I am announcing my candidacy for HCC Trustee District 5 for this November 7, 2017 election.
I am an employer who is gravely concerned about the state of our college system and where it is heading as headlines hit one after another about HCC board of trustees’ continuous misconduct and now bribery charges. This has been a longstanding issue dating back to 2010 as some trustees are still serving on the HCC Board today.
We need to make changes now, starting with this election. If not, corruption will ride for another 6 years. We cannot afford another 6 years, as the college will continue to spiral downhill. It is imperative that we clean up these atrocious, self-serving activities by removing all corrupted and listless board members and tighten up frivolous spending of millions taxpayer dollars. We need to refocus and get back to the mission and vision of HCC to see students succeed, stay competitive and innovative, and to create a strong momentum to prepare students for the growing global workforce.
Here are the issues:
1. Board members over and over again have been indicted and investigated for:
a. Bribery and accepting of gifts
c. Abuse of public office for personal gain
d. Misappropriation of Bond money to family, personal business and political allies
2. Accreditation of HCC Status is at risk with continuous violations of Principles of
3. HCC is losing its competitiveness to other colleges due to its poor reputation and continuous corruption at board level
4. My opponent continues to impede board work by abstaining from voting and delaying internal investigation efforts. Moreover, he has continues to show little effort to lead even as chair of the audit committee.
5. Poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars continues to be spent on attorney fees and third parties fees.
This is my plan:
1. Refocus and hold board members accountable for following set policies and
procedures for procurement.
2. Re-evaluate and reset stricter guidelines regarding fringe benefits of trustees
3. Collaborate and tighten working relationship with the chancellor and administrative
staff by eliminating a board counsel since we already have an HCC general counsel.
4. Strictly enforce Conflicts of Interest Disclosures and set consequences for violation.
5. Show financial transparency by using an external auditor.
6. Collaborate and increase community and business partnerships to expand student
experience, internships, and career opportunities while gaining private funding and
7. Evaluate and expand programs that are of highest interest to our region such as healthcare and oil/gas/ energy. Our college system allows students to excel and get a jump-start whether to later attend a 4-year college, learn a vocational skill or be trained to better prepare for the growing workforce. Why should you care? Because, this is the future of our city and our workforce. If you are an employer like me, a prepared student with the right skills set will be an asset to our companies. If you are a citizen of Texas, these are the students that will serve you in all areas of services. If you are a parent, you want to be sure this college is reputable, low cost, and innovative to prepare for your young adult’s future.
Here are five ways you can become involved and be part of my campaign:
1. Spread the word to friends and family who reside in HCC DISTRICT 5 to vote for me.
a. EARLY VOTING OCT 23-NOV 3
b. VOTING DAY NOV 7th
2. Allow a campaign sign in your yard: email@example.com
3. Host a fundraiser/meet and greet for friends and colleagues.
4. Join my campaign team to further outreach the community.
5. Donate to my campaign: $5, $25, $100, $500, $1000
a. Nothing is too small. I need your help and every dollar counts.
b. Checks payable to Victoria Bryant, PO BOX 301189, Houston TX 77230
c. Paypal payment: firstname.lastname@example.org
d. Chase Payment: vb@Ambassadorscare.com
e. Online: www.vote4victoria.com/donate
HCC Board of Trustee District 5, encompasses these zip codes:
77005 77030 77063 77019 77036
77027 77042 77096 77094 77401
It would be an honor to have your vote November 7, 2016 for Houston Community College Trustee District 5.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Victoria Bryant, PharmD
vote4victoria.com | email@example.com | 832.356.4222 O | PO BOX 301189, Houston TX 77230
We continue to recover and pray for our community.
We are moving forward with the reschedule for the Fantasy Football Draft event onTuesday, September 26 at NRG Stadium.
Thank you for agreeing to volunteer at the event. Your time is appreciated and will help raise funds to provide for the children at the Boys & Girls Harbor.
Please confirm you will be attending and reply to this email.
Here is the pertinent information:
Attire: Nice jeans or khakis, and a collared polo shirt
Arrival time: 6:00 pm-(unless you are part of registration group then please arrive by 5:30)
NRG Stadium: Use Westridge Entrance off Kirby (Gate 9) and enter through the Ford Gate
Parking: Tell the attendant you are there for the Fantasy Football event benefiting Boys & Girls Harbor; he will direct you to the Blue Lot 18 parking lot
Check-in: Check in at Volunteer Check-in; you will be provided dinner and 2 drink tickets
6:00 Check-in and dinner
7:00 Quick refresher training
7:45 Go to assigned table
9:30 - 10:00 Draft should be finished
Questions: Call Celia at 713-851-6219 or Ellie at 713-825-5708 or Ken Sellers713.458.0710
HURRICANE HARVEY MEN’S SUIT DRIVE
"SUITED FOR SUCCESS BECAUSE WE ARE HOUSTON STRONG"
Before donating, please ask yourself first: "Would I wear this to an interview or to the office?" don't use this as a reason to throw random cloths in a bag and yes, all sizes are welcomed
People can donate their gently-used professional Suits, ties, sports coat, dinner jackets, shirts, pants, pocket squares, belts and shoes for this month-long initiative to collect gently-used professional clothing for Houston Professionals who lost everything in Hurricane & Tropical Storm Harvey and the floods
PS: This is an opportunity to help men feel and look the professional part that they need to return back to work again or to win their next interview.
Please TEXT "Men's Suit Drive" to 713-409-6127 to arrange pick up or drop off
The Fastest and Easiest Event Check-in
The struggle to win over your guests starts with check-in. Make them wait in line, and their excitement about your event will plummet. Use cutting edge technology to speed up the check-in process, on the other hand, and you can ensure that attendees enter the event in the best possible mindset.
Zenus, a Houston-based startup, is bringing its powerful face recognition technology to the events industry. Event planners across the world have started piloting this fresh concept and the results are impressive!
Event: The International Corporate Event (ICE) Awards was among the early adopters. Specifically, the ICE Awards 2017 took place at the Saatchi Gallery in London, honoring senior in-house events professionals across 15 industry sectors. The event attracted 250 experienced event professionals, 70% of which were in-house event organizers representing 60 companies.
Challenge: This year, Anita Howard, the founder and producer of the ICE Awards was looking for something new to impress attendees. However, the venue entrance was narrow and the check-in requirements limited their options.
Specifically, the organizing team wanted to print badges for the attendees and also do a brief security check to ensure that only invited guests were allowed in. These requirements, in combination with the narrow entrance, were expected to create long lines. Face recognition technology was a perfect match, and Anita was excited about the concept.
Solution: Zenus’ solution can be integrated into existing registration platforms, making the experience smooth for both the event planner and the attendees. Specifically, the ICE Awards used the Ya-Ya Regie online event registration platform which has already deployed Zenus’ face recognition solution.
Before the event, the attendees were invited to upload their profile picture and opt-in for face recognition. Behind the scenes, the registration platform (in this case Ya-Ya Regie) automatically stripped the images of any personally identifiable information before uploading encrypted copies of them to the Zenus cloud-based service.
