Applications being accepted for citizen positions on the Goal Setting Committee for the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program

city of sa economic development dept logoThe City of San Antonio is currently accepting applications from residents in all City Council districts who are eligible to serve as citizen members on the Goal Setting Committee for the SBEDA Program.

The SBEDA Program uses the Goal Setting Committee to identify the contract-specific tools that would most effectively promote the use of small, minority and women-owned businesses on individual contracts. Each appointed citizen member will serve a two-year term and may be re-appointed to serve one additional two-year term.

Applications are available at www.sanantonio.gov/clerk/boards by selecting “Apply for Boards and Commissions.” The positions will remain open until filled. Individuals interested in the positions must be available to serve a two-year term.

For more information, contact Aurora Perkins, Sr. Economic Development Specialist, at (210) 207-3996.

Methodist Healthcare only hospital system in San Antonio to earn “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®” recognition from The Joint Commission

Methodist50thLOGOMethodist Healthcare today was named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. Methodist Hospital and its campuses at Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Heart Hospital, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital, Methodist Texsan Hospital, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital and Northeast Methodist Hospital* plus Methodist Stone Oak Hospital were recognized by The Joint Commission for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes. These measures have been shown to improve care for certain conditions including heart disease and surgical care.

“We understand that what matters most to patients at Methodist Healthcare is safe, effective care. That’s why Methodist Healthcare’s team of 8,000 employees and its staff of more than 2,700 credentialed physicians have made a commitment to accreditation and to positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes. We are honored to receive the distinction of being a Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO, Methodist Healthcare System.

Methodist Healthcare is among 1,099 hospitals in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance and the only hospital system in San Antonio to reach this quality standard. Methodist Healthcare was recognized for its achievement on the following measure sets: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. In addition, Methodist Children’s Hospital was recognized for children’s asthma care. The ratings are based on an aggregation of accountability measure data reported to The Joint Commission during the 2012 calendar year. The list of Top Performer organizations increased by 77 percent from last year and it represents 33 percent of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure performance data for 2012.

Methodist Healthcare and each of the hospitals nationwide that were named as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures must: 1) achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures; 2) achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there are at least 30 denominator cases; and 3) have at least one core measure set that has a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within that measure set all applicable individual accountability measures have a performance rate of 95 percent or above. A 95 percent score means a hospital provided an evidence-based practice 95 times out of 100 opportunities. Each accountability measure represents an evidence-based practice – examples include giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients, giving antibiotics one hour before surgery, and providing a home management plan of care for children with asthma.

“Methodist Healthcare and all the Top Performer hospitals have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to quality improvement and they should be proud of their achievement,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission. “We have much to celebrate this year. Nearly half of our accredited hospitals have attained or nearly attained the Top Performer distinction. This truly shows that we are approaching a tipping point in hospital quality performance that will directly contribute to better health outcomes for patients.”

In addition to being included in today’s release of The Joint Commission’s “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report, Methodist Healthcare will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website (www.qualitycheck.org). The Top Performer program will be featured in the December issues of The Joint Commission Perspectives and The Source.

*These hospitals share the same Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provider number with Methodist Hospital and therefore are evaluated as a single entity by the Joint Commission; Methodist Stone Oak Hospital has its own provider number. Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital was not eligible due to being a specialty hospital.

About 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 “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.

mmLearn.org presents new technology for older adult care at National LeadingAge Annual Conference

MM Main logoThe imminent tidal wave of baby boomers is here. The oldest baby boomers have already turned 65, and the older population of the U.S. is beginning to swell. The age-65-and-older population grew 18 percent between 2000 and 2011 to 41.4 million senior citizens, according to a recent Administration on Aging report. These numbers are expected to further balloon over the coming decade as baby boomers continue to reach traditional retirement age. So, how will we care for these seemingly unfathomable numbers of older adults? One of the answers to how to care for our seniors as they age is in the empowerment of caregivers through technology.

mmLearn.org, a program of Morningside Ministries, provides free online video training for family caregivers, pastoral care providers and healthcare professionals caring for seniors. Developed in 2006, mmLearn.org offers over 300 free online training programs for caregivers of older adults. Thousands of viewers have taken Web courses, read blogs or watched online videos about geriatric care. One such program is a series called “Ask the Geriatrician,” developed to address the shortage of geriatric physicians available to older adults and their caregivers in the United States. Geriatricians specialize in preventing and treating health issues in adults ages 65 and older, yet many caregivers never have an opportunity to speak with one. mmLearn.org bridges the gap between seniors, caregivers and physicians with online training and educational videos that improve the quality of care received by older adults.

LeadingAge is a national association comprised of non-profit organizations that provide services to seniors. To expand the world of possibilities for aging, LeadingAge members and affiliates touch the lives of 4 million individuals, families, employees and volunteers every day. The LeadingAge community (www.LeadingAge.org) includes 6,000 not-for-profit organizations in the United States, 39 state partners, hundreds of businesses, research partners, consumer organizations, foundations and a broad global network of aging services organizations that reach over 30 countries.

Maria Wellisch, V.P. of Corporate Training, will present on Online Education and Training for Caregivers on Sunday, October 27, 2013 between 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at the LeadingAge Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

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 induce 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.

Security Service Federal Credit Union receives Auto Finance Award

Security Services Federal Credit UnionOn the heels of placing fifth among prime retail credit lenders in the country for overall auto dealer satisfaction, Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) has been recognized with a 2013 Auto Finance Excellence Award by Auto Finance News. Presented during the 13th Annual Auto Finance Summit in Las Vegas on October 15, the award recognizes those who have achieved notable success or contributed greatly to the auto finance industry.

According to Auto Finance News, SSFCU topped all other auto financiers in the prime lending category. “Our 2013 winners exemplify the best of this dynamic industry,” said JJ Hornblass, executive editor and publisher of Auto Finance News and chairman of the Auto Finance Summit.

“We are passionate about our business,” said Charles Goss, senior vice president and chief lending officer for SSFCU. “We believe in partnering with our dealers to offer the best product to our members and ensuring the process is seamless, efficient and fast. It’s a real honor for our team to be recognized by the industry for our work.”

SSFCU_AFS13_Awards
Mr. Charles Goss, senior vice president and chief lending officer, and JJ Hornblass, executive editor and publisher of Auto Finance News and chairman of the Auto Finance Summit.

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.

Alex Bartos has joined Raba Kistner as an Environmental Professional/Project Manager

Bartos_AlexAlex Bartos has joined Raba Kistner as an Environmental Professional/Project Manager in the areas of Environmental Site Assessments, hazardous materials evaluations and subsurface investigations. Mr. Bartos brings more than 12 years of applicable experience and technical expertise in the environmental consulting field. Mr. Bartos’s experience includes managing environmental site assessments and remediation projects for oil and gas, pipeline, utilities, developers and industrial clients. His current responsibilities include planning and directing Phase I ESAs, conducting subsurface soil and groundwater assessments, remedial strategies, and regulatory review, and reporting for projects under the purview of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Rail Road Commission of Texas.

In addition to providing environmental site assessment services, Mr. Bartos has completed spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans (SPCC), storm-water pollution prevention plans (SWPPP), pollution prevention plans (P3), and Tier II reporting for industrial clients’ compliance requirements.

He has directed projects and coordinated activities in compliance with ASTM standards, TCEQ Innocent Owner/Operator Program (IOP), Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), Dry Cleaner Remediation Program (DCRP), and the RRC Operator Cleanup Program (OCP).

Broadway Bank’s Austin regional headquarters hosts grand opening

BroadwayBank_Logo_tagBroadway Bank hosted its official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Austin Regional Headquarters last evening. The event was attended by numerous customers, partners, and bank employees.

BroadwayBank-GO 2The event marked the six month anniversary of the regional headquarters’ operations located in the Midtown Medical Towers at the corner of W. 38th Street and Lamar Boulevard. The banking center offers a full array of products and services including personal banking, private banking, business banking, commercial real estate, and wealth management.

“A number of years ago, we realized that our continued growth would require entering new markets,” said Jim Goudge, chairman and CEO of Broadway Bank. “Aside from its notable demographic appeal and being voted one of the best places to live and work, Austin’s vibrant business and professional community made it the place to be.”

Broadway Bank has been in Texas for more than 72 years building a reputation of strength and stability in communities throughout Central and South Central Texas. The bank’s future plans include investments in opening four to six additional Austin locations over the next three to five years.

“This has been an exciting time for Broadway Bank and we’re pleased to offer Austin the unique and personalized service that only a community bank like Broadway can offer,” said Harvey P. Hartenstine, president of the Austin region. “Our great team of bankers, all long-time Austinites, has played a huge part in our initial success, and we look forward to continuing to build relationship in the community.”

About Broadway Bank
Headquartered in San Antonio, Broadway Bank was founded in 1941. It has evolved from a small neighborhood bank into one of the largest independently owned banks in Texas. Today, Broadway Bank continues to function as a family-owned and operated financial institution. Broadway Bank offers a full range of sophisticated financial services, including personal banking, private banking, military banking, business banking and wealth management. With more than $2.9 billion in total assets, the highly rated Bank operates 38 locations in San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding areas. Visit the Broadway Bank website at broadwaybank.com for more information.

The San Antonio Board of the BKD Foundation presents its Annual Community Pride Award to SAMMinistries

BKD logo colorAt the October 22, 2013, team meeting, Jon McDowell, Managing Partner of BKD, LLP, CPAs and Advisors introduced Makayla Matheson, Manager, and San Antonio BKD Foundation member who presented Navarra Williams, President & CEO, SAMMinistries with the San Antonio Board for the BKD Foundation’s annual Community PRIDE award.

