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SteerFW adds 7 new board members

🕐 3 min read

SteerFW, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which guides, connects, and engages emerging leaders and passionate citizens to be civically engaged in Fort Worth, added seven new members to its board of directors.

“We are excited about our new board members who each have a desire and dedication to creating a Fort Worth that is amazing for all of us. Our focus, and membership, have changed over the last couple of years. We aren’t a young professionals group, we are a group of people from all walks of life who are passionate about Fort Worth. Our new board members represent who SteerFW is – people with a very diverse set of leadership skills and backgrounds,” said Tracy Cliburn, 2020 board president and 2021 immediate past president.

The board is now made up of 18 members, from chefs to executives, community leaders to entrepreneurs, and more. In addition to fostering civic engagement, board members are responsible for developing connections and partnerships within the community, civic education, creating spaces to have conversations that matter from race and equity to gentrification, and solving the most pressing issues that our community and city are facing.

“SteerFW celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, and I couldn’t ask for a better group than this board to lead our organization into the new decade,” said Chris Stolarzyk, 2021 president of SteerFW. “We have such a diverse board from a background and professional perspective, that we are uniquely positioned to be able to drive conversations and ideas forward and most importantly connect with citizens of Fort Worth no matter what communities they may live in. I am honored to be able to lead this group of amazing young leaders, this organization and to help The Fort become truly civically engaged.” 

The SteerFW 2021 Board of Directors:

  • President: Chris Stolarzyk, United Way of Tarrant County
  • Immediate-Past President: Tracy Cliburn, Transwestern
  • President Elect: Erika Ramos, Game Theory

New and returning board members

  • Julie Arriola, Legend Bank
  • Fernando Peralta Berrios, Texas Army National Guard
  • Jesse Borries, Allied Electronics
  • Brenton Bridge, JP & Associates Realtors
  • Andrew Dilda, Lonesome Dove
  • Nathan Draughn, BB & T
  • Phil Esmaili, Burns & McDonnell Engineering
  • Sara Fishbane, Bellevue University
  • Mateson Gutierrez, Cache
  • Matthew Hall, Raise Your Hand Texas
  • Katrina Johnson, Keller ISD
  • Terrell McCoy, Jr, Leadership ISD
  • Jassmine Posada, Fort Worth ISD
  • Sydney Thomas, Alzheimer’s Association
  • Mario Valdez, Quorum Architects

SteerFW will be focused on local elections in the coming months and will announce events designed to educate people on candidates and positions with the hopes of driving more voters to the polls this spring, the organization said in a news release.

“There is no level of government that affects you daily more than local – traffic, affordability, equity, development – even where you can buy tacos. The under-40 voter turnout in Fort Worth, though improving, is terrible in local elections. People around 65 have the most voter clout in our city, so when I hear someone under 40 complaining about something like public transportation or policing, the first thing out of my mouth is, ‘Did you vote in the last local election?’. SteerFW is here to stir the pot, but in a good way,” Cliburn said.

Mayor Betsy Price, working through Leadership Fort Worth, established SteerFW in 2011 in response to the low voter turnout rates within the city from citizens in the young professional age range. The organization became a separate, nonprofit entity in 2016.

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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