Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Orleans still reeling after Katrina

I just finished a two-day trip to New Orleans to complete a video about ASAP Security and their CAM-V video. Yesterday, I finished the video with the help of Maxx Villarreal, one of the greatest photographers in San Antonio. The 4-minute video documents the work ASAP did in the "Big Easy" to protect the work sites with its CAM-V.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Getting two articles published

I had two more articles for MDI to add to my portfolio recently. Security Magazine just published my article on LearnSafe and Cargo Security also published an article on MDI' work in El Salvador.

Friday, September 7, 2007

BroadRamp featured on Channel 4

Randy Beamer, the anchor for Channel 4, just finished a major segment on BroadRamp. What made Beamer's work unique was his web site which had the entire interview with Greg Nakagawa, another vlog featuring Randy and his impressions of his interview with us and the actual interview. You can download the videos here, but BroadRamp is in the process of upgrading the quality to a higher standard.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Technology not the ultimate solution for educational safety

My client, MDI, has asked me to monitor the news wires on school safety, and there is a common thread in the message from school boards who purchase security equipment: Technology will make things better.

More and more schools are purchasing new cameras, door security devices and other similar devices in a hope to make their schools better. But as a husband of a master teacher, I know that purchasing technology is just one step. There also is the more important aspect of training the staff and communicating the process of new equipment to parents.

Even though I am the contract public relations officer for MDI and LearnSafe, I find their message that technology is just one aspect to the solution very compelling. As the No Child Left Behind mandates school safety, educators must put together a plan that makes the school environment safer for their charges.

Here in San Antonio, you can see one of the largest districts in the area -- the San Antonio Independent School District -- as a classic example of a school that needs help. The district has 90 police officers, the equivalent of a mid-sized community police force and their own jail. Police officers are assigned to each elementary school. Yet, parents in that district view that school as a dangerous and look to charter and parochial schools as a viable alternative for safe school settings.

Could a change in the process help this district? I think so, but the problem is that the district administrators don't want to embrace the change needed to improve school security. Having worked with the district as a sports writer with the Express News and SAsports while getting my degree at UTSA four years ago, I know that the district is full of educrats. As author Seth Godin wrote in one book, they have a lot of competent people who won't think outside the box. Or really in the box either.

My hope is that through communications channels that the district will see the benefit of LearnSafe. I hope that school board members inside districts like the SAISD will question the need for change in their security procedures. If they address it with a program like LearnSafe, they can help improve the quality of their school security.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Getting the vote out for BroadRamp

Back in the 19th century, politicians would influence the vote through the purchase of alcohol and other forms of influence. Today, my client, BroadRamp needs to get out the vote to win awards at Streaming Media West, Nov. 6-8 in San Jose, California.

Compared to the rest of the industry, BroadRamp's work is like the kid in elementary school who has the 128 box of Crayola crayons. Meanwhile, the rest of the students have the eight or 16-box set of coloring tools.

If you want to help BroadRamp get the recognition it deserves, please take a few minutes to vote for us in the encoding category.

If you are one of those Texicans who want to help a fellow company win the recognition they deserve, please take the time to vote and ask your friends to vote for us as well.

Friday, August 3, 2007

LearnSafe -- the smart way to address educational security

I am in the process of putting together the strategic public relatons plan to help MDI Security build awareness for its LearnSafe initiative. I am in the process of identifying educational publications such as T.H.E. Journal. I am also going to work with the mainstream media such as the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal to get some stories published on this topic. My client has already identified some great stories that should provide a compelling story line for these and other publications.

Monday, July 30, 2007

BroadRamp works with KSAT to showcase Steve Spriester's 30-minute segment on the homeless

After Steve Spriester completed an interview of Sean Darwish, the chief technology officer at BroadRamp, the company offered to showcase its video streaming capability for a 30-minute special on the homeless. Right now, KSAT has this hotlink on its web site. Until we offered to provide this service, KSAT didn't have the bandwidth to stream this award winning news piece.

Oh yes, KSAT aired a two-minute piece on BroadRamp on Friday evening.

How the Dallas Cowboys are helping San Antonio as a tourist destination

I drove my daughter, Kate, back from her camp in northeast Texas, and I did some radio surfing to find the local sports channels. From Austin (AM 1300) to Waco (AM1660) to Dallas (AM 990), I picked up three stations with promotional prizes involving a weekend in San Antonio to see the Cowboys train. Now, that San Antonio has locked up the training camp for the next five years, it'll help drive Cowboy fans to our city to watch their team training. And, even though I am a lifetime Bears fan (my fraternal grandpa was a personal friend of George Halas when the Bears were the Decatur Staleys), I have to admire how my adopted hometown has optimized their tourism expertise.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

San Antonio, the quiet tech giant

I just got back from a family trip to Washington D.C. over the Fourth of July holiday. My son, Pete, wanted to visit the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress as his graduation present from high school. While there, I helped a New York engineer get a ride to a local Target so he could replace a batter for his car’s key fob. During our drive, I mentioned that I was from San Antonio working as a publicist in the technology sector. His first comments were typical: “I didn’t know there was technology in San Antonio, but I knew there was a bunch of it in Austin.”
That’s one of the reasons why I volunteered to work as the volunteer press officer for the DCI aka the Digital Convergence Initiative. Not only do I want to strengthen the relationship of San Antonio’s growing tech presence in the region outside of Texas, but I want to also build the relationship between Austin and San Antonio. I once lived in Austin while assigned to the public affairs office at Bergstrom AFB, Texas (Note: Both Hunter S. Thompson and I edited the base paper, the Jet Gazette), and like all other residents, I considered San Antonio as a nice place for a weekend getaway.
It wasn’t until I got assigned to San Antonio, and I retired from here, that I noticed the difference again in the two cities. San Antonio is a combination of retired military, conservative German and Hispanics. Compared to Austin, it has a different attitude, and driving through San Antonio is a lot easier than Austin. After leaving Bergstrom in 1982, I knew Austin had grown into a technopolitan community. Whenever I get to Austin, I feel a different kind of vibe.
Yet, even though we are somewhat different, both communities can become the base for a growing convergence of technology. In San Antonio, we have some of the top cryptologists in the world as well as some of the leading biomedical research facilities. And, it’s not just these two industries. There’s a growing expansion of other technologies. BroadRamp, a client of mine, has some major deals for its streaming media services. Rackspace is one of the largest content delivery storage facilities in the world, and my friends at Bauhaus have launched an animation sharing site.
I hope to learn about the growing technologies in Austin and to help strengthen the relationship between both communities. Sloan Foster, DCI’s new president and another SA resident, asked me to serve on the board, and I am willing to volunteer time to bring the two communities as well as others together. Already, I know where the good pit stops are on I-35. (Note: While I love the Longhorn Café in San Antonio, you can’t get a better milk shake at the Steak n Shake at Exit 227 near Austin.) I am hoping that through my work on the board, that I will help bring convergence to our two communities and hopefully get a free shake or two from the Steak ‘n’ Shake frequent customer card.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Major conference wants you to audition before speaking

As anyone who has tried to book clients as speakers know, it's important to put the right person in front of the right group. When I read David Meerman Scott's blog today, I had to laugh that the Software 2007 conference is hosting a short audition via Utube to pick the best speakers.

Here's hoping more banquet planners, symposium gurus and others in the world of public speaking take the time to ask for a short video of the speaker. I know that when I attended the SATAI banquet as their event PR guy, I was not too impressed with the ATT technology VP who spoke on the benefits of Uverse. It made me want to stay with Time Warner Cable even more.

Note: Anyone who wants to get a great video that will impress the nomination committee should call Martha Trevino, my counterpart and marketing diva, at BroadRamp.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Express News and vPopcorn

Laura Lorek, the technology beat writer for the Express News, just completed a nice story on BroadRamp and their vPopcorn platform. As BroadRamp's publicist, I worked with setting up the interview with Sean Darwish about his technology. Right now, there are other versions of computer stuff that allows folks to download a movie, but the process is rather clunky and the process requires the movie provider to "flood" your temporary files with the movie.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hooking up with a dear old friend.

30 years later, and Jon Perkins and I haven't changed a bit. And, I have some swampland in Florida for sale.

A private tour of the Washington Post, thanks to my old buddy "Perk"

After not seeing him for 30 years, my family and I got to see Jon Perkins, one of my old ISU Vidette colleagues, at the Washington Post. Jon is a copy editor for the newspaper, and he gave us a VIP tour of the newsroom. While showing us around, Jon showed us Bob Woodward's office and told my daughters, Kate and Jen, and my son, Pete, how the Watergate journalist and assistant managing editor would still work as a night editor every weekend. "He'd pulled out $200 and tell one of the interns to get a bunch of ice cream for the staff," he said.

I wish that Jon and I could have connected this time to catch up, but he was heading out of town to speak to other journalists on editing. He tells me that I have a standing invite to play some poker if I back in Washington for business. All I need is a 12-pack of beer.

Afternote: How times have changed. My two daughters have not heard much about Watergate and Woodward's role in exposing the Republican party's decision to find files in the Democratic offices. So, I am buying a copy of Woodward's and Carl Bernstein's "All the President's Men" for them to understand the significance of Woodward's role in this story.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cat herding is nothing to being a tour guide

Thinking back to those days as the chief of community relations at the former Lowry AFB, I had to admire the Capitol staff and all the junior aides who did tours. I remember an 8th Air Force tour where a staff of about 8 helped to host 500 World War II vets to a tour of our base. Our most notable facility was our weapons school (see above) where we had every fighter and bomber in the Air Force fleet. In fact, the guys at the weapons school used to kid me about having a second office at their school.
However, I have to also admit that it's truly hard to deal with educators when they're in a tour guide. As a former educator, I always found it amusing that there were always one or two that wouldn't follow instructions or stay in the group. About two to three times a year, my base would host "Centers of Influence" tours with local educators. The recruiting commander for a local region would take eight to ten educators or guidance counselors on a tour of a base to show them how we trained their students.
Most of the folks who took these tours were great people. In fact, I had an educator from my hometown who knew my mother, a fellow educator and former teacher union rep. He called my mom to tell her what a great tour guide. Still, I had one out of 200 or so who came to Denver complained to their recruiter that I made them stay on schedule. And, when I had one Air Force captain from the Air Force Recruiting Squadron call me about it, my boss, SMSgt (Retired) Jimmy Teet overheard it. He asked me to transfer the call to him, and he told the captain nicely that the majority of the feedback was positive, if not outstanding. "We CAN'T please everyone, especially the ones that won't listen to us!"
One of the things that I loved about working for Jimmy Teet was that if you did your job, he stood up for you. I remember one time that I was driving a group of educators home from a night on the town, when one commander told me to pull over at a 7/11 to get a case of beer. I told Jim the next morning about our unscheduled stop in case someone saw the Air Force "bluegoose" parked there, and my former boss growled: "X*^((&^%) it. You should have called me from the pay phone. I would have met him at the billeting office with the base commander."
Needless to say, Jimmy called another senior NCO at Air Force Recruiting who forwarded the info to his commander. About a month later, Jimmy came over to tell me that the former recruiting commander was off to a drug and rehab school.

Helping Lamar Smith find his Capitol tennis court

I am away in DC, doing the tourist thang with my wife, Jackie, my step daughter, Jen, son, Pete and daughter, Kate. Last year, Jen was a Congressional intern for Rob Bishop, (R) Utah, so she knew how to get a guided tour with one of our local Congressmen, Lamar Smith (see photo above). My daughter met him during her work and then helped his fall '06 campaign. It was kind of fun to have Jen along although our tour, as she did her fair share last summer. And, about two-thirds of the way through, Jen and our tour guide, Whitney Marion, had bonded. So, knowing that Jen knew the ropes, she let my daughter complete the tour for her.

For me, the highlight of the tour was to see my oldest daughter interact with others in DC, not only former staffers but her step sister and brother. However, I did enjoy Whitney's story about how her boss, Congressman Smith, tried to find the Congressional tennis court. Sure enough, there's a picture of a tennis court located on one of the office buildings in the Senate.

Whitney said her boss tried to find the court, and he's still looking for it, although if there's a tennis court, it has probably a security device in the ad court.

Having given tours in college to prospective college students and a few during my tour at Lowry as their chief of community relations, I enjoyed the work of Whitney as well as my daughter. As befits a summer season, there were a lot of other Congressional junior staffers showing their constituents the capitol.

(P.S. Kudos to Lamar Smith for his support of the San Antonio technology community, most notably the cyber security industry. I am sorry I am going to miss his presentation Monday in San Antonio.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The good, the bad and the ugly of T.J. Connally

Public Relations professionals are like dogs in the park. We acknowledge each other, but we rarely talk or even say much about our competition. I often get asked about my competition, and my remarks are typically positive such as: "I have heard great things about such and such." However, T.J. Connally has to be one of the most amazing publicists in the San Antonio market. How can this guy get not one but two metro columnists in the San Antonio Express News to feature him shows the kind of pull that he has, even if it is not always positive.

Proud to add the godfather of cybersecurity to our growing roster of clients

Fred Ramirez, one of the founding fathers of the Air Force's cybersecurity programs, has become one of my newest clients. As the guy who founded the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team, Fred, in the words of Mike Garcia, another friend and client at MDI, is the "godfather of the cybersecurity" program. Many of the information assurance programs now in place at military and commercial computers started within Fred's organization.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Get a second life at TASA

Had to admit that the presentation at today's TASA meeting about virtual life was one of the better I've seen. Aaron Delwiche, aka Carbonel Tigereye, one of the founders of Meta Versatility was one of the featured speakers on Second Life. According to Aaron, there are 7 million registered users to this software. I find it interesting that Laura Lorek, the technology writer at the Express News, has an avator like me in the program. Laura said before the lunch that she has a house close to a virtual museum who don't like her home next to their building. "I've gotten a couple of threatening emails from them," she said. Still, it's interesting to see that others are into the program. My son, Peter, has done some exploration for me, but I find the graphics a little clunky.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Not the valuable prize I was looking for.........

Until I finished the first couple of chapters of Robert Scoble "The New Rules of Marketing & PR," I had viewed this blog as more of a diary than a business tool to engage others in an ongoing dialog. Today, that's going to change. About 10 days ago, I had written an entry about Jim Poage, the president of SATAI. Jim was the featured guest speaker at a technology mixer put on by friend and colleague, John Hill. I pulled that blog because I didn't want to offend some of my clients.

When Jim spoke on the ongoing technology in San Antonio, he engaged his audience by asking questions about technology. Get the right answer, and you got to put your name into a hat with the winner getting a prize. Well, I got the right answer to one question, and I contributed my business card into the prize bin, thinking that the prize offered by Mr. Poage might have been something of value. As Jim pulled the card from his hat, he announced that the winner got Spurs tickets. When he announced my name, I had visions of taking my son or daughter to a Spurs game during the NBA championship. Instead, I got these joke tickets for the Hickam Spurs (see my scanned image above.)

I worked for Jim on publicizing his SATAI annual banquet. Until I got the contract for this event, the organization had never gotten a supplement from the San Antonio Business Journal for this event. When that organization agreed to provide a 14-page supplement to SATAI, it helped publicized the growth of technology in San Antonio. In addition to this supplement, I also got coverage in the Express News and the SA Business Journal. If you know about the competitive nature of both, you'll know that it's pretty hard to get both to cover a story, but I manage in the words of Larry the Cable Guy to "get ur done."

Having worked with Jim on the PR and also as the field producers for his SATAI banquet videos, I know that he thinks he has a good sense of humor. And yet, I left that night with a pretty bad taste in my mouth about him and SATAI. Had I been still working for him as his publicist, I would have told him to find a pen or pencil set to give out as prizes or a $25 gift certificate from a local merchant.

But I am not working for Jim, nor do I think we can work together. As his publicist, I would tell him to never make fun of something as revered as the Spurs. Instead, I would have told him that the focus should be on promoting the great technology in San Antonio.

I doubt that few people realize this, but our city has a great wealth of technologies, most notably in security, web development and medical technology. IF I was still working for SATAI, I would have told him to focus on that message instead of asking questions like: "What popular magazine predicted that computers would never weigh less than a ton in 1948?"

Here's hoping that the SATAI board gets the message and helps Jim change his presentations. We need someone professional like Randy Goldsmith to help our growing cluster of technology grow. If you're not working in the technology space, you should know about the great technology base that this city has fostered and nurtured. Jim Poage needs to focus his message on what we're doing not what happened in 1948.

I am going to send this blog to a couple of people on the SATAI board of directors. I had originally pulled a previous blog about Jim because of the fear that some tech leaders might be offended and that it could impact my business. But as Scott notes in his book, a blog should shake things up. At the very least, perhaps it would get Mr Poage to look in his supply closet and find a set of engraved pens to send to me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Don't softsell your accomplishments

This week, I have met with two new clients. Both have impressive military careers with one of them serving as the "founder" of the AFCERT. This agency went from my client to a worldwide agency within five years and today it protects the Air Force's computers from unwanted intrusions. In a sense, this client is the "godfather" of the computer security program, and he helped a lot of military and civilian employees become the leaders in protecting the Air Force's computers.

My client left SecureInfo and has his own consulting firm. It's my job to rewrite his bio and then make him appealing to his customers -- government security firms. Now that I have a budget, I'll begin work on getting him a timeline to help him get customers and continued recongition for his leadership in this area.

Just after that meeting, I met with another new client. I noted the "chief" statue in his office, so I knew right away that he was a retired Air Force chief master sergeant. As a retired Air Force noncom, I saw this, and we began quickly to click together. Again, here was a guy who also served as an Air Force IG team member as well as someone who spent five years as an instructor in his career field. Right now, that information is not on his web site's bio, but that will change soon.

It's amazing how people soft sell their accomplishments. Perhaps, it's that Air Force perspective. The military demanded excellence, and many supervisors didn't show much in the way of appreciation. I have to thank Colonel (Retired) George Titus for his appreciation of what I did for him. In a five-year period, he put me in for two Air Force Achievement Medals, and he nominated me several times for military awards. While working with him, I also had Denver Mayor Wellington Webb give me "Technical Sergeant David M. Scherer in the City and County of Denver Day" upon my departure from Colorado to Italy. I rarely tell people about it, even though I am very proud of the work I did in Denver for over six years.

I guess it's like my one new client put it: "People want to know what you can do for them today; they don't care what you did previously." While I agree with that somewhat, you still have to put out those accomplishments because it shows new clients the roads you have traveled before.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Still more Manucheladas

Still more great publicity on the Manuchelada is rolling out with this latest missive from Edmund Tijerina:

One of downtown's swanky nightspots, Suede Lounge, is getting some attention for creating a special drink for the NBA Finals.
It's called the "Manuchelada" and it's a version of the classic michelada.
The recipe from general manager Sarah Hartman and marketing guy Matt Scherer features Heineken (because it's supposedly Manu Ginobili's favorite beer), lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and some other seasoning in a Twang-rimmed glass.
Enjoy one during the next game. Or before. Or after.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Five more copies for my mother....

Most publicists never want to take center stage when it comes to representing their clients, but getting a mention in Andi McDowell's weekly media column in the San Antonio Business Journal has to be a big highlight for me. Andi's column showed how Chris Day, my boss at Twang, and I worked with Sarah Hartman, the general manager at Suede Lounge, to create the famous Manuchelada, named after the famous Spurs star, Manu Ginoboli. In the words of Dr. Hook,,, "I'll have to send five copies for my mother."
(P.S. The words to the Dr. Hook song was written by the late Shel Silverstein, author of "The Giving Tree" and "Where The Sidewalk Ends."

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Legal client wins $250K case

My clients, Marc Gravely and Matthew Pearson, helped one of their clients win a $250,000 judgement for a sexual discrimination case with the San Antonio Express News picking up the story on page one of their business section. They asked me to help publicize the case. As a longtime PR and former Air Force supervisor, I am amazed at how businesses treat women differently than men. While in uniform, I had a basic set of rules:

1) I don't care what color, gender, faith or background you had before working with me;

2) As long as you do the job, I will always support you.

3) I will do everything I can to help you advance your career.

As someone who came on active duty when the Air Force opened their doors to non-traditional jobs, I know there were some growing pains with the military. Yet, today women in the military do everything but fly fighter jets, and truthfully women pilots are better "sticks" than their male counterparts.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The birth of the Manuchelada

As the contract public relations manager for Twang, you can imagine my joy when the producers at WOAI wanted me to do a segment on NBA related drinks on Friday. With the help of Sarah Hartman, the general manager at the Suede Lounge on Houston Street, we created the "Manuchelada" for the SA Living show. As Sarah knows how Manu likes Heineken, we created a version of her michelada recipe for the segment by subbing the more traditional Dos Equis beer for the Dutch brew. In addition to the manuchelada, we also created drinks for Tim Duncan called the "Timmy," and a tribute to Eva Longoria and Tony Parker. For those who missed the segment which aired at 10:50 a.m. on Friday, here's Sarah's outstanding recipes.....

The Manuchelada

Rim glass with Twang chili-lime salt
Fill with ice in a pint size glass
Squeeze the juice of one half lime onto ice
Shake half a teaspoon of celery salt and a half of a teaspoon of pepper into glass
Add two dashes of worchestire sauce to the mix
Add three to five dashes of Tabasco (according to taste)
Pour Heineken over mix
Shake in large shaker and pour back into glass

The Evi-Toni

Rim glass with Twang orange or tangerine flavored rim sugar
Fill with ice
Add 1.5 ounces of X Rated Fusion Liquor
Pour ¼ can of Red Bull and one ounces of cranberry
Shake in large shaker and pour into large martini glass

The Timmy

Rim eight-ounce martini glass with Twang banana flavored rim sugar
In a mixing glass, add 1.5 ounces of Malibu Rum
Add three ounces of pineapple and three ounces of cranberry
Shake content and pour mix through strainer into Highball glass

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why are we building this d@!n wall!

I have worked with a lot of celebrities, but I have never met a more improessive man than Vicente Fox, the guest speaker for the Hispanic Media Awards in San Antonio. My colleague, Chris Day, asked me to help arrange the media opportunities for the media. Instead of the traditional 30 minute press conference, we allocated six minute interview slots with President Fox. Like all media, the selected media pushed the envelope in trying to get more time, but for the most part, they were pretty good.

However, the message of President Fox was pretty impressive. Here is a man whose grandfather immigrated from Cincinnatti after his great grandparents immigrated from Germany. Fox told the media about his grandfather how his penniless ancestor made a life for himself in Mexico. Today, we Americans rely on hard working Mexicans for our trades and other services. Yet, how can we build a wall to keep those hard working people out of our country. As someone who had his relativ es immigrate to America, I couldn't agree more.

To my friend, Chris Day, it was a honor to work with you on this.................

Track 49, can you give me a shine or my trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee

Just got back from a short two-day roadie to Chattanooga on behalf of MDI and LearnSafe. I was there to get pictures and facts for an article for Security Magazine. Gotta say that I enjoyed the lack of traffic congestion in Chattanooga as compared to San Antonio. From my short visit to the Volunteer State, I have to be honest about a couple of things:

1) I used to think the truck drivers in Texas were bad, but there nothing quite as challenging as those hillbilly drivers heading downhill from Lookout Mountain;
2) Tennesseans are true Southerners. We Texicans think we're from the south, but we don't fry all of our food;
3) The folks in Chattanooga are still proud of that old Glenn Miller song, and I wish I had the time to visit the local train depot. Perhaps, the next time I'm in town I can do that......

I gotta put together the article with the pictures for the folks at Security Magazine in the next couple of days as well as deal with Peter, my oldest son, and his graduation from Morton Ranch or as Pete calls it "Moron Ranch" on Sunday.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alexander Haig not worth $30K for four minutes of fame

Is Alexander Haig worth $30,000 for a four-minute interview segment? That's a question one client asked me to look into the cost and the production value. The end result is a three to four-minute segment on CNBC at 11:30 p.m. After looking at the production value of the sample clips, I had to question its overall editorial quality. When you have a corporate spokesman on the air for a minute, that's 50 seconds too long. And, the segments with General Haig looked like he was a little bored with the process. Truthfully, the combination of the former Secretary of State/former NATO commander, and the four minutes on CNBC at that time segment in a paid sponsorship deal isn't worth the cost. I recommended to my client that he look at his own production with placement on cable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rob Schorr on the Steve Gill show

Imagine my surprise whenI was sitting in my office Monday and saw the MSNBC report on Murfreesboro. Initial reports said that the school cadre decides to institute a "fake gun" test during a field trip for one elementary school. Right away, I went to work contacting media on behalf of my client, MDI and LearnSafe, and I got a positive hit with the Steve Gill show in Tennessee. This morning, Rob Schorr, a senior security integrator, was on his show for 15 minutes. Rob did a great job of telling the MDI and LearnSafe story. In the wake of the Virginia Tech story, the media is starting to understand the importance of a cohesive security strategy for schools.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What a deal for advertising houses and marketing firms

My client, BroadRamp has announced a 5/5/5 deal for those who want to see how their CDS streaming video makes it better for online visitors. If you are one of those CIOs for an advertising or marketing house who wants to save money on your web site's bandwidth, please call Martha Trevino, my co-worker at 828-4451, Ext 359

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

American Banker features the work of BroadRamp and Broadway

My client, BroadRamp, was featured in today's issue of American Banker. Reporter Daniel Wolfe interviewed Sean Darwash, the firm's chief technology officer, and Tom LLewelyn, Broadway's CIO about their new video banking project. It was a great article, even with the comment from Gwenn Bezard, a researcher from the Aite Group who said she didn't think bank customers would use videos to learn how to use the site. As one of those many visual or what my bride, Jackie, calls a "geographical" learner, I love well made videos that show me how to do things. Time Warner, my cable company, definitely understands this with its 960 channel and their three-minute clips on how to fix my remote tool.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Express News does great job of explaining MERP benefits

Ever work on something that took a couple of years? With the recent publication of David Hendrick's column on medical expense reimbursement plans, I think I have found some closure on a project involving these unique health benefit plans. For the past few years, I have worked with Stephen Geri, the principal at Diversified Insurance Brokerage Service, to get an article with David.

Two weeks ago, Hendricks did a great job of describing the benefit of MERPs and how Hero Logistics, a San Antonio Toyota supplier, is saving money through the use of this unique insurance product in his column.

Here's David column in case you missed it:

David Hendricks: Plan lets firms cut health costs
Web Posted: 04/18/2007 10:40 PM CDT
San Antonio Express-News
Companies like to offer gold-plated health-care insurance plans, but not when premiums rise faster than employers can afford.
Does a company pay the higher premiums? Or do they reduce the premiums by agreeing to higher deductibles, which would increase employees' out-of-pocket expenses?
A rarely used third option can be used, especially by small companies struggling to keep their benefits competitive with other employers.
It's called a Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan, or MERP.
Instead of paying higher premiums at renewal time, a company could raise deductibles for such high-cost claims as operations and hospitalizations.
News link
Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan
That kind of decision can lower premium costs dramatically. For example, a company with 20 covered employees can save $800 a month.
Companies selecting the higher deductibles could set aside the $9,600 in annual premium savings, or any amount it wishes, into a MERP account.
When an employee or covered dependent needs hospitalization or an operation, the deductible would change from $250 to $1,000. The MERP account allows the company to cover the extra $750 in deductible costs.
At the end of the year, the company's surplus of unused MERP funds can be applied to the following year's premiums, or the balance may be forwarded into the next year's account. Either way, the company saves money.
The result is that both the company and the employee lower their premium costs. MERP funds and the accrued interest remain tax-deductible to the company as long as the dollars eventually are applied to health claims or insurance premiums.
Health-care plans with deductibles as high as $2,500 or $5,000 are available.
The risk comes when employee deductibles total more than funds set aside. Among policies nationwide, however, only 5.8 percent of employees ever maximize their deductibles. That alone indicates the extravagant cost for low-deductible health-care insurance plans.
Two Toyota supplier companies recently switched to MERP plans administered by Diversified Employee Benefit Services Inc. in San Antonio.
HERO Logistics, with nearly 200 workers, and HERO Assemblers, which soon will employ 40 people, switched to a MERP plan this year.
"The plan is transparent to the workers," said Ray Romero, president of HERO Assemblers and vice president of the logistics firm. The workers do not notice the difference because their deductibles remain at $250 even though the company bought a $1,000 deductible plan.
Companies could administer their own MERP accounts. However, most will choose to hire an outside administrator to manage the fund, partially to avoid possible lawsuits alleging bias or mismanagement.
In a way, MERP plans are like flexible spending plans that many employees maintain with their own money. In a flexible spending plan, employees divert a certain amount of dollars from each paycheck, free of income taxes, into a fund to cover medical expenses that insurance does not cover.
With a MERP, the company covers those higher deductibles instead of having the employees do it.
"The beauty of the MERP is that the employer controls the dollars," said Stephen Geri, managing general agent of Diversified Employee Benefit Services.
Romero said workers do not choose an employer for its MERP. "Just having a good plan is what matters," he said.
To the extent that a MERP can help an employer maintain a "good plan," it can give a company a competitive edge by holding down costs.

The history of the Potato Fiesta pix

Inspired by attending the San Antonio Fiesta's "A Taste of New Orleans" two weeks ago, my 15-year-old daughter, Kate and I created this special crown for the potato. Few realized that in 2008, this modest veggie is the "UN Vegetable of the Year." So, knowing that a few of our favorite restaurants serve bland French fried potatos, we thought it was best to build a campaign around great recipes featuring my client Twang and their line of seasonings with the simple spud. After all, the world's top veggie deserves a little spice, especially Twang's chili-limon seasoning.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Five copies for my mother

One of the golden rules in public relations is that you try to stay in the background as much as possible. However, on Tuesday, there was my picture in the San Antonio Express News. And yes, I am going to have to send a copy to my mother because the online version of the article doesn't include the pix.

On another note, I was glad to see such a great story for my newest client, BroadRamp. They have some unique technology that they are only scratching the surface in terms of publicity. I look forward to working the challenges of helping them along with my other clients.

And if you have an extra copy of Tuesday's Express News with the business section (not reserved for your bird or puppy in training), please send those extra copies of your paper to Martha Scherer at 21 Ridge Drive, Decatur, Illinois.

My 75-year-old Mom still has my clips from my days as the sports editor for the high school and for my tour of duty with the ISU Vidette. She'll add it to my scrapbook after she shows all the ladies at the local Eagle grocery.

On another note, I am amazed at how many people don't know about Captain Hook and the Medicine Show.

So for those of you who don't remember 1972, here's a recap of that great song:

(Shel Silverstein) Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - 1972Ha, ha, ha, I don't believe itDa, da, ah, ooh, don't touch meHey, Ray!Hey, Sugar!Tell them who we are .....Well, we're big rock singersWe've got golden fingersAnd we're loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)We sing about beauty and we sing about truthFor ten-thousand dollars a show (right)We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrillsBut the thrill we've never knownIs the thrill that'll get ya when you get your pictureOn the cover of the Rolling Stone(Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover(Stone)Wanna buy five copies for my mother (yeah)(Stone)Wanna see my smilin' faceOn the cover of the Rolling Stone (that's a very, very, good idea)I got a freaky ole lady name a cocaine KatyWho embroideries on my jeansI got my poor old grey haired daddyDrivin' my limosineNow, it's all designed to blow our mindsBut our minds won't really be blownLike the blow that'll get ya when you get your pictureOn the cover of the Rolling Stone(Rolling Stone) Wanna see our pictures on the cover(Stone) Wanna buy five copies for our mothers (yeah)(Stone) Wanna see my smilin' faceOn the cover of the Rolling Stone(Hey, I know how, rock and roll!!)[Freaky Guitar Break](Ah, that's beautiful)We got a lot of little teenage blue-eyed groupiesWho do anything we sayWe got a genuine Indian GuruWho's teaching us a better wayWe got all the friends that money can buySo we never have to be aloneAnd we keep getting richer but we can't get our pictureOn the cover of the Rolling Stone(Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover(Stone) Wanna buy five copies for my mother (I want one!)(Stone) Wanna see my smilin' faceOn the cover of the Rolling StoneOn the cover of the Rolling Stone(Man, I don't know why we ain't on the cover, Baby)(We're beautiful people)(I ain't kiddin', why, we would make a beautiful cover(Fresh shot, right up front, man)(I can see it now, we'll be up on the front)(Smilin', man ...... ahh, beautiful!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What all fries deserve is a little Twang

Few people realize it just yet, but the United Nations has decreed that 2008 is the "International Year of the Potato." As the publicist for Twang, I am going to help the media discover that the simple spud is such an important veggie. And, my goal is to convince them that all potatos should have some simple Twang seasoning especially with French fries and a burger. pixes ready

The pictures for the are now complete. Ruben Barron completed the work to help me get the buzz going on this facial recognition security program in the trades and other specialty publications. The model is my oldest (step)daughter, Jen, who has been recently accepted to law school at Mercer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Helping MDI to help educate the public on educational security

Mike Garcia is one of my oldest clients and one of those guys who I truly consider as a friend, so when he called me at 7:45 a.m. I knew it had to do with the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Mike and I have already been working in the educational security space with some trade publications for MDI Security, but this was an opportunity to tell our story to the local media. In the course of one day, we were able to do the following:

1) Get both WOAI and KTSA to do radio interview on the topic;

2) Get KENS 5 and KSAT 12 to do interviews with us;

3) Mangage a 15-minute segment with the Thompson Brothers on WOAI 1200 radio;

4) Arrange an interview with Bill Zalud at Security Magazine and arrange for a webinar on campus security.

Back in the days of our work with SecureInfo, we often called each other when the media reported about viruses and other concerns. It was not uncommon for one of us to call the other guy at 4 a.m. and start working on setting up media interviews. And, with the local media, many of the guys I called at the early hour have advanced to news directors jobs at their stations, so it was easier for us to get through to the decision makers.

Still, after all these years of working with Mike, I learned something today. And that was that it's always important to help visiting media understand the story in full before even doing an interview. Mike or I, with the help of his staff, showed the media how MDI had helped clients like the San Diego ISD with educational security platforms before doing any interviews. That helped the media understand the story before they talked to our selected experts. As we were waiting to go on the air with Jason and Rob Thompson, we talked with an MDI affiliate who said they had problems with a story in another part of the country. An electronic media type had thought that this company was already doing work with Virginia Tech. They of course led the story on their local newscast with the "a local company is already doing work with Virginia Tech...." story.

So, I learned the importance of making sure the media understood the story before having them do the interviews. At times, it took Mike and I an hour to complete the background before giving the reporter/cameraman the interview. While I have not seen the stories done on MDI yet, my phone isn't ringing either.

And finally, here's a kudo to Mike Garcia. Anytime you can do an interview with the Thompson Brothers and keep 85-percent for your message is a major accomplishment.

Sadly, this story is ongoing, and I hope that we can convey to major decision makers the better processes to help secure college campuses. My 18-year-old so Pete is going to be a freshman this fall at Lamar. Meanwhile, my almost 22-year old step daughter, Jen, is going to law school (she has already been accepted at Mercer). So, I have a vested interest in helping keep them and my younger, Kate, a 15-year old freshman safe from the kinds of tragedies that are occurring more and more frequently.

So which one is the best picture for our media campaign?

I just got these photos of my step daughter, Jen, from Ruben (aka Little Ruben) Barron for my review. I like them so much I had to share them on my blog. I like this one the best, but I wanted to share the rest so that the rest of Jen's immediate family and friends can advise me on the best. Ruben likes the bottom one, but I am more partial to the upper one. However, you can tell me what you think by sending your votes to:

Note: When shooting these pictures, I had to kick her mother, Jackie, off the set for distracting Jen. Once her mother left the set, we got some great pictures.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shooting photos for new biometric client.

My client,, is getting ready to launch a new public relations campaign about its personal biometric security for laptops. Today, I used my oldest daughter, Jennifer, to pose for some new pictures. Jen, who just got accepted to law school at Mercer, posed for the pictures with the help of Ruben Barron. I think Ruben is one of the best illustrators at his craft, and I can't wait to see the end results which will have the idfend logo placed into Jen's laptop. Knowing Ruben's work, I know I will be most impressed. And, Jen did a great job as the model for this shoot.

Monday, April 9, 2007

SATAI -- after action report

As the publicist for the SATAI awards banquet, I had to keep an embargo on a lot of my work especially the names of the honorees. In short, I couldn't even mention what I was doing in this blog. Now that the event is over, I want to reflect on my work in the PR and the video I help create.

PR: When you can get the Express News and the San Antonio Business Journal to work together, that's pretty impressive especially for an awards banquet. Kudos to both Catherine Dominguez and Susan Sapporito for their work at the Business Journal and to Laura Lorek at the Express News for her great article on David Spencer, the 2007 SATAI Tech Hero of the Year. I also got great coverage from WOAI and KTSA. And, I have the chance to work with Randy Beamer on more and more technology stuff.

Video: The audience seem to love the John Dickson tribute video that my team put together. I had to miss Florida winning their second national title, but it was worth it to hear the response from the folks who saw the video. Kudos to David "Maxx" Villarreal for his sharp shooting and editing work.

I'm glad that the SATAI banquet is over, but I hope that I will continue to work with them to promote technology in my adopted hometown of San Antonio.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Keith Frederick set to speak in April's TASA meeting

Keith Frederick, the founder of SecureInfo, has agreed to speak to TASA on April 19 at the Bright Shawl. I consider Keith to be the "godfather" of the cyber technology movement in San Antonio. Regardless of your computer usage, it's worth a chance to hear him speak on this topic.

Working with Mad "MAXX" on top secret video was a treat.

