Fort Worth Business Press, June 2, 2014 Vol. 26, No. 22 - Page 33

fwbusinesspress.com | June 9 - 15, 2014 Fort Worth, UNTHSC renew West Nile partnership The city of Fort Worth and the University of North Texas Health Science Center have renewed their mosquitosurveillance partnership to prevent the spread of West Nile virus. Under the agreement announced June 3, graduate students and a scientist from UNTHSC trap and collect mosquitos from more than 60 sites across the city. The mosquitos are then tested for WNV infection at labs at UNTHSC and Tarrant County Public Health. Based on test results, medical entomologist and UNTHSC assistant professor of environmental and occupational health Joon-Hak Lee, makes weekly recommendations to city officials about whether any intervention methods or precautionary measures should be considered. “The weekly snapshot of West Nile virus activity gives us a real-time look at the situation and the opportunity to stop any potential problems,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “We have a program in place that allows us to be proactive and ensures that we get the most accurate and timely information to our residents as quickly as possible.” The city plans to continue its public outreach by communicating with community leaders, neighborhood associations and door-to-door canvassing. Lee said the prevention and control program can be used as a model for other cities in Texas. At the height of the virus in 2012, the city had 16 positive mosquito pools and 81 human infections. Last year, there were five positive pools and six human infections. – Betty Dillard Renfro Foods says ‘Good day mate’ Fort Worth-based Renfro Foods announced June 3 it has signed a distribution agreement with Watersteps Ptdy Ltd., a family-owned and operated organic and specialty foods company that supplies all of Australia, to sell 10 of its Mrs. Renfro’s salsas and sauces in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. “This is a great expansion for us,” said Renfro Foods President Doug Renfro, and gives credit to company Vice President Becky Renfro Borbolla, who connected with Watersteps at last year’s Anuga’s international food fair in Germany. “Watersteps has done a wonderful job introducing us to Australia, and we are excited about the future.” Australia is the sixth international market for the 74-year-old family business, having products already in place in Canada, the Caribbean, England, Scotland and Spain. In addition to its international distribution, Renfro Foods’ salsas, sauces and relishes, including more than 30 Mrs. Renfro’s products, are found in leading supermarkets, gourmet foods stores and gift shops in all 50 states. –Betty Dillard Sohmer retiring from BRIT in July S.H. Sohmer, chief executive of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth for more than 20 years, will retire July 31, BRIT said June 5. Harry Bartel, BRIT’s chairman, said Sohmer’s tenure said “BRIT has grown and found its place among the great botanical research institutes of the world” during Sohmer’s time as CEO. “His passion, experience and leadership have been instrumental to BRIT’s success, and I know he’ll be looking forward to many more interesting opportunities.” Patricia Harrison, BRIT’s senior vice president and education director, will serve as interim director during the search for Sohmer’s successor, BRIT said. Among his duties for the nonprofit, Sohmer has been largely responsible for fundraising. “His invaluable accomplishments have put the institute on solid financial ground for many years to come,” Bartel said. “My life’s dream has been to create and lead a botanical organization of international renown,” Sohmer said. “As a scientist, you are always looking for that one-in-a-million discovery. Well, in 1993, I made that discovery at BRIT. Since then, I have devoted my life to growing it into a research and educational organization that is known and respected around the world.” BRIT’s board said it will name Sohmer director emeritus and present him with the 2015 International Award of Excellence in Conservation. – Scott Nishimura courtesy photo oversee the daily flight operations of the newly merged airline. American officials did not mention the plan during its June 4 annual meeting in New York. Aside from the typical voting for board candidates common to annual meetings, many American retirees registered their displeasure with pending changes to the company’s employee travel policy. – Robert Francis >> overheard “After 40 years working for this District – as a teacher, coach, administrator, and finally as superintendent – it’s nearly impossible to summarize all I am feeling right now. So I am going to choose to focus on one overwhelming feeling – gratitude.” Walter Dansby Former Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent, in a letter to the community on the Fort Worth ISD website. “Previous EPA regulations have threatened to eliminate Texas jobs and stifle energy production, an indu