Local Child Protective Services kids get school supply boost from KENS 5, Generations Federal Credit Union and Corner Store

generations fcu logokens5com-logo-310Generations Federal Credit Union and Corner Store will partner with CBS affiliate KENS 5 to collect school supplies for the approximately 7,000 Bexar County children who are under the care of Child Protective Services.

Individuals are encouraged to participate by bringing supplies to the KENS 5 studios during the week of August 4 through August 8, donating online at http://info.mygenfcu.org/bills-elves or dropping off supplies at any of the 14 Generations Federal Credit Union branches between July 23 and August 9.  The school supplies will be delivered to the CPS offices during the week of August 11 and case workers will distribute the collected supplies to the children.  Individuals who donate will receive a coupon for a free Kolache and a cup of Cibolo Mountain premium coffee from Corner Store.

“This school supply drive is a win-win for everyone involved.  It enables Generations to make a tangible difference in our community and it provides these students with the supplies they need to be successful during the school year.  Additionally, the families who take in these children receive little to no financial assistance from the State, so it provides us with the opportunity to help them out as they step up to the plate to help these kids,” said Generations FCU CEO, Steve Schipull.

Hosted by KENS 5 Chief Meteorologist, Bill Taylor, the bi-annual event collects school supplies in August and Christmas toys in December.  The KENS 5 studios are located at 5400 Fredericksburg Road and volunteers will be out in front of the studios at the 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts during the week of August 4 through August 8.

“San Antonio has always been a community that comes together to take care of our own.  The Bill’s Elves initiative has been very successful year after year and we look forward to exceeding our goals and making a difference in the lives of these great kids,” concluded Schipull.

About Generations Federal Credit Union
For nearly 75 years, Generations Federal Credit Union has been an advocate of financial growth and development within the community, offering award-winning financial education classes, as well as products and services that truly make a difference.  Generations strives to be a trusted advisor, offering personal attention that provides members with the financial skills they need to be successful.  Their tailored approach to banking enables them to deliver personalized service for both businesses and consumers.


Advocacy Alert: North SA Chamber Opposes Proposed Storm Water Fee Changes

North Chamber logo 4c stackedThe City of San Antonio (CoSA) Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI) proposed a project to “migrate the existing Storm Water Utility Fee from one based upon land use and parcel size to one based upon impervious cover,” and completed a study to determine revenues needed to be recovered by the fee over the next five years. TCI has communicated the proposed changes in rate methodology to various stakeholders including governmental agencies, chambers of commerce, professional and other organizations, as well as school districts. Learn more about the Storm Water Utility Fee

As the process has progressed, the North SA Chamber, as a stakeholder, has determined the proposed Storm Water Fee changes will penalize property owners for building activity that occurred before the adoption of the proposed methodology and rates. The Storm Water Fee restructuring will affect both residential and commercial customers.

The North SA Chamber board of directors met Tuesday, July 22, 2014 and voted in opposition of the proposed Storm Water Fee as it is currently presented. We have seen example commercial Storm Water Fee calculations using the proposed methodology showing in most cases, increases of several hundred percent, and in some cases, increases of more than 1000% or even 2000%. This is unreasonable. Click here to read the letter your North SA Chamber sent to city staff and officials

The Storm Water Fee restructuring will result in increases in commercial fees that will be burdensome to absorb by public schools, colleges, universities and existing businesses with large campuses including corporate headquarters, manufacturing facilities, hotels/resorts, attractions, multi-family housing, commercial office complexes, auto dealerships, retail establishments and others. Additionally, the new methodology and rates would be unattractive to an existing business considering expansion or a new business considering relocation within the city limits of San Antonio, thus will result in a negative impact on business retention, expansion and recruitment.

