October 2021 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Howard Shotwell
Good Thursday morning!

Aren’t you loving these brisk mornings – with temperatures in the 50s and highs in the 70s?

We’re just over a week away from our 24th Annual Heart of North Texas Conference, and what a timely line-up we have: a community update from United Way; an education/vocational/industrial career panel from Tarrant County College; analysis of the 2020 Census from the Texas State Demographer; and two cybersecurity subject matter experts.

Please read all the details below. This is our opportunity to showcase the true value of Northeast Leadership Forum by inviting associates and customers to join us.

Keep in mind that this is our largest money-maker of the year – the proceeds help fund our scholarship program!

Kudos to our membership director, Shannon Watt from Frost Bank. He created and managed our first networking event since the start of the pandemic. Close to 50 NLF members and prospective members attended the meeting at HG Sply Co. in Trophy Club, an extremely popular restaurant.

Our annual award banquet committee, Randy Clinton, RaDonna Hessel, Randy McCauley, and John Fletcher, is already meeting to discuss dates and the keynote speaker for our spring event. We look forward to an announcement soon.

We had a very good crowd for our breakfast on Tuesday, October 12, to hear Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson share the most current issues facing her office and our community.

As always, she was informative and entertaining, and she reminded us that we will have two bond election propositions on November 2: One to authorize $400 million for new transportation bonds, and one to upgrade the entire Criminal District Attorney facility to enlarge the courts and offices as well as update technology.

Please remember that the Covid vaccine boosters are now available for those 65+ and for those 18 and older with compromised immune systems. The sites are most local pharmacies as well as additional locations, which you can discover by calling 817-248-6299 (option 1) or online at www.tarrantcounty.com/vaccinefinder.

Stay safe. Let’s look forward to seeing one another at the Heart of North Texas next Friday, November 5.

-Howard Shotwell
24th Annual Heart of North Texas Update
This is the FINAL CALL for table reservations to this year’s conference in order to make it into the program with your logo and to be listed in our printed materials. 

Our last four tables are available until 5 p.m. today, Thursday, October 28, and then we will switch our focus to individual ticket registrations for any seats remaining. We look forward to what will be another sold-out Heart of North Texas on Friday, November 5, at the Hurst Conference Center.

This year’s theme is Building for an Economic Boom, and our speakers will reinforce how we will prepare ourselves for immediate and long-term success and prosperity.

Eli Mercer and his fellow tri-captains of RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse have done a magnificent job of delivering compelling speakers who are relevant and will share meaningful insights that impact our businesses.

This is your opportunity to showcase NLF to your associates and customers, whose influence and success you can help expand as you invite them to attend.

To provide quality networking opportunities, our participants will enjoy networking breaks between speakers, each with a theme and encouragement to connect with others present.
2021 keynotes and featured speakers:
  • Breakfast Keynote: Leah King, CEO of the United Way of Tarrant County – How nonprofits and social service agencies will pivot according to community needs in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment
  • Featured Speaker: Dr. Lloyd Potter, Texas State Demographer – The impact of the 2020 Census on Texas and how population trends will affect citizens and businesses
  • Featured Education/Vocational/Industry Panel – The emphasis on technical skills training in existing classroom formats and customized training for local and regional employers. The panelists will be:
  • Dr. Eugene Giovannini, Chancellor of Tarrant County College
  • Dr. Kenya Ayers-Palmore, President of Tarrant County College NE Campus
  • Ms. Shannon Bryant, Executive Vice President, Corporate Solutions and Economic Development for Tarrant County College
  • Dr. Gayle Stinson, Superintendent of Birdville ISD
  • Dr. Robin Ryan, Superintendent of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Dr. Lloyd Potter
Dr. Eugene Giovannini
Dr. Kenya Ayers-Palmore
Luncheon Keynote
Cybersecurity – How Vulnerable is YOUR Business or Organization? The panelists will be:
Brett Leatherman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge – Dallas FBI Office

Michael Moore, Founder/CEO of M3 Networks – subject matter expert on cybersecurity

Bob Francis, Editor of the Fort Worth Business Press is Moderator
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their partnership with NLF for their support for the Heart of North Texas Conference.

Thank you, Community Sponsors, for Funding Scholarships!

