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YEA Award WinngLast year, Maxx Stewart enrolled in the YEA! Tacoma-Pierce class at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce at in hopes of turning his idea for revolutionizing the lacrosse industry into a reality.

Through YEA!, Maxx founded Spyder Grypz, a company that makes customizable grips for lacrosse sticks. His idea took him all the way to the eighth annual Saunders Scholars Finals Competition at America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC. At the event, he gave his pitch to an audience of hundreds along with six other finalist business groups. He was chosen as the winner of the competition, and was awarded with a prize package including a $30,000 college scholarship and national recognition of his business.

Congratulations to Maxx, and to all students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2016!

Posted in YEA

Recipe for Success at the HEB Chamber for June, 2016

Maura Harrell AflacMaura Harrell, an independent agent with Aflac, shows off our “Recipe for Success.” New Chamber members who attend at least five of our meetings or activities in the first 90 days after joining receive one free ad in the Chamber Connection, a $100 value. Maura’s ad will be appearing in an upcoming edition of the newsletter — it’s just one more benefit of membership.

Congratulations to Maura and welcome to the Chamber!

Applications are Ready for the HEB Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2017

The Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches real-life business skills to HEB ISD students in grades 7 to 12. At the conclusion of the program, students will have created a business plan and an actual, working business or social movement – they can even apply for startup funding. The YEA! program is a great way for young people to develop leadership skills while learning about the business world – to learn more, contact the Chamber at 817-283-1521. And be sure to share this announcement with other parents and youth!


Dr. Nate Hearne, Author, Set to Speak to AM Networkers on June 14

NateWebpictureDr. Nate Hearne, Author, Friday Night Lights: Untold Stories from Behind the Lights Set to Speak to AM Networkers on Tuesday, June 14.   Nate recently retired from HEB ISD.

Dr. Nathanial Hearne is the President and Founder of Made Up Minds and The Euless Loaves and Fishes Foundation. Through these organizations, Dr. Hearne provides training and programs to reach at-risk youth for the purpose of strengthening character, teaching leadership skills, and increasing school attendance. This helps set them up for success in life.

AM Networkers is one of the Leads Groups of the HEB Chamber that meets Tuesday mornings at 8:00 am at Raven’s Grille, Texas Star Conference Center.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Gary Fieldsend, via phone at 214-783-3216 or via e-mail at gary@fieldsendmarketing.com.


Young Entrepreneurs Present at HEB ISD School Board Meeting

Maria and Daniel Ghaly with Michael DelgadoWho ‘s that making a presentation to the HEB school district board? Why, it’s none other than Maria and Daniel Ghaly, winners of our recent Investor Panel, part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The siblings were at the May 23rd regular meeting to discuss their award-winning business idea, Dress to Express. With them is Dr. Michael Delgado, D.D.S., who was chair of the program steering committee.

Maria and Daniel recently traveled to Rochester, New York to compete in the semi-final stage of the Saunders Scholarship competition.  They performed well, and were great representatives of the State of Texas, and of the HEB Community.  The national finals competition is being held next week in Washington, DC, where the finalists will compete for substantial college scholarships and national exposure.  The list of finalists can be found here.

Congratulations again to Daniel and Maria; a new class is starting soon, to learn more, please contact the Chamber or apply now!

Announcement: Main St Bridge in Euless to Close Tomorrow

  • Drive Midtown IconPending inclement weather, we will be closing the Main St. bridge in Euless on Friday, June 3.
    • The file called “Main Street Bridge Detour Maps for Public” shows the long-term detour for when the bridge is down. This is the only closure that takes place this weekend.
    • Main St. bridge and the pedestrian bridge removals are then tentatively scheduled for the following weekend.
  • Tentatively on June 10, we will have several closures in effect to demolish the Main St. bridge and pedestrian bridge.
    • The filed attached called “Main St. bridge removal & full highway closure – the facts” lists out the work and all the anticipated closures for the weekend of June 10. They are phased closures. There will be all weekend closures of east and westbound SH 183 that will impact residents or businesses. “June 10 highway closures” shows the detours for that weekend.
    • Expect there to be delays along SH 183 during these weekend closures.

For the latest information, visit the Drive Midtown website or follow them on Twitter, @DriveMidtown.