The ICE Awards organizers were planning to have two interactive giant tablets for face recognition check-in. However, the hardware supplier missed the two-hour set up window due to an unexpected traffic jam in the heart of London. Nevertheless, the organizers quickly set up the system on their personal MacBook and used this as the check-in station.
Results: When the guests arrived at the venue they could check-in either with their faces, or with the traditional barcode scanners. Each attendee who opted for face recognition simply needed to stand in front of the laptop for a moment. The system recognized them immediately, their badge was automatically printed, and they were ready to go!
Since the kiosks were next to each other, it was easy to notice differences between the two methods. Guests checking-in using face recognition were impressed and excited about the technology. Many of them were event planners who unsuccessfully tried to confuse the system by making funny faces. Some of the attendees took out their phones to record the process, while others remarked about the process with the people standing next to them. In addition to making a great impression and increasing engagement, check-in using face recognition was four to five times faster than the traditional barcode scanning.
After the event, a record number of inquiries to try face recognition for events was received by Ya-Ya Regie.
Face recognition has many benefits for both the event planner and the attendees. It lives on the cloud enabling it to run on any device, so no special check-in devices needed. It is fast, easy, secure, and affordable. Like most new services, some people might be reluctant to try. However, we have found that people quickly gain confidence in this fresh concept. Social media and online payments are similar technologies where a modest critical mass paved the way for much larger future growth.
To increase the opt-in rate, communicate clearly to your attendees that the data is being treated in a safe manner (all images are anonymized, encrypted, and also deleted after the event). Moreover, keep in mind that face recognition can work in parallel with traditional check-in methods to satisfy everyone. Even if only a fraction of attendees opt-in, it will be enough to have a significant effect on reducing waiting time in lines.
It is always good to have backup devices in case something goes wrong. Even though the internet requirements are relatively low, make sure to secure a private network for the face recognition system.
The ICE Awards case study demonstrated the benefits of face recognition for check-in. We are expecting to see more and more events implementing this fast and cost-effective option to process large number of attendees. We are also looking forward to more case studies about different use cases such as tracking attendance for multiple sessions and leads retrieval.
So what would you tell your younger self?
I often find myself wishing I could tell my younger self some things about how life really works, about what’s real and true, and thereby dissolve some of the harmful preconceptions and assumptions I had way back then. That is a frustrating impossibility, but it’s worth thinking about.
Here are the 15 things I wish I could tell my younger self:
1.Life is good. Not always, but mostly. And when it is not so good, be assured it will get better.
2.It’s a good thing that we don’t know everything that’s going to happen to us. If I had known all the pains and heartaches I would encounter in life, even amidst the joys and victories, it would surely have been too much to bear.
3.If you tend to be shy, try your best to overcome it. Take it a step at a time, but work at it. It is a gift to get to know new people, especially those who are different from you in some way, culturally, ethnically, religiously. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be painful for a time, but the benefits are everlasting.
4. It may not be easy to stand up and speak out for what’s important to you, but you will be amazed how empowering, and important, it can be.
5. Accept yourself as God made you.
6. You are not the only person in the world who feels this way, whatever “this way” is that you’re feeling.
7.You are terrific just as you are. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your rough edges and areas of ignorance and inexperience.
8. You are on a journey, which means things will change. Even important things will change, sometimes shockingly. But it is a nevertheless a good journey, and it’s worth every step.
9. There is no one person in the whole world who is the one-and-only person God has selected for you to be with forever. So don’t waste time thinking you have to search for that one ideal person. Open yourself up, be patient, and it will all work out.
10. When you do connect deeply with one person, be serious about it. Work at it. Be open and honest with your significant other. It is a rare and wondrous thing to be in relationship, so make every effort to preserve and improve and deepen it.
11. But sometimes, for any number of reasons, it is time to move on, for your sake or theirs, or both. Recognize this.
12. Your parents truly love you and want the best for you. Listen to them. Trust them. Love them. Honor them. But realize you will soon be on your own, and that’s a good thing.
13.Stop watching so much TV. Read more. (Although, young me, you did read an awful lot, so maybe you should get outside and play more.)
14. Work hard and carefully try to figure out a career you will love. This will involve trying different things, new things. I’ve had four primary and very different jobs in my life, and have enjoyed each one (pretty much). Each one moved me forward into what was next.
15.Children are a blessing and a joy. Just keep in mind that they will break your heart and scare you to death more times than you could ever imagine.
Reinvent Yourself! "The pursuit of my own happiness as I escaped a troublesome nightmare in my daring attempt to dream for a different future" by Ivan Sanchez
10 years ago, I was fending for myself in a "boys in the hood" environment while I grieved my superwoman’s death - my mother. As a disoriented teenager desperately wanting escape the negative life style I lived and reinvent myself, I threw myself into what I saw as my clearest means to success: schoolwork.
As I took several fulltime jobs to pay for college, from pushing shopping carts at Kroger’s to selling chocolates at Godiva, I gradually escaped a troublesome nightmare in my daring attempt to dream for a different future. At the time, I unconsciously started the pursuit of my own happiness, but I took charge of my destiny. Through the struggles, broke bank account, naysayers, adversity, and life lessons, I ultimately rejected the narrative of a troubled and directionless youth for the young man you know me as today.
Overcoming the adversity, I faced fueled my desire to serve others, to help them improve their lives, as people are not predestined to misery and failure. And though the current status quo propagandizes people into deficiency, debt, and prison pipelines, as a part of the new generation, I refuse to continue to accept the status quo policies that adversely affect our communities. As my education, has changed me forever, I now take it upon myself to empower disadvantaged communities and beyond.
10 years later, the challenges I faced from a deprived, low socioeconomic teenager, to an empowered congressional liaison, allowed for a continued evolution of adaption and potential for change, but more importantly, it gave me the inspiration to further help the underprivileged as I walked those very shoes. I endeavor to change and achieve, not out of a frenzied state of panic, but because I see the endless possibilities for my life and for the people and the world around me.
If any struggling young people are reading this, rise up, dust yourself off, and find your passion. I want you to know that if I could do it, you truly can as well. Do the best you can, with what you can, while you can, but do it passionately, tirelessly and vigorously. Look in the mirror, that’s your competition. The best achievement in life is doing something people thought you cannot do. It is never too late to reinvent yourself. Prove them wrong, it can be done.
#SeeYouAtTheTop #HTXMIL #ReinventYourself #SiSePuede
I would like to introduce you to our family owned and operated business.
In 2005 my career as the Director of National Accounts for Allied Waste came to an end and I was only 47 years old. I was however fortunate enough to receive a severance package that allowed me some time to figure out what would be next for me and the family.
So how did you get started in the paper shredding business?
At that time in the Katy area, future plans were being published that the area would be the home to new medical facilities as well as increased office space being built. I did some research and found that there were no Paper Shredding companies located in Katy, so I decided that would be the direction I would go and started West Houston Document Destruction, Inc.
