Fort Worth Chamber honors Dee Jennings’ legacy with Vandergriff Award

Published on October 06, 2021

Longtime Fort Worth leader Devoyd Jennings will be posthumously awarded the 2021 Vandergriff Award by the Fort Worth Chamber at its annual State of the County on Oct. 7.

Jennings died July 24 at 73. He was the longtime president and CEO of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce and worked at TXU Energy for 27 years. He created the William Mann Development Corp., a financial lending agency, and Southeast Fort Worth Inc., a community development agency. He assisted the JPS Health Network, Tarrant County, Fort Worth ISD and the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington with establishing minority and women-owned business enterprise goals.

“The Fort Worth Chamber is proud to honor Dee’s legacy with this award,” said Marianne Auld, chairman of the board of the Fort Worth Chamber. “He was a lifelong leader and advocate for the Fort Worth business community, and his impact will be felt for generations to come.”

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“Dee spent his entire career advocating for minority-owned businesses and business equity and inclusion,” said Brandom Gengelbach, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber. “Dee was a mentor to me and taught me to fight for minority-owned businesses and professionals to have a seat at the table in Fort Worth. We still have work to do, but his legacy of diversity, equity and inclusion will stay with me for the rest of my career.”

The Chamber’s annual Vandergriff Award, presented by Simmons Bank, was established in 2011 in memory of the late Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff. The award honors a legacy individual or organization whose contributions positively impact Tarrant County on a national scale. Past recipients include Facebook Data Center Fort Worth, Texas Rangers and the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

The 2021 State of the County, presented by Ciera Bank, is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 7, at The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel.

Photo: Dee Jennings

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