Ever work around the clock for about 30 hours and then wake up from a short power nap. That's a good way to describe my work this week. I just finished the second of two video productions for the SATAI Network. While protocol and good common sense dictates that I can give much in the way of details, the video was a testimony to someone on SATAI's board and their efforts to help promote technology. The best part of the whole program was working with David "Maxx" Villarreal, perhaps one of the best shooters in the area. Maxx is one of those guys who you can allow to take things over in his area of expertise and he delivers results. Pure and simple, if you need a good video guy, Maxx is your man.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Longhorn gets fantastic review in Express News

While I was in Vegas, Paul Weir, my racquetball buddy and client, called to say he got a great review from John Griffin, the editor of the Express News, in Wednesdays San Antonio Express News. Now that I am back in SA and able to look at the web again (see my previous post), I was able to read John's nice review on the Longhorn:

A toasted bun that's hot to the touch. A mountain of shredded lettuce with a few pickle chips and thin slivers of tomato. Slices of crisp bacon. A dollop of mayonnaise and a smear of mustard. Oh, yeah, and a big old patty of ground beef that's dripping with juicy flavor.

Is your mouth watering yet? If so, then you know the reason why so many people keep returning to Longhorn Café.

The people in the kitchen know what makes their 'Big Juicy' work.

Sure, there are variations on the ingredients listed above: slices of cheese, jalapeños, mushrooms, refrieds and guacamole. And Longhorn makes sure each ingredient is as good as possible, which goes a long way toward explaining why you can find lines at any of its four locations in San Antonio.

John had done a previous review of the Longhorn that wasn't too flattering about three years ago. With a little work on my part, Paul was able to change his perspective on the changes he made to the restaurant.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (Not)

Just got back from "Lost Wages" aka Las Vegas for the ISC West trade show. On the business side, it was a great trip as both my clients -- MDI Security and Armida Technologies -- got excellent opportunities to talk to the editors of the leading trade publications. As well, I got a chance to talk to some new international magazines specializing in the security sector.

My biggest highlight of the trade sow was seeing the Doobie Brothers perform Wednesday night at the Pelco 20th birthday party. Sloan Foster, the chief marketing officer, Armida, scored some tickets to the event. Seeing that show was like going into Marty McFly's Delorean and going back in time. However, while leads Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons have gotten a little older, the show was very tight.

Seeing the Doobies was the personal highlight of the trip. However, the stay at Circus Circus was a little disappointing. Yes, I knew I was staying in a moderately price hotel when I booked it, but not having your room cleaned in two days was disappointing. When I spoke to their managemet, their cleaning staff said I told them that I didn't want service. Kindof hard as I was out of the room for the most part of the trip. Overall, if you are looking for a roof over your head and you don't mind lots of children, the hotel is not that bad, but understand too that you are going to a hotel with a "terrible" service mentality.

On another note, the hotel and most of the Strip also could improve the availability of wireless access. After three or four times trying to access my usually reliable Sprint card, I gave up on the email. If you are a friend/client/associate, please know that I am working through the weekend to get back to you.

P.S. I think the folks at the Ever Ready Battery have the wrong person to represent their product. Instead of their well known bunny, they should replace him with my client/friend and buddy Sloan Foster (see pix above.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Twang and Mike's Lemonade

With the completion of Twang's special packaging deal with Mike's Lemonade, I am look forward to getting the word out about my client's special flavoring for the adult beverage. Chris Day, my boss at Twang, did a great job of convincing the beverage distributor to promote their drink with his company's seasoning. I spoke to my good friend, Andi Rodriguez, the columnist for the San Antonio Business Journal, who suggested that we tie in a Fiesta tag. Fiesta is a good reason to take a spring vacation in San Antonio, and most people take a couple of days off to celebrate.

Roadie to Houston proves inspiration for Twang

I am in Houston today on "bidness" on behalf of my client -- Twang ( I am going to meet with some restaurant business development and marketing types to promote Twang and to get some contacts for future articles. Last night, I walked from my hotel on Richmond Street to the Scott Geritners Sports Bar to have a burger and a fries. The fries were pretty good because they used Lowry's Seasoning on it. However, as I told the manager there are better seasonings such as Twang's chili-lime flavoring or pickle salt. So, the trip has given me the inspiration to pursue the idea of fry seasonings. And, I will continue to work with my friend and client, Paul Weir, the owner of the Longhorn Cafe, to get him to season his fries. Weir's burgers, especially the mushroom burger, is one of the best ones in San Antonio, but his fries need some special seasoning. It will probably take a game or two of racquetball to get him convinced.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wrapping up SATAI video

I almost done with finishing the interviews and helping the field production of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative's video for their April 5 banquet. While I can't release the name of anyone but David Spencer, this year's Tech Hero, it was great to meet some wonderful innovators and entrepreneurs. Many of these ventures started over a cup of coffee, and through SATAI's help, they became viable businesses. And as for David, you have to salute someone that has done some much not only for San Antonio but Texas. He has truly helped not only San Antonio but other businesses throughout the years.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

SATAI and Business Journal to produce special supplement

After some negotiation and a little effort on my part, it appears that the San Antonio Business Journal and the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative will produce a special eight to 16-page supplement to honor some local "tech heroes." The issue will appear April 6, the day after the banquet. The details of the honorees are still being worked out, so I can't say much more now other than to note that I am working with Chris Day, the "el jefe" of On the Edge Promotions to coordinate info with the SA Business Journal and to help co-produce a video.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Riverwalk Hilton to feature Twang green beer salt for St. Paddy's Day

If you have plans to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in two weeks, plan on stopping for a pint at Dirty Nellie's pub in the Hilton Palacios del Rio hotel. The famed Irish pub will feature the lime beer salt of my client, Twang for its margaritas and draft beer. Victor Cervantes, the hotel's food and beverage manager, tried some samples yesterday, and he loved the flavoring so much that he is going to add it to all his bars just in time for the patron saint of Ireland's official feast day.

Victor also helped Twang by using their Cocktail Candies flavorings on several drinks during a segment on WOAI's Living Show in early February. Gotta say that I appreciate Victor's help in promoting the Twang brand.

Hooking up with the Mickster

Fellow ISU Vidette alum, Mick Hubert, the radio voice of the Florida Gators

I am not one of those guys who, unlike my wife, is good at Christmas Cards and staying in touch. However, thanks to my alumni magazine, I am starting to find some old classmates. One old classmate is Mick Hubert, a fellow ISU Vidette and WIGN staffer. I worked with Mick on the radio station, where he and I did a weekly NFL picks show. Sad to say, Mick had a better record that year. From there, he and I worked together on the ISU Vidette. Today, the Mickster is the voice of the Florida Gators, and that's pretty cool because my wife, Jackie is a '74 Florida alum. Somehow, after the basketball season, I will try to drop Mick a line to catch up.

