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publisher’s LETTER

likeHome No Place

F

E

B

R

U

A

R

Dearest friend,

Kerrville is a most amazing community. I knew this the day that I drove into town. I had this wonderful idea for a business publication for the Kerrville community, and so a few months before the release, I loaded my wife, our dog, and all of our possessions into the back of a U-Haul and moved here from the Dallas area. I had no idea what we were in for, but on previous visits to Kerrville, I just knew that it felt like HOME. And we’ve never looked back. We came here to launch the Kerrville Area Business Magazine, which has enjoyed a loyal following and tremendous success for several years. Partnering with the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce for the magazine was a wonderful choice and provided me with a wealth of resources to provide Kerrville with a publication that educated, enlightened, and entertained. It was so much fun to produce, and I have met so many amazing people through the journey of producing the magazine. But sometimes, things have to change. As I sat and thought about what I truly wanted the Kerrville Area Business Magazine to be, I realized that in some ways I was missing the mark. I wanted the magazine to be a true voice, not only for the business community, but for the entire heart of Kerrville. Kerrville is packed with so many interesting people, and I had so many stories to tell, but I began to wonder if the current structure of the magazine would enable me to really tell those tales. So, after much consideration, I decided to branch out on my own and produce what you hold in your hands. This magazine is something that Kerrville has never had – a publication that simply celebrates all that makes Kerrville unique – the people, the businesses, the events, and the true soul of this community that we have all come to love. Sure, we’ll still highlight local businesses that we have all come to love, but we also hope to tell you the stories of the people that simply make our community a little brighter. This magazine’s role is to tell you about what is going on around you, how it impacts you, and why you should care. It’s here to let you know about your friends and neighbors, and why you really, REALLY should want to do business with them. Mostly, it’s here to connect you with your very own community. The same community that just called to me several years ago and drew me in. I hope that you enjoy this new issue. It’s been a heckuva lot of work, but I’m awfully proud of it. I hope that you learn something new, that you visit one of the wonderful supporters whose ads are featured, and that you thank God every day that you live in a community as wonderful as ours. I know I sure do.

Sincerely, Morgan Schooley PS – I’d sure love to hear from you. Drop me a line anytime at morgan@mykerrville.org or give me a call at 830-285-4373!

MY KERRVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL www.mykerrville.org PUBLISHER Morgan Schooley morgan@mykerrville.org My Kerrville Business Journal 120 Summer Loop morgan@mykerrville.org - 830-285-4373 Creative Director Jeanna Goodrich - jeanna@mykerrville.org Advertising Morgan Schooley - 830-285-4373 - morgan@mykerrville.org

My Kerrville Business Journal is published monthly by Uncle Frog’s Island, LLC. No reproduction in any form is authorized without the consent of Uncle Frog’s Island, LLC. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited submissions. Manuscripts, photographs, and other submitted material can be acknowledged or returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The content contained does not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Uncle Frog’s Island, LLC. Uncle Frog’s Island, LLC, assumes no liability for misinformation, omissions, or errors.

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Kerrville Event Calendar

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Our Community Connection

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The Re-invention of a Magazine

Chocolate Fantasy Weekend Promises Sweet Delights

10

Kerrville's New City Hall Gets Green Light

12

Lunch Break

15

Whelan Plumbing Company

16

Can it Get Much Better?

20

The Hidden Truth

Behind Background Checks

22

The Importance of Social Media

25

Arbitration

26

News From the Library

Around Town

29

Kerrville: Then and Now

30

Grape Juice

Celebrating 70 Years

What a Time to be Living in!

Somewhere In Between

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it’s

it’s

and it’s

LO O K W H AT ’ S N E W I N

your business to bring you the best of Kerrville to keep you informed and up to date to showcase

don’t forget to check out yo u r n u m b e r o n e re s o u rc e f o r Ke r r v i l l e b u s i n e s s n ew s o n l i n e , w i t h a n i n t e ra c t i ve v i r t u a l f l i p b o o k o f e a c h m o n t h ’s m a g a z i n e WE HAVE ANSWERS! If you’re curious to learn more about My Kerrville Business Journal, give Morgan Schooley a call at (830) 285-4373 or e-mail morgan@mykerrville.org.


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february 2012


eve n t CA L E N DA R

February

CALENDAR February 1st

February 9th-MARCH 4th

Texas Music Coffeehouse

KACC Exhibits- Love

Wednesday 7:00pm. This month features Black History Month with San Antonio guitarist/ songwriter Ruben V. Schreiner University Cailloux Campus Activity Center, 2100 Memorial Blvd.,830792-7409.

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm. Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pmA love themed juried art exhibit featuring the creations of regional artists. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-8952911.

February 1st -5th

February 9th-MARCH 4th

KACC Merit Show

KACC Exhibits- Monday Painters

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm. Invitational show featuring the works of award winners from the 2011. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-8952911.

February 1st -5th

KACC Collectables Show and Sale Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm. Gallery-condition collectables, estate pieces, antiques for sale. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-895-2911.

February 1st -5th

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm. An exhibit featuring painting by the Monday painters artist group. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-895-2911.

February 9th-MARCH 4th

KACC Exhibits- Painted Violins Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm. An exhibit of violins from the Symphony of the Hills’ Painted Violin Project. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-8952911.

KACC Melange Exhibit

February 10th-March 3rd

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm. Five artists mix it up. Featuring the work of Marsha Mefferd, Diane Henry, Phyllis Garey, Judy Surles and Susan Ehlers. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-895-2911.

"Sex Please, We’re Sixty"

February 2nd-4th

February 10th-12th

Actors from the London Stage Thursday-Saturday 7:30pm. 5 professional actors perform Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Schreiner University, Dietert Auditorium, 2100 Memorial Blvd., For tickets and information, call 830-7927211.

February 3rd-18th

"Moon Over Buffalo" Friday-Saturday 7:30pm, 2nd Thursday 7:30pm, 2nd Sunday 2:00pm. Playhouse 2000, Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, 910 Main St., 830-896-9393.

February 4th

Actors from the London Stage Master Acting Class Saturday 10:30pm-12:00pm. Schreiner University, 2100 Memorial Blvd., 830-792-7211.

February 4th-25th

Texas Federation of Fiber Artists Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm. A Juried exhibition featuring fiber artists across the state. Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theatre Rd., Ingram, 830-367-5120.

Friday-Saturday 7:30pm, Sunday 2:00pm Hill Country Arts Foundation Indoor Theater, 120 Point Theatre Rd., Ingram 830-367-5120.

