Page 1

Craft a Rewarding Career • Healing Relationships • Financial Freedom and Risk Antidepressants and Pain Med Alternatives • Fitness for Injured Vets • Build Healthy Habits community photos and more!

c o m m u n i t i e s c re a t i n g

gre a t e r ba y a re a region

E R S’ D A E R ICEicles CHO rt in az e A


ag ! Best M he Bay Area in t

ONLINE! ChangeMediaOnline.com



Dr. M. Shaun Holt New Year Fitness Resolutions Demand Healthy Joints and Muscles Whether you committed to a new exercise program this New Year, or you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or athlete, addressing your shoulder pain is essential to prevent further injury and to maximize your peak performance. It can be hard to distinguish between sore muscle aches and pains and more complex injuries that may require professional treatment. M. Shaun Holt, M.D. at All American Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute has advanced training and experience treating patients who suffer from persistent shoulder pain. He is an expert in sports and occupation related injuries of the shoulder and elbow and has successfully treated thousands of patients using the most advanced techniques with remarkable patient satisfaction and outcomes. “Prevention and proper treatment are key to health and function,” Dr. Holt says. Diagnosis of your pain is often achieved quickly at Dr. Holt’s office. “In many cases, a diagnostic ultrasound reveals information that is difficult to get from other studies such as MRI.” And diagnostic ultrasound is typically much less costly than MRI. “Once diagnosed, most problems can be corrected with physical therapy, strengthening and therapeutic interventions.” When surgery is needed, there are options for procedures with less recovery time. “We now have the ability to fix worn or torn ligaments and even large tears that were once considered unrepairable with arthroscopic techniques.” In shoulder arthroscopy, Dr. Holt uses a small lens, called an arthroscope, to visualize the inside of the shoulder. The arthroscope can be placed virtually anywhere, allowing easy access to tight spaces using tiny incisions. In general, shoulder arthroscopy is an

World Class Shoulder Care and Arthroscopic Surgery Close-to-Home

Rotator Cuff Tear and Disease

Rotator cuff tears and diseases like tendinitis and bursitis are common with overuse from exercise or workrelated movements. These conditions can be very painful, but some do respond to rest, heat or cold packs, antiinflammatory medicines, ultrasound, cortisone injections, physical therapy and other non-surgical treatments. Depending on a person’s age, health and the severity of the tear, surgery may be required. For these patients, arthroscopic shoulder repair is a less invasive option than open surgery. “I frequently see patients who have been told that their shoulder tear or damage is too severe to be treated arthroscopically,” Dr. Holt says. “With new technology and surgical techniques, there is no need to open a rotator cuff tear.”

extremely safe and successful procedure not every orthopedic surgeon can offer. The procedure can usually be performed within a few hours under general anesthesia and the patient can be discharged to home with minimum discomfort. Take steps to make sure your pain doesn’t prevent you from achieving your fitness goals. Work with an experienced sports medicine professional that is dedicated to your recovery plan. Consult with Dr. Shaun Holt and stay committed to the activities you love—pain free! Call Dr. Holt today!

281.335.1111 • www.AllAmericanOrthopedic.com

World Class Treatment and Surgery in the Bay Area

Celebrating MORE THAN 10 YEARS!

Clear Lake 1100 Hercules, Ste. 100 Houston, Texas 77058

Baytown 1010 W. Baker, Ste. 103 Baytown, Texas 77521

M. Shaun Holt, MD, FACSM, has been recognized as a leading expert in advanced arthroscopic surgical techniques of the shoulder and elbow. Dr. Holt is board certified and fellowship trained. Before establishing his practice, Dr. Holt completed one of the most competitive and comprehensive sports medicine fellowships in the country, advancing his skills in arthroscopic shoulder and elbow techniques. This training, and the volume of arthroscopic procedures he performs, contributes to the high rate of success he and his team are able to achieve.

“You and Your Teeth”

Cosmetic Dentistry Options to Improve Your Smile Chairside with Dr. Stacie Holt and Dr. Tracie DeVault If you are considering cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile, you may wonder which are the most appropriate treatment options for you. We hope you find the following general information to be a helpful starting point. Common cosmetic dental treatments currently available include: • Teeth Whitening is perhaps the most Twin sisters, Dr. Stacie Holt and Dr. Tracie DeVault, named their practice to best reflect their philosophy for patient care. Your Perfect commonly requested cosmetic dental procedure Smile is about just that. “We truly believe that everyone can have a today. Teeth are often stained from smoking, healthy, happy smile that is perfect for just that person,” Dr. DeVault says. food, drinks (coffee, tea or red wine) or poor Whether you are looking for the smile you have always dreamed of, or oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance you are looking for a dental home to help you keep that smile healthy for the appearance of your smile. a lifetime, Dr. Holt and Dr. DeVault look forward to meeting you! Whitening is a good option for stained or hardened with a high-intensity light. Composites can darker teeth that are otherwise healthy, with no decay. be applied in a single office visit with minimal tooth You should always have a great cleaning done first! removal. Bonding is indicated when minimal damage is present and small changes are desired. • Clear Aligners straighten your teeth without metal This is best used when teeth are healthy, bright and braces. The aligners are easy to remove so you can not overly crowded. Bonding does take some care and eat whatever you like with no wires to trap food or maintenance, as it can stain and/or chip over time. get in the way of flossing. Aligners are worn at least 22 hours per day and apply pressure to the teeth that • Porcelain Veneers may solve most cosmetic dental are to be moved. issues including tooth discoloration, uneven teeth, This is a very good option for teens and adults with chips and cracks, gaps and other common problems. healthy, nicely shaped teeth with some crowding or Veneers create bright, white smiles with beautifully spacing. Clear aligners have become a very popular aligned, shapely teeth. They also protect the surface of option for adults wanting to straighten their teeth, but damaged teeth and may eliminate the need for more who have avoided it in the past because they did not extensive treatments. Other benefits include durability want to wear braces. and the need for little-to-no removal of tooth structure when compared to crowns. • Tooth Recontouring (Enameloplasty) is a conservative Veneers are a good option for patients who desire and inexpensive option to help improve the appearance more change than can be achieved with whitening of your smile. Imperfections or problems like slight and/or bonding and are a great option for space overlapping or irregularly shaped teeth can often be closure, or when only minimal crowding is present. fixed. The changes are subtle, but can make a big Veneers are also best for otherwise healthy teeth. difference in appearance. If much decay is present, full coverage crowns are a This is a great solution when teeth are healthy and better long-term solution. If much crowding is present, only minor changes are desired. straightening the teeth first is best. • Composite Bonding can be used to repair and improve We invite you to call our office to learn more about the appearance of chipped, broken, discolored or how you can achieve Your Perfect Smile with today’s decayed teeth. An enamel-like composite material is cosmetic dentistry options. placed where desired, then sculpted into shape and

Publisher’s message

Define Your Success

Dear Friends and Readers, Awakening People to Become a Catalyst for Change Join our Digital Community at www.ChangeMediaOnline.com


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Carla Medlenka

Managing Editor Carrie A. Taylor

Advertising Campaign Manager Debby McEuen

Contributing Writers Sam Alix Susan Burnell Diana Dunne Kimber Fountain R. Scott Gornto Margaret Johnson Harry Steven Lazerus

Doug Moss Susan Neuhalfen Dr. Farid Noie Steve Retzloff Dwayne Roecker Roddy Scheer Mohamed Shalaby, M.D.

Art/Production Manager Mary Bradshaw Houston Desktop Graphics Distribution Manager Debi Smith

READ Our Digital Magazine www.ChangeMediaOnline.com SUBMISSIONS & LETTERS Communities Creating Change magazine considers all submissions of photos, editorial, opinionated editorial and reader comments for publication. For submission guidelines or to submit: editor@ChangeMediaOnline.com Advertise Your BUSINESS in Communities Creating Change magazine! 281.382.8842 marketing@ChangeMediaOnline.com CONTACT US 281.382.8842 editor@ChangeMediaOnline.com  www.ChangeMediaOnline.com 2100 Nasa Pkwy., Ste. 201 Seabrook, TX 77586

Printed with eco-friendly soy ink. Printed on paper sourced from a sustainably managed forest.

Copyright ©2015 by Change Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Communities Creating Change magazine is published monthly by Change Publications, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Communities Creating Change magazine is not responsible for advertising claims. The opinions and views expressed in the articles contained herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of Communities Creating Change magazine.

We’ve survived the past year; now it’s time to thrive in 2-0-1-5! Our annual “Success” issue is designed to inspire you in all you do – so you can experience greater fulfillment within all the important facets of your life: personal relationships, career, health and finances. Personal Relationships When my friend Rick Gornto invited me to his son Scott’s book signing, I wanted to support him, so I attended and got my copy. After just the first chapter, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the book is an excellent read! Close, intimate relationships are life’s most challenging and Scott offers wisdom and real life couples to share examples sure to support you in improving life with loved ones (p. 28). Career After Margaret Johnson attended Oprah’s “Life You Want” tour, she felt “energized, motivated, enlightened and ready to tackle the world.” On p. 48, she shares her experience, as well as my favorite comment from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love about following where your curiosity leads. Also, learn from Scott Uhrig about crafting your rewarding career on p. 44. Health Good health is our most precious commodity. This issue shares many new ideas, as well as reminders of the old faithful tenets of wellbeing. Get hooked on healthy habits (p. 16); find alternatives to antidepressants and addicting pain meds (p. 20 and p. 27); and discover how digestion affects overall health (p. 22). “Veterans Corner” has exciting news about how a drill sergeant is modifying CrossFit workouts so vets with disabilities can meet their fitness goals (p. 12). Finances With so many financial professionals in the Bay Area, we called upon several to share expert advice on a variety of topics: Retirement planning (p. 38), the role of risk in your portfolio (p. 40) and strategies for building a winning team (p. 43). Tucked in between these articles are nuggets of food for thought – flip through to find what speaks to you as you define your goals and strategies for the New Year. Your definition of success is unique to you. See it, define it, plan it and watch for opportunities to come your way so you can build the life you desire. Thanks for reading,

CarlaM@ChangeMediaOnline.com • 281.554.2999 Change Magazine www.ChangeMediaOnline.com • January 2015




www.ChangeMediaOnline.com www.Facebook.com/ChangeMagazine @ChangeMagazine

CONTENTS January 2015

7 Exploring Ideas: Personalize Your Formula

Put your success to the test

10 The Contrarian: Simple Success Manifesto

How children make their way in the world

Special FEATUREs

12 16

Veterans Corner: Coaching Vets with Injuries Your Healthy Start: Healthy Habits for Your Best Year Yet


20 Think Antidepressants Are Your Only Option?

Depression stories with happy endings

Good digestion for overall wellbeing

Early childhood intervention and treatment

An alternative to addictive meds and suffering

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

22 Gut Check



Change founder and publisher Carla Medlenka wishes you a prosperous New Year!

