local ironman

raises money for

smile train

bustin clays

for our


the woodlands



supports habitat

for humanity


the farmhouse

a matter of trust

don hutson's

"the cowboy solution"

celebrating 80 years

greater conroe/lake conroe

area chamber of commerce

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 1

1/28/2014 1:22:43 PM


Make a




“In Business your Image

is important,

Love That Smile...”

Actual Patient of Dr. Lewis

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4800 W. Panther Creek, Suite 200

The Woodlands, Texas

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 2

1/28/2014 1:22:44 PM

11154-H&G SpringWoodlands'14_OnTheTown_FullpgAd_Layout 1 1/16/14 10:05 AM Page 1

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OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 3

1/28/2014 1:22:45 PM

Facebook “f” Logo RGB / .eps Facebook “f” Logo RGB / .eps


It's hard to fathom that 2013 has ended and that 2014 is already here...Before

we get into all of the exciting things ahead for onthetown, I'd like to personally

thank our talented production team, gifted contributors and honored advertisers

for a successful 2013. It truly does take a community effort; and to what a great

community we belong. We are grateful.

Bringing each issue to life is a labor of love and it has been our pleasure to

become a small part of a thriving community that operates with such intensity,

heart, compassion and charity. We are honored to have the privilege of sharing

a few great local stories that your business friends, colleagues and peers have

shared with us.

Montgomery county is an inspiring place to live and work and as we meet

more of the community we are reminded of how spiritually rich the area is. You

don't have to go far up here to see great things, meet great people and witness

great acts of kindness and generosity.

In 2014 we will be bringing you exciting news about Montgomery county's

business development, key players and game changers. We will also introduce

you to movers and shakers of all kinds. Do you have a story to share, special

event, do you know someone who deserves recognition? Are you celebrating

business growth, successes, anniversaries? Call us, email us or text us, onthetown

wants to know.

Kindest Regards,


13921 Highway 105, #279

Conroe, Texas 77304

Volume i Issue iII

Published by:

Global Network Publishers LLC

Publisher: Kimberly Gray

associate publisher: Cathy Mogler

Editor: Jake Buckler

Director: Michelle Blaisdell

Office Manager: Laura Ulman

Sales Associate: Amanda Hensley

Contributing Writers:

Tina Clarke

Dr. Mark Denison

Amanda Hensley

Traci M. Huhn

Bob Keplinger

Mariann Seigert

Adam Simmons

Designed by: Allymac Concepts


Allymac Concept

Nathan Lindstrom/Wonderful Machine

Mission Statement

"onthetown" Magazine captures the positive

way our community lives and breathes.

Dynamic in scope and editorially eclectic,

it reflects the people, community and

lifestyle of Montgomery County and its'

surrounding areas on a grand scale. All

right(s) reserved. No part of this publication

may be reproduced without expressed

written consent of the publisher.


For advertising

information call

Cathy Mogler


web design | content development | photography | and more!

Call (936) 239-5067 or email

4 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 4

1/28/2014 1:22:50 PM


10 18

Feature Stories







19 20 24

don hutson's "cowboy solution"

greater conroe/lake conroe area chamber of

commerce celebrates 80 years

something to smile about: ironman

competition supports smile train

coat of many colors ministry making a

difference in montgomery county

kidville of the woodlands

project safe id

around town











united way receives gold marcom award

bustin' clays for our heros

the friendship center meals on wheels

cosbar to donate sales to md anderson

twdc supports habitat for humanity

astros raise a flag in conroe

the woodlands home & garden show

hospital helps parents capture baby's 1st days

black tie & boots chairman's ball

the woodlands crawphish festival

business articles

dave ramsey says...

exxonmobil to give keynote at economic

outlook conference

qualified mortgages start in 2014

2014 housing trends

how do you view your marketing budget

2014 Career workout and resume makeover

weathering the test of time: fairweather group

your success coach: action coach of n. houston

crystal clear mortgage

skelton business equipment

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A STORY FOR onthetown? Do you know a local hero that deserves some recognition? Maybe

a heavy hitter or visionary game changer that has impacted the business community with its products and services?

Would you like some help spreading the word about a charity event or business networking event? Share it with us for

future editorial consideration. Send to: Cathy Mogler

All materials become the property of onthetown Magazine and cannot be returned. Submissions may also be edited for

length or clarity and may be used without compensation and acknowledgement. Please include a daytime telephone

number for verification and contact purposes.











in every issue








on the grid: customer driven online marketing

gadgets for geeks

hello my name is

book review: ingrediEnts of outliers

pay it forward event calendar

sundays: fARMHOUSE


Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 5

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 5

1/28/2014 1:22:58 PM

A team at the end of the day




By allowing area executives to interact with his gentle

yet majestic horses, Don Hutson has been helping

these business people become trusted leaders among their

colleagues. This is the essence of The Cowboy Solution, Don’s

Montgomery-based corporate team-building experience that

continues to transform hearts and minds. While he has much

to be proud of, Don is often quick to credit his horses, not

himself, for the life-changing experiences that they’re able to

transcend. This down-home humility and love for his animals

cannot hide the contribution he provides in helping others

find their inner leader.

Texas native, orchestra conductor and horse trainer Don

Hutson has found the solution to help anyone become an

effective leader, and he calls it “The Cowboy Solution.”

Though his Stetson hat, denim clothes and soft,

Texas drawl practically scream “cowboy,” Don Hutson is a

renaissance man of sorts. He holds a doctorate in music and

has taught the subject at the collegiate and high school

levels, and he’s also been a successful corporate mogul.

These days, Don continues to do his best life’s work with

his latest venture, The Cowboy Solution. It’s an experiential

leadership development training company that uses horses

to teach ways to build powerful partnerships based upon

trust. It’s already touched and transformed the lives of many,

and the program’s emotional depth is the result of Don’s own

search for himself … a search that began on a small ranch

home in Eastern Texas and has taken him the better part of

a lifetime to master.

A Solid Foundation

Born December 5, 1949, Don was the oldest of Robert

and Lois Hutson’s four children. Like most people in Lufkin

at that time, his family had some horses and Don grew up

riding and handling the animals and learning about life

through his parents’ guidance. Little did he know it then, but

the foundation for The Cowboy Solution was already being

formed. “Whenever I had a problem,” said Don, “I would go to

my father and he would say, ‘What’s it supposed to look like?’

By forcing me to imagine what things were supposed to be

and placing that mental picture over my problem I was able

to see what was wrong and fix it.” He describes both of his

parents as caring, loving and willing to do anything to help

their children succeed.

From his upbringing, Don took many things forward into

life including his love for music. It started when he was a

young man attending church services and eventually inspired

him to earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music

education in 1971 from Stephen F. Austin State University.

“Once I discovered great classical works,” he said, “I wanted

to become a conductor so I could recreate them and share

it with people. I always loved it when people would hear

great music and it made a difference in their lives if only for

a brief moment. To me it was all about the experience.” After

graduating from college, he returned to Lufkin and taught

music for three years. This passion inspired him to earn a

Doctorate in music from the University of Oklahoma in 1979,

before going on to conduct orchestras and teach music at

Phillips University and the University of Southwest Louisiana.

6 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 6

1/28/2014 1:23:02 PM

Life’s Changes

After many years of teaching music, Don realized that

he needed to do something different with his life. That

“something” ended up being one of the owners of a large

textile corporation that specialized in the production of

baseball and golf hats. For all intents and purposes, it

was a successful venture that kept Don very busy, but the

proverbial tower that he had constructed for himself would

one day come crashing down upon him. “I lost my son Cody

Ryan Hutson to an asthma attack when he was just 12 years

old,” Don said. “We had always known he had asthma but we

weren’t aware of the severity of it until one day he had an

attack and he died in my arms on the way to the hospital.

The reality of losing my son knocked me into the dirt, and

I just walked away from everything that I had with nothing

more than my pickup truck and a few pieces of furniture.”

Starting his life over from scratch at age of 52 seemed

daunting, but Don eventually found himself once again by

returning to his roots. “I went back to training horses,” he said,

“mostly because it was what I knew how to do. Even so, I was

never comfortable with the way in which the animals were

trained or ‘broken’ because that’s exactly what was being

done to them. I started to wonder if there wasn’t a better way

to do things.” If there was one thing Don understood, it was

the fact that horses won’t do something for a human unless

the animal wants to do it. Knowing this, he developed a way

in which a trainer could earn the horse’s trust more gently,

thus creating a more genuine bond between himself and the

animal without the need of breaking its spirit. “In other words,

I learned to become a leader instead of just a boss,” he added.

A New Beginning!

Don realized the concept of

leadership through trust-building

could be applied to human relationships.

Around this time, he met a woman named

Debra Ford through mutual friends, and the

two began dating and were eventually married on October

15, 2011. He credits her with transforming both his ranch and

his life into what it is today – The Cowboy Solution. Now, the

couple and their trainers transform the lives of others using

their six-hour courses. “I absolutely love when I see people

make a change,” Don commented, “and they suddenly realize

that success is easy to achieve. It’s that ‘aha moment,’ and we

have a lot of those here at the ranch. There’s not a day goes

by when someone doesn’t say, ‘You’ve changed my life.’”

The Cowboy Solution hosts seminars utilizing horses

as powerful training tools. The animals act as a mirror that

reflects people’s ability to communicate, and participants

learn how to partner with the horses to achieve their goals.

This, in turn, helps them build trust and how that can be

applied in their business organizations.



On this life-changing program, call (281) 732-4963,

or visit

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 7

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 7

1/28/2014 1:23:08 PM

Dave Ramsey Says...


I own a small business,

and I’m having trouble

scaling up while keeping

expenses down. Do you

have any advice for me?

AThere are two types of expenses: fixed and

variable. Variable expenses rise as the volume and

size of your business grows. A good example of

this would be shipping. The more stuff you move,

the higher your shipping bill. Fixed expenses are

there regardless of your income. Rent is a fixed expense.

The amount doesn’t change, and you have to pay it whether

you’re making money or not.

The best advice I can give you in a scenario like this is

to take a deep breath, and accept the fact that you need to

slow down and grow slowly and steadily. If you let expenses

get out of hand you’ll be chasing them and playing catch up

for the life of your business. Overhead kills businesses, Josh.

It’s the death knell.

qI’m thinking about starting

an auto detailing business.

Do you have any advice on

how to start something like

this, and what to consider


AWhen you’re running your own business, you’ll find

out quickly that your boss is a jerk who works you

like an animal. Working for yourself is one of the

toughest things you can do for a career, and you

better make sure you’re doing something you love,

because it’ll take years of blood, sweat and tears

to be successful. If you don’t absolutely love auto detailing,

and if you’re thinking about it simply because it’s plausible or

you think you can make money doing it, I’d advise giving up

on the idea. If that’s your stance, it’s really more of a side job

than a business.

Think about something you’d want to be doing every

day five years from now, and have anywhere from 20 to 200

people doing it with you. You’ll always do a better job and

have more fun when you’re involved with something you

love. And when it comes to running the business, pay cash,

have a written game plan and don’t be afraid to grow slowly.

Lay out a smart business plan ahead of time, and know

everything from your marketing strategies and cost of startup

equipment and supplies to what your projected revenues

are and the per unit charges for all your little widgets. Lay

this all out like you had to prepare a report for a college

class, and that’s what a business plan looks like.

I’m excited for you, Justin, because you have lots of

entrepreneurial spirit. You might not make $100,000 your first

year, but who does? Just take your time. Be patient, be smart,

and give people a quality product and professional service. If

you’ll do those things, chances are you’ll be a success!


Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books:

Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard

by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and

on the web at

8 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 8

1/28/2014 1:23:12 PM

united way

receives gold marcom award

Montgomery County United Way’s 2013 campaign video

has received a Gold MarCom award for excellence in the

video/film/nonprofit category. “Be Part of the Solution” was

submitted for competition by Morris Ink Advertising Agency,

LLC, on behalf of United Way and SilverRock Productions.

The Gold Award is presented to those judged to exceed

the high standards of the industry norm. There were over

6,500 entries from multiple countries.

MarCom Awards is an international creative competition

that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and

communication professionals. Entries come from corporate

marketing and communication departments, advertising

agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies,

and freelancers. The competition has grown to perhaps

the largest of its kind in the world. Winners range in size

from individual communicators to media conglomerates and

Fortune 500 companies.

“We are honored, of course,” said Julie Martineau,

President of Montgomery County United Way. “But more

importantly, we appreciate knowing that the group effort

delivered a powerful and compelling message about those

we are privileged to serve.”

Preparation for the DVD begins early in the year,

when advertising and production professionals meet with

United Way staff to prioritize messages and develop the

concept. Jennifer Adams-Burkett, Marketing Manager for

Montgomery County United Way, said that “the collaborative

process is intense because much is riding on the campaign’s

effectiveness in educating potential donors while also

entertaining and expressing gratitude.”

