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70 On the Cover
The Court Yard Hounds
Photo by Kate Glicksberg.
Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison chart a new course, musically and personally. By John T. Davis
Quotes to Live By
Austin Womanâ€™s 11th anniversary panelists update readers and share their favorite AW spine quotes. By Molly McManus
36 on the scene
to your health
24 year in review Cover woman excerpts.
60 fitness Great Austin hikes.
28 spotlight event A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
62 Wellness Living with Alzheimer’s.
30 5 things not to miss this month
66 wellness Ovarian cancer awareness.
32 philanthropy Imaginarium.
must list 36 travel Lake Austin Spa Resort.
90 memo from JB Boot camp festival training. 92 Relationships Play hard to get...and win.
94 entrepreneurial life Affintus.
42 fashion Must-have fall trends.
98 philanthropy Melinda Garvey.
48 fresh start College-bound makeover.
100 cover woman update Lynn Meredith.
102 Austin Innovator Affintus.
52 baking Delectable cookbooks.
104 last word Special is in the eye of the beholder.
54 dining Bridget Dunlap’s Mettle.
on the cover Photo by James Minchin.
14 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Bottom photo by Andrew Chan.
34 Horoscopes Happy birthday, Virgo!
Full Color Logo on White/Light BG,
Celebrating 15 Years of Complete Family Eye Care in the Austin Area! Volume 12, issue 1 Co-Founder and Publisher
Melinda Maine Garvey vice president and Co-Publisher
Christopher Garvey associate publisher
Cynthia Guajardo CoFounder
Samantha Stevens Editor-in-chief
Deborah Hamilton-Lynne associate editor
Molly McManus copy editor
Chantal Rice Art Director
Victoria Millner ad designer
Jennifer Day art assistant
Katie Holmstrom marketing and operations manager
Rhonda Rushing marketing and operations assistant
Lauren Lara Director of Business Development
Anne Van Eaton Account Executives
Kelly Keelan, Justin Toon, 512.328.2421 Contributors
Rudy Arocha, Lucia Athens, Courtney Bell, Jill Case, Andrew Chan, John T. Davis, Andy East, Kate Glicksberg, Erin Gray, JB Hager, Jane Kellogg, Caroline Khoury, Eric Leech, Deborah Mastelotto, Molly McManus, Rachel Merriman, James Minchin, Jennifer Morgan, Katie Paschal, Sarah Quatrano, Elizabeth Shear, Julie Tereshchuk Interns
Courtney Bell, Erin Gray, Caroline Khoury, Jennifer Morgan, Katie Paschal, Maggie Restor, Briana Zimbelman Austin Woman 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, visit awmediainc.com/contribute. No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at austinwomanmagazine.com. Email us at email@example.com. 512.328.2421 • 3921 Steck Ave., Suite A111, Austin, TX 78759
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From the Editor
That was the spine quote from the September 2011 issue of Austin Woman, my first issue as editor and the first time we added a quote to the spine. It reflected my state of mind as I contemplated my vision for the magazine and the responsibility of following two editors—Mimi Eckstein and Mary Anne Connolly, both of whom fit the description and both of whom I hold in the highest regard for a job well done. Classy and fabulous. That was the way I hoped readers would see AW and the content we would share with them. What I have learned in the past two years is that if AW reflects the character of the women that grace its covers and its pages, as well as the city we call home, then the content and the stories we bring to you each month cannot help but be two things: classy and fabulous. Take one look at the beautiful and talented duo on our cover this month and you immediately know that they are not only classy and fabulous, but that they are also strong, determined women with voices that insist on being heard. Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, also known as the Court Yard Hounds, have seen it all: incredible success as members of the Dixie Chicks; political attacks; the ups and downs of motherhood, from infertility to miscarriages to difficult pregnancies to the unbelievable joy of being the mothers of seven children (four for Robison and three for Maguire); marriage and divorce; and the struggle to balance family life and career. Much of their life
11th Anniversary party Sept. 6, 11 a.m., at the Westin info aw.ticketbud.com/anniversary
Join us to celebrate 11 years of Austin Woman with networking; a luncheon with former cover women Judy Maggio, Olga Campos, Rhoda Mae Kerr, Suzi Sosa and Courtney Sanchez; party at Neiman’s and a finale at Fiat!
18 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
has played out through their music, and through it all, they have reinvented themselves when necessary and continued to remain true to their calling and to their fans. They are a class act. John T. Davis fills us in on the latest from the pair, as well as what to expect from their latest CD, Amelita. We asked our anniversary panelists Olga Campos, Rhoda Mae Kerr, Judy Maggio, Courtney Sanchez and Suzi Sosa to choose the magazine spine quote that spoke to each of them as a way to catch up with what they have been up to since they appeared on the cover of AW, and their answers might surprise you. It is a preview of what you can expect to hear Sept. 6 at our annual anniversary bash. September in Austin ushers in a new season and provides the opportunity to enjoy all the classy and fabulous events and happenings Austin has to offer, and to do it in style. Musician Phoebe Hunt and her filmmaker sister Stephanie grew up in Austin and have a style all of their own. They add a little sass to our fall Style pages. Allison Orr also brings her individuality in to play with her latest work, PowerUp, and we have the story behind her creative genius and inspiration. Former cover woman Bridget Dunlap shares her latest entrepreneurial venture, Mettle. Lynn Meredith sees her vision for Austin’s children coming full circle with the opening of the Thinkery, and Cookie Ruiz looks at the start of another season and great things for Ballet Austin. At the end of Quinlan Park Road, perched on the shores of Lake Austin is one of the most classy and fabulous retreats in the U.S. and indeed in the world: the highly rated Lake Austin Spa. The
Looking for Interior Designers We would like to showcase the work of the best of the best ATX interior designers. Send a sample of your best work to submissions@ awmediainc.com with “Interior design” in the subject line.
accolades are well deserved, as you will see in our 72-hour girlfriend-getaway coverage. As we looked back on the past 11 years, we were struck by another facet of the mission of AW, that of philanthropy. From the beginning, Publisher Melinda Garvey has been determined to give back and to use the pages of the magazine to educate about, promote and support organizations and individuals that serve our community. We take a look at the evolution and expansion of that mission and how her commitment to that goal has made for successful partnerships and the joy of receiving as a result of giving. Classy and fabulous. It is a description that we continue to aspire to achieve. I know that in the last 11 years, we have brought you, our readers, the stories of many classy and fabulous women who call Austin home. I also know there are hundreds more out there with stories waiting to be told. I am always on the lookout for a good story, so let me hear from you. We will strive to tell it, Austin-style, classy and fabulous with a sassy, strong and determined twist.
deborah hamilton-lynne Editor-in-Chief
do you want to write for AW? Sept. 11, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Link Co-Working 2700 West Anderson Lane, suite 205
We are always on the lookout for great stories and great writers. Join me for networking and to learn about what it takes to write for AW. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with “RSVP writer” in the subject line.
Photo by Korey Howell.
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel
Contributors john t. davis
sar ah quatr ano
writer, “court yard hounds”
writer, “Quotes to live by”
illustrator, “special occasions”
photographer, “Quotes to live by”
Feeling right at home as associate editor of Austin Woman, Molly McManus is enjoying her return to the magazine. It’s been a roller coaster of a year with transitions and transformation. Originally from Seattle, Molly is celebrating her third year in Austin, continuing to navigate the world of media, entertainment, writing and event planning, fulfilling her many creative passions.
Sarah Quatrano 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.
Photographer Rudy Arocha is a native Texan who moved to Austin to pursue his education in fine arts as a sculptor. He later rediscovered his passion for photography when his grandfather gave him a camera as a gift. Rudy graduated from the Art Institue of Austin and specializes in portrait photography. When not photographing, Rudy enjoys music, the outdoors and spending time with his fiancée, Maggie.
John T. Davis has written about musicians for an array of local, regional and national publications during the past three decades. He has been watching and writing about Emily Robison and Martie Maguire since the Dixie Chicks’ days and welcomed the chance to chronicle their latest musical iteration. after 25 years of covering music, What is the lasting fascination?
“Austin is the perfect city for a music writer (or fan). Having seen Lyle Lovett, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lucinda Williams all playing happy hours for tips, and seeing Gary Clark Jr. do the same thing 25 or so years later, it’s gratifying to realize that there is always someone young, creative and gamechanging coming up. The well never seems to run dry.”
Which spine quote speaks to you? Maya
Angelou’s, “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” When I first moved to Austin I felt alone and like I didn’t belong. Although painting my apartment and ravenously exploring the city helped, I learned an even more important lesson: As long as you’re at home with yourself, you are never really alone.”
What special occasion tops your list? The Fourth
of July. The combination of summer, beach, day drinking and fireworks is simply unbeatable. best memory from a special occasion? I have
a tradition of going to Otto for my birthday dinner every year; their olive oil ice cream is to die for. This year, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston (from the TV show Breaking Bad) happened to be there at the same time as me—surprise birthday guests!
What was the best part of shooting for this issue? I really enjoyed
shooting the portrait of Judy Maggio, getting to see what a news station studio looked like from behind the scenes. I also liked photographing Rhoda Mae Kerr at the fire station. It brought me back to that exciting childhood dream of wanting to be a firefighter!
have the last word We love hearing your stories. Send in your submissions for our November Last Word column for a chance to be published. To be considered, email 500 words or less to email@example.com by October 1. November’s topic: “Home for the holidays.”
20 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
McManus photo by Rudy Arocha.
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Connect with us! find us online at austinwomanmagazine.com
Satisfy a sweet tooth with Mia Öhrn’s Macarons, Cupcakes & Cake Pops. We’re giving away this dessert-baking book, filled to the brim with recipes galore. Tweet @austinwoman with your favorite #bakedrecipe by Sept. 20 for a chance to win.
The Art Report—AW reviews Austin’s best fall exhibits ➺ Painter and sculptor America Martin’s solo show. Sept. 7–28, Wally Workman Gallery ➺ Cubist works by Picasso, Rivera and more. Aug. 31–Dec.8, Blanton Museum of Art
Fridayfaves We love exploring the city we call home, and every Friday on our Facebook page, we share five of our favorite things to eat, drink, do or see. This month, we picked our favorite places for pampering around town!
1 Studio Bella The ideal spot for getting some permanent makeup. Extend the pampering!
2 Pin Up Salon A fun, fresh and fabulous full-service salon located in North Austin.
22 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Rae Cosmetics This Austin brand is the place to go for stunning makeup applications.
The Lash Lounge A unique salon in North Austin specializing in lash extensions.
Mirror Mirror Salon A cute onestop beauty shop that will leave you loving yourself even more.
See Rae’s Lauren Lumsden work her magic on our college-bound makeover on Page 48!
Political Pioneers The legislative session might be finished, but the Texas Tribune Festival continues the political and public policy discussion with more than 150 speakers, 45 interactive events and numerous networking opportunities. AW’s got the inside scoop. Sept. 27–29, University of Texas
Astrological Alignment Rising local talent Ali Holder releases her solo debut album, In Preparation for Saturn’s Return. AW explains why it’s a must-hear, listing the singer-songwriter’s upcoming concerts.
Music with a Cause Catch live music Sept. 24 during the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) Benefit Day. Ray Benson, Christopher Cross, Suzanna Choffel, Charlie and Will Sexton and many more join together in support of HAAM’s services.
Can’t get enough of this issue? Check out austinwomanmagazine.com for bonus content, including:
Follow us live @austinwoman throughout AW’s 11th anniversary event, with tweets on our action-packed day of fab giveaways, inspiring speakers and fun activities!
Who will win the AW Small Business Grant Award? Follow us and be the first to find out!
Check out our reviews of Ballet Austin’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Allison Orr of Forklift Danceworks’ PowerUP, concerts, films and more.
Austin Film Festival releases 10 films you won’t want to miss at the festival’s 20th anniversary.
women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
BEING FEMALE 99% of all breast cancer cases occur in women.
GENETICS Inherited changes in certain genes increase the risk of breast cancer.
FAMILY HISToRY Women with a close relative who has had breast cancer have a higher risk.
The strongest risk factor is age. As women get older, breast cancer risk increases.
BREAST DENSITY Women with higher breast and connective tissue as compared to fat in their breasts are at a higher risk.
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REGuLAR MAMMoGRAMS Women 40 and over should have a mammogram once a year.
BREAST SELF-EXAM All women should be aware of how to examine their breasts and report any changes to a health professional.
GET REGuLAR BREAST EXAMS In addition to mammograms, women should have regular breast exams with their health care provider.
MAINTAIN WEIGHT overweight or obese women are at a higher risk.
EXERCISE Exercise helps control weight and may lower the risk of breast cancer.
Schedule your mammogram now. Call 512.453.6100 or visit www.ausrad.com. Facts from www.acr.org & www.cancer.gov
on the scene /
year in review
That’s What She Said! Cover story excerpts from AW’s 11th year. By Molly McManus
September 2012: Melinda Garvey, publisher and founder of Austin Woman magazine “[AW] is about celebrating, inspiring, engaging and informing the great women in Austin. We are for and about every Austin woman.”
November 2012: Donna Stockton-Hicks, interior designer and philanthropist “A beautiful environment is truly contagious.” January 2013: Laura Cisneros, fitness enterprise owner of Urban Animal and Dynamax “It’s important for women to understand that wherever they’re at in their life, there’s something more to come. They’re only as limited as their fear or their faith. … Do what you love. That love will imbue the work, and then that work will manifest into a business.” March 2013: Liz Elam, owner of Link Coworking “To be able to be an entrepreneur, do what I love, make a little bit of money and still get to travel the world—awesome. … [Co-working] is a very young, evolving industry. We need to come together, to help each other and to collaborate.” May 2013: Julia Cuba, executive director of GENAustin “Have you walked down the aisle before Halloween and seen the costume options for little girls? Or looked at toys for girls versus boys? Almost everything is oversexualized; girls are trained to believe they need to be sexy, petite, sweet and perfect from a very young age, and it leads to a lot of self-hatred in their futures.” August 2013: Patti Rogers, founder of Rallyhood “It’s not about what happens to you. It’s about what you do with it. Choose up or choose down. Which one is it? I was determined that [cancer] was not going to bury me. It was going to plant me, and then from here I would grow.”
24 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
October 2012: Ruby Jane, singer-songwriter, award-winning fiddler “The songs that come across as dark is really me tapping in to the darkness that is in the human mind. We are very dark creatures. We have that side of us, and I think that’s really beautiful. Songwriting is an outlet to let that darkness come through.” December 2012: Sharon Watkins, owner of Chez Zee restaurant “Everyone has a common need to gather around the table, which, to me, is a little stage. They’ve got a little drama going on. No matter what they’re doing, they’ve got a story. [Chez Zee is] a little theater and I’ve set the stage.” February 2013: Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole “Sometimes we think of ourselves as a city of developers, environmentalists, businesses and racial groups. … We really are just one Austin struggling to figure out what we’re going to be when we grow up. And bringing people together is the only way we come to that reality.” April 2013: Valerie Davis, owner of EnviroMedia Social Marketing “Green has hijacked the word ‘environment.’ It’s time to go back to the dictionary definition of ‘environment,’ which is our surroundings. That’s air quality, water conservation, recycling and it’s also food we eat, infrastructure, access to health care and, yes, the advertising we take in.” June 2013: Sally Brown, philanthropist and cofounder of Mack, Jack and McConnaughey “I need projects. I like redoing houses and I like creating and working on events. I approach projects like a business. I like to start things and see them to the end. I like completion.” July 2013: Ashley Spence Clauer, owner of Wanderlust Yoga Austin “Before I started practicing yoga…I held on to things in an unhealthy manner and didn’t know how to let them go. … It teaches you to truly quiet your mind…and that connecting to this moment and this breath, right here on your mat, is really all that matters.”
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on the scene /
sp o t ligh t ev ent
Cover Woman update: Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin Executive Director Austin Woman: What is new at Ballet Austin? Cookie Ruiz: In just about [a couple of] weeks, the entire company will be flying to Israel, where we will be doing five performances in three cities across the country, the only dance performance in a theater festival that is about the size of South By Southwest. AW: What is unique about Ballet Austin’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? CR: If someone’s never gone to the ballet before in their life, it’s the absolute perfect ballet to go to. For those who love dance, it has wonderful dance, but it is just ridiculously funny. The story’s all about all kinds of fun things that happen in the midsummer night’s dream. You can see [the cast] throw out an idea of how a ballet should go.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Sept. 13–15, The Long Center Brush up on your Shakespearean comedy this month with Ballet Austin’s 2013/2014 season opener, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s the mayhem of a woodland love triangle gone awry set to Mendelssohn’s delightful overture. Artistic Director and master storyteller Stephen Mills has choreographed a piece so stunningly hilarious that cast, crew and audience members will all be dazzled. balletaustin.org—Jennifer Morgan B See the complete September calendar of events at austinwomanmagazine.com.
28 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Photo by Tony Spielberg.
AW: What community projects are you involved in? CR: I’ve just been asked to join the board of Austin Housing Works, so I’m working on that issue. There are always funds to be raised and also a community to serve.
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on the scene /
[ 5 things not to miss this month ] 1
Sax and the City
Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Late September and Early October
Sept. 7, 8 p.m.
Downtown Austin isn’t the only spot in Central Texas for live-music listeners and concertgoers. The new Austin360 Amphitheater will surge with energy when East Texas native Miranda Lambert brings her red-hot rock ’n’ roll back to her stomping grounds, for a performance with Dierks Bentley deep in the heart of Texas. Our thoughts? The entire city of Austin will stay up late as country music’s reigning female vocalist comes to town to strut her stuff. Lawn tickets start at $25, while general admission tickets are $55. Austin360 Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., 512.301.6600, austin360amphiteather.com
Every year, 5 million beerdrinking, schnitzel-loving people are lured by the smell of delicious pub food, seasonal beer, thrilling accordion music and lederhosen and head to Fredericksburg to celebrate our state’s vast German heritage. Closer to town is the 16-day festival at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. Some of the activities include a petting zoo, keg toss, yodeling competition, pretzel-eating contest and a house polka band. Fredericksburg Oktoberfest, Oct. 4-6, 100 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, oktoberfestinf bg.com. Banger’s, Sept. 21-Oct. 6, 79&81 Rainey St., 512.386.1656, bangersaustin.com
30 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest jazz musicians, vocalists from The Women in Jazz Association take leaps into uncharted musical territory with Sax and the City. Their grounded sounds mixed with complex compositions are guaranteed to excite listeners with a new jazz experience. With original arrangements, Sax and the City organically blends two musical styles together, namely traditional and modern jazz. Keeping the listeners’ aural sense stimulated, these fierce performers provide an intense experience as the ensemble twists and turns throughout the night. Riverbend Centre, 4214 N. Capital of Texas Hwy., 512.389.0315, riverbend.com/riverbendcentre
Compiled by Katie Paschall
Jody Williams’ Book Signing
Sept. 7, 7 p.m.
As part of the 2013 Austin Pride Festival, the Madonnalogues with Nadya Ginsburg has the whole city buzzing. The Los Angeles comedienne has created a cutting-edge solo performance, a one-night show of her trademark celebrity-skewing impersonations (Winona Ryder, Cher and of course, Madonna herself). Many people have named Ginsburg as “the woman of a thousand voices.” Roseanne calls her “brilliant,” Joan Rivers says she is “perfection” and Perez Hilton calls her a “genius.” Come see why this comedienne has everyone raving. Tickets are $15. Spider House Ballroom, 2906 Fruth St., 512.480.9562, spiderhousecafe.com
A chairwoman at the Nobel Women’s Initiative and campaign ambassador for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams will be signing her new memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize. Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines. She was the 10th woman—and third American woman—in its almost 100-year history to receive the prize. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet someone Forbes ranks as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.472.5050, bookpeople.com
Sept. 4, 8 p.m.
on the scene /
phil a nth ropy
Imaginarium A magical night at the Austin Children’s Museum. By Erin Gray Every year, the Imaginarium Gala plays an important role in the life of the Austin Children’s Museum. With funds raised at the annual gala, the Austin Children’s Museum is able to keep its doors open, giving children the opportunity to learn and allow future generations to experience the Austin Children’s Museum. Not only does it ensure that the doors of the museum will continue to stay open, but the gala also provides bilingual education services, school tours, camp scholarships and outreach programs for underserved families and schools. Although the gala is important every year, this year, it will be an extraordinary celebration. The gala will be the first major event in the new Austin Children’s Museum facility, soon to be opened at Mueller and renamed the Thinkery. The Thinkery building construction was
completed July 19, with the downtown location of the Austin Children’s Museum closing Sept. 1. Attendees of Imaginarium will be the first to experience the Thinkery before it officially opens in December. Guests will enjoy private tours and
demonstrations. In addition to exploring the new building, guests will also be served dinner and drinks, and can participate in an auction. Imaginarium will appeal to the child in everyone. austinkids.org/imaginarium.aspx
Sponsored Events Sax and the City Sept. 7, 8 p.m., Riverbend Centre for the Arts, 4214 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.
Get Smart Conference Sept. 13, 8 a.m., UT Commons Learning Center, 10100 Burnet Road
Project Pink Fashion Show Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m., W Hotel, 200 Lavaca St.
With Austin being the live music capital of the world, it’s easy to find a new band or genre you like. For those who want to feel electricity coursing through their veins, jazz performances fit the bill. Women in Jazz is presenting Sax and the City, featuring Marion Meadows, Jessy J and Paul Taylor at the Riverbend Centre for the Arts. Come on down and sway to the smooth sounds. Tickets are $53 to $60, and doors open at 7 p.m. womeninjazz.org
For a lot of people, failure is one of their biggest fears. The failure of achieving goals, the failure to thrive. It keeps us from doing what we love. At the Get Smart Conference, hosted by the Women Communicators of Austin, women are able to learn what is keeping them from moving forward, how to become stronger when they fail and how to take the lessons learned and apply them. Guests of the conference will be able to gain wisdom from Austin business owners like Olivia O’Neal, Ken Schiller and John Garrett. Conference begins and 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. getsmartaustin.com
Want to do something fun with your girlfriends? Get girly with brunch, mimosas and a runway show! Project Pink, a fashion show benefiting Susan G. Komen Austin, will showcase the talents of local design students from the University of Texas, the Art Institute, the Austin School of Fashion and McCullum High School. Designs will feature past Komen race T-shirts, with runway models that are breast-cancer survivors. Come and support a wonderful cause while admiring beautiful creations. Tickets for the fashion show start at $25. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.
32 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
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on the scene /
Happy birthday, Virgo! Aug. 24-Sept. 22 Your month: You want to express your cre-
ativity to make an impact and be recognized for your efforts, but inside you’re conflicted. You want to push yourself forward but you’re more comfortable holding back. In typical Virgo style, you try to manage this month’s fiery enthusiasm, but that might be a mistake. Keep in mind that you can help people (especially partners and siblings) more by inspiring them to action than by obsessing over details. This month, your plans and ideas can become solid fact.
We still bask in the glow of quickly manifested visions and instantly materialized dreams this month, with a little pushy, edgy bravado and, conversely, self-sacrifice thrown in for good measure. We’re witnesses to actual proof of the collective power of the many, and we aren’t afraid to be brave and step up when we need to, then retreat and downsize when we can.
Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): Is anything more beautiful than watching you Libras actually work, doing what you do better than anyone else? Feel free to enjoy this lucky career streak for 11 more months, especially in September, especially if you work with family. Family can be lots of things: family business, a husband-wife team, the kids’ working summer holiday, a new position for your brother-in-law. Creating a work environment that feels like family may seem impractical to some, but it pays off big for you in dollars and cents. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): This year finds you responsible, reliable and cautious, but it’s as if a giant invisible hand shoots down from the heavens and metaphorically slaps you if you do anything careless or stupid. And paradoxically, you find if you carefully plan your career moves and act like a grown-up, you receive an instant and obvious pat on the back by that same invisible hand. You’ve always been self-motivated, but these days it feels like the master plan for your life sits in those giant invisible hands, and you only get an occasional peek. Long-range plans = pat. Impulsive action = slap.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): Learning what you can and cannot control is your lesson plan this month, and moderation is the answer. You’re having trouble curbing your desires and are a little manipulative in your quest to fulfill them (particularly sexual and financial needs). Your almost phobic fear of commitment is legendary, but if you get over your feelings of inadequacy, you can form long-lasting relationships and base them on firm foundations. This month, your professional, social and marital statuses become the lenses through which you express yourself. capricorn (dec. 22-JAN. 20): You folks have a reputation for caution and dourness, and you don’t impulsively ask for help from friends. But professional communication is what this month is all about for you. See if you can make your professional actions more fun. See where you can add some joy without compromising efficiency. Your life this month is like a fun road trip in search of higher knowledge. Travel, foreign cultures, religion and academics may provide keys, but so will the arts and your own intuition. Be brave and use them.
34 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): For too many months, your career has felt more or less on hold. Things are about to change for you for the better on the 16th. You’ll have more clarity about your future, and old issues get resolved. The rest of this year, expect dramatic career changes, but next year will be even more dramatic, and the timing for you couldn’t be better. Very soon, you enter a big-time career year and you will be able to go forth with more clarity and confidence. pisces (Feb. 20-march 20): The rest of us really like having you guys around. You are the ones willing to sacrifice for the common good. September is your month to work for your health, your siblings’ health and the health of the community. Even your love life has elements of this serve/sacrifice theme: “If you love me, you do for me. When I love you, I do for you.” It’s not so much romantic but utilitarian, and this isn’t a put-down; it’s valid and important, especially this month. aries (march 21–april 20): This is your order-from-chaos month, and you make an important shift. By now (hopefully), you have found your point of emotional harmony and you’re ready to focus on your career. The dreams and visualizations of the past few months can now manifest in to tangible reality. Try to rest and relax a little (alien to the Aries nature) and do your best to keep your energy level naturally high and avoid worry and anxiety— two demons that sap your energy and weaken your aura. taurus (april 21–may 21): You may as well have fun and enjoy your life because you’re still in the middle of your yearly personal pleasure period. You’re going to have a few glitches in the love department from the 16th to the 19th and the 25th to the 29th, but your likeability will get you through them. Once you get all the play time out of
your system, you’re ready for work again. This means avoid confrontations, conflict and risky activities, and be mindful when you drive. gemini (may 22–June 20): It begins: a personal pleasure period lasting all year. We all need leisure and fun, and nothing much is happening in your career anyway, so you might as well enjoy yourself. It’ll be easy. The 25th to the 29th tests your computers, communication equipment, ability to drive your car safely and…siblings? Yes, so try to avoid conflicts, confrontations and high-risk activities. Choose quiet time at home over excitement and stress. Don’t overreact to things, OK? Stay cool. cancer (June 21–july 22): You’re not above using brute force—physical or psychological—to get your way. You are very dynamic at the beginning of the month, so go ahead. It’s the best time for you to have your way and manifest the conditions you want for the rest of the year. This changes, though, because by the 25th, other people will have a lot to say about your life and you’ll need to cultivate your social skills a little. The universe forces you to do what you love to do the most: Be there for the family. Leo (July 23–Aug. 23): This month, the pace of your life feels slower than usual, but your finances seem to be even better than last month. Your personal appearance did play a big role in your past finances, so you cultivated the image of wealth. But after the 9th, you get more conservative with your money. You are also a little conservative in your love life, creating distance but not conflict. But after the 22nd, expect actual conflict. Try not to make things worse than they need to be. Avoid making important love decisions now. By Deborah Mastelotto email@example.com
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Reconnect in a Tranquil Oasis The Lake Austin Spa Resort is the perfect spot for a getaway with friends and family. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne At the end of South Quinlan Park Road in Austin lies a little piece of heaven. The minute I pass through the gate at the Lake Austin Spa Resort, my body starts to unwind, my mind starts to decompress and I check out from the business of day-to-day stress and to-do lists. With many diverse activities offered each day and a location that encompasses a beautiful natural setting, Lake Austin Spa resort is the perfect spot for a getaway with a group of friends, your sister, your mother or your daughter. The variety of offerings is designed to appeal to groups and to individuals, with something for everyone. No need for 24-hour togetherness, group consensus or leaving the resort; everything you could want for a personalized experience has been accommodated. The many accolades the resort has received—five years in a row on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List Platinum Circle, as well as being chosen the top-rated destination spa in the country by both Traveler and Zagat—are well deserved. Dining is an experience unto itself. The cuisine is healthy and gourmet, with many of the ingredients picked fresh daily from the on-site garden. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, including vegan, gluten-free and low or no sugar. While your getaway may be pricey, it is one for the bucket list. With this tranquil oasis just down the road, AW set out to experience 72 hours with friends.
Day One Noon Grab lunch by the water. Take in the scenery by the lake while you decide whether you are brave enough to attempt stand-up paddling. Highly recommended lunch items: soup of the day and fresh-from-the garden salads. 1:30 p.m. Check in and get your bearings. Visit the gift shop, the indoor and outdoor pools, the
36 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
library, the workout room, the yoga deck and the Treehouse Lake Room. Choose an afternoon activity or grab a book and head for the pool or hammock. 3 p.m. Group cycling or stretch and relax yoga 5 p.m. Wine tasting in the Lake Kitchen 6:30 p.m. Enjoy dinner in the main dining room. Choose from chef’s specials or sample signature dishes: seared scallops, herb-crusted filet mignon or grilled Atlantic salmon. 8 p.m. Retreat to your room for girlfriend gab. Get comfortable. Throw on your LAS robe and slippers while you relax on your private patio or
in the Zen garden. Some suites have private hot tubs. Catch up and share conversation over a glass of wine. Plan for tomorrow’s activities.
Day Two 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Group chooses individual morning activities: ➤ Sleep in and enjoy room-service breakfast. ➤ Breakfast in the main dining room followed by a riverview hike. ➤ Enjoy the kayaks or hydrobikes on the lake. 10 a.m. Pampering at the spa—with more than 100 options to choose from, you and your
Best Kept Secret: One-Day Girlfriend Getaway If you only have one day to get away, take advantage of everything the Lake House Spa has to offer. Treatments can be booked a la carte or as part of several packages. All packages include lunch at the Aster Café, and for a la carte services, lunch may be purchased separately. Enjoy the pools, sauna and steam room before or after your treatments. (A facility fee is charged on Fridays and Saturdays only.) Special packages and rates are available for groups such as bridal parties, moms to be and mother-daughter day-aways. For a fee in addition to your package or treatment, the Bamboo Room, complete with in-ground hot tub, gardens and private outdoor shower, can accommodate up to six people and provides a private place to gather with friends.
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t r av e l
[continued] friends can’t go wrong. My choice: Star of India. 110 minutes of pure relaxation, followed by steam and sauna. It features Ayurvedic scalp and neck massage with full-body herbal treatment. You will also receive a gentle herbal Marma point facial and massage with an oil chosen for your individual dosha, or vital energy. The Shirodhara concludes with warm essential oil streamed over your forehead (in Ayurvedic tradition, the famous “third eye”) and massaged into your neck and scalp. My friend’s choice: Lemongrass Bamboo Bliss. 100 minutes of bliss, followed by a couGathering of Wise ple of laps in the inWomen program door Olympic pool. The spa's signature Make it a special getaway treatment features during the month of Octoa deeply relaxing ber for the 20th anniverscrub and massage. sary of The Gathering of This blend of the Wise Women program. popular Bamboo The Gathering of Wise Bliss massage and Women program is a exfoliating lemonmonth-long series that engrass scrub begins compasses a wide-ranging with an effervescent array of matters in which body scrub of zesty selected “wise women” lemongrass and jasguest speakers provide mine to smooth and inspiration and informaexfoliate skin. Then tion to resort guests. The you’ll enjoy a relaxmotivational programs ing massage with explore, enhance and a specially crafted honor the many aspects bamboo roll and of women’s overall health Thai lemongrass oil. and wellness: mentally, The bamboo roll is physically, emotionally and warmed and infused with lemongrass oil spiritually. lakeaustin.com
38 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
and can cover a large portion of your body at one time, sliding, rolling and kneading your cares away. A blissful blend!
pizza, quesadillas, salad, salmon, trout or burgers while you discuss the day’s activities and spa treatments.
12:30 p.m. Meet for lunch in the Aster Café. My choice: shrimp tacos. My friend’s choice: hummus and guacamole tartine. Both highly recommended.
8:30 p.m. Take a class that is part of the Discovery program (there is something for all interests): ➤ The Stars at Night—Astronomy Basics ➤ Improving Relationships ➤ Culinary Herbs
2 p.m. Chef Stephane’s Garden Fresh cooking class in the Lake Kitchen. Chef Stephane is a real charmer, incorporating personal stories about his family, his love for food and dedication to creating healthy recipes, and his international culinary experiences as he cooks. His classes are not to be missed. If you want to plan your getaway around a foodie experience, Lake Austin Spa also offers The Culinary Experience and hosts awardwinning chefs. Upcoming guest chefs include Sara Moulton of Good Morning America, Johnny Vee Vollersten of Las Cosas Cooking School and Grace Young, the Wok Queen. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Group chooses individual activities: ➤ Grab a hammock and a book and chill by the lake. ➤ Attend a wine and cheese book chat with well-known authors. While we were there, one of my favorite authors, Pam Houston, read from her latest tome, Contents May Have Shifted. Upcoming guests include Jill Smolinski, author of Object of My Affection on Sept. 21, and Jennifer Holland, author of Unlikely Friends on Nov. 22. ➤ Latin Cardio Zumba ➤ Nutrition Stressbusters with Terry Shaw, LAS dietitian 7 p.m. Gather in the garden, on the patio or in your suite for room service. Share
Day Three 8 a.m. Breakfast in the main dining room or take coffee and a light breakfast to your patio. 10 a.m. Choose individual activity: ➤ Yoga Basics ➤ Introduction to Tai Chi ➤ Cardio Dance Party ➤ Garden Meditation 11:30 a.m. You’ve come full circle. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the garden and lunch by the lake before your departure.
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[this page] Robert Rodriguez leather and lace peplum top, $345; Alexis Bittar necklace, $325; Alexis Bittar bracelet, $250; Alexis Bittar earrings, $125, available at Neiman Marcus at The Domain, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200, neimanmarcus.com. [opposite page] Steve Madden Army green trench coat, $138, available at Nordstrom, 2901 Capital of Texas Hwy., 512.691.3500, nordstrom. com. Red Engine denim, $172, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 103, 512.472.5951, bygeorgeaustin.com. Gomax limited edition 02 wedge, $46, available at Eleven Eleven, 1111 S. Congress Ave., 512.448.9624, shopeleveneleven.com. 42 â€‚ Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Fall Fashion Preview
Sisters Phoebe and Stephanie Hunt show off autumnâ€™s must-have looks.
sister act Photos by Andrew Chan Styling by Ashley Hargrove, dtkaustinstyling.com Hair by Maegan Foster, Avant Salon, 507 Pressler St., Ste. 800, 512.472.6357, avantsalon.com Makeup by Lauren Lumsden, Rae Cosmetics, 1206 W. 38th St., 512.320.8732, raecosmetics.com
[On Stephanie, left] Clu layered tank top, $184, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 103, 512.472.5951, bygeorgeaustin. com. Black and white print blazer, $29.95, available at H&M at The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace,Â 512.873.0375, hm.com/us. Extasia curb chain round disk necklace, $220, available at Maya*, 1508 S. Congress Ave., 512.912.1475, mayastar.com. Pants and shoes, modelâ€™s own. [On Phoebe, right] Each x Other silver jeans, $348; Hazel leather jacket, $634; Zero Armadillo Edi heel, $825, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 103, 512.472.5951, bygeorgeaustin. com. Chameleon bracelets, $34; Elise M gold bracelet, $20; Vanessa Mooney necklace, $69; Vanessa Mooney bracelets, $34.99; Go Your Own Way tank, $28, available at Y&I, 1113 S. Congress Ave., 512.462.0775, shopyandi. com. Shira Melody Alexandra black and gold chain bracelet, $36, available at Eleven Eleven, 1111 S. Congress Ave., 512.448.9624, shopeleveneleven.com. [Opposite page] Fifteen-Twenty green snake dress, $231; Haute Hippie sequin jacket, $795; Alice & Olivia skinny pants, $898; Black leather rock-stud pumps, $1,075; Sonya Renee keyhole cutout earrings, $50, available at Neiman Marcus at The Domain, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200, neimanmarcus.com.
Woman on Fire Much like her music, Phoebe Hunt is easy to connect with. She smiles when she talks, she smiles when she sings and she radiates positivity with every word and every thought. The 29-year-old singer-songwriter gained a following performing with The Hudsons and The Belleville Outfit, rarely singing without the accompaniment of her fiddle—an instrument she’s been practicing for 23 years. Last June, Hunt displayed her playfully demure range with the release of her first full-length solo album, Live at the Cactus Café. “The Cactus Café is such a part of Austin and our history—it’s legendary,” she says, remembering the night she recorded the album. “I get to share that stage with so many people who have been there before, and it’s like their energy is collected there. It’s really powerful.” This month, she relives that night on a Northeastern tour with bandmates Reed Turner and Pat Harris. Her heart is almost as big as her voice. Along with singing and writing, Hunt prioritizes volunteering with the Amala Foundation throughout the world. The Austin foundation brings together kids—many of them refugee and immigrant children who have experienced extreme poverty, violence, war or child labor—and empowers them to lead and serve the world in a more peaceful way. In August, Hunt shared her love of music at the foundation’s Global Youth Peace Summit in Austin, and the following week she invited children from the summit to write and record music with her during a five-day program she founded, Fuel Our Fire. After the peace summit, she says, the children “are open, receptive, alive, awakened and at the height of experiencing creative energy.” The goal is to teach them how to apply their musical talents in a meaningful way, and in doing so, she finds it inspires her own songwriting. “You have to give fearlessly,” Hunt says. “You get so much back.” phoebehuntmusic.com —Jane Kellogg
[On Stephanie, left] Dolce Vita Aztec dress, $150; Deepa Gurnani studded headband, $105, available at Maya*, 1508 S. Congress Ave., 512.912.1475, mayastar.com. Yigal Azrouël leather vest, $1,150, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 103, 512.472.5951, bygeorgeaustin. com. Christian Louboutin pumps, $1,395, available at Neiman Marcus at The Domain, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200, neimanmarcus.com. [On Phoebe, right] Yigal Azrouël skirt, $590; Pomandére top, $246, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 103, 512.472.5951, bygeorgeaustin.com. Chinese Laundry Serendipity pump, $77, available at Maya*, 1508 S. Congress Ave., 512.912.1475, mayastar.com. Elise M belt, $62; Chameleon red bracelets, $34; Chameleon red ring, $34; Elise M gold bracelet, $20, available at Y&I, 1113 S. Congress Ave., 512.462.0775, shopyandi.com. Earrings and necklace, model’s own. [opposite page] Lovemarks dress, $56, available at Eleven Eleven, 1111 S. Congress Ave., 512.448.9624, shopeleveneleven.com. Graham & Spencer leather jacket, $910; Melie Bianco python clutch, $41, available at Maya*, 1508 S. Congress Ave., 512.912.1475, mayastar.com. Chameleon gray necklaces, $69; Chameleon gray ring, $34, available at Y&I, 1113 S. Congress Ave., 512.462.0775, shopyandi.com.
46 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
renaissance woman During the shoot, Stephanie Hunt's sisterly banter with Phoebe ranged from comments on clothing and accessories that brought out their best features— or definitely did not—to playfully self-deprecating remarks: “Oh yeah, work it!” and “Does this make my (fill in the blank) look big?” to “You definitely should buy those jeans; you look hot in those.” to critiques of music and musicians and light gossip about the Hollywood scene. Growing up in Austin (they graduated from Bowie High School), the pair also shared a love of music and all things ATX. Stephanie Hunt is a renaissance woman, wearing the multiple hats of musician, composer, actress, producer and screenwriter. She is in a band, Nancy and Beth (“No one knows who Nancy and Beth are.”) with comedienne and actress Megan Mullally. Their recent appearance on Conan was a hit, and they will be touring the East coast in September. You may also recognize Stephanie Hunt as part of Austin-based T Bird and the Breaks, or from her roles on Friday Night Lights, Californication and most recently, How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life. In 2009, Hunta produced, acted in, composed music for and co-wrote Love and Tambourines along with Austinite Jeremy Cohen. The documentary-style exploration of love, music and the space in between, through the lens of two friends spending Valentine’s Day together, got rave reviews at the Austin Film Festival. The pair just completed Dalai Lama, a short starring Hunt as a girl who becomes “too good at meditating.” The film premiered last month at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Los Angeles. Based mostly in Los Angeles, Stephanie Hunt plans to spend as much time in Austin as possible. Following our shoot, she was rushing to catch a plane but vowed to be back soon. After a quick hug she said, “I love my family and I love Austin. The place feeds my creativity.” —Deborah Hamilton-Lynne
f r e sh sta rt
College-Bound Makeover AW’s team of experts gives one high-school grad a new look. By Rachel Merriman, Photo by Rudy Arocha In our July issue, Austin Woman asked readers to nominate a young woman starting college this fall for a head-to-toe makeover to start her freshman year off right. Christina Bustamante read about the contest while waiting in her doctor’s office and nominated her daughter Crisel Suarez, who graduated from McCallum High School and will major in mathematics at St. Edward’s University. “She’s sweet and considerate, [so] I thought, ‘She deserves to have a makeover,’ ” Bustamante says. “She wanted a change before she went off to college.” “Going to college is so exciting,” Suarez says. “It’s a great time for a new look, new friends and a new beginning.” Austin Woman’s team of experts was happy to help Suarez with her new beginning, starting with a fresh ’do, youthful makeup and a fun wardrobe to put some sass in her step when she walks onto the hilltop this fall. Hair “She’s starting college, so I wanted to keep it youthful,” says Martha Lynn Kale of Mirror Mirror (4410 Burnet Rd., 512.420.8868, mirrormirroraustin.com). “She has thick hair, so I took out some weight by giving her face-framing layers. I also wanted to work with her natural colors because college kids are on a budget, so I added just a few highlights to add dimension and brightness around her face.” makeup “I asked her how she typically wears her makeup, and she keeps it pretty natural,” says Lauren Lumsden of Rae Cosmetics (1206 W. 38th St., 512.320.5732, raecosmetics. com). “I wanted to keep it light and fresh so she would still look like herself, but with a beautiful glow.” fashion “I went with this blue printed dress because the fit is flattering on everyone, and wedges to give her height and good posture,” says Ashley Hargrove of DTK Austin Styling (dtkaustinstyling.com). “Then I accessorized with a simple bangle and necklace to balance the busy print.”
48 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Dress, $48; bangle, $16 and ring, $12, available at hoddyshop.com. Wedges, $24.99, available at Target, multiple locations, target.com
austin convention center
Nov 19, 2013
hosted by First Lady anita Perry
STAY TUNED FOR EXCITING SPEAKER ADDITIONS
courtesy oF rachaeL ray show
THIS IS JUST THE START OF 100+ TO COME!
award-winning author & filmmaker
celebrity chef, author and businesswoman
In our 14th year, the ripples have become waves, join us. We recruited
78 Supporting Organizations with an estimated reach of about 1.1 million to share the Conference
nationally recognized diversity expert & author, “What if I Say the Wrong Thing?”
best-selling author, screenwriter and playwright
Since 2009, approximately
industry veterans & career coaches met with upwards of 1000 attendees for “speed-coaching” sessions through Mentor Match
founder, the Bloggess, & author, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”
7500+ junior and senior high school girls have been able to attend the Conference on scholarship through the Young Women’s Program
Since 2009, approximately
career services professionals have helped
1000+ attendees enhance their resumes through Resume Review
In our 13 years, we have hosted
speakers, spanning every industry and from countries around the world
total number of attendees since our first Conference in 2000
MORE INFORMATION & REGISTER AT TXCONFERENCEFORWOMEN.ORG
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• Talaya FraziEr Founder, Spokesperson and Champion for Cheyanna’s Champion’s 4 Children Foundation. • Betty STaEhr Homeless survivor and current advocate for homeless single women in Austin. Featured in the documentary In Her Shoes.
ba k ing
Take the Cake Delectable recipes to get you through fall and into the upcoming holiday season. By Rachel Merriman, Photo by Rudy Arocha
Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth: Recipes from a Modern Artisan Bakery
Stacie Bakes: Classic Cakes and Bakes for the Thoroughly Modern Cook
by Lily Jones
by Stacie Stewart
This is the book for the adventurous baker, regardless of experience level. The pages are loaded with facts about the history of various baked goods and fun recipes like Margarita Drizzle Cake and a rustic pear, parsnip and ginger cake that is perfect for fall. lilyvanilli.com
If you want to throw the perfect tea party, this is your cookbook. Recipes are organized by season and a few key holidays. For the conscious eater, Stacie Bakes also contains low-fat and gluten-free recipes, including a skinny carrot meringue cake and mango passion fruit roulade. amazon.com
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Pie Love by Warren Brown Learn how to make perfect, flaky crust with the easy-to-follow instructions. The book is divided into chapters on piecrusts, tart crusts, sweet fillings for tarts and pies and a last chapter focusing on savory pies. All the traditional pies you know and love, but some with a twist (the mango meringue pie sounds especially divine). amazon.com
Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry by Christophe Felder Internationally renowned pastry chef Christophe Felder leaves no stone unturned in this 700-page cookbook, which contains more than 3,000 step-bystep photos. You’ll learn to make all the French classics—puff pastry, macarons, tarts, ganaches, croissants and more—all from scratch. amazon.com
Macarons, Cupcakes, and Cake Pops
The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook
by Mia Ohrn
by Lynn Hill
Cupcakes are a great crowd pleaser, but if you’re looking for something different to bring to the table, try macarons or hand-decorated cake pops. Our picks: the chocolate macarons with salted caramel, coconut and passion fruit cupcakes and mini cupcakes with rosewater and grapefruit. amazon.com
The yummy recipes for buttercreams and icings— particularly for earl grey icing and Champagne buttercream—really caught our attention. Check out the Global Cakes section, which features recipes for Japanese green tea and orange cake, and a Polish apple cake with chocolate and candied orange. clandestinecakeclub.co.uk
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Precious Mettle Bridget Dunlap opens her first restaurant in East Austin. By Courtney Bell Last summer, Bridget Dunlap was picking out local art to adorn the walls of her new restaurant, Mettle, and planning a wedding. Life has been good to the newlywed Queen of Rainey Street as she extends her reign to the other side of I-35. At the end of East Sixth Street, nestled between train tracks and Hops & Grain Brewery, Mettle, Dunlap’s first restaurant, has found its home.