24 Project LAUNCH

27 Cold Laser Therapy for Pain Relief 28 Local Author: R. Scott Gornto PLANET

Defenders of the Bay 30 Wetlands shape economy and environment

14 20

Excessive Nutrients in Kid’s Snack Foods 34 Cereals, health bars have misleading labels


38 Your Guide to Financial Freedom

Plan now, stress later

A tool to end your risk of ruin

Develop a team to build a winning strategy

Craft your rewarding career

Your curiosity creates your life

40 When Toys Shred Your Financial Success 43 “Go-Go” Companies Need Not Go It Alone 44 In Search of Professional Satisfaction? 48 Don’t Let Your Sizzle Fizzle






Publisher’s Message Define Your Success


13 14 18 19 26 36 41 42 50 52 54 55

Clear Brook Bowler in Texas Hall of Honor Achieve Your Fitness Goals at CrossFit Unity BAAYF, ICM and Space Center Rotary UHCL Professor Awarded Fulbright Grant CCISD Robotics Wins Texas BEST, Devereux News Election Results Interpreted Rotary of League City Polar Bear Plunge Escayg and Associates Celebration DRDA Open House The Rose Golf Classic Project Learning Tree Green Schools! Galveston County Food Bank Style Show

OPINIONS | Exploring Ideas

Personalize Your Formula By Dr. Farid Noie

Nothing is really impossible if you put your success to the test

Each of us has (or should have) a personal formula we use, and often preach to others, on achieving success in life. I normally do not give myself permission to speak on a subject matter this broad and contentious, yet given the fact that this issue of Change is focused on success, I decided to offer my two cents and share my personal definition and interpretation. My own definition of success has been dynamic – what I considered to embody success in my 20s is not the same definition I used in my 30s. Even in the last few years, my definition of success changed. Growing up, I assumed that being successful meant good grades in school and graduation from an Ivy League university. As a younger child, I considered myself successful if I could persuade my parents to fulfill my Christmas or birthday wish list. Today, in my 50s, I place much more emphasis on maintaining good health and efficiently utilizing the precious time remaining in my life. A Means to an End Success can only exist if it helps

hasn’t been accomplished before us achieve a worthy and relevant does not make it impossible to short- or long-term goal. Similar achieve. All things are created twice to GPS, a successful strategy can – first in the mind guide us through While impossible and, only then, in unknown territory and tasks do exist, they are a tangible form. monitor our direction and progress. At some far less common than Pursuing a goal when we don’t point, each of us has we think they are. To really believe we undoubtedly pursued successfully achieve can bring it to a relationship with an individual and a goal, we must first fruition is a waste of time and other was delighted when believe it is doable. valuable resources. it was accomplished, Our goals must be only to regret it years aligned with our paradigm. If they later. Some people wake up to a are not, we must shift or change tattoo (perhaps the name of that our paradigm. person from the past) – which felt like a good decision at the time Find and Utilize Passion of inception – yet now it remains We can keep the proverbial pedal a painful reminder of failure. to the metal when we fuel a cause or Before we unleash the fury of goal with passion. Some individuals determination’s force behind every are blessed with the ability to turn cause, maybe it’s best to consider on a switch and achieve any goal the long-term, as well as short-term with sheer discipline and tenacity. I consequences of our decisions and call these people goal mercenaries. proceed with caution. Mega marathon runners are good examples. While most of us Mental Preparation consider 26.2 miles of running While impossible tasks do exist, nearly impossible, others embrace they are far less common than we the challenge! In 2006, a small think they are. To successfully group of distance runners crossed achieve a goal, we must first believe the Sahara Desert. Their journey ➜ it is doable. Just because something

The views in this and other op-ed pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Communities Creating Change magazine and are solely the opinion of the authors. We welcome your opinions and viewpoints as well. Please post them at the end of any article at www.ChangeMediaOnline.com. January 2015


lasted 111 days and covered over 4,300 miles of the roughest, driest terrain on earth. Running on sand is much harder than on solid ground. Most of us will never tap into this type of discipline. So we must rely on our passion to become goal mercenaries. Pursuing passion almost guarantees success. Principle Check Once we can clearly see an end to our means, and believe we can achieve it, it’s best to consider one more success component before pulling the trigger. Our goals must align with our core principles. Just because we can do something doesn’t necessarily mean we should do it. If we want something bad enough, we will find a way to justify and achieve it. It takes a very strong individual to choose principle over desire. Stay on Track Once both long- and short-term results of our goals are fully considered and they meet the test of our principles, successful people then switch to an “allhands-on-deck” mentality. They refuse to drift too far off the path they are on, no matter the obstacles. History is full of stories of persistence and triumph against all odds. That’s how the west was won! Our minds have the ability to convince us something

is impossible long before Our goals must we give it our best effort. align with our core If we’re not careful, we principles. Just can formulate a mental surrender, which is because we can do usually far easier than something doesn’t the alternative. Knowing necessarily mean our limits will keep us we should do it. from disappointment. Understanding everything outside of these limits becomes a possibility puts us on our path toward success. We must visualize our goals and ignore the doubts of others, as well as our own fear of failure. This may seem like a tall order, until your passion kicks in.

Dr. Noie has been in private practice in the Bay Area since 1996. He is a diplomate of the Int’l Congress of Oral Implantologists, Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and Assoc. Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has completed his surgical training at New York University as well as the Medical University of South Carolina, Temple University and Wright State University School of Medicine. He completed his oral anesthesiology training from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

You’re Going Places

10% O

Your FF Trans First port!

BK Transportation Services Premier town car service helps you get there!

• Relax and arrive at the airport on time. • Professional team of drivers is dedicated to providing easy convenient transportation service. • Over 12 years serving clients.

• Fully insured and licensed by the City of Houston. • Pick-up and drop-off to and from your home or business and Houston airports. • Family owned and operated.

832.969.6750 • 281.431.8400 • BKTownCar@gmail.com 8


State-of-the-Art Cardiovascular Care Close to Home

Mohamed Shalaby, M.D., F.A.C.C., St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Heart Institute Dr. Shalaby is a board certified, fellowship trained cardiologist with 20 years of experience in cardiovascular medicine. He offers a wide range of services to prevent and treat cardiovascular conditions. He and his team are focused on longevity and quality of life. Dr. Mohamed Shalaby Treats Cardiac Symptoms at The Chest Pain Center Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Know the symptoms of heart attack in women, they are different than for men. If you experience any of the symptoms, regardless of your age or whether or not you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, Dr. Shalaby can see you immediately at The Chest Pain Center. The Chest Pain Center offers same day appointments for urgent cases and can arrange hospital admission if necessary.

At The Chest Pain Center, patients with cardiac symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, edema, high blood pressure, are stabilized and given a cardiac evaluation to determine whether than can go home or require hospital admission. The Chest Pain Center can schedule your cardiovascular testing including stress testing, nuclear stress testing, stress echo, echo, and others.

Call Dr. Shalaby’s office to learn more about:


Heart Ce





h Mo


er nt


• Complete Cardiovascular Care • Heart Attack and Stroke Risk Assessment • Healthy Start Weight Loss and Management Programs

y, Shalab

• Vein Center Laser Vein Removal and Chronic Vein Disease Treatment and additional related treatments


290 East Medical Center Blvd, Webster TX 77598

www.drshalaby.com www.healthystartmd.com

Follow Dr. Shalaby on www.facebook.com/MohamedShalabyMD

OPINIONS | The Contrarian

Simple Success Manifesto A letter to teach children how to make their way in the world By Harry Steven Lazerus Dear Young Girl, Your mother sent an email to her friends asking us to share our ideas with you about what children need to focus on to achieve a happy life. In it she said: “Money, success and good grades are important for having a happy future generation. What else do you think children need to focus on, in order to develop a happy generation ahead?” Though you are only 9-years-old, you are a very intelligent and thoughtful young girl, and I think it is important for you to hear different points of view, ones that may not agree with what you hear at home. You live in a very nice house. You are warm in winter and cool in summer. You have enough food to eat. If you are sick your parents can afford to take you to the doctor. They have enough money to buy you books and give you music lessons. Not all children are so lucky. There are children who live in shelters; there are children who live in cars. There are children who do not have enough to eat. There are children whose parents do not have the money to take them to the doctor when they are sick, or buy them books or give them music lessons. You should ask yourself why this is so, why you are fortunate and other children are not. After you have thought about this for a while, you should ask your father what he had to do to be able to provide you with the life you and your sister have. I have a very good friend who comes from a poor family in Louisiana. He has many brothers and sisters. Their father died when he was young. All his brothers and sisters went to college and have good careers. He is an engineer and his wife is a doctor. They have two sons. They have a very good life and things he never had as a child: a big house, nice cars and enough money 10


for them to travel and go on cruises. He told me that he took his two boys on a drive and showed them people living under a bridge. “Those people made choices,” he explained to them. My friend wanted his children to know that their good life didn’t just fall from the sky. He and their mother both had to get a good education and work hard for what the family has. And if they didn’t want to live under a bridge, if they wanted to have the life they were growing up with, they would have to emulate their parents. I understand my friend. My children had a much better life than I did, and I wanted them to understand how that came to be. You see, young girl, the world is a harsh place. Only your family and maybe your friends care about you. You have to be able to make your own way. For that, a good But before you education is crucial and a good can change the education requires good grades. world, you have You also need a level of success to understand that brings enough income so you have a roof over your head, the way it is and food on the table and enough you have to be in left over to do the things that a position where are important to you. Imagine not having a place you can make to live and having to search for those changes. shelter every night. Imagine being hungry every day. Imagine having a sick child and not having the money to take her to the doctor, or having your only car breakdown – the car you need to get to work – and not being able to afford to repair it. Now you may say that the world should be a kinder,

gentler place. You may decide to make that your life’s work. But before you can change the world, you have to understand the way it works and you have to be in a position where you can make those changes. Of course, your parents gave you more than a roof over your head and food to eat. They gave you love, understanding and respect. Those are very important; they give life its beauty, joy and meaning. And so the qualities that promote love, understanding and respect must also be instilled in our children. Both sets of virtues are needed; Success those necessary to live long and is one of prosper and those that give the major life meaning. Your mother’s purpose in her deities in the question may have been to point pantheon of out that Success is one of the major America’s deities in the pantheon of America’s gods. gods. It is true that most of us could get along fine, and be just as happy, with less than we currently have. Perhaps we should demote Success to the status of a minor deity, but it is not yet time to remove it from our hearth. You are welcome to leave a comment below if you’re reading this online. If you’re reading this in Change Magazine’s print version, you are welcome to visit the magazine’s website and leave a comment. Thanks, Harry

Marcus Welby-type physicians still exist!

in-stock entry doors (cannot be combined with other discounts)

ENTRY DOOR EXPERTS • Sales • Installation • Service/Repairs Refinishing • Excellent References

Visit Our Showroom 819 Medical Center Blvd. 281.338.8888 www.ReedDoorWorks.com

Dr. Moosa’s Affordable Health and Wellness Program Offers Quality Individualized Care. Are you looking for a physician to be there when you need a doctor most? Do you have a medical issue that can’t be addressed in an 11-minute visit? Then Dr. Moosa is your doctor! Prevention, early detection, and 24/7 physician response are the principles of our practice. Your health is your most valuable possession.

15% Off


“How to Beat a Heart Attack”

Tuesday, February 10 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Call today to reserve yo ur space.

