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FACES & PLACES POW                                                                                  
In observance of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, a new Heritage Trails marker detailing his 1959 visit to Fort Worth was previewed in General Worth Square April 4. Approximately 200 members of the community attended unveiling ceremonies.

From left: Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray, James Mallard, Opal Lee, Mayor Betsy Price, Bishop Kenneth Spears, and Vince Adams.

To view more pictures from this event, click here.

Click on the links below to enter for prizes

Sing, sing: The glitz, the glamour, the screening / rolling translation ... the Fort Worth Opera Festival is days away and while you may be an opening night glitzer of glam, B2B Insider has two tickets for Don Pasquale May 4 and two for María de Buenos Aires May 5. (If you don't win, check the Chamber website for a 20 percent discount on tickets.) María de Buenos Aires features a real Argentinean, mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian, a young woman living in the slums of Buenos Aires, who finds herself seduced by the sounds of tango. Don Pasquale is an aging silent film star living out his days in seclusion who decides to resurrect his career in a cinematic world gone Technicolor. The  other performance during the festival is Brief Encounters, a trio of 15-minute pocket operas best described: Love blossoms. Love inevitably fades. The perfect union is not always so perfect.

Shower of flowers: Ma B has had an orchid plant for 18 years, an apartment warming gift. As Ma B has aged, become pained, decrepit and crotchety, so, too, has the plant. Then she got this "oil" for her pain. She shared with the plant...a little liquid with its food. Amazingly, both are re-energized, re-rooted and re-ignited. For Ma B, it's back to the casino life. For the plant, it's preening out the 21st floor window. Not many can top the life-long friendship of a plant, especially if you're into dominating a conversation. And not any have better plants or plant arrangements or beautiful flowers to keep your Ma company than Gordon Boswell Flowers. Erica Ashinhurst - that's easy for her to spell - has a Gordon Boswell Mother's Day gift basket to plant with your Ma.

Networking tour de force: Funkytown Force, a Chamber Leads Group that meets 11:30 Tuesdays, is holding a networking meet-and-greet for any Chamber member from 5-7:30 p.m. May 3 at Pinstripes. It is free and includes two drink tickets per registered participant, bocce ball, bowling and hors-d'oeuvre. It's a great opportunity to find out about Chamber leads groups, network, especially after two drinks, and enjoy the greatness of Pinstripes. You can register here. Whether you attend or not, Pinstripes figures you might have leads yourownself and they could be networked at its place at your convenience... win 10 people for two hours of bowling or bocce and flatbread.

This would FIT me well: You remember way, way back in late December / early January you vowed to get in shape? And you remember how you'd fallen off the treadmill trail by mid-January? Thanks to Southwest / Ryan YMCA fitness fellow Jeff Thomas, here is a chance to get back your energy for exercise. Jeff has one month of a family membership with access to all branches in Fort Worth, except Downtown, one free session for one person with a personal trainer at the Southwest or Ryan YMCA and a YMCA goodie bag. If you give this and Jeff a shot, you no longer will be a doubting Thomas.  

Congratulations to the April 18th Prize Winners: 
  • Mark Hotchkiss, First Command Financial Services
  • John Gerdes, BBVA Compass
  • Cara Kennemer, Underwood Law Firm
  • Patricia Nicholson, North American Title Co.
  • James Stanphill, JPS Foundation
  • Madison Buckner, Ronald McDonald House Fort Worth
  • Vianei Braun, Decker Jones

Lead or get out of the way: Know a president, principal or chief executive officer who has strengthened and transformed your organization? Then nominate that person for the Chamber's Susan Halsey Award. Susan was a former Chamber Chair and a giant in Fort Worth's legal, real estate and civic worlds. The award debuted in 2016, and the recipient was Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Fort Worth. Nominees must demonstrate the ability to actively support advancement; create a vision and inspire others; establish a positive image for business while leading it to higher levels of success; encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees; give back to the community; and mentor. Go to the nomination form here. Deadline for nominations is May 7.

Success doesn't mean without problems:
Three of the four Chamber Small Business of the Year winners - Site Barricades, The Paisley Heart and BorrowWorks - say their No. 1 business challenge is hiring the right people.

