FACES & PLACES POW                                                                                  
FWISD Vital Link students from Jean McClung, Handley and Dunbar Middle, and the Young Men's and Young Women's Leadership Academies shadowed Chamber staff last week. The students learned about chambers of commerce, Fort Worth leadership, history and landmarks, and celebrated the end of their week with a cake and presentation about what they learned.

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No potato famine: It may appear fishy not to write about the meat of a subject. But B2B Insider today will explore in depth the absolutely, out-of-this-world Sam's Mashed Potatoes at Capital Grille. Sam follows in a long line of trailblazers -- Sam Snead, Sam Peckinpaugh, Sam I Am and Michael Sam - but this entry is the heavyweight in the Dan Quayle potato/potatae debate. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; yes, there are imitation recipes of Sam's Mashed Potatoes online from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen. Fort Worth Capital Grille Managing Partner Gloria Starling can't share the recipe, but she is sharing a $50 gift card.


A feast of food: Stefon Rishel (Max's Wine Dive) probably needs to change the name of his hangout. It's not all about wine and it's definitely not a "dive," especially if you listen to the judges of Fort Worth, Texas magazine's Top Chef competition. Rishel, Charles Youts, Jerrett Joslin and Kalen Morgenstern are the four finalists competing July 21 for the magazine's Top Chef title. Two of you, and guests, will compete to grab bites of what's being cooked and served. Oh, and there might be some wine from Max's. Each foodie feaster also will receive a Food & Wine Festival cookbook from Fort Worth, Texas.   


Signs of the times: Roger Carroll, owner of Cowtown Graphics & Signs, has his warehouse walls adorned with signs, as you would expect. Two pieces of "art" are unusual talking points. One is a vertical picture frame of the 15 business cards of every place he has worked or owned. A great historical record of his accounting, sales and entrepreneurial career. The other is a picture of him with John Elway, Dan Marino and Troy Aikman; the QBs were hired promoters of an athletic sportswear line for whom Roger was a veep. Cowtown Graphics & Signs can give your business talking points, too, especially with this 3-foot by 5-foot, full-color, digital, one-sided banner.

Mayors5: How should you treat someone named Rawlings? With kid gloves? Or maybe bat 'em around some? Fort Worth Mayor Price Is Right has asked Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar (no relation to Lee) Trevino, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne to join her for the Chamber's annual High Impact luncheon Mayor-to-Mayor-to-Mayor-to-Mayor-to-Mayor, a four-bagger July 16 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Expect to hear lots on international trade from the travel buddies, regional growth, the bullet train and the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Skills Gap report for Fort Worth/Dallas on what to do in our schools to close the gap in the technology and health care sectors. This year's Legacy Award honoree is Bob Simpson, Chairman of Morningside Partners and a co-owner of the Texas Rangers.

Congratulations to June 17th Prize Winners:
  • Stephanie McBride, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
  • Marcie Funchess, Independent Electric Contractors
  • David Cooper, Roach, Smith, Howard & Barton
  • Abigail Hardee, Handyman Matters
  • John Schafer, SCORE

Winners will be announced weekly 


Whose line is this anyway? Line (pronounced Lena) Wilson, Regional Sales Manager for Trinity Terrace, said a resident celebrating her birthday was asked the best thing about being 104 years old. Answer -- "No peer pressure."

Her win is B's loss: SafeHaven knows exactly why Mr. B calls his Chamber boss Miserly Mistress. The nonprofit has accorded Marilyn Gilbert, EVP Marketing, its Legacy of Women Award for business acumen (read: thrift?). That acknowledgement probably puts a Mr. B raise on hold another five years. 

The Lite-r side of dating: Last week's Miller Lite cooler giveaway from Andrews Distributing brought back fond memories for SporTherapy co-owner Steve Lackey. "Did I mention my wife was a Miller Girl in college?" Steve asked. Yes, co-owner and spouse Cassie Lackey had her Miller Lite Guns Up while they attended Texas Tech University. "She did the bar thing and gave away beers and cool stuff, but I actually met her because we lived in same dorm our freshman year." Almost better than marriage, Steve said, "she got me fantastic deals on kegs ($15 per)!"  


