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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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Business News from Scott Kabrich at UTSA
Scott Kabrich

January, 2011


Two call centers hiring in S.A. - Two call-center operators plan to hire more than 400 workers combined in San Antonio.  West Business Services announced it plans to hire 275 people this quarter for inside sales and account-management services to Fortune 1000 companies.   Meanwhile, kgb USA, a provider of directory assistance and other information services, disclosed it will fill 150 technical-support positions. West Business Services is a subsidiary of West Corp., which lately has been on a hiring binge in the San Antonio area. In October, West Corp. announced it would hire 700 full-time workers for its San Antonio and Universal City call-center locations. That followed a Sept. 30 announcement that it planned to add more than 500 workers in Universal City.  Kgb USA already employs more than 400 workers in San Antonio. It's expanding the operation to provide technical support for fiber-optic TV, Internet and phone services.

S.A. company makes “Franchise 500” list - Thirty-eight Texas businesses made Entrepreneur magazine's 2011 “Franchise 500” list, but only one is from San Antonio. Massage Heights, a member-based massage-therapy company, landed 451st on Entrepreneur magazine's list. It's the company's first appearance in the annual ranking.  Massage Heights has 66 locations in the U.S., according to its website. The magazine reports the startup cost for a Massage Heights franchise location ranges from about $200,000 to $433,000. The franchise fee is $42,000, and the ongoing royalty fee is 5 percent. Candidates for a franchise must have a minimum net worth of $375,000, with at least $100,000 in cash.

NADBank names deputy managing director - Alex Hinojosa, a former San Antonio Water System executive, has become deputy managing director for the San Antonio-based North American Development Bank, the bank announced Tuesday.  Hinojosa's five-year term began Jan. 1.   His term coincides closely with the five-year term of bank Managing Director Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández of Mexico, which began in October upon the completion of the term the previous managing director, Jorge Garcés.   Hinojosa's background is in both investment banking and utilities, with 29 years of senior-level management experience.  Hinojosa was a SAWS executive between 1983 and 2004, including chief financial officer.

M7 Aerospace heads higher  - Growth is in the forecast for a San Antonio-based aerospace company purchased this month by the U.S. subsidiary of an Israeli aviation and defense electronics conglomerate.   Elbit Systems of America said this month it acquired the local M7 Aerospace for $85 million in cash.  Raanan Horowitz, Elbit's president and CEO, said at the time the purchase “complements the breadth and depth of Elbit Systems of America's experience in the support and maintenance of aircraft both domestically and worldwide, and we hope it will open the door to new customers and projects.”   He elaborated on the company's plans Wednesday, saying growth was the expectation for the old M7 facility because it had been well-managed and offered aircraft services that Elbit did not provide.  M7 was a 7-year-old company that sprang from the insolvency of Fairchild Dornier, a jet maker put together in 1996 by one of San Antonio's trailblazing aviation firms, Fairchild Aircraft Inc.

Obama’s new staff chief has ties to Alamo City - President Barack Obama’s new chief of staff, William Daley, is probably best known for his ties to Chicago, where his father and brother have both served as mayor. He is also well known for his ties to Washington, where he served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1997 to 2000 under President Bill Clinton and was a member of Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign team. And he is known for his ties to Wall Street, where he currently serves on the operating and executive committees of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.  But what is probably not as well known today are Daley’s ties to San Antonio. Shortly after stepping down from his post as Secretary of Commerce, Daley was tapped to become president of San Antonio-based SBC Communications Inc. (now AT&T Inc., which has since relocated to Dallas).  Daley was hired and served under then-SBC Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre from 2001 to 2004. As president of SBC, Daley was in charge of strategic planning, regulatory matters and external affairs.

InCube Labs hires industry veteran as VP - InCube Labs, the newest player in San Antonio’s biomedical/biotech community, has hired a 20-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry to serve as vice president.  Philip Morgan most recently served as chairman of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology for GlaxoSmithKline plc, a global pharmaceutical company based in England. Morgan joined InCube Labs last October just as the company was preparing to move to San Antonio from its home in San Jose, Calif. He has been instrumental in helping the company transition some of its fledgling companies and projects to the Alamo City.  InCube Labs is currently serving as a small business incubator for three fledgling medical device companies: Corhythm Inc., which has an invention that detects early onset of chronic heart failure and delivers drugs when needed; Neurolink Inc., which has a device that detects and treats epileptic seizures through drug delivery; and Fe3 Medical Inc., which is testing a skin patch for iron deficiency anemia.

Klesse receives honor from Manhattan College - Valero Energy Corp. President and CEO Bill Klesse will be awarded the De La Salle Medal later this month at a fund-raising banquet for Manhattan College in New York.The De La Salle Medal Dinner is the college’s top fund-raising event and proceeds from the $800-per-plate dinner are applied to academic and curricular programs, scholarship assistance and library resources. The dinner will be held on Jan. 19 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Doral Energy finalizes merger with San Antonio oil firm - The merger of Doral Energy Corp. and Pure Energy Group has resulted in the formation of Cross Border Resources Corp., an oil and gas company based in San Antonio.  Effective Tuesday, the combined entity changed its name to Cross Border Resources. The combined company will be based in San Antonio but will maintain a field operations office in Midland. Cross Border owns the mineral rights to more than 800,000 acres in New Mexico. More than 26,000 of these acres lie within the Permian Basin. The company’s current net production is 300 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

BMI of Texas Bariatric Surgeons Named San Antonio’s Top Doctors - The Bariatric Medical Institute of Texas (BMI of Texas) today announced San Antonio weight loss surgeons Terive Duperier, MD, FACS, and Michael Seger, MD, FACS, were once again named “Top Doctors” in Scene in S.A. magazine’s annual survey of San Antonio’s top doctors. Dr. Jennifer Seger, who practices family medicine and medical weight loss management at BMI of Texas, was also recognized as a 2010 Top Doctor.  Scene in S.A. magazine staff sent surveys to 4,000 physicians in San Antonio, asking them to recommend to whom they would refer their family members. The magazine received nearly 1,000 physician nominations in more than 80 specialties. From the responses received, the magazine developed the 2010 list of “San Antonio’s Top Doctors” which appeared in its January 19, 2011 issue. The surgeons have repeatedly been recognized by their peers with this honor, dating back the awards’ inception in 2005. “Obesity is a prevalent problem in San Antonio and our goal at BMI of Texas is to help our patients lead healthier lives – and we can help them accomplish this in a variety of ways,” said Dr. Mickey Seger. “We perform numerous weight loss surgery procedures – gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and Lap Band, depending on the patient’s individual situation, and Dr. Jennifer Seger is also available to help patients with medical weight management. We are proud to have been recognized by our colleagues for the program we have developed and we look forward to working with them to make our mutual patients healthier in 2011 and beyond.”

Clear Channel International names CFO - San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc. announced Tuesday the appointment of Dirk Eller to chief financial officer of Clear Channel International, effective Monday. Eller will oversee financial operations and work with Clear Channel International CEO William Eccleshare, Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Bevan and the executive committee on financial, operational, capital and strategic initiatives. Eller will be based in London.

Brothers open MAACO in San Antonio - Brothers Manuel Buchanan and Polo Buchanan recently opened the first MAACO collision repair shop in San Antonio.  The shop, at 8418 Broadway Street, has been in business for about six weeks and caters to a customer base that’s roughly 80 percent Latino, said Manuel, who speaks Spanish. “There’s no language barrier here,” he said.   Manuel, 44, said he and his brother have worked in the automotive field their whole lives, though they lived a nation apart. Manuel was most recently from Chicago and Polo lived in Mexico. The brothers settled on San Antonio as middle ground. So far, things have run smoothly.  “It’s been great,” Manuel said. “Things have been working beautifully.”  MAACO, based in King of Prussia, Pa., runs nearly 500 paint and auto body shops throughout the U.S.

52 named to Leadership San Antonio class - The Greater San Antonio and the San Antonio Hispanic chambers of commerce have named 52 people to the 2011 Leadership San Antonio program.   The 2011 class was selected from nearly 150 applicants.   Started in 1975, Leadership San Antonio provides a forum for leaders with diverse backgrounds, values and points of view to come together in a neutral setting to examine the nature and inner workings of the city and to discuss its issues, challenges and problems.    The class will convene in January for a retreat and then meet seven more times during the year for all-day, field-trip-oriented sessions.   The 2011 Leadership San Antonio class:

Mallory Ahl, Frost Bank

Jeffery Balfour, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

Kimberly Biffle, Witte Museum

Jonathan Card, Urbanist Design

John Carlson, Sundt Construction Inc.

Thomas Carter, Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc.

Asia Ciaravino, Our Lake of the Lake University

William Day, Valero Energy Corp.

Yvonne de la Rosa, San Antonio Federal Credit Union

Morgan Edwards, ING Financial Advisors LLC

Paul Fagan, Cross & Co.

Kara Flores, San Antonio National Bank

Susan Fraser, AECOM

Aracely Garcia-Granados, Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together Foundation

Eric Gentry, University of Texas at San Antonio

Michael Girdley, Alamo Fireworks Inc.

Shirley Gonzales, Bill's Pawn and Jewelry

Jane Gonzalez, Medwheels Inc.

Natalie Hall, Cox Smith

Brian Hamilton, Zachry Holdings Inc.

Harold Hardaway, H-E-B

Zachary Harris, Joeris General Contractors Ltd.

Shawn Hatter, Silver Ventures Inc.

Tanya Haug, Educational Testing Service

Kara Hill, Hill Bros. Construction

Scott House, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Zereana Jess-Huff, Molina Healthcare of Texas

Brandon Logan, Brandon Logan Insurance Agency

Michael Luna, Texas Wilson

Julia Mann, Jackson Walker LLP

Orvis Meador, Decypher Technologies Ltd.

Larry Mendez, Transwestern

Jay Milton, KIPP San Antonio

Brandyn Moore, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc.

Shannon Moralez, Zachry Construction Corp.

Carlos Moreno, Marmon Mok Architects

Linda O'Brien, Christus Santa Rosa Health System

Daniel Oliver, NuStar Energy

Margarita Ortiz, International Bank of Commerce

Nancy Ozuna, BKD LLP

James Perschbach, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

Cynthia Pina, Operational Technologies

Pilar Pinilla Jimenez, Guerra DeBerry Coody

Tim Salier, Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Jessica Sanchez, Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design

Deborah Serot, Rackspace Hosting

John Sheppard, CDS Events Inc.

Harvinder Singh, Bestica Inc.

Michael Taylor, Cedarcrest Capital LLC

Monica Taylor Fegett, Fox 29

Yolanda Valenzuela, CASA

Maria Villagomez, city of San Antonio

The Impact Pentagon Budget Cuts Could Have on San Antonio - San Antonio has numerous nicknames used by residents and visitors. One of the most notable nicknames is perhaps, "Military City U.S.A." due to the strong military presence in San Antonio. Proposed federal budget cuts eclipsing $78 billion will indefinitely have an impact on the local economy.   San Antonio is home to three major military bases: Fort Sam Houston Army base, Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base. The military population in San Antonio is primarily comprised of training facilities. Basic training held at Lackland, medical field training held at Fort Sam Houston and its sister site, Camp Bullis, and flight training at Randolph.   The population in the greater San Antonio area exceeds 1.4 million people. Due to the short-term nature of training facilities, it is estimated that nearly one-third of the population is associated with one of the three local military bases at all times. To put it simply, budget cuts mean cutting jobs, and forcing early retirement on existing service members. The San Antonio economy has thrived on military money being pumped into local businesses and larger conglomerates from basic trainees on leave and students attending medical training at Brooke Army Medical center on Fort Sam Houston. Budget cuts could result in a lower military population, greatly affecting business owners in a struggling economy. Budget cuts equal closed doors for many business owners, plain and simple, due to lack of business.  Because there is such a strong military presence in the city and surrounding areas, many corporations such as Computer Sciences, Booze, Allen, Hamilton, Blackhawk and even the NSA have ties directly connected to military funding in the private contracting section. Many of these programs are in direct relation to creating and testing new technologies for military personnel, and technology is ripe on the chopping block for budget cuts.

Owner of Pearl Brewery buying up land across river - Silver Ventures, the owner of the historic brewery, confirmed it is cobbling together about 5 acres of land across from the 22-acre site and along the San Antonio River to possibly expand the urban village.  Currently, Silver Ventures is under contract to buy the nearby Alamo Lodge, an inexpensive motel that the city has been trying to shut down because of extensive criminal activity. It also recently purchased the next-door site of the former SWC Club, once a nightclub and now a boarded-up building. And, since 2008, it has owned an adjacent property that Oak Farms Dairy occupies.   Darryl Byrd, managing director of the Pearl, said that so far, there is not a plan for those properties, but that Silver Ventures is investing there because the area has potential.

USAA elects Army, Marine Corps officers to board - United Services Automobile Association (USAA) elected two new members of the financial services company’s board of directors with experience in the military and business.  Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Gen. Tracy L. Garrett and retired Army Reserve Col. Herman E. Bulls are the new board members.  Garrett is the commanding general of the 4th Marine Logistics and was the first woman to serve as inspector general of the Marine Corps. She was also the first woman to serve as a Marine Corps Reserve general officer.   Bulls is the founder and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Public Institutions division.

Sangar Produce faces San Antonio's widow's lawsuit - There is more trouble for local Sangar Fresh Cut Produce.   The Texas Department of State Health Services shut down the business in October after at least six cases of listeria were linked to it. Wednesday a lawsuit was filed in Bexar County against the company.   The lawsuit claims Sangar's produce was responsible for the death of Hermillo Castellano. The plaintiff in the case is the deceased's wife, Elizabeth Castellano.  The suit tells of Castellano's May, 2010 hospitalization for an unrelated medical condition. It says the patient was fed tainted celery while at the hospital, and that shortly thereafter Castellano developed gastrointestinal symptoms that necessitated his return to the hospital for treatment in June, 2010.  Castellano's symptoms worsened, and the suit stipulates that his subsequent death on June 15 was a result of the listeria infection.

New Braunfels Wholesaler Charged With Selling Unapproved Medical Devices - The Texas Attorney General’s office charged a New Braunfels-based medical devices wholesaler with acquiring, stocking and selling products that were not approved for sale in the United States.   A court-ordered temporary restraining order granted last Thursday halts the business activities of defendants Elite Med, LLC, S&B Marketing and Brian Bailey.   The state’s legal action cites defendants Elite Med, S&B Marketing Inc. and Brian Bailey with providing unapproved medical devices to Texas clinics and physicians.


Houston in top 10 for most U.S. businesses - The Houston region has the 10th-highest number of businesses in the country at 121,361, with the vast majority classified as small businesses with less than 99 employees. The U.S. Census Bureau counted 117,593 small businesses in the Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land area in 2008, or 96 percent of the total number of businesses, in the most recent year data was available. Houston has 3,616 medium-sized businesses (100 to 999 employees) and 152 large businesses (1,000 or more employees). Houston has the 7th-highest number of large businesses nationwide. The runners-up are Los Angeles (331,479 small businesses), Chicago (235,700) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (170,762). Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked No. 7 for small businesses, at 136,913.  Detailed business statistics for 938 metropolitan and micropolitan areas:

Panel approves importing more nuclear waste to Texas - Texas can import low-level radioactive waste from 36 other states, a commission run jointly by Texas and Vermont decided Tuesday in West Texas. The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission vote was a decisive victory for Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists, a company whose majority owner is billionaire Harold Simmons, which has shaken off a series of permitting and court challenges by environmental activists.  The company had said it needed to import waste from other states to make its business profitable. "It's a state-of-the-art Cadillac of a landfill," said Waste Control CEO Bill Lindquist. "It's very expensive, and the waste generated in Texas and Vermont is not enough to offset those costs."   The decision is sure to be challenged by environmental activists, but Waste Control could bury waste as soon as October at its 1,300-acre disposal site in Andrews County.

PharMerica buys Texas pharmacy - Louisville-based PharMerica Corp. announced Monday that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Lone Star Pharmacy in Garland, Texas, according to a news release. Lone Star is a full-service pharmacy that serves long-term care and assisted living facilities primarily in Dallas and Houston.  Lone Star, in business since 2002, has about 150 employees and is among the largest privately held pharmacies in Texas.  PharMerica (NYSE: PMC) operates 95 institutional pharmacies for nursing centers, assisted-living facilities, hospitals and other providers in 43 states.

 Colo. exceeded only by Texas as 2010 relocation targetColorado trails only Texas as a relocation destination, according to a report released Monday by Allied Van Lines.  Households arriving in Colorado last year via the moving company totaled 2,190, compared with 1,786 departing families, creating a net gain of 404.   Texas ranked No. 1 in the company's moving index, with a net increase of 1,640 households.

Why North Texas Dominates Telecom - Twenty-seven years ago when the federal courts took apart Ma Bell, a massive influx of players from around the world began to claim equity stakes in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.  With the shackles off local phone service monopolies, telecom giants like Northern Telecom, Fujitsu, MCI, Samsung, and Ericsson all wanted a piece of the action.   Fast forward to 2011. The Telecom Corridor still is home to about 600 companies, many of them telecom-related, such as MetroPCS, Fujitsu and Cisco Systems. But the cluster has diffused. Other hotbeds now include Irving, which is the U.S. home for Research In Motion; and Plano, where both Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have moved their U.S. headquarters.  That transformation has helped create high-tech jobs for more than 230,000 workers in North Texas, about half of whom are in the telecommunications sector, says Drew Snow, director of member services at the Metroplex Technology Business Council. There are more than 864 privately owned telecom companies here and dozens of public companies that have either set up their North American headquarters or established a large presence in DFW.

 2011 may be a gusher in South Texas - Though still facing uncertainty on many fronts as 2011 begins, the oil and gas industry knows one thing: It likes what it sees in South Texas. That's the site of the Eagle Ford shale formation, a vast underground network of dense rock layers, discovered only recently and now thought to be one of the nation's biggest oil and gas fields. To this point, the formation has existed in the shadow of other big domestic shale formations best known for their supplies of natural gas, including the Barnett Shale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.But that is almost certain to change next year as Eagle Ford's large quantities of valuable crude oil and natural gas liquids attract more interest and dollars."I expect the Eagle Ford would probably be the hottest single area in all the lower 48 states in 2011," said Mark G. Papa, chairman and CEO of Houston's EOG Resources, one of the largest leaseholders in the region.

Gov. Perry Appoints Simmons and Youngblood to Risk Management Board- Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Stephanie Simmons of Missouri City and John Youngblood of Cameron to the Risk Management Board. The office reduces and controls risk by ensuring state agencies’ ability to protect their employees, the public and the state’s physical and financial assets.   Simmons is an attorney and owner of Simmons Legal Consultants, and a certified mediator. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and a past member of the Houston Bar Association. She is also a court-appointed volunteer for Child Advocates of Harris County and a Girl Scout leader for the San Jacinto Council of Girl Scouts. Simmons received a bachelor’s degree from Houston Baptist University and a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She is appointed for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2015.  Youngblood is partner at Glaser and Youngblood, Attorneys at Law, and former director of the Texas A&M University System Risk Management and Safety Office. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and Milam County Bar Association, and a board member of the Cameron Rotary Club. He is also a board member and vice president of the Cameron Industrial Development Foundation and a board member and past president of the Yoe High School Scholarship Foundation. Youngblood received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a law degree from Baylor University School of Law. He is appointed for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2013.


VaraLogix Named in '10 IT Companies to Watch in 2011'-  AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VaraLogix®, the emerging leader of Enterprise Application Deployment solutions, today announced the company has been named in the list of "10 IT Companies to Watch in 2011."  VaraLogix Q automates the deployment of business critical web applications and ensures they are deployed correctly to any environment in your infrastructure. Q removes the environmental intelligence from the application and puts it in your environment where it belongs.  VaraLogix is led by the same experienced team who founded Build Forge, acquired by IBM in 2006.  This team has spent decades addressing automation, configuration, build, and release management issues at  global 2000 companies and government agencies such as Apple, State Farm, AllState, Wells Fargo, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Veterans Administration, Lockheed Martin and many others.  VaraLogix is privately-held with headquarters in Austin, Texas.  For more information, visit

Turner Construction To Build Maxim Integrated Products Corporate Office Building in Farmers Branch - Dallas’ Turner Construction Company, the nation's largest commercial builder, has been selected by Maxim Integrated Products to serve as the construction manager for a 140,000 square foot office building on the company's corporate campus in Farmers Branch.   Maxim designs, develops and manufactures analog, mixed-signal, high-frequency, and digital circuits has about 35,000 customers worldwide.  Turner is the leading general builder in the U.S., ranking first or second in the major segments of the building construction field. During 2009, Turner completed $8.2 billion of construction. Turner is the only builder offering clients a network of offices across the U.S. and abroad.  Founded in 1902, the firm is headquartered in Dallas. 

