Fort Worth Business Assistance Center
The Fort Worth Business Assistance Center (the BAC), a division of the Housing & Economic Development Department of the City of Fort Worth, provides exceptional information and resources for small business owners. If the business is just starting out or has been in business for a while, the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center offers trained professionals with experience in business planning, organization, accounting, finance, manufacturing, operations, contracting & procurement, marketing and market development, as well as computer technologies. Services include business counseling, technological support and access to lending programs, all in one convenient location in Fort Worth.
Awards won by the BAC include:
- Circle of Excellence Award – 2001
- Community Service Award – 2003-2004
- Hermes Creative Award – International – 2008
- Small Business Advocate Award -2008
The BAC is managed by Ossana Hermosilla, who has spent most of the past 10 years in the City of Fort Worth’s economic development department where she facilitated redevelopment and created jobs. She enjoys her current mission of equipping entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to become a sustainable business owner.
Also part of the BAC is Cheryl Jones, Economic Development Specialist over Program Development. Cheryl handles the planning and scheduling classes and manages the counseling process as well as teaching classes and counseling clients about financing and general business.
Cassandra Byerly, president of TMG Universe, is a new member to NAWBO as of the summer of 2011. When not working, she loves be outdoors with her family. In her spare time, she serves as a chauffeur to her three active kids. Her hobbies are nonexistent at this point (see chauffeur position above for explanation).
Cassandra has been married to Bruce Byerly since 1990. She is an active volunteer at the Irving Family YMCA, and serves as the primary volunteer partner at North Hills Preparatory School. She and her family especially enjoy mountain sports; hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter. Cassandra was recently featured on CBS 11 Evening News on a special report highlighting the stresses that busy women face each day when doing it all. Cassandra attributed her triumph over stress to great calendar, and starting each day with exercise and prayer.
TMG is a large commercial printing company, founded in 1986. TMG produces all areas of printed media including direct mail, marketing brochures and collateral, signage, wearables and promotional products. TMG’s reputation for providing rapid turn, high quality, turnkey completed projects has enabled them to continue serving their 20,000 and counting customers across the country.
Congratulations to Sharon Sutila, Managing Director and Founder of Cleves Research and NAWBO’s Fort Worth Area Chair, for being one of five finalists in the “Getting to the Next Level: A Business Plan Competition.” The competition is held by the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center and sponsored by Capital One in partnership with The Alternative Board. The finalists are competing for more than $40,000 in prizes.
The winner will be awarded at a ceremony held at TCU on August 23rd. Good Luck Sharon! We are routing for you!
Congratulations to our Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winners!
- Merrie Spaeth (left)
Inspirational Spirit Award – Merrie Spaeth
As a teenager, she won the primary role in a movie “The World of Henry Orient” starring Peter Sellars and Angela Landsbury. After college, she took her earnings from the movie and used it as capital to start her own business. The business folded quickly. She realized she needed more education to make a business work and enrolled in Columbia University’s MBA program. She worked as a television journalist in Ohio and commuted to New York to study. Her career path includes working as a correspondent for ABC’s “20/20” and Director of Media Relations for President Ronald Raegan. She founded Spaeth Communications in 1987 after working as a communications executive for a large bank that was sliding into insolvency. After 24 years in business, Spaeth Communications enjoys a national reputation for excellence. Merrie says, “Entrepreneurship is not for sissies! My advice to others is to have a generous spirit… and be the wind in someone’s sails that he/she needs to overcome discouragement.”
- Cindy Tysinger (left)
Visionary Spirit Award – Cindy Tysinger
Cindy Tysinger was always intrigued by technology and became an early adopter when she started using her first electronic IBM mag typewriter at 11 yrs old publishing her father’s military base news letters in 1968. Cindy has 30 years of experience in Executive Management and IT with part of her career serving as CIO and Senior VP of IT at Mannatech where she was responsible to oversee a $100M company transform into a $400M Global public organization. Cindy founded GSATi (Global Solutions and Technology) which focuses on implementing Green IT initiatives for businesses. Cindy says, “It’s very important to me to minimize the engagement in negative speak. Choose to give thanks that you are given the chance to make a difference this day and plan how to spend it.”