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The restaurant’s clever title lends itself to the décor but also holds a more personal meaning to Dunlap. Mettle, or a person’s ability to face demanding situations with an uplifting spirit and resilience, is what it took for Dunlap to build her downtown Austin empire. Dunlap credits her CFO and husband, Chris Parker, with the restaurant’s name. It all started with pink wallpaper patterned with beige trees Dunlap bought at Anthropologie. She had been holding on to it and when designing Mettle, it seemed to be the perfect complement to soften the cold steel and metal fixtures that fill the minimalist industrial space. Completed with two walls of windows to let in the Austin sunshine and locally blown glass fixtures, Dunlap made the décor personal, leaving no detail to chance. She accessorized her Studio 54-esque bathrooms with Burt’s Bees products simply because she loves the company’s story. The huge front patio is a welcoming spot to enjoy
one of the flavorful specialty cocktails while waiting for your table. The Siamese Caipirinha boasts the perfect balance of Thai chili spice and savory basil infused into cachaca, rounded out with freshsqueezed lime juice. The superbly attentive and knowledgeable waitstaff at Mettle takes your dining experience to the next level, transforming it into an art. Each dish is dropped off and described in great detail. Your mouth will be watering before you take your first bite. Chef Andrew Francisco, formerly of Olivia, held nothing back when creating Mettle’s menu. “He works with such precision and exacting technique, but the food does not feel boring and stuffy at all,” Dunlap says. “It’s just fun and tasty.” Dunlap gives all the credit to Francisco for his kitchen masterpieces. “I did nothing. It’s all him—I just asked for a cheeseburger,” she jokes. Each meal begins with freshly baked brioche
Photos courtesy of Found Media Group.
Mussells—laksa, cilantro, garlic bread
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[continued] bread paired with smoked butter and dusted with dark chocolate shavings and sea salt. Start off with the pickled and fried anchovy plate, served with four types of olives and a smoked butter and olive oil compote for a Mediterranean appetizer experience. The yellow curried mussels go above and beyond traditional Indian expectations. You will be wiping the bowl clean of the sweet curry sauce with the hot and fresh garlic naan served on the side. The entrées are as diverse as the budding East side neighborhood where Mettle is located. There are many options for guests to choose from on Francisco’s menu, from grilled redfish, beef tongue tacos and spaghetti to fried chicken. “Our team is so passionate, so excited about putting ourselves out there on the burgeoning, wonderful food scene in Austin,” Dunlap says. In five years, Dunlap has opened six establishments between Houston and Austin and has big plans for the future. “2008 seems like a million years ago, but it’s really not,” she says as we recount her accomplishments
56 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
and discuss her upcoming plans. “I think I’m good for a minute and take a tiny break, and then the next week I think, ‘What am I going to do next?’ In addition to raising a child, it’s a lot of hard work and it all blurs together sometimes.” When asked what’s next for her, Dunlap’s busy mind creates a to-do list on her fingers, listing off her upcoming projects effortlessly. First and foremost Dunlap is going to finish Container Bar, her projected opening date being this October. This Rainey Street addition will be her last project on this reformed historic neighborhood street downtown. As she adds one hotspot to the increasingly popular street, she must also take one away. With new construction plans in the works, Dunlap plans to move Lustre Pearl to an undecided location. While she will no longer have the building, she promises to move Lustre’s spirit along with it, although the bar that started it all for the Queen of Rainey Street will always hold a special place in her heart. Also in the works are plans for Dunlap’s next East side restaurant, with Francisco again behind the
wheel in the kitchen. With no concrete concepts, Dunlap is leaning toward a Sicilian restaurant located up the street from Mettle. “I guess I better take a trip to Italy for research and development,” Dunlap says playfully. Finally, Dunlap reveals her aspirations for a boutique hotel complete with two restaurants and two bars. This would be Dunlap’s biggest project to date, but she is already looking at real estate. “I would love to pull this off,” she says as I watch the wheels turn in her mind while she thinks about her countless eggs in many baskets. “Set your goals and do it. It’s not from sitting on your ass and it’s not listening to anyone else either.” But she’s not getting ahead of herself. “A restaurant is so much harder than a bar,” Dunlap says of opening her first restaurant. “There are so many more details and so much more work, but it’s been good. I’m glad we’re open. Mettle is a labor of love and every day we get better, which is exciting.” 507 Calles St, 512.236.1022, mettleaustin.com
Sponsorship opportunities and vendor booths still available!
TOTAL HEALTH FEST is a fun, informative and interactive event for the whole family. We will have healthy lifestyle activities for all ages from children to adults. We will also have vendors and speakers from the health, fitness and wellness industry to make live presentations, demonstrations and door prizes. EXHIBITORS/VENDORS
Austin Oaks Hospital
John Harrod, USA Benefits Group
Matt Caskey, ViSalus, Inc
My Fit Foods
Austin Community College
Cedar Springs Austin
John Harrell, Financial Advisor
Happy Family Brands
Caporal Assistance Network (CAN)
McCormick and Schmickâ€™s Domain
Stakes Chiropractic Center
Austin Community College Nursing School
Healthy Measures Weight Loss & Wellness
October 5 | 10am - 2pm FRIENDS & PARTNERS
And more to come!
Westin Domain 11301 Domain Drive Austin, Texas 78758
Tiaras & Boas, Champagne & Mimosas, Legendary Silent Auction and of course, BINGO! October 19, 2013 Hilton Austin 10:00am-1:30pm benefiting
CENTER FOR CHILD PROTECTION
a childrenâ€™s advocacy center
Bubbles & Bling Sponsors
Bingo Prize Sponsors DAVID YURMAN
Event Sponsors O N
S T O N E L A K E
For more information visit centerforchildprotection.org
DEB HASTINGS 5 YEAR SURVIVOR KIM JONES 4 YEAR SURVIVOR TRISH TRUJILLO 1 YEAR SURVIVOR
15th ANNUAL KOMEN AUSTIN RACE FOR THE CURE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2013 www.komenaustin.org
WE LIVE HERE. WE RACE HERE. WE SAVE LIVES HERE.
to your health /
Take A Hike Get fit and in touch with the great outdoors with hikes in and near Austin. By Caroline Khoury Forget all those calorie counts, all the workouts solely for the sake of working out and all those stamina-deflating realizations that you’re bored with your exercise regimen. Instead, get in touch with the great outdoors to stay healthy and fit this month. Take a hike on one of the many trails in and near Austin. Ramp up your boring exercise routine by exploring nature in a beautiful Central Texas setting as you hike. Get out of the gym. Lace up those boots and start walking. Hiking should be pleasurable and adventurous, offering scenery you may have become oblivious to by living in the city. A hike can be as difficult and strenuous as you want it to be. In Austin, there are plenty of choices. You can embark on a relaxing but still invigorating trail. All the while, your hike will be stimulating not only for your physical well-being, but also for the health of your mind. The preparation process? Pick your hike based on scenery, distance and difficulty. Throw on a pair of tennis shoes or boots and some sunscreen, and you’ll be on your way; no need to plan weeks in advance! While on your hike, keep your eyes peeled for the extraordinary creatures and sights you’re bound to come across. Once you find that hiking awakens your eager spirit to be a part of nature, marshal that adventure and its different trails into your workout schedule. Say goodbye to the days of monotonous workout routines and take a hike.
If you’re the type who enjoys the outdoors and has always contemplated taking a hike, or if you hike regularly and are in need of some leisurely exercise, then venture to these nearby destinations.
Hamilton Pool Trail Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.7 miles This trail runs along Hamilton Creek, which, over time, has created a canyon where you are bound to site numerous species of wildlife. Along the hike, you’ll also come across Hamilton Pool, where you can drop in for a swim, catch glimpses into the grotto and come across many scenic views of Hamilton Creek and its inhabitants.
Bull Creek Trail Difficulty: Easy Length: 4 miles Down the trail, there is a creek suitable for swimming and signs about 20 yards from the creek proclaiming that dogs are allowed to be unleashed from that point on. This hike provides an achievable workout while offering many viewings of wildlife and numerous opportunities to steer off the trail and down to the creek.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake Difficulty: Easy Length: Various loops ranging from 3.10 miles to 10.5 miles In the heart of Austin, this trail gets more than 1.5 million visitors per year and is Austin’s most recognized recreation area. It is great for people-
Hikes With Your Dog What’s a memorable experience without someone to share it with? If your dog loves to frolic along by your side, Melissa Gaskill’s Best Hikes With Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Gulf Coast is loaded with hikes that are perfect for you and your companion. Covering the 55 best dog-friendly and dog-fun hikes throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast, Gaskill categorizes these 55 trails by distance, whether it’s safe to have your dog unleashed and according to the physical fitness of your dog. Two of our favorites in the Austin area are Southwest Metropolitan Park Primitive Trail and Richard Maya Park. Both of these trails can be up to five miles, and while the Southwest Metropolitan hike is better for fit dogs, the Richard Maya Park is great for those older pals. Gaskill also covers different subjects, from proper canine-trail etiquette to how to handle certain wildlife encounters such as snakes. If you’re searching for the perfect quest for you and your friend, pick up the Texas edition of Best Hikes With Dogs and let the adventure begin.
60 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Ann and Roy Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake
watching, but hiking the trail, which runs alongside the water and provides a spectacular skyline view of the city, is also a way to explore and enjoy Austin’s scenery and natural environment. For seasoned hikers or for those who are just seeking a challenge, here are a couple of hikes that you will find very gratifying.
The Loop At Enchanted Rock Difficulty: Moderate to difficult Length: 4.1 miles Looping around the pink granite mountains that project from the Hill Country, this hike is described as one of the most scenic hikes in Central Texas. With a view at the top of Enchanted Rock looking down at Moss Lake and across the Texas plains, this hike is definitely worth the effort and exercise to experience these iconic views.
Lower Barton Greenbelt Difficulty: Difficult Length: 8.5 miles Also containing a creek that has created a canyon over time, the Greenbelt is a favorite of avid rock climbers while also providing deep swimming pools. Make a day out of this hike and prepare for an adventure of narrow and challenging pathways. For more hikes in and near Austin: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Antonio and Austin: Includes the Hill Country by Tom Taylor and Johnny Molloy (Aug. 28, 2007)
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to your health /
Commit to Memory Austin Woman explores the most feared and most costly disease in America, Alzheimer’s. By Jill Case Having trouble remembering the name of the person you met last week? Finding your keys? Thinking of the name of that film you saw last month? You can recite the whole plot, but what’s the name of the movie? Most people have experienced one of these scenarios. As the Baby Boomers age and with increasing information available about Alzheimer’s disease, many worry that memory lapses like these may signal the beginnings of the disease. While some memory lapses are a normal part of aging, others—like forgetting what your keys are for, or that you saw that movie at all—may be more significant. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia (generally defined as the loss of mental and cognitive abilities in a way that interferes with daily life and functioning). The Alzheimer’s Association says that more than 5 million Americans have the disease, and one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s (or other forms of dementia). In addition, last year more than 15 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at $216 billion. Regardless of whether you have the disease, a loved one or a friend has it, you are serving as a caregiver, or you have no connection to it whatsoever, it’s important for everyone to know more about Alzheimer’s—it is inevitable that you will confront the disease at some point in your lifetime.
Warning Signs For the majority of us, our memories are the most important things we carry. If you are concerned about memory loss in yourself or a loved one, you should consult a physician. Mild memory loss (forgetting a name, losing your keys, forgetting where
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• Do you have problems with your vision or spatial you parked) are likely just normal signs of aging, relationships? but the Alzheimer’s Association lists 10 warning • Have you had vision problems, including probsigns that should be of concern. Ask yourself (or lems judging distance, seeing contrasts or color or your loved one) the following questions. If the aneven difficulty reading? swer is “yes” to any of them, consult a doctor. • Do you have difficulty following conversations or • Is your memory loss disrupting your day-to-day finding the right words? life? • Do you have difficulty solving problems or making • Have you called a familiar object by the wrong and following plans? • Are you having trouble following recipes? PayHelpful Resources A Look Inside Alzheimer’s: I ing and tracking monthly Know Who I am Today, But expenses and bills? Is it What About Tomorrow?, by Websites hard for you to work with Marjorie N. Allen, Susan Dublin, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org numbers? RN, Patricia J. Kimmerly (demNational Institute on Aging, nia. • Are familiar daily tasks osHealth) nih.gov/alzheimers becoming difficult? • Is it hard to play a favorite Alzheimer’s in America: The Books game? Are you finding it Shriver Report on Women and The Alzheimer’s Prevention hard to drive to familiar Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy Alzheimer’s, a study by Maria places? Shriver and the Alzheimer’s Asfor the Rest of Your Life, by Gary • Are you having difficulty sociation (FreePress) Small, M.D. & Gigi Vorgan (Workkeeping track of dates and man Publishing,) time? Memory Games • Do you have trouble AARP: aarp.org/ws/save-games 100 Simple Things You Can Do understanding seasons or to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Agepassages of time? Have you Memozor: memozor.com/memoRelated Memory Loss, by Jean forgotten where you are or ry-game-online-free/for-adults Carper (Hachette Book Group) how you got there?
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to your health / [continued] name (for example, saying “mouth-cleaner” for toothbrush)? Do you have trouble joining in a conversation or keeping one going with another person? • Have you been losing things frequently or finding it difficult to retrace your steps to find things? • Have your ever put something in a strange location (for example, keys in the refrigerator)? Have you ever accused someone of stealing something you can’t find? • Is your judgment becoming impaired? • Have you been less careful about your daily grooming—bathing less frequently, wearing dirty or stained clothing? Have you made poor financial decisions? • Have you begun to withdraw from social activities or work? • Have you started avoiding activities that you enjoy because you fear forgetting how to participate in games or work activities? Have you given up hobbies because you have difficulty remembering the steps or procedures needed? • Have you (or members of your family or your friends) noticed changes in your personality? • Do you feel depressed, anxious, fearful, confused or suspicious? Do you lose your temper more easily or become upset more quickly? Memory loss and/or any of the above signs do not mean you do have Alzheimer’s. Other conditions can also cause these symptoms, so it’s important to consult a doctor. Doctors who are particularly skilled at diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s include geriatricians and neurologists.
Seeking Treatment If you seek treatment, the first step is a thorough medical examination. The doctor may conduct memory or problem-solving tests, along with blood and urine tests. Your doctor may also do other tests such as CT scans or MRIs. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but physicians can take a multipronged approach to help people with the disease. This might include drugs to help slow down the symptoms (including Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne), but these drugs are not effective for everyone. Other drugs can help people cope with symptoms including anger, depression or sleeplessness. Many herbal and natural treatments (gingko biloba, coral calcium, caprylic acid and coconut oil, for example) are touted in the media as helping to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s, but the Alzheimer’s Association says that these alternative therapies cause concerns because they have not been subjected to FDA approval and scientific research. In
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Alzheimer’s Association— Capital of Texas Chapter Austin Woman spoke with Amelia Frank, communications and program specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter, about what services are available to people in the Austin area, as well as the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Caregiver/Family Support
“Providing support services for families affected by Alzheimer’s is central to our mission,” Frank says about the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter. “We can connect caregivers with our wide network of support groups in communities throughout Central Texas, as well as free respite programs run by trained volunteers.” It also offers a 24-hour helpline (1.800.272.3900) and an online forum (alzconnected.org ) where people can connect with others in similar situations.
In addition to these services, caregivers can benefit from the local chapter’s educational programs. Every month, the chapter offers a Basics of Alzheimer’s class. It also offers “seasonal seminars taught by a LCSW [licensed clinical social worker] on a variety of more highly specialized topics related to caregiving. “By connecting with the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter through our helpline,” Franks adds, “caregivers can get referrals for physicians, assisted living and nursing facilities, home health and personal care providers, elder law attorneys and more, as well as guidance in coping with the challenges of caregiving.”
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Support Groups for Those with Alzheimer’s
San Marcos: Oct. 19, 8 a.m., City Park Recreation Hall, 170 Charles Austin Dr.
People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can join the Early Stage Support Group, which holds weekly meetings via teleconference so that everyone can participate, even those who no longer drive. There is also emotional support and information on a special forum on AlzConnected.
addition, many of these alternative therapies can interact with prescribed medications and cause bad reactions. You should check with your doctor before using any alternative therapy.
