July 2021 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Howard Shotwell
The good news about COVID-19 is that the original strain has seen decreasing numbers. The not-so-good news is that the new Delta strain has pushed numbers back up – and this new variant appears to be a more aggressive strain.
 
As business categories that had been closed are now opening to full capacity, I encourage you to remain cautious because Tarrant County Health reports that we could be fighting this variant for quite a while.
 
I am encouraged that summer and fall activities are appearing to return robustly. We are seeing some of our major festival events take place across Northeast Tarrant County. Grapevine’s Main Street Fest drew impressive crowds, as did fireworks shows around the 4th of July in several of our cities.
 
Many events have shifted their dates to the fall in anticipation of more favorable opportunities, such as Southlake’s Art in the Square and Oktoberfest, which are both scheduled for October.
 
Restaurants are reporting impressive inside dining numbers, with some establishments sharing traffic flow on par with pre-Covid 2019.
 
We as business and community leaders are adapting and becoming more resilient. We recognize the risks of the virus and are working to keep our communities safe. I recommend that you make your own decisions on which events to attend and whether or not to wear a mask.
 
So far, cities, counties and the state have avoided establishing any new COVID mandates, but all have strongly recommended immunization. While the vaccination is a personal decision, we are seeing rising numbers of our residents being vaccinated, which is encouraging.
 
And thank you to our Membership Chairman, Shannon Watt, for scheduling our Membership & Networking Event on Thursday, September 30, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at HG Sply Co. in Trophy Club.
 
Finally, our area chambers of commerce are completing their selection of participants for their leadership programs. Please reach out to the chambers of commerce listed below to inquire about their leadership training. NLF funds 50% scholarships in these programs as well as a 50% scholarship for one member of Leadership North Texas.
 
Stay safe and let’s look forward to our Tuesday, August 10 breakfast that will feature Dr. Kristen Bennett, Executive Vice President from Tarrant County College.

-Howard Shotwell
Tarrant County Health Director Reports that
COVID’s New Variant is Powerful

Just when we felt that COVID-19 was under control, we have other issues of concern. The New Delta variant has led to a surge in caseloads here in Tarrant County and across the United States.
 
Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Tajeda says that this Delta strain is more powerful than the initial variant, and he encourages everyone to be vaccinated. Vaccinations are now available for anyone over 16. Vinny also shares that we have additional health concerns beyond the coronavirus. Key among these are:
 
  • Exposure to intense heat outside: We are officially in the Dog Days of Summer, with temperatures this week being near or above 100 degrees. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay inside or in the shade. Get your outside exercise either early or late in the day.

  • Mosquitoes: The early summer rains cooled our temperatures and left standing water around our homes and businesses. Remember to empty any of these water collection areas because they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Prepare to learn about how Tarrant County College can assist your company in locating skilled employees and provide next-level training for your existing employees.
 
Tarrant County College’s Dr. Kristen Bennett, Executive Vice President of Advancement, will share her insights on how TCC is customizing job and career training for a variety of industries.
 
Prepare to be impressed by the technology and career opportunities available to first-time job seekers as well as students (of all ages!) wanting to expand their skills and capabilities.
 
We appreciate the City of Grapevine for sponsoring our August breakfast meeting. Please join us at Texas Star Conference Center at 7:15 a.m.
Thank you to our sponsor!
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 theme not only addresses how we weathered COVID and Snowmageddon, but also how we are working together to put the building blocks in place for a robust economy coming out of the crisis and into the future.
 
This year’s venue will be the Hurst Conference Center, which should provide plenty of social distancing space for the targeted 270 guests at 6 to a table, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
 
The committee will convene this Friday to discuss potential speakers and panelists. This hard-working team always delivers intriguing and smart presenters, so we can hardly wait to hear about their progress.
 
A number of community partners have already reached out to confirm sponsorships and table reservations. Please contact our team today to reserve your place for this year's 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 Sponsors
#1: Venture Business Impact (VBI)
#2: Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley
#3: 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
For information on sponsorships and tables, please reach out to Eli Mercer at elidmercer@global.t-bird.edu.
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 Chairman, at 817-733-8485.
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, August 10 at the Texas Star 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 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.
 
New Member Profiles
Trasa Cobern
Trasa Cobern is a mom and a wife, a history nerd, and a firm believer in Jesus Christ. She spent her formative years as an Army dependent in Germany, which gave her a unique perspective to see America from both inside and outside. She is also a member of the Robertson family you may have watched on the Duck Dynasty TV series.
 
Trasa attended Texas A&M on a full academic scholarship and there met her husband Kyle, who is from the HEB area. They have four young adult sons and are members of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community, where Trasa serves with several ministries. She also was elected to the Hurst City Council in May 2016 and served one term. She serves on the Board of Directors of Mid Cities Women’s Clinic and is passionate about volunteerism.
 
As a former Trinity High School teacher, she has seen firsthand the immense difference 6 Stones makes in this community and is thrilled to be involved in the daily changing of lives.
NLF Offers Scholarships to Local, Regional
Leadership Programs

Update: Our local chamber of commerce leadership programs are in the final stages of recruiting for their 2021-2022 classes right now. Please contact your local chamber to learn how to apply for yourself or for one of your company’s leaders or emerging leaders.

Each of the chambers of commerce affiliated with Northeast Leadership Forum is now 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. In addition, NLF is offering a 50% tuition scholarship for one member who is accepted in Leadership North Texas. Contact your local chamber of commerce about their individual 50% off leadership tuition scholarship, and contact Mary Frazior (mary@heb.org) regarding the Leadership North Texas scholarship.
 
All chambers of commerce listed below participate with leadership programs. Please contact them directly for more information. 
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. 

817-488-7148
817-421-1522
817-431-2169
817-283-1521
817-281-9376
817-937-2000
817-481-8200   
Mark Your Calendar
2021 Membership Meetings:
Please arrive by 7:15 to mix and mingle!
7:30 a.m.
Texas Star Conference Center
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Kristen Bennett
Executive Vice President of Advancement of Tarrant County College
7:30 a.m.
Location: TBD
Keynote Speaker
To Be Announced
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