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WATERSHED MOMENT

COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

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GOING OLD SCHOOL SHOESHINE SERVICES AT CCIA GIVE-GIVE APPROACH MEET INSPIRE MAGAZINE’S ADRIAN GARZA

JUNE.JULY 2016 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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WANT A CHEAPER ELECTRIC BILL?

Why Choose us: Our customers come first. The Stellar Energy Solutions and Hudson Energy support team is made up of people who understand the industry and care deeply about helping you in every way. We are here for you.  Dynamic Pricing: We have several clear advantages over other suppliers, including market experience and purchasing power, which add up to more value for your business.

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CONTENTS JUNE. JULY 2016

BUSINESS COACH

28

14

Off the Cuff

SPECIAL FEATURE 16 18

The Silver Lining Journey to Inspire

FEATURE 22 24 26

The ‘Czar of Gems’ Prepare for the Unexpected Cool and Comfortable

MONEY MATTERS 40

Invest in Protection

ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY 42

We’ve Got it Covered

REAL ESTATE 44

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House?

TRAVEL

28 32 SCHLITTERBAHN MODERN AMERICAN

36 DOWNTOWN MANAGEMENT

Under the guidance of Chris and Sadie Torres, this platform for competitive cheerleading and character building instills a true team culture in its members, with a focus on standards.

It’s a watershed moment for downtown revitalization in the Coastal Bend thanks in large part to this organization, which focuses on overseeing Corpus Christi’s enhancements toward aesthetic restoration.

RIVERPARK & RESORT

As a recognized industry leader, Terri Adams manages the hottest waterpark and resort brand in the country, which is now officially open for business in Corpus Christi.

CHEER

DISTRICT

48

Bring Back the Shine

TASTE 52 54

Smooth and Delicious Hidden Treasures

ENTERTAINMENT 58

A Moment in Time

NONPROFIT 62

Dream Team

INSPIRED STYLE 64

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Michael Hunter

BIGEDHAR/BIGSTOCK.COM

COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: MARK JOSEPH/DARKLAB PHOTOGRAPHY


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COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

JUNE.JULY 2016

PUBLISHER/SALES

ADRIAN GARZA

adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.548.1044

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION Holly Duvall holly@inspirecoastalbendmag.com 479.935.0868

ART DIRECTOR Liv Madison

EDITOR Allison Alvarado

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mandy Ashcraft Colton Bartel Kristen Bily Andrea Bolt Kim Bridger-Hunt Chase Carlisle Jessica Dusek Ryan Garcia Stephanie Kusy Connie Laughlin Sylvia Slezak Kelly Trevino Sarona Winfrey

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

PHOTOGRAPHY Dustin Ashcraft Mark Joseph/Darklab Photography Paul Marshall

www.inspirecoastalbendmag.com For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

“Come experience the difference” 5922 Yorktown Blvd. Corpus Christi, TX 78414 361-834-0311

For editorial comments and suggestions, please email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

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.


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BUSINESS COACH

Considering 150 years of business By: CONNIE LAUGHLIN

I

CONNIE LAUGHLIN is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information on outsourcing your human resources to a PEO, you may contact Laughlin at 361-8526392 or conniel@ uniquehr.com.

n the late 19th century, “fake bosoms” were quite popular. In fact, men wore them! The working class had found it absolutely impossible to keep up with the expense involved in cleaning their soiled and stained shirts. A fashion trend was born when technological advancements in machinery began manufacturing paper shirtfronts, known as “fake bosoms,” as well as paper shirt collars and cuffs. Made of stiff white paper, they worked well to present an affordable, and fit-to-be-seen, appearance. Depending on the conditions where one worked, such as around coal dust, a man might have made three changes in one day. Paper cuffs quickly caught on as a convenient place to scribe a quick note, especially if you were in business. Men were now logging data such as inventory numbers, or things typically found in a journal, on their cuffs. In the pub, barkeeps were soon keeping tab of gins consumed in a new manner. Henceforth, the phrase “off the cuff’ became quite popular, meaning a manner of operating that’s spontaneous and without proper planning. Running a business was much simpler in those days. Yes, simpler – but not better! Without appropriate workplace regulations in the “off the cuff” era came numerous unfair wage disputes and countless discriminatory issues. Employment laws have developed over the last hundred years with many convoluted regulations. One pretty much needs specialized and ongoing HR training to ensure legal compliance is met in a business, and that it continues to maintain efficiently of operation and productivity. The Department of Labor, founded in 1913, enforces more than 180 federal laws. Listed below are only a few. How many apply to your business? Are you in compliance? • Fair Labor Standards Act, or Wages and Hours Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1938  • Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 • Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 • Davis-Bacon Act, passed by Congress in 1931 Today, in the 21st century, you still see a lot of “off the cuff” decisions being made without regard to worksite laws. Yes, indeed, it takes HR professionals trained in employment law to manage ongoing compliance. We must have the proper direction to navigate the ever-growing legal regulations, and we definitely need plans in place to mitigate risk and avoid any litigious activity. HR procedures that many leaders consider “insignificant” are often the most necessary. Additionally, any company that’s operating without the strategic HR initiatives that only well-seasoned HR executives can concoct is running at a disadvantage. Business owners simply can’t keep up with all the training required to implement HR strategies that grow revenue, increase employee morale, miti-

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dance with all the state and federal regulations prohibiting potential problems. Even though technology continues to provide us with new accounting platforms and manufacturing trends that speed up our business processes accurately, it can’t manage our business or our handle our largest asset: our employees. Don’t let your business be lost in the washtub with off-the-cuff dealings! Take the time now to protect your employees as well as all assets. Creating a streamlined efficient operation will allow you to, at times, run “off the cuff” without risking it all.

CSP_HANKPIX/FOTOSEARCH.COM

OFF THE CUFF

gate risk and best protect company assets. Two important Ps in business are “problems” and “profitability.” It’s very possible to have a problem you may not know about, and if that’s the case, you’ll not know how deep your hole, or problem, is because you’re not adequately trained in that area. You know the old saying, “If you find yourself in a hole, quit digging”? How do you know what you don’t know? Obviously it makes good sense to hire professionals to handle the things that aren’t in your wheelhouse – the things that don’t drive revenue production. Ensure your focus remains 100 percent on profitability, and that you’re operating in accor-


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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 15


SPECIAL FEATURE

THE SILVER LINING

Take advantage and save by actively updating your electricity plans. Special to INSPIRE COASTAL BEND whelming and sometimes frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Most South Texans have the opportunity to select their energy provider  and service plan that best fits their needs. Those who shop, save. If you have not shopped in a while, your provider is likely charging more than what is offered to a new customer for the same service. Whether you are a residential user, a small business or a buyer for a large commercial enterprise, here are a few tips to help make your energy-buying process easier and bring additional savings:

MOST BELIEVE we have three basic needs: food, shelter and clothing. As a South Texan, I have to add air conditioning to that list, because it is a matter of health and wellness. With summer quickly approaching, following a pretty nonexistent winter, most residents are preparing to crank those AC units down as heat and humidity move in. Traditionally, as the temperatures rise, so do those electricity bills. Countless South Texans have found themselves with an unexpected electricity bill capable of causing a heart attack. But sadly, research shows that residents only spend an average of six minutes reviewing their electricity bills over the course of the year. Why so little time when choices are available and savings are possible? It can be confusing, over-

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MAKING A CHOICE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED.