One of the aspects of the MarCom award that

is especially meaningful for United Way is that the

sponsoring organization, the Association of Marketing and

Communication Professionals, provides grants for marketing

materials for homeless shelters, orphanages, day camps,

community theaters, and for programs for seniors and




About the Montgomery County United Way and to

view the award winning video visit

Big or small,

we can help


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FCCU invites businesses of Harris, Fort Bend or Montgomery County to grow with us.

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 9

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 9

1/28/2014 1:23:13 PM

Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors




This year’s Chairman’s Ball, hosted by the Greater

Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce (GCLCCOC),

served not only in the usual manner to honor outgoing

Chairman Tamara Trow and welcome incoming Chairman

Danielle Schneider, but also marked the celebration of 80

years of service to the business community of Montgomery


The GCLCCOC first started in 1934 as the Montgomery

County Chamber of Commerce with only three charter

members known today as Consolidated Communications,

Entergy Texas, Inc. and HCN, The Courier. Today with over

1,000 members, they continue to make a huge impact on the

economic quality of life in Montgomery County.

Chamber Past Chair Larry Foerster (1991), can attest to

the instrumental role that the GCLCCOC has played in the

small business community. “In my experience, the Chamber

serves as both a vocal advocate and an important resource

for small businesses in the greater Conroe area. It partners

with city and county governments in their ongoing efforts to

stimulate the local economy and improve the quality of life

for everyone in the area.

Chamber member and diplomat Ron Saikowski, with

Quest Engineering, also describes the Chamber as an

organization that works for the improvement of the local

business economy and helps link members with each other

in their business endeavors. He draws value from their

networking opportunities, free business seminars, marketing

opportunities, interesting business luncheons, communal

legislative activities, free use of Chamber facilities, and

community recognition. “My Chamber membership works

for me,” he says, “since I invest my time and attention into

the Chamber and the numerous opportunities to help my

business and enhance my community.”

Ross and Diana Silva of Minuteman Press Conroe have

been members for three years and equate their experience

with starting a family. “When you join the Chamber, it’s like

you’re joining a family,” Diana said. “There’s somewhere there

for you, whether you have business or personal needs.” They

made joining a top priority when buying the store and can

attest that their involvement with the Chamber has helped

their business grow.

The Chamber’s contribution to the community over

the past eighty years is evident throughout the county. In

the 1950’s, The Montgomery County Fair, an annual event

anticipated by all, was started by a small agricultural

committee of the Chamber of Commerce. In the 1980’s

10 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 10

1/28/2014 1:23:20 PM

The Information Depot (a hub of the Convention & Visitors

Bureau) was formed to help provide visitors to the area more

information on what to see and do while in town. Also during

this decade, the prestigious Leadership Montgomery County

program was formed, with the goal of enhancing business

leaders to help them emerge in this area.

The Greater Conroe / Lake Conroe Area Chamber of

Commerce pays tribute to the men and women who have

served to make this Chamber as successful as it is today.

Reflecting on this history with respect, current Chamber

President Scott Harper embraces the future with inspired

vision to lead the Chamber to even bigger heights, focusing

on three key areas: membership, governance of operations

and workforce issues.

“Our focus for 2014 and beyond is the same as what we

began 2013 with; developing a strategic plan for membership

retention and sales and

up with the pace of






Chamber of Commerce













“We are looking to bridge the gap of communication,”

Harper says, “so we can assist people with landing nice,

solid jobs with benefits and options for reimbursement for

education right here in their own community.”

Scott recognizes that over the last 80 years, and

specifically the last ten years, the Chamber could have done

a better job and that some members have chosen not to

renew as a result. Nevertheless, he hopes that people will

respect the unique history of the past but join him in looking

forward and embracing the future. The Chamber wants local

businesses to succeed and would like a chance to be a part

of their success by serving them with their needs.

When asked what legacy he would like to leave for the

Chamber to look back on another 80 years, Harper stated

that the legacy of the President should play a minimal role,

but that of the organization should be celebrated.

When people look back 160 years from now, he would

like them to remember a Chamber that set the standards on

how to operate during a time of transition and growth. “I was


who is

coming into

the area. We

are lucky to be

where we are, so

close to Houston and

1934 2014

with Exxon-Mobile going in just a

few miles down the road.”

Harper and his staff, along with the Chamber Board of

Directors, have spent some time analyzing the shift in the

way the community draws value from the organization. With

local area information readily available on the internet, the

Chamber of Commerce is seen less as a local information

center and is now used more for small business networking,

continuing education and a portal for communication within

the community. Not only can local businessmen and women

benefit from a variety of seminars in a one-on-one classroom

and the Chambers various networking events, but they can

also use the Chamber as a springboard for their career with

services geared toward job readiness. One particular area

Harper hopes to impact is the communication between

school districts, the Lone Star College system and business

in the new Deison Technology Park.

Entergy 1947 Line Crew

chosen to be President during one of the most explosive times

of the area since the oil boom,” he said. “We are strategically

located between Houston and Dallas and in easy proximity

to the capitol. Investors are coming and we want to be ready

to respond and help stimulate the economic growth.”

The role of the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber

of Commerce extends beyond their mission to strengthen

the economic environment and quality of life in Montgomery

County. The organization truly embraces their vision to be

known as a dynamic organization that generates awareness,

creates partnerships, and provides leadership for progressive

development and growth while enhancing the quality of life

in Montgomery County.



About the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area

Chamber of Commerce and how to become

involved call (936) 756+6644.

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 11

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 11

1/28/2014 1:23:33 PM

ExxonMobil to give keynote at 28th

annual Economic Outlook Conference

ExxonMobil is the hottest topic north of

Beltway 8, with cranes, construction and

home values all going up in anticipation of

the opening of the company’s north Houston

campus just south of The Woodlands in 2014.

ExxonMobil Senior Advisor Bob Davis will give the

lunch keynote speech at The Woodlands Area Chamber of

Commerce's 28th annual Economic Outlook Conference on

February 14, 2014 to an audience that is eager to learn details

of its new, top-tier corporate partner.

"I have been up to the campus several times, and it’s

fantastic," Davis says. "This represents the very first time

that ExxonMobil is bringing together individuals from all of

our different U.S.-based companies. The move will promote

collaboration and help us operate more efficiently. You will

be able to walk to a particular building, just like on a college

campus, to have a meeting to discuss projects or issues.

That's the really exciting aspect."

ExxonMobil currently has more than 10 separate entities

scattered around the Houston area in locations such as

Greenspoint, Katy, on Buffalo Speedway off Highway 59 and

in downtown Houston. These groups, and its operations from

Fairfax, Virginia, will be united at the new campus, eliminating

the frequent driving and flying that was part of ExxonMobil's

daily routine to bring employees together from the different

business units.

What a campus it will be. ExxonMobil's facilities will feature

its showcase "Energy Center," with movies and interactive

displays, as well as restaurants, shops, an auditorium and

executive offices. More than 20 buildings are being built,

including a day care center and a 100,000 square-foot

wellness center. Davis will provide attendees with a historical

perspective on what this innovation means to a company

that was founded over 130 years ago from the Pennsylvania

oil fields, growing and changing with the major milestones

of the 20th century into an international corporate and

technological leader today. Leslie Hushka, Communications

Manager for the ExxonMobil Houston Campus Project, will

also speak at the conference about further details on the

buildings and amenities in the ExxonMobil campus.

"We are so pleased to have Mr. Davis' prospective on the

oil industry and energy giant ExxonMobil's rise to be the most

influential oil company in the world," says Karen Hoylman,

President and CEO of The Woodlands Area Chamber of

Commerce. "It is so important that our community understand

this industry, which is an ever-growing part of our business


More than 500 business and local leaders are expected

to attend the Economic Outlook Conference at The

Woodlands Waterway Marriott to address the local, national

and global economic trends that effect businesses in The

Woodlands and beyond. In addition to Davis and Hushka,

speakers include Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex); Ramón Hernán,

Executive Vice President, North America & Brazil at Repsol;

Gary Schlossberg, Vice President & Senior Economist at

Wells Capital Management; Ron Corn, Senior Vice President

of Specialties, Aromatics and Styrenics at Chevron Phillips

Chemical Co.; Woody Pace, Vice President of exploration

at Talisman Energy; Frank J. LaRosa, Senior Vice President

and Chief Administrative Officer at Layne Christensen; Alex

Sutton, Co-President at The Woodlands Development Co.;

Bruce Tough, Chairman for The Woodlands Township; and Gil

Staley, CEO at The Woodlands Area Economic Development


ExxonMobil's Davis is no stranger to The Woodlands,

having lived there since 1991, commuting to downtown

Houston. "We have seen The Woodlands grow from George

Mitchell's great vision, to create a hometown where people

could live and work," Davis says. "That vision has been fulfilled.

What has happened in The Woodlands in the last few years

is nothing short of extraordinary.”



On The Woodlands Area Economic Development

Partnership, visit or call


12 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 12

1/28/2014 1:23:34 PM

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady

8th District of Texas


FEBRUARY 14, 2014




Bob Davis

Senior Advisor

Exxon Mobil


Alex G. Sutton, P.E.


The Woodlands Development

Company, A Division of The

Howard Hughes Corporation


Bruce Tough


The Woodlands Township


7:30 a.m. Registration Begins

8:00 a.m. Welcome: Steve Pate – Chief Executive Officer

Strike, LLC - Presenting Sponsor


Linda Head, Lone Star College – Conference Chair

Nelda Luce Blair, Blair Law Firm

8:10 a.m. U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas

8:40 a.m. Community Update

Alex G. Sutton, P.E. – Co-President

The Woodlands Development Company

A Division of The Howard Hughes Corporation

Bruce Tough – Chairman, The Woodlands Township

Gil Staley – Chief Executive Officer, The Woodlands Area

Economic Development Partnership

Leslie Hushka – Communications Manager

Houston Campus Project, Exxon Mobil Corporation

9:40 a.m. Gary Schlossberg – Vice President & Senior Economist

Wells Capital Management

10:25 a.m. Business Connections & Booth Visitations

10:40 a.m. Ron Corn – Senior V ice President of Specialties,

Aromatics & Styrenics, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP

11:25 a.m. Group Panel

Woody Pace – Vice President of Exploration Technical

Excellence & President, Talisman Energy Services Inc.

Ramón Hernán – Executive Vice President

North America & Brazil, Repsol

Frank J. LaRosa – Senior Vice President

Chief Administrative Officer, Layne Christensen

12:10 p.m. Conference Concludes

Business Connections & Booth Visitations

12:40 p.m. Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Bob Davis – Senior Advisor, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Local energy industry companies providing

the fuel to grow the ecomomy.

Leslie Hushka



Houston Campus Project

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Ron Corn

Senior Vice President of

Specialties, Aromatics

and Styrenics

Chevron Phillips

Chemical Company LP

Ramón Hernán

Executive Vice


North America & Brazil


Gil Staley

Chief Executive Officer

The Woodlands Area





Area Economic


Gary Schlossberg







Senior Economist







Woody Pace

Vice President of of Exploration

Technical Excellence & &


Talisman Energy Services Inc. Inc.

Frank J. LaRosa

Senior Vice President Chief

Administrative Officer

Layne Christensen

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 13

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 13

1/28/2014 1:23:36 PM

Josh Urban, Linda Freede, Mike Karlins and David Sharpe

bustin' clays for our heros

new shooting tournament aims to meet needs

All branches of the United States military work together

to protect the place we call home from all enemies - foreign

and domestic. Many individual service men and women do

so while enduring great personal sacrifice because of the

devotion they have to our country.

Local professional Ricky Castillo served in the Marine

Corps for four years, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom

a total of three times. Castillo is currently employed as a tax

senior at Karlins, Ramey & Tompkins, LLC. After Mike Karlins

had several conversations with Castillo about his time

selflessly serving our nation, he decided he wanted to help

heroes like his employees.

We have all heard news reports about the lack of

government support and funding cuts for veterans, stories

about the high costs of prosthetics and many reports of the

plague of post-traumatic stress disorder. Karlins’ daughter

actually studies mechanical engineering at the University of

Texas at Austin and has a prosthetics interest, which gave him

an understanding of how expensive functioning prosthetics

can be. There are many needs to be filled for our veterans;

so many that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cannot

always keep up with the demand.

With this knowledge, Karlins began to search for an

avenue to assist the local heroes who have served tirelessly.

He got in touch with TIRR Memorial Hermann and worked to

set up an event to fund the needs of area veterans.

The first annual event, Bustin’ Clays for Our Heroes, will

be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014. “We are proud to host this

event and partner with TIRR to raise funds for rehabilitation

for our military veterans,” said Karlins. Proceeds raised from

the event will support expenses associated with returning to

civilian life, such as prosthetics, counseling, rehab, etc.

The event is open to sportsmen, gun enthusiasts and novices

alike. Bustin’ Clays for Our Heroes will be held at the Conroe

Shooting Center on FM 2854.

