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INVESTING IN PEOPLE JASON ZAMORA AT YOUR SERVICE MARIO HERRERA

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th

ry Anniversa Issue

COASTAL BEND LEGACY BART BRASELTON

APRIL.MAY 2013

» STYLE & SUBSTANCE FEATURING DUSTY OLIVEIRA1 N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D


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publisher’s note NSIDE Coastal Bend Business

P U B LApril/May I C A2013 TIONS ceo/nside media productions eliot garza

publisher adrian garza executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

graphic designers Damaris Fike Cristina Villa Hazar

executive assistant Elena Flores

contributing writers It’s official: NSIDE Coastal Bend is four years old. This started as just a dream of mine – a dream of introducing some of our community’s finest to the Coastal Bend via our pages and not only surviving, but thriving in a highly competitive business. But now, thanks to a lot of hard work and your continued support, that dream is a reality. On behalf of the entire NSIDE family, I want to thank all of our readers, advertisers, friends and supporters for helping us reach this landmark. We wouldn’t have made it this far without you, and we deeply appreciate it. I’m proud of our continued growth and presence in the community, and even prouder to have the opportunity to share the stories of so many truly remarkable professionals who are unquestionably making the Coastal Bend a better place. One of my personal favorites is our MD cover subject, Dr. John Gouin. From a 30-year military career and a lengthy list of affiliated awards and honors to a stint in professional football and some published work under his belt, he is far from just an area podiatrist. Despite some personal obstacles, Gouin persevered and has already accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime, and NSIDE Coastal Bend salutes him. And speaking of success, that’s definitely a good word for a company that’s been going strong and building communities since 1945. Our business cover features Bart Braselton, the third generation of Braseltons building in the Bay Area at Braselton Homes. Nearly 70 years after its inception, Braselton Homes is Corpus Christi’s largest homebuilder and a leader in the green movement in South Texas. We commend Braselton for his stellar leadership and for continuing the legacy. Within the pages of this special issue, we are also proud to feature Jason Zamora of Live Oak Investors, Mario Herrera of Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market, the YWCA’s Therapeutic Recreation Program and CHRISTUS Spohn Health System’s new externship for ER nurses. These remarkable people and organizations are all very much involved in the improvement of our community, and we hope you enjoy reading about them. In closing, again, thank you so much for helping us reach our fourth year and celebrate our fourth anniversary. We’re glad to be here, and we love what we do. And with your continued support, I feel confident that we will have many more anniversaries to come.

Mandy Ashcraft Bart Braselton Kim Bridger Kara George Ricardo Gomez Ambrose Gonzalez Samantha Koepp Juan de Lascurain Connie Laughlin Jody Joseph Marmel Erin Rodriguez Sharon Schweitzer Sarah Tindall Sarona Winfrey

photography Dustin Ashcraft Michael Giordano Eddie Hernandez

editorial intern Katrina Torres

www.getnside.com For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@getnside.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, please email adrian@getnside.com.

PUBLIC ATIONS

Adrian Garza adrian@getnside.com

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18402 U.S. Highway 281 N, Ste. 201 San Antonio, Texas 78259 Phone: 210.298.1761

Copyright © by NSIDE Media Productions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


nsidethisissue april/may 2013 profiles

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jason zamora

Expanding Live Oak Investors into his hometown of Corpus Christi, this successful financial advisor connects his past with his present, fueled by his passion for financial planning.

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cover story

Bart Braselton The third generation of Braseltons building in the Bay Area continues the legacy his grandfather started at Braselton Homes, the largest homebuilder in Corpus Christi that stands at the forefront of the green building movement in South Texas.

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Mario Herrera

Having fulfilled his dream, this businessman adds an element of fun and an oldfashioned touch to food shopping at Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market in Alice.

departments 12 14 26 32 34 36 38 42 46 48 54

Business Coach Feature Travel Dine Shop Style Arts Real Estate Etiquette Style & Substance Español

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nside coastal bend staff erin o’brien

nside PUBLICATIONS executive EDITOR E: erin@getnside.com

elisa giordano nside publications creative director E: elisa@getnside.com

damaris fike nside PUBLICATIONS graphic designer

cristina villa hazar nside PUBLICATIONS graphic designer

elena flores

nside coastal bend executive assistant C: 361.793.6767 E: elena@getnside.com

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NSIDE business coach

No Mas Horseplay Personnel policies needed for goofballs By: [Connie Laughlin] Lordy me – back in the ‘80s, we had quite the time at work. It was an entirely different era then. Our joking around was hilarious, albeit inappropriate. I remember the day things changed. We had a new executive administrator who implemented all of the new corporate policies. The shop guys lost their sexy girl calendars, and we all underwent human resource training and were given our employee handbooks. On that day, appropriate behavior became the norm. No mas horseplay. There should have been more lawsuits back in the day because a lot of people got by with some pretty nasty stuff. If you’re not up to speed with what’s kosher and what’s not, you should visit www.eeoc.gov. The website contains a lot of information, and it’s an eye opener. Due diligence takes time, but it’s oh so necessary. There’s nothing more welcome than comic relief to bring smiles and laughter to the otherwise dull and repetitive daily tasks at the office.

gals “sugar” or whatever other baby name came to mind at the time. Safety is an area where horseplay and practical jokes can have a negative impact. Whoo-wee, I’m sure glad none of our practical jokes ever landed anyone in the hospital. Back in the day when quite a few people still smoked, we put a “load” (exploding device) in a person’s cigarette so they’d get scared out of their wits the next time they reached into the pack and lit one. If you think mobile devices are a distraction, can you imagine driving your car and lighting this small bomb? Or how about when we strategically ducttaped a pager under the dash in our boss’ Suburban and continuously called the pager number when he went to lunch? And on and on it went – one shenanigan after another. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure employees work in a safe environment that’s free from illegal harassment and safety hazards. If you are an employee and are really tired of

Safety is an area where horseplay and practical jokes can have a negative impact. If you want to allow a playful demeanor at work, you must ensure it doesn’t cross the line where someone could get hurt or where it offends others (such as heavy or short people, gay people, women, etc.). (Side note: I find it interesting that heavy people are protected from comments, but smokers aren’t. We’ve all seen someone chastise a person who’s smoking in public, but have you ever seen a do-gooder go up to an obese person and beg them to quit eating?) A couple of years back, a successful business owner told me his attorney overheard him call one of his female employees “baby” and advised him to stop it. He told me he did for a while, even though he didn’t want to because he couldn’t remember all of their names. But things didn’t stay that way; around a week or so later, one of the gals came to him crying, as she thought he was upset with her since he hadn’t sweet-talked her lately. So he quickly went back to calling his

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your job, here are a couple of ideas to put an end to your everyday doldrums and your job, as well. Be sneaky; change the language on your coworker’s computer to a foreign language. And do it every day. Here’s a good one: Take the photo frame from your boss’ desk, scan the picture and replace the image of his wife with a gorilla in a dress. Show him how creative his employees are with PhotoShop. I’ve also heard you can “load” a stapler with loads made for cap guns. Seriously, what is being done about inappropriate worksite behavior and horseplay? They’re not looked at as keenly because most employers aren’t effectively trained HR experts, and they may not have the best skills to handle these issues appropriately and legally.

Connie Laughlin is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information, you may contact her at 361-852-6392 or conniel@uniquehr.com.


