Fall 2016 Business Matters Magazine

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Source: NAPEO publications: Professional Employer Organizations: Fueling Small Business Growth, September 2013, and Professional Employer Organizations: Keeping Turnover Low and Survival High, September 2014, by Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer

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table of

contents 04 10

Top 4 Under 40

Meet these dynamic professionals working hard on and off the clock

Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals

This new program is enriching the next generation of business


New Labor Regulation Effective Dec. 1

Tips for implementing new White Collar Overtime Rule


Home Grown

Danny Sullivan wouldn’t choose anywhere other than the LHA for his auto body business


Ins & Outs of Facebook Ads


Follow the Leader

A guide to start advertising on Facebook

Three local residents who have become community assets through involvement

Lake Houston Business Matters is a quarterly publication of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. It is distributed to Chamber members and area businesses. Digital copies are available online at LakeHouston.org.


Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce 110 West Main Street, Humble, Texas 77338 (281) 446-2128 | LakeHouston.org


Chair of the Board Robert Sitton Edward Jones - Financial Advisor Chair-Elect Rev. Jerry Martin Light of the World Christian Fellowship President & CEO Jenna Armstrong, IOM Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce


Contributing Writers Anna Brewer - Anna.Brewer@insperity.com Tom Broad – broadtom@hotmail.com Randall Chesnutt - nacsotx@gmail.com Johnston Farrow - jfarrow@lakehouston.org Kelli White – kwhite@metromediapublishers.com Graphic Designer Jen Weber – jweber@metromediapublishers.com Photographers Patrina Anthony - b2fulphotography@yahoo.com Scott Tate - tatephoto@hotmail.com


Metro Media, Inc. David Small – dsmall@metromediapublishers.com 4210 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 314A Fairway, Kansas 66205 | (913) 951-8413 To advertise, contact Kathy Moore (913) 951-8441, kmoore@metromediapublishers.com

The Chamber is not responsible for advertisements included in this magazine. The information in this publication was compiled with care to ensure a high level of accuracy. Nonetheless, Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and MetroMedia cannot guarantee the correctness of the information provided or the complete absence of accidental errors. For changes or additions, contact the Chamber at (281) 446-2128. No article may be reproduced without permission of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. Fall 2016 | 3


4 | Lake Houston Business Matters



August, the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce

searched for the community’s brightest young professionals. Let’s meet the honorees...

Fall 2016 | 5



Starting as a business major at Dillard University in New Orleans, Corey Turner wrote for the college paper and says he changed his major to mass communications the week his first byline printed. He’s been in the same industry ever since, but in 12 short years, Turner has experienced many different roles. A Texas resident since grade school, the idea of home struck early in his professional career, so he returned to the Lone Star State and worked as a journalist with The Observer Newspapers in 2004. Turner became general sales manager in 2012, serving other roles in between. In 2015, he became Publisher. “It has been a joy navigating through our quickly changing industry,” Turner said. “Hyperlocal print is still strong, but I am very excited about the digital capabilities we have. Becoming a division of the Houston Chronicle is taking that to a new level.” Now having experienced nearly every part of the newspaper publishing industry, Turner says most of his career growth came when he was content coordinator. “I learned new software and trained all of the editorial offices in Houston and in Denver. In that role, I also coordinated special sections with the advertising department in Houston and helped launched one of our new websites. That year taught me a lot about working with different people on a common goal.” He says he most enjoys meeting new people and helping to service small business owners. “Working with those who are realizing their lifelong dream and that we play a small part in helping them become successful is the best part about my job,” Turner said. Having served a multitude of professional roles, Turner experienced his most important job title when his son Grayson arrived last year. The first-time father quickly realized his biggest challenge thus far — how to sustain work-family-community balance while continuing to do his best in all three areas of his life. “When Grayson was born, I had to find a balance between being a father and a manager,” Turner said. “Through my wife Ashanti’s support and the decision to focus on my son, I was able to reprioritize, overcome challenges at work and lower my stress level.” While family is first, Turner’s passion for work and volunteering remain just as strong as ever. His motivation for volunteerism began in college. “I volunteered for an after-school program through my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. That experience opened my eyes and led to my continued volunteer efforts. I took for granted my upbringing and wanted to give youth every opportunity I was blessed with,” Turner said. Early in his professional career as a journalist, Turner interviewed and helped Hurricane Katrina evacuees in a Red Cross Center. “That was personal for me because I went to college in New Orleans. I met families who lost everything they had ever owned. That experience taught me how quickly we can become the person in need of help,” Turner said. Turner says today he is most passionate about charities that give youth opportunities to reach their potential. “I really enjoy working with the Lake Houston Family YMCA because it combines education, health, sports, and opportunities for young people,” he says. When asked where he would like to be on the other side of 40, Turner said one major goal is to start a nonprofit of his own. “I want to start a mentoring organization for young men — to help connect mentors with young men who are in need of direction and positive influences,” Turner said. Indeed, that positive direction could lead to another’s motivation for success.




