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TCU Magazine "AlumNews"
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By day, his game is computer sales. But on weekends and evenings, Scott Kuehn '91 is a budding toymaker.

In late 2005, Kuehn and wife Julie Dobransky Kuehn '94 launched their first board game. Kuehn first toyed with the idea of game making when he took an old board game from his childhood to help break the ice with a boy he was mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters. He came up with the moniker "Looney Laundry" and began to build a children's game where players race to be the first to clean up all the dirty laundry. But they must beware of Harry, the talking laundry hamper, who may burp and toss the clothes right back out.

Kuehn found a company online to produce a Harry prototype, and the couple did testing with their son, now 7, and daughter, 5 to determime the right amount of "burps" for the laundry basket. Then they plunged into self-production, investing in 5,000 games, which retail for $24.99.

In the first 11 months, the Kuehns — marketing themselves as Bluebonnet Games ( — sold 1,000 Looney Laundry games and picked up 43 retailers, including such heavyweights as FAO Schwarz and They also forged a deal with their first manufacturers' rep. And a couple of months ago, they added a second product: Toss-a-Chore, a $2.99 dice set that offers a fun way to divvy up household chores.

"Where this is going to go, I have no idea," Kuehn said, adding that he really likes his day job too. "We have plenty of other ideas in store, but I want to prove that this first one is successful." -- RSM

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Concussion Advertising and Marketing is shaking things up in the communications arena. With a reputation for its edgy style, the local firm landed the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce's 2006 "Rising Star" Small Business of the Year honor in the 11-50 employee category.

"I was shocked," admitted Allen Wallach '88, agency president. "My business partner said that I turned TCU purple when they announced our company name. One of the companies in our category was celebrating its 90th year and had donated a built-in pool to an orphanage, so I thought we had no chance to win."

Apparently judges couldn't look past Concussion's recent track record. "We have had five straight years of double-digit growth, even while other area agencies were folding," he noted.

The full-service agency enjoys a wide range of clients and has proven expertise in casino gaming, consumer packaged goods, real estate, development and other areas.

Wallach said Concussion is not the typical "wacky" creative agency. "We are a nimble, responsive and aggressive agency. Just look at our name. Plus, we always make money for our clients," he said, noting that Concussion programs are based on clear strategy, "which tends to provide more tangible results."

Nine of the 32 current staffers are Frogs. Above, left to right: Tim Neuman '90, Khris Kesling '91, Andrew Yanez, Laura Madsen '06, Nick Bendian '06, Lindsay Houghton Simon '05, Allen Wallach (seated), Lisa Montgomery '03, Kristin Deem Wallach '89, Charlie Howlett and Scott Kirk '85. -- RSM

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Katie Cline '03 is the newest poster girl for the adage, "Necessity is the mother of invention." This summer, she created the Scoop No More cat toilet training system after training her two Tonkanese cats to use a toilet rather than a litter box.

"I tried to train my cat back in college and failed, because I didn't know what I was doing," Cline said. When she brought home two kittens, she was encouraged to get three litter boxes. "There was no way in a town home we were going to do that," she said.

Cline researched toilet training for cats and found bits of information by talking to people who had been successful and reading a lot of blogs, but there was nothing on the market that pulled it all together. So she established Brothers Cat Products and produced a user-friendly DVD for consumers.
"All the information on the DVD could be described as common knowledge, but it was so hard to find in a cohesive package," she said. In the video, Cline and her feline demonstrate the two relatively simple methods that have proven most successful for most cat owners using inexpensive, everyday household items. -- RJ

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Lourdes Hassler '06 MBA is the first female Chief Executive Officer for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. Not that her route there wasn't circuitous. She spent 20 years traveling the world with American Airlines as director of Latin America sales and marketing. "Working in the travel industry was great for me, I was able to travel the world and gain access to a myriad of cultures," Hassler said. That experience of both cultures and corporation exposed her to operations, finance, marketing, and leadership and gave her the opportunity to serve on several boards that led business initiatives. It was a good preparation ground for her current position.

She credits her rise to leadership to hard work, focus, a desire to serve the public and her personal conviction for education and Hispanic leadership. It's a job she loves. "I am passionate about education, leadership, and professional development," she said.

Hassler's vision for NSHMBA, an organization that exists to foster Hispanic leadership, includes developing professionals, graduating Hispanics with MBAs, and supporting leaders. "I dream of an annual giving campaign, a building, and a legacy oriented around results," she said. "We are focused on creating value for our constituents, our sponsors, and our educational partners." -- RJ

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Six years ago, Ingrid Ocanas Carney '88 was enjoying a successful advertising career when she became pregnant with her first child. One morning early in the pregnancy, she suddenly realized, "I have nothing that fits." Her non-maternity slacks no longer buttoned, yet maternity clothes were still far too large.

Her dilemma led a search for something to wrap around her unbuttoned waistband without providing an unsightly bulge. Safety pins, rubber bands and giant band-aids all failed. An Ace bandage wouldn't stay in place. An old tube top, however, solved the problem.

That tube top eventually fell apart from overuse after it was pressed into service for her second pregnancy. Carney's business sense told her she had a marketable product in her makeshift maternity band. Research, planning and nine months of fabric tests finally produced the precise blend of nylon and spandex that would survive repeated wash and wear. The Bella Band was born.

Carney expects her company, Ingrid and Isabel, Inc., to break $1.2 million in revenue this year. Bella Band, their only product, sells for $26 at retail outlets across the country and online. The product and company are both named in part for Carney's daughter Isabel, the baby behind that first maternity transition six years ago. For more information, visit or -- AS

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Dr. Tom Rogers Jr. '57 received the ultimate honor this year from his peers when the Tarrant County Medical Society awarded him with the 2006 Gold-Headed Cane Award for physician excellence.

"For a physician, it's the top award you can get," said the Fort Worth pediatrician. "It's like Andre Agassi said, there's nothing like getting an award from your peers."

Rogers sports two canes this year, as he also received one from the Cook Children's Physician Network with the distinguished Physician Award.

The award is based on a secret ballot without campaign or nomination for the physician who symbolizes the pursuit of scientific excellence and integrity. It was first awarded in London in 1689 to the outstanding practitioner of the time and is also known as the "Doctor's Doctor" award.

Rogers passed the pediatrician gene to his son Jeff '00 and wife Audrey, with whom he practices, and his daughter Kelly Rogers Showalter '84, a doctor in Boise, Idaho. Rogers is a faithful Frogs sports fan and in 1999 was inducted into TCU's Letterman's Hall of Fame for his time spent behind the mound as a shortstop. He and wife Joan '58, who worked in TCU's admissions office for 16 years, live in Fort Worth. -- RJ

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In a world of instant messages, text messages and e-mail, the art of cursive writing is alive and well for Suzanne Herring Bartek '66, an elementary special ed teacher who won the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's cursive writing contest in June. She told the big daily that she had TCU to thank for her skilled penmanship.

"I did it just for fun, and it was very shocking to find out that I'd won," said Bartek, who won a Waterman pen for her artistic efforts.

Bartek honed her cursive skills as an education major at TCU, specifically one course where they went through different state-adopted handwriting texts. "I found that I could copy the cursive that was in those texts and make mine look just like theirs," she said. "Of course the more you practice, the better you get." -- RSM

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