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Business News from UTSA
Scott Kabrich

April, 2010

Trinity University buys $500,000 scientific instrument

Trinity University is installing a new high-dollar nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer on campus that will help students and faculty to conduct the same caliber of scientific research as some of the larger schools in the country.  A nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer is used to learn how molecules function and relate to each other.  Trinity records show that the $498,000 500 megahertz spectrometer is now one of the most expensive pieces of scientific equipment ever bought by the university. The  National Science Foundation contributed the money for the equipment using funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

SAC opens center for underprivileged

San Antonio College on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of its Empowerment Center, a career-training, life-skills and college re-entry program that aims to help poor and underserved people. Funded by a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 4,000-square-foot building is at 1300 San Pedro Ave. and houses the first career transition lab of its kind in San Antonio.  Three programs will be run out of the center — the SAC Women’s Center, which provides support for homemakers, single mothers and others going back to college; Seguir Adelante, which focuses on GED assistance and skills upgrading; and Mi CASA, which helps low-income families become self-sufficient through career counseling and financial literacy.

San Antonio wins major grant to retrofit buildings

 The San Antonio Green Retrofit Initiative will receive $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to help buildings ramp up their energy efficiency.  San Antonio is receiving the funds through the Energy Department’s Retrofit Ramp-Up program. The federal government is establishing partnerships with communities, governments and nonprofit organizations. The goal of the program is to support large-scale retrofits of buildings and make energy efficiency accessible to hundreds of thousands of homeowners and businesses.  The San Antonio Green Retrofit Initiative will serve as the area’s single-point-of-service energy efficiency delivery program. It will target residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and public buildings. Retrofits will include comprehensive audits, identification of appropriate technology changes and modifications of energy systems. San Antonio will also do outreach in both English and Spanish.

 KCI hires VP for global marketing

Kinetic Concepts Inc. has hired Kien Nguyen to be vice president of global marketing for its largest business unit, Active Healing Solutions.  Nguyen will be responsible for international strategy and market development for KCI’s negative pressure technology products including the vacuum-assisted closure or V.A.C. Therapy system.  Nguyen joined KCI in September 2007 as vice president of portfolio management. Most recently, he served as KCI’s vice president of global research. Prior to joining KCI, he held positions with Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company. He holds a master of business administration from Columbia Business School and a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Colorado.

 USAA to eliminate more than 100 positions in San Antonio

 USAA will lay off 109 employees at its corporate office in San Antonio.  USAA has notified the Texas Workforce Commission that it is closing the entire USAA Enterprise Inbound Operations unit within its corporate services department at 9800 Fredericksburg Road.

The layoffs are expected to begin on June 18 and should be completed by July 6.  Paul Berry, USAA spokesman, says that in 2009, USAA began an extensive review of its inbound mail operations to see if significant “operational efficiencies” could be gained by forming a partnership with a third-party provider to handle these operations.

USAA raises standing on Fortune 500 list

Four San Antonio companies earned spots on Fortune magazine’s list of 500 of the largest companies in America. Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) is the largest corporation in San Antonio. The oil refining and marketing company’s ranking has fallen to 26th on the Fortune 500 list for 2010. The company’s revenues totaled $70 billion, down 40.8 percent over its prior year’s performance. The company’s financial performance has been beaten up by poor industry margins in response to the poor economy. Valero had been ranked 10th on the 2009 list.  One bright spot on the Fortune 500 list is USAA, which improved its standing from 207 to 132. USAA had year-end revenue of $17.5 billion, a 36 percent improvement over the prior year. USAA enjoyed its best financial results ever in 2009 even with the downturn in the economy. USAA is a member-owned financial services company that markets insurance, financial planning, investments and banking services.  Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO) is another energy company that saw its financial performance slide over the past year. Tesoro currently ranks 139th on the Fortune 500 list, down from 91 on the prior year’s list. The company’s year-end revenues fell 40.8 percent to $16.6 billion. Tesoro is engaged in petroleum refining and marketing. The company also operates a network of convenience stores under the Tesoro, Shell and USA Gasoline brands.  CC Media Holdings Inc. (OTCBB: CCMO) ranked 376 on the Fortune 500 list. This is down from 372 on the prior year’s list. CC Media is the parent company of Clear Channel Communications. The company has been hit by the downturn in the advertising industry. The company’s revenues fell 17.9 percent to $5.5 billion.

