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COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

MAGAZINE

INSPIRED STYLE featuring

ASHLEY SIMPER

BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE

SALT, SAND AND PAINT THE ALL-NEW WATER STREET GALLERY A BOLD TWIST ATOMIC OMELETTE AND GRILL

CELEBRATING 8 YEARS OF PUBLISHING LOCAL SUCCESSES IN THE COASTAL BEND

PHILIP RAMIREZ MAY.JUNE 2017 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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CORPUS CHRISTI’S ONLY LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FORD DEALERSHIP

www.samesfordcc.com 361-851-7600 4721 Ayers St. 78415

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361-592-2661 | 2501 S. Hwy 77, Kingsville

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Texas’ Oldest Dealership www.sameskingsville.com 361-592-2661 2501 S. Hwy 77, Kingsville

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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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CONTENTS MAY. JUNE 2017

BUSINESS COACH 12 The Right Stuff SPECIAL FEATURE 14 Stellar Service FEATURES 16 A Thrilling Ride 18 Moms, Dads and Grads 20 The Gem of Kilimanjaro ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY 40 Digital Spring Cleaning

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REAL ESTATE 42 Get Current TRAVEL 46 FAQs for Flying CCIA TASTE 48 A New Take ENTERTAINMENT 50 Ready to Rock STYLE 54 Secrets from the Salon INSPIRED STYLE 56 Ashley Simper NONPROFIT 60 Unlock the Secrets 62 Ador-a-Bull Adopt-a-Bulls!

COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: MICHAEL GIORDANO

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COVER STORY

PROFILE

LOCAL EATS

Featuring the work of artists John Olvey, Wade Koniakowsky and Jon Steele, the first pop-up gallery of its kind in the Coastal Bend is set to show area art lovers that it’s all about the beach.

Guests know they can expect both a warm welcome and a mouthwatering meal at this local eatery, which puts a bold twist on traditional American breakfast and lunch.

PHILIP RAMIREZ

This principal architect, corporate president and “citizen architect” is proud to help build a brighter future in the Coastal Bend at Turner Ramirez Architects and through community involvement.

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THE ALL-NEW WATER STREET GALLERY

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

ATOMIC OMELETTE AND GRILL


LOCATION COURTESY OF CINNAMON SHORE

DESTINATION SUMMER MORE THAN 100 OF THE FINEST NAMES IN STYLE, SERVICES AND CUISINE Dillard’s • Macy’s • JCPenney • Express • H&M • Forever 21 • White House | Black Market • MAC Cosmetics francesca’s • Aldo • Pandora • PINK • Coach • Michael Kors • ULTA • Oakley • Grimaldi's Pizzeria P.F. Chang’s China Bistro • LongHorn Steakhouse • Tilly’s • Papaya • OshKosh B’gosh • Victoria’s Secret • Soma Intimates Featured Fashion: Charming Charlie • Express • francesca’s 5488 S. PADRE ISLAND DRIVE • LAPALMERA .COM

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MEET THE STAFF

COASTAL BEND BUSINESS

ADRIAN GARZA

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SALES adrian@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.548.1044

MAGAZINE

MAY.JUNE 2017 CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SALES Adrian Garza

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS HOLLY DUVALL

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS holly@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 479.935.0868

CALL US TODAY TO GET YOUR QUOTE AND SAVE!

EDITOR Erin O’Brien

ART DIRECTOR Elisa Giordano

SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Greg Duvall

SOCIAL MEDIA Morgan Bartel

ERIN O’BRIEN

EDITOR erin.editorial@gmail.com

Home Auto  Boat  Commercial Motorcycle  Life Insurance Windstorm  Flood

Writing your policies is easy using e-Signature

Holly Duvall

ELISA GIORDANO ART DIRECTOR hello@elisagcreative.com 210.716.5320

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mandy Ashcraft Colton Bartel Kristin Bily Kim Bridger-Hunt Kaitlin Calk Coral Dworaczyk Connie Laughlin Mary Lietz Kathleen Naderer Deborah Perry Sylvia Slezak Kelly Trevino Sarona Winfrey

PHOTOGRAPHY Dark Lab Photography Dustin Ashcraft Michael Giordano

GREG DUVALL

Committed to Serving the Coastal Bend Area

SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT greg@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.944.7336

Farmers Insurance Agency bniemann@farmersagent.com

(361) 437-4646

For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, please call 479.935.0868 or email holly@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

Brian Niemann Insurance Agency

BRIAN NIEMANN

www.inspirecoastalbendmag.com

MORGAN BARTEL SOCIAL MEDIA morgan@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 620.417.5392

PELICAN

MEDIA GROUP

Copyright 2017 © Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


WANT A CHEAPER ELECTRIC BILL?

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䌀愀氀氀 甀猀 琀漀搀愀礀 琀漀 猀挀栀攀搀甀氀攀 愀渀 愀瀀瀀漀椀渀琀洀攀渀琀  琀漀 最攀琀 猀琀愀爀琀攀搀 瀀氀愀渀渀椀渀最 礀漀甀爀 猀瀀攀挀椀愀氀 搀愀礀⸀

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M 11 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


BUSINESS COACH

THE RIGHT STUFF Surfing: a sport, an art, a business adventure

CONNIE LAUGHLIN is a business consultant for UniqueHR. UniqueHR provides payroll administration, workers’ compensation insurance, a safety program, risk management, a human resources program and, optionally, benefits as a package. For more information, contact her at 361-852-6392 or conniel@uniquehr. com.

SEXWAX IS A POPULAR BRAND FOR SURFBOARD WAX. In case you aren’t from a coastal area, waxing your board keeps you from slipping off. There are many types of wax to choose from; wax is a formulation of natural and/or synthetic wax. And not only surfboards need to be waxed. I’ve heard if you kayak, waxing your paddle increases the grip. Would you like your wax to smell like coconuts or chewing gum? Would you like it to be made from organic ingredients? Select your board wax depending on the temperature of the water and climate. For example, the warmer the weather, the harder your wax needs to be. Various types of boards need wax applied differently. For example, you wax long boards from nose to tail. You never want your board too heavy with wax. Clean it periodically and apply new. If your wax has been on a while and is starting to smooth out, use your wax comb to make cross patterns for extra traction. Are you eagerly awaiting your next surfing adventure? There’s nothing like getting geared up and ready to go. Your adrenaline level jumps thinking about it. Hold on – you need to review your gear checklist first: leash, wax comb, wax, tar remover, sunscreen and, oh yeah, cool board shorts. And let’s not forget the other accessories: board bag, board rack and ding repair kit. Surfers often travel to exotic places to enjoy the rush of dropping into a glassy wave and flying along the wave face. Choosing the right board design and the right surf locale, and having Mother Nature on your side, is awesome. The end reward is exhilarating, but there are many paths to be traveled before you’re ready to do aerials and tube riding. Early on, you’ll be eating it a lot more than walking the board. First, hone your surfing skills. Learn what board and fin design

THE END REWARD IS EXHILARATING, BUT THERE ARE MANY PATHS TO BE TRAVELED BEFORE YOU’RE READY TO DO AERIALS AND TUBE RIDING.

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work for you, as well as all the other things that go into it. Welcome to the marketing of this sport, where board shorts sell for three bills. Surfing has affected the merchandising of cars, music and clothes. Remember the movie, “The Endless Summer”? Quicksilver’s a brand name that started in 1976. I spent a lot of weekends on the beach with my daughter when she was young. We had our own little spot where we’d meet our friends and all the kids surfed. Sometimes there would be just two cars – sometimes 10. It was fun and crazy. We never knew who would show up. One of my friends, Valerie Lindsay, heard that Robert “Wingnut” Weaver and another world-class surfer “dude” were at Pat McGee’s Surf Shop in Port Aransas. Off she went, so her son, Tyler, could meet him. As luck would have it, the surf shop told her to go back to the beach, as the guys had heard that the surf was “up.” Lindsay found them. Her 10-year-old son, Tyler, not only got the autograph – he got to surf with his heroes. Everyone wants to know what’s under the feet of all the pro surfers. Iconic surfers not only made themselves legends and made millions in endorsements; they taught the right stuff to those new to the sport or art of surfing. I could watch Kelly Slater’s surfing videos for hours! He’s one of the sport’s hottest men, not to mention the most successful surfer ever. Even at 45, Slater, the wealthiest pro-surfer, is still inventing ways to make money off the sport. *In loving memory of Tyler Monroe Lindsay, 1984-2009

MARIDAV/BIGSTOCK.COM

By: CONNIE LAUGHLIN


Where function drives form

De Pol Watch Company WWW.DEPOLWATCHES.COM

The best discoveries happen when you jump in with both feet. Come explore the new Caribbean Journey opening May 13th. Dive deeper and discover a bigger world at your Texas State Aquarium. Visit texasstateaquarium.org

Caribbean Journey Opening May 13

#DiscoverBigger I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M 17-TSA-0413 Coastal Bend Ad.indd 1

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SPECIAL FEATURE

STELLAR SERVICE

Meet Stellar Energy Solutions Employee of the Month Eric Thomas, who is being recognized for excellence in service. SPECIAL TO INSPIRE COASTAL BEND

S

hopping for the best rate in electricity, whether commercial or residential, should not be a difficult process. And with the seasons changing and temperatures rising, energy costs will be increasing, too. That means it’s a great time to review your electricity bills. What should you look for? Three things: 1. Unit rate or price per kilowatt-hour 2. The contract end date 3. The total rate being paid for the monthly electricity usage

ERIC GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND IN PROVIDING EXCELLENT SUPPORT FOR THE ENTIRE STAFF.”

