Five Questions with Russel Dubree, Lifeblue

5 Questions with Russel Dubree of Lifeblue
by Kathy Marcum, Membership Development Manager

Lifeblue is a full service digital media company that moved their corporate HQ to Plano in early 2019.  As one of only four Certified B Corporations in the Dallas area, Lifeblue has made a commitment to themselves, their customers and the public to balance profits with purpose.  Russel Dubree, Chief Operating Officer of Lifeblue, took some time recently to speak with me about life at Lifeblue.

How is Lifeblue navigating the quarantine? Are you working from home?

We’ve been fortunate enough to navigate quarantine quite well given the nature of our work being already in a digital environment. We started working from home in early March and focused a lot of effort to maintain a lot of our culture and work processes and also adapt to the rapid change occurring with our clients. The only thing we couldn’t duplicate for folks was the cold brew coffee machine. It is sorely missed.

What has been the best and worst thing about working from home?

I think the best thing for us has been the fact that communication has actually increased in a lot of different ways. People are updating each other more on their goals, commitments, and what they are working on. The downside is that we are a highly collaborative and close knit culture that we believe enhances the quality of our work and while we have found different means to do this in a remote environment, it has proven more difficult than if we were in an office environment.

Culture is such a big part of your company’s story. How have you engaged your staff while working separately? 

Our team has done a great job adapting quickly to this. We’ve started Trivia Tuesdays during lunch, having virtual happy hours on Fridays, keeping track of and being consistent with our 1-1 meetings, and just reaching out to see how folks are doing. In addition we created a “task force team” called Team Compass of a few team members who are proactive in evaluating our needs and opportunities to better enhance our culture within the COVID crisis and beyond.

What did you want to be when you grew up and is that what you became?

Not to date myself, but I definitely did not intend to be a founder of a digital agency growing up as that wouldn’t have been a conceivable option. I think I started somewhere along the lines of paramedic following in the footsteps of my father, to a chef, and finally an Air Force pilot as I finished high school and on into college.

What is the first thing you plan to do once restrictions are fully lifted?

Tex-Mex takeout has been the biggest disappointment during quarantine, I look forward to sitting on a patio with a margarita and eating my heart out in chips and salsa. My wife wants to go to New York to see a Broadway show. I suppose we’ll have to do both.

Learn more about Lifeblue at their website.

Meet Our 2020 Summer Interns

The Plano Chamber of Commerce is proud to participate in the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program. Thanks to the support of our partners, Cigna and FedEx Office, we will have the support of four summer interns from Plano ISD schools. Olivia McCoy will be working directly with our staff on special projects to support the Chamber and learn about the local business community.  Ananya Sridhar, Bethel Kim, and Keshav Vasanth will be working on a special research project for the Plano Chamber with the support of the team at FedEx Office. Please read on to learn more about these four outstanding local students.

Olivia McCoy – Plano East Senior High
My name is Olivia McCoy and I am a rising senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Plano East Senior High School. At PESH I play the flute in the band, participate in History Fair, am president of LASER (science fair club), am the treasurer of the Plano East Red Cross Chapter, and volunteer through the National Honor Society. As a firm believer in life-long learning and the importance of education, I am the event executive of a student-led nonprofit organization called SparkSTEM where I plan STEM-related events and projects to help students in underprivileged areas of North Texas access education. Some of my hobbies include running, reading, cooking, and trying new foods at local restaurants with my friends! One of the books I just recently finished is The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang (highly recommend), and in my spare time, I post pictures of dishes I cook, recipes, and mini-reviews for local cuisine on my food Instagram account. As an avid environmentalist, once in college, I hope to double major in International Relations and Environmental Science and pursue a career in environmental law in the future. I look forward to working with the Chamber of Commerce this summer and feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity!

Ananya Sridhar – Plano East Senior High
My name is Ananya Sridhar and I am a rising junior in the IB Program at Plano East Senior High School. I am an avid participant in our school’s Science Fair, NHS, Theater, and TedEd programs. Outside of school, I enjoy teaching taekwondo at my dojang, participating in creative problem solving challenges for Destination Imagination, and volunteering at the Dallas Museum of Art on their Teen Advisory Council. I am passionate about animal conservation and volunteer at the Dallas Zoo. I am very interested in science and history, and in the future, I hope to pursue a career in the medical field. For fun, I enjoy reading, watching Marvel movies, painting, and bullet journaling.

Bethel Kim – Plano West Senior High
 My name is Bethel Kim and I’m a rising senior at Plano West Senior High. Throughout the year you can find me playing violin in the orchestra hall, tutoring after school, attempting to practice my Spanish skills, or spending time with friends at my favorite boba shop. I’ve always loved storytelling and have found platforms to express this passion through a podcast I started with friends and a series of creative writing. In college, I plan to major in economics and continue to listen and tell stories with a possible minor in English. With this combined focus, I hope to further understand the economy, its impact on people, and find a way to bring more of its narrative to life. I consider myself to be the perfect ambivert who loves a day of trying new things and meeting new people as well as a night in reading and binge-watching my favorite shows.

