From The Publisher Big News: A medical complex

Published 8:16 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

Bobby Tingle, Publisher

Tuesday, City of Orange Economic Development Director Jay Trahan opened a public meeting with an important announcement.

Trahan stated the purpose of the gathering was to inform the public and open the floor for comments regarding the formation of a medical complex in Orange County.

The City of Orange is currently working with Gisela Houseman and a group of private investors organized by Dr. William Rutldege to that end.

Houseman announced her donation of a 20-acre tract of land at the corner of State Highway 62 and Interstate 10.  

Rutledge announced his intention to formulate a group of private investors to establish a local health care facility.

The public meeting and opportunity for comments is the first step.  During the next 60 days, the parties will continue to formulate their plan to develop, in phases, the various components of the complex.

Among the items on the list desired for the complex are an emergency room, outpatient center, office space for medical specialists, micro hospital and a variety of other health care related facilities.

Orange County will assuredly benefit from such a complex.

As proposed the complex will not increase taxes and will serve Medicare patients.

 The project is in the planning and development stages.

The groundwork has been laid.

We should support this effort and look forward to the prospect of a first-class health care facility convenient to Orange County residents.

It will be a key component to the prospects of our future economic development efforts.


Horst Schulze: World-renowned customer service expert


Former President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Horst Schulze visited Orange Tuesday for a presentation on the Lamar State College Campus at the Shahan Center.

Schulze was invited to speak to the employs of the South East Texas Region of First Financial Bank.

“Horst Schulze is a special guy.  Anybody who has taken a brand like the Ritz to the levels he has is worth listening to.  He turned a single hotel into an international brand,” said First Financial CEO and President of South East Texas for First Financial Bank Stephen Lee.

According to Lee, it was a special treat to have Schulze in Orange.

Schulze authored the book, ‘Excellence Wins’.  He also founded the Capella Hotel Group known for its luxurious accommodations.

Schultze purpose in Orange was to lay the groundwork for First Financial Bank employs to take their customer service to a higher level.

Arguably, the customer service at First Financial Banks is already at a high level.  Lee believes improvement will give them a competitive advantage.

Bringing a world-renowned expert on customer service to Orange is a remarkable accomplishment.

Schulze has also consulted with the owners and management of the Chik Fil A fast-food chain.  Chik Fil A serves chicken in a variety of offerings. They do so with an excellent customer service experience. It could be why, when the rest of the fast food industry is stagnant, Chik Fil A is growing.

Kudos to Lee and the employs of First Financial Bank for taking steps to build on their excellent brand within the community.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader.  You can reach him at