Two honored for service at local bank

Austin Bank honored two Nacogdoches employees for outstanding work and years of service at its 2019 Service Award Luncheon Dec. 3 in Tyler.

Mortgage Loan Originator Lisa Hale, a lifelong resident and graduate of Nacogdoches High and SFA, was recognized for 15 years of service.

A member of the Recent Alumni Business Advisory Council and SFA Alumni Association, she has served on the United Way Board, Chamber of Commerce Board and is a Nacogdoches Junior Forum member.

Customer Service Representative Michael Mendez, also a lifelong resident, is and graduate of Nacogdoches High and Angelina College. Mendez received the bank’s five-year service award. He has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce and participated in Corporate Challenge events.

Ombudsmen volunteers needed

The East Texas Council of Governments Area Agency of Aging is seeking volunteers to serve as ombudsmen to assist nursing home and assisted living residents.

Ombudsmen advocate for residents’ rights including dependable and consistent care. Volunteer Ombudsmen receive and investigate complaints made by or on behalf of residents or their families. Since many residents do not receive regular visitors or have close relatives, it may be difficult for them to enlist advocates. Ombudsmen serve as advocates for all residents, connecting them to their broader communities and assisting them in resolving concerns.

“The residents we serve mostly want to be listened to. They want to feel heard,” said ETCOG’s Ombudsman program manager Valerie Rushing. “We oversee 154 facilities in East Texas and encounter thousands of residents. Ombudsmen volunteers help give a voice to those who feel they don’t have a voice, and ensure they receive proper care.”

No prior experience is required but volunteers must be at least 18 and able to complete a free training course that consists of both classroom study and training at local nursing homes. After training, volunteers serve an internship, working one to three hours per week in their assigned facility. Hours are flexible and are determined by each volunteer.

Interested volunteers may contact the Area Agency on Aging of East Texas, at 800-442-8845 or e-mail Valerie Rushing at for more information.

Board applications close Dec. 13

The City of Nacogdoches is taking applications for seven advisory boards.

Open for applications are the Building Standards Commission, Airport Advisory Board, Industrial Development Authority, Health Code Advisory Committee, Pine Grove Cemetery Board, Main Street Advisory Board and Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.

The deadline to apply for a board appointment is Friday, Dec. 13. Appointments will be made by the City Council in January 2020. For more information or to get a form, contact the City Secretary at 936-559-2506 or visit

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