“We have had a tremendous response to this event

already and are so grateful to our veterans that this is a small

way we can give back and have some fun in the process,” said


“In rehabilitation medicine, it is so important that we

support our injured veterans who have sacrificed so much for

us all. Through their rehab comes an advance in technology,

such as prostheses and improvements in functional

outcomes, which ultimately translates to improved patient

care for all including our civilian patients. We all benefit from

events like Bustin’ Clays which raise awareness by supporting

our disabled veterans. I am so glad to be lend my support

to this worthy cause,” said Danielle H. Melton, MD of TIRR

Memorial Hermann.

Teams of four participants will participate in a shotgun

start tournament followed by dinner. Registration is $850 per

team or $250 for individual. Sponsorships are still available.

TIRR Memorial Hermann specializes in physical therapy,

occupational therapy and speech therapy for inpatients

and outpatients affected by spinal cord injury, traumatic

brain injury, stroke, amputation, multiple trauma and

neuromuscular disorders.



On Bustin' Clays contact Veronica at (281) 364-0245

or Cathleen at (713) 242-4450. For more information

on TIRR please visit

14 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 14

1/28/2014 1:23:38 PM

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Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 15

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 15

1/28/2014 1:23:39 PM

the friendship center

meals on wheels


Ms. Ethel & Kris Dimlich

Senior citizens, although one of the most-loved and

well-respected groups in society, are often forgotten

or unintentionally neglected in the hustle and bustle of life’s

daily grind. Many find themselves homebound, unable to do

things they did before and often alone because their spouse

has passed away.

For homebound seniors in Montgomery County, there is

hope. The Friendship Center, founded in 1973, is a non-profit

organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the senior

citizen community in Montgomery County by meeting social,

physical and emotional needs of anyone over the age of 60

in need of help. One of the most impactful programs offered

by the organization is the Meals on Wheels program, through

which volunteers bring warm meals to seniors in their homes

each week.

Kris Dimlich has played an active role in the Meals on

Wheels program for over six years now, delivering meals to

recipients who have come to think of her as family. Knowing

of the large waiting list for the Meals on Wheels service,

Kris took it upon herself to lead a new campaign to raise

funds for resources specifically to expand the impact of

the program in Montgomery County. The annual campaign

began three years ago and has achieved incredible results,

including a 65% increase in funds raised for this year alone.

Kris is excited about the awareness the campaign brings to

the program and looks forward to the 2014 campaign which

will run from the first of March through the end of June

The one-on-one time spent with Meals on Wheels

recipients has given Kris insight to the needs of homebound

seniors and the state of the Meals on Wheels program. This

has proven invaluable as she also serves on The Friendship

Center’s Board of Directors, striving daily to change the

statistics for many homebound seniors. “My experience with

my own grandparents and great-grandparents who lived

into their 90’s is what first made me aware of the care that

seniors require,” says Dimlich. “Age does not discriminate and

if we all live long enough, we’ll be seniors one day too. Some

people shy away from helping the elderly because it’s not

cancer, or a disability, but rather a phase of life, but this is a

societal issue that will never go away.”

When community members call and ask for an

opportunity to experience a Meals on Wheels route, Kris is

never hesitant to host someone in her passenger seat to

help them understand the need for the program. There are

currently 500 clients on service, with 105 on a waiting list

through The Friendship Center. That’s typically 10,000 meals

served each month, which equates to over 120,000 meals

served each year. Dimlich comments, “It’s always been my

pleasure to give true insight into what we do and how great

the need is here.”

For the seniors served, simple tasks such as running to

the store for milk or going outside to cover your pipes is not

an option. Furthermore, the visits they get from volunteers

are often the only social interactions they have all week. “It’s

hard to see this need, but it’s a rewarding experience,” says

Dimlich. “The elderly can’t just decide one day to put on a

smile and make that day the day to change their lives. It’s

just not that simple for them. That’s where we can provide

assistance; where we can give them hope.”

Directing an organization such as this takes time, talent,

skilled direction and plenty of volunteers. There are daily

opportunities to be the hands and feet of The Friendship

Center, as well as an ongoing need for funding and donations.

The Friendship Center has been “Enriching the Lives of Senior

Adults” for 40 years now, and will continue to do so for years

to come thanks to those who give and are committed to their

cause, but not without community involvement.

The Friendship Center has a perpetual waiting list

for seniors who need care, but many are not able to be

supported by the center due to limited funds. With the Baby

Boomer generation approaching their 60’s and 70’s, the

current challenge will grow rapidly with an expected 65,000

adults over the age of 65 right here in Montgomery County

by the year 2015. The Friendship Center, however, is ready

and willing to take it on with your help.



On The Friendship Center, how to volunteer or to

locate a community center, visit

16 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 16

1/28/2014 1:23:43 PM


In support of MD Anderson Cancer Center and to

celebrate its fifth anniversary in The Woodlands, Cos

Bar at Market Street will donate five percent of sales during

the months of January and February to the Center.

Cos Bar offers the most exclusive line of designer

cosmetics, luxury skin care, and elegant fragrances, many of

which are only available in Houston’s Galleria area. The store

is located at 9595 Six Pines Drive, between Uni Sushi and

SOHO, near Cinemark Theaters.

The funds are given to the MD Anderson Regional Care

Center - The Woodlands located on the St. Luke’s The

Woodlands Hospital campus to help offset the expenses

of patients undergoing cancer treatment. Dr. Pamela

Schlembach, Associate Professor at the University of Texas

MD Anderson and member of the department of Radiation

Oncologist with MD Anderson Care Center - The Woodlands,

will work directly with the social service department to help

identify which patients that would benefit from these funds

to offset the expenses they incur such as gas, hotel costs,

caregiver and childcare services, and prescriptions.

“Cos Bar’s founder, Lily Garfield, serves on the Board

of Visitors for MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is an

appointive board of volunteers dedicated to advancing the

Center’s initiatives, so this organization is very near and

dear to our hearts,” said Colleen Clooney, Manager of Cos

Bar at Market Street - The Woodlands. “We encourage the

community to shop with us throughout January and February

to discover the new colors and products for 2014 while at the

same time help us support a great cause.”

Cos Bar at Market Street - The Woodlands is open Monday

through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from

noon to 6 p.m. The assistant store manager, Emma Brooks, is

fluent in both Spanish and English. Make-up lessons, private

parties, facial services, special event makeovers, and speaking

engagements are also available.



About Cos Bar at Market Street - The Woodlands,

please call (281) 419-2269 or visit


arr. ad

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 17

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 17

1/28/2014 1:23:47 PM

Ricardo Trevino crossing

the finish line

something to smile about

local athlete rasies money for smile train


A 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a

26.2-mile run would be hard on anyone, but even more so

for someone with a torn meniscus. Despite recovering from

surgery to repair this injury, Ricardo Trevino recently competed

in a Half Ironman endurance competition to benefit a worthy


Trevino and other members of “Team Empower” competed

in the Tempe Ironman to raise a minimum of $5,000 for Smile

Train. Founded in 1999, the charitable organization provides

surgical correction for cleft lips and palates in the United

States and underdeveloped countries. With a staff of just 63

people, the organization has trained doctors in more than 80

countries and has completed nearly one million successful

surgeries. Having been exposed to Smile Train when training

for the Ironman began, Trevino researched the organization

and was impressed with its global presence and nearly one

million successful operations completed during the past 14


“The cost for one surgery is $250,” said Trevino. “When

I would share that with people, it was easy for them to

understand. For the cost of what many of us spend in

one shopping trip, the life of someone can be changed so

dramatically for the better. Trevino ended up raising almost

$16,000 on his own, and as Team Empower raised more

$415,000. “That’s a lot of surgeries!” he added.

An IT Director at Medco, a family owned medical supply

company based in Houston, Trevino trained an average of 15-

20 hours per week to prepare for the competition. His goal:

simply to finish. In the end, he exceeded those expectations

and finished the entire competition with a time of 13:57.

“That’s exceptional in my mind,” he commented. “This was my

first Ironman so I really didn’t want to set a specific time goal,

especially just having surgery a few months ago. I’ll definitely

be doing another in two years.”

With a slight tear to his meniscus, Trevino still competed

in a May 2013 Half Ironman competition in Galveston. Before

he could take his efforts to the next level, however, he knew

this would have to be repaired before taking his efforts to the

next level as the injury become worse. After undergoing knee

surgery on July 17, 2013, he was determined to continue life

as normal and adapted his training and prepared to compete

in his first full Ironman competition in Tempe. To train for

the grueling competition, he took full advantage of the many

activities available in The Woodlands for outdoor training

and exercise.

“Dana Lyons has a team that he trains,” Trevino said,

“and he allowed me to go out and swim with them once

a week for practice. Bike Lane in The Woodlands were a

great support too in providing me with sound advice when

I started that phase of training.” Trevino’s wife, children and

five grandchildren supported him at every leg of the journey.

An Ironman competition in and of itself is not for the

faint of heart and Trevino recommends talking to those

who’ve competed. “The execution of training and diet is key

to succeeding,” he said. “This isn’t a marathon or 5k, it’s an

endurance race and that takes a plan. Whatever your reason,

just keep that in mind with every step you take, mile you bike

or stroke you swim.”

The adrenaline rush, sense of accomplishment of

completing something one never thought they could are all

reasons why athletes train and compete each day. Trevino

and the rest of Team Empower had more on the line than just

bragging rights – they competed with 74 other team members

to benefit Smile Train. And that gives you something to smile




On this humanitarian organization visit

18 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 18

1/28/2014 1:23:49 PM

changing lives IN

montgomery county

coat of many colors ministries

By Amanda Hensley

While serving as a pastor in the small community

of Dobbin, TX in 1995, Dr. Michael Hayes realized

a burning desire to broaden his impact on the community.

As he visited with volunteers and program participants at

the church’s food pantry, he encountered an overwhelming

common sentiment to also provide education and

employment assistance. In 2001, with much hard work and

thorough planning, Coat of Many Colors Ministries was


For the next nine years, Coat of Many Colors Ministries

operated out of the church. As the ministry grew, so did

Dr. Hayes’ desire to help more people. Making the difficult

decision to step down from his position as pastor, he began

to focus solely on Coat of Many Colors Ministries and in 2011,

they were blessed with an opportunity to move into their

current location in the Lonestar Community Building.

Today, the Coat of Many Colors Ministries supports the

community in numerous areas. On the second and fourth

Wednesday of each month, January through October, their

food bank is open from 10am-5pm to serve those in need. In

November and December, they operate only on the second

Wednesday of the month. They have steadily seen an increase

in response and served 73 families this past November, which

equates to over 410 people who were helped.

“I’m a firm believer that you have a passion in life, and my

passion is helping people. When I can see the impact I’ve been

able to make in people’s lives through services we provide, it’s

the motivation that keeps me going.”

-Dr. Micheal Hayes

Working with the Montgomery County Homeless

Coalition, Coat of Many Color Ministries works to reduce

homelessness in our community. “One of the most

memorable clients I’ve worked with was a gentleman two

years ago who came to us homeless,” says Hayes. “After

going through our program, we were able to help him gain

employment through the City of Conroe Parks Department,

and he is no longer homeless.”

The Coat of Many Colors Ministries strives to help people

gain independence by reducing or eliminating their need for

government assistance while empowering them to become

productive citizens in the community once again. “We try to

route people in a direction where they have a passion and



Hayes. “For

example, the

gentleman I


before had

experience in

the trucking industry, but he expressed that he wanted to do

something where he could be outside, so we started training

in that direction.”

Along with assistance in searching for employment, the

ministry offers vocational training, business, employment and

computer basics workshops, resume and interviewing skills

and even personalized business counseling to help some of

their clients start businesses of their own. They have helped

50-60 people in each class to date. Chase bank has even

begun providing financial training and assistance for those

who have developed poor financial habits in the past; a way

to help get people reestablished with a bank account and

begin building credit once again.

Hayes commented, “I’m a firm believer that you have

a passion in life, and my passion is helping people. When

I can see the impact I’ve been able to make in people’s lives

through services we provide, it’s the motivation that keeps

me going.”

While the Coat of Many Colors Ministries is growing,

with growth comes needs. Hayes mentioned that their needs

are mostly with funding and non-perishable food donations

for their pantry. There are even volunteer opportunities

for anyone willing to donate their time or services to help

their neighbors in Montgomery County. April Sound Church

and Lonestar Cowboy Church have been key proponents in

donating funds, food items and sending volunteers, but there

are always new needs to be met. “We hope to have land

and a free standing building of our own one day, and would

love to be able to compensate some of our full-time service

people for their time and talents,” says Hayes. “These are all

the visions we see for the future so we can do more for those

in need.”



On the Coat of Many Colors Ministries and how to

donate and volunteer visit

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 19

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 19

1/28/2014 1:23:50 PM


offers genius in training program

Kidville The Woodlands offers 'Genius in Training'

program, working with kids outside the box

The play-centric learning center for young children is

embracing imagination and make-believe in its new Creative

Drama classes for 3 to 6 year olds. Debuting in the upcoming

semester that begins January 13, the class will run Tuesday

mid-morning, as well as Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in

the afternoon.

