Ampersand Sallies

Brief Journeys into Two or More I’m happy about our new blog name.  Admittedly, “Ampersand Sallies” is a bit oblique.  But bear with me.  The ampersand has held a special place for Brooks & Associates over the years.  Obviously it holds our name together – it also symbolizes our very business model.  That is, a federation of top performers, all experts in their fields, coming together to deliver excellence to Brooks’ customers.  Take away that ampersand, and you take away the magic and leave us stuck with the very highly ordinary agency that has to make do with whatever talent is on the payroll at the moment. No thanks! Ampersands are so inclusive!  They never say, “yeah, but”.  They always say “and”.  And that, too, is perfect for our philosophy.  It stands for embracing challenges – even if they...

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Hitting the Ground Running

The story of Clemente Rodriguez Entrant:  2013 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon Por favor lea la versión en Español abajo.  By Virginia Brooks, Founder & Principal Note: This story appeared in the following publications. The Mineola Monitor – December 4, 2013 LatinaLista.com – December 4, 2013 Clemente Rodriguez spends his work days 30 feet above ground installing, maintaining and repairing high voltage electric lines. It’s before dawn and Clemente Rodriguez hits the ground running.  He pulls on his work clothes and heads out to meet his power line crew somewhere in East Texas to start a 10-hour day of demanding and sometimes dangerous work.  Clemente is a lineman, and he spends much of his days 30 feet above ground in a bucket truck or climbing power poles to install, maintain and repair high voltage electric lines. It’s a rigorous job.  One that...

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The Luckiest Big Sister of the Year

By Virginia Brooks Great news!  My superhero just won me an award! For the past three years I have been matched as a Big Sister to Miguel D., a 10-year-old boy who lives in Sherman, Texas.  Miguel and I came together through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Grayson County, near where I live.  I came into the program expecting a Little Sister, but once I met Miguel, the deal was done. Officially, I’m supposed to be Miguel’s mentor.  We get together weekly to spend time together, talk over things and have some fun.  And fun we do have – lots of it!  For those of you who have forgotten what it’s like to hang out with a grade school kid, I’d highly recommend looking into BBBS in your area.  These past three years I’ve been to Summer...

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B&A in the Community: Bridges Out Of Poverty

Sherman, Texas, like many other U.S. cities, is facing the challenges of changing demographics, an aging population, the loss of clean manufacturing jobs increasingly replaced by lower paying, part-time retail positions, and the persistent problems associates with substance abuse. In search of answers, 23 people from Sherman, representing the city government, non-profit social service agencies, the school system and local churches came together recently in search of aha! moments and holistic answers to alleviating poverty in the area. Hosted by MasterKey Ministries, a local educational outreach providing support to Hispanic children and adults, the all-day workshop, facilitated by Virginia Brooks and co-facilitator Stephanie Tyson from McKinney, was  based on the “Bridges Out of Poverty” framework developed by Dr. Ruby Payne of aha! Process. Key take-aways from the interactive session included the following: Poverty is the extent to which individuals go...

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Blessed People Bless People at the Notre Dame School

By Virginia Brooks, Founder and Principal A lot of people in Dallas were blessed last week – and from a most unexpected source. More than 100 students from Notre Dame School, Dallas’ only independent school specifically designed to meet the needs of students with intellectual disabilities, fanned out across the Metroplex in a day devoted to service to others.  Celebrating their school’s 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee, these boys and girls — sporting tee shirts that proudly proclaim “No limits. Just Possibilities.” — pitched in to pack food boxes for the needy, sort shoes and clothes for ministries to the poor, decorate birthday cards for the elderly, and assemble surgical soap kits and hospital admission packets.  Another 50 students stayed at the school to prepare hygiene packs for the homeless. They traveled in buses to seven locations, blessing the staffs,...

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The Brooks & Associates Journey: 13 Years and Counting

By Virginia Brooks, Founder & Principal Nothing is quite so gratifying – and humbling – as updating a company web site after 13 years in business.  When we set out in 2000 to launch Brooks & Associates Public Relations, little did we know what treasures lay ahead.  True, we have hit our share of potholes and taken some detours along the way, but all that pales in comparison to the warm and wonderful people we have had the privilege of coming to know. It started with our team – those fresh young faces who were willing to take a chance on a startup PR company located out in the middle of nowhere in North Texas.  With blind faith, they came alongside to make this miracle happen, and I can see their footprints everywhere I turn even today.  Lovely, bright,...

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