Page 1

CINCO DE MAYO on the square


EVERYTHING TEXAS shootout and golf open


Mount Pleasant





775 East 16th st Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455 P: (903) 572-2500 F: (903) 577-7184 1

Mount Pleasant

8 7


10 Grow Local 4 Partners6 Mount Pleasant Rodeo7 Everything Texas Golf8


Everything Texas Heartbeat10 Total Resource Campaign Wrapup12 Member Spotlight15 Relay for Life 16 Cinco de Mayo On the Square 18 Your Phone is a Powerful Tool 19 Dawg Fest Rally 20



The Mount-Pleasant Titus County Chamber & Visitor’s Council will put the spotlight on farming and ranching with its third annual Grow Local campaign in June.

The Everything Texas Fresh Farmer’s Market kicks things off Thursday June 4th. It will be held every Thursday The month-long focus, which is part of the Shop Titus from 5-7 p.m. at the Chamber County initiative, includes a farmer’s market, mini gardening and parking lot at 1604 North Jeffarming classes. ferson Avenue. The market “This region is largely supported by agriculture and the Chamber has many agribusinesses that are a vital part of the business community,” said Chamber CEO Faustine Curry. “Grow Local is a way to showcase those business and to help promote agriculture in Titus County.” Rene McCracken, who chairs the Chamber’s Agricul- will ture Committee, said the committee’s overall goal with the Grow continue Local campaign is to increase agriculture literacy through educa- weekly tional events throughout the month. through the “Each is designed to increase profitability, promote end of June. environmental stewardship and strengthen our community’s McCracken agriculture industry,” she said. With that goal in mind, the com- said the farmer’s marmittee planned an exciting lineup of activities throughout the ket is a great option for month. consumers who love

quality, locally grown food and produce to shop from a variety of vendors offering food, produce, honey, salsa and other homemade and handmade items. Farmer’s market vendors must pre-register at the Chamber office to set up a booth. The market will also feature live entertainment and mini classes taught by McCracken that will help consumers hone their farming and gardening skills. During the 15-minute long “Farming in a Minute” classes, McCracken will demonstrate a dif-

ferent farming tip each week “to bring out your inner farmer and help you grow local.” The classes will be held during the market. McCracken said “she hopes the Grow Local month will inspire a “renewed awareness and appreciation for the value of the local agriculture industry.” For more information on Grow Local, contact the Chamber at 903.572.8567 or

Taking To the next level New Partners 3rd Street Nutrition Amercia's Car Mart Backroad Bar and Grill Caamal Moving Service Center Church Citizen National Bank Coffee Break & More Cutting Edge Lawn & Landscape Denney Land Surveying, LLC Discount Tire Glyns Western Wear & Boot Repair Heidi Carter Hein, Nikki, Agent at Redfearn Real Estate

Jo's Downtown L & J Pet Products Lee, Terri, Agent for Century 21 Landmark Associates Northeast Texas Internal Medicine Northeast Texas Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery Priefert Steel Sales Respiratory Plus Robert C. Sikes, DDS Rocking H Stump Grinding & Lawn Care The Farmers Wife The Lodge Assisted Living/Memory Care

The Loop East Texas The Mount Pleasant Dentist The Rafics Design & Print Shop Timber Creek Ranch Titus GOP Titus County Shelter Friends Todd Jaggers - Texas Farm Bureau Victory Designs Promotional Products Whataburger Zippity Doo Dah Designs

Renewing February 1, 2015 - March 1, 2015 Advantage Copy Systems Al Riddle Arby's Beane's Hallmark Blalock Bar-B-Que Bob & Delores Walker Brown's Glass & Mirror Buddy Marshall Insurance Agency, Inc. Dennis Cameron Construction & Equipment, LLC East Texas Broadcasting Edward Jones- David Patterson Gary's Gun & Pawn Shop Guaranty Bank & Trust Heart to Heart Hospice Herschel's Restaurant Highland Park Baptist Church Homeboy Sportswear Kasseighs Kathryn C Heintz DVM La Quinta Inn & Suites Lowe's McGuire-Dyke CPAs Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic Mount Pleasant Habitat for Humanity


