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Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bill Thornton is retiring in 2020

Posted on: 08/15/2019   |   Category: Press Releases

FORT WORTH, August 15, 2019 – Today the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce announced the retirement of President & CEO Bill Thornton. His last day will be July 7, 2020.

Thornton, who recently celebrated his 30th year with the Chamber, has been in the CEO/president role since 2000. He joined the Chamber staff as director of local business development in July 1989, and was named vice president of economic development in 1992.
As president, Thornton has been intimately involved in numerous community initiatives, including the Wright Amendment agreement, the Base Realignment and Closure task force, and the formation of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.
Thornton has been recognized as one of the top economic development practitioners by Southern Business & Development magazine, and Businessman of the Year by the Fort Worth Business Press. In 2007, he was named one of Fort Worth’s 50 Most Powerful People by Fort Worth, Texas magazine.
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with exceptional business and community leaders, as well as an outstanding staff team at the Chamber, past and present,” said Thornton. “With strong community support, the Chamber will continue to meet the evolving needs of this region in order to help Fort Worth address challenges and achieve success for all of our residents.”
To ensure a smooth transition, effective October 1, 2019, Thornton will assign some of the responsibilities of president to Brandom Gengelbach, executive vice president of Economic Development.  
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Bill for his thoughtful and steady leadership in a rapidly changing business environment and community,” said Lonnie Nicholson, chairman of the Chamber and CEO of EECU.
“As you know, during his tenure Fort Worth has grown from the 29th to the 13th largest city in the United States and one of the nation’s top places to do business,” said Nicholson. “That doesn’t happen without a visionary Chamber leader working in collaboration with elected officials at all levels and the local business community. His dedication and commitment to the growth and success of Fort Worth and our surrounding communities is unparalleled.”
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, with more than 1,800 member businesses, is one of the largest chambers in the North Texas region. Through its core functions of business attraction and retention, talent development, small business and entrepreneur support, and government advocacy, the Chamber’s vision is to drive the Fort Worth region to be the most thriving, inviting community for all.

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