2) Shop, shop, shop. Who doesn’t like to shop? a. Compare your unit rate and total rate to those being offered by various retail electricity providers (online resources: PowertoChoose. org, MyTrueCost.com and suppliers’ websites). b. Choose a plan that best fits your needs and value. 3) Review the supplier scorecards at PowertoChoose.org. Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours, or kWh. It is important to pay attention to your unit and total rate, and any added fees or charges applicable to your plan. Many electricity suppliers try to cre-

GVICTORIA/BIGSTOCK.COM. GRAPHIC COURTESY OF STELLAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS

1) Review your current bill and determine three things: a. What is my unit rate (price per kWh)? b. What is my contract end date? c. What is my total rate (total invoice/monthly usage)?


ate the illusion of lower kWh rates by adding set fees or other charges to the kWh charges. Making a choice does not have to be complicated. While there are many different products you can choose from when purchasing electricity, most revolve around a fixed rate. Product differences fall into three categories: 1) Fixed or variable rate 2) Term (e.g. three, six, 12 or 24 month; period of time the rate applies) 3) Other services (e.g. includes a smart thermostat or green energy sources) Credible retailers avoid the use of complicated rate structures and can provide simple analyses of your choices. Be aware that some plans also include other features, like the inclusion of smart thermostats. While these provide new tools, the kWh rate that accompanies these plans may have you spending two or three times the cost of the thermostat on Amazon. In the business domain, other complexities exist. A business must determine what other considerations apply, like budget certainty, energy efficiency  promotions and changes in

their business that may cause energy usage to change. More than 70 percent of businesses in Texas utilize the service of brokers or consultants to guide their procurement of electricity. “The use of brokers is an effective strategy, and businesses should seek well-qualified  brokers to represent them in the marketplace,” says Tim Clark, president at Stellar Energy Solutions. “While Texas does not regulate brokers, many firms, including Stellar Energy Solutions, have strived to establish standards for the industry applying core values of integrity, choice and service.” While most of today’s headlines are focused on the significant drop in  oil and natural gas prices and how that may stress the South Texas economy, a silver lining exists for those of us who actively update our electricity plans. Prices being offered to South Texas residents and businesses are the lowest in over a decade, so why not take advantage and save?

For more information, visit Stellar Energy Solutions online at www.stellarnrgsolutions.com.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

JOURNEY TO INSPIRE

The story of our publisher, Adrian Garza

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By: JESSICA DUSEK

“LET ME KNOW what you do, and I will let you know what I do, and we can lock arms and work together,” says Inspire Magazine’s Adrian Garza of his love for celebrating local business and medical professionals. Garza’s give-give approach has guided the publication to share stories of these professionals with readers throughout the Coastal Bend. Anchored in Corpus Christi, the magazine has grown in size from 48 pages to well over 100 pages in the past seven years. The networking component, hosting local “mixers,” adds tremendous value to the magazine’s bi-monthly publication. At each mixer, $10 is collected from every guest at the door; this has allowed Inspire to give back to a different local charitable organization every month. Inspire has also been a strong supporter of the Corpus Christi Education Foundation, earning a lifetime membership in the CCISD Honor Society. Making a strong impact on a local level, Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez proclaimed that Wednesday, May 25, 2016, was “Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine Day” – a true honor in influencing such a loyal community. “Being the publisher of the magazine, I am the one who gets to hear the compliments and accolades, but the magazine is truly a reflection of the hard work my team and the community that supports us put into it – compliments from the community on how well the magazine looks, how well it’s written and how much [readers] enjoy it,” Garza humbly explains of Inspire. It is a unique publication, as the magazine aims to capture professionals in the community and inspire them to continue making a difference in both the business and the medical industries. Similar themes are threaded throughout many stories: trying moments, blessings in disguise, accomplishments and contributions to the community. “My goal,” Garza says, “was to provide a platform where we could share the stories of the people in the business and medical communities in a positive way and to support local business – to help small businesses market their services whereas advertising with Inspire would fit any marketing budget.” It was just over two years ago when Garza established Inspire Magazine, a


rebranded effort, from his former magazine joint-partnership with NSIDE Publications. “I had to start over, to change the name and rebrand. That’s a really big move – it’s huge,” he explains. “It was truly a leap of faith and one of my biggest challenges. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much the community was in support of me personally, not just the publication.” Entering a difficult market with few resources, Garza drew on his sales and business experience and the relationships he’d established within the local community. Focusing on advertising, he was able to provide feature stories on the “up and coming” local businesses for the readers. “I was fortunate after we launched our first issue,” he says. “People started calling. These were answered prayers.”

Taking on Corpus Christi

A native of Alice, Texas, Garza remains

humble as he credits his upbringing. “I grew up in a family of five brothers and one sister,” he says. “My father sold life insurance for 40 years. Growing up, I learned what it took to take care of a family.” Garza’s colorful career journey painted the way toward his role as publisher, as he would later work in food service and technology, as well as the auto and mortgage industries. “Coming from a small town, I considered Corpus the ‘big city,’” he smiles. These roots provided Garza with many of life’s tools. The most important values he still carries include a strong love for family, believing in self and giving back to the community. Growing up in a strong Christian home, he says, “we went to church a lot and depended on our faith” – a faith that would carry him through trying moments in his career. When Garza was 18, many of his friends went to college, but he went straight to work.

“I remember making $3.35 an hour,” he recalls of one of his first jobs working the graveyard shift at Whataburger. He would then go on to work for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Frito Lay and later in car sales.

Perseverance and pivotal moments

“I’ve always said that hard work pays dividends,” Garza says. While Garza was at EDS, a day manager randomly showed up during one of his night shifts. A defining moment presented itself as the manager approached Garza with an opportunity, stating, “We have an opportunity in our data communications.” Astounded by the out-of-the-ordinary opportunity, Garza explains, “So I asked, ‘does that include days?’” He chuckles as he remembers the story: a simple request that would redirect his career path. He instantly moved his way into a sought-after 9-to-5 office job. It was during his time in auto sales that he 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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learned about gaining “thick skin.” When he was unable to advance into management, his manager had a candid conversation with him. “He told me I wore my heart on my sleeve,” he recalls. “[He said], ‘One of the reasons we never moved you up as a manager is you need to toughen up.’” Looking back on those moments, Garza explains, ironically, “I thought, he is 100 percent right! What he said – I couldn’t agree more. So I started changing my approach – not only in the industry, but in life in general. “In 2006, my brother started NSIDE Publications in San Antonio; it was created through his vision. From the outside looking in, I saw the magazine take off overnight, so in 2008, when I was laid off from my job in the car industry, it made perfect sense to reach out to my brother. I knew the concept could work in the Coastal Bend, and I wanted the opportunity to bring it here.” This is when the lens began to shift and everything came into focus for Garza. We launched NSIDE Coastal Bend Magazine in 2009. Going back to the basics, Garza started knocking on doors to let people know what he was doing. “One of the biggest challenges I faced in the Coastal Bend was trying to get the local business and medical community to share the vision I was trying to accomplish,” Garza explains. At the time, the businesses didn’t quite know how to embrace the concept. “Basically, there were a lot of doors that shut,” Garza says. “A lot of times, people want to wait and see before they jumped on board. During that time, my wife and I were facing some hard times.” With the changes and uncertainty, he began going back to church. “I was sitting and listening to the service, and as the offering plate was being passed, the preacher was asking for us to go beyond the call of duty and put a little extra in that offering. I was in a position where I didn’t have extra to put in. I sat there and thought about it. I thought I may not be able to put in anything extra, but realized what I did have to offer was the magazine.” The pastor’s message was so compelling that Garza asked the pastor to be on the cover. The magazine took off at that point, and

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Garza was pleased to see that the concept his brother shared with him was being well-received here in the Coastal Bend.

Inspire Magazine is born

The time came where Adrian and his brother had different ideas for the direction the publication. His commitment to the Coastal Bend community to share the local business and medical stories and to provide the magazine free did not align with his brother’s goals, so Adrian and his wife, Tracy, chose to make the magazine their own and rebrand as Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. Although he has strikingly noted that, “the power of prayer is amazing,” Garza’s hard work, diligence and dedication has helped guide him to his current role as Inspire Magazine’s publisher. Today, Garza’s publication reaches more than 25,000 readers throughout the Coastal Bend. He features local community leaders, CEOs, CFOs and world-renowned physicians and medical professionals. Shedding light on various industries, Inspire’s appeal reaches a wide spectrum of readers. “We all have a responsibility to give back and raise awareness,”

“ WE ALL HAVE A

RESPONSIBILITY TO GIVE BACK AND RAISE AWARENESS.”


“ THE POWER

OF PRAYER IS AMAZING.”

Garza says. Future plans for Inspire include continuing the tradition of hosting monthly networking mixers, giving back to the community and growing readership all over the Coastal Bend. “Handshakes and networking in person” will continue to be the magazine’s objective, offering business-to-business opportunities and community support.

Family strong

Adrian and his wife, Tracy celebrate 22 years of marriage this July. They have lived in Corpus Christi for 25 years and have two children. Their son, Alec, will enter his second year of college at Texas State University in the fall; he is a member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. And their daughter, Ashley, will enter eighth grade in the fall; she participates in competitive cheer, track and volleyball.

