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September/October 2013

Mount Pleasant/ Titus County Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

Business Report

www.mtpleasanttx.com 1


From the CEO DRIVE LOCAL! Shop Titus County is happening during the month of September!! Are you ready to shop in Titus County? Help our policemen, fire department, retailers, restaurants, streets, hospital….it all helps when you shop in Titus County! This month, the focus is going to be on car dealerships. So make sure and shop for a new car from September 1-30. There are a couple of things that you do not want to miss…. First, put you SHOP TITUS COUNTY signs out in your yard. Show your support of your city and county! Second, go test drive a car at one of the Chamber member dealerships and get one entry in the drawing – Elliott Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep; Elliott Ford, Lincoln; Mount Pleasant Toyota; Sandlin Motors; Sisk Motors; Champion Auto Sales and Patriot Auto Mart. Third, have someone take a picture or video of your test drive and post it on the Shop Titus County Facebook page, and get extra entries! So, I am sure you are wondering what the prize is if your name gets drawn….$1,000 CASH! Yes that is right, you did read that correctly, $1,000 CASH! Remember…all the fun starts NOW! You will not want to miss a day of this month’s SHOP TITUS COUNTY! If you need more information, please call the Chamber, 903.572.8567 or visit www.facebook.com/ shoplocaltituscounty.

Mission: To build economic prosperity by engaging businesses and the community.

Vision: We will be "Everything Texas."

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Table of Contents From the CEO…...…………………………………………......………..………..….....…...2 About our Members…………….....……………………….....…………………..….…..….5 State of Education Address..................................................................................….....6 Hospitality & Customer Service Training ......................................................................7 Spotlight Member ….………………………......……………………………………..……...8 Ribbon Cutting....………..………………………………………………………….……..….8 Business Spotlight Table/Ribbon Cuttings…...…………………….........…………..…..10 Fright-Tober...................................……………………………………………..……..…..12 Deck the Halls/ Ribbon Cutting.....……..………………………………………….….......13 Economy/……………………….………….........………………………………..…..……..14 Calendar….……………………………………………………………………….………....15

Officers: Chairman: Martin Bell, Guaranty Bond Bank Chairman Elect: Shannon Norfleet, Titus Regional Medical Center Vice Chairman: Stephen Currey, Capps Insurance Treasurer: Brian Niblett, American National Bank Past Chairman: Jason Snodgrass, Stansell’s City Cleaners Directors: Beverly Austin, Northeast Texas Small Business Administration David Hooper, Echo Publishing Diana Kennedy, Century 21 Landmark Matt Klump, Expert Computing Brad Lowry, Pilgrim Bank Dennis Newman, Newman’s Electronics Colby Parker, Mount Pleasant Industrial Foundation Tommy Shumate, Sisk Motors Wes Welch, Welch Gas Richard Witherspoon, Herschel’s Restaurant Jey Yancey, Offenhauser Insurance 3


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Renewing Members Adkins United Finance Co., Inc.

Golden Gals Candy Co.

Ag-Power Inc.

Hiring Partners Inc.

Allen Scrap Metal

McGuire-Dyke CPA’s & Investment Group

Bates-Cooper-Sloan Funeral Home L.L.P.

Texas Helping Hands Inc.

Mount Pleasant ISD

Cardiology Consultants of East Texas , P.A.

North Ridge Church of Christ

Castletop Roofing & Construction

Pate Transportation Partners

Clinic Pharmacy Complete Business Systems Cypress Bank Document Solutions East Texas Orthopedics Elliot Chrysler Dodge Jeep

Tennison Memorial United Methodist Church

Titus County Cares Welch Gas, Inc.