Mount Pleasant Recycling & Scrap Inc. Newly Weds Foods, Inc. Noodle Grill Northeast Texas Bikers Church Northeast Texas Pump Services Priefert Logistics, LP R & R Marine R. K. Hall Construction, LTD R/C Rentals & Sales, LLC Rustic C Boutique Texas Country Farm Supply The Ark Ministries Titus County Cares Titus Regional Medical Center Tri Special Utility District Mill's Flower Shop The 80 Acres YGM, LLC National Wild Turkey Federation BTS Motors, LLC dba PAACO Electron Security Systems Thompson Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. East Texas Children's Dentistry, P. A. Cannaday Business Services Lesher & Associates

Vaughan's Catfish Restaurant Lori Chism Attorney at Law Travis McInroe Insurance The Coffee Man Alamo Mission Museum Allen Scrap Metal American National Bank Chuck Barkow Hansen's Collision Specialist Heav'nly Foods Jordan Health Services - Pediatrics Just A $1.00 McCollum's Cleaners & Laundry Medical&Surgical Dermatology Center of NE Texas, P. A. Mill's Flower Shop Morrison Supply Company Outlaw's Bar-B-Que Servpro of Paris Shae Ochoa DDS, MS Titus County Fresh Water Supply District Welch Gas, Inc.

Mount Pleasant Rodeo Ready to Kick Up the Dirt at 51st Outing May 26-30, 2015 The Mount Pleasant Rodeo Association will build on its reputation of providing top notch rodeo action and quality familyfriendly entertainment when its annual rodeo kicks off in late May. With last year being the rodeo’s 50th anniversary, the MPRA is looking forward to continuing its heritage with even more rodeo events throughout the week. “This year, we are excited about started the rodeo with a Team Roping event on Tuesday night (May 26),” said MPRA President Jason Snodgrass. “It’s an event where local cowboys come in. It was new last year and we had a great turnout even though we had some light rain that night.” The structure of the rodeo’s Slack competition has also changed. Slack is part of the rodeo competition for overflow contestants who don’t get entered into the main performance schedules on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, which are limited to 10 contestants per event. “We are having our entire Slack on Wednesday night,” Snodgrass said. “We previously haven’t started Slack until about 10 p.m. and sometimes we go until 3 o’clock in the morning. This will give those participants the opportunity to be in our Slack and then make another competition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. That really encourages a lot of cowboys to come participate in our rodeo.” With the structure changes, some other rodeo events have been dropped, including the stock parade through town and

the Releasing of the Broncs. “We carried that through the 50th year, but we are retiring that event to put more focus into the rodeo,” Snodgrass said. He said the MPRA continues to be recognized among the top rodeos in the state. The local association earned the 2014 United Finals Rodeo "CINCH 2" Top Money Payout with more $66,000 in total payout. The MPRA has also been named the United Professional Rodeo Association’s Committee of the Year for the past three years. The 2015 rodeo will still include the Kids Day event on Thursday morning. The special event is a free invitation for kids from elementary schools in the area to experience what rodeo is all about. “About 1,800 kids came out last year. We invite kids to come out and get a taste of rodeo. We have some local teachers, who are cowgirls, roping steers and we put on demonstrations. That’s always been a big success,” Snodgrass said. The Kids Day event will include rodeo favorite Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, who will also perform all three nights during the main performances May 28-30. Each night has a special theme: Thursday is Family Night. Friday is Heritage Night and Saturday is Veterans Night. For more information on the rodeo, visit the MPRA Website at or Facebook page at



