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COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

STELLAR

MAGAZINE

INSPIRED STYLE FEATURING THE LADIES OF INSPIRE MAGAZINE

SAVINGS

TIM CLARK

AND STELLAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS GO FOR THE GOLD

THIRD COAST SPRAY TANS & MORE RAISING THE STANDARD

THE 5 CS OF

DIAMOND BUYING

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CONTENTS AUGUST.SEPTEMBER 2015

22

BUSINESS COACH 12

HR Horsepower

FEATURES 14 HELP for the Future 16 The Five Cs of Diamond Buying 18 Anything but Typical 20 School Takes Center Stage MONEY MATTERS 36 38

Financial Focus Protect Your Money with Three Questions 40 Looking for a Loan? 42 What are You Really Buying?

REAL ESTATE 46

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House?

ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY 50

TRAVEL

COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: PAUL MARSHALL

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22 TIM CLARK BIGEDHAR/BIGSTOCK.COM

AND STELLAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS

This thrill-seeking entrepreneur and his stellar team aim to gain customers for life by breaking through the red tape and offering customers low, competitive rates.

28 CORERECON

John Martinez and Christopher Hegg work to educate their customers on cyber security and breech prevention and heighten the overall security standard in South Texas.

32 THIRD COAST SPRAY TANS & MORE

Treating clients to that beautiful, bronzed look without the skin damage? That’s all in a day’s work for dedicated business owner and spray tan technician Ashley McKinzey.

Cleaner and Greener

More App than Not

TASTE 58 60

Perks for All Perfect Combination

INSPIRED STYLE 62

The Ladies of Inspire

ENTERTAINMENT 70

Fantastic Upcoming Events!

NONPROFIT 74

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

AUGUST. SEPTEMBER 2015

BACK TO THE BASICS

My team and I have hosted 75 networking mixers in the Coastal Bend, and though I enjoy a great party as much as the next guy, the true purpose for keeping these monthly events afloat is getting back to the basics. I have learned that networking is the single most powerful tool for advancing and sustaining my business. I am an advocate for small business and local medical providers, so organizing these opportunities for our community is a top priority for me, and in my mind, it is just another opportunity to give back. Shaking hands and exchanging business cards is a marketing strategy that goes way back. Relationships are the key to success, and networking is the steppingstone to building them. Whom I know and how I know them most certainly impacts my business. People want to do business with those they like and trust, putting a face with a name. So if you haven’t had the opportunity to join us, I encourage you to make it a priority. My team and I have been locking arms in this community for some time, and we enjoy watching others do the same. We take pride in bringing business back to the basics. Be inspired, and God bless!

PUBLISHER

ADRIAN GARZA EDITOR Allison Alvarado

ART DIRECTOR Liv Madison

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION Holly Duvall

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mandy Ashcraft, Colton Bartel, Kristen Bily, Kim Bridger, Kaitlin Calk, Tim Clark, Jessica Dusek, Coral Dworaczyk, Barbara Ellis, Richard E. Glover Jr., Ridge Hammons, Stephanie Kusy, Connie Laughlin, Gary W. Moore Jr., Niko Sissamiss, Kelly Trevino, Sarona Winfrey, Jeanie Wyatt

PHOTOGRAPHY Dustin Ashcraft Paul Marshall

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Morgan Bartel Brittanie Robertson

Adrian Garza PUBLISHER

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Morgan Bartel

www.inspirecoastalbendmag.com For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, please email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

7957 Wolverine Corpus Christi, Texas 78414 Phone: 361.548.1044

HOLLY DUVALL DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION

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holly@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com

BRITTANIE ROBERTSON ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

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361.425.6483

MORGAN BARTEL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE & SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

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Copyright © Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


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BUSINESS COACH

HR HORSEPOWER Let’s rev it up to 650-hp. By: CONNIE LAUGHLIN

i

CONNIE LAUGHLIN is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information on outsourcing your human resources, contact her at 361852-6392 or conniel@ uniquehr.com.

don’t subscribe to Car & Driver anymore, because when you get older, your priorities change. My inventory list for auto purchases went from “How quick is 0-to-60?” to “How many grandchildren and kids with tails can I fit inside comfortably and still have ample stowing capacity?” What can I say? I’ve lost my coolness factor. I recently went to visit my grown daughter and her hubby. I knew they’d just bought an outrageously fast car. You can’t stop being a mom, and I wanted to cry, thinking about how dangerous the new Vettes are – until I got in it. It was almost like getting a shot of Red Bull and hormone replacement therapy all at once. Oh my! The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 brings it this year, touting what many believe is one of the finest sports cars in the world. So let’s take a serious look at our business, judging it the way a freak for speed and superior hotness (aka a car enthusiast) judges this particular Corvette. How do we measure up? How can we be more like Chevrolet and create awesomeness?

WORLD-CLASS

Per Car & Driver, it’s the “shortest-stopping, most tenaciously gripping production car we’ve ever tested. Oh, it has a kind of powerful engine, too … ranked among the world’s best.” Yes, indeed it does, producing an amazing 650-hp. I’ve never been a Corvette person; it’s just not my thing. However, this year’s dream machine changed that right quick! So what’s stopping you from creating that mind-bending strategy to take your business to the next level? Bring an end to boring. And change mindsets! You’ve got some work to do to tune up your business engine. Outsource activities that don’t fuel your bottom line. I’m talking about administrative things better left to outsourcing pros for probably less money. Spend your time fine-tuning your craft to world-class.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Does working with your business leave customers smiling in awe of your operation? Are they fascinated with your performance? The new Corvette has so many driver options for such a small dash that it’s mind-blowing. Unless you’re the owner/driver, don’t tweak the settings! What options do you offer to make your client experience awesome? Everyone has hot and cold buttons, so don’t leave people cold without the options they need from you. How much time do you spend creating new things to excite your employees and customers alike? Or are you too weighed down doing admin stuff and risk management?

DOES WORKING WITH YOUR BUSINESS LEAVE CUSTOMERS SMILING IN AWE OF YOUR OPERATION?

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HR HORSEPOWER

While some motor heads are stuck on the stick, this year’s Corvette Z06 is selling more automatics. What? Make your recommendation something that clients never experienced and thought they’d never want. Now that’s cool. Many businesses are already outsourcing multiple functions, such as workers’ comp (obviously, unless they’re going bare), payroll, risk management and safety. So why not outsource all of it to one vendor? Wow, that’s different! It’s called a professional employer organization (PEO) relationship. If you could inject 650-hp into your small business by economically outsourcing the employee admin stuff, what’s holding you back? Every employer needs what certified PEO pros bring to a business:  Contained employee cost  Reduced employee liability  Streamlined operations, driving financial gain  Specialized and compliant procedures and policies  Certified HR guidance  Safety and risk management strategies  Efficient payroll administration  Cost-effective benefits Find your awesomeness by working with a PEO.


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FEATURE

HELP FOR THE FUTURE

Hammons Education Leadership Programs Inc. asks local youth: How can you find the job of your dreams if you don’t even know it exists? By: RIDGE HAMMONS

H

ammons Education Leadership Programs Inc. (HELP) takes at-risk and disabled youth and others on visits to numerous worksites around the city and the county to give them handson experience in jobs that might spark their interest and give them the desire to either stay in school or return to receive the training they need to accomplish their dream. In fact, that is HELP’s motto: “How can you find the job of your dreams if you don’t even know it exists?” At HELP, we do things schools do not, and we go places that schools do not go due to legal restraints and fears of liability. We take our clients “where the action is.” We have no prepared lectures, no textbooks and no formal classes – just the experience of a job done well by those who do it best, and who are willing to share their expertise. We work primarily with students with disabilities and those who are having problems

with the law, but we also work with regular program clients who have an interest in getting a head-start on a great career, or those older folks who need some HELP getting back into successful job-seeking.

PROGRAMS

We install touch-screen computers loaded with videos and photos of our job-site visits in schools that we serve. These cutting-edge computers allow the students to virtually experience most of the real-world educational trips we take. This is onsite career mentoring, the basis of our program. We work with “second chancers” who are in trouble with the law, kids with problems caused by school attendance and misbehavior and others who may have certain mental or physical challenges. HELP’s onsite career mentoring shows students exactly what it’s like to do a given occupation, and introduces them to any number of career paths, be it welder, pipefitter, nurse,

firefighter, police officer or auto mechanic. Students get to see exactly what each career entails because HELP takes students down into the middle of the refinery; into the police academy; into the fire station; into the training center at Del Mar; into the mechanic shop to observe, interact with and shadow the professionals who are working in the field. In HELP’s seven years of existence, we have taken more than 2,400 students on almost 250 trips to more than 100 local jobsites. Students generally complete at least one three-month rotation with us looking at different jobs every month. We go to places like the Port, Spohn Hospital, the Police Department and Valero, as well as other large and small locales where large varieties of occupations are gathered and easily experienced in close proximity. In a survey we conducted in 2012, 94 percent of the students we interacted with either were still in school or had a job. Until every student has a career goal, this program will be needed and necessary, especially as schools are being forced to cut many of the vocational programs they do have due to budget constraints.

OTHER HELP PROGRAMS

In addition to onsite career mentoring, HELP also directs other programs, such as Summer Partners in Career Education (SPICE), Second Chance, the Texas Department of Assistive and

For more information on Hammons Education Leadership Programs Inc., visit www.helphelp.us.

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MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES/BIGSTOCK.COM

AT HELP, WE DO THINGS SCHOOLS DO NOT, AND WE GO PLACES THAT SCHOOLS DO NOT GO DUE TO LEGAL RESTRAINTS AND FEARS OF LIABILITY.


Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and a number of school-based career clubs. SPICE is an intensive month-long partnership program that takes 40 at-risk students to Del Mar, TAMUCC and Craft Training Center to show them 30-plus career paths such as welding, scaffolding, nursing and fire safety. In its Second Chance Program, HELP contracts with the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Department to work with probationary youth in order to counter the high rates of recidivism of juveniles on probation. HELP also works with DARS to help clients with disabilities find, get and keep a job (Job Placement and Supported Employment), including support-after-hire and job coaching. The school-to-work career club, which sponsors video “visits” to local business entities and takes professional visitors to school, is available to more than 20,000 students at 12 schools in six counties. HELP uses local grant and donor money to purchase and install touch-screen computers and load them with HELP-produced interactive videos so students can virtually “explore” refineries, port facilities and all the other trips we make from the safety and convenience of school. Students can view more than 50 “field trips” to a variety of local businesses and, if they see a job that intrigues them, use the touchscreen computer to “drill down” into the exact location/ description of the job. They can communicate with the professional mentor either by text, Skype or phone. They can also apply to be on a future trip we take there, and become involved in onsite career mentoring, which attempts to match youth with the “job of their dreams.” Recently, HELP was asked to work for the 36th Judicial District, which includes San Patricio, Bee and three other counties. We will be running trips to employers for students from these areas to join those we have been sending from Nueces County for the last three years. Another new program for HELP is joining Workforce Solutions in placing teachers as observers in local businesses. As part of the Emerging Leadership Initiative (Project ELI), this program intends to improve classroom instruction through enhanced teacher experiences. HELP has cooperated with numerous local entities, and is especially glad to begin a new relationship with Inspire Coastal Bend. Together, we can change the futures of local students and the economy!

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FEATURE

THE FIVE CS OF DIAMOND BUYING Going from “confusion” to “confidence”

S

By: COLTON BARTEL

o the time has finally come! You’re nervous, but excited, and scared, but overjoyed: It’s time to pop the question to that special someone. You know exactly how you are going to get down on one knee while fireworks explode in the distance as you ask the most important question of your lives. There is only one thing standing in the way of you and your magical moment: the jewelry counter. Very often, picking out the perfect ring to bribe your bride can be the scariest moment of your life. Everyone talks about the four Cs of diamonds: Cut // Carat weight // Clarity // Color

Sure, you can look up the technical definitions, but do you really know what they mean to you and why? Over the years, people I have helped pick out diamonds have become more and more educated about the technical aspects of diamonds. This is fine, but they have lost the sense of the romance and the meaning of diamonds. Guys will come in with a “bachelor’s grocery list” looking for what they have been advised should be the “perfect” diamond. The four Cs are important, and there are all different aspects to each of them that I could explain in

great detail – but that would move us even further from the real reason behind this purchase. Instead, we are going to look at these “diamond” features in a different way. Let’s say, theoretically, you are shopping for a wife the same way everyone is taught to shop for diamonds. You want a girl who is 6 feet tall, with blue eyes and blonde hair, who weighs 130 pounds and is so bronze she would make a Kardashian jealous. Now, like a diamond, we look through all the reports, or IDs, of all the available women fitting those standards. Does that guarantee she is the gorgeous woman of your dreams? No! Not to be mean, but I wouldn’t want to leave it that open to someone else’s interpretation! Diamond buying is just like finding your one true love, except odds are you might need a little help identifying what makes a diamond as attractive as the one who will wear it. The first and most important C is cut. Many believe cut refers only to the shape of the stone, but really it’s how well those shapes are faceted. No matter what shape you want, the better

the cut, the brighter the stone. Facets act like mirrors and are what make diamonds sparkle. If those “mirrors” aren’t cut right, then regardless of the shape, the stone won’t be as bright as it could be. Compare like shape stones face-up to see which is the brightest. The easiest choice to make is carat weight. This usually is a good reference to visually how big a stone is, but different cuts will appear different sizes even though the weight is the same. The best advice here is, hint to your “soon to be” and their friends to try and get an idea what to look for, cause whether it’s admitted or not, size does matter! OK, now it’s time for the scary parts. Clarity is one aspect that confuses almost everyone because it’s like encrypted or something with numbers and letters. All you need to know about clarity is what you want. Do you want a stone that is so clean that you could look under a microscope and swear it’s flawless like a VVS1, or is it OK for the stone to have a little personality and have a few small inclusions, but still be shiny like a SI1? The rule of thumb is, if you ask for a stone that is eye-clean, it will be SI2 or better, and the lower you are on the scale, the lower the cost. I know – music to your ears! So go for a diamond that has a little personality while it sparkles, and keep some green in your pocket. Lastly, color – diamonds come in all colors, but let’s focus on white. Traditional white diamonds have several shades and can be slightly yellow or brown. Just like clarity, you could go for the perfect color, but really, there isn’t any reason to do that. The rule of thumb here is to look at the diamond under white light with a white background; as long as it still looks “white” to you, it will look even whiter when it’s set. Also like clarity, the lower the grade, the less expensive it will be. Honestly, the best grades to look for are those between G and J; they will be very white, but much less than stones graded higher. Now that your fifth C is confidence, go find your dream diamond for your dream boat!

NO MATTER WHAT SHAPE YOU WANT,

the better the cut, the brighter the stone.

For more information, or if you would like to set up an appointment to learn more or view stones, please visit Susann’s Custom Jewelers at 4254 S. Alameda in Corpus Christi, Texas, or call 361-991-7565. You can also email Colton Bartel, GIA graduate gemologist, at coltonbartel@live.com.

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FEATURE

ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL The Texas State Aquarium: the perfect venue to make your next event unforgettable

H

osting an event is a chance to make an impression and create lasting memories. It is a chance to offer your guests not only a good time, but an experience they will remember and talk about for years to come. In order to make that kind of impression, you need both the right backdrop and to offer unique experiences. There is no event venue anywhere in Texas’ Coastal Bend quite like the Texas State Aquarium, a fresh, living venue where stunning views of Corpus Christi Bay frame exotic aquatic and animal exhibits that are colorful, vibrant and constantly moving. The Texas State Aquarium has played host

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to everything from large corporate events, weddings and day conferences to banquets, proms, birthday parties, business meetings of many sizes and cocktail parties. Regardless of the size of event, the aquarium’s unique setting makes every visit unforgettable. Events at the Texas State Aquarium can be as simple as a small dinner, cocktail party or a business meeting, but every event allows guests a chance to enjoy both the views from the aquarium and some of the more than 4,000 fascinating creatures representing over 320 species that call it home. Options for additional unforgettable guest experiences can help really set an event apart

from the norm. For example, a host can choose to provide his or her guests with a private dolphin show, up-close animal encounters with some of the aquarium’s animal ambassadors, a diver-in-the-water show at one of the aquarium’s premier aquatic exhibits or behind-thescenes or private tours. Each of these allows guests to enjoy a personal connection with the living nature of the unique venue. No matter how good the guest experience is at an event, a venue has only done its job well if the host feels equally satisfied. With that in mind, the Texas State Aquarium strives to make the planning and coordination of every event as simple as possible. That is why each

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TEXAS STATE AQUARIUM

By: RICHARD E. GLOVER JR.


PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE TEXAS STATE AQUARIUM

event is assigned a coordinator who facilitates everything from decorating to setup to catering and even event cleanup. Also simplifying the planning process, the Texas State Aquarium offers both in-house food and liquor catering. The aquarium’s popular Water Edge Catering offers flexible menus that can range from light or heavy hors d’oeuvres to burgers or barbecue, to a gourmet steak or seafood dinner. “The Texas State Aquarium is not only a world-class and fun place to host a banquet, but the staff makes the planning process simple and a PHOTO COURTESY OF DON AND EMILY MAMONE real joy,” said Pastor Mark Behrendt of Galilean Lutheran, Southwest Texas Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Annual Assembly. “We had an excellent response to our evening from our guests thanks to the staff of the Texas State Aquarium.” Whether it is getting face-to-face with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, majestic sharks and endangered sea turtles, or touching stingrays, watching North American river otters frolic or being mesmerized by aquatic exhibits full of colorful fish or elegant jellyfish, there is something unforgettable for everyone to see and experience at the Texas State Aquarium. That includes an avian collection featuring shorebirds such as roseate spoonbills, ibis and herons, as well eagles, hawks and even a turkey vulture – reflecting Corpus Christi’s longstanding title as “The Birdiest City in the United States.” Hosting an event at the aquarium is not just a good way to make an impression on guests – it also directly benefits the animals and habitats of the Coastal Bend. The Texas State Aquarium is a private not-for-profit institution, and it receives no operating support from city, state or federal sources outside of specific grant projects. A portion of the revenue from every private event supports the daily care of more than 4,000 animals; the aquarium’s Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program that nurses sick and injured animals back to health with the goal of releasing them back into their natural environment; and programs that focus on habitat restoration, wildlife management, conservation and wildlife rehabilitation in the Gulf of Mexico funded through the aquarium’s Wildlife Care, Conservation and Research Fund. For 25 years, private events at the Texas State Aquarium have been making lasting impressions on both the guests who enjoy truly unique experiences and the wildlife and habitats of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information about events at the Texas State Aquarium, please visit our website at www.texastateaquarium.org, or call 361-881-1244.

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FEATURE

SCHOOL TAKES CENTER STAGE

AS PARENTS

and students count down the days until school begins – for different reasons – many are also planning to take advantage of tax-free shopping from Aug. 7 to 9 to purchase back-to-school items, including clothing, shoes and accessories. “Back-to-school time and the Texas sales tax holiday weekend is always one of the busiest of the year,” said La Palmera General Manager Fred Walters. “Families now plan on these weekends to save money, particularly those buying for more than one student.” Select La Palmera retailers will have extended hours and officers for the event. Officers from the Corpus Christi Police Department will be onsite Friday through Sunday to assist with traffic control, making it easier for customers to navigate their way in and out of parking areas. Valet parking is also available at the main entrance near P.F.