For more information, visit Inspire Coastal Bend online at www.inspirecoastalbendmag.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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THE ‘CZAR OF GEMS’ Alexandrite: the embodiment of Russian royalty

By: COLTON BARTEL

S

o what happens when you are the czar of the Russian Empire and a new gem is found in your country? They name it after you! That is exactly what happened in 1830 when quite possibly the rarest birthstone used today was found. Czar Alexander II will always be known in the jewelry industry for the phenomenal stone that bears his name, Alexandrite. Alexandrite is so rare that there is currently not a commercially viable source for it in the world. Because of this rarity, a very small percentage of the global population has ever seen a natural one in person, let alone ever purchased one. This goes for jewelers, as well. Though it is still used as a birthstone, finding a natural one can be a huge challenge, especially a high-quality one. So what is it that makes this stone so special that it is in high demand regardless of the lack of supply? Alexandrite is a color-change stone. That’s right: color change! Alex, as we call it for short, displays two very distinct colors based on the type of light to which it is exposed. In daylight or cooler light, like LED, it will display a blueish-green body color; by contrast, in warmer incandescent light, it will be a purplish-red. Because of this color change, they are known to be “emeralds by day, rubies by night.” The high-quality Alex is a very beautiful stone and highly sought after, especially by collectors and jewelry connoisseurs. Its high demand, phenomenal color change and little supply make it extremely expensive and the perfect candidate for making synthetically. Though many stones are also produced synthetically, synthetic Alex is really the only one that is sold much more frequently than its natural counterpart. Lab-grown Alex is still Alexandrite in every aspect except that it is manmade and not mined. It has the same colors and hardness and even changes color, but it has extreme color change and is almost always highly fluorescent, glowing bright red in UV light. If you are in the market for an Alex, there are several things to look for and a couple to prepare for. The first thing to look for is the stone’s color change and how obvious it is. The more intense and distinguishable the color change is, the better. The most desirable colors are deep red to emerald green, but this is very rare and usually only occurs in Russian material. The next best is going to be a deep plum red to teal green, which is usually found in Brazilian stones. Clarity is the second feature you want to look at. A nice Alex has very good clarity, but may still have small inclusions under magnification. Look

ALEXANDRITE IS A COLOR-CHANGE STONE.

for a clean stone that doesn’t have inclusions visible to the naked eye. Now, as far as what to prepare yourself for in cost and time: Alexandrites that show distinct color change, are relatively clean and have any significant size are generally very expensive. Many stones that are of good quality can rival the price of diamonds and can actually be more than diamonds of the same size and clarity. As with any gemstone, when you are shopping for an Alex, be sure to talk with a trusted jeweler or gemologist who has experience with the stone and can correctly identify it and separate it from synthetic stones. The other thing you need to prepare for is shopping time. Again, due to their rarity, finding the right stone can be a time-consuming process. Not all jewelers have access to natural stones, and even fewer have access to high-quality ones. You will notice that the vast majority of chain stores only offer synthetic Alexandrite and cannot actually get the natural variety. If you do happen to visit a store that can get one (or, even better, that has one in stock), you will significantly reduce your shopping time and have a much better chance of getting the exact stone you want. Talk with your jeweler, and ask him or her if you can see some stones. In most cases, a handful of stones will be ordered in for viewing and can usually be purchased at that time. While looking, be sure to ask lots of questions about the stone so you know what it is you are getting. Because there is little supply, there are higher chances of accidentally getting synthetics mixed up with natural stones, but a good jeweler or gemologist can easily separate the two and explain the differences to you. Alexandrite is for sure one of the most unusual stones you can own, and it makes for an awesome conversation piece. So go ahead and treat yourself like royalty with the “czar of gems.”

For more information, to set up an appointment or to view natural Alexandrites and other gems, please contact Colton Bartel at Susann’s Diamond Jewelers, located at 4254 S. Alameda in Corpus Christi. You can also call 361-991-7565 or visit www.susanns-jewelers.com.

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2009-6071 PHOTO CREDIT: SMITHSONIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, ALEXANDRITEGIA PHOTO CREDIT: GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA, ALEXANDRITE AFRICA GEMS PHOTO CREDIT: AFRICA GEM

FEATURE


Straight talk from someone who knows you

Sound financial advice means only making recommendations that line up with your goals and risk tolerance. Thoughtful guidance: It’s how we make sense of investing.

Barbara S Ellis

Financial Advisor

www.edwardjones.com

Member SIPC

MKT-9650-A

.

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

PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED The Better Business Bureau offers tips for dealing with unpredictable Texas weather and other possible natural disasters. By: KELLY TREVINO

or the destruction of vital documents could greatly affect the ability to work or make essential transactions. Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises businesses to anticipate the worst-case scenario and make sure your business is ready for a natural disaster. Important documents that should be

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safely stored in your place of business may include employee records, customer information, vehicle titles, property deeds and copies of insurance policies. BBB recommends storing these documents in a fireproof box or safe, or in a bank’s safe deposit box. If you do not have a safe, make sure all of your essential documents are stored together in a discreet location, but one you can easily access. Remember, no safe deposit box or safe is completely protected from theft, fire, flood or other damage, but taking these precautions could save your important documents from ruin. Your BBB recommends using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at ready.gov/ business to learn about the potential emergencies that could occur where

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR INSURANCE POLICY, INCLUDING THE FINE PRINT.

you live and the appropriate ways to respond to them. When you know what to do, you can plan and prepare in advance to be ready. FEMA provides information about how to protect your household and begin recovery following the initial disaster.

TO HELP YOU GET ORGANIZED AND PREPARED, YOUR BBB OFFERS THE FOLLOWING ADVICE: Review your insurance policy. It is important to understand your insurance policy, including the fine print. Know what types of natural disasters are covered and what your business must do should one occur. Determine if you need additional coverage by reviewing the monetary limitations asso-

STYLE-PHOTOGRAPHS/BIGSTOCK.COM

IF A NATURAL DISASTER OR THE UNEXPECTED WERE TO OCCUR, WOULD YOU BE PREPARED? UNFORTUNATELY, SEVERE FINANCIAL LOSSES FROM UNINSURED PROPERTY, DAMAGED INFRASRTUCTURE


ciated with each natural disaster. Update your inventory. When you submit an insurance claim, you need to provide an itemized list of damages. Having an accurate inventory prepared prior to a natural disaster will help you assess the situation and determine what your needs are in order to get your business back to normal operating capacity. Inform your staff. Post an emergency plan of action in your place of business, or include it with new employee manuals. This will help keep your staff safe in a natural disaster. Identify critical business systems. Figure out what functions are vital to your organization’s survival should something happen. These include functions that would be most sensitive if you had to shut down temporarily, as well as functions that are necessary to maintain cash flow.

Deana Merrill’s Salon

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

361.994.7884 7602 S. Staples St. #104 Corpus Christi, TX 78413

3006 Niagara, Corpus Christi, TX

Develop an emergency communication plan. Make sure you have a plan developed to communicate with your customers and vendors in the event of a natural disaster. The plan should include a list of all parties that have regular contact with your business and information on how to account for any outstanding deliveries or customer orders. Make sure the plan explains how to update your Web and social media sites to communicate any pertinent information.

• Serving Corpus Christi, Alice and surrounding areas • Affordable funeral services and cremations • Prearranged funeral plans with low monthly payments

Manage expenses. If your business closes temporarily due to a natural disaster, make sure you have a way to process expenses, such as accounts payable and payroll. Compile a list of all expenses along with account access information in order to continue to be able to operate in a normal capacity.

• Family owned and operated since 1995

Honoring our veterans with a military casket at no charge

For more important business advice, visit our website at bbb.org/central-texas under the “For Businesses” section, or our independent blog at 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 361945-7352 or via email at ktrevino@ corpuschristi.bbb.org.

