BKD Announces Promotion

Robbie ConnellJon McDowell, managing partner of BKD, LLP’s San Antonio office, announces the promotion of Robbie Connell, CPA, to senior effective August 1, 2013.

Connell graduated from Texas A&M University – Kingsville with a Master of Professional Accountancy in 2010.  She joined the firm in January 2013 as tax staff and received her CPA license in Texas in February 2012.

About BKD
BKD, LLP is the top-tier U.S. 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 50 states and more than 40 countries.  To learn more, visit www.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.

Security Service Federal Credit Union ranks fifth nationally in overall dealer satisfaction

Security Services Federal Credit UnionDealer service, fast payment and an increased presence in Colorado and Utah has placed Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) fifth among prime retail credit lenders in the country for overall satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study(SM) released in July.

Goss-016-F-5x7SSFCU scored 917 on a 1,000-point scale based on its finance offerings, the application/approval process and sales representative relationship.  “We are delighted to receive this ranking from the dealers,” said Charles Goss, senior vice president and chief lending officer. “We have approached our work with dealers as a partnership, and we’re very passionate about the service we provide them. These relationships drive the way we do business.”

Moving to an entirely paperless process, SSFCU can approve a loan in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, with funding delivered to the dealership within 24 hours in all the credit union’s regional markets.

An equally important byproduct is the environmental impact of SSFCU’s high touch tech. At any given time, the credit union is saving about 30 tons of paper – saving enough energy to power 30 average American homes for six months and enough water to fill 210,000 one-gallon bottles. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

In addition to its ranking in the J.D. Power study, SSFCU recently passed the $5 billion mark in indirect auto loans. “According to the most recent reports, SSFCU funds one out of every four cars within the San Antonio area,” said Danny Lane, vice president, indirect lending. “We see our business growing steadily since our expansion into Colorado and Utah.”

The 2013 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study was based on responses from 3,962 dealers who were surveyed between March and April 2013.

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.  Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Security Service is an industry-leading financial institution with $7 billion in assets and 70 locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah.  The credit union is among the top 10 credit unions in the nation.  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.

Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital extends reach to Austin

texas transplant institute logoThe Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital announced collaboration with St. David’s HealthCare this week that will bring new treatment options to Austin for patients with blood cancers-including bone marrow transplant services.

The first phase of this new blood cancer treatment center will be a new outpatient clinic at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, which will opened in May. The clinic provides outpatient treatment for adult patients in the Central Texas region who have blood cancers—such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Ultimately, the affiliation will also create Austin’s first bone marrow transplant center, which is scheduled to open at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center in early 2014.

“By partnering with St. David’s HealthCare and providing the expertise and experience of the Texas Transplant Institute, we can better serve patients in Central Texas who are currently traveling to San Antonio for care,” Jaime Wesolowski, president and chief executive officer of Methodist Healthcare, said. “We are pleased to extend our services by collaborating with St. David’s HealthCare to bring the medical expertise of our highly specialized physicians to Austin patients, closer to their homes.”

A recognized leader in the treatment of blood cancers, the Texas Transplant Institute’s blood and marrow stem cell transplant program was established at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio in 1993. The program has performed nearly 2,000 bone marrow transplants since its inception, and it is ranked as one of the largest in the nation.

“We are pleased to fill a critical gap in Austin’s healthcare infrastructure by bringing this service to the Central Texas region through a collaboration with the Texas Transplant Institute and San Antonio’s Methodist Healthcare,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “Currently, patients who require bone marrow transplants must travel to other cities, including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, to receive this level of care.”

During bone marrow transplantation, blood-forming stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood or peripheral blood are infused into the patient to restore the body’s ability to produce blood and immune cells. Prior to the procedure, patients receive high doses of radiation and/or chemotherapy to treat the underlying disease and prepare for the transplant. The transplant, which is similar to a blood infusion, lasts 10 minutes to three hours, depending on the quantity and type of cells that are transplanted. A patient’s own stem cells can be used during a transplant—a procedure known as an autologous transplant—or they can receive donor stem cells, known as an allogeneic transplant. Initially, the new blood cancer treatment center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will perform autologous transplants.

