Becton, Dickinson and Co. partners with Alamo Colleges for $450,027 job-training grant

BD_logoBeckinson, Dickinson and Co. has partnered with Alamo Colleges to provide job training using a $450,027 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

AlamoColleges-colorThe grant will be used to custom train 248 new and incumbent workers to properly perform essential office and administrative skills in a timely and efficient manner. Those trained will include customer service representatives, associate care specialists and accounts payable specialists. Upon completion of training, the workers will earn an average hourly wage of $19.98.

TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade will present a check to Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie, Ph.D. and representatives from the Becton, Dickson and Co. at a 1 p.m. ceremony to be held in Suite 200 of the Becton, Dicknson and Co. building located at 5859 Farinon Dr. in San Antonio.

To learn more about careers at BD, visit: (2)

Alamo Colleges contact: Kay Hendricks, coordinator of communication, (210)485-0049

San Antonio’s Mokara Hotel & Spa, Omni La Mansión Del Rio continue to accrue accolades in 2014

Omni Hotels

Mokara SpasSan Antonio’s renowned Mokara Hotel & Spa and Omni La Mansión del Rio continue to celebrate a successful start to 2014 after garnering national recognition from four of the country’s most well-respected travel resources.

The accolades, which come on the heels of Mokara Hotel & Spa being featured on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 Gold List and Platinum Circle at the beginning of January, include:

Mokara Hotel & Spa

  • AAA Four Diamond hotel rating
  • AAA Four Diamond restaurant rating for Ostra

Mokara Hotel has been recognized as a Four Diamond property every year since 2005. The AAA Diamond ratings continue a 78-year tradition where AAA’s professionally trained inspectors use published guidelines to conduct unannounced hotel and restaurant evaluations, assigning approved establishments a rating of One to Five AAA Diamonds. Only 5.3 percent of the more than 29,000 hotels approved by AAA make the Four Diamond list. For more information, visit

  • Forbes Four-Star hotel winner
  • Forbes Four-Star spa winner

Mokara is the only Forbes Four-Star hotel in San Antonio and well as the only Forbes Four-Star spa in San Antonio. By Forbes standards, Four-Star hotels require attention to detail and an accommodating staff in a distinctive setting. Four-Star spas are defined by their wonderful experience in an inviting and serene environment with personalized service and again, a well-trained staff. For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star ratings, visit

  • TripAdvisor® 2014 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the United States, ranked 23rd

In the 12th year of the TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards, the world’s most outstanding properties were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels. Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the reviews and opinions of millions of TripAdvisor travelers around the globe. For a full list of TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice winners, visit:

  • Gold Badge winner, 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels rankings
    • #1 in Best San Antonio Hotels
    • #3 in Best Texas Hotels
    • #1 in Omni Hotels & Resorts

The rankings identify the best hotels in the USA, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada based on an unbiased methodology that combines the prominence of industry accolades a hotel receives along with its reputation among travel experts and guests expressed through online reviews and ratings. The Gold Badge rating represents the top 10 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States as part of the “Best Hotels in the USA” list. For a full list of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels rankings, visit:

Omni La Mansión del Rio

  • AAA Four Diamond hotel rating
  • AAA Four Diamond restaurant rating for Las Canarias

Omni La Mansión del Rio is one of twelve hotels that have maintained the Four Diamond Rating for 38 consecutive years – since 1976 when the Diamond Ratings were first introduced for hotels.

“We are honored to be ranked by these outstanding sources and to be listed among such a prestigious group of hotels, resorts and restaurants,” said General Manager Rusty Wallace. “To be recognized by loyal guests as well as editors of the nation’s leading travel publications is a testament to the commitment of our associates to provide the very highest levels of service and ensure each of our guests receives an unparalleled experience.”

About Mokara Hotels & Spa
The Mokara Hotel & Spa is the companion property to the illustrious Omni La Mansión del Rio, both of which have been owned and operated by Omni Hotels & Resorts since 2006.  With its stunning views of the tranquil River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Mokara blends a serene setting with relaxed sophistication to bring a guest experience where the exceptional is always included.  In addition to the acclaimed 17,000-square-foot Mokara Spa, the property features 99 elegantly appointed guest rooms and Ostra, an unrivaled seafood epicurean experience.  For more information, call (866) 605-1212 or visit

About Omni La Mansión del Rio
Situated on the tranquil River Walk in downtown San Antonio, the historic Omni La Mansión del Rio marries Spanish Colonial architecture and old-world charm with modern comforts.  Hallmarks of this authentic experience include 338 comfortably appointed guest rooms and suites, the award-winning Las Canarias restaurant and its Texas Hill Country-infused menu, flexible meeting and event space and unparalleled service standards. For more information, call (800) 292-7300 or visit

Security Service expands CallPlus service to offer better experience and more choices for members

Security Services Federal Credit UnionAs part of Security Service Federal Credit Union’s (SSFCU) ongoing efforts to enhance the member experience, SSFCU today announced the launch of its redesigned CallPlus system. As part of a long-term strategy to expand self-service capabilities, the added features are now available to all members.

The new CallPlus includes voice recognition in both English and Spanish, access to credit card transaction history, access to proof of insurance inquiry line and an option for online and mobile banking support. These are additions to SSFCU’s automated telephone system that already offers the ability to check balances; verify cleared checks, deposits and withdrawals; get current loan and dividend rate information; transfer between accounts and other convenient transactions.

“This new level of 24/7 service to our members offers more choices, a better experience and secure access to personal banking information,” says Jim Laffoon, president of Security Service Federal Credit Union.

Chris Allen, senior vice president for SSFCU’s award-winning Member Contact Center, oversaw the development and rollout of the improved system. “The hard work put into testing and fine-tuning the application has resulted in a top-notch service channel that is easier to navigate,” he said. “With this system, callers have more options, faster service and decreased call wait times. And if members need it, they can always navigate straight to our live contact center where they can speak one-on-one with a member service representative.”

To access CallPlus, members can dial 1-800-52-SSFCU (77328).

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 $7.5 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 or call 1-888-415-7878.

Generations FCU presents October business workshop lineup

generations fcu logoWhether it is the ins-and-outs of SBA funding, the art of the elevator pitch or how customer service can make your business stand apart, we have you covered this October. 

B2B Business 2 Better Series: The Ace In Your Pocket: SBA Funding
October 8 | 6 – 7:30 p.m. | Northwest Branch
The SBA has established several programs to help businesses get the money they need at terms they can handle. Learn about opportunities available and how to get the best loan through the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 programs.

Sip & Social: Master Your Elevator Pitch
October 16 | 6 – 7:30 p.m. | Downtown Branch
How do you articulate why someone should do business with you in just 5-15 seconds? Take the ordinary to the extraordinary in this 45-minute workshop on how to deliver the perfect elevator pitch. Plus, sample fine wines and cheese from around the world while networking with other business owners.

SCORE: Service With a Smile
October 24 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.| Downtown Branch
Creating lasting relationships with your clients begins with customer service. Discover how to take your service to the next level in this workshop to help build a repeat client base. 

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.