North SA Chamber comments on the US 281 Draft Environmental Impact Statement

North Chamber logo 4c horizontal

June 19, 2013

TXDOT-ENV
Attention: Vickie Crnich
125 E. 11th Street
Austin, TX 78701-2483
RE:  Comments on the US 281 Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Dear Ms. Crnich:

The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, representing almost 1400 business entities, has been a continued supporter of added capacity improvements along the US 281 corridor from Loop 1604 to Borgfeld Road.  While the completion of the US 281 Super Street eased congestion slightly, we are  seeing congestion at unacceptable levels once again during early morning and evening drive times.

Traffic volumes have increased significantly along US 281 in recent years and are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace.  According to TxDOT and MPO data, the portion of US 281 0.3 miles north of Loop 1604 saw Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 133,000 in 2010.  ATD will rise to 205,000 by 2035.

Employment growth along the corridor has also risen from 3,312 in 1980 to 25,635 in 2005, and is projected to increase to an estimated 43,635 in 2035.  Also, according to an analysis conducted by the SA-Bexar County MPO, the number of residents living in census tracts adjacent to the portion of US 281 that is being studied will reach 142,240 by 2035, an increase of 93 percent from 2005.

Of the three alternatives under consideration in the Draft EIS, we feel the No-Build Alternative should be rejected as it will not address future growth and congestion.  Additionally, the No-Build Alternative fails to address safety and air quality concerns resulting from increased congestion.

The two proposed Build Alternatives address growth that has either already occurred or is likely to occur, and the North San Antonio Chamber supports moving forward with one of the Build Alternatives.

Regarding the issue of funding, we have actively supported use of available federal, state, and local funding to build new non-toll lanes.  However, based on recent Congressional and Legislature inaction on transportation funding, the outlook for additional funding for added capacity projects locally and statewide appears minimal at best.  In the absence of such funding, we support moving forward with the project through either managed lane and/or toll funding approaches.

On behalf of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, we thank you for the opportunity to provide comments as part of the US 281 Draft Environmental Impact statement.

Sincerely,

E. Duane Wilson
President & CEO

Makayla Matheson Receives 2013 BKD PRIDE Award

Makayla Matheson_Sep 2010Ted Dickman, BKD, LLP chief executive officer, is proud to announce Makayla Matheson as the employee recipient of the firm’s 2013 PRIDE Award.

The award is given each year to one partner and one employee who exemplify the firm’s PRIDE values:  passion, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence.  BKD partners and employees nominate their peers for the award, and the winners are chosen by the firm’s Governing Board.

Matheson is a supervisor providing audit and accounting services to not-for-profit organizations, including private schools, universities, health and welfare organizations and foundations, as well as clients in the construction and real estate industries.  In her nearly five years with the firm, she has consistently demonstrated an upbeat, can-do attitude and a passion for training staff, which led her to sign on as a counselor for Camp BKD, the firm’s weeklong training and orientation for new hires.

“Makayla is a great example of what it means to live the PRIDE,” Dickman said.  “Her positive attitude and professional skills make her a wonderful representation of The BKD Experience of unmatched client service.  Congratulations to Makayla on earning this well-deserved honor.”

Matheson received her award during a June 19 ceremony at The Midland in Kansas City, Missouri, during BKD’s Leadership Conference.

About BKD
BKD, LLP is a national CPA and advisory firm that delivers its experience and service with a deep understanding of your business, your needs and what it takes to improve your business performance.  BKD’s approximately 2,000 personnel, including approximately 250 partners, serve clients in all 50 states and internationally.  To learn more, visit bkd.com.

Praxity, AISBL, a global alliance of independent firms, enhances BKD’s ability to serve the dynamic needs of multinational clients.  Praxity provides the gateway to tax, assurance and consulting services delivered by alliance firms committed to the highest standards required in international business.

Project Control promotes Greg San Marco to Vice President

Project Control (2)Project Control has promoted Greg San Marco to Vice President of the project management consulting firm. Greg will serve as a Project Management Team Leader and assume increased corporate and leadership duties.  He will continue to serve our clients’ interests in his new role.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreg came to Project Control in 2007 with over 20 years of experience in project management and civil engineering related fields in both the public and private sectors.  Greg immediately served as project manager for Haven for Hope of Bexar County in the creation of their transformation facility for the homeless near downtown San Antonio. Greg is currently providing project management for a major banking client on national expansion projects.