Chang’s, and for added convenience, shoppers can now call in or text their valet claim number to 361-238-0777 and have their car waiting for them. Tax-free items once again include most basic school supplies, as well as backpacks, clothing, shoes and many accessories priced under $100 used by elementary and secondary students. Shoppers will also find special deals at many stores whose merchandise does not qualify for taxfree status. More information on the sales tax holiday, as well as links to lists of included items, can be found at http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxpubs/ taxholiday/d/. And while the back-to-school activities traditionally focus on elementary- and secondary-level students, many are preparing for their education beyond high school. Since May 2013, La Palmera has partnered with Coastal Compass, a not-for-profit educational and ca-

BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME AND THE TEXAS SALES TAX HOLIDAY WEEKEND IS ALWAYS ONE OF THE BUSIEST OF THE YEAR.”

reer resource center providing free assistance to high school students and adults, including information on college enrollment, General Education Development (GED) diplomas and certification sources, as well as literacy classes, and connecting them to the appropriate resources. Located at the front of La Palmera, the 2,200-square-foot center is an initiative of Citizens for Educational Excellence, a local nonprofit education organization working to improve education in the area. Since opening at La Palmera, Coastal Compass has assisted more than 4,000 individuals and hosted numerous events, including a special “signing” ceremony held at La Palmera at the end of the 2015 school year as part of Generation TX Decision Day, a statewide event celebrating high school seniors and their post-secondary plans. Nearly 300 Coastal Bend-area students participated in the La Palmera event. Following the ceremony, students and parents were invited to Coastal Compass to learn more about the services that will help them on the path to post-secondary education. Many of the students will soon be heading off to two - and four-year institutions, while others plan to join the military or attend the Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend. “We are so proud to partner with Coastal Compass,” Walters said. “They provide an amazing service to Coastal Bend students and residents without charge, and we are pleased to assist them in that process.”

For more information on Coastal Compass, go to www.coastalcompass.org, or call 361-906-0703. And to learn more about La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera, go to www.lapalmera.com, or call 361-991-3755.

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KZENON/BIGSTOCK.COM, OLYINA/BIGSTOCK.COM

The La Palmera Shopping District preps for back-to-school time and the Texas sales tax holiday weekend. By: SARONA WINFREY


I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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COVER STORY

Poweri south texas WANT A CHEAPER ELECTRIC BILL?

Stellar Energy Solutions gets electric companies to compete for their clients’ business, resulting in low, competitive pricing. By: Stephanie Kusy Photos by: Paul Marshall

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ng

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comes higher electricity rates. So the thought would be if my contract expires in June, why not renew in December or January when it’s cooler and usage and volume is down? That’s what we try to pinpoint for customers. Pull the trigger here, and we’ll save you money there.” The Stellar Energy Solutions staff members pride themselves on being proactive with their customers’ accounts. Clark says since Texas deregulated the electricity market in 2002, customers show no loyalty to providers, often switching companies in search of a better rate. His service costs the customer nothing, and it is great for those who don’t know much about the energy process and find the fine print confusing and time consuming. Clark and his staff cut through the red tape and break down their clients’ bills down to the penny, leaving them confident they made a well-informed decision. Clark says his goal is to have a customer for life. “If at any point I can benefit you by lowering your rate, I’m going to lower it whether I profit from it or not. If I can keep you on the books, that’s profit for me.” Brokers offer special options such as “Future Price Locking” a new agreement up to one year if a client is currently in a contract. This will allow customers to take advantage of potentially lower prices now, without canceling their existing contractual obligations. Many customers also like to take advantage of their “Next Meter-Read” option, which allows clients to switch over on their next scheduled meter read. There are no hidden costs, credit checks or fees required. The company currently ranks No. 7 in sales nationally, though they only compete for business in Texas and Ohio. A self-proclaimed country boy, Clark grew up in rural Collinsville, Okla., with blue-collar roots. He has the Navy to thank for becoming a Corpus Christi resident, serving four years before making the Coastal Bend home. His experience laid the groundwork for the businessman he would later become. “I would not be where I’m at today if I had

T Tim Clark sure loves his cowboy boots. Unless work demands formal attire, this entrepreneur prefers them with just about anything. Today, he’s sporting a pair of ostrich boots with casual khakis and a button-down. He quickly mentions that his favorite, however, is a pair of alligator boots his wife, Keila, bought him for his birthday. At just 33, Clark has quite a bit to celebrate. His company, Stellar Energy Solutions, dominates South Texas as an experienced electricity broker. A small staff of six employees manages around 1,000 commercial and residential clients. This didn’t happen overnight for Clark and his team, though. He hardly knew anything about the energy industry until 2007. After a short stint in the oilfield (he was laid off), Clark took a job with Reliant Energy working as a door-to-door salesman. Not knowing much about the topic, he dedicated himself and became a student of the industry. He quickly gained clients by building trust and once was audited for having too many sales. “The difference between me and everyone else was that I was up at 6 a.m., I was out the door by 7 a.m. and I was knocking on my first door at 8 a.m.,” he says. “They’d be unlocking the door to get in, and I’d be right there waiting for them. And then I’d work until 7 or 8 p.m.” In 2010, he decided to branch out on his own and start Stellar Energy Solutions. The concept is simple: They use industry resources and experience to analyze a company’s electric usage. Then they shop multiple electricity providers to deliver a customized comprehensive quote. Unlike typical contracts, staff can negotiate lower rates for clients by renewing a contract earlier when energy prices are down. Nearly 85 percent of energy in Texas is derived from natural gas, so the market plays a crucial role in the cost of electricity. “If you sign up in June, your contract will expire in June. What happens that month? It heats up. It’s hot outside; the AC units go up. All this power starts getting used in Texas, and with that

,,

If at any point I can benefit you by LOWERING YOUR RATE, I’m going to lower it whether I profit from it or not.” I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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Clark and his staff cut through the red tape and break down their clients’ bills down to the penny.

Call Stellar Energy Solutions at 361-884-8973 for a comprehensive energy quote, or visit their website at www.stellarnrgsolutions.com.

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PHOTOS THIS PAGE COURTESY OF TIM CLARK

not joined the military,” he says. “The discipline, dedication, loyalty, work ethic, all of that – you take that with you. I think that really propelled me.” These days, Clark lives for the three Fs: faith, family and flyboarding. This thrill seeker became a flyboarding fanatic back in 2012. In this relatively new water sport, a rider stands on a board, connected by a long hose hooked to the back of a jet ski. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath, which thrusts riders in the air up to 50 feet. “It’s a great hobby to have. I encourage anybody and everybody to do it. It’s amazing,” he says with excitement. “Keila, my wife, has even done it!” The couple married last August and welcomed their first child together, Raymond Christian, on June 6. Clark also has another son: Caleb, 12. They plan to build a home far on the south side of town on a plot of land so the boys can grow up hunting and fishing just like their father. Clark and his family attend Yorktown Baptist Church, where he is involved in a mentoring program with other pastors. He embodies the phrase, “It’s better to give than to receive,” and he truly enjoys helping others. “Wealth is not the most important to me, but success is – whether it is being a husband, being a father, being a business owner.” The folks at Stellar Energy Solutions seek success both personally and professionally. When it comes to electricity, they will find the most cost-effective solutions custom tailored to their customers’ business needs. This will allow their clients to free up time and money to work on their own definition of success.


15 Turn good

#

intentions into greater actions. I’m here to help you plan for the future so you can continue all the good you do in your life.

Annie J. Castro, CLU®, LUTCF Agent New York Life Insurance Company 4466 S. Staples, Suite A Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 (361) 986-1321 ajcastro@ft.newyorklife.com www.anniejcastro.com Registered Representative offering investments through NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), A Licensed Insurance Agency.

Life Insurance. Retirement. Investments.

KEEP

GOOD

GOING

SMRU496908(Exp.01/11/2015) © 2013 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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PROFILE

SECURELY

C Y B E R S E C U RITY JOHN MARTINEZ AND CHRISTOPHER HEGG HAVE IT ALL COVERED AT CORERECON,

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FASTENED AN D B R E E C H P R E V E N T I O N : RAISING THE SECURITY STANDARD IN SOUTH TEXAS. BY: JESS I CA DU S E K P H OTOS BY : PAU L M A RSH A L L

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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eightening the standard of cyber securities in South Texas, CoreRecon CEO John Martinez educates his customers on cyber security and breech prevention. Martinez’s 10-year stint in military security reinforces the knowledge and expertise imbedded within his company. Working with the U.S. Marine Corps at the Pentagon, networks were installed in the mid-1990s. He was educated during the “ the computer era.” He explains: “I never realized the importance of security until we realized people can actually hack into these networks. I realized this by hacking into the network from another building.” CoreRecon is the only company in South Texas offering cyber security assessments in compliance with HIPPA’s privacy act. Martinez explains their main objectives are to support their client regarding, “procedures and steps that medical facilities and compliance don’t follow. I also do this to help out the patient.” His consulting business gives an indepth analysis of potential compromises, for example lost ID badges, procedure changes and need for change in access control. Working with staff and CEOs, he can report back, “Here is a discrepancy report; I’ve managed to find your discrepancies and how to resolve these issues.” As a kid, the Corpus Christi native was curious about how things worked and why. He recalls, “My parents got me a helicopter, and you had to move the propeller by hand.” Wanting to make the propeller spin automatically, he dismantled a battery toy truck, which would spin its wheels as soon as you turned on the switch. His thought was, “if it makes the wheels turn, then it sure to make the propeller spin.” Upgrading his toy helicopter, he laughs, “I made a hole inside the helicopter, and I super-glued the small generator inside the helicopter – then jammed the propeller into the generator at the top of a small piece of metal, so now all I had to do was turn on the switch and the propeller would spin.” It was this type of thinking that would lead him to the back-end of understanding cyber systems, codes and algorithms integrated into systems that serve his clients.

