June 2021 Newsletter
Greetings from your NLF Chair, Howard Shotwell
I am delighted to see somewhat of a return to normalcy. The Hurst Conference Center – one of our event venues – will reopen to public meetings. Venue General Manager Chris Connolly reports that the venue will undergo deep cleaning protocols for a week starting July 1 and then start hosting events. 

Despite the falling numbers of cases and deaths, Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja cautions us that this new Delta strain of the virus is very strong and that we should continue to exercise precautions.

We are grateful to the Texas Star Conference Center for hosting our May 11 breakfast that featured Ian MacLean, CEO of Highland Landscaping in Southlake and Chairman of the Small Business Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

We are seeing many of our members and their families taking vacations for the first time in well over a year. And one of our past chairmen – Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley – may have more time on his hands when his term expires, as he recently announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022.

Our NLF schedule continues with our August 10 breakfast that will be held at the Texas Star Conference Center, featuring Dr. Kristen Bennett, Executive Vice President of Advancement at Tarrant County College.

We appreciate our colleague and NLF member Conrad Heede, who had served as Chairman of the Tarrant County College Board of Trustees, introducing us to Kristen. Not only has she submitted her application for membership to our organization, but she will address the strong need for vocational education for Tarrant County, Texas and nationwide.

Meanwhile, our Heart of North Texas Conference team led by Eli Mercer, RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse continues to work diligently with their committee to discuss the upcoming agenda and our location.

Most of our roundtable groups are back to meeting now that Covid-19 appears to be subsiding.

Let's commit to being valuable resources during the balance of this pandemic. I appreciate what each one of you does in Northeast Tarrant County and with NLF. Your commitment and passion for growing leaders in our region helps make us successful. If you have any ideas or suggestions or if I can be of help to you, please contact me at ghshotwell@gmail.com or (817) 247-3240.

-Howard Shotwell
Tarrant County Begins Planning on Phase Two
of COVID Grant Program

Our Tarrant County Commissioners Court has a heavy load of priorities moving forward. The Court announced Tuesday, June 22, that its members are in preliminary planning stages for how to distribute an approximate $400 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Commissioners Court will hold a series of briefings and work sessions to discuss how to allocate the funds and relevant stakeholders will be invited to participate in the discussions.
While the initial CARES Grant was designed for immediate impact to assist health care, small businesses, nonprofits and rental assistance, ARPA will address longer-term issues and funding may extend through 2024.
Following the launch of the NLF workforce development initiative with our new NLF Vocational Skills Scholarship Program, 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.

NLF Chairman Shotwell met with Dr. Bennett and then-TCC Board of Trustees Chairman Conrad Heede in the spring to discuss how our organization could play a role in helping fund workforce development training on the Northeast Campus.

Prepare to be amazed at 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 extend our appreciation to 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 Committee Hard at Work
for Nov. 5 Conference
Eli Mercer and his fellow committee chairs RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse, along with their committee, are hard at work preparing the curriculum and speakers list for Heart of North Texas Conference.

The committee has sent a survey to our members and the results of those returned surveys will help determine the theme and topics of our conference. The committee plans to meet next Tuesday to finalize the location and discuss the direction of the event. Click here for the survey.

The Heart of North Texas will take place on Friday, November 5, with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and concluding with a hot lunch and keynote that will end at 1:00 p.m.

Eli reports that many of our major sponsorships are already confirmed and there are still two positions remaining. We thank Texas Health Resources: Texas Health HEB, Texas Health Southlake, Texas Health Foundation and Tarrant County College Northeast for their sponsorship renewals, and we look forward to announcing more sponsors next month.

Please contact Eli at elidmercer@global.t-bird.edu for sponsorship information.

Last November’s event – held at the NRH Centre in North Richland Hills, was themed “Surviving & Thriving Together,” and included keynote speaker Ross Perot, Jr. Featured speakers included JPS CEO Robert Earley, TCU Entrepreneur-in-Residence and futurist Michael Sherrod, and a panel that featured panelists from Deloitte University and SCORE.

With the pandemic subsiding at this point, we plan to attract a crowd between 300 and 350 attendees. Be looking for our announcement of the theme and speakers in the July NLF Newsletter.
Roundtables Resume and Continue Collaboration

One of the defining aspects of Northeast Leadership Forum is the way we develop leaders and create a forum for leaders to share best practices.

Our most recent updates on the roundtables, as of Tuesday, June 8:

  • Chamber Roundtable: Chamber chairs, past chairs and chairs- elect met with chamber executives on Monday, June 7. The next meeting will consist of chamber executives in September and then conclude the year with chamber chairs, past chairs, chairs-elect and chamber executives in December.

  • Economic Development Roundtable: Economic Development directors met in person on Tuesday, June 15, for the first time in a year. They have remained in touch this past year through Zoom meetings.

  • Nonprofits: The committee has engaged a consultant to conduct a survey of nonprofits before holding a meeting in September.

  •  Superintendents: Following a hectic school year, this group is currently scheduling their next meeting.

  • Mayors: City administrators have been meeting with Commissioner Fickes about the upcoming proposed $400 million transportation bond program.
Keep NLF Dynamic and Growing

Your NLF board voted to accept a new member at our June 8 board meeting – Trasa Cobern, Senior Director of Development at 6 Stones. Since then, we have received another application.
When 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 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
Marcia Etie
Marcia Etie moves all over our community, establishing and growing relationships. She served as Outreach Representative for U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger from 2002 to 2012, and then began a longstanding commitment to volunteerism. She served multiple terms on the board of the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains (she is former Vice Chair) and the United Way of Tarrant County.

In addition, Marcia serves as Blue & Gold Officer for Admissions for the U.S. Naval Academy and United Way of Tarrant County. She also worked for then Tarrant County Precinct 2 Commissioner Andy Nguyen to help establish his outreach program.

For the past two years, Marcia has overseen special projects for Mosaic Strategy Partners, a public affairs/government relations firm in Fort Worth. She and her husband, Tom, live in Arlington.
James Wright
James Wright has leveraged his 30-year banking career into a pair of enterprises. Four years ago, he co-founded JC3 Ventures in Keller which focus on marketing/branding and strategic capital and debt structures for start-ups, acquisitions in the services industry. A year later, he kept JC3 Ventures going and added a second full-time position as Vice President/Business Owner of EVP Information Services, a telecommunications enterprise.

James is a graduate of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, where he received his BBA in Finance. He serves on the Board of the HEB Chamber of Commerce, is a graduate of Leadership Northeast Tarrant, and is a past Board member of the Rotary Club of HEB. James and his wife Cindy live in Keller with a son and daughter as well as their two dogs.
Once again, we want to thank our
VIP Table Sponsors at the 30th Annual NLF Awards Luncheon
NLF Offers Scholarships to Local, Regional
Leadership Programs

Update: Our local chamber of commerce leadership programs are 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. 
Leadership North Texas is in the final stages of accepting applications for its graduate level class. Please click below for information and how to apply.
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 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
Annual Event:
Friday, November 5, 2021
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: TBD