Ridglea Country Club was filled with future leaders on Wednesday night as the Fort Worth Business Press celebrated the 2021 Class of 40 Under 40.
The 40 Under 40 Awards recognize the accomplishments of rising stars of the community, all under the age of 40, all emerging as current and future leaders in business and public service. The honorees traversed the community landscape from the corporate sector to nonprofits to maverick entrepreneurialism. Maybe it was the result of the enforced sheltering due to the pandemic, but they were a boisterous and demonstrative crowd that didn’t really want the evening to end.
Also honored was Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker as Alumnus of the Year. Parker was a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.
“When I ran for mayor, you can imagine, someone at my age with my family structure – three kids, two of them very young – a lot of questions were, ‘How are you going to do this at 37?’ But for those of you in the room that represent the 40 Under 40, how can you not do it for Fort Worth? Right?,” she said speaking to attendees at the event.
Parker drew cheers when she discussed her plans for a bright future for the fast-growing city that is now the 12th largest in the country.
“You heard me use the expression that ‘It’s go time in Fort Worth, Texas’ and I believe that strongly, much because of the talent that sits in this room right now,” she said. “And it’s really critically important for those of us that are leading in the next generation, that are truly taking the proverbial torch, that we pay homage to our history and those that came before us, that have built Fort Worth, Texas, into what it is today … And it is time for us to harness, take the torch and run with it, and represent what it looks like to be a true large city that is outside the shadow of Dallas, Texas.”
Parker encouraged the group of leaders at the event to get and stay involved in the city.
“I accept this award humbly tonight. I just want to tell you, we’ve got big work to do, and it’s not just because I’m in the mayor’s office. We’re going to roll up our sleeves together, so I encourage you to be involved,” she said.
Parker told the crowd that – with their help – Fort Worth could be a city people are talking about because of what has been accomplished.
“I understand what it looks like to build a community from the ground up, to recognize the things we’ve done wrong and where we want to go into the future. But I can promise you if we all adhere to the ‘go-time’ philosophy in the city, in a few years, there will be many, many folks – city leaders, business leaders across this country – that will turn around and ask the question, ‘What the hell are they doing in Fort Worth? Because I want to be a part of it.’”
The Party Generation in attendance cheered for the city’s recently elected mayor and for each other as the honorees accepted their awards. As for the party, it probably didn’t end, just changed locales.
The Fort Worth Business Press was the presenting sponsor for the event. The Enterprise Sponsors were the Kimbell Art Museum, Move Athleisure and Rod Patrick Bootmakers. Maverick Sponsors were Aspen Wealth Management, Shield Engineering Group and Zenith Roofing & Waterproofing. Supporting Sponsors were United Way of Tarrant County and Southside Bank. Entrepreneur Sponsors were Cardinal Financial Company, Charles R. Green & Associates and mma. Photography was by Amber Shumake.