North SA Chamber Position:
The North SA Chamber is opposed to an increase in Storm Water Fees to any individual user of more than 10% in any given fiscal year. The North SA Chamber respectfully requests that the proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring not be adopted in the 2015 CoSA budget, and that the process be permitted to continue further until the City, stakeholders and the public can address issues including the definition of impervious cover, methodology, rate structure and appeals. Click here to obtain the Advocacy Alert flyer

Call to Action:

  • Contact the Mayor and your City Council Representative.
  • Tell them September 2014 is too early to adopt the flawed, proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring.
  • Tell them you are opposed to the Storm Water Fee proposed methodology and rates.
  • Ask them to continue to revise the proposed Storm Water Fee methodology and rates with stakeholder and public input.

City Elected Officials Contact Information:

Mayor Ivy R. Taylor

Councilman Diego Bernal, District 1

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 3

Councilman Rey Saldana, District 4

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 5

Councilman Ray Lopez, District 6

Councilman Cris Medina, District 7

Councilman Ron Nirenberg, District 8

Councilman Joe Krier, District 9

Councilman Mike Gallagher, District 10

City of San Antonio Mayor & City Council

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

Physical Address
City Hall, 4th Floor
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205

Advocacy Alert SWF Flyer

David White, Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc., earns rare designation for Building Envelope Services

raba kistner logoPortraitsPaul Lampe,  Executive Vice President of Raba Kistner Consultants (RKCI), has announced that David White, RRC, RRO, CDT, CEI, CIT, RWC,  Senior Roofing Consultant and Manager of Building  Envelope Services for the firm, has earned the title REGISTERED WATERPROOFING CONSULTANT (RWC) from RCI, Inc.*  White qualified for this designation by meeting the requirements of a rigorous two-part program based on verifiable levels of education, ethics and experience, and successfully completing a challenging examination.

“David is one of about 70 Registered Waterproofing Consultants in the U.S. and Canada who have this certification,” said Lampe. “We are pleased to be able to offer this level of experience, training and confidence to our building envelope clients.”

David has been with Raba Kistner since 2011. As Senior Roofing Consultant, Mr. White is responsible for Raba-Kistner’s Roofing Inspection, Surveys, Design and Consulting capabilities. His primary duties consist of facilities project management with emphasis on scope development, budget estimates, roofing inspection reports, surveys, roofing redesigns, and engineering solutions with attendant specifications.

David graduated from Southwest Texas University in 2001.

About Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.
Founded in 1968, Raba Kistner Consultants Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raba Kistner, Inc., and is Engineering News-Record “Top 500 Firm,” operating in eleven different markets in Texas, Utah, and México. Raba Kistner Consultants provides Geotechnical Engineering, Testing, Pavement and Foundations Design, as well as Construction Materials Engineering, Testing and Construction Inspections. Raba Kistner also provides program management and project management services, environmental engineering and consulting, building envelope and infrastructure services.

The RWC registration is administered by RCI from its international headquarters in Raleigh, NC and is rapidly gaining recognition throughout North America as a key element preferred by building owners, public and private, when retaining the services of a waterproofing consultant. RCI was founded in 1983 as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization and its professional members offer unbiased design, repair planning, quality assurance, legal testimony and general roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall services. RCI’s waterproofing consultants adhere to a strict code of ethics that offers unprejudiced professional services without affiliation with any product or manufacturer.

Prism Technologies Group earns regional Microsoft® award

Prism Technologies GroupPrism Technologies Group earned a prestigious regional award for the second consecutive year at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference this month. The company, which is an official Microsoft partner, was also honored with two nominations in predominant categories.

In all, Prism Technologies Group earned the distinction of:

  • Award winner – 2014 Microsoft Community Connections Partner of the Year for the U.S. SMB Central Region
  • Nominee – 2014 Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year for the U.S. SMB Central Region
  • Nominee – 2014 Microsoft Partner of the Year for the U.S. SMB Central Region

Regional Award
For the second consecutive year, Prism Technologies Group received the Microsoft Community Connections Partner of the Year award for the U.S. SMB Central Region at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. on July 14.  Out of five nominees for the Community Connections category, Bryan Guinn, president and Patrick Felty, vice president of Prism Technologies Group graciously accepted the engraved Tiffany & Co. crystal plate which was awarded in the presence of the top tier Microsoft partners from the central U.S. region.  The Central Region encompasses 19 states and thousands of Microsoft partners.