Pureology Brazilian Blowout Redken Haircolor Fine Gifts & More

120 E. Front St., Alice, TX

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

www.trevinofuneralhome.net

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COOL AND COMFORTABLE Summer means more shopping and dining options at La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera. By: SARONA WINFREY

LA PALMERA is the place to find hot trends and cool, comfortable styles this summer. Each year, more than six million Coastal Bend residents and visitors enjoy the more than 130 shopping and dining options with even more opening soon. H&M is set to open in fall 2016 at La Palmera. The new 27,000-square-foot multi-level H&M location will offer Corpus Christi residents a one-stop shopping destination for quality clothing for the whole family, with collections for ladies and men, as well as separate “store within a store” sections for accessories and maternity. The La Palmera location will also carry H&M’s children’s collection, for 9- to 14-year-olds. H&M will join other great brands at La Palmera, including Michael Kors, Coach, Tilly’s, Francesca’s, Pandora and Buckle, as well as dining options such as LongHorn Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. La Palmera shoppers will soon find a great new snack spot, as well, with the opening of Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots. Opening June 9 on the upper level of La Palmera adjacent to Claire’s, Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots will offer shoppers a unique blend of sweet and savory treats featuring a variety of Doc Popcorn’s fresh-popped, kettle-cooked popcorn and Dippin’ Dots’ iconic flash-frozen ice cream, sundaes, floats, shakes and quakes. Across from La Palmera, The Shops at La Palmera will also add a variety of new food options this summer. Chick-fil-A is preparing to open its new restaurant June 9 located

along the main entrance to The Shops at La Palmera. And scheduled to open July 18 is Grub Burger Bar featuring eclectic gourmet burgers on homemade buns, fresh salads and side dishes and cutting-edge shakes, as well as delicious bar appetizers and cocktails. Located adjacent to Grub Burger Bar will be the recently announced fast casual restaurant, Urban Bricks Pizza Co. Known for homemade dough and fresh ingredients, Urban Bricks’ diners can customize their own salads and pizzas, including their choice of crust, sauce and combination of toppings. The restaurant will also provide delivery service and is scheduled to open later this year. Other food options already available at The Shops include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Corner Bakery Café, Subway and Marble Slab Creamery. The Shops at La Palmera is also now home to the recently opened Promptu Immediate Care. Located in the same building as Chipotle on the opposite end nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods, the 2,500-square-foot Promptu Immediate Care is staffed seven days a week to provide quick, lower-cost medical care for illness and minor injuries. The facility also provides physicals, immunizations and drug tests with in-house lab testing and X-ray capabilities. Salons by JC is also a recent addition to The Shops at La Palmera. Located next to DSW, Salons by JC is the new hot spot for a variety of independent small businesses, including a women’s clothing and accessories boutique, skincare professionals, a nail salon and a number of others specializing in hair care, cosmetics and more. It’s an innovative business model with locations around the country providing a location for practitioners with the Salons by JC staff handling management duties and providing concierge service for all clients. “We are constantly working with our leasing team to provide the best mix of shopping and dining, and we’re pleased to have so many new options opening this summer,” said Fred Walters, vice president and general manager of La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera. “School is out, the beaches are busy and everyone is looking for a cool and comfortable place to get together with friends and family – do some shopping, sit, relax and maybe have a meal. La Palmera is the top shopping and dining destination in the Coastal Bend.” And don’t forget: Sunday, June 19, is Father’s Day. For the active dad, Dick’s Sporting Goods at The Shops at La Palmera offers brand-name sporting goods, equipment and clothing, with Champs Sporting Goods, FootLocker and Footaction located at La Palmera, along with the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and its complete line of team memorabilia, clothing and sporting items. If you can’t decide, go online to lapalmera.com or stop by the concierge and pick up a La Palmera gift card. Available in increments from $10 to $500, the cards may be used at most restaurant and retail locations at La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera.

For more information on La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera, go to www.lapalmera.com, or call 361-991-3755.

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GSTOCKSTUDIO/BIGSTOCK.COM

FEATURE


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COVER STORY

The latest tourist attraction in Corpus Christi – Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort – is officially open for business. By: STEPHANIE KUSY Photos by: MARK JOSEPH/DARKLAB PHOTOGRAPHY

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However, she makes sure she gets to enjoy some fun in the sun. “There’s something about putting your head back with your bottom and your feet in the water, looking up at the beautiful Corpus Christi blue sky that just lets your mind get lost – and in a good way.” She hopes residents and tourists alike will take advantage of this state of mind. Adams enjoys getting lost on the interconnected river system, the largest of all the parks, yet she remains focused on the waterpark’s success. Several leaders in the waterpark industry around the world began their career with the Henry family-owned Schlitterbahn, and Adams is no different. She joined the company as a teenager, selling T-shirts during the summer and lifeguarding at the original park in New Braunfels. She returned during her college days at Texas State and was soon offered a fulltime position. She worked hard, gained additional responsibilities and eventually began managing the main park. As the company grew and added new locations, she took on a more global role. Now she oversees all five parks:     

NEW BRAUNFELS SOUTH PADRE GALVESTON KANSAS CITY CORPUS CHRISTI

“Now I live in five cities,” she said, laughing. “At least I feel like that some days. I tell people I have five favorite children. There is never a dull moment.” A variety of attractions and activities set Corpus Christi apart from the other parks. For starters, Schlitterbahn has transformed from a small summertime waterpark into a year-round riverpark and resort destination with a pleth-

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ora of things to do. A nine-hole golf course, a full-service restaurant, meeting space and a concert venue space known as Freedom Stage will attract all types of guests. Not to mention a 90room resort right next to the park will encourage travelers to stay a while, and groups to have year-round events, providing an expected boost to the Coastal Bend’s economy. “There’s so much more of an impact than people can see,” Adams said. “There’s the direct impact where people come overnight or extend their stays. Maybe somebody comes to go to the beautiful beaches and visits the Texas State Aquarium or the Lexington, but now they’ll stay another day to go to Schlitterbahn. Then there are people that will come now just because we are here and learn all that the area has to offer. Corpus Christi’s travel and entertainment package is amazing and getting better.” Schlitterbahn continues to succeed because of its unique ride designs and family-oriented

focus. Driving down South Padre Island Drive, there is not much to see of the park from afar. The excitement exists in the ground where a wide variety of rivers offer fun and adventure for guests as they travel to the different chutes and slides. The Henry family – recognizing that tubing in a river is a big part of the fun, as opposed to waiting in line for rides – designs parks so guests can enjoy their trip downstream in an inner tube. “The best part of tubing is the whole time you are in a river, you are with your family,” Adams said. “You get to look at their faces. You get to splash them. Part of the fun in being with your family and friends is you get to experience it together.” The waterpark continues the laidback “island time” notion by offering complimentary perks like free parking, tubes and life jackets. Families can even bring in their own food and drinks

from home. The park aims to provide affordable family fun, and believes once guests experience the magic of their park, they’ll return again and again. The Henry family originally opened a resort in the 1960s as a classic mom-and-pop business with only a handful of slides among resort rooms. In 1979, the family launched Schlitter-

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SCHLITTERBAHN RIVERPARK & RESORT

The Deluge, an exhilarating tube chute at Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort, might just be Terri Adams’ favorite ride. As the chief operating officer (COO) of all five waterparks, she fully embraces the “work hard, play hard” mentality. She has been spending significant time in Corpus Christi overseeing the waterpark, as it opened its doors for the summer. The park features 13 attractions in total, including three new rides this season.


PHOTOS COURTESY OF SCHLITTERBAHN RIVERPARK & RESORT

Schlitterbahn continues to succeed because of its unique ride designs and family-oriented focus.

bahn with the iconic castle fans have come to love. The Henry family now holds more than 60 patents on ride designs and waterpark technology. The company currently employs more than 500 fulltime staff and 4,500 seasonal workers. In the early days, Adams was one of the only women in operations in the waterpark industry. She said that’s no longer the case, but it is still difficult to wear so many hats. “It’s hard to raise a family, be a mom and a wife, a general manager and a COO the way we work at Schlitterbahn,” Adams said. So, how does she do it all? “You can’t do it all,” said Adams emphatically. “You do the best you can, and frankly, I have an amazing God, an amazing husband, great support from the Henry family, and I work with great people. I expect a lot from myself. I expect a lot from my teammates, but I’ll give a lot, too. You do the best you can. You set priorities and do the things that are important.” In 2015, Adams received the prestigious Tall in Texas award by

the Texas Travel Industry Association for her outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry. Adams humbly proclaims she thrives on helping others in the industry succeed. “My biggest accomplishment is creating other leaders that have gone on to run this business or other businesses and have impact and influence on the world,” she said. “I’m pretty smokin’ proud of that!” Even when she’s not working, Adams finds it difficult to stay away from the water. A self-proclaimed water bug, she enjoys paddle boarding and swimming with friends and family. As she celebrates more than 37 years with the nation’s most wellknown waterpark, she intends to

grow the number of people visiting each park annually. “Every community we’re in is growing,” Adams said. “Every community is a great travel destination. We’re proud to be a part of what encourages people to travel together and make new memories year after year. And we know they’ll make great memories at Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi.” The company’s first riverpark promises a unique experience with a complete family entertainment destination. “Every Schlitterbahn is a little different,” Adams said. “They’re all like ice cream. They’re all wonderful – just a different flavor.” Then Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort surely won’t disappoint.

Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort is located at 14353 Commodores Drive. For more information, visit www.schlitterbahn.com/corpus-christi.

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PROFILE

Modern American Cheer: a winning team culture marked by hard work and dedication By: JESSICA DUSEK Photos by: MARK JOSEPH/DARKLAB PHOTOGRAPHY


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“WE DON’T CALL THEM RULES; WE CALL THEM STANDARDS. PEOPLE TEND TO BREAK THE RULES; OUR TEAM CULTURE RISES UP TO THE STANDARDS,” DESCRIBES CHRIS TORRES WITH AN INSPIRATIONAL TONE IN HIS VOICE. IN 2014, CHRIS AND HIS WIFE, SADIE, OPENED MODERN AMERICAN CHEER (MAC), A PLATFORM FOR COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING AND CHARACTER BUILDING. “I grew up playing sports,” Torres explains. “My kids were in sports – my whole life I’ve been around it.” South Texas natives, Chris and Sadie came from strong values. Opening their side venture, they wanted “to provide a great cheerleading experience – to grow and view failures and successes as learning experiences for themselves, the athletes and everyone involved within the program.” This is something Torres and his team of coaches reinforce to their student athletes. “The purpose of organization is to provide athletic development of a student in cheerleading and tumbling.” Torres notes the anecdotal, “hard work and dedication,” yet reinforces the team dynamic: “There is no one left behind.” He states assuredly that the team is not about any one person individually. All roles have equal value, and the athletes have learned to accept their role. Consciously placing teammates of similar ages reinforces a relational advantage for MAC’s teams. MAC has gained popularity due to their leadership and commitment of providing a great cheerleading experience. They are supported by a team of eight, including the husband-and-wife entrepreneurs. “We focus on maintaining competitive teams,” Torres says. Currently, MAC is the largest competitive cheering gym in Corpus Christi. They house 120 all-star competitive cheerleading students, ranging from ages 4 to 18 years old. They also provide tumbling instruction to approximately 65 outside students. MAC has several contracts with CCISD to train high-school cheerleaders and is currently working on contract negotiations with the Texas A&M Islander cheerleading team. The organization took three teams to compete in a Nationals competition in New Orleans back in April. All three teams won their respective divisions. This marks the fifth time this season that all teams have competed in the same venue and emerged victorious. Each year, training season begins June 1 and carries into May of the following year. Each student initially does a tryout to land a spot on the team. “The teams’ focus is on leadership and discipline and team culture,” Torres explains. “I think that is very important. I really like to push our coaches and athletes to they make sure they learn all of these different lessons. Being a part of a team is an absolute must.” Torres adds that, “all kids learn at a different rate.” Understanding this allows MAC to recognize and work individually with students. Although last-minute routine tweaks and technical plans can change, Torres recalls one success story during a competition in Galveston: “During the warm-up, we actually had one of our athletes break her arm. The coaches had to make adjustments to the routine to be able to still perform it the way it was intended. It was a very difficult task, and not many teams would be able to do so. We were just glad for the opportunity and very proud of the resilience and adversity our

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team sustained. They were still able to perform – and win against their division.” MAC has become the only gym in Corpus Christi that provides a space for college-recruit clinics. “Scholarships can be offered on the spot!” Torres says with enthusiasm. The gym provides a chance for Corpus Christi students to compete on higher levels. The spotlight has begun to shine on Corpus Christi, as coaches from Blinn College and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have come down to recruit students. The coaches are currently working on increasing the presence of the University of Kentucky recruiters.

Training to be a cheerleader

Training to be an all-star competitive cheerleader does not just involve flipping and stunting. “Most young cheerleaders will enter our teams without a clear understanding of what a good athletic attitude is,” Torres explains. “An athletic attitude must be clearly defined, taught and expected.” Character building and physical conditioning are nearly 50 percent of what a cheerleader must endure throughout the season.

Educating the parents

“It is also working and communicating with the parents,” Torres says. “The statistics show that 70 percent of kids that play youth sports quit at the age of 13 because of the athletic relationship they have with their parents. The best way to deal with it is to educate our parents with literature or guest speakers who may be experts in this field. We have several items posted on our website for the parents to view and educate themselves to have the parent support their child needs to be successful.” When asked what he foresees over the next five years, Torres says, “definitely growing and expanding! What continues to inspire us is observing these kids grow and develop good character.” With plans to expand its outside space, MAC is presently in the inquiry phase of land acquisition and new building design. “We have a lot of planning ahead of us and want to continue to provide excellent customer service and a positive experience.”

The MAC Gym is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays for private lessons only; and Saturdays for tumbling from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cheerleading monthly packages are available, as well as unlimited packages. For more information, please visit www.modernamericancheer.com.

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PROFILE

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Aiding Atmosphere and Aesthetics The Downtown Management District is on a mission to create a vibrant and successful bayfront for Corpus Christi while supporting local businesses. By: JESSICA DUSEK Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

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S

pearheading initiatives to preserve Corpus Christi’s rich history, the Downtown Management District (DMD) oversees the city’s enhancements toward aesthetic restoration. Building their vision on four pillars, the organization focuses on “economic vitality, promotion, organization and design,” explains DMD Executive Director Terry Sweeney. Enhancing the downtown atmosphere, “We work with business owners on ideas and updates, improving signage and how to utilize the beautiful original elements of the building,” explains Barbie Baker, DMD merchants and special event manager. The governmental entity was established under Chapter 375 of Corpus Christi’s Water Code in 1993 with a petition by the majority of property owners. “We work hard to market and promote businesses and opportunities in the district,” Baker explains. “We work with stakeholders to address critical issues that affect our merchants, business residents, visitors and tourists.” Their mission is to create a successful and vibrant bayfront for Corpus Christi while supporting local businesses. Supported by DMD Finance and Operations Manager Alan Albin, the staff of three upholds a great deal of responsibility, guiding Corpus Christi’s progression for the enjoyment of locals and tourists visiting South Texas. Recently making statewide news, the Texas Main Street Presentation gathered hundreds in the streets of Corpus Christi. Decorated with Texas flag ribbons, the city hosted a visit from the Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, on May 6. The celebration observed the DMD’s selection to participate in an exclusive program for

city reclamation and restoration. Open to the public, this was the very first time Corpus Christi was selected for the Texas Historical Commission program to enhance the downtown arts district – quite an honor to host the calendared event. “This is a watershed moment for downtown revitalization,” Sweeney says. The First Lady was presented with a book to sign that was then returned to a local elementary school. Following the ceremony, the celebration led the crowd to the local Education Service Center. “The reception was a chance for the public to celebrate the occasion and share one-on-one interaction with Mrs. Abbott,” Baker says.

In and around town

The Marina Arts District covers the downtown area from 37 to Kenny. Every Friday, the DMD hosts the

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First Friday Art Walk, a tradition since 2009. The Art Walk provides the opportunity for local artists to showcase their work with a relevant focus on local business. “The purpose of the Art Walk and Bridge Walk is to pull in the community to gain awareness of local business in a fun environment,” Baker explains. The Bridge Walk takes place the first Sunday of every month.

Lending a hand

We work with stakeholders to address critical issues that affect our merchants, business residents, visitors and tourists.”

“We are continually recruiting and working with volunteers to do these events and promotions, such as Texas Main Street Program, to build downtown Corpus Christi toward its potential,” Baker says. DMD also manages the Downtown Ambassadors, known as the “Clean Team,” which was established by DMD three years ago. Under supervision by Albin, the crew works every day picking up trash and keeping downtown clean. Volunteers continue to be the backbone of the organization’s success. Proactively working with strategic partners, the DMD hosts clean-up projects and aesthetic restoration. From the downtown farmers’ market held every Wednesday at 5 p.m. to the Art Walk hosted every Friday, the DMD continues to support to the local business culture. Reinforcing safety in the community, Albin also manages an off-duty police bike patrol and more recently established a late night off-duty police walking patrol to create a visible presence for the bar scene. “The off-duty patrols enhance safety and perception of safety, making people feel comfortable coming downtown,” Albin says. “It’s a vital part of our foundation to create a cleaner, safer more vibrant and successful downtown.”