 AT&T reports 21% drop in profit

AT&T Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit fell 21 percent because of a one-time charge related to the new federal health care law, but the company was bolstered by strong growth in its wireless division.  Dallas-based AT&T added 1.9 million new wireless customers in the quarter, up from 1.2 million a year ago. That is the largest first-quarter wireless subscriber gain for the company, Chief Financial Officer Rick Lindner said in a conference call with analysts.  The gain was led by AT&T's aggressive push to add nonphone devices such as e-readers and personal navigation devices to its network. AT&T said more than 1.1 million such devices were connected in the first quarter, the second consecutive quarter in which the company added more than 1 million nonphone gadgets to its wireless network.  AT&T, the second-largest wireless provider, ended the quarter with 87 million wireless subscribers. It trails Verizon Wireless, which had 91 million subscribers at the end of 2009 and will report earnings today. For the quarter, AT&T earned $2.48 billion in profit, or 42 cents per share, down from $3.13 billion last year at the same time. But excluding charges, including a previously disclosed $995 million health care expense, AT&T earned 59 cents per share, beating Wall Street estimates of 54 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $30.6 billion, flat compared with a year ago and below the $30.7 billion projected by analysts.

U.S.: Toyota accepted $16 million fine

Toyota hurriedly ordered recalls of nearly 10,000 Lexus SUVs for possible rollover dangers Monday and agreed to a record $16.4 million fine for a slow response in its broader earlier recall, scrambling to fix safety worries that threaten the Japanese auto giant's reputation.  The fine, the maximum under law, could hurt Toyota Motor Corp.'s image more than its financial bottom line: The penalty is the equivalent of a little more than $2 for every vehicle the company sold around the globe in 2009. And analysts said it would have little impact on dozens of private lawsuits, which have been combined before a federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif.

Popular burger chain files for bankruptcy

 The parent company of a popular burger franchise is filing for bankruptcy.  Magic Brands, which owns Fuddruckers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 24 corporate-owned stores by the end of the month. The Fuddruckers locations in San Antonio, however, will stay open.  The move is part of the company's plan to sell its assets to a private equity group. Fuddruckers was founded in San Antonio 1980.

Kohl's to Open New Customer Operations Center in San Antonio

Kohl's Department Stores has signed a long-term lease agreement  Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

on a building for a new customer operations center located in San Antonio, Texas. Expected to open in July, the 102,000-square-foot, two-story facility will serve Kohl's Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

Charge customers and customers nationwide. Kohl's said that it selected the San Antonio location for the city's vibrance, strong economy and availability of a robust workforce.  Hiring for the facility is scheduled to begin in June, offering hourly and management positions. Kohl's expects to hire approximately 200 associates when the facility opens and ultimately create more than 1,000 jobs over the next three years. Job-seekers interested in career opportunities at the San Antonio facility are encouraged to visit for more information and a list of available positions.

Nationally known San Antonio singer Augie Meyer undergoing liver transplant surgery April 21, 2010

San Antonio Texan and legendary musician Augie Meyer is received a message on Sunday, April 18, 2010, a kidney has been found for a much needed kidney transplant.  His operation is scheduled Wednesday, April 21, 2010.  Meyer is on a regular dialysis schedule at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital in San Antonio and needed to find a kidney donation before his 70th birthday on May 30, 2010 when his eligibility for the kidney donor list ends.  The well known San Antonio entertainer become nationally recognized in the 1960's as one of the founding members of the Sir Douglas Quintet. Meyers along with Doug Sahm, had famous and distinctive best selling songs as "Mendocino" and "She's About a Mover."

Army reveals theft  of patients' data

SAN ANTONIO – The Army has disclosed that information on nearly 1,300 patients at a top military medical facility in San Antonio may have been breached last fall, but said no misuse of the information has been reported so far.

Brooke Army Medical Center officials said a binder with notes that may have included names, phone numbers and medical data was among items stolen from a car Oct. 16. Patients were told of the theft nine days later, but the incident was not reported publicly until this week, after the Department of Health and Human Services insisted on disclosure, as required by federal rules governing such breaches.

San Antonio to Become Training Ground for Medical Careers in the Military

San Antonio will become the home of students aspiring to embark on medical careers with the military, as the Medical Education & Training Campus (METC) starts classes. Located in Fort Sam Houston, METC will be the largest such institution in the world.  The Army Medical Department Center and School expects fifty thousand graduates a year. They will be coming from across all branches of the military: the Army, Air Force and Navy. In contrast, the School of Health Professions of the University of Texas Health Science Center has an estimated seven hundred students. Rear Admiral William Kiser will be METC’s first commandant METC has five medical instructional facilities and six dormitories. Soldiers, sailors and airmen will be living in these dormitories and will be preparing for medical-military careers as surgical techs, x-ray techs and laboratory techs.

