Jarred Howard, a BNSF Railway executive and fifth-generation Fort Worth native, has been named to lead Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce's small business support, one of four "pillars" of the organization's new strategic plan.
Howard, with more than 20 years in economic development, marketing and banking, will join the Chamber staff April 3 as senior vice president of Small Business and Entrepreneur Support, the Chamber said. Howard is currently regional leader of economic development for the Southeastern United States at BNSF.
"Jarred is extremely passionate about helping small business across the Fort Worth area, and brings a wealth of economic development experience to this pillar of our strategic plan," Brandom Gengelbach, the Chamber's executive vice president of economic development, said in a release. "He and his wife run their own small business, which has provided him key insights into the challenges and concerns that business owners face."
As head of small business support, Howard will be responsible for developing free entrepreneur and small business support services; helping establish a Start-Up Fort Worth Foundation; and working with the City of Fort Worth to implement incubators and innovation labs around target and emerging industries. Eighty-seven percent of Chamber members are small businesses with fewer than 150 employees.
"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," Howard said. "It's not enough for Fort Worth to be great; we have to make people around the world aware of it! Joining the Chamber team is an incredible honor and I can't wait to get started."
Howard attended Fort Worth schools and graduated from O.D. Wyatt High School. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of North Texas and an MBA from Dallas Baptist University.
He started his career at JP Morgan-Chase, where he held roles in consumer products and commercial lending. He later spent six years at DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, where he worked in commercial lending and led a remarketing group.