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FACES & PLACES POW                                                                                  
The North Area Council hosted a luncheon Monday in Alliance at the Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle. The luncheon featured Walter Amaya, plant manager of the GE Transportation locomotive facility. Here are a few impressive takeaways from his presentation:
  • The plant produces 10 locomotives a week (that's two a day, people!)
  • When it (GE Transportation) selected Texas as the site, the plant was up and running within a year's time.
  • GE employs more than 700 people at that facility. Most of these jobs are plant workers, not logistical people.
  • The plant had more than 2,000 visitors last year.
     
View additional event photos here.
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Would you, could you...: Dr. Seuss would be 112 today, which would make him finely aged, much like the beef at Del Frisco's Restaurant. B2B Insider could go on and on about Del's wonderful food, the hearty drinks, the collegial atmosphere ... but it won't. Instead, it's time for a Seuss tip-of-the-top-hat to the Delle of the Ball, proprietor Greg Kalina, and this offering of a dinner for two. Greg, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory." Let Greg make this memory for you.
 
Billy Joel on steroids: Paul Anderson, this keyboarder in Utah, wanted to promote sales of his Ebony & Ivory inventory and decided to have a little fun ... let the pianos sell themselves with music. Fifty two videos and about 1.15 billion YouTube views later -- which is more than what Stan Kroenke paid for the Waggoner Ranch -- The Piano Guys took over the store's name and no longer need to sell pianos because they tour the country to sold out arenas. And forget the vocals; these four incredible musicians on piano (led by Jon Schmidt) and cello (Steve Nelson) will wow you with wizardry while playing some of your favorite hits. Saturday March 19 they are at Verizon Theater for a 7:30 performance and Jim at jimaustinonline.com has two seats in the jimaustinonline.com suite and a jimaustinonline.com VIP parking pass for one reader.

The bottom line: There's no accounting for what TCU Neeley School of Business Dean (He's a Homer) Erekson might ask his guest during The Tandy Executive Speaker Series breakfast. The guess is that the March 15 guest will hold him accountable for anything too taxing. Mack Lawhon, Chairman of Weaver, will go one-on-one about P&Ls, the IRS and federal regulations. Lawhon was managing partner and CEO from 1986 - 2009 and led the firm during a time of significant growth, strategic change and people development. He is a Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which oversees the nation's accounting standard setters. You can be a table setter yourownself and audit this event with a seat to the breakfast.

Where do you get the water? Last winter and spring, Mr. B got the groundhog confused with Noah and never bought a rain barrel. When it rained and rained, he moved the Rio out onto the lawn and used it as a planter. This year, Mr. B is prepared. He bought 50-gallon rain barrels made in the U.S. from 100 percent recycled material through the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). So, bring the rain on! Chris Chilton, BRIT's Director of Marketing + PR, says a sale is happening now for rain barrels and compost bins and pickup day is April 9. The rain barrels feature a child-proof locking lid, bug-proof screen, a three/fourths-inch ball valve that easily connects to a garden hose, and two built-in overflow ports, one of which can be used to link additional barrels. All parts are included and ready to set up. The rain barrel sale price is $72.50. The price of a compost bin is $67.50. Chris has christened spring with a rain barrel giveaway.


Congratulations to Feb. 24 Prize Winners:
  • Abigail Hardee, Handyman Matters
  • Mary Fergusson, Oncor
  • Norma Ham, Ridglea Country Club
  • Carol Bane, Advantage Supply
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS



 
  
HE SAID, SHE SAID, THEY SAIDSoundBytes
Memorable member drive: About 200 volunteer business volunteers were in the Chamber's "corner" for two days last week as part of a spirited, new member "boxing blitzkrieg." They worked against the 3-minute clock, against the ring ropes and against each other to make Michael Buffer-like calls to prospects. Twelve chairmen recruited 44 team captains, who in turn recruited callers, who in turn made calls, which for the most part were answered. In all, 232 new members were recruited.

Master Caster: A speaker at the Texas Tornadoes Leads Group was named Caster. He was a former pastor. While in Clarksville, TX, Pastor Caster was introduced to Pastor Plaster. Today, Johnny Caster sells a pre-paid legal service, Legal Shield. He says it covers you, a spouse or "significant others. But you're only allowed three ('others') per year." 

All dressed up: A shout out to the resale shops at Goodwill, SafeHaven and Center for Transforming Lives for helping LaShelle Knox of QCS Unlimited purty up some 4-to-13-year-old girls with fancy dresses.

