Fort Worth’s Chamber of Commerce Just Got Better

Meet the masterminds of Fort Worth’s growing economic development.

by Brandon Gengelbach

I’d like to introduce you to four rock stars – the Chamber’s new senior management team driving its four-year strategic plan, Fortify.

I call them rock stars because they’re masters of impact via high-energy performance with powerful results.

They bring exceptional depth of experience, expertise and commitment to helping the Fort Worth region and North Texas excel in responding to rapid growth, intense competition and new dynamics in the global business environment.

Here’s a quick look at what attracted them to Fortify and what they see ahead:

Chris Strayer, senior vice president of business attraction, retention and expansion: “When I first started looking at this opportunity, I sensed so much excitement in community and knew there is something special happening here. Who doesn’t want to be part of opportunity like that? Three months into the job, as I learn more about the region every day, Fort Worth has so many assets in its portfolio. I think job No. 1 is we need to raise the visibility and awareness of Fort Worth to our nation and the world. Also, we’re going to be much more proactive with messaging to targeted industries about doing business in the Fort Worth region.”

Jarred Howard, senior vice president of small business and entrepreneur support: “As a fifth generation native of Fort Worth, the opportunity to contribute to the continued evolution of the city is more than professional, it’s personal. In this role, I can leverage my skills and talents in an area that I have a particularly strong affinity for. My goal is to position the Chamber as the authority for every small business in the region. If we can’t provide the tools and resources that our stakeholders need to be successful, we’ll direct them to the people and places that can.”

Rebecca Montgomery, senior vice president of advocacy: “My interest in joining the chamber originates from growing up in a community with a strong chamber presence. It is exciting to be a part of an organization with such a vital role within its community. I envision engaging more of the local business community – both in numbers and including a broader diversity of industry sectors – in shaping public policy that helps support the economic vibrancy and quality of life of the Fort Worth region with sound, pro-growth business policy.”

Dr. Anthony Edwards, senior vice president of talent development, retention and attraction: “I became interested in the position after reading Fortify, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Strategic Plan. My vision involves engaging businesses, educational entities, governments, and the community to develop, attract and retain a quality workforce for current and future economic growth. We will support talent development in Fort Worth through an industry demand-driven approach, support regional ISDs with college/career readiness initiatives, identify top talent challenges through a report card, promote the Fort Worth region as a talent destination, and achieve annual quality of place goals around poverty.”

To learn more about Fortify, call 817-338-3390 or go to