Bill Thornton has served as President and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce since October 2000. He joined the Chamber in 1989 as director of local business development and was named vice president of economic development in 1992. During his tenure, the Chamber’s economic development division was twice named one of the nation’s top 10 economic development organizations by Site Selection magazine.
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has more than 2,200 member companies, and its award-winning programs, publications and initiatives are recognized nationwide.
As president, Thornton has been intimately involved in numerous community initiatives, including the Wright Amendment agreement, the Base Realignment and Closure task force, and the formation of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.
Thornton has been recognized as one of the top economic development practitioners by Southern Business & Development magazine, and Businessman of the Year by the Fort Worth Business Press. In 2007, he was named one of Fort Worth’s 50 Most Powerful People by Fort Worth, Texas magazine.
He is past chair of the Metro 8 Chambers, which represents the largest cities in Texas on many legislative fronts, and is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. Locally, he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Davey O’Brien Foundation, Advisory Board of Directors of the Van Cliburn Foundation, and is a former two-term president of the Candleridge Homeowners Association.
Thornton holds BA and MA degrees from Southwest Texas State University, where he coached football for 10 seasons and then coached for six years at Texas Christian University prior to joining the Chamber.
He is a native Texan and has been a resident of Fort Worth for more than 25 years. He is married to Fort Worth banker Lyle Thornton, and between them share four children and two grandchildren.