PTG Microsoft Award 2014Merits for this award were based upon the company’s commitment to educating the community about technology, not just Microsoft products.  “Giving back to the community is a key focus,” Guinn said.  “San Antonio is becoming a technology mecca in Texas and we are committed to contributing to that growth, whether it is educating the business community about the latest Microsoft technology, hiring IT interns from local colleges, to providing low cost services to nonprofit organizations.”

Within the last 12 months, Prism Technologies Group has hosted more than 40 lectures and classes, and they have participated in several conferences and symposiums to educate business owners, IT professionals and the nonprofit sector. They partnered with multiple chambers of commerce, professional organizations, the San Antonio Area Foundation and the Microsoft Store to demonstrate how the Cloud, Office 365, Windows 8 and Windows Phone enable collaboration, even across multiple platforms.

The company also participates in St. Philip’s College’s internship program by hiring students as help desk specialists. Interns gain valuable experience working with cloud computing, a technology that businesses are just beginning to utilize. In addition, some students are veterans, so Prism Technologies Group is honored to help them develop skills in a new vocation.

Regional Nominations
As a Microsoft partner, Prism Technologies Group is certified to sell, deploy and manage Microsoft products and solutions. The company was nominated for the Microsoft Cloud Partner award and the Microsoft Partner of the Year, both in the U.S. SMB Central Region because of their ability to surpass all three tiers and maintain their Tier 1 status in the SMB Champions Club over the past 12 months while simultaneously maintaining superior customer service. Although the company earned second place in these categories, the executive team is very pleased about the nominations, and the amount and quality of work their team has accomplished within a short period of time.

Prism Technologies Group is an expert in the IT industry and has a solid performance record. Its staff is highly regarded and the company touts these credentials:

  • Microsoft Azure Circle Partner
  • Microsoft SMB Champions Club Tier 1
  • Microsoft Silver Competency Midmarket Solution Provider
  • Microsoft Silver Competency Server Platform Provider
  • Microsoft Small Business Specialist
  • Apple Consultant Network member
  • Cisco Channel Partner

About Prism Technologies Group
Prism Technologies Group has been helping businesses improve their IT operations since 2003, and it’s their mission to contribute to their clients’ success. The company, which has earned the highest certifications from notable stalwart companies such as Microsoft, Cisco and Apple, provides expert IT services to businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations across the United States. Prism Technologies Group has a solid performance record, and they guarantee reliable, responsive and efficient solution delivery. The company was founded by Bryan Guinn, who is an active North Chamber member. Guinn is a 2014 Small Business Leaders Award nominee.

Security Service Federal Credit Union receives best practice recognition from Credit Union Direct

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) has received a Best Practice Award in the category of Business Development from CU Direct (www.cudirect.com), the nation’s leading provider of lending, automotive and strategic solutions to the credit union industry. The award was presented during the Credit Union Service Organization’s (CUSO’s) annual credit union lending and marketing conference, held in May in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The proven sales philosophy for SSFCU’s indirect lending department has evolved into a sales-centric culture focused on delivering superior service throughout the application, decision and funding process. For example, SSFCU’s indirect lending department can receive an application, underwrite the loan, receive the loan package, process and fund the loan the same business day, all in a paperless environment.

“Our success lies behind the fact that our business model is both sustainable and replicable, contributing to our ongoing growth,” said Charles Goss, SSFCU’s executive vice president and chief lending officer. “We spend a lot of time training and coaching our loan officers in their communication skills. This leads to our being better able to assess and address dealer needs, as well as accurately identify trends, both negative and positive.”

“We greatly appreciate the work and dedication our credit union partners put into their lending programs,” stated Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of CU Direct. “Their accomplishments provide insight to the strategies and best practices that will contribute to the overall success of our credit unions’ loan programs.”

