Calling Houston’s Youth: Learn to Lead

Summer Workshop Houston2016 Leadership for Teens Summer Workshops

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Farah Lalani
farah@starlightcommunication.com

HOUSTON, TEXAS – As the act of innovating has evolved, so too have the innovators. BuildMyIdea.org is one such organization that focuses on the innovators, but a specific kind – the young ones. The organization seeks to engage and empower students between the ages of 12–18 through social and technological resources to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and service.

“We recognize students as change makers, social innovators and leaders,” said BuildMyIdea.org Founder Ryan Makhani. “Today’s youth are the collective potential for our future and will eventually make all the important decisions in existing and forth-coming industries.”

Back by popular demand for the second year, Leadership for Teens is a one-day workshop for 12-18 year olds packed with interactive and reflective activities designed to inspire teens to take charge of their lives and make education, career and personal choices that are in tune with their passion, strengths and purpose.

But this year, it has quadrupled! “To keep group sizes small and give personalized attention to each participant,” said Makhani, “the same workshop is offered on four dates and two locations.”

The Leadership for Teens workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on June 18, 19, 25 and 26. Participants can choose any one of the four dates. The venue for June 18 and 19 workshop is sponsored by Cowork Lab located in the Heights area and June 25 and 26 venue is sponsored by Office in America located in Southwest Houston.

To open up the dialogue, BuildMyIdea.org is also offering, “Raising Innovators,” a free one-hour session for parents of teens, at the Microsoft Store in Galleria Mall Houston.

“Our sponsors share similar values when it comes to leadership and purposeful learning,” said Makhani. “It was only natural to collaborate with these great organizations to have a part in creating Houston’s future leaders.”

Taught by the founder himself, this program is tailored for motivated teens who want to explore their strengths, passions and leadership abilities. “We see an opportunity for guiding students in how to explore learning and leadership that is beyond formal schooling,” said Makhani. “Through a transformative process, we hope to stimulate students to develop their strengths and see value in themselves and others.”

In his article featured on the Huffington Post, Makhani talked about the popular success formula that students often follow, but end up living “comfortable yet unfulfilling lives.” The “so-called” success formula goes something like this: Good Grades + Good College + Good Job = Success.

Not getting caught up with the popular success formula is in essence what BuildMyIdea.org is about. And Leadership for Teens workshop is on track to inspire new ideas and creativity among Houston’s youth.

For more information about Leadership for Teens Workshop or to register, visit BuildMyIdea.org/LFT.

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A Bold Plan to Transform the Nation’s Education System

Houston, TX—Do American education leaders have the drive—the “eye of the tiger” necessary to make difficult transformational changes?

“I think they do, but they don’t have a methodology to make the transformation,” says Dr. Jack Grayson, founder and chairman of American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) based in Houston.

APQC Education, the education arm of the 35-year-old non-profit, has launched a $44 million plan to transform the nation’s education system. The collective plan consists of 10 interrelated projects that must happen in order for the system to truly transform.

Recalling a known tendency, Grayson says, “If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you will get what you always got. We need an entire national transformation plan—or we will fail in our role as a world leader.”

And he wants to do this within the next 5 years.

“Ambitious—yes,” he says, “Impossible—absolutely not!”

Opponents to this plan often rely on educational reforms that are heavily based on inputs or outcomes—a thought entirely opposite of what Grayson and his organization advocates.

“While inputs and outcomes are both important, the missing link is an essential focus on the middle—the processes,” says Grayson.

The fundamental methodology guiding Grayson’s bold plan is not a big secret.

The vision to transform the U.S. education system is driven by Process and Performance Management (PPM). Yes, PPM—a leadership approach that promotes effectiveness and efficiency by linking process measures to performance alias outcomes. The key premise is that processes such as teacher hiring, professional development, or curriculum alignment must improve in order to improve outcomes such as graduation rates, test scores, or dropouts.

As Grayson always says, “In order to improve outcomes, you must first focus on improving the key processes that generate outcomes.”

