Casa Magazine01 by emhouston

VIEWS: 644 PAGES: 12

									J A N U A RY 2 0 0 9

18th Annual Willie Velasquez Hispanic Excellence Awards

The Winners: (L to R) David Lopez, Yolanda Black Navarro, Jenny R. Castaneda, Ed C. Apodaca

I N F O R M I N G , I N S P I R I N G , A N D C E L E B R AT I N G T H E H I S PA N I C C O M M U N I T Y

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Elizabeth Miranda GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Myrna Galan Karen Saunders CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Ruby Miranda Valerie Martin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Elsa Cardenas Roy Cuellar DISTRIBUTION: Joel Martin CASA & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 110 Bird Rd., Suite 100 Pasadena, TX 77502 (832) 878-1255 Email: Elizabeth.Miranda@

Wishing You Every Happiness in the New Year
May the coming year bring health, wealth, love, and joy for you and your family. We’re really grateful for your kind support this past year. From your Friends at

All advertising in Casa & Lifestyle Magazine is subject to the rate card, copies of which are available from the publisher. Casa & Lifestyle Magazine reserves the right to reject any advertiser’s order. Casa & Lifestyle Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material and reserves the right to edit and make appropriate modifications of any and all material submitted. The opinions and/or editorials by contributing writers published in Casa & Lifestyle Magazine do not necessarily represent the philosophy of Casa & Lifestyle Magazine or its advertisers. The entire content of Casa & Lifestyle Magazine, including advertisement created by Casa & Lifestyle Magazine staff, is copyright protected in 2008, with worldwide rights reserved. NO PORTION OF THIS PUBLICATION, INCLUDING ADVERTISMENT, MAY BE REPRODUCED, in whole or in part, by any means or by anyone, including advertisers, without the written permission of the publisher.

For annual subscribe to

mily Your Fa es Deserve of a HomOwn Their

Please mail payment of $18 & coupon to: Payable to: Casa & Lifestyle Magazine 110 Bird Rd Pasadena, TX 77502




opia Casa Pr Merece ilia Su Fam



C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9

Keeping Resolutions
It’s one thing to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s an entirely different thing to follow through with them. Breaking resolutions is almost as much a time-honored tradition as dreaming up what you hope to accomplish in the New Year. However, there are ways to hedge the odds in favor of keeping resolutions. Just follow these pointers: SET REALISTIC GOALS: Realistic goals with firm deadlines are much easier to achieve than open-ended goals that are too lofty. If you want to lose weight, for example, aim for weekly goals that are manageable, such as a pound or two a week, instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds in total. This way you can see success at regular intervals and keep up with the goal. MAKE A PLAN: Once you come up with resolution goals, figure out the way to achieve them. If you resolve to quit smoking, maybe the plan involves visiting the doctor for a nicotine-replacement prescription, or finding a friend who will quit with you and provide moral support. Having a clear plan will enable you to work more readily toward the goal. POST YOUR GOAL: Visualizing your goal and end results could be the motivation you need. Cut out pictures that represent your resolution and post them on the refrigerator or on the bathroom mirror. This way you are forced to see the goal every single day. If it’s fresh in your mind, you may be more likely to follow through. FIND A SUPPORT TEAM: A friend, rel-

To A d v e rt i s e i n

call Liz Miranda (832) 878-1255 o r e - m a i l at : e l i za b e t h . m i r a n da @ya ho o . com

ative or simply someone there to offer motivation can be your ticket to resolution success. It’s much easier to accomplish what is presumed to be the impossible when you have someone rooting for you. COME UP WITH A REWARD: With an eye on a prize other than the end result of your resolution, you may work harder. For example, if your resolution is to save X amount of money, make the prize a trip or special purchase that was made possible by those hard-earned savings. Let 2009 be the year that you think of realistic resolutions and truly achieve all of your goals.

C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9


P .R.O. Holds Christmas Party at Settegast Community Center
Once a single mother of four young children herself, Belinda Jasso knows what it is like to not have enough money for Christmas presents. It was that situation that prompted Belinda to start People Reaching Out, Inc. (PRO). This past December People Reaching Out held its 7th Annual Toy, Food and Shoe Drive. Thanks to the generous donations of so many in the community, P.R.O. was able to provide a Christmas party at Settegast Community Center on December 17, 2008, where ninetyfive children from Houston’s Eastend received gifts from Santa. For more information about People Reaching Out, Inc., please visit their website:

Hispanic Women In Leadership

to the Newly Elected 2009 Board of Directors
To A d v e rt i s e i n


call Liz Miranda (832) 878-1255 o r e - m a i l at : e l i za b e t h . m i r a n da @ya ho o . com


C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9

NHPO Announces Leadership Institute
by Elizabeth Miranda The National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) and Houston Community College have joined forces to create the NHPO Leadership Institute, a program designed for individuals to become effective leaders, organizers, and centers of influence. “We are now enrolling a limited number of emerging leaders for this new program,” states Ben Mendez, Founder and National Chairman of NHPO. He adds, “Non-profit organizations are important to the quality of life and economic development in our community. We need qualified leaders at all levels of non-profit organizations, yet there are few, if any, leadership development programs available in Houston. This is what prompted NHPO to create the NHPO Leadership Institute.” The first program offered by the NHPO Leadership Institute is entitled “Preparing the Leadership of Today and Tomorrow.” This Program is specifically designed for individuals who want to enhance their leadership and organizational skills. Individuals who may benefit from this program include new executive directors, program directors, volunteers, or board members. The program is intended for every kind of nonprofit organization, including small startup organizations. The classes will be taught by a variety of highly qualified professionals with extensive experience in their respective fields. “This leadership training course is specifically designed to help future leaders get ready for new challenges and responsibilities,’ states Mendez. “It will also benefit existing leaders enhance their leadership skills.” he adds. The program which will begin Saturday, January 24, 2009, will focus on building critical leadership skills and organizational abilities in areas such as: Leadership; Effective Communication; Team Building; Conducting Effective Meetings; Roberts’ Rules of Order; Starting a Non-Profit; and more. Mendez encourages members of all Hispanic community-based organizations to participate in this program. The cost for the twenty-week program is $1,500. For more information about this program, contact Ben Mendez at or 713-880-2626.

NHPO Leadership Institute
“Preparing the Leadership of Today & Tomorrow”

• Professional Development Course • Participants will receive Continuing Education Credits • Class Size is 15 Students • Classes begin Saturday, January 24, 2009 (through May 23, 2009) • Classes held every other Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (10 Classes) • Classes held at Houston Community College– Southeast Campus at 6815 Rustic • Cost is $1,500

• • • • • • • • • Leadership Latest Internet Collaboration Tools Effective Communication Influencing Others Team Building Conflict Management Time Management Conducting Effective Meetings Roberts’ Rules of Order

For additional information, please contact Ben Mendez at or 713-880-2626.

C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9


NHPO’s 5th Annual National Gala
The National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) hosted its 5th Annual National Gala this past November 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was another successful event for NHPO, thanks to Gala Committee Co-Chairpersons, Sonia Gonzales and Lisa Valentin.


C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9

TCCC’s Legacy of Excellence
18th Annual Willie Velasquez Gala a complete success
On October 24, Tejano Center for Community Concerns joined Telemundo Houston in hosting the 18th Annual Willie Velasquez Hispanic Excellence Awards at Brady’s Landing Restaurant in Houston’s historic East End. The event was held to honor four outstanding individuals who are continuing the Legacy of Excellence of Willie Velasquez within their individual fields: Ed C. Apodaca, Vice President, Student Services and Enrollment Management – Education Yolanda Black Navarro, Owner, Villa Arcos Restaurant – Community Service Jenny R. Castañeda, Owner, IdeaNet Communication – Business David Lopez, President and CEO, Harris County Hospital District – Health Local writer and actor Richard Reyes received the President’s Award and the Lifetime Achievement award went to civil rights leader Raul Yzaguirre, Sr. With attendees from throughout Houston whose ethnic backgrounds were as diverse as their occupations, the gala also served as a signal that life was finally returning to normal after Hurricane Ike. As some 500 guests arrived at Brady’s Landing, thoughts turned towards the purTejano Center gratefully acknowledges its agency contributors & gala sponsors:
Brown Foundation CapitalOne Bank Comcast JP Morgan Chase Bank, formerly WAMU Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); National Council of La Raza (NCLR) NeighborWorks America Perspectiva Raza Development Fund State Farm Insurance Wachovia Bank

(L to R) Richard Farias, Marcello Marini

pose of the gala: Continuing to build the legacy of Tejano Center. The event raised needed funds to benefit Tejano Center for Community Concerns and the Raul Yzaguirre School for Success. Even as the political atmosphere was thickening on a national scale with the impending presidential election, there was no sign of hostility between elected officials who represented both sides of the political fence. Among those in attendance was City of Houston Council Member James Rodriguez, who represented Mayor White and presented a proclamation; City Controller Annise Parker; Harris County Sheriff-Elect Adrian Garcia; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; Council Member Peter Brown; and HISD School Board Trustee Manuel Rodriguez. TCCC thanks our dedicated Gala Chair, Mary Muñoz, and her committee, for their tireless work and Telemundo Houston for collaborating with Tejano Center in presenting a truly excellent awards event.

Richard Farias (center) posses with VIPS at Gala

C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9


National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

Common Law Liability for Inadequate Security
By Carlos A. Peniche and Al Flores, Jr.
Many apartment complexes have a history of RECENCY: Recent acts of becoming favorite locations crime are a factor. Violent for criminal activity by virtue acts more than 2 years old of being so large and somehave little relevance to the times unregulated. Over the likelihood that a crime will years a number of crimes occur today unless they part have taken place and apartof an un-interrupted series ments and other business of violent crimes leading to locations have been routinely the present. sued for damages caused by criminals. Many of whom, FREQUENCY: One act of have no connection to the recent violence on a large apartment or business. property may not be enough Al Flores, Jr. Have you ever wonto suggest a crime trend. Mediator/Arbitrator dered about the legal basis Three recent acts of viofor holding a business or individual lence on a small lot probably would. liable for the criminal acts of a stranger? While I can’t speak for all 50 states, I SIMILARITY: The previous crime must can say that the great majority of states be similar. Property crimes, such as burglawill, under certain circumstances, allow ry of an automobile, auto theft and vandala business or person in control of a propism are not indicative that a violent crime erty to be legally liable for the criminal is going to occur. Domestic violence is not act of a third party. In this article I will indicative that a stranger is going to enter discuss the main case under the common the premises to commit a rape. law1 in Texas, which I believe to be typical of most states, in which such liability PUBLICITY: Unreported crime on the can be established. premises does not make crime foreseeThe general rule of law is that no able to the party in control of the premisone has a duty to prevent the criminal es. News coverage, flyers circulated acts of a third person2, see Greater within the immediate vicinity and actual Houston Transportation Co. v. Phillips, reports (such as “incident reports”) com801 S.W.2d 523, 525 (Tex. 1990). municated to the one in control of the However, under Timberwalk property create publicity, or notice, of Apartments, Partners, Inc. v. Cain, 972 the risk of crime. Interestingly, there curS.W.2d 749, 756 (Tex. 1998) a legal duty rently is no duty to go out and obtain the to take reasonable measures to reduce crime statistics for the area in which the the risk of criminal acts exists if certain property is located even though such stapreexisting factors are met which make tistics can be obtained at little or no cost it foreseeable that an unacceptable risk and with little effort. of harm from crime exists on the property. The Texas Supreme Court listed five There is not enough space to amplifactors with regard to previous crime fy further on these factors or to discuss which can create that legal duty and other circumstances which may create which can be summarized as follows: 1) exposure to legal liability to those in proximity; 2) recency; 3) frequency; 4) control of property. However, let it sufsimilarity; and, 5) publicity. fice to say that if a property owner or manager has notice that recently several PROXIMITY: The previous crime must acts of violent stranger to stranger crime have been at or near the property in queshave occurred at or near the property in tion. Crime in the same police beat is not question, it would be prudent for that sufficient. While “near” is not defined, I party to undertake reasonable measures would say across the street from, adjato reduce the risk that someone on that cent to or even within one block of the property will become a victim of a simiproperty in question is “near.” lar crime.
1 By common law, I mean official reported appellate decisions made over time by the courts in which legal principles are applied to specific fact situations from trial courts. Statutory law, which is the other major basis of law in our country, would be laws enacted by an authorized legislative entity. 2 Here I refer to people and businesses in general, not peace officers.

to the Newly Elected 2009 Board of Directors

Elizabeth Miranda Cecilia Hernandez Al Flores, Jr. Michelle Squair Suzie Kondylopoulos Bea Flores Johnny Granados (F) Yvonna Chavez (FB) President Vice Pres./Pres.Elect Compliance Officer Treasurer Secretary Membership Parliamentarian Immediate Past President Amerimax Insurance Bank of America The Flores Law Group LSI Title Agency, Inc., Baxter & Schwartz PC Valencia Professional Group MBM Realty Group Weichert, Realtors-Cote Group Rayburn & Associates

Arthur Marroquin Rosalinda Garcia Geovanny Tellez Lee Taylor Ed Pellon Mark Madrid Luis Sanchez Antonio Hernandez Marlene Garza Susana Denegre-Vaught Events Education Scholarship Luncheon Marketing & Media Newsletter Programs Reception Director Fund Development Website Re/Max Integrity CapitalOne Home Loans Wells Fargo Home Loans American Home Shield Ready Realty Co. Dave Ramsey Group Houston Realty Latinos Unidos Realty Re/Max Associates NE Hometrust Mortgage

Mortgage Loans Income Taxes Budget & Credit Counseling Notary Public

THE FLORES LAW GROUP A Professional Limited Liability Company 3401 Allen Parkway, Suite 101 Houston, Texas 77019 Telephone No (713) 522-6600 Facsimile No. (713) 522-6601 Email:


C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9

Quartz Countertops the New Worry-Free Alternative
(MS) — Consumers in the market for a premium countertop surface are discovering early in their search that quartz, and not granite, has become the highest rated and most popular option available. That’s because quartz countertops have emerged as the new worry-free, elegant alternative to high-maintenance granite for architects, designers and homeowners a like. They’re stronger than granite, require no resealing, are highly resistant to scratches and stains, and come in a huge variety of colors. In fact, Consumer Reports Magazine rated quartz as the top performer among countertop materials such as granite, ceramic tile, stainless steel, laminate, marble, limestone, and concrete when it came to resisting prime kitchen hazards such as stains, heat and scratches. According to the recent Freedonia Group Report on countertop industry trends, there has been a definite shift in the marketplace over the last few years as quartz has become the fastest growing market segment in the industry with 13 percent growth compared to granite’s five percent. Quartz surfaces are growing in popularity because they have the appearance of natural stone, but unlike granite, these surfaces never need to be sealed. Quartz is a nonporous material, which means it will not promote the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria. This is why leading brands such as HanStone Quartz surfaces are certified NSF 51 (with the National Sanitation Foundation). “HanStone quartz countertops have an aesthetic that can emulate the look of granite, but are also available in unique colors and surface effects not found in natural stone,” explained Mark Hanna, President of Leeza Distribution Inc., one of North America’s leading distributors of HanStone Fine Quartz Surfaces. “The benefit of quartz is that it doesn’t have any of the drawbacks associated with materials such as granite. WHAT IS QUARTZ? Quartz is silicon dioxide and it occurs as individual crystals and finegrained masses in a large variety of forms, patterns, and colors. It is naturally hard and scratch resistant. Most quartz countertops are manufactured with up to 93 percent quartz mixed with pigments and resins. This prescribed mixture results in a product that is non-porous, exceedingly durable, and more than twice as strong as granite. The top rated quartz surface in the industry by designers, architects and developers alike is HanStone, because it contains a higher quartz content than the norm and includes clear and multiple quartz colors, bringing greater depth, dimension and style to its surfaces. HanStone is also accredited with Greenguard environmental certification for low emitting products. The Greenguard certification is becoming an important requirement for consumers looking for premium countertops following recent news reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving increasing calls from radon inspectors and concerned homeowners about granite countertops emitting dangerous levels of radon and radiation. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. As a result more and more consumers are looking for healthier options for their countertops, such as HanStone for its Greenguard certification, to ensure their countertops emit low to no emissions of toxic chemicals into their home environment. More information on fine quartz surfaces is available at

C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9


Maximize Morale Around the Office
Managers can take several steps to encourage employees and boost morale around the office.
(MS) - Over the last 20 years, more and more Americans have grown dissatisfied with their jobs. According to the Conference Board, a business research organization, the number of dissatisfied workers has grown consistently over the last two decades. In the late 1980s, 61 percent of workers said they were satisfied with their jobs. Today, that figure is less than 50 percent. For managers, this can be an alarming figure, particularly when considering recent research suggests a direct link between profits and worker satisfaction. The more satisfied workers are, the research supports, the better the company does. So what’s a manager to do? There’s no magic wand to wave that can make an employee satisfied at work. Because each employee is different and companies both large and small tend to boast a diverse group of workers, it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy. However, there are steps managers can take in an effort to boost morale around the office.
SET A GOOD EXAMPLE: Managers are

don’t want to be told what to do, and the people they manage are no exception to those feelings. While some cases call for instruction and prioritizing, always be courteous when asking employees to do something. Most workers know what their job entails and what needs to get done, so instruction is often not even necessary. On the occasions where instruction is necessary, a “please” or “thank you” can go a long way to keeping morale high.

often in a difficult spot. A middle manager, for example, might not be involved in big decisions, but is involved in dealing with the people affected by those decisions. To make things go smoothly, a manager must set a good example. For instance, many offices boast summer Fridays, wherein Fridays during the summertime are half days. However, if the company recently had to lay workers off as a result of the economic crisis, perks such as summer Fridays might no longer be offered because there’s simply too much work and too few people to do it. Managers can set a good example by adhering to these rules, giving the impression that they’re part of the team, too, regardless of their job title. Workers often feel alienated when asked to adhere to rules that their bosses get to ignore. Keep spirits high by following the same rules as those working under you.
BE COURTEOUS: Managers typically

tend to feel a little competition never hurt anyone, and that’s true more often than not. However, competition and comparison are two different things. If you put two employees in a competition and both perform well, congratulate both, regardless of whose work might have been better. While it’s OK to recognize the one whose efforts proved extraordinary, it’s counterproductive to turn a competitive environment into one where employees feel as if they’re always being compared to one another. Managers are supposed to put workers into situations where they can thrive. Routinely comparing one worker to another is more likely to create animosity between coworkers than a positive environment where each person contributes positively in their own way.
RESPECT A VACATION OR OFF DAY AS JUST THAT: Thanks to cell phones, the

Internet and a host of other technological advancements, it’s now easier than ever to get in touch with employees who are out of the office. However, that doesn’t mean this should be the norm, especially when workers are on vacation or simply taking a personal day. Even for employees who are satisfied at work, being contacted on scheduled time away can give the impression that their time isn’t as valued as the company’s bottom line. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, let employees enjoy their time away from the office.

To A d v e rt i s e i n

call Liz Miranda (832) 878-1255 o r e - m a i l at : e l i za b e t h . m i r a n da @ya ho o . com


C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9

Weddings Quince_eras Anniversaries Private Parties

(832) 372-2755


Elvira Ocampo

Braceletes, Necklaces & Charms

Special Order Yours Today

Olga Diaz, Designer (832) 343-8831

Cakes by Celia

Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Cakes for any occasion. Cakes in any shape or character. You name it, we can make it.

David & Maria "Cris" Garza
Independent Associates

Small Business, CDLP & Group Benefits Specialists

Celia Diaz (713) 472-2226
Home Office




C A S A & L I F E S T Y L E M AG A Z I N E • J A N UA RY 2 0 0 9


To top