Transportation issues affect every one of us and play a big role in our quality of life. No one wants to waste valuable time sitting in traffic when we have more important things to do. And the significance of transportation within the economy, on the quality of the air we breathe and on our safety makes this topic a big deal for all us.
If you want to get in on the transportation conversation, head over to the Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hurst Conference Center. Since the event is back for a seventh year — with more than 500 businesses participating — it is safe to assume that Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes and his able staff know how to produce this event. The half-day summit is now regarded as one of the premier transportation events in Texas.
The summit will showcase a variety of speakers in panel discussions talking about the future of transportation in Tarrant County, in Texas and across the country. The theme is “Shifting Gears: Challenges and Opportunities in Regional Mobility.”
Keynote speaker will be well-known and respected economist Ray Perryman sharing his thoughts about the importance of “Transportation as an Economic Driver.”
“We have been trying to bring Dr. Ray Perryman for several years, and this was the first time he has been available,” says Commissioner Fickes. “With the challenges facing energy and transportation right now, Dr. Perryman is the ideal person to deliver his insights on how mobility will shape the North Texas economy.”
Staff members in Commissioner’s Fickes’ office who have worked for months to plan the summit include Rebecca Barksdale and Devin Wenske along with Theresa Parsons, Richard Schiller, Roselee Kerr, Marsha Etie, Freida Landerholm and John Fletcher.
One panel discussion will focus on answering the question: “Will Transportation Measures Deliver on Their Promise?” The moderator is Michael Morris from the North Central Texas Council of Governments along with panel members Victor Vandergriff, Texas Transportation commissioner, and Ed Ireland from the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.
Leading a discussion on “The Impact of the Panama Canal on our Region’s Mobility and Economic Opportunities” will be Dan Harmon, Maritime Division director of the Texas Department of Transportation.
A third panel will have a strictly local focus as Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price along with North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino, Colleyville Mayor Pro Tem Mike Taylor and Haslet Mayor Pro Tem Warren Robb discuss the status of transportation projects in Northeast Tarrant County and big challenges facing us in the future.
“State officials have told us this has become the must-attend transportation event in North Texas and they continue to be amazed at the quality of our presenters and the size of our crowd,” Fickes said.
Precinct 3 Administrator Rebecca Barksdale said, “It is a great way for our local businesses and citizens to ask questions of the experts and hear presentations regarding our local transportation projects and other topics. Proceeds benefit five Northeast Tarrant transportation agencies that serve the elderly and disabled.”
Registration is $30 per person. Sign up at any local chamber of commerce or contact Barksdale at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-581-3600. Additional details are available at www.NETransportationSummit.com.
Community Champions feted at 6 Stones luncheon
It was a full house last week when a crowd of around 400 gathered for the 6 Stones Catalyst of Hope Luncheon to honor partners and supporters of the Bedford-based charity. It was a time to celebrate accomplishments of the past seven years since 6 Stones was founded and to hand out awards for 2015’s Community Champions.
“We host our annual Catalyst of Hope Luncheon to show our partners just how valuable they are. It was our pleasure to share the numbers and stories that reflect the work done here last year,” said spokesman Steven Jones. The event theme was “City Transformation” to pay homage to local supporters — community champions — who have helped find solutions to local issues and problems.
The agency serves families in the area with the New Hope Center, which provides food, clothing and other resources, as well as partnering with surrounding cities to help struggling homeowners with repairs through the Community Powered Revitalization program. It provides school supplies for H-E-B students in Operation Back 2 School and helps thousands of families at Christmas with a Night of Hope event.
For their work in various 6 Stones programs and initiatives, Game Changer awards were presented to Smith Lawn & Tree, Mark Murphy, Zack Smithson, Jason Foshea, Kathy Lehrmann, Jerry Bulleri, Roy Cramer, Gary Phillips, Jon Moody and Calvin Plowman.
The spotlight then moved to recognize outstanding contributions from several individuals and organizations for their remarkable service to 6 Stones. Corporate Sponsor of 2015 went to Classic Chevrolet, and Lockheed Martin received the 2015 Corporate Volunteer award.
Civic Partner of the Year went to Randy Richards, and Foundation Baptist Church took home the honors for Faith Based Organization of the year. Tammy Daggs was named 2015’s best School Based Advocate, and World Vision received the 2015 Partnering Non-Profit award. The Next Generation Award went to the Trinity Trojan football team, and Betsy Deck received the Innovator Award.
The drum roll moment was the announcement of the Gary McKamie Catalyst of Hope Award, the highest accolade that 6 Stones grants. It goes to an individual who embodies the principles and practices of 6 Stones and who inspires, encourages and challenges others.
The audience erupted in applause when Steve Lineweaver, former Trinity High School head football coach of the three-time state champion team, was named as the recipient of the award.
Described by one 6 Stones staff member as possibly “the most legendary figure in the history of the area,” Lineweaver accepted the award with praises for the work of others. “From his fellow coaches at Trinity High School to the young men who grew from football players into police officers, fathers and volunteers, Steve Lineweaver used his time in the spotlight to celebrate everyone else,” Jones said in a statement.
Lineweaver said in his acceptance speech, “We’ve got a sign at Trinity that says ‘Enter to Learn, Exit to Serve,’ ” adding that he always tried to teach kids to be servant leaders during his coaching career. He said his hero was wife, Melinda, who teachers at Oakwood Terrace Elementary by day and has a jail ministry in the evenings.
Scott Sheppard, 6 Stones executive director, praised the community for their role in what he called the “City Transformation Movement.”
“The reality is this: We [6 Stones] were given an assignment to go meet the needs of the community. And all we’ve done as a staff is put our head down — and that’s all you’ve done is put your head down — and you worked hard for seven years.”
To learn more about the organization, visit www.6Stones.org or call the offices at 817-868-7400.
Las Colinas Symphony show Saturday to feature piano soloist Sara Daneshpour
The 93 sparkling musicians of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra will perform with their considerable talents as the season continues with a show Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Irving Arts Center, Carpenter Hall.
Pianist Sara Daneshpour will perform the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major. Daneshpour has an impressive number of awards and has performed at famous venues across the country. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and is furthering her studies at Julliard.
In addition to Daneshpour’s solos, the audience will get to enjoy the 11th annual Great Movie Scores Quiz. This is a perennial favorite with symphony audiences and something not to be missed.