The 2nd Annual Everything Texas Shootout and Golf Open tees off June 27 at the Country Club of Mount Pleasant. Organizers hope to capitalize on the success of last year’s event, which despite a rainout of the Friday night lineup, ended up working out better than originally planned. “We were able to move all the Friday night events to Saturday night. Having it all on one day worked out beautifully, so we’re keeping it a oneday tournament this year,” said Golf Tournament Committee Chair Brad Lowry. The main event is a 4-person scramble golf tournament with two flights of teams teeing off at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The scramble tournament can host up to 40 teams. Lunch will be served at noon. Raffle tickets will be sold during the day for prizes that will be drawn from 5-6 p.m. and then the evening contests and family activities begin at 6 p.m. A putting contest will be held at 6 p.m. The scramble tournament players are automatically entered in the contest,

which offers a cash prize. At 7 p.m., Lowry said “the real fun begins” with a Shootout tournament held on Holes 10 and 18 near the Clubhouse. “When you think of golf, you think of quiet; no talking, no clapping. With the shootout format, it’s just the opposite. It’s rowdy. There are lights and a live DJ on stage playing music over the loud speakers” Lowry said. Golfers pair up with teams of two with a maximum of 30 teams. One player hits a shot and wherever that shot lands – good or bad – the other player has to hit his shot from that spot. Then, the first player takes the third shot from wherever his team mate’s ball ends up. After all the teams have played the first hole, the five teams with the worst scores are eliminated. Another five are eliminated after playing the second hole. “We do this over and over until we get down to the final team standing,” Lowry said. “The incentive is a pretty good cash prize and everybody likes to play for cash.” He said it’s a great networking opportunity for chamber members in a setting other than a boardroom or banquet. “We can play some golf, have fun and reward good golf with good prizes and good money,” he said. For more information or to play in the tournament, contact the Chamber at 903.572.8567 or


Chuck Barkow embodies what a Chamber volunteer is all about. He isn’t the head of a committee or an event organizer or juggling multiple projects. He’s humble and low key and willing to do the stuff that’s not in the limelight. He delivers the magazines, maps, brochures and calendars of events to Chamber-member hotels, working quietly behind the scenes each month to help the Chamber get the word out about local events. “It’s not a big thing, but It’s helpful,” Barkow said. “It’s certainly not rocket science. It’s just going out there and helping the businesses better serve their customers. That’s what I’m trying to do.” What is big is his heart for his part in doing Chamber work. “When you volunteer for the Chamber, you’re helping the local businesses improve what they can offer to their customers. It’s a nickel and dime thing, but the nickels and dimes are important.” Barkow has also taken on the role of Chamber Ambassador and will make attending ribbon cuttings and other Chamber functions part of his official Chamber duties. “I got the blue blazer and the white shirt and tie and the Khaki pants,” he said. “I’ve actually been going to the ribbon cuttings since I joined the Chamber. I thought, ‘Well I’m a member, so I’m going to go.’” Barkow, a retired IT consultant, isn’t a Mount Pleasant native, but he’s embraced his adopted home since moving here with his late wife, Jill, in 1999. She passed away in 2014 after a long battle with cancer. “My wife and I retired from Wisconsin and moved here because she had a lot of family in Texas,” he said. Barkow first joined the Chamber in 2010 and served on various committees, including the Marketing and Business Ser-


vices committees. “I’m not doing those things now. I’m still trying to figure out this widower thing,” he said. He and his wife were married 27 years and shared a passion for traveling and visiting wineries and micro-breweries, so he’s making time to continue those trips as well as soaking in as much knowledge as he can by taking classes at Northeast Texas Community College. “For some reason, I find the older I get, the more I like going back to school,” he said. “I used to hate history. Now, I read it all the time. What has happened to me?” He is also a member of the Leadership Mount Pleasant Class of 2015. “Even though I’m retired, I can always learn something new. It’s been quite enjoyable,” he said. He said one of the highlights of the leadership class has been the panel discussion with local business leaders. “I found that to be incredibly informative because we were talking to real business people about real issues they are having in trying to hire qualified employees,” he said. “They discussed from a leadership perspective what is deficient in the process of educating students to get them to the point of being productive.” Volunteerism for Barkow is an important part of his life. “I think for me, at this time in my life, I want something that is meaningful to me that is going to fill my time, but also not be a time burden for me,” he said. He plans to explore the Texas Wine Trails and other tourist treasures that are touted in the Chamber materials he distributes. “That’s something Jill and I were going to do, but we didn’t get a chance to do,” he said. “We always loved hanging out with other people who enjoyed that.” For more information on Chamber volunteer opportunities, visit


