Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas calls for new Girl Scout Members and Volunteers to join in the fun

GirlScouts_SW TEXAS_servicemark_croppedGirl Scouts of Southwest Texas is making its fall push for girls and adult volunteers to join Girl Scouts, the country’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With the school year underway and families already thinking about how to use their free time, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has released new data showing the organization’s benefits for both girls and volunteers.

ICWT-BaGS-4C_Stacked-CenterResults of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with more than 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K−5 age range shows Girl Scouts has helped create new and exciting experiences, taught new skills and helped girls feel special. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter.

And it’s not just the girls who benefit.  Volunteers say they have formed new friendships, and have improved their own lives, personally and professionally through their work with Girl Scouts.  Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

“Girl Scouts has provided a safe, fun, and engaging place for girls and adult volunteers to lead and thrive for over 100 years,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We know the majority of volunteers feel their Girl Scout experience has helped them both personally and professionally, but in many places throughout the country, the lack of volunteers is what keeps girls on waiting lists. Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of female leaders.” Girl Scouts gives girls a place to explore topics of interest in a judgment-free space outside of classroom confinements; it cultivates cooperative and self-directed learning, as well as the growth mindset (the understanding that intelligence and talent can be developed)—all of which help foster a lifetime passion for learning. The variety of experiences and the value for the money the Girl Scout program provides are also popular selling points. Eighty-nine percent of parents say their daughter gets a greater variety of experiences from Girl Scouts than she does from other extracurricular activities, and the majority of parents feel Girl Scouts is a great value for the money compared to other extracurricular activities.

Overall, parents consider Girl Scouts one of the most beneficial extracurricular activities for their daughter.

“Our volunteers help enrich the lives of girls through Girl Scouts,” said Rose González Pérez, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. “They are the strength of our movement locally. The more opportunities we have to teach girls to be leaders with strength of character the more our entire community benefits. And our Girl Scout volunteers are the leaders behind the leaders.”

Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The more adults who step forward to volunteer, the more girls will get the chance to be a Girl Scout. Adults over age 18 may become volunteers; both girls and adults volunteers can join at any time of the year. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life; they are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. To join or volunteer, please visit: www.girlscouts.org/join.

San Antonio Sports says, “Rock On San Antonio!”

SanAntonioSports_colorThe Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon returns Sunday, Dec. 7. Live, local bands will rock each mile of the course, motivating and entertaining runners all the way to the finish. line. The race welcomes runners from all 50 states and 13 countries, but 86% come from Texas, and 44% come from the San Antonio metro area.  If you’re training and haven’t registered, don’t delay!  Use the code SASports and you’ll get a $20 discount off your marathon entry.  The offer is good until Oct. 1.  To learn more about the race or to register, visit http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-antonio.

Kids can be part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon race weekend excitement by participating in the KiDS ROCK San Antonio powered by San Antonio Sports. KiDS ROCK, is a non-timed, non-competitive event for children in grades K – 7! Kids can become marathon finishers on race day by completing a cumulative marathon training program in the weeks leading up to the race. Or, they can simply choose to run the 1-mile course on race day.  KiDS ROCK San Antonio will be held at a new location this year—Sea World!

If you want to enjoy the fun without the run, San Antonio Sports needs 4,000 volunteers, ages 14 and up, to assist with every aspect of the event including the Health & Fitness Expo, start line, and finish line on December 5-7. Teaming up with friends or family will make it an unforgettable experience.  Each race crew volunteer receives an official race crew t-shirt, a race crew drawstring backpack, refreshments, snacks, free parking, community service hours (if needed) and the satisfaction of helping others and giving back. To register and pick your shift, click here.

 

Accenture leads search for KIPP – Knowledge is Power Program – summer internships in San Antonio

KIPP_logoThe San Antonio Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is seeking volunteers, mentors, guest speakers, and summer internship opportunities for high-performing KIPP students. Accenture, a KIPP partner, supports the national network of more than 140 high-performing college preparatory public charter schools, as part of their Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, which aims to equip 500,000 people worldwide by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. As part of this commitment, Accenture has made an early commitment to provide a number of internship opportunities for KIPP students during the summer.

KIPP and Accenture created Future Focus, a college and career readiness program in nine cities across the US, now including San Antonio. Future Focus helps KIPP alumni identify careers of interest, build critical job skills and network with potential employers. The capstone of the program is summer internships for students with local organizations. Locally, the San Antonio Future Focus team is actively seeking internship hosts for outstanding students this summer.

San Antonio companies can find out more about KIPP and how to participate in this summer’s internship program by reaching out to Kacy Harris at kacy.l.harris@accenturefederal.com.

