Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership

Fort Worth Chamber Announces Creation of New Economic Development Entity: Robert Allen to Lead Newly Formed Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership

March 14, 2023 – The Executive Board of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (FWC) announced the formation of the Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership (FWEDP) to lead business recruitment and attraction for the city. This culminates several months of research and analysis conducted by the FWC’s Executive Board. “We have made the decision to focus and prioritize the FWC’s efforts where it can have the most positive impact on and for our business community,” said Rosa Navejar, FWC Chair. “We looked at various models of how comparable cities drive business attraction and retention compared to Fort Worth. While chambers play an important role, the executive board is focusing the FWC’s activities on supporting local business through enlargement of business retention and expansion programs, workforce development, government advocacy, infrastructure and transportation efforts, and educational programs that promote a vibrant business community throughout Fort Worth.” Previously, in partnership with the city, the FWC led business attraction and recruiting efforts in addition to all the other Chamber priorities and responsibilities. According to Mike Berry, interim President of the FWC, “many cities the size of Fort Worth have chosen to separate business recruitment activities from traditional chamber functions.” 

As a result of the refocused efforts, the FWEDP, a 501(c)(6), has been formed to lead economic development and business attraction efforts. Robert Allen, President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, based in Austin, has been tapped to lead the new entity. “Getting someone the caliber of Robert Allen to spearhead the economic development efforts for Fort Worth is a tremendous boost for our city. There is no one in Texas that has a better perspective, better relationships, and proven results than Robert Allen,” said Navejar. 

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Allen, a multi-generation Texan, has been responsible for promoting economic development, business recruitment, and job creation in the State of Texas since 2017. 

Previously, Allen served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Greg Abbott. Under Allen, Texas’ business efforts have been extraordinary, winning Site Selection magazine’s coveted Governor’s Cup for 11 consecutive years, which recognizes the nation’s top-performing state for business expansions and relocations. Additionally, Texas has been selected as the “#1 state for business” eighteen years running by Chief Executive magazine and the “#1 state for Fortune 500 corporate headquarters.” 

“In my role with TxEDC, I have met with companies from across the country and every corner of the globe and I’ve learned what they are looking for. I can confidently tell you Fort Worth holds tremendous promise for companies looking to establish or relocate their business,” said Allen. “Having spent the better part of the past decade focused on driving economic development at a statewide level, Fort Worth must be nimble and proactive when it comes to developing reasonable, responsible growth.” 

According to Berry, “This move is essential for our city to gain a competitive edge in economic development. We’ve had our successes, but there is still tremendous opportunity for us to bring growing, vibrant businesses and a diverse range of high-paying jobs to the Fort Worth area. To do that, we need an experienced leader with unparalleled economic development experience at local, state, and national levels.” 

Navejar added, “It was imperative that we hire the best and the brightest in our state to lead this effort for Fort Worth. He understands what sets Texas, and more importantly, Fort Worth, apart and what it will take for us to be competitive in the pursuit of bringing exceptional jobs to Fort Worth and the surrounding counties.” 

The new entity will be funded by the business community, consisting of both current and new FWC investors. It will be governed by a separate board of directors comprised of business and community leaders that are actively engaged in Fort Worth’s economic development. To maximize efficiency and foster collaboration, the FWEDP will have a shared services agreement with the FWC for administrative, legal, HR, accounting, and marketing support. In addition, the FWEDP and the FWC will work closely together on data sharing and branding strategy. 

Allen is expected to start April 3rd. 

ABOUT THE FORT WORTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP 

The Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership is a privately funded non-profit whose mission is to develop economic opportunities through business development and attraction for Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. The FWEDP brings together business and civic-minded leaders committed to accelerating responsible growth for our city. 

ABOUT THE FORT WORTH CHAMBER The Fort Worth Chamber, with 1,300 member businesses, is one of the largest chambers in the North Texas region. Through its core functions of talent development, small business and entrepreneur support, and government advocacy, the Chamber’s mission is to bring the Fort Worth region together to identify issues, solve problems and help align resources resulting in a stronger business climate and greater economic prosperity for all. Contact the Fort Worth Chamber at 817-336-2491 or visit http://www.fortworthchamber.com/

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