Market niche: HIPPA

Working with different government agencies, Martinez was trained to protect sensitive information and identify threats that could compromise systems. He switched

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his focus from IT to security. Discovering a niche in the medical arena, Martinez and his partner, Christopher Hegg, began working in accordance with the HIPPA Act, reinforcing the confidentiality of health records and personal information. Consulting for projects out of Dallas, Martinez found that companies were going under because they were failing to comply with audits in the medical field. Surprisingly, he found big businesses would spend money on equipment, yet would not know to put a budget aside on security training and social engineering. In one incident, Martinez experienced this with a company he was working with: “I immediately saw five violations just by standing by the receptionist counter.” He recalls starting out in the industry, “Security was never taken serious.” Martinez reflects on a specific company in his formative years: “The company made $1.2 billion per year, but yet, failed in some security procedures and recommendations.” Securities became apparent for generational climates – Martinez noticed the lack of knowledge and concern for cyber security and IT security from his CTO. His CTO was afraid to explain to the board of directors that certain tablets and mobile devices were not in compliance with security measures. Martinez explained to his CTO that the security issues needed to be brought up once again to the board of directors, but as always, his CTO was afraid to confront them. Working with a credit union that experienced a physical breech, the writing was on the wall. “My first reaction was, ‘I told you we needed more physical security cameras, which would look at all directions within that building,’” explains Martinez of the incident. When the CTO mentioned to Martinez, “I knew you were going to overact because of this incident,” Martinez responded, “Of course I’m going to make a big deal about it; we don’t know what was taken.” He continues, “To make matters worse, this incident was swept under the rug.” Yet, the disappointment was not long standing. Martinez knew it was time to move on and leave the credit union due to the CTO’s management skills. Martinez found he could apply his industry knowledge and strengths in his community. Creating the company, CoreRecon, after thinking of his past experiences, he realized as he describes, “what not-to-do and how to properly manage his employees and how to make a company excel.” In three months, he had landed more than 20 clients. As the business grew, his partner, Hegg, brought experience as a former network

CORERECON IS THE ONLY COMPANY IN SOUTH TEXAS OFFERING CYBER SECURITY ASSESSMENTS IN COMPLIANCE WITH HIPPA’S PRIVACY ACT.


vulnerability security technician in the Navy, and had also worked as a senior security controls assessor, which added perspective to their cyber security services. With their unique approach, they are looking to expand into other parts of Texas such as San Antonio. “Data are always stored somewhere,” Martinez says. “Social Security numbers, credit card information and medical records are among these. Information can be used as a weapon, whether in social engineering or direct cyber se-

CONSULTING FOR PROJECTS OUT OF DALLAS, MARTINEZ FOUND THAT COMPANIES WERE GOING UNDER BECAUSE THEY WERE FAILING TO COMPLY WITH AUDITS IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. curity manipulation. Hackers do it for a living.” Fueling his passion to uphold security integrity, Martinez continues to educate his clients. “If you look at our website, we are secure,” he explains. Noting the “S” after the http in a Web address can be a small, yet critical miss by the

general public in terms of security of personal information. His mission? To continue to educate and support his clients, or as he puts it, “to teach people; knowledge, security – dos and don’ts. Don’t be the next headline.”

For more information on CoreRecon, visit https://www.corerecon.com, or contact John Martinez or Chris Hegg at the following: john@corerecon.com or chris@corerecon.com. I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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PROFILE

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Business owner and spray tan technician ASHLEY MCKINZEY makes her clients feel bronzed and beautiful at Third Coast Spray Tans & More. By: Stephanie Kusy Photos by: Paul Marshall

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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nicely tanned body might be the hottest accessory anyone can own. Everyone knows a bit of color makes most people look better. Now that beautiful bronzed look can be achieved instantly without baking in the sun for hours and causing skin damage. At Third Coast Spray Tans & More, owner Ashley McKinzey makes sure the gorgeous glow lasts yearround. She has been delivering high-quality airbrush spray tanning since 2008. McKinzey says she got her start in airbrush spray tanning after she bought the equipment to try on herself. Soon after, she began practicing on friends and family, and they loved the look. “The cool thing about spray tanning is that it gives men and women a sense of confidence. That’s what I love the most,” she explains. “They leave feeling so much better about themselves. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to give that gift to someone.” McKinzey initially went mobile back in 2008. She traveled to 10 to 15 homes a day to spray tan clients. Eventually she turned her home office into a spray tanning room. After a year-and-a-half, she grew out of the space and opened a boutique on the South Side in January, which features two spray tanning rooms, two standup UV tanning beds, one lay-down bed, lotions and a line of clothing and swimsuits to show off that golden glow. Bright colors cover the walls of the nautical-themed boutique. It matches the owner’s personality, a 28-year-old mom who seems to do it all. “I was scared to death to open this location, as this was the first time in my career I had such a large overhead,” she says, “but I give all the glory to God to be able to have such a great location and see it prosper.” Her two boys, Vincent, 9, and Sylus, 5, play quietly in the other room while the interview takes place. Sylus was born with a congenital heart defect called double outlet right ventricle, and he has undergone three major open-heart surgeries at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. McKinzey’s children are the driving force behind her business. When her husband left for Arizona to attend school for 14 months, she needed a source of income to provide for her family, yet be flexible enough to tend to her son’s medical needs. “I feel like that was the moment I had a choice: I could be defeated and wallow in my sorrows, or I could give it to God and do something about it,” she says. “So that’s when I decided to really push and grow my business, and I think through all of that I have been able to provide for my family, grow as a person, provide for my kids and create this life.” She hopes to soon start a nonprofit in honor of her son for families dealing with the financial difficulties of having an ill child. McKinzey carries what she calls the Rolls Royce of solutions in her boutique. Derived with an array of vitamins, the solutions carry anti-aging antioxidants that are vegan approved and certified organic. All products are safe for her clients’ skin. The biggest myth she often hears from suspicious users: Solutions will turn your skin orange. The spray tan should not turn orange if the correct DHA level and density of solution is applied to fit each person’s skin type. “I’ve tanned thousands of people,”

“Our No. 1 thing is customer satisfaction. We genuinely care about our clients and their outcome.”

she says, “and when you have that experience, you learn what to do and not to do.” Her clients include several local celebrities and socialites such as radio and TV personalities, local actors and even the famous Steve Kuclo, a professional body builder. With a fast-drying formula and streak-free precision, most spray tans last seven to 14 days with proper maintenance. “Our No. 1 thing is customer satisfaction,” she says. “We genuinely care about our clients and their outcome.” Airbrush tanning is an art form in its own right. A certified technician mixes solutions and sprays the entire body with a fine mist. In the beginning, McKinzey played with many brands to find what worked and what didn’t. Now she can simply look at someone and know what color will look best on that person’s skin tone. “The first year was really rough,” she says. “People are going to tell you how they see it. Searching for the best products on the market had its ups and downs, but I think in any situation in life, you can either learn from it or grow from it. It’s not what happens, but how you respond to situations that make all the difference. I think for me, keeping that in mind throughout my life has helped me become better at what I do.” McKinzey can do it all, but now she doesn’t have to. She’s hired an additional staff member training to become a spray tan technician to help meet a growing business. This allows for a flexible schedule, so she can meet her children’s needs and maintain a successful business. “I want to tell other women who are facing adversity or who have a child born with a medical condition – don’t be stuck in your situation. We have to stay strong for our babies. We must continue to learn, grow and follow our dreams – put our ‘big girl’ panties on,” she says, laughing. “Our kids will thank us for it later.”

Third Coast Spray Tans & More is located at 6181 Saratoga Blvd., Ste. 117, across from Wal-Mart. For more tips on how to prepare for a spray tan, call the store at 361-906-0245, visit Ashley McKinzey’s website at www.thirdcoasttanning.com or look for McKinzey on Facebook.

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FASTEST GROWING

CHEERLEADING AND TUMBLING

GYM IN THE COASTAL BEND!

Call now for more details!

361.452.4712

www.modernamericancheer.com

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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MONEY MATTERS

FINANCIAL FOCUS Investment mistakes to watch for at different stages of life

By: BARBARA ELLIS

TRY TO PUT MORE MONEY INTO YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS EVERY TIME YOUR SALARY GOES UP. current income needs while still owning stocks that provide the growth potential to help keep up with inflation in your retirement years.

WHEN YOU’VE JUST RETIRED …

WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG …

MISTAKE: INVESTING TOO CONSERVATIVELY (OR NOT AT ALL)

If you’re just entering the working world, you may not have a lot of money with which to invest. But don’t wait until your income grows; putting away even a small amount each month can prove quite helpful. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of investing primarily in short-term vehicles that may preserve your principal, but offer little in the way of growth potential. Instead, position your portfolio for growth. Of course, stock prices will always fluctuate, but you potentially have decades to overcome these short-term declines. Since this money is for retirement, your focus should be on the long term – and it’s impossible to reach long-term goals with short-term, highly conservative investments.

WHEN YOU’RE IN MID-CAREER …

MISTAKE: PUTTING INSUFFICIENT FUNDS INTO YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

At this stage of your life, your earning power may well have increased substantially. As a result, you should have more money available to invest for the future – specifically, you may now be able to “max out” on your IRA and still boost your contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as your 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b). These retirement accounts offer tax advantages that you may not receive in ordinary savings and investment accounts. Try to put more money into these retirement accounts every time your salary goes up.

WHEN YOU’RE NEARING RETIREMENT …

MISTAKE: NOT HAVING BALANCE IN YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

When they’re within just a few years of retirement, some people may go to extremes, either investing too aggressively to try to make up for lost time or too conservatively in an attempt to avoid potential declines. Both these strategies could be risky. So as you near retirement, seek to balance your portfolio. This could mean shifting some of your investment dollars into fixed-income vehicles to provide for your

Upon reaching retirement, you will need to carefully manage the money you’ve accumulated in your IRA, 401(k) and all other investment accounts. Obviously, your chief concern is outliving your money, so you’ll need to determine how much you can withdraw each year. To arrive at this figure, take into account your current age, your projected longevity, the amount of money you’ve saved and the estimated rate of return you’re getting from your investments. This type of calculation is complex, so you may want to consult with a financial professional. By avoiding these errors, you can help ensure that, at each stage of your life, you’re doing what you can to keep making progress toward your financial goals.

Barbara Ellis is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Her office is located at 4236 S. Alameda in the Town and County Shopping Center. She can be reached at 361-992-9618 or barbara.ellis@edwardjones.com.

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BERNIE123/BIGSTOCK.COM

AS AN INVESTOR, how can you avoid making mistakes? It’s not always easy, because investing can be full of potential pitfalls. But if you know about the most common mistakes at different stages of an investor’s life, you may have a better chance of avoiding these costly errors. Let’s take a look at some investment mistakes you’ll want to avoid when you’re young, when you’re in mid-career, when you’re nearing retirement and when you’ve just retired.

