Making a Difference

The Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce (FWMBCC), founded in 1979 with a core mission of making Fort Worth a better place for families and workers, plays a pivotal role in promoting economic and business development in the area. Their focus areas include education and economics, and they actively engage in program development and community involvement to maximize Fort Worth’s economic potential while maintaining a high quality of life.

The FWMBCC boasts a diverse team consisting of former corporate executives, seasoned entrepreneurs and community leaders, all working together under dynamic leadership. Over the years, the organization has transformed from its construction-oriented roots into a vital resource for local businesses, providing professional development opportunities for its members.

Led for many years by Devoyd Jennings, his death in July 2021 led the chamber seeking new leadership to fill his position. Michelle Green Ford had recently served as vice president and chief diversity officer at JPS Health Network and had been an entrepreneur herself. She was approached by executive recruiter Marnese Barksdale Elder and asked to consider accepting the position of CEO and president. Barksdale explained the value of her previous experiences made her a perfect fit for the job. After some deep soul searching, Green Ford decided the next phase of her career would be focused on leaving a legacy through serving the community. This service would allow her to fulfill her passion for helping small businesses, so it was a double win to accept the position.

Green Ford began her journey with the chamber in January 2022 with only two remaining employees, Barbara Bolden and Bob Ray Sanders. The board was in a transition year and those positions needed to be filled quickly and the remaining staff positions had to be filled as well. She was in no way intimidated by these voids and immediately got to work recruiting both staff and board members.

To read the full story, click on the cover of the October 2023 issue


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