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NSIDE feature

Baby Boom Your Branding Strategy

Do you know how to engage the nation’s aging population? By: [Erin Rodriguez ]

When looking to create or update the branding strategy for your business, it’s always important to take every demographic into consideration. According to the International Council of Active Aging (ICAA), the majority of adults over the age of 55 feel that advertising does not reflect their current lifestyle, and they are turned off by marketing messages targeted to them. Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding business owners to include aging Baby Boomers in their branding and marketing. Creating ads that work is one of the top goals for all businesses. And while many Baby Boomers are much more apt to rely on referrals than the younger generation, 90 percent of adults 50 and older also rely on and comfortably use email, according to ICAA. Forrester Research found that 49 percent

The key to tugging at the hearts and minds of older adults is to speak their language. 14

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of consumers who are 66 or older rely on personal emails to direct them to sites, compared to 28 percent of non-seniors. One of the problems in today’s marketing world is the fact that many businesses don’t even have a viable strategy for targeting the nation’s 77 million Baby Boomers, ICAA notes. When creating or sprucing up your branding strategy, the best way to make sure it doesn’t neglect the aging population is to get input from them directly. BBB and ICAA recommend the following four steps to businesses that are looking to make their branding strategy more Baby Boomer friendly:

One//

Create ads that work. Don’t assume you’ll reach the aging population by default. Actively design ads to portray Baby Boomers in a positive, uplifting light. Don’t use negative stereotypes of older adults to humor younger audiences.

Two//

Deliver the message effectively. Tell a story instead of lec-

turing. Let your ad arouse emotions and tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Help your audience understand the message by breaking up lengthy facts into short snippets.

three//

Use terms that work. The key to tugging at the hearts and minds of older adults is to speak their language. Make every word count. Business owners should focus their advertising using language that implies health, well-being and productivity.

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Focus your ad photos using realistic images.  According to a recent study by AARP, researchers discovered that images showing exercise that looks like too much work turns off older adults. Grimacing, sweaty, straining models won’t entice many 50-plus adults to become engaged. Make sure your business branding strategy uses images that are both realistic and fun. Baby Boomers are more likely to engage with your brand if they feel accurately represented.

For more information on engaging the aging population, visit ICAA online at www.icaa.cc. BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior. For more information, please contact Erin Rodriguez, media/PR coordinator for BBB, at 512-206-2815.


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Communities A the helm of the company his grandfather started in 1945, Bart Braselton leads Braselton Homes, which today is Corpus Christi’s largest homebuilder and a leader in the green building movement in South Texas. By: [Sarah Tindall] Photography: [dustin ashcraft]

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art Braselton has a book on the table in his office called “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.” Written by his grandfather, Guy Braselton, the book chronicles his life in South Texas, including his establishment of Braselton Construction in Corpus Christi after moving here in 1945. Guy established a legacy that has obviously inspired his grandson. Bart is proud of the man whom he calls a “full-fledged carpenter who could hang 20 doors in a day without power tools or pre-hung door units.” Guy’s screwdriver, the one item Bart asked for when his grandfather wanted to know what he could leave him when he passed away, is framed and sitting above Bart’s desk as a constant reminder of how the company began and the family values on which it is based. But one thing the Braseltons have not done is dwell in the past. As Corpus Christi’s largest homebuilder and the leaders in the green building movement in South Texas, Bart and his father, Fred, have been aggressively moving the company forward to anticipate the needs of a city that anticipates record growth in the next decade and beyond. “Homes are the last thing in America you can still watch being built right before your eyes,” Bart says. “More and more, they are becoming ‘system built,’ and we’re working to stay on the

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front end of that. We were an early adaptor to the energy efficiency and windstorm processes because they make a better home. Each home we build undergoes over 20 inspections and 50 construction checklists.” Braselton homes are called “eco homes,” and each one passes a four-star certification process. The first is the Home Energy Rating System (HERS rating). Bart likens it to the miles-per-gallon rating on a car – and Braselton homes are rated, on average, 31 percent more efficient than the stringent energy code for new construction. The second step is an ENERGY STAR rating and certification that every Braselton home receives. The third is the Coastal Bend Green Built certification. Braselton was a founding member of the Coastal Bend Green Built movement, and builds the most Green Built homes in the area. Each Braselton home is Green Built Gold Level inspected and certified. Last, but not least, each home is Gold Certified by the Environments for Living Green Program. “So each home with the Braselton name on it has been certified by third parties verifying to our customers that their home is energy efficient,” Bart says. “From the computer-modeled design of the home that tells us its efficiency to the inspections while it is being built to the testing done before the customer moves in, we’ve assured that the home is as well-built

and as energy efficient as possible.” This efficiency, the result of everything from solar panels and natural gas appliances to spray foam insulation and radiant barrier decking, means that Braselton customers can save an average of more than 50 percent on their utility bills. But Braselton does not just build homes; the focus is on building entire neighborhoods, and the attention to detail that goes into each house is also put into the neighborhoods in which the homes reside. Braselton neighborhoods like Rancho Vista and the Cottages at Southlake are made to foster communities. They include parks, green space, lakes and walking trails. One new neighborhood wraps around an elementary school so neighborhood children can walk to school through the communal green space without touching a street. Bart and his team pride themselves on listening to their customers to build spaces that address their needs, and these parks and open spaces are a perfect example of that. “We didn’t want to build neighborhoods of just curbs and sidewalks and driveways,” Bart says. “We felt that we needed to give people things to do when they were at home.” And the Coastal Bend community has responded well. Braselton Homes has consistently been the Bay Area’s largest builder and developer. This includes neighborhoods in


“As builders, when we leave a job, we leave something behind that’s memorable. We’re building a community.”

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Braselton does not just build homes. The focus is on building entire neighborhoods. Portland, Calallen and Port Aransas, as well as across the Corpus Christi area. The price point of a Braselton home ranges from the $120,000s to the $800,000s, so these neighborhoods are available to a wide percentage of the local population. Braselton Homes is a vital part of Corpus Christi, intricately involved in both its past and shaping its future. The Braseltons themselves have been an intricate part of the local community since Guy arrived in 1945. He came from Sweetwater, Texas, a town near Abilene, to rebuild a local children’s home that had

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burned down. Family lore says that he drove into town, took one look at the bay and said, “This is the place.” He moved his family here (Bart’s father, Fred, had been born by that time) and started a business called Braselton Construction. “They built almost everything downtown,” Bart says. “They were the big builder of the day.” Fred attended local schools and was a high-school football star who won a college scholarship to play quarterback at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, near the family’s namesake town of Braselton, Ga. Guy wasn’t finished yet, though – he also started

the Prescon Corporation, a global company headquartered in Corpus Christi that pioneered the technology used today to build highway overpasses and nuclear containment vessels, as well as home slab foundations. Fred joined the family business after college. With his wife and Bart’s mother, Vanessa, he began Braselton Homes in 1973, focusing on custom homebuilding. Bart attended the University of Texas at Austin, double majoring in real estate and finance. After college, he did a stint on Capitol Hill working as a driver for Sen. Phil Gramm, which he calls “very interesting” work. His favorite story from that time was one particular day when he drove the senator to a meeting in the Rose Garden at the White House. He parked his Ford Bronco, replete with University of Texas bumper stickers and other adornments, in the front parking area at the White House. The senator from Oklahoma, watching Gramm, a renowned Aggie, exit this vehicle, could not hide his dismay. “I can’t believe you’re riding around this town in that truck!” he exclaimed with a whistle. In 1989, however, Fred called his son and offered him a job in the family business, and Bart became the third generation of Braseltons in the business. “Growing up in the construction business, I knew from an early age what I wanted to do,” Bart says. “My granddad always said, ‘as builders, when we leave a job, we leave something behind that’s memorable. We’re building a community – building a city.’” The family saw the need the local market had for expansion and began building the signature Braselton homes and neighborhoods on the south side of town. And the rest is history. Braselton has become the biggest new homebuilder south of San Antonio, and in 2012, the company sold and built more homes than they did in 2006 and 2007 – their highest sales year before the recession hit. Their success hasn’t gone unnoticed. They’ve been named one of the nation’s top builders by Builder Magazine and named a housing giant by Professional Builder magazine. “And we’re continuing to see an influx of people and money into our market,” Bart says. “The future is very exciting for our area. We’re being looked at on a global scale. International companies are investing here. ‘Potential’ was the word I’ve always heard used to describe the Coastal Bend since I was a kid, and we’re finally realizing that potential.” The facts back him up: Corpus Christi was recently named one of the top 10 metro markets leading the housing recovery in America by Forbes Magazine. All of this growth and potential is great news to Bart, who recently announced that he and wife, Michelle, are expecting twins. His beloved hometown is growing, and the family company is at the forefront of that growth – perfect for the next generation of Braseltons for when their time comes to step into the family business.