Once armed with this information, you can make an informed decision as you shop for a lower rate to save money. To make the process even simpler, just let Stellar Energy Solutions do the shopping for you. Stellar Energy Solutions will use years of market knowledge and electricity contract negotiations to do the shopping for you. As the No. 1 rated energy brokerage in the state of Texas,* you know you can depend on their services. “Each and every one of the business development consultants at Stellar Energy Solutions stands ready to assist you in obtaining the most competitive rate and term for your electricity needs,” says Tim Clark, president and founder of Stellar Energy. “This month, I would like to recognize Eric Thomas because he goes above and beyond in

providing excellent support for the entire staff here.” Thomas is not from Texas, but, as the saying goes, he “got here as fast as he could.” Born in Kissimee, Fla., to parents who love to travel, he traversed 40 states before making Corpus Christi his home. Now that’s quite a record! With a strong background in computers and many aspects of technology, Thomas has become the in-house tech guru, ensuring the office runs smoothly as the company grows and transitions into a more digital format. His leadership in technology training is a plus for Stellar Energy Solutions. However, technology is only one of his many talents, as Thomas also heads the residential side of sales. He has used his creativity to produce artistic pamphlets for commercial businesses and apartment complexes that wish to extend the benefit of Stellar Energy Solutions’ lower energy prices to their employees and tenants, respectively. Ask Thomas what he enjoys most about his job, and without hesitation, he will tell you, “I love it. It’s exciting – cool that [my work] is something different every day. Love the people.” *Stellar Energy Solutions was recognized by Hudson Energy in 2015 and 2016 as top producer in the state of Texas in Acquisition Sales, Renewal Sales and Gross Revenue Sales.

For any and all of your electricity pricing needs, please contact Eric Thomas at eric@stellarnrgsolutions.com.

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FEATURE

A THRILLING RIDE Discover the purity, speed and thrill of windsurfing.

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pring has sprung, and summer is around the corner. The days are longer and getting hotter. While there are numerous ways to cool off on a hot day, we have one thrilling way to blend the waves of the water and the winds of the air for a thrilling ride. It’s challenging, pure and exciting. It’s windsurfing. What makes windsurfing so exciting? Unlike other water sports, windsurfing is a lot like sailing across the open seas on a smaller craft with the ability to dive in any time you want. It is a great feeling to glide across the water, especially for hours on end. It’s just you, your board, the water and the wind in your face. Simply put, windsurfing is one of the few sports that is both fun and reasonably safe.

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Fun facts about windsurfing:

What does the windsurfer do?

 Also known as sailboarding, windsurfing is an extremely pure form of sailing – all you need is wind and water.  It’s a water sport using a board powered by the force of the wind on a sail.  A rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and comprises a mast, wishbone boom and sail.  It can be practiced wherever there is a body of water and wind, such as lakes, river gorges, estuaries and heavy surf.  The board and gear are easily transported on almost any vehicle (no trailer or large SUV required).  It offers a full-body workout (core, flexibility and balance).  It’s a great family sport that all can do together for a lifetime, like skiing.  Windsurfing originally appeared in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.  The principles of the sport remain the same, but the technology, variety and fun factor have evolved to amazing heights.

 Gets close and personal with the water  Uses their body as a conduit for the natural force of the wind, which propels the board  Is flooded with sensations the second they step onto the board  Experiences the invisible tug of the wind against the body  Feels freedom on the water and has a close encounter with nature: sea breeze blowing in the face, water splashing around the feet, sight of creatures in the water or overhead

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Why is windsurfing awesome?  Easy to learn: Most windsurfing students with a good instructor will be able to windsurf on their own by the first or second session on the water.  Great exercise and workout for people of all fitness levels with a focus on cardiovascular performance, strength, endurance and bursts of energy.  Never boring: It’s a never-ending journey learning new tricks all the time, spending

EPICSTOCKMEDIA/BIGSTOCK.COM

By: SYLVIA SLEZAK


hundreds of attempts perfecting that one move or choosing from a wide range of disciplines in windsurfing, which should keep you learning and engaged for a lifetime.  Environmentally friendly: There is no fuel, no noise and no damage to the environment.  Slow and leisurely, like a boat sailing in light winds on a large board.  Fast, wet and wild, like surfing: The most radical windsurfing takes place in heavy surf, rough chop or high winds on flat water where sailors routinely reach speeds near 40 miles per hour.  Relatively inexpensive compared to most water sports. Your fuel is clean and completely renewable because it’s the wind.  Reasonably safe for an extreme sport, given that any sport can be dangerous.

Windsurfing tips and advice:  Although strenuous, it does not pose many injury threats to athletes.  Beginners should watch out for muscle fatigues, pulls and sprains.  When you’re always out in the sun, you can be susceptible to sunburn and other minor and major skin ailments.  Ocean elements can pose some minor problems like jellyfish stings, coral cuts around the foot and the like.  Occasional bad falls can give you some minor bumps and bruises.  Be very, very, very patient. Work on your fitness (strength and endurance), skills and techniques.  Always use the best gear you can afford to help you enjoy the sport more and have fun.  Try the sport at the right place, at the right time and with real windsurfers.  Instructors or windsurfing shops can evaluate body type to help in choosing the right sail size.  With proper technique and practice, you will find that you gracefully dance with the wind rather than wrestle with it.  If you keep to some essential safety principles, you will not get into dangerous situations. I’ve had fun discovering the thrill of windsurfing, and I hope you have, too. Thanks for joining me on this wet and wild adventure. I hope you’ll join me again next time. Meanwhile, stay safe, have fun and discover new adventures.

WINDSURFING IS BOTH FUN AND REASONABLY SAFE.

Sylvia Slezak is the director of marketing and social media at CityOf.com. For more information on where to relax, have fun and discover new adventures, visit us online at www.cityof.com to find local premier businesses, restaurants, events and attractions.

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FEATURE

MOMS, DADS AND GRADS

Still need the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduation? La Palmera has you covered! By: SARONA WINFREY

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ation bear, or stop by one of our fine jewelers, including Pandora, Reeds Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers or Zales, for something they’ll always treasure. And don’t forget dad – Sunday, June 18, is Father’s Day. For the active and sports-minded, stop by Champs Sporting Goods, Foot Locker, Footaction or the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and its complete line of team memorabilia, clothing and sporting items. Maybe dad would enjoy some tasty snacks? Pick up a tin of designer popcorn in a variety of flavors from Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots. A night out with family and friends is also a great way to celebrate with mom, dad or grad. La Palmera has a variety of full-service dining options sure to please any taste, including LongHorn Steak-

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON AT LA PALMERA. house, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Chili’s Grill & Bar. If you’re still undecided about what to buy, pick up a La Palmera gift card. Available at Concierge in amounts from $10 to $500, the cards may be used at most La Palmera stores and restaurants. If you’re out and about and looking for something to do, there’s always something going on at La Palmera, including City Hall in the Mall on Saturday, May 20, and a DIY Workshop Series in June, which also marks the start of our Summer Concert Series. And coming soon to La Palmera is the new Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Located on the main level of La Palmera adjacent to Lady Foot Locker, the 858-square-foot store will offer shoppers an extensive line of premium chocolate candies and other confectionery treats, with a variety of premium fudges and other products prepared in the store. For information on the many programs and events at La Palmera, go to www.lapalmera.com, follow us on Facebook or call 361-991-3755.

