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December 2020

Congresswoman Kay Granger

November Fort Worth Film Commission, Jessica Christopherson

Rather than holding a Banquet this year, we are going to the movies! At least we are bringing the movies to you.

Miss Juneteenth

Our November meeting featured Jessica Christopherson of the Fort Worth Film Commission and the backstory on two movies with lots of local flavor – Twelve Mighty Orphans and Miss Juneteenth.

Both movies were filmed in Fort Worth and have inspiring stories to tell.

Jessica Christopherson told us about the recent filming and production of two movies with Fort Worth storylines: "Miss Juneteenth" and "Twelve Mighty Orphans".

The "Miss Juneteenth" storyline: Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie), is a single mother in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. She is the former winner of the local Miss Juneteenth pageant which offers full scholarships to college. She enters her 15-year-old daughter, Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) in the same pageant despite her daughter's obvious lack of enthusiasm. Kai struggles with her preparations for the Miss Juneteenth pageant, wanting to pursue dance instead. When her father fails to come through with the money for her pageant dress, she is forced to compete in her mother's old gown.

Directed by: Channing Godfrey Peoples
Starring: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze

"Miss Juneteenth" was featured at Sundance Film Festival.


The second movie is "Twelve Mighty Orphans".

This true story is based on the Jim Dent novel, about the football team from the Masonic Home Orphanage in Fort Worth.

"In the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing bigger in Texas high school football than the Masonic Home Mighty Mites ― a group of orphans bound together by hardship and death. These youngsters, in spite of being outweighed by at least thirty pounds per man, were the toughest football team around. They began with nothing―not even a football―yet in a few years were playing for the state championship on the highest level of Texas football.

This is a winning tribute to a courageous band of underdogs from a time when America desperately needed fresh hope and big dreams."

Click the PLAY button to start the presentation

The video from slide 18:

Film in Fort Worth from Visit Fort Worth on Vimeo.

Dr. Scribner presented the FWISD Tax Rate plan

Click the PLAY button to start the presentation

October 1st— Stacey Pierce, Executive Director of Streams & Valleys

Our October meeting featured Stacey Pierce, Executive Director of Streams & Valleys (

During her career, Stacey has served in key roles for many high-profile organizations including Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Pierce serves on the board of directors of Mayfest, Inc., Kinderplatz of Fine Arts and Texas Blossoms.

In addition to her work on the River, Stacey has an event production company, Pierce Communications and Productions, and teaches part-time at Fort Worth Country Day.

She holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Music Education from Texas Christian University.

see a recording of the October meeting on Zoom here:
October Meeting
(password is: 5%0BA%$K).

Click the PLAY button to start the presentation

Don and Wanda recieve Award

Don Boren and Wanda Conlin recognized for commitment to planning in East Fort Worth

Wanda Conlin and Don Boren.

Two longtime and vocal supporters of East Fort Worth will be honored this month by the Midwest Section of the American Planning Association-Texas Chapter.

Planning Advocate Award-Don Boren

Don Boren, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association past president, has been a resident of East Fort Worth for more than 30 years. A graduate of Polytechnic High School and Texas Wesleyan University, he was a part of the management team at John Peter Smith Hospital and later HCA Healthcare.

Most people remember him for the 15 years he spent at Bergeron's TV and Appliances on Meadowbrook Drive. After marrying Wanda Conlin in 2001, Boren moved to West Meadowbrook and bought Kwik Kopy Printing on Handley Drive.

Boren served on the city's Urban Villages Project Selection Committee in 2006. Urban villages are designated as urbanized places that encourage a concentration of jobs, housing, commercial uses, public spaces, public transportation and pedestrian activity. These denser villages are meant for traditional mixed-use development, or complementary uses located close together. This committee reviewed possible sites based on a number of criteria, including the potential for social and economic redevelopment. The two-year task force was successful in identifying urban villages that are still rapidly evolving 12 years later.

Boren is chairperson of the City Plan Commission, representing District 8.

Planning Advocate Award-Wanda Conlin

Wanda Conlin has lived in West Meadowbrook in two different houses on Martel Street for 48 years. The open space behind her home in the Scenery Hill area is her favorite place to walk.

Conlin has served as president of East Fort Worth Business Association, Shakespeare in the Park and Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County. She was past chairperson of the City Plan Commission for seven of the nine years that she served on that commission. She currently serves on the city's Zoning Commission.

When the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality for North America in early 2020, the state's governance temporarily suspended a limited number of open-meeting laws to allow telephonic or video conference meetings. Boren and Conlin made this difficult transition easier for all participants by maintaining positive attitudes; asking critical questions of staff regarding the new procedures; and remaining calm when the remote meetings ran into the inevitable glitches.