“We are very excited that Greg is taking on this new leadership position,” said Bob Crittenden, CEO of Project Control.  “He works hard to meet the needs of his clients and is well respected for his work ethic and expertise.”

Prior to joining Project Control, Greg worked as a Sr. Industrial Project Manager for H-E-B Grocery where he managed industrial developments in the warehousing, manufacturing and transportation divisions.  He has also served as a consulting engineer on master planning, commercial and residential developments, as well as City Engineer Professional Services for several cities in the San Antonio vicinity.  Greg is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the National and Texas Society of Professional Engineers and the Project Management Institute.

Project Control provides owner representation and expert, objective consulting in the project management of commercial construction and real estate development projects from conception to completion. Project Control’s managers represent the owner’s best interest on all issues and alleviate the demands of day-to-day management responsibilities and technical issues associated with major construction projects.  Project Control is a subsidiary of Raba Kistner Facilities, Inc. See us online at www.projectcontrol.com.

CommuniCare Health Centers Awarded Best Places to Work

Communicare_logo side in colorCommuniCare Health Centers, a non-profit healthcare organization, was recently named by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the winners of the “Best Places to Work”. This prestigious award recognizes companies with the best workplaces in the San Antonio area (Bexar, Atascosa, Guadalupe, Wilson, Comal, Bandera, Medina and Kendall counties).

The winners were selected based on the results of online confidential surveys completed by CommuniCare Health Centers’ employees. These winners represent the top 51 “Best Places to Work” in the San Antonio area based on an assessment of the online surveys performed by the research firm, Quantum Workplace. CommuniCare came in 8th in the large company category through this extremely competitive awards process with several rounds of consideration.

CommuniCare Health Centers is a full-service primary healthcare system offering pediatric medicine, family medicine, senior care, women’s health, podiatry, dental, behavioral health, optometry, fitness and wellness services in Bexar and Hays counties. CommuniCare has 5 clinic locations utilizing an integrative primary care practice, highly trained healthcare providers, state of the art diagnostic equipment, and electronic health records. CommuniCare has been accredited by the Joint Commission since 1999; Joint Commission accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting national safety and quality of care performance standards. In 2012, CommuniCare was designated as a “Primary Care Medical Home” by the Joint Commission.

Padgett Stratemann named One of the Best Places to Work by the San Antonio Business Journal

Padgett Stratemann & Co.For the seventh year, Padgett Stratemann was named one of the Top 51 “Best Places to Work” in the area by the San Antonio Business Journal. Award winners were selected based on the results of confidential online employee surveys completed by the companies’ own employees. The award highlights companies with the best workplaces in Bexar, Atascosa, Guadalupe, Wilson, Comal, Bandera, Medina, and Kendall counties.

More than 200 companies were nominated in 2013, and 90 of those companies successfully completed the nomination process. All 51 companies will be recognized in a special Business Journal publication on June 14, 2013 and at an awards luncheon at the JW Marriot on June 13, 2012.

SABJ best places to work logo

The winning 51 companies will be ranked in categories of Small, Medium, and Large Companies based on the number of employees and the first two finishers in each of those categories will be named top winners. These designations will be announced at the awards luncheon.
The firm wishes to thank its team members for holding fast to the belief that it’s our team that make us great. A team whose talent, dedication, and innovation provide our clients with the excellence they have come to expect. Being named one of San Antonio’s Best Places to Work, alongside so many other outstanding organizations, is an honor of which we are most proud.

Congratulations to all of San Antonio’s Best Places to Work:
• Abacus Solutions Group LLC
• Airrosti Rehab Centers
• Alterman
• ATKG CPAs LLP
• Bartlett Cocke General Contractors
• Brighton Center
• Cal-Tex Protective Coatings Inc.
• Carenet Healthcare Services
• Catamount Constructors Inc.
• Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors
• Coley & Associates Inc.
• CommuniCare Health Centers
• Computer Solutions
• Cox Smith
• Deacon Recruiting
• Documation, LLC
• Endura Advisory Group
• Futurex
• Generations FCU
• GVTC Communications
• Health By Design
• HealthTexas Medical Group
• Hill Electric
• Insperity
• JB Goodwin Realtors
• Jefferson Bank
• Joeris General Contractors, Ltd.
• LeadingEdge Personnel
• MassMutual South Texas
• Miner Fleet Management Group
• Mobius Partners
• Padgett, Stratemann & Co. LLP
• Pax Financial Group
• Peloton Commercial Real Estate
• Peyton Resource Group
• PRMA Plastic Surgery
• Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
• RVK Architects
• San Antonio Orthopaedic Group
• Sente Mortgage
• Service King Paint & Body
• SpawGlass Contractors, Inc.
• Spectrum Association Management
• Stream Realty Partners San Antonio
• Texas Creative
• Texas Physical Therapy Specialists
• The Denim Group
• The Sabinal Group
• The Taurean Corp
• Titleist Asset Management, Ltd.
• Touchstone Communities

