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Friday, March 30 Closing Awards Bash (evening)


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• R o b e R t C l e m e n t, m D • l a u R e n C R aw f o R D, m D • william GoRman, mD • S C o t t H ay D o n , m D • R i C k Pa R k e R , m D • fReD wilDeR, mD a l l D o C to R S a R e b oa R D C e Rt i f i e D b y t H e a m e R i Ca n b oa R D o f P l a S t i C S u R G e Ry

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Contents M a rch

50 On the Cover

suzi sosa Changing the world, forging the next generation of entrepreneurship. By Julie Tereshchuk / Photographed by William Russell.

56 Features up and coming

Four women put aside their fears and follow their hearts. By Joelle Pearson.


tenth anniversary Ten years after the first issue went to press, we get an update from Gay Gaddis of T3. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne. 9

Contents m a rch


Girl Walks Into a Bar

stargazing at sxsw.

on the scene

to your health

20 5 things you must do this month

44 fitness Training for a triathlon.

24 spotlight event Peter Max: In Living

48 wellness Anti-aging procedures.


26 philanthropy The Nobelity Project.

opposite sex

28 Horoscopes Happy birthday, Pisces.

62 Relationships Tips for the newly single.

must list 30 editor picks

64 simply irresistible Meet Roger Davis. 66 memo from JB Recapturing your youth.

32 current chic Transform your office look

savvy women

for a night on the town.

70 you should know Morgan Jackson.

34 accessories Five trends for spring.

74 off the shelf


76 best kept secret Resources for small

36 Foodie alert Austin Food & Wine Festival

78 get educated The Herb Kelleher Center.


10   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

Unstoppable women.


80 last word Making the entrepreneurial leap.

on the cover Photo by William Russell. Hair and makeup by Jenny Lin, Cover handwriting by Anilyn Fabello and Danielle Pruitt of ChalkInk, Diane von Furstenberg “Isyae” top and BCBG MAX AZRIA eggings available at Nordstrom, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway, 512.691.3500.


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Christopher Garvey Co-Founder

Samantha Stevens Executive Editor

Deborah Hamilton-Lynne Art Director

Victoria Millner ad designer

Collette Mengden art assistant

Jennifer Day marketing and operations director

Dustin Woodhead marketing and operations associate

Sadie Barton Account Executives

Katie Lesnick, Arielle Levy, Kimberly Sanderson, Lindsay Stuart 512.328.2421 editor-at-large

Mary Anne Connolly associate editor

Joelle Pearson contributing editor

Julie Tereshchuk copy editor

Chantal Rice

TEXAS EXECUTIVE MBA TEXAS EVENING MBA If you are passionate about succeeding in business, advancing or changing careers and building your professional network, the McCombs School of Business encourages you to earn your MBA at The University of Texas at Austin. Our collaborative learning environment prepares graduates to become influential business leaders in a wide range of industries and organizations.

Fashion + Style editor

Erika Cerda Contributors


Rudy Arocha, Sadie Barton, Nicole Carbon, Jill Case, Claire Cella, Jane Field, JB Hager, Meg Haley, Korey Howell, Christine Imperatore, Chrissie Jarrell, Caleb Kerr, Eric Leech, Deborah Mastelotto, Molly McManus, Rachel Merriman, Joelle Pearson, Sarah Quatrano, William Russell, Julie Tereshchuk, Erica Todd, Natalie Yerkovich

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Favorite spot out of copies?

512.328.2421 • 1213 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78756

Austin Woman Magazine is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc. and is available at more than 1,150 locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. For submission requirements, contact No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. For copies of articles, call 512.328.2421.


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Daring to try. As I began to look for one quality that set apart entrepreneurs, what I noticed was that as different as their products and services are, each and every individual entrepreneur was daring to try when they took the leap to start their own business and follow their dream. Mary Kay Ash, a native Texan who built a brand and global empire later in life—at age 45, a single mother supporting three children—dared to try. She risked her entire life savings, a meager $5,000, and became the greatest female entrepreneur of our time when she launched Mary Kay Cosmetics. At the time of her death in 2001, her company had more than 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales of more than $2 billion retail. Beyond the financial success and marketing genius, what set Mary Kay Ash apart was her role as a champion for women. She provided an opportunity for women to achieve unlimited success. She also created a foundation that combats domestic violence and supports women’s health and social causes. With her big hair, unfailing faith in God and mankind, and her signature pink style, Mary Kay Ash changed the world when she became an entrepreneur. Austin is a city in which people are encouraged to dare to try. No idea is too outrageous, innovation is applauded and our flagship university is in the forefront of the ever-expanding science of entrepreneurship. Throughout the years, Austin Woman has featured many of Austin’s most successful female entrepreneurs, none more so that Gay Gaddis, founder of T3, one of the largest independent agencies in the U.S. We caught up with this busy executive to get an update on her life and firm since she graced the June 2005 cover of Austin Woman. Suzi Sosa, the March cover woman lives and breathes the entrepreneurial life. As the executive director of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Sosa’s passion for using entrepreneurship to go global and change the world has a goal: to create an entire generation of young people who see social innovation and social entrepreneurship as a path to solving our imploded economies, societies and environments. Hoping to get a glimpse of women in the trenches living the entrepreneurial life, we also took a look at four enterprising young women trying to make a go of their innovative startup companies. March in Austin is full of exciting happenings: South By Southwest, the RISE Conference and the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. The weather, like the entrepreneurial life, can run hot and cold. Austinites seem to take it all in stride, incorporating the longstanding with the new, taking the good with the bad, knowing that it is the constant flow of ideas and creativity that keeps Austin vibrant and fresh, ready to embrace the next business or idea. Mary Kay Ash once said, “You can have it all. Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.” Here in the Live Music Capital of the World, we believe that everyone’s song is important and that to die with music unplayed would be a tragedy. Dare to try. Austin will be better for it and we at Austin Woman will be right there with you, cheering you on every step of the way. I look forward to hearing from you.

deborah hamilton-lynne Executive Editor

Photo by Korey Howell.

From the Editor

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Contributors Jennifer Day is a freelance designer based in Austin. She recently graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle with a degree in graphic design. While completing her degree, Jennifer worked as the graphic designer for Fremont Abbey Art Center and interned with Dumb Eyes Design. After being in the Northwest for three years, she recently moved back to her hometown and is happy to be back in Texas. Since being back, she has been working as the art assistant for AW Media and doing various freelance jobs.

Sarah Quatrano is a proud Bostonian, and now New York City rookie. She holds a degree in communication design from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in illustration. She loves freelance illustrating for a variety of magazines throughout the country; it gives her new challenges and opportunities every day. You can find her illustration accompanying the Last Word (p. 80).

Dianna Amorde is an author, speaker and life coach. Her passions include inspiring people to trust their guts and exploring Central Texas with her beloved dog. As a solo-preneur, Dianna’s especially thankful for the rich circle of friends Austin has blessed her with since her arrival eight years ago. The roller-coaster ride of the entrepreneurial adventure she writes about this month has certainly been made easier thanks to being able to share the journey with her Austin entrepreneurial sisters. You can find out more about Dianna and her work at Don’t be fooled by her English accent; Julie Tereshchuk has lived in Austin for 21 years, loves the city, the people, the vibe—heck, even the crazy summer heat. The assignment to write about Suzi Sosa provided a behind-the-scenes look at the dynamic mind of a creative entrepreneur, mentor and teacher. When she’s not rocking her life in Austin, Julie travels regularly to New York and London. Her favorite travel gadget? An e-book reader.

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On the Web



off the shelf: High Octane Women: How Super Achievers Can Avoid Burnout, by Sherrie Bourg Carter Discover Your CEO Brand, by Suzanne Bates Entrepreneurial DNA, by Joe Abraham B

1,000 ’’S OF S OF t c fe r PAIRINGS. e P t c fe r PAIRINGS. e P

MORE for entrepreneurs b The Dell Social Entrepreneur Challenge b Shari Wynne and the Incubation Project b Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur? FOOD b Rachel Ray comes to South By Southwest b Reviews of Easy Tiger and Elizabeth Street Café b StarChefs’ regional rising stars best of the BLOGS b From the coach for ambitious women and “fem-evangelist,” Austin’s own power coach, Ann Daly: Grow Your Business Without Losing Your Sanity. Ann shares her collection of tips and techniques to keep you calm, cool and collected as you create your empire. b Are you a blogger? To be considered for Best of the Blogs, please submit a sample of your best work to PLUS b Concert review of Bob Schneider’s valentine to Austin b Takeaways from the RISE Conference b South By Southwest reviews of Film, Interactive and Music b South By Southwest insider tips and events b On the Scene photos b Complete horoscopes and March calendar b Tenth anniversary update featuring Austin Woman’s third year To find these articles, visit the table of contents page at


(512) 366 8260 • (512) 366 8260 •

on the scene /

5 Things you must do this month

Refuel at the Spa Milk + Honey, 204 Colorado St. Milk + Honey’s Second Street location is right in the heart of the city, but you’ll feel far away from all the South By Southwest crowds. That’s the idea Alissa Bayer had in mind when she conceived of an urban day spa in Austin similar to the ones she frequented while living in New York and Washington, D.C. Try Milk + Honey’s signature treatment, The Spa Partisan, which consists of a body polish, a steam treatment and a 60-minute Lux Massage with all-natural body butter. Then hit the day parties, networking events and late-night concerts feeling refreshed.

Enjoy Traditional Irish Food and Drink March 17, Fadó Irish Pub and Restaurant, 214 W. Fourth St. It’s just the luck of the Irish that St. Patrick’s Day happens during South By Southwest, Austin’s biggest party of the year. Get the authentic pub experience at Fadó, where they stay true to traditional Irish food and drink. Perhaps the most beloved of St. Paddy’s beers, Guinness, is sold here and comes straight from the brewery at St. James’ Gate in Dublin. You can’t get more Irish than that! A true pub prides itself on great beer and food, which Fadó also excels at. Try banger, an Irish pork sausage, or the best-selling fish and chips.

20   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

The SXSW Auditorium Shores Stage Concert Series March 15 – 17, Auditorium Shores Austinites love their free concerts, especially in March, when the heat hasn’t quite reached a blistering level. The three-night free concert series at Auditorium Shores is a great way to get a taste of the South By Southwest experience without a badge. Last year, nationally acclaimed local favorites Spoon and Explosions in the Sky joined big-name acts Cheap Trick and The Strokes. During the day, enjoy kid-friendly music, along with a multitude of local food and craft vendors.

Eat and Drink for Free! Though eating free at South By Southwest can sometimes mean a steady diet of tacos and cupcakes, occasionally there are hors d’ouevres and wine tastings to be found. There is sure to be Texas barbeque abound to appease the out-of-towners, though there’s no rule that locals can’t capitalize on some free ’que too. Many events where free food is the main attraction simply require an online RSVP. Chances are, you’ll happen upon a great bite without even trying, but check these resources to get information about special events: Eater Austin, Austin 360 Side Parties Database, South by Free Noms,

Fashion for Compassion March 23, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Saks Fifth Avenue Prominent Austinites strut on the catwalk to raise money for Austin Children’s Shelter, which has given crucial emergency care and shelter to children and young adults since 1984. In addition to emergency care, the shelter provides a stable environment where children and young adults can thrive, supported by programs that teach coping skills and responsible decision-making. For young adults aging out of the foster-care system, the shelter offers support programs designed to prepare them for independent living. Launched in 2010, the teen mothers program teaches young mothers positive parenting skills while they live on campus for up to year. The event will also feature music, food, a live auction and shopping. Visit for tickets and additional event information.

on the scene /

spotlight event

peter max: in living color An impressive collection of pop icon Peter Max’s paintings and works will be available and on display at the Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery March 16 through March 25. View and purchase Max’s newest portraitures of Mick Jagger and Taylor Swift, along with other iconic pieces. Max will make an appearance at a reception on March 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., and on March 25 from noon to 3 p.m. RSVP at 512.478.4440. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 1137 W. Sixth St.,

24   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

B For more events, see the complete March calendar at

Austin Fire Department Hiring Soon! “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” —Ann Richards, Former Governor of Texas

ter all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” —Ann Richards, Former Governor of Texas

