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FACES & PLACES POW                                                                                  
The April 2  Chamber Impact Your Business luncheon at Joe T. Garcia's. A panel of six career advisers from area colleges and universities answered questions from Chamber members looking for ways to connect with skilled employees. (l to r): moderator Eric Haven, GM Financial; David Powers,  The University of Texas at ArlingtonCandiss Territo,  Tarleton State University Michael Gatton,  Texas Wesleyan University; Monica Miranda, Tarrant County College Tammy van der Leest, University of North Texas; Kim Satz, Texas Christian University; Dr. Anthony Edwards, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Click on the links below to enter for prizes
No topping this: There ALWAYS is something happening at Grace Restaurant. Tuesday celebrity bartenders, Wednesday women & wine, seven-course tasting menus, patio dining events, eating, drinking or people watching. Nothing, however, surpasses the Modern American menu of Chef Blaine Staniford and the waitstaff's uncompromising service. There is succulent seafood and beef for barons, but Mr. B today is thinking of a meal consisting of toppings -- caramelized red onion and mushrooms; butter poached Maine lobster; black truffle butter; house-made thick cut bacon; American artisan blue cheese; Oscar -- lump crab, asparagus and béarnaise. Sound outstanding?Then say Grace over this dinner for two. 

Fort Worth's best Bridges: If ever Mr. B wanted to keep a giveaway for hisownself -- you know, he's never won -- it might be these two VIP Weekend Tickets to Fortress Festival, April 27-28. David Reeves, the Director of Sales for the Will Rogers Memorial Center, sold Mr. B immediately when he mentioned Sunday headliner Leon Bridges, who once washed dishes at Del Frisco's alongside Mr. B and now is a mega-star crooner. There are 21 other big acts/performers, including headliner Chvrches. The VIP experience has expedited entrance, free parking, exclusive viewing at both stages, unlimited access to the VIP area that features shaded lounge seating, exclusive drinks and food, air-conditioned comfort station bathrooms, bag and coat check, all-area access and more. 

Diving into the talent pool: Twice last week, in separate meetings, two different companies said they couldn't grow because they couldn't find skilled help. It's not only a local problem; nationally there are more job openings than candidates to fill those jobs. But locally, Catholic Charities Fort Worth has taken an extensive leap into finding solutions to find and train workers and end cycles of poverty. Next Tuesday at Cendera Center, it will co-sponsor an educational lunch with the Chamber: The Untapped Workforce: How to Address Talent Needs and Create Economic Prosperity. Ronna Huckaby will discuss Catholic Charities' Employer-Based Solutions and Stay the Course programs, and Lonnie Nicholson of EECU, the Chamber Chair, and David Nolet of J.P. Morgan will talk about the benefits they have seen from the programs. Table captains will lead a "needs assessment" at their table and a real-time app will allow the captains to post questions to the screen. B2B Insider skillfully secured a ticket for eight readers. 

Taking the NEXT step: Super successful entrepreneurs and marketers Carolyn Phillips of Alchemy Pops and Tamara Payne of Ensemble Coworking headline SCORE Fort Worth's second annual NEXT Women's Business Forum at the Hurst Conference Center April 30. The forum is a full-day event of speakers, business workshops, vendor exhibits and networking opportunities. Get fresh ideas and perspectives on growing your business from some of the area's most accomplished businesswomen. Phillips and Payne will discuss the lessons they learned along the way, the hardships and the successes. Other speakers will talk about NEXT-Level Leadership, marketing to customer sweet spots, and much more. B2B Insider SCORE-D a ticket. 

Congratulations to the April 10th
Prize Winners:
  • Jana Harris, Harris Packaging  
  • Susan Little, Hill School
  • Tyler Grant, Trinity Metro
  • Tracy Georges, Transwestern
  • Randy Landers, Speed Fab-Crete
  • Lynda Fox, Inter-Connect Wiring  
  • John Schissler, Chicken Salad Chick
  • Brittni Schwarz, B&B Butchers & Restaurant

Self(ie) Starter: Lawrence, the owner of Lawrence Jenkins Pictures, was a news photographer with the Dallas Morning News and a videographer for documentaries. He has "developed" an interesting reason for taking photos at Chamber events: "I'm not shy, but networking seems a little cheesy for me. With my camera, it's easy to start a conversation."

bunny_chick_easter.jpg Character assassination: Sterling Hunter, about seven months into his sales project manager job at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Worth Downtown, is quite a big personality. He has character, too ... and plays characters, dressing for hotel guests as Mr. T, an elf at Christmas, Cupid at Valentine's and a leprechaun for St Patrick's. However, he says he will draw the line as a bunny for Easter.

