District Attorney in 2015. She said this office would be open and transparent and she would pursue justice for all – and she works to live up to those promises every day. She is the first woman to serve as Criminal District Attorney in Tarrant County since the office was established in 1919.
She will share insights on how issues currently facing her office will impact each of us as individuals and business leaders.
Keep NLF Dynamic and Growing
Your NLF board continues to receive applications for new members to our organization. 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, October 12, 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, and we are providing a valuable forum for new members to have close access to so many of the decision makers that shape the course of events in Northeast Tarrant County.
For any prospective NLF members you 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 economic 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.
Chamber of Commerce Resources

All our area chambers continue to be valuable resources for our businesses. These chambers can grow your business and expand your influence.
Please feel free to contact your local chamber of commerce by clicking on the link below to read the chamber’s information or to call their office number listed next to their name.
Our chambers of commerce are the voice of business for our communities, and we are indeed fortunate to have such committed and caring leaders as their presidents/executive directors and officers. 

Mark Your Calendar
2021 Membership Meeting:
Please arrive by 7:15 to mix and mingle!
7:30 a.m.
Hurst Conference Center
Keynote Speaker
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson

Special Event:
Thursday, September 30, 2021
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
HG Sply Co. in Trophy Club

Annual Event:
Friday, November 5, 2021
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hurst Conference Center