“We look forward to providing exceptional clinical care for patients with blood cancers in this region by ensuring that they receive the same level of treatment currently offered in larger cities without having to leave Austin,” Carlos R. Bachier, M.D., program director of the Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Texas Transplant Institute, as well as the medical director of the new bone marrow transplant program, said. “The new center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will allow us to bring the best practices of the Texas Transplant Institute to patients in Austin.”

Most transplant patients require hospitalization at some point during the bone marrow transplant process, although the length of the hospital stay will vary based on the type of transplantation and the patient’s condition. While the transplant itself only takes a few hours, at most, it can take several months for the complete bone marrow transition.

Texas Transplant Institute
The Texas Transplant Institute at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital serves both adults and children from across the United States and Latin America with evidence-based therapies that give hope to patients with blood cancers and other forms of blood diseases. The adult program, housed at Methodist Hospital, is one of the largest programs in the United States – over 2,000 blood and marrow stem cell transplants have been performed since 1993. The program physicians have extensive experience performing autologous and allogeneic transplants including related, unrelated and umbilical cord blood transplants. It was the first program in North America accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and has remained accredited ever since.

Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio
Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio is the largest provider of health care in South and Central Texas with 26 facilities including nine hospitals serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually. The Methodist Healthcare team is comprised of 8,000 employees, making Methodist Healthcare the second largest private employer in San Antonio. In 2012, Methodist Healthcare was one of only two hospitals in Texas recognized by the Texas Medical Foundation with a Gold Award for Quality. Methodist Healthcare has won the National Research Foundation’s Consumer Choice Award for 13 consecutive years, more times than any other health care provider in Texas. For the past four years, Methodist Healthcare has received the “Best Hospital” Gold Award by the San Antonio Express-News’ Readers’ Choice Awards. With more than 2,700 credentialed physicians, Methodist Healthcare provides the largest array of medical services in the region including neurosurgery, cardiovascular services, oncology and women’s services. Visit www.SAHealth.com to learn more.

St. David’s HealthCare
With more than 60 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. Known for compassionate, high-quality care, the organization has been recognized with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the State of Texas based upon world-class quality measures. In 2013, two of the system’s facilities—St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center—were named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. St. David’s HealthCare was also recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in 2012. Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center—which includes Heart Hospital of Austin—was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital for 2013. Perennially ranked as the top Austin-area employer among large companies by the Austin Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” survey, St. David’s HealthCare is the third-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 7,900 employees. For more information, please visit StDavids.com.

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, located at 901 West Ben White Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is an acute care facility with 292 beds, offering a range of complex specialties and sub-specialties, including a comprehensive and nationally recognized cardiac program, full-service maternity and newborn care with Level I and II nurseries, a thriving 24-hour emergency department, and two full-service emergency centers in the communities of Bee Cave and Bastrop. The medical center recently completed a comprehensive, $72-million renovation and expansion project. For more information, please visit StDavids.com.

Morningside Ministries helping seniors take the next step

MM Main logoIt is hard to not be concerned with the amount of fraud and theft that is being suffered by our elders. According to the National Consumers League’s National Fraud Information Center, nearly a third of all telemarketing fraud victims are age 60 or older. Their strategies and tactics may differ, but these organizations are most interested in taking financial advantage of unsuspecting, trusting individuals.

Driven to better inform seniors, Morningside Ministries has partnered with authorities in the retirement industry from Elder Resource Group, Senior Living Choices, Generations Senior Moving & Transportation Services and Elder Law Attorney, Carol Bertsch. With their combined knowledge and experience, the stage is set for an exciting and informative session on the next step for seniors.

The event will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2013 between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Morningside Ministries at The Manor – Kaulbach Assisted Living (602 Babcock rd., San Antonio, TX 78201). Please R.S.V.P. to Becky at (210) 731-1204 by August 22, 2013.

