Fort Worth chamber CEO to retire in 2020

Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, will retire in 2020. (Courtesy Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce)

Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, will retire in 2020. (Courtesy Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce)

Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, will retire next year, according to an Aug. 15 announcement.

Thornton’s last day will be July 7. He has served with the chamber for 30 years, joining in 1989 as director of local business development. He was named vice president of economic development in 1992 and president and CEO in 2000.

During his time with the chamber, Thornton has been involved with community activities and initiatives such as the Wright Amendment agreement, Base Realignment and Closure task force and forming the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, according to the announcement.

“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,” Thornton said in the announcement. “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.”

As he transitions out of the president and CEO role, Thornton will begin shifting some of his duties to Brandon Gengelbach, executive vice president of economic development, beginning Oct. 1.
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