LVTRise celebrates next phase of acquired community center taking it from plans to reality

District 3 Fort Worth City Councilman Brian Byrd and the Board of Directors introduced a new executive director and celebrated the start of the first phase on construction for the LVTRise Community Center.

Willie Rankin takes over the executive director role of LVTRise after leaving Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, where he served as the Relationship Manager, according to a news release.

Members of the board assembled for a demolition ceremony commemorating the beginning of the revitalization of 8201 Calmont Ave., formerly operated by the YMCA. Earlier this year, the City of Fort Worth bought the property to convert the location into the Calmont Park Community Center operated by LVTRise.

“It is a special day today for LVTRise. I am so thrilled that we as a community are gathered to celebrate the next phase of this much-needed community center,” Byrd said. “Today is even more special as we pass the reigns to Willie and his team.”

Rankin said he was excited to join this the to change the trajectory of the neighborhood and focus on the quality of livelihoods for families in the area.

our families,” Rankin said. “LVTRise is focused on positively impacting the lives with our nine goals.”

LVTRise has nine goals, which Rankin said all have measurable values.

The nine impact goals are education, family stability, safety, health and wellness, quality housing, mental well-being, employment, revitalization and economic impact.

The event also launched a capital campaign for the center.

LVTRise needs an additional $1.5 million to complete Phase II of the revitalization of the center and to furnish it properly.

Once completed, the center will provide social services from a litany of providers ranging from education, economic development, healthcare, parenting guidance, and other services missing from the neighborhood.

LVTRise will serve as a hub center, providing space for the services to operate within a regular schedule, the news release said.

Willie Rankin formally served as the Relationship Manager for Catholic Charities of Fort Worth. His areas of responsibility were focused on managing church and nonprofit partnerships for client services and fundraising purposes.

Rankin built a reputation in the Tarrant County community by developing strong collaborative relationships, seeking new community partnership opportunities, and cultivating individuals for fundraising and engagement.

Currently, he serves on the board of directors for Leadership Fort Worth, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s West Area Council, and BRIDGE Fort Worth. Rankin has also served on committees for the Blue Zones Project and the 2017 City of Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee.

He served in the United States Marine Corps and deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he credits the development of his leadership skills to manage operations, negotiate contracts and cultivate business opportunities.

Rankin earned his executive MBA from the University of Texas in Arlington. He and his wife have a 3-year-old son.

– FWBP Staff

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