BKD check 2013Matheson had this to say, “Each year we ask our employees to nominate a charity they believe should be the recipient of our $10,000 award and to provide the committee with an example of how the charity helps and how they exhibit our PRIDE values. Our PRIDE values encompass Passion, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence.” After the nominees were identified, each charity’s representative visited with BKD personnel so that they could learn firsthand about each organization’s mission. Afterwards, the employees voted and SAMMinistries was selected based on the nomination which identified SAMMinistries passion that each person it serves has the power to transform their lives and live independently. They show respect for others by treating each person with dignity and giving them equal opportunity to succeed. SAMMinistries maintains integrity by striving to be true to its values in both word and deed. They are disciplined in their approach to fundraising and in their approach with clients whose lives they are helping to re-build. SAMMinistries believes that a ministry to people in need demands their very best. In striving for excellence, SAMMinistries honors the trust that donors place in them and they give their best to clients every day.

BKD Award 2013Williams accepted a custom-made glass art work (Glen Andrews Studio:  Caliente Hot Glass) award and a check for $10,000. Williams stated that, “We are honored to be chosen by BKD, and grateful for their contribution to SAMMinistries. As a Ministry, we strive to work with integrity as we help San Antonio families overcome homelessness. I am proud to lead a team that is recognized by fellow community members for this work.”

Founded in 1983, SAMMinistries is an interfaith ministry dedicated to providing shelter and care to the homeless of San Antonio. Today, SAMMinistries is the largest service provider of direct care and shelter in San Antonio and the surrounding area.

About BKD Foundation
The BKD Foundation, which is the firm’s charitable arm, has raised and distributed more than $6.2 million to qualifying 501 (c)(3) organizations since February 2000. For many not-for-profit organizations, both financial and volunteer assistance is critical.

The San Antonio charitable arm of the BKD Foundation is funded and administered by the partners and employees of the San Antonio office of BKD, LLP, CPAs & Advisors. The San Antonio BKD Foundation desires to enrich the San Antonio communities it serves with financial support and the gift of time from BKD volunteers. Its purpose is to aid, support, maintain and assist by gift, donation or otherwise, established charitable, scientific, educational and philanthropic institutions which are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC of 1986.

TxDOT hosts I-35 Northeast San Antonio expansion project public meetings

Texas-Department-of-TransportationLOGOThe Texas Department of Transportation will be hosting two public meetings and an online open house to discuss the proposed construction of managed lanes, operational improvements, and intersection improvements along I-35 from I-410 South in San Antonio to FM 1103 in Schertz.

The I-35 Northeast San Antonio Expansion Project is proposed to improve mobility in the I-35 corridor in a manner that will:

  • Manage vehicle congestion,
  • Promote efficient use of existing transportation facilities, Minimize impacts to the natural and built environment, and Complement other modes of transportation and economic development initiatives in the region.

All members of the public are invited to attend a public meeting to view a video presentation and exhibits, speak to project staff, and provide verbal or written comments. Your input, as well as ongoing technical analysis, will be used in the environmental study process to identify the potential social, environmental, and economic impacts of the proposed improvements.

Stop by a public meeting any time between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m.

Monday, October 28, 2013
Schertz Civic Center
1400 Schertz Pkwy., Bldg. 5
Schertz, Texas 78154

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
New Creation Christian Fellowship Church Gym
8700 Fourwinds Dr.
Windcrest, Texas 78218

Visit the Online Open House
Monday, October 28 – November 8, 2013
www.txdot.gov (key word search “I-35 Northeast San Antonio)

The same information will be presented at both meetings and online.

Written comments may be submitted by November 8, 2013 to:

  • Email: info@i35northeast.com
  • Mail: I-35 Northeast San Antonio Expansion Project; 130 East Travis Street, Ste. 200; San Antonio, Texas 78205
  • Online Open House: www.txdot.gov (key word search “I-35 Northeast San Antonio”)Need special assistance?  Please contact us at 210-615-5839 on or before October 23, 2013, and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

Our mailing address is:
I-35 Northeast San Antonio Expansion Project
130 East Travis Street, Ste. 200
San Antonio, TX 78205
Add us to your address book

Council tentatively set to vote on CPS Energy rate adjustment November 7

cps energy logoAfter months of rigorous analysis and back and forth with CPS Energy staff, the city of San Antonio’s chief financial officer recommended to the City Council Wednesday that it approve CPS Energy’s 4.25 percent rate increase request.

Ben Gorzell told the council at its information session that CPS Energy staff had worked diligently to make the request as low as possible while still protecting the utility’s top notch credit rating.

