Past Membership Meetings 2022


View Carol's presentation here

At our May Membership meeting, we welcomed Carol Klocek, CEO of Center for Transforming Lives. (CTL) The center works with women and children to disrupt the cycle of poverty. One surprising statistic was that the first year of life is the most common age to be homeless in the U.S., followed by ages two to five.   CTL provides comprehensive homeless services, early childhood education and economic mobility services, child care, family housing and trauma intervention services. They offer one on one financial coaching and asset building, plus other economic mobility interventions. Post pandemic, CTL has distributed $1 1/2 million in rental assistance.


North Texas Commission: Unifying Our Region's Advocacy to Ensure Economic Competitiveness

View the Presentation Here

For our April membership meeting, Becky Burton introduced Chris Wallace, President/CEO and Patrick Brophey Director, Legislative Planning and Stakeholder Relations of the North Texas Commission (NTC). They explained why North Texas is unique, including regional profile information and how we are addressing our greatest challenges, as well as an overview of the region’s state and federal legislative priorities.

Regional Focus and Global Thinking

The commission was founded in 1971 by a group of North Texas civic leaders to develop DFW Airport. NTC was chartered as a non-profit, membership supported organization to unify the region.

Problem Solvers for a better region.

Today NTC is primarily on the policy side,  80% of NTC is advocacy for public policy, 10% workforce issues and 10% cultivating new leaders. NTC is currently planning for the 88th session of legislation.

We learned that the North Teas is growing by one person every 3.3 minutes and has more population than 38 other states combined. The North Texas population is larger than the population of 38 individual states in the U.S There are 1.7 million undocumented Texans and 1.1 million of them make up 8% of the workforce. 23% of the 1.1 million are Dreamers.


Disrupting the Cycle of Emergency Room Roulette from Project Access Tarrant County

In March, Women's Policy Forum met in person for the first time in 2022. Chair, Karmen Rubin helped us welcomed several new members. Rebecca Montgomery, Program Chair and Chair elect, introduced us to Dr. Melanie Lagomichos, DO and Program Director Kathryn Narumiya with Project Access Tarrant County

PATC is actively looking for more surgeons and anesthesiologists. They especially need more locations for outpatient surgeries. If you would like to participate or offer a referral please clichere.

Project Access Tarrant County provided a “Lunch and Learn” on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. 

PATC offers patients more than just surgeries, providers offer a wide range of services such as eye exams, dermatology and dental care. Since its inception in 2011, PATC has served over 2,100 patients with more than10,500 appointments. Over $18 million in medical care has been received by their patients. The average patient is in their 40’s and half of those served are women. While PATC does aid children, those numbers remain low since the state of Texas offers CHIP and medicaid. Referrals come from several charitable clinics, doctors, and often time emergency room departments.

Kathryn Narumiya joined Project Access Tarrant County when it started in 2011 and became Program Director in 2013. A graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, Kathryn is passionate about Fort Worth’s charitable clinics.

Dr. Melanie Lagomichos, DO, is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Women's Health at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Lagomichos is a board-certified OBGYN. She focuses on minimally invasive surgery. She focuses on preventative care and a well-rounded approach to women's health.   Find Project Access Tarrant County on Facebook here


 LiftFund: Paving the Way for Women EntrepreneursJanie Barrera, President and CEO of LiftFund


Chair-elect, Rebecca Montgomery introduced Ms. Barrera and we took an insider peek at the world of microlending for small businesses. 

See the video here  and her slide presentation here

When Janie Barrera was a young girl in 1961, her older brother wrote her a letter saying “maybe one day you’ll be a secretary for some big shot in the Wilson Tower!” Yes, this was actually a common aspiration for girls at that time. Thankfully, times have changed. Still, young Janie was already business-minded, she sold raffle tickets for her old banana seat bicycle to upgrade to a new and better bike. Having two entrepreneurial parents didn’t hurt either. She always wanted to help people and improve the world around her.

Liftfund began with just three employees in 1994, 27 years later, with over 130 employees, Ms. Barrera has established LiftFund as one of the largest and most successful microlenders in the nation. She has worked hard to level the financial playing field for entrepreneurs who historically have faced considerable obstacles when seeking financing and education to start and grow their businesses.

According to Steven R. Nivin, Ph.D., EconomistLiftfund has a 96% repayment rate while they provide access to capital, technical assistance and education. Also, every $1 loaned by LiftFund generates $14 in the local economy. The pandemic has not hindered LiftFund’s economic impact, the last two years have been their best yet.  In part, because the company invested in technology to carefully guard financial information, and privacy. Also, reaching people remotely has only expanded their efforts. In 2021 LiftFund loaned over $39 million to over 1,600 clients while creating 1,160 new jobs and retaining 5,297 jobs.

LiftFund currently serves 15 states, including Texas and every county in it. As a non-profit 501C3, they are quietly breaking the cycle of poverty by helping small businesses to build assets, create wealth, and leave a legacy for future generations. Anyone can apply for help, but they primarily serve women, minorities and veterans.

Ms. Barrera said “LiftFund has a culture and temperament of making the world a better place.” The leadership, 17 member volunteer board and employees are all passionate change agents.

     To get involved or learn more contact:  Janie Barrera, President & CEO, for investing or (210) 273-6164 (direct)

    Amy Hereford, General Counsel & Director of Government and Community Affairs, for policy or (210) 502-9604 (direct)

    Visit the Lift Fund Site


    "Breaking the Cycle" with Chris Butler, Executive Director and Kathryn Thalken, Sr. Director of Programs, The Parenting Center

    View the video here.

    On January 12th, our first luncheon for 2022 was virtual. We welcomed Chris Butler and Kathy Thalken of The Parenting Center. (TPC) The Parenting Center is trying to break the cycle of child abuse that has happened for generations. Shockingly, animals received protection by law before children. Child abuse was not even considered criminal until the late 1960s. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act wasn't passed until 1974, just one year later, The Parenting Center (1975) was founded as a task force of the Junior League. Today TPC serves caregivers, children and everyone in between. They have numerous clinical offerings like Nest Parenting Program and Nurturing Program. We learned, sadly, that Tarrant County has the third highest number of reported child abuse cases. ACE statistics were shared which showed how childhood events can affect physical health in adulthood. Ms. Thalken encouraged advocacy and making a difference by getting involved with any organization that works with children. The slide deck presentation for Mr. Butler can be seen here and Ms. Thalken's can be seen here.    


    WOMEN’S POLICY FORUM   |      P.O. Box 11246  •  Fort Worth, Texas 76110

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