Video Game Industry Leads Entertainment Job Creation in Texas - The computer and video game industry created more full time jobs in the past two years than any other moving image entertainment sector, according to a new report from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.    An Analysis of Texas Economic Development Initiatives highlights state investment from the film, television, commercial, and video game industries and how each benefited from the “Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program.”  The comptroller’s report found that the state’s incentive program, first enacted in 2007 and expanded in 2009, contributed significantly to the computer and video game industry’s growth in Texas by creating an estimated 1,700 jobs between April 2009 and August 2010.  The incentive program provides grants for qualifying productions including movies, television shows, commercials and computer and video games in an effort to create jobs for Texas residents.

Lucite International to Re-Start Chemical Production at its Beaumont Plant - Texas Business reports: Lucite International, Inc. announced today that it will re-start the production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) at its Beaumont facility in the first quarter of 2011.  Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is the building block for many products. It Methyl methacrylate is also used for the production of the co-polymer methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene (MBS), used as a modifier for PVC. MMA polymerises easily to form resins and polymers of excellent transparency, strength and outdoor durability and can be co-polymerised with other monomers to form a broader range of products typically used for paints and coatings.  Lucite expects the total workforce at its Beaumont facility to increase to approximately 100 people during 2011. 

Freescale finds a place in tablet market - Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor will be showing off 23 tablet models from 10 Asian electronics makers. Freescale says its integrated low-power processors will be in more tablets in and around the show than any other chip vendor's.  ABI Research, a tech market analysis company, says plenty of new tablets have shown up on the market in the past few months and many of them are based on Freescale chips.   That's because the company designed its own tablet platform a year ago to take much of the engineering and software development work out of launching a new tablet product.

Austin-based Cielo to build $100 million wind farm west of Amarillo - Austin-based Cielo Wind Power has signed an agreement with Xcel Energy, a utility with operations in eight states, to build a $100 million-plus wind farm west of Amarillo. Spinning Spur Wind Ranch will include about 110 wind turbines over 20,000 acres and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 54,000 households annually, according to a joint news release by both companies.  Xcel has agreed to buy power from the wind farm over 15 years.  In Austin, Cielo employs 25 people with skills in engineering, computing and meteorology.

San Marcos Aviation Firm Wins $14 Million U.S. Transportation Order - Berry Aviation Inc. received a $14,157,488 task order for fixed wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan and will start Dec. 9, 2010, to be completed by May 31, 2011. 

Dickey's Barbecue Pit Expands into Austin - The largest barbecue chain in the country plans to open in Austin, well known for its homegrown restaurants.  Dickey's now has with 134 locations in 32 states and has an annual growth rate over the past two years is averaging 35 percent.   The  company is scheduled to open 18 more locations before the end of 2010.  “It's an exciting feeling to bring Dickey's to Austin,” said franchise owner Chris Lottie.  “With a lot of different types of barbecue options here, I am confident Dickey's will be received really well.”  Lottie's business partner is Scott Morgan of Austin.

Dell opens social media ‘listening center’ - Dell Inc. unveiled its Social Media Listening Command Center in Round Rock Wednesday, which gives the computer maker the ability to track some 22,000 daily topic Internet posts related to Dell.   Dell has been using social media for about five years as a tool to help communicate more effectively with customers.   The new command center gives the company the tools to track Internet conversations about the company more systematically and respond to them when appropriate, said Richard Binhammer, a senior manager for Dell corporate communications.   Binhammer said Dell’s aim is to make social media a more powerful tool to help Dell workers connect more closely with customers. The company has trained more than 5,000 workers in the U.S., China, India and Europe on how to use social media to be more effective in their work.


 103K new jobs in Dec. point to slow, steady growth - The nation's economy added 103,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. But the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was partly because people stopped looking for work.  Private employers added a net total of 113,000 jobs last month and the government shed 10,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.  "It's a bit of a mixed bag," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics. Many analysts hoped to see larger job gains, and the drop in the unemployment rate is unlikely to be sustained, he said. 

Samsung sees record 2010 sales, operating profit - Samsung Electronics said Friday that both sales and operating profit likely rose to record highs in 2010 despite sluggishness at the end of the year amid lower prices for televisions and semiconductors. The manufacturer of the 7000 Series 3D flat panel TV estimated that consolidated revenue during 2010 came to 153.76 trillion won ($137.31 billion), which would be an increase of 13 percent from the previous year's record performance of 136.32 trillion won.  Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. ranks as the world's biggest manufacturer of memory chips, liquid crystal displays and flat-screen televisions. It stands No. 2 in mobile phones behind Finland's Nokia Corp. and aims to challenge the dominance of Apple Inc.'s iPhone with its Galaxy S smartphone. 

LaBarge Awarded $1.2 Million Contract from Raytheon for JSOW Program - ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge, Inc. (NYSE Amex: LB), a provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS), has been awarded a $1.2 million contract from Raytheon Missile Systems to expand the type of complex electronic assemblies it manufactures for the JSOW (Joint Standoff Weapon) system. The Company anticipates follow-on orders.  LaBarge, a Raytheon preferred supplier, is performing the new work at its Tulsa, Okla., operation.  LaBarge, Inc. is a broad-based provider of electronics to technology-driven companies in diverse markets. The Company provides its customers with sophisticated electronic and electromechanical products through contract design and manufacturing services. Headquartered in St. Louis, LaBarge has operations in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin

These billionaires went from rags to richest - Five of these 10 inspirational billionaires dropped out of college, and three others never attended. Six were orphaned or given up and raised by foster homes, adoptive parents or relatives.