For more information, call 361-774-2266 or visit www. braseltonhomes.com.


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“Being the largest isn’t the most important thing to me. It’s about being recognized for exceptional client service.”

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Bringing it

Back Home

With his passion for financial planning and focus on providing stellar client service, Jason Zamora brings Live Oak Investors home to the Sparkling City by the Sea. By: [Kara George] Photography: [michael giordano]

Jason Zamora’s for Live vision

Oak Investors was to create a wealth management group providing customized and personalized services. A group based on the principles of trust and commitment to a successful financial future. A place where clients would feel at home with an advisor they could trust. Zamora has successfully created this atmosphere by applying principles from his own childhood and hometown experiences. After graduating from Incarnate Word Academy in 1994, Zamora left his hometown of Corpus Christi to pursue an education in finance. Attending St. Mary’s University, he majored in corporate finance with a minor in accounting. Directly upon graduation, he went to work for New York Life Insurance companies at the age of 22. After three years, Zamora became the youngest advisor to be promoted to partner with New York Life. Now responsible for recruiting and developing, Zamora began to miss the one-on-one interaction he previously had with his clients. “If I was going to make it or break it in this business, I wanted to do it myself,” Zamora said. At the age of 28, he established Live Oak Investors and reconnected with his passion for financial planning. His excitement for helping others with their financial futures stemmed from his youth experiences. “My mom was a single parent, and I knew there was a lot of luck involved with me having the lifestyle I did as a kid,” Zamora said. “I wanted to take the luck out of someone being financially fit. When helping families with children, I don’t want them to be able to go to college by accident. I want it to be more calculated and planned out.” Today, Zamora applies these beliefs to his business and expresses the importance of a plan to his clients, encouraging them to not base their financial future on luck alone. Casper Wenzel, a high school basketball coach, also played a key role in shaping Zamora’s busi-

ness beliefs. Wenzel’s words of wisdom, “you don’t stay the same; you either get better or worse,” still resonate with Zamora as he strives for growth, both personally and professionally, each day. “You realize later on they are teaching you more about life rather than sports,” Zamora said of Wenzel. Taking these key principles he learned from his hometown heroes, Zamora has been able to help others and expand Live Oak Investors. Recently, Zamora has been able to connect his present and his past with his true passion by expanding Live Oak Investors back to his hometown. About 90 percent of Zamora’s business is now based in the Corpus Christi and Live Oak Country area. “It’s ironic to have left Corpus, and now I have found my way back,” Zamora said. Returning to his hometown, Zamora has built a strong connection with the retirement community. “The fact that I can help young couples and retirees with their wealth management close to home has been what I thrive on,” he said. Zamora’s team at Live Oak investors helps clients feel at home by building a trusting rapport and putting clients’ goals first. “Being the largest isn’t the most important thing to me; it’s about being recognized for exceptional client service,” Zamora said. “It’s not about getting attention; it’s about attention to detail.” He believes a financial advisor should be readily accessible to clients when needed, whether it is for business or personal tasks. Zamora understands that many investors have anxiety when it comes to financial planning, which is why he believes delivering a customized plan and performance is key.

For more information on Live Oak Investors, visit www.liveoakinvestors.com or contact the team directly at 210-267-2515. Note: Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC. N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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“Our customers make us and keep the business growing. They deserve to be treated like family.�

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d e n o i h s a F Service Ol d Good

Customer service is not a lost art at Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market thanks to Mario Herrera and his personable staff.

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n today’s economic environment, it is extremely challenging to be a small business owner, as more “big box” stores are flooding the marketplace. Many business owners are forced to close their doors due to the competition. Mario Herrera is certainly not one of those people. In fact, he is quite the opposite. For this reason, the success and continued growth of Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market in Alice, along with the support of his family and customers, is a wonderful example of how a small business can overcome the aforementioned obstacles. Herrera’s love for both his business and his loyal patrons has made the long-standing Mario’s Grocery and Meat

By: [Jody Joseph Marmel] Photography: [eddie hernandez]

Market into a legend of its own. “Everything you need, we have it here,” Herrera says. While the meat market is the heart of the business, Herrera adds a great deal of old-fashioned touches to add to the welcoming ambience. It is a food shopping adventure just like it was in the good old days. Selling marbles, spinning tops and all sorts of candy brings customers in just for the memories – and once they are within the market, it is hard to resist buying. Herrera has made sure his quality meats are desirable and soughtafter commodities, and he has added an element of fun to food shopping in Alice. Customers often feel “like a kid in a candy store when they go here.” Herrera was born in Alice to proud parents Chris-

tel D. Herrera and Andrea Y. Herrera, and he attended elementary school there. He then went to live with his grandmother in San Antonio. He attended St. Henry’s Military Academy for four years; after that, he returned “home” to Alice. Graduating from William Adams High School, Herrera went to work for his Aunt Adela and Uncle Lee Salinas at Lee’s Grocery and Market. As a young man, he knew he would own that store one day. And luckily for the people in Alice and the neighboring cities, that is exactly what he did. After graduation, Herrera went to meat-cutting school in Toledo, Ohio. He then moved to Houston and worked for J.W. Weingarten in the meat department for four years. “In 1973, my Uncle Lee gave me

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the opportunity to buy the store. He gave me the keys to the store on Dec. 31, 1972, at midnight.” Changing the name to Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market, Herrera’s dream had come to fruition. Opening the store as the new owner on Jan. 1, 1973, Herrera was doing exactly what he had planned since he was a young man. “There was a question about my making it among the store chains like Wal-Mart and H-E-B,” he says. “I would tell my friends and family that if I made it, I had to try my best.” It is obvious from the thriving business at his store that Herrera has made the mark with hard work, and the results are rewarding for both Herrera and his customers. “Of course,” he says, “none of my success could have been achieved without my wife, Gracie.” He and his wife of 42 years, Graciela Martinez Herrera, have two sons – Mario Antonio and Adrian L. Herrera – and a daughter, Marie D. Herrera. With five grandchildren, the Herrera family feels “blessed.” “I thank God for everything he has given us and everything he has blessed us with in our daily lives,” Herrera says. “With everything we have, my children and my grandchildren, I always start the day off with a prayer.” Herrera does not only pray for his family, though. “I ask the Lord to help me and my employees to have a prosperous and safe day.” Detailing how their success has bounced backand-forth a bit, Herrera says, “The ‘70s were pros-