Keshav Vasanth – Plano East Senior High
My name is Keshav Vasanth, and I am a rising junior at the IB World School at the Plano East Senior High School in Plano, Texas. Since I was 5, I have been part of the global nonprofit Destination Imagination program, building creative solutions to service learning challenges related to conservation, hurricane relief, pollution and more. I love how combining thoughtful, artistic design with innovative technology can impact societal needs. I hope to combine entrepreneurship, engineering, conservation and film in college and in my career. I enjoy inventing, performing magic, video production, long boarding, dance, and volunteering at the Dallas Zoo.

Stay tuned to hear more from our interns about their summer internship experience.

Welcome New June 2020 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 12 new business members in the month of June. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Career Management Partners
Cisco Systems
Future Tech Enterprise, Inc.
Instar Title
Laird Plastics
Lone Ranger Properties
OffBeat Business Media
Spectrum Reach*
The Princeton Review
Tutor Doctor
Vitality Bowls- Plano

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Five Questions with Sean Corrington, Furniture Marketing Group, Inc.

5 Questions with Sean Corrington of Furniture Marketing Group
by Kelle Marsalis, President & CEO

Recently I checked in on Sean Corrington, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing with Furniture Marketing Group, located in Plano. Sean and I met several years ago when I worked closely with the owner of FMG on small business programs. It was clear from the start that FMG, and Sean, are fantastic community partners, employers, and members of the Plano Chamber. Read more of our conversation below to learn about the company, Sean, and his beautiful baby girls.

I’ve known FMG for a few years now, and have even utilized some of your great products in my office. What would you like readers to know about FMG and what you specialize in?

Furniture Marketing Group, Inc. (FMG) is a family of companies headquartered in Plano, TX. We have showrooms in both Texas & Oklahoma as well as client support centers spanning from the west to the east coast. FMG is a provider of interior furnishings for corporate environments of all sizes, government entities, and healthcare providers, as well as the education sector. “Interior furnishings” honestly doesn’t even begin to describe what we help our clients with in today’s world. We provide ergonomic work from home solutions, flexible architectural space division, technology solutions, and many other critical products our clients demand. Aside from a distributor of products, our teams lead client conversations with a consultative approach on product solutions given an organization objectives.  Doing this alongside great industry partners yields a concept in which FMG executes through completion. Long term support of our clients over the years is really what makes the difference.

FMG is a family-owned business. How has the company grown since its beginnings?

We are in our 39th year of business and fortunate to be one of the largest distributors for Haworth, which is a multibillion dollar furniture manufacturer based in Western Michigan. Our roots go deep with our supplier. Our founder, Cleon Almond, started FMG in 1981 and at that time, Haworth just like FMG, was a lot smaller. Haworth’s current Chairman Emeritus, Dick Haworth, and Cleon focused together on one key objective. Provide best in class products & customer service to our clients. Today FMG second generation CEO, Greg Almond, instills those same principles from his father, continuing to guide FMG forward.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve learned about the furniture business in your 7 years with FMG and 20 years in the business?

The biggest surprise I’ve learned is the sophistication that goes into designing an office space. Twenty years ago, I thought office furniture was just a desk and a chair! Big picture discussions around analyzing the amount of real-estate for each employee as well as discussion about creating an atmosphere that supports a company’s core values and objectives are critical to the success of any project.  More important than ever, our organization must provide flexibility of a workspace that allows for changes and that has to be done with thoughtful up-front design. Sometimes I wish it was just a desk and a chair!

We are in the 12th week of the pandemic in the USA. Are you working from home? If so, what has been the biggest challenge?

FMG is a supplier to essential businesses so our offices have remained open. However, a majority of our employees are working from home as we finalize our own return to work strategy. I personally have worked from our office in International Business Park sometimes at least 3 or 4 days a week while working from home the others. Since mid-March, I have been one of 6 people in our 16,000 foot office so it has been very easy to practice physical distancing inside a space as such when no one is around! There are challenges to both scenarios. I miss the interaction in the office and do not have the luxury of walking up to an associate to have an ad-hoc conversation in which I might be able to get an answer immediately. With technology, I can still get the answer but it might take just a bit longer. I definitely miss the day to day in person collaboration. While working from home, that in itself has had a few challenges. My wife, Michelle, and I have twin daughters, Avery & Aubrey who are about to turn one year old and as you can imagine, the home office has a lot of things happening!

Ok, it all can’t be about business. You’ve been in Plano for a while, so tell us what is your favorite thing to do in Plano? 