POZNYAKOV/BIGSTOCK.COM

he year is already almost half over — how did that happen? Hey, we know: Life is busy, and things have a way of sneaking up on you. Like Mother’s Day. Please don’t tell me you forgot about that. Even if you did, don’t despair – La Palmera has plenty of great gift ideas. Mom will never know you almost forgot. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14, and if you’re looking for just the right gift, La Palmera has it. Find the latest styles at Michael Kors, francesca’s, White House | Black Market or even Motherhood Maternity for the mommy to be, personal items at Bath and Body Works, cosmetics from MAC, accessories at Charming Charlie or incredible sweets from Bourbon Street Candy Co. In honor of Mother’s Day, the Corpus Christi Rose Society will hold their annual Mother’s Day Rose Sale on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Center Court with dozens of beautiful roses for sale. And all moms who valet park on Mother’s Day will receive a complimentary rose (while supplies last). And if you need some help getting mom’s gift wrapped, stop by our Charity Gift Wrapping station located on the main level near Concierge. Representatives of local charities will be on hand to expertly wrap your gift for a donation Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, from noon to 6 p.m. Graduation is also on the horizon for many families, and La Palmera has some great gift ideas. Hallmark offers a great selection of cards and collectibles, and Things Remembered has a variety of items that can be personalized to commemorate the event. You can also visit Build-A-Bear Workshop for a huggable gradu-


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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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FEATURE

THE GEM OF KILIMANJARO

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n the Eastern part of Africa, in 1967, sits the “Rooftop of Africa,” Mt. Kilimanjaro. In its shadow, a beautiful gem sparkles bright blue and purple through the rough ground for a Masai tribesman to see. Shortly after showing his find to local gem hunters, mining claims were filed, hoping it was a new source for sapphires. It would take research scientists two years to figure out that this newly discovered stone was not sapphire, but a type of transparent Zoisite we know today as Tanzanite. To this day, the area near Kilimanjaro called Merelani is the only place gem-quality Tanzanite can be found. In the gem world, Tanzanite is very new, having been found only a few decades, rather than centuries, ago. When it was first discovered, miners and cutters alike had some resistance selling the new stone. For the most part, they were finding dirty brown-looking stones that no one really wanted; however, they found out that by carefully heating the stones, they could bring out the beautiful blue to blueish-purple that the stones are known for. Supply was not an issue initially, but bringing an unknown new stone to the consumer was going to be a big challenge. That was the case until Tiffany & Co. named the gem after its home country and promoted it with an exotic theme and story. The public went crazy over it, and its popularity soared! Almost immediately, the Tanzanian government saw its potential and began strictly regulating the export of the gems. This move greatly affected the supply and caused the prices to skyrocket and the demand to nearly vanish. A few years later, in 1980, the government lost its control and thousands of miners inundated the market with stones, which did get people buying again, but also dropped the prices. It would be more than a decade before compromised regulations took back control and leveled out the supply and prices. Since its discovery, Tanzanite has been a big player in the jewelry industry and has mesmerized gem lovers all over the globe. Its exotic origin mixed with its somewhat limited supply keep prices and demand steady. Some commercial calibrated stones make it into

the mainstream market through mass production for some chain stores, but the highest-quality stones are usually found in unique pieces specifically designed for them. These custom or limited pieces are more frequently found in high-end boutique stores, as well as high-end independent jewelry stores. Buying a Tanzanite can be a really fun and exciting process. Each stone seems to have its own personality based on its color and cut. Quality stones will have good saturation of color, and will be even in tone throughout. The best shades of Tanzanite are a near “sapphire” blue to slightly violetish-blue. One thing to keep in mind when looking at the color of the stone is to evaluate its color only based on its “face up” color. Tanzanite is what we call a pleochroic stone, meaning it can display different colors based on viewing direction through the crystal. In simpler terms, Tanzanite can look blue face-up, purple from one side and light grey or reddish purple from another side. Cutters try to show off the direction that displays the most blue in each piece they fashion, but what you find beautiful is most important. The cut or shape of the stone is another big factor when buying. The shapes of the rough crystals lend themselves to fun and unconventional cuts. Because there are many different cuts and shapes, buyers are encouraged to pick those that reflect their personality best. Couple an unusual shape with a uniquely designed piece of jewelry, and the entire design becomes a conversation piece. As with any stone, when it’s time to shop and eventually make that purchase, be sure to buy from a reputable source. Be sure that the jeweler is knowledgeable and well educated in gemology, so every aspect of the stone and the piece you intend to make for it can easily be explained to you. Staying informed and getting that information from a reliable source is key to any jewelry purchase, but it’s even more important when it comes to more rare and exotic stones such as Tanzanite. From the foot of Kilimanjaro through its crazy path to your jewelry box, Tanzanite will always be an intriguing stone that will surely be enjoyed for generations to come!

Colton Bartel, G.G., A.J.P., is a GIA graduate gemologist and bench jeweler for Susann’s Diamond Jewelers. For more information or to see this stone in person, please contact Susann’s at 361-991-7565, go online to www.susanns-jewelers.com or visit Susann’s at 4254 S. Alameda in Corpus Christi, Texas. Current videos and discussions about jewelry and gemology can also be found on the Susann’s Facebook page.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUSANN’S DIAMOND JEWELERS

The story of Tanzanite, a rare and beautiful stone that has mesmerized gem lovers all over the world By: COLTON BARTEL


Every business is different. We get that. That’s why we provide unique investment levels, designed to help you right where you are. Don’t just take our word for it.

Research Shows... Consumers are 63% more likely to buy from a business that is a Chamber member. Companies enjoy a 49% increase in consumer favorability rating for being a member of the Chamber.

Membership is valuable & affordable, with investment starting at less than $42 per month

Consumers are 73% more likely to be highly aware of a business if it is a member of the Chamber, and 68% more likely to think positively of its local reputation. 7/10 consumers believe that being actively involved in the Chamber is an effective strategy for enhancing a business’ reputation and for demonstrating that it uses good business practices. Source: Shapiro Group, Atlanta, GA

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For more information on Chamber membership contact Efrain Franco,

We are your voice on issues that affect business and we maintain direct contact with leaders in all levels of government. When you need change, we make change happen.

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WWW.UNITEDCORPUSCHRISTICHAMBER.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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COVER STORY

FROM THE GROUND UP From high-school worker to principal architect, corporate president and “citizen architect,” Philip Ramirez, has devoted his life to building a brighter future in the Coastal Bend at Turner Ramirez Architects. BY: KATHLEEN NADERER PHOTOS BY: MICHAEL GIORDANO

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IN 1997, 17-YEAROLD PHILIP RAMIREZ APPLIED FOR A RATHER UNUSUAL SUMMER JOB.

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While most high-schoolers relax during their summer breaks or earn extra money at food industry or retail jobs, Ramirez decided to go a different route by working for a local architecture firm. That summer job later turned into a fulltime job and partnership. Now Ramirez is the principal architect and corporate president of Turner Ramirez Architects. “I figured I could either mow lawns or use this skill I’d learned,” he said with a grin. Ramirez discovered his passion for architecture and design while taking a CAD drafting class at Gregory-Portland High School the previous school year. Although he originally took the class due to his interest in aerospace engineering, his teacher, Ross Lamb, focused mostly on architecture. Ramirez credited his aptitude for drafting and design to his parents’ influences. His mother (a computer specialist for CCAD’s robotic parts delivery program) and his father (a helicopter mechanic and artist) inspired him to value both technical skill and creativity. The local architect who gave the young man his first shot was Jack Rice Turner, AIA. Turner’s firm, which was originally established in 1958, was already well-recognized in the Coastal Bend and surrounding regions. Although Ramirez was supposed to simply observe and learn while he assisted around the office, he had a chance to prove his talent to Turner that summer. Turner had come out of a meeting, looking for an architect. He needed three layouts for a community pool by the next morning. Ramirez was the only other person still in the office, but thanks to his drafting class, he knew how to use a computer to create layouts. So Ramirez volunteered to stay late and design them. After the presentation the next day, Turner called him into his office. “I thought I was in trouble at first,” Ramirez said. “But Mr. Turner recognized the work I had done as adult level. I had proven myself capable.” With the encouragement of his parents and mentors, especially Lamb and Turner, Ramirez continued to explore his interest in architecture and won Architectural Plans “Best of Show” at the 50th Texas VICA State Skills Championship his senior year of high school. “I felt validated by the experience,”


Ramirez said. “I not only enjoyed doing it, but I was good at it.” Turner took notice of Ramirez’s potential and presented him an offer: Go to architecture school, continue working for him during the summers and, upon getting his license, Turner would offer him a partnership in the firm. Ramirez naturally accepted the offer. While attending the University of Texas at Austin Architecture School, Ramirez continued to turn to Turner for mentoring and advice. He returned to Corpus Christi to work for the firm between semesters as promised. Once he graduated in 2003, Ramirez moved back home, eager to begin working fulltime with Turner at the firm. He was confident that he would be starting at the top, but quickly learned that all beginners first have to pay their dues. “I wanted the world and wanted it now, but it just doesn’t happen that way,” Ramirez said. “In this profession, it takes a long time to develop your design skills and build a portfolio.” Turner taught Ramirez the importance of patience and perseverance. It was a long journey, but Turner kept his promise and made Ramirez a partner in the firm after he received his architectural license in 2008. Gradually, Ramirez was able to purchase more shares in the firm, until he became the majority partner. The firm name changed to Turner Ramirez Architects in 2011, and Ramirez bought the remaining shares of the company from Turner in 2015. Since then, Turner

“I GET TO WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT.” 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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RENDERING COURTESY OF TURNER RAMIREZ ARCHITECTS

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RENDERING COURTESY OF TURNER RAMIREZ ARCHITECTS, FAMILY PHOTO BY CYNTHIA MACK PHOTOGRAPHY


