RABA KISTNER, Inc. Appoints New Associate – Preston Parker, Construction Materials Engineering

raba kistner logoRABA KISTNER’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the promotion of Preston Parker, PE, PMP to the position of Associate, effective January 1, 2013. Preston Parker works for RABA KISTNER Consultants, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of RABA KISTNER, Inc. He earned this promotion in recognition of his important contributions to the firm over the last five years, but also for his role already supporting the firm’s growth into the future.

Preston Parker_High Res_ ColorMr. Parker joined the firm in 2008, bringing over ten years of previous experience in civil engineering and construction materials testing services. In 2009, he was promoted to Manager of the Materials Engineering Group of RABA KISTNER Consultants, Inc. in San Antonio.

Mr. Parker performs engineering investigations and studies dealing with construction related issues including analyzing and providing solutions to engineering problems and preparing forensic, engineering and testing/inspection reports. While responsible for total project management, he assists his team members by analyzing field data and laboratory test results, performing engineering calculations, and providing opinions and recommendations for the completion of engineering reports. Mr. Parker is also responsible for the training and mentoring of staff engineers and construction materials technicians.

Founded in 1968, RABA KISTNER Consultants Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RABA KISTNER, Inc., and is an Engineering News-Record “Top 500 Firm,” operating in eleven different markets in Texas, Utah, and México. RABA KISTNER Consultants provides Construction Materials Engineering, Testing and Construction Inspections and Geotechnical Engineering, Testing and Pavement & Foundations Design. RABA KISTNER, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, also provides project management and oversight services including, environmental engineering and consulting, infrastructure and facilities engineering. www.rkci.com

Three Promoted Within Member Contact Center Operations at Security Service Federal Credit Union

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) announced today that Donna McKernan, Gina Drake and Walter MaCal have all been promoted to assistant vice presidents within the credit union’s award-winning Member Call Center (MCC).

DonnaMcKernanMcKernan, who has been with the credit union since 1992, started her career as a member information specialist. In her new position, she will be responsible for electronic banking, training, workforce management and remote deposit account openings. She attended the University of Incarnate Word and has served as a mentor for students at Business Careers High School. She is active in the SSFCU Volunteer Corps team.

GinaDrakeDrake joined SSFCU in 2005 as a manager. She holds a bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in management from Texas State University and is a member of the Professional Teleservice Management Association (PTMA). She will be responsible for managing daily operations, analyzing call center performance and managing call center support for credit union members across multiple locations.

WalterMacalMaCal worked at SSFCU for seven years before rejoining the team in 2003. A member of the PTMA, he will be responsible for managing daily operations and overseeing the consistent support of credit union members, acting on behalf of multiple regional call centers and remote agents. He is currently pursuing a bachelor of arts at the University of Incarnate Word.

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 $6.9 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.

Martin Joins Security Service Federal Credit Union as Senior Vice President, Planning and Performance

Security Services Federal Credit UnionThomas Martin has been named senior vice president of planning and performance for Security Service Federal Credit Union. The newly created position will oversee enterprise performance management and corporate strategic planning, as well as management of the accounting and finance departments.

Tom Martin-047-5x7Martin has led a wide range of credit union operations, serving as president and chief executive officer of two federal credit unions in Arizona. He holds a bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in finance from Western International University. He is a retired lieutenant commander for the U.S. Navy and served as a surface warfare officer.

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 $6.9 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.

The San Antonio Express-News offering more to readers

SA Express News logoThe San Antonio Express-News is giving readers even more reasons to pick up the newspaper seven days a week by investing in new sections and content that were unveiled this past week-end.

Readers can now look forward to a business section every day that will focus on topics including personal finance, small business, coverage of major public companies and the impact of the Eagle Ford development on our community.

A new Sunday Opinion section will deliver more analysis and commentary, providing context and a deeper understanding of key issues facing our community, state and nation. The section enhances the newspaper’s role as the vigorous marketplace of ideas.

The popular weekly arts and entertainment section (formerly Weekender) has moved to Friday and is now mySA. It will be the ultimate source on San Antonio with features and listings on what to see and do, along with movie reviews, places to dine, a map of San Antonio attractions and more. The mySA brand will extend to the former S.A. Life sections. The daily feature sections will have a new focus on lifestyle, trends, fashion, home and health from a San   Antonio perspective.

Readers tell us they value the Express-News for coverage of local news. In order to better serve those needs, our main news and metro sections are being combined into a big, comprehensive news section that covers local, state, national and world news. The new A section will emphasize local news, with regular coverage of local government and politics, military bases, the border, San Antonio neighborhoods and tourism.