North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce names 2014 Chair-Elect, new Executive Committee member

North Chamber logo 4c stackedThe North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Annie Turner as the 2014 Chair-elect of the board of directors. Turner is Vice President and Business Banking Manager at Wells Fargo Bank, for whom she has worked for more than 32 years. After receiving her degree from Baylor University, she began her banking career in Laredo, Texas and later moved with her family to San Antonio over 14 years ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnnie is married and has one 15-year-old daughter. Annie previously served on the Board and Executive Committee of the Hispanic Chamber. She also previously served as Secretary of the Executive Committee for the South Texas Business Fund and as Advisory Director of Business Careers High School’s Academy of Finance. Annie currently serves as Financial Coordinator on the Advisory Council of the Boys and Girls Club of Boerne. She is actively involved with NAWBO. She is an alumna of the Leadership Texas Class of 2000.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe North SA Chamber also announces that Phyllis Gallay has been named the Leadership & Professonal Development Council Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the board of directors. Gallay is Site Director, North American Shared Service Center for BD.

The North SA Chamber is keeping member businesses and Bexar County strong by advocating on behalf of member businesses large and small; delivering exceptional, business-to-business networking opportunities; honoring leaders at every age and career stage; and cultivating the workforce through leadership and professional development training. Through Lead SA, our 501 (c) (3) entity, we assist member small businesses and non-profit organizations with access to career development and advance higher education through scholarship gifts to area colleges and universities. northsachamber.com • leadsa.org

June 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanWe are at the halfway point of 2013 and it’s been an amazing year so far of advocacy, networking, recognition, leadership and professional development.

Advocacy
In May, the North SA Chamber presented the Eighth Annual State of the County Address with Judge Nelson Wolff. The Judge discussed the continued revitalization of the city’s core and the need to attract and retain young professionals in the downtown area. Judge Wolff presented his vision to make San Antonio a live music scene to rival Austin. He noted the need to cultivate better relations with music promoters, to create a major outside music festival and to tune in to the evolution of Independent music bands as a way to appeal to the millennial workforce. To reinforce his message, the Judge welcomed special guests Girl in a Coma, a San Antonio-bred indie rock band that’s signed to Joan Jett’s label Blackheart Records.

If you missed the event, you can read more from coverage by the San Antonio Express-News and The Current.

Additionally, I hope you’ll join us for the Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio on Tuesday, August 20, at the Oak Hills Country Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mayor Castro will share his priorities for the City and it should be a great networking opportunity as well as an informative event for upcoming community initiatives.

Networking
As you know, promoting commerce among our members is a top priority in 2013. You can start by considering North SA Chamber members for your company’s purchasing needs. You can search for members in the Find A Member online directory and even look specifically for those offering a coupon with special offers for North SA Chamber members.

There are many ways to connect with other professionals here at the North SA Chamber. Consider joining the Ambassadors, our volunteer corps that brings goodwill to members at Ribbon Cutting celebrations throughout the year. The Ambassadors also meet monthly to share ideas, gain professional education and expand their community network.

Finally, you can engage in social networking and follow the North SA Chamber on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter – it’s a great way to stay abreast of member, community and chamber news. The North SA Chamber is competing in the Business Journal’s #SocialMadness competition, so your engagement counts. Your likes, shares, retweets and favorites get the North SA Chamber closer to moving through the competition and playing to win $10,000 for a local, member charity. Don’t forget to vote daily for the North SA Chamber at www.socialmadness.com, select a City: San Antonio, and vote for the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in the small category.

Recognition
On Tuesday, July 30, the North SA Chamber will honor exceptional professionals at the Small Business Leaders Awards at the Oak Hills Country Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I know you’ll join me in congratulating the 2013 finalists including: William Balthrope, Muzak; Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks, South Texas Center for Pediatric Care; Bill Carlisle, Jr., Evapocore, Inc. dba Carlisle Auto Air; Tommy Galligan, ServePro of Lackland Terrace/Timber Ridge; Jesse Garcia, Deltra Systems; John Garcia, Alpha Facilities Solutions; Amber Lenz, First Texan Realty; Dale Lewis, Trinity Title of Texas; Shelley Morkovsky, Morkovsky Law Firm, PLLC; Rashesh B. Rangrej, American Regional Center, LLC; and Brent H. Warrilow, CBI Group.

