ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH
Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.
CFO of Creel Family Philanthropies
Life is hard. Business is hard. Being a female in business can sometimes be even harder. My mom also taught me to hold true to my values no matter what. This is something I pride myself on in all aspects of my life, but particularly in my professional life. Staying true to my values and priorities no matter the situation.
Meet May’s Woman of the Month! Whitney Creel is a Fort Worth native, a Fort Worth Country Day alum (2004), and an Aggie graduate who has taken the curveballs of life with grace, confidence, humility, and purpose. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business, Whitney fully intended to go to Law School but after meeting her husband and future Co-Founder, Todd, her senior year at A&M they quickly got married and moved to Oklahoma to follow his career in oil and gas services. Whitney describes further, “Now looking back I’m so thankful my path took a turn after I met him! After a short jaunt in Oklahoma we moved to Floresville TX and started Mustang Energy Services – where Todd served as CEO and myself as the CFO. Of the 3 years we spent in South Texas, our greatest accomplishment was the birth of our oldest son Kolt(8).”
Whitney is one of those women who could be considered an enigma because she is as beautiful as she is kind and is as generous as she is successful. As described by a dear friend, she inherited her salt-of-the-earth attitude from her dad, David, and her no-nonsense, work ethic from her mom, Kimberly, who her boys called “KK.”
What brought Whitney back to Fort Worth is the kind of punch in the gut that no child wants to endure. After losing her father in 2004 to a multiyear battle with lung cancer, Whitney explains further, “my mom, who also happened to be my very best friend, was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in early 2014. We decided to move our family back home to Fort Worth to be closer to her. Coming home was the best decision we ever made and I’m thankful God allowed us to find our way back here, even if it was a result of undesirable circumstances.” Whitney didn’t waste a moment once she arrived back in Cowtown. Within a few short years she and her husband had three more sons: Kase (6), Kix (3), and Krew (1) as well as sold their oil and gas business. Whitney describes the chaos of these years with inspiring optimism: “Sometimes it seems like our family thrives on chaos and hustle, so we embrace the busyness and enjoy this season of life.”
Two years later, in late 2016 Whitney’s mom passed away after a strenuous 6 rounds of chemo, a remission, a relapse and a stem cell transplant. Whitney vulnerably describes, “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life and some days I still can’t believe I’ve lived over 5 years without her and that my boys have lived most – and in some cases all – of their lives without their “KK”. I know this article is supposed to be about me, but I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without her. She taught me first and foremost to honor the Lord, work hard, and love big. She showed me what it means to be an amazing mother, how to be a successful female executive, how to set your priorities right and stick to them. She shaped me into the woman I am today.”
After taking some time to regroup after the loss of their beloved “KK”, Whitney and Todd started a synthetic grass and turf business, Superior Synthetic Grass and Turf, and were determined to simultaneously make a difference. When considering how to give back to her community, Whitney wanted to honor both of her parents, who, in the past 20 years, had died of two different, yet equally devastating cancers. These losses have fueled her passion to find the best, most effective cancer treatments for patients. Her hope is, of course, to one day find a cure which is the foundation of Creel Family Philanthropies. In Whitney’s words, “This is why the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was the perfect beneficiary for Creel Family Philanthropies’ inaugural event – the Cowtown Summer Soiree – coming this June.”
As we all know well, not all superheroes wear capes. When Whitney is not running between the boys’ school and their sporting events, she can be found at the office working for creelvest or Superior Grass and Turf, in the boardroom supporting multiple local business and non-profits, on the tennis court or planning their next family travel adventure. Sharing new places and the world with their boys is a passion for both her and her husband.
When looking forward to their inaugural event this June, the heart of the Creel Family is so evident. The inaugural Cowtown Summer Soirée is already taking Fort Worth by storm with their event in June having a very extensive waitlist. Their committee is stacked with enthusiastic players in Fort Worth, sponsorships have filled almost immediately, and the honorees are local warriors who have captured each of our hearts. The difference of Creel Family Philanthropies is in the intentional base of their foundation – while Whitney and Todd knew they could work with their families and friends to throw a good party and initially fundraise, they also felt it was incredibly important to instill a sense of benevolence in their four young boys. Their wish is that families are involved on a financial level as well as having ‘boots on the ground’. To round out this effort and to encourage future generations of Fort Worth to give back to the community, Creel Family Philanthropies will host an annual family-friendly event in addition to an adults-only cocktail gala.
Whitney is Cowtown through and through. She loves that “Fort Worth feels like home.” She describes further, “As cliché as that may sound, it’s true. After living my whole life here and then going to college in College Station, spending a quick year in Oklahoma and a few years in South TX; I can say there’s nothing like coming home. I guess you don’t realize how much you miss somewhere until you’re no longer there, and my 10 years away showed me exactly where I wanted to be. Our two oldest boys are in 2nd and Kindergarten at FWCD (our oldest and I even went to Kindergarten in the same classroom!), we have our businesses, our philanthropy, our friends and some of our family here. We love the people and the community, and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Determined. Determined is Whitney’s word for her impact as a businesswoman on our city. Despite every celebration, every hurdle, every success, and every heartache, Whitney has continued to march forward and in a way in which she can honorably hold her head high – determination at it’s finest. She describes in more detail, “Life is hard. Business is hard. Being a female in business can sometimes be even harder. Along the same lines of priorities I mentioned earlier, my mom also taught me to hold true to my values no matter what. This is something I pride myself on in all aspects of my life, but particularly in my professional life. Staying true to my values and priorities no matter the situation. Sadly, sometimes being this way comes at a disadvantage, but I firmly believe if you stay determined and do the right thing, it will ALWAYS pay off in the end. We are going to hit roadblocks in work and in life, it’s just a matter of do we turn around and go back, or do we find an alternate route and keep pushing forward? I like to keep pushing forward.”
Without a doubt, she’s a shining light in our city. If you’d like to contact Whitney personally or get involved with their foundation, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.creelfamilyphilanthropies.com & www.superiorgrassandturf.com.
Cowtown’s Summer Soirée
Cowtown’s Summer Soirée Honorees
Cowtown’s Summer Soirée Committee
Whitney and Todd Creel
Michelle has a passion for connecting, encouraging and informing about the good happening in our city. The good people, events, food, stores, entrepreneurs, and good deeds are her focus. She has created a niche for herself by using social media as a native marketing tool that has created meaningful exposure for local businesses in Fort Worth to a wide but very particular local audience.