The Sunday Real Estate section has been renamed Home and will feature topics including buying a home, decorating ideas and gardening advice.

The San Antonio Express-News is proud to offer MORE to its readers and is proud to continue to be the voice of South Texas.

San Antonio Express-News
Founded in 1865, the San Antonio Express-News is a division of the Hearst Newspapers Partnership, L.P. The Express-News is San Antonio’s daily newspaper, which also produces a variety of diverse publications, including the bilingual publication Conexión, as well as community newspapers reaching broad audiences throughout San Antonio and its surrounding areas. With its fast-growing web audience, the Express-News also reaches the community with San   Antonio’s home pagewww.mySA.com.

Mitsuko Ramos Rejoins the Kaufman Killen Team

PWe are pleased to announce that Mitsuko Ramos has rejoined our team in the position of Governmental Relations & Project Manager. Mitsuko’s extensive experience will complement our practice and add value for our clients.

mitsuko ramosMitsuko has spent over 13 years of her career in government relations and public administration, coordinating with local elected officials, government staff, and stakeholders on matters that require approval by cities, counties, and/or other governmental entities.

Prior to rejoining the firm, Mitsuko worked as Director of Government Relations for MRGRM. Mitsuko has provided assistance to clients with zoning, construction permitting, Certificates of Occupancy, vested rights, legislative research, city contracts, economic development incentives, community relations, and comparative studies.

Mitsuko earned a BA in Political Science (Magna Cum Laude) from UTSA and is a certified mediator in the State of Texas. Mitsuko previously worked as a Special Projects Coordinator for the City of Austin Law Department and City Attorney’s Office for the City of San Antonio.

Mitsuko E. Ramos
Governmental Relations & Project Manager
100 West HoustonStreet, Suite 1250
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 227-2000
(210) 227-2001-facsimile

Security Service Federal Credit Union Honors Managers and Employees of the Year

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union honored Letha Harrelson as Central Region manager of the year and Ashlon Filsinger as employee of the year at the credit union’s annual celebration at San Antonio’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Letha HarrelsonHarrelson currently serves as business development manager for the credit union. She has led countless efforts to expand financial literacy and education throughout the credit union’s markets in three states. Her efforts helped the credit union receive the Dora Maxwell Award for Outstanding Social Responsibility and Honorable Mention for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, awarded by the Credit Union National Association.

FilsingerFilsinger is a senior member service representative at the credit union’s Highway 90 branch. He was part of the branch’s Military Saves team that signed up nearly 500 military members in one month, helping them learn how to avoid debt and save for the future.

Several key officials were on hand for the celebration. Making the presentation was SSFCU chief executive officer David Reynolds and chairman of the board Jim O’Farrell.

Security Service Federal Credit Union is among the top 10 credit unions in the country with more than $6.9 billion in assets, more than 900,000 members and more than 1,600 employees throughout Texas, Colorado and Utah.

Methodist Stone Oak Hospital Receives Women’s Choice Award

Selection of Methodist Stone Oak Hospital on list of “Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Heart Care” is based on women’s preferences, recommendation rating and clinical excellence

MSOH_CLROneWebSiteMethodist Stone Oak Hospital has received the Women’s Choice Award from WomenCertified® distinguishing it as one of the 2013 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Heart Care. The award is based on robust criteria that include female patient satisfaction measurements as well as clinical excellence considerations. WomenCertified represents the collective voice of female consumers and is a trusted referral source for top businesses and brands identified as meeting the needs and preferences of women.

“Our heart services combine advanced technology along with a commitment to personal care,” said Dean Alexander, FACHE, chief executive officer at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. “Our hospital was especially designed with the patient’s overall experience in mind, so it’s with great honor that we accept the Women’s Choice Award.”

Women make or influence more than 90 percent of health care decisions for themselves and their families, according to a study published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Women’s Choice Award signals that a hospital meets high standards regarding a woman’s preferences, and the distinction allows women to make an informed decision about where to go for care for themselves or their family.

MHCS heartcare“Methodist Stone Oak Hospital’s selection by WomenCertified as one of the Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Heart Care differentiates it from other choices in the area,” explains Delia Passi, CEO and founder of WomenCertified, and former publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines. “Women have many choices when it comes to health care and they set the standard for customer service. Women’s Choice Award recipients have demonstrated extraordinary service in meeting the needs of women and their families, and represent the smart choice for women.”

Hospitals qualify for this highly selective annual list based on an in-depth proprietary scoring process. The scoring incorporates a national, standardized survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) and an analysis that weighs criteria identified as the most important to women for patient satisfaction. Additionally, the scoring incorporates WomenCertified’s in-depth research on customer satisfaction among women, including a joint study on customer satisfaction by gender conducted with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Hospitals were also screened based on clinical criteria.

