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Business digest: Sunday, Oct. 7

From Staff Reports
Oct. 6, 2012 at 10 p.m.


<strong> Ex-local resident named Lennox chief</strong>

DALLAS - Lennox International announced former Longview resident Terry Johnston has been named president and chief operating of its North America Commercial Heating & Cooling business, effective Jan. 1.

Johnston is the son-in-law of Longview resident Wray B. McCash. Johnston succeeds Harry Bizios, who will retire at the end of 2012.

Todd Bluedorn, chairman and chief executive officer of Lennox International, said Johnston has more than than three decades at Lennox International.

"Harry developed and drove our commercial HVAC business to become the industry leader and innovator it is today," Bluedorn said. "With Terry's strong operating experience and customer focus, our commercial HVAC business is well positioned to continue winning in the marketplace."

Johnston has served for the past five years as vice president and general manager of the company's highly successful Lennox North America commercial equipment business. Previously, he held marketing leadership roles for Lennox's residential and commercial businesses.

Before joining Lennox International in 2001, Johnston worked for 20 years at General Electric Co. in a variety of product management and sales and marketing roles.

<strong>ETCOG Guide recognized regionally</strong>

East Texas Council of Governments took home a first place Hit the Spot award for its Regional Mobility Guide at a recently monthly South West Transit Association Spotlight Awards.

ETCOG, whose GoBus delivers rural transportation services among 14 East Texas counties, also received a second place award for its Basic Training brochure.

ETCOG's Regional Mobility Guide provides comprehensive information about all forms of transportation available in the 14-county area, including public transportation, taxi, inter-city bus and rail. The guide was developed to enhance awareness of the mobility options available to East Texas residents.

The Basic Training brochure was developed as a travel guide in support of the EasTexConnects event promoting access to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for East Texas veterans. Featuring a map and other key travel information, the brochure is a tool for anyone accessing healthcare or recreational locations in the Dallas area.

"ETCOG and EasTexConnects are committed to providing outstanding informational resources to our East Texas community," said ETCOG Director of Transportation John Hedrick. "It's wonderful when going the extra mile with innovation and design gets recognized by organizations such as SWTA."

Both pieces were designed by Moore & Associates, a California-based consulting firm specializing in public transportation marketing and planning.

The association's Spotlight marketing awards focus on outstanding work for total transit marketing campaigns. Hit the Spot awards feature stand-alone marketing pieces in the categories of print, electronic, social media and event promotion. SWTA's membership is made up of transit organizations from eight southwestern states, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

<strong>RLM expands marketing presence</strong>

RLM General Contractors of Longview, providing construction management and general contracting services throughout East Texas, has announced the addition of a redesigned website at www.rlmgc.net.

Founded in 1979, the company has maintained a diverse portfolio of projects, including educational, medical, commercial, industrial, civic and worship-based facilities. Among the firm's portfolio are the Lear Park Sports Complex, Longview ISD's New Foster Middle School and New Forest Park Middle School, Mobberly Baptist Church's The Bridge and Brookshire Grocery Co.'s Tyler Fresh.

RLM General Contractors is managing various East Texas projects including Kilgore ISD's new middle and elementary schools and Region 7 Educational Service Center's EcoLand, a hands-on, multi-sensory learning center. Additionally, it is expected to break ground on Centene's Core Claims Processing Center in Tyler by the end of the year.

<strong>Center sets free Marshall worksops</strong>

Beginning this fall, the Kilgore College Small Business Development Center and Marshall Chamber of Commerce will offer a series of free small business workshops in Marshall for entrepreneurs.

The idea of the three workshops is to give small business owners, supervisors and employees a chance to network and take information back to their businesses.

They will be held at the Marshall Chamber of Commerce in the Visual Arts Center, 208 E. Burleson.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. To register by phone, call the center's offices at (903) 757-5857 or (800) 338-7232. To register online, visit www.KilgoreSBDC.com.

The first workshop titled "Coffee Connections: Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Credit Score" is set for 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The class will be instructed by Virgil Conner, business adviser for the small business center and a representative from BancorpSouth.

The second session is set 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 23 and will provide tips on how to read financial statements. This class will also be instructed by Conner, along with Mac Abney, CPA with Abney, Simmons and Co. in Marshall.

From 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 31, a session for restaurateurs is titled "The Experience is Twice as Important as the Food." Instructors will be Brad Bunt, director of the business center, and Marc Willson, restaurant and retail industry veteran.

<strong>UTHSCT biomedical researcher gets grant</strong>

A scientist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler who investigates life-threatening lung disease has been awarded his first research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant is $550,800 for a five-year period.

Dr. Torry Tucker will use the money to probe the mysteries of pleural fibrosis, a lung disease caused by bacterial infections, exposure to asbestos and heart bypass surgery.

"Our research could allow people with scarred lungs to take 30 steps without being out of breath, rather than just 10 steps. That's the difference between going to your front door and walking to your mailbox," Tucker said.

The pleura is a thin membrane that surrounds the lungs. In pleural fibrosis, part or all of a lung is covered with a thick layer of tissue that limits the lung's ability to expand. Tucker and his team have discovered that specific enzymes - called coagulation proteases - that usually help wounds heal play a role in the development of pleural fibrosis.

Tucker has worked on several NIH grants since he came to the center in 2007.

<strong>U.S. oil, gas rig count drops to 1,837</strong>

HOUSTON - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped this past week by 11 to 1,837.

Texas-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,398 rigs were exploring for oil and 437 were searching for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,012 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 10 rigs, Louisiana and North Dakota each dropped by three and Alaska and Oklahoma were down two apiece.

Pennsylvania added three rigs and California two.

Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

<em>- Editor's note: Deadline for submissions for the Longview News-Journal's Sunday Business Digest is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Submissions may be faxed to (903) 757-3742; emailed to melswick@news-journal.com or mailed to: Mike Elswick, business editor, Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606. For questions, call (903) 237-7737.</em>

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