Playboy names University of Texas the #1 party school

Travelers have yet another reason to visit Austin, Texas. Playboy magazine has ranked The University of Texas at Austin at the top of its list of "America's Top 10 Party Schools" that will be featured in the magazine's May issue.   According to magazine feature, "When you add up academics, the weather, the liberal atmosphere, South by Southwest, game day and the nightlife on Sixth Street, UT Austin is one heck of a school.  "America's Top 10 Party Schools complete list:

1.      University of Texas at Austin

2.      West Virginia University

3.      University of Wisconsin-Madison

4.      University of Miami

5.      East Carolina University

6.      Arizona State University

7.      Rollins College

8.      University of California-Santa Barbara

9.      Plymouth State University

10.     University of Iowa

University Lands lease sale nets $40 million

Oil and gas operators spent more than $40.4 million to lease more than 61,000 acres owned by the University Lands -- an indication of companies wanting to increase drilling.  The sale, the largest since October 2008, benefits the University of Texas and Texas A&M systems as the revenues go into the Permanent University Fund.  The average lease bonus was $664.93, and Steve Hartmann, executive director, said numerous tracts brought an average of $3,025 per acre.  Operators seeking leases for oil and gas activity on University Lands had nominated 261 tracts covering 102,000 acres for the sale, compared to 130 tracts covering 60,000 acres nominated for last October's oil and gas lease sale.  The sale's results compare to the October 2008 sale, which brought $43,053,000. Last year's sales brought $2,518,000 last April and $13,957,000. The April 2008 sale raised $25,240,000 and the October 2007 sale raised $7,798,000.

  Viral Genetics gets $750000 state research grant

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund awarded a $750,000 grant to Viral Genetics, which is moving its research facilities to Georgetown.  The California-based company will use the state money for research into biofuels, which are made from sources such as palm or corn oil, as alternatives to petroleum fuels.  Karen Newell, the company's lead scientist, also has joined the faculty of the Texas A&M University College of Medicine.  The company's new research center is at the Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown, which is home to several life sciences companies.

DOE awards $2.5M smart grid grant to UH Energy program

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the UH Energy program a $2.5 million stimulus award to develop a smart grid workforce training program.  The DOE award was awarded to the Smart Grid Energy Training Coalition, which includes UH, Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc.( NYSE: CNP), San Jacinto College, the Power Technology Institute, SkillsNET and the Texas Business and Education Coalition.  The DOE funding is part of more than $4 billion in Recovery Act funding allocated for smart grid deployment and demonstration projects nationally. The Smart Grid Energy Coalition’s grant was the largest awarded in Texas.

 The Home Depot Foundation's Board of Directors Announces Recipients of Its 2010 First Cycle of Grants

The Home Depot® Foundation's Board of Directors today announced 10 first cycle grants totaling $3.7 million to build healthy, affordable homes for working families, create safe community playspaces for children, and assist cities in their efforts to develop sustainable communities.  The grants will go to national and local community nonprofit organizations, from the National League of Cities to the Cleveland Housing Network, and will support the building of 1,686 healthy, affordable homes for low- to moderate-income families, 31 playgrounds and the landscaping of 48 acres in urban areas.   Foundation Communities, Inc., Austin, Texas, $75,000:  Grant will be used to fund green infrastructure landscaping and site improvements at M Station, Austin's first LEED for Homes affordable housing multi-  family development.  Specific green features funded through the grant include full integration of water quality measures, such as rainwater harvesting, rain gardens and bioswales, into the community's landscape.

CGSC Foundation Presents Ross Perot with 2010 Distinguished Leadership Award

The Command and General Staff College Foundation presented Mr. Ross Perot with the Foundation's 2010 Distinguished Leadership Award at a dinner banquet at the Marriott Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., April 20 Perot, the well-known entrepreneur and two-time presidential candidate from Texas, is the third recipient of the Foundation national award.  Perot has a long history of leadership and philanthropy, and is particularly well known in military circles for his silent support of military service members and their families.  The CGSC Foundation was established December 28, 2005 as a tax-exempt, non-profit private corporation. Programs supported by the Foundation include awards for the students and faculty, support for symposia, conferences, lectures, and community outreach activities that help connect the American people to their Army.

ConocoPhillips Gives $1 Million To Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, April 21, 2010 — ConocoPhillips has donated $1 million Wednesday (April 21) to benefit Texas A&M University. The gift, presented at Texas A&M Foundation headquarters, will fund several of the university’s academic programs, including the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars Program.  The SPIRIT Scholars Program has provided educational opportunities and professional development for qualified students since 2003. The program, which operates at Texas A&M and seven other universities, provides academic scholarships to sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students; additional financial support for enrichment programs and activities; mentoring opportunities with ConocoPhillips professionals and opportunities to be considered for internships and full-time employment at ConocoPhillips.  Currently, 44 Aggies in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, College of Geosciences and Mays Business School participate in the SPIRIT Scholars Program. They must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average to receive the $5,000-a-year scholarship. Students who intern with the company receive an additional $1,000 in scholarship money.  The ConocoPhillips gift also will fund other programs, student activities, scholarships and fellowships in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, College of Geosciences, Mays Business School and other areas.

DBU receives $250,000 foundation gift

The Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation has donated $250,000 to Dallas Baptist University, to be applied toward construction of the Joan and Andy Horner Hall. The new building not only will provide new classrooms, a music laboratory and faculty office, but it also will house a state-of-the-art audio recording studio. Since 1965, DBU has received more than $5.8 million from the Andersen Foundation, DBU President Gary Cook noted.


Scott Kabrich

Researcher, Advancement Services

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Phone: 210-458-4790 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              210-458-4790     


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