MISTAKE: FAILING TO DETERMINE AN APPROPRIATE WITHDRAWAL RATE


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I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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MONEY MATTERS

I

nvesting today is global, complex and confusing! Information overload perhaps best describes the state of the average investor. This situation is made worse by an unending stream of new investment products and strategies, combined with nonstop news coverage of economic events, relevant or not. Turning to an investment manager under these circumstances feels a lot like taking your car to the shop. You can’t fix it yourself, but you are not sure if the repairs you are paying for really are necessary, either.  So what should you do? How do you find an investment advisor who doesn’t leave you wondering, ‘Are they doing what’s best for me, or are they doing what’s best for them?’ Fortunately, this is one of life’s dilemmas that has a fairly simple solution – one that centers on transparency. You need to arm yourself with a little information. Specifically, you need to know what you own, know what you made and know what you paid. Your financial advisor should be able tell you these three things on a regular (quarterly) basis. If your advisor cannot, you should find an advisor who can. Here’s why they are important:  

PROTECT YOUR MONEY WITH THREE QUESTIONS It’s your money! Know what you own, know what you made and know what you paid. By: JEANIE WYATT

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Sixty years of modern finance theory can be summarized by the simple assertion that you shouldn’t talk about investment returns without talking about investment risks in the same sentence. But you can’t know the risks you are taking if you don’t know what securities you own. In fact, many of the bad outcomes that people experience with their investments occur because they don’t know what they own down to the individual security level (e.g. 100 shares of IBM stock; a State of Texas General Obligation bond). That’s when clarity or transparency is at its highest, at the individual security level, and it only goes down from there. For example, combining just a few mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) makes it very difficult to know what exposures you have to specific companies or sectors, like energy. And even expert financial analysts have difficulties figuring out what is owned in many of the annuities and insurance “investment” products that advisors routinely

SERGEY NIVENS/BIGSTOCK.COM

» KNOW WHAT YOU OWN


pitch. For other investments, like hedge funds, transparency is often impossible. Finally, security-level transparency makes it easier to detect excess trading or portfolio “turnover.” This can indicate a manager more focused on short-term speculation than long-term investing.  

In general, investment products that are opaque or lacking in transparency have the highest and hardest-to-find fees.

Money managers are notorious for obfuscation and game-playing when it comes to reporting their performance numbers. Sometimes this takes the form of creating a lot of different portfolios, and then later only picking the best one in hindsight to talk about. And managers can also cleverly attach historical “back-tested” numbers or charts of hypothetical portfolios with more recent numbers or charts from real portfolios in order to give a very misleading picture of their historical performance. Fortunately, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute has worked toward helping investors navigate these misleading waters by developing global investment performance standards, or GIPS. Make sure your manager is “GIPS compliant,” and make sure that these GIPS-compliant performance numbers are regularly discussed with you and compared to reasonable benchmarks, like the S&P 500 or Wilshire 5000 for U.S. portfolios, or the MSCI World Index for global portfolios.  

the highest and hardest-to-find fees. This is particularly true of high-commission products like annuities and life insurance products, but it can also be true for many types of mutual funds. A recent Cerulli Report shows that the average all-in fee for mutual funds is 2 percent. Sometimes advisors get paid commissions for putting their clients into these products, so you should always ask your advisor how he or she gets paid. Indeed, many of the large global money center banks started focusing on individual “wealth management” businesses because automated trading systems had greatly reduced the trading commissions that historically made up a lot of their business. They turned to individuals because they saw a need, their need, to replace lost trading commissions with high-commission investment products.

YUROLAITSALBERT/BIGSTOCK.COM

» KNOW WHAT YOU MADE

» KNOW WHAT YOU PAID

As difficult as it is to get transparency with respect to holdings and performance, it is often even more difficult to get transparency on fees. Like performance numbers, investment management fees should be clearly laid out in simple dollar or percentage terms during your quarterly or annual meetings with your investment advisor. In general, investment products that are opaque or lacking in transparency have

Summary

Keep your investment life simple. Know what you own, know what you made and know what you paid. South Texas Money Management Ltd. is an independent registered investment advisor with $2.7 billion in assets under management and claims compliance with the CFA Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct. It is located at 921 N. Chaparral, Ste. 112, and may be reached at 361-904-0551. For more information, you may also visit www.stmmltd.com.

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MONEY MATTERS

LOOKING FOR A LOAN? The Better Business Bureau offers advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs. By: KELLY TREVINO

tionwide regarding loans, loan servicing and small business loans. Most consumer complaints reported issues with contracts, billing or collection and sales. If you are looking to take out a loan, BBB advises you to watch out for these red flags: » The lender’s track record is poor. Consumers should review the BBB Business Review for any business before a transaction. A history of unanswered complaints, advertising issues or government action will let consumers know the company should be avoided. » The lender requires an upfront fee. Legitimate financial lenders do not charge up-front fees to process a loan application. Beware of consultants, brokers and loans that require a fee up front and collect your money as a step toward getting investment. » The lender uses high-pressure sales tactics. Advancefee loans can carry extremely high-interest rates and have detailed information in the contract. Consumers should never feel forced to make a decision on the spot, and they should take time to get everything in writing before agreeing to the terms of the loan.

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I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

LEGITIMATE FINANCIAL LENDERS DO NOT CHARGE UP-FRONT FEES TO PROCESS A LOAN APPLICATION.

» The lender has little contact information. Beware of any business that only has an online presence and no physical address, and of any business with no contact information beyond an email address or phone number. To find a trustworthy loan business or service, visit BBB’s Accredited Business Directory at check.bbb.org. For more important business advice, visit our website at www.bbb.org/central-texas under the “For Businesses” section, or our independent blog, www.watchyourbuck. com.

Kelly Trevino is the regional director for the Corpus Christi office of Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin. She is available for media interviews and speaking engagements. You can reach her at 361-882-6422 or ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

MANGOSTOCK/BIGSTOCK.COM

ARE YOU A NEW ENTREPRENEUR

looking for a last-minute loan? Perhaps your business just needs a little extra money for a few months, or maybe you are a small business owner and a loan is just what you need to get your business up and running. If so, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises you to beware of loan scams. Some lenders and investors target new entrepreneurs and desperate consumers in need of immediate financial help. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it is easy to miss a scam when you are busy trying to get your business financed. The Small Business Association warns prospective business owners of “fake investors,” who are often located overseas and require a steep fee in return for quick approval. Payday lenders charge high interest rates, set unaffordable payment terms and use high-pressure collection tactics that can make paying off loans nearly impossible. Advance-fee lenders charge an upfront fee and will “guarantee” you a loan despite your credit history. Also, chances are, you won’t get your money back. Real lenders, like banks or credit unions, check your credit history – even if your credit history is good. In 2014, BBB received more than 6,700 complaints na-


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MONEY MATTERS

WHAT ARE Y L L A E R U O Y BUYING?

king informed a m f o ce n a rt o The imp buying insurance decisions when

As consumers, we typically make informed decisions on our purchases, but in many cases, this does not happen when we purchase insurance. Typical consumers go to their agent or direct company and take whatever comes their way, trusting it will be what they need. It is understandable that insurance is not as interesting as buying a car, primarily because it is an intangible and has the appearance of being complicated. When we purchase a new car, we normally have an idea of what we want before we get there due to some sort of research, advertising or just a general liking of the vehicle or brand. What

we don’t do is walk up to salespeople and ask them to choose whatever they think! Then you would find yourself very unhappy, leaving the dealership in something that looks like the Griswolds’ family truckster from the movie, “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Purchasing insurance is exactly the same way regardless of what policy you are purchasing. Our agency, along with many others, tries to create a value for the consumer by providing the most coverage for the best price. Too often, we see where a consumer purchased a policy that does not cover much at all based on price alone. There is no value in this because it is essentially a waste of money due to the lack of coverage. You, the consumer, should have a fundamental understanding of what you are purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to demand reasonable answers. Explain to your agent

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to demand reasonable answers.

what concerns you most – for example, “What happens to my gun collection if my house burns down?” or “How will my auto policy pay for damages if I get hit by an uninsured driver?” Most agents will ask you a series of questions to identify your needs, but some don’t, and that can cause great havoc in the event of a loss. I encourage all of you to pull out your insurance policies and read them. Look at the coverage amounts, and see if they make sense. And read the “exclusions,” because knowing what is not covered is equally important as knowing what is covered. If you find something you do not understand, ask your agent to explain it. If your agent does not do a good job explaining your coverage or answering your questions, find a new agent. There are plenty of good agents in the Coastal Bend who can – and will – answer your questions!

For more information, visit Moore Insurance Agency online at www.moore-ins.net.

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NITO/BIGSTOCK.COM

ORE JR. By: GARY W. MO


TA W X A E U E FR G K . 7 E EE TH N –9 D TH

shop. dine. tax free. Extended Hours for Select Stores

5488 S. Padre Island Drive • Corpus Christi

lapalmera.com

Shop more than 130 names for back to school including: Dillard’s • Macy’s • JCPenney Aéropostale • American Eagle Outfitters • Buckle • Champs Sports • Dick’s Sporting Goods DSW • Express • Finish Line • Forever 21 • Journeys • LensCrafters • PacSun • Papaya T.J. Maxx • Today’s Vision • Vans • Zumiez • And More!

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WHEN NATURAL DISASTER STRIKES, CARLISLE INSURANCE HAS YOU READY. FROM BUSINESS TO PERSONAL, WE WILL CREATE CUSTOM SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR CUSTOM NEEDS. WITH OUR VARIOUS AVAILABLE POLICIES, YOU CAN TAKE PRIDE KNOWING YOU WON'T GET CAUGHT WITHOUT AN UMBRELLA.