HEB Chamber Member Spotlight: Affiliated Bank, 2015 Mid-size Business of the Year

Investing in the personal approach

The Affiliated Bank team includes, from left,  Theresa Tiller, Melinda Borroel, Dustin Perez,  Mark Piland and Teresa Jones.

The Affiliated Bank team includes, from left,
Theresa Tiller, Melinda Borroel, Dustin Perez,
Mark Piland and Teresa Jones.

Affiliated Bank is not your own personal financial institution — they just want it to feel that way.

Founded in 1958, Affiliated has four locations, including the Bedford facility, opened in 2000.  Affiliated offers business and consumer deposits, mortgage and business lending, online services and more. Affiliated also is a preferred SBA lender.

But while Affiliated is a full-service bank, Dustin Perez-Vitier, business development officer, said the real focus is on building relationships. “We sit down with every customer and find out what’s important to him or her,” he said. “We want to know how we can help them meet their personal needs.”

That personal touch starts with the staff: Affiliated is locally owned and independent. “We live in this community,” Perez-Vitier said. “When the loan committee reviews an application, in many instances, they can say, ‘I drive past that business every day, and they’re doing great.’ ”

Not surprisingly, Affiliated also is active in the community. They have supported the Boys & Girls Clubs, Cenikor, L.D. Bell High School, SafeHaven, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations, including the HEB Chamber.

“We think it’s important to be involved,” Perez-Vitier said. “We are committed to creating not just a better bank, but a stronger community as well.”

“There are banks on every corner, and setting yourself apart is hard,” Perez-Vitier said. “What we want to know is how our products can help you. And what we offer is a very personal experience.”

Affiliated Bank, 500 Harwood Road, Bedford. Call 817-285-6195 or email.


Last week, YEA! Graduate Rachel Zietz pitched her business, Gladiator Lacrosse, to a panel of investors…on ABC’s award-winning show Shark Tank!

Her presentation was impressive, and it showed! Lori Greiner, the founder of QVC, said she was humbled by Rachel. “You’re doing everything right,” she said. Kevin O’Leary called the business “a hobby with great potential.” Daymond John said he would be doing her a disservice by taking part ownership of the company she built.

Although she did not strike a deal, her business is projected to reach $2 million in revenue this year, and has recently teamed up with world-famous lacrosse player Casey Powell to promote the company.

Rachel graduated from the YEA! Boca Raton, Florida chamber class in 2013 at just 12 years old. She has since been presented with numerous awards including the Boca Chamber’s Diamond Award, which is awarded annually to the top woman business leader in the region, and Florida’s Young Entrepreneur Award. She has spoken before organizations including the US Chamber of Commerce, Round Square and Cisco.

Check out her profile (including video) in USA Today!

Posted in YEA

Leadership HEB 2016 graduates honored

19 participants complete HEB Chamber’s intensive 9-month program

Leadership HEB, Class of 2015-2016

Leadership HEB, Class of 2015-2016

Bedford, TX—Nineteen current and future community leaders were honored at the Leadership
HEB Class of 2016 graduation ceremony, held May 12 during the HEB Chamber of Commerce
Monthly Luncheon at the First United Methodist Church of Hurst.

Linda Martin, mayor of Euless, was the keynote speaker, discussing the importance of
leadership. Charolete Davis with Century 21 Mike Bowman, Inc., spoke as class representative.

“People frequently say, “Don’t let your circumstances define you,’ ” Martin told the audience.  “But I maintain they will always define who you are, but don’t let them be limitations. Make them stepping stones and learning tools.”

This was the 30th Leadership HEB class. The nine-month program began in 1985 as a way to provide leadership education and encourage involvement in the community. Participants meet monthly, and activities include taking a variety of field trips and meeting with community leaders. Leadership HEB is a program of the HEB Chamber of Commerce and run by a steering committee, chaired by Tom Hingst of Hingst Enterprises.

“Leadership HEB is a rewarding program, but also a challenging one,” Hingst said. “Participants need to be committed to both the program and to our community. This year’s class has more than met that challenge. I’m very proud of them and grateful for the support of the steering committee, they did an outstanding job coordinating the program.”

Participants also are required to develop and implement a community service project. This year’s class mentored high school seniors and created iGrad, a program where people could donate suits, dresses and other professional-quality clothing for low-income high school graduates.