“We worked very closely with their staff, and we found significant improvement in the whole budget (process) since 2010, an increased rigor,” he said, “which I’m sure has to do with (CEO) Doyle Beneby’s leadership and what he’s asked staff to do.”

Gorzell made four additional recommendations to CPS Energy as part of his presentation. They include that CPS Energy:

  • commit to working collaboratively with the city to study CPS Energy’s pensions and benefits plans and associated costs;
  • continue to enhance its capital project prioritization process;
  • continues to address customer service issues in billing and call center departments; and
  • review its fuel hedging program, taking into consideration costs and potential benefits of the program.

The council, for its part, also lauded Beneby and the staff who worked on the budget and rate proposal, praising them for listening to the community and reducing the bonus program by 50 percent in both 2015 and 2016.

“Thanks for listening and fine tuning the ask,” said Councilman Cris Medina, who had taken a lead role in demanding changes to the bonus program the CPS Energy board of trustees put into place 13 years ago.

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña urged the utility to increase outreach to low income customers to sign them up for affordability programs.

“We’ve actually taken your words to heart,” said Beneby, noting that efforts are now underway to identify those who have multiple late payments, to see if they qualify for the increased affordability discount.

Ron Nirenberg, who represents District 8, praised the utility for its extensive public outreach efforts, which included customer care fairs in districts across the city, a public input session, attendance at various council events, extensive social media outreach and blog posts on topics ranging from how rates are determined to how the rate increase will be used.

Asked whether city staff ever recommends against an increase, Gorzell explained that the process was designed to get to a place where the city and the utility are aligned.

“We started out in a different place,” he said, then the two staffs go back and forth until city staff is satisfied that it can recommend the request. In this case, CPS Energy responded by slashing its bonus program, increasing money to help low income customers pay their bills, and delayed some capital projects to reduce the rate increase request from 4.75 percent to 4.25 percent.

The City Council is expected to vote on the increase on Nov. 7.

RELATED STORIES

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Capital projects, infrastructure upgrades drive rate increase request

 

October 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanAs you know, the North SA Chamber has a long history as an advocate for business-friendly initiatives and legislation, as well as infrastructure improvements. We work to consistently champion a pro-business agenda and endeavor to serve as a collective voice to represent our large and small business members in government policy and legislative issues, especially at the local and state levels.

Our board of directors, government affairs and infrastructure committees monitor and suggest necessary changes and/or improvements on a number of issues including infrastructure. Regularly the North SA Chamber board of directors takes positions of endorsement or opposition of such issues.

At the September 24th North SA Chamber board of directors meeting, board members heard from Cris Eugster, Group EVP at CPS Energy, regarding the CPS Energy proposed rate increase to be voted on and approved by City Council, and from our Government Affairs Council Chair, Rob Killen of Kauffman Killen, regarding the Proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments Nos. 3 and 6, which are on the ballot for the November 5th election. The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce board of directors reviewed, held discussion, voted and endorsed each proposition.

CPS Energy Rate Adjustment
In late September CPS Energy was proposing a 4.75 percent rate increase – the first since 2010, to keep up with an expanding customer base and to upgrade existing infrastructure. The North SA Chamber understands that even with a rate increase CPS Energy’s rates still will be among the lowest in Texas, and our board believes it’s critical for economic development and business retention to provide efficient reliable power to keep our economy strong. Following our board meeting, City Council and the public have expressed concern over the utility’s bonus program, and chief executive Doyle Beneby has since announced a reduction in the proposed rate increase to 4.25 percent as well as a 50 percent reduction in employee bonus plans for years 2015 and 2016, thus making the rate increase more satisfactory to its detractors. City Council will vote on the rate adjustment at the November 7 Council meeting, and if approved, the new rates will take effect February 1, 2014.

Constitutional Amendment Election – November 5, 2013
Additionally, the North SA Chamber encourages our members and the community to vote “Yes” for the proposed Constitutional Amendment, No. 3 on the ballot, “The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.” Texas is one of only 11 states to levy a property tax on inventory. Learn more at the Texas Association of Manufacturers’ website, or download the Proposition 3 Fact Sheet.

Furthermore, the North SA Chamber encourages our members and the community to vote “Yes” for the proposed Constitutional Amendment, No. 6 on the ballot, “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.” Learn more at the H204Texas website, or download the Proposition 6 Fact Sheet.

Photo Identification
Remember, with the passing of Senate Bill 14, voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas Elections. Visit VoteTexas.Gov for more information.

Photo ID Required for Texas Voters
Identificación con Foto se Requiere para Votantes Tejanos

On behalf of the North SA Chamber board of directors, we ask for your thoughtful consideration of these items and encourage you to exercise your civic rights by offering feedback to your City Council member and voting in the November 5th election. Thank you for all you do to keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong.