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May 2014

Women in Business

This summer your child can rekindle the fire and “Discover

Treasures in Learning”

with KnILE summer camps, 4-day learning adventures for grades K-5 with the option of mornings, afternoons, or full day from 9-3. On “A Pirate’s Adventure” from June 9-12, 2014, brave buccaneers will build focus, improve memory, and strengthen critical thinking...while exploring science, art, math and reading. Knights and princesses can gather for “A Royal Adventure” from July 7—10, 2014.

Stop the MADNESS.

STOP THE STRESS! by Sarah Warburton


hat happened to that bright-eyed youngster who headed off eagerly to Kindergarten? Now your sulky child complains of headaches and stomachaches and doesn’t want to get out of bed. Brace stress can get worse every year. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and think about a different approach to education. “We follow your child’s needs instead of asking them to ‘get with the program,’” says Betsy de Vega, Learning Specialist and founder of KnILE Center. “At KnILE Prep Academy, students are challenged, not bored, and not overwhelmed. Our customized, technology-enhanced curriculum and cozy, supportive atmosphere helps kids relax, make better grades and score higher on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT...without the stress!” “No child should feel like they can’t succeed or are just ‘no good’ at school,” says Betsy. “We offer an afterschool boost through EduCoachNow. These one-on-one, after-school educational training sessions help children strengthen learning skills. After an initial evaluation at our 2 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

main campus, we’ll coach children to correct the root of the problem...instead of treating the symptom. Call to reserve your spot for summer and bring your child for brain training at either of our campuses, our Sugar Land location or our new Missouri City satellite located inside the Athletic and Performing Arts Center on 7746 Highway 6. Help your child build confidence and beat stress!” “At KnILE, we’re passionate about stress-free education,” says Betsy. “We love to see children get excited about learning through EduCoachNow, our summer camps, and KnILE Prep Academy (now accepting enrollment for the 2014-15 school year). Our call to adventure is: Educate, Empower, Succeed!” Betsy de Vega 281-761-6610 KnILE Center, LLC • EduCoachNow • KnILE Prep Academy 245 Gonyo Lane, Richmond, TX 77469

The Johnson Family: Dana, Jason, Dorian, Avery, Mason & baby Lucas

Listen to Me I

by Sarah Warburton

magine wanting to say “Hello” or “I’m hungry” or “Can you help me”...and not being understood. How long would it take before you just started to scream in frustration? Local Speech Therapist Dana Johnson says, “Whether your one-year-old uses signs to get a juice box or your ten-year-old has the comprehension and vocabulary of a Kindergartner, what we say and how we say it is at the root of our connection with the world. Jason and I founded Speech Therapy Unlimited to empower people of all ages. We were thrilled when a recent survey revealed that 94% of our clients from doctors’ offices, schools , and agencies would recommend our services... and we’ll keep striving for perfection!” “Each May, Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) gives us another opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders. Your child may have a speech, language, or hearing disorder if you see the following signs. If your child: Doesn’t smile or interact with others (birth–3 months); Doesn’t babble (4–7 months); Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7–12 months); Says few words (12–18 months); Doesn’t understand what others say (7 months–2 years); Doesn’t put words together (18 months–2 years); Has unclear speech (2–3 years); Struggles to say sounds or words (2½–3 years).” Identify the signs of a communication disorder early...because therapy makes a difference! Jason adds, “A child who ‘sounds’ fine but has the vocabulary and comprehension of a much younger child also needs speech therapy to improve communication. We don’t just deal with oral communication and articulation issues...we also work on comprehension, processing, planning, inferring, as well as all of the rest of the executive functions of the brain.” A child who isn’t understood may throw a tantrum, and an

adult who isn’t understood may feel isolated, depressed, and frustrated. Dana says, “Stroke can cause aphasia, a language disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. Often, a person can still think, but can’t find or assemble the right words to communicate. Speech therapy can help you regain the ability to express yourself and have others understand you, especially when intensive therapy begins soon after the stroke. In fact, although speech therapy has proved invaluable to me as the mother of four kids, listening to an adult first got me interested in the field.” “When I was seven years old, my great grandmother had a laryngectomy. When she came back from the hospital, I was floored by how different she sounded. That’s the moment I started paying attention to how people speak. My mom was a teacher, and her emphasis on grammar meant I never lost that interest in speech. Once I entered an undergraduate program, I investigated speech therapy programs and the rest is history! For my husband Jason and I, speech therapy is the only thing we can imagine doing... we love it!” Speech Therapy Unlimited, PLLC most major insurance accepted No Headaches, No Unreasonable Terms, Just Great Speech Therapists! 281-746-3053 12808 West Airport Blvd. Ste 332 Sugar Land, TX 77498

 To advertise, 281-235-0600 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 3

A Once in a Lifetime Doctor


f all the awards, titles, and honors bestowed on board-certified Vascular Surgeon, Dr. Ulises Baltazar, which ones are his favorite? When patients like Martha Ballard says, “He’s one of the most conscientious and caring doctors I’ve ever met in my life...and I’m seventy-four-years-old!” “I had a blocked vein in my calf that pooched out. It itched and made my legs hurt and get tired. I was self-conscious about my veins, but afraid to have anything done. Dr. Baltazar took away all the fear. He never rushes you and he’s so patient and gentle. He wants to make sure you’re very comfortable. I had the major procedure done at an outpatient surgery center and he took care of several different issues. Now I have no pain whatsoever and my legs look so much better.” “I had a twisty, ropey vein along the back of my ankle. I hated the sight of it. I had asked other doctors about it, but no one wanted to touch it. Dr. Baltazar took a look and said, ‘I’ll take care of that for you,’ and I’m here to tell you it’s gone... with no sign that it was ever there. I was

so amazed, but Dr. Baltazar told me, ‘Veins are my speciality...this is what I do.’ He’s a true expert and does such delicate work.” “My varicose veins were mom had them, my daughter does and even my twentyfour-year-old granddaughter has a bad one in her leg. She’s in the Air Force and has had three kids (my great-grandchildren!). As soon as school’s out we’re going to get her down here to see Dr. Baltazar. I know he’ll take good care of her. We’re lucky to have such an asset right here in Sugar Land.” “My husband and I are a package deal...we pretty much go everywhere together as a team. When Dr. Baltazar heard we’d just celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary, he asked if we had pictures from when we first got married. I thought he was just being polite, but before our next appointment we got a reminder call. He and Sonia took their time going over that album with us. We talked about Dr. Baltazar’s wife and daughters. He’s really the most caring doctor I’ve ever known!” After all this, it’s no surprise to learn Dr. Baltazar has won “Patient’s Choice” and “Most Supportive Physician,” and he’s beloved by all the patients he’s helped. He says, “My professional passion is your veins. Providing excellent care to each and every patient is my personal pleasure!”

Ulises Baltazar MD, RVT, FACS now affiliated with the renowned Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates 281-240-8400 16605 Southwest Freeway Ste 505 (in the Methodist Professional Building 3)

Body News

My Real Story

I’m actually tempted to wear a bikini this summer!

Doing It for Yourself!


’ve had three kids,” says local mom Katherine, “all by c-section, and I always struggled with my weight. About ten years ago I was fed up. I had a midline incision from the C-sections, a pooch, and a muffin top. I started exercising six days a week, watching what I ate, and working with Alfred Zeno of A-Z Fitness. I did hundreds of sit-ups, but my stomach didn’t shrink.” “When my Ob-gyn told me that all the weight loss in the world wouldn’t change my shape, I looked into getting a tummy tuck. My husband was not enthusiastic. He said, “We’ve been married for twentyfive years and you’ve never heard me complain about your stomach!” I told him, “This is something I’m doing for myself!” One day I saw Dr. Ahmadi in UpClose Magazine...and everything fell into place.” “I watched the video on the Avante Plastic Surgery website, poured over the before and after pictures, and even found some additional pictures and stories online. In 2012 I had my consultation. Then it took me until 2014 to become emotionally ready. When I called Avante Plastic Surgery to schedule my procedure, I was so excited!. Dr. Ahmadi personally put my husband at ease and answered all his questions. We both had absolute confidence that we had chosen the



best. I work in the medical field, so I came prepared with the required EKG and clearance from a cardiac doctor. He had heard good things about Dr. Ahmadi, too. Dr. Ahmadi was precise, careful, and always put my health first! He’s an amazing doctor...and a true artist!” “I lost a complete dress size just from the surgery and my shape has changed from a boxy apple to all curves. I never thought I’d have a pair of pants where the waist was too loose, but I’ve had to go out and buy myself some belts! Dr. Ahmadi’s Lipotuck™ actually sculpts your body like nothing else. I’m a research girl and no other “before and after” pictures from any other doctor looked like his did...and now I’m an “after” too! He’s a miracle worker!” Dr. Ahmadi of Avante Plastic Surgery is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to provide all aspects of cosmetic surgery. His Lipotuck™ combines the benefits of a tummy tuck and liposuction for a result that’s superior to either alone. This completely-customized procedure removes excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen, smoothes bulges, and creates a naturally curvy figure. “My youngest child is nineteen and I’m almost forty-seven,” says Katherine, “and I’m actually tempted to wear a bikini this summer! If you knew how amazing it would feel to wake up every morning excited about the way you look, you’d call Dr. Ahmadi today. This is the best gift I ever gave myself...I just wish I’d done it ten years ago! I’m over the moon with my results!”

Avante Plastic Surgery ~ 281-265-2639 (BODY) 1112 Soldiers Field Dr., Sugar Land, TX 77479

www.265BODY .com www.LIPOTUCK .com

On The Cover Fort Bend’s Successful Women in Business

Meet the UpCloseMagazine team!

UpComin: g Feature

Business Editor Sarah Warburton

Account Executives Sara Adams Kelly Ditta Melissa and James Ives Eric Purtee




Evaluation and treatment for different lung diseases Pre-operative evaluation • Sleep Evaluation Disability evaluation • Occupational health evaluation • Minimally Invasive Procedures • In-house Labs • Bronchial Thermoplasty

J. Georges Youssef, M.D. Call 713-781-4600 for an Appointment

most insurance accepted Same day appointments are available. Two locations to serve you! Main Location: 1429 Hwy. 6 South Sugar Land, Texas 77478

Editor Gina Pizzini

Layout and Design Night Sky Creative

Refreshing of

Publisher Gina Pizzini

Second Location: 7777 Southwest Fwy, Suite 860 Houston, Texas 77074

ur idate for o ? d n a c a w o s issue Do you kn in Busines n e M l fu ause s Succes gazine bec a M e s lo C Contact Up y behind every tor e there is a s ile, and we would lik m s business & rs... you to help tell

ILED DIRECT MA ES OM 150,000 H aga UpCloseM 600 281.235.0

Writers Amy Sharp Sarah Warburton Photography Lisa Carothers J. Thomas “Jay” Ford Eric Purtee UpClose Magazine is published monthly and direct mailed to 150,000 homes. For information on having your business featured in UpClose, call Gina Pizzini at 281.235.0600.

A portion of the editorial content contained in this publication is controlled and contracted by the advertisers contained herein and is part of their

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advertisement. UpClose Magazine is not responsible for content of these editorials or advertisements. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

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281-416-9353 6 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

To read an issue online:

Confident Beauty with Dr. Nina Desai


ersonal and professional success starts with self-confidence and loving the way you look. Founder and CEO of the Sugar Land medical spa—Renew Laser & Skin, Dr. Nina Desai says, “My driving philosophy behind Renew Laser & Skin has been to unite my years of medical training with my passion for aesthetics. We offer a full range of treatments in a comfortable, intimate environment. I’m always a doctor first, whether I’m doing injections like

options. When I decided on truSculpt™, I knew for myself that it was the most gentle, yet effective, technology for non-surgical fat reduction and body sculpting/contouring. Research suggests results are seen between four and twelve weeks, but some of my clients are seeing results as early as 2.5 weeks...and every week brings more success!” “The most rewarding part of this profession is building trusting relationships with clients and seeing the huge smiles

on their faces when they love their results. Just the other week I did a peel for a woman preparing for a television appearance. She was so nervous that the peel wouldn’t ‘finish’ before her deadline…but on the big day her skin looked fabulous. She couldn’t thank us enough. Come in and talk with me about your goals and together we’ll make a plan to help you look and feel amazing!” All consultations are complimentary.


Invest in the most valuable asset...yourself. Our Services


Dr. Nina Desai Botox, laser hair removal, or truSculpt™. When my patients call me “Dr. Nina” and trust me to answer their questions or send me ‘thank you’ texts, emails or cards after a procedure, it makes every day worthwhile!” Laser Hair Removal is still ranked as the single most popular cosmetic procedure, but not all lasers are created equal. Dr. Desai says, “I was careful to choose a laser than could treat a full spectrum of skin types. Not every machine works well on darker skin tones, but ours does. It’s important to consider exactly what treatment you’re receiving, so you know what to expect. That’s why I’m passionate about education, really getting to know my clients, and taking an active role in administering treatments. At Renew, I offer competitive pricing….and superior service.” Do you feel self-conscious about your stubborn belly fat, your saddlebags, or that little pooch under your chin or on the back of your arms? Consider a contouring truSculpt treatment. Dr. Desai says, “My clients have been asking for an effective, non-invasive way to lose inches, especially that stubborn fat that just won’t go away with diet and exercise. So I took the time to do the research, examine the clinical trials, and thoroughly evaluate all

Skin Care

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FREE CONSULTATIONS 832.491.2852 • Sugar Land Town Square 2171 Texas Drive • Sugar Land, Texas 77479

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 7

F CUS A Choke Hold A Day Keeps the Doctor Away


’m a big believer in practicing what I preach,” says Dr. Lance Campbell, Pharm. D., R.Ph. “Just like many of my patients, I divide my time between a full-time job and a wonderful family, and I also make time for exercise. The easiest way to live an active life is to find an activity you love...the way I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and soccer.” “Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and soccer have helped me build strength and coordination, burn off fat, and have a blast! I am blessed to be able to train under one of the best instructors in the world, Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes, at Gracie Barra Texas in the Clear Lake area. “Draculino” has made many world champions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and one of those champions is my friend Pablo Silva. He is a World Champion in the Black Belt Division, and he recently opened his own school in the Texas Medical Center area. Pablo Silva has created a school that is open to all ages and athletic abilities. His goal is to teach his students to be healthy and to gain confidence through the art of Jiu Jitsu. I enjoy the competitive aspect of this sport, but you don’t have to be a warrior to love Jiu Jitsu. I brought everyone on my staff at Campbell’s Compounding to the Pablo Silva BJJ Academy for a workout...because it’s really perfect for all ages and activity levels. You could enjoy weight-loss and stressrelief, while learning self-defense and fighting skills. I can’t overstate the importance of exercise to a healthy, wellrounded my first recommendation is to find a workout you love!” Once you find the right workout, give your body the support it needs with Campbell’s

Compounding Pharmacy. Dr. Campbell says, “Making healthy choices today can prevent problems later. From nutritional support to pain medication, we help you choose the solutions you need. At our pharmacy you’ll find vitamins in forms you may not have considered...that are easier for your body to absorb! If a tough workout leaves you with some aches and pains, we can compound creams with muscle relaxants, pain relief, or anti-inflammatories in the perfect combination. These pain relieving creams don’t cause drowsiness or affect your mental you can stay alert and active all day!” “I don’t care if my patients walk, run, play soccer, or do Jiu Jitsu as long as they are active. If Jiu Jitsu is something you’ve been thinking of trying, consider the places where I train and take my family. With “Draculino” in Clear Lake or with Pablo Silva in Houston, you are guaranteed to find the best training around!” For more information on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, visit www. (Draculino) and (Pablo Silva BJJ)

Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy 281-980-2555 “If our staff can’t make it… then you probably don’t need it!” 4760 Sweetwater Blvd. Suite 103

8 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

Next Stop...St. Michael’s!

A Trip to St. Michael’s Saves the Day

Sarah Warburton


hen the President of a thriving local business dedicated to the creation and implementation of sustainable landscape designs, GreenScapes & Associates, Regina Morales and her husband Mayor Vincent M. Morales Jr. of Rosenberg met Dr. Shannon Orsak of St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms at an event, she had no idea what lay in store. She says, “Some time later, I got sick on a Saturday...when I had a flight scheduled early the next Monday morning! A girlfriend of mine had gone to St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms over a weekend. She told me that’s where I needed to go, and promised they’d take good care of me. When I woke up Sunday morning feeling even worse with sinus pain and a sore throat...I took that friend’s advice and went straight to St. Michael’s!” “The experience at St. Michael’s ER was unlike any experience I’ve had at any other Emergency Room I have visited in the past. There were no huge uncomfortable rooms, no discomfort or isolation, and absolutely no waiting in line for hours. In fact, at St. Michael’s I didn’t wait at all! They took me straight to the exam room and started treatment. The doctors and staff were so prompt and professional...and best of all, I felt like they really cared about me. I told them I was scheduled to take a whole group of folks on a business trip the very next morning, and the on-site Emergency Physician administered the appropriate treatment on the spot! I received excellent medical care and also felt well-cared for by everyone there. When you’re sick, nothing’s pleasant...but I have to say that my trip to St. Michael’s actually was!” Why wouldn’t you choose an emergency room where your needs and comfort come first? Co-founded by Dr. Shannon Orsak and his brother Brian, St. Michael’s offers a luxurious waiting room, designated pediatric treatment rooms, an on-site radiology department and lab, board-certified physicians and dedicated nurses. St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms is the first and only freestanding ER in Fort Bend and the surrounding Houston area. St. Michael’s ER is in-network with AETNA and also accepts more than 200 insurance plans, including Cigna, Blue Cross, United, and Humana. You’ll pay the same ER price for concierge service at St. Michael’s as you would pay at a standard ER... and often even less! St. Michael’s offers everything you need from an ER–– physicians trained in emergency medicine, X-ray, Ultrasound and CT, and an on-site diagnostic lab––without the wait! “We designed St. Michael’s to deliver the superior care we’d want for our own families,” says Dr. Orsak. “When you or your family has an emergency, remember that St. Michael’s is always here for you!”

Currently not participating with Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare at this time.

St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms 16062 SW Freeway (at Hwy 6) Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-980-HELP

9000 Westheimer Houston, TX 77063 713-343-0911

26226 I 45 N. Spring, TX 77386 281-419-2911

Making Miracles by Sarah Warburton

Husband and wife team,

Paul and Jonee Barnett of Miracle Method Surface Refinishing have earned the “Super Service Award” on Angie’s List six years running for making miracle after miracle in homes around Fort Bend. Jonee says, “We take pride in knowing the Miracle Method transforms kitchen or bathroom in just a few days… without the time, stress, or expense of remodeling.” Getting ready to put your home on the market? Realtors love the way Miracle Method makes an older kitchen or bathroom look brand-new. Jonee says, “Switching up a big surface like a countertop or changing the look of your tub and shower, tile flooring, or backsplash makes a big impact. Miracle Method transforms tile, cultured marble, Corian®, Formica®, Wilsonart® and other laminate countertops.… without ripping them out. Our work comes with a fiveyear warranty to protect your investment...and that warranty is transferrable to your homebuyers!” “We see it time and again,” says Jonee. “One of our clients put a house up for sale just as it was and it sat there for six months. Then they got a new realtor who insisted the house needed some updates. We came in, redid the kitchen and the bathroom...and the house sold in two and a half weeks. Not only that, but they’d raised the list price, so even with the cost of redoing the kitchen and bathroom... they came out ahead! True story.” Maybe you’ve just moved into a new home that’s totally perfect...except for the kitchen or bathroom. Miracle Method can work its magic before you’re even unpacked. Jonee says, “We show up ontime and ready to work. Even a big job with a couple of bathrooms and a kitchen takes less than a week. Paul and I live with Miracle Method in our home, so we really know the product inside and out. Call us for your free estimate, give us just a few days and we’ll give you a kitchen or bathroom that looks like new!”

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing ~ 281-240-2284 603 Murphy Road (by appointment only), Stafford, TX

10 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

Mental Health is Her Passion “I by Amy Sharp want to change the semantics of mental health,” says Teresa Reading, RN. “People are not the sum of their illnesses. If we look beyond the labels... with the proper help we see who a person truly is and what they can be!” Teresa works together with her husband, neuropsychiatrist Dr. William H. Reading, in a beautiful office on the Southwest Freeway. Teresa remembers choosing the location: “I grew up in Victoria, TX. Whenever I drove through Sugar Land, the energy of this community was palpable. My husband and I knew it was this was place where our professional goals would flourish...and our kids could attend and enjoy the excellent schools!” Twenty years after settling here, Teresa and Dr. Reading have a thriving practice that concentrates on all aspects of psychiatric care, recovery of addictive diseases and NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). “I have an interest in how the brain relates to our everyday function,” says Teresa, “so I’m excited to be a part of this cutting-edge technology. NeuroStar TMS is the only FDAapproved non-drug, non-invasive treatment for major depression. The electromagnet used in TMS creates electric currents that stimulate

nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control and depression to improve your outlook...from the inside out!” When you come into this office, you are treated like family. Teresa says, “We want everyone to feel welcome, respected and understood. Our office isn’t’s homey, relaxing and inviting and we always ensure privacy! You can look for us and ‘like’ us on Facebook! Everyone on our team–– including two of our four sons, Brian and Andre, along with the lovely Sanam and Kitzel––is committed to communication, caring, empathy and professionalism. I am so proud of all of them!” Currently serving as Board Chair for Mental Health of Fort Bend County, Teresa has been a champion for mental health issue in our community. Her resume includes the Texana Champion of Health Award and the Mental Health America Bell Ringer recipient. She was the 2004 recipient of the Fort Bend Woman of the Year for Community Service. She serves on the board of the Fort Bend Symphony and was most recently named one of Houston’s Most Influential Women of 2013 by Houston Women’s Magazine.

Teresa Reading, RN William H. Reading, MD 281-494-4471 12603 Southwest Freeway, Suite 510 Stafford, Texas 77477

SURVIVING the Season of Change


or many of us, summer is a time for families, freedom from school, and positive emotions. However, summer can be a time when mental health concerns need to be addressed more than ever,” says Local Psychiatrist Dr. Diana Collins. “The unstructured nature of the summer may be problematic for children prescribed ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder Hyperactivity Disorder) medication during the school year, who may take a break off the medication in the summer (as determined by

your doctor). Some children may struggle with irritability and even anxiety when no longer taking their ADHD medications.” “Depression, anxiety, and self- medicating with drugs or alcohol by Tweens and college students may occur in summer due to loneliness and boredom. Keep consistent structure by involving young people in summer activities like a sport, job, internship, or volunteer activity. This is an excellent opportunity to develop their skills, strengths and character.” “During the summer, adults may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), characterized by weight loss, decreased appetite, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. Other mental health conditions like addictions, anxiety disorders, or mania seen in bipolar disorder may occur in spring and summer. Always seek help from a mental health professional when interventions don’t improve the mental symptoms that interfere with your everyday life and relationships.” Dr. Diana Collins earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in 1992, finished her resi-

dency in General Psychiatry in 1995, and completed an additional two year Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1997. She’s been in practice since 1997 and has had her own office in Sugar Land since 1999 and is conveniently located. She is on the Mental Health America of Fort Bend Advisory Board and a Fort Bend Medical Society Member. She says, “In addition to my training in Adult psychiatry, I chose to pursue additional training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry.” I’ve seen firsthand how unaddressed anxiety and depression in childhood can affect an entire lifetime. I offer the help you and your family need to thrive in every season! Diana Collins, M.D. Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology 281-240-7477 One Sugar Creek Center Blvd. Ste. 955 Sugar Land, TX 77478 Fax: 281-240-7508 Answering Service: 713-513-7584

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 11

Why I Use the Professionals...


hen Crystal They come in a company car GIVE YOUR MOTHER WHAT SHE REALLY Zurovec with ‘Professional Maids’ right WANTS FOR MOTHERS DAY... got fed up on the side. Sometimes I’m at with juggling work home and other times I go to and cleaning, she says, my husband’s office, but the “I Googled ‘maid maids always clean thoroughly services’ in my area without getting in my way and and Professional Maid lock up when they’re Service came up. I done. I’ve been very had them out once or happy with the level of twice, but I didn’t realcleaning they do each ize how nice it was to and every time... A CLEAN HOUSE WITH NO WORK! have a house cleaned and last time they regularly on schedule. even washed When I tried a deep clean from another service, the few dishes I’d left in I truly understood what a great job Professional the sink!” Maids does...every time!” “When I had a team from After that “deep clean” by a different comProfessional Maids that I pany left Crystal’s cultured marble countertops thought did an exceptional scratched, she called Professional Maids again. job, I called to rave about She says, “I’ve never had a moment’s worry them. Since then, they’ve with Professional Maids, so I asked them to scheduled the same team come the second Friday of every month. They for me...I love how recepalways call the day before to confirm and they tive they are to feedback! show up like clockwork once a month. I use This company really cares autopay, so I don’t have to do a thing! Getting about their customers!” a regular cleaning from Professional Maids is like getting a fresh start every month.” Professional Maid Service “I’ve never seen any cleaning company 281-342-6500 as professional as the Professional Maides.

Who’s a



aisy knows the answer to this question...thanks to Lone Star Pet Lodges! It’s hard to believe that the polite dog trotting next to me on her leash used to do aerial flips and tackle pedestrians. Now walking the kids to school with Daisy is a pleasure! If I stop to talk to another mom, Daisy sits without even being asked. She also sits and waits to be allowed in or out of the house. No more jumping on the table during mealtimes, no more knocking over guests...but that’s just the beginning! After only two months of training, she’s a happier, more confident dog. Walter Darr of Lone Star Pet Lodges told me during her initial assessment that despite her “crazy and wild” behavior, she had a bit of a self-confidence problem. Now I can see how proud she is of all she’s learned. When we do a training session at home, it tires her out and helps her burn off some she doesn’t get into trouble. She’s too busy remembering her lessons to chew on chair legs or Legos.

12 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

Cleaning to the


Max’s Cleaning Tip: Max McCammond, owner of Professional Maid Service, says, “When you give someone the gift of regular cleanings, what you’re really giving them is time to relax... perfect for a new neighbor, a sick friend, or mom! Write a little note explaining what you’ve done and tie it to a bottle of organic cleaner (or bubble bath). Call us to schedule a Mother’s Day treat she’ll really love...and leave the cleaning to the professionals!”