“Recognizing the best hospitals for heart care nationwide that are women-friendly and align with women’s identified preferences is important to our mission at WomenCertified, where women help other women with tough, consumer decisions,” Passi concludes. “Most importantly, when a woman sees the Women’s Choice Award at her local hospital, she’ll know the hospital values her experience as a critical component of her and her loved one’s care.”

Alexander noted that for decades Methodist Healthcare has been a leader in heart services. “At Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, we’re taking that legacy to an even higher level,” he said.  Led by a respected team of physicians, the Methodist Stone Oak Hospital Cardiology Department is staffed with certified technologists and nurses and equipped with a thorough array of cardiac technologies including a new hybrid operating room used for complex heart procedures. The facility is accredited by the Joint Commission in stroke care and is designated as an accredited Chest Pain Center.

A full-service hospital featuring women’s services, diagnostic imaging, general and specialty surgeries and emergency care, Methodist Stone Oak in 2012 ranked among the top 18% of Joint Commission accredited hospitals in the nation for meeting quality card standards. Opened in 2009, Methodist Stone Oak Hospital is located at 1139 W. Sonterra Blvd.  For more information, visit www.StoneOakHealth.com.

Comerica Bank Unveils ‘Community Resource Center’ at San Antonio’s Historic Ella Austin Community Center

Comerica-Sponsored Room Provides Computers, Wi-Fi Access, Financial Education Materials and Financial Literacy Training for Children, Adults and Seniors

ComericaBankBlueComerica Bank announced the opening of its first San Antonio “Comerica Community Resource Center” at the historic Ella Austin Community Center. The Community Resource Center contains new computers, Wi-Fi access, furniture, financial education books and materials focused on topics ranging from saving and budgeting to retirement planning and fraud.

San Antonio City Councilmember, Ivy Taylor, and Comerica’s Texas Market President, J. Patrick Faubion, helped dedicate the new Comerica Community Resource Center along with Ella Austin constituents, Comerica Bank employees and dozens of prominent community leaders at a check presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Ella AustinIn addition to the $35,000 grant from Comerica to launch the Community Resource Center, it was also announced that local Comerica employees will teach a series of financial literacy workshops at Ella Austin starting this summer. The workshops, free and open to the public, will cover a variety of topics for children, adults and seniors including the basics of credit, budgeting, elder care abuse scams and retirement planning, and will be offered in both English and Spanish.

“While the Comerica Bank name is relatively new to San Antonio, we’re committed to serving this market as a trusted financial services partner to San Antonio businesses and families, and to helping community organizations like Ella Austin fulfill their missions,” said Comerica’s Faubion. “In addition to providing a grant to launch this access hub for economic self-sufficiency, the efforts of local Comerica Bank volunteers to teach the financial literacy workshop series will help local residents, including seniors, be successful in reaching their financial goals.”

“We are most grateful that Comerica Bank has come forward with its generous investment of $35,000 in our non-profit organization. By funding the new Community Resource Center, which is desperately needed, Comerica Bank is helping us give assistance, hope and the tools and resources in order for local San Antonio residents to improve their quality of life and financial well-being,” said Anthony Hargrove, Executive Director of Ella Austin Community Center.

Comerica Bank, through partner non-profits, currently operates two Comerica Community Resource Centers in Southern Dallas and one in Houston’s Third Ward.

February 2013 Word from the Chairman

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have just come off the heels of a wonderful Annual Gala – A Night in Monte Carlo, and I was humbled by the opportunity to be among the businesses and leaders who came together to celebrate past success and to look ahead at our future plans for strengthening our community. There are so many generous companies and hard-working volunteers who contributed resources and time to make the night a success. Please join me in thanking our VIP Sponsors: AT&T Mobility, Corporate Travel Planners, eESI, Frost, McCombs Enterprises, Security Service Federal Credit Union, SWBC, USAA Real Estate Company and Texas Capital Bank; as well as all of the event sponsors, North Chamber staff, creative and sales team volunteers and the Dahill team for their support of the evening.

Additionally, I know we all enjoyed the casino gaming benefiting the wounded warriors and the North Chamber’s educational non-profit, Lead SA. It was an incredible honor to host and recognize the wounded warriors. We’re pleased to be able to support them, and I know that each of you will continue to honor the men and women serving in our armed forces.