Mr. B needs a break    ... from Boss Miserly Mistress. And you can help! The Chamber travel team has scheduled a luxurious cruise of the Rhône and Saône rivers in France Nov. 1-9 and you should go. Save money by signing up by April 30. The package covers nine days and seven cruise nights and includes airfare, meals and drinks. It's about $4,200, give or take a $100 if you register early and guarantee Mr. B's blissful staycation. Go  here  for more on the cruise, optional pre-and post-cruise options and how to sign up.

Is the cloud cloudy? Chamber members Ciera Bank and BKD were among sponsors of a recent cybersecurity panel at the Petroleum Club. Enough stories, tips and horror tales for two B2B Insiders, but:
  • Consider joining InfraGard, an association the FBI is heavily involved with. There is a north Texas chapter.
  • Hire hackers to try and break into your system.
  • If you're on a board, make sure it has someone that deals with cybersecurity.
  • Employees with access working out of the office is a huge risk.
  • 99 percent of successful hacks are known vulnerabilities.
  • You should have business interruption or breach insurance.
  • If your IT guy is your security guy, you're not secure. And security should not report to the CIO.
  • Most hackable industries: Real estate, healthcare, financials, universities. Coming on fast? Your car.
That shade is quite rosy? Chandry Buck was a big Buck among ownership at Victory Awning. In February, "I got Manzke'd," she said. Between marriage and Victory, it's all wins for Chandry Manzke. "Life is great, and people are still in need of a lot of shade, so I can't complain!"

"You take skills from every job you've had. I can still wrap a mean burrito from the taco place where I worked when I was 14."

--Susan Shaw

Shaw Insurance
Fabulous sales tutorial: Super recruiter Allison Rix talked salespeople at a recent T echFW  lunch and learn. Her top three hiring metrics? People that are engaging, competitive and responsible. Biggest mistakes in hiring? Selecting experience over talent, falling for fast talkers and not good listeners, hiring from too small a pool. "If you hire experience, make sure it still is coachable," she said. Red flags? How quickly do they respond to you, do they harp on job flexibility or work-life balance, how is the follow-up and the reasons for leaving previous jobs?

Huh? Could you repeat that? For the first time, a TCU team placed in its own event, the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition. TCU   finished third and won $15,000 for Sounde, a hearing app developed by a TCU  science and engineering professor. The proprietary algorithm breaks apart sounds and pieces them back together so only certain frequencies are heard, according to a person's hearing prescription. The app performs in milliseconds for real-time hearing.

Woohoos & Whoodles: A new person arrives in Fort Worth about every 11 minutes. Almost two years ago, Chris Strayer, wife Meghan and boys 11, 6 and 2 arrived from Columbus, Ohio with their Whoodle  -- a cross between the Standard Poodle and a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. The Chamber's Senior Vice President - Business Attraction & Retention says he's here to stay. "I'm not going back to Ohio because there's too much snow." Good thing because he's the interviewer of guest Robert Hess at today's Chamber Annual Meeting luncheon.

happy_kids_cake.jpg Cool for kids: It's all about kids next Wednesday, but it's not kids play. This Raising Fort Worth breakfast is about creating great places and spaces as Mayor Price Is Right, Lena Pope, Child Care Associates, Huckabee Architects and The Miles and Rainwater foundations highlight "Building Fort Worth as the Best Place for Kids!" An early learning innovation design lab will be unveiled.

Go east, young (wo)man:  Interesting highlights from the Chamber's East Fort Worth Business Walk last December. Thirty people visited 30 businesses. The three biggest (overwhelmingly) challenges businesses say they face are 1) marketing / networking, 2) the homeless population and 3) workforce issues. The biggest pluses are geographic access and the cost of doing business. A walk is planned for north Fort Worth some time before summer.
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