After the decision was made we leased space at the Mason Creek Business Park (I-10 & Mason) and I purchased a shredding machine and truck and opened for business February 1st 2006. The next step involved cold calling the businesses that were open at the time and joining the Katy Chamber of Commerce and attending their events to network and get our name out there and we have continued our membership and participation.
Who was your First Customer?
Our first customers were our Dentist (who we still service), the Katy Chamber (we also still service) and 2 of the local printing shops that I hauled away their waste paper. It is 11 years later and the area has grown and so have we.
So How has your company grown?
West Houston Document Destruction now processes 12,000 pounds of paper each week and delivers this paper to a recycling center so that it can be processed into a new paper products such as a paper towel, napkin, paper plate, cup or tissue etc.
Every individual should protect themselves from Identity theft and all businesses are subject to various laws requiring the proper handling of customer and employee information.
When can people come and see you?
On Saturday from 9-2 or with an appointment during the week, Individuals can watch their papers being shredded at a cost of $5.00 per regular size storage box. A normal box of papers will weigh an estimated 25 pounds and our process takes about 2 minutes to shred that box. We have had hundreds of contacts with individuals over the past years and many of these people come by 1 or 2 times per year and some more often and they know me and my son by name and we know theirs as well.
Business customers can have a customized program for their office to handle the shredding needs as well as recycling. We supply the locked cabinet or cart and a service schedule can be flexible to what your companies needs are. The pick-ups are made mostly by my son Tim or me when I need to help him out. Currently we service over 250 clients in the West Houston area. Our service area includes Sugarland on the south, Kingwood on the north, and the Galleria area on the east and Sealy & Hempstead on the West.
I can be reached at 281-450-9700 for more information.
What if for one day, everyone in our community gave $10 to a local nonprofit? Meet Big Give Houston. Big Give Houston is a 24-hour online fundraiser that celebrates the work of local nonprofits. For one day per year, from midnight to midnight, Big Give Houston aims to raise awareness about the amazing missions that support our community day-to-day and connect new donors with local nonprofits.
In 2016, over 200 nonprofits participated in Big Give Houston, raising over $150,000 in 24 hours. With over 1,300+ individuals gifts, Big Give Houston averaged 34% new donors across all nonprofits. That means that of all the donors that participated, 34% reported that they had never given to the charity they selected prior to Big Give Houston. This scaled the national average of similar giving day events by 10%. With a minimum donation amount of $10 it is our hope that everyone will be encouraged to become a local philanthropist during Big Give Houston.
However, this participation level is not a surprise. For a number of years, Houston has been named one of the most generous communities in the country.
In its second year, Big Give Houston hopes to generate enthusiasm around keeping donation dollars local. The giving day approach gamifies the way we fundraise as it throws all of the community's support behind local nonprofits for one day. How much can we raise in 24 hours for our community?
There's still time for nonprofits to register for Big Give Houston - but quick action is required to meet the August 15th deadline. Nonprofits are busy preparing for the big day - September 13th, 2017. The clock starts at midnight. Will you join us?
All are invited to a day-of happy hour at Raven Tower at 6:30. Raven Tower is generously donating 10% at our happy hour to the nonprofit with the most votes. Come out and support your local community on September 13th.
Please follow this link to learn more : https://biggivehouston.org/
Luxury one bedroom available in the Galleria area.
Built in wine chill refrigerator
Hard wood floors
Closet with built in racks.
View the floor plan here: Hudson Floor Plan Unit #213
1 Bed 1 Bath 755s.f.
Monthly Rent: $1,755/ month with a 12 moths lease.
*Please speak with property manager for any additional fees and for availability
Move in Special: ½ Off First three months (*pay $877.50/ mo for 3 mo)
with a 12 month lease
Available now for immediate move-in. Contact Glenda:
JuiceLand will have a booth in front of their shop in The Heights (3206 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007) at White Linen Fest this weekend! They are going to have *free juice and will also be giving out JuiceLand swag.
Over the past few years, JuiceLand has undergone rapid expansion. With over 15 Austin-area locations, we have been busy sharing our love for fresh and healthy plant-based options to Houston and Dallas. This explosion has a lot of people asking, “Why are you expanding so quickly? Do you franchise? What’s the story here?” The explanation is simple: we love our customers, our communities, and our product. We want to share JuiceLand with as many people as possible! When we had just one shop in a little stone cottage on Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX, people drove from all over the city to come visit us. These customers started asking JuiceLand owner, Matt Shook, to set up shop in their neighborhoods, and he listened!
At its core, JuiceLand’s growth is an effort to increase accessibility to sustainable and healthy food options. Many neighborhoods don’t have options for a fast and fresh meal, so we are working to fill this need. We value the communities we call home and have made philanthropy a priority. Every chance that we get, we offer our products and merchandise in support our neighbors and customers.
Our mission to give back is also paired with our goal to raise awareness. We’ve developed our Feel Good, Do Good Program to spotlight charities we think are doing incredible work in our community. What’s Feel Good, Do Good? Our seasonal menu features a special fresh juice smoothie created by our innovative juice chefs that directly supports our local communities! Fifty percent of the profits from this drink are donated to a local non-profit organization who shares our passion in promoting wellness, sustainability, and creativity for all. This initiative allows our customers to try a new drink that gives back to important causes and to learn more about the organizations that make our community great.
But Feel Good, Do Good isn’t the only way for JuiceLand customers to give back through their purchases. Through our FiveStars Rewards program, we offer the option to redeem your points to give a meal to someone in need or donate $1 to Inside Books Project, a Texas based non-profit. Each of these redemptions goes directly to support people in our community and they wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our customers!
At JuiceLand, we’re all about feeling good and doing good! We are so excited to be growing in Houston and will continue to work to make it a healthy and vibrant place to live!
The Houston Advisory Board is exactly what the name suggest, it is a small group of Business minded peers meeting on a monthly bases with the objective to Learn, Grow their Business and to Help other do the same in their group.
We are looking for our first 10 Charter Members and may extend it to 20!
The first Houston Advisory Board meeting will be held August 29th at:
Spoken About (Chase Bank Building)
19747 US 59 N # 318 Humble , Tx 77338
Time: 9am - 12 pm
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP IS $749
"Pay only $297 If you enroll and
attend the first meeting on the 29th"
Click Here for the HAB Membership
Houston Advisory Board meetings leverages Peer to Peer :
Meet with other business minded advisory board members to share business expertise, solve challenges, help each other seize new opportunities. With your HAB Business Advisory Board, you will create an actionable strategic plan and be held accountable to achieving your goals.
Here’s what happens at a typical HAB Board Meeting:
Please call Freddy Goerges at 713-409-6127 or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
(8) Myths about LinkedIn, the Worlds largest Sales Funnel, enroll for my LinkedIn Workshop & receive *3 Months of Business & Marketing Consulting
Why are you on LinkedIn, why is anyone on LinkedIn? Read (8) Myths about LinkedIn and COMMENT BELOW why are you on LinkedIn or ask a question and I would be happy to answer them the best that I can. Remember, my goal is to offer value and help you reach more opportunities and reach your goals by maximizing your LinkedIn!
