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“The worst thing that we can do as women is not stand up for each other.” —Amal Clooney

The all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5

Roger Beasley Mazda is proud to introduce the all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5. Born from the DNA that produced the best-selling Mazda CUV of all time. It’s built from a new level of engineering and design. This new Mazda is bolder, more athletic and refined. It’s styling provokes feelings of excitement and exhilaration. Behind the wheel you feel confidence, comfort and safety. For a closer look and test drive, stop by any Roger Beasley Mazda location.

A 2017 - 2018 Editors' Choice Compact Crossovers and SUVs

2017 Best Car Brand*


* - Nov. 15, 2016. 2017 Best Vehicle Brand Awards. The awards recognize the brands whose vehicles perform the best on an overall basis within four major categories of the U.S. News vehicle rankings: Cars, SUVs, Trucks and Luxury.




866-779-8409 • M-F 8:30AM - 9:00PM | Sat 8:30AM - 8:00PM

direct connect to

Italy through


departures daily Come experience Italy at Copenhagen. We have assembled a wonderful collection of some of the best designs from Italy’s finest manufacturers. All these products display a sense of purpose and pride through intelligent design and caring craftsmanship. Selective use of practical materials and thoughtful engineering result in products that meet high quality standards while maintaining exceptional value. Come see why Italy has long been regarded as the center of today’s modern design world. Visit Copenhagen for an Italian design experience you won’t soon forget. You will be inspired.

Palladio leather sofa by Nicoline Design Studio, Italy. Classic details combine with contemporary styling to produce a stunning sofa that is undeniably sophisticated. Design by Tita Fineo, the Palladio sofa imparts a style that is rooted in the past while reinforcing today’s clean design trends. From stock as shown or custom order from a significant collection of leather or fabric. Direct import by Copenhagen.


2236 West Braker


(just east of The Domain and Burnet Road next to Culver’s)

San Antonio

18603 Blanco Road


(just north of 1604 in The Vineyard shopping center next to Whole Foods Market)

contemporary furniture & accessories

Christopher Brennig, MD

Austin Vein Institute State-of-the-art Varicose Vein Treatment

C h r i s t op h e r W. Br e n n i g , M . D . CERTIFIED: The American Board of General Surgery SUB-SPECIALTY CERTIFIED: The American Board of Vascular Surgery

Va r i c o s e V ei n s S p i d e r V ei n s L aser therapy Sclerotherapy


7000 N. Mopac Ste. 320 Austin, TX 78731

Dr. Brennig is Board Certified in Vascular Surgery and in General Surgery. He is recognized for his expertise in the minimally invasive treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, recurrent varicose veins, and complex venous disorders including DVT. Please call the Austin Vein Institute to schedule a comprehensive consultation.

V e i n A u s t i n . c o m







Your care is right around the corner. You’ll find Baylor Scott & White Health primary care clinics everywhere you look. Each of our clinics is part of a large network of physicians, specialists and advanced technology. This gives you the care you need, when you need it.

Your care is close to home at one of our primary care clinics. Find a location near you. | 512.509.0200

Physicians are employees of Scott & White Clinics, an affiliate of Baylor Scott & White Health. ©2016 Baylor Scott & White Health. BSWCLINICS_110_2016 CE 11.16

You You make make the the hire. hire. HomePay HomePay does does the the rest. rest. Household payroll | Nanny taxes | HR help Household payroll | Nanny taxes | HR help

Do you pay a nanny more than $2,000 per year? If so, you’re probably considered a household Do you pay a nanny more than $2,000 per year? If so, you’re probably considered a household employer by the IRS—and that comes with complicated tax and payroll responsibilities. employer by the IRS—and that comes with complicated tax and payroll responsibilities. Thankfully,® HomePaySM can save you time and stress by taking care of it all—for any Thankfully,® HomePaySM can save you time and stress by taking care of it all—for any type of household employee—from HR help to payday to tax time. Our experts have helped more type of household employee—from HR help to payday to tax time. Our experts have helped more than 60,000 busy families like yours over 25 years. And our accuracy is guaranteed.* than 60,000 busy families like yours over 25 years. And our accuracy is guaranteed.*

Get started in minutes. Save hours in paperwork. Get started in minutes. Save hours in paperwork. Call 877.367.1954 or visit to learn more. Call 877.367.1954 or visit to learn more.

