Woodlands Business News November 2011
Susan Love Fitts Communications has been ranked as one of the top public relations firms in the Houston area for the third consecutive year, as reported in the Houston Business Journal’s Aug. 11 issue.
Susan Love Fitts is president of the Montgomery County-based firm whose clients include small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations. Her firm offers a wide variety of services including publicity campaigns, event publicity, press releases, social media, website content, brochures, newsletters and media monitoring and analysis.
Jay Tompkins, a CPA with Karlins & Ramey, LLC, was selected as a 2011 Five Star Wealth Manager in the Taxation category by Five Star Professional and the publishers of Texas Monthly. He has also been accepted into the Leadership Montgomery County Class of 2012.
As a 2011 Five Star award winner, Tompkins is part of a select group of less than seven percent of wealth managers in the Houston region. Texas Monthly and Five Star Professional identified wealth managers in the Houston region who provide exceptional service and overall satisfaction through the nominations of clients, peers and industry experts.
Ron Folwell, CFP, joined Ellis & Ellis, an Ameriprise Financial Services firm in The Woodlands. He joins senior partner Byron W. Ellis and Barry W. Ellis, who are Private Wealth Advisors with the firm.
Folwell is a Certified Financial Planner, and possesses more than 20 years of experience as a financial planner with Ameriprise Financial Services. His areas of focus include personal financial planning for executive compensation and benefit strategies, tax management strategies, retirement, investments, protection planning/family security and estate planning strategies.
Swedish retailer IKEA welcomes IKEA FAMILY, a free customer loyalty program that has launched in Houston.
“IKEA FAMILY has a proven track record outside of the U.S., and we are thrilled about the local roll out of the program and the benefits it will bring to our customers in Houston,” said Kim Castillo, marketing manager for IKEA Houston. “This program allows us to reward our loyal customers with in-store and out-of-store benefits, as well as improve their overall customer shopping experience.”
IKEA FAMILY member perks include: discounts on select IKEA products; service offers like 90-day price adjustment policy; restaurant offers including free coffee or tea every time you visit; Småland benefits including 30 extra minutes (capacity-depending); discounts to Houston-area events, such as $2 off at the Ice at Discovery Green every Thursday (Nov. 24-Jan. 19). There is also a monthly sweepstakes such as a chance to win a $100 IKEA Gift Card every time you scan your card at checkout. The sweepstakes begins Nov. 25 and will feature one winner per month.
IKEA FAMILY is free and easy to join. Visitors can sign up in-store at one of the orange IKEA FAMILY kiosks or online at ikeahouston.com/family. Customers who sign up in the store through Nov. 24 will be entered in a daily drawing for the chance to win a $100 gift card.
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital’s Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program has once again been granted a three-year approval with Commendation by The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The hospital’s Cancer Program remains the only accredited program in Montgomery County.
The Commission on Cancer was established by the American College of Surgeons in 1922 and is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients. Accreditation is granted only to those facilities that commit to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and are willing to undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. There are less than 1,500 CoC accredited cancer centers across the U.S.
In order to earn accreditation, the Cancer Program at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital must provide comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment; multi-specialty team approach to coordinate the best treatment options; information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options; access to cancer-related information, education and support; cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up; ongoing monitoring and improvement of care; and quality care close to home.
To maintain accreditation, facilities with CoC-approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.
Kristi Steward, Woodforest marketing director, won “Marketing Professional of the Year-Developer” at the Houston’s Best Awards, presented by the Greater Houston Builders Association.
The win was one of two for Woodforest, which also earned “Best Internet Marketing Campaign-Developer” for its “Spring into Fun” initiative earlier in the year. The development was also a finalist in several other categories.
A native Houstonian, Steward has been marketing director at Woodforest since 2007. She previously was marketing director for Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, and has handled real estate accounts for several Houston advertising agencies.
The Capital Farm Credit Board of Directors approved a $50 million cash distribution by retiring a portion of previously-allocated equities to be paid this fall.
This amount represents more than three times, or $35 million, more than the 2010 retirement. Capital Farm Credit, a customer-owned cooperative, continues to demonstrate its financial strength and stability and longstanding tradition of sharing earnings with its customers.
Combined with cash patronage paid earlier this year, Capital Farm Credit has returned record cash distributions, totaling $82 million in 2011. To date, it has returned more than $400 million to customers in capital through its patronage program and stock reductions, reinforcing its commitment to customers’ financial success.
“Our Board of Directors is committed to the cooperative principle of managing our capital for the benefit of our customers,” said Ben Novosad, chief executive officer. “This additional payment, when our customers are facing the worst drought in our history, reinforces our commitment to be the leading value provider for agricultural credit in the state of Texas.”
Capital Farm Credit, part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, is the state’s largest rural lender making loans to farmers, ranchers and other rural property owners for 95 years. It is headquartered in Bryan and has offices located throughout the state of Texas.
Woodforest experienced an increase of new home sales this summer, which is reporting nearly a 20 percent increase over 2010 sales through early September.
A project of The Johnson Development Corp., Woodforest posted 86 sales through Sept. 4, with 45 sales since June 5. In comparison, the master-planned community sold 72 homes through Sept. 4, 2010, with fewer than 20 sold after June.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong summer, with builders seeing a particularly strong response to new models opening,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest. “Darling Homes has had 10 sales since it opened a model at the end of May and Coventry Homes has reported five sales since the June opening of its model home.”