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Culture 2020 40 Under 40: Elizabeth Northern

2020 40 Under 40: Elizabeth Northern

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Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Has anyone ever seen Elizabeth Northern and Wonder Woman in the same room at the same time?

Didn’t think so, and reading through multiple nominations for 40 Under 40, it’s pretty clear why.

“Liz works ardently analyzing data for Tarrant College County, an institution whose purpose is the betterment of the Fort Worth community through higher education. Her past research efforts have aided the college in getting funds for students through opportunities such a Title III grant and Notre Dame/Catholic charities,” said Holly Stovall, also at TCC.

“Liz is an example of a 21st century woman making things happen in every area of her life. She’s smart, articulate, forward-thinking, rooted, kind and more,” said Ashley Freer of the Balcom Agency.

Northern earned a bachelor’s degree in math and religious studies from Trinity University and a master’s in higher education from Pennsylvania State University.

Civic activities include – and this is a partial list – the Junior League Fort Worth, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Center for Transforming Lives, Steer Fort Worth and Vision Fort Worth.

She is an accomplished distance runner with a lengthy list of qualifications including Olympic Marathon trials.

In 2017, she formed the Fort Worth Distance Project, a grassroots, elite, all-female racing team that is changing the dynamic and reputation of female distance running in North Texas. Five women from the team are competing in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

“She manages to make this all look easy and treats all who encounter her with positivity and kindness,” said Leslie Ford of Rogue Architects.

Northern was previously recognized by the Fort Worth Business Press 20 in their 20s.

She and her husband, Will, have two young children, Penny and Davis. Will Northern just recently partnered with two others to form WNC Real Estate.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

My brother and I both worked two summers at the Subway off White Settlement over by Lockheed Martin back in the early 2000s. And guess what? We both still love Subway. From one summer to the next, I earned a 75 cent pay increase, going from $5.50 to $6.25 an hour, and I thought I was on top of the world.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

Becoming a parent and discovering the entire series of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood on Amazon Prime, I’m realizing just how much that show played a role in my childhood. I cherish the time I now spend watching the show with my toddlers, and they love it too! A timeless message about being kind to one another.

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

The first persons who immediately come to mind are my parents. They’ve been married 35 years, and they are the perfect examples of hard work, steadfast love, unabashed and selfless generosity, and unwavering commitment. I was raised knowing God and family were first, my education was second, and everything else would fall in line accordingly.

I owe my financial awareness to my mom (we are queen couponers) and my dance skills to my dad. They are the most wonderful grandparents. It has been a pure joy witnessing their relationship with my children grow. I hope I’ve made my mom and dad proud!

What is your favorite song?

Everything Now, Arcade Fire

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

In my photo are the pair of shoes in which I raced the 2020 marathon Olympic trials, the framed Guinness World Record certificate earned from running the fastest 10K while pushing a double stroller with my two children, and a few medals from some of my proudest races (the 2016 and 2020 marathon Olympic trials, the 2019 IAU World 50KM Championships, and the 2019 USATF National 50KM Championships).

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