Ramirez Architects has evolved into a collaboration of creative and talented individuals that builds upon Ramirez’s passion for the field of architecture. In addition to running his business, Ramirez prides himself in devoting his time as a “citizen architect” to helping improve the greater Coastal Bend community and region. “Jack Rice and his wife, Betty Turner, were both heavily involved in the community,” Ramirez said, “and they instilled a sense of community service that has stayed with me to this day.” For instance, Ramirez served as the chairman of the City of Corpus Christi Planning Commission for the past four years before recently resigning. In 2016, under his leadership, the city of Corpus Christi adopted the first comprehensive master plan in almost 30 years. The plan sets forth the path for future growth and development in the city, which has presented many unique challenges. “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ for everyone’s American dream,” Ramirez explained. “If you don’t like something, go out and change it. In our community, if you want to go out and affect change, it’s attainable in a way that may be harder in a larger community.” Another challenge he helped navigate in 2016 was the merger between the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce while serving as a member of the Transition Advisory Team. Combining these two historic institutions was not easy, but Ramirez believes it will benefit the city. “My hope is that this will symbolize a

broader unity of the business community and community as a whole,” he said. In November of last year, he also campaigned as chair of a Political Action Committee to renew the 1/8-cent sales tax, which provides funding for road improvements, more affordable housing options and economic development initiatives. The main reasons behind Ramirez’s involvement in the community are his wife, Michelle Ramirez, and their two children, Miles (4 years old) and Merrit (19 months). “My personal quality of life and my family’s quality of life directly correlates with the quality of our community,” Ramirez said. “I want my children to have opportunities and prosper here … Through these types of efforts, Corpus Christi will hopefully continue to grow economically and culturally.” Ramirez is truly grateful for his family, friends, mentors and community who supported him as he strived to reach his dream. “I get to wake up and do something I’m passionate about,” he said. “Hopefully that passion shines through when people experience one of our projects.” Currently, the team of Turner Ramirez Architects is involved with a variety of prominent and exciting projects in the Coastal Bend. These projects include the new Del Mar Workforce Development Center, which will be located on the West Campus and will train the industrial workforce of the future. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in the upcoming months. Another major design project is the Kleberg Bank building renovations, which will incorporate new commercial banking offices and branch bank facilities into an existing office building along South Staples Street. Finally, Turner Ramirez has been involved in the preliminary design of the proposed Gulf Coast Growth Ventures/ExxonMobil manufacturing facility that could potentially be located in San Patricio County. This project, if constructed, will bring lasting economic benefits to the area. With these exciting new projects, Ramirez and his team look optimistically to the future, hoping to make it of their own design. To young people in the Coastal Bend with similarly large aspirations, Ramirez advised, “Get involved as early as you can.” Ramirez praises the technical and vocational programs available in high schools and local colleges, such as the drafting class that inspired him, and the mentors found in these programs, and he encourages students to take advantage of these resources.

Turner Ramirez Architects, located at 3751 South Alameda St., is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To get more information about the firm or to arrange a meeting with the Turner Ramirez team, call 361-994-8900 or visit www.trarch.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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PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATER STREET GALLERY

PROFILE

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BEACH As the first pop-up gallery of its kind in the area, Water Street Gallery opens in the Coastal Bend to feature three artists’ loves of oceans, beaches and the coast. BY: DEBORAH PERRY

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1. John Olvey 2. Wade Koniakowsky 3. Jon Steele Their work will go beyond the genre normally referred to as “surf art” to include thoughtful expressions of the ocean and beaches, having been involved in the preservation of the Gulf Coast for years – and in many cases, most of their lives. Free and open to the public, the gallery will hold its grand opening on Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m., and will certainly garner the attention of those who appreciate ocean-inspired art, as well as “gather the tribe” of loyal Texas surfers who have a passion for coast and surfing as art. The pop-up will continue through Aug. 15, 2017. The three artists will display a wide variety of painting, photography, sculpture and more – all of which is for sale. A portion of the funds raised will benefit the Texas Surf Museum, a local facility that explores the history of surfing in general and showcases the Lone Star State’s unique place in that history. “The idea for this gallery came from a desire to give back to the surf culture by a longtime personal association with the Texas Surf Museum,” says John Olvey, a painter and sculptor. “The history of our sport in Texas can been seen in the museum, but this gallery will show three distinct ways to display our travels, our experiences and our shared love for all things saltwater. “I’ve known Wade since we were kids in elementary school, and Jon since he started surfing. Together we will display a wide and deep representation of what surfing and the ocean lifestyle means to us. After all, it’s all about the beach.” In addition to the art displayed during the pop-up, the gallery will feature live painting workshops and demonstrations, gallery talks, original art signings, regular surf movie night and more (a schedule of events to be released soon). The gallery will also have a huge presence during regular First Friday Art Walks. Pop-up galleries typically have a limited engagement time. But the space’s landlord, Brad Lomax, owner and operator of Water Street Restaurant, anticipates the venue having a longer shelf life. With a watery backdrop, the gallery can also be booked for private events, conventions or business mixers with catering services.

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ABOUT THE ARTISTS JOHN OLVEY WWW.JOHNOLVEYART.COM As a renowned, accomplished surfer, John Olvey has proven his skills in the watery medium with numerous competitions for more than 40 years. He has won 17 first-place state titles and three first-place national titles. Over the years, his artwork has moved from the top of a gliding surfboard to his painting studio in Corpus Christi, Texas, along the warm Texas Gulf Coast waters. Olvey takes his skill and knowledge of the ocean to dramatic and fantastic depictions of his life experiences. Time and again, his divinely inspired creativity reflects his lifelong love of surfing and the oceans through his creation of images of oceans, coastlines, sea life and beach scenes on anything and everything. As a painter, a sculptor and a man who knows how to craft with fiberglass, he combines many different mediums and styles. Olvey has received local, state and national recognition for his art. His work has been purchased for use in the CBS series, “Hawaii Five-0,” and been featured in galleries and exhibitions in Hawaii, California and Texas. He also participates in a limited art festival schedule around the Lone Star State. He studied fine art at the University of Houston, where he graduated in 1980.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATER STREET GALLERY

THE BRAND-NEW WATER STREET GALLERY IS SURE TO ENTICE SURFERS AND NONSURFERS ALIKE THIS MAY! AS THE FIRST-EVER “POP-UP” GALLERY OF ITS KIND IN THE COASTAL BEND, THE BRICKAND-MORTAR SPACE WILL FEATURE THREE NATIONALLY KNOWN ARTISTS:


WADE KONIAKOWSKY WWW.KONIAKOWSKY.COM Wade Koniakowsky, one of the nation’s leading ocean-inspired artists, began painting at the age of 6 and started surfing at 12. By blending these two passions, he gained worldwide recognition for his oil paintings of the tropics. His work is currently showcased internationally, as well as in 17 galleries from the East Coast to Hawaii. “The ocean is my muse – its tranquility, power, light and color,” Koniakowsky says. “Wade’s focus is capturing Polynesian dreamscapes and the related emotional tie we have with far away lands,” says Jim Moriarty, president of the Surfrider Foundation. “His vibe intersects with those same emotions: unspoiled, nirvana-esque landscapes, islander portraits and ephemeral visions that make you want to sell it all and travel.” In another life, Koniakowsky was an ad man for Fortune 500 brands, including Microsoft, IBM, Qualcomm, Reebok and others. In 1995, he founded a creative agency with offices in San Diego and Seattle. Within a year of his agency’s formation, Advertising Age recognized it as one of five hot new agencies on the national ad scene. Currently, Koniakowsky creates images for brands such as Tommy Bahama, Vans, Roxy, Quiksilver, Billabong and others.

JON STEELE WWW.JONSTEELEPHOTO.COM Jon Steele, a Texas native, is the Lone Star State’s most published surf photographer. He makes his living traveling the world, documenting surf and skateboarding culture and capturing his perspective of the world’s oceans. He showcases his artistry and skill, developed over 20 years, 13 countries, three oceans and countless waves. Known for his edgy style, he skillfully fuses his vast experiences, passions and expertise with a vision that is inimitable. “I want my work to inspire others to think outside of their comfort zones and push them to follow their dreams and passions,” Steele says. Steele’s work has been featured in all the top surf and skateboarding magazines and in industry ad campaigns throughout the world, including Surfers Journal, Surfing Magazine, ESPN, Sector Nine and the New York Times. Steele’s love of the Texas coast shines through in his stories and his work. He is continually giving back to his Texas community what he’s learned in the surf and skateboard industry and ocean knowledge. He returns every year to share surfing with his family, support local charities, swap stories with the locals and promote surfing on the same beaches where he grew up surfing in the Coastal Bend.

The Water Street Gallery Grand Opening will take place on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at 6 p.m. ‘til they sell out! The gallery is located at 309 A N. Water Street in Corpus Christi, Texas, between Water Street Seafood Co. and the Texas Surf Museum. The pop-up gallery will run from Thursday, May 11, through Aug. 15, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thewaterstreetgallery. 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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Local Eats

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Atomic Omelette and Grill puts a bold twist on traditional American breakfast and lunch foods. BY: KATHLEEN NADERER PHOTOS BY: DARK LAB PHOTOGRAPHY

OF FLAVOR 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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CUSTOMERS OF ATOMIC OMELETTE AND GRILL KNOW THEY WILL RECEIVE A WARM WELCOME FROM BOTH STAFF AND OWNERS ALIKE IN ADDITION TO THEIR MOUTHWATERING MEAL.