Since moving to Plano three years ago, Michelle’s and my life has changed dramatically as you can imagine. We use to spend some late nights in the Shops at Legacy & Legacy West. We now spend a lot of our time at some of the great parks Plano has to offer and our latest favorite is Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. However, our favorite spot is at our home in Plano with our girls. Michelle, Avery, Aubrey, and I plan on spending many nights and weekends right in our own back yard swimming and grilling!

Learn more about Furniture Marketing Group, Inc. at their website.

Welcome New May 2020 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 11 new business members in the month of May. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Clean N Pristine, Inc.
Concordia Innovative Consulting & Services Group, LLC
Corky’s Gaming Bistro
CPR At Your Door
Empowered Success – JT Atkinson
Iconic IT
Manhattan Burger
Nothing Bundt Cakes
SpectrumVoIP, Inc.

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Business Bulletin – May 18, 2020

In order to keep you informed on the evolving impact of COVID-19 on our local community, the Plano Chamber will be publishing updates on Mondays and Thursdays as the Business Bulletin. We will share the top news items that you need to read to stay up-to-date on important health, community, and business issues as they develop.

May 18, 2020


  • The US House of Representatives passed a version of a fourth relief bill that was authored by Democrat leadership last week.  The White House and Senate Republicans have indicated they prefer a ‘wait and see’ approach to whether the country needs another stimulus package, likely in June.


  • Gov. Abbott announced Texas is moving into Phase II of reopening today.  Highlights from his press conference are below, and a full listing of new businesses than can reopen is available at
    • Texas’s testing has increased.  We now are averaging 25k tests a day with 600 testing sites across Texas which allows us to identify hot spots, the top 3 of which are typically (1) nursing homes, (2) jails and (3) meat packing plants.  When hot spots arise, the Governor can send in a Surge Response Teams to isolate those infected and help thoroughly disinfect the facility. This will contribute to number of confirmed tests but allows Texas to contain them within a week or two.
    • Key Metrics for Phase II
      • Positivity Rate.  As testing increases, so will raw number of confirmed tests.  The White House Task Force recommends the rate of positive tests be trending downward to continue to reopen.  Texas’s rate was ~14% in mid April and is now ~5%.
      • Hospitalizations and Capacity. Texas hospital capacity has remained steady since mid April with plenty of capacity for new patients.
    • Other personal services businesses beyond barber shops, beauty salons and tanning and nail salons can now open.  A full list can be found at
    • Businesses in office buildings can now open to the greater of either 10 employees or 25% of their workforce so long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
    • Childcare services can open immediately. 
    • Restaurants can open to 50% capacity and bars/tap rooms/wine tastings at 25% capacity. Drive in concerts, bowling alleys and similar businesses can open up at 25% capacity beginning May 21st.
    • Beginning May 30, youth sports camps and little league can open and parents can spectate with proper social distancing.  All summer camps and daytime and overnight camps can open.
    • Professional sports such as golf, car racing, baseball, football, basketball can open beginning May 30.
    • School districts have the option to provide summer school starting June 1st, so long as they follow safe distancing guidelines.
    • There may be times when certain counties need different guidelines because of flareups.  El Paso is in this situation now – their Phase II dates are moved back one week.

Welcome New April 2020 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome six new business members in the month of April. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

Carpet Tech
Dogleg Solutions LLC
Estenza Inc.
Legacy Self Storage
Real Refreshments LLC
Venice Event Venue

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.

Health & Wellness

Your health and wellness is more important than ever as we face both a pandemic and the stresses that come with major changes to our lifestyle. Our Plano Chamber member businesses are offering a variety of services to keep you health in mind, body, and soul.

Do you have a health or wellness resource (Plano Chamber member businesses) that isn’t listed? CLICK HERE to submit your information for inclusion or email Kathy Marcum.  

Health Care Resources

Cancer Support Community North Texas
6300 W. Parker Rd., MOB 2, Suite 129A
Plano, TX 75093
(972) 981-7020
Details & Special Offers: We provide FREE social and emotional support to anyone impacted by cancer (survivors, caregivers, bereaved, children and families, friends, coworkers). All of our support groups, health and wellness programs, and presentations are currently being offered on digital platforms. Please send an email to to learn more.

Children’s Medical Center Plano
7601 Preston Rd
Plano, TX 75024
(469) 303-7000
Details & Special Offers:
Virtual Visit by Children’s Health℠ Virtual Care is offering free 24/7 COVID-19 screenings until further notice with code: COVID19.  Get regular updates on the Children’s Health response to COVID-19 by visiting

Elite Care 24 HR Emergency Room
2000 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 100
Plano, TX
(972) 378-7878
Details & Special Offers:  Open and operating 24/7/365.  A protection protocol is in place, including allowing one patient in the lobby at a time.  We are seeing potential COVID-19 patients. Also offering telehealth services for patients that would like medical advice from a doctor without leaving home.  In an effort to relieve the financial burden this has caused so many people, Elitecare has decided not to collect co-pays.