Quite the connected group: Next Wednesday, when Fort Worth Business has its annual 40-under-40 dinner, the Cowtown Connection Leads Group will be represented by honorees Carley Moore of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty and Kent Durham of Durham & Galindo. Previous Connection honorees include group founder George Fassett of THUMBTECHS, Christie Mosley-Eckler of the University of Texas-Arlington and Todd Miller of Worth Benefits. Todd's wife Lisa, with J.O., also is being honored this year.

Breaking news: Mr. B has egg on his face and must have missed a major Kardashian moment. Pepper Sims of Pepper L Specialties says promotional products are switching from egg-shaped lip balm to square shapes. Egg was causing infections and that's no yolk joke.

Time for a commercial announcement: Red Productions, a 2013 Chamber Small Business of the Year winner, won Best of Show for 2015 work in this year's local American Advertising Federation Awards (ADDYs) show. Red Productions won for a "Relevance Matters" Internet commercial campaign featuring a series of videos asking the question, "Is your marketing relevant?" Among the winners of Special Judges' awards were Ascend Concepts for Traulsen in print, J.O. for Worthington National Bank on billboard and Schaefer Advertising Co. for Fort Worth Zoo for design. In all, Schaefer Advertising took home 11 gold awards; Pavlov won three.

Third time (not) the charm? Cara Kennemer of Underwood Law stepped out of a Cowtown Leads Group meeting to take a call. "Pre-school parent-teacher conference," she explained. "Kid No. 3, we can do this over the phone." Short conversation, too, probably because it wasn't billable. BTW, Underwood represented Stan Kroenke in his purchase of the Waggoner Ranch.

Just trippin': Chamber signature travel trips are open to members, business associates, your friends or family...OK, everyone is in and the group discount makes this deal even more fabulosa. Mr. B has heard from so many that have attended previous trips that they are absolutely fantastic. Mr. B only has heard and not been because ... well, his boss isn't called Miserly Mistress for no reason. The next two trips are Oct. 1-8, 2016, A Taste of Ontario & Quebec Fall Foliage, and April 2-10, 2017, River Cruise in the Wine Region of Bordeaux, France. (Bring your license; you might be carded for wine.) If you would you like to hear more about the treasured trips from Jet Vacations agent Carl Monticelli, then join Chamberites next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. RSVP to give your name and contact information. You will be emailed a confirmation with session details.

"Fear is a great motivator."

                                                -- Michael Sherrod, Neeley School of Business
 on successful entrepreneurs

The buck stops here! Debbie Cooley, president of M-Pak, a packaging distribution company and tactical clothing/uniform store, was a Chamber Small Business of the Year finalist. Debbie is a big winner with $9 million in sales last year and as an entertaining speaker. During a discussion on networking among women, she had these gems:
  • (on going back 10 years and giving yourself advice) "Get off your *ss. There are no excuses. None!"
  •  (on networking to gain power) "I sign the checks. I don't have to look for power."
  • (on working with people you don't like) "Frankly, my standards are low...until someone doesn't show respect." 
A leaf's journey: GlennScape landscapers spend much of their time during winter backpacking the country-side. The backpacks power hurricane-force blowers to clear leaves. The company has two clients with more than 1,000 trees each. "We line up our guys and march in formation to blow the leaves into one pile," said Darrell Samuelson. "Then we mow it and pack them in big bags. They weigh 80 pounds each." The leaves are brought to a recycler who turns it into compost/mulch.

Color of money: Irony and/or coincidence that the new Chairman and CEO of Frost Bank April 1 is Phillip Green?

Cleared that up: Mr. B was thinking that lots of IT network protectors sell services by scaring the virus bejeepers out of ya. Sunny Lowe at Blue Jean Networks, a Chamber Small Business of the Year winner, says not necessarily so. "Viruses can really be scary," he said. "In life, it appears to me that some customers respond to aspirations and some people respond to risks. A good, honest salesperson offers both, realizing that the people they are talking to need the solution, and offers both visions -- one of the risks to be mitigated, and one of the aspirations that can be realized. That said, most networks are bizarrely under supported. No backups, no good firewalls, insecure data, poor data typing and more. And most people ignore this."

It takes a community: A new name today for a nonprofit  -- North Texas Community Foundation -- with the same goals. Putting charitable givers under one umbrella because "we are better together," says CEO Nancy Jones.

Running with scissors: There was a one-day sorority rush of sorts for Chamber Am-Bass-Adorables spots because the distinguished faces of the Chamber today head over to Tom+Chee to learn what cheeses and other specialties are available in those fab grilled cheese sandwiches of yore. It's at 8901 Tehama Ridge Parkway. Am-Bass-Adorables then get their weekend started at 11:45 a.m. Friday with their drink cups at the ready at the new Tervis store downtown, 112 E. 4th Street. B2B Insider will toast that one.
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