*Service Accuracy Guarantee: We guarantee (i) that your tax returns will be filed accurately and on time, and (ii) that your tax remittances will be paid on schedule if, in *Service Accuracy Guarantee: We guarantee that yourand taxaccurate returns will be filed accurately on time, and thattoyour remittances willdeadline. be paid on schedule if, in each of the foregoing cases, we receive your (i) complete information at least sixand (6) business days(ii) prior the tax required tax filing If you incur monetary each of the foregoing cases, we and accurate information least amounts six (6) business days thediscretion required either tax filing If you incur monetary penalties from tax regulators duereceive to our your fault,complete and we are not successful in gettingatthose waived, we prior will attoour paydeadline. those penalties on your behalf, penalties fromyou taxfor regulators due to our fault,case, and excluding we are notany successful in getting those amountstax waived, we will at our pay penalties onthe your behalf, or reimburse those amounts, in each other liability or the underlying obligation itself. Wediscretion will not beeither at fault if those we cannot collect necessary or reimburse forbank those amounts, in each case, other it. liability the underlying tax obligation We will be at fault if we cannot collect the necessary amounts fromyou your account or credit card on excluding the day weany request Pleaseorreference the Service Accuracyitself. Guarantee bynot telephone at 888-273-3356 with respect to an amounts from yourthe bank account credit cardwere on the day we request it. Please reference the Service Accuracy Guarantee by telephone at 888-273-3356 with respect to an error made during period suchorrecipient(s) HomePay customers. error made during the period such recipient(s) were HomePay customers. ® HomePaySM is a service provided by Breedlove and Associates, LLC, a company. ® HomePaySM is a service provided by Breedlove and Associates, LLC, a company.


Plastic Surgery from a Woman’s Perspective. 2017 Super Doctors® Rising Stars® honoree Dr. Christine Fisher is inspired daily as she works with her patients, undergoing cosmetic surgery of the breast and body due to pregnancy or aging, or to restore the breast after cancer treatment. For breast reconstruction patients, Dr. Fisher offers natural options such as DIEP Flap reconstruction, implant-based and nipple-sparing reconstruction, and ‘hidden scar’ techniques resulting in no scars on the front of the breast. For cosmetic patients, she offers re-shaping of the breast with breast augmentation or reduction, and body-shaping procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction. Call today to speak with her patient care team, who will help you navigate the restorative journey. 1015 E. 32nd St Ste 306 | Plaza St. David | Austin, TX 78705

(512) 815-0123

Yee Haw! 4th in the nation!

The Lone Star State is known for its independent spirit and pioneering culture. So is Texas Children’s Hospital. We’re second to none in Texas and one of the top hospitals in the nation for children’s care. We’ve spent six decades conducting and providing the most innovative research and treatments in pediatric medicine, pushing boundaries and exploring new territory. We’re keeping the frontier right here in Houston, where you’ll find extraordinary care whenever you need it.

© 2017 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. MPR1668_070117

Surgical | Medical | Cosmetic

Non-surgical Skin Cancer Treatment Experts

Tru-Skin Dermatology’s SRT-100 Vision utilizes revolutionary, FDA-approved technology to provide highly-effective and painfree skin cancer treatment with excellent cosmetic results. Board Certified Physicians • Medicare/Major Insurance Accepted 3500 Jefferson St, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78731 Contact us today to learn more about our services and specials. 888.451.0139

Look good, feel good, do good. A portion of every service, patient visit and product purchase at Tru-Skin Dermatology is donated to The Shade Project and Skin Cancer Foundation to help skin cancer prevention efforts.

Photo by Keith Trigaci.










Photo by Natalie Gazaui.