What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question we’ve all heard at least once in our childhood and it’s a question some adults still ask themselves. But for Megan Marietta, the answer has always been clear. As Chief Operating Officer of Kingwood Medical Center, Marietta knew a career in the healthcare industry was meant for her, and she

plans to stick with the same field for the duration of her working days. “I grew up in a family of healthcare providers, which led to my passion and drive to pursue a career in healthcare leadership,” Marietta said. “I always knew from an early age that my career would be in healthcare and I never wavered from this path.” For someone so driven, it’s not a surprise she has attained success so soon. She attributes her professional accolades to realizing and following her passion, but Marietta also acknowledges that her success comes in part to the caregivers she witnesses each day. “It is critical to surround yourself with the best team possible and to ensure your personal commitment to their success,” Marietta said. “In healthcare, we have the gift of taking care of others and this is what drives our passion, which leads to success. Commitment to care for the human life is so inspiring — to see employees, physicians and volunteers give care and make a positive difference in patients’ lives each day.” Anyone who has achieved success knows it doesn’t come without challenges. For Marietta, a big challenge of the job lies in that the job never ends. “Healthcare is a 24/7 environment,” Marietta said. “Achieving work-life balance is a challenge but the daily rewards are so

great. Saving lives and knowing that miracles happen each day is worth it. It is a rewarding and humbling career.” On the scale of what is deemed important in Marietta’s life, career may rank high, but her charitable efforts and time with family bring her the most fulfillment. “I am very fortunate to have my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews still living in Texas so we have the opportunity to visit often. This time is special for all of us,” Marietta said. Charitable causes close to Marietta’s heart include helping underserved families and those recovering from domestic abuse. “Volunteering gives a deeper level of gratitude in what I do at work. Seeing others rise above hardships is a reminder of why our work is so important — it allows me to give to those who may not be as fortunate, and I feel it is my obligation to give back,” Marietta said. On the other side of 40, Marietta sees herself just as driven as she was as a child choosing to follow in her family members’ footsteps in healthcare. “I hope to continue with my career in healthcare and progress to a more challenging role within the hospital setting,” Marietta said. - CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Scott Tate Photo

