Renegotiating NAFTA: Local Impact, National Concern
Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth
Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth on June 18, 2011.
A successful business owner for 17 years, Mayor Price began her career in public service as Tarrant County Tax Assessor in 2000 and quickly used her business experience to make her department one of the most efficient in Texas, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Holding the line on costs and improving customer service, Mayor Price helped the Tax Assessor’s office win national and statewide awards for efficiency, innovation and performance. Her office efficiently handled an increasing workload — Tarrant County grew by more than 200,000 people during her tenure — and accomplished that with virtually no increase in her department’s budget.
Mayor Price’s stewardship of a department that collects $3.2 billion in taxes a year has helped Tarrant County become one of the few governments in the country to live within its means. During her time in office, the county saw no budget shortfalls or deficits.
Born in Fort Worth, Mayor Price has been a leader in Cowtown’s business, government and community service groups all her life — from Sunday school, the PTA and Camp Fire Girls to serving as Vice President of the Red Cross and board member of the Police Department’s Bike Officers Citizen Support Club, as well as professional associations.
After graduating from Arlington Heights High School, she earned a science degree in biology at the University of Texas in Arlington. Before being elected to office, she owned Price Cornelius Title Service. Betsy and her husband Tom, an insurance executive, have three children, two grandsons and three dogs.
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas
Elected Mayor of the City of Dallas in June 2011, Michael Rawlings brings three decades of high-level business and civic leadership to Dallas City Hall. As the Mayor of Dallas, Mayor Rawlings’s appointment to the DFW Airport Board runs concurrently with his mayoral term.
Mayor Rawlings came to Dallas in 1976. He worked his way up from an entry-level position to become the CEO of Tracy-Locke. After a 20-year career in marketing and advertising, Mayor Rawlings took the helm as CEO of Pizza Hut. Under his leadership, the company had a major upturn in business and was named D Magazine’s "The Best Company to Work for in Dallas." Most recently, Mayor Rawlings served as Managing Partner of CIC Partners, a Dallas-based private equity fund. He was also Chairman and CEO of Legends Hospitality Management.
Mayor Rawlings has served as a volunteer civic leader. He served as President of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Board and Chair of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. During the five years Mayor Rawlings served as Dallas Homeless Czar, the city reduced its number of chronically homeless by nearly 57 percent. Currently, he sits on the Board of Trustees of Jesuit College Preparatory. He has been an active lecturer at many universities and an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University.
Mayor Rawlings has received many honors throughout his professional and civic career. He was awarded the 2007 Innovation Award from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for his commitment to tackling the homeless situation in Dallas. He also received the Dallas Historical Society’s Award for Excellence in Humanities, the Anti-Defamation League’s Humanitarian of the Year for 2010, and the 2011 Destiny Award for his commitment and effort toward bridging relationships between racial communities within DFW.
Mayor Rawlings graduated magna cum laude from Boston College, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and communications. He and his wife Micki have two adult children, Michelle and Gunnar.
Steve Verheul, Chief Trade Negotiator, North American Free Trade Agreement, Global Affairs Canada
In early 2009, Mr. Verheul was appointed as Canada’s Chief Trade Negotiator for negotiations between Canada and the European Union in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Prior to that appointment, he worked in international trade policy at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada from 1989 to 2009, where he worked on the NAFTA negotiations, the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations that led to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Doha Round of WTO negotiations. He was Canada’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator from 2003 to 2009, responsible for leading Canada’s involvement in international trade negotiations on agriculture, including the WTO. Mr. Verheul graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1984, after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science.