Posts tagged “jay socol

Podcast: How tourism can fuel business recovery

For the first time since the pandemic changed everything, I interviewed Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz. In spite of the local, state and federal funding put into the hands of local businesses, we still lost far too many.

So, now what?

In this episode of All Up In Your Business, Natalie talks about her dual role of supporting local businesses while aggressively working to bring in more jobs that diversify College Station’s economy. She also explains how her office’s brand-new tourism division aims to bring people to College Station at a time when there is still a reluctance to travel, attend events, and visit destinations.

This episode also features Economic Development Manager Aubrey Nettles, who is leading a holiday campaign to make College Station the Christmas destination in Texas, thanks in large part to a strategic partnership with Santa’s Wonderland. 

Nat finishes up with a few fun biz updates on things coming soon to College Station.

All Up In Your Business is available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube. Please subscribe, rate, and recommend!

Have a suggestion for a future topic or interview, or just want to say hi? Send to jsocol@cstx.gov  

 


About the Blogger Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!  


Happy 82nd anniversary, College Station!

By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications

Happy 82nd anniversary, College Station!

On Oct. 19, 1938, area residents overwhelmingly voted 271-39 to incorporate as a city after a petition was initiated several months earlier.

To that point, College Station had been the simple name of a train station mail stop since 1877, a year after a small, rural college opened its doors near the railroad tracks. But the members of the growing community dreamed of more.

Among the many fabulous finds in College Station’s Project HOLD (Historic Online Library Database) is imagery of that original visionary petition. You can see the envelope dated March 24, 1938, and the petition addressed to the Honorable County Judge of Brazos County, Texas, that references June 2, 1938.

The petition expressed the desire of the undersigned to call an election about incorporation. The unincorporated town, it read, “contains six hundred inhabitants or over…” An accompanying hand-drawn map of the “Proposed City of College Station” reflects “A. & M. Colledge [sic],” two rail lines, “New Hwy No. 6” (now Texas Avenue), “Zoo Lake,” and “Creamery.”

The signatures on the petition include many who became the first chosen and, later, elected leaders of this new city, including Binney, Jones, Gabbard, Langford, Long, Lipscomb, Orr, Munson, Quisenberry, Patranella, and Kemmerer.  

The documents are a reminder of the profound changes that can occur within a generation or two. In 1938, A. & M. College of Texas had 5,582 students. Today, enrollment at the flagship campus of Texas A&M University is 65,684, and College Station is the 20th fastest-growing city in the United States.

Other recent accolades for College Station include being among the top U.S. cities for best public schools, best cities to raise a family, best college towns, and best cities for business, careers, household income growth, and economic advancement.

Here’s to the next 82 years!

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 12th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Podcast series explores city’s FY 21 proposed budget

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

After a multi-month, coronavirus-inspired break, the All Up In Your Business podcast is back with a special miniseries: Four episodes that focus on College Station’s Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget.

We’re calling it All Up In Your Budget.

Fiscal Services Director Mary Ellen Leonard joins me to dissect and explain the city’s 330-page budget document, including changes caused by COVID-19, how sustainable we think those are, and what it means to our residents. This budget year is like no other, and we want to make sure residents and taxpayers understand what’s in it, what’s not in it, and why. (more…)


All Up In Your Business: Dallis family / Burger Mojo

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

The Dallis family has operated some of the most iconic food and beverage destinations in College Station. Cafe Eccell may be their best-known restaurant, but they recently entered the highly competitive burger market through their new concept Burger Mojo.

In this episode, Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I talk to Costa and Andreas Dallis about their legacy of business ventures and how difficult it is to remain relevant in a fast-growing, student-driven community. They even explain why they believe a burger joint in close proximity to so many other burger joints has a solid chance.

Meanwhile, Natalie also discusses the importance of redeveloping older commercial areas in College Station, and how her office has seen early success and is continuing that focus.

All Up In Your Business is available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube. Please subscribe, rate and recommend!

Have a suggestion for a future topic or interview, or just want to say hi? Send to jsocol@cstx.gov

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


All Up In Your Business: Walk-On’s

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Who better to open a Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in College Station than a former walk-on to the Texas A&M football team? Cory (’08) and Jenny (’01) Davis are poised to open their business in south College Station — their first foray into the restaurant business — and talk about how College Station was the only city they ever considered for such a major endeavor.

Also in this episode, Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and Communications Director Jay Socol talk about how the City of College Station sometimes spots opportunities to help new businesses or developers find just the right location for whatever they want to bring to the market.

Finally, Nat shares updated info on some additional restaurants under development in south College Station or, as Jay calls it, “SoCol.”

All Up In Your Business is now available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Aiden, Olivia CS’s most popular baby names in 2019

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Friends, it’s time we had a talk. Some feelings are going to be hurt, but I’m just going to be straight with you.

