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HIDDEN GEM

COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

VINO MIO SOCIAL CLUB AND WINE BAR

WORLD-CLASS EVENTS

SOLOMON P. ORTIZ INTERNATIONAL CENTER

FAMILY AFFAIR

SUSANN’S DIAMOND

JEWELERS

EDUCATION AND TRANSPARENCY

JEANIE WYATT AND SOUTH TEXAS MONEY MANAGEMENT

HEARTS AND HOPS AT LA PALMERA INSPIRED STYLE FEATURING ERIN WILDER NEW YEAR, NEW BUSINESS! HOW TO REJUVENATE YOUR BUSINESS IN 2016 GIVING A HOOT WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AT THE TEXAS STATE AQUARIUM

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CORPUS CHRISTI’S ONLY LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FORD DEALERSHIP

*Based 2014 Retail I N S Pon IRE C O A Total S TA L New BEND M A GSales . C O Mfrom Ford Motor Co. Sales Report 2


www.samesford.net

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361-851-7600

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4721 Ayers St. 78415 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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With over 650,000 shoppers per month, La Palmera offers a one-of-a-kind shopping destination to promote your business. Want more ways to hit the target? Affordable temporary and long-term leasing opportunities available! Visit palmediacc.com to view our unique advertising and leasing opportunities found nowhere else in the Coastal Bend.

REACH YOUR AUDIENCE, GROW YOUR SALES.

Make Palmedia part of your marketing plan and win against your competition.

361-986-7915 | PALMEDIACC.COM

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WANT A CHEAPER ELECTRIC BILL? The money we save you is worth investigating.

• Commercial & residential rates • We shop multiple electricity providers, and provide a comprehensive quote for you, usually within 24 hours. • We will find cost effective solutions custom tailored to your unique business needs, leaving you free to work on your core business objectives.

361-884-8973

www.stellarnrgsolutions.com

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Smoothie King Starter Pack Jump start to the New You!

Smoothie King o: 361.991.5464

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Gladiator Protein Cleanse & Flush Green Tea Fat Burner 28oz Shaker Bottle

$44.99 $24.99 $19.99 $9.99

Regular price Package price

$99.96 + tax $84.97 + tax


CONTENTS FEBRUARY. MARCH 2016

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BUSINESS COACH 16

Don’t Do it - Outsource it!

FEATURES 18 20 22 24

Ullberg Studios Hearts and Hops Spring-Cleaning Your Gutters New Year, New Business!

ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY 46 48

Simple Steps Here to Help

MONEY MATTERS 52

Protect Your Property

REAL ESTATE 56 58

A Grade Above the Rest The Role of the Realtor

TRAVEL 62

Book it!

TASTE 66

Bring the Magic

ENTERTAINMENT 70

Enhancing the Experience

INSPIRED STYLE 74

Erin Wilder

NONPROFIT COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: PAUL MARSHALL

28 SOUTH TEXAS

MONEY MANAGEMENT

Founder and CEO Jeanie Wyatt brings over 30 years of financial experience to this award-winning organization, which has a proven track record of educating and cultivating trust with clients across the Lone Star State.

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Putting the Fun in Fundraiser Giving a Hoot

32 VINO MIO SOCIAL CLUB

36 SUSANN’S DIAMOND

40 SOLOMON P. ORTIZ

The Breeling family caters to nonwine drinkers and wine connoisseurs alike with high-quality wines in an eclectic setting at Corpus Christi’s first and only winery.

With 75 years of combined experience in the jewelry industry, the Bartel family boasts not only industry expertise, but also exceptional customer service and a genuine love of the business.

With stellar attention to detail and accommodating options, the dedicated staff at this world-class events center helps clients step outside the box.

AND WINE BAR

JEWELERS

INTERNATIONAL CENTER

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MEET THE STAFF COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

FEBRUARY.MARCH 2016 PUBLISHER

ADRIAN GARZA EDITOR Allison Alvarado

ART DIRECTOR

ADRIAN GARZA PUBLISHER

adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.548.1044

Liv Madison

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION Holly Duvall

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

HOLLY DUVALL

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION holly@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 479.935.0868

Mandy Ashcraft Kristen Bily Andrea Bolt Kim Bridger Kaitlin Calk Chase Carlisle Jessica Dusek Coral Dworaczyk Ryan Garcia Stephanie Kusy Connie Laughlin John Martinez Sylvia Slezak Veronica Towns Kelly Trevino Sarona Winfrey

PHOTOGRAPHY Dustin Ashcraft Paul Marshall

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Morgan Bartel Brittanie Robertson

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Morgan Bartel

MORGAN BARTEL

• Gentlemen Cuts • Kids • Fades • Tapers • Military • Facials • Shaves • Manis • Pedis • Waxing

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR morgan@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 620.417.5392

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.

“Come experience the difference” BRITTANIE ROBERTSON

5922 Yorktown Blvd. Corpus Christi, TX 78414 361-834-0311

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE brittanie@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.425.6483

PAUL MARSHALL

MEDIA SOLUTIONS AND PHOTOGRAPHY paul@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.737.4087

7957 Wolverine Corpus Christi, Texas 78414 Phone: 361.548.1044 Copyright © Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


Long Family Commitment to South Texas Personal Commitment to My Customers Call us today and find out how much you can save! Farmers offers Auto, Home, Commercial and Life Insurance.

Ruben Bonilla Insurance Agency

2727 Morgan Ave, Ste 300 Corpus Christi, Texas 78405

361.881.1033

www.RubenBonillaInsurance.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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TRIAL LAW BUSINESS LITIGATION PERSONAL INJURY MASS TORTS CONSUMER

alex@alexhernandezlaw.com www.alexhernandeztriallaw.com

(361) 854-7121 802 N. Carancahua, Suite 2100 Frost Bank Plaza Corpus Christi, TX 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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BUSINESS COACH

DON’T DO IT – OUTSOURCE IT!

Promote your overall company productivity by letting the pros do what they do best.

CONNIE LAUGHLIN is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information on outsourcing your human resources to a PEO, you may contact her at 361-852-6392 or conniel@uniquehr.com.

IT’S COMMON PRACTICE for businesses to outsource their accounting to a CPA, as everyone knows the importance of this professional service. What most employers don’t realize is their largest asset isn’t their capital or money – it’s their employees. Therefore, many important employer initiatives and procedures go overlooked, because no one’s adequately trained or prepared to handle these numerous processes. Professional services are needed, whether you have 10 employees or more than 100. And that service provider is called a professional employer organization (PEO). Today’s human resource outsourcing solutions offer businesses the best protection from costly legal entanglements, and they guarantee you’re on the right track. And it just feels good to know your company is in the best hands letting pros do what they do best.

YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL IN-HOUSE!

The essential goal of business owners and their workforce is to be financially productive, not to waste time on things that don’t generate revenue. It’s hard enough to keep pace with effective strategies to increase net profit, so why would any business decide to keep HR in-house when it’s so much more effective to outsource it? Outsourcing reduces liability, keeps overhead predictably low and promotes the overall productivity of a company. Fortune 500 companies with human resource expertise in-house implement a full scope of HR initiatives to maximize employee productivity, avoid costly problems and ultimately increase and protect profits. Smaller companies, without that expertise, are at a competitive disadvantage. Today, we’re lucky to see PEOs have evolved to become a perfect fit, providing all these valuable tools. If you’re outsourcing your HR, you’re not going it alone, as the PEO has shared liability and provides the best risk management protection. Plus, they provide professional HR expertise at a fraction of the cost to do it in-house.

EVALUATE, THEN UTILIZE.

Long-lasting successful relationships require a bit of vetting. This is when your due diligence is im-

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“THE PLANS OF THE DILIGENT LEAD SURELY TO ABUNDANCE, BUT EVERYONE WHO IS HASTY COMES ONLY TO POVERTY.” – PROVERBS 21:5

portant; be sure to select the best PEO for your business. The small amount of time spent now will take a lot off your plate in the long run. Prior to signing up with a PEO, fully understand their communication style and, if possible, take the time to meet the various people you’ll be working with. How easy are they to reach, and how quick will they be to respond to your needs? Where are they located? Are they customer service oriented? What are their levels of education and experience, and do they have the necessary licensing? Also, look to see if they’re affiliated with industry associations such as ESAC (it’s like FDIC, for banks). These are all very important. And let’s not forget to check references. Cash is king. It’s obviously not in your best interest to overpay for anyone’s service. Service providers that overcharge are not showing concern for your well-being, unless you’re guaranteed a significant ROI from the relationship. Know exactly what you’re paying for. The more employees you have on staff, the more duties and risk you have to manage. If you aren’t highly certified in HR, safety and the multiple areas of risk management, how do you know your manager is really on top of it? So, don’t do it! Outsource it!

CREATE WEALTH.

If you’re seeking success, study all available business model options and processes, and always be running the numbers! And outsource key functions to highly accredited and seasoned pros.

GUSTAVO FRAZAO/BIGSTOCK.COM

By: CONNIE LAUGHLIN


Local, Family-Owned, Corpus Christi’s Original

We have a wide variety of A/C filters, standard and specialty • Residential and Business • Ceiling & wall grills and registers • Standard and custom sizes • Polystrand

• Poly Rolls • Pleated Allergy • Merv11 • 1” 2” 4” 5” 6” Glasfloss Filters

We have the largest selection of Circle E Candles in Corpus Christi and we gift wrap for FREE! We carry all factory scents.

