For Erika Ramos, one of the great things about Fort Worth is a lot of small business owners collaborate, work together and help one another out.
“Being able to connect to our industry and offer some advice and tips was really rewarding,” Ramos said.
That community is what the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Saturday night. Ramos, owner of Fort Worth’s Game Theory Restaurant and Bar, earned the chamber’s 2023 Businesswomen of the Year award, which she will receive at the Hecho en Fort Worth Gala.
“It’s a round of applause for tremendous business leaders out there who are accomplishing a lot,” chamber president Anette Landeros said. “But — it’s also an inspiration piece for those who are sitting back with secret aspirations of opening their own business when they see people around them building it.”
2023 50th Annual Gala Award Recipients
2023 John V. McMillan Hall of Fame Recipient
- Dick Salinas, Co-founder of Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
2023 Business of the Year Recipient
- The Capital Grille Fort Worth, Gloria Starling, Managing Partner
2023 Businesswomen of the Year
- Erika Ramos, Owner of Game Theory Restaurant and Bar
2023 Businessman of the Year Recipient
2023 Community Advocate of the Year
- Rachel Arellano, Community Outreach Coordinator at Tarrant County
2023 Chairman’s Award
- Rosa Navejar, President at The Rios Group
2023 Ambassador of the Year
- Diego Huerta, Maverick Realty Group
2023 Visita Fort Worth Award
Ramos loves fostering that potential, she said. A chamber board member, she recently served as a judge for the organization’s business pitch competition.
“Sometimes, people sit back and say, ‘Hey, maybe I can do it, too,’” Landeros said.
Just like Ramos.
That confident, inspired mentality is what fueled her to the top of her field, she said.
Ramos, 32, was born and raised in Fort Worth. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Ramos moved back to North Texas, where she worked for a large corporation in Dallas.
But she and her husband always knew they wanted to start something of their own. In July 2019, they did.
Game Theory, 803 S. Main St., opened in Near Southside and has been successful since, Ramos said. The unique restaurant concept pairs board games with food.
The business was built on the belief that everyone should be able to enjoy board game night all year long, Ramos said.
“It’s bringing the community together,” Ramos said. “I’ll call it our front-facing mission from the beginning.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges Ramos has seen other restaurant owners face recently caused her to reprioritize.
“Internally, as a business, we want to do better for the people who work for us, knowing the restaurant industry is a really tough industry,” Ramos said. “As business owners, we challenge ourselves with, ‘How can we not just bring fun to the customers that walk through our doors, but how do we improve the lives of the people that come to work every day for our business?’”
That forward-looking thinking is what Landeros praised about Ramos.
She wants more restaurant owners and small business owners, to pay close attention to Ramos. At 32, she’s already won an annual award. Her growth at such a young age is what the chamber is all about, Landeros said.
“She has the kind of ingenuity that we’re really proud of, as do all our award winners,” Landeros said, emphasizing that business owners should feel comfortable stepping “outside the box” in Fort Worth.
“What we want to do is continue to build a community that is not intimidating, easy to engage, where you feel welcomed and you can find valuable resources… Hecho en Fort Worth is part of that,” she said.
Disclosure: Erika Ramos is a member of the Fort Worth Report’s Reader Advisory Council. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.
Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com.