Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 1, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: Austin Bank keeps setting industry standards five years running

JACKSONVILLE — Austin Bank keeps taking the competition to the mat with superlative customer service. So much so, that the local institution was recently named one of 2013's Best Companies to Work for in Texas at the Texas Association of Business Awards dinner in Austin.

This is the fifth year Austin Bank has received this esteemed award, according to a news release.

This March 19 accolade comes from a program created in 2006 as a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and Best Companies Group.

Texas companies enter this two-part process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in Texas.  The 2013 list is comprised of 100 companies — all of which benefit the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses, the release states.

“Austin Bank is especially proud to receive this honor because it came from the input of our employees,” explained Jeff Austin III, Vice Chairman of the Board, in the release.  “The success of our bank has been built by a wonderful team of dedicated, professional employees.”

The goal of bank officials in this instance is to provide the best possible workplace environment — for instance, every employee is encouraged to continue learning and developing their career and to become involved in their local community.

To inquire further about Austin Bank, visit www.austinbank.com. For the Best Companies to Work for in Texas program, visit www.bestcompaniestx.com.

THREE FOR ONE — WHAT A BARGAIN!

 Apparently, three times is the charm.

Three — as in "One, Two, THUH-REE" — local Chambers of commerce recently pooled resources to welcome an awards and engraving business to town. Enthusiastic representatives from Bullard, Jacksonville and Rusk all took part in this ceremonial and unusual ribbon cutting.

So. It appears congratulations are in order for, well, “Congratulations!” — the engraving and decoration store recently opened by Eric and Kathleen Stanfill.

The Stanfills are very well known in this corner of East Texas as the owners of the former Larissa House Restaurant and LakeSide Self Storage, both Jacksonville mainstays.

In a news release, Kathleen Stanfill explained this new business began when her husband discovered a former Jacksonville Trophy business was for sale.

“By the time we realized what the equipment involved in the sale was capable of, we were all in!” she said. “The technology used today to create traditional trophies and awards is just phenomenal. We can intricately cut paper for custom invitations. We can engrave an old piece of grandpa’s barn with grandma’s recipe or personalize just about anything.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony revolved around exploring the new business as well as registering for door prizes and attempting to guess how many trophy figures were contained in a large clear pedestal. The Stanfills say they are looking to serve the needs of local organizations and sports leagues as well as schools and municipalities with their new business.

“We shop local and encourage others to do the same,” Eric Stanfill said. “Apparently, this industry went through quite an ordeal when online capabilities for ordering trophies and plaques emerged. But what we’ve found is that you can’t substitute a supplier hundreds of miles away with someone who’s willing to make sure you get those last few trophies you needed at the Eleventh Hour. We’re all about the service and the local aspects of the business.”

“Congratulations!” is located inside a spacious new showroom just south of Jacksonville off FM 2138. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — although the owners say they willing to meet clients whenever the need arises.

To inquire, contact the store at 903-586-5887 or email them at Design@CongratsAwards.com.

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