5206 Williams Drive (Behind PetSmart)

Corpus Christi, TX 361-723-0130

“Don’t Forget Your Filters!” www.airandfilters.com

1620 SPID #180 (@ Greenwood)

Corpus Christi, TX 361-855-1123

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FEATURE

IT IS I - October 1995

(Figure of Christ in boat) Located at the First Methodist Church on Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi

Located at the Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi

LEAPING MARUN - OCTOBER 1989 (Single Blue Marlin) Located at the entrance to Padre Island, Kennedy Causeway, Corpus Christi

Ullberg Studios (formerly CC Art Connection at Lamar Park) is now located on Yorktown Boulevard. It Exclusively Features Kent Ullberg Sculptures. 18

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PHOTOS BY PAUL MARSHALL

RING OF BRIGHT WATER April 1988 (Otters)


COOLING HIS HEELS Bronze 15.75” x 7.5” x 18.5”

Gallery Hours: M-F 9:30am-5pm

“I would do this even if it were illegal.”

(also available by appointment)

Email: ullberg@sbcglobal.net

Ullberg Studios, Inc. 5337 Yorktown Blvd. | Ste. 2C | Corpus Christi, TX 78413 | 361.851.1600 | www.kentullberg.net 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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FEATURE

At La Palmera, it’s time for Valentine’s Day, plus a party to welcome the Easter Bunny.

WHATEVER YOUR HEART’S DESIRE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY – DINNER, CHOCOLATES OR SOMETHING SHINY IN A LITTLE BOX – LA PALMERA HAS WHAT YOU WANT FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, falls on a Sunday this year, meaning restaurants will be especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Whatever your taste, you’ll find a variety of tasty date night choices including P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, LongHorn Steakhouse, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Chili’s Grill & Bar at La Palmera, all of which will have dinner specials. And for added convenience, valet parking is available at the mall’s main entrance between P.F.

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Chang’s and Grimaldi’s. Guests using the valet on Valentine’s Day will also receive a complimentary rose. Be sure to stop by Hallmark for the perfect Valentine’s Day card or keepsake. If your sweetheart is partial to sweets, head to Bourbon Street Candy Co. for an amazing assortment of chocolate treats, including gourmet chocolates and freshly dipped strawberries, guaranteed to please. Perhaps you need something even more special for that special someone. You’ll find a number of fine jewelers including Gordon’s Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Pandora, Reeds Jewelers, Salem’s Jewelers and Zales at La Palmera, as well as Jared The Galleria of Jewelry and Victoria’s Jewels at The Shops at La Palmera. Treating your special someone to a shopping spree is also a great idea. You can’t go wrong with a La Palmera gift card, which can be redeemed at the more than 100 stores and dining locations throughout the mall. Available

IF YOU’RE STILL IN NEED OF GIFT SUGGESTIONS, LA PALMERA’S “CUPID CONCIERGE” CAN HELP.

By: SARONA WINFREY

in amounts from $10 to $500, the cards may be purchased at the mall’s concierge or online at lapalmera.com. If you’re still in need of suggestions, La Palmera’s “Cupid Concierge” can help. Available Feb. 8 through 14 on La Palmera’s social media platforms, including Facebook (facebook.com/ lapalmeracc), Twitter (@lapalmeramall) and Instagram (lapalmeracc), Cupid Concierge will answer gift questions as well as provide helpful gift suggestions. And no sooner have the candy hearts been consumed, it will be time for the Easter Bunny to hop into La Palmera. Easter is March 27 this year, and the Easter Bunny will be available Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, March 26, for photos in Center Court each day during mall hours. La Palmera will also host a special party on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to welcome the Easter Bunny. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite bunny slippers and pajamas for the Easter Bunny PJ Party from 6 to 8 p.m. in Center Court. The event is free and open to guests of all ages, and it includes arts and crafts, face painting, story time, a balloon artist and refreshments. The Easter Bunny will meet and greet party guests to kick off the event and then hop back to his traditional garden spot in Center Court for traditional photos with guests. Pet lovers can also take their favorite canine or kitty for photos on one of four “Pet Night with the Easter Bunny” events. Pet Night events are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23, and March 1, 8 and 15, from 5 to 8 p.m., with a portion of the photo proceeds benefiting local animal organizations. Only dogs and cats are permitted, and all animals must remain on a leash or in a carrier at all times. For more information on La Palmera, go online to www.lapalmera.com, visit us on Facebook or call 361-991-3755.

EVGENY ATAMANENKO/BIGSTOCK.COM

HEARTS AND HOPS


5510 Williams Drive | Corpus Christi, Texas | 361.991.8383 | floors@alexanderscarpetone.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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FEATURE

SPRING-CLEANING YOUR GUTTERS By: SYLVIA SLEZAK

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S

pring is right around the corner, and that means there are many projects around the home demanding your attention. One thing that often goes overlooked is your gutters. The problem is that many homeowners wait to get their gutters cleaned until they notice a problem, or so much debris has collected that the gutter is tearing from the roof. Unfortunately, this is like waiting to lower your cholesterol until you have a heart attack. Gutters are mainly responsible for carrying the rainwater from large surfaces such as roofs to the area through which it can be drained out. Usually they protect the walls, basement, windows and flooring from getting damaged due to overflowing rainwater. Gutter cleaning is an integral part of maintaining your home for an amount that is much cheaper than having to pay for considerable water damage in and around your home. Let’s take a closer look at all the reasons you absolutely can’t ignore your gutters and the importance of gutter cleaning

throughout the year. Like your homeowners’ insurance, regular cleaning of your gutters can help protect your home. Importance of gutter cleaning:  Prevent water damage to your home  Cut down on growth and spread of mold and mildew  Avoid nesting areas for termites, birds, mosquitoes and other insects  Prevent destruction of expensive landscaping  Maintain the value and beauty of your home When gutters become clogged and fail to do their job of properly draining water from the structure, there are many effects that can ultimately lead to very costly home repairs. Here are just a few problems that may arise as a result of unkempt gutters: 1/ Falling or sagging rain gutters • Debris and water will collect and clog the gutters.

DAISY DAISY/BIGSTOCK.COM

With clean gutters, you don’t have to worry about April showers.


• Weight and pressure of rainwater will cause the gutter to fall off. • A gallon of rainwater weighs about 8 pounds. 2/ Foundation damage • Constant water leakage onto the foundation will lead to damage. • Foundation crack leads to water leakage in the home. 3/ Mold • Water leaks into the home due to cracked foundation. • Water not having enough time to evaporate causes mold and mildew to grow. • Mold is extremely hazardous to your health, and it spreads like wildfire. • Once mold gets in, drywall and possibly studs have to be replaced. 4/ Pests • Moist places are a haven for several types of pests such as mosquitoes, ants and termites. • Mosquitoes use standing water to lay their eggs, which can lead to bigger problems.

GUTTER CLEANING IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF MAINTAINING YOUR HOME.

Hire a professional or DIY? There are two options. One option is to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to clean out and inspect your gutters. They do this for a living, day in and day out, they know the risks and they know the best and safest way to de-clog your gutters. Your other option is to do it yourself. But before you take on the task of a DIY project, here are five reasons you might consider gutter cleaning yourself dangerous: 1. Ladder safety 2. Going solo   3. Insects/mold spores 4. Power lines 5. Damage to your home How often to clean your gutters Having gutter cleaning performed at least each season would be ideal. However, your gutters need to be cleaned at least one time a year, or you are virtually asking for a flooded lawn and foundation damage. • Winter: last of leaves dropping from trees and ice storms placing branches in your gutters • Spring: the potential for pollen and limbs making their way into your gutters • Summer: strong winds linked to thunderstorms blowing debris into your gutters • Fall: leaves falling from every tree in your area finding themselves in your gutters A little upkeep goes a long way when it comes to gutters. You will have a clean system that will also save you time and money in the future! Visit www.CityOf. com/CorpusChristi/gutters to take advantage of the top-grade services offered by Premier businesses found in Corpus Christi.

Sylvia Slezak is the director of marketing and social media at CityOf.com. For more information, visit us online at www.cityof.com or give us a call at 361-883-4440.

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FEATURE

NEW YEAR, NEW BUSINESS!

The Better Business Bureau offers New Year’s resolutions to help rejuvenate your business in 2016. By: KELLY TREVINO

by 25 percent in 2016? Are you looking to expand your service area? In 2016, set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goals and plan what strategies you need to employ to achieve your goals. Smart short-term goals can be the key to long-term success.  Make customer service a priority. Providing great customer service and asking for feedback is a great way to showcase the way you do business. Many consumers use customer reviews as a research tool when looking for products and services.

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 Continue marketing, and incorporate promotions. To grow your business in 2016, remember to keep promotions and marketing efforts fresh. Take the time to create a monthly marketing and promotions schedule that incorporates special offerings, advertising or special events and stick to it. If marketing isn’t your area of expertise, consider hiring a marketing expert, whether on a contract basis or a fulltime staff position.  Join a new business organization or networking group. Speaking with industry colleagues can give you new ideas and create connections to position you as an industry leader.  Set realistic goals. What does success look like for your business? Do you have an annual revenue goal? Do you want to grow your customer base

REMEMBER TO KEEP PROMOTIONS AND MARKETING EFFORTS FRESH.

