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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

On the desk of JJ Walker

JJ Walker manager, government and community affairs, Bell Helicopter

When JJ Walker wants to powwow with her government and community affairs team she doesn’t bother booking conference rooms. She simply pulls her chair around a few feet and parks it right there. At Bell Helicopter common office areas are the thing, which means her team is all within talking distance from where they sit. Open areas are always an adjustment. Now? “We are much more effective and efficient as a team.” Here’s what we found on her desk.

Thank you notes. Handy for her job, which means lots of invites to events and big events Bell sponsors. “I try to write at least one thank you note a day.” That’s a lot of notes.

Counting Blessings: “It’s a gift someone gave me when I had a lot of change in my life.” Job change, city change. “All great things,” she said. Still, change can be emotional.

Historic Bell Helicopter. The Bell Helicopter Textron Story is not mandatory reading but Walker has poured through it anyway. “It’s really about Larry Bell and how the technology all came about” since the company’s founding in 1935.

Family photos. Picture of her son who decided for career day to dress up as the president of the United States. Lofty goals, that one.

Paper weight. Salute to alma mater West Texas A&M University, where she gives back by serving on the foundation’s board.

Big honor: The 2013 award Walker received as a TBW (Texas Business Women) Texas Woman to Watch. They are undoubtedly still watching.

Notepad binder. Jots down what she needs to know. “This one I just have a few more pages left. Takes about six months to fill it up.” Then on to the next one.

Publications on deck: Sky Ball and Fort Worth Business Press. Sky Ball is the annual charity event that has raised more than $4.5 million. The Fort Worth Business Press is, of course, required reading for local biz news.

 

Quote: “In sharing space with my team, I’ve realize how isolated we can be sitting inside an office away from everyone else. As leaders we often don’t have a clear understanding of what our teams are going through every day.”

 

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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