Rapid Furniture & Appliance Revive Fitness Rychlik Auto Wrecker Service Simply Skin Sisk Motors Inc. Sweet Shop USA

New Members Dulock Productions

Clip Zone

Cecelia Hagey

Gordon Hall

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Titus County State of Education Address S T A T E

O F

EDUCATION The Titus County State of Education address will be held Sept. 18, 2013. Amy Hinton, Chamber Education Committee chairman said it’s an opportunity for the business and educational community to come together to address issues that affect our community as individuals and businesses. “We know that better educational entities create better communities where people want to live and work and do business,” she said. Dr. Lynn Dehart, Mount Pleasant ISD’s Superintendent, and Dr. Brad Johnson, Northeast Texas Community College’s President, will give the keynote addresses. They will be discussing the future of education in Titus County. “They will talk about education as a whole, legislative issues, education in Titus County and where we see it progressing,” said Hinton. The superintendents of the four school districts – Mount Pleasant, Chapel Hill, Harts Bluff and Winfield – as well as Dr. Brad Johnson, president of Northeast Texas Community College and Dr. Jason McCullough, deputy executive director of Region 8 Education Service Center, will take part in the event. Each will have the opportunity to offer a brief state of education report for their school or agency. The event will be held at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Hospitality & Customer Service Training Whatever happened to customer service? On October 15, Chamber members will get a chance to learn how to remedy the problem from a local expert with a proven customer service Midas touch. “This topic is my passion. I think if we were just nice to each other, customer service wouldn’t be a problem,” said Diana Hall, director of human resources at Northeast Texas Community College Hall implemented her customer service protocol at NTCC in 2010. Before she came here, she helped transform a dying credit union in the Houston area into to a thriving institution with $1.7 billion in assets. “The interesting part is that initially, the only thing they changed is the way they treated people,” Hall said. As local businesses began to see the improvements at the college, they asked Hall to show them how to do the same.

The upcoming October workshop, tailored for the retail and hospitality industry, will teach the golden rules of customer service:        

Greet you with a smile Use your name Be professional and genuine Give 100 percent of my attention Take responsibility for your experience Keep your business private/confidential Ask if there is anything I can do to help Say thank you!

“Word of mouth [about bad customer service] can be a business killer,’ Hall said. “Everybody leaves agreeing that this is what customer service is. We just forget it.” The workshop will be held at the Luminant Community Room from 7-9 a.m. 7


Member Spotlight Column: 359 Solutions When local businesses need IT expertise, they have a new option. Former colleagues Melody Pyland and Jeromy Cullen turned their longtime experience as Information Technology professionals into a new business venture in January when they joined forces to launch 359 Solutions, a growing technology solutions company. “The bulk of what we do is offer networking services to businesses. Our specialty is making sure everything is secure,” said Pyland. “We work with a lot of banks, doing managed security monitoring. We come in and evaluate their customer site, help them lock down and keep the bad guys out.” The company also offers online backups, managed firewalls, Web hosting, email services, independent IT auditing, and telecommunications consulting. Pyland said the company is hoping to move into servicing more insurance companies to help ensure that their IT infrastructure follows new legal guidelines. Based in Winnsboro, 359 Solutions has a customer base all over East Texas and nationally, reaching as far as Orlando, FL. The company recently opened a data center in Mount Pleasant. “We’re local. That’s the best part,” Pyland said. “If one of our customers has a problem [and loses their data], instead of waiting hours or days, we can write their data to a hard drive and take it to them immediately. That way, they can get back up and get operational right away.”

Ribbon Cutting La Carreta

601 North Jefferson Mount Pleasant, TX 75455 903.572.3036

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Ribbon Cutting

Apples for the Teacher 2001 W. Ferguson Mount Pleasant, TX 75455 903.717.8757

Business Spotlight Table Combining comfort with value, the Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Pleasant offers a full package of amenities specifically designed for work and relaxation. You’ll enjoy a complimentary hot, hearty breakfast and on-the-run breakfast bags, plus premium gourmet coffee and tea in the lobby, high speed wireless & wired internet, an indoor pool, fitness center, and complimentary access to Revive Fitness. You’re here to rest, right? Well, they've got you covered. Hampton Inn & Suites features 76 clean and comfortable guest rooms and suites with premium pillow top mattresses and plush comforters. And, of course, take care of business with a full business center and 1,500 square feet between two venues for business meetings and events. When you stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Pleasant, you’re staying with friends. 2504 West Ferguson Street Mount Pleasant, TX 903-572-7100