For more important business advice, visit our website at bbb.org/centraltexas under the “For Businesses” section, or our independent blog, watchyourbuck.com.   Kelly Trevino is the regional director for the Corpus Christi office of Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin. She is available for media interviews and speaking engagements. You can reach her by phone at 361-945-7352 or via email at ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

DIEGO CERVO/BIGSTOCK.COM

I

t’s 2016, and we all have our own personal New Year’s resolutions. Whether your resolution is to join a gym, eat healthier or take more vacations, your Better Business Bureau (BBB) encourages businesses to make resolutions that build on successful strategies to rejuvenate your business. Here are some of the top resolutions to incorporate into your business’s plan for 2016:  Learn how to delegate, and do more of it. Small business owners wear many hats, and this can cause business owners to become overwhelmed. To avoid burnout, create a comprehensive list of tasks, and determine what tasks can be delegated to increase your own productivity. Set aside time for your own personal recharge or refresh, too. Your business will thank you.

 Build your online presence. If you don’t have a website, get one! There are many online and budget-friendly solutions to building a simple, effective website. If you have a website, be sure to update your hours of operations and contact information, and to review your privacy policies. Using social media to interact with your customers and provide contact information is another great way to market your business.


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㌀㘀㄀⸀㜀㐀㤀⸀㌀㜀㄀㘀     簀     倀伀刀吀ⴀ刀伀夀䄀䰀⸀䌀伀䴀     簀     㘀㌀㄀㜀 匀吀䄀吀䔀 䠀䤀䜀䠀圀䄀夀 ㌀㘀㄀ ∠ 倀伀刀吀 䄀刀䄀一匀䄀匀Ⰰ 吀䔀堀䄀匀 㜀㠀㌀㜀㌀ I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M 25


www.keyvanorientalrugs.com  Rug Collections  Hand Cleaning  Repair and Restoration  Custom Sizes and

Oversized Rugs Available  Persian, Indian, and Pakistan Collections

60% OFF SALE

Your Fine Oriental Rug Professionals Serving South Texas Since 1994 Lifetime Warranty On All Rugs Purchased From Us

2129 AIRLINE ROAD // CORPUS CHRISTI // 361.992.4141 5948 BROADWAY // SAN ANTONIO // 210.828.4141

“You dream it, we’ll design it, and we’ll build it!” Serving Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend 26

www.newhomescc.com  361.946.8208 I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

Build Now with

ZERO DOWN


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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COVER STORY

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CULTIVATING

TRUST By: Jessica Dusek Photos by: Paul Marshall

South Texas Money Management’s secret to guiding investors toward true diversification

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here is always going to be volatility in the investment markets, but having a portfolio that is properly diversified will help dampen that volatility. This is the philosophy that guides South Texas Money Management’s (STMM’s) Jeanie Wyatt, CFA. Wyatt is both the founder and CEO of the organization. Established in 2000, STMM now serves all the major Texas markets and represents more than 1,700 clients with 60 employees. “We received our SEC Registration on Christmas Eve 15 years ago,” recalls Wyatt fondly of her venture’s beginning. She brings with her over 30 years of financial experience beginning with her career start at Corpus Christi National Bank. Wyatt directs her clients’ investments with a “customized” approach. Managing upwards of $500K accounts, her firm appeals to clients who wish to maximize their retirement and savings portfolios. Her unique business model begins with making sure the client understands the investment process, through education and transparency. A long history of working with clients has taught her the importance of an educational approach. “We want clients to know what they own, what they made and what they paid,” she says. “When someone hires us, they are giving us the discretion to manage their money. We don’t take that trust lightly.” Whether saving for a child’s education or a dream retirement, Wyatt and her team of professionals create an individual investment strategy and diversified portfolio for each client. Wyatt believes because her clients are knowledgeable about their investments, they are more patient investors, and patient investors tend to be more successful. Unlike many other money management firms in Texas, STMM does not typically invest in funds, partnerships or similar kinds of products. “We recommend individual stocks and bonds in separately managed accounts,” Wyatt explains. “The beauty of this approach is that it provides the client a lower-cost solution and also allows for complete transparency. It is impossible to know everything you own and the fees built in when working with funds.” Wyatt has found that educating her clients not only gets them excited about investing, but also cultivates trust, which is crucial in the up-and-down world of the stock market. “When I saw how impactful it was on our clients, I found a passion,” Wyatt explains. “Helping clients fund their retirement, children’s education and special life events is what motivates me every day.” Her vision for STMM was guided by a strong commitment to Texas. The Austin native grew her company strategically, starting in San Antonio and then expanding into Dallas, Austin, Houston and, most recently, Corpus Christi. “Our growth would not have been possible without an outstanding group of professionals who invested in our strategy and put our clients first,” Wyatt explains. Not only is the firm employee-owned, the majority of the partners and key staff are women. “It is rare in this industry, and I feel gives us a competitive edge,” Wyatt says. Wyatt guides the firm with the help of a very strong investment team, which includes Dr. Jim Kee, president and chief economist, and Leah Bennett, co-chief investment officer. Other key players on the team include Christian Ledoux, director of equity research, and Hutch Bryant, director of fixed income. With a discipline of being strategically diversified at all times, this deep bench of investment professionals provides the research and direction for their clients’ investment portfolios, which may include 50 to 60 highly researched individual stocks. “This strategy provides exposure to both growth and value investment styles, domestic and international companies, all market capitalizations and no big sector bets,” Kee explains. In support of their desire to have informed clients, STMM is eager to share their wealth of research and knowledge. Kee writes an outstanding weekly blog on the status of the economy

“Helping clients fund their retirement, children’s education and special life events is what motivates me every day.”

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covering international and domestic issues of the day. Clients also have access to quarterly market updates and webcasts, as well as invitations to individual market outlook luncheons. Wyatt is pleased to return to Corpus Christi, where she got her start in banking. The office here is the newest location for the firm. It opened just over two years ago and is served by two seasoned investment advisors, Mary Hime and Donna Patterson. Wyatt encourages her employees to be involved in the communities where they live. Hime and Patterson are active in the Rotary Club, Executive Women International, the Rockport Arts Center and the Rockport-Fulton Humane Society, among other things. The firm has received numerous national accolades in its 15 years. Among several in 2015, Wyatt was named one of the Top 100 Women Advisors by Barron’s Magazine. The firm was named one of the Top 100 Fee-Only Wealth Managers by CNBC and one of the Top 100 Wealth Managers by Forbes Magazine. In addition, STMM was included in the Financial Times Top 300 RIAs list and the Top 10 Women-Owned RIAs list for 2015 by wealthmanagement.com. For criteria and other information on these awards, please visit http://stmmltd.publishpath.com/ current-communication.

Wyatt has found that educating her clients cultivates trust, which is crucial in the upand-down world of the stock market.

To learn more about South Texas Money Management, please contact Mary Hime or Donna Patterson at 361-904-0551. 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

Vino Mio Social Club and Wine Bar: Corpus Christi’s first and only winery By: Stephanie Kusy Photos by: Paul Marshall

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WINE

RISE

ON THE

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Dr. Charles Breeling might consider himself a winemaker and a merchant. At Vino Mio Social Club and Wine Bar, he crafts his own wine and serves a growing trend of wine drinkers. These days, more and more people label themselves as wine connoisseurs, enthusiasts, winos or sometimes as self-proclaimed wine snobs. In fact, wine consumption has increased in the United States every year since 2000. Breeling realized this trend and decided to turn his hobby into the first winery in Corpus Christi, serving most of his varietals not only by the bottle, but by the glass. Dr. Breeling’s premium wines start with high-quality crushed grape juice imported from different regions around the world. He and his other son, Larry, hand-craft their own recipes into excellent, smooth, quality wines. Several vats consist of the favorite traditional red and white varietals (e.g., Riesling, Merlot, Shiraz, etc.), but many contain a unique blend of fruit-infused flavor. These sweet tastes, such as the Watermelon White Merlot, are loved by both non-wine drinkers and wine connoisseurs alike. “We do not have any televisions, because we wanted people to engage in conversation,” says General Manager Jimmy Breeling, who developed the venue’s concept. Tucked in the middle of the Carmel Village shopping center, Jimmy brought his vision to life for his father nearly two years ago when the venue opened. What was once CiCi’s Pizza has now transformed into an eclectic setting that brings wine, food and music together. Swanky couches and lounge chairs line the 2-500-square-foot social room. Most noticeable, however, is a massive glass