- Whitney Johns Martin (left)
Benefactor Spirit Award – Whitney Johns Martin
In the mid-90’s, Whitney was involved in the national leadership of NAWBO. She discovered in the 40 year history of the SBA’s program that provided venture capital and growth capital to private businesses, the SBA (Small Business Administration) had never licensed a fund focused on investing in women entrepreneurs. In 1998, she became the first licensed SBIC (small business investment company) to invest in women. Since that time, the funds she has created or co-founded, including the Texas Women Ventures Fund has created over $50 million in investments in women-led companies, located from coast to coast. Whitney says, “As women entrepreneurs grow in number and size, we can create a paradigm shift on how business works!
- Kathy Taylor (left)
Innovator Spirit Award – Kathy Taylor
The event that planted the seed for Kathy’s business happened 3 years ago when she was invited to a demonstration of Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning. She was changed forever and decided to start her business HerdWise, partnering people with horses to show them where their current patterns of behavior are keeping them from achieving their desired goal in areas of leadership, team development and personal growth. Kathy says, “Have the courage to be different. It’s only when you don’t look like everyone else that you get noticed.”
- Terri Maxwell (left)
Mentor Spirit Award – Terri Maxwell
Success is not the same as purpose. Terri learned this invaluable lesson after a fruitful corporate career and striking out on her own to form a marketing consulting firm in 2002. Within 5 years, her business had grown to a $6M enterprise employing 40 people. Despite her success, she says she was miserable because her focus was on success and not on purpose. Secretly she feared that if she focused on what actually filled her soul, she couldn’t be successful at it. She then launched Succeed on Purpose which has incubated and launched 10 businesses in the last 2 years, with 15 new concepts starting this summer. Several are well on their way to becoming million dollar enterprises. She is now living out her purpose, “to inspire people to achieve their potential” and says “the truth is, the MORE I focus on my purpose, inspiring others, the more success I have.”
- Darla Bell (right)
Rising Star Award – Darla Bell
Darla was tasked with taking an internet software solution for the Oil and Gas industry from an idea that had been “shelved” to a reality. She had about 6 months to make something happen. The software was more or less “vapor ware” but she knew it was going to be a solution that was desperately needed in the energy industry. She was determined to find the one company that was willing to take a leap of faith and knew the rest would follow their lead. So she devised a plan to camp out in Corpus Christi, TX, check into the Embassy Suites, throw her suit case in the room and drive up and down refinery row and meet with anyone that would see her and listen to what she had to say. She knew that if she could get a second meeting scheduled to demonstrate the compliance software she had, it would be miraculous. Well miracles do happen and she landed a contract with one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The rest, as they say, is history. Darla’s advice is, “Be humble, KEEP YOUR WORD and remember your character is the most important thing you have so protect it.”
Join us in congratulating Darla Beggs for her recent appointment to the 2011-2012 Board of Directors for NAWBO. More information can be found in the following press release:
NAWBO® Installs the 2011-2012 Board Of Directors
(Washington, D.C., July 18, 2011)—The National Association of Women Business owners® (NAWBO®, www.nawbo.org) proudly installs dynamic and powerful women from across the nation as its new 2011-2012 Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to welcome the new and returning women business owners into our 2011-2012 Board of Directors,” says NAWBO®’s President and CEO Helen Han. “While each of these remarkable women bring unique backgrounds and insights to the table, they all share a commitment to moving our organization and women business owners forward to create an even more profound impact on job creation and the economy in their communities and nationwide.”
NAWBO®’s mission is to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by:
- Strengthening the wealth creating capacity of its members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community
- Creating innovative and effective change in the business culture
- Building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations
- Transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers
“NAWBO® has—and will continue to have—a profound impact on the success of America’s 10 million women-owned businesses,” shares new NAWBO® National Chair Evelyn Strange. “I look forward to working with the amazing women serving on this year’s Board to deepen the power and influence of NAWBO®.” Strange is president of Advanced Electrical Systems, Inc. (www.aeslou.com), a full-service industrial and commercial electrical contracting and engineering firm located in Louisville, Kentucky.