Buy Local. Buy North Chamber.
It doesn’t go without saying – 2013 is the year to Buy local. Buy North Chamber. Each of our companies has to purchase to run our businesses. I challenge each of you to take the first step by making a list of your top five or ten purchasing needs and look from within the North Chamber membership to fill that need. You can begin your search by going online to northsachamber.com and clicking on the FIND A MEMBER tab to search the North Chamber’s online membership directory. Additionally, think about the folks you’ve met at North Chamber events or serving on chamber committees that may offer a service or product you’re seeking. And if you require more specialized assistance, just call the North Chamber to obtain a referral or a list of providers for a specific business category.

Go online. Get connected.
Whether you’ve entered or mastered the digital arena or not, there is no arguing that we are indeed operating in the digital age. It can be a little scary for some of us, but all sizes and types of businesses are using technology, web, email and perhaps social and mobile media at some level to operate and/or market their businesses.

There’s never a better time than now to get educated, go online and get connected. To seize the moment, take advantage of high quality low cost instruction at the Small Business How 2 Series. On Tuesday, March 19, you can learn How 2 set social media policy for your organization, and thereafter learn how to create and share content on the top social networks and how to integrate your digital media.

Furthermore, please take advantage of the digital marketing tools the North Chamber has provided our members. First, I hope you’ll join me and Dahill in “liking” and “following” the North SA Chamber on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – where the North Chamber will help your company fan-build and increase visibility by posting member company news and “sharing” and “re-tweeting” member social content.

Visit the Marketing Toolkit to learn how to submit company news, add a coupon to your directory listing and enhance your directory listing with a color logo, detailed company description and social media links.

Building Leaders
At Dahill, we were proud to sponsor the February 13 kick-off breakfast welcoming the 84-member Leadership Lab Class of 2013! Special thanks to our 2012 North Chamber chairman of the board Larry Anthis, Frost; 2014 chair-elect, Clay Jett, Texas Capital Bank; and Leadership & Professional Development Council Chair, Annie Turner, Wells Fargo, for attending and providing remarks to inspire the Lab class to discover, be inspired and succeed. I also want to recognize the Leadership Lab chair, Malcolm McGee, CMIT Solutions, and co-chair Lisa Pinto, SWBC, for their leadership. I know you’ll continue to support these emerging leaders.

Be a part of it.
The North Chamber remains committed to offering topical and timely, quality programs. We do that through partnership with and the participation of our member companies and the individuals within them. The only way your company is going to truly benefit from all the chamber’s offerings is to tap in and connect now. To learn more about what events and committees are awaiting your involvement, go to northsachamber.com and click on Participation Opportunities. Remember, everything we do as companies and individuals is making a difference and helps to keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong!

Valero Texas Open, Benefit for Children Golf Classic – coming April 1-8, 2013

Valero logoValero is looking forward to the upcoming Valero Texas Open golf tournament and its companion fundraising event, the Benefit for Children Golf Classic, which will take place April 1-8. The Valero Texas Open – an annual PGA TOUR event featuring some of professional golf’s top players – takes place at the TPC San Antonio course, located at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. The Benefit for Children Golf Classic features more than 2,000 players who sign up in foursomes to play on 10 local courses around San Antonio.

There are some new elements to this year’s tournament. The tournament will be played the week before the Masters tournament, which means it’s likely that more top-notch pros will play. And the tournament has a new director, announcing last September that Greg Norman Production Company, a subsidiary of Great White Shark Enterprises, will oversee management of the annual PGA TOUR event. GNPC also manages the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Riviera Maya, Mexico and the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Fla., a PGA TOUR Challenge Season event. The management agreement ensures that World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman will have a presence at the TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course, which he designed.

GNPC has appointed Larson Segerdahl, who has served as the Tournament Director for the Mayakoba Golf Classic since the event’s inception in 2007, to oversee the Valero Texas Open and its staff from its San Antonio office.

Valero_Texas_Open_2012_Photos_By_Gary_Perkins_1501For all the changes, the Valero Texas Open retains all of the traditions that have made it a special stop for pro golfers. Combined with the Benefit for Children, the Valero Texas Open is the largest fundraising tournament on the PGA TOUR. In the 11 years that Valero has been the tournament’s title sponsor, more than $71.5 million has been donated to charities. The 2012 Valero Texas Open, won by Ben Curtis, together with the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic contributed $9 million to charities. And in mid-2012, Valero announced it would extend its title sponsorship through the 2018 tournament.

Tens of thousands of spectators enjoy the Valero Texas Open each year, making it one of the highest-attended professional sporting events in San Antonio each year. Spectators are joined by the thousands of volunteers who make the tournament possible.

Tickets are available online at www.valerotexasopen.org or at San Antonio-area Valero Corner Stores. Tickets are free for children 12 and under and to active-duty military personnel and their families.