Fall 2016 | 7




Not many people can say they are happiest while working, but Casey Christman can. Since 2009, Christman has served as Chief of Staff for State Representative Dan Huberty. And while she says she hates politics but loves government, Christman has earned a strong resume in the public sector. She interned for President George W. Bush, worked for Governor Perry then for Huberty when he was School Board Trustee and in his current role as State Representative. “I started at the highest office in the land, the White House, then went to the lowest seat by working for a locally elected school board trustee,” Christman joked. “But, I feel more effective assisting at the local level than at higher offices.” For someone who loves nearly every aspect of her job, it might be tough to pick a favorite. Christman says the best part, for her, does not come during interim. “My favorite part of the job comes when we pass a bill and get notification from the governor — a bill that improves life of anyone in our district brings me the most joy.” Always striving for positive change, Christman says there is no delineation between her job and her other life. “I get to be around energetic people because they’ve chosen to be involved. I get to do what I love and be with people whom I love; no matter if it’s work or play, I spend time with the same people,” Christman said. Christman grew up in Kingwood and her family has, for the most part, always lived in the Houston area. The youngest of five, Christman is ten years younger than her closest sibling and experienced something her other siblings did not. On a whim, her parents moved to Vashon Island, Washington, where they developed a “you-pick” lavender farm. “I have fond memories of smelling the lavender dry in the basement where my room was,” Christman said. She attended Washington State University where she became involved in integrated service. After graduation in 2005, Christman moved back to Texas as did her parents. With aspirations to change the world, she applied to the Bush School of Government and Public Service where she was accepted. One of Christman’s college professors called her “one of the most idealist students” he ever had. Christman didn’t argue with that and says her passion is to affect positive change and encourage others to be engaged. “My community is only as good as I am by contributing to it,” Christman said. “I work for positive results for myself and for my neighbors, because if we don’t do it, who will?” That giving, persistent, hardworking attitude has served Christman at every stage of life. A nearly lifelong volunteer, Christman began volunteering with her mother for the National Charity League. Now, she is passionate about serving for domestic violence organizations. A self-proclaimed, “tri-coastal,” Christman has lived on the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf and although she’s lived all over the nation, she says, “Here is most fun because of my work and my closest friends I gained through service and my job.” When asked where this thirty-something sees herself on the other side of 40, she replied, “I already feel like I’m 50. My parents always said I was an old soul. I’ve never planned for anything, I’ve just worked hard at every step.” A method that, for Christman, has proved to be an ideal way of life.




2016 is a big year for Terry Vaughn. Turning 40 at the end of the year and celebrating his 20th anniversary with Walgreens, Vaughn says he is in a good place when it comes to career, family and community involvement. “They say life starts at 40, but it’s been pretty good so far,” Vaughn said. “If it gets better on the other side of 40, I’m really excited for it.” Vaughn started as a cashier with Walgreens earning approximately $4.00 per hour. He says he is blessed to be able to relate to each team member because he’s done every role himself and owes his professional success to hard work and determination, which he

learned from his father. “My father was a role model for me because he always worked outside in the heat, cold and rain. Also surrounding myself with talented people and treating them well has contributed to my own success,” Vaughn said. But as with most careers that reach a positive point, it wasn’t always easy. A year ago, Walgreens underwent a corporate restructure and Vaughn’s position managing six stores as Company Leader, was eliminated. “I had to swallow my pride and step down to a store manager position, which I had done five years prior. But I trusted God’s plan, humbled myself and am much better for it,” Vaughn said. Now, Vaughn is District Manager overseeing 14 stores in the Lake Houston Area and says the best part of his job is helping others achieve their dreams through promotions. “Four years from now I won’t remember how big my bonus was, but I’ll remember all the people whom I’ve helped promote,” Vaughn said. Vaughn grew up in the small town of Buna, north of Beaumont, and attended Lone Star College Kingwood. He and his wife, Mitzi have been married for 18 years and love calling the Lake Houston Area home. “I love the Lake Houston Area because there is a sense of community here that is normally not found in an area this large,” Vaughn said. “There are so many generous people here.” It’s safe to say that Vaughn is one of them. Vaughn has been volunteering since he was a teenager in Buna.

“I became an active volunteer for Meals on Wheels as soon as I got my driver’s license,” Vaughn said. Now, Vaughn is passionate about many causes but one close to his heart is Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM), an organization that provides food, toys, school supplies and rent/ utilities assistance to qualified community members. Vaughn donates time to this and other charities alongside his family to show his two sons, LT and Colby, the importance of giving back. “We are also very active in [boy] scouts. I want to help turn my sons into the men I want them to be,” Vaughn said. Another volunteer effort Vaughn enjoys is serving as Public Affairs Chair for the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. “I am interested in the political realm,” Vaughn said. “When I work with a group of people who have ideas and then meet with lawmakers to discuss those ideas then see several of those things actually happening, I know we can change not only our community but the nation, and for the better. It is inspiring to see the power in groups and that our voices are being heard.” All arrows point to Vaughn’s hard work and determination continuing long after his 40th birthday. NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2017 TOP 4 UNDER 40 WILL BE TAKEN IN AUGUST OF NEXT YEAR. CONTACT MORGAN MCGRATH AT