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

Breakfast Sponsor
Tarrant County College - Northeast

Venue Sponsor
Venture Business Impact (VBI)

Networking Break Sponsors
Frost Bank
Glen Whitley, Tarrant County Judge
Ciera Bank
Gary Fickes, County Commissioner Precinct 3
Valliance Bank
Republic Services
Linebarger Attorneys at Law
Table Reservations - $500 each/1 table of 6
Table 1 - United Way of Tarrant County
Table 2 - City of North Richland Hills
Table 3 - R&D Associates, Inc.
Table 4 - Accelerate DFW Foundation
Table 5 - Legend Bank
Table 6 - City of Haslet
Table 7 - City of Hurst
Table 8 - Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, LLC
Table 9 - City of Southlake
Table 10 - Community Enrichment Center (CEC)
Table 11 - 1 Million Cups – Northeast Tarrant County
Table 12 - Birdville ISD
Table 13 - Hillwood/Alliance Group
Table 14 - Star Wellness
Table 15 - City of Keller
Table 16 - Buyers Barricades
Table 17 - City of Bedford
Table 18 - EECU
Table 19 - Mosaic Strategy Partners
Table 20 - Catholic Charities of Fort Worth
Table 21 - Oncor
Table 22 - Numbers Only
Table 23 - Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
Table 24 - JPS Health Network
Table 25 - City of Colleyville
Table 26 - M3 Networks
For information on sponsorships and tables, please email [email protected].
Membership Drives the Influence of NLF

Our membership has grown by more than 20 new members over the past year, so please continue to invite colleagues and influential members of our community to join NLF.

We will have additional new members for our board of directors to approve on Tuesday, November 9. As you invite additional guests to the Heart of North Texas Conference, feel free to propose some of them for membership by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 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, and we are providing a valuable forum for new members to have close access to many of the decision makers that shape the course of events in Northeast Tarrant County.

For any prospective NLF members you know and would like to recommend, 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 please warmly welcome visitors and new members to our breakfast meetings. Growing the power of networks is one of the main benefits of NLF.
September 30 Membership & Networking
Event - A Huge Success

Thank you to Shannon Watt, our membership director, who arranged and coordinated our networking mixer at HG Sply, the wildly popular restaurant in Trophy Club, on Thursday, September 30.

The photos below confirm that this was a wonderful opportunity for NLF members and prospective members to become better acquainted over food and cold beverages.

Shannon reports that the event attracted close to 50 participants, and we are already seeing interest from prospective new members.

Thank you to all NLF members who took the time to support this event and welcome prospective new members while also getting to know your fellow members.
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson Addresses the October 12 Breakfast

Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney, astonished the audience as she revealed the scope of the District Attorney’s office when she spoke on October 12.

Following 23 years serving as “the toughest judge in Tarrant County,” she was elected to office as Tarrant County’s first female District Attorney in 2015.

Rather than speak from the podium, she preferred to speak from close to the crowd. She shared details and compelling statistics related to the criminal justice system in Tarrant County:

  • The District Attorney’s office consists of four divisions and has 50 investigators
  • Overall crime in Tarrant County has increased as the population has continued to rise
  • As the pandemic forced people to work from home and some even lost their jobs, the number of child abuse cases increased
  • More courts have been added to accommodate the increased case load
  • Jury rooms are too small for 12 jurors in the criminal district courts, which is why so many criminal cases are settled through mediation

A very current topic was that morning’s announcement in media that 100 men had been arrested in charges related to soliciting prostitution and trafficking. Sharen added that Tarrant County currently has 20 criminal district courts and that, due to system breakdowns from the pandemic, only one court currently had a case in process.

She emphasized that the upcoming bond election that takes place on Tuesday, November 2. Neither of the two propositions, if passed, will raise local property tax rates.

Proposition A: Traffic Mobility – Will fund $400 million of bonds to construct, renovate, improve, and maintain roads, highways, and bridges in Tarrant County. Tarrant County commissioners have already met individually with each city to discuss their priority list.

Proposition B: Public Safety – Will fund $116 million of bonds to construct, improve and equip the Criminal District Attorney office building and update technology. The office has outgrown the space since 1990 as the needs and staffing required to address the needs have dramatically increased.

She closed by sharing that her office has responded to changes in crime patterns by establishing teams to address elder financial fraud, intimate partner violence, trafficking, and adult sexual assault. At the same time, the office has created a conviction integrity team that investigates cases to confirm whether they merit prosecution.

Sharen invited audience members to participate in the Citizen Prosecutor Academy, a 12-week program about the criminal justice center. If you are interested, please CLICK HERE.
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!
Annual Event:
Friday, November 5, 2021
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hurst Conference Center