Participating students will spend 45 minutes letting

their imaginations soar as they explore familiar stories

through pantomime, games, creative movement, imagery

and improvisation. Taught by Kidville owner and theaterarts

educated Karen Roberts, the class will encourage

independent thought, cooperation between students, and

problem solving.

"The movers and shakers of this world are the creative

thinkers," Roberts says. "They're the problem solvers, the

ones who come up with the new ideas. This is why I refer to

this class as our 'Genius in Training' program because children

are learning at a very young age to think outside the box."

While the rigors of elementary education and increased

testing in education have forced children to exhibit proficiency

at reading and writing at younger ages, imagination and

creativity serve vital roles in child development and

intellectual advancement.

"Experiences in problem solving help children develop

curiosity and patience, along with thinking skills such as

flexibility, and understanding of cause and effect. They learn

to work toward achieving a goal, and gain confidence in their

ability to reach a solution," according to research from the

National Association for the Education of Young Children.

"Parents who have tired of the current trend of helicoptering

over their children will be relieved to let them use their

imaginations and learn valuable lessons that will serve them

well into adulthood."

The Creative Drama class is all about guided discovery.

Roberts will take a familiar poem like Little Miss Muffet

and ask the children to play the role of spiders and share

their opinions on the taste of her porridge or the comfort

of her tuffet. The Three Little Pigs will afford children the

opportunity to demonstrate their own version of a wolf in

a safe, nurturing environment where they can explore with

gentle guidance.

"Three plus three equals six, but how your pig talks is up

to you. We look at problems and find different ways to solve

them," Roberts explains. "We are not looking for an answer,

we are looking at the possibilities."

Kidville The Woodlands is located at

4747 Research Forest Drive and can be reached by calling

281.651.5403 or by going to

20 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 20

1/28/2014 1:23:51 PM

twdc supports

habitat for


The Woodlands Development Company (TWDC), a

wholly-owned subsidiary of The Howard Hughes

Corporation recently presented a $12,200 donation to

Habitat for Humanity-Montgomery County, one of the

beneficiaries of the Company’s 2012 Holiday Countdown

promotion. The promotion involved new home buyers who

signed contracts between November 1 and December 31, 2012.

A total of 122 new home sales closed during 2013 as a result

of the promotion. TWDC donated $100 for each sale in The

Woodlands to Habitat for Humanity-Montgomery County.

Bridgeland, another top-selling master planned

community developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation,

also participated in the promotion and donated $5,600 to

Habitat for Humanity – Northwest Harris County, bringing the

total donation by TWDC to $17,800.

Pictured Left to Right: Jeanne Toth, Eric Hird, Patricia Brown,

Kimberly Lacayo, Larry Abston, Ron Brandt, Tim Welbes,

Barbara Smith, Russ Palmore, Calleen McFerren,

Susan Vreeland-Wendt, & Lorrie Parise.

“Habitat for Humanity is one of the most respected nonprofit

organizations in the country, and we are happy to help

hard-working families in need make their dream of home

ownership a reality,” said Tim Welbes, Co-President of TWDC.

Habitat’s mission is to eliminate poverty housing by

building decent, affordable homes in partnership with hardworking

local families in need. Since its inception in 1989,

Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County has built more

than 90 homes, including more than 30 homes in the 37-acre

Cedar Creek neighborhood. Habitat for Humanity Northwest

Harris County has built more than 160 homes, providing

housing for more than 700 people.



Contact Susan Vreeland-Wendt at the TWDC by

calling (281) 719-6174.


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onthetown 21

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 21

1/28/2014 1:23:54 PM

qualified mortgages start in 2014!

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer

Protection Act was signed in to law on July 21, 2010. Part

of the Dodd-Frank Act is called the Ability-to-Repay (ATR)

requirements for Qualified Mortgage (QM) loans. These

requirements go in to effect on January 10, 2014. Lenders

will now have to make sure the loans they lend adhere to the

QM rules as well as the ATP requirements of the Dodd-Frank

Act. Lenders are motivated to lend “qualified mortgages” to

consumers to gain safe harbor from potential future lawsuits

when a borrower’s ability to repay their loan may change

So, what does this mean for real estate professionals

and current/future homeowners? The bottom-line is that

underwriting standards and loan structures will get a little

more restrictive.

Lenders must make a reasonable, good-faith

determination before a consumer closes on a new mortgage

that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the

loan. In total, there are 8 underwriting factors that must be

considered when determining a consumer’s ability to repay

their loan. A few examples of these underwriting factors are

the following: 1) Current or reasonably expected income

or assets that the consumer will have to repay the loan 2)

Current employment status 3) Fully amortized mortgage

payment for the consumer’s potential mortgage including

taxes, insurance, HOA dues, etc. 4) Credit history and 5) All

other monthly debts, alimony, child-support, etc. (It is my

opinion that our industry has been analyzing these factors

for years so it doesn’t change the “normal” underwriting

process in most cases).

An example of a situation that might limit a consumer’s

ability to get qualified is when the consumer wants to take

advantage of an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). The new

ATR rule will require that the lender qualify the consumer

on the highest possible rate within the first 5 years of the

mortgage. In some cases this could potentially be 4-6%

higher than the initial start rate and the consumer would not

qualify for their desired loan amount.

One of the most concerning requirements of QM loans

to most is a total debt-ratio limit of 43% for the consumer.

This includes all of their debts, including the new housing

obligation. It is important to note that this is for private QM

loans. If the loan the consumer is getting qualified for is an

agency loan (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), VA, FHA or USDA

22 onthetown

that debt ratio limit can be exceeded with an automated

approval from the agency’s automated underwriting system.

This leaves MANY of the “normal” loan solutions open to the

same pool of consumers that were available before this rule

went in to affect.

For a loan to be a qualified mortgage, it cannot typically

contain any features that are considered risky in nature. This

means that loans with interest-only payments or negative

amortization will not be readily available after this rule goes

in to affect. If a lender were to extend one of these types

of loans to a consumer, they would have no safe harbor

protection. QM loans may also not be considered “high

priced” to have safe harbor and comply with the ATP rule.

For example, for a first-lien mortgage, the consumer’s annual

percentage rate (APR) cannot be more than 1.5% over the

Average Prime Offer Rate (APOR) on the day their loan was


One final aspect of the Ability-To-Repay rule and

qualified mortgages are the lender fee caps that have

been put in place. These fee caps were designed to limit

the amount of fees that a consumer can pay for their new

mortgage. For loan amounts above $100,000, the total loan

fees are capped at 3% of the loan amount. For loan amounts

below $100,000 the fee caps are on a sliding scale relative

to the loan amount.

In 2014 it will continue to be important for realtors

and consumers to work with a residential mortgage loan

originator they can trust. It will also be interesting to see

what loan products evolve later in the year for the “non-

QM” mortgages. Many in the industry feel this may prompt a

new beginning for private, alternative lending solutions. We

at Crystal Clear Mortgage are personally going to remain

optimistic and adjust to the ever-changing regulations in

our industry as everyone has had to do over the last decade.

We will continue to offer the best mortgage solutions and

customer service to our customers within the new regulations!

Brian Ward

Crystal Clear Mortgage


Bryan has been in the mortgage industry since

2002. He co-founded Crystal Clear Mortgage, LLC

with Adam Simmons in 2008. Crystal Clear Mortgage

is a mortgage brokerage company offering

Conventional / FHA / VA / USDA loan solutions

throughout the State of Texas. Bryan currently lives

in Montgomery, TX with his wife of 9 years and his

two children.

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 22

1/28/2014 1:23:57 PM

“We are here to help.”



Our goal at Crystal Clear Mortgage

is to make the loan process as simple and worry-free as possible.

We pride ourselves in offering the highest level of customer service, and appreciate the opportunity

to earn your business. Whether you want to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage,

Crystal Clear Mortgage is here to help every step of the way. Whether you live in The Woodlands,

Lake Conroe, or anywhere in Texas, by putting you first, we assure you a pleasurable transaction.

“Why choose Crystal Clear Mortgage?”

1 We have and always will be PURCHASE

LOAN specialists. 80% of our business over

the last 5 years has been dedicated towards

financing home buyers. This is extremely

important as rising rates are pushing refinance

specialists into the purchase loan arena. Not

doing business with a proven purchase loan

specialist could result in delayed closings.

2 You get to do business with the owners.

That means we truly have a vested interest in

seeing your loan close on time and the terms

exactly as promised.

We specialize in:

Conventional loans (did you know you can

do a conventional loan with a 3% down


100% USDA loans

100% VA loans

FHA/Home Path/Foreclosures & Short Sales

3 AMAZING RATES! Doing business directly with

the owners means you get the best rates available.

Unlike most companies, we do not have commissions

for loan officers, branch managers, or processors

built into our rates to drive them higher. The rate you

get is the rate you get!

4 We are both broker and a banker. This means

we have twice the number of loan products and

solutions as other lenders.

If you are already working with a lender you were

referred to, let us keep them honest. We don’t

even need to see their Good Faith Estimate.

We will just send you ours. You will be impressed!

15320 Hwy 105 West, Suite 206 • Montgomery, TX 77356

Office: 936.447.5626 • Fax: 936.588.5002

Toll Free: 888-634-6911

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 23

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 23

1/28/2014 1:23:58 PM

project: safe id

Reuniting lost children & Protecting our nation's elderly


When Brad Schlerf, CEO and creator of Verify ID,

decided to retire from law enforcement after

more than twenty years of service, he wanted to continue

to benefit the community in some way. He spent his time as

an officer on the forefront of computer forensics, evidence

pertaining to technology and gang intelligence, and even

helped to develop the program we now know as D.A.R.E.

(Drug Abuse Resistance Education).

After gaining much experience and expertise in computers,

he created Verify ID, a product that’s now widely used by

small businesses for customer service. The concept takes

the age old idea of a medical bracelet and upgrades it for the

future, which is now. For small business use in any industry

that requires technicians, servicemen or employees to visit a

client’s home or place of business, these revolutionary ID’s

can be used to establish a client-business relationship and

factor of trust from the very first scheduled appointment.

Say an air conditioning company had Verify IDs

made for every technician employed. When a client

calls to schedule an appointment, they receive an

email containing their technician’s name, photo and

information that the company has disclosed on

their profile ahead of time (certifications,

hobbies, etc.)

The client can then verify the

technician’s ID when they arrive at their

home with the badge, which contains

the technician’s photo, name and a QR

code that can be scanned. In an office

environment, VerifyID bracelets, another tag

option, can be used for employee identification

by connecting pertinent emergency contact

or medical information supplied with their

personalized QR code. Some companies have

chosen to list biographies, licenses, social media and

website links, contact information and even videos or images,

all at your fingertips by simply scanning their ID. The beauty

of this product is that it’s all completely customizable. “You

tell us what you want included and I’ll tell you, ‘Sure!’ says


While Schlerf was excited about the Verify ID project,

there was still something more he felt like he could be doing.

Giving back to the community he served for so long, even if

he wasn’t in law enforcement any longer, has always been

his main focus. Schlerf said, “There are over 800,000 children

reported missing every year, and of those over 85% are just

kids who are lost, non-criminal in nature. Those are the ones

we’re focusing on.”

In January, he and his company decided to take the ID

concept to the next level and launched Project Safe ID, a

revolutionary concept that merges the Verify ID product with

the situation that every parent dreads; your child missing. For

a mere $20 a year, you can enroll your child in this program

and receive three tags, choosing from five different styles,

with your child’s picture, first name only and a personalized

QR code.

When their code is scanned, there’s an option to direct

dial Mom and/or Dad, other emergency contacts, emergency

medical information, such as food allergies, and more. Just

like the Verify ID’s, these are 100% customizable for your child,

and are ideal for situations where your special-needs child is

lost, an emergency occurs and they’re unresponsive, or

just too scared to articulate answers to questions

being asked of them.

With the age of smart-phones and other

mobile devices, almost anyone within walking

distance of your child can be of assistance

in the event that they’re separated from

you, emergency respondents included.

There’s even a way for parents to access

their account and flag their child as a

documented missing child, ensuring that if

their ID is scanned, it will pop up with an

extra alert.

It’s important to note that a child’s

information will never be listed in their

database until a personalized ID number

has been created.

Even more, there’s a line of Project

Safe ID for seniors and pets. “We’ve spent

thousands [of dollars] working on this project, but

that’s not the point. Every child, senior citizen and pet that’s

returned home safely, or gets medical attention they need

quickly is what makes it all worth it,” says Schlerf. “That’s why

this is a completely not-for-profit project.” These are perfect

for medical institutions, veterinary offices, or even entire

school districts to use as their campus ID’s. It’s just about

getting the word out there now.



Contact Project Safe ID by visiting

24 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 24

1/28/2014 1:24:00 PM

2014 housing trends



Good News! According to the

Urban Land Institute, Houston has been

ranked #2 as the real estate market

to watch in 2014. So what is driving

this and what can we expect for real

estate trends in 2014 in Houston and

surrounding areas?

One of the biggest markets that

real estate investors watch is where

the Millennial Generation is moving.