We’re thrilled that she’s a successful graduate of “Basic Obedience and Manners”...but Daisy isn’t going to rest on her laurels. She already begun work on crowd-pleasers including “roll over” and “shake.” Walter says, “Daisy’s also going to take the American Kennel Club ‘Good Canine Citizen’ test and Sarah and her family will sign the pledge to be responsible owners. Well-trained dogs are ambassadors to the community. Through my work with the Sugar Land Animal Service’s Adoption program, I’ve seen how behavior problems can make it hard for a dog to keep its ‘forever home,’ but proper training is the answer. We pride ourselves on unleashing the ‘good dog’ inside every ‘sweet dog.’” Walter and Lara Darr founded Lone Star Pet Lodges to offer Day Care, Lodging, Grooming, and Transportation services for cats, small mammals, small reptiles, and well as dogs! Walter says, “In addition to our ‘Stay and Play’ boarding, we do also offer a ‘Lodge and Learn’ option. Take your summer vacation and come back to a dog who’s had a jump-start on training. Whether they’re lodging, learning, playing or being groomed, we treat each pet like a star!” I can’t tell you how grateful we are to Walter and everyone at Lone Star Pet Lodges. They turned the dog we love into a dog we love living with! Lone Star Pet Lodges Quality Lodging, Day Care, Training and Grooming 281-403-7700 Missouri City, TX 77459

It’s Hard To Stop A Trane

Why is an

Air Conditioner

P Amy Sharp

Like a

erformance is everything! Brian Jackson, of Jackson Air and Heat says, “Imagine you had a car that had an on/off switch for the throttle. You touch the gas pedal and it tears away at full speed. Let up on the gas, and the engine turns off and coasts to a slow stop. During acceleration at 100%, the motor consumes more fuel and the speed of the car fluctuates too much. Total waste of money and fuel, right? But this is basically how a single stage (single speed) A/C system works. It’s either on or off, and nothing in between. This constant on / off cycling of cold or heat in a home creates swings in the indoor temp that could be controlled much more precisely, be quieter and consume less energy.” After years of developing and testing, Trane has introduced the variable speed XV20i air conditioner with TruComfort ™ Technology. So what’s so innovative about the TRANE TruComfort ™ line of systems? Brian says, “TruComfort ™ sys-


tems deliver precise comfort by running at the exact speed necessary to keep your home comfortable. By lowering output capacity and operating speed to only what is needed, the system runs quieter and consumes less energy. Quietest A/C on the market, most efficient...and great at removing humidity! Now is the perfect time to upgrade your old system, and save money in the process! Brian says, “Summer heat in Fort Bend County is brutal! It’s time to make sure your home is prepared. We are making it easier with 0% financing or up to $2000 in instant rebates. Plus with a cutting-edge TruComfort ™ system you will be spending less every time it turns on. It’s really a win-win situation!” Jackson Air is the oldest Trane Comfort Specialist in Sugar Land. Over more than 30 years they have built a reputation for service and they stand behind their work. More than eighty percent of their new customers are referrals from friends and family of existing customers. They are EPA and NATE certified and are endorsed

by They are recipients of the Angie’s List “Super Service” award and the BBB Award of Excellence for the last four years. Celebrate and embrace summer by enjoying America’s pastime. Brian says, “We are offering free Sugar Land Skeeters baseball tickets with every system purchased (while supplies last). And at the game, stop by the customer service booth for your free hand fan to keep you cool during the game. Give us a call today to have a worry-free, comfortable, moneysaving summer…and a night out at the ballpark!” Jackson Air and Heat, Inc. Sugar Land’s Oldest Independent Trane Dealer 281-240-1037

 To advertise, 281-235-0600 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 13

Beauty Indulgence

Come indulge and pamper yourself with the greatest spa experience of a lifetime. Your stay will be tranquil and relaxing. Escape and find peace within your body, mind, and spirit.

day spa & salon

-Wom an and st ’s Haircut -Sign yle $65.00 a and M ture Pedicu re anicur e $55. 00

All fo

r $100


- 1 Hour Elemental Nature Massage $85.00 ur - 1 ho Elemental Nature Facial $100.00

All for $165.00

Mother’s Day

Your Mom will feel as loved as she makes you fe el!

Gift tes r Ce tifica able ! il va


Mention This Ad and get a FREE Aveda Product Sample


4715 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land, TX

14 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

The Most Magical Place for Little Teeth

specially trained for children’s unique oral health needs. Their professional education includes two to three years of specialized study after becoming a dentist, where child psychology, growth and development, and special health care needs for children are emphasized. It’s okay, parents...we can keep all this “good-for-you” stuff just between us. Let them think Dr. Sanchez is all about the fun! Dr. Sanchez’s own kids, baby Gemma Belle and big brother, Diego, keep her on the run at home, and she enjoys every minute that she is at work. Dr. Sanchez says, “I love that I can provide this service without it being scary for kids or parents. And please remember that we love all kids at Little People’s Dentistry––girls and boys, busy kids, shy ones, those with developmental delays, language barriers, or any challenges––all little people are welcome here!”

by Amy Sharp


o you dread taking the kids to the dentist? Maybe you’re a new mom, and you just haven’t scheduled that first appointment...because you just know it will not go well. Fear no more. Today’s pediatric dental offices have more in common with modern playlands than an old-fashioned doctor’s office! Local pediatric dentist, Dr. Bianca Sanchez at Little People’s Dentistry says, “From the frozen custard signs to the movie posters, hopscotch, and California theme...I drew on favorite moments from my own childhood to create a welcoming practice, with the very best in services. It’s so much easier to treat happy kids! My patients think of going to the dentist as a treat! It’s a place where they sing songs, play video games and learn to brush along with their favorite cartoon character. We clean those little teeth with tools like Mr. Whistle, Mr. Bumpy, and Mr. Thirsty. For added fun, our patients can enter our coloring contest for a chance to win our monthly prize, a $25 Toys R Us gift card or the big annual prize, a Kindle Fire!” While fun and ease are obvious reasons for choosing a pediatric dentist, it’s a medically sound choice as well. Pediatric dentists are

Little People’s Dentistry “Because Kidz Are People, Too.” ~ 281-261-0020 4706 Riverstone Blvd., Suite 200 (behind Kohl’s in Riverstone)


Alden Springs in Riverstone • Well Priced from the $400’s • Designer Collection Homes on Texas Size Lots • Lots Average 65’ x 150’ • Prestigious FBISD Schools • 17 Acre Water Park PLUS Many Luxurious Amenities • Heavily Wooded Area • Sugar Land Addresses

Exclusive Builder on Texas Size Lots in Riverstone Due to Builder’s continual efforts to improve its plans and design, we reserve the right to change features, specifications and prices without notice. 4/14

Come Visit Our Gorgeous Models! Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Sunday 12-6pm 5626 Granite Falls Lane 713.340.0371

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 15

The of the Company Sarah Warburton


t Alan’s Plumbing, the plumber who walks through your door could be master plumber Alan Burkhalter, his brother Chris, his sons Beau, Luke, or Jake (when he’s home from Howard Payne University), or fellow team members Zach and Kyle...but the cheerful voice who answers the phone belongs to Alan’s wife Jennifer. She’s there to talk you through your panic, get you scheduled, and leave you smiling. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Alan and Jennifer’s sons Beau, Luke, and Jake what mom’s really like behind the scenes of Alan’s Plumbing. “Our mom is awesome in my eyes,” says Beau. “Without her our company wouldn’t be the success it is today. If I had to do what she does and coordinate so many calls and all our schedules, I’d rip my hair out. I don’t know how she does it...and she’s always cheerful. She’s a real inspiration and she makes everyone else smile, too. She’s a fantastic, caring mom.” Luke says, “Honestly, she’s got one of the hardest jobs in the company. When you think about it, we’re each only responsible for our own van and our own schedule. She’s handling everybody’s schedule and she has to know where everybody’s van is. When you have a family business, it’s not like you never have a disagreement...but it always

blows over by the next day. The truth is: family isn’t going anywhere. Mom’s always been there for us.” Jake adds, “She’s just the best mom! She’s always caring for us and taking care of work. Even since I went off to college she’s still doing things for me or looking out for me and handling the business too. Customers are amazed by how much she knows about leaking pipes and plumbing issues and I’m amazed at the way she’s always in a great matter how much is going on. She loves life and it shows!” Master Plumber, Alan Burkhalter says, “The kids and I know that Jennifer is the heartbeat of our business. She’s special to us and to our customers every day of the year!” From us at Alan’s Plumbing, Happy Mother’s Day to all you special moms out there in our community...we love seeing you each and every day on our calls. You make Fort Bend a brighter place! Alan’s Plumbing

281-261-1064 License M-18995


Whether Dr. Lomonte’s patients are coming or going, they’re always smiling!


