From the desk of...May 13, 2013
From the desk of ...
Executive Vice President
of Economic Development
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Special to the Business Press
When the entire Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce staff received new desks 10 years ago, President and CEO Bill Thornton wanted to keep his old one. It was the only desk with a glass top. Now David Berzina, the Chamber’s executive vice president of economic development, is the owner of Thornton’s old desk, which is only slightly scuffed from years of important economic deal making.
“I’m able to put the map of the entire Metroplex under the glass top,” said Berzina. “I’m able to see where the rail lines are in relation to a site. My other map under the glass is of the city council position districts.”
When Berzina arrives at the office, the Wall Street Journal is positioned at the top center of the desk so he can peruse the editorial page every morning. Between his inbox and a few active files (Berzina is involved in about seven to eight projects a day involving workforce, retention and recruiting) sits his all-important black leather day planner.
“When I’m on the phone, which I’m on a lot, I’ll write down phone numbers and notes that I don’t write on my iPad,” he said. “This is important to me – the old standard written notebook. I take it home each night.”
Inside the planner is Berzina’s nearly 20-year-old, slightly dented gold Cross ballpoint pen engraved with his name, given to him as a goodbye gift when he left his first job as a marketing coordinator in 1994. Berzina doesn’t use the pen much but admits it would be “slightly painful” if he lost it.
On the credenza behind his desk sit his phone, photos of his wife, daughter and son, a mountain of business cards, four Rolodexes, more files and a statue of an eagle given to him by a former boss during his time with the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. An iPad plays classic rock such as Neil Young via Pandora and a small, muted TV broadcasts CNBC market tickers along with the occasional daytime Texas Rangers game.
After daily meetings at his desk with city and county staff, Berzina sorts paperwork back into respective manila folder homes. These days his desk stays busy year round, he says, whereas prior to six or seven years ago the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year tended to be quieter.
“Together with other chambers and the city and county, we are putting proposals together every week,” he said. “At the end of day, around 5:30 to 5:45 p.m., or sometimes later, I’ll put everything back so it looks like this when I get back in.”