If you would like to learn How LinkedIn can help grow your Brand , Business, Career or Opportunities, please schedule a Webinar or Workshop by Clicking Here
As an added bonus with your LinkedIn Workshop purchase, you will also receive *3 Months of Business & Marketing Consulting
About: Freddy Goerges is the CEO & Founder of Houston Young Professionals. He started HYP as a LinkedIn Group in 2012 and at his first Networking Event he had over 300 people attending. It was then that Freddy started to focusing on his skills on Networking and LinkedIn marketing!
Today, Freddy has hosted hundreds of networking events that range from 100 - over 2,000 in attendance and he has over 27,000 1st degree connections on LinkedIn with a heavy focus in Houston,TX. The HYP LinkedIn Group is the largest Networking Group in Houston the Nations 3rd largest City with over 24,000 members in the LinkedIn Group, Over 10,000 Facebook Fans and over 200,000 Monthly Readers
Please LinkedIn with him here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/freddygoerges/
Freddy Goerges, CEO & Founder
email@example.com | 713-409-6127
Houston PetSet has a handful of major events that help generate funds for its mission and bring the Houston community together. Please join us!
WHAT: Thirteenth Annual Houston PetSet Soireé Reception * Dinner * Auction
WHEN: Friday, September 22, 2017
WHERE The Astorian
2500 Summer Street
Houston, TX 77007
CHAIRMEN: Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia
Tena Lundquist Faust, Tama Lundquist
HONOREE: Leslie Alexander
CELEBRITY CHEF: Chef Rey Houston Rockets Team Chef
HOW: Individual Seating $350 & $500; Tables of 10 $5,000,
$10,000, $15,000, $25,000 and $50,000
For Ticket information: info@HoustonPetSet.org
or call 713-960-6622.
WHY: Houston PetSet is an umbrella non-profit organization
dedicated to making a difference by providing grants to
animal welfare –related nonprofits in the Greater Houston
area. All Houston PetSet dollars raised support Houston’s
Be An Angel is hosting Designer Purse Bingo on Thurs. September 14 at Life HTX, 2512 Woodhead (77019). Beginning at 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM the evening will include drinks, hors d’oeuvres and raffle prizes. Seating is limited to 200 ladies.
The evening includes 20 different Bingo Games. Each game winner will win a high dollar designer purse. 10 games will be played for purses valued between $250 to $1,000 and 5 games for very high end purses valued at $1500 and up. The games will be called by Professional Bingo Caller Marty Drake who also has a special needs child.
Some of the purses lined up and ready for the games include Furla Bags, Trina Turk, Michael Kors, Elaine Turner, Kate Spade and Luis Vuitton.
Individual tickets are $100 including 2 Bingo Cards, Sponsorship levels include name recognition on all promotional material; $15,000 includes 10 tickets and 20 Bingo Cards; $5,000 includes 4 Tickets and 8 Bingo Cards; $2,500 includes 2 Tickets and 4 Bingo Cards and $1,000 includes 2 Bingo Cards.
For additional information call Barbara Heim at (281) 219.3313 or Barbara@BeAnAngel.org
About BE AN ANGEL
Established in 1986, the mission of Be An Angel is to improve the quality of life for children with multiple disabilities or profound deafness by providing needed adaptive equipment and select services.
Scene: Most Professional Networking Event/Happy Hour/Mixed Company
Gentleman: Hi, I’m Pete, what do YOU do?
Renee Morton: I own my own Mortgage Company!
Professional Gentleman: No, really…what do you do?
This isn’t the first time Renee Morton, founder and CEO of Morton Mortgage Corporation, has been doubted. Frankly, she’s used to it. She knows it’s uncommon for a woman to own her own mortgage company, even in 2017. Never shy to back down from a challenge, Renee has been proving for years that competitive rates, exemplary customer service, and great attention to detail are just a few of her super powers. So sorry boys, but this mortgage superwoman have already landed on the scene and are now at the forefront of it.
“For some reason when I meet someone in my industry and I'm asked who I work for and I tell them myself, they always ask ‘no WHO do you work for?’ For some reason men and women both don't believe that a single mother like myself can own a mortgage company. Most are backed by large financial institutions that have deep pockets to help pay for all of their expenses. My business is solely supported by myself.” –Renee Morton
The story of our mortgage superwoman, Renee Morton has very humble beginnings. Born in the small town of Gary, Indiana, Renee grew up idolizing her grandfather, Grandpa Morton. Despite being born in the depression and weighing two pounds at birth, Grandpa Morton was inducted into two Halls of Fame, invented the texture on the Fridge and even made it as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs! Clearly, we can see where Renee’s superhuman traits came from. –“He taught me to be strong and go after everything and anything I want” says Renee.
The Lone Star State and the promise of new opportunities caught /Renee’s superwoman senses. She jumped into her superhero outfit consisting of red snake skin shoes and a self-designed dress, then promptly went on to beat out 19 other seniors in her high school class for a coveted position with Criminal & PI attorneys. She was soon a newlywed and young stay-at-home mother selling $120,000 worth of hand cream for Neiman Marcus. She continued to refine her skills, joining forces with upscale beauty brands Versace, Bobby Brown, Vincent Longo and Laura Mercier.
Never complacent, from 2001-2003 Renee launched and ran a successful sales and marketing company called, The Camille Picon Group (Picon after her great grandfather from Spain.) She was now working in partnership with beauty industry retail giants Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom. At the end of 2003 Renee continued her superwoman journey, caring for her 3 children while getting her mortgage license.
Renee worked in the mortgage industry until 2014 learning from all of the market’s ups and downs. She knew early on she wanted to start her own mortgage company, and after receiving an email from a friend that said, “Fear is the Devils way of holding you back from God’s blessings” she made her vision a reality, and Renee Morton Home Loans was born. In the past three years Renee has focused on maximizing her business model while living out her company’s mission. To reflect all of her progress and positive momentum, she has changed her company’s name to Morton Mortgage in 2016 and in 2017 moved to a brand new office in Spring, Texas and has hired 6 new Loan Officers.
Renee Morton’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed! In 2017 she has appeared twice on Great Day Houston and has plans to be a regular guest as their “Mortgage Expert.” Modern Luxury has named her one of the Dynamic Women of the Year! Follow her on Facebook to experience her Mortgage Monday’s live every week!
As you can tell by this point, a woman like Renee Morton is much more than just her business. She is very involved in the community with The National Association of Professional Mortgage Women (NAPMW.) The Greater Houston Association of Mortgage Professionals (GHAMP.) Houston Mortgage Banker Association (HMBA,) Kids Meals Houston, Child Advocates, Habitat for Humanity and The Brookwood Community. Renee’s closing gifts are crafted by the special needs citizens of Brookwood. She takes that relationship a step further and brings friends and co-workers to volunteer there several times a year.