Case applicants, neighborhood representatives and other interested parties appreciate their dedication to making the public hearing process successfully work during this difficult time.

Sept. 3rd– Leah Rios, Nolan Catholic HS

Leah Rios, president

President Leah Rios gave us a guided tour of the upgrades and new construction at Nolan Catholic High School.

Through the wonders of technology, you can join the tour and see her presentation here: Sept meeting

Nolan Catholic High School is one of nineteen Catholic schools serving students in the diocese of Fort Worth. The campus was established in 1961 in the original location on the East side of Fort Worth serving the North Texas area and is continuing with the mission of offering an available and accessible Catholic school education embued with rich experiences and exposures for students to establish a foundational love for learning.

Leah Rios is entering her fourth year in leadership at Nolan Catholic with twenty-two years in education and continues serving students with various certifications including Texas state principal, ESL, and teaching certifications in elementary and high school, Montessori certification, and a Master's of Education with emphasis in dyslexia holding a Certified Academic Language Therapist certificate. Educating students, teachers, administrators, and families in both the public and private sectors has remained a focus in various positions of experience, including dyslexia therapy, early childhood reading presenter and coach, elementary reading & writing coach, 504 & RTI coordinator, outdoor learning presenter, learning specialist, and a classroom teacher in every grade level pre-kindergarten through high school.

As Mrs. Rios continues to direct efforts to educate the whole person focusing attention on the growth of every individual both adult and child, the Nolan Catholic campus continues to grow in faith, academics, student life, and physical structure.

Nolan Project Overview

We are converting our courtyards into beautiful outdoor learning environments that will provide new, experiential learning opportunities in arts, sciences, and more.

Improved athletic facilities will foster community and spiritual growth through competition and school pride.

Upgrades to the equipment in our engineering, technology, and arts programs will provide students with brand-new, industry-standard equipment that will prepare our Vikings for college and careers.

The IDEA Building, which includes a multipurpose facility, will provide performance space for dance, music, and theatre, and an art gallery will allow students to connect through the beauty of self-expression.

New learning spaces will allow faculty the freedom to design curriculum with a focus on collaboration, interaction, and hands-on experiences.

August 6 – Tobi Jackson, FWISD Trustee

The EFWBA is not deterred by a pandemic! This was evident as we completed our second membership meeting using Zoom on July 2. Not only did we receive great information from our speaker, City of Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns, the information sharing between members was very valuable. While we are known for great speakers (and door prizes!), the real strength of EFWBA is our members and our common goal of strengthening East Fort Worth in every way we can.

You can find a recording of the meeting here: (select July 2 EFWBA Meeting Zoom).

Speaking of members, we are pleased to welcome three new members to EFWBA:
Black Coffee coffee shop near Texas Wesleyan University represented by owner Mia Moss;,
Paper Planet boutique stationery shop represented by owner Julie West;
Franklin & Anthony men's clothier represented by owner Frank Moss, Jr.;

Please help us welcome these new members by considering them the next time you need the services they provide.

Tobi Jackson

The August meeting featured our very own Tobi Jackson of the Fort Worth ISD School Board. She'll bring us the latest information about FWISD's response to the pandemic and what we can anticipate for the upcoming school year. You won't want to miss this timely program!

Although we will continue using Zoom for our August meeting, we remain a community committed to East Fort Worth and each other. We'll get through this pandemic together. If your Association can be of assistance to you, please let me know.

It was great to see many of you at Thursday's meeting. In addition to lots of familiar faces, we had new members and guests on the call. Please share the monthly meeting information with others so they can join and see what the EFWBA is all about.

For the program, Fort Worth ISD from School Board Member Tobi Jackson brought us a wide ranging update on FWISD and plans for the upcoming school year. In addition to her leadership at Fort Worth ISD, Tobi also updated the group on the activities of her non-profit, Fort Worth SPARC (

SPARC supports educational and health projects for students. With so much going on with our schools and the impact the pandemic is having on students, we are fortunate to have Tobi working night and day on their behalf.

FWISD Projects Update

The FWISD bond is updated on the website as work progresses. We are 10%+ ahead at EHHS and the other high schools are progressing ahead of schedule too. The reason is no employees, community members or students on the campus. We are also saving money, which is superb. So this is one positive of COVID.

Poly HS is in the cue and will have progress posted on line soon. Here are the photos via the link.


EHHS is moving along nicely:

Eastern Hills High School Update at 15% completion.