The unique thing about ISU (aka Illinois State) is that so many of my colleagues from the Vidette staff have done well in the communications field, despite the fact that my alma mater didn't have a journalism or true TV school.

Friday, March 2, 2007

MDI gets major press after winning $25.3 million contract

I was busy yesterday helping MDI Security Systems get the word out about their 25.3 million deal for educational security products. I know that both the Express News and San Antonio Business Journal ran stories on this major deal with Stratis.

Bill Zalud, editor of Security Magazine, and a guy that I owe a cerveza or two.....

I also worked with the security trade publications working with editors like Bill Zalud at Security Magazine and with Ralph Jensen at Security Products Magazine to get the story into their online web sites.
Ralph Jensen, editor of Security Products Magazine, and a fellow DINFOS trained killer

Ralph is another DINFOS "trained killer," a graduate of the famed Defense Informtion School that was originally based in Indianapolis but has now moved to Fort Meade, Maryland. By the way, two former vice presidents -- Al Gore and Dan Quayle -- both are fellow graduates along with regular working stiffs like myself and Ralph.
Like me, Dan Quayle is a proud graduate of the Defense Information School along with Al Gore and Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune" fame.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Art Scanlan and BIF Technology in national press

Just got an email and an Adobe PDF copy of Art Scanlan's six page article that appeared in the Medical Group Medical Association's "MGMA Connexion" entitled "Balancing act -- using the clinic scorecard to improve practice performance." As BIF Technology's public relations guru, I helped pitch the article and worked with Art to put it together. Via email, Art said several of BIF Technologies clients including Dr. David Schmidt, the San Antonio Spurs team physician, had seen the article. And what makes working with Art fun as well is that his cell phone has an Edgar Winters "Frankenstein" ring tone.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Roderick Barnes to speak on May 18 at TASSCC

Roderick Barnes, the chief executive officer of BIF Technologies, has been invited to speak May 18 to the Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communications Portal SIG. Portals provide managers an insight into their daily operations, and Roderick has spent a lot of his time and effort, perfecting the requirements to make portal solutions work for various industries.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Check out Armida's newest technology -- Videlity -- March 8 in San Antonio

Until recently, the use of wireless signals to transmit video packets for security systems was not in use. As there's a lot of interference in some areas due to cell phones and other radio signals, security professionals didn't want to transmit a video signal from a camera to a controller. However, my client, Armida Technologies has come up with the solution to this wireless issue with Videlity software. Videlity software provides remote access to the 802.11 standard and scans this signal for changing conditions to provide optimal connectivity.

Armida is going to showcase their Videlity software at Holt Caterpillar, March 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you are interested in this technology, please call Michelle Brown, 210-403-9242 (Ext. 114) to get a reservation.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rooting for the other Matt Scherer to make the big team

One of the things that my dad, aka Bud or Bubba, liked to do while on family vacations was to go into our motel rooms and find people with our last name in the telephne book. So, now we have Google -- the replacement for those yellow pages. So it's late at night and I did that search with the terms "Matt Scherer and blog" when I find another Matt who is a pitching prospect for my favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals According to some press reports, Matt is slated to pitch for the Redbirds AA franchise, the Springfield Redbirds, but here's hoping he makes it to help the Cardinals beat the Cubbies a bunch this year. When the Redbirds travel to San Antonio to face the Missions, I'll try to get some tickets and a picture with the guy who shares my name.

Note to all Cub fans: Is this your year or will the Cubbies wait until the 100th anniversary of their last World Series victory to win another one?

Calling all michelada lovers

Just spoke to my friend John Griffin, the dining editor for the San Antonio Express News,, about Micheladas. As the publicist for Twang, I have been working with John on restaurants that make a good version of this drink. The inspiration for this came after celebrating the birthday of Katie Hotard, one of my St. Francis CYO hoopsters. I don't want to name the restaurant but when I ordered a Michelada, the waiter gave me a drink with some salt, a shot of Clamato and the beer. Then, this restaurant billed me 50 cents for the extra tomato juice. So, I told John about what happened at the restaurant and their so called Michelada. In March, the Express News is running a story on Micheladas, and I have helped John find some great bars that feature the drink. If you know of a good place in San Antonio that features this drink, please give me a shot via email at

A get well message to my friend Brent Boller

It was good to speak to Brent Boller, the morning news anchor, at KTSA Brent has been sick after running the Austin marathon while suffering from allergies. I have known Brent since he was the public affairs officer at Randolph Air Force Base

ISC West

One of the best things about my job is setting up media interviews for my clients. With MDI Security System and Armida Technologies heading to Lost Wages aka Los Vegas for this show, I have been busy setting up meetings and get publicity for them in the security trade publications.

So far, Security Dealer Magazine and Security Magazine have confirmed appointments. I am also dealing with the folks at Security World magazine to set up meetings with their editorial staff.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TASA program focuses on SBIR and government contracting

Remember the TV show Cheers when Cliff the Mailman went up to Admiral William J. Crowe Jr., with a design for a submarine on the back of his cocktail napkin? And, the admiral said his people would get back to him?
Well, there is an actual program designed to help small businesses and researchers find the seed money to help serious researchers take their idea from the drawing board to full production. The Small Business Innovation Research program is a government program to help small business types get funding for their research.
Jill Dickman, UTSA Institute for Economic Development, is one of the best experts on this program, and she’ll speak at the March 15 Technology Advocates of San Antonio ( program 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Bright Shawl, 819 Augusta St. I have worked with Jill on the behalf of one client, and she has been involved in the program for many years. In San Antonio, we’re lucky to have someone of her capabilities who is willing to help small businesses succeed in this program.
In addition to having Jill speak, Renee Wesley-Case, executive director of the Air Force Outreach Program Office, is also slated to speak on how small businesses can get contracts through the military. Danny Sheron, the principal, Adolos Strategic, and a TASA board member, said Renee will help small businesses understand the process for registering their “bidness” with the federal government.
Lunch is $20 for TASA members; $25 for non-members. Annual individual membership is $15 and $75 for a business. So that TASA will have enough “chicken surprise” on hand for everyone, you should call Tina Gonzales at 210-824-4106 or via email at

MDI on the cover of Security Magazine

MDI Security Systems ( was recently featured in the February issue of Security Magazine. I wrote the article which focused on how the Air Force Academy changed its security processes. I was lucky enough to see the Air Force Academy lose to Notre Dame during my trip as well.