They are expected to continue heading

to second-tier cities such as Austin,

Portland & Dallas over traditional cities

like New York City and San Francisco.

These second-tier cities tend to have

more housing deals making prospects

for real estate investors more attracted

to cities such as San Jose, Miami and

Houston. The real estate recovery

always hinges on job growth. Texas

continues to have consistent growth

while other states face continuing


During the recent recession

there were noticeable demands

for apartments, this was due to

homeowners who turned renters.

This created a surge in multi-family

developments, perhaps maybe even

some over building occurred, which

would lead to a slow-down of new

multi-family construction.

Another area of housing that is

expected to be slower than normal is

condo development. With the recovery

of the condominium market and the

over development of apartments,

we may see some rental apartment

properties switching to condos in the

next 12-16 months. These properties

also accommodate the continued

demand for urban development.

The increased interest in urban over

suburban developments are expected

to continue in most cities where

amenities and public transportation are


It is predicted that 2014 will be the

last year that low inventory will aid

sellers and allow for increased pricing to

slow down. Within some hot real estate

markets like Houston, the distressed

property inventory has been drying

up allowing sellers to squeeze eager

investors and buyers for better profits.

In 2013 there was a sense of urgency

from buyers and investors trying to

take advantage of low mortgage rates

and affordable housing. With the

limited housing availability, many areas

experienced double-digit increases in

home prices, however this is expected

to correct itself in 2014 with most

markets only rising 3-6 percent in 2014.

service solutions








Tina Clarke



Tina Clarke is the Global Mobility Director with

CHSRS corporate housing solutions. With over

20 years of sales leadership, customer service

and marketing experience she is focused

on strengthening hte CHSRS brand both domestically

and globally by insuring the success

and satisfaction of her clients. She can be

reached at (713) 204-2300 or

Be seen. Be heard.


onthetown 25

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 25

1/28/2014 1:24:02 PM






As an Expen$e

or an Investment?

Your answer to this question could very

well be the key to your business growth or

the reason for your revenue decline.

In my previous 2 articles I have discussed the importance

of possessing the correct mindset and being intentional with

our decisions. The development of these characteristics is

the foundation to creating systems in your business that

make your marketing dollars work for you.

If you view marketing for your business as an expense,

think about your expectation of the results. You are telling

yourself that you are spending money, not investing it. On

the other hand, if you truly believe that every $1 you invest

in a marketing vehicle will return more than that original

$1 invested then you understand what marketing truly is. A

business investment!

So how do you create a marketing plan that turns the

dollars you spend into an investment?

Set a marketing budget!

How much would you be willing to invest if you knew

that every $1 spent on marketing would provide $5 back to

your business? Most of you would invest every available

dollar! You do not have to have $5,000 to invest in marketing.

26 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 26

1/28/2014 1:24:03 PM

I know of several marketing vehicles that are less than $100

per month that have high returns. What I also know is that

when I ask business owners to show me how much they

have planned to invest in marketing this month, the answer

is ZERO! If you invest Zero then you should expect to get

that back. Decide how much you can invest and then create

your plan.

Identify your target market!

Who are your best clients? Write down what qualities

they have and why they are your best clients. What service or

product appeals the most to them? What demographics or

industries are they in? Get specific. Once you figure out who

(customer) you specifically want, it is much easier to create

marketing pieces, letters, emails or any type of advertising

that speaks directly to your target market.

Create a powerful offer

Why should someone buy your product or services? Any

business that lives on price will end up dying on price. Create

marketing that communicates what makes your business

unique. At ActionCOACH we call it a U.S.P. (unique selling

proposition). Add a valuable guarantee and now you have an

offer that will get your TARGET MARKET’S attention.

Test and Measure your marketing

If you were asked to invest dollars on a company’s stock

but would not be provided with any information on how the

investment was performing, would you do it? Obviously not!

You are investing marketing dollars so you must train your

team to ask about each new inquiry/sale and record that

information. Track this data weekly so you can calculate

the ROI (return on investment). This applies to your website

traffic as well!

As a business owner coach I take the mystery out of

business processes that include how to grow your business

through marketing. I am an educational resource and

accountability partner that stretches you and your team to

achieve results you have not been able to by doing it on your

own. Reach out to us if you would like for us to critique your

current marketing plan.


Bob Keplinger

Action Coach

Bob Keplinger is a people, sales and operations specialist.

He is consistently asked to lead businesses

that are in need of a positive change. He has a fantastic

record of creating an energized, engaged

environment in which his divisions produced record

revenues while simultaneously improving bottom

line profits to the organization.

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 27

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 27

1/28/2014 1:24:05 PM

on the grid




Content marketing, a buzz word heard in seminar after seminar, seen across internet sources and

saturating the news and social media channels, was a big deal in 2013. In 2014, it is no surprise that

it will be even bigger.

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating

and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire,

and engage a clearly defined and understood target

audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer

action” (

To put it in terms we understand well as consumers ourselves:

We WILL ignore advertisement that is not relevant.

We WILL fast forward through commercials on previously

recorded tv shows. We WILL NOT click on links unless accompanied

by information that attracts and engages our attention.

Sounds scary for advertisers, right? Maybe not and

here’s why. If you are in business, you have a product or service

that is relevant, interesting and desirable to consumers

and clients. Your goal IS to drive profitable customer action

– getting your customers to find value in your product or

services and to make an investment profitable for you both.

Content marketing brings customer interaction online, potentially

reaching more of your target audience in less time.

Now, THAT can become very profitable!

6 HOT TIPS for online marketing in 2014:

1. Effective content marketing will be more consumer-focused.

Find out who your niche audience is and cater your

content to that specific group.

2. Social Media will become less about popularity and more

about attracting the right people and providing them with the

experience they are seeking. You do have to join every social

network, not even all of the major ones. Find out where your

audience “hangs out” and invest your time there.

3. HYPE is OUT. Instead, use simple and genuine messages.

Search engines are making a huge effort to produce relevant

results, weeding out anything that sounds like SPAM. Why?

Because that is what the CONSUMER wants. If they find what

they are looking for on your site, they are more likely to con

vert, which in the long run is what will make you profitable.

SPAM is a waste of time, money and reputation.

4. Mobile devices are on the rise. Effective content marketing

will be mobile-device friendly, yet still preserve the full-site

user experience. If users cannot access your content from

their mobile device, they will quickly move on to something

more accessible.

5. Be visually stimulating. Images, info graphics and videos

are not just for YouTube and Pinterest and go a long way in

attracting attention quickly. Use these things to pique interest

and then drive the traffic to a source of more information

such as a website or blog.

6. Speaking of blogs, they can be one of your very best tools

for conversion. When you write a blog entry that is relevant

and interesting, include an image and post it to your social

media page, the intrigued user clicks on the link to view the

entry – leading them to your website instead of just being a

page that someone liked because “they might find it valuable

one day.” No matter how big your fan club grows, if they are

not paying attention and engaging with you, they do nothing

for your business. A blog is also a great way to keep your

content fresh and new, which plays a part in boosting your

website’s ranking in search engines.

You already know that your business must be driven by

customer’s needs. Extend your customer service strategy to

include an online marketing plan that is consumer-focused

and begin to attract a loyal and relevant fan club. that continue

to come back and refer others, giving the term “word of

mouth” a powerful new meaning.

Whether you are just starting with a website or social

media or have been wandering through platforms trying to

make sense of them for some time, we can help. Consider

one of our free consultations, where we will assess your

needs and make recommendations tailored toward your specific

customer base.

Traci M. Huhn

Allymac Concepts


Traci Huhn is the owner and Creative Director of

Allymac Concepts, a local copywriting and design

company. With over 7 years of experience in web

design, marketing and graphic design, Traci and the

Allymac Concepts team is available to answer questions

pertaining to your business needs. Call

(936) 756-3201 or email

28 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 28

1/28/2014 1:24:07 PM




Happy 2014! Now that Auld Lang Syne has once more

been sung and an estimated 1 billion have watched the

Waterford Chrystal ball drop in New York’s Times Square,

many reflect nostalgically on the past and make personal

resolutions for the future. Most merely focus their New Year

resolutions towards physical improvement such as nutrition,

diet and exercise. Because of this, you can get a leg up by

concentrating on your career by giving your résumé a little

“lift and tuck” or perhaps a total body makeover by capturing

your success stories and accomplishments of the last 12

months while they are still fresh in your mind. Let's get your

résumé in shape with a few exercises.


• Begin by updating your personal information:

• Delete physical addresses as they are no longer used

as a way of communication while job searching and may

lead to identity theft from jobs posted on the internet.

• Remove any work or fax numbers. Check your cell

number to be sure it is current and accurate.

• Use a professional email address (i.e. annemariepark@ not


Ask yourself these questions:

• Have you attended any classes, workshops, or

professional training courses? Won any awards or

received certifications?

• During the last year, how did you save or make the

company money? Improve efficiency?

• What new software applications or programs did you


• Have you worked on any new projects?

• Did you receive a promotion or other commendation?

Now add these things to your résumé.


PAR stands for Problem-Action-Result. PAR statements

take advantage of using numbers, dollar figures and

percentages to tell a business story – in this case YOUR story.

It’s a known fact that using PAR statements to illustrate the

impact you have made in your career will yield a greater

impression by proving what you have accomplished in the

past therefore signifying what you can bring to the table in

the future.

Here’s how it works:

Problem: What problem have you solved this year?

Action: What action did you take to resolve the problem?

Result: What was the result of your action?

Now create a sentence that quantifies your statements

with percentages, money saved or time saved. Example PAR

statement used by a Website Designer:

“Designed new Flash web site based on competitive

market evaluations and client needs, resulting in a 70%

increase in web site traffic and 55% profit margin for the


Anyone can take advantage of PAR statements… from a

position in the mailroom to the CEO of the company!



Revamp your résumé by replacing the outdated Objective

Statement at the top of your résumé with a Qualifications

Summary. A well-written Qualifications Summary should

showcase and highlight your top accomplishments and

achievements. To do this, ask yourself what have you done

career-wise that you are most proud of. Add the top 4 – 6 of

these things to your Qualifications Summary in bullet form

directly under your name and contact information using PAR



1. Create a hyperlink in your electronic résumé to your

email address in your contact information.

2. Create live links to your professional websites, online

resumes and career profiles such as LinkedIn.

3. Speaking of which, don’t forget to update all other

career tools such as LinkedIn and any online resumes or

professional websites you’ve created with your new résumé


Even if you own your own business or are not presently

looking for employment, keeping this information up-to-date

will make sure you are at your professional best at all times.

Mariann Seigert Levin

Omega Enterprises


Mariann Siegert Levin is President of Omega Enterprises

specializing in helping non-profits and businesses

succeed through educational seminars, consulting

and marketing services. She is a Local Area

Expert for Constant Contact in Social Media Marketing

and Email Marketing. She is also the author

of Hired! eWorkshop (available through Amazon).

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 29

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 29

1/28/2014 1:24:08 PM

Russell Miller

weathering the test of time

fairweather group


Experience, quality and honesty empower the Fairweather

Group to excel at building what its clients desire.

Beginning as a company that conducted only repairs on

service stations, Fairweather Group grew into an all-inclusive

construction firm specializing in building and repairing service

stations. In an effort to streamline the company, owner

Russell Miller sold the service repair side of the business in

1985 and to focus solely upon construction. After completing

the Dobbin Community Center, the company found greater

exposure resulting in more opportunities and contracts. It

was during this time Fairweather Group began doing work

for Montgomery County and expanding to other projects and

organizations seeking quality construction services.

" I enjoy driving by a project 10 to 15 years later and see it's

still there and still looks good."

-Russell Miller

Fairweather Group prides itself upon providing quality

work within a client’s budget, and delivering it within a

reasonable time-frame. “The market in Montgomery County

has diminished in terms of profitability,” commented Russell

Miller. “A client’s choice is no longer always based on

craftsmanship or character anymore, but rather who has the

lowest number. That’s a reality in today’s market, but not what

we stand for.” The group’s almost 30 years of experience

allows it to take on a diverse selection of project types with

confidence and skill.

Transforming an old mechanic’s shop into a first class

facility for the Montgomery County Forensics Center and

morgue is one of the Fairweather Group’s latest projects.

“It was a challenge for us to be out of our comfort zone,”

Miller said, “but we gladly learned as much as we could about

the forensics industry so that anyone could walk into that

building after we were done and feel like it was built just for

them. Since 1996, the company has played an integral role

in revitalizing the dilapidated buildings of Historic Downtown

Conroe. “I enjoy driving by a project 10 to 15 years later and

see it’s still there and still looks good,” Miller added.

Watching his father run a successful business, Miller

says, is what laid the foundation for him to be effective in

establishing Fairweather Group and maintaining its success.

“Some of the greatest modern day businesses are those that

embrace a family tradition and continue it for generations

to come,” Miller said. “My wife, family, great employees and

great customers are what make my job enjoyable every day

and I’m very thankful.”