SSFCU has made significant strides in service capabilities to both dealer customers and members acquired through indirect lending channel.  This, in combination with targeted product offerings, has resulted in excellent growth for the credit union.  With the focus centered on developing new and enhancing existing dealer relationships, indirect lending booked $2.2 billion in 2011, $2.67 billion in 2012 and $2.9 billion in 2013.  During the first four months of 2014, $1.054 billion has been funded, compared with the first four months of 2013 of $840 million.  The credit union 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.”

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 $7.9 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 1-800-52-SSFCU.

BKD announces promotions

Alexandra Parrott  BWChris Johnson  BWJon McDowell, managing partner of BKD, LLP San Antonio office, announces the promotion of Alexandra Geleske and Christopher Johnson to senior associate (audit).

Career paths at BKD are divided into levels, and each position is defined by its own set of duties, responsibilities and competencies requiring cumulative and advanced degrees of education, training and experience.  Personnel also must demonstrate their leadership abilities as coaches and mentors, as well as taking an active role in their community.  Individuals become candidates for promotion after successfully mastering their existing level.

“These individuals have consistently proven their commitment to providing unmatched service to our client and their commitment to our profession,” McDowell said. “I am proud to work with these talented individuals.”

Geleske serves clients in the not-for-profit, real estate and oil & gas industries.  Geleske graduated from Texas Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2012.

Johnson serves clients in the financial services and not-for-profit industries.  Johnson graduated from Texas State University with a Master of Accountancy in 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.

July Word from the Chairman


New Exclusive Member Benefit
As you may know, the North SA Chamber has endeavored to help you amplify your involvement with additional benefits including enhanced digital and online resources and exclusive member programming like special rates for employee benefits. In fact, many of you may have participated in the prior discounted group medical program that was discontinued earlier this year in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Throughout the economic recovery and phased implementation of ACA, we have educated members on the law’s impact on business operations, and now it’s quite satisfying to be able to offer our members access to rich supplemental benefits and rates that comply with ACA law.

Introducing – North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife
We’re proud to announce that we have teamed up with MetLife to present the North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program that offers members competitive group rates for life, dental, disability and vision coverage. The North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife provides our small business members with less than 10 employees access to plans that they would not have been able to obtain on their own, while also expanding the benefit offering to organizations with up to 999 employees – and the product suite is available through any area insurance agent or broker.

I want to recognize and thank board member and Membership Council Chair, Aaron Seaman with SWBC, for working to bring this new supplemental coverage program to North SA Chamber members.It was through Aaron’s leadership and a willingness by MetLife to serve customers through the association marketplace that the plan was conceptualized over several months and brought to fruition. I want to commend MetLife for tailoring their approach to offer insurance products to fit the specific needs of the North SA Chamber membership.

Learn more about Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife

To learn more about how MetLife can benefit you, we encourage you to contact your agent or broker or search the FIND A MEMBER online directory to find a North SA Chamber member agent or broker.

North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife
The program offers competitive group rates for North SA Chamber members with 2 to 999 employees, featuring a Product Suite including:

  • Basic Term Life Insurance including Supplemental Term Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Group Dental Benefits that include Pediatric Dental Essential Health Benefits (EHB), where appropriate
  • Employer-Sponsored Short & Long Term Disability
  • Voluntary Short-term Disability (VSTD)
  • VisionAccess Program*

Now is an exciting time for the North SA Chamber, our members and our growing city. We welcome you and your employees to participate and hope you’ll be able to take advantage of this exclusive member benefit.

Like most group insurance policies, MetLife group policies contain certain exclusions, exceptions, waiting periods, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. Eligibility varies by product based on the number of eligible versus participating employees. Ask your MetLife group representative for costs and complete details.

*   The MetLife VisionAccess program is a discount program and not an insured benefit. It is provided through Vision Service Plan (VSP), Rancho Cordova, CA. VSP is not affiliated with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company or its affiliates.