With fifth graduation, an era ends at UTSA - For the past 14 years, the University of Texas at San Antonio has not been without a Kluger. Until Saturday, that is.  The youngest of five Kluger brothers who went to UTSA, 23-year-old Aryeh, graduated with a degree in management.  “From when (my oldest brother) went until now, I feel like there is so much more community,” Aryeh said. “Students are owning the school now.”  Because some of the Klugers are Orthodox Jews and do not drive on the Sabbath, Aryeh could not attend his graduation ceremony at the Convocation Center. But three of the brothers met at the home of the eldest, Jacob, who started the UTSA tradition in 1996.   Jacob, now 33, chose his hometown school over the University of Texas at Austin when UTSA was a full-on commuter campus with an emerging cultural scene.  Now married with two children, Jacob is a salesman for a door manufacturer, Supa Doors.  Aaron, 30, followed his older brother, graduating in 2004 with a degree in business marketing. A young entrepreneur, Aaron started a lawn care business before going to UTSA and is now an account manager for MasterBrand Cabinets.  After Aaron came 27-year-old Nathan, “the smart one” who majored in electrical engineering and now lives in Israel and works for Israel Electric Co.  Joseph, “the social one,” also lives in Israel and works for Young Judea, a company that arranges tours of the country for young Americans. At 25, Joseph is the only bachelor in the group.   The youngest, Aryeh, is the “sporty one.” A champion swimmer in high school, the pull of UTSA was so strong that he turned down scores of scholarships to attend a school with no swim team.  At some point during their tenure at UTSA, all five brothers were president of Hillel, a Jewish social club.

Alamo Stadium now open for offers - Spurs Sports & Entertainment Vice President Leo Gomez said Thursday the company will propose bringing a United Soccer Leagues franchise to Alamo Stadium to play 12 to 15 home games, eventually developing it into a Major League Soccer team. “We would work to grow the market and get to that point sooner rather than later,” Gomez said.  The proposal would mean keeping the stadium's football field but doing away with the eight-lane track to make room for the pro soccer field. The San Antonio Independent School District, which owns the stadium and the adjacent Convocation Center, begins soliciting partnership concepts for the facilities today.

SAISD selects projects overseer - San Antonio Independent School District trustees awarded a controversial contract Wednesday night to a team headed by Kell Muñoz to oversee most major projects in the district's $515 million bond, despite concerns raised about the fairness of the process.   The board voted unanimously to hire the Muñoz/Jacobs consortium as bond program administrator at a fixed price of $12.5 million, less than the $16 million fee initially quoted by the team.  Henry Muñoz III said his team stood out from the competition because, “We understand the culture of SAISD.”


University of Texas ranked 14th 'best value' among public colleges - The University of Texas at Austin was among three Texas schools picked for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011.  The school came in No. 14, the highest-ranked Texas university on the list, followed by Texas A&M University (No. 23) and University of Texas at Dallas (No. 54). The top 100 schools were ranked by their excellence in academics and ability to keep in-state and out-of-state costs to a minimum. UT Austin came in No. 27, however, when comparing out-of-state tuition. The school has a 45 percent admittance rate and 52 percent rate of students graduating in four years or less. The total cost per year is estimated at about $20,404 in state and $42,204 out of state.  The full story appears in Kiplinger’s February 2011 issue and online here.

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business Launches First Stage of the Innovative Business Accelerator - Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business is launching a new collaborative program for professors and businesses within the Innovative Business Accelerator (IBA), a broad-based spectrum of business, science and technical services designed to lend value to both new start-ups and existing businesses.   The first stage in the IBA - the Business Research Program - will link companies and Baylor business researchers in order to develop applicable industry business research goals.   The partnership gives Baylor faculty greater opportunities for research, while providing companies with needed information. Companies that join the IBA Business Research Program make a three-year commitment to support a faculty member's research in exchange for access to the results of the research.




For MBAs, Breaking Even is a More Distant Dream - First, the economy crashed just as students were stepping into their first B-school classes. Then the job market tanked. Jobs were scarce, salaries dipped, and students scrambled simply to find summer internships, let alone full-time positions. Now, a new study done as part of Bloomberg Businessweek's ranking of top full-time MBA programs suggests it's going to take graduates longer to see a return on their MBA investments than their peers did from earlier graduating classes.;_ylt=Ak4pw89k04YVcUZYkCn5rEQOr7sF;_ylu=X3oDMTJ0YWxoMnNjBGFzc2V0A2J3LzIwMTEwMTA3L2phbjIwMTFiczIwMTEwMTUyMzY3NDEEcG9zAzM0BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2Zvcm1iYXNicmVhaw--

Schools That Lead to the Corner Office - Ivy League schools produce a disproportionate amount of corporate leaders, according to a U.S. News study of the educational backgrounds of 2010's Fortune 500 CEOs (the magazine's annual ranking of American corporations based on gross revenue).

