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Business digest: Sunday, Nov. 20

From Staff and Wire Reports
Nov. 19, 2011 at 11 p.m.


<strong>Association honors Longview Regional</strong>

Longview Regional Medical Center has announced that Press Ganey Associates has named it a 2011 Summit Award winner.

Press Ganey works with more than 10,000 health care facilities -including 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals - to measure and improve quality of care.

The Summit Award recognizes top-performing facilities that sustain the highest level of core measure performance for three consecutive years. The Press Ganey Summit Award is the health care performance improvement industry's most coveted symbol of achievement bestowed annually.

Longview Regional Medical Center is one of 98 organizations to receive the honor in 2011 and one of 11 to receive it for achieving and sustaining excellence in core measures performance, according to Robert Draughon, Press Ganey's CEO.

"Longview Regional Medical Center's innovative approach to improving clinical processes and outcomes helps to advance the quality of health care in Longview and the surrounding communities," Draughon said.

According to Jim Kendrick, CEO of Longview Regional, the award represents important recognition within the industry of its efforts.

"As an organization that adopted a total quality management philosophy in 2007, it is gratifying to see that our efforts have resulted in the level of patient satisfaction performance that merits this kind of recognition," Kendrick said.

The hospital examines quality performance concurrent with each patient's stay in the hospital thus making changes in their care, as needed, before the patient is discharged. There are 58 general medical and surgical core measures with 170 distinct data elements that the hospital monitor on a daily basis, Kendrick said.

<strong>Key Creative moves to U.S. 259 facility</strong>

Key Creative recently relocated to new offices at 4300 U.S. 259 North, across from Peters Chevrolet and in the same building as Gym University.

Key Creative is a Web solutions and advertising firm specializing in custom products that help companies grow.

The firm has a team approach to each project. From initial marketing and concept/design and development, through programming and fulfillment, the team focuses on each step of the process to help clients reach their goals.

The business is owned by Tim Lewis and Lance Hutcheson. Hutcheson graduated from Texas A&M in 1992 with a bachelors degree in marketing. He started his software career in Houston as an installation analyst for a large, international business software company dealing with inventory, accounting, sales and payroll.

After moving to Dallas, Hutcheson began working as a software engineer in the medical software industry. He worked on many large projects and managed programming teams and customer accounts including some of the nation's leading medical schools and large, multispecialty groups.

In 2001, he left the corporate world and began working on his own as a contract programmer. In 2009, he began working for Key Creative and said he enjoys developing Internet applications, custom Web solutions and websites.

<strong>Sabine Pipe adds five employees</strong>

Sabine Pipe of Kilgore, a global provider of oil and gas- related products, recently announced several national additions to its staff, according to Ken Chamberlain, president.

"Due to a growing presence as a global provider in the energy marketplace with oil country tubular, Sabine Pipe has brought on five new associates to accommodate an expanded role in support of the oil and gas industry," he said. Chamberlain said the company has a track record of 67 years of outstanding customer service.

Joining the staff are Greg R. Reitz, sales executive, for the Oklahoma City-Tulsa, Okla. region; Cody Byrd and Paul Mock, inside sales associates, Kilgore; Matt Daniels, sales executive, East Texas region; and Angela Lacey, sales executive, Los Angeles region.

<strong>Brookshire kicks off annual food drive</strong>

Brookshire Grocery Co. kicked off its 30th annual Spirit of Christmas Food Drive this past week in supermarkets throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

About 150 stores will collect donations of nonperishable food items and team up with a wide range of service organizations, food banks and volunteers to distribute food to families who need assistance before Christmas.

"The goal is to supply about a week's worth of groceries per household based on need," said Sam Anderson, community involvement manager. "Our company donates boxes to pack the food in, coupons for a free hen to go along with the shelf-stable goods collected, and sells scan coupons which go back to our partnering service organizations in the form of a gift card to purchase supplemental or needed items in the drive."

Anderson said the format differs a bit in each town, but the goal is the same - to find those who need help and make the holidays brighter by supplying groceries such as corn, beans, peas, rice, chili, pasta, tuna, oatmeal, cereal, peanut butter, flour, sugar and other nonperishable goods.

"Historically, we've partnered with groups such as Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary clubs and others to pinpoint and deliver food to needy families' homes before Christmas," Anderson said. "That remains the same in many areas, while in some we've moved to partnering with food pantries or other relief organizations to distribute food from a central location to needy people who are screened by that group."

Anderson said all food is distributed in the area where it is donated and collected.

"Our store teams do a great job of promoting the food drive, and our shoppers are very generous each year; we couldn't do it without that strong support," he said. "Our people even take the time to assemble, display and sell grab-bags, which can be purchased and donated in the designated bin inside stores. This is convenient and gives the drive a tremendous boost in most areas."

In Longview, stores work with the city and local businesses to support an area-wide food drive that starts during the first week of November and concludes at Thanksgiving.