Delivers Third Year Success The Chamber celebrated another successful Total Resource Campaign, wrapping up the TRC in early March and surpassing its goal for the third year. With a goal set at $145,000, TRC Chair and Chamber Board Chair-elect Rob Hedges says the teams left the initial meeting fearing they’d set the bar too high. But, the support from the business community during the campaign quickly put those fears to rest. The TRC not only met the goal, but pushed past it significantly, raising more than $164,000 to fund Chamber programs for the year. “We had a great group of team captains and volunteers that helped push us over our goal,” Hedges said. “What is exciting about the success of the TRC is the fact that our members want to invest in the Chamber and the community and that they trust the Chamber to make quality decisions with those investments.” Hedges said with the success of the TRC, the Chamber will be able to build on the success of several events from 2014 that drew tourists into the Mount Pleasant-Titus County area. “We are looking forward to expanding last year’s events and introducing new events,” he said. As the TRC Chair, Hedges’ job was to motivate and inspire the teams and provide direction. Taking on that challenge was an easy one, he said. “We set our initial goal and challenged the teams with weekly goals, but we had seasoned and very motivated team captains in place. We leaned heavily on them to motivate. They took the lead and put together teams that were AWESOME. They are the reason this campaign was such a success,” Hedges said. The 2015 TRC generated 480 sponsorships for the year and 46 new members for a total of 166 new members since its first campaign in 2013. The Chamber now has 440 members. “The campaign has been hugely successful for the Chamber,” said Chamber CEO Faustine Curry said. “Before we


started doing the TRC, we raised about $25,000 a year in sponsorships with 20 businesses investing in Chamber programs.” The concept of the TRC is three-fold. “The major part is to get all of the sponsorships for the entire year. It is also a membership recruitment program and a volunteer recruitment tool to get people involved with the Chamber and get them excited about what’s happening,” she said. “It’s a huge thing for the Chamber and a huge thing for community support.” The TRC model benefits not only the Chamber, but the local business community as well by allowing each entity to more efficiently plan ahead for the coming year. “It helps businesses with their marketing budgets and helps them plan their calendar for the year because they know ahead of time what is coming up and what to be prepared for,” Curry said. The team captains were McCall Dyke of McGuire-Dyke Investments, Jey Yancy of Offenhauser Insurance, Kristy Crooks with Guaranty Bank & Trust and Troy Sellers of Luminant. The winning team was Troy Sellers’ “Everything Texas Winning Team.” Sellers’ team members included Martin Bell of Guaranty Bond Bank, Sheri Cobb of Cypress Basin Hospice, Kim Crabb of Diamond C Trailer Manufacturing, Stephen Currey of Capps Insurance, Tricia Foster of Luminant, Kris Groda of North Jefferson Church of Christ, Chamber Ambassador Bill Price and Richard Witherspoon of Herschel’s Family Restaurant. The top individual producers were Kim Crabb, Tricia Foster and Jey Yancey. Hedges said it was amazing to watch the power and ability of the teams who came together to make a worthy cause successful. “Because of these volunteers’ willingness and hard work, the Chamber will be able to put more resources to work for our local business community,” he said.