For more information on the Downtown Management District, please visit www.marinaarts.com.

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INVEST IN PROTECTION

The importance of cyber liability insurance coverage for every company By: CHASE CARLISLE

MANY BUSINESS OWNERS have heard the term, “cyber liability,” without fully knowing what it means. We live in a world where everyone’s information is accessible online and data breaches are becoming increasingly frequent. Therefore, everyone should learn the definition of cyber liability coverage and why it is an important part of every business insurance plan. Cyber liability insurance protects you in the event of a cyber attack. Cyber liability insurance coverage, or CLIC, insures you against potential liabilities resulting from unauthorized access or use of your company’s electronic data or software. Essentially, CLIC will protect you and your company if a hacker obtains access to your customers’ information, or any of your company’s data. In addition, CLIC provides coverage for computer viruses, theft and mistakes made by employees. Today, many companies store their valuable assets and material online. Information such as customer lists, books, financial records, receipts, tax documents, intellectual property and more are at risk if anyone gains unauthorized access to your company’s network or data. Companies should protect their information and the information of their customers. Thus, CLIC is extremely important for small and large companies alike. Even if your company’s information is hosted

A GOOD CLIC PLAN COVERS EVERY BIT OF TECHNOLOGY TO ENSURE YOUR COMPANY IS COVERED IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.

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by an outside contractor or stored in a data cloud, you will be liable for the loss of that information in the event of a data breach. You cannot always control how outside companies will handle your information. If they make any mistakes, you will pay if you are not covered by CLIC. So why should you buy CLIC for your company? Most general liability policies for companies do not include losses that happen online or on a computer. A good CLIC plan can cover every bit of technology, including mobile phones, to ensure your company is covered in every way possible. Adding CLIC to your current general liability plan not only is economical, but also can end up saving your business during a crisis. Business insurance policies are built around the needs of a company. CLIC can be customized to cover any and every potential issue for your business. Some companies offer first party coverage in which the insurance agency will pay you for the interruption of your business and the cost of notifying customers during a potential breach. This type of coverage can even protect your company from any fines or penalties you may face because of a data breach. An insurance plan such as this would ease the burden off of your company so that you can focus on fixing the issue, rather than managing the difficult effects of the problem. Cyber liability is still a relatively new concept as far as business insurance goes. As the Internet grows larger, all companies must recognize the importance of understanding their cyber security needs. More importantly, all companies should make sure that in the event of a data breach, they are covered. Talk to Carlisle Insurance to see how you can add CLIC to your plan and work to better protect your customers and information.

For more information, visit Carlisle Insurance online at www.carlisleins.com.

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ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED

Ten things you might not know about Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi By: RYAN GARCIA

Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi is located at 4903 Ambassador Row in Corpus Christi, Texas, behind what used to be old Sam’s Club off of Greenwood. 

1

While Interstate Batteries is known for automotive batteries, they are getting more exposure for their “all battery” products.

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Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi offers free battery checks on all makes and models. 

If you are in the need of a cell phone battery, Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi is the place to go. With the widest selection of batteries in Corpus Christi, they are bound to have what you need. They also offer a one-year in-store warranty on their products. 

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Need to recycle a battery? Take it over to Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi, and they will take care of that for you. Some recycled batteries could even put a little money back in your pocket. 

5

Need a replacement battery for that watch or key-fob? They have that, too. They can take care of the installation for you for a small fee.

7

Interstate All Battery Center has its own make of alkaline batteries.

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If you want to bring that old power tool back to life, give Interstate All Battery Center a shot to test and rebuild it. 

If you need batteries for your power chair or scooter, Interstate All Battery Center - Corpus Christi has them in stock. If you need them installed, a small fee might be applied. 

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Service, service, service! Interstate All Battery Center Corpus Christi offers the service needed to solve all your battery problems. With more than 16,000 battery solutions, they do their best to provide power for applications big or small. 

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INTERSTATE ALL BATTERY CENTER HAS ITS OWN MAKE OF ALKALINE BATTERIES.

For more information, call us at 361-854-5000; visit us in person at 4903 Ambassador Row in Corpus Christi, Texas; or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/interstatebatteriescorpus.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF INTERSTATE ALL BATTERY CENTER

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY A HOUSE? Part II of II: Sellers’ closing costs explained By: CORAL DWORACZYK

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ANDY DEAN PHOTOGRAPHY/BIGSTOCK.COM

REAL ESTATE


GOODLUZ/BIGSTOCK.COM

I

n a recent issue of Inspire, we explored the typical closing costs and expenses paid by homebuyers at closing or settlement. Sellers also have expenses that should be taken into account before a final sales price is set for any property. Here is a quick review of closing costs commonly incurred by sellers in the Coastal Bend. Please keep in mind that there may be other additional costs under specific circumstances. Typically, the largest expense paid by sellers when selling a property through a brokerage is the broker’s compensation, or the fee paid to the listing broker to market the property and to attract the largest pool of potential qualified buyers. Real estate brokers in our area usually cooperate with each other and share the total commission paid by the sellers between the sellers’ listing brokerage and their agents and the buyers’ brokerage and agents. This often confuses new sellers when informed that they are also paying the buyer’s agent, but, in essence, the seller is paying the buyer’s agent for bringing the buyer to the proverbial table. It is important for all parties to know that legally, this compensation or commission rate and the sharing of compensation between brokers is not fixed, controlled, recommended, suggested or maintained by the Association of Realtors, the local MLS system or any listing service. Instead, this seller expense and its distribution between parties is negotiated between the seller and the real estate agent hired to list the property for sale. If a seller decides to list the property as “for sale by owner”, or “FSBO,” no brokerage fees are paid unless a prospective buyer has selected an agent and requests that the seller pay his or her commission. In addition to paying the brokerage fees, there are other seller closing costs. Most of these are related to title expenses. In our area, the seller traditionally pays for the owner’s title policy. This title insurance policy ultimately protects the new owner (and also the lender if there is a mortgage involved) against property losses or any potential damages from liens on the property, encumbrances or defect in the title to the property. The cost of this title policy varies based on the contract price of the property. In addition to the title policy expenses, there are other fees from the title company related to attorney fees (for drafting the title documents), escrow or closing fees and fees associated with recording the new deed and paperwork with the county. The seller may also have purchased a home warranty (also called a residential service contract) for the

buyer, and this may also be billed and paid from the seller’s proceeds at closing. Prorated property taxes are also collected from the seller on the day of closing. Keep in mind that property taxes are paid in arrears. For example, the 2015 property taxes will be paid in one lump sum at the end of 2015 or the very beginning of 2016. Therefore, the taxes are prorated on a daily basis from Jan. 1 through the day of closing and paid to the buyer to hold (personally or in their escrow account set up by the buyer’s lender) until the property taxes are due and billed by the county. Sellers often ask how all parties will be paid as the actual closing date nears. Fortunately, the title or escrow company takes care of this task. A final settlement statement will be prepared by the title company and the lender (if there is a mortgage involved). This will outline the buyer’s and seller’s expenses and officially inform both parties how much they need to bring to or expect to receive at closing. After all of the official closing documents have been signed, the title company will collect monies from the buyer and lender (this is called “funding”), and then issue payments to the seller’s mortgage company (if there is a remaining mortgage

on the property), the brokerages and agents involved, the title company, any unpaid contractors that may have performed repairs on the home being sold (as may have been negotiated in the contract) and then finally, issue the remaining balance to the seller in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer. Once the documents have been signed and funds have been transferred, the transaction is considered to be officially complete. Sellers and buyers should always keep in mind that legal possession of a property officially transfers to the new buyer only after all documents have been signed and the transaction has been funded, unless a temporary lease has been established.

For more information, please contact Coral Dworaczyk, realtor, at 979-229-2836 (cell) or via email at cdworaczyk@gmail.com.

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TRAVEL

BRING BACK THE SHINE They’re putting their best foot forward at Corpus Christi International Airport with new – yet delightfully old-school – shoeshine services from Mr. Carl Walker. By: KIM BRIDGER-HUNT

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WALKER PLANS TO OFFER ALL THE TRADITIONAL SERVICES YOU MIGHT EXPECT AT VERY REASONABLE COSTS.