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terrarium filled with driftwood, which is home to seven tree frogs and four lizards. Yes, living reptiles and amphibians. “A lot of people start drinking flavored wines first because they are good,” Dr. Breeling says. “Most people do not have a palette for wine when they start. Then they graduate up to the strongest wines like the Shiraz and Malbecs.” The Breeling family has crafted more than 35 different vegan recipes for purchase. Patrons can sample a glass for around $7.5 or take home a bottle for $26. A patron favorite known as “Lovely Maiden” is a German Riesling-based wine blended with a special mix of herbs and dried then roasted spring flowers fermented with the wine, These intricate concoctions clearly did not ferment overnight. Breeling discovered his hobby back in 1972 during his first winemaking experience at home. Before he went to medical school, he worked as a research biochemist. His mother-in-law decided to purchase a winemaking set as a gift. “She thought it would be right

up my alley, so she bought me all the equipment to make wine,” he says. “I like sweets. I had the bottles and the measuring devices, everything I needed to make a batch of wine except grapes. So I just went ahead and tried, and I found out I liked doing it. It was fun.” Still a practicing family physician, Breeling heads to Vino Mio almost every day to make wine and unwind from a long day at work. “I really don’t like dry wine very much,” he says. “That’s why I went to the flavored wines. I can drink it, but I really like flavored wines like peach chardonnay or tropical Rieslings and Liebfraumilch. I like things that have more than just a varietal grape like Malbec, Chardonnay, etc.” The doctor has tweaked his vintning process to help reduce headaches that sometimes occur after drinking wine even in small quantities. He says many of the wines made in the United States includes malolactic bacteria instead of yeast, so the taste remains consistent over batches of wine. This bacteria, however, releases bioamines, small amounts of which can trig-


vint·ner vintnər/ noun 1. A wine merchant 2. A winemaker

ger headaches. Breeling opts to use only yeast in the wine, which reduces the chances of a dreadful headache. So does this mean no hangovers? Not quite. “If people drink enough, they are going to get a hangover,” he says, chuckling. Wine isn’t the only item made from scratch at Vino Mio. The social club serves a full menu of tasty meals to pair perfectly with the wine. Head Chef Faye Mikulec prepares each dish – from pastas to pizzas to baked brie – by gathering organic ingredients picked up from the local farmer’s market. Staff can easily accommodate outside catering, food to go or company parties held at the venue. On most nights, patrons will discover unique tunes typically not found

on the radio, as well as carefully selected live music. “We try to do our best to bring new music in and new names people have not heard before,” Jimmy says. “We are a completely different thing than Corpus Christi has ever had. Every time I hear someone come in for the first time, they are like, ‘I can’t believe this is here. It’s like a hidden gem.’” It’s true. No other venue in the area can say they serve homemade wine paired with local cheeses while patrons gather with friends to listen to independent bands. Vino Mio Social Club and Wine Bar is located at 4102 S. Staples St. More information can be found on their Facebook page.

The Breeling family has crafted more than 40 different vegan recipes for purchase.

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PROFILE

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Industry Experts

THE FAMILY OF GRADUATE GEMOLOGISTS AT SUSANN’S DIAMOND JEWELERS DAZZLES CUSTOMERS WITH GEMSTONES AND EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE. 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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SUSANN’S DIAMOND JEWELERS ISN’T YOUR TYPICAL JEWELRY STORE.

Yes, there are radiant rubies, elegant emeralds and stunning sapphires waiting inside, along with a large display of dazzling diamonds sure to please any customer. Yet there’s so much more. When patrons enter the store, a familiar face will always greet them. Family owned and operated, the Bartels take pride in providing exceptional customer service. The family of five loves being a part of their customers’ special events. From helping arrange proposals to helping pick out a unique anniversary gift, the Bartels each have their own memorable story. These experiences build trust with their clients, an important factor when it comes to buying fine quality jewelry. They travel all over the country to deliver items to clients and maintain strong relationships with the industry’s most prominent vendors. It’s a wonder they landed in the Sparkling City by the Sea back in 2012. The sun and sand lured the family here from Kansas after they searched more than three years for a location to set up shop. They have truly made this store a home away from home, and they want customers to feel the same way. The family boasts 75 years of experience in the jewelry industry between all of them. Both Audie Bartel and his son, Colton, hold Gemological Institute of America Graduate Gemologist degrees, which is the training authority in the American jewelry industry. They know everything about diamonds, diamond grading and gemstones. They specialize in diamonds, bridal, colored stones, custom design and jewelry repair. Some customers seem surprised when they learn all repairs are done in-house. “It’s a level of trust I think we have here also,” Colton Bartel says. “We actually like to show them their piece under the camera and explain what the issue is and why it needs to be fixed, so they can see exactly what we’re talking about.” I experienced this all firsthand during the interview with this lively family. The family fully supports playing dress-up when it comes to jewelry and immediately adorned my fingers and neckline with rare gemstones, allowing me to see the jewels dazzling color and lustrous beauty for myself. I learned that you should gaze at jewelry in a mirror to see how it appears to others and step outside to see how it appears in natural light because both display different gem qualities. A rare alexandrite ring exhibited

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“WE THINK ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS DESERVE THE BEST.”

emerald green, red and purple-blue colors depending on the light source. While I felt like a queen (they literally had me try on a crown), they say this experience is typical for those interested in trying on multiple pieces of jewelry. “We have a passion for it,” Karla Bartel says. “It’s not something you can train. We enjoy what we do, and we want our customers to enjoy it as much as we do. We want them to try everything on. We don’t want them to pick through a looking glass.” This for sure isn’t a run-of-the-mill jewelry store. At one point, the Bartels displayed two 10-karat diamonds, each costing more than seven figures. Unfortunately those sold, so I wasn’t able to try them on. “We think everybody deserves the best,” Audie Bartel says. “It may not be as big as they want to buy, but it’s the best they can buy at that time and can be proud to wear it.” Susann’s Diamond Jewelers intends to give back to the community, as well, with their new initiative. They’ve developed a new partnership with New Life Refuge Ministries, a local charitable organization created to bring awareness and help individuals affected by the human sex-trade industry. Susann’s Diamond Jewelers developed the “Courage Coin” pendant, which is a necklace featuring a gold or rhodium plated penny. The penny represents the lives saved by New Life Refuge Ministries. Similar to the penny, these individuals have been tossed aside, forgotten and considered not worth the effort. The store takes pennies that faced a difficult journey and gives them a bright and shiny future. On a necklace and always close to the heart, the pennies will never be forgotten again, and can be proud of what they have become. Susann’s Diamond Jewelers will donate half of the profits for each “Courage Coin” pendant directly to New Life Refuge Ministries to help provide bright and shiny new futures for these young ladies. The family loves to meet people and get to know their customers. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for a special occasion, Susann’s Diamond Jewelers makes sure your purchase sparkles for lifetimes to come.

For questions or to set up an appointment, please contact Susann’s Diamond Jewelers via phone at 361-991-7565, via Web at www.susanns-jewelers.com or in person at 4254 S. Alameda in the Town and Country shopping center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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PROFILE

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The Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center: Corpus Christi’s premier event center hosting world-class events By: Jessica Dusek 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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o what do lemongrass cilantro waffles, red Thai curry and vibrant purple bows have in common? They’re the makings of an event to remember. A world-class venue, the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center features ambiance, world-class menu selections and attentive staff for a successful and memorable event. “It is literally a one-stop shop; anything you need to make an event successful – we provide everything,” explains Neil Fox, general manager. Relationships with their 20-plus venders and dedicated staff contribute to the events’ successes. What was at one time a cotton warehouse and is adorned with the original industrial features, the center, established in September 2000, was appropriately named after Congressman Ortiz, drawing on its rich history in business port industry of Corpus Christi. “This is a unique venue in being an old warehouse,” explains Ali Choe, events and marketing manager, noting the unique pallet with concrete walls and black trusses. Lighting and draping contribute significantly to the transformation of any event. The indus-

trial ambiance captures a backdrop for outside events, highlighting the lit-up Harbor Bridge to set the tone. A Port Corpus Christi property professionally managed by the Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the once “cotton warehouse” provides a floor-to-ceiling view of the ship channel with banquet and meeting rooms to host high-end and colorful events to weekly rotary meetings. The Ortiz Center accommodates guests by

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offering in-house resources. “We are a full-service caterer,” Fox explains. “We do home-style, traditional and upscale boutique menus.” Fox, previously the senior manager of marketing and events for cast dining at the Disneyland Resorts, draws on his 16 years of experience. He oversees a tightly knit team of nine employees to keep operations running smoothly, including two fulltime sales managers, a fulltime event manager and culinary and operations staff. Within the last two years, the Ortiz Center has upgraded renovations with brand-new carpet, sparkling new stemware and a state-of-the-art WiFi system, featured in all conference rooms and the banquet/ballroom. Incorporating features such as full audio-visual access to the venue, this brings in a wide variety of clients for the Ortiz Center. The vibrant venue accommodates anywhere from 10 to 850 people. Specialty events are generally held Thursday through Sunday. “I don’t know what it is about Thursday for Corpus Christi [clients], but they love events on Thursdays,” explains Fox of the Corpus culture. Business and community-based organizations such as the rotary events book throughout the week, hosting meetings and trainings to nonprofit fundraisers, as well as tradeshows and weddings on weekend openings. In 2015, they featured the Ready or Not Foundation fashion show, bringing in New York style models and designers. The center also hosted the Annual Art Museum Gala event last November, with 500 people in attendance, featuring the Mavericks playing in the background. Museum staff were able to add a personal touch, pulling in the mobile walls to accommodate the artistic design, as though actually walking through a section of the museum. Hosting a variety of events, last year, they featured Moonlight in the Garden, a fundraising event normally held in at the Botanical Gardens. The event needed to conduct a last-minute move due to excessive rain and winds. The Ortiz Center helped guide the event into production, host-


ing 900 guests from outside gardens to the waterfront venue. “We did an immediate change that night at midnight to reset the room and dancefloor for a wedding the following night!” Fox describes. They had a slim 36 hours to make the impossible, possible. With the help of the Gardens staff and volunteers, Butler Signature Events and Razzle Dazzle weddings, the event coordinators could execute a successful last-minute change of venue.

MIDDLE AND BOTTOM PHOTOS COURTESY OF ORTIZ INTERNATIONAL CENTER

But oh, that menu!