LA PORTE FAMILY CLINIC Sylvan Beach Wellness Center 401 West Fairmont Parkway Suite D, La Porte, TX 77571

281.470.4740 mdvip.com/AbdulMoosaMD Lpfc_drmoosa@yahoo.com www.facebook.com/ AbdulMoosaMdvip January 2015


Veterans Corner


Personal Trainers Coach Veterans with Injuries By Sam Alix Community Volunteer Iraq War Veteran A new year – with new beginnings – is around the corner. Now is an excellent time for veterans to set realistic fitness and wellness goals. However, many veterans face barriers to fitness and wellness. These may include physical limitations and inadequate support. This month’s “Veterans Corner” focuses on community resources to increase veteran’s abilities meet their fitness and wellness goals. I am proud to say that in this amazing Bay Area community, a veteran is never really alone! From personal trainers to online support services, if the veteran is open, honest and willing, improvement is only a choice away. Many veterans suffer with pain and discomfort from injuries sustained while serving in the military. They may be unable to do the same things they did prior to sustaining injuries. Therefore, a professional medical evaluation and a certified trainer are required before they begin an exercise program. James Slevin, an Army combat veteran and founder of Crossfit Joy in Pearland, specializes in helping veterans and others who have injuries and limited mobility. Slevin served as a drill sergeant in the Army for 10 years, including a tour in Iraq, training new soldiers. He believes that anyone with a desire to improve – mentally, spiritually and physically – can do so with the right support. Visit Slevin and his team at Crossfit Joy, 1807 Broadway, Ste. 101 in Pearland. You can email him at james@crossfitjoy.com or call 832.557.6849. Be sure to ask about the veteran discount! So, veterans and supporters of veterans, take your mental and physical fitness goals to the next level. Talk with a veteran-friendly certified personal trainer – like James Slevin of Crossfit Joy – and design a modified program so, as the New Year commences, a new you will emerge. In Service, Sam Alix Contact Sam Alix with story ideas or feedback. Email him at alix.investments@gmail.com. 12


Short Change

Clear Brook Bowler Selected for Texas Hall of Honor Daniel Justin Casas picked up his first bowling ball at age seven. More than a decade later, the Texas United States Bowling Congress selected Casas, a senior at Clear Brook High School, as a Texas Hall of Honor inductee for 2015. Texas USBC honors up to two senior boys and two senior girls based on scholastic average, participation in other activities, bowling achievements, league and participation in tournaments. They also consider offices held in leagues or associations, honors or awards in bowling or other organizations, high individual game and series, as well as number of years in the youth bowling program. Casas bowled a high game of 299 and his high average is 206. He won first place in the Texas State and Houston Youth Leaders Ghostly Tournament and Greater Houston USBC Youth Championships in Singles. As captain of the Clear Brook High School Bowling Team, the 18-yearold advanced to the state finals in Texas High School Bowling. He is a certified level 1 coach for bowling and

helps coach the Special Olympics team, the Bay Area Heat. Casas is president of the Texas Youth Leaders and is a member of Greater Houston Youth Leaders, Houston Travel League, Houston Invitational Scratch and the AMF Alpha Scholarship League. This well-rounded student is also proud to be the Cadet Major in JROTC. Casas will receive a scholarship for receiving the Texas Hall of Honor award.

Lane cleared for success! The Texas United States Bowling Congress named Clear Brook High School Senior DJ Casas a Texas Hall of Honor inductee for 2015.

January 2015


CrossFit Unity


www.CrossFitUnity.net 2100 NASA Parkway Seabrook, TX 77586

Visit the box and try a few free CrossFit classes – betcha you’ll be hooked!

CrossFit Cool in 2015! Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. 14


Where Your 2015 Fitness Goals Begin! burpees & squats & snatches & deadlifts & cleans & pull-ups You will never regret reaching your goal, you will only regret giving up and not trying harder.

Strength doesn’t come from what you CAN do. It comes from OVERCOMING the things you thought you COULDN’T.

January 2015


Your Healthy Start

Healthy Habits for Your Best Year Yet By Mohamed Shalaby, M.D. The New Year is filled with hope and healthy resolutions. Without a healthy heart, you might miss out on achieving the goals you are ready to accomplish this year. Instead of resolving to “give up” some things, resolve to make better choices. With this mindset, you won’t feel a lack in your life. Instead you will begin to feel that you are gaining control of your life. Research tells us it takes 21 days to create a habit. Here are some “Healthy Heart” activities to begin today. Practice them for three weeks, and get a “Healthy Start” on your best year yet! 1. Drink More Water. By now you probably know drinking more water is one simple key to staying healthy. It’s the cheapest drink readily available – and the more water you drink, the less likely you are to choose sugary sodas and other less healthy alternatives. To determine how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily, multiply your weight by .67 and add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes you work out. 2. Focus on Your Food. What you eat is crucial to the health and function of your heart. Here is some food for thought to help get you started: - Cut Out Processed Food! Just say “no” to high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, aspartame, added salt and a host of chemicals your body does not need. - Eat More Fiber! Switch from processed grains to whole grains for better digestion and heart health. Plus, these help you feel more full so you can step away from additional calories. - Aim for Seven Servings! Combine fruits and vegetables daily so you achieve a goal of seven servings. There is no end to the benefits of eating plant-based foods for both heart health, cancer prevention and overall wellbeing. 16


3. Manage Stress. Studies show a connection between stress and heart attacks. And stress makes you more prone to practice unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and not sleeping. Manage your stress with proven stress reducers like exercise (try walking, swimming or cycling), deep breathing and meditation or focused imagery (you may find these at a yoga or tai chi class). 4. Get Moving. Choose an aerobic exercise you enjoy and commit to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. In addition, increase your physical activity with every chance you get. Park farther away at the grocery store and walk the extra distance. Work in the garden or mow the grass yourself. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. 5. Know Your Numbers. Regularly track your blood pressure with a home blood pressure monitor. Get a cholesterol check annually, no matter what your age – especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Don’t know your family history? Vow to learn this important piece of your heart disease risk assessment. Learn your family history of stroke, heart attack and heart disease, as well as age of onset and history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When setting goals for the New Year, you’re likely to stay motivated if you link your resolutions to a big-picture goal – like taking care of your heart health so you can accomplish anything your heart desires. Dr. Mohamed Shalaby is a nationally recognized board certified and fellowship trained cardiologist with 20 years of experience in cardiovascular medicine. For more information or to consult with Dr. Shalaby, visit his website, www.drshalaby.com or call 281.956.7070.

Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families Open House Kaci Hanson, executive director of the Clear Creek Education Foundation and Cassie Wiley, assistant principal, Clear View High School.

Clear View High School students Thor Koenig, Dustin Boettcher, Cameron Goddard and Kaitlyn Siebert.

Kathleen Sawicky, HEB; Megan Black, ACU of Texas; Adrian Brown, Hannah Perlow and Destiny Jackson, Clear View High School; and Ann Hammond, Bay Area Alliance board treasurer.

2014 Interfaith Caring Ministries

“Winter Wonderland” Gala & Fashion Show

San Jacinto College student Melissa Rojas (right), was selected by the Rotary Club of Space Center to receive $1,000 as part of its 50th Anniversary Celebration “50 Random Acts of Kindness.” Pictured with Rojas is Rotary Club of Space Center President Scott Rainey.



Photo courtesy of Sandy Adams

Photo courtesy of Amanda L. Booren, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations and government affairs.

Rotary Club of Space Center “50 Random Acts of Kindness”

Neil Treble, DePelchin Children’s Center; Ocean Ramsey, Clear View High School students Anna Bell and Cayla Cortez and Angela Owen, DePelchin Children’s Center.

Fashion show models added glitz and glamour to this year’s successful fundraising event. (Front row from left) Kat Morrison, Tiffany Huynh, Kate Nathan, Mikaela Zamarripa, Penny Koeper and Alexandrya Garza. (Back row) Kimberly Campos, Twila Lindblade, Ramsee Goudeau, Amanda Ray, Mary Siegfried, Marissa Ramsey, Carla Medlendka, Monique Spence, Destiny Fernandisse and Alyssa Olguin.

Short Change

Hu Brings Printmaking Skills to Mexico via Fulbright Grant For the third time, University of HoustonClear Lake Professor of Fine Arts Sandria Hu has been named a Senior Fulbright Specialist, allowing her to share her artistic talents with students around the world. Through the grant, Hu will take her printmaking skills to the students at University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico. “I’m honored to have received another Fulbright Specialist grant to make the trip,” says Hu. “Not only do I share what I know, but I also learn from them, not to mention, from my faculty counterparts at the university like friend and artist Carlos Torralba.” University of Houston-Clear Lake Professor of Fine Arts Sandria Hu (fourth from left) received her third Senior Fulbright Specialist grant to share her Since joining UHCL in 1975, she has been artistic talent with students at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico. Hu instrumental in establishing relationships with presented a workshop on the printmaking technique called chine collé, which involves the transfer of an image to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support artists at universities worldwide. One of her greatest in the printing process. legacies will be the International Art Consortium she was instrumental in creating in 2003, which includes art locally, nationally and internationally. Some of her work is programs at universities around the world. included in the 2014 UHCL Faculty Exhibition through Jan When Hu is not traveling or teaching, she is busy 8, in the UHCL Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the creating. Hu’s art has been exhibited in many galleries university’s Bayou Building.

Call Jimmy Simien for NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION! Jimmy Simien has relationships with builders, so he can negotiate on your behalf and help make your new home transaction go smoothly. Remember, you do not pay commission to your realtor for new home construction. Learn more about building your dream home in a new neighborhood – including the highly anticipated Reserve at Clear Lake. Stop by Simien Properties or call Jimmy directly at 281.948.7511.

1035 Clear Lake City Blvd. Houston, TX 77062

Call Today About New Home Construction! www.SimienProperties.com Office: 281.280.8675 Jimmy Simien Cell: 281.948.7511 January 2015


PEOPLE | Well Being

So You Think Antidepressants Are Your Only Option? Depression stories with happy endings – thanks to new drug-free treatment By Diana Dunne A diagnosis of clinical depression may lead you to believe you will be taking antidepressants for the rest of your life. That may not be the case. Every day, patients at The Psyclinic are taking steps to wean themselves off antidepressants and finding relief from depression. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed offers patients TMS Therapy® for treatment of depression. TMS is a non-invasive, FDA-approved outpatient procedure that uses a pulsed magnetic field, similar to an MRI machine, to stimulate cortical neurons in the brain. This process results in the release of neurotransmitters – the same ones provided artificially through antidepressant medications. “Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain,” Dr. Ahmed says. “Brain-imaging technologies have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. Parts of the brain involved in mood, thinking, sleep, appetite and behavior appear different.” TMS Therapy works directly on the brain, without the side effects or long-term usage.

TMS Therapy was first developed in 1985. In 2008, it was approved for use by the FDA as a treatment for major depression for patients who have not responded to at least one antidepressant medication. Dr. Ahmed is seeing great success with patients who receive TMS treatments. Here are a few of their stories: Stacy and Jonathon: Healing Relationships Jonathon and Stacy recall the beginning of her downward spiral in the mid-1990s, when flashbacks of unpleasant memories began to haunt her. Stacy began professional therapy sessions and was prescribed antidepressants. “They worked for a while, and then they would stop,”

Clinical data supports the effectiveness of Neurostar TMS Therapy for treating depression.



she says. “You gradually become conditioned to the side effects.” Although she was taking antidepressants, thoughts of suicide, a suicide attempt, withdrawal from activities and talk of divorce continued. Stacy consulted with Dr. Ahmed and he suggested she try TMS Therapy. The treatments were very effective for her. “Depression had stolen my wife, but I got her back,” Stacy’s husband Jonathon says. Stacy completed her TMS treatments and began weaning off her medications. She says, “ I am seeing the world differently and am clear-headed for the first time. The treatment has exceeded our expectations.” Jonathon adds, “Depression affects the entire family, so don’t wait. Act now! We hope that TMS Therapy can help others as dramatically as it’s helped our family.” Tammy: Reborn After Battling Depression Tammy tears up as she remembers the pain and desperation she felt for years as depression increasingly stole her joy and left her unable to participate even in simple activities – like getting out of bed. “I was tired and depressed. It was never ending. Medication was not helping, so when Dr. Ahmed recommended TMS, I knew I had to try,” Tammy says. Tammy started TMS treatments in April 2014, and finished in less than a month. “The results have been amazing,” she says. “I feel like I’m a stronger person now. Mohamed S. Ahmed, M.D., is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Houston Methodist Hospital Baytown and Clinical Assistant Professor at UTMB in Galveston. He is Dual Board Certified in both Adult and Child Psychiatry. Dr. Ahmed is a distinguished Laughlin Fellow and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2013 Top Teaching Doctors award from UTMB, the Robert B. White award and the International Medical Graduate Fellowship Merit award. Dr. Ahmed was voted “Best Psychiatrist” in Baytown by the Baytown Sun and received the Top 2011 Houston Doctors award. He has more than 17 years of experience in psychiatry and clinical research.