Economists foretell of U.S. decline, China's ascension - Leading thinkers in the dismal science speaking at an annual convention offered varying visions of U.S. economic decline, in the short, medium and long term. This year, the recovery may bog down as government stimulus measures dry up.  In the long run, the United States must face up to inevitably being overtaken by China as the world's largest economy. And it may have missed a chance to rein in its largest financial institutions, many of whom remain too big to fail and are getting bigger.



Work to keep South San kids in school gets $100,000 boost - South San Antonio Independent School District's dropout prevention efforts will get help with a $100,000 grant from Chase to Communities In Schools of San Antonio that was announced Wednesday.   South San's class of 2009 had a dropout rate of nearly 20 percent, according to data from the Texas Education Agency.   The grant from Chase, the global financial services corporation, will fund two dropout prevention programs for the district's at-risk students.

McCombs, wife receive award - B.J. “Red” and Charline McCombs are the 2011 recipients of the Council of Independent Colleges philanthropy award, recognizing the San Antonio couple's contributions to higher education. The McCombs Foundation has granted more than $200 million in the past decade, much of it to education. Red McCombs has given generously to Southwestern University in Georgetown, which he attended in the 1940s, as well as San Antonio institutions, including the University of the Incarnate Word, St. Mary's University, Our Lady of the Lake University and Trinity University. In 2000, the McCombses gave $50 million to the University of Texas at Austin business school, which he also attended.  The couple received the award Thursday during the council's annual awards banquet in Palm Springs, Calif. “I believe in investing in education,” Red McCombs said in a news release. “It not only makes a big difference in the lives of individual students, it can make a big difference in a community providing the brainpower for economic development and growth.”

Carnegie Foundation recognizes St. Mary’s University - St. Mary’s University has been awarded the prestigious Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This recognizes the university’s dedication to service learning and community collaboration. This designation is granted to colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement, and was first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  This classification has been granted to only about 300 institutions — about 7 percent of the total 4,300 schools nationwide — since it was created in 2006.

UTSA lands more support for high school math, science program - The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) received $160,000 from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation to provide ongoing support to the school’s Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP).TexPREP is an academic program that aims to prepare more middle and high school students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The foundation has been supporting the UTSA TexPREP program since 1994. The latest gift brings the total support to nearly $1.4 million.The Sid W. Richardson Foundation provides grants to Texas nonprofit organizations in the fields of education, health care, human services and the arts. UTSA has a student population of more than 30,300 students.

TETCO Tops Half-Million Dollar Donation Mark for JDRF - In 2010, TETCO Corp. donated another $205,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), bringing the total amount of its support to $531,000 over the last three years.   The company knows the huge challenge diabetes plays in its home state of Texas. TETCO vice chairman Jon Turner deals with it daily.  "I was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes in my early 30s, proving it can strike anyone at any stage of their life," said Turner. "  TETCO is a San Antonio, Texas-based company, owned and operated by the Tom E. Turner family for more than 60 years. C-store operations, construction and equipment sales, fuel system sales and service, petrochemical distribution and environmental engineering are the company's primary revenue sources, with significant interests in oil and gas exploration, real-estate development, paving, and utility construction.  The company operates more than 800 stores in Texas, as well as, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah.


Grants for students may be prioritized - Texas' looming budget shortfall has prompted legislators to reconsider an idea it previously rejected — giving students who meet tougher academic standards priority consideration for TEXAS Grants to help pay for college.  Proponents say the changes are necessary to ensure increasingly limited state dollars go to the low-income college students who are most likely to graduate. Currently, TEXAS Grants are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.The Towards Excellence, Access and Success Grant, better known as the TEXAS Grant, was established by the Legislature in 1999 to help students from poor families pay for college education.

 UNT professor to develop prostate cancer model in zebrafish - University of North Texas professor and researcher Dr. Pudur Jagadeeswaran has been awarded $200,000 by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas ( CPRIT ) to fund research that will determine if zebrafish can be used to develop an early detection method for prostate cancer. The grant was one of 52 grants CPRIT awarded to 13 institutions in Texas, totaling more than $40 million in cancer research funding.   Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men, but currently there is no test available to detect prostate cancer in its early stages. The two-year research project seeks to develop a test that can detect prostate cancer in its early stages and can be treated with chemotherapy.

Deaf students to get additional offerings Austin Community College has been named a regional center for Gallaudet University and, as such, will offer courses, workshops and technical assistance to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Gallaudet, a private school in Washington, D.C., that specializes in serving such students, awarded ACC a $200,000 annual grant that is renewable.  The Gallaudet program at ACC will serve children as well as adults, along with families of people with hearing problems and professionals in the field. Offerings will include American Sign Language, interpreting and deaf studies.

ConocoPhillips Offers Texas A&M Students – ConocoPhillips has decided to support Texas A&M students. Students at Texas A&M University will continue to receive ConocoPhillips’ annual support for scholarships as well as avenues for industry research and community cooperation. This will allow both institutions to share knowledge and offer opportunities for student development. ConocoPhillips is a dedicated supporter of the University’s education mission and community development efforts, and believes in the importance of providing opportunities for Aggie engineers.

HBU Awarded $1.5 Million Grant For Technology Upgrades - Houston Baptist University has been granted $1.5 million from Houston Endowment Inc. to help the University upgrade its information technology and communications infrastructure.  The grant will allow HBU to protect its existing information assets while expanding the capacity and reach of its technological infrastructure to better meet the expectations of today’s tech-savvy students.