SPECIAL INSU R ANCE P ROG R AMS COMMERCIAL INSU R ANCE EMPLOYEE BENEF IT S PERSONAL IN SUR ANCE CARLISLEINS.COM

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REAL ESTATE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY A HOUSE? Part I of II: What does a Coastal Bend home actually cost? By: CORAL DWORACZYK

H

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and the option fee (payable directly to the seller). The earnest money amount may vary from several hundred to many thousands of dollars, depending on the price of the property and the terms negotiated. This money is offered as a deposit of sorts to show the buyer’s willingness and ability to purchase the property. In some cases, if the transaction were to fall through, the seller would receive this portion of the buyer’s money. If the deal closes successfully, this money is usually applied to the buyer’s expenses or refunded to the buyer. From the time of contract to closing, this money is held by the title company, an indepen-

IN OUR AREA, THE AVERAGE GENERAL HOME INSPECTION IS TYPICALLY $350 TO $450, USUALLY VARYING WITH THE SIZE OF THE HOME. dent third party, until orders are issued for its disbursement. The buyer may also negotiate for the unrestricted right to back out of the contract for a short period of time (usually five to 14 days) per the terms of the “termination option” in a contract, and a payment is typically paid to the seller for this right. If the buyer terminates the contract during the defined time limit, the earnest money is refunded, but the seller keeps this fee. If the deal closes, this money may be credited back to the buyer at closing. In our area, this fee is usually around $100 for most homes, but it may be more or less depending on the property and the timeframe. Next, the buyer will usually arrange to have the property in-

GOODLUZ/BIGSTOCK.COM

omebuyers and sellers are often surprised to find out what it actually costs to buy or sell a property in our area. This summary pertains to the expenses typically incurred during your average real estate transaction in the Coastal Bend where real estate agents have negotiated a contract between a buyer and seller (with the seller typically paying agent commissions). The next issue of Inspire Coastal Bend magazine will cover the basic expenses for sellers. Please note that many exceptions can apply, and buyers should always consult their lawyer or real estate agent for further explanation or advice. To begin, buyers seeking a mortgage need to plan to have their down payment available before they start shopping for a property. Depending on the type of loan to be utilized, this down payment can range from 0 to 20 percent of the price of a home. In the case of a vacant land purchase, a lender could require a down payment of 20 to 50 percent of the price. Serious buyers should also contact a lender (if a mortgage is to be obtained) prior to home shopping to determine which type of loan will suit their home-buying goals best. Once a home is selected and a contract is negotiated between buyers and sellers, the first money exchanged is typically the earnest money (payable to the title company selected)


spected. In our area, the average general home inspection is typically $350 to $450, usually varying with the size of the home. Buyers may also add accessory inspections to cover the home’s plumbing, heat/air conditioning, structural systems and foundation, roof, pool, septic, etc., or termite inspections. If a mortgage is to be utilized, the lender will require a buyer to order and pay for an appraisal on the property. The average home appraisal in the Coastal Bend is around $400, but some lenders may negotiate on expense of this report. Homebuyers planning to buy a home utilizing a mortgage (versus paying cash only) are often surprised by the required closing costs or settlement expenses. There are two types of closing costs that are incurred by buyers: prepaid and fixed closing costs. Prepaid expenses are those related to homeowner’s insurance policies, property taxes and interest. Depending on the type of loan and the lenders requirements, a buyer may be required to establish an escrow account to collect the property’s upcoming insurance and tax payments. In this case, the lender requires a buyer to put reserves in this account at closing, and then a portion of each month’s loan payment is deposited into this account. The lender then pays the property taxes and the homeowner’s insurance from this account when they are due. Some loans and lenders do not require a buyer to establish this account. In that case, buyers are required to “self-escrow,” or plan to pay these expenses on their own. If these prepaid expenses and escrow account are required by the lender, buyers can expect to prepay up an estimated 14 months of insurance and several months of estimated property taxes. The majority of the fixed closing costs for buyers are usually one-time charges from the lender and title company fees for document preparation and filing. Lenders often charge a fee for the buyer or borrower to obtain the loan – usually called a “loan origination fee.” This fee may vary from 0 to 2 percent of the loan amount, and it may be negotiable in some cases. Typically, the other fixed closing costs are approximately $1,000 to $1,500 for your average Coastal Bend home. These expenses are comprised of miscellaneous expenses related to surveys, endorsements, credit reports, attorney fees, closing fees and other fees associated with preparing, processing and recording the new title documents. Again, please note that there is a wide amount of variation between lenders and title companies. Just for an estimated example, an average buyer using an FHA loan (3.5 percent down payment, 30-year note, 4.5 percent interest) to purchase a $150,000 Corpus Christi home could expect to pay approximately $6,800 in prepaid and fixed closing costs (in addition to their down payment and inspection fees). However, keep in mind that many of these expenses are lender required or related, and cash buyers have a huge advantage at closing over the buyer utilizing a mortgage. In the same scenario, a cash buyer purchasing a $150,000 home will still potentially pay earnest money, an option fee and for inspections, but the actual closing costs may be less than $1,000.

THE AVERAGE HOME APPRAISAL IN THE COASTAL BEND IS AROUND $400, BUT SOME LENDERS MAY NEGOTIATE ON EXPENSE OF THIS REPORT.

For more information about the real estate industry, please contact Coral Dworaczyk, realtor, at 979-229-2836, at cdworaczyk@gmail. com, or online at http://realestatebycoral.com. I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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EXPERIENCING A BUMPY RIDE? Schedule a suspension service and get back to smooth riding!  LIFT KITS  LEVELING KITS  TRUCK ACCESSORIES  ALIGNMENTS  TIRE ROTATION  TIRE BALANCE

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Financing Available

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ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY

CLEANER AND GREENER

How the Power Scorecard can help you navigate the competition in the Texas electricity market

C

onsumers in Texas should shop for electricity the way they shop for cars or clothes: The price matters, but so does the quality and the source of power. The Power Scorecard is designed to help consumers understand the environmental quality differences among the electricity service choices offered in the new retail-competitive market. With competition, you, the consumer, have the opportunity to choose cleaner, greener electricity from among the new choices competition offers. The following explains how competition works. Other parts of the Power Scorecard provide information on the environmental quality differences in electricity choices offered in Texas (see “Ratings” at http://powerscorecard.org). In the past, one company, a local utility, provided all the parts of your electric service (generation, transmission, distribution and retail sales). This means that the local utility supplied the power, read your electric meter, fixed any electric line problems and determined the sources of electric generation. Because electricity consumers had no option to switch companies, utilities were able to install any facilities they felt necessary with little input from residents and consumers. Before deregulation, electric utilities were in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. They operated as a regulated monopoly and had the sole rights to sell electricity in a particular region. On Jan. 1, 2002, Texas opened its electric system to retail competition. With competition, these parts are separated.

Generation

Transmission

Distribution

 no longer

 remains

 remains utility

 no longer

 lines open

 service remains

utility only regulated

 suppliers

utility only to all suppliers

compete

responsibility

Customers  choose

generation suppliers

the same

 rates remain

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

The Power Scorecard provides:

regulated

The actual delivery of electricity across poles and wires to your home or business is called transmission and distribution. These services are provided to you by the local wires company, which is responsible for maintaining the poles and wires, and responding to emergencies and power outages as always. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) continues to regulate the delivery of electricity to ensure the safety and reliability of your electric service. With electric competition, retail electric providers (REPs) sell electricity to you and provide functions such as customer service and billing. Retail electric providers compete for your business by offering lower prices, renewable energy options, added customer service benefits or other incentives. Generally, there are two types of REPS: affiliate retail electric providers and com-

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For more information on Texas Choice, see also: Unplugging Texas’ Most Powerful Polluters, A Report on How to Choose Electricity and Why it Matters. A Study for Public Citizen’s Texas Office and The SEED Coalition. July 2002 (available at http:// www.citizen.org/ documents/September%20Our%20 Unplugged%20Final. pdf) Renewable Resources: The New Texas Energy Powerhouse. A report on the economic benefits of renewable energy in Texas and how to keep them growing. A report by the SEED Coalition and Public Citizen’s Texas office. September 2002 (available at:www.citizen.org/ documents/Tx%20 Energy%20Powerhouse.pdf)

• Information on how to contact each REP for such information • Links to www. powertochoose.com (the PUC’s website) – a place where consumers may obtain extensive information on how retail choice works in Texas

petitive retail electric providers. The affiliate retail electric provider was part of the original electric company that generated and sold electricity in your area. Now, the affiliate REP only sells electricity and provides customer service. The competitive retail electric providers are new, competing with other REPs for your business. You can choose a competitive REP at any time. However, if you are not ready to choose a competitive REP, your electric service will continue to be provided by the affiliate REP. This company offers a standard rate for electric service called the “Price to Beat,” which is set by the PUC. Competitive retail electric providers may offer prices even lower than the Price to Beat, and you may switch providers at any time. You may obtain information on the Price to Beat by contacting your affiliate REP and asking for a copy of its Electricity Facts Label, or you may visit the PUC’s Electric Choice website at www.powertochoose.org and enter your zip code in the “Compare Offers” section. The Electricity Facts Label provides standardized information on electric service, including details on prices, contract terms, sources of generation and emissions. The Power Scorecard has been designed to help you evaluate the environmental quality differences among the competing REPs by providing environmental ratings of the electricity supply sources each REP uses to serve its customers. The Power Scorecard also provides limited information on the price of the choices available in each retail service area. Detailed information on price and other terms of service should be obtained from the REP. For more information, visit www.powertochoose.com.

TOP_VECTORS/BIGSTOCK.COM

By: TIM CLARK


Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber Commerce Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber ofof Commerce

Presented by: Presented by:

ChannelingOur OurFuture Future Channeling Please join Please join us us as as Judy Hawley, Judy Hawley, Port Commission Chair, Port Commission Chair, delivers state delivers herher lastlast state port and shares of of thethe port and shares a message moving a message moving us us forward channel forward as as wewe channel future growth. thethe future forfor growth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Wednesday, August 19, 2015 11:30AM - 1:00PM 11:30AM - 1:00PM Solomon P. Ortiz International Center Solomon P. Ortiz International Center Harbor 402402 Harbor Dr.Dr.

Table or Sponsorship Information Contact (361) 887-7408 ForFor Table or Sponsorship Information Contact (361) 887-7408

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Wednesday October 28th 1724 N. Tancahua Live Music From

Hole & The Deadbeats & Matt The Hotrod Gang Lip Sync Battle 6pm-9pm of the Coastal Bend

Featuring local celebrities and dignitaries Costumes welcome

Dinner included

Tickets $50 Platinum Gold Silver Table Student

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$5,000 $3,000 $1,000 $500 $250

www.helphelp.us 361-815-6122 ridge@helphelp.us

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M


I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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TRAVEL

MORE APP THAN NOT Travel apps offer handy help for the savvy traveler. By: KIM BRIDGER

 Airfarewatchdog promises to help you before you start planning your trip by alerting you to cheap airfare from the airport you use to the destinations you are interested in visiting. I have actually used Airfarewatchdog in my day-to-day work at Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA) monitoring airfare trends, although I have not messed around with the app. What I do know about this one is that it will send you email alerts when it finds a cheap deal for you. You simply subscribe and set up your preferred airports and destinations. At CCIA, we have an Airfarewatchdog feed on our website

showing the best available fares to some of the most popular destinations.