Member Spotlight

NEW LOCATION! Titus Medical Plaza 2015 Mulberry St., Suite 250


Relay For Life Teams Fighting for a Cure For so many people, Relay For Life is personal. hour daytime event. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on They are survivors and caregivers, family members and friends Saturday, May 16 and has been moved to Caldwell Park on Van of someone touched by cancer. Running that lap is something Buren Avenue in downtown Mount Pleasant. they do as a badge of honor, a celebration of victory or to re“So many people had a hard time doing the all night member someone who lost the fight. They will join forces at Re- event,” Haynes said. “Changing it to a daytime event will encourlay For Life on May 16 in downtown age more families and businesses to get inMount Pleasant. volved.” As of April 24, there were 22 teams Niki Haynes, a 25-year-old registered and nearly $17,000 raised for the Mount Pleasant native and employee at “Changing it to a daytime event will American Cancer Society in Titus County. encourage more families and busiDiamond C Trailer Manufacturing will The teams begin fundraising in Janbe among them. Haynes lost her granduary and on the day of the relay, each team nesses to get involved.” mother to cancer and watched her sets up what is called a “campsite” where grandfather beat the disease for the they have games or activities and sell items third time this past winter. to continue raising funds during the event. Haynes is the Team’s Chair for Relay For Life of Titus While the event is a somber reminder of the lives lost to cancer, County and is also supporting her former high school teacher, it is also a celebration of the survivors who have beaten the odds Lela Elliott, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. She is and a community joining together to help find a cure. in remission and is taking on the team captain role for Mount “I was really close to my grandmother growing up. She Pleasant High School this year. “She is such a sweet lady and was kind of my best friend,” Haynes said. “It’s so hard when you just to hear that she had cancer broke my heart,” Haynes said. get that phone call. Our hope is that one of these days when you “It’s been awesome to see her involved with Relay For Life bedo get that call, it won’t necessarily be a death sentence and it’s cause it’s so personal to her.” something you can live with and that we have the resources to Titus County and Morris County, which have previously help you battle it and get through it.” combined efforts, are having separate Relay For Life events this For more information on Relay For Life of Titus County, year. The Titus County event has also been changed to a 12go to



Mount Pleasant is in for a treat as a new Cinco de Mayo community. festival makes its debut this year. “Everyone has said how much this event is needed in The 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo on the Square will be our community and it could not have been possible without the held Saturday, May 2 on the downtown square from 2 p.m. until sponsors and the business community being so willing to help,” midnight. It is hosted by ALAS of Texas. Proceeds from the event Smith said. will benefit Northeast Texas Community The event will include live College scholarships. bands, a talent show, and a Miss Cinco ALAS, which stands for Amide Mayo pageant for high school seniors. “It’s a day filled with fun gos Latinos Al Servicio is a volunteer There will also be a pageant for girls agorganization of Latino professionals in es 4-6, a 5K run and a soccer tournaactivities to bring families Mount Pleasant with a vision to The soccer tournament will start at out and unite as a community for ment. “empower, promote, advocate for, and 8 a.m. at Mount Pleasant High School assist the growing Hispanic communiwith the championship game held at Sam a great cause,” ty,” according to the organization’s FaParker Field. The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. cebook page. at Caldwell Park and will be managed by ALAS President Ester Smith says the purpose of the event is Run Time Racing Services of Dallas. twofold. “We want to accomplish two things: to celebrate diversity A Kids Corner will feature bounce houses, temporary and to raise funds to benefit our community through this scholar- tattoos and a clown making balloon animals. ship foundation,” she said. “At the same time, it’s a great way to There will also be vendor booths with handcrafts and traditional do a Cinco de Mayo celebration. We wanted to do something on Mexican food items as well as promotional booths from the event a larger scale to bring it to the whole city, not just the Hispanic sponsors. community.” “It’s a day filled with fun activities to bring families out Smith said the group has been blessed by the coopera- and unite as a community for a great cause,” Smith said. tion of the City of Mount Pleasant in helping to organize the new For more information visit event. They have also had great response from the business


The Phone Is Your Most Powerful Tool The Internet connects everyone on this planet instantaneously. Social-media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn are being used multiple times a day to catch up on the latest news, find out what your friends are doing, get attention and to market yourself. Yet there exists one device more powerful than all of that when it comes to making and closing sales -- the phone. The phone is more powerful than all of these other technological developments. This is because at some point in everyone’s career they will use the phone to reach the right person, close a sale, follow-up with a customer or to handle a customer inquiry. The phone is money, and everyone has one. There are almost as many cell-phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on the planet. In the U.S. alone, there are just under one trillion phone calls per year! The phone is a powerful business weapon, whether it’s for making contacts with customers or making cold calls to get new customers. The phone is necessary and integral to your success. Yet, for a number of reasons, most people are terrible at using it. Salesforce suggests that 92 percent of all customers use the phone before making a purchase and 85 percent claim to be dissatisfied with the interaction. But, like me, you may have been made to believe that you couldn’t sell your products over the phone. Of course that isn't true. Being in front of someone is the most effective way, but it’s very expensive and can cost as much as 8x more than a call and almost impossible to scale out because of the time it takes. Calls are immediate and powerful if you can get the right person on the phone and know how to use that time effectively. More than 46 percent of adults have only cell phones and no longer use a home or office phone, according to Pew Research. Combine that with how more than 50 percent of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile devices and it’s clear that the future of connecting with people directly is over the phone, especially in the business world. At the age of 26 I was shown how to use the telephone to effectively qualify leads, reduce time spent pitching new prospects, determine decision makers and how to keep my pipeline