“Everything we serve is made from scratch.”

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Owner Mike VanSyckle and his sister, Dana Aultman-Bazinet, prefer being visible to their customers rather than working in a backroom. As VanSyckle explained, “The best part of this business is seeing the smiles on people’s faces. It really brightens up my day and helps me remember why I’m doing this.” Business is booming, with people willing to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to almost an hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for their turn inside the cozy diner. “People are outside, sitting on the bench and standing to wait,” Aultman-Bazinet said. “So you know we’re doing something right!” Atomic Omelette and Grill creates breakfast and lunch items using only the freshest, most flavorful produce. Some items, like the Buttermilk Pancakes, are traditional family recipes, while others, like the Big Tamale Omelette, are creations unique to their kitchen. “Everything we serve is made from scratch,” VanSyckle said with a smile. “I’m always looking for bigger, better things, and willing to try new recipes.” Owning a restaurant is not an easy business, however. “It was a hard road getting to this point,” VanSyckle recalled. VanSyckle, along with his friend and business partner, James Greer, decided to leave behind the world of corporate restaurants and strike out on their own in 2010. With over 70 years of combined experience in the food industry between the two of them, the men had a solid foundation from which to grow. The two also shared a common love of breakfast that helped them establish their niche and their name. “James thought ‘atomic’ would be a good way to describe the explosion of flavor,” VanSyckle said, miming an explosion with his hands. “This is not bland food!” VanSyckle and Greer began building their business plan for Atomic Omelette and Grill in 2011. After struggling to get funding, a difficult challenge most locally owned startup companies face, they managed successfully open their restaurant in February 2012. Sadly, Greer passed away not long afterwards in April 2012. VanSyckle found himself mourning his friend and struggling to keep his new restaurant afloat.


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His sister quickly came to his aid and stepped in as Atomic Omelette and Grill’s manager. Aultman-Bazinet, who previously worked in the financial industry, moved from Montreal, Canada, to Corpus Christi, Texas. “I knew Mike was on his own after what happened,” she said, “and I thought, ‘I could do this for a while.’” This is not the first time the brother and sister have worked together in the food industry. Aultman-Bazinet got VanSyckle his very first job in the restaurant industry as a kitchen manager, under her supervision, which helped him recognize his passion for food. He joked, “It’s like a circle! I started out working for her, and now she works for me!” Business remained very slow the first year. “We were putting flyers under windshields in parking lots,” Aultman-Bazinet said. “Being the little guy competing with corporations, we constantly have to remind people

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‘We’re here!’” VanSyckle said. He continued to invest in advertising and promoting his restaurant at local events, such as the annual Taste of the Coastal Bend. The hard work paid off. Atomic Omelette and Grill began turning a profit during its second year and established itself as a popular brunch destination soon after. VanSyckle is grateful for the success his restaurant has experienced. “We’re still open after five years, which not all new restaurants can say.” According to VanSyckle, the skills he honed by working in the food industry have helped his restaurant thrive in a competitive market. “I learned a lot from working for big corporations. We probably wouldn’t be open today if not for them.” However, he does not regret leaving his job at a corporate chain in order to create a local business. “I’m happy every time I open the door,” he said as he discussed the perks of

being his own boss. “It’s a dream come true! I wish I could have done this 30 years ago.” Like many Corpus Christi business owners, however, VanSyckle continues to face some challenges. The biggest one? “The labor market is tough,” he stated. “There are so many restaurants in town, and it’s hard to find people with the same passion for the restaurant that I have.” Aultman-Bazinet agreed with her brother. “Retention can be difficult,” she elaborated. “Some employees are here one day, gone the next.” Atomic Omelette and Grill may need more employees in the future, as plans for expansion are on the horizon. The weekend rush has vastly outgrown the restaurant’s current capacity, and VanSyckle is considering expanding the menu to include dinner items, as well. Whether it moves to a new location or opens a second one, Atomic Omelette and Grill expects to continue its dynamic growth.


Experience the full Atomic Omelette menu for yourself at 6313 Wooldridge Road, Ste. 10. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information about Atomic Omelette, call 361-334-3942 or visit www.atomicomelette.com.

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ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY

DIGITAL SPRING CLEANING How to safely tidy up your digital life this season By: KELLY TREVINO

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pring has sprung, and all know what that means: spring cleaning. This may be a good time to clean out your desk, organize paperwork or deep clean the office – but what about cleaning up your digital life? This season, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving the heart of Texas recommends backing up all of your important files. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by going through your device and deleting files you don’t need, uninstalling programs you don’t use and emptying your recycling bin. But remember, before you start swiping clean your devices, make sure you back up anything important to your computer, the Cloud or an external hard drive.

To ensure you’re safely managing and tidying up your digital life, BBB offers the following advice:  Keep software updated. Make sure all devices have the most recent software updates installed. This includes security software, Web browsers, document readers, operating systems and any other software you use regularly. Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep them up-to-date.  Clean up your mobile device. Delete unused apps, and keep others updated. Not only will you reduce clutter, you’ll have more storage space for data and a longer battery life on your device.

 De-clutter your email inbox. Delete emails older than a year, and create and label folders for emails to stay organized. Delete messages in your spam folder, and unsubscribe from emails you don’t open. Move important messages to an archive.  Check your privacy settings on your social media sites. Review the privacy and security settings on websites you use to be sure that they remain set to your comfort level for sharing to your friends or the public.

BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED.

For more important business advice, visit our website at www.bbb.org/central-texas under the “For Businesses” section, or our independent blog at www.watchyourbuck.com. Kelly Trevino is the regional director for the Corpus Christi/Victoria area of Better Business Bureau serving the heart of Texas. She is available for media interviews and speaking engagements. You can reach her at 361-945-7352 or ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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SCANRAIL/BIGSTOCK.COM

 Create better passwords. Passwords like “123456” or “qwerty” are among some of the most common passwords used by the general population. Longer passwords and those that combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols provide better protection.


Relax this Summer!

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RUBEN BONILLA I N S U RAN CE AG E N CY SAVING YOU MONEY IS OUR PRIORITY.

361.881.1033 www.rubenbonillainsurance.com 2727 Morgan Ave., Ste. 300 Corpus Christi, TX 78405

AUTO • HOME • LIFE • BUSINESS 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

GET CURRENT

A quick look at the Texas Association of Realtors and several current real estate legislative policy issues By: CORAL DWORACZYK

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our professional realtor does far more than help consumers buy and sell homes locally. The Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) is the largest, most politically active professional trade association in the state of Texas, and its 110,000 realtor members are strong advocates for private-property rights, as well as the rights of homeowners and Texas real estate consumers. Recently, 75 members of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors were among more than 2,500 who participated in Realtor Day at the Texas Capitol on April 4, 2017. During this event, realtors advocated for several legislative priorities related to the real estate industry, including: PROPERTY TAX REFORM Texas property taxes are currently among the highest in the United States – driven up by school funding, state mandates and statewide infrastructure development and maintenance needs. Unfortunately for homeowners, local taxing entities (statewide, not just locally) are able to easily

capitalize on market upswings in property values, resulting in continual increases in individual property tax bills, regardless of the local tax rate. TAR supports legislation that promotes honesty and transparency in the property tax rate-setting process, supports a greater separation between the appraisal process and the tax rate-setting process and believes that local government and voters should ultimately determine how much revenue is necessary for their communities. TAR supports HB 15 to reform the property tax rate-setting process by focusing on taxing entity procedures and access to tax information for property owners, requiring an automatic tax ratification election for all taxing entities, and creating a statewide standardized database of property tax rate and collection information. TAR also supports SB 2, which acts to create a new division under Texas Comptroller’s office (the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board) to oversee appraisal districts and local tax offices, to lower the rollback rate from 8 percent to 5 percent and to require an automatic tax ratification election for all taxing entities.

GAJUS/BIGSTOCK.COM

RENTAL REGULATION Many Texas cities are adopting or considering ordinances to regulate or ban short-term rental properties. Many cities already have code-enforcement divisions in place that are responsible for identifying, deterring and remedying code violations, and public safety and nuisance laws, that can be applied to short-term rental occupants. TAR supports the development of clear and consistent statewide standards for short-term rental regulation. TAR supports HB 2551 and SB 451, which may work together to create a statewide blueprint for consistent regulation, while helping ensure the health and safety of property owners and protect their private-property rights.