TRAVEL APPS MIGHT MAKE THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE MORE PREDICTABLE, LESS STRESSFUL AND MAYBE EVEN LESS EXPENSIVE.

 Hopper Airfare Predictor promises to help guide you to the cheapest time of year, time of week and time of day to schedule your next trip. All you have to do is tell it where you want to go.  TripAdvisor promises to help you find the best hotels, restaurants and activities at your destination by showing you reviews and ratings entered by other travelers. I Googled it and got a pop-up saying that 60 of my friends are already using it. Once again, I am way behind.  Tripit promises to help you organize, into one central place, all of your airline and hotel reservations, pre-arranged shuttles and transportation and things to do while traveling. In some cases, it will pull the details from your computer and even send them to your calendar. And all of this time, I have been printing email confirmations and ending up with a stack of papers that I constantly fumble through while moving through airports and hotels. If you’ve used one of these or any other travel apps and have the time to share your experiences with us, please feel free to post it on CCIA’s Facebook page. It’s time for some of us to get with the program – and maybe I’m not the only out there who is still a little “old school” about new-age technology.

Kim Bridger is the marketing manager at Corpus Christi International Airport. For more information, you may contact her at kimb@cctexas.com.

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D13/BIGSTOCK.COM

I

can remember when we relied on landline telephones to make reservations with an airline. It didn’t seem too cumbersome at the time. You’d wait a bit to get someone on the phone. They would ask you for your departure and destination cities and your flight dates, and then would go over the list of times for you to consider. Once you picked your itinerary, you could make the reservation and get your total, and they would hold it for 24 hours. During that 24-hour period, you could call back and pay with a credit card or drive to your nearest airport and purchase your ticket at the ticket counter. Oh my, how times have changed. I stopped making airline reservations by phone a long time ago. But I have not always been quick to conform to using technology in all the ways it was meant to be used. Actually, that is probably an understatement. Even with these shortcomings, I can’t help but be curious about all of the travel apps that are out there today. Many of them have been around for years, and in the beginning, were used only by the most savvy of travelers. I don’t qualify for the “savvy” category, but doing some research on them leaves me thinking that travel apps might make the travel experience a whole lot more predictable, less stressful and maybe even less expensive. If these apps can help us save time and money, it might be time to check them out. Let’s hope some of you have used these and can share your experiences with us:


the gulf coast humane society’s cause for the paws

$100k challenge if we reach $100k by december, it will be doubled by a generous donor!

join us for our first ever August 16th, 12-2pm hosted by:

to donate:

visit www.gchscc.org 3118 cabaniss parkway, cc tx, 78415

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TASTE

PERKS FOR ALL

Getting to know the social hour/happy hour scene at your favorite restaurants By: NIKO SISSAMISS

THERE IS NOTHING BETTER than to unwind after a hard day at work by kicking back with coworkers and friends for social hour/happy hour at a restaurant with great food, a wonderful staff and a fantastic atmosphere. Many find it the perfect time to mingle, meet new people and network. Diehard social hour patrons have made the greatest business deals of their careers and formulated lifelong partnerships during these few enjoyable hours of the day. Still others find it a treat, perhaps the best concept in the world, to catch up on their favorite sporting games and events and to enjoy cold beer, wine, margaritas and cocktails, plus delicious bar-side appetizers all at a reduced price. In an era when the economy still has not entirely recovered and the cost of living is creeping up each year, restaurant social hour/happy hour is a great way to meet new people, enjoy top-notch

mixology and enjoy savory food all at attractive prices. However you look at it, there are many advantages and perks for all to enjoy. So after your next stressful day at work, gather some friends or coworkers, or just come as you are to your favorite restaurant and check out what their concept of social hour/ happy hour is all about!

The most important note for everyone to know about the social hour/happy hour scene, whether you are a newcomer to the concept or a lifelong patron of it (even more significant than unwinding, mingling, meeting people or networking and far more significant than the best

formulated business deal that could ever be composed and signed): Always drink responsibly. Please know your limitations, and always adhere to an establishment’s maximum drink limits per guest. Every company has laws and rules for their employees to follow to help ensure the safety

of yourself and others on the road. Always notify a friend, bartender or manager if you don’t think it is safe for you to drive. The restaurant will always offer to call, and in some cases pay, for a cab to ensure you get home safely and are able to enjoy another great social hour/happy hour again soon!

For more information, visit Niko’s Steakhouse online at www.nikossteakhouse.com.

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JANI BRYSON/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT THE SOCIAL HOUR/ HAPPY HOUR SCENE IS TO ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY.


Great Food. Great Times. Great Experience. Happy Hour 4-7pm

7 Days a Week

5409 Saratoga Blvd., Corpus Christi nikossteakhouse.com 361.992.2333 Sun-Thurs 11am-1am

Fri & Sat 11am-2am I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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TASTE

Perfect Combination Cool down in the late summer/early fall South Texas heat with creamy coconut milk and coffee ice cream. By: MANDY ASHCRAFT // Photo by: DUSTIN ASHCRAFT

W

hile summer winds down to fall weather in most of the country, the heat blazes on in South Texas for a while longer. If you’ve been looking for a reason to dust off your old ice cream maker, this is it. Coconut milk makes a fantastic dairy-free ice cream, and this one is swirled with the rich flavor of coffee. The summer heat is no match for the perfect combination of sweet and cool. (Note: This recipe requires the mixture to cool several hours before adding to ice cream maker, so be sure to plan ahead!)

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

2 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk, full-fat 2/3 cup turbinado sugar (“Sugar in the Raw”) 3/4 cup brewed coffee, preferably bold roast 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/ Over medium heat, stir together coconut milk, sugar and coffee until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into a container and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight. 2/ Ice cream makers can vary in their usage directions, so be sure to read the directions for your model. Pour the thoroughly chilled coconut milk mixture into your machine and allow it to churn as directed by your own machine. 3/ Once ice cream reaches desired consistency, it is ready to be served. To save for later, simply scoop into a freezer-safe container with a lid. Allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving from the freezer, as it freezes harder than dairy ice cream.

For more information, visit www.vividlyaverage.com.

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the ladies of inspire

inspired style Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

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ON LOCATION AT THE HOME OF MR. & MRS. SCOTT MANDEL HAIR & MAKEUP BY ATELIER SALON WARDROBE PROVIDED BY KISH MISH BOUTIQUE FINE JEWELRY PROVIDED BY SUSANN’S CUSTOM JEWELERS


HAIR & MAKEUP BY ATELIER SALON WARDROBE PROVIDED BY KISH MISH BOUTIQUE FINE JEWELRY PROVIDED BY SUSANN’S CUSTOM JEWELERS

HOLLY DUVALL DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION

words to

li

My philosophy: Always respect others and their differences; you never know when you may have to take a walk in their shoes. Find value in honesty, but remember to be tactful, for tact is being truthful without making an enemy, and having enemies is much more difficult than having friends.

v

: y b e

Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.

Why I love what I do: I work for and with an amazing group of people, each with his or her own unique personality, passions and idiosyncrasies – but all with the same goal in mind when it comes to the work we do. We work together day in and day out, striving to make Inspire Coastal Bend magazine the best publication in the Coastal Bend. We all take pride in the product we produce and value the partnerships and relationships we’ve been afforded through the publication. We take pride in the community we live in and work for. I truly feel blessed to be a part of our team, and that our publisher has entrusted me to be an intricate part of our success. My boss truly respects me as an individual and values the work I do. This makes my job, even when challenging, easy. The excitement I feel when we wrap up production every issue is like Christmas morning – it’s hard to beat that!


BRITTANIE ROBERTSON ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

My philosophy: Don’t let your weaknesses defeat you. Keep going.

words to l

Why I love what I do: It’s this simple: the stories. When you walk into an establishment, be it a doctor’s office, a restaurant or a boutique, the tale behind the business is what intrigues me. I want to hear it. I want to know both it and the individual. I’ve heard some of the most inspiring (not to sound cliché) stories of the most driven and passionate individuals in our community. Every day I get to talk to people who had a vision and ran with it, some against all odds. These make the coolest stories, and I share them with my own children. Who wouldn’t love going to work when every day is filled with so much victory?

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If you never ask, the answer is always no.

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ON LOCATION AT RICHARD BORCHARD FAIRGROUNDS HAIR & MAKEUP BY ATELIER SALON WARDROBE PROVIDED BY KISH MISH BOUTIQUE FINE JEWELRY PROVIDED BY SUSANN’S CUSTOM JEWELERS


MORGAN BARTEL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

My philosophy: Let your faith penetrate every aspect of your life. Allow God to take center stage in your relationships, your career and your hobbies, and in every itty-bitty factor of your day-today. It’s only when we realize that this life we are living is much bigger than us that we can begin impacting the world in such a way that is beyond our comprehension. Knowing you aren’t the author of your life is an empowering gift and an immense blessing.  

words to l

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Don’t let the busyness make you miss the blessing of divine interruptions.” - Lysa TerKeurst

Why I love what I do: It sounds so cliché to say my job doesn’t feel like work, but it honestly feels like hanging out with friends every single day. I know each day that I will have sore sides from laughing so hard. I know each day that I will feel accomplished. I know that each day I will be inspired to reach above and beyond what I did yesterday. It’s an honor to work alongside such a talented team. What makes it even more amazing is that I am able to see how strong our community can be when everybody is working together.

ON LOCATION AT HAVANA CLUB HAIR & MAKEUP BY ATELIER SALON WARDROBE PROVIDED BY KISH MISH BOUTIQUE FINE JEWELRY PROVIDED BY SUSANN’S CUSTOM JEWELERS I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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ENTERTAINMENT er Tour has received fantastic reviews from critics, who have called it, “the summer must-see.” Learn more at www.dierks.com/bio.html.