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perous; the oil field was booming. We started to do really well at the store, and I was able to eventually add on to the building. I had about five employees and never had a doubt that I would make it. In my mind, I knew that I was going to use all the knowledge I had picked up in the past and continue ahead and keep growing.” The most difficult time was in the ‘80s. “The oil field here in the area went down. It was hard because I already opened another store in Freer, and it was in business for 10 years. It came to the point where I had to close that store and try to survive in the store in Alice.” Herrera mentions what a great support system he had from his customers in Freer. “A lot of my customers came to buy their meat at the Alice store.” Now, that is a combination of loyalty and quality on all sides. It took a while to build up the business after the crash of the oil field – “but I was finally coming back.” And as Herrera notes, “The oil field is prosperous, and we are successful once again.” There are other reasons Herrera is successful: “We really care about the people that come into our store. We sell them what they want, we have what they want and we offer fresh quality meat.” He explains that this is one of the reasons Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market has survived the big food chains. “We only provide good old-fashioned service.” And nothing can top that. Using the brown paper bag sack and calling people by their first names are part of Herrera’s mix

when he talks about old-fashioned quality. Always making the customers feel at home is a natural for Herrera and his 10 employees. “I have always said that the customer is what makes us and keeps the business growing. They deserve to be treated like family.” Sharing another secret, Herrera says, “When we are doing a transaction and the customer gets their change, we use half dollars. It is just another one of the extras we add because people like it. How often do you see a half dollar?” Not often at all. Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market is “at your service” just like the customer service many of us remember from when we were growing up. Herrera’s strategy comes instinctively; he has made sure customer service is not a lost art at all. He is proof that the art is, in fact, an ongoing practice today that will continue in the years ahead. While he will not be ready to retire for a long time, he believes one of his children will take over the business when he is ready. There are only good memories here and many more memories yet to be made. Herrera smiles. “I have a lot to be thankful for, and I thank God for that.”

Mario’s Grocery and Meat Market is located at 502 South Texas Blvd., Alice, Texas 78332. For more information, call 361-664-7202. Note: Make sure to ask for change.


N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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NSIDE travel

“Everything became quite unreal finally, and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences. It seemed out of place to think of consequences during the fiesta.” – Ernest Hemingway

Viva!

Running with the bulls in Pamplona By: [ambrose gonzalez]

“Everything became quite unreal finally, and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences. It seemed out of place to think of consequences during the fiesta.” Ernest Hemingway’s description of the annual San Fermin festival that he shared with the western world in his 1926 novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” still rings true today. Every year, more than a million revelers dressed in the traditional white outfits with bloodred scarves and sashes swarm the city of Pamplona, Spain, to participate in

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this three-centuries-old, weeklong religious festival to honor the martyr saint, San Fermin. This normally quiet town explodes into a sea of white-and-red that engulfs every street of the ancient part of the city. The celebration is joyous, all consuming, unrelenting and unapologetic. For the locals, the evening bullfight is the center of the festival. However, it is the daily Running of the Bulls that intrigues the outside world and has inspired and attracted

generations of thrill seekers to go to Pamplona to test their courage and tempt the fates. Like many self-described adrenalin junkies, I had dreamed about Running with the Bulls for years. But like most, I had never given it serious thought until I discovered that my new friend, Ambrose, had run with the bulls once before and was organizing a group to return. The temptation was too great. Upon our arrival in Spain, we were introduced to Ambrose’s friend, Ricardo, a San Fermin veteran who had run with the bulls some 11 times before. As we enjoyed the festivities, our conversation inevitably turned to our looming run. As can be expected, it was ripe with tough talk and testosterone-fueled bravado. Ricardo quietly listened to our boasts and predictions. He is Spanish by blood, but he grew up in France speaking both languages. Therefore, he speaks with an accent that is an amalgamation of French and Spanish that forces your ear to attention. He posed a simple question delivered in the strained cadence of his broken English: “Eh, guys, guys, you need to decide something … Eh, how close do you want to be?” We knew we were being indirectly challenged. What we didn’t understand was that our answer would shape our destiny. Our answer was obvious: “close.” He would go on to clarify that each runner has a fundamental question to ponder. Do you want to “run like an American”? Or do you want to “run like a Spaniard”? With disdain, he explained that tourists seek relative safety by hiding against the walls or running far in front of the bulls. He challenged us that if we truly wanted to run with

the bulls, we had to stand and wait for them, and not run until he does. The gauntlet had been thrown down. The morning of the run finds you waiting with nervous anticipation for the rocket that signals the release of the bulls as Ricardo reviews last-minute tips, strategies, etc., for our run. When the rocket explodes, the crowd comes to life. Bravado is replaced with fear as a tsunami of panic rolls through the course and runners immediately begin sprinting past. As directed, we do not move. Ricardo calmly says, “wait.” In a blink, you’re fighting to keep your feet against the human tide of white and red. You can identify the steely-eyed veterans who stare down the street as the masses fight past. You harden your body and widen your stance, bracing against the onslaught of panicked runners. You are in sensory overload as the masses engulf you and a cacophony of screams, yells and shouts attacks your ears. Ricardo’s voice is stronger, now fighting the noise of the crowd: “Wait!” You can hear and feel the rolling thunder of the crowd as the first wave of people makes their way past. There is new electricity in the air as the crowd of spectators, lining the run, perched upon fences and standing above on the balconies, starts firing their cameras, pointing and shouting. They can see what we can’t. Every survival instinct is now screaming for you to run. Ricardo and a small number of veterans are jumping now, trying to see above the quickly dispersing first wave to catch a glimpse of the approaching bulls. We mimic his actions, but all my eyes can detect is chaos and confusion. Ricardo is no longer speaking. He


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is barking a command like a drill sergeant. His voice has raised several octaves and a once simple word is now stretched to four syllables: “Ww..aaa..ii..ttt!” The human sea begins to part as runners dive for cover. We are in the eye of the storm, and in the relative calm, it’s not the sound of the powerful hooves clamoring on the cobblestones streets that will haunt me, but the clear, distinctive and piercing clang of the cowbells attached to the accompanying steer that still causes my pulse to quicken. The bulls are upon us. We are confronted with the approaching wall of beasts, littered with the handful of runners who dare to run with them. You hear Ricardo’s voice now betrayed by adrenalin and panic as he screams his final command: “RUN!” And this is what you do. All of the planning and strategy is replaced with the most basic of thoughts as you simply run – literally run for your life. To borrow a phrase from my friend and fellow runner, Matt, “this is where destiny kicks in.” I found myself desperately trying to outrun a hulking black bull whose right horn was trained on my back. A moment later, I turned to look again and he was overtaking me. I was now running alongside him. I distinctly remember the elation that overtook me. For a brief second, fear turned to awe, as I embraced the reality that I was living a dream. This moment was captured by an Associated Press photographer and would be shared worldwide. The picture that didn’t make the press, but it will forever

be captured in my mind’s eye, followed immediately by my making eye contact with the next bull. I was directly in his path, and I simply had no escape. I knew what was going to happen, but I was powerless to react. As the bull crashed into me and slammed me into the gates that line the run, I can tell you, without hyperbole: I thought I was going to die. Instead, I was rewarded with a new shot of adrenalin, as to my surprise, I was not only alive, but still on my feet. I sprinted the last few yards into the darkened tunnel that serves as an entrance to the coliseum. As you are reunited with daylight, open space and the relief that only the promise of safety can provide, you are simultaneously greeted by the cheers of thousands. It’s an experience that can only be described as a cathartic release of emotion. Throughout the festival, you hear the spontaneous cheers of “viva!” Translated, that means, “live!” Viva! It’s a distinct, simple and impassioned reminder to embrace life. I have since returned to Spain, and each year, more and more runners join and earn the veterans’ respect. Ricardo now jokes that Texans are a different breed and tells people that they need to run like Texans. San Fermin’s Running with the Bulls is a lifechanging event, but even if you never make it to San Fermin, you can experience the spirit and message behind it. Seek out and enjoy those moments where you celebrate and embrace life. Viva!

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NSIDE travel

CCIA offers travelers a hasslefree experience from the moment they turn onto International Drive.

