Texas wants to know more about your internet access

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 The Texas Broadband Listening Tour
will visit Beaumont next Thursday, March 31, at 2 p.m. in the Jefferson Theatre at 345 Fannin St. in downtown Beaumont.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is conducting the statewide listening tour to hear from Texans about internet access and to collect input that will be used to develop the state’s first broadband plan. This information will help the newly established Broadband Development Office study how to close the digital divide in Texas.

The tour consists of 12 public forums held at different locations around the state. These events are free, and everyone is encouraged to attend to share their thoughts on broadband services in Texas.

Texans who cannot attend one of the tour events can also fill out an online survey at the website of the state comptroller at comptroller.texas.gov Survey responses will be collected until May 2.

 Gwendolyn Lavalais
, MD, has been named the new Medical Director of the Gift of Life. She will provide oversight of the program’s medical services, coordinate client care and support the mission of assisting vulnerable populations in Southeast Texas.

As a physician with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of Internal Medicine and Oncology, Dr. Lavalais has devoted her career to serving populations in need of critical care. She managed patient care, navigation and treatment at the Julie and Ben Rogers Cancer Institute before assuming the position of Medical Director at the Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center.

“I have always regarded Gift of Life as Southeast Texans’ vital safety net of care for medically underserved individuals,” Dr. Lavalais said. “The organization’s ‘no charge’ health care provides a critical bridge to essential cancer screenings and medical diagnoses for breast and prostate cancer. It is my blessing to participate in the provision of services for Gift of Life clients as we further the health and wellness of our communities.”

Dr. Lavalais has received the Beaumont Enterprise’s Reader’s Choice Award for Oncologist of the Year, as well as the Gift of Life “Shine a Light” Award, Gift of Life “Lifesaver Extraordinaire” Award and has been a Gift of Life “Angel Among Us” Honoree.

“We are exceptionally grateful for the lasting and positive impact Dr. Lavalais will make on our program in this new leadership role,” said Gift of Life Founder and Chair Regina Rogers. “Her extensive knowledge complemented by years of experience makes her well-positioned to direct our growth as we move closer towards our shared vision of a healthier, more vibrant community. With the guidance of Dr. Lavalais, our clients will receive the highest level of compassionate care and understanding of their unique circumstances.”

 The Mike Smith Auto Group
based in Beaumont has been named the first recipient of the 2021 Women in the Service Lane (WITSL) award. Ted Ings Fixed Ops Roundtable, the retail automotive industry’s fastest growing event, announced the award. Honorees are recognized for their efforts to recruit and retain a gender balance in their service advisor and management staff.

In an effort to balance out the customer base with the face of its dealership, Group 1’s Mike Smith Auto Group has been able to recruit and retain a gender balance in its adviser frontline that many dealerships have yet to achieve.

In 2021, The Fixed Ops Roundtable recognized several dealers and dealer group fixed ops departments that met the above diversity ratios. However, none of the dealers recognized came close to the ratios that the Group 1’s Mike Smith Auto Group registered. Out of the six stores, 50% or more of their advisor and service manager staffs are women.

“We’re fortunate to have a wonderful group of service department employees, and the fact that they’re women is fantastic in helping all of our customers will feel welcome, represented and comfortable immediately as they enter service,” said Krista St. Romain, Group 1 Automotive Market Director for the Gulf Coast and Beaumont.

Do you have a news item like this that your customers or clients need to hear about? A new manager or owner, a major change in your operations? Send it to [email protected] so we can spread the word!


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