To fill out a candidate interest card and learn more, visit

on the scene /


Celebrating Hope The Nobelity Project prepares to host its fourth Artists and Filmmakers Dinner. By Erica Todd Fancy a fun-filled evening sharing a table with a Texas legend and enjoying the talents of incredible performers like DJ Spooky and Joe Ely? At the end of this month, you have the opportunity to mingle with some of the state’s biggest stars while celebrating hope for a wonderful cause. On March 25, the Nobelity Project will host one of Austin’s most popular charity events: its annual Artists and Filmmakers Dinner. The gala, which raises funds for communities in Africa and here in the U.S., has sold out every year. With the support of about 450 attendees and celebrities, the event fully funds some of the project’s programs for an entire year. Through speaking engagements and award-winning books and films like Building Hope (2011), co-founders of the Nobelity Project, Turk and Christy Pipkin have raised awareness, funds and support for their programs benefiting communities here and abroad. The Artist and Filmmakers Dinner is a fundamental part of the Nobelity Project’s approach to raising awareness for these programs. Each of the 45 tables at the gala is hosted by a Texan notable, which is how the event got its name. Ten guests at each table can share the evening with an actor, musician, artist, writer, director or occasionally, a Nobel laureate. Past celebrities include Ricardo Chavira, Kyle Chandler, Owen Wilson and the Dixie Chicks’ Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. “It is like a big reunion. We call it the no-black-tie-

Christy Pipkin during a trip to Africa.

no-back-room gala where everyone enjoys each other’s company,” Christy Pipkin says. The dinner will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin March 25, beginning at 6 p.m. In addition to the cocktail party sponsored by Patron Spirits and the live auction, guests will enjoy some spectacular entertainment. DJ Spooky will be joining the festivities from New York to perform with the Tosca String Quartet, and Nashville stand-up comedian Henry Cho will keep guests laughing. The evening will conclude with a sing-along and concert with musicians Joe Ely, Shawn Colvin, Charlie Sexton and other special guests. This year, Blake Mycoskie (the founder of TOMS Shoes) will receive the Feed the Peace Award for his donation of more than two million pairs of shoes to children in the developing world. The accolade is named in the

honor of Willie Nelson, the first-ever recipient in 2010. The gala’s popularity is a reflection of the support Pipkin’s work receives. One of the main focuses for the nonprofit organization is education. The Nobelity Project has a domestic program, Nobelity in Schools, aiding American schools. The group also strives to help schools throughout rural Kenya to build classrooms, libraries, computer labs and water systems. Forest recovery is another mission. In Kenya, the aim is to construct two tree nurseries that will provide 50,000 trees. The objective here in the U.S. is to help replant 30 acres of Bastrop State Park’s Lost Pines region and to fund an environmentalservice learning program in high schools throughout the Austin area. For more information, visit the events section of

Austin Woman Sponsored Events Austin Under 40 March 2 at Austin Music Hall. VIP party at 5:30 p.m.; registration at 7 p.m. The 14th annual award ceremony recognizes the best and brightest young professionals. The Young Men’s Business League Sunshine Camps and the Austin Young Women’s Alliance Foundation will also benefit from this event. Tiara 5K March 3 at Hendrickson High School, Pflugerville. Carnival at 2:30 p.m.; race begins at 4 p.m. Divas of all ages and fitness levels can partake in the second annual Tiara 5K,

26   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

which celebrates companionship, strength, spirit and womanhood. Partial proceeds benefit the Pflugerville Storehouse Food Ministry. CharityLadies March 21 at Gallery D, West Second Street, 6:30 p.m. This CharityLadies event aims to give opportunities for women to empower other women. Entry is free with an item to donate to Con Mi Madre. The event features Emily Keast and Beth Newill of Gallery D. Torch of Liberty March 21 at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The Southwest regional office of the Anti-Defamation League will honor Whole Foods Market, The Winkelman Family, and Ray and Audrey Maislin for their dedication promoting diversity and equality, and building respectful communities in Austin. RISE Week March 26 – 30. The Women’s Entrepreneur Panel is one of the sessions that will take place during RISE Week. The unique peer-led conference has interactive learning sessions, inspirational keynotes, funding opportunities, competitions and networking events.

on the scene /


Happy Birthday, Pisces Feb. 20 - March 20 Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac, so it’s said that you contain an element of each sign. You’re a natural psychic so we should all trust your intuition, and especially your dreams. You have a vivid imagination and react emotionally to everything, and so many of you are actors, artists, writers and dreamers. As a water sign, you’re drawn to things you can drown in. Maybe it’s music, like Johnny Cash. Or love, like Liz Taylor. Or numbers, like Einstein. Or computers, like Steve Jobs. Or drugs and alcohol, like Kurt Cobain. The thing is, sometimes drowning in something is the best way for you to excel because if you can’t drown in it, you may not bother with it at all. You need a higher cause to act as a rudder, or you tend to drift. You can be completely absorbed by your environment and you adapt, good or bad. So, it’s vitally important to surround yourself with healthy, reputable and loyal influences. Finally, you are a survivor. And this is your year.

THIS MONTH: You will remember this as one of the most important birthdays of your life. Your ruling planet, slow-moving Neptune, just entered your sign, and it hasn’t been in Pisces since the 1800s, when gold was discovered in California. Think of this as a metaphor for your future. Look for your fortunes to rise. Neptune rules music, film, intuition and is happiest at home with you. You’ll start dreaming in vivid color and prophetically. Things that were once cloudy will become crystal clear and stay that way for a long time. Everyone benefits from this change, but you will especially shine like gold nuggets in a sandy stream, and you are just as lucky—especially with communications, short trips, relatives and writing—at least until July. —Deborah Mastelotto, For all horoscopes, visit

SYMBOL: The fish ZODIAC WHEEL ORDER: 12th HOUSE RULES: Self-undoing, the unconscious mind, restrictions, hidden enemies, solitude, intuition ELEMENT: Water QUALITY: Mutable (changeable, very changeable) PLANETARY RULER: Neptune BIRTHSTONE: Aquamarine, chrysolite and moonstone KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Intuitive, dreamy, artistic, sensitive, tender, impressionable, spiritual STRENGTHS: Adaptable, devoted, imaginative CHALLENGES: Oversensitive, indecisive, escapist COLORS: Blues, teal, pale green

Pisces Austinites

March 2

March 5

March 17

March 18

March 19

kerry tate Founder, Tate Austin and Civic Leader

graham reynolds Composer

Eric doggett Photographer

kirk watson Texas State Senator

cathy bonner Founder, The Women’s Museum and Leadership America

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must list /

editor picks Must do Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo Rodeo Austin will celebrate its 75th year with a star-studded lineup of performers and talented athletes in heated competitions. This year’s main stage events include country favorites like Sara Evans, Chris Young and Kevin Fowler alongside mainstream hit-makers like Bret Michaels, Gavin DeGraw and Demi Lovato. This Texas tradition is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Opening night is March 10 and events run through March 24. For tickets and information visit or call 512.919.3000.

Must Have

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Must Read

Portion Spoon by Quirky

Refresh Yourself from Health to Home: A Day of Renewal for Women

Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott

Seton Medical Center’s Ignite Women’s Health Program will host a free renewal expo March 3. The event will feature fashion shows, group fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, workshops and motivational speakers. For an additional fee, women can attend The Transformative Power of SelfCare, a VIP seminar with renowned speaker and author Renée Peterson Trudeau. This day for women will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available at

In her 1993 nonfiction work Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, Anne Lamott shares her journey as a single parent to her son, Sam. Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son is her follow-up piece in which she chronicles Sam becoming a parent himself at just 19. Lamott describes the challenges she once faced herself as she relives them through her son. Available March 20.

This handy, dandy kitchen tool will minimize dirty dishes and the need for three or more hands. Quirky has combined three tools in one with the measuring and stirring Portion Spoon. Pour liquids (up to 1/4 cup) into the handle for quick and easy accuracy and use the spoon end to measure dry spices and seasoning before stirring them into your recipe. At just $8, this low-tech gadget should be a high priority on your list of additions to your kitchen. Available at

30   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

Must hear Joan Osborne, Bring it on Home Joan Osborne claims, “blues music rescued me when I was in need of rescue.” She celebrates her savior with a collection of her favorite vintage blues tunes, drawing from the artists that inspired her career. The album includes pieces from the likes of Etta James, Tina Turner and Ray Charles. The first single, Shake Your Hips, originally recorded by Slim Harpo, is soulfully upbeat and already available. The album hits shelves March 27.


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The All New Honda

*Based on R.L. Polk & Co. U.S. retail registrations, Minivan segment, 1/08-6/10. †A separate source device is required to use split-screen function. **Hard disk drive (HDD) 15-GB memory audio system standard on navigation-equipped models. ††The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA, or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. Please see your Honda dealer for details. ‡19 city/28 highway/22 combined mpg for Touring models. 18 city/27 highway/21 combined mpg for EX-L and below models. Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle. Touring Elite model shown.

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Alexis Bittar Lucite bangle, $90, and Rafe clutch, $70, available at Moss, 705 B S. Lamar Blvd., 512.916.9961. Cole Haan Air Mirella pumps, $198, available at Cole Haan.

Office Neutralize the brightness of the orange shift dress with a brown bag and Kindle cover, along with white sandals. Vintage Valise Kendra Woodbury Tote, $378, and Kindle case in Woodbury, $80, available at Cole Haan, 11601 Century Oaks Terrace, 512.834.8222. Earthies Positano Sandal, $169, available at Stella Says Go, 500 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.524.5020.

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Fab Five Work these five hot trends in to your wardrobe this spring.

By Erika Cerda and Christine Imperatore, Photo by Caleb Kerr Tribal Vince Camuto platform, $159.98, available at Nordstrom, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway, 512.691.2500. neon Marc by Marc Jacobs leather drawstring, $468, available at Nordstrom. pastel Lancome Green Petal Color Fever gloss, $26, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 9722 Great Hills Trail, 512.231.3700. floral Tolani scarf, $100, available at Valentine's Too, 3801 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Suite G, 512.347.9488. funny sunnies

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foodie alert

The Inaugural Austin Food & Wine Festival C3 and Food & Wine Magazine aim to put Austin on the culinary map. By Nicole Carbon By now, you’ve certainly heard the buzz surrounding this year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival. C3 Presents and Food & Wine Magazine took the city by storm last year when they announced the newly expanded festival featuring celebrity chefs, Texas all-stars and a national magazine partnership, highlighting Austin on the culinary festival map. This year’s festival replaces the 26-year Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, which has transitioned in to the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, the beneficiary of the new festival. As a lover of all-things local and 36   Austin Woman m a r c h 2 0 1 2

someone passionate about keeping Austin weird, I was concerned that the local vibe would be lost with this new partnership. I had a chance to chat with Lindsay Hoffman, the spokesperson and festival marketing manager at C3 Presents. Hoffman gives up the scoop on the festival, how it will ensure a local emphasis, not-tobe-missed events and Texas Chef Sarah Grueneberg’s involvement. AUSTIN WOMAN: Why did the festival decide to go national with C3 Presents and Food & Wine Magazine’s involvement, and how is C3 going to ensure keeping the local emphasis? LINDSAY HOFFMAN: Austin Food & Wine Festival is a partnership between C3 Presents, Food & Wine Magazine, Chef Tyson Cole, Chef Tim Love and restaurateur Jesse Hermann. Food & Wine Magazine has a 30year history of producing incredible, indulgent events, most notably the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Austin has become a force on the culinary scene, and we feel our local chefs and winemakers should be sharing the spotlight with the major national and international talent. That said, Austin Food & Wine Festival intends to showcase the best of Austin, and that will include chefs, wineries, cocktail experts, artisan food makers, food trailers, restaurants and the passion for music that makes us uniquely Austin.

AW: What are the top not-to-be-missed events and are they new? LH: One thing that is completely unique to Austin Food & Wine compared to the other festivals in the Food & Wine portfolio is our hands-on events. Festivalgoers will be able to hop on a grill and cook a steak with Tim Love, or fillet a fish for sushi with Tyson Cole. But there are over 35 cooking demos, wine and cocktail seminars, Grand Tasting events to experience, so people can really pack their day with as much as they can handle. AW: How were the participants selected, both national and local? LH: The festival brings together top talent and rising stars, all of whom are making an impact on the food/ beverage scene today. Local chefs like Bryce Gilmore and Aaron Franklin are incredibly interesting, not only because they’re making phenomenal food, but because each of them grew their businesses from trailers to brick-and-mortar favorites getting national acclaim. Likewise, chefs like Masaharu Morimoto, Andrew Zimmern and Marcus Samuelsson bring the whole world in to the conversation. The same holds true in the wine-andcocktail department. We tried to find those voices big and small that were relevant, and create a really rich experience for the enthusiast and the curious alike.

Top photo by Virginia Sherwood; courtesy of Bravo.

Sarah Grueneberg, a finalist on Top Chef Texas, is participating in the New Taste of Texas Kickoff Event on April 27.