Aug. 29 Citgo Presents: A Night in Vegas American Bank Center Henry Garrett Ballroom

From paint to some great country and from roller derby to some great causes, the American Bank Center has quite a variety lined up for you in August and September. By: KRISTEN BILY Aug. 15 Life in Color American Bank Center Shoreline Boulevard Life in Color, the world’s largest paint party, is coming to Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center-Shoreline Boulevard on Aug. 15, 2015! Billed by its organizers as the “World’s Largest Paint Party,” the tour features performances by EDM DJs, joined by artistic performers and the tour’s signature spraying of the audience with paint throughout the show. This very interactive concert has played in massive stadiums all over the world from South America to Europe to Asia. Life in Color’s 2015 tour will involve U.S. dates, including Corpus Christi. “I think this is a big step for EDM,” said Sebastian Solano, CEO of Life in Color. “It’s setting a standard for mainstream (music) in the U.S.” For the first time ever, Life in Color will invade Shoreline Boulevard and fill the crowd with color. This show

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will happen rain or shine, and please note: ages 16-plus (under 16 may enter if accompanied by a parent with a paid ticket), must have a valid ID and no refunds. (This show will be general admission and standing only.)

Aug. 27 Dierks Bentley American Bank Center Arena Dierks Bentley brings his Sounds of Summer Tour to the American Bank Center Arena on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. He will also be adding a few friends to the party, including Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith. Seven albums into one of country music’s most respected and most unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/ songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project that came out in early 2014 and stands as his most personal to date. His Sounds of Sum-

Aug. 29 Hurricane Alley Roller Derby American Bank Center Exhibit Hall The Hurricane Alley Roller Derby team will be hitting the track again at the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The ladies of Hurricane Alley Roller Derby are coming into their 10th year of making quite a lot of noise! Since their new home was made here at the American Bank Center, the hard-hitting ladies of the Hurricane Alley Roller Derby have become part of the family. The team is happy to announce that they now have a new practice place located at the YWCA. WFTDA apprentices and quickly on their way to becoming internationally ranked, Hurricane Alley Roller Derby continues to grow their fan base and sell out their bouts here at the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall. Come cheer on the ladies of the Hurricane Alley Roller Derby on Saturday, Aug. 29, and be sure not to miss all of the hard-hitting action!

Sept. 9 “The Price is Right Live” Featuring Host Jerry Springer American Bank Center Selena Auditorium “The Price Is Right Live” is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to “come on down” to win! Prizes may include appliances, vacations and possibly a new car! Play classic games from television’s longest-running and most popular game show from Plinko, to Cliffhangers, to The Big Wheel and even the fabulous Showcase. Playing to

SUMNERSGRAPHICSINC/BIGSTOCK.COM

FANTASTIC UPCOMING EVENTS!

Citgo Presents: A Night in Vegas! This very special event will include casino tables, Vegas-style shows, a silent auction, local food and so much more! This event will benefit Charlie’s Place Recovery Center, promoting recovery from addiction through change. This special night will be held in the American Bank Center Henry Garrett Ballroom, and sponsorship levels include $5,000, $2,500, $1,000 and $75. Every donation counts, and Citgo invites the great city of Corpus Christi to come wine, dine and give to a very special cause that is helping our community. To get tickets or inquire about sponsorships, email agranberry@cbadrc.org.


near sold-out audiences for nearly nine years, “The Price Is Right Live!” has given away more than $10 million in cash and prizes and sold more than 1.2 million tickets. If you enjoy the rush of emotions experienced while watching the show on television, just imagine the possibilities if you were actually in the audience watching it live. For more information, visit www.priceisrightlive.com. (Want to play? No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of 50 United States and Canada (excluding Puerto Rico and Quebec), 18 years or older. Ticket purchase will not increase your chances of being selected to play. To register for chance to be a contestant, visit registration area at or near the venue box office three hours prior to show time. For complete rules and regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit or call the box. To enter theater to watch show, a ticket purchase is required. Sponsored by Good Games Live Inc. Void where prohibited. “Price is Right Live,” 2015, FremantleMedia. All rights reserved.)

www.edwardjones.com

Sept. 10 Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse 12th Annual Luncheon American Bank Center Henry Garrett Ballroom Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (BACALA) is the local chapter of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) for the residents of Corpus Christi and surrounding areas. CALA groups are local, nonprofit coalitions dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse. This year’s luncheon will feature guest speaker, Rudy Giuliani, 107th mayor of New York City. Sponsorship levels are now available, as well as individual seats. To learn more about sponsorship levels and to RSVP, email bacala@interconnect.net.

Sept. 11 – 13 Fall Home & Garden Show American Bank Center Exhibit Hall The 16th annual fall Home & Garden Show will return to the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall on Sept. 11. Come join us! This will be your opportunity to turn your home and garden dreams into reality! From the front door to the backyard, you’ll find it all at the Annual Corpus Christi Home & Garden Show. Come take advantage of “show only” prices. Save time, save money and have fun! The Fall Home & Garden Show will take place Friday, Sept. 11, through Sunday, Sept. 13. Ticket Prices: adults 17plus: $7; 16 and under: free; adults 65-plus: $5; and active military: free. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

If You’re Leaving Your Employer, Do You Know Your 401(k) Options? At Edward Jones, we can explain options for your 401(k), including leaving the money in your former employer’s plan, moving it to your new employer’s plan, rolling it over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or cashing out the account subject to tax consequences. We can help you review your options so that you can select the one that’s best for you. If you decide to roll it over to an Edward Jones IRA, we can help.

To learn more, call or visit your financial advisor today.

Barbara S Ellis

Financial Advisor .

4236 S Alameda Corpus Christi, TX 78412 361-992-9618

Sept. 22 WWE SmackDown American Bank Center Arena On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the American Bank Center will turn into an action-packed arena featuring all of your favorite WWE superstars! With the past shows selling out, you know that WWE never disappoints, and there will surely be all the action that you can handle. Join WWE Heavweight Champion Seth Rollins, 2015 Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, WWE Divas and so many more! IRT-1948D-A-AD

Member SIPC

SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center. For more information, visit us online at www.americanbankcenter.com and www.facebook.com/ americanbankcenter, or follow us on Twitter (@AmericanBankCtr) and Instagram (@AmericanBankCenter).

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NONPROFIT

NOW’S THE TIME By: KAITLIN CALK

FUNDS RAISED DURING THIS CHALLENGE WILL HELP US MAKE MAJOR RENOVATIONS THAT WILL DRAMATICALLY RAISE THE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR THE ANIMALS HERE.

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he Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS) has been given an amazing opportunity – one that could make a huge difference in the lives of the hundreds of animals residing in our facility. As you may know, the GCHS is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter that houses and finds forever homes for hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. As a nonprofit organization, we depend solely on donations to keep our doors open and care for our animals. Recently, an anonymous donor has agreed to donate $100,000 to the GCHS under one condition: that we raise that same amount on our own by December. This money would make tremendous changes happen at the GCHS. Not only would the money go to the daily care of the more than 300 animals under our roof, it would also help to pay for heartworm treatments (the medicine alone is $175 per treatment), wheelchairs for paralyzed animals and treatment for other medical conditions. Funds raised during this challenge will also help us make major renovations to our facility – changes that will dramatically raise the standard of living for the animals here. One of the most exciting changes will be installing bigger and better cat cages so that our many felines will have more room to stretch out. Most of our cats are allowed to roam freely in their designated rooms during our operating hours, but for the 15 hours that we are closed, these kitties are confined to their cages that only have room for their litter box, food and water and a blanket. Another wonderful renovation will be completely redoing the pond at our dog park so that it is safe and sanitary for our dogs. Volunteers and staff walk our canine residents on a semi-regular basis, and the dogs do get time to play outside in fenced-off “runs,” but noth-

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ing beats our dog park. Running freely on the large expanse of soft grass and taking a dip in the pond is the highlight of these dogs’ stay here. With a poorly designed filter, the water is often deemed unsanitary, and we are forced to close the park until the problem can be resolved. It is a poorly designed, algae-ridden pond that should be a refreshing oasis for our dogs to cool off in, especially in the dreaded South Texas heat. Instead, it is a pitiful excuse for a pond without filtration and full of algae and grime,

Aug. 16 from noon to 2 p.m., right here at the GCHS, we will be holding our first-ever Telethon hosted by KIII! We will have staff and volunteers manning the phones to take donations while stories of adoptions, tales of healing from within GCHS and information about the services we provide the community are televised. If you would like to donate to the GCHS, now is the perfect time. You are welcome to donate in person at our facility, over the phone at 361-2250845, on our website at www.gchscc.

and it is a tadpole bed. Short of finding their forever homes, bigger cages and a reliably clean pond will clearly mean the world to the animals at our facility. Smaller improvements will include purchasing a new van and “Adopt Me” vests for events, repairing kennel doors in our back kennels and getting new Kuranda beds for our dogs. We do not have much time to raise $100,000, but we remain hopeful. We have had several successful fundraisers, including our Adopt-A-Thon and monthly fundraisers at the Vintage Easel, but we still have quite a way to go. Our next fundraiser will be a big one, and we are very excited about it! On

org or via our GoFundMe account at www.gofundme.com/gulfcoasthumane. You are also welcome to mail us your donation! We are extremely grateful to that anonymous donor for giving us this challenge, and we know that with help from our community, we can make it happen! The Gulf Coast Humane Society is located at 3118 Cabaniss Parkway in Corpus Christi, Texas. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to give us a call at 361-225-0845.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GULF COAST HUMANE SOCIETY

The Cause for the Paws $100K Challenge: a wonderful opportunity for the Gulf Coast Humane Society


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Class A in just CDL 3 WEEKS 3-week Day Courses

Six-week Night Courses Refresher Courses for current CDL holders

Job-Placement Assistance after you complete the program. State-of-the-Art Equipment and Simulators.

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(361) 698-2707

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Town & Country Cafe Breakfast served all day / Meeting room available upon request 4228 S. Alameda / Corpus Christi, TX 78412

361.992.0360 Hours: Mon-Fri: 6am-3:30pm, Sat: 6am-4pm, Sun: 6am-3pm

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“WHERE FRAMING IS AN ART”

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