Renee and Morton Mortgage host a local artist every 8 weeks. Each local artist is able to hang their art throughout the Morton Mortgage offices and an Artist reception is planned for each artist during their nesting period. Supporting local artists is just one of the many ways Renee connects with the community.
Renee’s positive customer reviews prove that others are noticing her superwomen traits as well. “Renee is incredibly professional and will go above and beyond for her clients in terms of communication and attention to detail…” says one of her many clients.
The story of our superwomen in the mortgage industry is far from over. Have not doubt; Renee Morton is here to stay, and here to give her clients the finest lending experience they can imagine!
Virtuosi of Houston hosted the 9thAnnual Small Ensemble Summer Workshop for a group of young musicians ages 10 to 18. The faculty instructors for the workshop were professional musicians from the Fidelis Quartet. The ensemble consists of violinists Rodica Gonzalez and Mihaela Frusina, violistWei Jiang and cellist Jeffrey Butler who are also musicians with .the Houston Symphony. Additionally, professional musicians from the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera also assisted in the workshop: violinist Chavdar Parashkevov, violist Dawson White, cellist Wendy Smith-Butler and bassist Curry Duffey.
The purpose of the workshop is to offer the opportunity for training to any young musician in small ensemble performance plusintroduce the Virtuosi of Houston degree of professionalism and quality to new students that may have an interest in audition for the Virtuosi of Houston orchestra. The workshop also provided classes in Music Theory, Yoga, Alexander Technique, Solfeggio and Deportment.
The two-week workshop culminated in a recital concert where each of the small ensemble quartets perform their quartet piece they had worked on during the workshop. The recital was hosted at the Virtuosi of Houston’s studio at Memorial City Mall. In addition each ensemble had the opportunity to perform again as the preconcert entertainment at the Texas Music Festival at University of Houston’s Moores Opera House.
● Join the waiting list now for the 10th Annual Summer Workshop in June 2018
ABOUT VIRTUOSI OF HOUSTON
Virtuosi of Houston is a young artist’s chamber orchestra ages 11 to 18. In this our nineteenth season they come from 32 different schools, and from four counties. They play at an exemplary level about 80% pursue a career in music and 100% attend college. Virtuosi alumni are all over the world. We have a first chair cello at the Hamburg Symphony, a principal and solo flautist at the Luxemburg Symphony and a professor of cello at a New Hampshire college. There are numerous alumni in music education and others who have successful careers in performance.
DEIDRE N. MATHIS "Owner of Wanderlust Houston, Budget Travel Book Author, Keynote Speaker, Budget Travel Expert, 36+ countries traveled"
Most stories I’ve read about successful millennial entrepreneurs start after the win; after the company, has opened, after the funds have been raised, after the first six figures have been earned.
While most of these stories are inspirational, motivational, and encouraging, they just don’t do IT for me. What is the IT? The IT encompasses the personal stories and experiences that made the company what it is today—the turmoil, heartaches, pains, and frustrations; the ups and downs of starting and building that company. The IT tells a story.
Let me share my story. My name is Deidre Mathis, world traveler of over 37 countries, author of the budget travel book, Wanderlust: For the Young, Broke Professional, and owner of Wanderlust Houston, a private and shared modern accommodation that will be opening soon in Houston. I was born and raised in Florida, attended graduate school in Maryland and upon earning my master’s degree, quit my “good government job” to embark on a gap year where I traveled to over a dozen countries solo. I always knew I was entrepreneurial, and I knew I would eventually run my own business. I just didn’t know how. I had a mediocre credit score, only a few thousand dollars saved, and no experience with writing a business plan. To accomplish this goal, I had to stop dreaming and start working.
First things first: debt. I called my creditors and arranged a debt elimination plan and began making small payments. Soon, my debts (excluding student loans) were all paid. I cut back on credit card spending, using only 10% or less of my credit limits, and I signed up for credit monitoring services to ensure my score was going to be protected. After one year, my score increased by more than 100 points and finally put me in the 700 club. I visited my local SCORE business centers and began working on my business plan. I entered local business plan competitions. My very first business plan was about 12 pages and, looking back in hindsight, it was pretty bad. But I refused to give up. After more than six months of late nights, hard work, and countless revisions, I had a viable business plan. I eventually won two of those business plan competitions, accumulating over $5,000 in prizes for my business.
The next step was, by far, the most stressful part of this journey: the money (it’s always the money, isn’t it?). I started an Indiegogo campaign to see if the community was even interested in my business idea, and they responded favorably. More than 80 supporters helped me raise $5,100. I met with a number of investors, some of which got me absolutely nowhere. After countless meetings, I received a gracious investment from a loved one that gave me the flexibility I needed. I soon met with local banks to shop my business plan and idea. I received positive feedback from two banks, both of which offered me six figure loans! Wow, this was really happening!
Last, but not least, was learning how to maintain a thriving personal life, all while dedicating most of my time to my entrepreneurial journey. Most of my friends have jobs where they physically go to work at 9AM, begin the day’s scheduled monotony, and clock out by 5PM. The more adventurous ones proceed to their nearest Happy Hour by 5:15. But my job is different. I don’t clock-in; I’m always on duty. I don’t drive to work or have to sit in rush hour traffic; my work is done from home or my neighborhood coffeeshop. Soon after starting this endeavor, I immediately noticed that people did not understand the constant work that goes into being a business owner. As an entrepreneur, my work is never done. So now, when I hear, “You don’t have a real job,” I think to myself, “No, I have the realest job.” I work for myself, and for this, I never clock out. My job includes 12 hour shifts, with no guarantee of health insurance or a paycheck. My days are spent in meetings and working behind a computer. It can be stressful, and the lack of sleep would leave others sidelined. But the fringe benefits are amazing.
My entrepreneurial journey is still evolving as I enter the next phase: renovation, marketing, and getting the word out about Wanderlust Houston. Now, when you read about our upcoming success I want you to come back and read this transparent article so you know that before the win came so much more!
Wanderlust Houston, Owner
$45 PER PERSON
Restaurant will donate $7 to the Houston Food Bank from each dinner sold. Food Bank will provide 21 meals from this donation.
SPRING MIX SALADcherry tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, croutons, shaved red onions & balsamic vinaigrette
SOUP CREATION OF THE DAYSecond CourseFILET MIGNON8 oz filet mignon, chateau potatoes
FILET MEDALLIONSbordelaise sauce, chateau potatoes & thin green beans
NORTH ATLANTIC SALMONlemon butter sauce, thin green beans
CRAB CAKEScajun lobster sauce, thin green beans
FILET MIGNON 12 OZ ($15 SUPPLEMENT)PRIME NEW YORK STRIP 16 OZ ($15 SUPPLEMENT)PRIME RIBEYE 16 OZ ($15 SUPPLEMENT)
add oscar style (crab, asparagus & béarnaise) +$10
add wild mushroom sauce +$6
add bacon au poivre with bourbon demi-glace +$6
Third CourseSTRAWBERRY CHEESECAKEWARM BANANA BREAD PUDDING
Aug 1 – Sept 4, 2017
LUNCH MENU$20 per person
Tax & gratuity not included. Wine sold separately.
