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Toasts of the Town
"Three…Two…One…Happy New Year!"
Cindy Boykin & Heather Darrow

As the second hand sweeps from 11:59 p.m. to 12 a.m., confetti falls, champagne flows, and crowds cheer. Even though it’s just a tick of the clock, the start of a new year incites jubilation because we are filled with optimism and the prospect of new beginnings. We reflect on what has passed, good and bad, and then set our sights forward.    In bidding farewell to 2010 and welcoming 2011, we asked 11 notable individuals from all sectors of our community to share their reflections and 11 New Year’s resolutions. To that end, we’d like to add our own resolution: To continue being a positive voice in Plano and Collin County, to endeavor to share your stories on our pages, and to eat chocolate only on days that end with “y.”    Here’s to a spectacular 2011!

Larry Flannery Larry Flannery
Vice President, ARTA Travel

“My number-one resolution
is to stay out of trouble.”

“New Year’s to me is huge. The reason is, I grew up in a non-affluent family; we never owned a car or house. In my family for New Year’s, if you had money in your hand at midnight, you would have money throughout the year. When I was a kid, my mother snuck in and put a nickel or a dime in my hand. I left home at 18, got drafted into the service, and I’ve never not had money in my hand at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I always call my kids and say, ‘I don’t know where you are, but don’t forget to put money in your hand at midnight.’ I guarantee you that on New Year’s Eve I will have money in my hand.

“The fortunate thing about being in Plano and Texas is that what we think is bad, is good in Detroit and Minnesota. I wouldn’t live anywhere else for any reason. The schools, amenities, and people are good, and I am almost to the point where my taxes are frozen. At 65 they will freeze property taxes.”

Tom Muehlenbeck Tom Muehlenbeck
City Manager of Plano

“My New Year’s resolution for Plano is the sincere wish that the economy improves, unemployment drops, and the citizens of Plano feel comfortable in recognizing all the services provided by the city.

“My wife, Myrtle, and I are going to take the opportunity to do some traveling. I have a whole bucket list that we will do together. We want to expand our horizons while we still have our health.”

“Twenty-three years ago I started working in Plano. I am retiring January 31. Plano has some of the most devoted and conscientious employees I have worked around. This is my seventh city, so I have comparisons. We have the best management team. We have excellent leadership from elected officials. The employee success and getting the job done is what I am most proud of. The recognition of Plano in 1994 as being an All-America City brought the community together. We tried for seven years to get that award. We were known as the Susan Lucci of the award.”

Alice Hobbs Alice Hobbs
Executive Director, Plano Symphony Orchestra

“The Plano Symphony has enriched my life, and I think it is a real asset to our community. I am proud to have been a part of it, and I know it will continue to do great things. My New Year’s resolution for the symphony is that it continues to grow its audience and educational outreach opportunities. My personal New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with family and finally see more of the USA. My retirement will probably be early 2011. My husband and I both enjoy warm climates. We will plan our trips accordingly, to enjoy 75-degree weather. National parks are big on our list.”

“The symphony had a great 2010. Our concerts were sold out and well received. We had a terrific audience, great performances, and we did a lot of education. Fundraising continues to be a challenge, but we finished our fiscal year in the black. Plano is a vibrant city with so much activity. It’s a great place to live.”

Cary A. Israel Cary A. Israel
District President, Collin College

“I believe that good things happen to people who earn them, and I resolve to help more students earn college degrees, so our country can push to a new level of innovation. I also hope that the new year brings our community the blessings of happiness, good health, and inspired leadership.”

“2010 was a monumental year for Collin College, with major milestones such as the opening of our new university center and growth of the student body to 51,000+ annually. As we close the book on the college’s 25th anniversary year and delve into 2011, I could hope for nothing more than peace on Earth, prosperity and comfort for every person affected by recession, disaster or personal tragedy.”

David McCall David McCall
Attorney, Community Leader,
Lifelong Planoite

“No Brussels sprouts, no drive-in movies and no sky diving. I like to make resolutions I can keep. People need to think this is a new chapter coming up and ask what can I do, be thankful for victories, cognizant of defeats, and think how you might make this coming year a better one. I hope everybody has a good one.”

“2010 was better than 2009. I am hopeful that 2011 will be better for Plano and Texas. I think we are lucky to be in Texas. We will have a slow recovery in Texas, but at least we will have a recovery.”

Melissa Norris Melissa Norris
Junior League of Plano, President

“I hope to read, relax, maybe I’ll cook more…but that probably won’t happen until I finish my term as president! And I hope the league will continue to grow, maintain its strong reputation in the community, and always improve.”

“Junior League had a good year in 2010. Although fundraising continues to be a challenge for nonprofits, we’re actually in a growth stage—our new member class is larger than before. And we introduced a new project in McKinney called the Summer Lunch Box program. Junior League members (working with the North Texas Food Bank) distributed free lunches Monday through Friday to about 200 children to fill the summer gap. One grand-father, responsible for his grandkids, said having these meals meant being able to afford air conditioning in his apartment. So, we were involved in a lot of meaningful programs in 2010.”

Camille Ussery Camille Ussery
ViewPoint Bank Richardson, President
Incoming Chairman of Plano Chamber of Commerce

“Making each day count is most important in my life, making sure I make time for the people and things I love and enjoy the most.”

“2010 was a year of opportunity and challenges. What carries us forward is how we choose to deal with those opportunities and challenges. History will show that people stepped up and found ways to be innovative. I feel a sense of community with Plano. It is a community of passion, passion for business or arts or the quality of life Plano can provide. As incoming chairman of the Plano Chamber of Commerce, I’ve had the opportunity to work with incredible business professionals that have a great sense of passion for the community and helping others. We want to continue to develop those relationships that are critical to maintaining our quality of life.”

Phil Dyer Phil Dyer
Mayor of Plano
Legacy Texas Bank, President

“To be grateful for what we have and to work to keep Plano a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“2010 has been a difficult year for the citizens of Plano, city staff, everyone. Despite the challenges, we have been in the best place in the country to weather the storm. The economy is improving, but we have a ways to go. Again, we are in the right place to see the upturn. As always, our caring citizens have reached out to help those in need.”

Kate Livingston Kate Livingston
SMU-in-Plano Campus Director

“My dad, who moved to Texas after spending 33 years in the Navy, always said, ‘If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right.’ In spite of the turbulent economy, I want to have more fun and take pleasure in small, everyday things, like hanging out with my husband, family and friends (and encouraging those I know who are still unemployed). So Dad’s mantra shall be MY goal for 2011!”

“My husband and I both finished grad school at SMU in 2010—he earned his MBA in May and I completed a master’s degree in Dispute Resolution in Octtober. (Both programs are conveniently offered at the SMU-in-Plano campus!) So after exercising our brains for the past two years, it’s now time to focus on other parts of our lives. I’m looking forward to reading novels instead of textbooks, working out again and losing 10 pounds (really!), tackling some home renovation projects, doing more community/volunteer work, enjoying the variety of cultural activities in Plano and Dallas, and taking some trips.”

Scott Sams Scott Sams
CBS 11 News This Morning co-anchor

“In 2011, I resolve to spend more time with my family and friends. To faithfully attend church and read my Bible. To shave three strokes off my golf score by playing at least once a month and hitting at least one bucket of balls a week. To watch all of the James Bond movies at least three more times. And to spend even more time with my best friend and wife, Lisa.”

If anyone has a trained eye on events past and present, it’s Scott Sams and other members of the news media. Covering stories from environmental disasters to the changing political landscape, news from Wall Street to stories from Main Street, it must be a challenge to keep an enjoyable balance and healthy perspective on life. We asked Scott for ways he hopes to accomplish this goal.

Jeffrey Canose Jeffrey Canose, MD MHA
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, President
Plano Chamber of Commerce Business Executive of
the Year

“My resolution for 2011, when we proudly celebrate our 20th anniversary of exemplary service to this wonderful community: To begin each day with a prayer, asking God to use our hearts, heads, and hands to provide the absolute best in care and compassion to every single patient that we have the privilege to serve.”

“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano had another great year in 2010. We were the winner of a national award for excellence in patient safety, designated a Level III Trauma Center, a Cycle III Chest Pain Center, a Baby-Friendly Hospital, and our patient satisfaction scores consistently rank us in the top 10 percent in the country. These great things continue to happen at Texas Health Plano because we have an awesome team of doctors, nurses, professional staff, and volunteers who have a consuming passion for excellence. They also have a profound belief that the power of faith works within us to enhance the healing ministry we provide.”

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