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Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals

Lake Houston Area welcomes new program for young professionals



youth movement is happening in the Lake Houston Area. Following a successful informal gathering in May, the Lake Houston Area Chamber launched its Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals program on September 1. The official kick-off was a special event located at up-and-coming craft beer maker, Back Pew Brewing, in Porter, Texas and attracted more than 100 attendees between the ages of 21 and 45. The Lake Houston Area Chamber board made the start of young professionals group a priority in 2016. A committee formed in last spring with the task of building and organizing a program that would benefit those that live and work in the community, with the resources of more than 1,000 Chamber members at its disposal. The 10 | Lake Houston Business Matters

September event was a culmination of a vision that will see a major impact on the Lake Houston area. “I’m excited to be involved with YEP because I view it as a key to success for my career and community involvement,” said YEP Committee member and Manager of Business Development, and Marketing & Community Relations for Memorial Hermann Northeast LynAnn Centofanti. “I’m looking forward to the professional development opportunities it will provide, and being new to the Lake Houston Area, I’m also excited for the opportunity to meet new people.” The program is centered on three pillars – social and networking, professional development and civic engagement. It seeks to enrich the careers of young professionals by helping them build a network among their peers,

give them access to local leaders and educate them on local issues while giving them a voice in the community. The social and networking pillar includes informal mixers, luncheons or fun events to build relationships among YEP members. Professional development events might include the chance to meet with mentors and established community leaders, presidents and CEOs. Civic engagement events will introduce local and state government, boards and issues affecting the Lake Houston Area. Seven events are scheduled for 2017, with two dedicated to each pillar along with a recruiting event. These events will help build members into a formidable group – those starting families in the community, buying houses, shopping at locally owned businesses. It will also serve to give established local leaders a sounding board of ideas from a younger generation that is increasingly politically and socially motivated. Research has shown that reaching and involving Millennials is a major challenge for many companies. For an organization like the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, one that represents the interests of local businesses, it’s a great way to introduce many to the benefits of the Chamber and many businesses to a hardto-reach demographic. In other words, it’s

a win-win for all participants. “This rallies an important demographic for our community,” said Jenna Armstrong, CEO and President of the Lake Houston Area Chamber. “YEP will welcome new faces to our world. It’s valuable to be able to build our leadership pipeline from the ground up.” For more information about the program, please contact Johnston Farrow at jfarrow@lakehouston.org or call (281) 446-2821.

Fall 2016 | 11

White Collar Overtime Rules How to ensure the overtime rule change does not result in any unwelcome surprises BY ANNA BREWER HR ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE FOR INSPERITY

According to White House estimates, an update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) scheduled to take effect on December 1, will make 4.2 million additional salaried American workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule change specifically applies to some employees who perform executive, administrative or professional duties at most companies. Under the current rule, employees are required to receive overtime pay if they earn less than $455 per week, or $23,660 per year. When the new FLSA rule goes into effect, that salary threshold will increase to $913 per week, or $47,476 per year. In addition, employees classified as “highly compensated employees� must now be paid at least $134,004, rather than the current $100,000, in total annual compensation and hold non-manual labor jobs to be automatically exempt from overtime. The rule will also be adjusted automatically on an annual basis in the future using an algorithm.

12 | Lake Houston Business Matters

Salary issues tend to garner passionate opinions from

far too long. Now is the time to make sure overtime poli-

business owners, and the FLSA ruling is no exception.

cies are current and clearly communicated. For example:

Some are supportive. Others worry about the additional

Are employees required to obtain written permission from

cost. Opinions may vary, but what is most important, is that

an authorized manager prior to working overtime hours?

all companies ensure they comply with the new rule, before

Does your payroll process include the review and acknowl-

it goes into effect.

edgement of time sheets by workers? It may make sense to implement these types of policies to make overtime costs

In the interest of assisting companies in being prepared,

predictable and manageable.

here are a few tips to help payroll costs remain predictable, even after the rule change.

