TexStar National Bank announces Ted Cook as Senior Vice President-Lending

TexStar National Bank has hired Ted Cook as Senior Vice President-Lending. Ted has 37 years of banking experience and will work at business development and lending at the bank’s New Braunfels location in the Rush Enterprises building located at 555 Interstate 35, Suite 100. He comes to TexStar from First Victoria National Bank, formerly First State Bank of New Braunfels.

Learn more about TexStar National Bank 

San Antonio Engineer Wade Cleary Announced as Pillar of Character

Wade Cleary, managing principal of Cleary Zimmermann Engineers, is a graduate of Northside ISD (NISD) and was recently recognized as Pillar of Trustworthiness by the Northside Education Foundation (NEF). Pillars are Northside ISD’s highest award, and were announced jointly by NISD Superintendent John M. Folks, Ed.D. and Northside Education Foundation President Merry K. Raba at the foundation’s annual banquet last week.

At age 32, Cleary was in the “top 40 under 40” of San Antonio Business Journal. Now he and his engineering firm are currently working on the new San Antonio Federal Courthouse. In his speech before almost 700 business partners, community members, and employees at the event, Cleary cites – besides his father, an electrical engineer, and mother who was a mechanical engineer – his Clark High School physics teacher was an inspiration.

When he was a freshman, he moved to San Antonio from Pleasanton and joined the football team where he said, “I learned a lot about teamwork.” He later graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and as a mechanical engineer at Marmon Mok Architects, he quickly became the firm’s youngest partner.

Cleary Zimmermann Engineers, founded in 2006, is among the nation’s 100-largest MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) firms and has been named one of the “best places to work in S.A.” two years in a row. Cleary is Chairman of the Small Business Council of the North San Antonio Chamber, and President-elect of NEF, co-sponsor of the Pillar program.

In addition to Cleary, five other outstanding NISD graduates were feted as Pillars of Northside’s Foundation, chosen from the 100,000 graduates since the first graduating class in NISD history (1951). Pillars represent the six character traits taught to NISD students in grades kindergarten through 12 and are part of the copyrighted Josephson’s Institute Character Counts Program. Pillars will serve an entire year as role models of character for NISD’s 98,000 students – the fourth-largest school system in Texas. In addition to their speeches given at the September 5th Pillar Banquet, honorees will visit campuses, talk to students and be depicted on posters displayed in over 6,000 NISD classrooms throughout the 2012-2013 School Year.

Cleary Zimmermann Engineers is a consulting engineering firm offering professional services tailored for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) building systems. Our heritage spans over three decades and includes a diverse portfolio of challenging and inspiring projects in both public and private sectors. The hallmark of our culture is simply relationship-oriented client service. By virtue of diligent professional development and the most advanced technology available, we consistently deliver excellence. Cleary Zimmermann Engineers offers the following services:

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) designs that seamlessly integrate and complement building architecture
  • Attentive and Responsive culture of project communication and coordination
  • Knowledge and Experience that come with over 30 years of engineering heritage
  • LEED® Accredited Professionals for sustainable, energy-conscious designs
  • NEBB® Certified Commissioning assures nationally recognized tests and verification procedures
  • Turn-Key Resources for one-stop MEP expertise in project planning, commissioning, design, construction, testing and occupancy.

Learn more about Cleary Zimmermann

Padgett Stratemann & Co. earns industry, community recognition

Padgett Stratemann Ranked 107 Largest CPA Firm in US

The Platt Group, publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), recently released its Beyond the IPA Top 100 –  a ranking of the nation’s Top 200 Accounting Firms.

For more than 20 years, IPA has maintained a tradition of compiling its annual lists of Top 100 Accounting Firms, the Best of the Best, and All-Stars. Each list devoted to showcasing U.S. based CPA firms who have helped to shape industry standards and who have defined the true meaning of customer service.

Padgett Stratemann couldn’t be prouder to be ranked alongside so many innovative CPA firms. Who like us – know the value of building strong teams in order to offer Service. More Than Expected.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Selects PS&Co. as Corporate Big of the Year  for 2012

When asked why PS&Co. was selected to receive its highest recognition awarded to a corporation, Alida Tallman – Vice President of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas (BBBS) stated – “Padgett Stratemann is truly a unique corporate  philanthropic  partner.  From  sponsoring  several  of   BBBS’ signature events, including the Ice Ball gala and Leadership Circle reception, to volunteering at Bowl for Kids, the Holiday Party, and Hobie Day, Padgett’s year-round commitment to BBBS is unparalleled. The true giving spirit of Padgett’s leadership and staff represents the best in corporate commitment to helping children in need. In addition to the company’s ongoing support, their Director of Marketing – Maria Barrett – will serve as judge for the Texas Big of the Year submissions in January 2013.