Yield for marketing genius: If you've headed into downtown Fort Worth you can't help but notice one of the 13 new signs that promote Sundance Square squarely amidst the Department of Transportation exit signs. Who knew a private entity could get that kind of real estate. Barry Lohr, Sundance Director of Parking, made it happen, said marketing maestro Tracy Gilmour. "They are fabulous," she said. "It has taken years to pull this off and more patience than I have." Sundance paid for the signs and the highway closures to install them.   


Table filler? Rhea Jackson calmly mentioned that she loves the coffee at City Club. The Cendera Center Sedona Productions employee was asked if she had tried the coffee at the Fort Worth Club. "No, I haven't been invited to an event there ... yet," she said.  


Seeing green: Red Sanders' Red Productions' production of Balls Out is quite a production though just in limited distribution. It is a New York Times "Critics Pick" and was trending with about a 75 percent approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

"We celebrated our 43rd anniversary (June 24). We work together well; when we don't, we know how to work it out."

                                                -- Jan Tyler, Cimarron Window and Door;
"best employee" of owner/husband Patrick
Roadside assistance: The Vandergriff name long was synonymous with cars on the road. Victor still consults on his former dealerships, but now is an appointed Commissioner at the Texas Transportation Commission - TxDOT and is focused mostly on just the roads. He spoke at a Chamber forum last month.
  • Toll roads are out of favor as quickly as they were in. Victor told a story about his father, former Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff, promising General Motors a super highway (now I-30) if it built a plant in Arlington. No road ever had been discussed. But a toll road was approved in 1953, built by 1957 and the toll was pulled when it was paid off.
  •  Despite Fort Worth's advantage with city/county/Chamber cooperation, Victor says "we better step up. Austin is improved and it's going to win any beauty pageant for major road projects."
  • TxDOT is not involved with a rail line between Dallas and Houston. Victor says it could work because of the strength of the Japanese Central Bank and other significant private-sector investors. His advice to the developers? "Whatever you do, don't forget Fort Worth."     
Bit drafty in here: Air Balancing Company measures air flow in commercial and industrial buildings so your peeps stay cool and your bill isn't putting you in bankruptcy.  Co-owners Bret and Tracy Privitt help building owners acquire LEED certification (Bret is a certified LEEDer) and they walk the talk. Their building at 4607 Forest Hill Circle was just LEED certified (silver).
Testimonial (unpaid, too): Christi Ketchum of @Work staffing says employees make 80 cold calls a day but it's not nearly effective as Chamber events. She says Leads Groups and Business After Hours have been most effective for her.


Healthy beginnings: With strong assurance, Chamber Am-Bass-Adorables will be ensuring a great official opening next Thursday for Plaza Primary Health Clinic at 1650 West Rosedale. The primary care health provider is staffed by internal medicine physicians and takes most insurance, including Medicare.

Hold the cheese? Let's hope that Blue Zones Project Approved designation for Z's Café doesn't mean serving only vegetarian and not lasagna. That would leave Mr. B blue. Kudos to Janet Z and Carlo for the healthy tag.

Minor quandary: Mr. B recently had the pleasure of sitting with Blue Cross Blue Shielders at a Chamber event. He said he felt healthier by osmosis, but sinful for eating the dessert.

Presented By



Chamber's 200-page coffee table book tells the story of our city's remarkable growth and opportunity. This hardcover book highlights Fort Worth's people, companies and diverse culture through richly photographed pages. Purchase it today for $25.00*  Contact Christine Gores to purchase or for questions. 

*Member price. Price excludes tax.

For sponsorship inquiries, contact Jennifer Vuduris or call (817) 338-3335

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