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Honoring Michael Jarrett, Saluting Downtown Mavericks, and Looking Ahead with Mayor Ross and UTA President Cowley


There were many highlights of the Downtown Arlington 2022 Annual Meeting, held Wednesday in the beautifully remodeled E.H. Hereford University Center at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The highest and best by far were the announcements that Mike Jarrett was posthumously named the winner of Downtown Arlington's 2022 Dream Builder Award, presented by Texas Trust Credit Union, and that the Michael Jarrett Civic Leaders Scholarship has been established.

"Just as a father, as a businessman, and as a community leader, Mike left a lasting legacy that we're all proud of, and it points to a life well lived," said Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michael Jacobson.

Michael Jarrett, president of Arlington’s Worthington National Bank branch and longtime community leader. Photo provided by the Jarrett family:

Mike Jarrett was a true game-changer for the city and Downtown Arlington, so his many friends, colleagues, and family joined together to honor his legacy by inspiring others to #belikemike

The scholarship will be awarded annually to "UTA undergraduate or graduate students who have and continue to demonstrate a passion for and excellence in civic and community involvement through leadership and education."

Just like Mike would have wanted, the scholarship will be cared for as a partnership between the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the University of Texas at Arlington, Downtown Arlington, and others. If you're interested in contributing to the Michael Jarrett Civic Leaders Scholarship endowment, please contact Katie Gosa, Downtown Arlington Vice President. 

Click here to learn more about Mike's life and legacy.

Downtown Arlington 2022 Annual Meeting awards presentations

Celebrating Downtown Leaders

Two additional awards were presented at the Downtown Arlington 2022 Annual Meeting. 

The Legendary Lionheart Award is given to a nonprofit organization or community leader in Downtown who "keeps the fires burning brightly and brings the human touch to our work." The 2022 Legendary Lionheart Award was presented to Greg Gardner, owner of Grease Monkey Burger Shop and Social Club and Cartel Taco Bar.

The Golden Lantern Award is given in recognition of "a courageous Downtown stakeholder, whose entrepreneurial ventures have turned into community legend." The 2022 Golden Lantern Award was presented to Walkable Arlington.

Additionally, incoming and outgoing Board Members were recognized for their service, including Board President, Judge Mary Tom Curnutt. Via video, Jalen Robinzine spoke, and in person Lilly Mechlem spoke (and sang!) about their internship experiences with Downtown Arlington and the growth of their shared passion for creative community-building. 

Lilly Mechlem

Celebrating a Lasting Partnership: City of Arlington, UTA, and Downtown Arlington

Featured on the program at the Downtown Arlington 2022 Annual Meeting was a lively conversation led by Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of Downtown Arlington, with Arlington Mayor Jim Ross and new UTA President Jennifer Cowley. 

DAMC President/CEO Maggie Campbell, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, UTA President Jennifer Cowley

When asked what they were looking forward to in Downtown Arlington, Mayor Ross and President Cowley were enthusiastic, optimistic, and focused:

  • A continued commitment to walkability, which Mayor Ross defined not just as sidewalks but as a comprehensive approach to creating destinations, ensuring safety, and building a true "college town" atmosphere where people become neighbors and friends.
  • Creating a seamless connection between Downtown and the Entertainment District in time for the World Cup, said Dr. Cowley, "is an opportunity to make a light shine on our City, and we want to show the very best that we have to offer."
  • Engaging more student and faculty artists and creatives with the activities of Downtown, which is named the Arlington Cultural District by the State of Texas.
  • Developing a collaborative vision for the former School of Social Work building (and site of the first Arlington High School), which Dr. Cowley described as a key location connecting the UTA campus and Downtown Arlington. 
  • Building on Downtown's collaborative nature, activate more creative partnerships with UTA throughout the District and in the new UTA Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Innovation.
  • Pursuing all projects through the lens of DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility), which Mayor Ross described as a top priority for Downtown and the City.

Getting Down to Business

During the program, two video montages highlighted the many UT Arlington alumni whose businesses and creative practices are located in Downtown Arlington, including:

Wally Hardin, The Man’s Shop
Vikash Bhula
, Lone Star Axe Throwing
Heidi Allison
, Sugar Bee Sweets and The Hive
Randy Ford
, J Gilligans Bar and Grill
Chris McMurrough
, Cloud 9 Perception
Estee and George Kramerov
, Hooligans and Kool Keg
Drew Campbell
, On Tap
Brandon Hurtado
, Hurtado Barbecue and Hayter's Bar
Kristene Toledo
, Inspirations Catering
Valerie Landry
, The Sanford House
Zech O’Rarden
, Camp TUF: The Ultimate Fitness
Natalie Ellis
, Growl Records
Josh Moore
, Inclusion Coffee
Clint Stephens
, Precision Press

"UT Arlington alumni are all over the world, making their alma mater proud," said Maggie Campbell, "but those alumni who choose to build a career, a business, and a life right here in Downtown are truly the visionaries of our district."

See more of these interviews on our Down to Business podcast series, which you can see on our website, our Facebook Live, and YouTube channels.

Final Thought: Two Words

Surrounded by so many examples of inspiring leadership in Downtown, Maggie Campbell spoke at the 2022 Annual Meeting about the heart of entrepreneurship. In her remarks, she offered two powerful concepts that summed up the event and serve to remind us how to light the way forward in Downtown Arlington:

Collision Density: Talent + Tolerance + Technology

Topaphilia: The love of a place