For a project that will stand the test of time, the

Fairweather Group can help.



Or a project bid visit

or call 936-756-6446.

30 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 30

1/28/2014 1:24:13 PM

Mayor Pro Tem Guy Martin, Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz , Outfielder Robby Grossman,

Outfielder L.J. Hoes, Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Elias & Radio Broadcaster

Robert Ford.

astros raise a

flag in conroe

It was a chilly morning, but not cold enough to keep

Montgomery County Astros fans away from seeing a few of

the 2014 players up close and personal.

On January 22, 2014, the Astros Caravan made a stop at

the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce

for a special flag raising ceremony. Mike Elias, the Director

of Amateur Scouting for the Astros Organization, spoke to

the crowd of what the organziation is doing to improve their

line up. "It's always very encouraging to hear fans that are

following what we're doing as an organization," commented

Elias. Both Robert Ford, Radio Broadcaster for the Astros,

and Elias spoke of the direction the team is headed for 2014.

"We're excited to see the Astros grow and improve with the

new talent that's coming up through the local farm teams

now. We've got great prospects for this next season and

going forward," stated Elias. "That's the whole purpose of our

tour, is to get people excited again about Houston Baseball."

Mayor Pro Tem Guy Martin welcomed the crowd with

excitement as a long Time Colt 45/Astros fan, and with

anticipation for this next season.

The Astros flag was raised by Martin and Chamber

President, Scott Harper. Martin closed with "We're Conroe.

We're 40 miles North [of Houston]. The Astros is our team."

Fairweather Group is an elite general contracting firm that well suits

the needs of your project. Our commitment to the community and its

development is the driving force behind our organization.

The firm is fully bonded and insured, making your project more

worry-free. Our reputation for service is impeccable, and our list of

service capabilities includes:

•Design Build

•Construction Management

•Office/Warehouse Construction

•Historic Preservation

•Municipal Buildings

•Metal Buildings

For over a decade, Fairweather Group has been producing high quality

construction projects throughout Southeast Texas. One reason why our

buildings stand the test of time is because of the Fairweather people

who build them.


Premium Quality Construction Services

Quality Service, Quality Results

333 N Rivershire Dr., Suite 200

Conroe, TX 77304

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 31

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 31

1/28/2014 1:24:18 PM

Bob Keplinger


The Right Way/ActionCOACH


Looking to take your business to the next level and beyond? It’s all a matter of

having the right coach, and Bob Keplinger of The Right Way Group knows he is the

man for the job.

A franchise of the world-renowned Australian

entrepreneur Bradley J. Sugars, The Right Way Group LLC

dba/ActionCOACH of N. Houston considers themselves

“business accelerators. Its members educate entrepreneurs

and owners on the fundamentals of operating a business

with the group’s a proprietary “Five Ways” methodology. This

unique approach serves as a platform that allows owners to

transcend their investment from a “job” they’ve created for

themselves into a thriving, successful business that is able

to operate with them, if need be. In the thriving business

community that The Woodlands has become, The Right Way

Group’s services have definitely found a home!

The origins of ActionCOACH are rather humble indeed

– the business started in the back bedroom of a suburban

home owned by Bradley J. Sugars back in 1993. “He started

his business by teaching other business owners how to grow

their sales and marketing results,” explained Bob Keplinger.

“The success of ActionCOACH is attributed to the fact that

Brad applies the strategies each coach uses with business

owners.” Since then, Keplinger says Sugars’ company has

coaches across the globe, and is ranked as one of the Top 25

Fastest Growing Franchises on the planet as well as the No.

1 Business Consulting Franchise.

An ActionCOACH franchise, The Right Way Group

coaches business owners to effectively take control of

their enterprises and turn them into successful, profitable

businesses. This, Keplinger says, can be a tough job at times.

“A coach is also an unreasonable friend,” he added. “Most

business owners do not have a mentor that has their best

interests in mind but who will also be brutally honest. We all

32 onthetown

need accountability and motivation in our lives, which is why

our coaches push their clients to achieve the best possible

results they can deliver. Our coaches have accountability

through the fact that we guarantee our results.”

The Right Way Group teaches business owners how to

set realistic goals and urges them to stay present and achieve

their dreams one day at a time. “Every day I meet people who

are so focused on the future that they cannot see all the

opportunity today brings,” Keplinger said. “We all have the

capability, and responsibility, to provide for our families and

community; but the only way to accomplish that is to take

advantage of the time we have been granted each day. When

we take advantage of each small opportunity, we create a

foundation of learning and team building that is rock solid

and incredibly powerful. As a result of this focus, Most of our

clients experience measureable improvements in the first 30

days after hiring us!”

Like the many businesspeople and organizations its

members coach, The Right Way Group’s long-term vision is

also based upon growth. “Our firm will grow into 15 coaches,”

Keplinger said, “and include service offerings for any size

business. Over the next few years, we believe we can create

more jobs in this area than the largest employer through our

education and motivation of business owners.”



About Action Coach of North Houston call at

(281) 602-8030 or visit

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 32

1/28/2014 1:24:23 PM



Pop Quiz Clock

Show off your love for all things

mathematical. Hang this clock on

your wall and test your ability to

solve for x while confusing all your

friends. $29.95 ///

USB Thermoelectric Warmer

and Cooler

A retro-stylin’ way to keep your

canned beverages chilled (or warm)

deskside. $29.99 ///

Cubelets - Modular Robotics

Construction Kit

Cublets robotic cubes snap together

to build a robot and its behavior!

$159.95 ///

The Dipr Cookie Spoon

Enjoy dunking your cookies in milk

at your desk without worrying about

the mess! The dipr spoon holds the

cookie by the cream and prevents

crumbling when dunked.

$5.95 ///

Dr. Who Disappearing Tardis Mug

Travel through time and watch the

magic unfold as the TARDIS appear

and disapper when you pour and

drink your morning coffee!


Be seen. Be heard.

Star Wars Character Cases

For iPhone 5

Turn your iPhone 5 or 5S into your

favorite Star Wars character!

$24.99 ///

onthetown 33

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 33

1/28/2014 1:24:26 PM

Brian Ward & Adam Simmons

crystal clear mortgage


Experience, communication and customer service,

these qualities and the trust they build is what

Crystal Clear Mortgage continues to offer area residents.

Based in Montgomery, Crystal Clear Mortgage specializes

in residential mortgage services such as home purchase

loans and home refinance loans for primary and secondary

homes as well as investment properties. While everyone on

“Team CCM” are experts at these services, the company prides

itself on the manner in which those services are delivered.

As its name implies, the company’s members strive to be an

open book during the loan process by offering open lines of

communication to all parties involved to keep the process

on track.

“There are no middlemen or multiple layers of management.

Our clients get to do business directly with the owners. This

allows us to provide our clients with the lowest possible

interest rates and fee structures for which they qualify.”

- Adam Simmons

Crystal Clear Mortgage was founded in 2008 when

experienced residential mortgage loan originators Adam

Simmons and Bryan Ward saw a better way to offer their

services. “We both were working for another residential

mortgage company,” said Simmons, “managing different

divisions. Those two divisions merged and Bryan and I

started working together. After a year, we decided we could

do it better from an internal standpoint and give clients a

much better customer service experience.” The two stepped

out on their own with Crystal Clear, which they based in

Montgomery, where the company’s owners have lived for

more than 10 years.

With Simmons and Ward at the helm of Crystal Clear,

clients get the benefit of their combined 22 years’ experience

in home loan origination. As a company, Simmons says

“old school customer service” is what makes Crystal Clear

Mortgage unique. “It’s embarrassing to say, but a lot of

mortgage lenders don’t know how to take care of the people

that take care of them,” he commented. “Our name, Crystal

Clear Mortgage, says it all. Every aspect of the loan process

is communicated so our customers and realtor partners don’t

have to call us for updates.” Simmons says CCM’s greatest

strength, however, is its dedicated staff, which includes

Sandra James and Lorrayne Middleton. “Both of these ladies

have proven themselves invaluable assets to the business,”

he added, “and they do a lot to increase our good reputation

in the community.” Between the two of them, Sandra and

Lorrayne have more than 20 combined years of mortgage

industry experience.

The experience and openness offered at Crystal

Clear benefits local residents in two ways. “There are no

middlemen or multiple layers of management,” Simmons

said, “our clients get to do business directly with the owners.

This allows us to provide our clients with the lowest possible

interest rates and fee structures for which they qualify.”

Because of Crystal Clear’s customer service, local realtors

who refer clients to the company often earn future referrals

from CCM’s customers. “As a realtor, referring a client to us is

an awesome responsibility,” Simmons added, “and we take it

very seriously.”

Looking forward, Crystal Clear Mortgage has a definite

vision for its future. “We are working with investors to deliver

a one-time close construction loan back to the market,”

Simmons explained. “We’re also looking to hire new loan

officers this year so we can expand our brick-and-mortar

presence into different communities.”



Call (936) 447-5626 or visit

34 onthetown

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my name is

2nd Annual Energy

Network Expo

April 3, 2014

The Woodlands

Waterway Marriott

Hotel & Convention Center

Greater Conroe Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce

Business Connect Seminar

February 6, 2014


The Chamber of Commerce

505 W. Davis St. Conroe, TX 77301

For more information contact:

Cassandra Roschen 936.756.6644

Greater Conroe Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce

Lunch & Learn Workshop Seminar - Bruce May of Bizperity

March 20, 2014


The Chamber of Commerce

505 W. Davis St. Conroe, TX 77301

For more information contact:

Cassandra Roschen 936.756.6644

MC Pros Montgomery County Professionals

Networking Luncheon every Tuesday

11:30m – 1:00pm

Wild Ginger

3061 I-45 Frontage Rd #100, Conroe, TX 77304

For more information contact:

Richard Martin Integrated Financial Resources: 281.799.1887 or

The Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce

Networking Breakfast

March 11, 2014

7:30am - 9:00am

Eden Cafe

33418 Egypt Ln, Magnolia, TX, 77354

For more information contact: Ashley Thompson 832.934.2300

The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce

Young Professional Networking Breakfast

February 19, 2014



1201 Lake Woodlands Dr, Ste 303 The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information contact: Cyndi Alvarado 281.363.8109 or


Woodlands Christian Business Network

Networking Breakfast every Wednesday



25619 I-45, Spring, TX 77380

Free & Open to the public.

WOAMTEC Magnolia

Meeting every 1st & 3rd Thursday


Unami Grill

6960 FM 1488 Rd #100 Magnolia, TX 77354

For more information contact: Tanya Lavoie 713.614.7187

WOAMTEC The Woodlands

Meeting every 1st & 3rd Wednesday


Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information contact: Kiki Koymarianos 727.244.2680


Meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday

11:30 am-1:00pm

Chocolate Passion

1520 N. Frazier St., Conroe, TX 77301

For more information contact: Sonja Barnes 281.364.6696

Women & Wine on Wednesday

Meeting every 3rd Wednesday @ various locations throughout

Montgomery County

11:30 am-1:00pm

March - Crescent moon Wine Bar & Restaurant

440 Rayford Rd, #115A, Spring, TX 77386

The Woodlands Chamber Golf Classic

March 24, 2014

10:00am Scramble Shotgun Start

The Woodlands Country Club Palmer Course

For more information contact: Ashley Byers, Director of Special

Events at 281.363.8110 or

Be seen. Be heard.

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serving customers from galveston to conroe since 1978


Exceeding the expectations of its customers by

treating them the way everybody expects to be

treated – this is the motto of Skelton Business Equipment.

The company was founded in 1978 by Randy Skelton,

who started the business purely out of necessity. A small

business with a focus on serving customers in the greater

Tomball/Magnolia area, Skelton Business Equipment built a

loyal customer base and enjoyed a solid reputation in the

community. On January 1, 1999, the business was purchased

by Jim Beyer who, with the help of his wife Barbie, has grown

Skelton Business Equipment into the full-service copier,

printer and scanner sales and leasing company it is today.

“Skelton Business Equipment offered the foundation I was

looking for,” said Jim, “and I knew we could grow it into a

multi-million dollar operation. Now, we service customers all

over the greater Houston area, from Galveston to Conroe.”

“We plan on providing the same great service to the greater

Houston area that we have been for the past 35 years...”

-Jim Beyer

Jim says he’s been asked many times why he decided to

keep the name Skelton Business Equipment and he always

gives the same answer. “The company name had a great

reputation,” he said, “so why make a change? Everyone knows

the name and how well we service our clients, including our

competitors. Even today, it’s hard to find someone who’s

unhappy with our services.” Jim added that the past 15 years

have been a rewarding experience for him, his wife and

everyone at Skelton Business Equipment. He’s especially

proud of his staff, most of who have been with the company

for more than ten years. “It’s more of us to keep up with the

continued growth!” Jim added.