Time to F


or years, Patty Werner had been putting off getting the smile she really wanted. She says, “Finally I was referred to Dr. Lomonte by a friend at work who had nothing but good things to say. The truth is, I was having problems with some work a previous dentist had done for me years ago...and it was causing new problems for me, too. Dr. Lomonte put my fears to rest and made me feel good about my smile again.” Just as Patty learned, improper dental work, an incorrect bite, a missing tooth, or even a toothsupported bridge can actually cause even more problems! Luckily, she’d come to the right place. She says, “Dr. Lomonte is a real craftsman and I trust him completely. He had to redo some of my previous dental work and correct other issues, but he was so understanding. He just laid everything out there and we worked together at the pace I needed to get the results I wanted. Overall, he did extensive work for me, but I always felt like he thought of me as a personal friend, not just a patient.” “One of the nicest parts is walking into an office where literally everyone knows your name. Lynn, Lori, and Linda, his staff, are so good. In fact, I’ve brought my two sons––ages 6 and 10––to the office for regular cleanings and Lori makes them feel completely comfortable. She does a great job with kids! I also have to say that I’ve never been to a dental office where people say ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’ to everyone there as they’re leaving. Whether Dr. Lomonte’s patients are coming or going, they’re always smiling!” Don’t put off getting the smile you deserve. Come to the dental office that’s friendly, relaxed, and really puts you and your family first. Dr. Lomonte says, “Whether you need a cleaning, extensive work like implants, or a solution for discolored teeth or snoring, I have solutions to work with your needs, your budget, and your timeframe. We hope you’ll come in as a patient...we expect you’ll leave as a friend!”

Come in as a patient and leave as a friend!

Thomas M. Lomonte, D.D.S.

“Come in as a patient, leave as a friend.” 12122 Murphy Rd., Stafford, TX 77477 (281) 530-1440

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 17

The Sweetest Moments in Life


ife-long friends Thuy Pham and Tuyet Duong are busy moms (Thuy has kids ages seventeen, fourteen, and one and Tuyet has an eight and a six-year-old)...and they know the sweetest moments in life are the ones we spend together. They’re celebrating over two years as co-owners of Sugar Land’s Nothing Bundt Cakes and business is sweet! Thuy says, “I love it when our guests come back and tell us how much they enjoy our cakes. It never gets old!” Tuyet adds, “I love the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss. As bakery owners, we make people happy every day!” Julia Child said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” Thuy says, “At Nothing Bundt Cakes, we believe that a meeting with cake can become a party! A good cake improves attendance and moral...and jumpstarts inspiration!” These delectable bundt cakes have been spotted all over town...from PTO meetings to Professional Networking breakfast to events for the Fort Bend Education Foundation, The Women’s Center, and local schools and organizations. The bundt cakes are available frosted with their signature butter and cream cheese frosting, seasonal decorations, custom corporate designs, and for any occasion you can imagine!

R e m e m b e r, Te a c h e r Appreciation Week is the second week in May! Thank that special teacher, coach, or someone who makes you smile with a ready-to-go 8” or 10” bundt cake, an individual-sized “bundtlet” or a beautifully-wrapped bundtlet tower. A box of their bite sized “bundtinis” will brighten up a nurses’ station or teacher’s lounge. These bundt cakes are made from quality ingredients so they’re always moist and delicious...Perfect for Mother’s Day! When life gives you lemons, a lemon bundt cake brings back the sun! Tuyet says, “We also offer a selection of special gifts and samples of cake. Everyone has a different favorite flavor––Cinnamon Swirl, Red Velvet, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Lemon. Maybe your new favorite will be May’s featured flavor...Strawberries and Cream!” They say, “Sending a cake is like sharing a smile! We deliver and you can order over the phone, in the store, or online. We’ll turn any occasion into a special one!” Nothing Bundt Cakes Sugar Land 281-491-2253 1531 Highway 6, Ste 125 Sugar Land, TX 77478


Get a medium one topping pizza for $1, with purchase of any large at regular price Offer Valid for Dine In, Carry Out or Delivery. One coupon per person. Offer not good with any other special offers. Expires 05-31-2014

Order online, call in, or drop by one of our local stores at your convenience. We are always glad to hear from you at Pepperoni’s. First Colony (281) 265-5555 Sienna (281) 778-7888

Greatwood (281) 545-3333 Pecan Grove (281) 239-6565

18 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

Fulshear (281) 533-0000 Riverstone (281) 261-6665

Katy (281) 394-5565 Rosenberg (832) 595-0550

The Family Law Firm that Cares about Family

Sarah Warburton


eed a law firm with top rated attorneys and local expertise? At Bastine and Associates, Ronique Bastine Robinson and Valerie Waddell have over thirty-five years of experience. They can guide you through the “ins and outs” of divorce, custody, child support, paternity, premarital agreements, juvenile defense, wills and trusts. Ronique says, “Fort Bend has been home to our firm for nearly 15 years and you can still find us in our same Stafford location. We’ve built a strong reputation as highly qualified and caring family law lawyers, and we will handle your legal needs with compassion and zeal.” Family law issues impact a significant portion of our neighbors and friends and they need a firm they can trust. Ronique says, “Specializing in family law gives us an opportunity to see both the simple and complex family matters. We can walk you through any situation making sure you’re properly educated and protected. When you need a juvenile defense attorney for an issue with potential consequences ranging from fines to detention time, Valerie has over fourteen years of experience defending the rights of her clients right here in Fort Bend. She’ll treat you and your child with empathy and respect.” The laws are always changing...but thankfully, Bastine and Associates are there to keep you informed. You may have seen Ronique on Fox 26 News discussing legal matters ranging from Texas millionaires and their pre-nups to

the proper use of corporal punishment. Look for the summer release of her book, Divorce Doesn’t Have to Mean Devastation, about handling your divorce without allowing it to devastate all the other aspects of your life. For more information on the book, media appearance, and updates on changing laws, visit the Bastine and Associates website and Facebook pages and follow Bastine and Associates on Twitter. “As one of only a few lawyers certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law in our area,” says Ronique, “I believe in expertly and tenaciously representing my clients. When you come to us for family law, wills and trusts, or juvenile defense, our mission will always be to provide you with clearheaded legal services with excellence and efficiency.”

Bastine and Associates “The family law firm that cares about family” 281-240-7979 12603 SW Freeway, Ste 571 Stafford, TX 77477

by Karen Shaw

or pastors, introducing the moral teachings of Christ to their fellow inmates. In Texas, the Seminary is at Darrington Penitentiary in Rosharon. The first class will graduate in May 2015, sending out Field Ministers to the other 100 Texas prisons (140,000 men). The next prison seminary will be for Women. We experienced this prison transformation with a life-changing visit last April. David and I spent 3 days and 2 nights on the grounds of Angola, Louisiana Penitentiary where a Seminary started 19 years ago. What used to be the bloodiest prison in the U.S. has had a 73% reduction in violence. Our approach is to open the hearts of churches and organizations with Book Drives to stock the shelves of the Seminary and Field Ministers’ libraries. In our first effort at SL First United Methodist and Merry Ministries everyone was generous. April 10th we delivered 3,771 books to Darrington.

Changing Prisons, Changing Lives


orrific is the best way to describe prisons. A Texas inmate said, “Everything criminal that happens in the Free World goes on inside, on steroids. You have to stay bad to survive.” Rampant with gangs, drugs, violence, prisons today train criminals & recruit terrorists. So, when my husband David and I learned about a dramatic alternative, that can change

prisons into communities of safety, forgiveness, brotherhood and hope, we became passionately involved in raising awareness and funds for this unique prison ministry for the masses of prisoners. Simply, this new approach puts a privately-funded, four-year accredited Seminary inside a maximum security prison, teaching long-term prisoners to become counselors

Sincerely, Karen Shaw To donate books or for more information contact us at

 To advertise, 281-235-0600 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 19

A Fiesta of


Flavor in this Fort Bend Favorite

t my favorite Mexican restaurant, I have and a big plate of Mercy’s superior nachos. Get to struggle not to eat my salsa with a ready for Cinco de Mayo...and celebrate more than the fifth! At Lupita’s, you’ll spoon and (insider tip) I At Lupita’s, find Cinco de Mayo specials always ask for my very own cup of on Saturday the 3rd, Sunday charro beans...and I’m not alone! you’ll find the 4th, and Monday the For ten years Fort Bend insiders Cinco de Mayo 5th...check the website have found their favorite Tex Mex for details. In fact, you at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant. I specials on may want to “bookrecommend mole enchiladas with Saturday the mark” that website: chile heat and a tinge of sweetness www.LupitasSugarland. in its burnished-mahogany sauce... 3rd, Sunday com. Jaime says, “We’re homemade from Lupe Garcia’s stash the 4th, and always adding new plates of secret family recipes! Lupe’s husband of 34 years, Jaime says, “We Monday the 5th! to our menu...and we’ll also have special offerings want to thank you all for the blessing of these last ten years...and invite you to come for Mother’s Day!” Jaime says, “We’ll help you out with enjoy all we have to offer in the future!” Every online review, every newspaper critic, to-go orders or catering for a family and every customer is blown away by Lupita’s event, a corporate meeting, or a big party hand-made tortillas––thin, pliant, freckled brown anywhere...poolside, in your backyard, from the griddle...and the size of a dinner plate! or in a banquet hall. You send the invitaSee how these tortillas elevate all your Tex Mex tions, we’ll handle the food for fiestas of favorites. Start with spinach quesadillas or queso any size! Lupe, Rigo, Leo and I humbly flameado, then enjoy an entree like Portobello thank you for ten wonderful years of Chicken with Monterery Jack Cheese or sizzling loyalty and support…from our family to fajitas in Lupe’s signature secret marinade––tart, yours!” salty, and zapped with a little chile. Then finish with banana flautas...long, skinny, and the perfect Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant 281-265-6556 crispy, gooey close to your meal. Nothing says TGIF (or even TGI any day of Southeast corner of Hwy 6 & Williams Trace the week) like a not-too-sweet frozen Margaritas