“Leadership HEB helps individuals learn more about our community while they further develop their leadership skills,” said Mary Frazior, Chamber president & CEO. “The program is a key part of the Chamber’s commitment to advancing business and strengthening community.”

A complete list of 2016 graduates is provided below. Applications for the 2017 class of Leadership HEB are now being accepted. To learn more about Leadership HEB, please call the Chamber at 817-283-1521 or email maryfrazior@heb.org.

Leadership HEB Class of 2016

Kelli Agan, City of Bedford
Cindy Benke, Shield Awards & Promotions
Mark A. Chandler, HEB ISD
Anita Daniels, Carter Bloodcare
Charolete Davis, Century 21 Mike Bowman, Inc.
Gina Day, Day Real Estate
Tyler Gibson, Farmers Insurance Agency
Denise Epp, From Across the Pond
Tanya Ferreiro, Carter BloodCare
Jennifer Jayroe, GRACE
Kent Johnson, Affiliated Bank Mortgage
Angela Jones, Mary Lib Saleh Euless Public Library
Lisa J. Karr, HEB ISD
Nateasie Kendrick, Texas Health HEB
Kathy Lanier, CASA of Tarrant County
Jerry Lewandowski, City of Hurst
David Mowers, GRACEful Buys
Maria Redburn, Bedford Public Library
Amy Sisler, City of Hurst


Saunders Scholars National Competition LogoLast week, over 100 semifinalists from all corners of the country competed in Rochester, NY in hopes of being chosen by the judges to advance to America’s Small Business Summit as a 2016 YEA! Saunders Scholars Finalist. Here are this year’s Saunders Scholars Finalists:

From the Northeast Region, Ashley Hurton is a student in the YEA! Peabody, Massachusetts Chamber class. Her business, HappiWear, produces athletic clothing while promoting positive physical and mental health. HappiWear donates 15% of all profits to the Brain & Behavior Research foundation, an organization which funds research for a variety of mental disorders.

From the Northwest Region, Maxx Stewart from the YEA! Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber class in Washington is the CEO of Spyder Grypz, an innovative replacement to traditional lacrosse tape. Spyder Grypz is a one piece rubber grip sleeve that shrinks on to a lacrosse shaft when heat is applied, enhancing the lacrosse player’s grip and control of the ball.

Also from the Northwest Region, Laney Hughes is the CEO of Shallocat, an apparel company that produces a variety of one-of-a-kind items and accessories that are based off Laney’s original designs. Laney is a student in the YEA! Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce class in Wisconsin.

From the Southeast Region, Ethan Shapiro and Ryan Shnider are the Co-Presidents of Snap’d In, a fully customizable and updatable phone case that will revolutionize the phone case market. Their phone cases feature six interchangeable picture “pegs” that allow the user to switch out photos. The two are students in the YEA! Central Palm Beach Chamber class in Florida.

From the Southwest Region, Arya Desai, Meenu Pamula, and Mizna Akbar are the creators of Muzikguru, a free online resource that helps parents find the perfect music teacher for their children. The website features a detailed database with information about music teachers including cost, location, and years of experience. The three are students in the YEA! Clovis, California Chamber of Commerce class.

The runners-up from each region had the chance to give their pitch for a second time at the YEA! Celebration and Awards dinner. The audience was able to vote on which two out of the four businesses should advance to the Finals competition as the People’s Choice Award Winners:

Cyanne McClean is the CEO of Africa Smiles, a company that works to improve literacy for children. Africa Smiles earns revenue through selling fashionable bracelets, and then all of the proceeds go towards buying books for students in Tanzania. Cyanne is a Saunders Scholars Semifinalist from the YEA! Miramar Pembroke Pines Chamber class in Florida.

Emily Guertler’s business, StraightShot Apparel, produces pants designed specifically for people with diabetes. Emily is a Saunders Scholars Semifinalist from the YEA! Sandy, Utah Area Chamber class.

All seven groups will present their business plans one last time at America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC next month. The winner will be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur, and receive a prize package including a college scholarship, as well as media attention on a national level! To register for America’s Small Business Summit, click here.

Posted in YEA

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Office: 2109 Martin Drive, Bedford, Texas 76021 | Mailing: P.O. Drawer 969, Bedford, Texas 76095
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