Led by Executive Chef Merci and her sous chef, Alicia, the culinary team is one of its greatest features. Merci, a Del Mar Culinary graduate, was awarded Junior Texas Chef of year in 2006, and the Texas Chef of the Year in 2009. Along with their core menu, Merci began featuring new internationally inspired food selections, adding to the delightful filet minion and lobster tail options. “More recently, we have been able to help clients to step outside the box,” Fox explains. “We are doing a variety of small plates and action stations. Culinary-wise, we are not a typical venue. We want to work with our client – do a mix-and-mingle with live-action stations to get people to engage with people.” Highlighting the social interaction, they focus on “small plates.” Currently, they are looking to do a fire-and-ice wing bar with tossed to order wings. “The ice bar is an ice display with all your different condiments,” Fox says, adding that the “Interactive S’mores bar” is where build guests build their own s’mores, with a small flame to toast marshmallows, chocolate and gram crackers. Savory features also include Thai red curry-braised short ribs on a lemongrass cilantro waffle with coconut peanut brittle and mint lime microgreen. “We do Southern hospitality stations, with barbecue brisket. Including green beans and cornbread,” Choe says. They also pull in their Third Coast Tacos Station, in which they cook to order miniature tacos with mango Pico de Gallo. “The Spud Bar gives you the option of doing Yukon Gold or Sweet Potato Mash where the guest gets to top it with whatever their heart desires,” says Fox of the new additions.

Giving back

Developments for 2016 are guiding the Ortiz Center, full force. The center is quadrupling their Wi-Fi bandwidth and working closely with the Port on significant audio and visual upgrades alongside adding energy-efficient lighting. “This not only improves [the venue] on a sustainability front, but allows us to do lighting schemes in the ballroom, Fox explains. Providing discounts for non-profit events, they have totaled more than $200,000 in table sponsorships and discounts offering 50 percent off room rate, and 25 percent off of AV equipment. “When we provide those opportunities,” Fox says, “it allows them to direct those funds back to their programs, which is why we do it.”

Book your next event! For more information, visit the website at www.ortizcenter.com.

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Land CLearing SoLutionS

Forestry Track Mulchers www.landclearing services.com Contact: Stephen Stryk 361.443.9762 Susie Lee 361.947.1358 lcs21@yahoo.com

Land Clearing  No Burning  No Hauling Ranches  Fence Lines  Senderos  Right of Ways

Jon Hart Design (Luggage and Accessories)  Analili  Jude Connally  Mesmerize  Krazy Larry  Finley  Jade  JoyJoy

Shannon’s Distinctive Fashions

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361.993.6608 | 6646 S. STAPLES SUITE 126 | CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78413

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ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY

SIMPLE STEPS

CoreRecon offers five tips for protecting your business against ransomware attacks. By: JOHN MARTINEZ updates being particularly common. Small businesses are a popular target for cyber criminals; following these steps can help reduce the risks of becoming a victim. 1. Educate staff about the risks. All staff who use IT equipment or access the Internet must understand the potential risks of ransomware. The company can help reduce those risks by offering basic information and training on the hazards of opening email attachments and visiting potentially harmful websites. Allowing staff to use company IT equipment to access social media accounts and private emails can open the door to cyber criminals.  2. Back up data regularly. All modern businesses rely on data and information, and it’s essential to back this up as regularly as possible. If the worst happens and systems are infected with ransomware, recovery is far easier if you have a daily backup process. Backing up to external hard drives or independent Cloud storage systems is a proven method of mitigating cyber crime. 3. Install software protections.   The value of firewall and antivirus software should never be underestimated. As the name suggests, a firewall acts as a bar-

THE

VALUE

OF FIREWALL AND ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE SHOULD NEVER BE UNDERESTIMATED.

rier between your IT equipment and the outside world. It filters the data being sent and received, and blocks anything that breaches pre-defined rules. Antivirus software safeguards computers from malware, viruses and other malicious programs. It’s important that software protections are updated regularly, as cyber criminals are constantly developing ways to bypass and defeat them. 4. Plan for an attack. A business has a far better chance of recovering from a ransomware incident if plans are in place to deal with such attacks. Customers may have to be advised if the business can’t fulfill orders, and expert help may be needed to remove malicious code from systems. A plan and contact details should be printed and stored in a secure location rather than kept in digital form. 5. Arrange cyber insurance. Insurance against cyber crime has been available for some years now, but few businesses have seen the need to buy cover. It’s increasingly likely that financial losses will result from hacking or some other form of cyber attack rather than a break-in, so all businesses should consider this form of insurance. A good policy can cover the costs of investigation and remediation of a range of crimes, including data theft and extortion. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for a small business, but simple steps can dramatically reduce the threat. Business owners and employees must understand the risks of using the Internet and take reasonable precautions to avoid cyber crime.

John Martinez is the CEO of CoreRecon. For more information, call 800-955-2596 or visit www.corerecon.com.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CORERECON

E

very day as I look out my office window at the beautiful water gleaming across the Corpus Christi Bay, I glance at my computer screen to see that I get emails that fill up my inbox asking me questions concerning ransomware attacks, which is also known as the “CryptoWall” virus. So here are my thoughts on this so-called hijacking virus. (I hope you’re sitting down for this.) Many security experts and law enforcement agencies predict that cyber crime will become a serious threat to small businesses and health care over the next few years. Large corporations and health care facilities may be more attractive targets in terms of financial resources, but they usually have better Internet security than smaller companies. However, use of “ransomware” in cyber attacks is something every business owner must be aware of and protect against. Ransomware is a form of computer virus that encrypts the victim’s files and data. Cyber criminals demand fees to release files they have made inaccessible, and refusal to comply can have serious consequences. Surveys indicate that ransomware incidents increased by as much as 500 percent between 2013 and 2015. Attacks come in various forms, with emails and fake software


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ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY

HERE TO HELP

Why the “other guys” are cutting your battery life short By: RYAN GARCIA

IT’S VERY COMMON that many of our customers are getting misled by what many call the “smart tester.” Here at Interstate All Battery Center-Corpus Christi, we have trained our team to properly test your automotive batteries for the most accurate results. These are the steps we take to properly test your battery:

STEP 1:  Inspect the battery for cracks or any damage that may occur and remove the battery caps.

STEP 2:

STEP 3:

 If your battery isn’t sealed, check the battery cells to make sure the water levels are even.

 We use our SB5 battery tester to simulate the turning of your key in the ignition. This tester will determine the voltage and the cranking amps that your battery is putting out.

 A proper test requires measuring each battery cell in order to determine the state of the battery.

Come in today to get your free battery evaluation. Whether you’re going on a trip, you’re just not sure how old your battery is or you just want to learn the process, we are here to help.

We have trained our team to properly test your automotive batteries for the most accurate results. For more information on Interstate Batteries-Corpus Christi, email interstatebatteriescorpus@aol.com, call 361-854-5000, send a fax to 361-854-5415 or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/interstatebatteriescorpus.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF INTERSTATE BATTERY

(Note: One hour of charging may not solve your problem.)


INTERSTATE ALL BATTERY CENTER - CORPUS CHRISTI

 Automotive 

Cell Phones  Cameras  Alarm Systems  Wheel Chair  Laptops  Solar  Flashlights  Watch / Key Fob

4903 Ambassador Row, Corpus Christi Texas 361.854.5000 InterstateBatteriesCorpus.com Store Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am – 6pm, Sat 8:30am – 2:30pm, Sun Closed Facebook.com/interstatebatteriescorpus Instagram@interstatebatteries_cc 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

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY If a theft occurs at your home, it is important to know which valuables are covered under your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy. In many cases, standard homeowners’ policies will cover a small number of valuables, but are not likely to provide enough protection to cover you for each item lost. In addition, a majority of renters’ insurance policies do not have coverage for valuables. When it comes to protecting your personal belongings, it is important to know what options you have when it comes to coverage. When it comes to valuables, there are two options to ensure everything is covered. The simplest option is to raise the limit of liability. This will help cover more belongings than a standard homeowners’ insurance policy, but it limits the amount you can claim for an individual piece. In this case, you have an overall limit you cannot go over, and

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once it is reached, you cannot claim additional losses. The second option is to individually “schedule” pieces through floater policies. Floater insurance is an addition to your current policy that adds protection for personal property that is deemed to be easily movable. Floater policies are designed to reimburse you if valuable property is lost, damaged or destroyed. Floater policies are designed to only cover specific items named or “scheduled” in the policy. Jewelry floaters are one of the most common types of floater policies. In most cases, jewelry floaters will either give reimbursement for a claim or pay to replace the lost, damaged or destroyed piece. Jewelry is given more consideration than other personal property considered for floater policies, and in many cases, any jewelry piece valued at more than $1,000 will require an appraisal. Costs of appraisal vary depending on your region and choice of appraiser. Floater policies often provide broader protection that can cover accidental losses. Accidental losses can include

FLOATER POLICIES ARE DESIGNED TO REIMBURSE YOU IF VALUABLE PROPERTY IS LOST, DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

forgetting an item somewhere or dropping it down a drain or a vent. Accidental losses can happen to anyone, and knowing items are covered allows you to take pride in the protection of your belongings. Jewelry floaters are designed to make sure that any personal items of value will be reimbursed by your insurance company in the event of loss, theft, damage or destruction. It is extremely important to know exactly what is and is not covered by your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy, especially when it comes to the belongings that matter the most to you. With floater policies, you know exactly what your coverage is, and you can be confident in the coverage provided by your insurance agency. Before you schedule an item on your floater policy, talk with your insurance representative so you know what your premiums will be and how it will work with your current homeowners’ insurance plan. For more information, visit Carlisle Insurance online at www.carlisleins.com.