Where Have You Gone? By providing a fun, inviting and hassle-free experience for travelers, CCIA may serve as the perfect place to start your summer vacation. By: [Kim Bridger]

It’s one of the first things to take a hit when the economy slows down. In the aviation industry, it’s referred to as “leisure travel.” These are trips you take not because you have to or because you have business to attend to someplace else. Leisure trips are trips you take for fun or adventure, or just to relax and recharge the batteries in a place away from your daily routine. Sounds great, right? I recently heard a friend talking about his approach to vacations right now. He brought up a familiar term that has surfaced in recent years. He and his family were considering a “staycation.” If you dissect the word, it’s pretty easy to understand the concept. It’s possible to plan a vacation for the family without ever leaving town. His scenario included getting a hotel room on

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the beach or the bay front, taking the family to the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, frolicking on the beach, buying a few souvenirs, visiting some favorite restaurants and enjoying what we have to offer right here at home. It’s a great idea that can work for families who want to make memories without breaking the bank. But if it’s time for you and your family to do something a little more far-reaching, there are endless possibilities. U.S. News & World Report publishes loads of information about some of their top vacation choices. Their lists include a top 10 for vacations in general, for summer vacations, for kidfriendly vacations and even for the best islands to visit. It’s all somewhat objective, of course. But if you

want to explore what you and the kids can do at Yosemite, for example, that’s one place to do some research before seriously considering making the trip. Here’s hoping that you will begin and end your vacation right here at CCIA. When you visit your airport, you’ll notice that we’ve made a few changes. The name of the airport hasn’t changed. But the logo we use to express our personality has morphed into something fun and inviting. And why shouldn’t it? CCIA offers travelers a hassle-free experience from the moment they turn onto International Drive. While we can’t predict airline delays, we can just about guarantee you a parking place that is not far from the front door. We can just about guarantee that you won’t have to wait in long lines to check your luggage or to get through the security checkpoint. CCIA is a friendly place. It’s comfortable, it’s clean and it’s a pleasant place to rest while you wait for your flight or for someone to arrive home. CCIA is “nohassleville,” and it is perhaps the perfect place to begin the summer vacation you’ve wanted to plan for a while. As we approach that time of year when travelers start to think about and plan a summer getaway, we’d like to hear from you about your favorite summer vacation memory. Where did you go? Was it a big group or just a few people? And would you go there again? Like us on Facebook and share your story. CCIA is only a click away with our revamped website at www.flyccia.com. We’re only a click away when you’re traveling thanks to our new mobile site that gives you the latest information available on your flights, links to the airlines and information about your airport. Come visit us online and tell us how we’re doing. Come visit us in person and go anywhere in the world from your airport. When it’s time to fly somewhere, go to a happy place. Fly CCIA!

Kim Bridger is the PR and marketing coordinator at CCIA. You can reach her at kimb@cctexas.com.


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Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9am-7pm N S I D E C O A S T A L B E N D 29 www.salonpalomo.com


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NSIDE dine

e c ie p r e t s a M d e r o l o ic t l Mu Turn the traditional family favorite of pizza into a healthy dinner option with this simple recipe for agave wheat pizza crust. By: [Mandy Ashcraft] Photography: [dustin ashcraft] Summer is almost here, and with an array of fresh vegetables in season and a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier still going strong (maybe? a little?), what you need is a way to turn a family favorite like pizza into a cleaneating dinner option. The flavor and consistency of this dough is remarkable, and it gives you a delicious homemade canvas on which to build a multicolored masterpiece. It’s absolutely worth the effort!

For more information, visit www.mandyashcraft.com.

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INgredients: 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon natural agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon salt 2 to 3 tablespoons cornmeal Melted butter (optional) Desired pizza toppings

Instructions: 1/ In a measuring cup of lukewarm water, add the yeast and allow it to dissolve. 2/ In a food processor or stand mixer, add the wholewheat and all-purpose flours and water with yeast and oil mixed with agave nectar and salt. Pulse processor or increase mixer speed to combine ingredients. 3/ Process the dough until it forms a ball on the blade. Ensure that it is mixed well and the consistency is uniform. Takes several minutes. 4/ Grease the inside of a large bowl. Place the dough ball into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and/or a clean kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm place such as a window in indirect sunlight for 45 minutes. The dough will double in size.

5/ Remove from bowl and knead dough on a floured cutting board. This makes two 10-inch pizzas, so cut dough in half evenly and roll each into a ball. 6/ Refrigerate covered for at least two hours. You can refrigerate overnight if preparing in advance. 7/ To bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees and roll dough flat on a flat surface covered in cornmeal. The cornmeal is essential to the crunch and texture of the bottom of the dough, so don’t skip this step or substitute with flour. You will end up with two 10-inch pizzas. Transfer to cookie sheets or pizza stones. Top with desired ingredients. 8/ Bake for approximately eight to 10 minutes. For a more golden brown crust, brush edges with melted butter halfway through baking.


Be Here - enjoy your Life! Sip, Savor, Taste - Downtown CC

Havana - Upscale Bar and Ultra Lounge

Bleu Bistro and Azur Bar

500 N. Water Street, Corpus Christi, TX

500 N. Water Street, Corpus Christi, TX

- Happy Hour from 4-7:30pm - VIP Booths with Bottle Service Available - Walk-in Humidor with Premium Cigars - Tapas Menu Served until 8pm - Friday’s – International Night with Live Music - Saturday’s – House DJ - Hours: 4pm - 10pm, Monday through Wednesday 4pm - 2am Thursday, Friday, Saturday - Additional Services: Full Service Catering, Private Parties

For Reservations and for Booking Special Events Contact Marcus at marcusrsoliz@msn.com or call Havana at 361.882.5552 or Bleu Bistro at 361.887.2121.

- French-American Cuisine and Fine Cocktails - Relaxed – upscale dining atmosphere - Prime Steaks and Seafood - Extensive Wine List - Specialty Cocktails - Additional Services: Full Service Catering, Private Parties, Private Room, Outdoor Covered Patio Seating - Hours: 5pm - 10pm, Monday through Thursday 5pm - 12pm, Friday and Saturday

For Reservations and for Booking Special Events Contact Marcus at marcusrsoliz@msn.com or call Havana at 361.882.5552 or Bleu Bistro at 361.887.2121.

N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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NSIDE shop

Expanding Presence

Set to undergo big changes in redesign and redevelopment, The Shops at La Palmera continues to welcome new retailers and strengthen its position as a major regional shopping destination. By: [Sarona Winfrey] Big changes are now underway at The Shops at La Palmera, the soon-to-be-redeveloped shopping center located across from the award-winning, one-million-square-foot regional mall, La Palmera in Corpus Christi. The initial renovation and construction work on The Shops at La Palmera began in February and is scheduled for completion in late 2013. Trademark Property Co., the Fort Worth-based retail and mixed-use development, investment and services firm, recently announced Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest sports and fitness specialty retailers in the United States, and Corner Bakery Cafe, the popular fast-casual restaurant, will open this year at The Shops at La Palmera. The 61,233-square-foot Dick’s store will anchor the 200,000-square-foot redeveloped and rebranded center, offering a broad assortment of brandname sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear in a specialty store environment. Construction has already begun on Dick’s with opening slated for fall of this year. The retailer currently operates more than 480 stores in 44 states. Construction also continues on the new 4,166-square-foot Corner Bakery Cafe, which is scheduled to open by summer 2013. Corner Bakery offers a casual atmosphere featuring innovative, seasonal menu options ranging from hot breakfasts and signature paninis to handcrafted salads, sandwiches and mouthwatering sweets.  Corner Bakery Cafe currently delivers its premier bakery cafe experience in 140 locations across the country.