Many seniors are burdened with San Antonio homes they cannot sell due to a lack of expertise, time or resources. Speaker John Nelson, from Elder Resource Group will open our session by discussing an overview of the real-estate market and when it’s time to consider retirement living. Self proclaimed, “Realtors by trade – Transition Specialist by choice,” Elder Resource Group has a mission to make moving as easy & profitable for seniors as possible. Peggy Brown, a senior relocation specialist, will discuss tips on moving and how to become better organized for a move.

Kameron Chicoine will be joining us to discuss the processes in choosing the right retirement community. Chicoine owns and operates Senior Living Choices, a comprehensive retirement locating guide, serving the Texas Hill Country and Central Texas has been serving the area for over 13 years. Elder Law Attorney, Carol Bertch will be closing the afternoon session with a conversation about directives on elder and disability law. Her firm focuses on elder and disability law, providing an umbrella of services to advise and counsel seniors and their families so that they can make informed decisions to achieve their desired outcome. Bertch follows her goal to assist seniors in finding positive solutions to complex challenges so they can maintain dignity, control and, most of all, peace of mind.

About Morningside Ministries
Morningside Ministries is San Antonio’s oldest and largest not-for profit, faith-based, senior care organization dedicated with the specific mission of “Caring for Those Who Cared for Us.” Morningside Ministries has served the San Antonio community since 1961 with Morningside Ministries at the Meadows, Morningside Ministries at The Manor and Morningside Ministries at Chandler Estate. In May of 2004, Morningside Ministries extended the ministry to include Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs in Boerne. Today we continue to serve over 800 residents in retirement, assisted living, nursing and memory care and a senior community center.

Raba Kistner Facilities announces hire of Albert White, Senior Building Envelope Consultant

RK Facilities_cmykRaba Kistner Facilities, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Albert White, Senior Building Envelope Consultant, RRO, CDT, CEI, ICIT, RSMJ to their team. Mr. White is responsible for development and growth of Raba Kistner Facilities’ roofing consulting business, including forensic investigation and roof design services. His clients include property developers, public and private sector owners, institutional entities, consulting engineers, architectural firms, contractors, financial and insurance agencies.

Olsen Portrait DesignMr. White holds numerous registrations and certifications in the areas of roofing, waterproofing, and EIFS consulting. His experience has included investigation and evaluation of various types of roof systems, building envelope and wall systems, the design of new and replacement roofing systems, and waterproofing and wall systems. His past experience as a contractor/installer of roofing systems by various manufacturers and suppliers enables him to incorporate an independent approach in specifications and design.

Founded in 1968, Raba Kistner, Inc. is an Engineering News-Record “Top 500 Firm,” operating in ten different markets in Texas, Utah, New York and México. Raba Kistner Facilities, a wholly-owned division of Raba Kistner, Inc., provides program management services, facilities planning, building envelope consulting and engineering, facility condition assessments and building commissioning.

August 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanFor nearly 40 years, your North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has been hard at work advocating for business and education, providing professional development, delivering opportunities for you to make results-oriented business-to-business connections and recognizing deserving leaders. With staff and volunteers focused on these efforts daily, it’s my privilege to shift the focus to the staff and recognize their many accomplishments.

Chamber staff people are a special breed of individual, and it is a unique and personal calling each answers to serve. Not only does it take a “Jack-of-all-trades” person to wear the many hats of a Chamber executive – from fundraiser and event manager to volunteer coordinator and finance manager, it takes an amazing level of dedication to serve in this role for decades. And that is just what many of our staff has done.