I am sharing my personal story because I really feel that God has put me through this battle so I can help others.” Jennifer: A Bright Spot in the Darkness of Depression Jennifer recalls having depression since she was 10 years old. Though the episodes were infrequent, they were very intense and challenging. She used medication on and off to keep her sadness at bay. During an unhappy marriage with a mentally abusive spouse, Jennifer’s depression frequency increased and she began taking so much medication she experienced hallucinations. “In general, I don’t like taking medicine, and taking it in large doses was over the top.” She divorced her abusive spouse and decided to make some major life changes. At the top of her list was dealing with depression. She completed TMS treatments in January 2013 with amazing results. “At about the fifth or sixth TMS session, it felt like a giant cloud lifted off my head. I was seeing the world differently,” Jennifer says. Today she is on low doses of medication with the hope she will gradually wean off them completely. “You don’t have to live with depression the rest of your life. Depression is terrifying. Consider TMS Therapy. It’s not something you swallow, there are no shots and throughout most of my treatment sessions I watched Ellen on TV or relaxed and fell asleep!” “When I see patients who experience genuine results – like Stacy, Tammy and Jennifer – and I see them gaining control of their lives again and steering in the right direction, that’s our ultimate goal,” Dr. Ahmed says. To read more TMS Therapy patient success stories visit www.ThePsyclinic.com. The PsyClinic is one of a select few professional facilities in the greater Houston area offering TMS treatment to patients. For more information and to schedule a consultation, call The Psyclinic today. TMS Therapy is covered by most insurance plans.

The PsyClinic A Regional Leader in Mental Health Services


thepsyclinic.com CLEAR LAKE 330 E. Medical Center Blvd., Webster, TX 77598 BAYTOWN 4201 Garth Road, Ste. 212, Baytown, TX 77521 January 2015


PEOPLE | Well Being

C •h •e •c •k Digestive health supports a healthy immune system and overall wellbeing

By Diana Dunne When it comes to overall wellness, maintaining your digestive health is extremely important. Today we know that 70 percent of your body’s immune system dwells in the digestive tract, and people are becoming more aware of the vital role your gut plays in keeping you healthy. “Since ancient times we have been aware of the important role our gut micro flora plays in health and disease,” says Dr. Syed Jafri, gastroenterologist with Bay Area Gastroenterology. The “microbiome” is the name given to the bacterial population (approximately 100 trillion cells) that resides in the gastrointestinal system. These bacteria play a vital role in the normal functioning of the intestines, digestion and detoxification, as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Any alteration of the bacterial flora – either by stress, disease or the use of antibiotics and other medications – may trigger significant gastrointestinal complications and symptoms. In addition, chronic digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux or GERD, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease are on the rise. Most people self-treat with over-the-counter medications such as Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid, Tums or Rolaids. However, these approaches do not address the underlying causes generating the symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms like heartburn, bloating, gas, stomach

All-Too-Common Tummy Troubles GERD If you have periodic flare-ups of heartburn – say after a delicious meal or a cup of coffee – you may think it’s no big deal. However, heartburn – often called acid reflux – is not caused by any one choice a person makes. Certain things can trigger acid reflux, but the actual condition is called GERD, and is caused by a malfunctioning valve in the lower esophagus. Over time, the acid can damage the esophageal lining and, in some cases, lead to a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. While not all acid reflux leads to cancer, it’s better to be safe than sorry. See your gastroenterologist to be sure and learn how your symptoms can be relieved through diet, lifestyle changes and/or medication. 22


IBS Do you know the difference between an occasional upset stomach and chronic irritable bowel syndrome? One-in-five people have IBS and experience frequent bouts of painful bloating, abdominal discomfort, stomach cramps, diarrhea and constipation. Certain foods – especially fried and greasy foods – as well as stress, can be IBS triggers. IBS is common between the ages of 18 and 35 and is more often seen in women than in men. If you are over 40 and experience IBS symptoms, see your gastroenterologist to rule out more serious diseases such as diverticulosis or colon cancer, and to find out about simple ways to reduce or eliminate your IBS symptoms.

pain or stomach cramps, talk with a professional who specializes in gastrointestinal health and disease. “It’s important to rule out more serious conditions as early as possible,” says Dr. Sezen Altug, gastroenterologist with Bay Area Gastroenterology. “For example, abdominal pain, gas, bloating and bowel changes may be related to irritable bowel syndrome. They could also be associated with something more serious such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis) or even colon cancer. Abdominal pain could indicate pelvic inflammatory or other non-GI disease. In these cases, prompt diagnosis can lead to better outcomes.” The good news is that, for most people, simple preventive steps can keep good digestion in check. Take control of your digestive health and don’t wait until you experience long-term digestive problems and the health complications and illness they can cause. “Mind your gut for health of body, mind and spirit,” Dr. Ravi Mani, also with Bay Area Gastroenterology, reminds us. Your digestive health plays a big role in your quality of life, so care for it. “An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold,” advises Dr. Manish Rungta. “Be sure to get screening tests – such as colonoscopy – done in a timely fashion for cancer prevention.” The physicians at Bay Area Gastroenterology – Dr. Ravi Mani, Dr. Nikhil Inamdar, Dr. Sezen Altug, Dr. Syed Jafri, Dr. Manish Rungta, Dr. Naveen Surapaneni and Dr. Gabriel Lee – are board certified and specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ailments of the stomach, intestines, colon, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. They have four convenient locations in the Greater Houston Bay Area. Call their office or book your appointment online, 281.480.6264 or www.gibay.com.

Keys to Healthy Digestion Although the digestive system can withstand a lot of stress, it can only do so for a limited period. Over time, negative effects accumulate and can create long-term health problems. Regardless of your lifestyle in the past, you can take positive steps today to rejuvenate and maintain the health of your digestive system. The same formula that leads to great health for all your organs and systems, as well as increases your general feeling of wellbeing, will help keep your gut feeling great: • Eat a healthy diet rich in fiber and low in fat, processed foods and alcohol • Drink plenty of water – aim for 3 to 4 liters daily • Don’t overeat, eat in a rush or skip meals • Exercise regularly • Reduce and manage stress levels • Quit smoking

(L-R) Dr. Naveen Surapaneni, Dr. Gabriel Lee, Dr. Manish Rungta, Dr. Sezen Altug, Dr. Syed Jafri, Dr. Ravi Mani, Dr. Nikhil Inamdar

A full service team of Board Certified Physicians specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ailments of the stomach, intestines, colon, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Bay Area Houston Endoscopy Center Fully accredited, licensed and certified endoscopy center located onsite. Full range of diagnostic procedures including colonoscopy.

IN-HOUSE ULTRASOUND, STATE-OF-THE-ART COLON CANCER SCREENING AND VIRTUAL COLONOSCOPY Comprehensive array of services to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of gastrointestinal issues.

Onsite Radiological Facility Full range of in-office imaging with state-of-the-art CT scan and ultrasound digital imaging technology.

Interactive Website Schedule online appointments as well as same day appointments. www.gibay.com

FOUR Convenient Locations Medical Center Office 1015 Medical Center Blvd, Ste. 1700 Webster Tx 77598 Memorial Hermann Office 11920 Astoria Blvd, Ste. 410 Houston Tx 77089

Pearland Office 10905 Memorial Hermann Dr., Ste. 211 Pearland Tx 77584 St. John Office 2060 Space Park Dr., Ste. 104 Nassau Bay Tx 77058


www.gibay.com • Video at www.gibay.tv January 2015


PEOPLE | Well Being

Project LAUNCH

Early Childhood Intervention and Treatment Team of therapists and professionals assist infants and toddlers with developmental challenges By Diana Dunne


ittle Parker wanted to say something, but the words would not come out. “She would point and get excited about things and just look at us,” her mom says. “You could see in her eyes she had something she really wanted to say, she just couldn’t!” At age 11 months, Parker should have been verbalizing several words. At an even earlier age, she should have been babbling. She had several older siblings, plus a peer group at her daycare. All of this verbal stimulation around her should have prompted Parker to make sounds and express her needs. Her parents knew something was not right, so they looked to Project LAUNCH at UTMB Health for a professional opinion. “Speech delays in toddlers are common and often arise as the primary issue of concern,” says Meg Griffin, program director at UTMB ECI Project LAUNCH. The program maintains a partnership with Early Childhood Intervention Services – an important statewide program that supports families to help children reach their potential. “We work with families with children, 3-years-old and under, who are experiencing

developmental delays.” Such delays and developmental challenges may include: • Language or speech delays • Vision problems • Movement and motor skills • Social and emotional/behavioral issues • Thinking and cognitive abilities When seeking answers and treatment for these conditions, Project LAUNCH can help. “Sometimes children present with one problem, such as speech delay. We use a well-known assessment tool to determine if the child has any developmental delays. After our assessment, we may determine other problems – like not feeding or swallowing properly – these affect speech as well,” Griffin explains. “In each case we can set up their individualized service plan.” A child with these delays may begin working with an occupational therapist to improve oral motor skills. Their plan may also include a speech therapist. “The therapies vary from child to child,” says Griffin. The Project LAUNCH team includes speech pathologists,

The UTMB Project LAUNCH team works with families with children experiencing developmental delays. (L to R): Leslie Tyer, Sherry Wooten, Jini Spruce, Martha Marino, Donna Drastada, Patsy Cunningham, Nikki Fulton, Angela PeslLibby, Pam Massey, Carla Bingham, Karen Roberts, Peggy Meeks, Cheryl Sharp, Melissa Tausend, Mandy King, Julie Wright, Gracie Espinosa, Sara Farris, Nancy Chadwick and Meg Griffin. (Not pictured): Dr. Susan Gerik, Joyce Wheeler, Amy Heinlein, Jacob Mickelson, Emily Yarris, Jennifer Hammock and Debbie Evans-Rogers.



occupational therapists, physical therapists and other child development specialists. The majority of their therapy consists of home-based treatments. “We want to treat kids in their natural home environment,” Griffin says. “This way we can see them in action, determine what therapies will work best for them and reinforce new skills and behaviors. And since a child’s development affects the entire family, we work with the parents as well as the child to help them cope with symptoms and find better ways to do things.” Therapists also visit children at their daycare locations to work with them and to help their caregivers emphasize specific strategies as well. To assist families and keep parents informed, the Project LAUNCH team includes a service coordinator to manage each case, keeping copies of all notes and therapy details so parents have these resources. Families may contact Project LAUNCH directly, without a physician referral. “Sometimes families know something is wrong. They recognize their child is not hitting milestones, so they self-refer to our program,” Griffin says. Project LAUNCH is available to assist any infant or toddler up to age three. “It is important to note that no one is turned away, even if they cannot pay for services,” Griffin shares. “We do bill insurance and we do have a sliding scale fee, but we never turn anyone away based on ability to pay.”

Red Flags for Developmental Delays These behaviors can indicate developmental delays or other more serious conditions. If they happen often, call Project LAUNCH at UTMB for an assessment. Infant • Cannot bend arms or legs • Does not smile, move or look at you when you talk or play with her • Does not want to be held • Does not make sounds by 3 months • Does not babble by 6 months Toddler • Has tantrums that last 20 minutes or longer • Breaks things on purpose • Hurts or bites other people • Does not look at you when you call her name • Does not play with toys • Flaps hands, rocks or sways over and over • Does not point at objects he wants • Has no words by 12 months Any Age • Is fussy or cries a lot, even when not tired or hungry • Has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep • Does not notice people • Is unhappy most of the time • Any loss of speech or babbling, or social skills

January 2015


Short Change

Jingle Jam a Success!

CCISD Team Wins Texas BEST Championship

Devereux Texas hosted its first ever Jingle Jam. The event, sponsored by Simien Properties, was a celebration for foster care families. Guests gathered at Devereux’s League City campus to sing Christmas carols, decorate stockings and enjoy a delicious lunch of turkey and dressing. The highlight of the day was a visit from Santa, who handed out gifts donated by generous givers recruited by Jimmy Simien. Additional help came from Jason Holter with Premier Nationwide Lending, who made a generous financial donation, as well as members of Alvin’s Gleaner Full Gospel Church, who assisted in the day’s crafts.

