Leading Diverse Cities
Three Texas Women leading the way in Governing
WHEN: Friday, December 4, 2015
WHERE: Dallas / Addison Marriott Quorum
TIME: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
If you have questions, please contact
Mayor Beth Van Duyne
A magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Beth Van Duyne is in her second three-year term as Mayor of Irving, TX. After serving on the City Council for six years, she first ran for Mayor in 2011 and received nearly 60% of the vote in the nonpartisan municipal election. Her electoral victory in 2014 was 70% of the vote.
In addition to her service to the citizens of Irving, Beth has a 20-year career providing strategic direction to senior corporate management and developing company-wide marketing and communications initiatives. Her professional experience has included small startups, mid-sized private companies, and Fortune 500 corporations such as Verizon, American Airlines, and Burson Marstellar.
Concurrent with her municipal responsibilities, Beth is a member of the US Conference of Mayors Advisory Board, the Texas Municipal League, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, past member of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board, and is a Hatton Sumners Foundation trustee. She also chairs the Economic Development Advisory Council and serves on the Executive Boards of both the North Texas Commission and the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. A frequently interviewed public official, she has appeared in the New York Times, Fox News, CNN, USA Today, ESPN, and the Wall Street Journal.
Mayor Betsy Price
Fort Worth native Betsy Price is the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth, the 16th largest city in the United States and one of the fastest growing large cities in the country. Elected to her 3rd term in office in 2015, she has maintained focus on promoting jobs, strengthening education, promoting public safety and improving mobility.
Price continues to work with her City Council colleagues, city staff and local partners on several local initiatives, including: engaging young, emerging leaders and faith communities; promoting a healthy, active city; creating and retaining jobs; and expanding the city’s infrastructure options for transportation. Price works hard to empower Fort Worth’s citizens through hosting community townhalls all over Fort Worth. While these townhalls have included the traditional townhall concept, she has also broken the mold for public engagement by reaching citizens through hosting Twitter, walking, and rolling townhall models.
Price is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and is proud to be a Fort Worth native. In addition to serving on numerous Fort Worth boards, commissions and professional associations, Price also ran a successful small business for 17 years. With her experience in the community and in business, Price was elected in 2000 to serve as Tarrant County’s Tax Assessor. Under her leadership, her department became one of the most efficient in Texas, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Family is an important source of support and inspiration for Price’s activities and leadership. She and husband Tom have been married for over 40 years and enjoy spending quality time with their children and grandchildren.
Mayor Nelda Martinez
People who work closely with Nelda Martinez speak of her determination, her commitment to do things right and her ability to bring people together. Whether it be building her own business or public service, she approaches each task with the same determination and energy.
Nelda broke historical barriers in Corpus Christi City Council elections by becoming the first woman and first Hispanic to be the highest vote-getter in an at-large election, a feat she continued for three elections. In November of 2012, she was elected as the 53rd Mayor of Corpus Christi, and became the first Hispanic Woman to hold this position.
Under her leadership, she brought diverse interests together to pass a street user fee to address a 30-year backlog of street maintenance. Replacement of the Harbor Bridge was once considered a pipe dream, but Nelda and a regional team procured funding commitments to build a new bridge, insuring the future for the 5th largest port in the nation, the Port of Corpus Christi. Realizing the vital importance of our water resources, she led the charge in securing a long-term regional water supply with the anticipated completion of Mary Rhodes Pipe Line Phase II.
Nelda graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Government with a minor in Latin American Studies. Upon graduation, she returned home to Corpus Christi and has owned and grown four businesses since. She co-founded and served as President of First American Closing Office and later sold the successful business to Stewart Title. Today she serves as owner and President of Adlen Enterprises, Inc., an asset management company. She is passionate on the importance of education and has volunteered at countless schools in support of the positive formation of our youth. She continues her volunteer work with children at many schools in the community and remains a supporter of local scholarship programs.
Nelda has been honored with various awards throughout her career, including: Coastal Bend Area GI Forum Women’s Chapter “Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year” in 1999, YWCA “Y Women in Careers Award for Corporate/Business Management in 2000, US Small Business Administration, “Women in Business Champion” in 2007, Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Estrella of Tejas/Star of Texas at the 25th Annual State Conference, Texas Speech Communication Association “Communicator of the Year” for 2013-2014, and was one of twelve outstanding Latina business and community leaders named Women of Distinction by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) in 2015.
Nelda currently holds the state-wide position of President for the Texas Municipal League, a non-profit association which exists solely to provide services to Texas cities through legislative, legal, and educational efforts. In addition, she currently serves on numerous boards for her region including: National League of Cities (NLC) Transportation and Infrastructure Services Policy and Advocacy Committee, Foster Angels of South Texas, Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, Coastal Bend Council of Governments, Workforce Solutions Chief Elected Officials Council, Gulf Coast Strategic Highway, and the I-69 Alliance.
Nelda’s parents, Dr. Maria Consuelo Martinez and the late Roosevelt Martinez, and her eight brothers and sisters have grown used to her determination in making a positive difference in her community.