Month: July 2009

Saving The World One Person At A Time : Janie Barrera

When Janie Barrera first applied for a job with a fledgling enterprise called Accion Texas, she was rejected. This was back in 1994, when the concept of micro-financing was just beginning to take root in the United States and a group of civic leaders and bankers had banded together to initiate such an effort in our state. Perhaps understandably, they were looking for someone with banking experience, and Barrera had none. Fortunately, former councilwoman Maria Berriozabal, who knew Barrera well, was on that founding committee. She strongly suggested that the hiring panel give her friend an opportunity to be...

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Women in the FBI? You Betcha! Special Agents share their commitment to the agency

There are two common misconceptions regarding woman in the FBI: 1. There aren’t any. 2. If there are one or two, they must be disheveled, non-ladylike, boorish women. (Think Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, pre-makeover.) It’s time to put those myths to rest once and for all. The truth of the matter is that not only do women exist in the FBI, they hold positions of power and handle matters of the utmost national security. They go toe to pedicured toe with child predators, terrorists, drug traffickers and other hardened criminals on a daily basis. They are part of a small and elite group of people hand selected for their intelligence, integrity and commitment to the protection of our country. They have made it through the grueling FBI training facility in Quantico, Va., and many of them do all of this while taking care of a husband and children. According to Special Agent in Charge Ralph Diaz, women bring in a perspective that has proven to be a valuable FBI asset. “Women have been a bright light within our organization,” he affirms. “They have a certain sensitivity, and they are able to make observations that men often don’t. “People think they are stern and stoic with this façade of harshness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he adds. The following three women illustrate Diaz’s point. And though...

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Making Sunshine: Emily Stark

EMILY STARK Age: 30 Occupation: School counselor, Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children Personal: Experienced hearing loss as a young child and now hears with the help of a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. Married to Brian Stark, who works in medical-equipment sales; they’re “pet parents” of Truffles, an Afghan hound Why she’s a role model: As a Sunshine Cottage alumna who had a successful experience with mainstreaming from elementary through graduate school, she’s an inspiration to the students she counsels. Her own role models: Her mother Debbie Jackson, a former teacher who used her professional skills to...

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A Real Cliffhanger: Bluffview home is a showplace for talent

Bluffview Estates of Camino Real is an older neighborhood tucked in between Silverhorn Golf Club and Bitters Road. Graced by stately oaks, the homes are products of architectural dreams. Along one of the winding streets is a three-story Spanish Revival house behind an ornate wrought-iron gate that offers visitors a real surprise: a breathtaking view. “Who knew Bluffview actually had views?” exclaims homeowner Lee Cusenbary. “Most people in San Antonio have no idea that there are homes situated right on the bluff in this neighborhood with such a gorgeous view of the golf course and downtown San Antonio.” “On...

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Small Changes Can Lead to Big Results

As small business owners, we often tend to look for radical changes when it comes time for a new direction or to boost revenues. We set our sights on increasing profits by 10 percent or cutting expenses by 20 percent to have an even better year. But instead of searching for big solutions, often the simplest one is right under our noses. Using an idea called the Power of 1 Percent, a business owner should look at making incremental changes to boost her bottom line. For instance, instead of raising prices by 5 percent, consider increasing them by just...

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