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HOME EQUITY For more than 140 years, Texas homeowners were not able to utilize home-equity lending due to the possible repercussions from defaulting on the loan. In 1997, TAR was heavily involved in passing a constitutional amendment that would then allow Texans to access the equity in their properties, while providing specific provisions to protect those homes. However, changes in the lending industry over the past 20 years may again be restricting homeowners’ ability to access equity in their properties. TAR supports HJR 99 and SJR 60 to help update the Texas Constitution to modernize the home-equity lending process. These joint resolutions would work together to lower the fee cap to 2 percent, and remove three of the most expensive fee generators from the fee cap: (1) the appraisal fee, (2) the survey and (3) the state base premium for the title insurance policy/title examination report. These joint resolutions would also maintain the 80 percent loan-to-value ratio, but would allow for an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio for

home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). These updates would also provide a choice on “seasoned refinances� between maintaining the home equity loan (with its constitutional protections) and transitioning to a standard rateand-term loan. If the loan were to be modified to a standard loan, a disclosure from the lender would be required to notify the borrower that they are forfeiting their constitutional protections guaranteed for home-equity loans. EMINENT DOMAIN The use of the power of eminent domain authority, while considered a necessary tool of the government, has the potential to be easily expanded and abused. Since 2005, Texas has worked to strengthen property owner protections in eminent domain proceedings. However, some issues are currently unresolved, and may leave property owners at risk. TAR believes property owners should be treated fairly and protected from abusive eminent domain practices. There are currently 12 House and Senate bills

under review that relate to the use of eminent domain. In summary, these bills are proposed to protect property owners by delineating future uses and restrictions for condemned property, by clarifying and expanding the definition of a true bona fide offer in condemnation proceedings and by requiring the timely disclosure of new appraisals to property owners during the condemnation process. This proposed legislature would also work to support property owners by fairly awarding damages, and reasonable expenses and fees, in certain cases to the owners, and by restricting unauthorized or unwanted access to subject properties by condemning entities or their representatives.

Please feel free to contact Coral Dworaczyk, M.S., Ph.D., realtor, at 979-229-2836 (cell) or cdworaczyk@gmail.com, or visit her website at www.realestatebycoral.com.

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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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TRAVEL

FAQS FOR FLYING CCIA

The airport addresses come common questions about operations and air travel.

A: We get this one a lot. CCIA is designated a Port of Entry for aliens arriving in the United States by aircraft. Not every airport has that designation. Since expanding our Federal Inspection Services Area (FIS) back in 2011, we have seen some international charter traffic and general aviation flights from other countries, as well. Because we have a fully equipped FIS, CCIA routinely receives commercial international flights that are diverted here due to weather or mechanical issues. The good news is that we are poised and ready to accommodate international flights once there is sufficient demand for the service. We aren’t alone. Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, Laredo International Airport and Midland International Air & Space Port all use the “I” word in their name, but have no scheduled international service.

Q: When will CCIA have flights to Mexico? A: We think the day will come when there is enough demand to support service to Mexico out of CCIA. Will that be demand for business travel between Corpus Christi and Mexico City? Will that be demand for leisure travel from people in Monterey who discover that Corpus Christi is a fabulous place to vacation? We are aggressive about presenting the Corpus Christi business and destination story to the airlines in Mexico. And we strongly believe the day will come.

ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF AIR TRAVELERS FROM THE COASTAL BEND FLY OUT OF SAN ANTONIO OR HOUSTON.

Q: Why doesn’t CCIA have a cell phone lot? A: Cell phone lots have become very popular with the proliferation of mobile and smart phones. People who are coming to the airport to pick up someone want a place where they can pull in and wait for their passenger free of charge. Although it may seem like we have a lot of land here at CCIA, much of the prime real estate for a cell phone lot is actually reserved for business development in the future. CCIA is owned and operated by the city of Corpus Christi. The airport is what’s known as an “enterprise” fund, which simply means that we must generate revenue to continue operating. The airport is not supported by any sales or property taxes. Another way to say this is that practically everything we build needs to be paid for by the users. So a free cell phone lot is a challenge. Parking lots are expensive, and without a revenue stream to pay for a lot and the maintenance of it, CCIA has opted to steer clear of creating something that drains revenue from other needs. Having said that, we are always exploring ways to provide a cell phone lot in the future. Don’t give up on this one. By the way: CCIA customers can pull in to the short-term parking lot and stay for 30 minutes for $1.

Q: What will it take for CCIA to get nonstop flights to cities like New York, Denver and Las Vegas? A: Demand for the service. Currently, we have approximately 25 people a day flying from CCIA to Denver on our three airlines. That number does not meet the threshold of demand that would suggest a revenue-generating route for, say, United Airlines, which hubs in Denver. The number is similar for Las Vegas. It’s very tough to go to Southwest Airlines and say, “we want you to provide a nonstop flight to Vegas every day,” when they fly 737s with 135 seats on board. It’s a numbers game. But that doesn’t stop us from talking to our incumbent airlines about additional routes and to other carriers that might consider serving Corpus Christi in the future. There are low-cost carriers out there that provide service to leisure destinations like Las Vegas, but do it only twice a week. That is an option we continually explore.

Q: Why is it often more expensive to fly from CCIA than it is out of San Antonio or Houston? A: The answer is complicated, but it has to do, in part, with supply and demand, connectivity at the HUBS and the pricing formulas used by the airlines. We routinely track airfare out of CCIA and compare it to the prices offered in San Antonio. There are times of the year when airfare to our top 20 destinations is almost identical out of both airports. But we also acknowledge the occasional big difference you will see to somewhere like Seattle or Des Moines. We understand why it’s tempting and sometimes necessary to drive to larger airports to start your trip. But always consider the additional costs you incur when you do that. Every time local travelers make that choice, they are investing in those other communities. Our data shows that about 30 percent of air travelers from the Coastal Bend fly out of San Antonio or Houston. In many respects, it helps perpetuate our challenge. To show higher demand, we need more people getting on airplanes at CCIA. In order to attract more travelers to CCIA, we need more flights and nonstop service. Which comes first: the chicken or the egg? In this case, what must come first are travelers who choose to fly out of their hometown airport.

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

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Q: Why does Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA) include the word, “international,” when the airport does not have scheduled international flights?

By: KIM BRIDGER-HUNT


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TASTE

A NEW TAKE The secret to roasted red pepper hummus that’s both light and creamy By: MANDY ASHCRAFT Photo by: DUSTIN ASHCRAFT

The secret to a creamy hummus without the fat of oil is baking soda. By sautĂŠing the chickpeas in baking soda prior to blending the mixture, your result is a hummus so smooth and creamy you can eliminate the need to add oil entirely. Ingredients: 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 large red bell pepper, halved and seeded 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons tahini 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cumin Optional: a drizzle of oil to serve

Instructions: 1/ In a 350-degree oven or convection oven, place bell pepper halves skin-side-up on a pan. Place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the skin is black and blistered. 2/ Immediately remove the halves and place them in a bowl, covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside.

For more information, visit www.mandyashcraft.com.

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3/ Pour drained can of chickpeas into a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in baking soda. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 4/ The blackened skins of the bell pepper will slide off easily after several minutes in the bowl. Remove them and place the peppers into a food processor. 5/ Add all remaining ingredients, including chickpeas, to food processor. Process until smooth. 6/ Refrigerate. Optional: serve drizzled with olive oil.


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and request more information 9605 S Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi 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

READY TO ROCK

This summer, SMG-managed American Bank Center welcomes some all-time favorites to the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium and Arena for one heck of a party. By: KRISTIN BILY

May 23: The Cult

American Bank Center Arena

American Bank Center Selena Auditorium

Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood and boa constrictors. Alice Cooper continues to tour regularly, performing shows worldwide with the dark and horror-themed theatrics that he’s best known for. With a schedule that includes six months each year on the road, Cooper brings his own brand of rock psycho-drama to fans both old and new, enjoying it as much as the audience does. Known as “the architect of shock-rock,” Cooper (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie, even in an era where CNN can present real-life shocking images. In the ‘80s, Cooper explored different sounds, highlighted by the New Wave-ish album, “Flush The Fashion,” the heavy metal “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist And Yell,” and then 1989’s melodic hard rock album, “Trash,” which featured the massive hit single, “Poison” and became his biggest selling album and single worldwide. During this period, Cooper also appeared in the horror films, “Monster Dog” and John Carpenter's “Prince of Darkness,” and recorded songs for the soundtracks to “Roadie,” “Class of 1984,” “Friday the 13 Part VI: Jason Lives” and Wes Craven’s “Shocker.”

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When the Cult was preparing to hit the stage at Coachella in 2014, few were expecting the fury that the band delivered. As the festival-goers milled about, packing in the field in front of the stage, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy were building up to a crescendo, which, when the smoke cleared, Rolling Stone would hail as “the Messianic moment of Coachella.” Critics have hailed the band as incendiary, groundbreaking and transcendent, but the band themselves choose to look forward. And in a lot of ways, they prefer to be seen as survivors, marginalized and vulgarized, much in the same way their song subjects have been. The Cult emerged in 1984 as one of England’s leading heavy-metal revivalists. Picking up the pseudo-mysticism and Native American obsessions of the Doors, the guitar orchestrations of Led Zeppelin and the three-chord crunch of AC/DC, while adding touches of post-punk goth rock, the Cult gained a dedicated following in their native Britain with mid-‘80s singles like “She Sells Sanctuary” before breaking into the American metal market in the late ‘80s with “Love Removal Machine.”

fans. “We’ve been at this long enough that we’re starting to get good. Come and see us; it’s gonna be loud and live.” This sturdy American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums). They were formed in 1970 in and around Houston from rival bands the Moving Sidewalks (Gibbons) and American Blues (Hill and Beard). Their first two albums reflected the strong blues roots and Texas humor of the band. Their third album, “Tres Hombres,” gained them national attention with the hit, “La Grange,” a signature riff tune to this day, based on John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen.” One of the few rock ‘n’ roll groups with its original members still aboard after four decades, ZZ Top play music that is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful and 100 percent American in derivation. They have continued to support the blues through various means, perhaps most visibly when they were given a piece of wood from Muddy Waters’ shack in Clarksdale, Miss. The group members had it made into a guitar, dubbed the “Muddywood,” then sent it out on tour to raise money for the Delta Blues Museum. ZZ Top’s support of and link to the blues remain as rock-solid as the music they play.