Kim Bridger-Hunt is the marketing manager at CCIA. For more information, you may contact her at kimb@cctexas.com.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CCIA

H

ave you ever noticed the variety of ways people dress when they travel by air? Gone are the days when everyone dressed up, regardless of the reason for travel. Spring breakers wear their spring break best. Vacationers don beach hats and, yes, even flip-flops. In airports everywhere, we see everything from workout clothes to business casual – from shorts and dresses to suits and cowboy boots. You name it – we see it at Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA). Why not bring back a little shine? A Corpus Christi resident has decided to do just that by offering shoeshine services inside the CCIA terminal. We’re talking about the kind of one-on-one service we used to see at barbershops and along the streets in downtown Corpus Christi. It’s an old-school practice that has slowly slipped away from us not because we didn’t like it, but because people change. Styles change. If you’re wearing Crocs, you don’t need a shoeshine. If you’re wearing blingy sandals, there’s not much need for a traditional shining of your shoes. But plenty of men and women still wear dress shoes, loafers and leather boots – and it’s those folks who are in for a treat. By the time this article is published, Mr. Carl Walker, a longtime Corpus Christi resident, will have set up shop inside the CCIA terminal. He built his shoeshine stand from scratch, exactly the way he wanted it, and plans

to offer all the traditional services you might expect at very reasonable costs. Walker will be set up on the first floor of the terminal between the United and Southwest ticket counters. When visitors arrive at the airport, Walker will be hard to miss. His charm and soft-spoken manner make it a joy to talk to him. Walker loves people. He loves to talk about the good old days and about the ways the world has changed. But most of all, he really loves to shine shoes and has been doing it, off and on, since he was a young man and a shine cost 25 cents. Travelers spend more time in airports than ever before. Security requirements force people to arrive early and to be inside the terminal longer than ever. So it makes sense to offer services that make the waiting a little less wasteful. Nowadays, we can conduct business on laptops and smartphones. So why not enjoy a shoeshine while you wait and work at the airport? Watchamacaller’s Place will be open for business Monday through Friday during the early morning and early afternoon hours. Even if you don’t need a shoeshine, stop by and say hello to Walker. You’ll be glad you did.


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SNO-BALLS ARE NOT JUST FOR SUMMER!

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“The Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a 77 year old organization, hosts all its events at the Ortiz Center. It is such a unique venue to host our events, with an amazing view of the Port, where we always find attentive staff and reliable service. We are happy to have a partner like Spectra!” Teresa Rodriguez Bartlett, President & CEO, CCHCC

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TASTE

Smooth and Delicious

Say hello to summer with DIY cold-brew coffee! If you’re wondering what cold-brew coffee is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. No heat is used in the preparation, no fancy equipment is required and you end up with smooth and delicious coffee that’s perfectly poured over ice. Say hello to summer with this simple DIY! Bonus: It’s 67 percent less acidic, so if you’re looking for a coffee that’s easier on the stomach, you’ll find that relief in cold-brew. Another bonus? It keeps well in the fridge for up to 10 days (if you don’t drink it first!) without tasting like “old coffee.” Just be aware that it will be more caffeinated than coffee brewed using heat. Recipe makes about 4 to 6 servings.

For more information, visit www.mandyashcraft.com.

By: MANDY ASHCRAFT Photo by: DUSTIN ASHCRAFT

INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups ground coffee, medium or coarse grind 4 cups filtered water, room temperature 1 large glass jar or container with a lid 1 cheesecloth, mesh strainer with a coffee filter or very clean kitchen towel INSTRUCTIONS: 1/ Add water and coffee grounds to jar

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and close lid tightly. Shake to combine and distribute. 2/ Allow jar to sit at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours (up to 18 hours). Remember: The flavor will get stronger the longer you leave it. 3/ Strain the coffee grounds out using cheesecloth, a coffee filter in a mesh strainer, a piece of fabric or a very clean towel.

4/ Store the cold-brew coffee in the fridge for up to 10 days with a lid. It’s best if stored in a glass container, like a juice jar that has a lid. If you find the taste is too strong for you, simply dilute with filtered water. 5/ To serve: Pour over ice, add your choice of milk or sweetener or even add ice cubes made out of extra cold-brew. Enjoy!


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TASTE

Three delicious ways to beat the summer heat

By: SYLVIA SLEZAK

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ooking for a place to cool off, unwind and satiate your taste buds? You don’t need to leave Corpus Christi to enjoy various cultural flavors. Here are three ways to discover or rediscover “hidden treasures” found in the Coastal Bend community. Our first stop is more than just a restaurant and bar. It is the only place in Corpus Christi where you can sail, shop and dine all in the same shaded waterfront location. Welcome to Harrison’s Landing, the home of the Tavern on the Bay, Cathy’s Boutique and Gifts and the Yachting Center. This place offers something for everyone with a variety of activities suitable for locals and visitors alike. Attractions at Harrison’s Landing: ¡ Beer school, appetizer pairings and wine dinners ¡ Private room and waterfront meeting rentals ¡ Full moon cruises with live music ¡ Captained sailing and bay fishing charters ¡ Party boats, private party, sailing and dinner cruises ¡ Sunset/harbor bridge, dolphin watching and Corpus Christi Bay tours ¡ Intro to sailing mini course – an interactive experience ¡ Team building on the water Enjoy Corpus Christi Bay from the water’s perspective. Kick back and relax and let your stress melt away with the gentle rocking of the waves and the sights and sounds of the water. After the cruise, enter the only place in town that has a floating gift shop, tiki bar and dining area. Complete your day with a little shopping and a memorable meal at Tavern on the Bay. Choose from a delicious assortment of seafood, salads, burgers, appetizers and more. Order a frosty beer or margarita and relax. Our second stop is intended to satiate your sweet tooth with something from another country. At JB’s German Bakery & Café, you can grab your choice of “sweet” desserts and a beverage, then head outside to watch the sunset over the water. They are ideally located on Padre Island by the water, bringing a taste of Germany to South Texas. With 30-plus years of traditional German-baking experience, owners Juergen and Brigitte Kazenmayer have brought the original tastes, aromas and joys of German breads, pastries, pies and cakes to the Coastal Bend. The café offers daily specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start off with breakfast by building your omelet with a garden pepper, mushrooms, ham, bacon, onions and potatoes. If there’s still room, add French toast and bratwurst. A nice hot cup of coffee or cappuccino goes great with the meal. Their lunch and dinner choices just might bring out the connoisseur in you. Authentic German menu: ¡ Fleischkaese, bratwurst or schnitzel ¡ Reuben sandwich (corned beef, sauerkraut on rye) ¡ Jaegerschnitzel with homemade spaetzle ¡ Fleischküchle or brezel roll sandwich ¡ Schweinebraten and traditional German salad

Frank’s dinner options to stimulate your appetite: ¡ Cheese crostini ¡ Fried calamari, mushrooms or mozzarella ¡ Lasagna, manicotti or ravioli ¡ Chicken cacciatora, parmesan or fettuccine alfredo ¡ Veal or shrimp parmesan ¡ Shrimp fettuccine alfredo While our journey together has ended, your summer fun adventures have just begun. Stay cool, be safe and have an awesomely blessed summer.

Sylvia Slezak is the director of marketing and social media at CityOf.com. For more information on where to chill, relax and beat the summer heat, visit us online at www.cityof.com/corpuschristi and explore the featured premier restaurants, attractions and local events.

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DK_PHOTO/BIGSTOCK.COM, ARTEM KALASHNIKOV/BIGSTOCK.COM

HIDDEN TREASURES

You don’t need a translator for these, only an appetite. The aroma that surrounds the plate will blend with your taste buds and translate into D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. Sit down, order and enjoy the original aromas and tastes from Germany. Our last stop is a trip to the old country where we find Frank’s Spaghetti House, one of Corpus Christi’s best-kept secrets. Housed in an old home built in 1921, the architecture is that of yesteryear, with brick construction and foot-thick walls. Frank came to Corpus Christi from Sicily by way of Chicago and World War II, U.S. Navy service. Frank’s mother taught him to cook. Later, Frank taught Sue Moody and her family before his retirement in 1973. Sue Moody passed on the family legacy to her son, Mike, in 1993. She retired and resides in Mesa, Ariz. Mike Moody’s three children are now running the restaurant fulltime. Vanessa, the oldest, gets her children involved in learning the ways of the restaurant; Michael, the middle child, has mastered the kitchen; and Matthew, the youngest is the business manager. Matthew’s wife, Teresa, works with Vanessa to create all of the scrumptious desserts from cheesecakes to tiramisu and many more in between. The Moody family has been proudly serving the Coastal Bend community for generations. Frank’s Spaghetti House serves authentic Italian food made with fresh local ingredients and a guarantee that you’ll be delighted from the first sip of wine to the last bite of cannoli. They are known for their crispy, delicious chicken parmesan, Italian wines, fresh salads, handmade pasta and rum-soaked tiramisu.