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AW: How is the Austin Food & Wine Festival After 26 years of being known as the Texas Hill going to differ Country Wine and Food from any other Festival, this new alliance market’s festival gets a new name and is now that Food & the newest beneficiary of Wine Magazine the inaugural Austin Food presents? Is it & Wine Festival. The newly only because of formed nonprofit alliance the local chefs’ will give back to the local involvement or is culinary community by there something providing grants for projspecial about ects focused on culinary Austin’s festival? innovation. The AFWA LH: I think, first will produce educational and foremost, programs and events highAustin makes lighting the talent of CenAustin special. tral Texas’ chefs, local wine This is a city and spirit makers, craft that cherishes brewers and producers of our local farms, local and artisan products. The alliance’s first event, local chefs and Live Fire!, will kick off this local artisanal year’s Austin Food & Wine products. We Festival on April 26 at the are a city that Salt Lick Pavilion. For can do four-star more information about dining in jeans. AFWA or for tickets to We’re a city that Live Fire!, please visit draws people in and makes them want to stay forever. We’re enormously blessed to be able to launch this festival here and we plan to do it with Austin flair by incorporating music, food trailers, tons of local talent and

everything that makes Austin great. AW: Will you please tell us more about Texas native Chef Sarah Grueneberg and why she is a must-see? LH: Sarah is a native of Houston and is participating in our New Taste of Texas Kickoff Event, even though she currently resides in Chicago. Sarah is absolutely a rising star. She’s the executive chef at Spiaggia, Chicago’s only four-star Italian restaurant, and one of the final four (to date) contestants on Top Chef Texas. She’s a chef we’re going to be hearing about for a long time to come. Join Chef Sarah Grueneberg on Friday, April 27 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for the New Taste of Texas VIP Kickoff Event in Republic Square Park. AW: How did the Food & Wine Alliance become the beneficiary of the festival? Why is there a beneficiary, as there has not been one in the past? LH: C3 Presents tries to work with a nonprofit partner in all of our festivals. As the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival transitioned in to the Food Alliance, and the Austin Food & Wine Festival was born, a great opportunity arose to support an organization that has already given 26 years

to cultivating, celebrating and showcasing food and wine in Central Texas. AW: Will you please provide any information or thoughts on the 2012 Tastemaker Awards presented by CultureMap? Is this the unofficial festival kickoff event? LH: Our friends at CultureMap have taken on the bold task of honoring our local chefs with awards. This is not an Austin Food & Wine Festival event, but we’re rooting for their success, and for our personal favorites! AW: What makes this year’s festival a must-do event? Why should the consumer pay the increased ticket price? And why the packaged ticket pricing? LH: We chose to create a festival experience that would engage people for the entire weekend rather than charging an a la carte price for each event. We wanted people to feel completely immersed and indulged for the weekend rather than just having a bite here or there. The weekender ticket price includes access to over 35 events and three Grand Tastings for $250. Compare that to the Aspen Food & Wine Classic at $1,125, and we think it’s a terrific bargain.

THE 2012 TASTEMAKERS AWARDS CultureMap’s 2012 Tastemaker Awards celebrates the best in Austin’s culinary and cocktail scene. It is the brainchild of Jessica Dupuy, a regular contributor to CultureMap and author of Tyson Cole’s Uchi: The Cookbook. Dupuy saw a need for a sound award ceremony recognizing industry professionals here in Austin. The award panel will be made up of 12 secret judges such as food journalists and industry folk, and it will be led by well-respected chefs such as Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie in Houston and Andrew Weismann of Il Sogno and Sandbar in San Antonio. Categories will include Best Chef, Best Pastry Chef, Restaurant Decor, Best Mixologist, and Best Beer and Wine Program. This first-ever event features only local Austin talent and will take place at the Driskill Hotel April 12. The 2012 Tastemaker Awards benefit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. For more information, visit

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MAR 23-25 ~ THE LONG CENTER Heartbreaking beauty graces the stage in this timely reminder that injustice to one is injustice to all.

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This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's Future and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Visit Austin at

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girl walks into a bar

Stargazing during SXSW By Nicole Carbon

day of the week at local grocery stores, coffee shops and in public parks. The Live Music Capital of the World is well-known for legendary live-music venues where many megastars got their start, one of the most iconic being the Continental Club. Each year during the festival, I find myself wandering up and down the crowded sidewalks of South Congress Avenue to make stops at both the Continental Club and the lesserknown and slightly hidden lounge at the Hotel San Jose.

Each year in March, South By Southwest brings the world to Austin and revs up the stargazing scene. Live music can be heard throughout town on any given

The Continental Club plays a major part in the music scene in Austin, not only during South By Southwest, but throughout the year. Legendary musicians such as

The legendary Continental Club and low-key Hotel San Jose offer the perfect view for celebrity sightings.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan, W.C. Clark and Joe Ely, among many others, have graced the stages of this South Congress staple, performing live. A visit to the Continental Club during South By Southwest (or any day of the week, for that matter) is a must do! You never know who is going to make a guest appearance on that infamous stage. Eric Clapton once showed up to sing with resident musician Toni Price. Last year, Johnny Depp stunned the crowd when he played an impromptu set with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. On a weekly basis, Redd Volkaert packs the house with a free Saturday matinee show. Toni Price and Dan Dyer are also regular evening performers. National acts such as Sonic Youth and The Replacements have performed here. This year during South By Southwest, catch The Trishas, Amanda Shires, Carrie Rodriguez and more. Don’t look for fancy cocktail creations, rather saddle up to the bar for ice-cold beer, strong drinks and shots of

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[Continued from previous page] whiskey or bourbon. You never know who might end up taking the stage or catching a show. Along with Antone’s, the Continental Club is truly a musician’s home away from home. For a more low-key experience, cross the street and slip into the serene confines of the Hotel San Jose. The hotel has been a South Congress standout since 1997, when hotelier Liz Lambert transformed it in to an urban oasis. Now a sleek and modern inn with all the comforts and luxuries of a fine boutique hotel, it includes a courtyard that is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the festival and to relax and possibly stargaze between performances, panels or films. One of the most unique features of the property is that the courtyard morphs in to a lounge each evening. It is open to hotel guests and locals in the know for stargazing—literally—under a partially covered patio

equipped with a fire pit, or making new friends as you sit at the communal-style table situated alongside a small swimming pool. The setting is always intimate, due to the small capacity. It’s a perfectly subdued atmosphere illuminated by soft candlelight and agave plants, wellgroomed bamboo and fence-climbing ivy that provides just enough privacy for the neighboring hotel rooms. You feel as if you are in a friend’s backyard—a hip friend who exudes style and has a fabulous landscaper. The lounge plays hosts to a handful of events throughout the year. Each year during South By Southwest, the hotel hosts the South By San Jose party, which used to take place in the courtyard, but has grown in size and is now held in the parking lot of the adjacent Jo’s Hot Coffee. The festival features local and national bands (some may be staying at the hotel while they are in town). Last year’s acts included White Denim, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and Darden Smith. At press time, this year’s lineup had yet to be announced. The lounge offers a simple but well-thoughtout menu of beer and wine selections and snacks. A house specialty is the Best Michelada. A michelada is a Mexican-style beer prepared with lime, tomato juice and spices. Think beer meets Bloody Mary. I am smitten with the Champassion, a glass of Champagne topped

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Garden path at Hotel San Jose

off with passionfruit juice and garnished with three red raspberries. The lounge also has some of the city’s best sangria. They serve it with a skewer to pierce the fresh fruit filling the glass. An abundant cheese plate served with crusty French bread, grassy green olives and assorted nuts and chocolates rounds out the menu offerings. The Continental Club and Hotel San Jose are two Austin landmarks situated on South Congress Avenue that provide the perfect perch for performances, people-watching and maybe even a celebrity sighting or two during South By Southwest. I’ll see you there.

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Trifecta Triathlon

Training for a Triathlon Nine things I wish I knew before I jumped in to the sport. By Chrissie Jarrell & Natalie Yerkovich Training and racing in triathlons is an amazing way to stay fit, particularly in Austin. Not only do you get to enjoy the outdoors as you swim, bike and run, but you also become a part of the vibrant triathlon community of athletes, coaches and supporters. Triathlon is one of the most popular endurance sports in Austin, and participating in this sport is an awesome experience that we encourage everyone to try at least once. Before you jump in to triathlon, we brought together coaches and experienced triathletes to share the insight they wish they had before they got started in the sport. See you at the finish line!

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Find Your Training Fit Spend time figuring out what training setting works best for you. Do you need guidance, accountability or skill development? Do you prefer individual attention versus camaraderie with fellow athletes? Would you feel more comfortable training in a women-only group? Shop around before you join a group and take advantage of trial periods to make sure you enjoy working with the coaches and other athletes.

Beware of the Urge to Splurge Triathlon can be a gear- and equipment-heavy sport. It can add up quickly if you’re not careful. But that’s not to say you can’t do triathlons if you’re on a budget. Be smart and spend wisely when necessary. Then, as you get more involved and experienced in the sport, upgrade your beginner gear.

Know What You’re Getting in to Watch a race before you compete in your first race. It’s not only helpful to get a grasp of logistics of the race—bike setup, open-water swim course, running course, transitions—it is also extremely motivating and will get you excited about your own race. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community, watch a race up close and personal, and meet fellow athletes.

Not All   Races Are   Created Equal For your first race, try a sprint distance or break up the Olympic distance in to a relay with two other friends. It is also a good idea to seek out a local race for your first. Traveling for a race brings with it a lot of other things to consider that you might not want to add to your first-race jitters. Ask around at local tri shops like Jack and Adam’s Bicycles. These experts will be able to recommend great local beginnerfriendly races.

It’s Not Just a Sport, it’s a   Lifestyle Triathlon requires a lot of training and disci-

upcoming Races May 6: The Rookie Triathlon (sprint distance) May 13: Skeese Greets Women’s Tri (sprint distance, women only) May 28: Capital of Texas Triathlon (sprint and Olympic distances) June 3: Danskin Triathlon (sprint distance, women only) August 5: Jack’s Generic Triathlon (sprint distance) September 16: Trifecta Triathlon (sprint and Olympic distances)

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fitness [Continued from previous page] pline, and you’ll find that it influences many aspects of your life. You’ll go to sleep earlier on a Friday night and wake up earlier on a Saturday morning than you ever would have thought. You’ll start to eat better, read and blog about triathlon and talk to your friends about working out.

Be Your Own Barometer   of Success It’s easy to get caught up in the competitiveness of the sport. It is important to set your goals and decide what you want to achieve. Challenge yourself, and use races and your teammates as motivation to reach your goals, but remember what is important to you.

Self-Care is Critical  Triathlon and endurance-sport training put your body under physical stress, so it’s important to take really good care of yourself. This means massages, eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, stretching, foam rolling, yoga, cross training and listening to your body. Triathlon can be a very fun and fulfilling lifestyle, as long as you take care of your body.

Skeese Greets Women’s Triathlon

It’s Highly Addictive You think completing an Ironman sounds insane, impossible or you just don’t have time? Just wait until you complete your first season. You’ll be hooked for life!

Triathlon Can Change   Your Life You’ll meet some of your best friends (and friends you’ll see the most), improve your health and push yourself to new levels physically and mentally.

Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich, the gals who created, do the grunt work for you. Well, the organizational grunt work, anyway. They work hard to connect people with the fitness groups, information and resources they need so they can grunt, sweat and tone to achieve their personal goals.


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The Nobelity Project Artists and Filmmakers Dinner 2012 Sunday, March 25th • Four Seasons Austin Honoring Blake Mycoskie founder of TOMS Shoes

Performances from Joe Ely, Charlie Sexton, Shawn Colvin, and New York City’s DJ Spooky with very special guests. Every dinner guest is seated at a table with a Texas Star.

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Saving Face Non-surgical alternatives to plastic surgery. By Jill Case Crow’s feet, frown lines, wrinkles on the forehead—these are the things that prompt women to look for the best ways to make their skin look younger. Today, there are many alternatives to the surgical facelift, each with its own benefits and risks. Austin Woman spoke with Dr. Lauren Crawford about some of the procedures that are available.

BOTULINUM TOXIN INJECTION Almost everyone has heard of Botox. Both Botox and Dysport are created from a purified form of botulism bacteria that is injected into muscles to make them relax. When injected in the face, it works to relax lines like crow’s feet, frown lines and lines between the eyebrows. The injections only take about 10 to 20 minutes, and there is a minimal amount of pain. The results can be seen in about three to seven days, and will last about three months to four months. There can be side effects like infection, inflammation, swelling, tenderness and bleeding or bruising. Dr. Crawford says Botox and Dysport offer about the same results. “I do not recommend one over the other when used by a competent injector,” she says. “They provide the same service.”