Formerly the U.S. chairman of Price Commission under President Nixon, Grayson speaks with experience when he says, “Our plan is not dreamy, wishful, untested, or a theoretical policy—APQC has 35 years of research and direct field experience to carry out this plan.”

For more information on APQC Education’s Transformation Plan or to interview Dr. Jack Grayson, founder and chairman of APQC, please contact Farah Lalani at flalani@apqc.org or 713-685-4632.

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Do You Manage by Process?

By Dr. C Jackson Grayson

1. Do you have maps of all your key processes? Are the maps drawn, updated, and used to guide process improvement?

2. Does your process map include cross-functions that are affected by your processes or which affect you?

3. Do you measure process performance?  What measures do you use? Cycle time?  Cost effectiveness?  Staff productivity? Process efficiency? Do you track these measures over time?

4. Do you compare your processes to other schools or districts?  Do you benchmark yourself against them?

5. Do you have people (process owners) whose processes cross department lines?

6. If you have process owners, do they have enough resources, authority, and responsibility to manage the process effectively?

7. Do you use process improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma or Knowledge Management for analysis and problem solving?

8. Do you have senior leaders in the school or district who manage the process owners and resolve conflicts among departments?

9. Do you have an explicit change strategy to move from a functionally based organization to one managed largely by processes?

10. Are “customers” and/or “suppliers” to the process involved in the process flow?

If you answered “No” to most of these, you are not engaged in process management. If you answered “Yes” to most or all, congratulations and please email flalani@apqc.org. I would love to know who you are.– Dr. C. Jackson Grayson

Over 3 decades ago, Dr. C. Jackson Grayson started American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), one of the world’s leading proponents of business benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management research.

With the same passion for helping organizations improve, Jack is now taking Process Performance Management (PPM), measurement tools, and best practices to the education sector through APQC Education. His vision is not only to transform the nation’s education system, but also to empower.

Keep up with Jack’s blog and his work in Transforming Education

Follow Jack on Twitter @CJackGrayson

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Airline’s Unusual PR Effort: Effective, Economical, and Innovative

Finnair flight attendants turned into entertainers as they took over the aisles on Wednesday’s overnight Helsinki to Delhi flight to celebrate India’s Republic Day, celebrated annually on January 26.

Passengers on Flight 21 were treated to a surprise Bollywood style dance performed by the Finnair crew uploaded to the airline’s YouTube channel.

Starlight Communication deems this as an extraordinary public relations effort that generated intended publicity and put Finnair under a positive limelight.

“It was effective, economical, and innovative,” says Farah Lalani, PR & Media Editor at Starlight Communication.

While Finnair’s effort is definitely loud, it isn’t the first airline to introduce dancing flight attendants. A series of “dancing flight attendants” videos have hit the web in recent years. Previously, Cebu Pacific received some criticism after they made waves with their dancing safety demonstrations. The opposing groups said that that stereotyping of flight attendants as entertainers has a negative and a sexist impact in the minds of the public. Although Cebu Pacific received some heat for their safety demonstrations, the positive response far exceeded the negativity.

“Over ten million YouTube viewers on dancing flight attendant videos should be reason enough to continue making flights more fun and less uptight,” says Lalani. “While every publicity effort will inevitably attract some opposition, such ground breaking PR efforts should be encouraged.”

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The Fort Bend Education Foundation’s International Festival Goes Live

ifest Live 2011 Committee

Mark your calendars for “iFest Live 2011” International Festival & Vendor Fair scheduled for Saturday, November 5 at Sugar Land Town Square. This fantastic event celebrates the tremendous diversity of cultures in our school district and county by highlighting its many unique traditions, arts, and foods as well as increases awareness for the Foundation and its mission.
In addition to the diverse country booths, the “iFest Live” will be going live this year with country tableaus presented on stage throughout the day showcasing various traditions, culture and modern day accomplishments via music, dance and fashion shows. The wonderful talent of Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) students will also be entertaining the audience between tableaus with school group performances.