Communicate many times and in many ways

Waiting to determine the impact could be costly

impacts of the FLSA rule change, so the chances are that

There have been countless news stories analyzing the Now is the time for companies to determine how many

most affected employees are already aware of what is to

employees will be affected and to what extent. It is also the

come. However, that does not mean communications are

time to review the job duties of impacted employees, de-

not crucial. Companies should strive to be transparent

velop compensation plans, and reclassify any affected em-

about any changes the rule may cause internally and com-

ployees as nonexempt, requiring them to track hours and

municate directly with any employees likely to be affected.

be paid additional overtime rates for any hours over 40 Salary adjustments now, may save a headache later

worked during the week.

If employees earn a salary near the new threshold of Make certain your time tracking

$47,476 annually, companies may decide to make pay ad-

software is up to the task

justments to increase their salary to a level over the cap to

If companies with affected employees do not have a time

avoid the timekeeping troubles and costs associated with

tracking system in place, this is the time to ensure those

nonexempt pay. However, business leaders should know

resources are in place. Companies with older, less-robust

that a raise alone does not guarantee an employee is ex-

systems should consider an upgrade to decrease the ad-

empt from overtime; there are also “duties tests” that must

ministrative burden associated with other methods such

be met for an exemption to apply.

as manual time sheets. An electronic solution that allows workers to clock-in and clock-out electronically can help re-

The FLSA rule change is a good reminder that business-

duce risk and stress for employers. Workers also appreciate

es have an obligation to periodically review and refine their

the convenience of these solutions.

timekeeping procedures to ensure they remain in compliance with federal and state regulations. A little preparation

Make sure policies are up-to-date How long has it been since the company employee

beforehand can save both time and money. It can also create a more positive and transparent work environment.

handbook has been updated? In many businesses, it can be

Anna Brewer is director of HR administrative compliance for Insperity. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2015 revenues of $2.6 billion, Insperity operates in 60 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit http://www.insperity.com. Fall 2016 | 13


Highlighting successful Lake Houston Area entrepreneurs



“fender-bender” steered Danny Sullivan into what is now one of Lake Houston’s premier paint and body shop businesses, Sullivan’s Advanced Paint and Body Shop. The defining moment that led to creating Sullivan’s happened during Sullivan’s formative years when he banged up his Mom’s new Chevy Monte Carlo. Ever the good son, Sullivan repaired Mom’s Monte Carlo, refinished it, made it like new – and discovered he was hooked on the body repair business. Sullivan, a Houston native and Kingwood resident, has always had a knack for car repair. During high school, he was grill master at a local steak and seafood restaurant but, after hours, you could find Sullivan in the parking lot working on his car. “Little did I know I was advertising,” Sullivan said. “Before long, I was fixing all my fellow employees’ car problems.” In 1981, Danny became a real car technician when he and brother Pete hired on at the local Exxon Station on Chestnut Ridge in Kingwood. “I knew then this was my calling,” Sullivan said. When they decided it was time to strike out on their own, 14 | Lake Houston Business Matters

the Sullivan brothers struck a deal with “the Baily Boys,” Joe and his sons, to move into their feed and hardware store on Loop 494. It was 1985 when the auto repair bays went up and Sullivan’s Advanced Paint and Body Shop was born. “As the times have changed, Sullivan’s has changed, too,” Sullivan said. “In order to stay ahead in the collision repair industry, we’ve committed to testing and developing the latest tools, training and equipment needed to stay that way. Sullivan’s Advanced Paint and Body Shop is a locallyowned and operated family business providing a number of well-paying jobs for our community. Danny recognized the value of joining the Chamber so, soon after the shop opened, in 1986, Sullivan’s joined the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. “I strongly believe in advanced technology with old fashioned service,” Sullivan said, “and I expect our Chamber and the programs and services they offer to reflect this philosophy as well.” Though he didn’t get involved as much as he wanted to with the Chamber at first, he soon found his place among his colleagues.