StarterChoice of one:
CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD Crisp Romaine Lettuce, Shaved Parmesan Cheese & Texas Crouton
SPRING MIX SALAD Cherry Tomatoes, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Croutons, Shaved Red Onions & Balsamic Vinaigrette
SOUP CREATION OF THE DAY
FILET MEDALLIONS* Bordelaise Sauce, Chateau Potatoes & Thin Green Beans
NORTH ATLANTIC SALMON* Lemon Butter Sauce, Thin Green Beans
AVOCADO CHICKEN WRAP Quinoa, Shaved Lettuce, Tomato, Whole Wheat Tortilla, Choice of Chips or French Fries
WAGYU FRENCH DIP Au Jus and Horseradish Sauce, Choice of Chips or French Fries
Dessertchoice of one:STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE WARM BANANA BREAD PUDDING
2014 Ehler’s Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, $65
2013 Terlan Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige, $60
2013 Bodegas Fillaboa Albarino, Rias Baixes, $50
2014 Copain “Les Voisins” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, $67
2013 Schild Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre, Barossa Valley, $36
2010 Chateau du Coureau, Pessac-Leognan, $60
VIP MARTINI Svedka Clementine Vodka Infused with Fresh Hawaiian Pineapples, $14
*These items are served using raw or undercooked ingredients. Consumption of raw or undercooked meats, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase risk of foodborne illness.
Before placing your order, please inform your server if anyone in your party has a food allergy.
"I retired 20 yrs from the Navy and open my LinkedIn account and was playing around on it for a year because a Work Counselor said it was a good idea . To be honest, I put in minimum effort and had minimum results. After working with Freddy and his LinkedIn Workshop, I have 2 offers paying me $15K-$20K more than what I am making now!
YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE ON LINKEDIN!
Did you know 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn
Want to learn how to be a LinkedIn Marketing Expert and how to turn on your LinkedIn Sales Funnel? Right now, there is a huge demand for this skill.
We are offering to a small group, the opportunity to learn these skills that will exponentially grow your business and brand.
This is an in-person training, so you must be willing to travel to our location in Humble, Tx (If you are not able to attend in person, please let us know so we can Skype)
"Freddy came to our Corporate Office and did his LinkedIn Workshop to our Sales | Marketing | Catering Team! He talked about how with LinkedIn that YOU are the Brand and he showed our team how to find our ideal clients and as a result we have more catering and corporate event opportunities!
THIS IS NOT:
"I was just promoted as a new General Manager for a Boutique Women & Men high end retail store. I have used LinkedIn as a job seeker but never as a Hiring Manager. Freddy took the time with his LinkedIn Workshop to show me steps by steps how to find the right candidate and even help create some marketing collateral . Freddy went over and beyond! - Amanda B."
THIS IS ABOUT:
"I run a sales team of Insurance agents and we are always on LinkedIn! Freddy's LinkedIn Workshop gave us valuable tools and he showed our team new ways and shortcuts to save time and how to better use LinkedIn for Business Development, Marketing & Sales- Bill B."
My LinkedIn Results:
"As a Human Resource Manager for an International Pharmaceutical company, I was looking for new ways to find ideal candidates that met our corporate profile. I was looking for real results, someone who had more than a LinkedIn Certification, someone who could show me their results that they have achieved themselves and who can teach my team of 25 recruiters. Freddy and his LinkedIn Workshop was the answer and Freddy was that guy! - Forrest S."
"This offer is only for serious people and you must apply to get approved for this training. "
The investment for this course is $297
[You must pay in full if you need to Skype in the workshop!]
*BONUS FOR BUYING TODAY
Last time we did this it filled up within 2 days so if your interested message me right away for more details.
Please request dates for ongoing Classes and Workshops
TEXT "LinkedIn Workshop" 713-409-6127
Freddy Goerges, CEO & Founder
Houston Young Professionals
"I helped Randall Chestnutt and his Advertising Agency with one suggestion and minor change, he was able to receive over 1,790 Likes | 15,601 Comments | 1,587,301 Views and all of this in 16 days and with new clients as a result!"
Numbers don't lie and the stats below show that LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for working professionals. In fact, it’s one of the largest social networks in general. Here are some impressive statistics and figures that explain just how important LinkedIn is to the professional world
Below is a comprehensive list of all the LinkedIn statistics and facts that you need to know as a B2B marketer.
Young Professionals, meet Trend3r – a tech startup bringing Houston the new way to visualize ideas and projects!
Trend3r (pronounced “trender”) is a Houston technology company that has evolved from a traditional digital marketing firm (formerly known as PVW Marketing) to a tech startup that brings its clients the latest and best tools that visualization industry has to offer. We took the harder route and decided to grow our company organically from the grass roots and so far, it has been an exciting and rewarding journey. We are local to Houston and we take the time to get to know our community and to understand the needs in the Houston market to ensure that our services make our clients’ lives better. We utilize the best among the latest technology tools for visualization to help our clients enhance their business experience and make their work easier. We actively participate in conferences and educational efforts to help people embrace, understand and find practical uses for different visualization technologies.
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are the three terms describing visualization techniques that trace their conceptual ideas back to the 1800s but only started receiving significant attention and fascination from people over the last three decades. Deeply rooted in the gaming industry, these technologies began finding their way into practical business applications during the last decade gaining more traction since 2015 when the first Samsung Gear VR device was released to the public allowing for easy and affordable access to VR content. Since the first Gear VR device many more came and even more are in the production pipeline to be released in the near future. The technology that once was a prerogative of sci-fi movies and fiction is now becoming a part of our day-to-day life and sets the standard for running a business better.
Trend3r is an experiential innovator of the 3D modeling technology. The firm brings the latest and best virtual reality and augmented / mixed reality tools to its clients to help them visualize their ideas and projects before significant investment is made in production / creation. Trend3r also helps document and capture existing projects and sites to help clients showcase their work and market it.
The technology used by Trend3r has applications in nearly every industry. Our early adopters include builders and developers, aerospace companies, non-profits and educators, artists and gallery owners, building owners, commercial real estate brokers and property managers, architectural and design firms, furniture dealers, manufacturers, and the list goes on.
We are looking for more collaboration opportunities from businesses who are interested in implementing the latest visualization technologies into their business model and setting themselves apart from the competition through innovation.
Trend3r is located at 1022 Wirt Road, Suite 326, Houston, Texas 77055. For additional information, call Maria Shumilova, the company COO at 281.606.9369, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.trend3r.com.
We opened our doors 5 years ago on White Linen Nights and this year we’re throwing our biggest party yet!
Can’t imagine we’d still be here if it wasn’t for the support of this amazing neighborhood and the hard work and dedication of our team! Since opening our doors 5 years ago – we’ve donated to multiple local school fundraisers, sponsored little leagues and supported community charities – and we can’t wait to continue for this next 5 years!