DERMAL FILLERS Dermal fillers are not used to tighten sagging skin. Instead, they are used to add volume to parts of the face that have lost volume throughout the years (the lips, the cheeks or the contours around the hollows of the eyes). Dermal fillers help reduce wrinkles, smooth and soften the look of the skin and help achieve a more youthful look. According to Dr. Crawford, hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane are “the easiest to inject with very little risk of side effects.”

Dr. Crawford notes that a wonderful option for patients is Sculptra Aesthetic, which offers a “subtle, but progressive improvement that can last several years.” Dr. Crawford likes this substance because she says in her use of it, she has not seen nodule formation or adverse side effects, and it can be used for many different areas of the face. On the other hand, she also notes that, “it takes two to three injection sessions separated by four to six weeks to get full correction, and it’s more costly than the more temporary fillers.”

CHEMICAL PEELS According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chemical peels are one of the least invasive procedures. But how do they work?

“They are the most forgiving because they are typically gone in four to 12 months and may be dissolved if truly problematic,” she adds.

“Chemical peels most often combine different types of acids to achieve different levels of skin resurfacing,” Dr. Crawford explains. “The peel creates a skin injury aimed at removing dull skin, improving superficial wrinkles, removing blemishes, improving pigment issues and stimulating new collagen growth.”

Longer lasting fillers include Radiesse and Artefill, but these have more risk of nodules forming.

Basically, there are three types of chemical peels: light, medium and deep. A light peel will need to be

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repeated about every six months. The results from a medium peel will last from six to 12 months, and a deep peel can last up to 10 years, but this procedure has the longest recovery and requires as many as eight weeks of pre-treatment.

LASER SKIN RESURFACING Laser skin resurfacing is particularly good for treating sun-damaged skin and uneven pigmentation, as well as wrinkles. There are many options available, but the one that Dr. Crawford likes is the Fraxel laser procedure. This procedure uses microscopic lasers to target areas of the dermis (the sub-layers of skin under the epidermis, or outer layer, of skin) and make tiny wounds. The wounds prompt the body’s natural healing process, creating firmer and younger-looking skin. Dr. Crawford says Fraxel also allows for faster healing by targeting very specific areas while sparing the surrounding areas. There are varying degrees of downtime with these treatments, depending on which one you choose. After the treatments, the skin will be red and may feel like it is sunburned, but you can return to your normal activities right away. You will need to protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen

and a hat for a few months after treatment. For best results, you will probably need four to six treatments.

RADIO FREQUENCY TREATMENTS Radio frequency treatments, known by names like Thermage, Accent, EndyMed and Pellevé, smooth and tighten the skin, jowls and even “turkey neck.” This technology uses radio frequency to heat the skin and stimulate the production of collagen. “There is certainly room for these devices to offer patients improvement in skin tightening,” Dr. Crawford says, adding that, like lasers, these products will usually require three to six treatments to achieve the desired improvement. She uses EndyMed in her practice, and says “it offers a nice, non-invasive technique with no downtime.” What does Dr. Crawford suggest as an alternative? “The best result is often achieved with a combination of nonsurgical and surgical procedures,” she says. “Most of our face-lift patients also undergo skin treatments in our clinic to get the best that facial rejuvenation has to offer.” There are many ways to look younger and improve the look of your skin and face. No treatment is right for everyone or for every skin issue. As always, before going ahead with a procedure like “the lunch-hour lift,” it’s advisable to do your research and consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist first. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist allows you to ask questions and get the doctor’s input as to which procedure will be most beneficial for you. Dr. Crawford says it is important for the doctor to provide excellent patient education so that the patient can make the best choices. “The consultation,” she says, “is a vital part of the process.” Dr. Lauren Crawford is a board-certified plastic surgeon at Austin Plastic Surgery Institute. For more information about her, visit drlaurencrawford. com. For more information about the procedures mentioned above, visit: Austin Plastic Surgery Institute: Austin Skin Dermatology: Dr. Deirdre Rhoad: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons:

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Suzi Sosa Changing the world, forging the next generation of entrepreneurship. By Julie Tereshchuk Photos by William Russell Hair and makeup by Jenny Lin, Special thanks to Anilyn Fabello and Danielle Pruitt of Chalk Ink,

Theory blazer available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 9722 Great Hills Trail, 512.231.3700. Balenciaga silk top and Acne pants available at Moss Designer Consignment, 705B S. Lamar Blvd., 512.916.9961. 51

ichael John Novak fled his home country of Czechoslovakia to escape political oppression. As a globetrotting career diplomat, Fred Morris was British Consul General in both Egypt and Pakistan. Their children met and married in England before immigrating to the United States. Little wonder that Michael and Fred’s granddaughter, Suzi Sosa, views herself as a global citizen. Sosa always wanted to do something big and meaningful. At first, she thought it would come through conventional international economic development. Then a chance meeting opened the door to the whirlwind world of entrepreneurship, and she was hooked. She started Austin Women Entrepreneurs and ran the wildly popular RISE, Austin’s annual entrepreneur boot camp, a free event that draws thousands to the city. Now she’s on a path to meet her childhood goals with her latest venture: creating a global social-innovation program backed by $5 million, courtesy of Dell. It’s the largest corporate gift Dell has given to the University of Texas at Austin. Sosa was born in England, the first child of two students who fell in love in dental school. When Sosa was four, her parents packed up their young family and headed to Rochester, NY, where Sosa’s father studied for his Ph.D. Being the daughter and the granddaughter of immigrants has impacted Sosa’s attitude. “I don’t have a sense of a home. I don’t feel American, and I’m definitely not English,” Sosa says. “I feel more like a global citizen.” Her background has also contributed to her fascination for entrepreneurship and innovation. “It makes me more willing to pick up and start again, to not be afraid of failure,” she says. “The process of losing everything and starting again is critical for entrepreneurship, and if you’ve never experienced that, it can be terrifying.” From an early age, Sosa had the sense of wanting to leave her mark on the world. “How to make a big difference in a short life, that’s what burdens me,” the 34-year-old says

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today. As with many of this deep thinker’s much pondered comments, this one is quickly followed by a grin, a chuckle and a self-deprecating throwaway line. “I aspire to relax!” Despite her early sense of mission, she headed to UT Austin with no clear career path in front of her. Her love of and aptitude for languages prompted her to continue her study of French, Russian, Spanish and Czech. She enrolled in the Plan II Honors program and she did some French tutoring before taking an economics class in her senior year. Suddenly, she’d found her vocation. “I found it fascinating,” she says. Short months later, she was enrolled in the Masters in Public Administration and Economic Development program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. All was clear: She was going to change the world through her work in international economic development. Her studies answered “exactly the question I was concerned about, basically, how to make poor countries rich,” she says. Leading macro-economists like Jeffrey Sachs (one of the youngest professors in Harvard’s history, and now director of the

Earth Institute at Colombia University), Nobel Prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz and former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers were her instructors. She worked for the prime ministers of Lebanon and Bermuda, and expected to land a job at an international agency in Washington, D.C., London or New York. Then her sister fell seriously ill while studying as an undergrad at UT Austin, and needed family support. It was clear to Sosa what to do. She put her international plans on hold and took a job in Texas so the two sisters could live together in Austin. In September 2001, Sosa began working for the U.S. Department of Commerce, helping invest multi-millions of federal dollars in major economic-development projects throughout the Southwest. Even before she went to work for the federal government, she was feeling uneasy about the impact large bureaucratic agencies and governments could have. Frustrating experiences at the Department of Commerce (behind-the-scenes lobbying among them) only added to her growing sense of disillusionment. One day, Sosa happened to run in to someone

suzi sosa's tips for budding entrepreneurs 1. Find a partner. Not a single entrepreneur survives alone. It’s a long, bumpy journey and a teammate makes all the difference. 2. Get started. The sooner you can start offering your product or service, the sooner you will get it right (because it won’t be right when you first start offering it, I promise). 3. Build a board. A group of advisors, formal or informal, will act as your coaches. They will push you to progress faster by holding you accountable and also helping you along the way. It’s the best way to get free support. Look for advisors who already have proven success. The best way to get them is to just ask. Austin is such a small town, and with events like RISE, it’s so easy to get access to amazing advisors. You should also think about friends and family members. Most people have many untapped mentors already in their lives. And, perhaps most importantly, these people will really care about your success. 4. Raise your prices! So many women undercharge, especially if it’s a service-based business. Later, they are reluctant to raise their prices for fear of losing customers who have become friends. Most early entrepreneurs could raise their prices by 25 percent and not miss a beat. 5. Forget work-life balance. There is no balance. There is only flow. As an entrepreneur, work is your life. It’s your passion and you love it. You must allow the two to flow in and out of each other.

a Suzi led a workshop for UT students entitled "Ideas to Change the World," which helped students prepare compelling projects for the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.

she’d known in college, one of the students she’d tutored in French. He had started his own business, he told Sosa, and invited her to lunch. Reluctantly, she accepted, convinced they would have nothing in common. That former classmate was Roy Sosa.

2004, Roy and his younger brother, Bertrand, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as founders of prepaid card processor NetSpend, started out of the brothers’ onebedroom apartment with only $750. In 2008,

stages, she was immediately plunged in to the daily ups and downs of a struggling start-up. The fast-moving responses to brainstorming sessions during dinner, the thrill of seeing ideas turned in to action before her eyes, the feeling that she was helping to make a difference provided a stark contrast to the slowgrinding wheels of her day job at the Department of Commerce. As NetSpend grew, she was “blown away by the ability to innovate, to solve problems and to do it so quickly,” Sosa recalls. “There was this immediate contrast between the job I had, where I couldn’t make anything happen.” She quit her job and, with that single act, stepped heart and soul in to the world of entrepreneurship that continues to fascinate and absorb her today. Sosa quickly went on to found Austin Women Entrepreneurs, a networking group that she facilitated initially as a one-time response to the stream of requests to meet for coffee and chew over someone’s business ideas, plans or struggles. Her drive to help women entrepreneurs was, in part, fueled by her desire to see a woman on the stage at the Ernst & Young awards. “We went five years in a row, and none of the finalists were women,” she says. Also fuelling her interest in helping women entrepreneurs were the years of observing her mother, a longtime entrepreneur who has successfully reinvented her own business several times. Austin Women Entrepreneurs has since

Photo by Rudy Arocha.

“You go from thinking you might start something to you’ve just incorporated. Then you’ve got an employee, and now you’ve got a customer." —Suzi Sosa Two weeks later, the two were engaged. Three months after that, they were married. And Suzi Sosa’s life was never the same again. Roy, who moved to the United States from Mexico in 1986 and subsequently served in the United States Marines, has a “fascinating story,” to use his wife’s understated description. In

NetSpend Corporation went public, valued by analysts at more than $1 billion. Roy went on to found MPower, which, today, provides capital and support for new business and product ideas. Suzi and Roy’s fateful lunch was in 2002, and the heady days of billion-dollar valuations were still far off. With NetSpend still in its early 53

morphed in to RISEWomen, an integral part of the RISE Conference, begun by the Sosas, which she ran for several years. “I am passionate about entrepreneurship,” Sosa says, noting that what fascinates her most is the aspect of innovation. “Not just for the sake of innovation, but as a direct response to a pain that somebody is feeling.” Entrepreneurship is about creating things, she explains. “The most exhilarating moments of my life were definitely the moments that each of my children were born, when you go from the potential to the reality,” she says. For Sosa, second only to the life-defining experience of childbirth is seeing a company launch. “You go from thinking you might start something to you’ve just incorporated. Then you’ve got an employee, and now you’ve got a customer,” she says. on suzi's “It is so cool, bookshelf so exciting.” Things are On work-life balance (or not): definitely The Three Marriages: different for Reimagining Work, Self and a woman enRelationship, by David Whyte trepreneur, Sosa believes. On social entrepreneurship: Women have How to Change the World: Social different chalEntrepreneurs and the Power of lenges and have New Ideas, updated edition by different attitudes to their David Bornstein enterprises For daughters (on being a than men do. strong young woman): “Not in a bad way, just Island of the Blue Dolphins, by different,” she Scott O’Dell quickly adds. Children present a unique challenge, which she well knows as the mother of a 2-yearold daughter and 7-month-old son. “When I was pregnant, I just couldn’t travel after a certain period of time. And I was physically depleted. That’s the beginning of a series of considerations that make it a different experience for women.” What about women’s attitudes? She noticed the difference years ago, at the first Austin Women Entrepreneurs meeting when the majority of women said they regarded their business as a lifestyle business, and really were not interested in a path to the Fortune 500. (Sosa herself says

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she goes back and inspirational women As told by Suzi Sosa forth, and although g Ellie Phillips [pictured above], my mom, who raised five kids, launched two fundamentally she’s a Fortune 500 type, there businesses and showed me what passion and hard work can achieve. are days when a little Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, another happily married mom with a husband on tamale shop open just a the move. She had five kids, a farm, smallpox and the Civil War to deal with. If I feel few hours a day is extremely appealing.) tired or sorry for myself, I say, “If Abigail Adams could do it, so can I!” “What I’ve learned Elizabeth I, queen of England, a powerful, smart woman in a man’s job. She had about women’s entrepreneurship is that it courage and fortitude in a time when there was little support for women in top is very heterogeneous,” leadership roles. she says. “Entrepreneurship is another child. If it is going to grow, you have to give, give, give.” mitment to avoid waste, reduce pollution, track In line with many successful entrepreneurs, impact and inspire change. SoCo’s Dominican Joe’s including local figures such as Whole Foods’ John coffee shop is another good example of a social Mackey and GSD&M’s Roy Spence, Sosa believes enterprise, she notes. “Drink coffee and change the in social entrepreneurship as a viable path to solvworld,” is how it’s summed up on the store’s website. ing broad social, economic and political problems. Through its partnership with Austin-based nonThere’s been feudalism, capitalism, socialism and profit Makarios, Dominican Joe’s uses the proceeds communism. from the coffee shop to fund education, training and Now, says Sosa, “We’re at the beginning of the micro-finance programs for women and farmers in next ism.” Central America. On a larger scale, Whole Foods There are many examples of social entrepreneurcontinues to promote social goals, Sosa says, citing ship, Sosa says, citing Blue Avocado as one of the the Health Starts Here campaign, which educates most successful local examples. Founded by three consumers about healthier eating choices. women, the eco-products company known for its So, what is social entrepreneurship in a nutshell? chic reusable grocery bags has a sustainability com“A new way of thinking about solving social prob-

lems in a financially sustainable way,” Sosa explains. Forget the old way of doing business, with entrepreneurs focused solely on the fastest way to make a buck. Today’s entrepreneurs are looking at a much bigger picture. So for Sosa, “social innovation and social entrepreneurship is where you are accountable to more than just money.” Along with many of their fellow highly successful peers, the Sosas have chosen to remain in Austin. What is it that makes this such a great town for social entrepreneurs? For starters, access to training, says Sosa, who teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on social entrepreneurship at UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. There are also many other places in town teaching a new generation of social entrepreneurs, including St. Edward’s University, the Acton School of Business and the new Austin Center for Design. There are also the incubators, like the IC2 Institute, plus grassroots groups such as Bootstrap Austin and RISE. And Austin offers access to capital and great networking. Sosa cites the difficulty her brother-in-law Bertrand Sosa had rolling out a New York City version of RISE because Gotham doesn’t offer that “two degrees of separation” found in Austin. Not only are experienced social entrepreneurs relatively easy to network with here, many are willing to be mentors, which is another check mark for Austin. Then there’s the recognition afforded by such prestigious awards as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The regional awards made in Austin are the only ones in the country to now include a social entrepreneurship award, Sosa says. A couple of years ago, Sosa realized she wanted to focus more fully on empowering entrepreneurs through teaching. So, she left MPower, where, as chief of staff, she’d led key policy partnerships, including those with the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Economic Forum. She stepped away from RISE, and she headed to the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, housed in the LBJ School. Having thought she was going to be doing some teaching and writing some books, in October 2010, her boss, Dr. Peter Frumkin, asked her to talk to Dell about renewing their support of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. The program was started in 2006 by local philanthropist and former Dell executive Tom Meredith to build the next generation of social entrepreneurs. In 2007, Dell became title sponsor with a three-year, $400,000 investment. This time around, they loved Sosa’s proposal and wrote a check for $5 million. Now she’s the executive director of DSIC, and beaming as she talks about her “big, hairy, audacious goal to create a movement, to create an entire generation of young people that see social innovation and social entrepreneurship as a path” to solv-

ing imploded economies, societies and environments. It’s her opportunity to fulfill her childhood goal to do something large and meaningful. The DSIC qualifies on both counts. She’s committed to taking the program to six target global markets and to increasing applications from 1,000 to 20,000 worldwide—all in five years. From her campus office, with a picture-perfect view of the UT Tower, Sosa is undaunted. She’s energized by the scope of the work ahead. She’s reflective on her grandparents’ and her mother’s

influence on the path her life has taken, relating it to her own work with the next generation. “It all ties in to social entrepreneurship being the next iteration in the world of entrepreneurship,” she says. “It’s all about generational evolution.” Propped on top of her bookshelves is the giant check used in the photos when Dell made the announcement about its $5 million gift. The memo line reads, “Changing the World.” And that is Suzi Sosa. 55

up and coming Four women put aside their fears, trust their guts and follow their hearts. by joelle pearson + photos by sadie barton and caleb kerr

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he word “entrepreneur” is usually associated with images like Silicon Valley, or with ideas of venture capitalism: oiled hair, a good firm handshake and J.D. Rockefeller. Under all the suit-and-tie imagery linked to entrepreneurial ventures is something more palpable, something that really keeps us from taking the leap to pursue our own endeavors: fear, which leads to nagging questions. Is our idea a good one? Can it weather this economy? And what happens if we fail? Austin seems to have sidestepped these popular motifs. The women entrepreneurs profiled here have wild hair and wear running shoes, and their goals have less to do with profit than they do personal fulfillment. They have faced their fears and done it with grace. “Fear, in any real market, is a natural emotion,” wrote economics commentator Barry C. Lynn. “There is a fear of not making a sale, not landing a job, not winning a client. Such a fear is healthy, even constructive. It prods us to polish our wares, refine our skills and to conjure up—every so often—a wonder.”

Tiffany Harelik

Founder and proprietor of The Trailer Food Diaries Productions LLC You could say that food trailers are in her genes. In the early 1900s, a man crossed his native Russia and boarded a steamship bound for America. He docked in Galveston, TX, before walking nearly 300 miles to Hamilton. He didn’t have family. He couldn’t speak English. Eventually, he bought a small cart, from which he sold bananas for a penny each. While most consider food trailers a recent phenomenon, Haskell Harelik was among the first Texans to profit from them. That man was Tiffany Harelik’s great-grandfather. One Sunday about 100 years later, the fourth-generation Austinite found herself sitting in a lot, slightly tipsy under a painfully blue February sky. She was a single mother with no savings who worked an office job, and all she wanted that afternoon was to find a food trailer that was open. It was 2010, a few years after trailers like The Mighty Cone and Hey Cupcake! were beginning to garner serious press. Yet, there was no central hub for the burgeoning trend, and thus, Harlick’s trailer-food crawl that day was cut short. She and her friends admitted defeat; they settled for a Tecate 12-pack and some dough-

nuts instead. Somewhere in that disappointing brunch, Harlick decided to create her blog. At a picnic table alongside Dock & Roll, Harelik takes a calculated bite of the trailer’s specialty, The Maine Event. She chews. She licks her lips and sucks a bit of fluorescent mayo from her thumb and turns it upward. “Good,” she says, nodding. “Nice and chunky.” When it comes to food descriptions, Harelik—and her

blog—remain simple. For her, the Trailer Food Diaries began as more of a culture blog than a food blog. She was more interested in why a pedi-cabber would stop cycling to bake bread, or why a real-estate mogul would rather make sandwiches than six figures. The more intertwined Harelik became in their endeavors, the more inspired she was to follow her own dream. So Harelik made a change. “I called my dad one night and I felt like such a loser,” 57

she says, remembering her disposition. She announced she was quitting her office job. “And he said, ‘I think you should. You’ve been in the wrong job for a long time.’ And I just started bawling, you know? ’Cause I finally got someone’s approval. It was what I needed.” By May 2010, Harelik landed a meeting with C3, where she pitched an idea for a festival that would celebrate food-trailer cuisine. By November, the idea had become Gypsy Picnic, and in between, she started a TV series and a magazine playing off the concept. Between our lobster roll and Bahn-Mi sits a glossy soft-cover edition of one of Harelik’s latest projects, The Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook: Austin Edition. Despite its initial rejection from multiple presses, the book has sold more than 3,000 copies and is now carried at Whole Foods, BookPeople and many other locations. The Trailer Food Diaries’ motto is “Serving up the American dream, one plate at a time.” For Harelik, food trailers are a compact microcosm of the American dream, a tiny space where someone can pursue their call to the culinary world without having to gather the crew, resources and finances they would need to start a restaurant. Austin has become the trailer-food capital of the world now, with the number of carts tipping somewhere close to 2,600. But while initially they seem like an easy investment, Harelik will be the first to admit that it takes

a dedicated and savvy trailer-food entrepreneur to succeed. The market is competitive, yes, and the stakes are high—even in a supportive community like Austin—but beyond books and festivals and magazines and television and 10,000 dishes tasted, Harelik’s priority is to inspire them to keep pushing forward. “Finding your life’s mission is what’s most important. I ask people all the time what they like to do, and they can’t even answer that,” she says. People, like the Harelik from years ago, are so busy getting by that they lose sight of their passion. “It’s the most important question we can ask when we’re trying to overcome our fears.” Beyond the trailer-food community, Harelik’s friends also see her career move as an inspiration. She laughs, and reminds me of Haskell. “People are always like, ‘Oh my god, you quit your job! What a leap of faith!’” she says. “And I’m like, ‘No, man. He got on a boat. His life was so bad, he was willing to die on a boat.’ Now that’s a leap of faith.” If he could do it, so can she.

stacy zoern

CEO of Community Cars Inc. Some companies project growth on spreadsheets. Others do it on something more tangible. Stacy Zoern leads me to her second warehouse, a towering concrete-andsteel space that yawns, darkly vacant. Only a tiny pocket has activity, where skilled metalworkers forge auto parts under a spray of sparks. The sanguinary smell of melting steel and rain fills the place, and the crackle of the blowtorches is punctuated with orders barked in both Hungarian and English. Zoern surveys the scene with pride. In her mind, she doesn’t see emptiness; she can already see the warehouse filled with new employees working in tighter shifts, gloved hands tinkering at stations that are yet to be. The final result of all of this production will be a revolutionary automobile called a Kenguru. It’s a compact electric car designed specifically for people in wheelchairs,

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which allows users to open doors via remote, enter through a ramp and drive using a joystick or motorcycletype handlebar. They’re a much-needed alternative to the cumbersome modified vans that were once the only option. Zoern, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy and has never walked, once drove one of these vans. One afternoon she banked on a curb, which resulted in a blowout and the destruction of the car’s steering ability. The accident occurred more than 10 years ago, and she hasn’t driven since. Behind Zoern is a motley list of intimidating accomplishments: She published a memoir in her early 20s, she opened an art gallery just “to try it,” she attended law school and began practicing patent litigation before she was 30. It’s not surprising that when she discusses being dependent on others for mobility, her voice becomes tinged with frustration. “Able-bodied people often don’t understand,” she says. “[People with disabilities] don’t have bicycles. We can’t get in taxis. Half the time, busses or bus stops aren’t accessible. You are literally trapped on the street where you live.” One afternoon in the spring of 2010, she was searching the Internet for a solution. She came across a small company in Budapest, Hungary, that manufactured the Kenguru. When she eventually got in touch with the company, the owner, Istvan Kissaroslaki, apologized. They had run out of funding when the economy crashed, he explained, and had ceased production. Four days passed, and Zoern telephoned again. This time, she asked Kissaroslaki if he would become her business partner. If funding was all they needed, she could secure it. The automaker eventually decided to not only partner with Zoern (who has raised more than $1.75 million for the project), but also to relocate the assembly plant to Pflugerville under the new name Community Cars Inc. Zoern weaves between production areas in the main warehouse. Much unlike the other, this area is brimming with activity. At the center, the first three Kengurus sit in various stages of production, their glossy tangerine paint illuminated under the fluorescents. She explains what each of her employees do, but her face keeps breaking into a broad smile when she turns toward the cars. It’s that face mothers make when their children have their first recitals or walk a stage at graduation. In the adjacent storeroom, she gestures to unprimed Kenguru shells that line the walls. Zoern is stockpiling them; right now the demand for the car is so high that she’s having trouble just finding production funds. She has dealers in the UK, Ireland and France, where hundreds of customers are on waitlists. She’s confident that the demand in the U.S. will be high too. It’s simple to drive, effortless to board and costs about a quarter of what modified vans do, or about $20,000. Every day, new people come banging on her door, over-qualified ones who are willing to work for less because they believe in the project. Back in the second empty warehouse, Zoern crosses the concrete floor. Against this backdrop she seems dwarfed. The ceiling is so high, the walls are too wide and suddenly her project seems so expansive that it could swallow her whole. I ask her, “Are you ever afraid it won’t work?” even

though we both know it will. “You know, I think this is true for a lot of things in life. But you have no idea what you’re getting in to when you start something,” she says. “And I think if you did, the fear would overwhelm you and stop you. But you have to take things one step at a time. This has been bigger than I ever imaged, but more than anything, it feels meant to be.”

sigrid goerndt and danielle pruitt Founders of YogaCity

The best pairings are always opposite: salt and caramel, leather and lace, beer and sports. Unconsciously or not, people and things—and even ideas—are always seeking symmetry. When entrepreneurs find their complements, however, the result is wilder than any chili-spiked fruit or curious tactile pairing; it’s two people who can share one ambition. Danielle Pruitt and Sigrid Goerndt are aware of their synchronicity. Pruitt is a waif blonde tucked in to glossy riding boots whose hands gesture in broad circles as she speaks. Goerndt is a strong, salt-and-pepper jeans type who stands with arms casually crossed. Pruitt is partial meditative yoga, while Goerndt, shaking her head, says she favors a methodical walk. Pruitt visualizes a world where everyone wears their brand and Goerndt re-calculates stitch width. Both wear small gold or silver necklaces with their new company’s logo dangling from them, something that looks like a modern four-leafed clover. Two years ago, Pruitt called Goerndt after spending a summer at a rental cottage in Florida. She’d retreated there to practice Bikram yoga, hoping to jump-start her creative energy through a diligent daily routine. Pruitt owned Studio Image Inc., the design company whose clients include Whole Foods and Starbucks. Additionally, she was running an online store for her product Chalk Ink, a chalk-hued marker that has become a design staple at the aforementioned companies (and now decorates the high walls of their Southside warehouse). But the company stopped designing and marker selling lost its challenge, and there she found herself, flowing between poses, searching for inspiration in Boca Raton. Entrepreneurs have a way of making their life’s joy become their life’s work, so it seemed sensible that Pruitt’s next step was to somehow integrate yoga in to her goals. On the other hand, Goerndt, an apparel designer who had spent decades working for Eddie

Bauer and Levi Strauss in the Bay Area and Seattle, agreed to help, but only on terms new to Pruitt. “When she asked for my help, I said no,” Goerndt says, laughing. She was ready for more than contract drafting; she wanted to become a partner in the company. Recalling the suggestion, Pruitt leans forward, hand fluttering over her heart like a girl getting asked to junior prom. “‘Really?’ I told her. ‘You’d want to go in to business…with me?’” Pruitt says. Business ventures, she explains, are inherently frightening, no matter how experienced you are. For Pruitt, Goerndt was more than a mind to collaborate with; she was an affirmation incarnate that the idea was a good one. Faith, they both suggest, is the most powerful tool for a startup. Goerndt leads me through their warehouse. Employees poke their heads around corners (two are Goerndt’s sisters) and the walls are scrawled with vibrant Chalk Ink doodles of fruits and phrases. In her office, she and Pruitt begin laying out the 10 items in YogaCity’s line. Goerndt’s fingers flip over seams to trace the careful stitching. She tugs on a sangriacolored top to prove its elasticity. She proudly holds up a soft, gray popover like a hooked marlin at a

weigh station, grinning. For two years, she’s been drafting, rejecting, refitting and perfecting the line, using the expertise she gleaned from her years at major corporations. Each piece embodies a bit of the city it’s named for—Chicago, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Austin, New York—and each is a perfect, pared-down version of yoga essentials. Seams melt in to fabrics and tags won’t touch skin, tops elongate and waistbands adjust. Chefs explain the best food comes from people who love to cook; love transfers from the cook to the dish. The same can be said of Goerndt and Pruitt’s products. Like their products, their work environment is perfectly tailored to their lives. Back in the main office, the pair rattles off ideas for expanding YogaCity. There’s talk of trunk shows, trade shows, collaborations, online quotas and synergy. Goerndt crosses her arms and finishes Pruitt’s sentences. Their corporate backgrounds have shown them how to execute goals and imbued them with a ruddy confidence. “You don’t want to stop when you’re creating stuff for your business,” Pruitt says. “You don’t have an exit strategy. Your work becomes part of your life because it’s something you enjoy doing.” 59

10 year anniversary

Austin Woman magazine 2004-2005 Building community through philanthropic support. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne By the second anniversary, Austin Woman went glossy, continued to grow, increasing its distribution locations to 500, and became the go-to publication for women in Austin. Strong ties were being built throughout the community as Austin Woman used its resources and network to support events, causes and organizations of particular interest to women and families. Ties were also being built by our featured cover women, including Mo Anderson, CEO of Keller Williams; First Lady of Texas Anita Perry; filmmaker Anne Rapp; writer Sarah Bird and State Representative Dawnna Dukes. “I was actually amazed at the speed with which we were accepted in to the community and the way everyone was on board with our mission of featuring women and their accomplishments, and enlightening and supporting women,” Publisher Melinda Garvey reflects on the cover women. “Our cover women were incredibly influential, tops in their fields and committed to making Austin and Austin women shine. Looking back, it didn’t seem that they could do more, but they have. They continue to contribute, to break barriers, achieve amazing things and become more accomplished in their chosen endeavors. I

am so pleased that our association with them has continued and grown stronger over the years.” Associations with organizations and events that began in the third year of Austin Woman have also continued. These include the Go Red heart health for women campaign, GirlStart, Art from the Streets, the Junior League’s A Christmas Affair, Christmas at the Caswell House, the Austin Humane Society, Wonders and Worries, The Women’s Advocacy Project and Race for the Cure. “As we became a recognized avenue for reaching women in Austin, it was natural that these organizations and events would partner with us and that we would give our support,” Garvey says. “It was part of our mission to give back and to use the magazine to help spread the word about things that affect and benefit women. We not only have continued our support for and association with these organizations and events, but the number of events and organizations we support in various ways has grown exponentially. The kickoff in 2012 of the Year of the Giving Man ties both ATX Man and Austin Woman magazines together in an effort to benefit all Austinites.” One of the most influential and personable Austin entrepreneurs featured in the third year was Gay Gaddis, June 2005 cover woman and founder of T3. Described as dynamic, stylish and wildly creative, Gaddis had a winning smile that was ever-present and infectious. Reading the article, you knew that Gaddis was great fun and a woman you wanted to know. A true entrepreneur, Gaddis

trusted her gut and started T3 with $16,000 from her IRA account and never looked back. Today, T3 is the largest independent advertising agency owned by a woman in the country, with offices in Austin, New York and San Francisco. As a collaborative think tank, T3 works with clients including Microsoft, UPS, JPMorgan Chase, Pfizer, ConocoPhillips Lubricants, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Ford, Marimekko, MetroPCS and Hotwire. The agency was a pioneer in digital marketing, an early leader in online video marketing and is currently one of the U.S. leaders in mobile marketing. Gaddis was named one of Fast Company’s Top 25 Women Business Builders, Inc. magazine’s Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Year, and 25 Advertising Working Mothers of the Year by Working Mother magazine. In 2011, Gaddis won the Austin Business Journal’s Best CEO award for a medium-size company. She also serves as a member of the Committee of 200s (C200) governing board of directors, one of the most prominent women’s business organizations. In 2011, the firm completed a three-year, $14.5 million building renovation project for T3’s Austin headquarters. “When Julie interviewed me seven years ago, she did a masterful job of combining my professional life with my personal life and interests outside of T3,” Gaddis says of her journey since her 2005 cover. “I lead a life of big contrasts, from attending an event on the floor of the [New York Stock Exchange] to the floor of a Longhorn cattle stock auction in a matter of hours.

cover women through the years 2004

2005 FREE January 2005

Vol. III, No. 5

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Also Inside: 2nd Year of Heart Assn.’s ‘Go Red for Women’ Campaign Launched Spectacularly







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Anita Perry

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Hearts and Minds: Love & Marriage, Divorce & Dating; Books; Gifts for Valentine’s Day & much more

Gay Gaddis, president and CEO of T3

"I am still a Hill Country rancher on weekends, where I paint, draw and create wonderful meals from our organic garden.” -gay gaddis

“One of the biggest changes in my life and at T3 is having two of our children actively involved in the business for the past three years. It is a joy and privilege to work with them. Our youngest is also a successful businessman in Austin. Seven years ago, they were all just embarking on their professional careers or still in college.” On T3, Gaddis says: “Our think-tank philosophy and drive to stay ahead in marketing technology has not changed. We are so excited about the future and helping our clients connect with their customers in new and interesting ways. In the last seven years, we have added some impressive and iconic brands to our client roster, and opened the San Francisco office six years ago.” On her personal life, Gaddis says, “I am still a Hill Country rancher on weekends, where I paint, draw and create wonderful meals from our organic garden. We added chickens two years ago to our ranch livestock and they provide us with delicious fresh eggs that I use in my cooking. Also, as a way of giving back, I am speaking to university-level MBA students around the U.S. and the world, providing them with thought leadership as an entrepreneur.” An impressive representative of the third-year cover women, Gay Gaddis has grown personally and professionally. Her intriguing story continues to unfold and inspire.

B Save the Date Tenth anniversary event, Sept. 7. Presented by H-E-B and sponsored by Land Rover and Jaguar.

FREE FREE May 2005

Vol. III, No. 9 August 2005

Vol. III, No. 12

Spokeswoman, Wife, Mother, Actress Eloise DeJoria

Texas Writers’ Month Honors Sarah Bird

INsIde: Hot Fun in the Summertime! Liz Carpenter Interviews Willie Nelson’s Sister

Inside: More Writers Mothers & Daughters (and Granddaughters) Tribute to Liz Carpenter







Sylvia Acevedo

Susan Auler

Sarah Bird

Gay Gaddis

Dawnna Dukes

Eloise DeJoria 61

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Metamorphosis for the Newly Single Become a beautiful butterfly by breaking out of your cocoon. By Eric Leech You made it through the holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day), so put aside the nagging memories and couple traditions to look forward to your liberated, newly single status. It’s the time to clean your slate and begin anew. The problem most women have with going from a relationship (marriage) to a breakup (divorce) then back to dating is that it can be a difficult transformation, and one that involves detaching from your fears so that you can once again emerge as a colorful butterfly, confident and carefree. However, if you’ve been sitting inside your cocoon for the past couple months, years or even decades, waiting for the courage to date again, these tips may help you break free from this self-made prison. Learn From Your Mistakes People have a tendency to beat themselves up about mistakes they have made. Instead, you should embrace and learn from them. Even if you feel like the breakup was entirely your partner’s fault (which is not often the case), there are things you can learn. In some cases, we punish ourselves for our partner’s mistakes by walling ourselves off so nobody can hurt us again. Ask yourself what kind of person your partner was, and how you dealt with the situation? Use this knowledge to grow, increase confidence, boost self-esteem and improve the success rate of your future relationships. A Fresh Start Friends can be great support while going through a divorce (breakup). They know what makes you smile and how much hot fudge it takes to melt away a bad day. These friends are also the ones who knew you as a couple, so it might be hard for some of them to accept the changes that must come. It may be necessary to seek out new friends during this time. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hang out with old friends, but that a fresh face might be more open to experiencing the reinvention of you. Newfound

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friendships will also become a neutral wall off of which you can bounce your anger and frustration, and will be more likely to get you out in to different circles where you can meet new people. Scared is Ready Enough It’s good to take time to get your priorities in order, such as your finances, kids and health. However, you will most likely never feel 100-percent ready to start dating again. Wait until you can love yourself, accept your identity as a single woman and are comfortable with the idea of living on your own for as long as it takes. At this point, you’ll be scared as hell to start dating, but this is about as ready as you’ll ever be. Enjoy your time by yourself, but don’t get caught up waiting for a moment that is never going to happen. The longer you stand on the high dive looking into the deep abyss, the less likely you are to ever make the leap. Crash Parent Test If you’re troubled by the idea of dating with baggage, a parenting test can help weed out an ill-prepared suitor before introducing him to your kids. Test one: Perceive how he handles a tense

situation at a restaurant, while driving, etc. Does he have a temper? Is he impatient? Does he lack understanding? Test two: Cancel or change plans one evening. How does he receive the news? Does he appear inflexible? Test three: Invite him on a family date. You may long for romance, but if your Romeo is not up for the occasional role as Mrs. Doubtfire, you could be setting yourself (and your kids) up for another heartbreak. Hard Love Studies suggest that one of the worst ways to enter the dating scene is with resignation and fear. The preferred way is to build yourself up with a defiant, aggressive attitude, which will help you become confident, dynamic and ready to step in to a new relationship. Most women practice soft self-love, which is a way of dealing with your problems by coddling and creating excuses. Instead, practice hard self-love, which denies you from feeling sorry for yourself, urging you to regain control of your emotions and happiness. Never allow yourself to feel like a victim. Empowerment begins by taking hold of the reins and guiding your life toward your worst fears and greatest aspirations.