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

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ENTERTAINMENT

A MOMENT IN TIME With updated spaces, gorgeous views and cuisine, American Bank Center is the perfect location to book your next special event. By: KRISTEN BILY

Note: Photos provided are courtesy of Maxwell Boceanegra of Skip Entertainment. Started in 1999, Skip Entertainment has become one of the largest production companies in the South Texas area, offering video, photos, DJ services and now sales in production equipment.

WHEN ORGANIZING a special event, you are confronted by many decisions. However, choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Special celebrations such as a sweet 16, a quinceañera or a graduation or anniversary party are very special events – those that will be forever placed in your memories as such special days. Keep in mind: You only capture these milestones once, so be sure to make your special day as memorable as possible. Many thoughts go into looking for “the one” great venue such as pricing, location, accommodations and food for your guests. It can almost be a little scary to think of it all at once. The American Bank Center is able to meet all of these expectations and more when you book your special event here with us. The American Bank Center features spectacular event spaces that offer variety, elegance and convenience for all your party needs. Our Henry Garrett Ballrooms are among our larger spaces that offer the option of expanding or minimizing to your party size. The rooms are like open canvases that give you creative freedom to build the event that is made of dreams. As you walk outside of the ballrooms, you are met with a breathtaking view that overlooks the bay and the USS Lexington, ideal for photos and a beautiful gathering spot for friends and family. Our Watergarden rooms are also spaces in which your imagination can run wild, along with stunning views that overlook the Watergarden and the harbor bridge. As the sun sets in these rooms, it’s as if the city lights up for your special event, and guests can enjoy the lit-up bridge and Watergarden. Lastly, the Selena Rotunda room is located right above the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium, and the beauty in this room is the intimate setting. With the ability to hold no more than 100 people, the Selena Rotunda’s panoramic views that overlook the bay gives new meaning to the word, “spectacular.” An upscale banquet hall remains to this day one of the best places to throw a memorable party. For the ones who love to celebrate with great music and dance, American Bank Center also features dance floors and lighting with room to bring in sound for a live band or DJ. Not sure what to feed your party guests? Don’t worry – American Bank Center offers in-house catering services and a large variety of delicious dining options. SAVOR is the food and beverage division of SMG, the global leader in public facilities and special event venue management. SAVOR specializes in creating menus that showcase local cuisine expertly prepared and presented to ensure a seamless dining experience. Let our SAVOR staff talk to you about a menu made special just for your event, from the dinner to the gorgeous dessert. These special events are your story – a moment in time that stops so that you can savor the coming-of-age, graduation or anniversary moments. Let the American Bank Center be the beginning and the end of your story. For more information regarding booking your special event at the American Bank Center, contact Cynthia Woods in our sales department at 361-826-4111.

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), Tumblr (@American Bank Center), Periscope (@Americanbankcenter) and Snapchat (@americanbnkctr).

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“WHERE FRAMING IS AN ART”

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5433 S. STAPLES ST. CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78411

361.991.2559

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

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NONPROFIT

DREAM TEAM

The Texas Stream Team works to patrol and protect the Texas waterways to conduct scientific research and promote environmental stewardship.

THE TEXAS STREAM TEAM (TST) has discovered the secret to rid-

ding Texas waterways of harmful monofilament and other marine debris: utilize and harness the power of the source from whence it came – people. That’s right: This network of trained citizen scientists and other partners work together to patrol and protect Texas’ 191,000 miles of waterways to conduct scientific research, to promote environmental stewardship and to help clean up the mess. Started in 1991, TST has grown to include 8,000 community members, from birders, anglers and students to kayakers, “river rats” and others putting in 45,000 service hours to monitor and collect information about Texas waterways. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all came together to form a cooperative partnership in order to start and run TST. According to Meredith Miller, senior program coordinator for the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, citizen scientists are trained to understand the importance and science of water quality and the information that they collect. “Each month, our members monitor and report pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and other indicators of water

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quality at their favorite sites,” Miller said. “That data supports academic research, informs conservation policy and serves as a de facto early warning system for water quality events across Texas.” That means every month, more than 400 TST citizen scientists collect water quality information concerning Texas rivers, lakes, bayous, wetlands and more at over 150 different sites throughout the state. Citizen scientists can be anyone with an interest in conservation and canoeing, from fishermen and students to senior citizens and beyond. A new TST program called Monofilament Finders allows many of these same folks to find and track monofilament. “Some people only collect and track monofilament – maybe on a regular basis or just when they are out fishing or enjoying nature,” Miller explained. “Over 100 people have taken our monofilament collection bags and data collection protocol cards. We hope to increase that number this summer!” Miller said she’s extremely proud of TST and its multiple programs. She’s hoping that much will be gleaned from collected monofilament data and that this will help lead to lasting change. “Hopefully the data collected by everyday people all around the state can help us paint a picture about where monofilament accumulates and how it affects the environment. This will allow us not only to clean it up, but to help educate Texans about how to keep it out of the environment in the first place.” Monofilament can be dangerous, even deadly, to wildlife across the state. According to Miller, sea birds, migrating birds, wading birds, turtles, fish, manatees, alligators and even dolphins and whales are harmed by monofilament

PHOTOS BY LAURA THORNE/COURTESY TST” AND “JIM SOHN/COURTESY TST”

By: ANDREA BOLT


along the coast. “Upstream, birds, fish, frogs and mammals like beavers can be injured or killed by discarded monofilament,” she elaborated. Miller is excited about plans to expand the Monofilament Finders project, which was funded by the aquarium’s Wildlife Care, Conservation and Research (WCCR) Fund. “We are working to increase the number of available monofilament recycling stations and also the number of people who collect, track and recycle the fishing line,” she said. “We’ll be offering more collection bags all across the state this summer.”

PROJECTS TST MANAGES:

WE HOPE THE DATA COLLECTED CAN HELP US PAINT A PICTURE ABOUT WHERE MONOFILAMENT ACCUMULATES AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT.”

 TST Water Quality Monitors: TST provides an introductory suite of basic or “core” water quality testing services to interested citizen scientists. All prospective citizen scientist monitors must undergo a training session that introduces the concepts of watershed awareness, as well as point source and non-point source (NPS) pollution. The training session instructs citizen scientists on the importance of monitoring basic water quality indicators such as pH and water temperature. All citizen scientists who are certified as “core” water quality monitors and wish to perform further citizen science NPS monitoring have the option to attend an “advanced” training course that includes instructions on how to monitor additional water quality components such as E. Coli.  TST Paddlers: Kayakers and canoeists can collect higher quantities of data at more locations or in hard-to-reach areas, improving our understanding of water quality issues in lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and bays.  TST Anglers: Anglers collect water quality and environmental data at their favorite fishing spots, adding valuable information to our statewide network and database.

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 TST Biomonitors: Citizen scientists use riparian assessments and macroinvertebrate bioassessments to evaluate the health of lakes, rivers, streams or estuaries based on the riparian vegetation and habitat, and the aquatic insects that live there. Data is coupled with water quality data and used to track ecosystem and habitat health over time.  TST Divers: Scuba divers and snorkelers utilize TST water quality monitoring and biological monitoring protocols to collect data on the surface and underwater, providing a different perspective on water quality and habitat health in Texas’ deeper waters.  TST Monofilament Finders: Citizen scientists collect and track loose fishing line in water bodies around Texas to reduce damage to aquatic and bird habitats. Tracking removal of this pollutant from Texas waterways improves habitats and lets communities target education to prevent littering.

For more information, visit the Texas State Aquarium online at www.texasstateaquarium.org.

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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MICHAEL HUNTER Corpus Christi City Councilman Insurance Broker, Carlisle Insurance

ED PHOTO BY MARK JOSEPH/DARKLAB PHOTOGRAPHY


Why I love doing what I do: I love doing what I do because I get to help others. Words to live by: Never give up. My philosophy: The Golden Rule: “Treat others how you would like to be treated.”

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PAUL I N S P I R E C O A SPHOTO TA L B EBY ND M A GMARSHALL .COM

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Inspire Coastal Bend Business June/July 2016  
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