Elaine Agather inspires at the 2021 Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame
Chic. Smart. Tough. Energetic. Perfectionist. Unstoppable.
John C. Goff, founder and chairman of Crescent Real Estate, Goff Capital, Canyon Ranch and Contango Oil & Gas said those words are how people would describe Elaine B. Agather, managing director of the Central U.S. for J.P. Morgan Private Bank and Fort Worth’s 2021 Business Executive of the Year. Agather was honored at the 51st Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame reception, held Nov. 16 at Dickies Arena.
Goff helped introduce Agather who he described as “my friend for many years, my partner and my banker.”
“It’s hard to live in North Texas and not know Elaine and her involvement and impact on our broader community,” said Goff. “No one can outwork Elaine. No one. She's ever-present.”
Agather was also recognized for her commitment to the next generation of business leaders: a commitment that Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach described after she spoke with students during an on-campus visit in October at the Nick and Lou Martin University Center.
“In addition to her genuine and approachable nature, she offered our students wise and real-world advice as to how they should prepare for life after college,” said Slabach.
Part of Agather’s visit included lunch with University friends. But she would be a few minutes behind, as she was spending time connecting with each student who wanted to speak with her, a line that stretched all the way to the door of Paul and Judy Andrews Hall.
“Elaine had her priorities straight, giving intentional, individualized attention to every single student upon whom she had obviously made a memorable impact,” said Slabach.
After being officially honored, Agather took the stage and recognized the Business Hall of Fame’s mission of informing, supporting and educating youth, saying in part that “the importance of education is something that never changes. It is freedom. It is opportunity. It is empowerment. It gives us choices. It’s a job and it changes lives. It sure changed my life.”
This year’s Business Hall of Fame raised a record amount of more than $500,000 towards funding the Thomas H. Law Scholarship, ensuring that future outstanding undergraduate students are recognized for excelling in the classroom.
Agather also described how she thought moving to Fort Worth would be a temporary career move, but ended up falling in love with the city and its people. Here, she learned how to be a leader, a great banker, and so much more.
“They also taught me that to be a great business leader, you have a responsibility to the community. You need to care about it, and you need to give back.”
She ended the night by challenging the audience to train, teach and pass on their knowledge to the business leaders that will follow in their footsteps.
“Let’s all continue to brace the next generation of leaders by passing on what we have learned over the years. Leaders do not grow in isolation. It’s all about educating that next generation and helping open the gates for them. And if we do it right, they will be better than we were.”