While the folks at Skelton Business Equipment sell and

service copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines, they truly

pride themselves on the service they offer. They provide free

same-day or next-day delivery as well as free set-up. They

also offer remote network support for setting up printing/

scanning on new computers and fix connectivity issues. “Most

of us, including sales, service, and administrative employees,

have been here more than 10 years,” said Collin Grimes, IT

Manager/Sales. “You'll get the same name, voice and face

that you’ve always had. The benefits of having a long-term

business relationship speak for themselves.” Grimes added

that most of the company’s customers have been with

Skelton Business Equipment for 10 years or more.

Looking ahead isn’t hard to do for the folks at Skelton

Business Equipment because

the roadmap to their success

has been laid out long ago.

“We plan on providing the

same great service to the

greater Houston area that

we have been for the past 35

years,” Jim said. “We also plan

on expanding our horizons

with our website and online

availability. Our new business

comes mostly from wordof-mouth,

so we’re looking

forward to utilizing the latest

means to reach more clients.”



About Skelton Business Equipment call

(281) 351-5128 or visit

36 onthetown

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Ingredients of Outliers

by John Shufeldt

Dr. John Shufeldt is an unusual and productive

professional by any standard. He is a doctor and a lawyer

who has created several remarkably successful health care

companies and he continues to practice medicine, teach law,

and serve as an advisor to numerous organizations. He has

also conducted extensive research and analyzed what he

calls “the outliers” – and defined what makes extraordinary

people achieve their best performance.

His book, Ingredients of Outliers zeroes in what it

takes to make real difference. He has shared what he has

learned about that magical, mysterious, extra something that

unleashes the maximum potential in all of us. And the things

WWAF half pg:Layout 1 1/24/14 12:47 PM Page 1

that you see in the habits of those who produce the most

remarkable and noteworthy achievements may surprise you.

“What separates outliers from others,” he says, “is more

about humility, perseverance and attitude than intellect and

what the world obliges you. Everyone has the capacity for

greatness. You have the capacity to become an outlier by

pursuing your passion thereby achieving your dreams.”

John’s philosophy is captured and exemplified in the

words he uses in his email signature: Gear Up!

“People look at high-achievers and think that it must

have been easy for them,” he says. “What they don’t see are

the numbers of failures, the hours of practice, and the level

of humility it takes to eventually become an outlier.”

Ingredients of Outliers shows that we all have potential

the ingredients to become an outlier, if we emulate some of

those traits which have worked so well for others. The book

offers inspirational stories and techniques that can help an

individual go from average to extraordinary. Each and every

tactic offered is designed to motivate people to step outside

their comfort zone to join the ranks of the outliers. The book

contains sharp, practical ideas to help people find their edge

and break through to new levels of performance success.



List $19.95 Trade Paperback $9.99 Kindle

edition 200 pages, Published by Outlier

Publishing June 26, 2013

200 Juried

Fine Artists & Craftsmen


Saturday10 am -7 pm

Sunday10 am -5pm

Admission $12 / Weekend Pass $15

Children under12 admitted FREE

Ranked #1 arts show

in Texas and

#3 in the nation

~Art Fair SourceBook


Glass Artists

Paul Willsea &

Carol O’Brien

Proceeds from the festival benefit area non-profit art organizations in Montgomery County.

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 37

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pay it forward calendar

"we make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give."

-winston churchill-

March 1, 2014

Fidelity Investments The Woodlands Marathon

St. Luke's The Woodlands Half Marathon

Fleet Feet Sports 5K, Marathon Relay

Start Times:

Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay @ 7AM

5K @ 7:10AM

For more information visit

february 27-28, 2014

The Woodlands Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

3-7PM Thursday, & 10AM-8PM Friday

@ The Woodlands Waterway Marriott-North Exhibit Hall

1601 Lake Robbins Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information visit

FEBRUARY 28, 2014

Pathfinder Pediatric 2K Fun Run/Walk

Start Time 6:30PM @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information visit

april 4-5, 2014

Relay For Life

7PM April 4 - 7AM April 5 @ College Park High School Track

All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Come

for food, music, dancing, silent auction, testimonials of cancer

survivors and to support those relay teams walking to raise


For more information or to donate visit

april 7, 2014

5th Annual Texas Mariner Classic Golf Tournament

@ The Woodlands Country Club - Palmer Course

For tournament information or sponsorship inquiries, please

contact: Phone (207) 326-2372

Fax (207) 326-2513


april 12-13, 2014

9th Annual Woodlands Waterway Festival

Aprill 11, 10AM-7PM & April 12 10AM-5PM @ The Woodlands

Town Center - Including Town Green Park, along The Waterway

from the Marriott to Grogan's Mill Road.

2099 Lake Robbins Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information visit

April 12, 2014

"Betting on Courage-Casino Night"

Dinner & Fundraiser

Live Music by "The Beagles"

Silent Auction

6:30PM @ The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center

2301 N. Millbend Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380

To purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsor contribution

levels, please visit and click on

the “Fundraising” tab, or call (936) 756-4644 ext. 235.

may 17, 2014

Memorial Hermann's IRONMAN Texas

The race will start with a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Woodlands,

followed by the 112 mile bike course and ends with a 26.2

mile run. Stop by Waterway Avenue to see the IRONMAN

participants run through the finish line!

For more information visit :


38 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 38

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Sundays: The Farmhouse

There was a preacher who saved up enough money to

buy a few inexpensive acres. A run down farmhouse

sat on the property. The land was overrun with old tree

stumps, rusted pieces of machinery, and a fence in disrepair.

The whole scene was a mess. During his spare time the

preacher rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He hauled

off the junk, repaired the fence, pulled away the stumps, and

replanted new trees.

Then he refurbished the old house into a quaint cottage.

It took years to finish, but was certainly worth the effort. One

day, when he was trimming the hedges, a neighbor walked

over and said, “Well, preacher, I have to hand it to you. It looks

like you and the Lord have done a pretty good job with this

place.” The preacher wiped the sweat from his brow and said,

“Yeah, I suppose we have. But you should have seen it when

the Lord had it all to himself.”

John Wesley said, “Pray as though it all depends on God,

then work as though it all depends on you.” The Apostle Paul

was a church planter and missionary. But he was also a tent

maker. He understood work. He said, “We are God’s fellow

workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Whatever your work, make God

your partner. You will be amazed at all you can do . . . together.

Dr. Mark Denison

First Baptist Church of Conroe


Dr. Denison serves as pastor of First Baptist Conroe.

He also serves as a chaplain for the Houston Rockets

and as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Houston

Baptist University. He writes a daily newspaper

column, online devotional, and records a daily radio

devotion. His new book, “The Daily Walk,” has just

been released. Mark and his wife Beth have one

son, David. You may contact him by email:

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 39

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The Woodlands

Ready to add some updates to your living space?

Need some inspiration for your home? Discover new

home products and resources that will increase the value

and livability of both your indoor and outdoor environments

at the 12th Annual Spring Home & Garden Show in The


If you’ve attended the Spring Home & Garden Shows

previously, you’ll be excited to know what’s new at the 2014

event, set for Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9 at The

Woodlands Waterway Marriott at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive in

The Woodlands.

Exciting new vendors in 2014 include, Wimberley

Glassworks has been creating hand-blown glass lighting and

art pieces in San Marcos, Texas, for over 20 years. They will

be a featured exhibitor showcasing many of the hand-blown

interior and exterior lighting, which will help homeowners “to

see things in a different light.” Owner Tim deJong relocated

to the Hill Country from Canada in 1991 and has grown

Wimberley Glassworks into the premier art glass and custom

light studio in the Southwest.

Outdoor living spaces offer many options for entertaining

family and friends, or growing business relations. Stewart

Land Designs offers a turnkey service from initial consultation

and design to implementation and development with the

help of a professional staff of degreed horticulturists and

landscape designers. This team of talented professionals

can create unique and functional designs using your natural

environment to create aesthetic appeal. At the show, you

will see examples of their creations of serene and tranquil

outdoor living environments through fountains, pools and


Buddy Lee is a nationally known plant breeder and

horticulturist who crossbred traditional spring-blooming

azaleas with summer-blooming azaleas to invent the Encore

Azaleas, the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom

through spring, summer and fall. Come to the show to learn

more about this amazing plant.

Also new to the Spring Home & Garden Show this year

is Cyclers Brewing Craft Beer. Clay Wicker has created craft

beers distributed through Houston’s Silver Eagle Distributors

and brewed just north of Montgomery. Although the brewery

is not open to the public, Spring Home & Garden Show

attendees can enjoy samples of some local favorites from

noon to 4 p.m. on both days.

Patio1, a name known throughout the greater Houston

area for their full-service patio selections designed and

finished to client specifications, will make their Spring Home

& Garden Show debut this year. Its furniture, accessories

and cushions are “made for life” and can be customized by

choice of fabric color for cushions or material -- teak, cast

aluminum, wicker, or wrought iron. Whether your taste leans

toward traditional, contemporary, casual, or rustic -- there is

something for you at Patio1.

Back by popular demand from spring 2012 is the

Grogan’s Mill Farmers Market. They will be set up at the

show on Sunday. All vendors are local and offer sustainably

and organically grown grass-fed beef, farm-fresh eggs,

locally roasted coffee, local honey, breads and pastries,

prepared tamales, Indian cuisine and Mediterranean food,

bath products, orchids, olives, jellies, sauces and sweets. With

plenty of variety, there will be something for everyone!

Not to be missed at the show, is the ever-popular The

Dining Diva Molly Fowler! Live on the Whirlpool Cooking

Stage, The Dining Diva will demonstrate fun and unique

recipes using the latest products and designs by Whirlpool

Corp. Families will be wowed with easy and entertaining

recipes such as West Texas Chili, Mediterranean Rice Salad

Go Texan and Blue Magnolia Bread Pudding Mix. To preview

The Dining Diva, visit



About the show, a downloadable showadmission

discount coupon and special

exhibitor offers visit

40 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 40

1/28/2014 1:24:56 PM





city medical


helps parents capture

baby's first days of life

Women’s Memorial Hermann

Memorial City Medical

Center is the first and only hospital

in Houston to offer new parents the

personal, private opportunity to capture

and preserve their baby’s first moments

of life on video.

With this free electronic service,

courtesy of Memorial Hermann’s

partner, Biovideo®, each family

receives a fully customized video

capturing the highlights of a newborn’s

arrival. A professional team of digital

photographers unobtrusively captures

precious moments and emotions

documenting the mother’s first

minutes with the baby and the baby’s

introduction to the rest of the family.

“We believe this new service is a

great way for parents to relax and focus

on their new baby, and not on their

cameras,” said Keith Alexander, chief

executive officer of Memorial Hermann

Memorial City Medical Center. “Parents

have already told us they are excited

to have such an expert product to

show friends and family; they wish they

had something like this for their older


As soon as a mom knows she is

pregnant, she can register online with

Biovideo® and start uploading prenatal

photographs such as sonograms to a

personal, password-protected profile.

When the new parents are ready to

leave the hospital, they can preview

the electronic video documenting all

the memories captured in the hospital.

Both the video and still photos can be

accessed by mom or dad on a secure

webpage and shared via email or

social media. If parents are interested

in purchasing a hard copy of the video

or downloading it, they can do so for a

nominal fee.

“We believe this new service is a

great way for parents to relax and

focus on their new baby, and not on

their cameras...”

-Keith Alexander

Becker's Hospital Review recently

included Memorial Hermann Memorial

City Medical Center on its list of

“100 Hospitals with Great Women's

Health Programs,” which recognizes

hospitals with exceptional programs

dedicated to the health and wellbeing

of women. The hospitals on

this list have programs that include a

wide range of health care options for

women including gynecologic care,

reproductive medicine, breast health,

as well as emotional support and

behavioral health care options.

All Memorial Hermann facilities

will offer this free, electronic video

service to new parents by May 1, 2014.

To view one of the first videos filmed at

Women’s Memorial Hermann Memorial

City Medical Center, visit http://vimeo.


Be seen. Be heard.




Dr Laura Fernandes M.D., F.A.C.C.

Symptoms of a heart attack in

women are different than men.

70% of women experience extreme

fatigue in the days or even weeks

before a heart attack.

2. Debilitating flu like exhaustion.







Mild pain in the chest, sometimes it’s

not just in the region of the heart.

Pressure or achiness can occur in

the breastbone, upper back, neck

shoulders or jaw.

Nausea, dizziness, indigestion or

even vomiting can often occur prior

to a heart attack.

58% of women report breathlessness

panting or inability to carry on a


Sleeplessness, trouble falling asleep

or wake up during the night in the

weeks prior to a heart attack.

Anxiety or a sense of impending

doom or fear before a heart attack.

For the heart

from the heart!

DR Laura Fernandes

Interventional Cardiologist




600 River Pointe Dr. Ste 101

Conroe, TX 77304

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OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 41

1/28/2014 1:24:58 PM

Black Tie & Boots Chairman's Ball

Christian & Chad


Jim & Helen Thornton

Jennifer & Scott Harper

Chris James &

Cassandra Rochen

Becky & Juan Ramirez

Susan Gramling & Steve


Tim & Jennifer Steen

Steve & Jodi Wright

Denice Cox & Gary Karm

Bobby Richard &

Jessica Feliz

Beverly & Walter Davis

Ruby & Roy Morton

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 42

1/28/2014 1:25:33 PM

Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce Members celebrated the chamber's 80th Anniversary on

Saturday, January 18, 2014 at La Torretta Lakeside Resort. The night celebrated Tamara Trow's service for 2013 and

welcomed the new incoming chair, Danielle Schneider.