Team Jigsaw, comprised of students from several CCISD high schools, earned outstanding honors at the Texas BEST Championship, winning the Texas BEST Championship robot game, receiving the Texas Instruments Game Division Award and earning second place in the Texas Instruments Most Robust Award. (Front) Elena Michnovicz, Devin Powell, Devinda Dharmawardene, Abhishek Patil and Chamikera Dharmawardene. (Middle) Chris Pulicken, Hunter Smith, Nicholas Agner and Amanda Lu. (Back) Ethan Reed, Sylas Anderson, Buvaneshraj Saravanan, Julian Parra, Danielle Pettinger, Kevin Jiang and Gan Liu.

Clear Creek ISD’s high school Robotics’ team and two intermediate school teams competed at the 2014 Texas BEST Championship in Dallas last November. Team Jigsaw, comprised of students from Clear Brook, Clear Lake and Clear Springs High Schools and Clear Horizons Early College High School, ranked number three after 38 qualifying matches. Team Jigsaw went on to win the Texas BEST Championship robot game and received the Texas Instruments Game Division Award. The team also received second place in the Texas Instruments Most Robust Award. More than 60 teams competed including Westbrook Intermediate and League City Intermediate. Westbrook’s WIRED team won first place in T-shirt design and their robot placed 32nd overall. League City’s RoboCats won third place in T-shirt design and had the honor of delivering their marketing presentation during a VIP luncheon at the competition. Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics organizes annual robotics competitions that introduce intermediate and high-school students to engineering, problem-solving and teamwork – providing a taste of what it’s like to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. This year’s game Blade Runner used teamwork and innovative thinking to execute five sets of tasks to assemble and position a wind turbine into a completed state. This includes designing and building a prototype vehicle capable of transporting and maneuvering components of the wind turbines. 26


Santa made a special stop in League City for Devereux Texas’ Jingle Jam. Pictured, from left, are St. Nick, Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed, Devereux Texas Foster Care Manager Monte Cuba and Jimmy Simien of Simien Properties.

Friends Install 2015 Officers

Friends of Devereux installed its 2015 officers during their Annual Holiday Appreciation Luncheon. The new officers are (from left) Ashley Walters, Megan Black, Carla Medlenka, Mahtab Moradi and Diane Morris.

About Devereux Devereux Texas is part of a leading national nonprofit organization that specializes in the care of children, adolescents and adults experiencing a wide range of behavioral, emotional and mental health disorders. Texas services include: long-term hospitalization and intensive residential services for adolescents; residential services for children and adults; and foster care services for birth to 18 years of age. For more information about Devereux Texas, please call Joni Robertson, Director of Development at 281.316.5423 or visit www.devereuxtx.org.

PEOPLE | Well Being

Laser Therapy Pain relief alternative to medication, side effects and suffering By Diana Dunne


ore than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. In fact, it’s the number one cause of adult disability in the United States. Backaches, headaches and joint pain keep Americans from enjoying their best life and, in many cases, addicted to over-the-counter and prescription drug medications. “Health care providers have struggles when it comes to treating patients who suffer from pain,” says Dr. Alfredo Vazquez, chiropractor and certified acupuncturist. “In my practice, many patients are finding pain relief from cold laser therapy.” Cold laser therapy is a treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is thought to help accelerate healing. It can stimulate all cell types – including muscle, ligament, cartilage, nerves and skin – and can be used on patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions to reduce pain, swelling and spasms, as well as increase functionality.

History of Lasers in Health care Cold Laser Therapy has been used in clinical practice all around the world for over four decades. In 1916, Albert Einstein conceived the theory of Light Amplification through Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER. In 1967, Professor Andre Mester began using low power lasers in medicine. Class 4 surgical lasers are used to cut, coagulate and vaporize tissue. This is different from Class 3B and Class 3A non-surgical lasers, which are painless, non-burning and non-cutting forms of lasers. Class 3B or Class 3A low level lasers do not have the intensity to damage cells. Class 3A lasers help heal superficial wounds and conditions and will typically not penetrate below the skin’s surface. However, Class 3B low level lasers have the ability to penetrate and assist in the healing process of deep tissue and joint problems.

Certain low-level laser devices are FDA approved for relief from the following conditions: • Muscle and joint pain • Stiffness associated with arthritis-like conditions • Pain associated with muscle spasms and swelling • Hand and wrist pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome • Lower back pain • Neck pain • Post surgery tissue repair • Heel pain “Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure and does not require a surgical incision,” Dr. Vazquez explains. There is no recovery time after treatment. And laser therapy does not involve taking any medications, nor does it have serious side effects when used properly by a doctor. “Patients are treated with a series of laser therapy sessions – typically eight or less – depending on the severity and duration of the condition.” Cold laser therapy is one option among a variety of treatment approaches that can potentially provide pain relief or pain reduction, especially for patients seeking a treatment without the use of surgery or drugs. It can be used alone or in combination with a number of other therapies.

Talk with Dr. Alfredo Vazquez about your options to treat your pain. For an appointment, call his office at 281.554.5550. January 2015


PEOPLE | Local Author

The Stories We Tell Ourselves Four steps toward transforming relationships

By R. Scott Gornto “I can’t believe she said that to me last night. As if she has any right to judge me. She’s the one who raised me!” “Honey, you need to let it go. I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it.” “She always means something by it. There’s not a word that escapes her lips that she doesn’t mean to deliver with laser-like precision.” “But she’s your mom.” “Exactly. So you don’t have the whole picture. You don’t know that I’ve heard her same sob story for most of my adult life: ‘When oh when will I ever have any grandkids?’ And that’s always quickly followed up by, ‘Are you sure you should still be working full-time?’ I swear she’s stuck in the fifties.” “Maybe there’s some truth to what she’s saying.” “I do not want to have this conversation right now.” “You never do. Can you just answer one question for me right now, then I’ll drop it.” “Okay.” “Do you want children?” “How did me complaining about my mother turn into a conversation like this?” “You’re not answering the question.” 28


Step 2: Invite the other “I …” “I have known Scott person to hear the story Mark and Stephanie sit in an awkward Gornto for 40 years. you’re telling yourself. His words about silence, neither willing to speak, fearful being a good listener, When responding to another that any further words could cause their instead of making person, use a phrase like “The teetering relationship to fall into an assumptions, are way I hear that is …. ” You can inescapable chasm. paramount in personal then discover whether or not For you, the details may be different. and professional you truly understand the other The roles may be reversed. The family, relationships.” person’s perspective. This takes friends, co-workers or acquaintances -Nolan Ryan, former Major courage and vulnerability, because involved may have various names, but League Baseball pitcher and you can never be sure how the there’s a thread of unfortunate humanity former chief executive officer of other person may react to you. that runs through such conversations: the Texas Rangers. relational conflict. Step 3: Share with the other Even the healthiest relationships person the feelings you have experience conflict, and tenuous relationships as a result of the story you made up in your mind. sometimes need only the slightest shove to send them This is often the most difficult step because it over the edge. There’s little wonder why “irreconcilable demands that you share honest feelings with the other differences” are so often a reason for divorce. And yet person. Use a phrase like, “Based on the story in my we continue to seek out meaningful relationships, mind, I feel ….” Press through the likely awkwardness in spite of the time, money and commitment they of the moment, realizing that being authentic often demand from us. Why? Because connection is a deeply breeds authenticity in the other person. entrenched human need that, when left unmet, results in dire circumstances. Step 4: Seek more information. Most people enter into a relationship with at least If you’re still not on the same page as the other a moderate expectation of “success.” Their notions of person, ask clarifying questions. Brené Brown calls success vary, depending on the type of relationship – this “passionate listening,” meaning that you’re totally whether it’s familial, romantic, friendly or work-related. focused on the other person to the detriment of any However, people generally do not expect a relationship distractions, including your own wandering thoughts. to fail. Yet this happens all the time. The people around Such questions may require going back to Step 1 of this us consistently fail us – as we do them. This is why so process, but with each pass a refinement occurs that many different kinds of relationships seem to fail. allows two people to meaningfully connect, even in the It doesn’t have to be this way. midst of conflict. Seeking Successful Relationships To experience success in your relationships, you are required to focus on your shortcomings so you can learn to better focus on others. Seeking success in your relationships also requires developing awareness and practicing particular steps to help your relationships grow deeper and last longer. In my book, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, I describe the Auxano Approach® to communication – a four-step strategy that teaches you to mentally and emotionally “show up” in your relationships. The following is a condensed version of that strategy: Step 1: Observe and talk about what you just noticed. This demands knowing when you’re fabricating stories about someone else in order to fill in the gaps of your knowledge. Instead of relying on what you might know about a person or situation, rely on what you do know. Try to be an impartial, fact-based observer of yourself and the other person. This requires honesty, humility and vulnerability.

Had Mark and Stephanie used this approach, they may have been able to talk directly to one other without fear of their honest answers undermining their relationship. When we choose to show up in our relationships using this four-step process, we give ourselves – and the relationship – the best chance at success.

R. SCOTT GORNTO MDIV, LMFT, CST, is a therapist, speaker and author. He’s the author of The Stories We Tell Ourselves, the creator of the Auxano Approach® to relationships, The Truth About Marriage® workshops and intensives for couples, and the RQ Relational Intelligence program for C-level executives and leaders. January 2015



of the Bay

PLANET | Living Green

Wetlands shape our economy and environment



By Kimber Fountain Water is the most powerful force on our planet. If you need proof, take a quick glance at the Grand Canyon and know water created its deep abyss. But the power of water lies not only in its molecular structure and collective force, but in the life-giving properties it so generously begets. It is fluid and transparent, yet it is the unwavering foundation of our physical bodies, the bedrock of economy, ecology and recreation, and it defines our way of life here in the Bay Area. More than merely a body of water, an up close look at Galveston Bay reveals a kaleidoscopic panorama

As part of GBF’s “Get Hip to Habitat” education program, a middle school student plants a stem of smooth cordgrass.

of a thriving ecosystem working in dynamic tandem with industry, commerce and, most importantly, the people whose livelihoods depend on it. In the late 1980s, the stability of Galveston Bay was in danger of being disrupted by several proposed federal projects, such as the widening of the Houston Ship Channel and the construction of a reservoir in Wallisville. These projects would have had a devastating impact on Bay waters because of their potential to alter the delicate salinity levels crucial for maintaining plants and marine life. Thankfully, they were halted when a group of concerned locals were ➜