Staff Tenure Awards

20-10yr anniversaries

This summer, four members of the Chamber staff were recognized by the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives for their commitment to serve business, our membership and the community as demonstrated by their tenure with the North Chamber. At the July board of directors meeting staff were recognized and presented with tenure awards including: Sr. Vice President of Operations, Chris Bugg – 20 years; Administrative Assistant, Marilyn White – 20 years; Vice President Leadership Programs & Lead SA, Yolanda Crittenden – 10 years; and Vice President IT & Finance, Debby Zucker – 10 years. I hope you will join me in congratulating and thanking staff for their service to the membership and for all they do to keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong.

Media Excellence Awards

TCCE Media Award

Additionally, I am proud to announce that the North SA Chamber now has an “award-winning” marketing approach, website and social media program. At the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives conference in June our Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, Renée Crittenden Garcia, accepted three Media Excellence Awards in the largest chamber size category. Judges chose the top three entries in seven media categories and the North SA Chamber received the following accolades: Second Place – Marketing Program; Second Place – Website; and Third Place – Social Media. Congratulations to Renée, her marketing staff and the many member companies – particularly Full Fusion, Texas Creative and Zukini Creative, who contributed to the marketing infrastructure re-development.

Social Networking
We are committed to helping our members succeed at doing business in the digital age. Join us for the Small Business How 2 Series on Wednesday, August 21, for How 2 share social media content on Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter at the Hilton San Antonio Airport. Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., and the program runs from 8 to 10 a.m.

Finally, why not join the conversation online? Come “like” and “follow” the North SA Chamber on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter – it’s a great way to stay informed of member, community and Chamber news. Want to get more visibility for your member business? Send the North SA Chamber your news and staff will share it to Chamber social media channels and/or blog (based on membership level).

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

#PadgettStratemann announces promotions and new hires

Padgett Stratemann & Co.Padgett, Stratemann & Co., L.L.P. (PS&Co.), one of Texas’ premier CPA and business advisory firms, is pleased to announce several new promotions and the new director of the Accounting Solutions group.

Guerrero, Lalo_HeadshotEulalio Guerrero, CPA – Eulalio has been promoted to senior manager and partner-in-training for the firm.  He has more than 14 years of public accounting and industry experience, specializing in taxation of real estate transactions and partnerships.  He is part of PS&Co.’s real estate and manufacturing, retail, and distribution service teams.  Eulalio has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas and is involved with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), the San Antonio Chapter of TSCPA, and the San Antonio Real Estate Financial Society.

Kelley, Melissa_HeadshotMelissa Kelley, CPA – Melissa has been promoted to senior manager and partner-in-training.  She has more than ten years of public accounting experience and is part of PS&Co.’s manufacturing, retail, and distribution, real estate, and professional services teams.  Melissa also provides support with tax credits and incentives for entities involved in research and development and international business.  She has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University in College Station and is a member of the AICPA, the TSCPA, and The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University.  She also serves on the board of directors of the Risk Management Association Young Professionals and Transplants for Children.

Carroll, Mac_02_HeadshotMac Carroll, CPA
– Mac has been promoted to manager in the tax department, working primarily with the firm’s construction and energy clients.  He has seven years experience in public accounting, specializing in tax compliance and consulting.  Mac has a master’s degree in professional accounting and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin.  He is involved with the AICPA and the TSCPA and is a member of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Leader Awards Committee and a 2012 graduate of the Leadership Lab program.

Edwards, Brian_HeadshotBryan Edwards, CPA, MSA – Bryan joins PS&Co. as the new director of the Accounting Solutions group.  He comes to the firm with more than 25 years of public accounting experience, including family wealth advisory, estate planning, trusts, hospitality, retail, real estate, energy, construction, trucking, employee benefit plans, and not-for-profit organizations.  Additionally, Bryan has served as a personal financial advisor to a large privately-held family business.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  He is a member of the AICPA and the TSCPA.

King, Michael_headshotMichael King, CPA – Michael has been promoted to audit manager, serving the firm’s commercial, construction, manufacturing, retail, government, and not-for-profit clients.  He has five years of accounting experience with privately-held, family enterprise, and owner-managed businesses.  Michael has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.   He is a member of the AICPA, the TSCPA, the San Antonio CPA Society, and the Risk Management Association.