20 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

How My Sister-in-Law

Debbie’s Story

Saved My

Life D

ebbie Cook lives in Wisconsin, where almost a dozen doctors and specialists––from neurologists to ENTs to oral surgeons––couldn’t solve the mystery of her splitting headaches. It took a flight to Texas to see her sister-in-law, Dr. Zahra Cook, to give Debbie back her life. “Two days before I turned fifty,” says Debbie, “I woke up with a terrible headache and a plugged ear. My doctor thought it might be a virus, but it was the beginning of a dreadful downward spiral. I suffered almost constant headaches, so severe I couldn’t get out of bed. All my medical tests came back normal, but the pain was getting worse. My job was at risk, because I literally could not function. One neurologist told me my tests were I must be as crazy as one of his ex-girlfriends to claim I had pain! My husband told his brother David about everything we were suffering...and David’s wife, Dr. Zahra Cook suspected it might be TMJ.” “You know what’s really crazy?” Debbie says. “My insurance company covered thousands of dollars of doctor visits and tests, but it wasn’t until my husband and I took matters into our own hands and flew to Texas that we got any answers. After taking my measurements and running tests, Zahra fitted me with a temporary bite splint...and the very next day I felt so much better! Three weeks later my permanent custom-fitted one arrived...and I wear it all the time now (except when I eat). There’s no pain at all anymore! It’s really unobtrusive, and plenty of people can’t tell I have it in at all. If you have headaches that just can’t be explained, I recommend you see a trained neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Cook. When she comes to Wisconsin to visit, I introduce her as ‘The sister-in-law who saved my life!’” So what was behind Debbie’s pain? Dr. Cook explains, “Temporomandibular Dysfunction (known as TMD or TMJ) is a physical problem that results in a cycle of pain, muscle spasms, and jaw joint problems...but it is treatable! After determining your optimal bite, I’ll created a custom bite splint to restore alignment and relieve your pain.” In addition to the standard dental fare, Dr. Cook has the training to perform every treatment...veneers, root canals, orthodontics (braces and Invisalign), implants and restorations, extreme makeover dentures, TMJ treatment, wisdom teeth extraction and more. She’s a Fellow of the International Congress of Implantologists (FICOI) and a Fellow of the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies (LVIF). This past summer she earned the elite Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD) award, earned by less than two percent of all general dentists. “I enjoy seeing my patients take pride in their smiles and living a life free from pain ,” says Dr. Cook. “That’s why I’ve persued continuing education in this field for twenty-six years. Dentistry is more than my profession, it’s my passion!”

Zahra Cook, DMD, PA 281-342-8481 536 Fm 359 Rd, Richmond, TX 77406

Living Masterpieces Become Works of Art

by Amy Sharp


masterpiece–the greatest work in a person’s lifetime. Ask any mom what her masterpiece is...the answer is undoubtedly her children. Local mom Lisa Carothers, owner and photographer at In His Image Photography, uses that inspiration to create works of art. It started with the birth of Lisa’s first child. Lisa says, “I picked up my camera to capture the priceless moments. As she grew, my love for photography grew, too. I realized my passion could be a wonderful profession.” Lisa honed her skills and developed her natural talent by training with some of the best photographers in Houston and San Antonio, as a member of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston. Today, over ten years later, Lisa can be your family portrait photographer for every stage of life: babies, children, high school seniors, engagements, bridal portraits and weddings. Lisa’s passion is working with natural light and her gift is recognizing that special smile or expression that makes an individual or a family unique. Her clients enjoy the opportunity to be themselves. Lisa says, “As a mother of three, I understand a mom’s and wife’s perspective and what we want portrayed in family portraits. My own family has taught me so much...from making sessions fun for small children to helping men and boys relax and enjoy themselves. With teenagers of my own, I know how important it is to create a great rapport. I capture them in a way that expresses that teen’s personal style, that both the teen and parents love.”

Once your photographic portraits are created, they can become a work of art! Lisa says, “We offer classic photographic portraits printed on professional papers by our lab, and one of my unique offerings is Fine Art portraiture. We print the portraits on Fine Art papers... like our Giclee watercolor portraits that are hand torn or museum wrap canvas prints. And for our finest offerings, I work with local artists, Carmen Sanchez-Romero and La Von Westfall, to create stunningly beautiful art pieces from my photographic portraits of your loved ones.. These pieces can be pencil, pastel, or oil portraits. What better art to display in your home?” Contact Lisa to set up an appointment to turn your own masterpieces into works of art! In His Image Photography ~ Lisa Carothers 281-236-3994



Pink in the Park Celebrating Breast Cancer Survivors May 23 * 6:15 p.m. Pregame Ceremony * 7:05 p.m. First Pitch Constellation Field Join Memorial Hermann and the Sugar Land Skeeters for this year’s Pink Out game in support of breast cancer awareness. Commemorative pink baseball jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit the Memorial Hermann Breast Care Centers. The first 50 survivors to register for the ceremony will receive two Picnic Area tickets that include food and drinks. Some 2,000 fans will receive a complimentary gift. So wear your pink proudly and come support Sugar Land’s favorite team–and a great cause. To register a survivor or submit a survival story, visit

22 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014



Ready for a new look? Get set for beautiful changes with the amazing lineup of over 20,000 gorgeous fabrics, trims, window treatments, and hardware from more than fifty different quality suppliers at Grand Windows and Interiors. But how do you make your dream house into a reality? With the help of designer Caron Lopez, her husband Candelario, co-owners of Grand Windows, and fellow designer Joni Britton...designers who can bring your unique vision to life! So get ready….get set….and design! Caron was a science teacher and studied Museum Science Design in college and Joni Britton has a degree in fashion merchandising...but their years of experience in interior design brought them together at Grand Windows and Interiors. Caron says, “We’ve got very complementary styles. Joni’s a planner and I’m spontaneous. She loves classic neutrals and I love bold color but we both believe that designing is about putting our resources and experience to work on behalf of our clients. The final design should express your style...not ours!” Together Joni and Caron can help you navigate the dizzying world of patterns, shades, and textures. Caron says, “No two clients are the same and that makes this job thrilling. We might be faux-painting a Texas map on the wall of a library, finding the perfect window treatments for a family from Nigeria, or meticulously

matching bricks and crafting an outdoor kitchen for an existing older home. The possibilities are truly endless!” The third integral member of the Grand Windows team is Cande, a skilled artisan with the highest standards in town. Caron says, “Everything he does, he does to perfection. Joni and I can design with confidence, knowing Cande’s a problem-solver who’ll make it all work!” “In my life,” says Cande, “I’m focused on God and family and I’m so proud of my kids and blessed to have a profession I love that helps provide for them. We never forget that your family is on a budget too. Running an efficient, local, family-owned business means we offer home improvements you can afford. Give your home a ‘Grand’ makeover with custom window treatments, metalwork, cabinetry, upholstery, granite, tile, faux painting and more!” Are you ready for a new look? Get set and go to Grand Windows for your free design consultation. Caron says, “We don’t want to stamp our personality on your home...we want to listen to you, offer our suggestions, and then create a home that captures your personality.” Grand Windows & Interiors 281-342-9160 1405 Avenue I, Rosenberg, TX 77471  UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 23


Act “M

known cause. Immediately call 911. ay is National At HealthSouth stroke patients can get the Stroke Awareness rehabilitation therapy they need––Speech, Month,” says Nick Occupational and Physical Therapies––from Hardin, CEO of HealthSouth Sugar enthusiastic and caring people with advanced Land. “Stroke is a leading cause neurological rehabilitation equipment like of death in the United States, killthe AutoAmbulator, a sophisticated treading nearly 130,000 Americans each mill with robotics to help a patient’s legs year—that’s 1 of every 19 deaths. safely relearn natural walking patterns. The Our stroke rehabilitation center at SaeboFlex® is a custom-fitted hand and HealthSouth has earned the Diseasearm splint to increase shoulder, elbow, wrist Specific Care Certification from the and hand function. VitalStim retrains the Joint Commission, a Gold Seal of muscles needed to complete the swallowing Approval® and I know our team offers process. And therapy has found a new use a level of camaraderie and caring that’s unparalleled. We’re spreading the word for the Wii...allowing patients to perform physical therapy exercises using the wireless this month about stroke prevention... because your health matters to us!” Nick Hardin, CEO of HealthSouth controller. Sugar Land “Together we hope to help you recover from Lower your risk of stroke by taking charge of your health. The primary risk factors include stroke…and prevent as many strokes as we can,” says Nick. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabe- “We’re offering a free community forum to answer your tes, poor diet and inactivity, excess weight and obesity. questions about stroke this month. Contact us for more Be aware of the most common symptoms of stroke–– information or to RSVP.” sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understandHealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital ing others; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; 281-276-7574 1325 Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478 sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no 24 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

A Luxurious Destination

Spa and Salon Société’s

iComplete System iComplete’s two-step system offers immediately noticeable results, but the true value lies in the longer-lasting effects.