With all due respect, some of you should’ve asked for help when naming your baby. While there are some wonderfully creative names among the 1,556 babies born in College Station during 2019 — I’ll get to that shortly — too many of you are afraid to color outside the lines.

Hear me out.

Since 2014, it feels like every other crib in College Station has a new Aiden (68), Jackson (82) or Emma (93!). But originality really dips when it comes to the middle names you’re choosing. See any patterns?

  • 2019:   Grace, Rose, Marie
  • 2018:   Rose, Grace, Marie
  • 2017:   Grace, Rose, Marie
  • 2016:   Grace, Marie, Rose
  • 2015:   Grace, Marie, Ann
  • 2014:   Grace, Marie, Nicole
  • 2019:   James, Lee, Michael
  • 2018:   James, Lee, Alexander
  • 2017:   James, Alexander, Wayne
  • 2016:   James, Michael, Alexander
  • 2015:   James, Michael, Lee
  • 2014:   James, Wayne, Alexander

I’m not saying you guys need to go all Boaty McBoatface with your baby names; I’m just saying you might want to consider options besides Emma Grace and Aiden James — no offense, of course, to these specific, mighty cute, newly-minted College Stationites.

Okay, end of the lecture.

Here are some College Station birth statistics from 2019, according to Yvette Dela Torre, our award-winning local registrar who handles vital statistics reporting.

  Births Girls Boys Twins Triplets
2013 2,159 1,066 1,093 36 sets
2014 2,460 1,264 1,196 30 sets 1 set
2015 2,494 1,245 1,249 50 sets
2016 2,307 1,206 1,164 44 sets
2017 2,398 1,168 1,230 48 sets 1 set
2018 2,016 970 1,046 27 sets  
2019 1,556 772 784 22 sets  

You might’ve noticed the continuing decline in births that began in 2018. Yvette says that’s due to another year without labor and delivery services being offered at CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital (formerly College Station Medical Center). All hospital births in College Station in 2019 occurred at Baylor Scott & White Hospital.

Most popular BOYS’ first names

  • Aiden (11)
  • Liam (11)
  • Grayson (10)

Most popular BOYS’ middle names

  • James (35)
  • Lee/Leigh (24)
  • Michael (21)

Most popular GIRLS’ first names

  • Olivia (17)
  • Emma (12)
  • Harper (11)

Most popular GIRLS’ middle names

  • Grace (55)
  • Rose (34)
  • Marie (26)

More 2019 birth stats

  • Month with the most births: December (153)
  • Month with the fewest births: March (94)
  • Days with the most births: June 6 (11)
  • Home births: 4

In the spirit of high school yearbooks, here are some superlatives being handed out to a few of our 2019 babies.

Most likely to share the same name

  • Aiden James (2)
  • Avery Kate (2)
  • Ella Grace (3)
  • Emma Grace (3)
  • Hadley Grace (2)
  • Harper Grace (3)
  • Isabella Marie (2)
  • Jordan Thomas (2)
  • Layla Rose (2)
  • Lorenzo Antonio (2)
  • Noah Michael (2)
  • Olivia Rose (3)
  • Olivia Claire (2)
  • Samuel Ray (2)
  • Skylar Elaine (2)
  • Whitley Jane (2)
  • Wyatt Michael (2)

Most likely to join the Audubon Society

  • Birdie Scout

Most likely to give credit to a higher power

  • Brontayveai Imblessed

Most likely to win all competitions

  • Champion Jkee

Most likely to kayak

  • Indie River
  • Kip River
  • River Matthew
  • River Delane

Most likely to sing/act with GaGa Lady

  • Cooper Bradley

Most likely to come through in a pinch

  • Klutch Christian

Most likely to be remembered

  • Legend Lee
  • Legend O’Mari

Most likely to make her own car repairs

  • Piston Jayne

Most likely to visit a national park in South Dakota

  • Rupert Badlands

Most likely to work with Elon Musk

  • Tesla Eden

Most likely to be a cool conversation starter

  • Wenceslado 3rd

Most likely to wear baby Tony Lamas

  • Castyn Maverick
  • Maverick Roddie
  • William Maverick

Most likely to pursue law enforcement

  • E’Mahzi Justice Lyen
  • Justice Johari
  • Justice Aubrielle

Most likely to deserve their own category

  • Alpha Dewdrop
  • Zoiimi My’Life

College Station ended 2019 with a population estimate of 122,738, thanks in part to our 1,556 newest residents. When it’s time to look back at our 2020 babies, I expect to see more Alpha Dewdrops and fewer Emma Graces — okay?

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M, Jay has also served as communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he was president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers from 2016-18.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!