The international market is a new addition this year too where you will be able to shop for unique cultural items from around the globe.

Any individuals, country groups or vendors interested in representing their country should contact the Fort Bend Education Foundation at 713.634.1110 or kelly.metzger@fortbendisd.com. Booths are limited and will be assigned on a first-come basis.

For more information regarding the foundation, visit www.fortbendisd.com/foundation.

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Starlight Communication Welcomes Twenty Two Fifty Interiors

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: farah@starlightcommunication.com 
or 832.356.8071

 

Starlight Communication welcomes Twenty Two Fifty Interiors to its growing list of creative small businesses. 

Appreciating beauty is a norm in our society. Beautiful people, beautiful arts, beautiful views, and beautiful objects are always desired and praised. However, finding true beauty is an art in itself. Opportunities to discover beauty happens every day at Twenty Two Fifty Interiors. This Sugar Land Town Square based product showroom and design studio features eclectic elements for timeless interiors.

“Customers can expect to find a vast collection of hand-crafted items by skilled artisans,” says Teena Caldwell, Designer and Owner at Twenty Two Fifty. “We carry exclusive pieces that I have carefully selected from all over the world.”

In the designing business for over twenty years, Teena serves her clients with passion and drive for design. Teena is a firm believer in mixing and matching a variety of design themes and ensuring that it all flows together. Very typical of her designs is to highlight traditional spaces with contemporary arts and accessories. A good example of this art is her own home in Sweetwater. Please see the feature story on her house covered by Fort Bend Lifestyles and Home magazine.

For media interviews with Teena Caldwell contact Starlight Communication at 832.356.8071 or email farah@starlightcommunication.com.

To see the design and content writing work done by our team, visit www.twentytwofiftyinteriors.com.

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Starlight Communication Engages the Public and Announces the Company’s New Logo

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: farah@starlightcommunication.com 

or 281.515.2213

Starlight Communication recently announced its new logo, which has the full company name fixed with a light tower and a star on top. In February this year, Starlight initiated a campaign to select a new logo for the company based on public votes. As an organization always open to change, this decision was taken to better connect with Starlight’s clients and readers.

To steer away from any internal bias, Starlight gave an outsider who is familiar with the company’s work the critical responsibility to redesign the new logo. Starlight made the selection of its new logo after a public vote process, which engaged the public and turned them into decision makers for the company. The vote process included four logo choices from which to select the best. Spokesperson for Starlight Communication said, ”We want the new logo to be a reflection of what our clients and readers perceive us as, so we can better connect with those outside our little bubble.”

As of today, the new logo has been announced and is an official part of the company’s website. The website has also been subtly redesigned to blend in with the new logo, while keeping intact its main recognizable features. Soon, all communication materials will incorporate the new logo. 

For more information visit www.starlightcommunication.com

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In the Business of Making Dream Homes a Reality

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Starlight Communication

 

Some people just do business, while others make dreams come true. Such is the case for B & A Flooring and Remodeling, a Houston-based shop that is in the business of making dream homes a reality.

“Our goal is to earn repeat business and win over referrals from happy customers,” according to a staff member at B & A Flooring and Remodeling.

B & A’s showroom located on 6452 Highway 6 has an excellent array of fine tiles, wood, laminate, carpet, granite and other flooring products in a variety of styles and colors.

From a simple bathroom project to granite installations, flooring, painting, roofing, lighting, and drywall– B & A does it all. It is a one stop shop for complete remodeling that begins with a dream and ends with a newly remodeled home. The friendly staff, affordable price, quality work, and easy financing can win over any one in the market to remodel.

“We never thought our home could be as beautiful as it is today,” said a Sugar Land-based client. “We are very pleased with the service and quality work we got from B & A Flooring and would recommend this company to anyone looking to renovate their home.”

Please visit www.baflooring.com for more information and browse through their idea gallery and interactive virtual kitchen for design ideas.

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