full with appointments. After getting just the introduction to proper phone use my income immediately doubled; I went from making $3,500 per month to more than $8,000. Here are three simple, yet important tips on how to handle phone calls properly and help you increase your business immediately. 1. Words Matter. One wrong word on the phone can blow your chance at making a sale. You can no longer say things like, “I hope I’m not bothering you taking time talking about…”. 2. Time is a Killer . You cannot spend time with small talk and chat with prospects. That’s the old-school mentality -- you must get in and get out. You may only have two minutes to get an appointment, find out who the decision-maker is and find out their needs. Use your time effectively. 3. Remember Voice Inflection and Tone. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. There are ways to say things so that a customer never forgets you and your pitch -- they are called hooks and tone control. No matter what you do for a living, at some point in your career you will rely on a phone to either introduce yourself or get an appointment. Other than your commitment and attitude about success, the telephone itself will be one of the single most important tools you use in building your brand, your company, and your revenues. For more information on technology in business, contact the Chamber at 903.572.8567 or



Organizers of the 2015 Dawg Fest Rally are expecting Martin said the number of people attending the rally another record crowd as the motorcycle rally honoring the and bikes registered has more than doubled each year the rally memory of Robert “Dawg” Arellano takes shape. has been held in Mount Pleasant. The 4th annual festival will be held June 55--6 at the “We had 520 bikes and about 2,000 people in 2013 and Mount Pleasant Civic Center to carry on the legacy of Arellano, a it seems to be increasing 60 to 70 percent each year,” he said. longtime Titus County Investigator The rally includes biker games, a bike, and avid biker who was fatally car and truck show, karaoke, live coninjured in a motorcycle accident in certs, vendor booths, food booths, a 2010. The event’s website banner beer garden, raffles and auctions, “This is not just an event for bikers. games for kids and adults, a “Show includes the words, “In Memory of Dawg. His spirit rides with us.” Your Tattoo” event and the “Miss It’s fun for everyone,” Proceeds from the event Dawg Fest” pageant. will benefit CASA and provide “The contestants are all men. That’s $1,000 scholarships for Criminal what makes it so funny,” Martin said. Justice students through the Rob“The guys dress up in their best ert Arellano Foundation. (women’s) dress and go around and play toward the audience. “Robert worked on a lot of child abuse and neglect cas- Whoever collects the most funds wins Miss Dawg Fest.” es, so we chose to benefit CASA this year because it was right There is a $5 gate fee for the public. Registration for the up his alley in what he was about. He was a huge child advobike, car and truck show is $10. The fee to enter the rally is $25 cate,” said organizer Jeff Martin. for a single registration and $45 per couple. Pre Pre--registration ends The foundation created its scholarship program to enMay 30. courage young people to pursue a career in law enforcement. “This is not just an event for bikers. It’s fun for everyArellano worked for the Titus County Sheriff’s Department and one,” Martin said. was in law enforcement for 35 years. “Those two beneficiaries For more information, visit are very important to us as a way to honor Robert,” Martin said.







RAGE S A LE M a y H 8 MAP O 9 | 7 AM 9 F A L LCG T H oAs $E5 St WILL BE | 7 A A V A I L A RtA G M A o L E b L e O CoAn BLE AT THE CH TIO N Sap Registe A M B Em R r b TO PAR y May 6 TICIP 1604 NOATE YOU CAN PIC RT





on Social Media

Mount Pleasant Business Report  

May/June 2015

Mount Pleasant Business Report  

May/June 2015