Congratulations! 2014 Leadership Lab Class

Ll_Logo_2012The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2014 Class of Leadership Lab participants. Candidates submitted applications last fall, completed an interview process and were selected early this year.

Leadership Lab is the North Chamber’s nine-month, award winning leadership series focused on empowering the leader within each of the Lab participants. The program inlcudes a two-day retreat: Discovering Leadership & You, and eight full-day sessions covering a number of topics from integrity and culture to communications and decision making, as well as change, community involvement and brand strategies.

Please join us in congratulating the 2014 Leadership Lab class and help provide encouragement and support as they embark on their leadership journey.

Jason Adam
Joeris General Contractors, LTD

Bruce Ahlswede
Walton Signage

Gena Alvarez
DeWied International

Victoria Arellano
Walton Signage

Rosantina Aranda

Danny Arnold
Security Service Federal Credit Union

Caitlin Bagnall
KGBTexas, Inc.

John Barbour
Alterman, Inc.

Colleen Bartee

Sjanna Bernal
Security Service Federal Credit Union

Bryan Beverly
Denim Group, Ltd

Marian Braggs
CPS Energy

Scott Brant
Catholic Life Insurance

Meagan Brown
San Antonio Water System

Christal Carrick

Genaro Castro
SeaWorld San Antonio

Melissa Cody
SeaWorld San Antonio

Jonathan Contreras
Structure Tone Southwest

Paul Cruz

Rosemary Davis
Security Service Federal Credit Union

Jessica Delgado
Broadway Bank

Ben Dolan
Deacon Recruiting, Inc.

Brenna Dominguez
Airrosti Rehab Centers, LLC

Michael Easterling

Jan Edmondson

Bryan Edwards
Padgett, Stratemann & Co., LLP

Candy Ferdin

Samantha Fojtik
North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Todd Freedman
Security Service Federal Credit Union

James Garcia

Bonnie Garza

Fred Gibbons
Broadway Bank

Marco Gonzalez
Plains Capital Bank

Joey Goode
CPS Energy

Shannon Grenet
USAA Real Estate Company

Phillip Guajardo
Cleary Zimmermann Engineers

Michelle Hartman

Meredith Hatzenbuehler
Denim Group, Ltd

Greg Hemphill

Ralph Hernandez
Walton Signage

Reynaldo Hernandez
Morningside Ministries

Katherine Howe-Frilot

Mark Johnson

Juan Juarez
Bear Audio Visual, Inc

Tanner Kirchoff
RVK Architects, Inc.

Louis Labatt
CPS Energy

Kathleen Labus
Northeast Lakeview College

Yvonne Larson
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Blake LaRue
Joeris General Contractors, LTD

Jesse Lotay
Jackson Walker L.L.P.

Selena Marquez
Preferred Landscape and Lighting

Charlie Martinez
Robot Creative

Pablo Martinez
DeWied International

Willie Martinez
CPS Energy

Teresa McFalls
DeWied International

Sonny Montiel
Broadway Bank

Peter Moser
Security Service Federal Credit Union

Eric Neuner
Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.

Adam Neveu
Beyer Mechanical

Amy New
Trinity University

Greg Padalecki

Ann Pena

Amber Potts
Padgett, Stratemann & Co., LLP

Kimberlee Phoenix
Structure Tone Southwest

Wende Preston
Security Service Federal Credit Union

Hilda Quinones
dba Hilda R. Quinones, Engineer

Christen Ramirez
Goen South Events

Kent Rooen
Walton Signage

Sonya Ryals

Krystal Saenz
eEmployers Solutions, Inc.

Rosa Santillan
Crosspoint, Inc.

Paul Santoyo
Cox Smith

Bronwen Scott
Deacon Recruiting, Inc.

Rhonda Scott
eEmployers Solutions, Inc.

Abby Smith
Strasburger & Price, LLP

Sally Smith
Marmon Mok Architecture

TJ Steinkirchner
Project Control

Mark Tang
Equinox Louvered Roofs

Susan Valdez
Akin Doherty Klein & Feuge, P.C.