(Top) GBF relies on more than 1,500 volunteers every year, who work year-round to help clean up the Bay. At GBF’s annual Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Event in January, the organization takes advantage of a Texas Wildlife law that requires all active traps to be removed from the water for 10 days, in order to provide organizations like GBF the opportunity to clean them. Abandoned traps often continue to trap fish and shellfish and can be hazardous to boat propellers. In 2014, GBF alone collected 273 abandoned traps from around Galveston Bay. (Middle) Student programs range from elementary school to college. Here, students from the University of North Texas participate in the Alternative Spring Break Program, where they donate their vacation time to aid with GBF restoration projects, such as oyster reef restoration. (Bottom) This group of students from the Western Michigan Academy of Environmental Science bags oyster shells for reef restoration in Galveston Bay. January 2015


spurred to action. Together they formed a grass-roots organization to serve as a watchdog for Galveston Bay, and the first board meeting of the Galveston Bay Foundation was held in January, 1989. Currently presiding at the helm of GBF is long-time executive director Bob Stokes, whose intricate knowledge of the Bay’s economic and ecologic systems is surpassed only by his undeniable enthusiasm for the Foundation’s role in sustaining and growing Galveston Bay. “We revolve around three major aspects,” Stokes explains. “The first is clean water, as there are issues around the Bay with high bacteria levels, PCPs and other toxins … which can accumulate into the fish we eat.” The second is ensuring a good habitat; accomplished by efforts to restore wetlands, oyster reefs and sea grass – which all sustained severe negative impact throughout the 1970s and 1980s. “We actually lost over 35,000 acres of wetlands and over half our oyster reefs. Over

in West Bay they lost 80 percent of their sea grass,” Stokes shares, and admits that despite the Foundation’s best efforts, the wetlands may never be completely restored. “But we can start positive trends, and we can make sure that we don’t lose any more.” The third premise of GBF targets the freshwater sources that feed into the Bay such “If we lose wetlands, we as the Trinity River, lose seafood. And the which bring muchsediments along the needed nutrients wetlands also make for and balance to the wetlands. For cleaner water. They act this reason the as a sieve or filter as the Foundation has freshwater flows in, and advocacy groups that reach into Northeast they serve as a speed Texas. “Cities as bump for slowing storm far north as surges. They protect Dallas and Forth Worth are in private property, and the Galveston they help stop erosion.” Bay watershed,” -Bob Stokes, Stokes says. So Galveston Bay Foundation the Foundation executive director makes it a point to stay apprised of any goings on that could potentially impact the local waters. At the heart of the Foundation is the board of directors, comprised of local residents and business owners whose lives are directly affected by the health of the Bay. “We try to represent all of the local interests, all working together for the long-term [health] of Galveston Bay,” says Stokes, who explains that their board members range from homeowners, fishermen, birdwatchers and people who use the Bay recreationally, to employees and executives of commercial users such as local fisheries and even high-profile companies such as Shell, Dow and NRG. And over 1,500 volunteers who donate their time to the Foundation’s efforts each year. All the efforts of all these groups and individuals beg the question, “Why are the wetlands so important?” The answers shape the substance of Galveston Bay Foundation’s many projects, each focused on educating communities (Top) At their annual Bay Day Festival, held at the Kemah Boardwalk, the Foundation’s Water Quality program manager Charlene Bohanon teaches youth about the importance of maintaining the integrity of our local waters. (Bottom) The GBF Trash Bash is an annual cleanup event that takes place along Armand Bayou. In 2014, more than 800 volunteers, including local residents and business owners, cleaned up 7.5 tons of trash in a single morning!



Collective Coastal Powerhouse Shares Vision for Change Igniting an unprecedented campaign for the rehabilitation of coastal regions around the Gulf of Mexico, the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation recently released a report entitled, “A Land Conservation Vision for the Gulf of Mexico Region.” Formed by the national conservation group Land Trust Alliance following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Partnership unites 30 nonprofit groups, including the Galveston Bay Foundation, into a collective coastal powerhouse of change. By issuing this report, the organizations hope to direct community members and public agencies focus to the restoration of key coastal ecosystems suffering a slow decline over the past 30 years. In addition, they hope to spur the revival of the Gulf Coast economies severely impacted by the oil spill. The report outlines voluntary opportunities for conservation in communities and organizations from Texas all the way over to Florida. It also zeroes in on priority locations that are paramount for economic development. According the report, the region is losing up to $22.7 billion in tourism revenue and $8.7 billion in commercial fishing activity from the Deepwater Horizon spill. A voice for renewal and hope for the Gulf Coast, “Vision” is the first in an upcoming series of reports. Future releases will offer even more details on opportunities and an ever-expanding list of resources for each state’s individual challenges. To read the full report and stay abreast of other releases, visit www.galvbay.org.

and classrooms about the value of our wetlands. “If we lose wetlands, we lose seafood,” explains Stokes. The commercially viable fish that eventually grow to sustain businesses and feed residents are spawned there, where they find refuge from predators and thrive in the brackish environment where freshwater meets the sea. “The sediments along the wetlands also make for cleaner water. They act as a sieve or filter as the freshwater flows in, and they serve as a speed bump for slowing storm surges. They protect private property, and they help stop erosion.” Knowledge of the benefits of a thriving wetland ecosystem will, hopefully, encourage each of us to understand our individual impact on this delicate environment. With a lifestyle that is sustained by the waters around us comes a heightened responsibility to live more consciously. Learn more about importance issues our wetlands and Galveston Bay are facing and how you can make small efforts toward improvement at www.galvbay.org. January 2015


PLANET | EarthTalk®

Excessive Nutrients in Kids’ Snack Foods Cereals, health bars fortified with too much vitamin and mineral content By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss


dded nutrients in the processed foods we eat could be too much of a good thing, especially for kids. According to a report from nonprofit health research and advocacy group Environmental Working Group, nearly half of American kids 8-years-old and under “consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification, outdated nutritional labeling rules and misleading marketing tactics used by food manufacturers.” EWG’s analysis for the “How Much Is Too Much?” report focused on two frequently fortified food categories: breakfast cereals and snack bars. Of the 1,550 common cereals studied by EWG, 114 (including Total Raisin Bran, Wheaties Fuel, Cocoa Krispies, Krave and others) were fortified with 30 percent or more of the adult daily value for vitamin A, zinc and/or niacin. And 27 of 1,000 brands of snack bars studied (including Balance, Kind and Marathon bars) were fortified with 50 percent or more of the adult daily value for at least one of these nutrients. EWG researchers based their analysis on nutrition facts labels on the various food items’ packaging. 34


According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, nearly half of American kids 8-years-old and under consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification.

“Heavily fortified foods may sound like a good thing, but when it comes to children and pregnant women, excessive exposure to high nutrient levels could actually cause short- or long-term health problems,” says EWG research director Renee Sharp, who co-authored the report. “Manufacturers use vitamin and mineral fortification to sell their products, adding amounts in excess of what people need and more than might be prudent for young children to consume.” Sharp adds that excessive levels of vitamin A can lead to skeletal abnormalities, liver damage and hair loss, while high doses of zinc can impede copper absorption, compromise red and white blood cells and impair immune function. Also, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to fetal developmental Excessive levels issues. Older adults who of vitamin A can get too much vitamin lead to skeletal A are at more risk for osteoporosis and abnormalities, liver hip fractures. damage and hair EWG suggests it’s loss, while high doses time to overhaul our of zinc can impede food labeling system to better account for how copper absorption, ingredients may affect compromise red and children as well as adults. white blood cells “In other words, when a parent picks up a box and impair of cereal and sees that immune function. one serving provides 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, he or she may think that it provides 50 percent of a child’s recommended intake,” says EWG researcher and report co-author Olga Naidenko. “But he or she would most likely be wrong, since the daily values are based on an adult’s dietary needs.” EWG is working on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to update its guidelines for nutrition facts to better reflect how foods affect children as well as adults. In the meantime, parents might want to consider scaling back on fortified foods for their kids in favor of whole foods (unprocessed, unrefined fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that deliver the right amounts of nutrients naturally. “Research consistently shows that the nutrient amounts and types found in whole foods provide optimal nutrition as well as least risk,” says Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian and a former ad executive for kid’s cereals and snack bars. “We owe it to parents and kids to make it easiest to choose better quality foods.” CONTACT: EWG’s “How Much Is Too Much?” report, www.ewg.org/research/how-much-is-too-much. EarthTalk® is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). January 2015


Short Change

Recent Election Results Interpreted Rice University’s Robert Stein, Ph.D. presented “Election Wrap-Up and Policy Consequences” to a general membership meeting of the Bay Area Houston Economic partnership recently. Stein is a well-known and respected political analyst and an expert on urban politics, public policy and voting behavior. In regard to the mid-term election he says, “Nobody came out for this election. In fact, in this country, this turnout had the lowest percent of eligible voters to vote since 1942, and that was a war year.” Stein explains, “The election was over probably six or seven months ago. No one was persuaded. No one changed their mind. This was not an election about Robert Stein, Ph.D., a well-known and respected persuasion. It political analyst and an expert on urban politics, public policy and voting behavior discusses election was an election results and meanings. about turnout, and that’s important to understand.” The people who showed up to vote were decidedly older, whiter, homeowners, approaching retirement and/or at retirement. Exit polls determined that the most important issues were a stable economy and border security and immigration, although these ranked higher for Republicans than Democrats. Hispanic Vote Notable Hispanic voters represent 24 percent of registered voters in Texas, and they cast 9.5 to 10 percent of the votes in the election. Most voters in the Hispanic population were in the18 to 34 age group, and this is unique to the Hispanic population. As a general rule, younger people don’t vote. During the years these voters were born, Texas transitioned from a blue state to a red state. Young Hispanics grew up in an environment that was overwhelmingly Republican. They know Republicans always win in Texas and, except for the recession, the economy has always been good. They vote Republican in Texas and will continue to do so. Texas can be won 36


by Democrats, Stein notes, but it won’t be won by voter turnout. “It’s going to be won by convincing people to vote for a candidate on issues,” he says. National Policy Solutions Needed Nationally, the Republican win was largely structurally driven in reference to “how the game is played.” He says by 2016, in a presidential year election with a higher turnout, the Democrats will probably come back. Stein predicts a 4 to 1 chance Democrats will retake the Senate, although the House will “Nobody came out probably not change for this election. In hands. In this election, fact, in this country, establishment this turnout had the Republicans beat out lowest percent of Tea Party insurgents eligible voters to vote in every election. Stein believes the since 1942, and that Republican Party will was a war year.” stay a conservative course, albeit not a “Ted Cruz” course, with movement on immigration and tax reform and perhaps some movement on health care. When asked what he thought the Republicans should do on a national level to remain effective in the 2016 elections, Stein says, “Now that the Republicans hold the House and the Senate, they have to prove they can govern this country. They have to come up with reasonable policy solutions that can be implemented and the people will stand by.”

Tom Linklater, president/COO, Harbourside Consulting; Tom Short, president/CEO, Anadarko Industries, LLC; and Chris Stergiou, director of strategic development, Mori Associates.

PROFITS | Strategies for Success

Your Guide to

Financial Freedom Create your retirement plan now, stress less later By Diana Dunne Chances are, one of your New Year’s resolutions includes losing weight. Maybe your goal is to get more physically fit. If you’re planning to feel great and stay healthy, then you may want to start thinking about how you will support your lifestyle as you enter your retirement years. “When someone is serious about losing weight and getting fit, they will often hire a professional trainer,” says Kerwyn Escayg, Private Wealth Advisor and managing director at Escayg and Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. “Our team of professional, experienced financial advisors is dedicated to your financial success and will customize a financial wellness program you can maintain through retirement.” Working with a financial advisor provides a framework that can allow you to effectively use your resources today while preparing for the future. “Retirement is really financial independence; knowing you don’t have to work for someone else because your income is taken care of,” Escayg adds. Have a Plan The first step toward financial freedom after retirement is to create a plan, revisit it occasionally and track it over time. “Most people don’t set their retirement goals and make a plan to meet those goals early enough in their life,” says Marc Marquez, financial advisor at Escayg and Associates. “To retire comfortably, I believe that you should consider saving for 25 to 30 years before you retire. You can do it in less time, but then it puts more pressure on you.” Determine Your Spending How do you know how much money is enough for 38


your comfortable retirement? The answer probably lies with examining your current lifestyle. “We are creatures of habit. Many people believe that when they retire, they’ll spend less money. It doesn’t work that way,” Escayg says. “If you are accustomed to spending $100,000 annually, you will spend that after retirement. And probably more, because you will have more time on your hands. Determine what you spend today to give you a glimpse into what your retirement will look like.” Understand Employer Benefits Most employers don’t offer pension plans as they did in the past, which puts more burden on individuals to

save money. Pay attention to your employer-sponsored retirement plans to accumulate savings. Understand that social security, which has been a traditional form of retirement income, may not be around in 20 years, at least not in its present form. “Even if you count on social security, you most likely cannot live solely on this income,” Marquez advises. “To live sustainably, you must plan to have other sources of financial support.” Don’t Underestimate Healthcare Costs “People tend to drastically underestimate their cost of medical care after retirement,” Escayg says. “Some don’t think they will get sick as they age. Others wrongly think Medicare will cover everything. The cost of healthcare is continually rising and it can easily cost an individual over $5,000 a year in just out-of-pocket expenses. Health insurance premiums are also rapidly increasing, and become We are creatures even more expensive as we age.” of habit. Many During your younger years people believe – when you are busy working that when they and raising a family – it can be difficult to find the time to retire, they’ll consider your financial options spend less for retirement. Working with money. It doesn’t a financial advisor will help ease the process and also work that way. bring clarity to your plan. “We remove emotions and we base everything on facts,” Marquez says. “We run the numbers, and for some people this becomes a real reality check. They begin to understand the need to have a financial plan. If necessary, we assist them with budgeting, maximizing their contributions to tax-deferred accounts and taking care of their income so they can enjoy financial freedom at every age.” Escayg, Marquez and their associates help clients set and achieve realistic financial goals. “We create longterm relationships. Everything in life changes – incomes, goals, health, careers and more. What remains constant is our dedication to helping our clients successfully navigate through those changes and to be prepared for the unexpected,” Escayg adds.