Prevention There are some steps you can take that have been shown in studies to help prevent or slow down the onset of Alzeheimer’s disease, although there is no definitive way to completely prevent the onset of the disease. In her book, 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss, Jean Carper breaks it down with a simple plan. She points out that researchers have identified four areas that you can focus on to keep your cognitive abilities sharp. • Keep your brain active and alert by doing something new. She suggests making a list of 10 new
“Our organization’s signature fundraiser is the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is held in 600 communities across the country and enables the Alzheimer’s Association to remain the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research,” Frank explains. There are four walks scheduled for the Austin and Central Texas area this fall: Georgetown: Sept. 28, 8 a.m., San Gabriel Park, 445 E. Morrow St. Austin: Oct. 19, 8 a.m., Chapter Office, 3520 Executive Center Drive, suite 140
Temple: Oct. 19, 8 a.m, Olin E. Teague Veteran’s Center, 1901 S. First St. For more information, contact Annie LaGow, 512.241.0420, or visit alz.org/texascapital.
things you would like to try (such as learning a language or a new game). • Exercise. One study recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days a week, and you should add weight training, balance exercises and stretches. • Eat to prevent memory impairment. Follow a Mediterranean diet (including olive oil); eat fatty fish twice a week; eat nuts and berries daily. • Be nice to yourself. Get out and socialize, try to reduce stress, keep yourself as physically healthy as possible and try to keep a good outlook on life! Researchers continue to seek a cure for Alzheimer’s, so we have reason to hope for a better future for people with this disease. If you want to help fund this research, participate in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in your area (see sidebar).
No Other School Teaches Them To
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Teal Out In celebration of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, local survivors talk about their experience and how they are moving forward. By Jennifer Morgan Teal is more than a color to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC); it is a mantra: Take Early Action and Live. This month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and Austin women (and men!) are waving their teal flags and sharing their stories louder than ever. Ovarian cancer often goes unnoticed until it is too late. According to the NOCC, more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, 15,000 of which will succumb to the disease. What might feel like ongoing PMS symptoms— bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, frequent urination, fatigue—might actually be warning signs of this silent killer. Because these symptoms might not feel very worrisome on their own, many women are not diagnosed until the cancer is in its later stages, decreasing the chance of survival. NOCC is passionate about raising awareness and promoting education about ovarian cancer. Last month, they held their annual run/walk 5K at The Domain, but the NOCC Austin Chapter stays loud and proud all year following their biggest event. They are always looking for more volunteers. The current fight against the disease promotes early
Finishers at the 2012 NOCC 5K
detection so more than the current 90 percent of women diagnosed in early stages achieve the fiveyear survival rate. Austin Woman spoke with three local survivors and learned how passionate they are about awareness. Because so few women with the disease make it to tell their stories, those who beat it see the importance in rallying together. “A lot of women go for a long period of time before they’re diagnosed, and that reduces their likelihood for survival because they’re at a further stage—3 or 4, which has a lower survival rate,” says Austinite Laura Mouw, a survivor for eight years. A survivor is anyone who is going or has gone through treatment. “Survivors can mean family members also,” says
What is the OVA1 test? Ovarian cancer symptoms are often not acute or intense, and the disease cannot be detected by pap tests or during routine pelvic exams. So how is it diagnosed? Currently, the most notable test is the CA-125 blood test. However, because it is not always accurate, the team at Austin-based Vermillion developed the OVA1 test. Its purpose is to determine the likelihood that an ovarian mass is cancerous and if referral to a specialist is necessary. Many women can be treated by or operated on by their regular gynecologist, but in some cases also need to work with a gynecologic oncologist. According to Vermillion, “OVA1 is a simple blood test cleared by the FDA to help physicians assess the likelihood an ovarian mass is malignant prior to a planned surgery.” ova-1.com
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Allison Block, NOCC Austin Chapter coordinator. NOCC advocates that ovarian cancer is more than a woman’s disease. “That’s our way of saying that it’s all-inclusive and affects so many other people.” Austin Woman had a chance to speak with these women after they had just come out of a panel with the team at Vermillion, makers of the ovarian cancer diagnostic test OVA1, and so they laughed when asked to repeat their stories. “Where to start?” Nora Hughes, a six-year survivor, asked with a twinkle in her eye. Laura Mouw spoke first, sharing that she went through the system quickly after being diagnosed with stage 2C mixed müllerian ovarian cancer. “I was very healthy and didn’t have symptoms for a long period of time,” she says. Mouw and Hughes were treated in Austin— Mouw at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Hughes at Texas Oncology—while Block was treated in Los Angeles, where she lived at the time. Hughes is also the founder of NOCC Chat, a walk-and-talk event open to the public Saturday mornings at Town Lake. “It’s really important to get that activity in,” Hughes says. She is quick to proclaim her love for local Austin businesses, referring to our community’s financial support of ovarian cancer research. “Austin helped save my life.”
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Court Yard Hounds Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison chart a new course, musically and personally. By John T. Davis
hazy day in mid-March 2010. Two strikingly attractive women, one in a red leather jacket with her long, blond hair bound back, the other with a tumbling brunette mane framing a pair of enigmatic tinted Ray-Bans, step onto a makeshift stage at Clive Bar in the heart of the Rainey Street District. It’s another day in the open-air lunatic asylum that is South By Southwest, and this is one of scores of day parties being held throughout town. The names of the two women stepping onto the stage are familiar, although the context in which they are playing today is not. This is the first public performance of a new band called the Court Yard Hounds. A couple hundred folks mill around, nursing hangovers and awaiting developments with a curiosity that ranges from mild to avid. The women—they are sisters, it should be noted— are joined by two guitarists and a drummer. No bass player. There’s a loose backyard jam session feeling about things that belies the fact that this gig represents a new band, a new album and a new chapter of what Dan Jenkins used to call life its ownself. The blonde picks up a fiddle. The brunette slips on fingerpicks and plugs in a Dobro guitar. They exchange a glance, and there is the sense of an electrical relay tripping. Then they begin to play. And just like that, one door closes and another opens.
The last time Martie Maguire—she would be the blonde—and Emily Robison—that would be the brunette—officially set foot on an Austin stage for a non-benefit performance was a little more than three years previous. That show wasn’t to play for a relative handful of South By Southwest onlookers, but for a boisterous crowd at the Frank Erwin Center that came to see the Dixie Chicks, the band the sisters co-founded in 1989. The Chicks are still a going concern; they are playing dates in Canada this fall, and appeared locally last May as part of a fundraiser for local PBS station KLRU. But Maguire and Robison have spent the past three years charting a fresh course. Their 2010 South By Southwest debut fell on the eve of the release of the first album from the band, the sisters’ latest musical incarnation. That
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self-titled album was born both out of the pain of Robison’s divorce from singer-songwriter Charlie Robison—music as catharsis—and their pent-up desire to make new music again. Now the Hounds are back with a second album, Amelita, a multi-faceted affair painted in tones of light and shadow. And amidst the hoopla accompanying the release (Leno on the West coast, Letterman on the East coast, GMA at some ungodly hour, Lollapalooza on the horizon, social media nonstop, the same five interview questions asked coast to coast, multiplied by a hundred), Maguire and Robison spoke to Austin Woman about the house of mirrors in which they make their lives. Mirrors. Every time they turn around, there is a different reflection: sister, bandleader, mother, songwriter, businesswoman, breadwinner, Court Yard Hound, Dixie Chick, virtuoso, seeker, artist. The hat trick, of course, is to integrate all the reflections, and therein lies the challenge. That challenge was crystalized in a perfect moment one day in August. Robinson was conducting a phone interview about the new album when a terrible crashing and pounding arose in the background. “Sorry,” she explains, “my daughter’s discovered her hammer toy.” Peace restored, she elaborated on her 10-and-a-half-month-old, her fourth child. “She’s happy to go anywhere, be anywhere. She sits in a guitar case while rehearsal’s going on.” The Hounds had been rehearsing that very day in Maguire’s home studio. Robison had driven up from her own home in San Antonio to her sister’s place near Lakeway. The next day, they were due to set out for that exotic, dazzling, heart-stopping mecca of show business, Fargo, N.D. Being a working mom who happens to spend weeks crisscrossing the country has its own unique hurdles. “My older kids are shared with their dad, and he’s a musician too,” she says. “So it’s got to be worked out. If he’s going to be out for two weeks, then I’ve got to be home those two weeks. It’s a juggle. I spend more time on my iCalendar just looking at blocks of time.” On the other hand, her current husband, Martin Strayer, plays guitar and writes songs and tours with the Court Yard Hounds, so at least their new daughter can have both parents on the road. Her own three kids are key reasons Martie Magu-
ire is enamored of Austin, even though she could choose to live anywhere. The abundance of music, the lo-fi vibe around celebrities and the wealth of outdoor options make a potent combination. “That’s the beauty of this town; it’s very artist-friendly. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids in New York or LA, and those are two of my favorite cities,” she says. “It’s too much industry. Here, I can go under the radar and so can my kids. People are used to seeing Willie or Sandra Bullock around town, and I think they’re seen as real people with real families, and respect is given for their privacy. I like that.” Maguire and Robison, of course, are all too familiar with the double-edged sword of overpowering celebrity, and the way a fickle public and the voracious media can turn a normal person into a frog awaiting dissection in a high-school biology class. The story of the Dixie Chicks’ ascendency into the stratosphere to become the bestselling female band in American history, and their subsequent fall from grace after a disparaging comment about President George W. Bush uttered by Chicks vocalist Natalie Maines in 2003 is too well-known to recount in detail here. Maguire and Robison will always have a soft spot for the band they built from scratch (they have been the constants; vocalists Robin Lynn Macy and Laura Lynch both preceded Maines). “We’re all three very proud of what we accomplished with the Dixie Chicks,” Robison says. At the same time, the Court Yard Hounds allows them to both grow as musicians and songwriters, as well as reset the odometer and downsize fame to a human scale. “The Court Yard Hounds came about because Natalie didn’t want to go back into the studio,” Robison explains. “For us, it was important to continue to work and have an outlet. It wasn’t like we went off and did something without conferring with her. And I’m tickled she’s doing something on her own, so she can go off and scratch that itch.” Maines released her first solo album, Mother, this spring.
Photo by Kate Glicksberg.
“The Court Yard Hounds is my world and my focus,” Robison adds. “When opportunities for the Chicks come along, and we all three decide yeah, we want to do that, we’ll make that our focus for a time. But this band is where my heart is right now.” The Hounds’ first album sold very respectably, and Amelita has been getting airplay and good reviews (it might be “the most buoyant album of 2013,” said the LA Times, and Rolling Stone cited its “haunting harmonies and summery hooks”). Still, would the sisters willingly step back onto the roller coaster and replicate their earlier mega-success, this time with the Hounds, if they had the power to do so? Say that same fellow who approached Robert Johnson at the crossroads, the one with the pointy tail and the smell of brimstone about him, offered the women a chance to sign on the dotted line and take the ride again, would they do it?
Maguire—older, wiser—has only to look at her family to know the answer. “I’ve lived every life I could’ve wanted to live career-wise,” she says fondly. “All the expectations and dreams and aspirations I’ve had for myself have been so far exceeded.” But. “There were so many people who knew that no one’s on top forever, and there was that feeling that everyone was trying to make a buck, and not thinking about your sleep or your well-being or the psychology of going all over the world and not having time for friends and family. There were some very tough years in there,” she says. “I look at my kids now, and they’re getting to the age where they’re figuring out, hey, I like to Irish dance, or hey, I like to play the piano. And I think now’s the time for me to give back to them the way my parents gave to me. So that time is over for
me—the grind. If I’m gonna grind again, I’m want to do it on behalf of my children.” Not that being a woman musician on the road, let alone a mother on the road, isn’t always a grind on some level. “I hate it when women pretend like we have it all figured out, because none of us do,” Robison says. “It’s constant work and it’s constant compromise. I can’t tour as much as I want to and I can’t be home as much as I want to. I don’t get what I want, you know?” They’re not complaining. This is the life they have chosen ever since they were young girls growing up in the Preston Royal neighborhood of Dallas. Emily and Martie Erwin’s parents were both educators who instilled their daughters with responsibility and indulged their early love of music. “They weren’t stage parents,” Robison says. “They didn’t see us getting into the business. They wanted
us to play in the orchestra in school.” But Maguire started gravitating to bluegrass after her parents gave her fiddle lessons for her 12th birthday and began ushering the girls to acoustic music shows and festivals. On one of those trips, says Robison, “I saw the banjo from across the room,” making it sound like Bogey making eyes with Bacall. “Our parents wanted us to understand the work ethic of having a job,” she continues. “So we’d get waitress or hostess jobs, but then we’d go down to the street corner and we’d make 10 times as much with our guitar case open.” By the early 1990s, they, along with Macy and Lynch, had established the Dixie Chicks as a solid genre attraction. They wore spangled cowgirl duds and released independent albums with titles like Thank Heavens for Dale Evans. Lynch even had a stand-up bass guitar shaped like a saguaro cactus. Think of a way, way cuter edition of Riders In the Sky and you have the picture. Through ceaseless effort and non-stop touring, they amassed a strong regional following at festivals, clubs and beer joints throughout Texas and neighboring states. (Their habitual stops in Austin were the Cactus Café, La Zona Rosa and the Broken Spoke). Then, in 1997, seeking to expand their horizons and broaden their sound, they ditched the sequined skirts and the cactus bass and recruited a feisty West Texas girl with a blowtorch voice named Natalie, courted the Nashville powers that be and recorded their first major-label album, Wide Open Spaces. And then it was off to the races: Grammy Awards. Hit singles. Multi-platinum albums. Headlining tours.
Your basic showbiz fantasy. Until, as they sang in the title track to their 2006 album, Taking the Long Way, “the top of the world came crashing down.” Years later, The Road You Take, the concluding song on Amelita, talks about living with, even cherishing, the choices one makes along the way that form the person looking back at you from the mirror. Beginning in self-doubt (“I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout what it takes to fall in love these days. I’ve been going ’bout it the wrong way.”) and ending in assertion (“You are not alone. And you can journey on.”), the song is a sort of pilgrim’s progress, what Maguire describes as “a mission statement.” “It’s about letting the road be what it is, and making your own choices and you just own it, for better or worse,” she says. “We’ve both had divorces and both had struggles with fertility and we haven’t always made great choices. But that’s part of the humanity of who you are. The highs and lows are all part of the journey.” “I didn’t want to be preachy, but I do believe your destiny is a series of choices you make,” Robison adds. “Every small choice leads you down a certain road. People have to take ownership of where they end up in life. There’s a little bit of fate involved, but I think you create your own fate in a lot of instances.”
“Why the hell not?” That’s a phrase the Erwin girls have found themselves employing a lot more as the years have moved on. Not only employing, but embracing. “Around the time of the first Court Yard Hounds
album, I was going through my divorce and I had to totally re-assess,” Robison says. “Who am I? What am I all about? Now, I’m at the point in my life where I don’t care necessarily as much of what people think about me. Of course, I want to be a good person. But as far as pleasing other people, or using people as a barometer for how I feel about myself, I feel like I’ve totally shifted on that. I’m like, you know what? Why the hell not? I came to this crossroads where I had to realize that I just have to go with my gut and my heart, and whoever wants to come along can come along.” She laughs, in a little moment of self-realization. “It was liberating!” she says. “As you get older, you start saying that a lot more,” Maguire says. “I drove my kids all the way out to Marfa last September. It was a ridiculously long trip, and my kids hate to be in the car. But why the hell not? I wanted them to have a piece of what I had as a child. My parents loaded us up and drove us to these festivals. Why did they do that? How did we get this unique opportunity as kids? I wanted my kids to have that. Why the hell not?” It was her children that afforded Maguire with a uniquely insightful and affirming legacy moment not so long ago. “I went to a Taylor Swift concert because my girls are huge fans,” she says. “And she started singing Cowboy Take Me Away.” Maguire penned the 1999 Dixie Chicks hit for Robison’s wedding. (In a YouTube concert clip, Swift calls the “beautiful, gorgeous” tune the first song she ever learned on guitar.) “And this audience, these young 12- and 13-year-
Amelita The Court Yard Hounds’ debut album was in large part a fraught affair, the beguiling harmonies of sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire echoing in the shadows of Robison’s divorce. Amelita, their second and latest album, is a sunnier affair. For this record, the sisters turned their lyrical eyes outward, exploring personalities and situations outside of themselves. The results are a set of playful, empathetic, yearning, radio-ready tracks that are sometimes as carefree as a convertible ride down the coast, sometimes as pensive as a last kiss and sometimes as somber as a hangman’s noose. “I’m through with learning the blues. And learning the best things in life are free,” Robison sings in the Sheryl Crow-flavored The World Smiles, to which Maguire ripostes (in A Guy Like You), “I’m just happy hangin’ out. Nobody tryin’ to figure me out.” Rippling with the sisters’ signature fiddle, Dobro and banjo and those intimate harmonies that only DNA can impart, the songs on Amelita romp, reflect and rebound between the shadows and the light. Rock All Night compares love to a carnival midway ride while the title track and Phoebe lament the fate of two terminally victimized young girls. Sunshine is a catty, fun takedown of a he’s-all-that jerk while The Road You Take speaks of making peace with life’s choices, both good and bad. All in all, Amelita is a mature, considered piece of craftsmanship that can still rock and groove like a sumbitch.