February 2014 Word from the Chairman

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Annie Turner, Wells Fargo
2014 Chairman of the Board

Well the North San Antonio Chamber’s 40th Anniversary year is off to a wonderful start, and I want to thank all of our members, supporters and friends who joined us to mark the milestone at the 40th Annual Gala: Bailando España on February 1 at the JW Marriott. It was indeed a night of recognition, camaraderie and entertainment as I laid out the North Chamber’s goals to include a focus on veterans, workforce development, small business advancement, the millennial workforce and community collaboration. View the Chairman’s Vision for 2014

First, I’d like to thank our outgoing Chairman of the Board, Brad Rollins, President of Dahill, for his incredible leadership and years of support and stewardship of the North SA Chamber. Brad worked throughout 2013 to: encourage members to do business with one another; advance our leadership academy, Leadership Lab; promote social and digital marketing to elevate member visibility; and to advocate on behalf of our member businesses. View the Chairman’s Reflection on 2013

Moreover, programs like the Gala don’t just happen without our wonderful staff, volunteers and corporate support. I offer my thanks to North Chamber staff liaisons Chris Bugg and Wendy Thomas, and the entire Creative and Sales Teams for their attention to every detail. I know you’ll join me in thanking our top sponsors at Corporate Travel Planners, Dahill, eESI, Frost, Kaufman & Killen, Inc., Network Alliance, Security Service Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo for their legacy of support.

Additionally, the Gala program included the presentation of the San Antonian Award to Security Service Chief Executive Officer, David Reynolds. Reynolds accepted the 2014 San Antonian Award, which is reserved for individuals whose business achievements, charitable and civic contributions transcend his or her industry, career and immediate community. The San Antonian honoree is the preeminent example of personal contribution of time, talent and treasure to one’s community.

Reynolds was recognized for his transformational leadership of the credit union and accomplishments including: a continued commitment to military service members; credit union expansion to include a diverse membership throughout the southwestern United States; record capital growth; and fostering a spirit of service across credit union employees in Texas, Colorado and Utah. Additionally, through Reynolds’ service on a number of industry and community boards, he has worked to improve the industry, quality of life in San Antonio and to advance higher education. I wish him well upon his retirement from the credit union in March, 2014. View the San Antonian Award Honoree video

Focus Issues & Volunteer Leadership
Furthermore, we inducted the 50-member 2014 North Chamber Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and the 24-member 2014 Lead SA Board of Directors. Directors offer financial oversight, programming strategy and monitor policy affecting your businesses, as well as financial leadership for our various events and programs. I want to recognize and thank the 2015 Chair-elect, Rob Killen of Kaufman & Killen, and all of the directors for assuming the responsibility of governance. I look forward to working with each of them.

Also, the North Chamber is proud to have the service of more than 20 event chairs and hundreds of volunteers who work on a number of event planning committees. You can learn more about each of our Focus Issue and Volunteers Leaders on the North SA Chamber website and how you can get involved on a committee that meets your interest area. Participation Opportunities

Be a part of it.
Over the last 40 years, the North SA Chamber has endeavored to keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong by advocating for business and education, recognizing deserving leaders, providing professional development and delivering opportunities to make results-oriented business-to-business connections.

I invite each of you to be a part of our 40-year legacy and join us in our efforts. We need your involvement more than ever. Thank you to our board, volunteers and members for all you do, and I look forward to working with you. View the 40th Annual Gala photo gallery

Chairman’s Reflection on 2013

Rollins_Brad-Chairman lgAs the 2013 Chairman of the Board, I want to extend my appreciation to the North San Antonio Chamber and Lead SA Board of Directors, our volunteers, members and Chamber staff for your support, involvement and accomplishments this year.

Over the last year, our volunteers and staff collaborated to: increase visibility and promote commerce among our members; deliver best in class leadership and professional development programs; recognize outstanding business leaders; and hear your voice on important issues affecting San Antonio.

Promoting Your Business, Promoting Commerce
At the beginning of 2013, I called upon our member businesses to Buy Local – Buy North Chamber – and commit to doing business with a fellow member. To support that effort, the North Chamber has implemented a number of strategies to help you get noticed.

Through the Chamber’s website and social platforms, members had the opportunity to increase their online presence and improve their visibility among fellow members and the community. We now offer improved web services like: enhanced online directory listings, special offers, and the inclusion of links to member social profiles. Additionally, chamber staff received and posted nearly 4,500 member news items across our social platforms and blog – creating thousands of impressions for our member businesses.