Tech tip: The iPhone was first released on June 29, 2007. The world moves fast in 11 years. Bell's Levi Bilbrey is helping to design the Elevate air taxis in coordination with Uber. Between testing, regulatory and certification, it could be another 8-to-10 years before takeoff. Levi says one way Elevate will keep pace with frequent technological updates is by having a removable and upgradable dashboard.
One way to be a big shot: Mr. B wants a t-shirt that says I'm with Jackie now that Jackie Pierce, owner of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts , is the new chairman of the Am-Bass-Adorables with the Chamber. Am-Bass-Adorables are similar to Walmart's smiling greeters, except there's no bib.

Never on Sunday: Balcom Agency has the best nicknames for employees. Christine Cantrell (Witty Bitty) has boomeranged a few times away and back to Balcom. She's back ... for now? Her bio says Christine is a die-hard Chick-fil-A muncher. "She once camped out at a Chick-fil-A for 24 hours in the cold and rain to win free food for one year."

Manual labor: Is harassment covered in your employee manual? Do you even have an employee manual? According to Laura O'Donnell, an attorney with Haynes and Boone, it is highly recommended that your company have multiple avenues for reporting possible abuses. If a first report does not get a response, then employees should be required to report an incident to a second appointee. Employees must know that HR can't guarantee confidentiality. Only when attorneys become involved is confidentiality guaranteed.

Stepping stone: Mike Coffey, owner of Imperative Information Group, just took his 16-year-old son to London for the Royal Ballet School, where dance / no dunce son will study the next two years. Royal is considered the Harvard of the ballet world.
" 40 miles-per-hour spring winds keep us busy...King Kong is dancing."   

-- Wayne Canter
Bullseye Balloons & Promotions
50-plus, plus, plus : Kathryn Rotter long has been a Mr. B favorite. She puts on the Senior Synergy Expo for Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. This year's spectacular is 8:30-1:30 p.m. May 3 at the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall . Free parking, free admission, free workshops, free health screenings, free gardening classes, free photo booth, free cooking demonstrations, free giveaways. When Kathryn called Mr. B, he was sure it was to be the keynote speaker. But no! Rotter can be rotten. That duty goes to wonderful weather guy Troy Dungan. Wonder if he came free?

Who you calling 'bedroom?' During the last 20 years, Fort Worth's residential vs. commercial tax base went from 44-56 percent to 62-38 percent. The city explains that that imbalance isn't healthy for economic sustainability; it means more traffic and worse air quality. Hence, the need to attract  and grow more businesses in the city.
Formula to live the dream: Mr. B has been trying for 11 years to get a bump beyond his 39 cents an hour pay. Boss Miserly Mistress is heartless. So he listened to the Stevie Dawn Orange Compass webinar titled The Limitless Worth Formula. Learned some things about pricing:
  • Three obstacles to raising prices are 1) not feeling valuable enough; 2) worrying about what you would pay if you were the buyer; and 3) selling just minutes for money, which doesn't take into account your education, experience and ability.
  • Most businesses do not set a regular and consistent timetable for raising prices or fees.
  • Don't discount! Instead, change up your offerings / packages to fit a budget.
Not your father's library: Launch Pad students, with $3.4 million in offers, will attend Stanford, Harvard and Yale, and Texas schools such as Rice, The University of Texas, Texas Tech, TCU and UNT. Who's doing the launching? The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation. Launch Pad is a free program that helps students determine the best college fit, discuss choices and financial implications, and most importantly, write, re-write and review essays. More than 40% of 178 students assisted this year are first-generation college applicants.

Job hunters: Not suggesting anything, but some employers are posting jobs on the Chamber's job board. It's free to list. EECU is growing and hiring big-time. Dickies Arena recently had high-falutin' customer relations and food and beverage exec positions, and Huntington Learning Center is looking for part-time tutors.
Sponsored By

The 2018 Book of Lists have arrived in our office!  Compiled and published annually by the Fort Worth Business Press, this directory includes lists of top companies in more than 60 industries in Tarrant and Denton counties.

Order a copy for only $95 (members only) from our eCommerce store here (normally $225). Members need to login with member ID to receive member pricing on all publications.

Email Katie Kassler or call 817-338-3377 to schedule pickup or for more information. See more of our publications in our online store.
For sponsorship inquiries in B2B Insider, contact Jennifer Vuduris or call (817) 338-3335

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