Ovation Health & Life Services
6010 W. Spring Creek Pkwy.
Plano TX 75024
(855) 268-2846
Details & Special Offers:
 Special opportunities for employers to offer telemedicine to employees. Unlimited physician consults, no copay, and entire family covered.  All monthly rates have been reduced. Fins the COVID19 Self-Assessment Test  at

Peak Physical Therapy- Plano
3100 Independence Pkwy., Ste. 321
Plano, TX 75025
(469) 626-1007
Details & Special Offers:  Clinic remains open for regular visits and is also offering telehealth appointments as a no-contact option.

Wellness Resources

Barre3 Plano
2108 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 210
Plano, TX 75093
(469) 516-6740
Details & Special Offers:  Online b3 membership $ 23/mo.  Individual virtual classes for $5.

The Barre Code Plano
4757 W. Park Blvd., Suite 112
Plano TX 75093
(972) 322-2238
Details & Special Offers:  The Barre Code is offering 50 LIVE streamed classes per week.  We offer 5 class formats including Barre, Bootcamp, Brawl (Kickboxing), HIIT and Restoration. No equipment needed.  New clients can join the “Two Weeks Unlimited” Intro Special for $39. We also offer Barre Code On-Demand, 100 pre-recorded workouts. Barre Code On-Demand is $39.95/month.  Find the latest information on Instagram (@barrecode_plano) or Facebook.

Outlaw Fit Camp
4757 W. Park Blvd., Ste. 104
Plano TX 75093
(972) 805-4608
Details & Special Offers:  Outlaw Fit Camp is currently offering FREE online workouts. They also have a 55-day challenge: commit to 55 days of 5 daily actions and 5 daily mindsets.  This program is also FREE to the community.


Lynne Malkoff Promotions
3509 Sage Brush Dr.
Plano, TX 75023
(972) 248-8352
Details & Special Offers:  We are able to source and distribute PPE, face masks, and healthcare supplies from overseas.  Contact Lynne for details.

Job Opportunities

The Plano Chamber is dedicated to helping connect outstanding local talent with our local business community to support businesses who are expanding their hiring during the COVID-19 outbreak and to provide new opportunities to those who have lost their jobs or are furloughed.

Is your company hiring? Do you know of another company hired that isn’t listed? Email Kathy Marcum at to get added to the list. 

Immediate Job Opportunities

Albertsons – Accepting applications in-store and online

Amazon – Warehouse help needed

Children’s Health Plano – Various medical and non-medical positions

Costco – Stocking assistants needed

I Fratelli Pizza – Delivery drivers needed’

ICONMA – Staffing agency with immediate openings in IT, engineering, finance and accounting

Imprimis Group – Staffing agency with immediate openings in the mortgage and insurance fields

Kroger – Accepting applications in-store and online

Peloton – Full-time member support associates needed

Sam’s Club – Stocking assistants needed

Target – Immediate merchandising positions

Texas Health Resources – Various medical and non-medical positions

The Container Store – Fulfillment positions at the regional distribution center

Tom Thumb – Accepting applications in-store and online

US Census – Continuing to accept applications

Walmart – Accepting applications in-store and online

Support for Job Seekers

Get Shift Done – An innovative partnership which employees displaced hospitality workers at local non-profits.  This program keeps service workers working, while keeping food on community tables.

Pivot Talent Group – Pivot Talent Group is a non-profit that create futures by connecting great companies to great people.  By hiring Pivot candidates, companies provide a helping hand to someone in their own community.

Say Yes to Dallas – A regional partnership championed by the Dallas Regional Chamber, connecting displaced workers to area employees that have a large number of immediate openings.

Texas Workforce Commission – The Texas Workforce Commission is your resource for applying for unemployment, search for jobs and look for other resources.

Welcome New March 2020 Members!

The Plano Chamber was thrilled to welcome 11 new business members in the month of March. Learn more about each member business and the services they offer by clicking the links below.

3Twelve Salon
Budget Blinds Of Plano
Collin Adult Education and Literacy
Green Vine Market
HTeaO Plano
Innovative Auto Works
Orchards Market Plaza
Paws & Claws Animal Hospital
Self Store @ Coit
Stronger Women

Are you interested in learning more about the Plano Chamber of Commerce and what your business can gain from joining the Plano Chamber? CLICK HERE for information about member benefits, services, and programs or contact

Don’t forget to visit the Plano Chamber Business Directory the next time you are looking for products, services, or a fun night out with friends! Remember to support local businesses and Shop Plano First.