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[Top left] Martie and Emily, circa 1975 [Top right] The Erwin sisters performing as teens [Bottom] Dixie Chicks, circa 2006
old girls, start singing. They were tiny when that song was on the radio!” Maguire says. “Here I am, holding my daughters and they’re looking up at their idol, who’s singing one of their mom’s songs. I just about bawled my eyes out.”
There was a unique sort of closing-the-circle moment in Austin back in May at that aforementioned fundraiser for KLRU at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The event was a concert tribute to Lloyd Maines, the indispensible steel guitarist and producer who has appeared on more episodes of Austin City Limits than any other musician. The evening featured a solo performance by Natalie Maines (Lloyd’s daughter, as it happens), then a set by the Court Yard Hounds and concluded with the Dixie Chicks. The end of the night saw all the musicians, along with a passel of kids and grandkids, onstage ripping through Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away. It was a hell of a night.
Maines has known Maguire and Robison since he played steel on their 1992 album, Little Ol’ Cowgirl. He and his wife, Tina, often hosted the girls for supper when the Chicks would pass through Lubbock. And, of course, he passed along a demo tape of his daughter that led to Natalie joining the band. He also produced their
multi-platinum album, Home. He knows these women, in other words. Not only musically (“Even back in 1992, they could totally tear it up,” he says. “They played so dynamically, but like a steamroller. They’d just burn it down.”), but as a father figure handing off his daughter. “Natalie being only 18 or 19 when she joined the band, I told Martie straight up, yeah, she’s a great singer, but she’s never been on the road. She doesn’t know the ropes at all,” he says. “But the one thing that was comforting to Tina and I was knowing that Emily and Martie were extremely strong women. It was going to take a lot to pull the wool over their eyes.” Lloyd Maines also played some steel guitar on the Court Yard Hounds’ debut album, and his admiration remains unabated. “I have so much respect for those girls,” he says. “I respect them not only as great musicians, but as really great people. They’re just good, strong women.”
Back at the ranch, so to speak, one of the good, strong women was musing about what success would look like in the Court Yard Hounds’ universe. “I’d like to be in the black,” Maguire says with a laugh, adding, “I’d just like to maintain the life that I have, playing music and being able to give my kids whatever is important to me as a parent. I want the band to be successful to a degree that enables that.” When she asked her children what they wanted to do this summer, they said, “We want to go on the bus!” harkening back to the days when each of the Chicks had her own tour bus and the families travelled together on tour. “I had to explain to them that the individual tour bus days are over,” she says. Maybe for the moment. But the Court Yard Hounds have come into their own. And, more than most, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire know there are many more turns in the road that lay before them.
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“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance.”
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with wild abandon or not at all.”
“All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” Helen Keller
Quotes to Live By Presenting a special panelist preview to Austin Woman’s 11th anniversary event, made up of five amazing cover women, who update readers and share their favorite AW spine quotes. By Molly McManus, Photos by Rudy Arocha
“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” Walt Disney
Since September 2011, quotes have graced the spine of Austin Woman magazine, offering words of encouragement, reflection, humor, optimism and strength. From Mother Teresa, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oprah Winfrey, to Frank Lloyd Wright, Maya Angelou and Lady Bird Johnson, each saying was selected to embody the theme of that issue’s message and purpose. In similar fashion, we asked past cover women Judy Maggio, Suzi Sosa, Courtney Sanchez, Rhoda Mae Kerr and Olga Campos to choose a spine quote they most identified with, a representation of their own personal message and purpose, or a recurring theme within their lives. These five inspiring women will take the stage for the much-anticipated panel at AW’s 11th anniversary event, sharing their latest endeavors and how these spine excerpts are quotes to live by.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright
“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows.” Audrey Hepburn
“ A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Coco Chanel
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” Maya Angelou
quotes to live by
J u dy M ag g i o , Moderator AW cover woman, Oct. 2003
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Voted Best News Anchor for eight years by Austin Chronicle readers, Judy Maggio will serve as moderator for the panel discussion at AW’s 11th anniversary event, a role she looks forward to every year. With 32 years of experience delivering the news, Maggio currently anchors for KEYE-TV and has skillfully interviewed the likes of Willie Nelson, Peter Jennings and Lady Bird Johnson, to name a few. Maggio is also a dedicated humanitarian, and shares her latest philanthropic efforts, personal triumphs and work undertakings. Austin Woman: Why did you select this quote? Judy Maggio: I’m a big believer in the healing power of music. It inspires, relaxes and strengthens the mind. If you want to witness the healing power of music, visit an Alzheimer’s home. When my mother had Alzheimer’s, she never lost the gift of music. She remembered the lyrics and tunes to every song she ever learned until the day she died. In the last six months, I discovered a gentleman who sings at nursing and Alzheimer’s homes in his spare time. I auditioned for him. Now I sing once or twice a month at different adult care centers. [Through this experience], I’ve learned about the universal language of music and how wonderful it is, how healing and therapeutic it can be. It just makes people happy. AW: Why did you pursue singing at adult care facilities? JM: It’s outside my comfort zone. I hadn’t sung in public in decades. Now that I’m in my 50s, I wanted to try it. You need to keep your mind fresh and your heart open and try new things as you get older. I thought this would be something for me to jump out of my comfort zone and bring me joy. I have some selfish reasons because I get so much out of it when older people come up and sing with me and hug me, and tell me that I’ve made their day. I remember how much joy it would bring my mom when singers would come to her Alzheimer’s home. I’m kind of returning the favor to the people who are still with us.
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AW: What’s new at KEYE? JM: It’s been a transitional time because my longtime co-anchor, Ron Oliveira, is no longer at the station. I anchored for three months by myself, which was exhausting and challenging. Now they’ve hired Walt Maciborski, who was [previously] at KVUE with me. We’re enjoying anchoring together again and renewing our friendship. You really have to depend on your anchoring partner and trust them, and I’ve been very blessed to have great co-anchors who are like brothers to me. AW: What is your greatest reward in what you do as a news anchor? Greatest challenge? JM: I love meeting people from all walks of life, and finding out about their lives, what makes them tick, what brings them joy. It’s the best part of journalism for me. The greatest challenge is keeping it fresh…continuing to embrace new technologies, new ideas, new people and different ways of doing things. You can get in ruts when you’ve been doing something for so long; it almost becomes a formula. I try to not make it a formula and to think of ways to challenge myself and keep updated. We’ve had to embrace Facebook and Twitter and social media. Five years ago I would’ve gone, “What? I have to Facebook every day? I have to Tweet out stories? What the heck does that mean?” So it’s keeping things interesting, keeping it new. That’s always a challenge when you’ve been in a profession for a long time.
Yoga. Coffee shop. Deposit check. Pay dog walker.
Deposit checks from your living room. Pay a friend from your favorite diner. Have a chat with a banker in Westlake or Round Rock, or anywhere in Austin you happen to be. And, of course, get cash at your convenience at any one of our 114 Austin area ATMs. On your phone, online, or on the go — it’s all about getting your banking done. Learn more at GetBankingDone.com or stop by your nearby Wells Fargo location. wellsfargo.com Printed materials expire on May 5, 2014. © 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (1047732_09395)
quotes to live by
S u z i S o sa , panelist AW cover woman, March 2012
“Dare to be yourself.” —André Gide Passing on her entrepreneurial passion to young people, Suzi Sosa is creating global impact by solving imploded economies, societies and environments. Sosa recently left the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked as executive director of the social entrepreneurship program, operating the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC). As application numbers soared from 1,000 to 20,000 in five years, Sosa started Verb, a social enterprise that will operate DSIC, along with other social-innovation competitions, proposing projects to change the world. Sosa shares her experience in her new role as CEO as she leads a global movement that is redefining social entrepreneurship. Austin Woman: Why did you select this quote? Suzi Sosa: It’s very personal to the things that have been going on in my life over the past year. A big one is transitioning out of the university and becoming a CEO of my own company. I was really nervous about it. I didn’t feel I was worthy, but I also was very excited and did feel I could do it. Sometimes you have a calling, you know that a certain path may be part of your destiny, but you feel intimidated about it, insecure. I wondered how other people would perceive me. Would they think I was arrogant or too selfcentered? It took courage to overcome my own insecurities and fears about what this all meant, even though I knew I was totally capable and that it was something I was meant to do. AW: Tell us about how you started Verb and how it operates. SS: The Dell Social Innovation Challenge was doubling in size every year and we needed to get it out of the university. There was also an opportunity to partner beyond Dell, with companies who wanted to offer similar social innovation competitions, but we needed to build a bigger team and rebuild the platform to scale. Now Verb is its own social enterprise and will operate the DSIC, as well as other social innovation competitions with other companies. Now that entrepreneurship is taking fire, the tools have never been so readily available, particularly for women, who often crave more flexibility in their working and family life. Owning a business is a great way to do that. At the same time, it’s difficult to know where to go to learn about entrepreneurship. Most entrepreneurs start with a passion but not necessarily any experience in starting a business. With Verb, we hope to build an online resource marketplace where entrepreneurs can access funding, mentorship and other opportunities as they launch their enterprises. AW: What is the greatest reward in what you do as an entrepreneur? Challenge? SS: Creativity is the thing that motivates me in life, the ability to make
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something beautiful from nothing. You see a problem in the world and you have an idea to solve it, and if people actually value that idea and you’re making their lives better, it’s completely euphoric. To see value created and something you’ve dreamed of come to life. [The greatest challenge is that] you’ve got to hunt for your own food. Everybody that participates in a startup takes tremendous financial risk, opportunity risk. You may pass up other great job offers and it’s possible that [the business] won’t survive. I think self-reliance is part of what’s exciting, but it’s also scary and stressful. As a leader of the team, I feel personally responsible because a lot of people’s livelihoods are on the line. It’s been a busy year but very fun and exciting in terms of what lies ahead.
quotes to live by
C o u r t n e y S a n c h e z , panelist AW cover woman, May 2012
“It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —Kahlil Gibran Courtney Sanchez knows firsthand how to change a bad situation in to a good one, and wishes to spread that message to women locally and beyond. Sanchez utilized SafePlace’s shelter after leaving an abusive relationship, allowing her to gain ground. Wanting to give back to this community of people affected by sexual and domestic violence, she started Jonah Ministries, a branch of SafePlace that refurbishes portions of the shelter. “I think your greatest purpose comes from your greatest pain,” says Sanchez, a dedicated domestic-abuse advocate and vivacious vocalist, spreading her positivity and optimism through charity work, her organization Survive2Thrive, singing performances, lobbying for legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, book writing and album recording. Austin Woman: Why did you select this quote? Courtney Sanchez: The Prophet [by Kahlil Gibran] is one of my favorite books. It really resonates with me. I’ve done charity work where I was caught in the rain or painting at 3 in the morning. When I was ready to complain, I realized the significance of what I was doing. It helped me to push through. A lot of times, you are asked to do things you wouldn’t want to do normally: cleaning out cabinets, stocking a warehouse or washing clothes. None of it is glamorous, but when you realize it’s going to help someone else, that’s where the fulfillment comes in. My family and I designed computer labs in the SafePlace shelter. There were many nights when it was just us, painting until 3 o’clock in the morning, having to work at 6 o’clock in the morning, knowing I’m going to be exhausted the next day. Then to see it all come together and have people say, “This is the room I come to when I’m trying to think,” or “I used the computers to find a job today,” or “I’m so comfortable in this room.” It makes me look back to when my kids and I lived in that shelter, and we didn’t have that comfortable place. I can directly relate to what they’re feeling and it’s wonderful to know I made someone’s life better. AW: Tell us about your latest project, Survive2Thrive. CS: I started the Survive2Thrive Foundation to give families the resources to permanently end their cycles of violence and go from living in survival mode to thriving in their new realities, without violence. Survive2Thrive connects women with legal aid, relocation and housing, depending on the city in which you live. It will change the way people view shelters and hopefully more people will get out of a battered situation.
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AW: What else are you working on? CS: I’m working on a CD and a book. The book is You Are Here Again, and talks about identifying abusive relationships. Even after I got out of my [violent situation], I found myself gravitating towards abusive relationships, almost allowing for them to happen. So it’s about changing that mindset so you can stay out of abusive relationships forever. When we left [SafePlace], our goal was never to go back. But I really felt compelled to volunteer because there was such hopelessness there. A lot of women complained about their situations instead of realizing that they were alive, living another day to say, “I’m out of a violent home.” There have to be things we can do to create that hope. That’s when I started doing this type of charity work. The roots of my situation were not good, but the fruit from the tree has been awesome.
quotes to live by
R h o da M a e K e r r , panelist AW cover woman, July 2009
“I wake up every morning with a great desire to live joyfully.” —Alexandra Stoddard Fourth-generation firefighter with more than 30 years’ experience, Rhoda Mae Kerr is serving her fourth year as Austin’s fire chief, the first woman to ever hold this position. In addition to budget cuts and rampant wildfires, Kerr is also tackling Austin’s rapid growth with new programs and services. In 2011, she started the Austin Fire Foundation, an organization in which 99 percent of funds go to community outreach and education initiatives. Kerr is also running for second vice president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, yet another position never held by a woman. Kerr reports the latest as she paves the way for female firefighters. Austin Woman: Why did you select this quote? Rhoda Mae Kerr: If you do live joyfully and look for the positives, there are so many things that come back to you. All the other spine quotes I liked were about being joyful and positive, and it really is who I am: a joyful, happy person. Part of it is that I have a job that I love. I have a great career. But it’s not just having a career that’s fabulous and allows me to give back and is also well respected in the community. Honestly, I’ve been like this my entire life. I wake up and I am happy. I think it’s satisfaction with yourself, confidence in yourself, and it’s also being sure that you’re going to do the right thing when that tough situation comes along. AW: What is the greatest reward as Austin’s fire chief? RMK: The greatest reward for me is the organization and the way it has grown. The energy that the organization has, the outlook they have about their jobs and who they are, how well they represent the city, and how well they represent themselves. It’s the people. In the end, I am always proud to say that I am the Austin fire chief.
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AW: What have you been up to personally and professionally? RMK: I moved into a new house in Travis Heights. It’s walking distance to everywhere on South Congress and less than half a mile to the hike-andbike trail. It’s so peaceful and quiet. I have chosen to run for an office with an organization called the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It’s a global organization with about 11,000 members. I’m running my campaign right now for the second vice president. The organization is celebrating its 140th year this year, and I will be the first woman to ever serve in that executive office in its history. I’m hoping that—let me take that back—I will be proud to open that door for other women to follow. (This is a volunteer position; Kerr will remain serving as Austin’s fire chief.) [The Austin Fire Department] received a grant award that gave us 1,000 smoke alarms: 750 of those are tamper-resistant and have a 10-year battery life; 250 of those smoke alarms are for the hearing impaired. We’re reaching a broader market, and we’re doing a better job with our smokealarm installation program. My goal is to have a working smoke alarm in every single home in Austin. If you or someone you know needs a smoke alarm, AFD will install one for free. Call their hotline at 512.974.0299 for installation to ensure your family’s safety.