Escayg and Associates 455 East Medical Center Boulevard, Suite 280 Webster, TX 77598 832.224.4919 Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax or legal issues. Investment advisory services and products are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. January 2015


PROFITS | Strategies for Success

When Your Toys Shred Your Financial Success Here’s a simple tool to end your risk of ruin

By Dwayne Roecker, CBC


he weekend was finally here and Steve was looking forward enjoying his new toy with his kids. His candy apple red ski boat had made a few maiden voyages, but today was special. His oldest was home from her freshman year in Austin. He was so ready for a fun day with her and a little break from a lifetime of responsible. He had high hopes for the day, but it would not go as planned. Steve is not a rich man. He spends thousands of hours at work each year. He has paid his mortgage. Steve has saved for his retirement and tithes regularly at his local church. Today was going to be one of those days when his hard work and diligence would finally be rewarded. It was late afternoon on this early spring Saturday and Steve was exhausted from a day filled with sun and fun. While driving his boat, he noticed another boat pulling a skier across his path. Then suddenly, before Steve even realized, a jet ski appeared – seemingly out of nowhere. Moments later, its young driver had fallen. Steve attempted to swerve, but his boat had already shredded the driver’s leg. Steve’s mind began to whirl. He was concerned about the injured victim, but could not help thinking about his own liabilities and how these might devastate him and his family. He immediately contacted his insurance company. Steve was relieved to learn, since he’d recently purchased high limits, his policy was able to defend

him, as well as pay the injured party’s medical bills. Had Steve not carried adequate coverage, he could have faced mounting court costs and other out-of-pocket expenses. His additional cost for higher limits of liability was minimal compared to his potential costs after the boating accident. You have worked hard to For most people, achieve financial success. You it’s not the cost enjoy your toys and valuables of replacing – and you have taken steps to insure and protect them. your assets that However, did you know your causes the most risk does not end there? Karen financial risk; James, personal lines manager it’s your liability at MaximGroup explains, “For most people, it’s not the cost to others. of replacing your assets that causes the most financial risk; it’s your liability to others.” If you are a boat owner, you are liable for injuries to friends and family who may be along on your boating adventure. It is important to maintain liability coverage and to be prepared for bodily injury or other worse-case scenarios that might result unexpectedly, shredding your financial success. Should you have to replace your car, truck or motorcycle, be aware that state-mandated liability coverage for automobiles and motorcycles is not enough to cover the cost of many new vehicles available for purchase today.

If you are one of the parents who bought their kids an off-road vehicle, be aware of your risks. Kids often let their friends drive these vehicles. If one of those friends gets hurt and the “four-wheeler” is not on-property when the accident happens, the parents could be left without liability coverage and might be presented with a lawsuit. These are just a few examples of some of the potential liabilities faced by unsuspecting owners. Karen recommends protecting yourself and your family with a personal risk assessment. When you consult with a professional, the two of you work together to determine your unique exposure to liability risks – such as your recent large purchases or newly acquired wealth. Common purchases, like jewelry and guns, are often overlooked and need specific coverage as well. “We strongly suggest sitting down with us frequently – at least every two or three years. We can create a personal report that shows where an individual’s risks begin and end and what they can do to protect their family’s future. I believe so strongly in this program, we’ll do it for free for anyone who desires this valuable information.” To learn more about your financial risk and liability – whether for you and your family or for a business you own – talk with a professional risk advisor at MaximGroup. Steve was glad he did.

Know Your Risk Protect Your Assets, Family and Business

BOAT & JET SKI OWNERS - You are liable for injuries to others when accidents occur AUTO, TRUCK, MOTORCYCLE OWNERS - State-mandated liability coverage is not enough to cover the cost of many new vehicles OFF-ROAD VEHICLE OWNERS - You may face liability for injury to others who ride in your vehicles

Protect yourself with a personal risk assessment. Higher limits of liability costs are minimal compared to potential costs of an accident.

Call MaximGroup Today! 281.337.2516 | 800.395.9520 InsuranceInMind.com Insurance | Benefits | Risk Management | Financial Services

The Rotary Club of League City’s Polar Bear Plunge a Huge Success Rotarians took the plunge and raised over $7,000 in donations: $4,000 will go to local high school scholarships and $3,000 will help fight and end polio. The amount will vaccinate more than 5,000 children. Rotarians, friends and family of Rotarians and representatives from Sentinels of Freedom, Assistance League of the Bay Area, Devereux and the Boy Scouts prepare for their Polar Bear Plunge.

Dee Scott and her plunger John Specion.

Roger Proulx and fellow Polar Bear Plunge participant Kathy discuss the impending freeze.

Amy Kilgore and Birda Gaskin.

January 2015


Escayg and Associates Client Party at CULLEN’S RESTAURANT

Escayg and Associates – a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. – hosts friends and clients for an enjoyable evening.

Gwen and Tally Fletcher. Britt Ester, Andrea Nieto and Kerwyn Escayg.

Paula and Bradley Jacobs with Brian Strawn.

Nelda Ishikawa Ward and Andrew Ward. Russell and Margie Ester with Britt Ester.

Marc Marquez and Doug Dickey.

Joe and Jane Berryhill with Brian Strawn.



Kerwyn Escayg with Shirley Terry-Lopez and Jeff Lopez.

PROFITS | Strategies for Success

“Go-Go” Companies Need Not Go It Alone Successful business owners develop a team to build a winning strategy By Steve Retzloff, Chairman Allegiance Bank Texas


n his book, Corporate Lifecycles, Ichak Adizes refers to the growing stage of an entrepreneurial company as the “Go-Go” phase. This is when passion and excitement are high, however, resources to support the vision are usually limited. Owner-operated businesses depend on the drive and passion of their owners. However, growing companies often need more than what the owner alone can provide. They need an outside team. Like these Go-Go companies, Allegiance Bank Texas has grown from a clear vision, relying heavily on the inspiration provided by their founders. The founders of Allegiance Bank Texas aligned the bank around a central, primary purpose – to serve the owner-operated business customer. These are local entrepreneurs – businessmen and women whose energy and dedication to their companies is the special ingredient that leads to their success. However, despite their own self-confidence, die-hard determination and strong individualism, they can’t go it alone. Allegiance bankers adopted this ideal: “It is not what we do, but By leveraging what we do together that makes the talents the difference.” Working with, of others, the listening to and understanding the business owner needs of entrepreneurial customers is able to focus is how success is accomplished. Although an Allegiance banker is on what he or not a consultant to the customer, she does best. an enduring relationship evolves, which can lead to improved results. Whether this manifests as referrals, a candid review of strategy or a friendly word of encouragement, a banking relationship built on mutual respect and trust can be a valuable addition to the talents, energy and vision of the private business owner. Although the wild ride of going it alone can be exciting, a roller coaster ride is not the experience the entrepreneur envisioned when he poured in his heart, soul and second mortgage into his new business.

Additional members of an entrepreneur’s team should include attorneys, CPAs, real estate experts, insurance professionals, bankers and other industry-specific experts. These partners help an owner-operator set up, identify, execute and create. From entity formation and structure to setting up proper procedures and controls, legal and accounting professionals assist with protecting the business. Most businesses require risk management and mitigation, which help determine correct amounts and types of insurance coverage. Resource optimization must be achieved – both in the early days and beyond – for all companies, though it is especially critical for smaller businesses. By leveraging the talents of others, the business owner is able to focus on what he or she does best. They are able to shine! Frank Law, bank office president of the Clear Lake office for Allegiance Bank Texas, along with his seasoned team of bankers and lending professionals, have built strong relationships over many years, serving business customers in the Clear Lake and Houston area. With their extensive experience and dedication, they are ready to partner with you to help your company thrive. To learn more about how Allegiance Bank Texas can partner with you to achieve business success, call 281.517.6468 or drop by their office at 2200 Nasa Parkway, Suite 100 in Nassau Bay. January 2015


PROFITS | Strategy



rofessional P f o In Search ? Satisfaction

g career in d r a w e r n ft your ow a r c u o y s rate a Be delibe

What a Good Job Does By Susan Burnell


t one point in the late 1980s, brainy University of South Florida computer science graduate Scott Uhrig was working his way up the corporate ladder at a Fortune 100 company. He was bored. “I was making good money,” he says. “But I started looking around at my colleagues, and none of them seemed motivated. The biggest challenge was how to look busy for 40 hours a week.” When they That atmosphere, along with one particular incident, sticks in spend most of Uhrig’s mind. “It was very difficult their lives at for anyone to get fired,” he says. work and with “There was one gentleman who their families, transferred in from another office. they don’t have He came to work, propped his feet up on the desk and read the paper. time to pop My boss pulled me aside and their heads up asked me to collect evidence to get rid of the guy. I decided there had and see what to be more to life than that.” has changed. Uhrig resigned a few months later and enrolled in business school at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with an MBA in management and finance and started charting his own course in the business world. What Prompts People to Make a Bold Move? People can become accustomed to a toxic corporate environment, Uhrig says. “They adapt to it, even if they are somewhat miserable. When they spend most of their lives at work and with their families, they don’t have time to pop their heads up and see what has changed. They haven’t yet had that ‘aha’ moment.” Often the event that shakes professionals out of their complacency is a layoff or threat of a layoff. “That can be a blessing in disguise,” Uhrig notes. “Yet, people are often not sure where to start. They see friends leave traditional ➜

1. Meets your economic needs. Most people have a compensation threshold beyond which salary is relatively unimportant, but you have to have a job that meets your minimal economic needs. 2. Meets your personal needs. You also need to have your personal needs met. You don’t need a perfect culture, but you don’t want a toxic culture of fear or one comprised of people you don’t respect. Personal needs also pertain to integrating and balancing your career with other aspects of your life. 3. Provides you with engagement. You should enjoy what you do on a daily basis. Not all the time, and not every day, but most of the time you should actually enjoy your daily activities. If you enjoy what you do, chances are you’re good at it. Lack of engagement leads to burnout and work becomes a grind. 4. Provides you with learning and growth opportunities. There is a fine line here. Too much challenge can lead to frustration and overwhelm you. Not enough challenge can lead to boredom and stagnation. You need an environment that allows you to get really good at something by stretching your capabilities just enough. 5. Provides you with a sense of contribution. How excited are you about your company’s mission? You don’t have to be curing cancer or eliminating hunger, but what your company does should be meaningful to you in some way. Not having a sense of contribution can impact long-term motivation. Source: Scott Uhrig, Whiterock Partners

January 2015


jobs, but they don’t understand how they did it. It’s tough to get started along a new career path.” Rethinking and Redefining a Career Uhrig used what he learned in his career and MBA work to identify needs in the arenas of high-tech recruiting and career change. Today, he splits his time between Career Artisan, a career transition consultancy, and Whiterock Partners, an executive recruiting business he also founded. Based in Austin, Uhrig does between 15 to 20 percent of his high-tech recruiting work for companies in the Houston area. Through one-on-one consultation, courses and webinars, Uhrig encourages his Career Artisan clients to define their own version of success. That takes some rethinking, he says. Success Stories – Not Just About the Money Career success may not be about having more money, status or power – it can be about other things as well. It takes deliberate focus and an action plan to find the job that fits your personality and also motivates you to go to work every day. Among Uhrig’s success stories are clients who made incremental switches – moving to better jobs in the same line of work. “Sometimes, though, moving up means scaling down, and that can

Resources Books • The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search: The Proven Program Used by the World’s Leading Career Services Company, by Orville Pierson • Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work, by Eric Sinowy • Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, by Reid Hoffman Online • Jenny Blake [http://jennyblake.me/] Millennials-focused advice on careers • The Third Metric [http://www.huffingtonpost. com/news/thirdmetric/] – Huffington Post site on redefining success beyond money and power • Penelope Trunk [http://penelopetrunk. com/] - Sage career advice from the founder of Brazen Careerist

Scott Uhrig is a partner with Whiterock Partners, an executive search firm focused on executive-level positions for high-tech companies. He also is the founder of Career Artisan, a career consultancy firm. Scott has an MBA from the University of Texas and a BS and MS in Computer Science from the University of South Florida.