And, we launched yet another tool to help you operate your business. Our new Job Bank went live in October, and has already seen an abundance of listings and activity. The Job Bank is a free community resource and no cost to members to post job opportunities.

I’m proud to announce special recognition the North Chamber received at the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives conference this past summer. Two Chamber staff members earned 20-year Tenure Awards – congratulations to Chris Bugg and Marilyn White for their many years of dedication to our membership and the community. Additionally, the North SA Chamber website, marketing and social media programs were recognized with Media Excellence awards.

Leadership & Professional Development
The North Chamber worked diligently to engage our emerging leaders and millennial workforce through a number of programs – primarily, Leadership Lab. The number one priority for area businesses is an educated and prepared workforce. Our nine-month leadership academy, Leadership Lab, is the centerpiece of our effort to respond to that need.

This year, the program surpassed 2012’s record-breaking class registration with 79 Lab participants – the largest graduating class to date. Lab participants heard from many local thought leaders and explored topics including self-awareness and leadership style, ethics, high-performance, communication, negotiation and change, community and leadership in action.

As we all operate in the digital age, the North SA Chamber is committed to educating business and bringing our members into the world of social media. Through our quarterly How 2 Series and our newest program – Social U, we are helping businesses replace concerns about social media with information to undertake and implement interactive marketing techniques.

Finally, the North Chamber has distinguished our programming with events designed to meet the specialized needs of financial, technology, construction and facilities professionals and our community’s women leaders. You supported and attended several educational events including CFO and CIO Breakfasts, Business Technology Series, the CIO Panel, On the Horizon, SustainAbility Seminars and the Enterprising Women’s Conference.

Honoring Leadership
We know that people make the difference in our companies and our community. And the North Chamber is dedicated to honoring the individuals who are innovating, contributing to our community, achieving in business and leaving a legacy from their life’s work.

In 2013 we honored pediatrician Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks as the Small Business Leader of the Year and CPS Energy for their Small Business Advocacy. Lead SA saluted USAA CEO Maj. Gen. Joe Robles, USA Ret. for his transformative leadership and commitment to education with the Governor Dolph Briscoe Excellence Award. We recognized Conceptual MindWorks CEO Elaine Mendoza with the ATHENA Leadership Award, SeeKing HR’s Jennifer Swisher with the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, Susan G. Komen San Antonio with the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award, as well as acknowledged many others for their achievements in small business, personal and organizational leadership.

Amplifying Your Voice
Finally, our voice is never stronger than when we speak as one on the issues that affect our businesses and quality of life. Last year, our members had a number of opportunities to be heard before their elected officials at every level.

Members met with U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith at the Spring Chairman’s Council breakfast, and Senator Ted Cruz hosted a small business roundtable at our Chamber headquarters. County Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Julián Castro each addressed our members – and guests even got a surprise performance from Indy rock band, Girl in a Coma, as Judge Wolff promoted Bexar County as an ideal venue for an outdoor music festival.

The North Chamber Government Affairs Council partnered with a number of like-minded organizations and chambers to advance a legislative agenda focused on: creating a sustainable, long-term source of revenue for transportation infrastructure funding; restoring funding for public education and tuition revenue bonds for public universities; and diversification of water resources. Locally, the board of directors endorsed: 1) a local supplier ordinance that allows the City of San Antonio to give preference to businesses located in the city; and 2) Texas Constitutional Amendment No. 3 to eliminate the tax levy on aircraft and other manufacturing inventory, and No. 6 implementing the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund.

Furthermore, we partnered with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber to present the Mid-Year Economic Report to our members, and conduct a City Council Meet & Greet with both of our Chamber boards in attendance. My special thanks to North SA Chamber President & CEO Duane Wilson and Hispanic Chamber President Ramiro Cavasos. I’m appreciative of their continued efforts to do the good work of Chambers – promoting economic development and prosperity for our business community.

Keeping Bexar County Strong
As I exit my post as Chairman of the Board, I want to extend to you my sincere thanks for the honor of serving this organization and each of your businesses. We’ve had an incredible year, and I’m grateful to each of you for your membership, involvement and patronage. Our volunteer work is supported by the day-to-day and hands on efforts of the North Chamber staff and the leadership of Duane Wilson. I want to offer special thanks to them for their commitment to our member businesses and the community.

Finally, please join me in welcoming our 2014 board chair, Annie Turner of Wells Fargo. I call on you to continue to support her and the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in all that we endeavor in the New Year. We’re humbled that you have chosen us as your Chamber and we’re here to be a resource to you. Thank you for all you to do keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong.