Marshall Maxwell is a native Houstonian whose goal is to keep Houston happy.
His entertainment agency is one of the vehicles he uses to do just that.
In 1980 he created Marshall Maxwell Entertainment Agency to provide bands, D.J., clowns, magicians and musicians for events of all kinds.
The expansion required hiring a particularly effervescent and service-oriented group of performers who share his goals.
Marshall has his business objectives clearly established.
"After all," he smiles, "musicians who succeed strive to keep their listeners happy.
If you love what you do, it's not really hard work to place smiles on people's faces."
His approach is working.
Marshall or his crew perform at Houston's major hotels and country clubs and are frequently called into service by caterers, businesses and private individuals.
Marshall Maxwell Entertainment Agency can be found anywhere people gather to have fun.
Creativity is the company's trademark.
A few years back a client wanted "something different" for Christmas.
"Even a piano-playing Santa Claus did not impress her," Marshall remembers.
He eagerly suggested a piano-playing Christmas tree.
After promising to appear as "Mr. Tree," he had to commission an artist to create the costume, complete with blinking lights and ornaments with large presents covering his feet.
The costume is hot, cumbersome, fragile and playing instruments in it is difficult.
Today, MMEA owns three of the special costumes to handle simultaneous requests.
Appearance requests start in July.
No event is too unusual or outrageous for Marshall or his agency.
They will routinely perform at the dog and cat fashion show, grocery store piano engagements, "Welcome New Baby Home" parties, "Come as You Are" breakfast events, Chinese New Year, as well as every other event that can be imagined.
For children's parties there is the Piano Playing Teddy Bear; for Easter and springtime, there's the colorful, specially made bunny outfit.
Marshall and his crew will attempt to be "appropriately" costumed, no matter what the event.
Goals for the Marshall Maxwell Entertainment Agency include making its clients' lives easier, helping them look good and keeping them happy with affordable, entertainment excellence.
"We try hard to never say 'no', " says Marshall.
The agency concentrates on service and value.
"Clients say they like to deal with our staff because they are friendlier, less expensive and smile more than other entertainment agencies," Marshall says proudly.
Our phones are answered 24 a day, every day.
Being able to talk directly with an entertainer about your entertainment needs is a real plus and is unique to the Marshall Maxwell Entertainment Agency.
MMEA is committed to the community.
The business is involved with several chambers of commerce, many community organizations, numerous professional organizations and regularly makes appearances at charity and political events.
Marshall's concern for the community in not limited to these.
His employees are required to have a four-year college degree or be in pursuit of one.
He offers his student employees incentives to get better grades and if they experience financial problems, Marshall assists so that nothing stands between the employee and graduation.
Marshall Maxwell is an unusual man with an unusual consumer oriented business.
What is his favorite part of the whole ball of wax?
He is still happiest when he is in a group of people standing around his piano singing.
"These people are always smiling," he says.
With the phenomenal growth of his agency, Marshall hopes to expand his base of smiling clients as well as friends.