I walk the EHHS site one-two times daily. The front green pillars and red tile have been fully removed, the interior beige subway type wall tile is gone, the library is on it's way to science labs and a SPED area. The fitness center is being revamped and a beautiful field house is being added. Most importantly we opened up the old Shelton Street behind the softball field and have controlled access to allow traffic flow or lock down the property. Further, we are placing the women's batting cage due east of the softball field and directly adjacent. We have also repaired the third base line challenges with water drainage and uneven turf which has been a constant safety concern. The foundations are poured for: women's softball batting cage, new north building which will contain the library, art and more science labs, the fitness center and field house. We also have access entirely through the campus, as we removed the ballisters which fully prevented and eliminated a drive thru and posed a serious hazard for 911 calls, due to no access. The road which separates the fitness center and the softball field has been reopened. This was a goal of mine during the 2013 bond, however, the principal wanted to close the road. A consensus of administrators, students and employees on the campus wanted the road open and we've finally opened it.

While I am excited about the project, it is also wonderful to see the most professional bond site in FWISD history. The perimeter is guarded by a fence which has a blue windscreen to prevent sand and dust, but, also provide a nicer aesthetic.

As this is a board approved project, employees other than the principal, trustees and bond team are not generally updated on a regular basis. As I am intimately involved with this and POLY HS, I wanted to send you some detailed information. Mr. Stoney Crump is managing the site and has kept it pristene. The Contractor is Cadence McShane and this team has exhibited pride in their work and are working long 10-15 hour days many more days than not. Finally, the VLK design is exceptional and our school will be a crown jewel in East Fort Worth.

Tobi Jackson, M.S.
FWISD Board Trustee, District 2
2108 Yosemite Court
Fort Worth, TX 76112-3945
817-296-7721 cell

Below are a few follow up items from Thursday:


July 2020 Robert Sturns

Robert Sturns

Robert Sturns last visited EFWBA in October 2017, and the City has changed/grown since then! The 18 month plan was on track until Covid-19 hit us in March, and forced a city-wide shut down of businesses.

Fort Worth embarked on its first economic development strategic plan, aimed at enhancing the city's status in the region and nation over the next five years and beyond. Fort Worth has worked with TIP Strategies to develop the city's first economic development Strategic Plan. The plan will provide a roadmap for the next five years and will outline ways that we can enhance the city's status in the region and nation.

A major component of the City of Fort Worth Economic Development Department is to identify resources and growth opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Office of Small Business and Office of Business Diversity are divisions of the City of Fort Worth Economic Development department and help build upon that mission.


To compete successfully on the national and international stage for creative, high growth businesses and the talented individuals who fuel them.


Establish Fort Worth's competitive edge. Become a hub for creative businesses. Ensure community vitality.

Sturns was named economic development director for the City of Fort Worth in 2016 after serving as interim director for a year, after the previous director was named assistant city manager in July 2015.

With more than 20 years of leadership roles in municipal government, commercial real estate and banking operations, and prior Military service, from 1990-2001 as Captain, U.S. Army Reserves, Sturns has been with the City of Fort Worth for more than 16 years collectively. In addition to his work in economic development for Fort Worth, Sturns was previously Economic Development Manager for the City of Arlington, and held leadership roles with Bank One and Fort Worth Town Center.

He is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. Sturns attended Eastern Hills High School, 1985; he earned his BA in Radio/TV at Stephen F. Austin, 1990; and his MBA from TCU, 1997. In between, he served as Captain, U.S. Army Reserve from 1990-2001. – Fort Worth, Texas.

June 4 Guest Speaker

Carlo Capua

Carlo Capua is co-owner of Z's Café, a social enterprise catering business based in Fort Worth, Texas. Over the past 11 years, Z's Café has put 138 low-income men and women back to work, helping build self-esteem and job skills.

Carlo Capua

In 2017, Z's Cafe won Fort Worth's "Small Business of the Year." He also co-owns a new venture called Locavore, considered "the AirBnB of commercial kitchens", where food entrepreneurs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can rent full-scale commercial kitchens by the hour to reduce risk while the grow their businesses.

Carlo graduated from Texas Christian University in 2000 and spent 7 years teaching English in Latin America and Asia. He has completed 18 marathons (including one in North Korea), and speaks fluent Spanish and Japanese.

In May 2019 he was named the Businessman of the Year by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Carlo gave us a brief description of how he used his Restaurant & Food knowledge and staff to provide boxes of food and prepared meals to front line workers and low income families that traditionally depend on the schools to provide meals for their children.

His slide show is below.

If the movie function does not work on your browswer/device, here is a PDF of the slides show.