John & Donna Gilbert

Eric & Cheryl Shaffer

Gina Brown &

Tom Walden

Chuck & Darlene Vantine

Rosalia Burke,

Hilton & Alison Yee

Duke & Tamarah Coon

Arnette & Sherry Easley

Lauren Dunnaway, John

Hamati & Jeanene Butler

Chris & Ericka Easley

Tom & Tami Michel

Sarah Phillips &

Dan Taylor

Ross & Diana Silva

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 43

1/28/2014 1:26:08 PM


to ask your doctor

5Heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease — is

the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting

75 million Americans. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

estimate that 800,000 Americans die every year from heart

disease. The risks to men are more widely known, which

explains why the public often views heart disease as a greater

threat to men. But heart disease claims women and men in

nearly equal numbers.

• A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds, and heart

attack signs are often different in women.

• Heart disease is the number one cause of death among

women in the U.S., claiming the lives of one in three women.

• Heart disease and stroke claim twice as many women’s lives

as all types of cancer combined.

• Almost half of African American women over age 20 (48.9

percent) have some form of heart disease.

• Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Latinas:

nearly 30 percent of Latinas die of heart disease. ,

While it’s startling that 90 percent of women have one

or more risk factors for developing heart disease, the positive

news is that the vast majority of heart disease is preventable

— as much as 80 percent can be prevented through lifestyle


Risk factors include smoking, poor diet, high cholesterol,

high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, family

history, and lack of access to preventive health care. The

key is early detection through heart disease screenings and

implementing lifestyle changes to significantly reduce one’s


All women should be screened for heart disease as part

of their annual doctor’s visit to ensure they know their risk

factors and what they can do to prevent it. Every woman

should ask her primary health care provider the following five

questions; the answers will help assess her risk and guide her

prevention efforts:

1. Based on my family history, what is my risk of heart

disease? Heart disease tends to run in families and is thought

to have some genetic component.

2. What is my Body Mass Index? The risk of heart disease

increases along with one’s BMI; a person with a BMI over 25 is

considered to be “overweight” and at heightened risk.

3. Which cardiovascular screening tests do I need?

Depending on one’s age and overall health, the typical

tests include: blood pressure, HDL (“good” cholesterol), LDL

(“bad” cholesterol), triglycerides, fasting glucose, and waist


4. Should I take a daily aspirin? Only your doctor can advise

if you are a good candidate for aspirin therapy to reduce the

clumping action of platelets — possibly lowering your risk of

heart attack or stroke.

5. What can I do to lower my risk? As noted, most heart

disease can be prevented through lifestyle changes. So, if you

smoke, ask your doctor to recommend a smoking cessation

program. Talk honestly about your activity level and ideas for

easy exercises you can do for 30 minutes a day. Discuss your

diet and whether you eat enough fruits and vegetables, and

if your salt consumption can contribute to elevated blood

pressure. If you’re overweight, can your doctor recommend

a successful weight loss program or nutritionist? Would

you benefit from medications to lower cholesterol or high

blood pressure? Finally, ask if you need to begin to see a

cardiologist or other specialist.

No woman should leave her doctor’s office until she

has these answers, knows her risks, and is provided with

a personalized prevention strategy. While physicians are

responsible for ensuring that women receive the proper

medical care, prevention of heart disease is in every woman’s

hands. We must inform and empower ourselves to obtain the

answers about our cardiovascular health and to act upon our

doctors’ recommendations to make the necessary changes

to lower our risk.

44 onthetown

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Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 45

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 45

1/28/2014 1:26:09 PM



The Woodlands Young Learners Academy recently welcomes Ed Ziegler to their team as the Assistant

Director. “Ed brings a tremendous skill set to The Woodlands Young Learners Academy,” said Dan Altom,

Director of Operations. “His experience is a welcomed addition.” Ed graduated with a Bachelor of Science

in Agricultural Business from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the team Ed worked with Trinity

Episcopal Church, University of Houston and Human Resource Connection. Ed is an MS150 Fundraiser

Cycling Tour Team Captain, Dragon Boat Team Captain and Camp Allen Summer Camp Session Director.

Mr. Ziegler resides in The Woodlands with his wife Katy and two children.

For more information about The Woodlands Young Learners Academy, please visit or call (832) 257-3563.



The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership (EDP) recently hired a new team member.

Ellie Pfahl is new to the EDP and will serve as its administrative and marketing coordinator. In this

capacity she will be responsible for handling the daily administrative needs for the organization and

coordinating its marketing efforts. Ellie will be assisting with the preparation of board meetings and

special events, assisting with various marketing projects, maintaining marketing materials, as well as

assisting clients with requests for information and demographics.

The EDP is a public/private partnership with 62 funding partners active in the organization. For further

information on the EDP, log on to: or call 281 363-8130.


Steve Guinn, owner of all Hodges Collision Centers, is pleased to announce that Eric Yount is named as

manager at Hodges’ Lane Lane location. Overseeing estimating and production as the facility’s on-site

manager, Eric has more than 20 years of automotive service industry experience, including managing

large collision facilities. “Eric is a great choice to lead our Lane Lane location,” said Steve Guinn, owner

of Hodges Collision Centers. “He brings tremendous industry experience and we look forward to Eric’s’

leadership ensuring Hodges is performing successfully in all key areas. We are happy to have him on

our team.”

For more information visit


Mike Karlins, CPA of Karlins Ramey & Tompkins, LLC, is pleased to announce that Matt Odom CPA was

recently promoted to Senior Manager in the Audit Department.

Matt has been with Karlins Ramey & Tompkins, LLC for fours years. His expertise includes audits for

clients in the manufacturing, construction and oilfield service industries as well as employee benefit

plans. Matt received his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Southwestern University

and his master’s degree in professional accounting from University of Texas at Austin. He is a Certified

Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas

Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Houston Chapter American Institute of Certified Public

Accountants and Leadership Montgomery County Class of 2013.

For more information, please call Karlins Ramey & Tompkins. LLC at (281) 364-0245 or visit

46 onthetown

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Brian Albert has been named as an associate attorney of The Strong Firm P.C., focusing in corporate, real

estate, oil and gas, and business law. He joined The Strong Firm in 2012 as a law clerk with experience as

a compliance law clerk with Baker Hughes, Inc., and he also served as a law clerk with Hewlett-Packard

in Houston, TX. Having previously worked for multiple Fortune 200 companies in various fields, he

applies this experience in his work with the firm's business clients. An active member of the community,

Albert is a member of The Woodlands Young Lawyers Association and is a member of the Houston Bar

Association and The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network.

The Strong Firm P.C. is located in The Woodlands Waterway Plaza One building at 10003 Woodloch

Forest Dr. in Suite 210, overlooking The Woodlands Waterway. For more information, call (281) 367-1222

or visit the firm’s web site at


Gregory L. Eads, MD, FACOG, of The Women’s Centre for Well Being has recently become board certified

Urogynecology, making him double board certified in both Obstetrics/Gynecology and Urogynecology.

Urogynecology, also called Female Pelvic Medicine and Reproductive Surgery (FPMRS), is the subspecialty

of combined gynecology and urology for pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. Dr.

Eads underwent a committee review of his surgical cases and completed an intensive test for board

certification. He is the only Board Certified Urogynecologist from the area spanning from Houston’s

Texas Medical Center to Dallas.

For more information contact: Dr. Gregory L. Eads, MD, FACOG The Women’s Centre for Well Being

1120 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 200 The Woodlands, TX 77380


Wise Pool Company was honored once again at the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals

convention in San Antonio receiving the Silver Award for “Residential Concrete Pools $50,000 and Over

with a Vanishing Edge of 601 Square Feet or Greater”. Wise Pool Company has won more than 100 pool

and spa design awards including the International Best of Show award and the Chairman 's Award. Wise

Pool Company is a local swimming pool and spa design, construction and retail firm serving the entire

Greater Houston area and is located in Conroe. The company has been in business for 43 years and

can be reached by going to or calling (936) 321-4242. Shown is Jonathan Carroll,

President of Wise Pool Company.


Robert Talac, MD, PhD, of the Advanced Spine Institute, was recently voted Top Leading Physicians of

the World for Top Orthopedic Spine Surgeon in Tennessee and Texas by The International Association

of Orthopedic Surgeons. Dr. Robert Talac grew up in Czechoslovakia, came to the U.S. to study at the

Mayo Clinic, continued at the University of San Diego and the Center for Spine Heath, Cleveland Clinic,

and has focused his considerable intellectual talents and gifted hands on spine related problems. Using

a 7-millimeter-wide endoscope with a camera on its tip, Dr. Talac is able to enter the back through that

tiny 7-millimeter space while a patient is conscious under local anesthesia without cutting muscles or

moving the spinal cord for quick recovery and one-day spine surgery. For more information, call

(832) 742-4303.

Be seen. Be heard.

onthetown 47

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 47

1/28/2014 1:26:14 PM

Texas Singer, Kyle Park Turns Up the Volume for

The Woodlands CrawPHish Festival

Bringing community, crawfish, and country music

together, the Woodlands CrawPHish Festival will be

Saturday, March 29 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., at Town Green

Park. Sponsored by many local businesses, this year’s festival

turns up the volume with Texas singer and songwriter, Kyle

Park as the headliner entertainment beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Earlier that Saturday, the performance list includes Jean-

Pierre and the Zydeco Angels, The Woodlands Idol winners,

and a special performance by PH patient, Chloe Temtchine,

singing her new song, “Be Brave”.

This year marks the fifth anniversary for the festival,

however, over the last 15 years; local fundraising for the

Pulmonary Hypertension Association has been growing

strong. Every year, the event has grown in size and attendees,

and that is why the planning team wanted to bring in a known

music artist to give a new tune to the 2014 festival.

All ages are welcome to attend this highly anticipated

event and enjoy crawfish, Raising Cane’s, BBQ, kids’ activities

provided by The Woodlands Young Learners Academy and

Painting with a Twist, live bands, and plenty of family fun and


“YPN chooses to support this great cause by leading

the planning committee and coordinating the hundreds of

volunteers it takes to support an event anticipated to see

5,000 guests,” said Jay Thompkins, co-team leader.

Painting with a Twist has hosted the Festival’s t-shirt

art contests for children ages five through 12. The final

competition was held this month. The winner’s artwork will

appear on the festival’s t-shirt.

The ticketed event is open to the public for sponsorships

and individual admissions. Proceeds benefit the Pulmonary

Hypertension Association – (501©3 - Tax ID 65-0880021).

Adult tickets (ages 13 and up) include one plate of food

and two beverage tickets (alcoholic beverages available for

those 21 and over). Kid tickets (ages 8-12) include one plate

of food and one beverage ticket. Kids ages 7 and under are

free (does not include food or beverage tickets).

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 for each

adult and $15 for each kid at The Chamber’s Office (1400

Woodloch Forest Drive, Suite 300), Guest Services at The

Woodlands Mall, Concierge’s at Market Street, select area

Woodforest National Banks and Amegy Banks (lobby only),

Stibbs & Co., P.C., or online at

There will be a limited number of tickets available day of for

$35 for each adult and $20 for each kid.

Sponsorships ranging from $250 to $10,000 are

available for this very worthwhile cause. For sponsorship

information, contact Matacha Saul at 281-367-2222 or





call (281) 367-2222, or visit

48 onthetown

OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 48

1/28/2014 1:26:15 PM

Saturday, March 29, 2014

11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Town Green Park along The Woodlands Waterway

adjacent to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Bring your family and friends to join us for this

charitable event to raise awareness and to help find

a cure for Pulmonary Hypertension.


Festival Entry Fee is available for purchase the day of the event to access

the park only. The Festival Entry Fee is $20 for Adults and $10 for Kids 10

and under. The Festival Entry Fee only allows you access to the park during

festival hours and does not include any food or beverage tickets.


$25 each for ages 13 and up

$15 each for ages 8 to 12

Ages 7 and younger are free

(does not include food or beverage)


$35 each for ages 13 and up

$20 each for ages 8 to 12

Adult tickets to include entry to the park, one plate of food and two beverages.

Kids tickets to include entry to the park, participation in kids activities, one plate

of food and one beverage.

Come out to enjoy live music, crawfish & fixins’, BBQ,

Raising Cane’s, kids activities and good times.

To purchase tickets

for more information:


Corporate tents and other sponsorships available!

A Community Partnership with Cure PH

and the Chamber’s Young

Professionals Network

Printed by:

46891-STIBBS CO-POSTER.indd 1

Be seen. Be heard.

12/20/13 10:52 AM

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OTT Texas JanFeb Issue.indd 50

1/28/2014 1:26:18 PM

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