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quotes to live by
O lg a C am p o s , panelist AW cover woman, Dec. 2007
“As long as we have books, we are not alone.” —Laura Bush You may recognize Olga Campos from her 17 years on air as an award-winning broadcast journalist. Considered KVUE-TV’s most trusted anchor and reporter, Campos retired from the station two years ago to work for local philanthropist and U.S. Money Reserve Chair Milton Verret. Campos assists Verret’s philanthropic efforts and has effectually supported charities, nonprofits and public art projects such as the Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin Guitar Town Project, Cow Parade Austin and Austin Film Society, to name a few. Wrapping up her first novel, Campos gives us a sneak peak of It’s News to Me. Austin Woman: Why did you select this quote? Olga Campos: I have always loved the escape reading provides. I might be by myself but I’m always in the company of new people, new lives and new experiences provided by a good book! The measure of a great book comes at the end. It’s that forlorn feeling you get when you realize your time with a favorite character is over. I’m excited because I am near completion of my first novel. It’s fiction but it’s based on my experience as a broadcast journalist. It’s a real, irreverent and humorous behind-thescenes look at the world of TV news. [I’m hoping to release the novel in] May, when people are wrapping up the school year, looking for fun reads to take to the beach or poolside. It’s perfect for that kind of summertime reading. [Readers will] learn how zany it is behind the scenes of local television news. It’s not all serious, and it can be a little embarrassing. We’re changing names to protect the guilty [laughs]. The main character, like myself, is Latina, strong-willed and anxious to be taken seriously as a reporter. She will give us her trials and tribulations with a little bit of romance and a good margarita along the way. I hope it provides an entertaining escape and that readers will enjoy her company with every page. AW: What challenges have you faced in writing It’s News to Me? OC: When you set your mind to writing and you set time aside, it all just comes flowing. That’s the fun part. The challenges are the unknown. When you hear that the market is oversaturated, that traditional publishing is dying, eBooks are the only way to go, you don’t really know what to believe. There are so many conflicting ideas and as a new novelist and writer, you’re almost too frightened to read it all. So you just keep at it, and
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have to believe in what you’re doing. I’ve had a couple book readings and sent excerpts to a few different places and the feedback is so fantastic, so I know I’m on the right track. AW: Switching gears, what are your latest endeavors as community outreach director for Milton Verret and U.S. Money Reserve? OC: Milton is a big fan of educational programs for children, and he really likes those with a creative outlet. I’m on the board of the development council for the Austin Film Society. [AFS just finished] the 10-year anniversary screening of The School of Rock on August 29 at the Paramount. Jack Black and all the kids in the movie [were] at the fundraiser. We also just added another 10-foot guitar (Guitar Town Project) to the collection at the airport, signed by members of ZZ Top. Milton thinks big—big public events and art—and I’m happy to help.
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opposite sex /
memo from jb
Boot Camp Festival Training Buck up. There is another onslaught coming. By JB Hager, Photo by Rudy Arocha It is official that Austin will be the home to the summer X Games for the next four years! I, right there along with most of you, was cheering and campaigning for Austin to be selected. Now that we have actually won the bid, I am admittedly starting to panic. I’m just not 100 percent sure I can physically hold up to the demands of yet another festival. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be out there sporting the extreme gear (even though I haven’t ridden a skateboard or BMX bike in 30 years), and I’ll be doing RedBull shots with Monster Energy chasers into the wee hours of the morning. The only problem is that I have to live here. I live in Austin and I’m fully expected to carry on a normal life just like all of you. Again, thousands of folks blow into town, surfing our couches and expecting us to party all night and help them locate the “just rhubarb” food trailer. It was really cute 20-plus years ago when we started going monkey nuts for a few nights during the South By Southwest Music fest. Then came Interactive and those few nights quickly turned to a few weeks, which quickly turned into activities from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. the following day. I have almost died a few times. Then we started doing some foot stompin’ on Zilker Park for the ACL Music Festival some 11 years ago. It was cute the first year, when we all brought our toddlers down to see Asleep at the Wheel and we all danced around pretending it was 1945, the war had ended and there was enough shade for those of us attending. It has since become a monster who’s who, not only on the stage, but also in the crowd. Watching the Red Hot Chili Peppers while sitting on the shoulders of Ryan Gosling is not a moment you want to miss. And now we’re extending it to two weekends next month, not to mention the
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“Turns out F1 weekend is a week devoted to pretending that we all own Ferraris and going hobnobbing at the W (where I was too cheap to valet my Toyota).” pop-up activities that will go down all week. Could you imagine seeing Robert Smith of The Cure going for a jog on Lady Bird Lake on a Wednesday, maybe stopping at Daily Juice to borrow a mirror and reapply his lipstick? Can’t miss that. And along came Circuit of the Americas and F1. My gosh. When this first came about, we all thought it would be one more weekend of shenanigans. Turns out F1 weekend is a week devoted to pretending that we all own Ferraris and going hobnobbing at the W (where I was too cheap to valet my Toyota). It is a see-and-be-seen spectacle. On top of that, throw in Australian Super V8, and we all started drinking beer out of what appeared to be oilcans. Then the fine COTA folks brought in Moto GP week (motorcycles), which brought more leather into Austin than ROT Rally and Gay Pride weekend combined. So many festivals. So little time. There are so many demands on our time that when you throw in the other festivals that deserve honorable mention—
Pachanga Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Dustin Diamond Fest, Moontower Comedy Fest, Shark Week, 50 Shades Fest, Bat Fest, Keep Austin Weird Fest and My Festival is Older Than Yours Fest—what person with a family and a life, not to mention gainful employment, could possibly keep up? OK, so I made a few of those up, but how many of you perked up at the thought of a 50 Shades Fest? Let’s say the average Austinite only attends 1/3 of the aforementioned festivals. This leaves, on average, only 18 actual working days per citizen per year. Three to five of those we call in sick and, yes, we use all our personal days, mostly to stand in line to purchase festival tickets. Call your trainer for a personalized workout designed to strengthen your stamina and endurance. We’re in it for the long haul. Another festival season is upon us! JB Hager can be heard as part of the JB and Sandy Morning Show on Mix 94.7 Austin, weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.
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opposite sex /
r e l at i o ns h i p s
The Allure of Being Elusive Play hard to get...and win. By Eric Leech How do you capture and keep a good man? Playing hard to get is a technique that has been used by women for centuries. The idea is to simply urge a man to want what he doesn’t (and possibly never will) have. For instance, most men may not have the option to bed Jessica Alba, but that hasn’t stopped them from wanting to. However, there is another part to this equation that is not often considered. Many men also have the dream to buy a cherry-red 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. He may have already worked to achieve this goal for decades, finding himself always a few diapers and loaves of bread away from his prize. However, one day, he’ll finally achieve his dream. Then, about a week later, he will trade that ’Vette in for a timeshare in Miami Beach. How can you avoid this common pitfall? Difficult to Get; Easy to Go Automobiles may not offer the same compatibility as an alluring female, but studies from the Stanford School of Business suggest that when a man is denied an object of affection, not only will he want it more, he will like it less once he has it. Researchers are not exactly sure why this happens. During a breakup, a man will have the advantage of gaining a woman’s interest again once she realizes she can no longer have him. Unfortunately, if he gets back into the relationship, due to the rules of the game, he will likely be thrown back to the curb once she realizes she was right the first time. In other words, the more difficult a man is to get, the higher your expectations and the more likely you are to be disappointed. The lesson is, don’t fall for your own game. Easy Bedfellow; Bad Choice Mathematical evidence suggests that being too easy (sex-wise) increases a woman’s chances of
landing a guy who is a jerk. The best way to come out of this equation ahead is to allow enough time to pass in the dating cycle to unveil whether a guy is a good catch. So it might not be that the infamous one-night stand causes guys to become disinterested, but rather it is a process of rewarding those jerks before they’ve been plucked from your proverbial bedfellow list. In addition to this, it is probably safe to assume that any man willing to wait for the prize is more likely to be a prize himself. Natural Selection Studies suggest that playing hard to get is a naturally selective way to discover how helpful a man will be in the event of a long-term relationship. Acting coy among a good man urges him to prove his worth by offering his help in a variety of ways. While you might think a guy could just pretend to be helpful in order to gain your attention, science suggests that his genes will limit just how helpful he can be. In other words, helpfulness is more of an innate trait than a learned action. Unfortunately, these rules only apply in areas where women are surrounded by a large population of men, as there must be ample competition and reason for these guys to be on their best behavior. Lazy, But Easily Egged On Research suggests acting hard to get can be a very effective means of egging a guy on, especially if he doesn’t have to work all that hard, and believes that other guys do. One study on men found that if a woman played slightly easier to get while implying she was normally much more difficult, a man’s interest swooned. Researchers call this technique selectively playing hard to get. How exactly does it work in the dating scene? A girl would require her beau to romance her with moderate fervor, hinting that she normally refuses most guys. After stringing him along a bit, she would inform him that she finds him different from the others, and is going to give him a chance. This is particularly effective because guys as a rule always want what other guys can’t have. This gives you the advantage of not appearing too easy (guys like to feel special) without the drawback of appearing too difficult (guys also like to think they’ve at least got a chance). Playing hard to get successfully is a delicate balance of controlling your eagerness while moderately embracing infatuation, and ensuring your appearance and attitude whisper the sweet sound of self-confidence.
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A Hire Power Austin Woman’s 2012 Small Business Grant winner, Affintus, is doing its part to find world peace—one new hire at a time. By Jane Kellogg, Photo by Rudy Arocha Paula Soileau and Deborah Kerr are in the business of creating world peace. It might sound like a lofty goal, especially for the two female cofounders of a small Austin startup that works with organizations simply to improve their hiring strategies, but their mission makes sense after they explain their business model. “You hire the right people, who are then happy in their jobs, so they’ll go home happy people,” Soileau says. “It follows that they’ll be happy in their neighborhood, and the whole city will be happier,” Kerr concludes. Although their company, Affintus, does not necessarily guarantee happiness nor world peace, their research affirms that people are more likely to be successful at a job they’re good at, therefore making companies happier with an easier hiring procedure, a better new-employee transition and thousands of dollars saved in the process. Their approach is scientific: Affintus has carefully formulated a web-based personality and cognitive ability assessment, a tool affirmed by their clients to accurately match the right people to jobs and organizations. In 2012, Austin Woman awarded Affintus the AW Small Business Grant, which every year provides a woman-owned local new business with a financial grant, as well as an advertising campaign. “A large part of our readers are connected to small businesses, and this service was relevant to that community,” says Melinda Garvey, cofounder and publisher of AW Media. We sat down with Soileau and Kerr to learn more about the science behind their revolutionary hiring technique. Austin Woman: Take me back to the beginning, before you decided to invest your time and money into researching what was to become Affintus in 2008. How did you meet?
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Paula Soileau: Deborah and I met as colleagues at the American Heart Association. I was CFO and Deborah was the senior vice president of human resources, so we had to work closely together on a regular basis—I figured out if I wanted to keep my eye on the budget, I had to keep my eye on her. A significant part of what most businesses spend is on people. It’s not just the amount you pay people, it’s the time that everyone in a company invests in trying to find people, screen them and then bring them in, and that whole decision process can be time consuming. Deborah Kerr: The problem is the data that managers use is not relevant to success on the job. Just about every company we begin working with still puts up an ad someplace and collects resumes. A large percentage of people embellish their resumes; some 39 to 50 percent contain inaccuracies. But who’s got the budget to check them? And the interview process is really fraught with bias—we can’t help but be biased; it’s the way our brains are wired. So the correlation between interview performance and success on the job is very low. The factors that matter in success
on the job are non-observable. The most important things you’re not going to see.
AW: How can you determine a potential employee’s success simply based on an assessment? DK: The factors that affect success on the job don’t change. For example, one company had extraordinarily high turnover in their data-entry area. It’s not a very glamorous job—very routine, predictable—and they thought that 44 percent turnover was just the cost of doing business. So we asked them to just give our assessment and matching system a try. Within six months, they were down pretty close to zero turnover because they were able to identify people whose preference is to do routine work and to have very clear guidelines. And not only did turnover go down, but the time to train was reduced by two weeks, which for every group they brought in was a $12,000 savings. They also had an unexpected result in that, when they were having a lot of turnover, they were also having a lot of employee drama— HR was always in there trying to sort stuff out. And that just evaporated.
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“It’s our belief that the more people we help find their place in the work world, the better the entire work world will be.”
AW: How does your method work? PS: We measure 19 different characteristics, for example whether you work better on a team or individually, or whether you are intuitive or objective in your decision making. For each one of those there is a desired range, depending on what the job is. There are some jobs where it is ideal for an employee to be data-driven and use data to help inform decisions, like an accountant, whereas for other jobs, being fairly intuitive can be beneficial. In their report, they can then see from top to bottom which of their candidates are the closest match. DK: If you’re a good match for that job, you’re going to be more successful. Our research and client data shows that a good match is 20 to 60 percent more productive than somebody who’s not. Turnover goes down, productivity goes up and training time to get that high productivity is reduced, so there are lots of cost savings. AW: You’ve also donated your services to several
nonprofits, such as Dress for Success and the Texas Veterans Commission, to help their job-seekers find a good company match. Why do you feel com-
pelled to give back in this way? PS: People have been so generous to me throughout my life, so whatever I can do to give back, I’m more than willing to do it. It’s our belief that the more people we help find their place in the work world, the better the entire work world will be. About two-thirds of people in the workforce are not happy in the jobs they’re doing—and whatever the reason, that’s a pretty big percentage of people. A lot of time is spent working, so why not have it be something you like, that you can be good at and that makes you feel more successful?