We invite you to join us as we celebrate with a HUGE party (Sonoma style!) on #WhiteLinenNight Saturday, August 5th starting at 6pm! DJ Thomas Cauley • Sangria Stand • special guest: Buffalo Bayou Brewery • Chef Matt’s Passed Bites • Bottle Specials • Raffle Prizes and more!!
White Linen Night on White Oak and White Linen Night in the Heights are both Neighborhood-wide events and due to the expected high-volume crowds we will be taking limited reservations in the dining room – keeping our bar, lounge and 3 patios open for walk-ins. We look forward to seeing everyone out and about enjoying the beautiful Heights neighborhood ––– be sure to stop by and enjoy the festivities!
Houston Inventors Association & Young Inventors Showcase offers Houston’s Young Professionals Mentoring Opportunities
Sean Gilmore, now a Junior at Strake Jesuit, invented, as a sixth grader, a “Slumber Separator Tent” that sits on a bed. He called it “The Sleepover Bed Tent”. Flash forward to today, and Sean is running a thriving business. He recently negotiated a partnering relationship with a major hospitality group.
Sean is a successful graduate of the Young Inventors Showcase (YIS), now in its 30th year. YIS is a STEAM-based curriculum, taught in K-8 classrooms, that leads students through the process of inventing. The program is taught as an in-school lesson plan during the academic year, or as a five-day summer camp. In a typical year, 20-25 schools participate throughout the Houston Gulf Coast region, with 2,500 students presenting their inventions in preliminary competitions. Approximately 60-70 inventors make it to the finals, held on the third Saturday in May. This year, the finals were held at River Oaks Elementary on May 20th.
The entire YIS program is driven by a core group of volunteers, as follows:
and, Brice Everhart, of Vallaire’s for Men. See: http://www.vallaires.com .
“Our YIS program is poised to see tremendous growth, both here in the US, and internationally”, said Greg J. Micek, Founder. “We have recently aligned with Lamar University to launch the program into the Beaumont area. Also, Lamar has a satellite program, based in the United Kingdom, which will allow YIS to have an international presence.” See: www.tablet-academy.org.
"It has been my pleasure to work with and for the Young Inventors Showcase, over the last few years,” stated Max Martin. “Nothing comes close to the personal gratification I've received, from witnessing these young students presenting their projects for judging. Innovation and invention-ism are the way forward in the 21st century. Come join us, as we open the doors for young students world wide." Mr. Martin is the CEO of Smart Kids Software, which is now in its 20th year in business offering an array of educational and STEAM-based technologies to teachers all over the US. See: www.smartkidssoftware.com.
The Young Inventors Showcase was born from it’s parent, the Houston Inventors Association, which was itself launched by Greg J Micek in 1983. For the complete history, see:
There are significant opportunities for Houston Young Professionals to engage with YIS. Among the various roles available are as judges, outreach to schools to expand the program, as mentors to the young inventors, etc.
For further information on YIS, and to volunteer, please contact:
SKS-Smart Kids Software, Inc.
YIAA Executive Director
International Focus “HOUSTON IS 25 YEARS AHEAD OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. SOON ALL OF AMERICA WILL LOOK LIKE THIS CITY.” ~ STEPHEN L. KLINEBERG, SOCIOLOGIST, KINDER INSTITUTE
Sonia Guimbellot is a writer, editor, media correspondent, activist and organizer. Sonia is founder/shareholder and director of International Focus Magazine, Houston only publication with an international footprint in every embassy domestic & abroad. She was awarded Top 30 Influential Women, Woman of Empowerment, Top 10 Bachelorettes, a Congressional Honor for Cultural Awareness, and International Trade, & Humanitarian efforts. Her high profile and organizing skills have led to many successful campaigns and creation of numerous chambers of commerce organizations. She is often sought out for her acumen in diplomacy and influence to serve in strategic partnerships working in a collaborative leadership role.
Sonia has led campaigns for the city controller and worked with the VA in bipartisan private sector initiatives where she united businesses, politicians, and sports celebrities. Sonia’s love and optimism for the city of Houston has garnered accolades from many civic groups and women’s organizations. Her current major initiative, is a campaign to help the Houston Sports Authority, a body that manages all of the city’s stadiums to ensure a seamless management of large scale sports events such as the World Corporate Games in November.
Another altruistic endeavor for Sonia is the Brilliant Lecture Series with two former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. This will be followed by actress, Sally Field, who will relate her fascinating legacy as a performer and activist. As an influencer, she works with all consulates, chambers of commerce, the UN, port authorities, airports, sister cities, local and national business networking groups.
Sonia works with the Houston First- an initiative that funds the city’s New Years festivities and the past Super Bowl. Sonia’s social media and social groups footprint is extensive as a who’s who in Houston that you can see in #iF on the ‘Seen on Scene’ section. Sonia’s philosophy & actions/initiatives for the community can be summed up in her belief of, “Education is the new & lasting diplomacy.”
iF Magazine’s concept is unique and amazing. With Forbes ranking Houston as the most diverse city in America, Houston is certainly the new mecca for attracting, engaging, and building international business relationships. Add that we have 92 foreign consulates with a presence in the city, and the more than 190 foreign languages spoken here, iF Magazine is the only one of its kind targeting this diverse, upscale group. Each issue features a different Consul General on the cover … and we started with the Dean of the Houston Consular Corps! Honorable Sultan bin Abdullah Al-Angari, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Houston on the cover and have followed up with every issue featuring an in-depth, one-on-one interview with one of the 92 Consul Generals also represented in Houston. No other magazine in Houston can make that claim! More importantly, we have given an insightful look at what makes Houston new mecca for attracting, engaging, and building international business relationships.
Each issue is filled with interesting stories about business, lifestyle, and culture … but what makes us embraced are the exclusive photographs about this affluent community shot oftentimes inside their homes and exclusive engagements that no other media outlet is privileged to access.
What makes International Focus Magazine a superior advertising vehicle:
• 20,000 circulation monthly (combined print & online)
• Hand delivered to guests at exclusive parties & events
• Distributed to many area businesses
• Printed on premium glossy stock
• 4-color included with all advertising at no extra cost
• Coffee table quality gives this publication longer shelf life
• More cost-effective than daily or weekly advertising vehicles
• Stand-out quality advertising production at minimal cost
• Top magazine quality advertising at newsprint prices
• Ad sizes to meet every budget
• Responsive customer service — customer satisfaction is our top priority
A great resource for those interested in other cultures & networking opportunities with our partnerships! Are you intrigued? Do you wonder where to go to see our events? My business page on social media will divulge the high-profile & secret locations~ https://www.facebook.com/iFSoniaGuimbellot/ -plus photos to show who we are & next steps. Perhaps you can leave me a message to come in as a volunteer, any type of (even in- kind) sponsorship, possible employment positions available...we are looking growing fast!
Photo credits are:
Victor Escalante, Heidi Powell-Prera, Vicky Pink, and Scott David Weitzenhoffer
HOUSTOn we have THE WORLD RIGHT HERE IN OUR BACK YARD! "Teach me a new Language & I will teach you a new skill"
It’s becoming no secret that Houston is now the most diverse city in the USA, and the international influence means you can find most anything in the world here. From samples of the best food around the globe, to art and other cultural representations, Houston is a microcosm of the world right here in our back yard. However, with all of this variety, sometimes we overlook the most obvious asset—people. Of course, businesses have known for quite some time having the best and brightest worldwide all in one city has its advantages, but what about the rest of us? We are just now waking up to the cool factor of what it means to culturally sample the entire planet all in one place.
Ten years ago, David & Mandy Brake met each other and started Teachers To Go, a company that brings certified Texas classroom teachers to your home for academic tutoring and private lessons. Mandy was an international engineer who spoke three languages, and David was a teacher and musician who created a new niche by providing social services for learning. Things were going well, and a few years later the two were married. By that time, they had grown the company to hundreds of teachers, covering most of greater Houston.
The only problem was, not everyone could afford the services of professional instructors, and they would often get calls from people who needed help and couldn’t afford a qualified tutor or professional teacher. In particular, they found this happened a lot with folks who had moved to Houston recently from overseas who needed to improve their English.
David & Mandy’s solution for help with learning English at no cost was a little thing called language exchange. Language exchange is just what it sounds like: I’ll help you if you help me. (Someone who needs to learn English is paired with an American partner who wants to learn his or her language - in exchange.) For instance: “I’ll teach you English for ½ hour if you teach me Spanish for ½ hour”, or “I’ll help you practice your English if you help me practice Mandarin.” Language partners usually pair up and meet at a library or coffee shop to practice and help each other once or twice a week.
There are millions of people practicing language exchange worldwide, and there’s a reason. You might think it’s because it’s effective, and that part is true: it is effective. (Language exchange has often been cited as the fastest way to get a second language under your belt for work or travel.) This is because to learn a language, you have to practice (ie: you have to “do” it), otherwise you are only studying it instead of gaining the actual ability to communicate. But that’s not the only reason why millions of people are practicing language exchange, they’re also doing it because it’s fun. In fact, the real secret is, even if you learn absolutely nothing, language exchange is the most effective way to make friends from other cultures outside of your usual social circles.
David & Mandy soon turned their solution into a not-for-profit organization called the Houston Language Partners. The Houston Language Partners promotes language exchange, and hosts monthly speed-friending events to help everyone find a partner. “Finding a partner is not as simple as meeting just anyone who is your language match, it’s more like picking your friends,” says Mandy. “You have to like and respect them to get along.” The Houston Language Partners membership has now grown through word of mouth only to over 5,000 members including all social media channels, a growth David & Mandy both attribute to Houston’s international influence. The story doesn’t end there though.
Early on, the organizers noticed a supply and demand issue with some languages. For instance, there were more Urdu & Turkish speakers wanting to learn English, than English speakers wanting to learn Turkish or Urdu. The solution was two-fold: 1) ask for volunteers to teach English (which they still do), and 2) open it up to other subjects. For example: If my language is Urdu, you might not want to learn my language, but I can teach you computer programming or how to play the guitar. The second solution has taken on a life of its own.
www.LRNGO.com is a mobile teach and learn marketplace where individuals connect nearby to meet and learn from each other. David & Mandy started LRNGO.com a few years back as a company in their spare time, and LRNGO now has thousands of local users in Houston, as well as almost every major city in the world. It is free for anyone to use, and as simple as typing in your zip code and a subject you want to learn. (For free exchange, you can narrow down the search results by also typing in a subject you teach to get an exact match.) You will find all levels of teachers on LRNGO (from hobbyists down the street to PHD’s and well-known experts) and pricing levels (from free to hundreds of dollars an hour), and can contact anyone at any time at no cost. LRNGO also allows you to find nearby practice partners by searching for members who are learning the same thing as you.
David & Mandy are quick to point out that LRNGO is a free open directory resource, and as such there is no guarantee of results. However, one thing they say is guaranteed. If you meet a learning exchange partner who is the right fit for you, whether through LRNGO.com or at one of their speed-friending events, you will enjoy the experience. Bringing people together to make new friends and help each other, they say, makes everything they do worthwhile.
TRAIN ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME WITH ONLY A FEW TABS ON OUR APP. IT IS THAT EASY.
We’re on an exciting journey that’s about to revolutionize the fitness space – and we’d love to have you on board. But first, let me tell you a little about myself . . .
My husband, Philipp, and I moved from Germany to Houston Texas in 2014. We settled in Houston, Texas and immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. We quickly became the most Texan Germans you’re likely to ever meet. we now live on a ranch, have two pick up trucks, plenty of horses and an ever-growing collection of country music.
Before I started Kanthaka, I worked for 8 years as an attorney, performing Private Equity and Debt Finance work for two big US law firms. However, my real passion was and always has been fitness. No matter how many hours I worked – and I worked a lot of hours – I was always trying to get in a workout.
The problem was that I was finding it virtually impossible to find a personal trainer who could fit in with my schedule. The result was that I usually ended up skipping my scheduled workouts. The more I sat around the office, the more unhealthy I felt. My lifestyle was leading me to a place where I wasn’t happy to be, yet I felt stuck on a treadmill that I couldn’t get off.
It was the birth of my wonderful son, Tristan, which was the turning point. I decided to take the risk, follow my passion and create a better life for myself, my family and all of those people who become a part of the Kanthaka community.
I hope you’ll be one of them.
With Kanthaka you can book a trainer, yoga or boxing instructor to meet you virtually anywhere (our trainers come fully equipped) – in your apartment gym, hotel gym, office gym, outdoor park or any other place you would like to work out.You pick the location, date, time, workout type, swipe through the available trainers and book the one you like best. You can re-book the same trainer or try different trainers in future sessions.
Kanthaka has a selection of excellent trainers – all of whom are personally interviewed by our team, certified in their areas of expertise, insured and – most importantly – passionate about helping you become your best self. We attract the best of the best – we pay them more and give them a ton of flexibility. We aren’t constrained like a big gym chain. Our client’s rank trainers on the App, ensuring your satisfaction on the quality of our trainers. Our team also performs random quality checks, just to be doubly certain. We want you to have a great workout – anytime, any place.
Only for HYP we have a special promotion and you save $ 9.99 from your first session by using the promo code HYP10 and have the luxury of your own personal trainer, Pilates, boxing or yoga instructor for only $30!!! It gets even better as you can bring a workout buddy (who also has to download and sign up on the app) and split the price (only valid until the end of August).
Download the Kanthaka app on the app store now, and be part of the fitness revolution!
Kanthaka was the favorite white horse of Buddha. As both my husband and I love horses, we resonated with the name of this superb specimen of fitness, vitality and performance. Kanthaka stands for awesome fitness, as well as uniqueness, diversity and being open to different cultures and workout regimes.
Sylvia Kampshoff, Ph.D.
What's Up Houston is a collaboration of Business Owners, Individuals, Citizen Reporters, Bloggers and Writers ! You have something interesting to say or share? Share it with What's Up Houston