Educational Power Luncheons

Educational Power Luncheons

The GSWIDA strives to provide dynamic power luncheon events featuring renowned keynote speakers. The luncheons are casual, informative meetings that offer valuable networking opportunities and create an educational forum of trends, which will directly impact the Industrial Sector business community and the Industrial Parks of Arlington and Grand Prairie.

Quarterly Educational Luncheons are held at various locations convenient to the Great Southwest Industrial Park, with registration begining at 11:00 and Keynote Speakers at 12:00, immediately following lunch service.

All luncheon events are open to both members and non-members. Individual tickets and Reserved Table Sponsorships are available.

Attendees must register and pre-pay online to secure a seat. Because space is limited, reservations will be declined after 80 registrations.


Upcoming Educational Power Luncheons:

Monday, December 2, 2019 Annual Holiday Party - held at the new Downtown Grand Prairie Firehouse Gastro Park

Thursday, March 26, 2020  |  GPPD Police Chief Daniel Scesney and APD Police Chief Will Johnson  |  Security & Crime Watch In the Industrial Park

Thursday, June 26, 2020 |  Esteban Blanco (Blanco I.T. Consulting Company)  |  Business Security Solutions  “The Right Advice When IT Really Matters”

Thursday, September 24, 2020  |  GPFD and AFD Fire Marshalls  |  What is our checklist during fire marshall on-site inspections ... common fire marshall delays in issuing certificate of occupancy ... trends and common reasons at businesses that cause actual on-site fires ... upcoming changes in Internationl Fire Codes and local ordinances


Terry Jones
Luncheon Committee Chairman

Grand Prairie Economic Development
300 West Main Street ▪ Grand Prairie City Hall Municipal Campus
Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
(972) 237-8020



NICB's Focus in Combating Cargo Theft
Joe Wehrle, President and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), shared his perspective on the impact of cargo theft crime in the United States, as well as the issues we face in our country. He discussed his leadership role in the National Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Prevention Initiative and what NICB is doing to address the issues, solutions in protecting consumers and steps you need to take to fight this challenging crime.

Grand Prairie Police Department Auto Theft Unit Task Force also presented. The GPPD is partnering with the NICB toward combating auto and cargo thefts through an innovative partnership. An NICB Investigator is housed in the Grand Prairie Police Department and imbedded into GPPD’s Auto Theft Unit. Proactive efforts, such as tracking initiatives, have led to a 37% decrease in auto thefts and 31% decrease in overall property crimes in Grand Prairie from 2010 to 2013.


Living the American Dream, A Story of Success and Service
Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen shared how the American Dream is alive and well, and attainable by all. The program included the overview of goals of the Tarrant County Commissioner’s Court and Commissioner Nguyen’s vision for southeast Tarrant County.

Andy was born in 1966 in Vietnam, a country ravaged by war for decades. As a child, after Saigon fell, Andy witnessed firsthand the evils of communism as the country evolved into one large prison camp. Those who sought freedom and democracy were forced into hard labor and hundreds of thousands died. The communists nationalized industries, the press and even churches, while abolishing all private property rights. Those who could, escaped by any means possible and many, like Andy's family, fled by sea aboard small boats, where they suffered from the elements and the dangers of pirates.

Arriving in the United States in 1981, and in spite of the challenge of learning a new language and culture, Andy thrived with the gift of American freedom. After finishing high school, he worked his way through college washing dishes. He also joined the Army National Guard, completed training in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army. Andy graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Business Management, completed Army officer training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and moved to Texas in 1992.

Andy's first private sector job after college was as a manager in a Fort Worth, Texas-based telecommunications company. Always looking for the next challenge, he started his own telecom and information technology company, AIT Technologies, just six years later. Andy's strong entrepreneurial and technology backgrounds have been tremendous assets in identifying new job opportunities for Tarrant County residents. Andy’s story of success and service, made possible by the American Dream, didn't end there.


DFW International Airport Growth and Economic Impact to the GSW Industrial Park
Executives from DFW International Airport discussed the Airport’s role as a catalyst for economic development, and its position in maintaining strong partnerships with community and business leaders.

Because we share demographic boundaries, it’s important for all corporate industrial business leaders to understand and share DFW’s strategic vision for business growth. DFW Airport’s central location, superior air service, and diverse economy are the major reasons that businesses relocate to the area, propelling the North Texas Region into one of the fastest-growing and most stable economies in the country.

To effectively allocate Airport properties to meet the Airport’s and surrounding cities’ commercial development needs, DFW has developed a Commercial Development Land Use plan which identifies strategies for developing aviation related, industrial/warehouse and cargo/distribution in North Texas.


Smart Workforce Strategies
With a focus on conquering employee recruitment and retention for the human resource executive, while analyzing and maximizing the company’s bottom line for the business owner and management executives, keynote speaker Colleen Affeldt, President of Orbitas - Evolving Corporate Relationships, presented a discussion on "Maximizing Profit... Maximizing People: The Financial Impact of Balancing Valuable HR Practices and Company Bottom Line.

With 15 years of experience in the employee development industry, Colleen’s expertise includes leadership and management development, strategy and employee effectiveness. With a focus on balancing employee retention with company’s bottom line, she uses an outcome driven approach combined with an eye on transforming culture. This gives companies the best opportunity for success through your most important asset – People. The luncheon also featured a Human Resource Panel consisting of top leaders from American Eurocopter, Averitt Express, Printpack Incorporated, Sellmark Corporation, UTA Center for Innovation, and Workforce Solutions For Tarrant County.



Refined by Fire:  A Family’s Triumph of Love and Faith
When a hijacked jetliner slammed into the Pentagon on 9-11, Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell was standing directly in its path.  Instantly, the Bronze Star Gulf War veteran sustained life-threatening burns to more than 60 percent of his body.  His book, Refined by Fire:  A Family’s Triumph of Love and Faith, is the story of a courageous solder, of a wife who refused to let go of her husband, no matter the odds, and of a young son who waited for his father to come home.

Birdwell is a native of Fort Worth and resident of Granbury.  He graduated from Lamar University, Command and General Staff College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he earned a Master’s in Public Administration.  He served in operation Desert Shield/Storm, and in Central America as the Joint Operations Officer for Joint Task Force Aquila.  In 2001, he was serving on the Department of Army staff as the military aide to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installation Manager.

Birdwell has been a Texas Senator since 2010 and serves on the Higher Education and Veteran Affairs committees and is a member of the Economic Development and Government Organization committees.