Urban Retreat 2034-A West Gray, Houston, TX 77019


t Urban Retreat in River Oaks, Saira Ali, Owner and President, created a 8000 square foot destination for products, services, and a level of luxury you won’t find anywhere else. She says, “When I launched my new makeup line, called L’Vere from the root word…TRUE, it inspired our tagline: Reveal Your True Beauty. Every woman possesses an essence of true beauty, within and without. I believe we should all live in such a way that we bring forth Treat mom to an around us. That’s my personal the true beauty of those philosophy and what we strive for at Urban Retreat.” Urban Retreat “From the time I was a little girl, my mom taught me Spa Package or the importance of taking care of our skin, hair, and nails. I use everything my service providers recommend with gift basket... confidence, because we are very selective. We choose she deserves it! with the image makers and only brands that resonate trendsetters, ones regularly featured in Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue. There is no need to go to New York, LA or even Paris . . . Urban Retreat has the best of the best in luxury products. I am addicted to our Societe Clinical Skincare; our Kneipp Naturopathic Body products and SpaRitual’s Slow Beauty Nail Products and I adore our Kerastase and our Rene Furterer Paris Hair products. Once you experience results-driven luxury, nothing else will do!” Denise Byrnes, product development officer and co-founder of Société Clinical Skincare, says, “Société Clinical Skincare is available only through licensed professionals and uses a customized approach to treat skin types including hyperpigmentation, acne-prone, hypersensitive and aging skin. We incorporate high quality ingredients into our innovative formulations to ensure the best possible outcomes. We pride ourselves on putting the professional in control of patient results, because ‘self-treatment/ self-diagnosis’ oftentimes reaps lackluster results. In addition, all of our products are free of parabens, propelyne glycol and sodium laurel sulfate.” One of Saira’s favorites is iComplete, by Société Clinical Skincare, which provides similar results to popular musclerelaxing injections (and can enhance and prolong injection results) in an easy-to-use two-step system that incorporates “neuro-toxin-like” peptides to reduce repetitive muscle movements, leaving skin hydrated and plump. You’ll notice results immediately, but the real “WOW” comes the longer-lasting effects over time. Urban Retreat does have a stellar reputation as a spa with amazing results-driven treatments that has been setting trends for 25 years. Under one roof you can also find nineteen of Houston’s most soughtafter stylists. Saira says, “Several of our stylists participate in New York Fashion week and bring that experience back into our salon…it keeps us at the top of our game!”

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taking care of


M om

his is truly the best time of my career,” says board-certified Internist Dr. Tamirisa Renu, M.D., “since my daughter has joined my practice. She brings added enthusiasm and great skills into the practice and I feel confident we will reach new heights in our delivery of patient care!” Moms spend enough time in the car without trying to get themselves to multiple appointments at one office after another. Treat yourself to the one-stop convenience and personal care of Sugar Land Medical & Aesthetics, founded by Dr. Renu and her husband of thirtyeight years, board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Chary Tamirisa M.D aka “Dr. T.” joined by their daughter, Aparna Tamirisa, M.D., a Baylor College of Medicine graduate and board-certified Internist. When mothers are feeling worn out, tired, and overworked, the problem could be a hormonal imbalance. Dr. T says, “I’d like all the women out there to know that you can have the energy and vitality you need with a proper balance of hormones. Women (and men!) can benefit from bio-identical hormone replacement using pellet implants like BioTE. Simply put, having the proper balance of hormones can decrease your fatigue, depression, irritability and anxiety, muscle soreness, stiffness and joint pain. You can regain energy, focus and mental acuity, lean muscle mass, bone density,

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by Sarah Warburton

libido and sexual performance...and enjoy life to the fullest!” “Too often moms put themselves and their own health last on the to-do list,” says Dr. Renu. “As we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, my daughter and I are also very much aware that May is National Stroke Awareness month and that each year more women have strokes than men. In both men and women, risk factors for stroke include family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, being overweight, and inactivity. Risks that are unique to women include taking birth control pills, pregnancy, waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, and being a migraine sufferer. You can lower your risk of stroke by partnering with your doctor to take control of your overall health.” “I’ve always considered my mom an inspiration,” says Dr. Tamirisa. “We both believe that staying abreast of current research and practicing preventative medicine is the best way for our patients to live long and healthy lives!”

Sugar Land Medical & Aesthetics ~ 281-277-3300 3519 Town Center Blvd, Suite B, Sugar Land, TX 77479

FABULOUS Fashion for All Women


by Sarah Warburton taying at the forefront of fashion takes only a single stop...our new favorite boutique, Fabulous You. Thanks to the good taste and hard work of Brenda Durand and Lisa Reese, it’s simple to be a style-setter. Lisa says, “At Fabulous You, we offer contemporary trends for a variety of sizes, figures, and every age. You’ll find a range of styles–strapless dresses, flowy tops, pencil skirts––because we want to be the one place where everyone can find a new favorite.” As a repeat client myself, I love browsing the eclectic mix of appealing clothing and getting the inside scoop on fashion from Brenda or Lisa. Lisa says, “My passion is bringing separate pieces together in harmony, so I’m always happy to talk about the newest styles and how to wear them well. Choosing just a single unique piece can update your entire look!” Some customers drop in weekly, because the inventory at Fabulous You is constantly updated

to keep things fresh. Brenda says, “We buy in limited quantities and rarely reorder styles even if they sell out quickly...although we’re happy to place a special order just for you. We post photos of our Certificates newest arrivals on Facebook, so if you see a must-have item, post in the comments or call us and we’ll hold it for you!” What’s the signature style at Fabulous You? Friendly personal service and seriously fun fashion! “In addition to apparel,” Brenda says, “we have unique gift items, accessories and jewelry. And we’re really excited about our anniversary event which will be held in June. It promises to be great fun - we’ll have door prizes as well as games where you will win discounts on your entire purchase! ‘Like’ us on Facebook and you’ll get all the details of our upcoming sales, newest styles, and pics of our favorite looks!”

Mother’s Day Gift


Fabulous You 281-240-3228 2735 Town Center Blvd N, Ste. Y Sugar Land, TX 77479

Riverstone com

Luxurious Waterside Living in Fort Bend

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From US-59 in Sugar Land, take Hwy 6 south 3 miles . 281.499.8700

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Ashton Woods . Christopher Sims . Coventry . Darling . Fedrick, Harris . Highland . Lespreance Construction . Meritage . Newmark Partners in Building . Perry . Sitterle . Sterling Classic . Taylor Morrison . Teramor . Toll Brothers . Trendmaker . Westin . Westport


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Developer of the Year

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 27

don’t forget to show


you care as much as she does Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th

Open the Door to Healing


eady to escape the stress of everyday life? Behind this door the air is filled with the scent of lemongrass and the sounds of soothing music. Slip off your shoes, accept a welcoming cup of chrysanthemum tea, and let your tension go. Theo and Mona, husband and wife owners of Therapeutic Thai Massage, say, “In addition to our packages and annual memberships, we’re offering gift certificates that are perfect for Mother’s Day...but we don’t believe in pressuring you for a commitment. Acupressure is the only pressure we practice!” You can choose between Swedish Massage,

Hot Stone Massage, and Deep Tissue Massage, but Therapeutic Thai Massage is famous for traditional Thai Massage, also called Thai Yoga Massage. Thai Massage uses acupressure, aromatherapy, and stretching to improve circulation, reduce tension, and offer relief from pain. Therapists will use acupressure along your meridian lines to unlock your body, improve your circulation, and renew your energy. Formally trained in both Thailand and Texas, licensed massage therapist Mona says, “Our masseuses may use their elbows, knees, forearms, thumbs, or even step onto your back...but each therapist chooses the right positions for your comfort level.”