The Small Business Advocate of the Year Award will be presented to CPS Energy for their efforts in purchasing from small, minority and women owned businesses. And awards will also be presented in categories including Small Business Leader of the Year, Career Achievement, Business Achievement, Community Service, Employee Relations, New Business and Business Innovation.

Furthermore, we will honor Maj. Gen. Josue “Joe” Robles, USAA, at the Salute to Excellence Luncheon on Thursday, August 1, at the Westin La Cantera Resort from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I hope you’ll join us for this tribute to his incredible leadership and service.

Thank you for all you do to keep Bexar County strong and I hope to see you soon.

Methodist Children’s Hospital recognized as Healthcare Organization of the Month by Studer Group

methodist childrens hospital logoLeaders of Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital, were honored today by the Studer Group as Evidence-Based Leadership Health Care Organization of the Month for June. The award was presented during the Studer Group’s Excellence in Nursing Institute being held in downtown San Antonio.

The Studer Group is a national organization focused on helping health care organizations achieve, sustain, and accelerate exceptional clinical and operational outcomes. Studer works with over 850 health care organizations in the U.S. and chooses one exceptional organization each month to demonstrate how their tactics and strategies are working across the country.

 

Studer Award photo

Methodist Children’s Hospital was recognized for working diligently within the Studer Model of Excellence to improve and sustain patient satisfaction and overall patient experience. Beginning their journey to excellence in 2007 with a baseline patient satisfaction score at the 53rd percentile, Methodist Children’s Hospital reached the 97th percentile in 2009 and has sustained “best in class” performance, closing 2012 at the 97th percentile again.

“When I arrived here in 2006, I became very focused on improving the patient experience. This award speaks to the extraordinary passion, action focus and accountability of the leadership team,” said J. Mark McLoone, FACHE, chief executive officer. McLoone credits the Children’s Hospital leadership team that includes Ann Winn, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer, and Raymond Stefko, MD, who currently serves as chief of staff.

“Building upon a foundation of a respectful work environment for our team members, and with consistently strong scores in the family’s evaluation of physician communication, the family-focused team of doctors, nurses, ancillary, support and other staff all work together to assure an optimal patient and family experience,” McLoone added. “The entire children’s hospital team has made these results achievable and sustainable.”

The accomplishments of Methodist Children’s Hospital extend to their Emergency Department (ED) which remains a shining example of the hospital’s overall success. The ED’s patient volume exceeded 73,000 visits in 2012, up from 66,000 in 2011. It is one of the busiest “just for children” emergency departments in the nation. Despite this very high patient volume, the Methodist Children’s Hospital ED has ranked No. 1 for patient experience among all emergency departments in its peer group for four quarters during the last two years.

Methodist Children’s Hospital is a relatively young children’s hospital. Opening 15 years ago in 1998, Methodist Children’s Hospital has grown extraordinarily and is now the largest provider of pediatric health services in the seventh largest city in the United States. “Emphasizing the importance of the patient experience in such a market has contributed to the hospital’s growth as families increasingly choose Methodist Children’s Hospital for the care of their children,” McLoone added.

“The leadership team at Methodist Children’s Hospital has hardwired nurse leader rounding and we focus our time on action items. We focus on identifying solutions in real time. We don’t wait several weeks to get our survey results, we take action on what’s happening in the hospital right now,” said Winn.

“When we identify a gap in services, we respond quickly. Leadership rounding has been effective in helping us identify gaps and resolve any issues before the patient leaves the hospital. As a pediatric hospital, we’re in a unique position because the child is our patient but the parents and family are the ones defining and interpreting the patient experience,” Winn added.

“The journey to achieving and sustaining outstanding patient experiences has been gratifying for employees and medical staff at every level of the organization. We are proud of the positive difference we have made in our community. On behalf of the staff and physicians at Methodist Children’s Hospital, we are deeply honored to be chosen as Studer Group’s Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month,” concluded McLoone.