Photo courtesy of John Davidson

“Get focused,” Career Artisan Founder Scott Uhrig advises. “Too many people navigating a job or career transition cast too broad a net.”

have a dramatic impact,” he says. One client had become disillusioned with her career as a software company vice president. “She wanted something different, but she couldn’t quite articulate what it was.” With Uhrig’s help, she ended up at a small low-tech logistics firm. “When I talked to her on the phone after the switch, I heard enthusiasm and energy I hadn’t heard in two years.” While a job should meet your financial needs, greater satisfaction often comes from intrinsic rewards, such as opportunities to learn and grow, Uhrig explains. “People need to be challenged to stay engaged. People are also much happier when they see their company has a mission and their job has meaning.”

Javier A. Rios, M.D. Nonsurgical Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Areas of Practice: • Non-Surgical Orthopedics • Sports Medicine • Knee Pain & Arthritis • Shoulder Pain • Low Back & Neck Pain • Golf/Tennis Elbow

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Heel Pain • Fracture Management • Hip Pain • Foot & Ankle Disorders • Sports Physicals

Procedures Available: • In-Office Musculoskeletal Ultrasound • Ultrasound Guided Joint Injections • Visco Supplementation Injections (Euflexxa) for Osteoarthritis • Trigger Point Injections • Casting & Splinting

www.RiosMD.com • www.AllAmericanOrthopedic.com 1100 Hercules, Ste. 100, Houston, TX 77058

Flexible Appointment Times Available!

281.335.1111 Same Day & Next Day Appointments Accepting New Patients, 2nd Opinions and Worker’s Compensation

January 2015


PROFITS | Strategies for Success

Don’t Let Your Sizzle

l e z z i F

Follow your curiosity to create the life you desire By Margaret A. Johnson, P.E. I got “Oprah-ed” while spending a weekend with the icon of inspiration and her Trailblazers on their “Life You Want” tour. Even if you are living the “life you want” – which I believe I am – it never hurts to seek out additional encouragement and direction. Oprah’s tour opened on a Friday night with her spirited 90-minute welcome. As she made her grand entrance onto the stage, our neon wristbands glowed beautiful yellow and then turned to energizing red. Throughout the event they emitted different colors, changing with each speaker and topic. Saturday was a mix of speakers, including Deepak Chopra leading a meditation exercise and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. Gilbert ighest, shared an inspiring story “Create the h about following where your grandest vision , ur life curiosity leads you, saying possible for yo ome ec curiosity can be more because you b ve.” what you belie inspiring and less frustrating than following your passion. Throughout the weekend, we worked through

exercises in our notebooks. Some of these included creating a vision for these areas of your life: spirituality, health and fitness, family and friends, home and environment, hobbies, contribution to the world, significant other, career and money. I left the event feeling energized, motivated, enlightened and ready to tackle the world. On the way home, I asked my friend who attended with me what she was going to do with all the information she received. She paused, not sure how to proceed with the overwhelming mix of ideas, exercises and resources to investigate. She was committed to working on her “wheel of life” and the vision she had for her future. However, would she be able to maintain that glow she received without the event to spark her energy every day? Here are seven smart ideas that can help keep our goals and intentions on track.

1 Don’t delay. Before you walk away from a training

class or inspirational message or event, decide on the first step you will take to use your new information. Make a commitment by telling a friend or writing it in your planner or cell phone calendar. Imagine your life improving as you make this change. Attach some emotion to the action. Connecting a feeling to your new habit will assure greater success.

2 Create a visual. Make a habit of looking at or thinking

about your vision for your life every day. Create a drawing, a collection of pictures on a poster board, a vision board using a computer application or simply an image in your mind. Be open to the ideas and the people coming into your life and notice how they can help you bring what you want into your reality.



3 Make a list. Write

Gilbert shared an inspiring story about following where your curiosity leads you, saying curiosity can be more inspiring and less frustrating than following your passion.

down the things you do not want to happen to deter your goals. Next to each of those write what you do want to happen to help you achieve your goals. Think about the obstacles preventing you from moving forward. Focus on only what you do want to happen every day – keep your eyes on the positive.

4 Design a game. Friendly competition can be

a positive motivator. Compete with a friend to incorporate new ideas and see if this inspires you both into action.

5 Keep your notes handy. Place your notebook or

binder you received in your training in a convenient place where you will see it daily to remind you of new insights. Don’t let it get covered up with clutter or placed out of sight.

6 Share your information. Teach someone the

exercises or highlights of your event. Teaching

another person is one of the best ways to deeply ingrain information in your mind and ensure you will use it.

7 Hire a coach. A coach works with you to develop

and implement an action plan and remove obstacles like fear, doubt or negative self-talk. Every time I pass that lifeless, unlit wristband I tap it gently to see its beautiful colored glow again for a short time. Some days I need an extra boost and wear the band all day. I am renewed and energized and on track to the life I want. Are you? Don’t let your glows grow fewer and farther apart. Stay sizzling, not fizzling. Margaret Johnson, P.E. works with individuals, teams and companies to assist them in positive transformation. She is a credentialed executive/corporate/life coach and licensed professional engineer. She also conducts corporate and public workshops and beach retreats through her company, Ideal Training, Inc. and is a certified group fitness instructor specializing in indoor cycle and yoga. Connect with Margaret at www.ideasandbeyond.com.

January 2015


DRDA Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants Host their Annual Holiday Open House

Rick Gornto, Niki Smith, Lance Smith, Gary Smith and Lynn Smith. Donald O’Connor, Kimberly Fleming, Jim Sebastian and Donna Sebastian.

Philicia Best, Brent and Jeanne Breaux.

Brooke Best and Mark Rush.

Leigh Brandenberger, Jane Gayle, John Gorman and Gloria Gormley.

Ann Wismer, Michael Landolt and Kim Plemons.



January 2015


The Rose Golf Classic Proves Par for the Course at FUNdraising The Rose Golf Classic at Shadow Hawk raised more than $170,000 for The Rose’s mobile mammography program. Led by board members Jeanne Gillen and Eileen Campbell along with friend and supporter Ysa McKinney, the effort was praised by golfers and The Rose staff as a highlight of a month of raising awareness and funds for the nonprofit, now in 35 counties.

The Rose board members Eileen Campbell and Jeanne Gillen, along with friend and supporter Ysa McKinney, organized the event. Dorothy Gibbons, CEO of The Rose, expressed appreciation for the hard work and the generous sponsors.

This year’s tournament was a sellout with many of the allotted 20 teams filled by Joe Gillen of Pinnacle Financial Strategies and Stan Paur, retired CEO of Chief Executive Officer of PULSE EFT. (Left to right) Alan Ashby, Bud Baker, Stan Paur, Dorothy Gibbons, Ted Clark and Joe Gillen.



2014 sponsors include Pinnacle Financial Strategies, Marathon Oil, Joe and Jeanne Gillen, Doug Perley and Eileen Campbell, TDECO, Woodforest National Bank, TRC Capital and Texas Citizens Bank with underwriters Decode Digital Marketing, The Lee Group Marketing, Buffalo Flange and Garcia Hamilton & Associates. For more information on The Rose and its mobile program, visit www.TheRose.org.

Teams of business leaders and local celebrities included KHOU’s Chita Johnson. (Left to right) Guy Barker, JJ Hollie, Chita Johnson, Dorothy Gibbons, Lee Warren and Gregg Hope.

The focus of the fundraising this year was, once again, expanding The Rose’s Mobile Program. Funds last year, combined with a gift from Woodforest Charitable Foundation, allowed for the purchase of a new unit. CDO Shannon Lecoq and CEO Dorothy Gibbons thank the team of Helen Del Papa, Vicki Richmond and Kim Marling, executive director of Woodforest Charitable Foundation.

Short Change

Orchards Grow Fruit, Community Cooperation Project Learning Tree GreenSchools!, in collaboration with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and with assistance from volunteers from Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, helped plant orchards at three area schools and provided educational programing about fruit and fruit trees. The GreenSchools! program inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home and in their community. For more information visit projectgreenschools.org.

(Front) GreenSchools! Coordinator Della Barbato; Luis Cruz, GreenSchools! Green Ambassador captain; Americorps NCCC volunteers Ashley Funneman and Bailey Anne Grebbin with Emily Paige. (Middle) Americorps NCCC volunteers Kyle Lakind and Tyler Northup; GreenSchools! volunteer Chris Martinez; Joe Blanton from the Houston Arboretum; Americorps NCCC volunteer Alexandria Gutierrez; and Dave Clipson, executive director of the Friends of the National Forests and Grasslands of Texas. (Back) Joe Blanton; Americorps NCCC volunteers Gil Vidales, Terrance Dewberry, Jacob Washbourn, Jeremy Burgos and Claire Mrozek.

Forging Connections in 2015

Photo courtesy of Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College.

The Economic Alliance honors the Texas State Delegation at a luncheon hosted at San Jacinto College North.

Representative Wayne Smith, District 128; Senator Larry Taylor, District 11, Representative Dennis Paul, District 129; Representative Ana Hernandez, District 143; Representative Ed Thompson, District 29; Chad Burke, president and CEO, Economic Alliance Houston Port Region; Karen Gregory, economic development regional manager, CenterPoint Energy and chairman, Economic Alliance Houston Port Region; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, chancellor, San Jacinto College.




Nominate a “Woman Creating Change” to be featured in the March 2015 Communities Creating Change magazine Annual Women’s Issue! Know a woman in our community who is doing positive and inspiring things for the benefit of others? Nominate her at www.ChangeMediaOnline.com/women

Here’s How to Nominate a

“Woman Creating Change” • Visit www.ChangeMediaOnline.com/women and complete the nomination form. • Or email your nominee to Editor@ChangeMediaOnline.com with the following information: Subject Line: Women Creating Change Nominee • Share a paragraph or two detailing your nominee’s work in the community and why they should be considered for “Women Creating Change.”

• Include nominee’s name and contact information (phone number, email address), as well as your contact information. Deadline to submit your nominee(s) is January 21, 2015. For more information, call 281.382.8842.

Because Hunger is Never in Fashion

Glamour, a Style Show and Holiday Market benefiting the Galveston County Food Bank www.galvestoncountyfoodbank.org

Community leaders and influencers donned the latest fashions from Tina’s at the holiday fashion show and market benefiting the Galveston County Food Bank. (Front) Gina Spagnola, Brinda Gutierrez, Becky Trout, Brenda Weber, Olivia Mallard and Doreen Hughes; (Middle) Kaci Hanson, Amanda Daigle, Brenda Gutierrez, Jennifer Burnett and Lindsey White; (Back) Emcees - Erin Webb and Twila Lindblade.

Margo Johnson and Eve Bradford with Crissie Chenette of Jamberry.

January 2015


Profile for Change Magazine

Change Magazine | January 2015  

Change Magazine | January 2015