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“In our early years as the business was growing, I wasn’t able to participate as much as I wanted,” Sullivan admits. “But I knew about the impact the Chamber has in our community. It’s not only the voice of business but the voice of small business as well – locally, in the state legislature and in Congress, too.” Danny appreciates the impact the Chamber has on our local economy as well. “The Chamber and its Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership are working hard to make the Lake Houston area the premier location to build, to relocate, to expand,” Danny says. “I see it first hand in the growth of my business and because now I have the time to participate in Chamber events and serve on the Chamber’s Executive Board.” How did Danny choose Lake Houston to grow his business? “Lake Houston actually chose me,” Sullivan said. “We are so blessed to live in such a tight knit, caring, giving and accepting community. We have the best schools, churches and local charities. Combined, they make this a wonderful place to work and live.” Growing a business and still finding time to be involved in church, in the community, raising two kids – it’s not easy. The key, Sullivan says, “…is balancing responsibility evenly throughout the Shop’s team, empowering them and building trust.” And sharing those responsibilities with his wife and partner of 27 years, Geralyn. “I’d known Geralyn since 1973. I decided to “pop the question” at our annual Customer Appreciate Party,” Danny recalls. “Five hundred people were packed into the shop when I got up on table and called for Geralyn to come on up. She got so excited she ran the opposite way but a friend got her turned around, she joined me on the table and said, yes, she’d marry me. That was the best decision I ever made.” Sullivan’s continues to grow with Lake Houston – providing collision repair services for all major insurance groups, providing estimates with no appointment in 20 16 | Lake Houston Business Matters

minutes or less, employing certified technicians and a national lifetime guarantee. Sullivan’s offers mechanical repair and maintenance, too, making it a one-stop body shop offering tires, wheel alignment, brakes, shocks, engine/transmission overhauls, to name just a few. Sullivan is particularly proud of being awarded so early in his career as #1 technician by Exxon. Sullivan said, “My friend Jim McIngvale, Mattress Mack, years ago told me, the secret to success is ‘…early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.’”


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Still Not Advertising on Social Media? Here’s Your Guide to Get Started BY RANDALL CHESNUTT PRESIDENT OF SPOKEN ABOUT


y now, you probably have an inkling of how important it is to advertise your business on social media. Most small business owners have trouble making these platforms convert, especially the notoriously complicated Facebook Advertising. Here's what you need to know. If you're not pushing your business on social media, then you must already have enough money... because that's what you're doing by ignoring this incredibly rich source of advertisement gold: leaving money on the table. And the grandaddy of all social media platforms for business advertising? Yes, still Facebook. Now that we're clear on that, here are the three ways to push your business Facebook, provided you've already made an account and have a few posts: 1. Boost Post Boosting a post is a simple means of clicking the "Boost Post" button on any one of your posts. You'll choose to boost either to your current fans or to a targeted audience. It costs money, of course. 2. Ad Manager Ad manager allows you more power than you have when merely "Boosting" a post. There are more options for targeting your audience, for pricing your ad, and for bidding. 3. The Power Editor If you really take to Facebook advertising and find that it's working for you, there's Power Editor to look forward to. This is for advanced users, and allows you to organize your ads differently. Set targets, create ad sets towards that end, and find more options for ad creation here. The Grand Master of All Skills: Targeting Congratulations. You now have a passing understanding of the 3 main ways to advertise on Facebook. Practice using them, and if you master them all, and you've won the Grand Slam of Facebook Advertising. But I've left one thing out. None of these methods will ever do you much good unless you've first mastered the art of 18 | Lake Houston Business Matters

