When Shelly Dodge recently took over as President of the Cross Timbers Rotary, it became her reality that there’d be a six-month overlap with this new role and her current term as the Chairman of the Board for the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce. For many people, that might be too much responsibility to shoulder at once.
But then again, not everyone is Shelly Dodge.
“I really do have a lot of great people around me,” Dodge said while playing down the role. “I’m just the head cheerleader.”
Dodge is as humble and gracious as they come, but “Cheerleader” doesn’t do her contributions to the Flower Mound area over the past 26 years near enough justice. A longtime resident, small-business owner, and doting mother to four amazing children, Dodge has proven time and again that she has a tireless dedication to serving her community. Not only is she the Chairman of the Board for the Flower Mound Chamber, which she’s been a member of since 2013, and the Cross Timbers Rotary President, but she’s donated her time, talent, and treasure to numerous worthwhile organizations. A few include Journey to Dream, the Lewisville Education Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and more.
She’s opened her home to a foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic, and, prior to COVID-19, was a guest each semester teaching investments at both Flower Mound high schools. She has 35 years in the financial services industry and started her full-service financial services firm, Visionary Financial Group, in 2012.
With all that time invested in the community, the accolades continue to roll in, too.
In her first year with the Chamber, her business was named Rookie of the Year. VFG was also named Business of the Year in 2018 and is a four-time Best of Denton County award winner. A few of her accomplishments include being a charter member of the Cross Timbers Rotary club and helping raise enough money as the Gala Chair for Journey to Dream to purchase Kyle’s Place, the only homeless shelter in Denton County to house and care for teens between 14-19 years old.
But even that short list barely scratches the surface in terms of what Dodge has done for others.
“When I went out on my own, I knew I wanted to start here in the Flower Mound area — even though many of my clients were in Fort Worth at the time,” Dodge said. “I wanted to set down my roots where I lived, and one thing I didn’t realize I was missing out on while in Corporate America was being part of a community and giving back. I jumped in feet first.”
As she mentioned earlier, she’s had some great people to walk alongside throughout the last several decades. She pointed to people like Kathy Beahm, who has been her office manager since the beginning, her staff, children, mother, and the countless volunteers, board members, friends, and family who share her community-first spirit.
“When I first joined the Chamber, I remember walking into a fall mixer and not knowing a single person. And it really does feel like you’re the new kid in school,” Dodge said. “But once I got to know people, I always made it a point to, if I saw someone new walk in, go over and introduce myself. And then I’d introduce them to other people. People would give me the nickname, ‘the connector’ because I just didn’t want any new member to feel like they didn’t know anyone.”
Dodge is a giving person, but those qualities were encouraged even more being in such a great community as Flower Mound and Denton County as a whole. And she doesn’t intend on slowing down any time soon.
“I’ve found a way to balance work and my personal life very well over the years,” Dodge said. “This is simply what I love to do, and like I said, I have always had a lot of great people around me, and I have an amazing personal support group.”