He jokes that he can’t say no, but the real reason behind Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley’s tireless public service traces to his parents.
“They taught us that we were blessed by the community we live in,” says the 1976 accounting graduate, “and we owe it to our community to give back as much as we possibly can.”
As Tarrant County’s chief elected officer, Judge Whitley presides over the County Commissioners Court. Under his leadership, the county’s bond package helped cities build and widen roads, and he was instrumental in improving access and care at JPS Health Network.
“There’s a tremendous spirit of generosity in Tarrant County,” he says. “We try to make sure government doesn’t get in the way of that.”
In addition to careers in county government and accounting (he co-founded the Whitley Penn accounting firm in 1983), Whitley’s civic and professional involvement is prolific. He is a past president of the National Association of Counties and of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, as well as a past chairman of the Regional Transportation Council and the Texas Conference on Urban Counties. Gov. Rick Perry recently reappointed him to the Governing Board of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.
This barely scratches the surface of his community engagement. At UT Arlington, he serves on the Department of Accounting Advisory Board and received the department’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.
“It’s been tremendous to watch UTA transform itself,” Whitley says. “The University has had a huge impact on my life. It offers students a great opportunity to get an education and make an impact in the community.”