Prefer to ease your way into Thai Massage? Theo recommends the Thai Combination Massage as an introduction. He says, “The Thai Combination Massage combines the therapeutic benefits of Thai Massage with the deep relaxation of Hot Stone Massage and aromatherapeutic oil. Some clients love the way this massage relieves soreness and restores peace so much that they keep asking for it over and over. It’s our most popular massage and the perfect choice for a Mother’s Day treat!” Mona adds, “On Mother’s Day we’ll offer a special sparkling complimentary drink for mothers to celebrate all they do!” Open Daily 10am - 10pm • Walk-ins & Appointments • Gift Certificates Available KATY 1548A S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 (281) 395-5652 License # ME2393

SUGAR LAND 4787 Sweetwater Blvd Sugar Land, TX 77479 (281) 310-1787 License # ME2308

BRIAR FOREST 13346 Briar Forest Dr. #150 Houston, TX 77077 (281) 752-9256 License # ME2712

More Music, More FUN! by Sarah Warburton


very time I walk through the doors of Fort Bend Music Center, they’ve added something new and exciting. Did you know they hold open mic nights, music workshops, and screenings of “music-themed movies”...all free and open to the community? Stay in the loop by “liking” Fort Bend Music Center on Facebook and visiting their website to sign up for their e-newsletter. Ashley Cochran, Accounts Manager says, “We’re always adding new events to showcase our teachers’ interests and express our love of music. We also have a new face on board! Look for my sister Lindsey (now with the Lessons Department) at the front desk when you come in!” Why not take the plunge and become part of the Fort Bend Music family this summer? President of Fort Bend Music Center, Rick Cochran, says,“Our popular summer music camp is a great place to start!” Campers ages 7 through teens get the first five lessons in

voice, guitar, percussion, and piano. Over the two and a half hours of camp they’ll move from station to station. Essentially, each camp is like getting the first month of lessons in three different instruments plus voice! What about the younger crowd? Kids ages four through six enjoy five days of one hour music camp madness. Campers will learn piano, singing, and rhythm...while developing their love of music! Lindsey says, “Kids are used to working in groups at school and playing on teams, so group music lessons make sense to they make it exciting and fun!” Don’t wait to register for camp. Class size is limited and spaces fill up fast! Renee Massey, Fort Bend Music Center’s Lessons Desk Manager says, “Kids get so fired up by summer camps, that the new beginner group classes fill up fast! Look for new group classes in August! Camp is a great foundation...and a wonderful way to experiment with something new!”


FUN 2014

Option One: 7-Teen June 16-20 or July 14-18 12:30pm-3pm June 23-27 or July 21-25 10am-12:30pm

Option Two: 4-6

(parent/guardian participation required) June 16-20 or July 14-18 10am-11am or 11:30am-12:30pm June 23-27 or July 21-25 12:30pm-1:30pm or 2pm-3pm

Fort Bend Music Center 281-494-5885 12919 SW Freeway, Ste 160

 To advertise, 281-235-0600 UPCLOSE ~ May 2014 ~ 29

Oh, the Places You’ll Go...

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go...” Dr. Seuss


hat’s more fun than heading out on a road trip and finding new roads? Getting all the fun and excitement right down the street from your own front door! At Sugar Land’s own Classic Chevrolet the fun never ends! You’ll enjoy a “relax and enjoy the difference” vibe, visits from local sports stars and mascots, and community events like the Chili Cookoff. Fort Bend community leader and owner of Classic Chevrolet, Don Kerstetter, says, “People thought we were crazy when we first opened our doors, because no other dealership took our low-key, customer-centered approach. Over the last five years, we’ve proved that when it comes to true, lasting success...crazy works!” At Classic Chevy you’ll always find good times with good people... and that’s one reason the Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off was such a success! Did you see Classic Chevrolet’s Community Liaison, Ray Aguilar in the dunk tank? We heard there was plenty of ice in that water! Kids enjoyed face painting, games, and a bounce house and all ages enjoyed the band! Of course, the main attraction was the chili! Winners Included: Crowd Favorite: Sugar Creek Baptist Church; Spirit Award: Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office; Texas Chili: Ex-

change Club of Sugar Land; Spicy Chili: Texas Community Referral Network; Bean Chili: Bikers Against Child Abuse; Specialty Chili: Access Health and the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2014. Classic’s General Sales Manager Mark Kolon says, “We want to thank all of you who supported our Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off. All the money raised goes to the Sugar Land Police Officers’ Association fund which was established to help provide assistance to police officers and their families when an officer is injured. We look forward to seeing what you’re cooking up for next year!” Oh the places you’ll go...with Classic Chevrolet! Michele writes: “We bought a 2014 Sonic as a graduation gift for our son and the service we received from our salesman was outstanding. He did a great job researching current inventory and getting exactly the price range we were looking for. Overall it was a great buying experience and we will be back in the future. Thank you to everyone at Classic. Job well done!” “When we look at cars,” Don says, “we’re always thinking of the folks who’ll be driving them. We want you to drive with the confidence and enjoy the ride….that’s the Classic difference!” As Dr. Seuss says, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!”

281-491-9000 13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478

30 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014


We see perfect indoor weather in your forecast!

We’ve Known Mr. A/C Since Day One Sarah Warburton


e knew Bryan Bellamy before he was Mr. A/C,” says Dina Holleran owner of the Designer’s Niche. “When he and Chance Kamp took charge of All Out A/C and Heating, it just made sense for us to call them when we had A/C or heating issues. Bryan is not only a great guy, he also offers phenomenal A/C service!” Over the years, All Out A/C kept growing, and Dina never called another A/C company. She says, “The whole team is so professional. They always show up when they say they will and never give us the runaround. They’ve handled all our seasonal maintenance. When we moved into a new home, they put a new furnace in for us….one of the most up-to-date, super-efficient ones. When we built out the house for my design office, All Out A/C hooked it up to the air conditioning. Not only that, but they always gave us a really good price.” “I really appreciate how straightforward Bryan is. He and his team just lay out the situation and then explain the best way of dealing with it. If you need a little more time, they’ll suggest small, short-term fixes to tide you over. And if you do decided to get an entire system replaced, you know they’ll get you the best deal. They’re so easy to work with and there’s never any pressure.” “A/C is one of the last places we want to spend our money, but at the end of

the day, Bryan and the team at All Out are so genuine and easygoing that we’re always happy we called. I have complete confidence in them!” You can be confident that nobody beats Mr. A/C and the team at All Out. Bryan says, “Right now we have some amazing limited time offers on qualifying systems, including a Centerpoint instant rebate of up to $1450 and instant manufacturers rebates of up to $1200. We always offer quotes at no charge and we have 100% financing and options that include no payment for first whole year with approved credit. Don’t wait until summer to get a new energy-efficient A/C system...these deals won’t last!”

281-238-9292 License #TACLB8446E

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ver wonder what it takes to become a successful businesswoman? We asked Linda Riddle and her answer was simple...hard work! She says, “When I went out on my own, it was thrilling and terrifying. I took any deal I could and drove all over...nothing was ‘too small.’ I still work just as hard as I did back in the day, because I remember how it all started!” “Before I had the amazing team I have today, I started out as a single mom. I worked in different areas of real estate including construction management, property management, and residential as an assistant to a top producer. Todd and I met and founded Team Riddle thirteen years ago. We’ve grown together as a couple, just as our business has grown and risen to the challenges. As we became more successful, we added more team members, but we still take a hands-on approach.” “Another key component of our success is partnering with the right people like Tom Boyd & Jeff Pope with AMCAP Mortgage Bank. Our business is based on long-term satisfaction and referrals, so we look for people like Tom & Jeff that we can trust to deliver superior service and really take care of our clients. Houses are moving very quickly right now...and we know their team along with ours can move just as quickly to help our clients get the homes they really want.” “My message to other women is that if you have a dream in your heart, you can achieve it through hard work. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to college, so I worked on my own to get where I am today. It’s one reason I find it so rewarding to mentor other women starting out in real estate. There’s hope...I’m living proof that drive and dedication can make a dream come true.”

Re/max Fine Properties ~ Todd & Linda Riddle 4500 Highway 6, Suite A, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Cell: (713) 540-0608 • Business: (281) 340-3771 • Fax: (281) 778-8867 License Number: 520449

32 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2014

Real Estate Riddles: How important is the mortgage bank you choose? “Incredibly important,” says Tom Boyd, Division President of AMCAP Mortgage Bank. “In order to get the home of your dreams, you need to be able to finance it. In this competitive market, you have to move quickly! That’s why we offer fast approvals and on-time closings, competitive loan rates, several loan programs to fit your financial needs, in-house underwriting for faster turnaround times, and paperless service... so you won’t lose time waiting for original documents.”

AMCAP MORTGAGE PREMIER 9999 Bellaire Boulevard Suite 700 Houston, TX 77036 713-586-0500 office

how can we help? Appointments & Online Scheduling Houston Methodist Sugar Land Doctors Send an E-greeting Visit the Web Nursery Maps & Directions News & Events

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