KASIA BIALASIEWICZ/BIGSTOCK.COM

Floater insurance and the importance of knowing what is and is not covered by your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy By: CHASE CARLISLE


S P E C I A L I N SU RANC E PROGRAM S C O M ME RC I A L INSU RANC E E MP LOY E E BE NEFIT S P E R SO NA L I NSU RANC E CARLISLEINS.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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Town & Country Cafe Breakfast served all day / Meeting room available upon request 4228 S. Alameda / Corpus Christi, TX 78412

361.992.0360 54

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

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Corpus Christi’s 1st and ONLY Winery Over 35 in-housecrafted wines

FREE

In-home design consultation!

LIVE MUSIC LINE-UP

Check us out on Facebook for more upcoming events

Feb: 2/5 Shakedown & Monster Taco 2/6 Duke E. Brown 2/11 Picklefish 2/12 Ruben V Band 2/13 Splendiferous 2/18 Rudolph Lanes 2/19 Picklefish 2/20 Henry & the Invisibles 2/25 Destiny 2/26 Another Level 2/27 Starlight & the Moonbeams Mar: 3/4 Grant Ewing Band 3/5 Skillin Jah & Josh Heinrichs 3/11 Roxy Roca 3/12 Soul Support 3/19 Henry & the Invisibles 3/25 Another Level 3/26 White Ghost Shivers

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www.facebook.com/vmsocialclub 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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REAL ESTATE

A GRADE ABOVE THE REST

At Vertex Roofing, they understand the importance of what you hold beneath your roof.

WITH COMBINED EXPERIENCE OF OVER 25 YEARS, VERTEX ROOFERS ARE EXPERTS IN BOTH RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL ROOFING.

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here is no place like home. Your home is your safe haven and your comfort zone. This is where you come to rest your head – to seek relief from a long day at work. Under your roof, memories will be made. Laughter will be had. Dreams will be realized. Vertex Roofing understands that. And they also understand all there is to know about roofs.  Locally owned and operated in Corpus Christi, Vertex Roofing’s mission leans heavily on job safety and customer satisfaction, as they use only the best materials available in the industry.  Longtime friends and co-owners, Robert Jasso and Edwin Green, worked hard to build this company from the ground up. They believe in hard work, and they believe in giving superb value and extraordinary service at a great price. They also believe in giving back to this community. They love this city and are excited to see it flourish.  This is why over the 2015 holiday season, Jasso and Green embarked on a project that they hoped would enhance the lives of someone in need. The project: donating a new roof to a local family. And this is just the beginning for them. They intend to repeat this extraordinary gift each and every year.  With combined experience of over 25 years, Vertex Roofers are experts in both residential and commercial roofing. If you are having an issue with your roof, call Vertex. To help alleviate your worry without taking time out of your busy schedule, they will send a roofing technician directly to your home to inspect your roof and come up with a comprehensive

KARAMYSH/BIGSTOCK.COM, KRYZHOV/BIGSTOCK.COM, NITO/BIGSTOCK.COM

By: VERONICA TOWNS


solution from replacements to repairs. Whether you want a new or an asphalt shingle roof, they provide free estimates and are fully insured.  Roofing problems can severely damage the amount of revenue your business is able to take in. That is why Vertex will send a commercial roof specialist to your property to inspect the problem and offer solutions that will not impair day-to-day operations. They offer complete replacements and can take care of minor repairs. Their contractor will provide you with a free estimate and a step-by-step process so you know exactly what to expect. 

SERVICES VERTEX OFFERS

Every roof is different, which is why at Vertex, they listen carefully to exactly what you are looking for in a new roof. Contact them for:  Residential, commercial and industrial roof installation and services Total roof replacement Repairs and maintenance 24/7 emergency repairs Shingle and Modified Torchdown Varieties of Spanish tile and slate and Standing Seam and R-panel  Duro-Last Waterproofing Skylight installation Chimney caps Insurance claims

If your roof starts leaking or significant damage has occurred, you may not be able to wait. That is why they offer 24/7 emergency repairs to make your house safe once again. Vertex also offers labor warranties. Jasso and Green have worked extremely hard, done extensive research and recruited the best possible team of contractors and roofers to bring you the best service and the highest-quality materials at the most reasonable prices. Vertex Roofing is a company that understands the importance of what you hold beneath your roof. They take pride in being a grade above the rest. 

For more information on Vertex Roofing, visit the company online at www.thevertexroof.com.

A GRADE

ABOVE THE REST

FREE ESTIMATES

TDI LICENSED INSURANCE ADJUSTER HAAG Certified Inspector

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

Robert Jasso Ed “Chip”Green 361.730.8496 sales@thevertexroof.com www.thevertexroof.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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REAL ESTATE

THE ROLE OF THE REALTOR By: CORAL DWORACZYK

REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND REALTORS ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO BE MERE “DOOR OPENERS” FOR POTENTIAL BUYERS. And, from a distance, it can be difficult to see and understand the day-to-day actions and importance of a professional broker or agent. Real estate agents are appointed the task of assisting their clients (a “client” being a buyer or who is contractually represented by the agent) with what is usually one the more financially and emotionally significant transaction of their lives. This is not a task that a professional and dedicated agent will take lightly. Because real estate brokers and agents are licensed and regulated by the State of Texas and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), an agent’s minimal requirements are governed by these agencies. At the barest of minimums, agents are required to place their clients’ interest above all

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others, including their own, so long as the clients do not ask their agent to violate any legal or ethical standards of fairness and honestly. This includes working with title companies and lenders (if utilized) to ensure that a transaction is completed legally (especially considering the laws related to property condition and disclosure) and in totality (ensuring that the property ownership does successfully transfer between parties, without unknown liens or other potential future liabilities). By law, agents are also required to inform their clients of any material information about the property or the transaction that is discovered and to answer any of their clients’ questions. Agents are also required to present all

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What do agents really do all day?


offers or counteroffers to or from the client unless the client directs otherwise. In addition to the required standards set forth by TREC, a fulltime agent’s day is filled with a multitude of other tasks related to building a solid business. Several hours of each day are typically devoted to managing active clients. These clients may include those with a property for sale, buyers seeking a new property and transactions under contract. This time usually involves a lot of phone calls, emails and texts to line up showings (for the agent’s active listing and for buyers) or report feedback from showings, present and negotiate offers, answer or find answers for property questions, research neighborhoods and comparable properties to ensure clients are buying or selling for a fair value, evaluate property taxes and insurance and prepare market reports for buyers and sellers to confirm they are asking the best price supported by market activity. Agents also work hard daily to coordinate the efforts of all the parties involved in a transaction, including other agents, lenders, various inspectors, contractors (for any necessary repairs or updates), appraisers, surveyors, insurance agents, residential home warranty representatives and the good folks over at the title companies. And then there are always signs to be placed, lockboxes to be installed, social media accounts and websites to be updated and a multitude of other marketing opportunities to explore or employ. Although the activities directly related to the successful conclusion of transactions under contract are often a daily priority, agents must also prospect for future business to generate a consistent stream of business and income to support themselves and their families. The marketing of current listings not yet under contract is something

that is often overlooked by the general public. Some believe that an agent lists a home and markets it by putting a sign in the yard and entering the information onto the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is true that some agents stop at that point; however, dedicated agents go far beyond these tasks. Many agents employ the use of professional photographers and many different online and traditional marketing tools to present their listings to the widest pool of qualified buyers. Agents must also employ a wide variety of strategies to generate business from new homebuyers and sellers, ranging from personally paid advertising to reaching out to friends and family. Some of these responsibilities are the less glamorous part of an agent’s career, but pursuing future business is undoubtedly one of the most crucial, and often one of the most time consuming of an agent time. Keep in mind: Agents are typically independent contractors (not employees of their brokerage), and they must continually “shake the bushes” for future business just like other small business owners. Due to the importance of always working in the client’s best interest, it is also very necessary for agents to dedicate themselves to professional development. Although TREC requires mandatory continuing education, many changes occur throughout a single year, so it is necessary for the dedicated agent to do go above and beyond the minimum to stay upto-date with the changes and advancements in our industry. Dedicated agents play a much larger role than simply showing homes – although that is often the most fun part of our day! When considering your next real estate transaction, make sure to keep in mind the importance of a well-qualified realtor and everything he or she can do to help you get to the closing table!

AGENTS

WORK HARD DAILY

TO COORDINATE THE EFFORTS OF ALL THE PARTIES INVOLVED IN A TRANSACTION.

Coral Dworaczyk, M.S., realtor, is a real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Bradfield Properties in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information on real estate in the Coastal Bend, please contact her at corald@bradfieldproperties.com or on her cell at 979-229-2836. You may also visit Dworaczyk’s website at www.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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TRAVEL

I

magine yourself on a Caribbean island with a fruity drink in your hand and your toes in the sand. The only thing between you and the turquoise water is a palm tree that is in no way an obstacle. Add to the picture an endless swimming pool full of swim-up bars and a float with your name on it. It’s hard to imagine anything more relaxing until you think of what a trip like that would cost. If you are bombarded on social media with special deals to all-inclusive resorts, you know that the pictures make it tough to look away. It goes something like this: $499 for five nights at all-inclusive luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas. We can all imagine, even if only for a minute, what it would be like to click the “book now” button. After all, the average price for two at these island all-inclusives is about $500 per night.