The 2011-2012 Board will build on its longstanding history of advocating on behalf of women entrepreneurs through impacting landmark legislation such as H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act passed in 1988, and the recent Small Business Administration’s federal contracting rule to ensure women-owned businesses get their fair share of contracting dollars. The new Board will be formally introduced to the business community at the NAWBO® Women’s Business Conference, held August 31st-September 1st at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. The conference is newly condensed, high impact and high energy, and can be tailored by participants to meet their current business needs and goals for future growth. For more information, click here.
Check out this Alert from our corporate partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP:
Texas health care providers, health insurers and health clearinghouses face new mandates and increased penalties over the use of electronic health records (EHR) as a result of HB300, which was passed in the 2011 Texas legislative session and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. The Texas legislation expands privacy rights of patients beyond that contained in federal HIPAA legislation. Under the preemption provision in HIPAA, the stricter Texas law will be applied to covered entities in the state. The new law, which is not effective until September 1, 2012, is designed to better ensure the security and privacy of protected health information (PHI) that is exchanged via electronic means. However, the law will also increase mandates on covered entities (health care providers, health insurers and health clearinghouses), grant new enforcement authority to a variety of state agencies, establish standards for the use of EHR, and increase penalties for the wrongful electronic disclosure of PHI, including creating
a new felony for wrongfully accessing or reading of EHR via electronic means.
To read the full alert, please visit the Publications section of our website.
Check out this Alert from our corporate partner Haynes and Boone, LLP:
During the 2011 legislative session that just ended, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law a bill that allows rural hospitals to employ physicians, known as the “corporate practice of medicine,” despite the State’s long-standing ban on such practices. This legislation, along with similar recent legislation, signals that Texas might eventually do away with its ban on corporate employment of physicians altogether.
To read the full alert, please visit the Publications section of our website.
Check out this news alert from our corporate partner Haynes and Boone, LLP:
Beware of the Claw
Implementing Mandatory Clawback Provisions in Executive Employment Agreements Under the Dodd-Frank Act
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. The Act was enacted to address many regulatory issues, including to promote financial stability in the United States “by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system,” “to end ‘too big to fail,’” and “to protect consumers from abusive financial services.” Passed in response to the recent economic recession, the Act is said to be the most sweeping change to financial regulation in the United States since the Great Depression.
To read the full alert, please visit the Publications section of our website.
Check out this news alert from our corporate partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP:
Proceed With Caution:
Does that Employment Agreement Have a Proper IP Assignment?
The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Bayh-Dole Act does not automatically vest title to federally funded inventions in federal contractors in Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., et al.,. From a practical viewpoint, the entire litigation including this appeal could have been easily avoided through proper drafting of the IP clause in the employment agreement at issue, as further discussed in the Publications section of our website.
Join us in congratulating our corporate partner Haynes and Boone, LLP for ranking in the Chambers’ USA book of top law firms. They ranked in Chambers’ Band 1 level in bankruptcy/restructuring, real estate, antitrust and insurance categories and they also made the list in banking and finance, technology, mergers and acquisitions, tax energy, environment, labor and employment and litigation.
As reported by the the Dallas Business Journal, “The Chambers’ rankings is high competitive and Chambers & Partners conducts thousands of in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers across the globe to assess the reputations and expertise of business lawyers. It then ranks the firms and compiles them into lists. Law firm ranking systems fall into two categories, said David McAtee, administrative partner for Dallas-based Haynes and Boone LLP, those tied to advertising opportunities and those that are not. Chambers is respected because it falls in the latter category, he said.”
Also, congratulations go to another NAWBO D/FW corporate partner, Jackson Walker, LLP for being recognized under the Chambers’ Band 3 level in the Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation and the Real Estate categories.