SSFCU names Braden Graham Manager of Corporate Services

Braden Graham 2014_smallBraden Graham, JD, has been named manager of corporate services for Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU), where he will be responsible for managing tenant and landlord relations, as well as overseeing and managing food service and mailroom operations at SSFCU headquarters.

Graham recently completed his masters in business administration and earned a juris doctorate from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. Prior to going back to graduate school, he was an equities trader in New York City.

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 $8 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 1-800-52-SSFCU.

Raba Kistner Environmental announces hire of Dr. Steve A. Tomka, Senior Archaeologist

PortraitsSteve Jones, CHCM, Senior Vice President and COO of Raba Kistner Environmental, has announced that Raba Kistner has hired Steve A. Tomka, Ph.D. to develop and manage Cultural Resources projects for the firm. As the Senior Archaeologist, Dr. Tomka is working closely with Prehistoric and Historic Project Archaeologists and Field and Laboratory Technicians at Raba Kistner Environmental on several new and exciting projects in the San Antonio area and around Texas.

Dr. Tomka has over 30 years of experience in Texas archeology.  In San Antonio and its immediate vicinity, Dr. Tomka has accumulated over 18 years of experience and knowledge working on archaeological projects.  His particular areas of expertise include Archival Research, Historic and Prehistoric Archaeology, NRHP Eligibility Testing and Data Recovery Excavations.

He has worked on prehistoric archaeological sites dating to 10,800 years before the present (BP), as well as 18th and 19th century Spanish Colonial missions and 20th century residential complexes in downtown San Antonio.

“We are very excited that Dr. Tomka is joining our Environmental group,” said Jones. “His very distinguished career, including serving in a voluntary capacity with many historical oversight groups, brings relationships and a level of knowledge about Texas archaeology that is unmatched in our industry.”

Dr. Tomka maintains a strong working relationship with all clients including architectural and engineering firms and City, County, and State agencies.  He has served on the State Board of Review for National Register of Historic Places nominations, and was the Chair of the Antiquities Committee of the Texas Historical Commission, where he served as Commissioner.   In these capacities, he acquired in-depth knowledge of the Antiquities Code of Texas as well as the processes and procedures associated with Section 106 compliance of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Dr. Tomka served as Director, Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio, for 12 years before coming to Raba Kistner. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1994, and his M.A. from there in 1985. He received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1980.

Dr. Tomka is pre-certified to conduct TxDOT archeological surveys (2.10.01) and has served as a Principal Investigator on multiple TxDOT statewide general services contracts.

About Raba Kistner
Founded in 1968, Raba Kistner, Inc., parent company to Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc., is an Engineering News-Record “Top 500 Firm,” operating in eleven different markets in Texas, Utah, and México. Raba Kistner Environmental is recognized as one of the Southwest’s leading firms offering environmental consulting services. Our technical team consists of archeologists, biologists, engineers, environmental specialists, geologists, GIS analysts, and planners.

Volunteer Spotlight – Infrastructure Committee Chair: Jim Koenig, Jacobs

Koenig_Jim-150x150About the Company: Jacobs is a multidiscipline architecture/engineering firm with more than 60,000 employees worldwide. The firm’s 65-person San Antonio office provides professional services including Global Building (vertical building), Water Infrastructure Programs (public works projects, environmental services), Transportation Programs (highways, airports, railways), Site Civil (commercial, mixed-use, residential), Urban Design & Planning (master planning, landscape, urban planning), Construction Management and Inspection and Survey. Jim provides business development for the San Antonio office interacting with various public transportation agencies and organizations in the community.

About the Program: This committee reviews transportation and infrastructure planning, construction and maintenance issues, as well as the political and financial issues relating to these improvements. A guest speaker presents on a related topic followed by a report by each public agency present.

Personally Speaking: Jim has been an active North SA Chamber volunteer for over nine years, serving on the board for six years and currently serving as chairman of the Infrastructure Committee . Jim says, “The North SA Chamber is a great venue for business networking and establishing meaningful and long lasting personal business relationships.”