LISD receives 1000 copies of mystery book promoting the arts - Fourth-grade students at 20 Lubbock Independent School District elementary schools will free hardcover copies of “Adventures in the Arts: Mystery of the Gooey, Grey Glob,” a young readers’ mystery story that expands children of visual arts. One thousand copies of the book were donated to the school district from Texas  and the AT&T Foundation.


Students of Mexican descent eligible for research grants - EAST LANSING, Mich. — Thanks to a grant from the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and the Consulate of Mexico, up to eight Michigan State University students of Mexican descent, who engage in research, will receive scholarships for the remainder of the 2010-11 academic year.   MSU's Chicano/Latino Studies Program and Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies have received $20,000, and will oversee the application process. Awards of up to $2,500 will be granted, and funds may be used to help students pay for tuition, books and housing costs related to their research projects.   MSU is among 37 institutions in the country and one of two in Michigan to receive the IME grant.  "Chicano and Mexican students at MSU are rigorous scholars," said Sheila Contreras, director of MSU's Chicano/Latino Studies Program. "The IME Becas grant program is an important investment in the future of Latina/o scholarship in the United States."   Vicente Sánchez-Ventura, consulate general of Mexico in Detroit, will present MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon with the IME Becas funds Jan. 21.
Robert Blake, director of CLACS, said Sánchez-Ventura plays a key role in supporting MSU's activities and programs related to Mexico.   "We collaborate with the consulate general of Mexico on a number of campus-based educational initiatives every year," he said. "From art exhibits to our annual research symposium, the consulate has helped to facilitate and strengthen MSU's connections with experts and institutions in Mexico.   "This benefits our students and faculty by creating new opportunities not only for funding but especially for our academic and research interests."    To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must demonstrate significant financial need; be of Mexican descent; and have a well-conceived and feasible research project.  Application packets are available through Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Chicano/Latino Studies Program. Applications must be submitted electronically and are due Jan. 15.   
The IME scholarship program was established in 2005 as a result of a bilateral agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, through the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and the University of California. Financially supported by the Mexican government, the program has awarded more than $4 million to adult education programs and universities in the United States.

KENT SCHOOL RECEIVES $4.8M - The University of Louisville's Kent School of Social Work has been awarded the largest grant in its history, which will be used to prevent teenage pregnancy, violence and sexually transmitted diseases, school officials announced. The five-year, $4.8 million total federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health will serve more than 1,200 boys and girls ages 14 to 19 in at-risk groups in west and south-central Louisville, such as those in immigrant and refugee communities, foster programs and after-school programs.$4.8+million

Mellon Grant will support and enhance Asian studies program - DePauw University and Wabash College will use a four year, $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support and enhance DePauw's Asian Studies program, facilitate the creation of an Asian Studies program at Wabash, and create new synergies between the two liberal arts colleges, located just 27 miles apart from one another.  DePauw's Asian Studies program, which was established in 1985, is supported by 13 faculty members teaching in art history, Chinese language and culture, history, Japanese language and culture, mathematics, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology & anthropology, and graduates approximately five students each year.

Colorado State University Team Receives Grant to Study Climate Change Impacts in Mongolia - FORT COLLINS, CO (KUNC) - The NSF has awarded $1.5 million to researchers at CSU's Warner School of Natural Resources. The money will be used to study the impacts of climate change on rangeland-based ecosystems and livelihoods of pastoralists, or herding communities in Mongolia. Researchers say a lot can be learned in Mongolia about the effects of climate change.

UAB receives NSF grant for terahertz magnetospectroscopy of two-dimensional system - David J. Hilton, Assistant Professor of Physics, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham was awarded a $ 600,000 five year grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on January 6, 2010, to investigate the terahertz magnetospectroscopy of two-dimensional systems. The project is classified as condensed matter physics and is hoped to develop novel materials for a variety of novel applications including quantum computing.

Mead receives NACADA research support grant - Angela D. Mead, honors advising coordinator at Appalachian State University, has received a 2011 NACADA Research Support Grant to help fund research that will contribute to the field of academic advising.  Mead also is a doctoral student in the university’s doctor of education in educational leadership (Ed.D.) degree program. The grant will support her dissertation project.  NACADA, the National Academic Advising Association, promotes quality academic advising, professional development, and scholarly inquiry in the field to enhance the success, retention, and persistence of students across the globe. Each year since 1988, NACADA has funded research that makes significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising for students.

 Ruskin High plans to become an Academy of Engineering school - Ruskin High School (Kansas City) officials are preparing to become an Academy of Engineering school, one of only a few in the Midwest with the National Academy Foundation distinction.  The initiative’s goal is to encourage minority students to become involved in subjects such as math and science, assistant principal and program coordinator John Herrera said.  The National Academy Foundation is a network of schools geared toward introducing underserved high school students to careers. The model the foundation requires uses real-world techniques and work-based, or project learning, as well as fostering relationships with professionals in the industry.  Herrera is organizing an advisory board of local business representatives who can mentor students and assist in getting the program started. Local partners include Cerner, Black & Veatch and the Metropolitan Community Colleges. The AT&T Foundation also gave the district a $7,000 grant for the program.

Scott Kabrich

Researcher, UTSA Advancement Services

The University of Texas at San Antonio

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio TX 78249

210-458-4790 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              210-458-4790      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


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