AW: Good point. Speaking of time, how much time should a company invest in filling an open position? PS: If it’s taking you more than a month, it’s taking you too long. No one teaches you how to hire. There’s no course on it. Nobody wants to
hire mediocre people, but we’re never taught the best tools and best practices, for example how to do behavioral interviewing as opposed to just having a conversation with candidates. How do you use assessment and matching tools as opposed to reading the candidate’s Facebook or LinkedIn page? DK: Potential clients sometimes say, “Nobody I know is using an assessment. What is this? Why do I need to spend money on this? Everybody uses resumes, and if I just interview them enough I’ll figure it out.” Well, that doesn’t happen. About 46 percent of new hires will not meet performance goals within 18 months, and only 19 percent of new hires will ever become high performers. Forty percent of promotions underperform or fail. PS: We help a company so there’s not so much hit and miss in the hiring process. You shouldn’t have to throw the dice every time. We help you have some loaded dice—it’s more predictable as to what’s going to happen. DK: That’s really how and why we designed this system, which brings us back to the world peace thing. Really, if people can match their strengths to job requirements, what a beautiful thing that would be. affintus.com
Finding Continued Success The latest update on the previous recipients of Austin Woman’s Small Business Grant. 2008: BlueAvocado Since winning our award, this pioneer sustainable lifestyle brand has celebrated tremendous growth. Now available in more than 8,400 stores including Target, the Container Store, Whole Foods and numerous online retailers, in September Blue Avocado launches the XO(eco) 2013 collection with celebrity fashion designer Lauren Conrad. It also launches its first men’s collection through a partnership with Open Arms, a local manufacturer in Austin who employs women refugees at a living wage to help break the cycle of poverty. A “Made in the USA” line is in the works. blueavocado.com
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2009: Spruce After we last checked in with Spruce, Amanda Brown’s furniture redesign studio outgrew its former space, and Brown and her growing team have since moved to the bigger and brighter office next door. It’s no wonder, as their work has been receiving national attention, due in part to Brown’s popular Upholstery Basics column for Design*Sponge. With a nod to her growing national following, in October, Brown is releasing a beautiful 400-page guide book, Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design, with pictures instructing how to transform old furniture finds from drab to fab. spruceaustin.com
2010: Heal in Comfort Nearly 2,800 breast-cancer patients have received Heal in Comfort’s innovative shirts designed for healing after a mastectomy and radiation, including Giuliana Rancic. The shirts are also now available at nine major hospitals with more in the works. “Winning the Austin Woman Small Business Grant started everything,” founder Cherie Mathews says. “It was like the match that struck the right surface to create a fire of excitement, and I am forever thankful to Melinda and Christopher Garvey and AW magazine for giving me the confidence and exposure to get this party started.” healincomfort.com
2011: Life’s Next Step Life’s Next Step specializes in helping older adults downsize their belongings and go through the transitional moving process. Since they launched in 2008, they have helped 44 families in various ways, including some families who hired their help for second moves. “We continue to be blessed with working with wonderful people and knowing that we help and make a difference in people’s lives,” founder Linda Carter says. Life’s Next Step has expanded its services and now offers construction for those looking to stage an older home for sale, as well as estate clean out. lifesnextstep.com
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An Honorable Mission Melinda Garvey on the evolution of AW Media’s commitment to philanthropy. As told to Deborah Hamilton-Lynne It is interesting to me that today social entrepreneurship is a hot topic. Lots of for-profit businesses are using social entrepreneurship as a platform to do a lot of good things. I didn’t know the term when I started AW, and wouldn’t have referred to myself as a social entrepreneur. What I did know was that I was brought up to give back. My parents were huge community volunteers. They gave of their time and their money, and from a very early age, I went along to events and they instilled in me the idea that we are part of something much larger than that which we create ourselves. The only way we can enjoy the arts and the only way to find cures for diseases is to be involved and to give back. That is what I learned from my parents.
2013 Girl Scouts Women of Distinction luncheon
When I started the magazine, I had not been in Austin very long and I did everything I could to get involved from the beginning. When we launched, I knew that I had a great platform and I wanted to use it to make a difference. I could inform, reach out and help promote organizations and causes, especially those that related to women. Not only was it a great feeling to be able to give back, but it was also a great way for AW to be known by the community at large quickly. I have always had a philosophy of giving back and more importantly of showing up. I become personally involved in many things: I chaired the first Go Red campaign. I helped launch a Girl Scout publication aimed at teenaged girls. I came on to the board of Wonders and Worries when it was in its infancy, stayed on the board for seven years and now chair the advisory board. When I go in, I go in deep and really try to make a difference. What AW does well beyond promoting events with an ad is that we try to pair it with editorial. We like to educate our readers about organizations behind the events we sponsor. Everyone may not be able to attend the events, but we can still let our readers know about the mission and ways that they can support the organization if they are moved by that mission. We are not really about the party pictures in the magazine. We are more about informing our readers about what the organization does. When the company was just a year old, we initiated Tiara Tuesdays, which was a monthly girls’ night out to launch the magazine, but it always had a philanthropic component. Early on, we also gave back financially. Our clients would participate by contributing to raffles and auctions, and 100 percent of the proceeds of the evening would go to a designated charity. We believe that it takes more than in-kind donations or serving on a board or writing an article or running an ad. It takes cash money to make a difference as well. In the past 10 years, just on our monthly events, we have given well over $100,000 in cash.
At our annual anniversary event, we wanted to continue to support women-owned businesses so we initiated the AW Small Business Grant Award with a package valued at over $10,000. It includes a cash prize, a six-month advertising campaign and a feature article in the magazine. (See the follow-up article on these recipients on Page 94.) For me, philanthropy is the whole package. It is not just about giving of your time, serving on a board, going to an event. It’s not just about giving an ad or promoting an event or even about giving cash. My goal is to encourage everyone to do something. It doesn’t matter if it is a big or small thing, or if it is a big or small donation. If everyone was invested in doing something to help or getting involved in just one organization whose mission spoke to them, look at what a difference we could make.
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Photo by Marisa Webre.
Then, to take it to another level, we created the ATX Man Golf Classic, an idea born from our Giving Man Pledge. The entire event was based on charitable giving and informing participants about 18 different organizations. The impetus of 18 holes for 18 charities was not only to provide promotion, visibility and information, but also to make a cash donation. For a first-year event, we were really proud to give away $18,000.
cheering me on AW's continuing support for heal in comfort. I would like to shout from the rooftops of how honored I am to have a friend in Melinda Garvey. I was new in Austin, and AW magazine was my first friend. I took my first steps in bootstrapping a business named healincomfort because, as a breast-cancer survivor, I am passionate about helping other cancer patients heal in comfort and dignity following surgery in their battle against this dreadful disease. I read AW magazine from cover to cover and decided to take a courageous step and apply for the AW Small Business Grant Award. Sitting in the company of 500-plus business women and hearing my name called was truly a bucket-list experience. I went up on stage, hugged Melinda, turned around to see all these women on their feet applauding and cheering me on. Melinda searches constantly on how to give back and how to encourage other small businesses to grow and become successful. Her philanthropic outward demonstrations are truly a mirror of what runs deep inside her heart. This photo clearly shows Melinda walking the walk and talking the talk. AW magazine sponsored healincomfort shirts and gave as a gift to KomenAustin and the Breast Cancer Resource Center. AW magazine made it possible for our local breast-cancer patients to feel loved, comforted and supported. Melinda is not only a successful businesswoman and a life friend, but also a role model of how business and philanthropy coexist to make a difference in the lives of others. All I can add to this is thank you and I love your heart, Melinda and AW magazine for making my journey more impactful and helping my vision become a reality. â€”Cherie Mathews, founder healincomfort
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Lynn Meredith’s Vision for the Children of Austin The Thinkery opens its doors for the next generation of creative problem solvers. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne, Photo by Elizabeth Shear When Lynn Meredith commits to seeing a project through, she gets the job done. In our November 2011 cover story, she was quoted as saying, “For me, being reliable, being consistent and being present has always been key. As a legacy, being involved in civic life is very important to me.” A former teacher and mother of four, she has always been involved in and committed to organizations dedicated to children. The birth of her first grandchild, Patrick, in 2012, has only served to strengthen that commitment. In 1993, shortly after moving to Austin, Meredith was introduced to the Austin Children’s Museum by Ronya Kozmetsky, an original board member. Having the examples of the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, she knew the exciting role a children’s museum could play in Austin. The commitment was strong and immediate. She jumped in, donating her time, talent, funds and vision to making the museum one of the finest in the nation. In the past five years, the vision and the mission have become clearly articulated, and funding for the project has been completed. Beyond expanding the physical footprint to 40,000 square feet, the vision also expanded the programming to reach children up to 11. Another difference in programming is that the Thinkery—the new name of the new, relocated museum—will include science, technology, engineering, arts and math. STEAM, not STEM. “We knew it needed to be ‘Austinized,’ meaning that we knew it had to include music and the arts,
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and we knew it had to include engineering and biotech as well as high tech,” Meredith says. “We needed the pieces that were the Austin flavor. For example, healthy eating and good nutrition is such a value here that we were able to attract partners such as St. David’s and H-E-B for our Let’s Grow programming. With the mission being so well articulated, we were also able to attract new partners such as AMD and the UT School of Engineering.” The design of both the building and the exhibits was a critical element of the vision. The museum is not only a place for learning and experimentation, but also a place that is visually and architecturally beautiful. From the light and the colors, to the variety of materials and the surfaces that were incorporated, to the windows, the views, the landscaping and the visuals, the place is inspiring and inviting. “It is so exciting. You walk in and it’s a wow! It is beautiful, not so much in an ornate way but in a very thoughtful way,” Meredith relates. According to Meredith, interactive exhibits and innovative hands-on programming are also key elements. “What we are trying to do is to educate the next generation of innovators and original thinkers. That is why it is called the Thinkery,” she says. “It is a place to come and innovate and to think and to do.
All those things are wrapped up in to a place where adults and children can come. What we know is when children are in a learning environment where they have interaction with adults, their learning experience is deepened. They learn more. What we know from neuroscience is that we are on the cutting edge in the way we are programming.” Dec. 7, 2013 marks completion of a dream for Lynn Meredith and a gift for the families and children of Austin with the public opening of the Thinkery. With the honor of her dedication and the generous support of her family, the building will be named the Meredith Learning Lab. It is the fulfillment of a promise. Of the honor, Meredith reinforces her commitment to Austin. “Our foundation is all about growing people so that they can be actualized in a way creatively, intellectually and economically to empower them to in turn give back,” she says. “I felt so honored when my husband, Tommie, and the children decided that we should double our gift to the museum, and it was in turn named for the family. It was an enormous testimony not only of their love and affection for me, but of their faith in this project.” The Austin Children’s Museum is offering an exclusive preview Sept. 20 at Imaginarium. (See details on Page 32.) thinkeryaustin.org
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[Top photos] 2009 and 2011 Trash Dance performances [Bottom] Allison Orr working with Austin Energy in preparation for PowerUP.
Forklift Danceworks Founder and Artistic Director Allison Orr premieres her electrifying and intriguing PowerUP. From gondoliers to dogs and their owners, Austin choreographer Allison Orr has persuaded the unlikeliest of folks to collaborate with her. Now Orr’s back at it again with another conceptbusting dance performance. This time, the founder and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks has enlisted the people that keep our lights on and our AC running—the employees of Austin Energy. And let’s not forget their machinery. The world premiere of PowerUP will feature bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, plus a set of 25 utility poles, as well as a cast of more than 50 linemen and electrical technicians. This vast ensemble struts their stuff in the dramatic shadow of Austin’s Decker Power Plant on the grounds of the Travis County Exposition Center. In one of Forklift’s most ambitious projects to date, the crew from Austin Energy will showcase movements from their typical work day before a live outdoor audience of 6,000 people, set to an original score by award-winning Austin musician Graham Reynolds, lit by lighting mastermind Stephen Pruitt and accompanied by a string
orchestra led by Austin Symphony conductor Peter Bay. PowerUP isn’t Bay’s first encounter with Orr. In 2012, she created the critically acclaimed Solo Symphony—billed as “a dance for Peter Bay”—based on the movements Bay makes while conducting. A solo performance is one thing. A live event involving heavy machinery is quite another—especially as there will be only one opportunity for a full dress rehearsal before the public performances. “I think it’s kind of extraordinary how it all comes together,” says Orr. That said, the team of Orr, Reyn-
“These technicians and linemen are true cowboys—people who are willing to do whatever it takes, in all kinds of weather and at great personal risk to make sure you and I can turn the lights on every day.” 102 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
olds and Pruitt have worked closely together for months preparing for the event. “We’re strategizing and solving problems as we go along, so we don’t have any surprises on the night.” The Austin Energy workers are not the first City of Austin employees to have their inner performer coaxed out of them by Orr. In 2009, Orr premiered The Trash Project, a dance with employees, trucks and trash cans from the City of Austin Sanitation Department. An encore performance in 2011 drew an audience of more than 4,000. Trash Dance, an award-winning documentary from Austin filmmaker Andrew Garrison, captured Orr’s incredibly detailed two-year process of creating The Trash Project and her ability to showcase the human dignity of the performers.
Top photo by Leon Alesi; top left photo by Amitava Sarkar; Allison Orr photo by Sarah Fusco.
By Julie Tereshchuk
IT’S YOur NIghT OuT The same close observation of everyday tasks has been at the core of creating PowerUP, with Orr and her team again shadowing and getting to know the Austin Energy employees for nearly two years. Orr has toured substations, learned the intricacies of just how electricity is relayed, ridden up in the cherry picker–like bucket we’ve all seen on the back of utility trucks, and attended linemen’s climbing school, learning to climb (and safely fall off ) a utility pole as she went. Orr is inspired by the Austin Energy employees’ commitment and passion for their work. “These technicians and linemen are true cowboys—people who are willing to do whatever it takes, in all kinds of weather and at great personal risk to make sure you and I can turn the lights on every day.” Orr hopes that each PowerUP audience member will leave with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the work of these vital but rarely seen men and women. How did Orr develop the finely tuned interpersonal skills she uses to gain the trust and ultimately win over initially highly skeptical people? Part of it is inherited, says Orr. “My grandfather could make a best friend from a park bench.” In her youth, Orr spent four summers with Amigos de Las Americas building latrines in rural Latin American communities. “I learned a lot there,” she explains. “You came in as an outsider, and had to gain people’s trust and do something together.” A dancer all her life, Orr studied anthropology then choreography at college. The audience response to a project with campus maintenance workers encouraged her to pursue her vision. In 2001, she founded Forklift Danceworks. The company and its founder have gone on to acclaim and numerous awards. Orr has been named the year’s most outstanding choreographer by The Austin Critics Table three times and the Austin Chronicle’s Best Movement Illuminator in 2012. Forklift has garnered national attention with features in The New York Times, the Washington Post and Texas Monthly, and on BBC Radio, the National Geographic Channel and NPR. In addition to awards and media attention, Forklift recently garnered wider recognition with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. “National support feels really exciting,” says Orr as she faces the most ambitious project of her career. “It’s a real vote of confidence.” PowerUP performs Sept. 21–22; forkliftdanceworks.org
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Special is in the Eye of the Beholder What is the definition of a special occasion? Is it an event that requires us to send out engraved invitations and bring a gift? Is it an appointment that has us dusting off our bling and ball gowns? Or is the most important attribute of a special event in the eye of the beholder, just as beauty is? The dictionary tells us “special” is “surpassing what is common or usual or expected.” Anniversaries or celebrations of life passages often merit special-occasion events. But what comprises a “special” anniversary is up to you and your imagination. My Aunt Lucy from Comfort, Texas, is a master at making up her own special traditions. She and her husband hold an annual So Long Summer dinner, featuring a big bowl of fresh pasta with the last of the garden tomatoes. At the new year, they pass around a bowl with slips of paper highlighting best-of-theyear memories for sharing. Taking time to savor life’s gifts provides an attitude of gratitude. I often make the mistake of thinking a special occasion must, by definition, be a mountain of work. Why wait to invite friends over until you have the time to prepare an elaborate five-course meal? Fresh, in-season foods prepared with love can make any meal special. There’s no shame in a simple caprese salad or well-executed burgers. Special events are often adorned with beautiful decorations or table settings. But why wait to bring out Grandma’s china? Even a hodgepodge of mismatched dishes and chairs can be brought together with flair. You don’t have to break the bank, or the environment, to have special occasions with style. Reuse and recycle what you already have. Old mason or jelly jars make great vases or candle
holders. Goodwill is perfect for picking up mix-and-match barware. Pick fresh herbs or evergreen cuttings from the garden to create decorations. If you do decide to purchase cut flowers, try the farmers market or vendors that emphasize sound environmental practices, and fair wages and working conditions. For large catered special events, think about how to decrease waste and hold an event that supports your values. Consider using caterers who emphasize local and organic foods and then compost food waste. For weddings, skip the gifts and ask guests to contribute to a charity. Look for gently used wedding attire, or purchase a multi-purpose dress you can wear again. Eco-chic weddings are a hot trend, with quite a few websites out there to give you ideas. The City of Austin will host the annual National Night Out event Oct. 1, an opportunity for neighbors to gather for a potluck or ice cream social, and also help prevent crime. You can register your block at austintexas.gov/nno and celebrate with a good old-fashioned neighborhood get-together. Your imagination is the only limit to bring your own special values, style and personality to any event. You can think of ways to make even the most prosaic event memorable. I wish you luck in unexpected places!
— Lucia Athens
Lucia Athens is the chief sustainability officer for the City of Austin. November’s Last Word topic will be “Home for the holidays.” To be considered, email a 500-word submission by Oct. 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration by Sarah Quatrano. 104 Austin Woman s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 3
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