Perez, Kelli_headshotKelly Perez, CPA – Kelly has been promoted to manager in the tax department’s private client services and professional services niches.  She has more than 20 years of public accounting experience, specializing in partnership income taxation, individual taxation, and payroll reporting and compliance for high-wealth individuals and family-owned businesses.  Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a member of the AICPA and the TSCPA.

PS&Co. is one of Texas’ largest locally-owned CPA and business advisory firms.  In business since 1945, PS&Co. has offices in San Antonio and Austin.  The firm is dedicated to professional excellence, integrity, and community service. PS&Co. provides a range of sophisticated accounting, audit, tax, and other business advisory services for both publicly-traded and private companies.  Its experienced professionals serve clients in various industries, including banking, construction, government-based, non-profit, medical, professional services, manufacturing, retail, distribution, technology, insurance, oil and gas, and real estate.  PS&Co. is a member of the RSM McGladrey Network, the premier affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms in the nation.  To learn more about our services, visit www.padgett-cpa.com.

#MethodistHospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital appoint Chief Medical Officer

Methodist logoMethodist Childrens logoJane Appleby, MD, FACP, has been appointed chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital. Dr. Appleby has been in practice as an internal medicine doctor for over twenty years and is board certified in internal medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine. During this time, she has established herself as a leader in the San Antonio medical community and an innovator in the area of hospital quality.

She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Texas at Austin and earned a doctor of medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she also completed her internship and residency in internal medicine.

Jane Appleby, MDDr. Appleby has held the role of chief quality officer for Methodist Healthcare over the past five years, leading efforts that resulted in unprecedented improvements in quality metrics. She has also served in various elected physician leadership roles over her tenure with Methodist Healthcare, lending her expertise in quality and care delivery systems.

As chief medical officer, Dr. Appleby will have responsibility for overseeing the medical affairs of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital as well as championing the patient care delivery system.

“Dr. Appleby is a well-respected physician leader with tremendous talent and vision who is known for creating partnerships between hospital executives, physicians, nurses and other members of the hospital care team to elevate care delivery systems and promote the highest quality of care for patients,” states Gay Nord, chief executive officer  of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital. “I know her extraordinary talents and leadership skills will be an asset to Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital and will greatly benefit patients and physicians in this region,” added Nord.

Dr. Appleby has served on many regional and state boards and committees primarily dedicated to improving clinical quality and safety. Dr. Appleby has also authored or contributed to journal articles, chapters and books.

About Methodist Hospital
Chartered in 1955, Methodist Hospital is the pioneer facility of the now world-renowned South Texas Medical Center. Opened in 1963, Methodist Hospital has grown to be the flagship facility of the Methodist Healthcare System, San Antonio’s largest and most preferred health care provider. Methodist Hospital maintains its excellent reputation with a commitment to the hospital’s value statement that defines quality as meeting the customer’s needs by exceeding their expectations. Methodist Hospital offers a broad range of specialties and is the region’s most preferred hospital for obstetrics, neurosurgery, robotic surgery, cardiac care and back and neck surgeries. Methodist Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission in stroke care and is designated as an accredited Chest Pain Center.

About Methodist Children’s Hospital
Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist 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 parts 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.

Hummel and Grove Join #SWBC

180x150-SWBCSWBC is pleased to announce that Linda Hummel and Andrew Grove have joined SWBC.

Hummel LindaHummel, a healthcare industry veteran, joins SWBC as CEO of the Executive Benefits Consulting Division. She will be responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the operations, sales, and marketing efforts to employee benefits clients and prospects.

Hummel brings nearly 24 years of health benefits experience to the company. Before joining SWBC, she was President of the Employer Group Division for Humana – Texas. Hummel graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. She is also a Board Member for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Medical Foundation, and Junior Achievement of San Antonio. In 2008, Hummel was named “Texas Business Woman of the Year” by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas. Most recently, she has been named as a finalist for the Austin Business Journal’s “Profiles in Power and Women of Influence Awards.”

Grove AndrewGrove joins SWBC as Vice President of Sales for the Employee Benefits Consulting Division. He will be involved in leading several aspects of the division, including the management of the sales team and its resources. In addition, he will plan, develop, and execute objectives, policies, and programs for marketing and sales activities.

Before joining SWBC, Grove was the Large Group Practice Leader for Humana’s South Texas Market. He attended The University of Texas at San Antonio; is a Licensed Health Insurance Counselor and Licensed General Lines Agent—Life, Accident, Health, and HMO; and has received numerous training certifications and awards. He currently serves as a Board Member for the San Antonio Independent School District Education Foundation. Grove is a Past Board Member for the Alamo Area Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Austin Association of Health Underwriters.

“We are thrilled that Linda and Andrew have joined our dedicated employee benefits team,” said Gary Dudley, SWBC President. “Their extensive leadership experience working for a major insurance carrier will be instrumental in helping our clients successfully navigate through the upcoming industry changes.”

“There are a lot of questions when it comes to the 2014 Healthcare Reform,” said SWBC Chairman Charlie Amato. “We know that Linda and Andrew are deeply attuned to the needs of employers everywhere and that they will be of great benefit during this challenging time.”

Spending the better part of their careers working together as strategic business partners, Hummel and Grove look forward to leveraging the relationships they have cultivated to help grow the SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting Division and client-base, while strengthening the relationships we have with our current clients.

About SWBC
Headquartered in San Antonio, SWBC is a diversified financial services company providing a wide range of insurance, mortgage, and investment services to financial institutions, businesses, and individuals. With offices across the country, SWBC is committed to providing quality products, outstanding service, and customized solutions in all 50 states. For more information, please visit SWBC’s website at www.swbc.com.

About SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting
SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting works with multiple carriers and providers to offer our clients flexible plan designs, cost-control strategies, reduced administrative costs, technological strength, and online enrollment.

#SecurityService helps you score back to school savings with a little know how

Security Services Federal Credit Union

SSFCU story imageIn less than a month, the kids will be back in school. It’s an exciting time of year for everyone … except your wallet. According to the National Retail Federation, families with school-aged children will spend an average of $637.78 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics.

Don’t panic yet. There are lots of savvy ways to save a few bucks if you just know where to look, according to Letha Harrelson, who manages financial education for Security Service Federal Credit Union. She suggests nine easy tips.

  1. Shop at home. Not online … in your closets. You might be surprised at where you’ll find pencils, folders and binders hiding around.
  2. Sell last year’s styles. Before you head out the door to buy more, go through your child’s wardrobe and sell gently used items at a nearby resale shop. Put those funds towards the new clothes. And whatever you can’t sell, donate. Be sure to keep a receipt so you can write off the donation on your taxes for the year.
  3. Visit Half Price Books. Take some old books and trade them up for that dictionary and thesaurus on your school’s supply list.
  4. Go for the doorbusters. Office supply stores, book stores, grocery stores and others are pulling out the stops to get you into the store by offering free or very, very low cost items. If you don’t mind making more than one stop, check Sunday newspaper inserts, smartphone apps and store websites. Make a list of the deals you want to take advantage of, plot your route and head out for great savings.
  5. Follow the brands you use on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for their emails to get special deals.
  6. Follow through on rebates. How many times have you bought something with a rebate and ended up never pulling together the materials and actually getting the rebate in the mail. It’s not a deal if you don’t get the money back.
  7. Know when to spend a little extra money. If you buy really inexpensive shoes and have to replace them every four months, it may be cheaper to buy one higher quality pair of shoes that will last through the school year.
  8. Use the opportunity to teach your kids about how to make a budget and stick to it. If you don’t want them carrying around cash, consider a debit card on a youth account. Just be sure to set the account to “no overdraft protection” so they can’t spend money they don’t have and incur extra fees.