PS&Co. Execs Rank Second in NSIDE Magazine’s Corporate Executive Fit Challenge

Partners: Bill Dimick and Joel Perez – HR Director: Michelle Wiederstein, and Senior Manager: Marc Sewell – competed in the Executive Fit Company Challenge hosted by NSIDE Magazine and Fit Company.

Contenders from across the city of San Antonio were put to the test to determine their levels of endurance and fitness. Competing against the clock and their personal best, the PS&Co.  team received two awards – a second place overall team ranking and an individual ranking by Michelle Wiederstein who received the Most Inspirational contender award. Michelle was a last minute step-in and completed the course in just over 24 minutes – bringing in the top ranking for the team, which helped to secure the teams 2nd place position over Digital Defense, Inc.

South San Antonio Chamber Awards Padgett Stratemann Silver In 2012 Healthy Workplace Awards

With a deep commitment to helping team members stay healthy in order to be the very best they can be for both their families and the communities in which they serve, the firm was pleased to be recognized for it’s wellness efforts by the South San Antonio Chamber.  PS&Co. will continue its efforts to educate team members on what it means to live healthy and strong, support their wellness efforts, and provide healthy alternatives in and outside the workplace.

In addition to our firm recognitions, several team members were recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as leading business professionals for their commitment to excellence, including:

Denise Bendele Receives 2012 Women’s Leadership Award

Each year, the San Antonio Business Journal selects a group of leaders from the Alamo City to receive its coveted Women’s Leadership Award.  Although 100 nominations were submitted for the 2012 program, only the very best rose to the top – including Denise Bendele, who heads-up the firm’s Audit practice. Denise was one of two female business leaders to receive the Corporate Executive award.

“I am proud that I have been with the same company since I graduated from college” – stated Denise. “I have done just about every job here”, she continued.

Denise heads-up the firm’s construction industry practice, serves on its Executive Committee, and is the partner-in-charge of Padgett Stratemann University – the firm’s commitment to continued professional development of its team members. A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Analyst, Denise leads by example in all she does.

Will Kothmann Named One of SA’s 40Under40

Each year, the San Antonio Business Journal selects 40 exceptional individuals under the age of 40 who are making great strides in their professional careers and are contributing positively to the San Antonio community.

This year’s winners were selected from a pool of more than 200 nominations – and although the competition was tough, Senior Manager – Will Kothmann – rose to the top as a business professional who more than understood the importance of family, community, and professional commitment.

The firm’s congratulates Will for immolating the characteristics needed to serve with the strongest of ethical convictions.

San Antonio’s 1942 gamble to buy CPS Energy keeps paying dividends

by Tracy Idell Hamilton

In 1942, the city of San Antonio made a $34 million bet to buy the local utility – one that has paid off to the tune of more than $5 billion so far.

More than 50 years later, the city made another crucial calculation, to hang on to CPS Energy in the face of a deregulated energy market. That decision, too, has paid off for city and ratepayers, who continue to enjoy some of the lowest rates in Texas.

First, the bet: at the time, the San Antonio Public Service Company, known as Sapsco, ran the city’s power plants, gas network, and streetcar lines.  Sapsco was owned by American Light and Traction Co. through the 1920s and 1930s, but antitrust laws forced the company to divest its utility holdings across the country.

The Lower Colorado River Authority approached then-Mayor C.K. Quinn about breaking up the utility; LCRA would buy the power plants, while the city would purchase the distribution network — the lines and poles.

Quinn was amenable to the idea, according to CPS Energy’s de facto historian Joe Fulton, who worked for the utility for 34 years. But a local entrepreneur, Ralph Morrison, approached the mayor and City Commissioners with a better idea: buy it all.

City leaders ultimately saw the wisdom in San Antonio controlling its own power, and made a bid to buy the company. But the LCRA and the Blanco-Guadalupe River Authority fought back. Lawsuits “came thick and fast,” according to an Oct. 20, 1942 article in the San Antonio Express, and it looked for a time like there would be no deal.

But on Oct. 24, 1942, the last day possible, the city of San Antonio prevailed. It issued $33.9 million in bonds to purchase Sapsco. As part of the deal, the city had to sell a plant on the Comal River to the GBRA. It also sold off the streetcar division of the company.

