FORT WORTH – Today the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has announced the retirement of Executive Vice President of Marketing Marilyn Gilbert. Her last day will be April 7, 2020.
Gilbert will celebrate 30 years with the Chamber in March and has been in the Marketing role since 1990, overseeing membership and programming.
Under her guidance, the Chamber generates around $1 million annually in sponsorships and event ticket sales. In the past two decades, she has launched new initiatives such as Vision Fort Worth for young professionals and the Women’s Insight Network, as well as community awards recognizing leadership and legacy individuals.
“Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while,” joked Gilbert, known for her wry humor and Texas colloquialisms. “I have been fortunate to work with a stellar staff over the years, as well as business leaders, elected officials and visionaries. Placemaking gets in your veins and the chamber industry has given me a great outlet for that passion.”
Gilbert serves on the BRIT board of directors and is a DFWI Festivals and Events Committee member. She served on the ACCE board of directors from 2000 to 2004. She previously served on the boards of Camp Fire First Texas Council and the Parenting Center. She was named one of the Great Women of Texas in 2008 by the Fort Worth Business Press, a Woman of Influence in 2008 by Fort Worth, Texas magazine and a Legacy of Women Honoree by SafeHaven.
In the aftermath of the tornado of March 2000 that struck downtown Fort Worth, Gilbert was instrumental in deploying Chamber assistance to affected businesses and executing a “comeback campaign” for downtown that included advertisements saying, “Pardon our Plywood” and “No Gusts, No Glory.” She presented the campaign nationally at conferences. She also spearheaded the implementation of Heritage Trails, a downtown walking tour with bronze markers of Fort Worth history, including a life-size panther sculpture on Main and Weatherford Streets.
“Marilyn has been the driving force in increasing revenues and engagement in this organization for three decades,” said Bill Thornton, CEO of the Chamber. “She prefers to work behind the scenes, but her legacy of service to the community is evident everywhere you go.”