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Roger Davis Feverish for this fearless firefighter. By Molly McManus, Photo by Rudy Arocha

Have you ever had a burning desire to be swept off your feet by a hero? Your prayers have just been answered, sister. Roger Davis is a firefighting fox, serving with the Austin Fire Department for the past five years at the largest station in the city. Life is never dull for Davis. Whether he’s responding to a call that requires caving, swimming or rock climbing, he admits the duties of his job are not something that come easily. It’s always an interesting challenge, a true adventure, and Davis, perpetually positive, is ready for any situation. “It keeps me looking forward to the next shift,” explains the ripped Davis. Davis grew up a military brat, living in South Carolina and overseas. Having coached sports since the age of 16, Davis continues to give back, in addition to his firefighting, fulfilling his passion for involvement with youth. From offering engaging and informative talks to schools, to choreographing dance for various community groups and events, Davis is quick to volunteer his time, jumping at any opportunity he receives. “It’s living the dream,” Davis says of being a firefighter. With a schedule of 24 hours on, 48 hours off, he’s not only able to serve Austin and help the community, but he can also spend quality time with his adorable 4-year-old son. On a weekend, Davis’ station can get as many as 50 calls within a 24-hour shift, and responses should occur within a minute. Talk about an intense atmosphere, and Davis puts his own neck on the line every single day. Although it’s his job to put out fires, this risktaker will forever fan the flames of your heart, leaving you smoldering. Tssssssssss.

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Recapturing Your Youth Nothing says “I love you” like a mix tape. By JB Hager / Photo by Rudy Arocha You have probably heard or seen advertisements targeting adult males looking to recapture the energy and virility they once had. The ads often ask, “Are you looking to put that special feeling back in your love life?” I recently took notice of one advertisement and made the clearcut decision to do something about it. I was going to recapture my youth. I decided to make a mix tape. Procuring the elements of a mix tape has changed. Twenty-five years ago, when I was overrun with hormones and trying to share my feelings, a personal mix tape was far more respectable than me acting on impulse, which would have meant humping her leg. Finding songs that were special came from movie soundtracks or blindly purchasing albums from the college charts. I would carefully choose songs that made me think of her and hope that she would think of me for a lifetime when that song played. It required the careful timing of placing the needle on a record with one hand while pushing “record” on the cassette deck simultaneously with the other. Also, this is the only time in my life I practiced good penmanship. I would then label the cassette with our names and the appropriate season: JB/???? Summer Mix. With my recent epiphany brought on by an ad, I realized two things. One, adult women rarely have guys making this sort of effort to impress them anymore and probably long for those days. Two, boys become adult men and fear putting our emotions out there like we used to. We’ve become too emotionally banged up through the years to just say, “I love you so much. I tracked down a dozen or so songs that help me express how I feel.” I have to let you know that choosing to make a mix tape can be one of the most romantic things you have done for a woman in years. Or she will pull out your mix tape at Bunco night and you will be the laughing stock of an entire zip code. This is my disclaimer. A romantic mix is a delicate art. Back in the day, music was more universal. You could romance her with some Spandau Ballet or Peabo Bryson, throw in some Foreigner and REO Speedwagon and watch her Gloria Vanderbilts fall off. Now, as an adult, the songs can’t be so obvious. You have to dig deeper to show that you really care enough to do the research. Of course, the

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I would carefully choose songs that made me think of her and hope that she would think of me for a lifetime when that song played. cassette is no longer the medium of choice. You could do it on a CD, but even that is quickly becoming extinct. You could make a Spotify playlist, load them on a USB or, if she’s worth the investment, pre-load them on to an iPod. Just to show that I am a man of my word and lead by example, I will share with you my recent mix tape for my loved one. Laugh or swoon, it’s your choice. Amos Lee, Colors One Eskimo, Amazing Angus and Julia Stone, Hush The Temper Trap, Sweet Disposition The Civil Wars, Forget Me Not James Morrison, Right By Your Side

Donovan Frankenreiter, On my Mind Elbow, Weather to Fly Avett Brothers, January Wedding Allen Stone, Celebrate Tonight David Ramirez, I Think I Like You Michael Kiwunaka, Tell Me a Tale The hardware has changed but the connection is the same. Love is still a mix tape, and well worth it. To find this playlist on Spotify, view this article on

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“My GivinG Man PledGe is to mobilize, inspire and encourage austinites to volunteer once a month through austin angels. in addition, i plan to volunteer once a month for the rest of my life!” -Susan Brubaker The Giving Man Pledge challenges Austin men (and women) to pick something of personal passion and purpose to dedicate time, talent or treasure, making austin a better place to live. Whether it’s giving your time to a local soup kitchen or purchasing a coffee for the person behind you in a drive thru line we can all make a difference. Share your pledge today by posting it at and help make Austin better for it. to participate and to see other pledges as well as full quotes, visit and share your pledge with us.


“My GivinG Man PledGe is to help make a difference in the lives of austin’s deserving children by raising enough money to send at least 10 kids to the austin sunshine Camps this summer.” -Russell Hayden

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you should know

Morgan Jackson Finding the love makes all the difference in a successful and satisfying business. By Meg Haley “I finally realized that I was what made the inn special. It was a hard thing to realize, but if you know who you are and what you really like to do, that’s where you’ll succeed,” says Morgan Jackson, smiling. Jackson sounds certain about what it takes to run her Morgan’s Tips own business. for Owning Your The Inn at Wild Rose Hall is her Own Business passion and her work. The daily 1. Do it for yourself. If you grind inherent in don’t love it, you might running one of as well work for someone the Austin area’s else because it’s a lot favorite wedding easier and you get a venues is nothing guaranteed paycheck at compared with the end of it. her fight to keep this dream alive. 2. Hang in there! Most The journey new businesses take began in 2003 three years to turn a when the original profit. Just try to break house belonging even until then. to Austin musician Tommy 3. Don’t go in to debt. Shannon was put Pull yourself up by your on the market. bootstraps and reinvest Jackson spent whatever you make. weeks dreaming (Jackson doesn’t use about what she a credit card or any would do with personal loans to run this gorgeous the inn.) space—even naming the 4. Run it like a woman. property in her Once we are fully and mind The Wild wholly embracing Rose Inn—and everything that it is to about how close be feminine, the world she was to a around us gets to witness childhood goal of how a business can be owning a business run successfully [by] of her own. The focusing on relationships. finances couldn’t That is our mark to leave be worked out, and for the future.

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weeks later a wooden sign bearing the name Wild Rose Hall went up. The coincidence felt cruel. It seemed that someone else was living her dream. Five years later, however, the opportunity to own property would present itself again. On July 1, 2008, Morgan, along with Glenn (her husband at the time) and their children, took over the newly dubbed Inn at Wild Rose Hall. It was to be a family business, something to get Glenn out of the high-

tech industry that was making him miserable, and something in to which Jackson could pour her creative passions. Having inherited an unattractive reputation from the previous owners, Jackson’s inn struggled through the next two years with meager bookings, and eventually, she found herself working at the inn completely alone. “It actually helped to work alone. There wasn’t




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[Continued from previous page] anyone to second-guess my ideas,” she explains. Determined to make a go of it, Jackson was confident that the changes she was making, both to the property (backbreaking work hauling rock with her wheelbarrow) and in marketing with new materials and a redesigned website, would pay off. Just when she thought she’d have room to breathe, her landlord dropped a virtual bomb on her heart. It was November 2010 and she had a Christmas Day deadline to fork over $15,000, or she would lose it all. “That’s the point when it became my baby. It wasn’t for Glenn or anyone else. This is the place I love, the work I’m gifted for. It’s mine,” she says, determination glowing in her eyes. She ran specials, prayed, paid her landlord on Dec. 22 and hasn’t looked back. Morgan Jackson has taken the Inn at Wild Rose Hall from a mediocre event venue off Highway 290 to a glorious rustic getaway in the Hill Country. She started with 19 events in 2010 and grew to 57 weddings in 2011; she already has 45 booked for 2012. You can find her at wedding trade shows throughout the year. She works tirelessly to get folks out to the inn; she knows they will love it as soon as they cross the threshold. Through persistence and hard work, Jackson had a vision of what the inn could become and she is making it happen. She painted the exterior to reflect the Southern roots she and the home share, complete with a sky-blue porch ceiling. She acquired gorgeous antique windows and hung them to form a wall on the outdoor pavilion. Her story is a perfect example of what happens when the passion of a dream meets the determination to rely only on yourself. “You can only know what you’re going to do, what you’re capable of, when you just do it,” she says. This is a woman who found her passion, followed her dream, and created a business and a life that she loves. Her laugh and can-do attitude are the first of many details that make guests feel right at home. She enjoys seeing how each couple puts their own unique stamp on the inn. After all, it’s all about love.

The Inn at Wild Rose Hall b 11110 Fitzhugh Road Austin, Texas 78736 512.380.LOVE

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off the shelf

Unstoppable Women The wonderful world of three wise women. By Molly McManus, Photos by Korey Howell “Have you ever been around a group of really powerful women?” asks Maya Watson, marketing manager of Harpo Studios, in her foreword to The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional WellBeing. “Somehow just by being in their presence,” she clarifies, “you feel more empowered, inspired and determined to take charge of your life.” Watson’s insight entirely encapsulates my experience interviewing three of the book’s contributing writers: Susan Tolles, Connie Brubaker and Darlene Templeton. The energy these Austin powerhouses exude is profoundly infectious. Animated, charismatic and positive only begin to describe Tolles, Brubaker and Templeton. Multiply that by the three of them and you can imagine the product of their combined spirit. Did I mention that they are close friends? As they finish each other’s sentences, each one bragging about the other, their laughter filling the room, Tolles explains how she encouraged Brubaker and Templeton to submit their work for consideration to Erika Gilchrist, editor of The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well-Being. After Gilchrist auditioned their writing, they were independently chosen to be three of the book’s 23 unstoppable women from throughout the world. Amazingly, Austin is the only city to have multiple contributors. “Connie’s chapter is perfect for her,” says Templeton of Brubaker’s chapter, titled “What Men Really Want,” in which Brubaker suggests ways to strengthen your relationships with men personally or professionally. The founder of Integrity Training Solutions, Brubaker conducts workshops for men on how to market and communicate to women. All she had to do was flip the magnifying glass around,

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(From left) Connie Brubaker, Susan Tolles and Darlene Templeton getting inside the men’s heads in order to, as women, “get what we want. That’s what it’s all about,” says Brubaker, as Templeton and Tolles lose it, erupting in laughter. “And don’t give him too many options,” Brubaker adds. “You give a proposal to a man, you say, ‘This is how we’re going to do it.’ They’re like, ‘OK.’ You give a proposal to a woman, an ‘A and B’ and they want a ‘C,’ or ‘a little bit of A with part of B.’” We all lose it again. Tolles, founder of Flourish Over 50 and PowerfulMe, contributed the chapter “Work and Home: Striking the Right Balance.” Along with balance, focus is a central theme, vital to the maintenance of equilibrium, as well as to her clients who are setting goals and achieving them through her PowerfulMe formula. Need proof it works? Templeton made 10 goals as part of Tolles’ PowerfulMe, with one being to become a published writer. Never thinking writing was her strong suit, Templeton put her work out there for The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well-Being. “It really helped me validate a fear. It was my furthest-out goal. I had other things in line but it happened because I was open to the idea of it,” Templeton explains. Templeton, who is in her second career as an executive coach and founder of Templeton and Associates, contributed the chapter “Handling High Stakes Situations,” giving readers a step-by-step plan of how to deal with an unexpected stressful situation that demands quick thinking. Originally, Templeton wanted to write about experiencing failure and how to recover from it, stemming from her own success story. When her

marriage fell apart, she found herself without a husband, jobless and without a degree. She had some secretarial skills, so she started working for IBM, eventually climbing the ladder to become a global operations manager, the first woman to hold this position. The three friends reminisce and share stories of disrespect they’ve experienced throughout the years as entrepreneurial women in a male-dominated industry. The women recall the 1970s and 1980s, when there was no such thing as sexual harassment, and roll their eyes about some of the comments that used to be made. However, even in 2012, although it’s less common, they still have had to deflect demeaning comments or work with men doubting their leadership abilities. In a leadership position years ago, Tolles was feeling great about what she had been doing in her role. She had really stepped up with the opportunity to lead. She was receiving positive feedback from her coworkers, who were complimenting her on the way she ran things and how much they were accomplishing. Still, there was one man who didn’t respect her leadership and the choices she was making. Fed up, she took action. “One day, I brought in a two-by-four, putting it down in front of him and said, ‘Sometimes people just have to have things knocked in to their head with a two-by-four,’” relays Tolles. “I could see her,” Templeton giggles. When Tolles left the company years later, the twoby-four was still in the office. Today, each woman works for herself, running her own business and calling the shots. Even with their successes, they still have fears and make mistakes.