Also as part of the deal, the new company, known as the City Public Service Board, would return up to 14 percent of revenue to the city of San Antonio as the return on its investment. That money would go into the general fund, where it’s used to fund police and firefighters, roads, drainage and other core city services.

Since 1942, CPS Energy has returned more than $5 billion to its owners, the people of San Antonio. Today that money — roughly $250 million annually — is the city’s largest single revenue stream, and makes up almost one-third of the city’s general fund budget.

In the mid-1990s, however, big changes to the industry were looming. States across the country were deregulating their energy markets; city and CPS Energy officials knew Texas wouldn’t be far behind.

The state Legislature tried to deregulate in 1997, but couldn’t come to an agreement that pleased either privately owned or municipally owned utilities, Fulton said.

“But we saw the writing on the wall,” he said, and CPS Energy began preparing to enter a competitive market, if necessary. That would mean the end of tax-exempt financing, and the need to separate transmission and generation into separate companies. CPS Energy officials also worked “to get leaner and meaner,” said Fulton, reducing staff and updating business practices.

Also in 1997, the City Council conducted a review into whether selling CPS Energy to a private company, paying off the debt and putting the remainder in a trust would be a wise course of action, according to a 1999 story in the San Antonio Express-News.

The study found the city would have to get $16 billion for the utility to “reap the same benefits under the current structure.” The last utility to fetch that kind of price, the story went on, was four times the size of CPS Energy.

The city chose to hang on to its utility.

CPS Energy customers still have some of the lowest rates in the state, and the city is able to pay for vital, basic services with the continuing return on the investment it made in 1942.

“That is a humungous return,” said Fulton. “That’s how important this company is.”

Watch CPS Energy’s 70th anniversary video, featuring an interview with Joe Fulton.


UTSA College of Engineering offers CIP course, “Merging Lean Methodology with Organization Behavior”

The UTSA College of Engineering invites you to attend a free Continuous Improvement Professionals (CIP) Seminar (lunch included), “Merging Lean Methodology with Organization Behavior,” offered by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems at UTSA.

Topic: “Merging Lean Methodology with Organization Behavior”

When: Friday, December 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Where: Engineering Building (EB) Room 3.04.66 at UTSA’s Main (1604) Campus

Speaker: Mike Bull, Micro Accountability

In this presentation, Mr. Mike Bull will explain about how changing behavior in people can assist the objectives of implementing lean systems. Even after we introduce the best processes that our cleverest minds can come up with, our people, for a variety of reasons, may not follow them, or are prone to errors and mistakes. This tendency can become a source of unnecessary waste and inefficiency. The latest methods for reducing people related defective performance, in line with our lean objectives, is the focus for this free seminar.

RSVP to:
Hung-da Wan Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems


Parking: Please park in the Multi-Level Garage at the end of Ximenes Ave. Ground parking is by permit only.


SPURS calendars for sale at SACU branches

SACU (San Antonio Federal Credit Union) has 2012-2013 San Antonio Spurs calendars for sale at all San Antonio branches. The calendars are also available for purchase at spurs.com and during all home games (outside of Section 105).

SACU sponsored the production of the full-color wall calendar, which is filled with Spurs family photos, player action shots, the Silver Dancers, and the Spurs and Rampage game schedules. Over the past 15 years, calendar sales have provided more than half a million dollars, benefiting approximately 100 local charities and non-profit organizations. Production of the annual calendar is a fundraising project of the Spurs Home Court (wives and girlfriends of Spurs players and coaching staff members) and Silver & Black Give Back.

As the Official Credit Union of the San Antonio Spurs, SACU is the only credit union that can offer you the Spurs Silver Card Platinum MasterCard® with Spurs Rewards powered by ScoreCard®, where you earn Bonus Points and redeem as you wish for Spurs merchandise, travel and more!

SACU is a $2.9 billion credit union, with 17 locations in San Antonio and one location in Houston. The credit union provides convenience to members through a network of ATMs and free online and mobile banking. The credit union also provides benefits to members with competitive yields on savings, lower loan rates, and reasonably priced financial services. There are hundreds of ways to become a member of SACU. For information, visit www.sacu.com.

Schott Promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at Security Service Federal Credit Union

Steve Schott, CPA, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer for Security Service Federal Credit Union. Schott joined Security Service as assistant controller in 1990 and moved up through the ranks during his 22 years at the credit union.  Prior to his promotion, he served as the senior vice president of accounting and finance. As chief financial officer, he will lead strategic planning and budgeting and direct accounting operations for the $6.7 billion credit union.