customer targeting. That is, you can create all the wonderful ads you like, but unless the right people are seeing them, it's money (and time) down the drain. Plus, once you start dabbling in all this, you'll find out how fast your budget dwindles down to zero before you've even had a chance to get a good grasp of what even happened. Don't waste your money on the easily-preventable mistake of neglecting to do some target market analysis. What is Target Market Analysis?? Targeting involves using the incredible treasure trove of data Facebook collects from its users. There are a variety of factors used in skilled audience targeting, including: • demographics (age and location, to name a few) • users' likes and interests • users' connections Target market analysis involves taking a target market and finding out what makes them tick. The goal is to reach a target market of people who don't even realize they need your product or service, and work to change things so that they do. Failing to perform target market analysis before you launch any ad campaign may result in a giant waste of time and money. The steps you'll need to take include conducting market research, establishing who might possibly be interested in your business, and carefully choosing the markets you want to go after. Feeling Overwhelmed? Audience targeting is a lot to handle, and definitely material for a whole new article. Feeling overwhelmed? Most people do, at this point. That's why there's also the option of seeking out the help of a professional. Digital marketing agencies can make quick work out of all this, leaving you time to focus on what you do (and like) the best: you core business activities.


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Anita Cooper Owner and Chief Creative Officer of Kingwood Promotions


rowing up in a military family, Anita Cooper is accustomed to being on the move. From Texas to the Philippines and places in between like New Jersey, Minnesota and Florida, Cooper has called many zip codes home. But Texas has won her heart. Cooper returned to Texas in 2005. An outdoor enthusiast, Cooper says she loves the people in Texas and the proximity to the coast. “The Lake Houston Area has so much to offer in regards to shopping, restaurants, entertainment and outdoor activities, there really is no need to leave town. With Houston so close as well as the coastal areas, I’m so blessed to call it home. I also love the weather and enjoy southern living again,” Cooper said.

“The decision to get involved in your community should come from your heart, and it’s your heart the community needs.” Cooper started her small business in the Lake Houston Area in 2009. She says her passion is to work in an environment where she can make a difference in her own community. With no plans to relocate again, she is happily rooted in the Lake Houston community and is owner and Chief Creative Officer of Kingwood Promotions. What does Kingwood Promotions do? Well, one might say Cooper and her staff are helpers — in every way. “I help my customers get customers; by that I mean through the power of promotional products I can help them attract new customers and improve client relations. I also help them improve customer retention, increase repeat business, encourage and motivate staff, express appreciation and 20 | Lake Houston Business Matters

cultivate goodwill in the community,” Cooper said. “I enjoy being part of a team that can brainstorm and create ideas or events to help promote a cause or entity,” Cooper said. Well versed in helping others on the business front, Cooper is also no stranger to volunteerism and says it was her business that ignited her passion for giving back to the community. Currently, Cooper is a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber and oversees the Membership Committee. She is a Humble Citizens Police Academy Alumni and serves during the Good Oil Days, Christmas Parade, Police Association Crawfish Boil and volunteers monthly at Humble Municipal Court House for traffic court. Cooper also serves as an Ambassador for the Lake Houston Area Chamber where she volunteers for various events as well as for the Annual Total Resource Campaign. “Volunteering brings people together where you can make a difference and every person counts,” Cooper said. “A memorable moment for me happens each year when I volunteer at the Humble Thanksgiving Feast at the Civic Center. Helping the people of our community get meals when otherwise they would have none keeps me humble and thankful. My heart is full when I see how many people are fed and they are so appreciative.” Cooper’s passions lie beyond her business and volunteer work. “I am most passionate about roles that allow me to help people directly to realize their goals and potential growth in our community,” Cooper said.


Jim Carranza

Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Investments


im Carranza grew up in east Houston and attended the University of Houston. Over the past 34 years, Carranza has worked in a variety of positions in the financial industry including the last 12 years as a financial advisor. In 2012, he joined Edward Jones investments with an office in Kingwood. “Besides being involved with so many wonderful clients and helping them establish and achieve their financial goals, it has also allowed me to increase my involvement in the community in a bigger picture way,” Carranza said. Carranza’s first experience with volunteerism wasn’t completely voluntary. But what began as a little push to sign on as a volunteer back in 1990, quickly became an enthusiastic willingness for this Humble-area resident. Now, Carranza’s list of volunteer efforts is extensive and his excitement to help others is still building. Carranza’s volunteerism has mostly focused on youth programs and educational opportunities. “I am extremely excited to be a board member for the Humble ISD Education Foundation, an organization that can directly and positively impact so many of our youth,” Carranza said. “Prior to this, my most passionate volunteer role was with the youth soccer programs. It is very rewarding to be able to have such a positive impact on the youth in our area.”