Chocolate Fantasy Weekend Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Call for times and ticket prices. Wining, dining, chocolates in every shape and form, and auctions. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett, 830-895-2911.

February 11th

Original Team Roping Association Saturday 9:00am. See cowboys compete. Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center, 3705 Hwy 27, 806499-3584.

February 11th

Daddy / Daughter Sweetheart Dance Saturday 6:00pm-8:00pm. Dads, get ready to spend a special evening with your daughter as this Valentine themed event will include an evening of dinner and dancing with music by a Disc Jockey, and a keepsake photo. Dietert Center, 451 Guadalupe St., 830-257-7300.

February 13th

Monday Night Fiction looks at ‘Hunger Games’ Monday 7:00pm. Discussion of “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. “Hunger Games” is the first of a near-future sci-fi trilogy featuring 16-year-old

Katniss Everdeen, who lives in Panem, the former North America. The games of the title are an annual fight for survival among young people chosen from each of Panem’s 12 districts. Although “Hunger Games” written for the young adult market, it is a good read for older readers, too, addressing issues such as slavery and conspiracy. Schreiner University, Scarle-Philips Room of the William Logan Library, 2100 Memorial Blvd. 830-792-7352.

February 14th

Valentines Dinner & Music Show Tuesday 6:00pm-dinner, 7:00pm-entertainment. Join us for a romantic evening beginning with a chicken, steak & chocolate cake dinner. Complimentary glass of champagne followed with entertainment by the well known, Thomas Michael Riley Band. Beer & wine available. Reserved seating, call for information. Buckhorn Lake Resort, 2885 Goat Creek Rd, 800-568-6458.

February 17

66th Annual Pancake Supper Friday, 5:00-7:00pm. Kiwanis Club of Kerrville Hosts their 66th Annual Pancake Supper at the Tivy High School Cafeteria.

February 21st

Mardi Gras on Main Tuesday 6:00pm-9:00pm. Mardi Gras on Main started in 2005 as a celebration of Kerrville Main Street’s 10th anniversary. It has since evolved into a festival that focuses on fine food, fine music, and fine wine. Each year since its inception, hundreds of people gather to celebrate Mardi Gras Texas style. Y.O Ranch Hotel and Conference Center, 2033 Sidney Baker, 830-792-8395.

February 23rd

Robert Earl Keen 2012 Thursday 6:00pm Meet & Greet, 8:00pm concert. A benefit concert for the Hill Country Youth Orchestra. Robert Earl Keen is a dynamic performer and master songster, known for such all-time hits as “The Road Goes On Forever,” “The Rose Hotel,” “Feeling Good Again,” “Corpus Christi Bay,” and “Merry Christmas from the Family.” Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, 910 Main St., 830-896-9393.

February 25th

Original Team Roping Association Saturday 9:00am. See cowboys compete. Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center, 3705 Hwy 27, 806499-3584.

February 27th

Chautauqua Lecture Monday 7:00 pm. Eldon Sheffer, director of church relations, will speak on "Character, Culture and College.", Schreiner University Floyd and Kathleen Cailloux Student Activity Center, Kerrville,2100 Memorial Blvd., 830-792-7352

mykerrville.org

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from the EDITOR

OUR

of a MAGAZINE

COMMUNITY

RE-INVENTION Sometimes things have to change. Even though it’s hard, you simply have to put your eye on the prize, push through the obstacles and make it happen. This is the story of one such adventure. The reinvention of this very magazine. I won’t proclaim to be a great story-teller, but I’ll try to tell you a story anyway. This is the story of My Kerrville Business Journal, and how it truly came to be. The Kerrville Area Business Magazine was founded in 2009, with a partnership between myself and the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce. The mission was clear: produce a publication that highlighted local businesses and let the community know about things happening with the Chamber and its members. This was a tremendous marriage between some folks that were seriously invested in promoting local business. I loved it. Most of all, I loved the community. I loved meeting all the people that make this town what it is, and becoming connected to the heartbeat of a town that I fell in love with the day that I arrived. While I would put together all of these articles about business leaders, and while I felt that while the articles were certainly deserving, there were SO many other folks out there that needed some publicity. Local nonprofits, artists, musicians, and people with amazing talent that needed their stories told. So, after some serious soul searching, My Kerrville Business Journal was born. But don’t let the name fool you – while it might have the business community as its focus, its TRUE focus is one of trying to tell the stories of the folks that simply make our town GO. I felt that, while the business community is certainly crucial to our town, the very stories of the people behind the scenes was perhaps more important. And so, that’s where I decided to focus. I slowed down, looked around, and saw a community that is full of people that might not own the coolest, flashiest business, but that work daily to make our community a better place. They work diligently to ensure that our lives are made better by their very existence, and I think that’s amazingly cool. The local artist, the aspiring musician, the stay at home mom that has decided to start up

CONNECTION

a fledgling business. These are the REAL folks that need their stories told, and I decided that now was the time to break out and make sure that it happens. So, with a true direction identified, off we went. Guess how much work goes into taking a magazine and completely rebranding it? The answer: TONS. Tirelessly working, we had to rebuild every element of the magazine to fit this new current format. We had to re-envision every logo, every banner, and every aspect of what you hold in your hands. It was a major undertaking, but one that I’m so happy we’ve made. All the work was worth it, and I hope that you’ll agree. Even if you’re a hardcore business connoisseur, we hope that we can tell you a few stories about some folks that you might not know, but should. We hope that we can reaffirm your belief that Kerrville is the most amazing place in Texas (if not the world) and that we share your profound passion for our community. We want to challenge you, inspire you, and inform you about the things that you really want to know: that which makes you smile. The re-branding of any business in an enormous undertaking. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a dog-sitting business or running a multi-national bank, it’s a serious beast of a chore. We know that people might scratch their heads and question why something successful would find it necessary to monkey with their business model, but we also know that those same people would celebrate a publication that is focusing on spotlighting the tremendous heart and spirit of the community they have grown to love. That’s what we’re here to do. And we’re excited to get started. So get ready. We plan to let you know about some folks you’ve never even met. We plan to spotlight events that you simply must support. We plan to profile some good folks that have a story that will inspire you. We plan to make you dream, smile, laugh, and cry. That’s our mission, and we take it seriously. Change is not always a lot of fun, but sometimes, change can open the whole world to you and take you in directions you never imaged. Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy the re-birth of this magazine as much as we enjoyed making it for you. ■

by Morgan Schooley morgan@mykerrville.org

mykerrville.org

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around TOWN

Chocolate Fantasy Weekend Promises Sweet Delights

e’ll bet that your sweet tooth is whispering, nay, clamoring that it’s almost time for the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center’s annual Chocolate Fantasy Weekend - and that clever little guy is right! This year, Chocolate Fantast Weekend is bigger, better, and tastier than ever, beginning with a truly decadent Food & Wine Evening with the theme “Delectable Desires” ($50 per person) on Friday, February 10, featuring a live auction and live music from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This evening event will feature delicious food and wine selections by Kerrville’s best restaurants and chefs. Besides the live auction on Friday evening, another, silent auction will run all weekend, vastly increasing your chances to win big! Saturday, February 11, will feature two events: a Cooking Seminar/Demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m. and a Wine Seminar from 3:30 to 5 p.m. ($35 per person for each event), with copious tastings of course. The Cooking Demo & Tasting will feature gourmet cook Karen Vaucher presenting “The Mediterranean Way of Life and Cuisine”, and the Wine Seminar & Tasting will be presented by well-known oenophile Leah Magee. Registration for each

event is limited to ensure plenty of noshing and sipping opportunities for participants. Sunday, February 12, stagger on in for the “All You Can Eat” Chocolate Buffet ($15 per person in advance; $20 pers person at the door) which will feature all the entries in the “Best Hill Country Chocolate Contest.” Prizes will be announced at 1 p.m. To enter the Contest and show off your talents and favorite chocolate creations call Lanza at (830) 895-2911. The deadline for entries is February 4th. Prize Ribbons in both Amateur and Pro Divisions will be awarded for Best Cookie or Bar, Best Candy, Best Cake, and Best Other Chocolate. There will also be awards for Peoples’ Choice, Best Overall Taste, and Best Presentation. Following the announcement of the winners in the “Best Hill Country Chocolate Contest,” the fun really begins. Winners and losers alike will be devoured without mercy! Oh, the horror! And later on, once everyone is groaning with Chocolate Overload, the winners of the weekend-long Silent Auction will be announced. Throughout the weekend, combining the themes of Art and Chocolate, the juried show

“Love Is ...” will be hung in the gallery for all to enjoy. Are you an artist with a “Love Is ...” creation in mind? Register and enter! Register to enter the “Love Is...” juried show, to enter the Cooking Contest, or simply to get more details for all Chocolate Fantasy Weekend events at www.kacckerrville.com or by calling (830) 895-2911. Want to save money while indulging your personal Chocolate Fantasies? An all-weekend pass is only $120 per person. Now if that isn’t a perfect treat for you and someone you love we just don’t know what is. You can order your individual event tickets or full weekend pass by phone with a credit card, or by coming by KACC at 228 Earl Garrett (across from Wolfmeuller’s Books) during regular Gallery hours, Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. So mark your calendar for February 10th 12th, and try to control your cravings between now and then. Or not. ■

e mor For about y ils tas deta te Fan it a l vis co Cho ekend le.com We rrvil cke ll kac or ca ) 0 (83 911 2 895

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Chocola te Fantasty Weeken d F ebruar y 10-12


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We will have some activities open, such as hiking, archery, climbing wall; there will be canoeing on your own (under lifeguard’s watchful eye), hiking, petting the horse, tennis.

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mykerrville.org

11


around TOWN

New City Hall Kerrville’s

By Bethany Heinesh

Gets Green Light

I just can’t say enough about how excited I am about this project. ... City hall should be a place that best reflects the spirit of the community.” - Stacie Keeble Kerrville’s Place 2 City Council Member

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february 2012


Kerrville is going through some major changes. Yes, with “quality of life” now the city’s defined economic target, the people of Kerrville are seeing a lot of action around town. Local officials are working overtime to make sure the city continues to stay on the fast track toward a massive citywide renovation. River Trail Project developments are already underway and while progress is highly visible in the community, another project is still in its infancy stages –the construction of a new city hall. Even though these are two separate endeavors, both are part of a colossal effort to encourage Kerrville’s ongoing beautification process. City staff is calling the river trail a defining project for the community, one that will steer both quality-of-life and economic development opportunities along the Guadalupe River for the long term. The trail route, in its entirety, will extend from the 1400 block of Junction Hwy to Kerrville-Schreiner Park, a trail length of approximately six miles. Community leaders say developing public river access and amenities promotes community activity and will serve as a catalyst for private development in Kerrville. Because of the highly visible intersection where the new city hall will be positioned, many believe the new building will be the “cherry on top” to the trails project. “I have always thought this was a good project,” said Stacie Keeble, Kerrville’s Place 2 City Council Member. “The new city hall is being brought downtown where it should be –at the center of all the action. It will be just around the corner from the county courthouse and down the street from Louise Hays Park. People will be able to go to city hall and walk just a short way to get on the river trail. Plus, this new building will create a brand new gateway to the community, one we can all be proud of.” Keeble explains that constructing a new city hall is not just a want, but a need. She says the current city hall is in terrible shape, literally jam-packed with city staffers. “We have long since outgrown it. There are way too many people working in that building now. We literally have people whose offices are set up in oversized closets. That has to change!” Keeble also reports the current facility needs a lot of maintenance and the air condition is lousy. “I just can’t say enough about how excited I am about this project,” Keeble says. “City hall should be a place that best reflects the spirit of the community. An old building that’s falling apart doesn’t exactly welcome those who have come to Kerrville looking to do business.” Mindy Wendele, Director of Business Programs for the City of Kerrville agrees. “We have completely outgrown our current building. Our entire staff is looking forward to being able to spread out in a new office and have our own private workspaces. Plus, once completed,

I believe city residents will also enjoy the new city hall. It really will benefit everyone in the community.” Wendele has been with the City of Kerrville more than 17 years and is one of 65 employees who work at city hall. The city manager, city secretary and county attorney are just a few of the people who occupy the building and will benefit from the big move. After shuffling city staff and relocating city hall from building to building for many years, in December, the Kerrville City Council unanimously voted in favor of four very important agenda items. Each was instrumental in getting the ball rolling to construct a new city hall, a plan that has been discussed for years. The council agreed to accept the deed for the new city hall property located at 701 Main Street, a relatively small tract of land generously donated by the Cailloux Foundation, valued at approximately $5 million. They also had to approve lease agreements for a parking garage facility at 201 Clay Street and two adjacent buildings located at 219 Clay Street and 200 Sidney Baker Street. Architect Peter Lewis was hired to design the two-story building. The new facility will be located on the site of the former Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital,one that has remained vacant since the hospital relocated and was demolished in 2008. A temporary construction easement for city-owned property and a temporary construction easement from the Cailloux Foundation was also accepted at council. City staff hired Huser Construction to build the new 14,700-square-foot city hall and renovate two existing buildings for $2.4 million. The majority of the money for the project –2.1 million to be exact –is coming from taxpayers who voted “yes” in a 2009 bond election in favor of a new city hall. The remaining balance is set to come from the sale of the current city hall. The 2-acre tract, located at the intersection of Sidney Baker and Main Streets, will become the home of what has been designated the Kerrville Peterson Plaza, named after the hospital. The plaza will be complete with Kerrville City Hall, a clock tower and park. Construction of city hall and Peterson Plaza should begin in early 2012. Construction of the clock tower and improvements to the crosswalk began in early July. Many local residents have begun affectionately comparing Kerrville’s new clock tower to the one in the blockbuster smash hit movie Back to the Future. It was also donated by the Cailloux Foundation. “Another nice part of this project is that the people of Kerrville are getting a great deal,” Keeble said. “Thanks to the gracious support of the Foundation, we are able to build city hall on donated land that didn’t cost the taxpayers a cent and we get a great-looking clock tower. How cool is that!?” ■

mykerrville.org

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Kerrville Main Street’s 8th Annual Mardi Gras on Main Brought to you by Wells Fargo Advisors

“Puttin’ on the Ritz”

FAT TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012 Y.O. RANCH HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER 2033 SIDNEY BAKER STREET, KERRVILLE, TX 6:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Proceeds benefit the Public Art Project

Celebrating the finest in art, wine, music & cuisine art

“Glamorous” by kristen downey

cuisine

music

Tastings from : bonzai cal bob’s smoke shack conchita’s on main creative cakes by sharon grape juice rails ~ a cafe at the depot salada’s sodexo at schreiner the branding iron the sweeter side of rails water street cafe

Ponty bone & the squeezetones

court

Meet the members of the 2012 royal court and cast your vote to elect the 2012 mardi gras on main king and queen

wine

Signature wine - “Ritzy Red” + 10 -12 tasting wines

ticket info

General Admission - $40 VIP Admission - $75

(VIP Admission includes early admittance at 5:00 p.m., preview party with food and wine, & a meet and greet with Bob Landon, Owner & Winemaker of Landon Winery)

Purchase tickets at: downtown visitors center (715 Water Street), bank of the hills (1075 Junction Hwy & 1015 Sidney Baker South) & wells fargo (301 Junction Hwy)

Advertising

www.kerrvilletx.gov/mgom

258.1113

Positioning & Identity Collateral & Sales Materials Advertising & Visibility

Adver tising

Positioning & Identity

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Websites & Interactive Websites Positioning& Interactive & Identity

Collateral & Sales Materials 830 739 1828

1107 Cypress

H

Bandera, Texas

H

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february 2012

&

Websites & Interactive

830.796.7803

facebook: gunslinger bandera H gunslingerofbandera.com

Kerrville, TexasAdvertising gmedia@gmediatx.com Visibility

830 739 1828

Kerrville, Texas

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830 739 1828 Kerrvil e, Texas gmedia@gmediatx.com


luncheak r B

623 Water Street, Kerrville

|

Looking to define what kind of food Grape Juice serves up for your next lunch break? Don’t bother, because it can’t really be labeled. The food, just like the wine and beer, is meant to be fun, casual and not overcomplicated—kicked up Grape Juice style. The chef likes to “play,” so step outside of the box and order something new. And if it’s a late Friday lunch, ask your server to pair a wine or beer with your food for the best Grape Juice experience yet! Grape Juice supports local purveyors by featuring truly wild game on its menu. The antelope for the antelope nachos and sliders comes from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram, and the quail for the Flying Tacos come from Diamond H Quail in Bandera. For an added bonus to the dining atmosphere, Graph Juice rotates the wall art often, always featuring local artists throughout the space. Coined by many locals as “Kerrville’s Living Room,” Grape Juice has become a true community meeting place over the last two years at its downtown Kerrville location. You can walk in on any given day or night and see people you know. And it’s small enough that if you didn’t know someone when you walked in, chances are you will when you walk out. Owners Patrick and Keri Wilt say, “We believe Wine, and Beer, and Food should be a journey in trying new things and experiences and we strive to provide those experiences daily to our customers. Don’t overthink it: if you like it great, if you don’t…try a different one!” ■

Do

830.792.9463

|

grapejuiceonline.com

Grape Juice is open for lunch from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tuesday - Friday

you want to be a featured lunch break?

Submit your lunch specials, a couple of pictures, and a few paragraphs about your business to jeanna@mykerrville.org. mykerrville.org

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b u s i n e s s F E AT U R E

S nick M eyers and

Whelan

Plumbing Company 16

february 2012


1941 - 2011

Celebrating 70 Years by Mary Lee Gowland photography by Aaron Yates

Some people just aren’t cut out for retirement. Such is the case with Snick Meyers, a second generation German American who has reinvented himself several times over. Twenty years in the oil business – exploration, production, then trading - took him from dusty oil fields of Texas and Oklahoma to gleaming high rises on Wall Street. By the time he was forty he had learned and excelled in every aspect of the business. Retirement seemed a natural reward for his years of hard work. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he hated it. This was a man who had received two degrees at Oklahoma State University – in business and economics. He was not the type of guy who could sit on a porch and whittle away the day. Because he had experience in deregulation, he was snatched up by Intergy, a holding company for many energy companies in the South and was soon Vice President. This took him to Detroit, then Ontario, Canada. The work was challenging and satisfying and once again he was ready to retire and enjoy life with his wife Laura, a son in college, daughter in high school, and their beloved dogs. What more could a man ask for?

mykerrville.org

17


Another challenge, that’s what. This time Snick set out to find a company to purchase. He intended to use his expertise to take an already successful business to the next level. In two years he researched over one hundred companies. “I had three criteria,” says Snick. “I was looking for a good company that could be made great. Not an okay company that could be made good. I wanted a company that was tops in their field. “Second, I wanted a company that had between sixteen and twenty four years experience, because up and down cycles usually last six to eight years. “And third, when I overlaid my business model with theirs I could see visible opportunities for growth.” When he found Whelan Plumbing Company, he knew it was a perfect fit.

History In 1940 the U.S. Census recorded a population of 5,572 for the town of Kerrville and 11,650 for Kerr County. The depression was ending and times were looking up. It seemed a perfect time for Joe Whelan to start a plumbing business. He started small, in 1941, operating out of his home on Earl Garrett Street. Then Pearl Harbor was bombed and America was at war. Joe used his expertise at military installations in San Antonio and when the war ended, he returned to Kerrville. By 1947 his business had outgrown his small garage. For two years he operated from the Stiefel Building on Water Street. Then, in 1949 he purchased a building at 843 Sidney Baker Street. Joe’s son Charles joined the business in 1951. Then, in 1979, Charles’ son Charley came on board. In the 1980s, the Hill Country experienced an upsurge in new home construction which meant more opportunities for Whelan Plumbing. In 1983 the current location at 2104 Memorial Boulevard was completed offering a spacious showroom to display the latest trends and styles in tubs, sinks, faucets, water filtration and hot tubs. A recent update has increased the showroom to 12,500 feet. In total 23,500 square feet house offices, showroom, warehouse and work space. Charles and Carolee Whelan retired in 1990 and by 2008 Charley was ready to retire, so he put the business up for sale. Rules of the Trade Snick Meyers liked what he saw when he met with the Whelan’s. Their company had weathered bad times and had a good reputation. He didn’t need to fix what wasn’t broken and he saw the potential for the company to grow, both in services offered and geography. But there was a hitch. As it turns out, “Lenders told me the owner of a plumbing business must be a Master Plumber.”

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february 2012

Hence, it was back to school for Snick, who never shied away from learning. An eighteen-month management course produced the diploma he displays on his office wall, part of an art installation his wife Laura created to tell the story of Snick’s various careers in oil, electricity and now plumbing. “I needed to know the lingo, I needed to be able to communicate with the employees,” he says. He also determined it was best not to make a big deal of his taking over the business. “For many years most people didn’t even know there had been a change of ownership.” Snick’s philosophy of growing a business extends to its employees. Just as he needed to learn the lingo of the plumbing business, he supports ESL programs for the Spanish speaking employees so they can advance in their field. Part of the business includes a training station where actual installation and repairs are worked out. This way customers know that no Whelan employee is learning on their job. It takes over 6,000 hours to become a Master Plumber, preceded by Journeyman and Tradesman. “We have a high-quality, motivated group,” Snick is happy to report. Currently there are forty-five employees. Whelan Plumbing has expanded into the medical gas field. This area is highly regulated which ensures that the distribution of oxygen, anesthesia and other hospital-related gasses are transported in a safe manner. Recent commercial projects include the Faulkner Hall Dorm and the Mountaineer Athletic Center at Schreiner University, Tony Roberts Medical Buildings, Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School and the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. You will also find Whelan’s work at Mamacita’s Restaurants in Kerrville and Fredericksburg, Guadalupe National Bank and La Quinta Hotel. Concerns about energy efficiency have created a new model for home and business construction. Whelan Plumbing Company enjoys the challenge of working with architects and builders to include the most eco-friendly ways to provide the plumbing portion of the equation. And, under Snick’s management, the radius of service provided by Whelan Plumbing - twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, has also grown to 125 miles. “Kerrville has so many positive changes coming,” remarks Snick. “Such as a Convention Center, the River Walk, that will enrich the city and the people who live here, and spur economic growth.” It looks like Snick’s found something he truly loves, so he won’t be looking to retire, a third time, anytime soon. ■


mykerrville.org

19


business BUZZ

n a C

e t r t ? e b h c u m t e g it

My cell phone rings and I answer it. I have my office number forwarded to my cell phone because I am out running around. It is a prospect I have been dealing with and as we start to talk I look at my phone and all of his contact information appears. We talk and as I am looking at the notes from previous conversations I know what to say so now I can concentrate on how I say it. We agree on a date for me to do my seminars for his business and I tell him I will e-mail all of the information later today. I set an alarm to remind me later to take care of it. A reminder appears on my phone to call a past customer. I press a little icon and the contact information appears and with one touch of my finger a number is being dialed. I talk with my customer and when done, I enter all of the information in my notes and program a date when to call again. While I was on the phone someone else called and my voicemail, that I update everyday with a new message that takes only seconds to do, takes a message and then signals me. In 59 years of living, it has never been easier to keep in contact with customers and even friends and family! What’s next? I can concentrate on giving better customer service and even have more fun doing it. If someone gives me outstanding service, I can put a message on my recorder as I am walking away to call a manager later or just remind my self of this place and what happened so I can come back again. Then later I

Feel free to call me at 830-285-1314 or e-mail me at seminars@sidneychurlbert.com with any questions or comments you have. My web page is www.CallSid.com. Call Sid, you’ll be glad you did!

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february 2012

W H AT A T I M E TO B E L I V I N G I N ! By Sid Hurlbert

take it off of the recorder that’s on my phone and enter it where I can use it in my calendar, contact information or just notes. It is so much easier to keep up with customers and prospects because of technology! Of course, I am having fun because technology doesn’t replace me: it assists me. I use it to my advantage so I can be even more personal and show I care for my customers. I even use it to help me with family and friends! I am having fun because technology allows me to have more personal contact with prospects and customers. It just gets easier and easier! I can concentrate on putting into people what I want back. I can concentrate on laughing and having fun with prospects, customers and even family and friends! Because of technology I am able to pay attention to more of what is going on around me and can react, respond, enjoy, or even just be entertained! I don’t have to dive for the phone to answer it because I have voice mail that can tell the caller where I am, what I am doing and even when I will return their call or I can just leave it wide open to be anyone’s guess as to what I am doing, where I am at, and if I will ever return their call. I get to make the decision! I can even set the stage for my return call by the way I set up my voicemail. I can leave a humorous message, a serious one, even tender or entertaining. Then I can change it to something else I like. I just need to remember and not be rude and take too much time with my incoming message. It is so exciting! Sometimes I even answer the phone like it doesn’t matter who is calling, everyone is important! I then quickly decide whether to continue to talk with them or end the conversation. I can end it being serious, using some humor, having fun or just end it politely and final. By the way I answer the phone and greet people face-to-face, I decide not only how I am going to

feel for the day but how others are going to feel for the day! It is so easy to increase my business by treating my employees and customers like I want to be treated! The majority of customers quit doing business with a company because of how they “feel’ they were “treated”. It is so easy for me to make sure others “feel” they are being treated right. I just make sure I put into them what I want back, treat them like I want to be treated! I know how I want to be treated so it is not really complicated. The more I concentrate on answering the phone and greeting people face-to-face the way I want others to when I call a place or go into a place, the better life is! I can even put a note in my phone to remind me to do certain things until they become a habit so I don’t have to be reminded. For example, this one place I go into, the employees are so negative and depressing that it can affect me if I am not careful. So I sometimes set a reminder that has a little alarm that goes off just before I get there that reminds me to smile and put into them what I want back The results have been amazing! Now I actually look forward to going in there and I get better customer service! Go figure! Well, I need to go; a little alarm just went off reminding me of someone I want to call. Just doesn’t get any better than that! I hope you have a successful and fun year! Now go smile at someone! ■


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mykerrville.org

21


business BUZZ

The

Are background checks really necessary and do they hold up to the promises they claim? While there are many varieties of “background checks�, being well informed may not only save you money but also the success of your business.

Hidden Truth Behind

Background Checks By Eric Feller Owner, InteractiveInfo.Net

The ideal background check should be accurate, comprehensive, timely and most of all, legal! Employers are often surprised to learn that the Instant Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Databases (AKA: National Criminal Database) can have up to a 41% error rate. A few reasons for this are that many jurisdictions are not in the database at all, and some may only offer information from the Administrative Office of the Court or the Department of Corrections, while others are only arrest records but do not include information if the arrest led to a conviction. And yet other jurisdictions may include only Felonies and not Misdemeanors. Did you know that Petty Theft, Public Intoxication, Simple Assault, and Indecent Exposure are frequent examples of Misdemeanor charges? Would you want to know about these charges? Some employers may even rely solely on these very databases to make their hiring decisions. The truth is that while these databases are convenient, instant, and cover a variety of information across the United States, they are far from all inclusive. The instant databases are meant to be used

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february 2012


only as a supplement to a more comprehensive background check program. Do you know how frequently these databases are updated? The updates can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually. If a record is expunged, sealed or altered in any way at the courthouse, it may not be corrected in the instant criminal database until it’s next scheduled update or may even never be corrected. If a company makes a hiring decision based on inaccurate information , it can face fines and penalties, as well as potential negligent hiring lawsuits. In the case of Ward, et al. v. Trusted Health Resources, Inc., et al., No. 94-4297, Suffolk Superior Court, MA, the jury awarded $26.5 million against Trusted Health in a negligent hiring lawsuit, $8.5 million in compensatory damages and $18 million in punitive damages. The employer, Trusted Health Resources, Inc. hired Jesse Rogers without performing a background check. Jesse Rogers was hired to go into the home and care for John W. Ward, a 32 year-old quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and his 77-year-old grandmother, Alba Pellegrini who lived together on the first floor of John Ward’s parents’ home in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 10, 1991, a few weeks after being removed from the assignment for failing to consistently show up for work, Rogers wore his Trusted Health Resources photo ID badge and suddenly reappeared at the Ward home under the guise of providing the handicapped man with physical therapy. Once inside, Rogers brutally murdered Ward and his grandmother, as he had reportedly been stealing from Ward, and committed the murder to cover up the thefts. The attack was so brutal that John Ward’s head was partially decapitated. If Trusted Health had conducted a comprehensive background check on Jesse Rogers, they would have found that Rogers had six larceny-related convictions in the state of Massachusetts. They would have also discovered that he had lied on his employment application in stating he had attended Northeastern University as a nursing student, and that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles had previously employed him. Trusted Health declared bankruptcy the day after the verdict. Negligent hiring risks are clearly demonstrated in this case. Courts have repeatedly found to hold the employers responsible for both the actions of its employees and the employees of its subcontractors, if they hurt someone and it’s discovered that the employer did not properly conduct a comprehensive background check on the employee. Comprehensive background checks are those conducted in a manner in which the employer does everything possible to turn up the information. When employers utilize only instant database searches and nothing more, most courts will not consider the background check comprehensive, and will continue to hold the employer at fault. In this example, it’s important to note that

the Instant Multi-Jurisdictional databases do not include much information from the state of Massachusetts. Therefore, had Trusted Health relied only on the instant database in this situation, they still would have thought Jesse Rogers was clear and had no criminal records. This would simply be because the database has very limited information for the state and nothing more. However, in doing an On-Site County Criminal Search, one of the more comprehensive services of a background check, Trusted Health would have located the criminal records and it is quite likely that Rogers would not have been employed by the agency. Now, ask yourself a few questions. Could you have a “Jesse Rogers” in your own workforce? Are you placing the future of your good reputation and business solely in the hands of an instant database? How comprehensive are your background checks?

State Spotlight : Texas While every Instant Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Database may vary, the one you’re using may include the State of Texas Department of Public Safety data. The Criminal History System (CCH) is the statewide repository of criminal history data reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) by local criminal justice agencies in the State of Texas. The Criminal History Compliance Report published on The Texas Department of Public Safety web site states that the statewide disposition reporting completeness rate for 2009 adult arrests is 74%. One must take into consideration that this is an average of all counties’ disposition reporting. The report further details statistics county by county. Surprisingly, some counties have only 11% to 15% disposition reporting. The reporting responsibility to the Criminal History System (CCH) is placed on the specific local criminal justice agencies, allowing each agency to report according to its own schedule. Once again, the update frequency could be daily, weekly, monthly, annually, etc. Remember, an employer who makes a decision on information that is not accurate, could face fines and penalties as well as potential negligent hiring lawsuits. Comprehensive background checks are completed quicker than you might think. Did you know that the average turnaround time for an OnSite County Criminal Search is less than 48 hours? And with today’s technology of mobile devices and internet, most background check companies can provide an on-site search of up-to-date criminal records in even less time -- quickly and efficiently. These are searches performed by an experienced researcher and are current as of the time of the search. Now you’re one step closer to a more comprehensive background check. However, there are a few exceptions, in courts where a search must be dropped off for the clerk to perform -- only a small percentage of these courts exist but they are still out there. Remember, a comprehensive program is one that brings you a step closer to protecting yourself, your employees and your customers. Some of the

Background checks do hold up to the promises they claim when applied correctly. A comprehensive program is the key to a background check’s success.

other services in a comprehensive program are: Employment, Education, Personal & Credential Verifications, Medical Sanctions, County Civil, Federal Civil, Federal Criminal & Bankruptcy, Statewide Criminal Repository, Motor Vehicle Driving Record, Drug Testing and an Address History Search. We are happy to speak with each client to help create a package unique to their company’s own needs. A reputable background check company will also help keep its clients legal and in compliance. We assist our clients is by providing release forms, disclosure statements and the FCRA Summary of Rights with every report. We also provide PreAdverse & Adverse Action letters and templates for our clients. We will even customize these on a client-by-client basis. Our clients can upload or fax a copy of the applicant’s release form for safe keeping, and our system will attach the release form to the background check report. We will also keep copies of all background checks for as long as you’re a customer -- all free of charge! Background checks do hold up to the promises they claim when applied correctly. A comprehensive program is the key to its success. Companies often realize cost savings in a comprehensive program by reducing employee theft, turnover rates and workers compensation claims. They also lend to a company’s reputation when a customer learns the company they chose to do business with, does a thorough background check.

Your competition is doing background checks! Not doing a thorough background check is like meeting someone and getting married 3 days later! InteractiveInfo.Net is the exclusive background check provider for Better Consumer Choices located in Kerrville, Texas. Better Consumer Choices was founded in 1999 to assist area senior citizens who had been deceived and “ripped off” by unscrupulous business and individuals in the area. Today, BCC continues to represent and promote honest companies to all consumers and corporations, ensuring the vendors and their employees have passed our stringent standards, thereby bringing you or your business the extra layer of security you deserve. All Better Consumer Choices members receive discounted background checks as one of the many benefits of membership. To contact Better Consumer Choices please call toll free 1-888-909-1899 or 1-830-895-7778. ■

mykerrville.org

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advertise. submit content. show off what makes it

your kerrville.

830.285.4373 morgan@mykerrville.org

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february 2012


business BUZZ

The Importance of

Social Media

With roots in digital bulletin boards from as far back as the seventies, social media has spread out into all corners of the Internet. From chat to dating services to content sharing, social media has helped to transform the Internet into an interactive space to share ideas and information with anyone who is reading. Many think of online networks like Facebook or Twitter when they hear the term social media, but today it goes far beyond such platforms and has contributed substantially to the direction the internet has grown. Online discussion forums, comments on YouTube videos, and reviews for products on Amazon are all branches of this growth, and many businesses are discovering how to use the many facets of social media to help develop and further their brand. With schedules that seem to get busier every week, consumers are looking to the Internet to provide them with information, making it an obvious and opportune vehicle for business owners to share their dealings.

Encouraging discussions with prospective clients helps to build your site into a multi-faceted space for ideas and information. Prospecting for new clients is essential for any business owner. In the past knocking on doors and making cold calls were two of the main avenues available for this process. Social media, when used effectively, can trim the wasted time involved in these and other methods and streamline prospecting. It enables consumers to view products

on their own time, and regular updates and sharing of new information keeps bringing them back without a phone call for every update. At the same time some customers want to have more direct contact and personal updates. Social media facilitates in providing this for those who want it and provides support in finding the form of communication that works best for them. What does it take to be effective in the online world of social media? The first key is to remember that this is not a place to simply talk at customers. Unlike TV or print ads, the Internet enables people to engage with others and that’s exactly what they’re looking for. They want to talk about their thoughts and ideas and see what other people have to say as well. Social media requires both a casual and professional approach. A potential client doesn’t want to feel like she is talking to a machine or reading a script someone has written. Social media experts have perfected the casual professional approach. Their tools and experience can easily present venders and their products to the reader in a way that engages interest and brings them back for more. They study the changes and trends online so you don’t have to waste time watching what the competition is doing in social media. With a minimal investment these experts keep you from getting stuck in the pitfall of the do-ityourself syndrome in a world where professionals may not have the time or resources to remain effective in. Social media also enables potential clients to see if you know what you’re talking about. Showing them that you have an active, working knowledge of your area gives them confidence to trust your recommendations. Blog articles showing key features of different products, tailored responses to questions posted for everyone to read, and advice for specific demographics all help those who read your content to see that you know exactly what you’re talking about. A big killer of online campaigns is lack of fresh content. If you haven’t posted anything new in weeks or questions and comments aren’t being

responded to promptly, users may assume your site is no longer current and may look elsewhere to find more up-to-date information. Having a dedicated consultant keeping things updated for you can be a very helpful asset since the truth may be that you were simply too busy to fit updates into your schedule. The scope of your social media presence should not just encompass potential clients but also past or existing clients. Their positive comments and recommendations for you are the most important currency in the social world. Encouraging discussions with prospective clients helps to build your site into a multi-faceted space for ideas and information, and most importantly it will lead to increased prospective clients and eventual sales. These tools all work together to create a precisely targeted campaign that fosters new relationships and solidifies past client endeavors. A social media expert can be a helpful and necessary tool to build your business’s online presence over the next year. In our current economic state the urgency of utilizing social media as a business tool cannot be understated. Now is the perfect time to use social media to its full potential now is the perfect time to start growth. Those of you bent on research: btobonline.com, smallbiztrends.com or search social media ranking on your favorite search engine. ■

by Georgineanna Maloney & Chris Hopf GMedia, Inc. www.gmediatx.com

mykerrville.org

25


business BUZZ

ARBITRATION : What does that “arbitration clause” actually mean? There is a buried provision in almost all lengthy business contracts that no one has time to read. That “arbitration clause” may not change obligations pursuant to a contract, but it certainly changes what may happen in the event that contract is breached. In short, the dispute is not going to be decided by a jury at the Courthouse. Also as a general rule, the clause will likely result in very restricted rights to appeal an arbitration decision. These items, however, are not necessarily bad news. In Kerrville and the surrounding areas we are extremely lucky to have Judges and courthouse staff that make civil litigation as painless as possible. However, the litigation process has inherent flaws. Civil business litigation is costly, time consuming, and unpredictable. Arbitration has therefore been developed to allow parties to address some of these flaws by contractually agreeing to a resolution process more specific to each unique situation. At its core, arbitration is a contractual agreement wherein the parties to a contract agree that they will submit any controversy to a third party for resolution of that controversy. Beyond that simple statement, an arbitration can take a variety of different paths. Since it is a contractual process, how an arbitration will be conducted is governed almost exclusively by the contract between the parties. Arbitration is also showing up as a possible avenue to resolution of other disputes beyond contractual issues, such as a dispute with an appraisal district, but these items are beyond the scope of this article. An arbitration may consist of a single arbitrator hearing two sides of a story in an office conference room and then making a decision. At the other end of the spectrum, arbitration may consist of three arbitrators, all of which have to be paid, who act essentially as a Judge and Jury in a scenario that resembles a full blown trial. There are a variety of methods for arbitration in both Federal Law and Texas State Law, and the methodology used can often be the most disputed area of the issue. The methodology to be used is also the most important area of the issue. Arbitration clauses may cover items such as the number of arbitrators, how arbitrators are picked, and what law or procedures will govern the arbitration. These issues, and whether they are tailored to the contract, are likely the most determinative of whether an arbitration will be a successful procedure in avoiding some of the complaints about litigation. The arbitrators themselves may be a broad range of persons, again dependent on the rules governing the arbitration. A common practice when three arbitrators are used, is that each party picks one, and the arbitrators together pick a third

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person. Arbitrators usually do not have to be attorneys. Therefore, often times you can have an arbitration with arbitrators who are trained in the law and an arbitrator who has specialized knowledge regarding the subject matter of the dispute. There are also associations, such as the American Arbitration Association, and even private companies, whose rules contracting parties can agree will govern the arbitration. Some of these associations or companies can be very beneficial, but again only if their rules fit the circumstances. The advantage of arbitration is that the participants should be able to tailor a dispute resolution process to the particular circumstances of the contract. As an example, we have been involved in construction arbitrations wherein we were able to ask specific questions of different witnesses as we toured the entire construction project with the arbitrators. This is not something that could have been accomplished in a Courtroom. If there is one thing to gain from this article, it is that in order to take advantage of an arbitration clause, read it, and make sure that the terms of the arbitration make sense in consideration of the contract it covers. No one anticipates a problem when they enter into a contract. Everyone should anticipate problems and prepare for them. This is the one opportunity wherein you have the ability to tailor a specific procedure to the resolution of a dispute. In addition to reading your contract and arbitration clause, the other most important aspect of this clause is to make sure that it says something. It needs to say what rules will govern the arbitration. The arbitration clause should specify the number of arbitrators (if they are not specified in the aforementioned rules), and it needs to state how those arbitrators shall be determined and paid. You are agreeing on a different way to resolve a dispute, so make sure you get what you want and know what you are getting. ■ Dixon Mosty is a local trial attorney practicing with the Mosty Law Firm.


somewhere in

BETWEEN By C. Dixon Mosty

mykerrville.org

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KERRVILLEPHOTO.COM PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON

YATES

AARON YATES aaron@kerrvillephoto.com 830-214-7635

REAL ESTATE, PORTRAITS, SPORTS WEDDINGS, EVENTS, COMMERCIAL...

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Join the Kiwanis Club of Kerrville for their

Submitting Content is Easy As

66th Annual

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66th Annual Pancake Supper

1 Call Morgan Schooley , 5:00-7:00pm. Kiwanis Club of Kerrville Hosts their 66th Annual at (830) 285-4373 Pancake Supper at the Tivy High School Cafeteria. or email morgan@mykerrville.org. 2 Tell us what makes your business a part of Kerrville.

your

3 Include your contact information and photos if applicable.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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2012 , 7 1 y Friday, Februar . 5 to 7 p.m feteria a Tivy High School C


around TOWN

Poets

Hill Country Poets meet the second Sunday of each month, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., for the creation and appreciation of poetry. “When I moved to Kerrville in 2010, I looked for a poetry group to join but didn’t find one,” says writer and teacher Mary Lee Gowland. When she lived in California, she ran a series in Santa Monica, Poetry on the Sand, in the 1980s, was co-founder of Some Local Poets in the Sierras in the 1990s and a member of Poets in the Pines in the 2000s. At the Austin International Poetry Festival in 2011 she gave a reading, taught a workshop and met poets all over the world. “I met many Texas poets who are part of poetry groups in their cities and decided to start a group here.” She began by inviting writers who had attended her classes at Club Ed, and poets

Friends On May 16, the Friends of the Library Board unanimously voted to donate $200,000 to the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library for the purchase of computers and furniture. These funds came from a restricted account that was originally earmarked for the construction of a separate Friends building. Because the Library agreed to save a portion of the basement for Friends to store donated books and carry out sales, it was determined that a new building was not a priority at this time. Once the library reopens, Friends will once again store donated books and hold book sales in the basement.

she met at church. A notice in the paper caught the eye of retired Cowboy Poet George Fischer, and soon word spread. Each meeting has had nearly a dozen participants who sit in a circle and share their work. “I love this wide ranging and fluid group. Everyone is welcome. We learn from one another and the variety is amazing,” says Mountain Home poet, Ellen Caldwell. Most participants read one or two poems they’ve written and talk about the story behind the poem, or their writing process. Styles vary from rhyming to free verse and themes may include war, peace, nature and wildlife, life’s challenges and general observations. There is no charge to attend, but a donation to Unity Church of the Hills, where meetings are held, is suggested. ■

“We’re happy that we were able to make this contribution,” said FOL president Dan Ehrenreich. When the library reopens in February, Friends will have the daunting task of reorganizing the approximately 30,000 books which had to be condensed during the closure, in preparation for their Spring and Falls sales. Funds raised purchase large print books, audio books and support programs for children. Last May, Friends hosted a barbecue to thank volunteers who contribute their time at the library and history center. Over sixty people gathered to enjoy a lovely spring day at Louise Hays Park with

a lavish spread provided and prepared by Friends volunteers and donations from HEB. Librarian Dan Schwartz reports that there are currently 3,694 library cardholders. Of these 54% reside in Kerr County, 42% in surrounding areas and 4% are out-of-area. In May, before closure, approximately 17,000 items were checked out. In September, operating out of the History Center, 13,462 items were checked out, proving that die-hard readers were not deterred. ■

Friends of the Library treasurer, Dee Speaker, gives a $200,000 donation to librarian Dan Schwartz.

mykerrville.org

29


around TOWN

: E L L I V R KER nd a

Now , Jr.

by Joe Herring

Downtown Kerrville is undergoing a great revival, with the renovation of the Schreiner building, the construction of a new city hall, and hopefully something nice at the Arcadia Theater. While the area has seen constant change since its beginning, there was a time when the life of the community revolved around the downtown area to a much greater extent than it does now. No image shows this more than this old photo from the mid-1950s of a Tivy pep rally held at the intersection of Water and Earl Garrett streets. Every home town football game featured a pep rally downtown along with a parade on Thursday afternoon, after school, even into the early 1980s.

The Tivy Marching Band provided the music, marching from the stadium along with the Antlerettes; cheerleaders rode a firetruck; and football players arrived, as I remember it, on a flatbed trailer. The band and pep squad formed a large circle, with the band’s twirlers in the center; later the Tivy cheerleaders would lead the group in a few cheers, and the throng would then disperse. That intersection, of Water and Earl Garrett streets, was really the center of town, and most people in Kerrville (and the neighboring communities) would find themselves near that intersection several times a week, shopping or conducting business, or, like these teenagers, being part of the Kerrville community. ■

Tivy pep rally, intersection of Water and Earl Garrett Streets, Kerrville, around 1955. The Blue Bonnet Hotel is in the background.

Now 30

february 2012

The intersection of Water and Earl Garrett Streets, Kerrville, late 2011.


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My Kerrville Business Journal | February 2012