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Business News: January 2005

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Muscle Mechanics, Rob Schmerler, Mitchell Katine and more.

This month, Muscle Mechanics Personal Fitness Studio launches an online scheduling service for its members, which will give them the ability to set training or massage appointments from anywhere. Booking Plus is working with Muscle Mechanics on this new service.

“Many of our clients travel extensively for work and leisure. Muscle Mechanics Online Scheduling Service will allow them direct access to our front-desk schedule from anywhere in the world or from the comfort of their own home or office,” says John Aaron, Muscle Mechanics owner. “What’s more, they can cancel, reschedule, or set additional appointments with the click of a mouse.”

Muscle Mechanics is located at 617 Richmond Ave. The phone number is 713/523-5330, and the website is www.musclemechanics.com. OutSmart readers named John Aaron best male personal trainer in the 2004 Gayest & Greatest poll.

Rob Schmerler, owner of the Rob Schmerler Insurance Agency, recently announced that Elijah Kabalka has completed a training and licensing program and is now qualified to assist with auto, home, life, health, and other types of insurance.

Kabalka joined the agency in April 2004 with a background in business administration. He is a U.S. Army veteran.

OutSmart readers voted Schmerler’s firm (6575 W. Loop South, Suite 185, 713/661-7700, www.SchmerlerAgency.com) the best insurance agency in the 2004 Gayest & Greatest poll.

Attorney Mitchell Katine and the firm of Williams, Birnberg & Andersen have moved to 2000 Bering Dr., Suite 909. The telephone number, 713/981-9595, remains the same. The firm’s website is www.wba-law.com.

Katine is pictured at the June 26, 2003, rally at City Hall celebrating the victory in the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case
that overturned the sodomy law. OutSmart readers named Katine—the attorney for plaintiffs John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, whose essay about the case, “Good News,” appeared in our August 2003 issue—one of the top community attorneys in the 2004 Gayest & Greatest poll.

Raj Dudwal recently opened a new Cartridge World location at 8582 Westheimer (713/783-9200, www.cartridgeworld.com). Founded in South Australia in 1991, Cartridge World is now the largest retailer of cartridge refilling services in the world. “People here realize buying a new printer cartridge is neither cost-effective nor environmentally-friendly,” Dudwal says. “The typical savings on our refill services is up to 50 percent of the retail price of a new car-tridge. By recycling cartridges you can also help protect our environment.”

There are three other Cartridge World locations in the Houston area, including the Shepherd Square store, 2055 Westheimer, 713/526-0040 (“Business News,” November 2004).

Randy Mitchmore, D.D.S., has relocated his LifeSmiles facility to 1722 West Alabama. Newbery Campa Architects renovated the 1930s home on the site into a modern dental facility. The LifeSmiles phone number is 713/592-9300; the website is www.LifeSmiles.us.

Gay.com, named best national website in the 2004 Gayest & Greatest OutSmart reader poll, named Angel Alonso Gonzalez the winner of its Mr. Gay.com Universe contest at an event last month in New York City. Gonzalez, a resident of Spain, was selected by Gay.com members in an Internet vote and received a check for $25,000, presented by talk-show host Graham Norton.

Gay.com (www.gay.com) is the flagship website of PlanetOut Inc., the global online media company. In October, PlanetOut (www.planetoutinc.com) became the first gay-directed corporation to trade on a major American exchange when it made an initial public stock offering on the Nasdaq market (symbol: LGBT). At press time, the price for common stock was $12.17 a share, up from the initial public offering price of $9 a share in October.

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