Jorge Vazquez

Dennis Wagner
Gallagher Benefit Services

Eric Wanke
SpawGlass Contractors, Inc.

Jen Webb

Chris White
Walton Signage

Alexandra Wood

Michael Wyant
Zukini Creative

Andrew Young
ENTRUST Technology Consulting Services


Why integrity is more important than ever

Marvin RickabaughBy Marvin Rickabaugh
San Antonio Region President, Frost Bank

Frost BankThese days, you hear a lot of people talking about the virtue of integrity. I just wish we could see more of it in the world.

Granted, there are plenty of individuals and businesses that embrace strong principles—trust, honesty, loyalty—and won’t let money, power, influence or anything else keep them from doing the right thing.

Trouble is, they don’t get the press that some others get when they cut ethical corners, promise one thing and do another, or throw their values out the window to get through tough times or to gain an advantage over others. How many times have we seen a major corporation caught in the glare of the public eye for cheating its shareholders and customers? Or, a deceitful local tradesperson captured on camera callously taking advantage of a trusting customer’s goodwill?

I often wonder why so many struggle—often so publicly—with the notion of integrity these days.

Maybe it’s because the word has been thrown around too carelessly or misused so often that it either means nothing anymore or it’s deeply misunderstood. Maybe it’s because some have forgotten that integrity is tightly woven into strong and healthy personal relationships and provides the essential foundation for productive and successful business dealings.

Sticking to the code
Whatever the reason, it’s worth looking back at the word’s origins for clues to understanding what integrity could look like, should look like in real life. The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer which means whole or complete. In our context, integrity is an inner sense of wholeness coming from qualities such as honesty, loyalty, trust and consistency of character. So we might consider that others “have integrity” if they act according to the values, beliefs and principles—the moral code—they claim to hold.

By its very definition, integrity suggests an either-or quality. You can’t have partial, sometimes, sort of integrity. You either stick to the code and you have integrity—or you don’t. It’s just that simple.

At Frost, we talk a lot about what it means to act in ways that demonstrate our integrity as we interact with our customers, our communities and each other. In fact, our little black book aptly named What We Believe, a brief but memorable collection of our company’s beliefs, includes what I think is a strong working definition of integrity: “We believe in doing what’s right, even when no one is looking.” There’s that idea of sticking to the code again.

Putting integrity into action
We can define it, analyze it and look at it from every angle, but in the end what matters is putting integrity into action. I think that boils down to two simple steps.

The first is to establish what your code of ethics is. If you have a mission statement for your organization and have stated values that you believe in to support it, that’s a good place to begin. If you have employees, talk to them about your organization’s values. Make sure everyone understands what those are and how they translate to everyday actions—even when it might be easier, faster, cheaper or more interesting to do something else.

And the second step? Once you’ve established and communicated the code, don’t just put it on a shelf—embrace it and abide by it.

I’m not saying this is always easy. There are almost certainly going to be instances when it’s more painful to tell the truth than to cover it up and fix things later, when it’s harder to walk away from a lucrative but questionable business deal than to bend your principles “just this once,” when it costs more to stay loyal to good clients than to take advantage of them.

It takes work and dedication. As with any good business plan, integrity is all about the execution. You don’t just wake up one day and have integrity. It’s something you have to focus on every day. You might stumble and make mistakes, but you’ll also get better as you learn from your missteps. This is about leading by word and example.

One thing is certain: integrity pays off in the end. It enables your business to build an enviable reputation that shines among the rest, makes employees proud to work for your company, keeps customers—who will certainly notice the difference between you and your less-principled competitors—confident and happy to be doing business with you, loyal to your brand and willing to sing your praises to others.

What I know about integrity these days is this: With so much dishonesty, deceit, and outright wrongdoing in the world today, we all yearn for integrity in human relationships, business transactions and government dealings.

Is there anything that is really more important than your integrity? I can’t think of it.