About Methodist Children’s Hospital
Methodist Children’s Hospital opened in 1998 as the first children’s hospital in South Texas designed and built from the ground up to meet the needs of children and their families. The hospital has the area’s largest pediatric emergency department with 32 treatment rooms and more than 73,000 visits last year alone. Methodist Children’s Hospital is among the nation’s largest providers of marrow and stem cell transplants. A new hybrid operating room opened recently that gives surgeons the equipment needed to perform complex heart surgeries. The hospital maintains two Methodist AirCare™ helicopters to transport newborns, children and pregnant women from all part of South Texas to Methodist Children’s Hospital so they can receive a higher level of care that may be needed in a medical crisis. Methodist Children’s Hospital maintains children’s specialty clinics to ensure children receive the outpatient care they need for complex illnesses in a single location. To learn more, visit www.MHSChildrens.com.

About Studer Group
Studer Group® works with over 850 healthcare organizations in the U.S. and beyond, teaching them how to achieve, sustain, and accelerate exceptional clinical, operational, and financial outcomes. We work to bring structure and focus to organizations through the creation of cultures of accountability and help set them up to be able to execute quickly. And with the rapid changes occurring in our industry due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ushering in the pay-for-performance era, this ability has never been more critical.

As the metrics our industry publicly reports get expanded—and as reimbursement is increasingly tied to these results—organizations are forced to get progressively better at providing top quality care with fewer dollars. We help organizations install an execution framework called Evidence-Based LeadershipSM (EBL) that aligns their goals, actions, and processes. This framework creates the foundation that enables them to transform the way they provide care in this era of rapid change.

CPS Energy expands social media presence in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach customers quickly

cps energy logoWhen police alerted CPS Energy that a man posing as a utility employee gained entrance into a house on the city’s West Side with the intent to assault the resident, CPS Energy’s communications team swung into action.

After quickly calling a joint press conference with police to remind customers they can verify an employee by asking to see ID and calling CPS Energy, the team turned to social media.

The team posted the same information on CPS Energy’s Facebook page and Twitter account. All day long, customers who follow CPS Energy on Twitter retweeted the information, while Facebook fans shared it with their friends, sending our message out to a much wider audience.

The week before, the team alerted customers of two localized power outages on Facebook. Reaction was swift. Customers let CPS Energy know their power was out and where, and then again when it was restored.

Customer William Long wrote, “I called non-emergency about 20 minutes ago to let them know the traffic lights are out at Tammy/Blanco… but it seems you may already know that. Thanks for posting!”

After power was restored, Long wrote, “Great use of social media!”

“I like it that you have a Facebook page, CPS,” wrote another customer. “Thanks.”

Like many companies today, CPS Energy has expanded its presence on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because those have become important ways to reach customers quickly.

“It’s no longer an option, we must participate,” said Kate Cooper, CPS Energy’s social media project manager. “We need to engage the customer where they are — and they’re on social media.”

In the past, Cooper said, customers would call, and later email CPS Energy when they had an issue or wanted to report a power outage. Today, she said, it’s more common, especially for younger customers, to send CPS Energy a message from their mobile devices to Facebook or Twitter.

CPS Energy, in turn, can keep customers updated during power outages, letting people know crews are on the way, or about how long they’ll have to wait until the power comes back on.

“People are appreciative of getting information,” Cooper said, “and knowing someone is listening to their concerns.”

CPS Energy uses social media to remind customers about different ways to save money and how to be more energy efficient. It’s also a way to remind people, Cooper said, “that there are people behind the logo — we’re your neighbors.”

The social media team is comprised of employees in CPS Energy’s corporate communications office, who have taken on social media duties in addition to their regular jobs.

Last year, CPS Energy also launched the Energized, blog, which allows the utility to tell its own story. Recent articles have included the background behind CPS Energy’s decision to alter its solar payment system, how and why the company pays bonuses when performance metrics are met, and that employees and partner companies recently raised more than $80,000 for Respite Care of San Antonio.

There will always be a place for traditional media like television and newspapers, and customers will always be able to call when they need to pay a bill or discuss an issue.

But as our customers come to rely more and more on social media to stay on top of the news of the day, and to share their own lives, CPS Energy will be there.

Survey Results: more Americans expect to use their 2013 tax refunds to pay for basic necessities

cricket logoThis tax season, nearly two-thirds of Americans report paying bills as the highest priority for spending their refunds, according to a recent Cricket Wireless survey*, a sharp increase from 2012 (50 percent). In fact, in every region of the country, more than half will spend their tax refund to pay bills – Northeast (65 percent), South (65 percent), Midwest (60 percent) and West (59 percent). Of these, younger people are feeling the highest pressure on their basic necessities, with 69 percent of 18-29 year-olds reporting bills as their main concern.

With nearly three-quarters of Americans considering a wireless phone (72 percent) to be a household necessity, just slightly behind computers (78 percent) and well ahead of other items like cable/DVR (48 percent), books (39 percent), tablets (17 percent), it is no surprise that 47 percent of consumers feel like they have no control over what they spend every month on their wireless plan.

Additionally, Cricket’s recent consumer poll finds 47 percent of consumers feel they are overpaying for their wireless phone. This consumer sentiment can be directly correlated to the nearly 50 percent of Americans who report that worrying about penalty charges causes them to buy a plan with more wireless minutes and data bucket allowances than they actually need. This is especially true among smartphone users (52 percent) compared to all other wireless phone users (34 percent).

Cricket infographic

“While the growing number of smartphone users is evident, we are also seeing a shift in consumer attitudes about the importance of reevaluating their wireless phone spending,” said Nathan South, vice president, customer experience and forecast analytics for Cricket Communications, Inc. “Based on our recent survey findings, we see that consumers no longer want to be told what they want; but rather, want to decide what they need for themselves and are more frequently considering prepaid options. It now comes down to education.”

Recognizing that wireless phone plans (47 percent), along with cable (58 percent) and electricity (51 percent), are considered the top three most overpaid bills by consumers, Cricket is providing solutions to cut costs and avoid common wireless phone money mistakes.

To help educate wireless users on ways they can cut back on their phone bills, Cricket provides some simple tips this tax season:

Rethink Wireless Phone Contracts:
With the typical contract for postpaid wireless phone plans lasting two years, it is easy for consumers to overlook what they’ve committed to and become overburdened with locked in costs. In fact, according to a recent national survey conducted by Cricket Wireless, 57 percent of postpaid wireless phone subscribers feel they overpay for their monthly wireless bills.

As a result of this sentiment, a majority of postpaid wireless subscribers say they are more apt to switch to prepaid than they were two years ago, if they could cut their bill in half. Cricket Wireless offers unlimited plans starting at $50 – half the price of AT&T and Verizon – to help people choose what they need in talk, text and data without ever worrying about overages or contracts.

Purchase the Right Device/Handset:
Don’t get caught up in the hype of a new wireless phone launch, which may result in overpaying for a device/handset. Before buying a new device, take an inventory of how you’ve historically used your wireless phone and service. What functions for your phone do you most often use? Do you listen to a lot of music? Are you a texter or a talker? Purchase the wireless plan that matches your needs in order to save money every month.

When contract renewal is up for a customer, postpaid (contract) carriers often provide a device discount incentive to re-lock customers into another two-year contract with high monthly bills, while prepaid carriers typically charge upfront for the cost of a device and offer lower monthly fees. However, 78 percent of consumers actually indicate they would pay more for a phone upfront if their monthly wireless phone bill would be cut in half, according to a recent consumer poll on behalf of Cricket.

“As Americans continue to do their best to get by and keep their personal finances organized, Cricket is a community resource they might not have considered to make a significant difference in their monthly bills,” said South. “At Cricket, we want to provide consumers with cost savings through our no-contract options, so they can do more with the money they save.”

Wireless users switching to Cricket’s no-contract service can see their monthly wireless bills reduced by half from AT&T and Verizon wireless contracts. In fact, Cricket’s rate plans offer greater choice and flexibility in unlimited wireless service plans. Customers have more access to the features they want such as unlimited talk, text, music, data and 1-5 GB of full-speed data per month, for less money than postpaid (contract) carriers like AT&T and Verizon. Cricket also offers the newest smartphones, like the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy SIII.

For more information about Cricket’s dynamic service and newest device lineup, visit www.mycricket.com. To follow Cricket’s recent news and updates online, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/cricketwireless and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cricketnation.

About Cricket
Cricket is the pioneer and leader in delivering innovative value-rich prepaid wireless services with no long-term contracts. Cricket offers nationwide wireless voice and mobile data services over high-quality, all-digital 4G LTE and 3G CDMA wireless networks. Cricket’s innovative products and services, including the award-winning Muve Music® – the first music service designed for a wireless phone, are available nationwide at Cricket branded retail stores, dealers, national retailers and at www.mycricket.com. For more information about Cricket, please visit www.mycricket.com.

* According to a survey conducted by Sentient Decision Science in February 2013 on behalf of Cricket Wireless (2,358 consumers surveyed; overall margin of error +/- 2%)