However, Tolles, Brubaker and Templeton are some of the most fearless ladies I’ve ever met. They not only are self-confident, but also have immense confidence in one another. “When your vision is so enormous that it takes your breath away, when I think about the potential we all have, it’s overwhelming,” Tolles explains. With the entrepreneurial spirit of Austin, the diversity of businesses (technology, government, service industry, higher education), Brubaker explains why Austin is such a great place for women, specifically, to be entrepreneurs. Austin is a city based upon broad ideas and acceptance, and Brubaker has thrived here because of it. “All of these women were interested in business. I was home. I’m not interested in talking about cooking. …These women wanted to talk about what can we do, what’s the business strategy I can use, what web designer are you using, and that’s why I have these girlfriends that are likeminded,” Brubaker says, reaching out for Tolles and Templeton. “And we’re not competitive. The women [in Austin] are just so genuinely interested in one another and helping each other out. It’s not all about me, me, me,” Tolles offers. Templeton mirrors her friends in agreement. As she tears up, she looks between Brubaker and Tolles. “What a powerful group. When you get that buzzing going, we can do anything,” Templeton says. The goose bumps come back for a third time and I can only take it as a physical reaction I’m having to being inspired. From spending time with their husbands, children, parents, grandchildren and friends, to giving back and volunteering, the trio describe what success means to them in similar ways. Being able to enjoy her free time, having the financial means to do the things she wants to do, and making a positive impression along the way is how Brubaker ultimately defines her success. Tolles’ success comes from the positive change she’s seen in herself as she molded a new career for herself later in her life. Success to Templeton is dependent on her ability to laugh out loud, love unconditionally and be able to touch another life. “If I can change just one woman from this book, then I will consider it a success,” Templeton says, the rest of her friends nodding in agreement. It’s safe to say you have one woman right here who has been touched. The accomplishments of these strong ladies, their wise words, transparency, openness and ability to tell it like it is stir something deep within me; a breath of fresh air I definitely was in need of. I think we all could embody a little more of the endless energy and optimism these wonderful women carry with them wherever they go.

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Everything an Entrepreneur Needs A simple visit with the Small Business Development Program can give new and existing business owners the tools and tips they need to succeed. By Claire Cella You know that business endeavor you’ve wanted to start or that new space you’ve desired for your second location? The initially thoughtful venture that is now buried under loan applications, lost in city permit jargon and weighted down by apprehension? If you can just urge your hesitant but hopeful self in to the open arms of the helpful folks of the Small Business Development Program (SBDP), they can be a tremendous resource. The program, established 12 years ago and funded by the City of Austin, strives to promote, assist and advance new and existing businesses through needbased services, says Rosy Jalifi, assistant director for the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office (EGRSO), who was asked to create the program in 2000. “The first thing I did was to ask small businesses what kinds of services and programs they might need,” Jalifi says. “Then, in 2003, we conducted a more formal needs-assessment to ask businesses, ‘How can Austin help you be more successful?’” This has been the program’s charge ever since, developing, expanding and changing services based on the specific needs of city businesses, says Vicky Valdez, the program’s administrator. Services include access to physical resources, qualified personnel and organizational software, classes on a range of informative topics and various networking events. Although other cities have similar programs, SBDP is distinctive in that its services are available for any business, regardless of whether they intend to do business with the City of Austin, Jalifi says. The program is also unique in that it is gender- and race-neutral, presenting itself as a welcoming and receptive resource for new, existing, male, female and ethnic business owners. Despite this distinction, the program does assist quite a few female business owners, as about 50 to

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best kept secret 55 percent of the program’s clientele are women, Jalifi says. Every year, the program hosts a luncheon for women entrepreneurs in which three successful Austin businesswomen are invited to share their experiences. SBDP has also established a centralized database on its website of gender- and ethnic-targeted business organizations called the Bronze Pages. The program is equipped to help women with particular issues they may experience upon entering the business world, including being taken seriously by male counterparts in certain industries like credit collection and construction, as well as balancing divergent roles. “Women in our society still play prominent roles as caregivers,” Jalifi explains. “Striking a balance is important, and that is a real issue. We have to know that we, as women, wear many hats, and we need to know what hat to put down when it’s time to wear another.” Jalifi says women have many valuable qualities that help them in business as well. “We’re great networkers,” she says. “It is easy for us to establish relationships, and relationship management in business is key.” She also mentions that women tend to develop businesses that are family-friendly because of their care-giving mentalities. So it may be no wonder then why SBDP, primarily administered by a group of devoted women, has helped close to 15,000 entrepreneurs through its no- to low-cost services since 2000. Back to that imaginative business idea you’ve always had but have never known how to implement. SBDP holds a class called BizAid

Business Orientation every week during which qualified coaches share information about the process, explain paperwork, forms and certificates, help create marketing and business plans, and provide technical assistance. If you require further support, SBDP hosts more than 70 classes a year taught by University of Texas instructors offering training on everything from “The Seven Most Important Secrets of Small Business Success,” to general tax information with “The Tax Man Cometh,” to more specific needs like “Reaching International Markets Through Social Media.”

Additionally, other services facilitate one of the most important components of a successful business: crafting a clear and detailed business goal or idea. SBDP has a Business Solutions Center (open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the One Texas Center on Barton Springs Road), where clients can gain access to reference materials, a host of resourceful software and databases such as Business-in-a-Box, PlanWrite and LoopNet, and personal help from employed business counselors on site. In answer to the question, “Are there any requirements or qualifications to use SBDP’s free or low-cost services?” Valdez answers definitively: just desire.

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get educated

Creating Entrepreneurs The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship fosters young entrepreneurs as they enter the business world. By Jane Field Visitors to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas first see an old post from the New York Stock Exchange. Cold and impressive, it bears the names of top businesses from the time it was in use, and its stations for brokers imply the chaos of trading stocks of storied companies. It is the perfect symbol for UT’s business school, but it shows only those businesses that came before, and many UT business students are looking for guidance to transform the future. For this inspiration, they must head as far from this monument of old business as possible to a small office on the top floor of the McCombs School, where the Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship is located. When Red McCombs and Bob May (at that time, the dean of the McCombs School) decided in 2001 that students needed more than business classes to see their visions become reality, Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines matched the McCombs School funds to found the Kelleher Center. The goal was to root students’ learning in the world. To that end, the center does not fund classes, but encourages entrepreneurship by fostering ideas, mentoring students and bolstering their networks. This integrates their goals and schemes with their business education. Melissa Graebner, associate director of the Kelleher Center, advises young people who wish to become entrepreneurs to think about the different forms of entrepreneurship, which include starting their own firm, buying an existing business or franchise, etc., and which is the best fit for students’ personal skill sets and ambitions.  “There are a lot of options,” she says. Melinda Garvey, who founded Austin Woman

Melissa Graebner magazine 10 years ago, is a perfect example of this. She has a bachelor’s degree in literature, years of experience in journalism prior to Austin Woman’s inception, as well as a master’s degree in international management. This background comes together in her work on Austin Woman, making it an excellent fit for her, and a successful, long-lasting business venture. As a high-profile Austin businesswoman, Garvey was selected to be the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Kelleher Center in September. She meets with students on a regular basis, and is at McCombs three days a week, occasionally guest lecturing in classes about entrepreneurship (which she’s done for the past five years). Having access to resources like her is a huge boon for young entrepreneurs. Graebner tells students to seek such mentors.

“Although there are high-profile examples of ‘drop-out entrepreneurs,’ that’s not the reality for most entrepreneurs. Research shows that education in business improves entrepreneurs’ chances of success.” – Melissa Graebner, associate director, Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship 78   Austin Woman M a r c h 2 0 1 2

“The entrepreneurial community as a whole is very generous in terms of providing time and support to new entrepreneurs,” she says. However, just as everyone starting a business will seek out a different form of entrepreneurship, they must also find mentors who suit their needs. Garvey sees herself bringing something new to Kelleher and McCombs. Unlike the former resident entrepreneurs, she has the perspective of a small-business owner. “In a top-tier business school, you have a lot of access in to large corporations, and as a result, students may not understand what running a small business can mean for your life and your livelihood,” Garvey says. Thomas Gilligan, dean of McCombs, says such access to small-business entrepreneurs is of growing interest among business students. Garvey says her ability to introduce students to her network of small-business owners will be the best thing she can do for them, but her time-tested guidance is solid. “The best advice I got when I first started my business was, ‘Do your own books for at least one year.’ To this day,” Garvey says, “I know my numbers inside and out. I can read all my financials. I know where our cash flow is supposed to be.”




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the last word /

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Illustration by Sarah Quatrano.

Making the Entrepreneurial Leap Some people know from their first lemonade stand that they’re meant to be entrepreneurs. Some are forced to mold themselves in to entrepreneurs because their jobs end and they see no other way to make ends meet. And some are inspired by a vision so compelling to them, they leap forward without much forethought. I belong in that last category. It was a powerful aha moment more than nine years ago that led to the creation of Inspired Leap. I remember being on fire with my vision for what my consulting practice would evolve in to, and excitedly making the decision to incorporate and create the foundation for this soon-to-be thriving business with employees. Four of the hallmarks of an entrepreneur are: a strong vision of what you’re building, a willingness to take risks, an ability to live with uncertainty (no paycheck) and a positive, glass-is-half-full outlook about your business. I happily share these with you because I had all of those. No wonder my gut or intuition told me to go for it and launch Inspired Leap. Unfortunately, I was missing a few of the other keys to being a successful entrepreneur, like effective business plans and a realistic daily view to balance that positive outlook. Even worse than lacking these strengths was the fact that I had no clue I was missing them. I was so ready to experience the freedom of being my own boss and following my grand vision that I could have cared less about some of the more practical details. Some of my coaching clients remind me of myself. They’re so eager to either escape

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the oppression of their corporate jobs or to create their unique product or service, they ignore some of the important details. If this describes you, I offer a note of caution. Your gut or intuition will unerringly guide you to the career choices that make optimal use of your gifts and provide the greatest opportunity for rich soul growth. Your soul may see becoming an entrepreneur as a grand adventure. However, its intuitive nudge to you to go for it rarely provides the ideal time to begin. Logically review your resources and the marketplace before deciding now is the time to dive in. Also, strong inner guidance to make your entrepreneurial leap is not a guarantee that you will succeed or that the experience will bring you happiness in the short term. It is a guarantee that you will grow in ways you can’t begin to imagine. My entrepreneurial grand adventure is still unfolding. Thanks to the twists and turns of sometimes painful lessons in my business, I can honestly say I have evolved in to a person who deeply knows herself (warts and all) and trusts her inner strength. I have no doubt I was meant to dive in to what has turned out to be a solo-preneur adventure and learn my lessons in exactly the way I have. But, it sure has been a wild ride. Trust your intuition to guide you to whether you’re meant to embrace the joys and challenges of being an entrepreneur. Perhaps your creative spirit is at its most powerful when you have a paycheck, the support of co-workers and the boundaries of being part of someone else’s organization. Plenty of people fit that description, so don’t apologize if that’s you. If you’re ready to leap in to your entrepreneurial life, use your head to help you create the business plan and foundation for success. And finally, use your heart to forgive yourself for the mistakes made along the way and to remind you to enjoy the ride.

–Dianna Amorde

May’s Last Word topic will be “Mothers and daughters.” To be considered, email a 500-word submission by April 1 to


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March 2012 Austin Woman  

March 2012 Issue