“Steve has a consistent track record in outstanding performance, thorough analyses and high-value contributions to Security Service over the years,” says David Reynolds, president and chief executive officer.

Schott is active in the community, serving as a former board chairman for the San Antonio Area American Red Cross, membership chairman for the Knights of Columbus and golf classic chairman for Security Service’s Charitable Foundation. He received his bachelor’s in business administration from Texas State University.

About Security Service Federal Credit Union
Security Service Federal Credit Union offers competitive, affordable financial products and services designed to meet the needs of its members. Security Service is an industry-leading financial institution with more than $6.7 billion in assets and more than 900,000 members in Texas, Colorado, Utah and around the world. Headquartered in San Antonio, the credit union is among the top 10 credit unions in the nation and is the largest in San Antonio. Security Service strives to be America’s best credit union and provides the true benefits of credit union membership with financial services of the highest quality and value. Learn more at www.ssfcu.org or call 1-888-415-7878.

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio to offer Thanksgiving Day buffet

On Thursday, November 22, Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio, will offer a dedicated Thanksgiving Day buffet available from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The cost is $72 per person; children ages 6-12, $36.00; children 5 and younger, free. The buffet menu includes classic breakfast options, chef prepared salads, fresh seafood selections and a gourmet carving station. The buffet also includes complimentary parking and choice of champagne, mimosas and bloody marys; all other alcoholic beverages are non-inclusive.

Las Canarias’ regular à la carte dining, with added holiday features, will resume at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, please call Las Canarias at (210) 518-1063.

Make the Most of Your Membership

Through the involvement of individual and corporate members representing small and large organizations from a range of industries, the North SA Chamber is building business and leaders across Bexar County.

North SA Chamber members …

  • Make business-to-business connections
  • Advocate for business
  • Focus on an issue and get involved on a committee
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Learn about community initiatives
  • Apply for award recognition
  • Share information
  • Gain visibility
  • Promote your company

Now, the North SA Chamber is offering more opportunities for members to amplify their involvement with benefits that help to deliver a return on your membership investment. In fact, after surveying our members you told us that you’re looking for ways to promote your businesses, get more company visibility and share information with other professionals.

The North SA Chamber has created a dynamic, cross-platform digital content and marketing program that integrates web and social media to promote our members. We post member news to our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter channels and help you fan-build with reciprocating “likes” and “follows” for active members, and Chairman’s Council members receive additional benefits that pack a lot of punch for the marketing dollar.

Chairman’s Council Benefit Features:
(Benefits vary based on level of Chairman’s Council membership.)

  • Membership plaque, window cling noting Chairman’s Council membership status
  • Chairman’s Council membership level classification/prioritization in online membership directory
  • Enhancements (color background and logo) to online membership directory listing
  • Complimentary attendance for company representative at exclusive quarterly Chairman’s Council events
  • Frequent “Share” and “Re-Tweet” of member company social media content
  • Member press releases/articles published in chamber blog
  • Member news in chamber blog posts featured on chamber website homepage and shared to chamber social media outlets
  • Member news in chamber blog posts featured in chamber email newsletter at least once during year
  • Company sponsorship banner on select chamber website pages and in email newsletter
  • Company recognition in Chairman’s Council event email invitations to Chairman’s Council level members
  • Provide white papers, webinars and/or instructional video for distribution to members and/or member prospects – Coming soon!

If you’re interested in learning more about Chairman’s Council and how you can access these benefits, please explore our Membership Benefits and Marketing Toolkit, or contact Manager of Marketing & Membership Services, Samantha Fojtik, for more information.

Small Business How 2 Series

Tom Hansis
UTSA Small Business Development Center Network

About the Company: Entrepreneurs have access to professional and confidential business advising, a variety of quality training programs, and an extensive referral network at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). As a Senior Business Advisor, Tom Hansis assists his clients with all aspects of starting or growing a small business. He also helps his clients with business plans, market analysis and sales strategies. His areas of expertise include budget projections, QuickBooks©, daycare businesses and fitness centers.

About the Program: The North Chamber is committed to small business development and has designed this series specifically for small businesses on the road to economic recovery. The How 2 Series offers information to help businesses diversify, identify and develop new lines of business while offering practical knowledge to improve every aspect of their business.

Personally Speaking: Tom has been active in the North Chamber since 1996. Recently, his activities have included team co-captain of the Ambassadors. Tom says, “The chamber plays an active role in promoting small businesses. Small business owners get as much out of the Chamber as they put in.”