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FACES & PLACES POW                                                                                  
Last month's business after hours not only was a success, but the event at Cendera Center specifically highlighted the Chamber's Small Business of the Year Finalists (view finalist pictures here) and also provided ample time for members-only networking, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. After much anticipation, the winners will be revealed next Wednesday during our annual Mayor's State of the City Luncheon at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

L to R: Tina Hearne, Tina Hearne Realtors; Sam Shafeeq, P.F. Chang's; Melinda Harvey, Tina Hearne Realtors; and Jessica Pipkin, Cornerstone Projects Group.

View additional pics from the event here and a variety of Chamber events here.
Click on the links below to enter for prizes

Sarah has a head for tacos: Taco Heads Sarah Castillo, Founder and Managing Partner, and Jacob Watson, Managing Director and CEO, are rebelliously passionate in their mission "to provide the best d$#n tacos in America." Highlighted by 12 different tacos available daily at their Montgomery Street taqueria, America will be great again. Jacob says Taco Heads is well on its way to greatness, with it recently being rated by Zagat as a Top 5 restaurant in Fort Worth. Mr. B loves the stuffed garlic cilantro Gulf shrimp and roasted Chipotle brisket tacos. Whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or catered, this is the place / patio to head for tacos. A $75 gift card makes it mucho mas bueno.

Triple your pleasure: Attaining a triple-double -- double figures in three areas (usually points, rebounds and assists) -- in the National Basketball Association happens a bit more often than a 200-yard rushing game in the National Football League. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder might have 50 triple-doubles this season. He potentially could become only the second player -- Oscar Robertson, 1961-62 season -- to average a triple-double. Westbrook thunders into town March 5 to face the younger and improving Dallas (Yogi) Mavericks, and our Dirk-bud, Tyler Underriner, bounce passed two lower-level seats over for someone to watch history in the making. 

Luxury linens: You're going to have to hurry and scurry on over to the Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth West for this one. With Lockheed Martin Aeronautics agreeing to a huge contract for the next F-35s and 1,800 employees coming on board, this inn is going to be out (of rooms) pretty soon. These hires are hotel guests before starting, needing a place to stay while relocating, and the Hampton is the choice for where the West really begins. Iris Pineiro got a one-night stay for two with breakfast, internet access, a 24-hour business center, a fitness room and a heated indoor pool all part of the bed-down. Watch jets fly overhead, shop the west side and / or just relax poolside.                  

One to camp out for: Mr. B asked Kathryn Rhadigan, Director of Advancement at Nolan Catholic High School, if she and sportscaster husband John would be attending the Hall of Fame ceremony this summer for Texas Rangers great Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez.  John will, Kathryn won't. She will be busy summer camping the multitude of Nolan programs. A complete list of offerings (educational, fine arts, athletic and others such as ecology and robotics) for 6th-12th graders will publish in mid-March. Before that, there is Nolan's 50ish annual fun-raising event; this year's is Mardi Gras -- Boots & Beads at River Ranch Stockyards Saturday Feb. 25. Pat Pierret and Kathryn rousted up two invites for dinner, drink tickets, dancing and much more.

Congratulations to February 8th Prize Winners:

  • Deanna Stuart, Cancer Care Services
  • Darien George, Mackenzie Eason
  • Barbara Walker, EECU
  • Tony Prenger, Pinnacle Bank
  • Kathy Stern, Gorrondona & Associates
  • Tim Neuman, Witherspoon
  • Dena Walts, Expanco
  • Zana Torres, North Texas LEAD
  • Martha Earngey, Texas Wesleyan University
  • Tamara Knox, QCS

All in the family: Stephen Madsen, a Partner with Cantey Hanger, will give away daughter Annalise (TCU) in March to a Martinec man. His daughter Laura (All Saints' Episcopal School) is married to a Martinec man. "Thank goodness we like our in-laws," Stephen said. And ... "This exhausts the supply of brothers and sisters."

From worst to?: Laura Docker, an attorney with Brackett & Ellis, may be a fine litigator in court. She's not so fine in the kitchen. In fact, she was courted by The Food Network for Worst Cooks in America, which is airing now. The cook among 16 contestants that is most improved wins $25k. "I'm a nervous, uncomfortable cook," she said, "and I have very bad instincts." What she learned the most during chef challenges is "how tasty food can be with good, fresh ingredients...all my two kids ever got was frozen food." She can't divulge the show's results, but she did say she recently cooked and served shrimp scampi and crab-stuffed halibut meals.  

B is with Z in kitchen: Janet Z. Capua, matron menu-er of Small Business of the Year Finalist Z's Café, says the caterer sells approximately 2,000 pounds of chicken salad a week. She loves grapes in her chicken salad, but says it doesn't work overnight for prep work. She uses dried cranberries. "Grapes make the salad too runny." She says cukes and tomatoes also don't work well in salads that are made in advance.   

In high cotton: No shorty herownself, Technology Team President Sherry Green has a nephew, Carson, who is 6-7 and 300 pounds with a size 15 shoe. The senior offensive guard at Southlake Carroll earned a full scholarship (including Master's) to Texas A&M. Sherry's brother is 6-5.

Playing hardball: Reid Ryan, President Business Operations of the Houston Astros, says he had his father Nolan's per diem money and "many life experiences" at the back of team buses and airplanes while growing up. Reid, a former TCU and Texas Rangers' minor-league pitcher, was the speaker at the Neeley School of Business Tandy Speaker Series last week.
  • He is pushing for realignment and a division that would include Texas, Houston, Kansas City, Colorado and Arizona. It's five years away.
  •  The TV cable / cord cutters eventually could be the end of the mega-TV deals sports teams have.
  • The Rangers have $30 million more a year than the Astros in TV revenue.
  • To obtain players, the Astros are about "50 percent stats and 50 percent scouts." Ryan says they are unlikely to draft high school players or sign long-term, high-dollar free agent contracts.
  • With all its ticketing being digital, Ryan says the Astros are able to track the actual users of tickets, not just the buyers.
Cool deal: ABM Building Services, 48 years in Fort Worth, has purchased Dallas-based Mechanical Solutions. ABM, an HVAC service and energy solutions company, has more than 100,000 employees in 300+ offices internationally.

What's the big secret? Levi J. Cowsert, F-35 Electronic Warfare / Countermeasures IPT at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, is a great guy, but not a great table conversationalist. Electronic Warfare involves use of the electromagnetic spectrum and radio waves to detect, identify and locate sources emitting those waves. He answered two questions. He doesn't play shoot-'em-up video games and he is married. Every other question Mr. B asked him during a recent breakfast was answered, "That's classified."

"My side hustle turned into a full-time hustle."

                                                --  Entrepreneur Carolyn Phillips,
Alchemy Pops
Chamber Small Business of the Year finalist

More titles than Brady: Bell Helicopter (turbine helicopter support) won first place for the 23rd consecutive year in Pro Pilot Helicopter Magazine's 2017 Product Support Survey. Bell was first in all seven competition categories.

Hitting the sales mark: Sellmark, a Chamber Small Business of the Year finalist, is on its way to becoming the No. 1 developer of brands and products for the outdoor lifestyle market. CEO Dianna Sellers says the Mansfield company is in more than 5,000 retailers worldwide, including 52 countries and all 50 states.

Flying high: Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport, says work in Terminal E will be completed this summer and Terminal (cousin) B next year. He also says that during 2016, the airport became the first in the world to be carbon neutral.

Cityscaping: When you come on down and live in Mayor Price Is Right's Fort Worth, you need to know her vision for a great city --  "1) engaged citizens; 2) know your neighbors; 3) one of the  healthiest cities; 4) one of best educated populations; and 5) having access to the easiest possible ways to get around." The Mayor, iPad in hand, will give her State of the City update on many industries during a luncheon today at the Fort Worth Convention Center. You'll also hear the announcement of the winners of the Chamber's Small Business of the Year competition.  The finalists -- Emerging businesses: Alchemy Pops, Alpha Industries and Skin Deep Laser MD; 1-10 Employees: Cornerstone Diversified Consultants, M-Pak and Z's Café; 11-50 Employees: Arlington Heights Animal Hospital, Sutton Frost Cary and The Fulcrum Group; 51-150 Employees: DOCUmation of North Texas, Sellmark Corporation and Southwest Office Systems.

It's her civility: Rosa Navejar, president of The Rios Group, still can't believe she is up to five offices and 32 employees. "It's amazing," she said after her recent Round Rock opening. "A banker turned non-profit leader to civil engineer ... with no degree."

Finding room at the inn(s): The National Beta Club, the largest independent, non-profit educational organization in the U.S., has booked the largest convention in Fort Worth history, according to the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. 1,500 room nights in 2020.
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