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“We’re excited to bring Dick’s Sporting Goods and Corner Bakery to The Shops at La Palmera,” said Trademark Chairman and CEO Terry Montesi. “They are two of the nation’s top merchants, and we look forward to them being an integral part of our redevelopment in Corpus Christi.”  On April 11, 2012, Trademark announced the purchase of two retail centers located directly across from La Palmera, formerly the 15.53-acre

lowing the redevelopment, there will be more than two dozen retail and dining options totaling approximately 200,000 square feet. A number of existing stores will remain open on the property as construction takes place, including Big Lots, Catherine’s, Family Christian Stores, SAS Factory Shoe Store, Victoria’s Jewels, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Sunshine Dental Center. “Because of the great success we have had with

“The redesign of this property will allow us to better accommodate those wanting a presence in this market.” Staples Center, built in the 1980s, and the 3.81-acre Mt. Vernon Center, built in the 1940s. Trademark’s joint venture partner on the acquisition is Institutional Mall Investors, LLC. Institutional Mall Investors and Trademark purchased La Palmera together in 2008. The Shops at La Palmera will undergo a major redesign and redevelopment complementing that of La Palmera, which underwent its own two-year $50 million renovation soon after Trademark and Institutional Mall Investors purchased the property. Trademark, which will lease and manage the new center, will make additional announcements as new tenants are signed. When fully leased fol-

La Palmera, there is an increased demand from national retailers in Corpus Christi,” said La Palmera General Manager Fred Walters. “The redesign of this property will allow us to better accommodate those wanting a presence in this market, and will also greatly enhance the area and strengthen La Palmera as a major regional shopping destination.”

For more information on La Palmera or The Shops at La Palmera, go to www.lapalmera.com or www. theshopsatlapalmera.com, visit us on Facebook or call 361-991-3755.


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NSIDE style

Perfect Harmony When it comes to your style, are you in harmony with your hair? By: [Ricardo Gomez ] Photography: [dustin ashcraft ]

In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches, tones and notes, which altogether create a wonderful combination of sounds.  In life, harmony is when people get along, feel happy and are nice to one another. In essence, harmony represents the flow of life. When it comes to your style, are you in harmony with your hair? Women accessorize their clothes really well with matching shoes, jewelry and purses, but they often overlook the missing piece that fully completes their sense of style – and that is the harmony they can create with their hair. Having been in the industry for more than 20 years and having traveled to many places around the world, I found out that eight times out of 10, a woman’s style and clothing are in harmony, but her hairstyle does not match her identity. In today’s world, women influence each other and tend to follow trends

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because they are fashionable and “in the moment,” but these trends may

the same patterns; the styles are the same whether I am in New York,

Our goal, as professionals in the hair industry, is to educate our clients on harmony and guide them to achieve their own sense of style. Too often, women find themselves with hair stylists who will cut their hair in a way that is familiar to them and create an angle they are the most comfortable with, but these stylists miss the opportunity to complete that harmony by not “seeing” the clients and instead following the current trend. The right questions professional hairstylists should ask themselves are, “Is my client classic, modern, edgy? Does her harmony match her hair and vice versa?” Harmony is not easy to attain – that’s why we, the experts, help women create it by aligning their style and their identity with their hair. When I lived in France, I learned that the main focus in the initial consultation is to discover the style of our client, her identity and her harmony. It is a time of exchange and reflection with our client to help her create her best sense of style. It’s not about cutting hair – it’s about building trust with our clients and creating an amazing experience for them. It’s about “reading” our clients and their hair because the right technique on the wrong hair and the wrong style will just produce bad results. Next time you speak to your stylist, think about your harmony and ques-

8 times out of 10,

a woman’s style and clothing are in harmony, but her hairstyle doesn’t match her identity. not necessarily reflect their identity. Pop culture and the influence of celebrities often put women in a “mold,” but they do not focus on their own sense of style. So women tend to not pay attention to the texture of their hair, the shape of their face or the tone of their skin – all of which combined can create the perfect harmony. No matter where I travel, I notice

Rome or Bangkok. The world has become a big village, and it is hard to find local flavors anymore, be it in food, fashion or hair design. When I travel overseas, it is rare to see women with their own sense of style. It doesn’t matter what part of society they come from or what region of the world they live in. Most women try to follow someone else’s style.

tion your stylist – otherwise you may end up looking like everyone else. And who doesn’t want to be unique? When you meet a woman who has perfect harmony, she shines wherever she goes.

Ricardo Gomez is the co-owner of Atelier Salon (formerly called Dolce Divino Salon).


AN Unexpected LOCATION FOR Extraordinary MEETINGS The award winning Ortiz Center is the most strikingly modern meeting and banquet facility of it’s kind in South Texas. Let the uniqueness of the Ortiz Center and our professional and attentive staff make your next meeting an event to remember! Contact us to come for a visit and see for yourself! 402 Harbor Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 OrtizCenter.com • 361-879-0125 N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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Photo by: Paul Kolnik

NSIDE arts

performing April 25 to 28, 2013, at American Bank Center Arena, and Blue Man Group, performing May 28 and 29, 2013, at American Bank Center Selena Auditorium. Here are some fun facts that prove these are must-see shows:

Disney On Ice: Rockin’ Ever After

Disney On Ice: Rockin’ Ever After and Blue Man Group are set to excite audiences at American Bank Center in April and May.

• This is a brand-new show that started touring in September 2012. • Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy visit different Disney films in search of the best talent in the Disney Kingdom. • Characters from “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Tangled” and “Brave” are featured in this rockin’ musical. • This is the first show that will feature characters from the Disney movie, “Brave.” • Taylor Firth, who performs as Brave’s Merida, actually went to Scotland with the director and choreographer from the show for inspiration. • This is an all-out rock show that features not only princesses, but a variety of characters that bring your favorite Disney movies to life.

By: [Samantha Koepp]

Blue Man Group

Rockin’ Onstage and On the Ice The next couple of months are packed with entertainment at American Bank Center. Two events that will have fans jumping to their feet are Disney on Ice: Rockin’ Ever After,

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• The message behind the show is the power of a group; there are three Blue Men because three is the smallest number that makes up a group. • Science, art, music, spectacle, reading, math and technology all are incorporated into each performance. • The Blue Man is a combination of

hero and trickster, clown and scientist, innocent and superhero. • The show is not without words. LED screens display a series of messages designed to make the audience laugh and/or think. An authoritative, otherworldly voice wittily explains the intricacies of modern plumbing, choreography and technology. • One of their most famous pieces, beating paint-covered drums, is actually a lesson in synesthesia (a mixing of the senses). • People sitting in the front rows are given slickers to protect their clothes from paint and other possible splatterings.

Tickets for Disney On Ice: Rockin’ Ever After and Blue Man Group are on sale now at the American Bank Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or via phone at 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply. For more information about Disney On Ice: Rockin’ Ever After, visit http:// disney.go.com/disneyonice/. To learn more about Blue Man Group, visit www.blueman.com. SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center providing unprecedented guest experiences. Follow us online at www.americanbankcenter.com, www.facebook. com/americanbankcenter or www. twitter.com/americanbankctr.


The Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd., Robstown TX 78380 At the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, clients are extremely valued. We believe in our state of the art equipment and over-achieving staff. The Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds professional staff will help with any size Meeting, Fundraiser, Holiday Party, Employee Appreciation Celebration, and Much More… Call us today 361-387-9000 or visit www.rmbfairgrounds.com

How You Doin’? Philosophy What makes us stand out from the rest? Our 10 goals to ensure you a successful event 1. Customer First 2. Golden Rule 3. Listen 4. Think “Yes” 5. Be Professional

6. Positive Attitude 7. 24-Hour Rule 8. Everybody Sells 9. Enthusiasm 10. Do It Now N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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NSIDE real estate

The newest and the best – that is often what people look for when they want to make a new purchase. The purchase of a new home can show you the latest and best … all that is trending in housing. Like the fashion and automobile industries, the new home industry has its annual gathering of professionals where the newest ideas, products and plans are on display. It’s called the NAHB International Builders’ Show, and due to the size of the gathering, only a few cities in the country can hold the crowd. This year’s gathering of more than 70,000 building professionals in Las Vegas was interesting and exciting, and it gave us the unique opportunity to see all of the newest trends in the business. As you would imagine, the items that are popular across the United States are also the items we see that our customers want in their new homes in Corpus Christi. And like us, builders across the country have begun to include many of these new trends – these “upgraded” items – in their new homes. While there are many to choose from, the most popular trends and upgrades appear to be:

š Natural decorating finishes, includ-

ing granite countertops and stone exteriors, walls and fireplaces

š

Contemporary open-design floor plans featuring simple aesthetics, less clutter and multiuse rooms

š Richly appointed kitchens with stainless steel appliances, glass backsplash and granite and quartz countertops

š Luxurious master bathrooms featur-

ing a big shower with two to five showerheads or a “standing spa” instead of the traditional separate tub and shower

š Home automation – smart homes

that can interact with you via your smart phone or iPad

š

The Latest and Greatest Trending now: the newest and the best in new home living By: [Bart Braselton]

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Energy-efficient design and green building methods While these new trends are very popular, they can also be very pricey. Upgrades can easily add $10,000 to $30,000 to the cost of your home. And since you pay for your home in your monthly mortgage, the more you have in your home, the higher your monthly cost. But as you know, your monthly cost of living (MCOL) is actually more than just your mortgage cost – it’s also your monthly utility bills. And depending upon the size and age of your home, your utility bills can sometimes almost double your monthly mortgage. Used homes


Scan QR code for more information with power bills of $700 per month are not unusual. Of all the trends and upgrades listed, only one can actually lower your MCOL: green building. That is correct: Green building can actually lower your monthly costs, as a green home will cut your utility bills by up to 50 percent – and it can drop your insurance costs by almost as much. And with a green home, not only do you save money each month, you also help save the environment. Green homes are built to create a much smaller carbon footprint and use alternative power sources, and they are constructed with environmentally friendly and recycled/recyclable building materials. If these savings intrigue you, I urge you to visit a new Green Built home today. Several homebuilders in our area build green and have homes available for you to see. At Braselton Homes, we have five fully furnished

With a green home, you not only save money each month, but also help save the environment. model homes open seven days a week for you to tour. At our model homes, our sales agents can show you all of the green construction methods and energy-efficient designs that we build into each of our exclusive Braselton eco-homes. Additionally, at the model homes, you can see and experience all of the other trends listed; granite kitchen countertops, large open floor plans and big

master bath showers are all there for you to enjoy. And be sure to check out our Braselton smart home features. Accessing and controlling your home’s functions from your smart phone or iPad is really cool … and quite addictive. What’s trending is available now. Come and experience the newest and best in new home living. See you in the neighborhood.

Bart Braselton is the executive vice president of Braselton Homes, the Coastal Bend’s oldest and largest homebuilder and neighborhood developer. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Braselton is the third generation of Braseltons building in the Bay Area. Returning to Corpus Christi after earning a BBA in Finance, as well as a BBA in Real Estate, from the University of Texas at Austin, Braselton began working in the family business as a construction superintendent. Braselton Homes has since grown into one of the nation’s “top 200” builders, earning consistent rankings in the annual list complied by Builder Magazine, and has won many local, state and national awards. Braselton, a graduate of Leadership Corpus Christi Class 18, is a contributing writer to NSIDE Coastal Bend magazine, and has served on numerous local community and business committees and boards, including positions with the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, Bayfest, the American Heart Association, the Builders Association of Corpus Christi and the CCISD Boundary Committee. Most recently, Braselton began serving as the vice president of the Board of the Citizens in Support of the Corpus Christi Police Department, a foundation envisioned by the police chief to support the men and women of the CCPD. Braselton and his wife, Michelle, have three children, and are active members at Corpus Christi’s Bay Area Fellowship. N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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Braselton Homes is the Largest New Home Builder and Neighborhood Developer in the Corpus Christi Bay Area; for over 65 years, and 3 generations, the Braselton Family has been building Corpus Christi. Braselton Homes has been consistently ranked as one of the TOP BUILDERS in the United States, and has won numerous local, state and national awards. Thousand of families in the Coastal Bend have trusted the Braseltons with their home. The Exclusive Builder of the Eco-Home™ which reduces homeowner utility bills by 50%, and the Smart Home™, the only TechReady Home in South Texas, Braselton builds homes from the $110’s to the $450’s, all across the Corpus Christi Bay Area.

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NSIDE etiquette

Global Networking Etiquette Navigate the global market by knowing and adhering to the many varying customs around the world when conducting international business. By: [Sharon Schweitzer]

Within the United States, we experience regional business nuances that may leave a New Yorker baffled in Texas. But all it takes is one international business trip to realize just how much there is to learn about networking in the global market. Variations are dramatic – and not to be overlooked.

One

Sponsors and networks: In China, the business world revolves around “guanxi” (pronounced gwan-SHEE), loosely translated as networks of influence. Trust and the ease of doing business in China depend on who you know and how well you network. It is important to set up business connections with your Chinese counterpart prior to arrival in China. In the Middle East, if you are a businesswoman, your local counterpart will be invaluable in avoiding awkward moments when you are asked, “Where is your husband?” or “Is your husband traveling with you?” The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are helpful starting points in these regions and many others.

Two

Building relationships: Building networks and relationships in Asia and Latin America requires time, patience and effort. In the United States, it is no surprise that business executives believe “time is money” and want to know “what have you done for me lately?” Many U.S. deals are completed within hours and days. Around the globe, countries such as China, Dubai, India and Russia base business contracts on trust. Trust is built with each visit or business encounter over weeks, months or even years. Rushing to “get down to business” or to have a contract signed by a deadline is unwise; it will prevent trust and impede the relationship.

Three

Global wardrobe: Eighty percent of communication is visual. Dressing the part and respecting the local culture, especially in conservative countries, is a key factor for success. For a woman, U.S. office attire will most likely be considered inappropriate, discourteous and even provocative in some cultures. If female travelers do not adhere to local dressing customs, they should not be surprised if businessmen are uncomfortably “forward.” Modest dress in China, Dubai, Japan, India, Russia and the Middle East includes covering décolletage (button those shirts to the neck), knees and elbows. Women are discouraged from wearing pants in the Japan and the Middle East, where neutral wardrobe colors, including black, white, tan and ecru, are de rigueur. Across Latin America and Europe, businesswomen are

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80% of communication is visual.

expected to be fashion-forward, especially in Argentina, where bright colors on businesswomen are the norm. In summary, research before you pack.

Four

Short and sweet: Have a unique and powerful response ready to common questions such as “What do you know about our country?,”“What do you do?” and “What kind of position are you searching for?” Be prepared and clear with your response. Stumbling on a response can be avoided, especially when language barriers may make conversation flow less smoothly, with practice and a ready response.

Five

Business card exchange: Exchanging business cards is an essential part of many business cultures. In most Asian countries, after introductions and a bow, the business card ceremony will begin. In Japan this is called “meishi” (pronounced MAY-SHEE). The card is presented with both hands, print facing upward. Offering the card with both hands holding the top corners demonstrates respect. Business cards are currency in global business. Do not be fooled simply because they are used less in the United States. In Asia, your card is an extension of you.

