Looking Back: A Retirement Interview with Julia Summers, a Camp Fire First Texas blog

Camp Fire First Texas has named Ryan Barrera chief advancement officer (CAO), a newly-created role. Camp Fire is a 109-year-old Fort Worth based nonprofit organization providing out-of-school time and outdoor learning programs for children and youth while also offering workforce development programs for the educators who care for them.

In this senior-level role, Barrera will lead a high-performance team of development, marketing, and volunteer management professionals and oversee fund development activities, community engagement, marketing, and volunteer management. He brings a passion for providing excellent stakeholder experience and building stronger teams.

“We created this position to better align our fundraising and communications departments as our organization continues to grow,” said Lauren Richard president and CEO of Camp Fire First Texas. “Camp Fire’s operating budget has grown significantly to $7.9 million and our aim is to keep that momentum going by continuing to engage new donors.”

As CAO, it is important for Barrera to build and lead a diverse, dynamic team to ensure not only that the day-to-day activities run smoothly, but steward relationships with the philanthropic community of Tarrant County, and current and prospective donors to support the mission and strategic goals.

Prior to joining Camp Fire, Barrera was director of development and community relations for The Salvation Army of North Texas. He has previously held development positions with Canine Companions for Independence, Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

“Camp Fire is an organization that is near and dear to my family, with both my wife and mother-in-law being served by the mission as youth and serving it later as adults. Its long-standing roots in the community and outstanding reputation for igniting the spark for several generations of young people make Camp Fire a very compelling fit for me,” said Ryan Barrera.

Barrera is involved in and has served in board leadership roles with several local organizations, including Rotary Club of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Metro Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the University of North Texas Alumni Association.

Barrera is a graduate of the University of North Texas (UNT), Denton, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences in 2010.

“I had two adjunct professors at UNT that were instrumental in showing me that a career in the nonprofit sector could be a viable route for me. They are friends and mentors to this day. From my first nonprofit job opportunity, I have had the wonderful privilege of working with many outstanding professionals that have all had a great impact on my professional and personal growth,” said Barrera. “I hope to continue that growth in this role at Camp Fire and in connecting with the Fort Worth community.”

Connect with Ryan at [email protected] or 817.831.2111, ext. 154

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About Camp Fire First Texas
Camp Fire First Texas invests in North Texas communities by providing out-of-school time and outdoor learning programs for children and youth while also offering workforce development programs for the educators who care for them.

Our programs stand out as they are uniquely focused on the two periods of greatest brain growth and development: early childhood and early adolescence; leverage the impact of the outdoor environment on the brain to educate and connect children to each other and the world around them; and maintain a continuous improvement loop to maximize community impact.

Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. We strive to create safe and inclusive environments that celebrate diversity and foster positive relationships.