June 12: Brit Floyd

May 24: ZZ Top American Bank Center Selena Auditorium ZZ Top will heat up the road mid-winter with a run of North American dates they’ve called their 2017 Tonnage tour. “It’s gonna be a good time,” front man and guitarist Billy Gibbons assures

American Bank Center Selena Auditorium The hotly anticipated rock event of the year returns, as Brit Floyd brings the music of Pink Floyd to life once again with its lavish new stage show, “Immersion World Tour 2017.” The spectacle of a Pink Floyd concert experience is truly recaptured in high-definition sound, and with a stunning million-dollar light show and state-ofthe-art video design. As well as performing the favorite moments from “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “The Wall” and “The Division

CSTERKEN/BIGSTOCK.COM, ZU1U/BIGSTOCK.COM

May 10: Alice Cooper


Bell,” Brit Floyd will also pay special tribute to the “Animals” album, in its 40th anniversary year, with a show-stopping rendition of “Dogs,” as well as a host of other Pink Floyd musical gems. The Brit Floyd show has truly become a phenomenon, widely regarded as the world’s greatest live tribute to Pink Floyd. Faithfully recreating the scale and pomp of the final 1994 Division Bell tour, complete with circle screen and multiple moving light design, lasers, inflatables and theatrics, a Brit Floyd show really is as close as fans will ever get to experiencing the magnificence of a Pink Floyd show live. More than a tribute, it’s as good as they say. Believe the hype, and don’t miss it! The new “Immersion” show promises to be Brit Floyd’s most ambitious and best production yet.

Sept. 29: Kansas American Bank Center Selena Auditorium Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their breakthrough album, “Leftoverture,” this is the first time in history the band will be performing the album in its entirety. The tour will showcase two hours of classic Kansas music, including hit songs, deep cuts and new songs from their recent album release, “The Prelude Implicit.” Composing a catalogue that includes 15 studio albums and five live albums, Kansas has produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums (“Leftoverture,” “Point of Know Return” and “Best of Kansa”), one Platinum live album (“Two for the Show”) and two one million-selling Gold singles (“Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”). Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. “Carry on Wayward Son” continues to be one of the top five most-played songs on classic rock radio, and “Dust In the Wind” has been played on the radio more than three million times.

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, or on Instagram (@americanbankcenter), Tumblr (@AmericanBankCenter), Periscope (@Americanbankcenter) and now Snapchat (@americanbnkctr).

6418 S STAPLES ST CORPUS CHRISTI TX 78413 (361) 336-6460 GRACIAMEXICAN.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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It’s ART Time at

Tracey’s Studio of Arts and Crafts Where all you need is your imagination! After School Activities Drawing Painting Ceramics Mosaics Clay Crafts Wreaths

It’s a beautiful thing… being shot by David! My job is to make you and your business look good in all of your photographic needs

PERSONAL P H O T O G R A P H Y: PORTRAITS G R A D U AT I O N S WEDDINGS GLAMOUR M AT E R N I T Y PROFESSIONAL P H O T O G R A P H Y: R E A L E S TAT E MARKETING W E B S I T E I L L U S T R AT I O N Award-winning International photographer “Big Wig” photographer of the year for American Advertising Federation - Corpus Christi

• Water color and Acrylic Classes • Mixed Media Classes • Weekly Homeschool ART Classes • ART Birthday Parties • Art Parties for all Occasions! • Kid’s Night Out! Second Friday of every month • Walk-ins are always welcome

361-371-5023 5922 Yorktown Blvd. Ste. 110

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361. 944. 3686 D AV I D @ D AV I D O F OTOS . COM W W W. D AV I D O F O TOS . 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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STYLE

SECRETS FROM THE SALON Things you need to know before you let just anyone do your hair By: MARY LIETZ

“ OUR CLIENTS

BECOME PART OF OUR FAMILY.” stylist knows. Love the color, but are wondering if it will work with your skin tone? Your stylist will give you an honest answer. Ask what products might be needed to create a certain style, and how much maintenance it will take. Your stylist will be happy to discuss all of these things with you before they make that first snip with their shears.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR STYLIST.

Rather than going to see whoever can get you in first, it really is important to find someone you jive with, and to stick with them! The longer you stay with a stylist, the better they get to know you – and, more importantly, your hair.

“Talk with your stylist about your likes and dislikes – colors, food, music, clothes … believe it or not, these simple things are great ways for us to see what makes you tick,” says TimBo Mack, owner of So Addictive Studios, an eco-friendly concept featuring both a hair salon and a nail studio. “It lets us know how wild or conservative we can take your style, and how to create an experience tailored to you.”

A PICTURE REALLY IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.

When you decide on the look you’re going for, take some time before your visit to create a collage of images you like, as well as one of images you don’t like. This can guide your stylist in helping you choose what will be a great fit for you. Now is the time for discussion. Don’t like the way those bangs fall? Point that out to your stylist. Like the style in this picture, but think you might want it a little shorter? Make sure your

BE HONEST WHEN YOUR STYLIST ASKS YOU WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO YOUR HAIR IN THE PAST.

“We need to know if you have used boxed color at home three months ago or if you’ve colored over highlights recently,” says Tana Rivera of Tana’s Beauty Studio. If you know what brand of color your previous stylist used, that’s good info to have, as well, since some brands are more difficult to color over than others. As for how far you need to go back when this question comes up, “The longer the hair, the longer the history,” according to Rivera.

YOUR HAIR DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FRESHLY WASHED FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT, BUT DON’T COME WITH IT SUPER DIRTY, EITHER.

“The bottom line is, don’t wait a week to wash your hair because you know you’re coming to see me,” Rivera says. “A good rule of thumb is, if your hair grosses you out, it’s prob-

For more information, feel free to give the experts at Salons by JC a call at 361-993-0093.

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t’s always good to be “in the know,” and the artists at Salons by JC – Corpus Christi want to help you achieve that goal! Many of our talented associates have been practicing their craft for decades. To keep their clients happily coming back for service after service, they are always working to continue their education and improve their skills. These days, you can get a haircut anywhere – but if you want to look and feel your best, here are some tips from the pros to help you make your salon your happy place:


ably going to gross me out, too.” A ton of product buildup in your hair can actually cause color to go on unevenly, but scrubbing your scalp just prior to getting color applied can make your skin more sensitive and prone to irritation. Depending on your hair type, washing it a day or two ahead of time is a safe bet.

CONGRESSMAN SOLOMON P. ORTIZ INTERNATIONAL CENTER

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

IF YOU’RE GOING TO INVEST IN COLORING YOUR HAIR, YOU SHOULD INVEST IN TAKING CARE OF IT AT HOME.

Not all shampoos are created equal, and the right product really does matter. “I just feel bad for people when they spend over $200 on their color and then they go home and just use Suave,” says Kaetlyn Gonzalez of Crown of Beauty. “They’re just washing their color down the drain. The color really will last longer with the right product; it’s not a marketing ploy. We care about your hair as much as you do!” In other words, you should take your stylist’s recommendation on whether to use a color line, a line for extra moisture, frizz reduction or curl care.

SHOUT-OUTS ROCK!

Whether it’s on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter or just while hanging out with friends and family, tell everyone about your amazing experience with your stylist. If you post, add an image or some graphics so it really stands out! Some stylists will ask if it’s OK to take a before-and-after photo to post on their own social media pages. Feel free to ask them to tag you, and don’t forget to tag them! “This is how we stay in business, and how we keep ourselves motivated,” Mack says. “I love seeing and hearing all the comments my guests make about my company. It just makes me want to keep doing better and better!”

YOUR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD TO US!

“We care about these people who have become such a part of our lives,” Gonzalez says. “The fact that the same people keep coming back to see me just means the world to me.” “These clients become part of our family,” Rivera says. “We learn about their kids, their lives, their joys and their problems. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” “It goes back to the relationship you’ve built,” Mack says. “We celebrate each other’s successes and just become a part of each other’s lives. I love it.”