"We all benefit when people contribute their time and efforts to helping others." Carranza and his wife Kimberly have three grown children, Christian, 27, Joshua 25 and Lindsey 19 who all developed a passion for soccer when they were young. Most of the Carranza family time went to supporting that passion, which

included being season ticket holders for the Houston Dynamo for ten years, being an avid soccer club coach and board member and of course, a cheering parent. In 2005, the Carranza family fell in love with the beauty of the Lake Houston Area and the relaxing lifestyle they observed while visiting Carranza’s brother. “Once here, we realized the quality of life goes much deeper than just the beauty of the trees. Our children experienced such positive instruction attending Humble ISD schools; they each graduated from different high schools in Humble ISD: Humble High School, Atascocita High School and Summer Creek High School,” Carranza said. Carranza’s initial volunteer moment was a step out of his comfort zone. Decades later, he did it again. Although this time it was more than a step — it was a dance. “I danced for the Lake Houston Area YMCA’s fundraiser Dancing with Lake Houston Stars, which has become my most memorable volunteer moment to date. It had been more than 30 years since I had done any kind of regular dancing. This was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone but all of the sweat, nerves and stress were worth it as we helped raise funds for YMCA programs,” Carranza said. Carranza has found satisfaction and passion in volunteering and encourages others to pick a cause and become involved. “Volunteering and making a positive difference in people’s lives is the most fulfilling thing a person can do. I encourage others to be the difference,” Carranza said. Fall 2016 | 21

Percy Kennedy Owner of Experimac


hen asked why one should become involved in his community, Percy Kennedy answered simply, “Why not?” With an answer like that, it’s easy to see why Kennedy has continuously donated time, funds and effort into his community. Kennedy said, “We help change the community when we are all involved and supporting each other. The results are just so rewarding when people come together to make a change. The need is great and everyone who is able should participate and start making a difference rather than waiting for a difference to be made.” Kennedy, who grew up in Beaumont, Texas, and earned his degree from Lamar University in Business Marketing, has fulfilled his dream of being a business owner. He owns Experimac, a company that buys, sells, repairs and trades Apple products. “[Experimac] has come a long way from being a familystarted company,” Kennedy said. Kennedy explained that the company began by buying and selling Apple products online solely in West Palm Beach but now has more than 50 stores throughout the U.S. with plans to open more than 100 new stores in 2016. Kennedy has lived in the Lake Houston Area since 1997. His son attended Atascosita High School and he said he enjoys the family-friendly community. Kennedy said he has a strong desire — a calling — to reach out to children of singleparent homes. Kennedy is also the founder of S.P.I.R.I.T. (Single Parents Igniting Relationships in Truth), an organization that provides tools and resources to parents to establish healthy single-parent relationships. “According to the 2010 Census, in the Humble, Kingwood and Atascosita area alone, more than

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11,000 children live in homes without fathers. From reading various information on single parenting and talking with other single families, I started S.P.I.R.I.T.,” Kennedy said. He also volunteers with Houston Money Week and Houston Literacy Programs, is an advisory board member for a prison outreach organization and is the founder of Cupcake for Champs, which feeds cupcakes to the homeless once a month. Kennedy says one of his most memorable volunteer experiences is when he helped with international mission work in Uganda, Kenya, Honduras, and Mexico. “On these trips, I learned that the things we take for granted here in the U.S., many other countries do not have. For example, shoes. A lot of the children have to walk great distances without shoes to go to school. On one of the mission trips, we provided shoes to children and they were so happy,” Kennedy said. When it comes to community involvement, near or far, often little things can make a large difference. “You can always have someone doing little things to change the community,” Kennedy said. “Everybody matters and you can achieve more change coming together with the community.”

Time for Fun When not working or donating his time, Kennedy enjoys golfing, traveling, attending professional sporting events, and being a member of WoodsEdge Church.

The Clubs at Kingwood

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