Business Seen: Bell begins production on Czech Republic AH-1Z –

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has started production of the first AH-1Z Viper for the Czech Republic at  Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center. According to a news release, the production of the Viper joins UH-1Y production as part of the Czech Republic Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of mixed fleet aircraft.
“Bell understands what it means to execute a successful international program,” said Mike Deslatte, vice president and H-1 program director, Bell. “We understand the importance of providing the unmatched capability of the H-1 aircraft to our customers. Bell remains focused on producing exceptional combat aircraft and providing modern capabilities for the Czech Air Force as a partner in the H-1 program, along with the U.S. Government.”
Bell’s work beyond aircraft manufacturing includes building a flight training device for the Czech Republic, essential to integrating the new helicopters into the Czech Armed Forces.
AUSTIN – Veteran child-rights advocate Andrea Sparks will serve as the director of government relations for nonprofit Buckner International, effective immediately. Sparks comes to Buckner from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, where she led the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team for five and a half years. In her new role with Buckner, Sparks will work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to improve public policies and investments to protect children, strengthen families, and serve seniors.
“Andrea Sparks has an impressive record fighting to protect Texas children, and we are excited to have her join the Buckner team,” said Buckner International President and CEO Albert Reyes. “Andrea’s guidance and leadership will help us work together with our elected officials to transform the lives of our most vulnerable people.”
As the founding director of the Texas Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, Sparks led her team and stakeholders to develop local multi-disciplinary care coordination teams and regional continua of care for young survivors, as well as new laws, policies, and strategies for prevention and identification of trafficking and for holding exploiters accountable.
Sparks also served as the executive director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Texas Regional Office, the director of public affairs for Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and as a solo practitioner representing children and families in child protection, juvenile justice, and adoption cases.
City of Amarillo Building Official Johnny Scholl has been reappointed to the Texas Industrialized Building Code Council (TIBCC) by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The TIBCC oversees the state program regulating industrialized housing and buildings. The council also establishes procedures for inspections and makes determinations concerning alternative materials or methods of construction.
Scholl was appointed to the TIBCC in August of 2020. His new term expires on Feb. 1, 2024.
“It has been a privilege to serve the state and represent the City of Amarillo in this important role,” said Scholl in a news release. “I am happy to have earned an additional term, and I look forward to serving for another two years.”
Scholl was named Building Official for the City of Amarillo in July 2021 and has been with the city for 13 years.
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is joining forces with 172 Jersey Mike’s Subs locations throughout Texas for its 12th Annual March “Month of Giving” campaign, according to a news release.
During the month of March, customers can make a donation at any Jersey Mike’s restaurant to help nearly 300 local Team Texas athletes and the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, held June 5-12, in Orlando, Fla. Athletes will compete in 19 sports including athletics, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, basketball, flag football and many more. 
The Month of Giving campaign will culminate with Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving” on Wednesday, March 30, when local Jersey Mike’s restaurants will give 100 percent of the day’s sales to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and the local state Programs attending the USA Games. Throughout March, customers can make donations through the Jersey Mike’s mobile app or in-store. For more information, please visit or follow them on Facebook (, Instagram (, and Twitter ( 
AUSTIN – Texas Beef Council (TBC) has published its 2021 annual report detailing key state and national Beef Checkoff program results, revenues and expenditures online at
According to a news release, by educating consumers, chefs, nutrition influencers and others, producer investments in the Beef Checkoff help keep beef in its strongest state, year over year. 
“While the past year brought the beef industry some challenges, it also generated opportunities that led to many successes,” said Pat McDowell, TBC Board of Directors vice chairman and audit and budget committee chairman from Shamrock, Texas. “By reviewing our 2021 annual report, Texas cattlemen and women can gain valuable insight into how their checkoff dollars funded promotional, educational and research programs that stimulated more beef demand worldwide.” Highlights include:
– BBQuest: Television viewers have watched 620,000+ hours of the BBQuest series since it launched on Hulu.
– Medical Office Outreach: TBC representatives reached 3,360-plus health professionals and staff directly with educational materials about beef’s role in a healthy diet.
– Social Media: Beef Loving Texans video ads were viewed 74 million times on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.
– Beef Team: This group of beef loving fitness enthusiasts committed to living active, healthy lifestyles participated in 7,578 activations.
– Beef Loving Chefs: Forty-plus chefs attended the first Beef Loving Chefs Summit and learned how offering beef-centric dishes can benefit the foodservice sector.
– Retail Promotions: TBC partnered with key brands to provide more than 275,000 beef coupons that were distributed at 1,600 store locations. 
The report shares the many successes that TBC’s beef education, promotion and research efforts experienced throughout 2021. These efforts were funded by the $1-per-head Texas state Beef Checkoff program and the $0.50-per-head Texas retains from the national Beef Checkoff program. 
To request a copy of the TBC annual report or a more detailed audited financial report, contact or call 512-335-2333. 


By Kwetu Buzz

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