By: KIM BRIDGER

These deals are often promoted by companies that are selling much more than a five-night stay in Cabo, Cancun or Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. They are targeting people who can afford vacations and, typically, people who can also afford to purchase timeshares. If you’ve ever been exposed to a timeshare selling experience, you probably have a general idea of how they work. But this article is not about timeshares. This is not an endorsement of the companies that offer these trips. But if you’re willing to spend a little money on a luxurious resort experience and you don’t mind the fact that there are a few strings attached, you might be glad you did. All of this is prefaced with the fact that any time you purchase a vacation experience, you do your homework first. Research the resort and the company that owns the property. Read the reviews that are posted online. Make sure that the company that is pro-

ANY TIME YOU PURCHASE A VACATION EXPERIENCE, YOU SHOULD DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST.

moting the special rate is legitimate. And realize that they do have requirements for people who get approved for these deals. In most cases, they want proof that you are married and that you and your spouse live at the same address. They want to know what you do for a living, what your household income is and that you have a major credit card. They also want to screen out people who work for airlines or travel agencies who already get discount travel privileges. When you book, you are notified that you will be required to attend a 90-minute tour of the property. They will schedule this for you after you purchase the trip. And they also tell you that if you buy the package and take the vacation, but fail to attend the tour or meet any of the other requirements, your credit card can be charged the full retail price for your stay. While the timeshare sales folks can be high pressure, there is no obligation to buy anything. Once a reservation is made and paid for, it can be cancelled or changed until 14 days out. After that, no changes and likely no refunds are available. Each company is probably a little different on the specifics, but this is certainly a time when you would want to read and understand the fine print. Some companies include free transportation from the airport to your resort. But if you decline the timeshare, don’t count on your transportation back to the airport being covered. And then there’s airfare. In most cases, you are on your own to book and pay for your air travel. When it comes time to book your next trip to an island or anywhere in the world, keep in mind that Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA) is close to home and easy to maneuver. While airfare from different airports can vary, CCIA is often a reasonable choice when you factor in the costs associated with driving long distances, meals on the road, hotel rooms and paying more for parking. The best way to assure more choice in the future is to use the air service that is currently available at CCIA. If you’ve ever taken one of these trips that included a great financial deal and a timeshare requirement, share your experience with us on Facebook.

To get in touch with Corpus Christi International Airport, contact Kim Bridger, marketing manager, at kimb@cctexas.com.

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NADEZHDA1906/BIGSTOCK.COM

BOOK IT!

How you can enjoy an all-inclusive luxury resort experience on a shoestring


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TASTE

For more information, visit http://mandyashcraft.com.

Bring the Magic

Cookie butter cups: a delicious way to show you care this Valentine’s Day By: MANDY ASHCRAFT // Photo by: DUSTIN ASHCRAFT

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COOKIE BUTTER was previously only found in Trader Joe’s stores, like a rare and beautiful creature you had to leave town to witness for yourself, until H-E-B harnessed its magic and made it easily obtainable (and quite affordable) to us right here in the Coastal Bend. Reminiscent of sweet gingerbread with a slight cookie crunch, it’s a peanut butter-like product that really has to be tasted to be understood. With Valentine’s Day usually consisting of 50 percent love and flowers and 50 percent sugar, making your own cookie butter-filled chocolates is a delicious way to show you care. It’s very simple and requires no baking skill. Fun for kids to do!

INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups cookie butter 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted so there are no lumps 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, softened 12 ounces chocolate chips (or six 2-ounce chocolate coating/bark cubes) 24 mini muffin liners or candy cups (assorted colors easily found at craft stores) 1 mini muffin pan

2/ Place liners into muffin pan.

6/ Spoon remaining melted chocolate over the top of each one, again pounding the pan against the counter to level the chocolate and remove air bubbles.

Note: This recipe makes 24 bite-sized chocolates.

3/ Add chocolate chips or chocolate cubes to a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and

7/ Place the entire pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to harden.

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

INSTRUCTIONS: 1/ To a small bowl, add cookie butter, powdered sugar and butter. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.

stir. Continue to microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and pourable (will vary by microwave). 4/ Spoon a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each liner. Lift the pan and bang it on the counter several times to get all of the air bubbles out and allow the chocolate to level out. 5/ Use a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon to add cookie butter mixture to the center of each cup. It doesn’t have to be perfect; just try to spoon it into the center. Distribute the cookie butter evenly.


Coastal

Wedding

CONNECT IONS

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ti .com us Chris ecti ons for Corp ! Wedding Directory ingC onn unts & More Dire ctory Bend Coastal & the Directory for Corpus talWedd Wedding Disco for Corp Vis itChristi ww w.C w.C oas , Articles, oas talW us Christi & the Visi t ww Ideas, Checklists Visit www.CoastalWeddingConnections.com for Wed Coastal ding edd Bend Discounts s, Chec& More!ing Con nec for Wedding Ideas, Checklists, Articles,Idea klists, Artic tion s.co les, Disc m ount

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120 E. Front St., Alice, TX Empowering Women of the Coastal Bend Spotlights on Women in our Community | Coastal Closets - Fashion Section | Mommy & Me | Home & Garden Food & Fun | Health & Fitness | 4-Legged Friends | Spiritual Corner | Coupons & MORE

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Corpus Christi: (361) 879-0085 Alice: (361) 668-1116

www.trevinofuneralhome.net

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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 Commercial and residential roofing  Master Contractors of Duro-Last “The World’s Best Roof”  Fully insured - General Liability & Workers Comp

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1608 S. Brownlee Blvd.  Corpus Christi, TX  (361) 887-0599  Member of Associated General Contractors (AGC)  Member of Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT)  A+ Rated by BBB  Actively involved in the community (Habitat for Humanity, WBA, LCC)

www.pinnacleroofingsystems.com

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ENTERTAINMENT Tickets are available at the American Bank Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select H-E-B and Walmart locations, Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply. and lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of each Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written script and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “Count Me In” and fun new parodies of “Hot and Cold” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

March 23 (8:30 p.m.)

ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE

From country to comedy, the American Bank Center brings something for everyone in 2016. By: KRISTEN BILY THIS YEAR has already become an exciting year for SMG-managed American Bank Center. Starting with WWE in January, and finishing the month with Rodney Carrington and Lil Wayne, there has been a variety of shows coming to our Sparkling City by the Bay. February also brought the rock icons, Def Leppard, who brought a sold-out crowd to the American Bank Center Arena. Each year, SMG-managed American Bank Center looks to enhance the fan experience and that also means to bring in something that everyone would love! Spring brings music, comedy and something the entire family can enjoy.

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Feb. 23 and 24 Sesame Street Live: “Make A New Friend” American Bank Center Selena Auditorium Come join Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, along with the entire Sesame Street family for “Make a New Friend” with music that will have your entire family dancing in the aisles! Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend” offers a fun-filled, interactive learning experience, including up-close and furry interactions on the audience floor. Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless tunes

Train has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and 30 million tracks worldwide, with numerous platinum/gold citations on their mantle, three Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and dozens of other honors and nominations. This year alone, Train has wowed audiences everywhere from iHeartRadio Fest in Las Vegas to Radio City Music Hall in New York City and appeared on “The TODAY Show” twice, “America’s Got Talent,” “The Talk,” “The Meredith Viera Show” and VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz.” The former soared to the Top 15 of Triple A and Adult Top 40 radio in only a month, joining the band’s successful arsenal of other radio-embraced singles throughout their two-decade career. Floor seats are reserved for Stars Extravaganza sponsors and will not be available for purchase by the public. To become a sponsor of the Stars Extravaganza in Corpus Christi or for more information on the Stars Scholarship Fund, please visit their website at www.StarsScholarship.org.

April 3 (7 p.m.) Lewis Black American Bank Center Selena Auditorium Lewis Black comes to the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium on Sunday, April 3,

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Stars Scholarship Fund Presents Train American Bank Center Arena


at 7 p.m. Black is one of the most prolific and popular performers working today. He executes a brilliant trifecta as standup comedian, actor and author. He is one of few performers to sell out multiple renowned theatres, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City Center and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Black’s live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. Lewis yells so they don’t have to. A passionate performer who is more pissed-off optimist than mean-spirited curmudgeon, Black is the rare comic who can cause an audience to laugh themselves into incontinence while making compelling points about the absurdity of our world.

April 14 through 17 Rodeo Corpus Christi American Bank Center Arena Attention, all rodeo fans! Rodeo Corpus Christi comes to the American Bank Center Arena on April 14 through 17! Staying true to the official sport of Texas, Corpus Christi hosts one of America’s top 50 ProRodeos every April. The top-ranked athletes in each event compete in Rodeo Corpus Christi for the title of champion. In an action-packed two hours, fans enjoy extreme competition, bull fighting entertainment and the fan-favorite Mutton Bustin’ Buc Days produces this event for all ages to enjoy. Tickets go on sale on March 12, 2016, at 8 a.m.

THE INSURANCE EXPERTS IN THE TEXAS GULF COAST

April 21 through 24 Disney on Ice: “100 Years of Magic” American Bank Center Arena Audiences will be a part of the magic of Disney as Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse leads a parade of more than 50 beloved characters starring Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, and featuring an ensemble of Disney princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. The wintry wonderland of Disney’s “Frozen” also comes to life with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf, as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. The legacy of Disney is displayed through 14 classic and modern stories in this epic production that features an international team of award-winning figure skaters, high-energy choreography and a breathtaking set.

April 29 Got Faith Music Festival 2016 American Bank Center Arena The 2016 Got Faith Music Festival comes to the American Bank Center Arena on April 29. This lineup will Feature Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson, I am They, Audio Adrenaline, Ryan Stevenson, OBB and Kairy Marquez. They are bringing South Texas the ultimate Christian music experience, with the some of the most popular CCM artists of all time. Join us for a special night, perfect for the entire family.

SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center. Follow us online at www.americanbankcenter. com, www.facebook.com/americanbankcenter or www.twitter.com/ americanbankctr, and on Instagram (@americanbankcenter) and Tumblr (@American Bank Center).

GARY MOORE JR., CEO

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Serving Texas from 8 locations.

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500 N. Water Street, Ste. 702 / Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361-991-9000 / www.moore-ins.net 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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“WHERE FRAMING IS AN ART”

5503 SOUTH STAPLES ST. CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78411 361.991.4967 FAX: 361.991.2361 TOLL FREE: 866.991.4967 WWW.THEFRAMEUPCC.COM

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INSPIRE STYLE Erin Wilder

Executive Director American Heart Association, – Southwest Affiliate

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PHOTOS BY PAUL MARSHALL ON LOCATION AT THE 500 SHORELINE BUILDING, CORPUS CHRISTI WARDROBE PROVIDED BY SHANNON’S DISTINCTIVE FASHIONS

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Why I love what I do: I love doing what I do in the community both professionally and personally because it brings me great joy to do my part to try and make even the slightest difference in people’s lives. Working for the American Heart Association, I have the opportunity to work with so many passionate individuals who want to be lifesavers! Spreading awareness and raising funds to fight heart disease makes for a brighter future and saves lives! I enjoy volunteering because it allows me to give back to the community in so many ways. Seeing a child smile, forming lifelong friendships and knowing that every small or large thing I partake in has an impact on others – all of this makes me feel forever gratified.

My philosophy: Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like no one is listening and live like it’s heaven on earth.

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“In the end, it doesn’t matter how many breaths you take, but how many moments took your breath away.” – Anonymous

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5T H

AN N UAL

APRIL2ND2016 1K 3K 5K OBSTACLE RUN R EG I S T E R AT J LC C . O R G Adult 5K Run $45 Aug 1st $55 March 1st $60 March 21st

-

Feb 29th March 20th April 2nd

Kids 1K &3K Run $25 Aug 1st $30 March 21st

-

March 20th April 2nd

All participants will receive a souvenir t-shirt (register by March 9th), running bib, medal, and post race refreshments. AWARDS will be given to the best costumes (team and individual), and the top 3 best times from all registration categories.

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SEA 16TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISING BANQUET (Saltwater Fisheries Enhancement Association)

Thursday, May 19th

American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, TX

Tables $1000 Individual Tickets $125 Sponsorship opportunities are available. SEA Office 361-886-1100 For more info about SEA, www.seatexas.com

FOOD, DRINKS, AUCTIONS, RAFFLES & FUN! 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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NONPROFIT

PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNDRAISER

T

he Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS) was founded 70 years ago by a group of animal lovers, with Frances and Harvey Weil leading the cause. From its inception, the men and women of the society acted as humane officers for Nueces and the surrounding counties. In Corpus Christi, the society members worked closely with the police officers assigned to humane duties and the City Pound. We have expanded and changed in many ways since then, with the humane treatment of the homeless dogs and cats of the Coastal Bend being our constant mission. For 50 years, we operated out of what is now the PALS Animal Shelter. That all changed in April 1998 when Tom and Cora Keeler very generously donated the state-of-the-art facility that we operate from now. This building is double the size of our old home, which allows us to help more animals and offer expanded education and services to the public. As a no-kill, nonprofit organization, we depend solely on donations to care for the over 500

orphaned animals under our roof. Thus, without the kindness of the Keelers, the acquisition of this beautiful building would never have been possible. The annual golf tournament is our way of expressing our gratitude to the Keelers, and the fact that it is a fantastic time is just icing on the cake. The 18th Annual Tom Keeler Memorial Golf Tournament is taking place at the Corpus Christi Country Club on March 18. There are many sponsorship opportunities to be had for you or your business, ranging in price in order to give large and small businesses a chance to participate. As a tournament partner ($5,000), you will receive a banner onsite, inclusion as a tournament partner on radio and television and your logo will be on commemorative promotional items. You will also receive recognition on a hole and a golf cart, and this fee also includes the entry of two four-player teams. For a minimum sponsorship of $200, you will receive recognition on a hole; this is a great way to get your business’ name out there. These are just

WE STRIVE TO NOT ONLY PLACE OUR ANIMALS INTO EXCEPTIONAL HOMES, BUT ALSO EDUCATE THE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

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a few of the sponsorship opportunities available (for the full list, please visit our website). On top of a round of 18 holes, there will also be a delicious brunch, drinks and amazing door prizes. Not only does participating in this tournament get your business’ name out there; it is obviously quite a bit of fun. As stated before, GCHS is a not-for-profit, no-kill shelter. All of the hundreds of animals currently in our care will stay here, safe and sound, until they find loving, responsible homes. As you can imagine, the cost of feeding and providing proper veterinary care for all of these animals is very costly. While we hold fundraisers throughout the year, the golf tournament is one of our biggest sources of income. All of our animals are spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped. We also send all of our dogs home with their first six months’ supply of heartworm prevention, and we provide heartworm treatment to all heartworm-positive dogs upon adoption at no extra cost to their new family. We strive to not only place our animals into exceptional homes, but also to educate the people in our community through our Humane Education Program. Our educational tours and presentations are focused on responsible pet ownership, including pet safety, proper care and treatment of animals, overpopulation and compassion for animals and one another. The program explains how our shelter operates, including volunteer opportunities and service project ideas.  All of this, in addition to the care provided to the animals while they are here, is made possible in a large way by the funds raised during the Tom Keeler Memorial Golf Tournament. We believe that this is the biggest benefit for our golf tournament sponsors: the knowledge that their company’s participation is feeding the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens of GCHS.

If you have any questions about how you can participate in the next Tom Keeler Memorial Golf Tournament, feel free to contact our fundraising coordinator, Denice Eliades, at 713-240-1438 or denicee@gchscc.org.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GULF COAST HUMANE SOCIETY

The Gulf Coast Humane Society hosts the 18th Annual Tom Keeler Memorial Golf Tournament in an effort to improve the quality of life for the over 500 orphaned animals in its care. By: KAITLIN CALK


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NONPROFIT

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The Texas State Aquarium’s Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital helps give local ill and injured wildlife a second chance. By: ANDREA BOLT

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dors that have come to have a forever home at the Texas State Aquarium through our Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital. Raptors like him, as well as a variety of shorebirds like pelicans, laughing gulls, spoonbills and more, make their way to Second Chances either via staff pickup or a Good Samaritan. At the hospital, staffers are able to treat injuries like fractured wings and other bones, pest or parasite issues, marine debris entanglement-related injuries and a host of others. Once the animal is healthy and deemed releasable, the aquarium returns the animal to its natural habitat. In the event the animal is not releasable due to a permanent disability, the aquarium works to find a proper long-term facility for the animal. Sometimes that facility is the aquarium, itself. Along with Norman, our Wild Flight bird and mammal trainers care for two hawks, a turkey vulture, a crested caracara, two herons and three ducks that have been rescued

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WE’RE VERY PROUD OF THIS PROGRAM AND WHAT WE DO HERE.”

and rehabilitated through Second Chances, and there are a number of other rehabilitated animals throughout the aquarium. If it is determined that a non-releasable Second Chances patient will go to another facility, the Second Chances staff does a thorough background check on the facility, ensuring the highest care standards are met before then deciding on how to transport the animal to its new home. Started in 1995, Second Chances has been responsible for rehabilitating and releasing more than 1,000 ill and injured birds, marine mammals and sea turtles back into the wild. Today, Second Chances staffs a fulltime veterinarian,

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE AQUARIUM

he tiny owl twists his tufted head around 180 degrees to inspect his surroundings, much to the delight of the small gathering of children “oohing” and “ahhing” over him at the Downtown Corpus Christi Farmers’ Market. Many ask about his diminutive size or how closely his coloration resembles the bark of a tree, both of which are markers of the Eastern screech owl species; more ask about his left eye, which is completely blind. This owl’s name is Norman, and he is one of many animal ambassa-


along with a small fulltime staff and a multitude of dedicated volunteers. Pending the condition of the animal when it arrives, aquarium staff stabilizes it, evaluates its condition and provides comprehensive medical

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treatment. Services range from simply providing a safe, temporary refuge for an exhausted migratory shorebird to acute medical care for an ill dolphin. Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager Laura Martinelli says the hospital’s surgical suite, featuring state-of-the-art X-ray equipment, helps the team take in, treat and care for patients that similar hospitals may not be able to help. “Seeing birds on the brink of death and then being able to not only see them recover, but to have a hand in it, is an amazing thing,” Martinelli says. “To be able to bring them back from that, then to actually release them back into the wild is incredible. We’re very proud of this program and what we do here.” Martinelli explains that volunteers help staffers medicate and treat birds, clean kennels, prepare daily diets, keep detailed records and do the huge amounts of laundry Second Chances requires to ensure patients receive the best care possible. “The wildlife rehabilitation done through Second Chances is one of the most tangible ways we practice conservation and live out the mission of the Texas State Aquarium,” Martinelli says.

The Texas State Aquarium’s Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 4230 Rincon Road in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information, call 361-881-1210 or visit www.texasstateaquarium.org, or email Martinelli at lmartinelli@txstateaq.org.

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Inspire Coastal Bend Business Feb/Mar 2016  
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