Website Facebook

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Fright-Tober 2013 Fright-Tober returns for its fourth year to bring fun – and tourists – to Mount Pleasant. “People seem to really love this event,” said Faustine Curry, Chamber President and CEO. “It’s fun and it adds to the community atmosphere.” The month-long event features several events each weekend in October including: Cemetery Tours at the Masonic Cemetery Fridays in October (Oct. 4, 11, 18, and 25) starting at 6:30 p.m. – The tours, hosted by The Titus County Historical Commission, feature reenactments of historical characters. The cemetery is located just east Edwards on 12th Street.  Hamilton Jewelers’ $5,000 Diamond Dash Oct. 12 – A scavenger hunt that takes participants all over Mount Pleasant in search of clues and texting their answers.  Outdoor movie Oct. 19.  Junior Achievement’s mystery theater dinner, formerly “Square on the Square,” Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets available at the Chamber.  Halloween Carnival, hosted by the City of Mount Pleasant and the Chamber Oct. 31 at the Civic Center. The carnival is free for kids and features trick-or-treating, game booths, and a haunted maze. 6-8 p.m. “The Chamber is here to bring new ideas and new life to the community and keep things fresh in Mount Pleasant and this was another way we could do that.” 

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Google University Today’s Web and mobile savvy business owners and educators are increasingly turning to Google to manage their offices and classrooms. Amy Mayer, a Google Certified Teacher and Trainer, will be in Mount Pleasant Sept. 20 to show local businesses how to make Google Apps work for them. Mayer works for Huntsville ISD and moonlights teaching other school districts and businesses the ins and outs of Google’s suite of tools. With Google Docs, Calendars, Site, Chrome, Search and Drive, Mayer says you can run your entire office on Google. Google’s tools are free through G-mail, and an upgrade to Google for Business can be very cost effective. Google Drive securely stores your important information on Google’s remote servGoogle University ers in what’s known as “the cloud.” Google Calendars has some cool Cost: $25 at door $20 pre-register

advantages over Microsoft Outlook. “With Outlook, the people you are communicating with would need to be inside your domain. With Google Calendars there are sharing settings that allow you to publish your calendars outside of your domain, out to the public if you want or embed them in Web pages.” Google Site allows small businesses to easily create and host their own Websites, while Google Docs allows a group of people to work on a single document live so everybody can see everybody else’s changes. Even if businesses aren’t in the market for what Google can offer, Mayer’s workshop will give them some fresh ideas and new techniques on how to communicate online. “Everyone is online, so you want to have different ways to communicate with your clients wherever they are,” she said.

Ribbon Cutting Townhomes of Delwood Park P.O. Box 2048 Mount Pleasant, TX 75456 903.577.1151

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Friday, September 20 7-9 am and 11 am - 1 pm Luminant Community Room


The Mount Pleasant Economy Unemployment Rate May 2013

April 2013

May 2012

Texas

6.5%

6.1%

6.8%

Titus County

7.2%

6.7%

6.8%

Sales tax (April 2013)

Mount Pleasant

Net Payment

Comparable

This period

Prior year

372,394.47

359,582.31

% Change

3.56%

2013

2012

To Date

To Date

2,432,304.64

2,275,854.96

% Change

6.87%

Be Social with The Chamber Times have changed! Decades ago when people where starting their own businesses and wanted to communicate, they likely sent a telegram or picked up a telephone receiver and asked an operator to dial an alpha numeric code—”Murray Hill 2977” - over a crackly line. That is, if they weren’t dispatching a manservant to hand-deliver a handwritten note on parchment sealed wax. These days, the Chamber of Commerce has marshaled all forms of communicati9ons technology to connect members to one another and to share important messages that resonate with them. Using the magical platform of social media, the Chamber has watched its collective voice go viral. The result is an incredibly powerful and collaborative discourse, an interactive and democratic exchange of ide3as and best practices that exponentially enhances our impact. Be sure to check us out on www.mtpleasanttx.com. Note that we are regularly uploading news and content the web about important developments that affect issues you are facing every day.

www.mtpleasanttx.com

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Chamber Happenings

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Mount Pleasant/ Titus County Chamber of Commerce 1604 N Jefferson Ave Mount Pleasant, TX 75455 www.mtpleasanttx.com info@mtpleasanttx.com (p) 903.572.8567 (f) 903.572.0613

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Mount Pleasant Business Report