“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

GREAT FOR ■ Meetings + Training Seminars ■ Luncheons + Banquets ■ Galas + Special Events ■ Trade Shows ■ Job Fairs With 10 rooms that can accommodate groups of 10 to 850.

ortizcenter.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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INSPIRED STYLE Ashley Simper Owner, Emerge Marketing Concepts

PHOTOGRAPHY DARK LAB PHOTOGRAPHY WARDROBE B HIVE BOUTIQUE HAIR AND MAKEUP TANA’S BEAUTY STUDIO LASHES BOD LASH & ESTHETICS ON LOCATION AT THE RANCH AT SAN PATRICIO 56

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Why I love doing what I do: I love tourism! I’ve grown up in this industry, from the service side to now owning a business that specializes in destination marketing. I’ve seen firsthand how it can revitalize and breathe new life into communities. Being a Southerner, hospitality is important.

WORDS TO L

Serving out of love and genuine care for another is the foundation of it all – whether you’re serving a meal to a family at a restaurant that may have been saving for the last year for this quick trip together, or you’re helping a town that never really saw the beauty and potential of their own community because they needed an outsider to remind them it was there. It’s truly an honor to have the opportunity to work with the wonderful clients that I do, and help them dream new dreams and reach their goals.

BY: E IV

“You do not have enough faith,” Jesus replied. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20 NLT

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My philosophy: As a Georgia girl and now honorary Texan (after marrying my husband, [who] is a proud Texas man), I cannot tell you the ways in which my life has been blessed and enriched since arriving in Corpus Christi. After starting a business last year and now entering into a new chapter of life, it’s truly been a season of just realizing, “Wow, I am literally sitting right in the middle of everything I’ve ever hoped and dreamed of. God has delivered it all.” And there’s something about that kind of gratitude for what you’ve been given that drives you to want to be your best.  I’m in a much different place than I was even just a few years ago. Preparing to become a mother changes your perspective

on life! I want to be a good steward of all that I’ve been blessed with – not squandering anything, be it personally or professionally. I simply cannot do that in my own strength, but through my faith, I can. I’m not scoring touchdowns each day, but I wake up with passion and purpose. People say not to look at your past, but I think it’s important to reflect upon where you’ve been in order to appreciate where you are and move towards where you want to be. From childhood to now, it’s through that intentional reflection that I can see all the ways in which God was working in my life, even when all my little duckies were not in a row! Gratitude and joyful expectancy – that’s what I hold onto each day.

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NONPROFIT

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE AQUARIUM

CARIBBEAN JOURNEY IS BOTH THRILLING AND EDUCATIONAL.

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UNLOCK THE SECRETS

The Texas State Aquarium’s brand-new Caribbean Journey puts guests right in the middle of the marine action.

SPECIAL TO INSPIRE COASTAL BEND

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ceans are full of life, with countless thriving ecosystems and active communities – just like on land. But to most people, what lies beneath the surface of the water is a total mystery. The Texas State Aquarium (TSA) provides the key to unlocking the secrets of the marine world. Here at TSA, the mission is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for the sea and support wildlife conservation. The best way to engage and form connections with our natural environment is to interact with it, coming face-to-face with the animals and plants that make up these wondrous marine worlds. That’s why TSA makes sure that exhibits do more than show guests underwater life – here, they’ll be part of it. As the official state aquarium of Texas, TSA strives to stay ahead of the field and provide a premier, one-of-a-kind experience for visitors. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas – and now TSA is, too, with a new adventure in store for the Coastal Bend community! Opening May 13, 2017, a brand-new, 71,000-square-foot addition called Caribbean Journey brings the lush natural wonders of Mexico and the Caribbean right to your fingertips. “Caribbean Journey dramatically expands the guest experience with one-of-a-kind, immersive exhibits that bring the marine world of the Caribbean Sea to life in the Gulf Coast of Texas,” says Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “This substantial expansion – the first since Dolphin Bay was added in 2003 – elevates the aquarium visit into a highly interactive and educational experience that is a must-see for marine life enthusiasts of all ages.” Guests won’t just see the sharks, tropical Caribbean fishes, birds and reptiles that make up the ecosystems of coastal Mexico and the Caribbean. At TSA, visitors are invited to create their own experience. Walking through the 68-foot-long underwater acrylic tunnel (the longest in North America) puts one right in the middle of the marine action. Being surrounded by the ocean brings this aquatic

ecosystem to life. There’s even a shipwreck to explore! From touch tanks to jungle pools with crocodiles to coral reefs teeming with life, Caribbean Journey is a captivating experience that draws visitors in to become part of the experience. With more than 4,000 animals and 390 species onsite, there’s something for everyone at TSA. There are a variety of sharks, including sandbar and nurse sharks, and macaws, Caribbean flamingos, keel-billed toucans and more for bird lovers. The ecosystems represented in Caribbean Journey feature a full range of animals and plants to truly showcase the awe-inspiring richness of these environments. Caribbean Journey is more than thrilling – it’s educational. “The Texas State Aquarium prides itself on education, conservation and leading innovation to make marine-life exploration accessible for all,” says the Texas State Aquarium VP of Education and Conservation Leslie Peart. In addition to conservation efforts like treating approximately 346 injured animals in 2016, TSA goes beyond interactive exhibits to provide a well-rounded educational experience for all. The opening of Caribbean Journey brings a new, multi-sensory 4-D theater that uses state-of-the-art digital technology to make marine-themed films an immersive experience teaching visitors more about the ecosystems and animals they’re interacting with during their time at TSA. To celebrate the opening of Caribbean Journey, TSA is premiering the film, “Shark: A 4-D Experience,” which explores the complex nature of sharks and their survival instincts. The film spotlights 10 species of sharks and places viewers right in the action, with stunning underwater visuals and perfectly-timed special effects. Viewers won’t be in danger, but their hearts will be pounding! Caribbean Journey offers an exciting, one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience one of North America’s premier aquariums. TSA connects people with nature and inspires in them an appreciation for the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Come check it out!

For more information, visit www.texasstateaquarium.org.

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NONPROFIT

ADOR-A-BULL ADOPT-A-BULLS!

The Gulf Coast Humane Society helps give Pit Bulls a much-needed paw up in the adoption game.

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s the Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS) is a strictly no-kill animal shelter, every animal that comes through the society’s doors is given the chance they deserve to find their loving forever homes. No dog or cat is euthanized due to limited space, behavioral issues, treatable disease or breed. This means these animals stay at GCHS until they are adopted – and sometimes, they wait for a long time. Unfortunately, one breed of dog at GCHS tends to wait longer than others: the Pit Bull. “Pit Bull” is actually a term used loosely to describe any dog with physical features such as a square-shaped head or bulky body type. The American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are formal breeds with these features that are considered Pit Bull types. However, according to the ASPCA, “It is likely that the vast majority of Pit Bull-type dogs in

our communities today are the result of random breeding. […] For this reason, it is important to evaluate and treat each dog, no matter its breed, as an individual.” The Pit Bull is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the Coastal Bend area, but is also one of the hardest to find homes for. This is due in large part to the misconception that Pit Bulls are inherently aggressive, or will one day “snap” and attack their family. This stigma against Pit Bulls runs rampant in many communities, and it severely damages these dogs’ chances of finding their forever homes, despite what experts in animal behavior say about it. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, “Any dog may bite, regardless of the dog’s size or sex, or reported breed or mix of breeds.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, stating that, “Any dog of any breed has the potential to bite.” To boost our beloved Pit Bulls’ chances of

getting adopted, we have created our Adora-Bull Adopt-a-Bull program! This program gives adopters the opportunity to take home an Ador-a-Bull-eligible dog for a two-week trial foster period. This “test run” will also alleviate potential adopters’ concerns based on misconceptions about the breed, since two weeks is certainly long enough to figure out that Pit Bulls are generally squishy-faced slobber machines. If the trial period doesn’t work out, the dog will be welcomed back to GCHS so that they can continue looking for that perfect home. On the flip side, if the dog becomes a permanent member of the family, the adoption includes a training consultation with Animal Smart Training. Not only does our new program give the Pit Bulls of GCHS a much-needed paw up in the adoption game, it has the potential to help countless Pit Bulls in the Coastal Bend. It is our mission to help every animal we are able to, but unfortunately, we are usually forced to turn away Pit Bulls simply because we have too many. That is about to change, though, because when one Ador-a-Bull dog is adopted, that kennel will be available for us to take in another Pit Bull! Stigma isn’t the only thing preventing our block-headed companions from the loving homes that they deserve – landlord restrictions make it nearly impossible to find somewhere to live with a Pit Bull. This is another obstacle we hope to overcome, or at least simplify, with our Ador-a-Bulls program. We are working to compile a list of local realtors that help people find rentals that allow the breed, as well as working with apartment complexes to be more accepting of Pit Bulls. With our Ador-a-Bull Adopt-a-Bulls program, we hope the Pit Bulls of the Coastal Bend can expect big changes in their lives. Ultimately, this program is meant not only to find these wonderful dogs homes, but also to change our community’s perception of this misunderstood breed.

The Gulf Coast Humane Society is located at 3118 Cabaniss Parkway in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information about the Ador-a-Bull Adopt-a-Bulls program, visit www.gchscc.org.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF GULF COAST HUMANE SOCIETY

By: KAITLIN CALK


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Inspire Coastal Bend Business May/June 2017  
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