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Chambers of commerce formalize partnership to unify the Fort Worth business community

Posted Sept. 4, 2019

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Dee Jennings of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber, Brandom Gengelbach of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Anette Landeros of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Robert Sturns of the City of Fort Worth
Dee Jennings of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber, Brandom Gengelbach of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Anette Landeros of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Robert Sturns of the City of Fort Worth were all on-hand to sign the agreement.

The Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber and the Fort Worth Chamber have signed a memoriam of understanding (MOU) that creates a blueprint for the organizations to partner more intentionally to grow and develop the city’s economy.

“The chambers and the City of Fort Worth are working closer together to better unify the business community while creating economic prosperity for all,” said Brandom Gengelbach, executive vice president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “To do this, we have to be intentional about the inclusion of all chambers in the entire business fabric of Fort Worth.”

“As Fort Worth pushes forward with the initiatives recommended in the Economic Development Strategic Plan, it’s important that all of our city’s key players are on the same page,” said Robert Sturns, director of economic development for the City of Fort Worth. “We’re excited to see so many of our partner organizations uniting behind the plan, and this MOU is an important part of those alignment efforts.”

About the agreement

The agreement is a result of a Minority- or Women-owned Business Enterprise retreat with the City of Fort Worth and the chambers. Although the chambers have partnered on numerous projects throughout the past 20 years, the MOU details specific objectives and actions in three categories: engagement, inclusion and project partnerships.

Examples of actions within each category range from cross-promotion of events and committee meetings and targeted introductions, to developing a plan to address economic development recommendations from the City’s Race and Culture Task Force.

“Now more than ever, as our city’s demographics are shifting and its population is rapidly growing, this agreement provides a roadmap for us to demonstrate diversity and inclusion in meaningful and measurable ways,” said Dee Jennings, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber’s longtime president and CEO. “This is a very positive step to formalize our process, which has been informal for so long.”

Together, the three chambers have more than 2,500 business members throughout the greater Fort Worth region.

“The Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber Board loves this idea, and is very excited that we are setting formalized goals to increase collaboration between chambers,” said Anette Landeros, newly-named president and CEO of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Next steps for the chambers will include staff meetings to compare calendars, timelines and resources necessary to implement the ideas in the MOU for 2020 implementation.

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