Elva Roy opened the meeting with a few brief announcements:
Jim Bates. It didn't occur to Elva to take a photo of our first speaker, Jim Bates, until it was too late. That's unfortunate because Jim is such an engaging speaker and he really hit it off with the attendees when he shared his experiences as Board President of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of North Texas, a non-profit. http://www.fcant.org He provided lots of information about what we should expect when a loved one dies and when we're in charge of making final arrangements (plan now, don't wait until someone dies). He gave advice about what funerals should cost, talked about green (natural) burials and gave the locations of the closest "green" cemeteries to Arlington. While providing important and practical information, he had us in stitches multiple times. People were very interested in picking Jim's brain and he was happy to let them do it. Because Jim went to school in Arlington, he knew some of the people in the audience which was fun for him and for them (since he now lives in Watauga and doesn't have a reason to come to Arlington much any more). I have served on the Board with Jim for the last five years and with Jim as my mentor (including traveling to Austin with him to testify before the Texas Funeral Commission one time...but he goes there 4-5x each year), plus doing a lot of self-study, Elva has become an informed consumer when it comes to the funeral industry. At the end of the meeting, a crowd formed around Jim and they were still talking when Elva left at 3:30 pm.
Ryan Hulla. As Coordinator of UTA's Healthy Living and Longevity program for seniors, Ryan told the group about the opportunity to participate in the free program at UTA which helps keep older adults fit and healthy. The program is available for seniors aged 60+ and consists of gentle exercises which work on all of the muscles in your body. Ambassadors member Liz Blunt was kind enough to demonstrate some of the exercises which participants do during classes since she is a "regular" in these classes. A doctor's permission slip is required. The program is held in the air-conditioned UTA "Maverick Activity Center" which is on Cooper Street. Parking is free in the parking garage next to the MAC. They are doing pre-testing this week and next week but Ryan said registration is open most any time after that as well. More information and registration is available by contacting Ryan on his cell phone at (469) 734-4541 or by e-mailing Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ann Foss. Our third speaker was Ann Foss, Principal Planner in the City of Arlinton's Office of Strategic Initiatives. Ann came to give us an update on the City's new-ish "ride share" program known as "Via." Some of the interesting facts shared by Ann: