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40 Under 40 Edition

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Devan L Allen, 39

Tarrant County, County Commissioner, Precinct 2

Devan Allen was elected in November 2018 as Tarrant County Commissioner for Precinct 2, becoming the third woman ever in the 100+ year history of the court to serve and one of the youngest serving members. She represents more than half a million residents in Southeast Tarrant County including Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens, Grand Prairie, Kennedale, Mansfield and Pantego.

“She is a connector who brings people together to solve issues for the community. Even before becoming County Commissioner, Devan was very engaged through the multitude of boards, commissions and committees on which she served. Her diplomacy and proven track record of connecting people to resources has fueled her passion for public service,” said nominator Paulette  Turner of Integrated Leadership Concepts Inc.

Turner said Allen was a founding member of the nonprofit BRIDGE and conceived of the acronym, which stands for Black Resourceful Innovators Developing Generations of Excellence.

“She has a heart for service and a passion for entrepreneurship. She is a role model for young and old alike.  She believes in achieving success through hard work and she believes in giving back and enabling others to succeed” Turner said. “She is one of the most visible and effective leaders in the Tarrant County community who is modeling the way for many who are coming behind her.”

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

My first paycheck was through a part-time tutoring job when I was 12 years old. It was for a summer bridge program to help pre-k students transition to kindergarten. I can’t recall how much I earned but I remember having so much fun with the little ones. They had so much energy!

What other profession would you like to try?

 Surfer, Michelin Star Chef (for a day) or a Travel and Food writer.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

Fort Worth has a special place in my heart given my grandparents lived in Morningside (Southeast Fort Worth) for over 50 years. They had a successful family business just blocks from their home for the majority of that time. Both from Palestine in East Texas, my grandfather had a sixth-grade education and could not read or write well but he learned how to fix pretty much anything with a motor. My grandmother had a high school education, cleaned houses on Fort Worth’s West Side and went on to run the family business, prepare taxes for a major company for over 40 years and together they served our community with the type of dedication that is hard to find anymore. They are real life heroes.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

For the longest time I wanted to be an Emergency Medicine Doctor. I majored in Pre-Med Biology and was an EMT for 3.5 years. That training served me well and helped me to realize my passion was helping others, just not in a health care setting. My transition into public service, first as a long-time staffer and then into elected office was one that was quite natural for me. I am blessed to work in my passion and to love what I do!

What is your favorite song?

Not Lucky, I’m Loved, Jonathan McReynolds,

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

A diamond necklace and a bar of Lava soap. The necklace was a gift my grandmother gave to me after receiving a diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer and just before she went in for major surgery. I wear it every day as a reminder of her strong faith and resilience.

My grandfather cleaned his hands every day with Lava soap. He had a strong work ethic. Didn’t take no mess from no one, loved deeply and loved wrestling and westerns. He passed in 2008 but if he were here today he would tell me that I am “living high on the hog.”

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