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Karina Ramírez: North Texas State Fair & Rodeo earns marketing awards

The North Texas State Fair & Rodeo was named second overall in the state for its marketing efforts during the Texas Events Summit held Jan. 17-19 in San Antonio.

The Texas Association of Fairs and Events and the Texas Festivals & Events Association conducted the summit.

At this year’s competition, the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo not only won second overall but also received three first-place awards, five second-place awards and four third-place awards, according to a news release.

The fair won first in the categories of best outdoor billboard digital/vinyl advertising, best newspaper supplement (Denton Record-Chronicle — NTSFR tabloid) and best new media platform. The fair also received second-place awards for its photograph series, entertainment poster, pin or badge, color newspaper ad and website. The fair also earned third place for its brochure, black-and-white newspaper ad, T-shirt and new community promotion.

In a statement, executive director Glenn Carlton said he felt a sense of honor and accomplishment about the recognitions.

“The fair’s success in August and at the Texas Event Summit is due to the countless hours of hard work done by NTSFR executive assistant Nanci Kimmey, Barbara Hall, administrative assistant, the volunteers, sponsors, The Crouch Group and the participants,” he said. “Each year, these groups, along with the attendees, help create the tone and inspiration that makes the fair an unforgettable experience for all.”

Officials with the fair and rodeo added that each year, the nonprofit competes against numerous well-respected fairs across the state, almost four times its size. NTSFR attendance averages around 140,000, whereas most of the competitors average between 400,000 to 450,000 attendees, the news release said.

The Texas Association of Fairs and Events was formed in 1926 to provide inspiring leadership, create agriculture and education opportunities, and develop strategies that enhance and advance the fair and event industry, its website said.

Formed in 1984, the Texas Festivals & Events Association is a professional trade association for festival and event planners and the suppliers who provide them with goods and services, according to the Texas Events Summit website.

For more information, visit and

Two months before you have to pay your federal taxes to Uncle Sam, the Internal Revenue Service announced taxpayers can now file their returns using Free File, software that is available online.

The free service is for people who earned $57,000 or less last year, which is 70 percent of all taxpayers, a news release said.

For taxpayers who earned more, there are free online forms available. Both options allow people to file returns electronically and use direct deposit, which is the fastest way to get refunds. 

For more information, visit



Dave Ragan, senior financial planning specialists with Grunden Fi­nan­cial Ad­vi­sory Inc., re­cently received the Accredited In­vest­ment Fidu­ciary (AIF) de­signation from the Cen­ter for Fidu­ciary Stu­dies provided by Pennsylvania-based Fi360.

Ragan joins Ricky Grunden, founder of Grunden, as an AIF designee.

AIFA designees are the only recognized professionals trained to perform fiduciary assessments, which measure how well investment professionals are fulfilling the fiduciary duties required of them by the applicable investment legislation, case law and regulatory opinion letters, a news release said.

Ragan graduated from the University of North Texas in 2003 with a degree in finance. Last May, Ragan was promoted to senior financial planning specialist at Grunden. Prior to his promotion, Ragan served as a financial planning specialist for nine years.

Grunden Financial Advisory Inc. is an investment consulting and wealth management firm serving 112 clients and managing assets of $97 million.

The business is located at 2516 Lillian Miller Parkway in Suite 110.

Fi360 is the first full-time training and research facility for fiduciaries and conducts training programs at universities throughout the United States and abroad, the release said.

For more information, visit


Coming up

Aubrey 380 Area Chamber of Commerce will conduct its monthly networking luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Prairie House Restaurant, 10001 E. U.S. Highway 380 in Cross Roads.

Cost is $12 per person.

For more information, e-mail Donna Sims at

Herbert Austin, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration will be the featured speaker at the Denton Chamber of Commerce Quarter­ly Membership Luncheon scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn, 1434 Centre Drive.

Cost is $35.

For more information, e-mail

Attorney Leigh Hilton will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony of her new location, 924 N. Elm St., from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 28. Light refreshments will be served.

To make reservations, e-mail

The 19th annual School for Successful Ranching will take place March 21-23 during the Cattle Raisers Convention in Fort Worth.

The school will offer practical, hands-on training in the various business facets of ranching, including live demonstrations on resource management and animal handling at a local ranch, as well as classroom sessions on numerous topics including tax implications of the drought, herd rebuilding, making the transition from the workplace to full-time ranching, estate planning and more, a news release said.

Interested participants can register for the School for Successful Ranching on the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser Association’s convention website.

For more information, visit

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is