Rotary Club of Fort Worth honors minority businesses

Rotary Club of Fort Worth honors minority businesses

I have been pleased to be a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth for the past nine years. One reason I joined was the ability to develop relationships with many of the community and business leaders of Fort Worth – a great number of the folks who have helped create and enhance the fabric of our community.

However, our club did not reflect the entire community. It was a very homogeneous club. Our membership was also declining, we were not as relevant to the entire community as in the past, and we were missing out on valuable relationships in our community.

As a member of the board of directors, I brainstormed with our then-club president, Carlo Capua, and the result was for us to create an awards program that would highlight the many outstanding minority businesses in Fort Worth and help Rotary better reflect the entire community. We wanted to honor the minority-owned companies that already demonstrated the Rotary 4-Way Test:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?
  • Is it BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

We introduced the Rotary Minority Business Awards (RMBA) in 2020 and held our first banquet in April 2021. One of the benefits to applicants was that the first through third-place winners would receive a one-year membership to our Rotary Club, a three-minute professional video, a custom-designed trophy presented by the mayor, and two seats to the RMBA celebration.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Fourth through sixth-place honorees reach received a complimentary six-month membership and a runner-up plaque along with a picture with the mayor.

The qualifications for the RMBA are:

  • Any minority-owned business in Fort Worth can apply
  • Minority owners must own, operate, and control at least 51% of the company
  • Minority group members are defined as individuals at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American as defined by NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council)
  • Any business or person in Fort Worth may submit nominations
  • The nominator must answer every question on the nomination form
  • Businesses are allowed to self-nominate

Nominations were accepted through the first week of each year for that April’s RMBA banquet.

We announced this year’s award recipients at our Friday (April 21) RMBA Awards Luncheon at the Fort Worth Club. As the Rotary Minority Business Awards program has garnered more attention, our number of nominees has grown from below 50 to over 85 for this spring’s event.

- Advertisement -

As a result of the RMBA program over the past two years, we have seen the Rotary Club of Fort Worth’s demographics broaden. We have increased from seven to 55 minority business owners as members, and we are also growing our number of younger members. Additionally, the club has grown from 211 to 306 members.

This year’s RMBA program is being led by Richard L. Knight, Vice President/COO of Knight Waste Services. The 2023 honorees announced on Friday are:

  • First place: Game Theory
  • Second place: Law Offices of Rosa Maria Berdeja
  • Third place: Cause Labs
  • Fourth place: RED Development
  • Fifth place: The Dock Book Shop
  • Sixth place: Camino Real Estate

Winners in the inaugural 2021 class were:

  • First place: Byrne Construction Services
  • Second place: Carpenter Café & Catering
  • Third place: Evolving Texas
  • Fourth place: Post L. Group
  • Fifth place: Tijerina Galvan Lawrence

Winners in the 2022 class were:

- Advertisement -
  • First place: R.D. Howard Construction, LLC
  • Second place: Xenia Roastery, LLC
  • Third place: JRS Enterprises
  • Fourth place: Source Building Group, Inc.
  • Fifth place: Authentic Counseling & Coaching Center
  • Sixth place: EA Wealth Management

One of the most important results of the RMBA awards program is the deep and lasting friendships made that include our entire community!

Perhaps our most impactful achievement is that more than 40 Rotary clubs nationwide have indicated an interest in replicating our Rotary Minority Business Awards program.

I congratulate our Rotary Club past and present chairmen who have so aggressively supported RMBA: Carlo Capua (2020-21), Courtney Lewis (2021-22), and Shawn Snell (2022-2023).

We are fulfilling my favorite of the Four-Way Test questions: Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?

Chris Jordan is a Rotarian and the Founding Steward of Electro Acoustics, a Fort Worth-based construction company specializing in audio, video, acoustics, theatrical lighting and control systems. He was recently inducted into the Systems Contractor News Hall of Fame – the highest award in the audio/visual industry. On Dec. 31, he completed a five-year plan of selling the company to his two sons, Luke and Sam, who are the new CEO and COO, respectively.