This past year, about 500,000 pounds of food were collected and donated to more than 14,000 families in 116 cities and towns in Brookshire Grocery Co.'s tri-state market area, Anderson said.

<strong>Crossroads Travel owners visit new ship</strong>

Don and Glenda Ross of Crossroads Travel & Cruises recently returned from Galveston where they joined travel agents from Texas and several other states in welcoming the Carnival Magic - the largest ship ever built by Carnival Cruise Line.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic made its debut this past weekend in an inaugural trip from Galveston, marking the third new cruise ship in the Southern port this year.

The 130,000-ton ship boasts an aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral water slide, a ropes course as well as numerous other amenities.

Rates for a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise itinerary, departing from Galveston, range from $529 to more than $1,000 per person, depending on travel dates, for a standard inside stateroom based on double occupancy.

"Even though many of our clients have been to the Western and Eastern Caribbean out of Galveston, they are excited because it's brand new and has many never-seen-before amenities .... to some, the ship is the destination," said Ross, who is a 35-year veteran of the travel industry.

The Magic will also add a third itinerary in May to the Western Caribbean, calling on Roatan and Belize, along with Cozumel, he said.

Crossroads Travel & Cruises was founded in 1977 and is at 409 N. Fredonia, Suite 107.

<strong>Heaton Eye Associates adds optometrist</strong>

Heaton Eye Associates has announced the addition of Dr. Matthew R. Marshall to the practice.

Marshall graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in zoology and computer science, and received his doctor of optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn.

Marshall also completed a residency at West Tennessee Eye in Memphis.

Marshall will assist patients with contact lenses and glasses as well as treat many conditions, including allergy and dry eye syndrome.

He will also work closely with the ophthalmologists at Heaton Eye Associates to offer the most comprehensive primary and post-operative vision care in East Texas.

Marshall will serve patients in the Heaton Eye Associates offices in Tyler and Longview. To contact the offices, call (800) 762-5787.

<strong>Frey's Factory Outlet marks anniversary</strong>

Frye International has announced the one-year anniversary of its Factory Outlet.

Frye's Factory Outlet sells food storage containers and housewares products from its warehouse at 3922 West Loop 281 between Cotton Street and Enterprise/Pine Tree Parkway.

"In spite of the slow economy, the Factory Outlet's first year has been a success for us," according to Bud Frye, the company's president.

"In addition to producing a new source of revenue for the company, the outlet has permitted us to talk directly to consumers, providing feedback on our products which has been helpful in directing our marketing efforts."

All products are made in America and are covered by a lifetime warranty.

<strong>Massage therapists receive certfication</strong>

Yolanda Barron, Melinda Mayfield and Jayne Faulkner recently were certified in the Hawaiian lomilomi massage.

A traditional healing art of massage is described as "if the ocean had hands, this is how it would feel like," they said. They are at 2220 H.G. Mosley Parkway, and each is an independent therapist.

For information, call (903) 238-3334

<strong>SFA professor earns teaching award</strong>

Dr. S. Ann Wilson, associate professor and chairwoman of the department of general business at Stephen F. Austin State University, was named 2011 Outstanding Teacher at a meeting in Houston of the Association for Business Communication – Southwestern United States.

The Marlin C. Young Outstanding Teacher Award was presented to Wilson by ABC-SWUS President Faridah Awang of Eastern Kentucky University at the meeting. Winners of the award must demonstrate effectiveness of teaching through a packet of scholarly documentation.

Wilson joined the SFA faculty in 2003. She holds a bachelor's degree in business from Southern State College, a master's degree in business education from Southern Arkansas University and a doctorate in educational leadership from University of Mississippi-Main.

<strong>Jewelry Concepts adds marketing tool</strong>

Jewelry Concepts specializes in offering shopping in a relaxed, personalized environment, away from crowed shopping centers.

The firm recently added a website, www.myjewelryconcepts.com, developed by Longview's Inhouse Associates.

Representatives say their trunk shows offer relaxed, friendly shopping with family, friends and coworkers in a location the client desires.

<strong>Insurance agent completes training</strong>

Toby Mullikin, Farmers Insurance agent in Longview, has completed the career agents course at the University of Farmers training facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The training facility in Michigan was dedicated in September.

Mullikin completed the five-day career agents course, which is targeted to enhance the professional skills of Farmers agents.

<strong>U.S. oil and gas rig count drops by 15</strong>

HOUSTON - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by 15 this past week to 2,001.

Houston-based drilling product provider Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,125 rigs were exploring for oil and 871 for natural gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week the rig count stood at 1,677.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Colorado and Wyoming each gained one rig.

Oklahoma lost four rigs, New Mexico lost three, Alaska, California and Texas each lost two and Louisiana lost one.

Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. A low of 488 was recorded in 1999.

<em><strong>- Editor's note:</strong> 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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