361-232-6334

Six

Accepting hospitality and gifts: When a host offers coffee, tea, water or refreshments, it is wise to accept. In Asia and the Middle East, to decline this offer is the ultimate sign of disrespect to your host. Alcohol will not be offered in the Middle East, where it is taboo. Gifts are part of the culture of international travel. In light of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, traveling professionals should seek advice from corporate counsel before selecting a gift for a host. Once clearance is received, small “made in the USA” products, including books, plates and state capitol memorabilia, are recommended. In the Middle East, gifts are given at the end of the meeting. In Latin America, gifts are given at the beginning. For the Japanese, gift giving and gift wrapping have great importance.

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is an international etiquette expert at Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, located at 111 Congress Ave., No. 400, Austin, Texas 78701. For more information, visit www.protocolww.com, www. facebook.com/protocolww or www.twitter.com/ austinprotocol, or email sharon@protocolww.com.

Korey Howell Photography

As a tourist, a cultural faux pas may be overlooked. The same is not true for a business traveler where millions – and priceless corporate reputations – may be at stake. Researching business counterparts and the host country prior to departure is an investment of time for the wise business traveler. Bon voyage!

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Dusty Oliveira

Photography: [dustin ashcraft]

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st y l e &


substance

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My philosophy: Stay humble.

I am part of a downtown art, music, events, design and fashion (just about anything) collective of entrepreneurs called PRODUCE. I am a DJ/producer who was recently signed by Universal Music/Pepsi for my song, “K Le Pasa,� and I am currently touring the country DJ-ing and supporting my single. I also run Turntable Academy, a local after-school DJ-ing/beat-making program for kids ages 8 to 17. I am also co-owner of a downtown gym called All Good Fitness. Lastly, I own part of my family ranching business, Oliveira Properties, with my brothers, Chuck and Mark Oliveira.


Quote to live by: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

N S I D E C O A S TA L B E N D

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“Is WordPress Right for Your Business?” WordPress is used to power nearly 58 million websites around the globe. Conventional wisdom has it that it is an easy-to-use, SEO friendly, all-in-one content management solution. But Boss Creative—a San Antonio web design and online marketing firm that has thrived since 2005—contests the popular “wisdom.”


San Antonio Web Design Firm

Boss Creative Bucks Conventional SEO Wisdom boss Creative, a san antonio Web design and online marketing firm, shook up the marketing blogosphere with a blog post titled “is WordPress right for Your business?” the popular online marketing firm bucked the conventional wisdom that WordPress is a good fit for almost any business. WordPress is a popular web development platform that was released as blogging software in the spring of 2003. since that time, it has become the go-to content management system for both amateur web hobbyists and professional web development companies alike. both clients and developers like the software because of its almost infinite design templates, flexible functionality, robust support communities, and ease of use. the platform is so popular, in fact, that the official WordPress statistics site claims there are nearly 58 million websites being run on WordPress! but boss Creative says that the easiest route is not always the best. in fact, they say, the easiest route may not be as easy as many people think. “Unless you happen to be gifted in the areas of HtML code, Css, or PHP, (that’s development speak for “knowing how to program”), then using WordPress to create your business website will likely be more headache than help,” they state in their post.

in fact, they think that using WordPress can hinder a business’s lead generation and branding capabilities, saying that its one-size-fits-all nature leaves little to no branding flexibility when it comes to professional websites.

By: Boss Creative

it’s not that the firm hates WordPress. in fact, they claim to even use it for some of the sites that they develop for clients. the company’s main objection is simply that it is not a “magic bullet” when it comes to online marketing, branding, and search engine optimization. “We here at boss utilize WordPress for a number of websites, but we do so in conjunction with a multitude of other solutions, such as online marketing and search engine optimization,” says the firm on its official blog. they implement these solutions “in addition to applying [their] expertise in business web development and other graphic design capabilities.” in other words, the san antonio web design firm doesn’t believe that WordPress is an adequate online marketing solution straight out of the box. What they advise business owners is to avoid looking at the platform as a quick-and-easy solution.

A bout Boss Creative Boss Creative has no small amount of knowledge about the field. Established in 2005, the firm has carried on a strong presence in the San Antonio market. It has successfully weathered the recession— even thriving—by way of advanced marketing techniques and frequent referrals. They have even won three advertising awards from the American Advertising Federation. To learn more about the San Antonio web design & online marketing firm, or simply get online marketing tips for your business contact them at: Contact Name & Title: Charles Pilkilton (Managing Partner) Contact Agency/Company: Boss Creative Address: 18402 U.S. HWY 281 N Suite 201 San Antonio, TX 78259 Contact Telephone: (210) 568-9677 Contact Email: hello@thisisboss.com Website: www.thisisboss.com

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NSIDE espaÑol

LOS QUE SABEN LO QUE QUIEREN, OBTIENEN LO QUE QUIEREN Por: [Juan de Lascurain]

Acuérdate de que sólo a los que terminan se les dan medallas, no a los que comienzan y se dan por vencidos. 54

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Creo que una de las cosas más importantes en la vida es el tener un sueño, seguirlo y desarrollar tus talentos y habilidades. Todo surge de una idea, un pensamiento o una visión. Muchas veces a la gente le da miedo poner esas ideas en movimiento porque piensan que quiénes son ellos para lograrlas o porque se ponen a pensar en qué es lo que va a decir la gente. Si todo el mundo tuviera una mentalidad pequeña todavía estaríamos andando a caballo, ni los aviones, ni los coches existirían. El mundo no estaría tan abierto como lo está y algunos países todavía estarían viviendo el comunismo. Es increíble pensar que Cuba es un país que existe en este siglo. Pero esa es otra historia.  Yo siempre he tenido sueños muy grandes, nunca me he dado por vencido y no ha sido solamente el tener un sueño, he sabido que es lo que quiero hacer en cada momento. El momento en que me dí cuenta que tenía un talento para pintar y diseñar, pude ver lo que no existía. Yo sabía que un día mis productos iban a estar en todos lados. Hoy tengo más de 25 productos por todo México. Cuando competí en triatlones sabía que mi meta era competir por todo el mundo, y lo pude hacer, aún cuando la mayoría de la gente me decía que estaba loco. Hace unos meses se me ocurrió la idea de contactar a la Federación Mexicana de fútbol y ofrecerles hacer un co-branding con mi marca de Dream Big. Un co-branding para fusionar el arte de ellos con mis diseños y mi lema. Contacté a una de las personas encargadas y me dio una cita, le presenté el proyecto y me dijo que estaba muy interesante y que lo iba a presentar internamente. Después de varios días me dijo que les había gustado mucho. Yo sabía exactamente lo que quería y a donde quería llegar con eso. Mi idea era de crear una campaña nacional para inspirar a la gente de México utilizando el fútbol, mi diseño y mensaje. Quería presentársela a patrocinadores y al gobierno. Después de varios meses y algunos obstáculos cerramos el trato y me puse a hacer los primeros diseños. Ahorita ya contamos con una colección de mas de 50 y ya tenemos las primeras licencias vendidas. ¿Imposible? ¡No! A mi nadie me conocía en la Federación, pero cuando tienes buenas ideas, sabes lo que quieres y te arriesgas, la mayor parte del tiempo puedes lograr tus sueños. No sé en dónde estés en tu vida, a lo mejor quieres comenzar algo nuevo pero te da miedo, o ya vas en el camino y te quieres dar por vencido. Sigue adelante. Yo me tardé 9 años en recoger lo que estoy recogiendo, nada es gratis, todo toma mucho trabajo y esfuerzo, pero creo que todo es posible. Acuérdate de que sólo a los que terminan se les dan medallas no a los que comienzan y se dan por vencidos. Los dejo con algunos diseños del nuevo co-branding: Dream Big/ Femexfut.

Para más información sobre Juan de Lascuraín, visita www.juandelascurain.com o www.facebook.com/dreambigworld, o siga @dreambigworld en Twitter.


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NSIDE Coastal Bend April/May 2013