66 R ECIPE REVEAL Prickly Pear Ice Pops 68 F OOD NEWS Lucky Lime

Five Must-dos for July

SAVVY WOMEN 24 COUNT US IN Women in Numbers 26 B OTTOM LINE Redefining Wellness 28 F ROM THE DESK OF Austin Habitat for Humanity’s Phyllis Snodgrass

30 G  IVE BACK Mothers’ Milk Bank’s Kim Updegrove 32 P ROFILE CatSpring Yaupon’s JennaDee Detro and Abianne Falla


Amala Foundation’s Jen Lucas

MUST LIST 37 DISCOVER A Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M. 40 R  OUNDUP Lighting Up the Town 42 L ITTLE LUXURIES Bold Beauty

STYLE + HOME 44 THE LOOK 100-degree Dress Code 46 BEAUTY Color Guard 48 ENTERTAINING Stars, Stripes and Hot Dogs 12 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

WELLNESS 70 WAITING ROOM Infertility 74 E AT THIS, NOT THAT How Sweet It Is 76 H  ER ROUTINE Kelly Faldyn

POINT OF VIEW 78 M  EMO FROM JB Rite of Passage 80 I AM AUSTIN WOMAN Lisa Donato

ON THE COVER Photo by Keith Trigaci, Styled by Ashley Hargrove, Hair and makeup by Laura Martinez,

Shot on location at Sellers Underground, 213 W. Fourth St., Amanda Uprichard Emlyn dress, $207, available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., 512.236.0488, Valdez Panama hat, $250, available at Neiman Marcus, 3400 Palm Way, 512.719.1200,

Established in 1998

3705 Medical Parkway, Suite 130


(512) 533-7317







Lisa Donato, JB Hager, Amanda Pinney, Clarisa Ramirez, Rachel Rascoe, Alessandra Rey, Abigail Rosenthal, Gretchen M. Sanders, Shelley Seale, Morgan Stephanian, Victoria Stowe, Steve Uhler




Chris Corrie, Chris Coxwell, Rossi English, Kevin Garner, Natalie Gazaui, Ashley Hargrove, Sarah Holcomb, Jen Judge, Heather Leah Kennedy, Ashley Kriegel, Laura Martinez, David McClister, Dustin Meyer, Lisa Muñoz, Yannik Rohrer, Carolina Treviño, Keith Trigaci, Jessica Wetterer NIKI JONES



Monica Hand



Claire Cannatti, Monica Grice, Sarah Holcomb, Amanda Pinney, Abigail Rosenthal, Regan Velchoff


Emily C. Laskowski, Deborah Hamilton-Lynne, Mary Anne Connolly, Elizabeth Eckstein

Austin Woman is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc., and is available at more than 1,250 locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved.



For submission requirements, visit No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at Email us at 512.328.2421 • 3921 Steck Ave., Suite A111, Austin, TX 78759



At the age of 84, he has the appearance of a cowboy pulled off the set of a John Wayne western—an analogy he’d likely take as a compliment. People in town treat him like a celebrity, either honking their cars as he passes by on one of the many two-lane gravel roads or with a tip of the hat as he saunters past in his starched khaki pants and weathered boots. Even the local high schoolers know who he is, a fact most likely reasoned by the explanation that my grandpa is always the one to place the highest auction bid on their prized 4-H Club animals. Occasionally, you’ll see a photo of him splashed across the front page of the local newspaper for helping restore a historic schoolhouse, for his work revitalizing an old graveyard or just to show off a picture of him on his latest hunt. I have fond childhood memories of feeding cattle from the back of his pickup truck as he drove around the ranch, of learning how to chew a berry from an agarita bush, of practicing the art of keeping my heels down, my reigns low and my vocal cues upbeat while riding a horse. My grandpa is the person I think of when I think of social good. He’s a living reminder that I don’t need to have a hand in some deeply impactful

Join the conversation @AustinWoman #TheSocialGoodIssue

16 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

philanthropic effort to make a positive contribution in this world. It’s the small things we do, the random acts of kindness, that are the most rewarding and instantly gratifying parts of being human, from smiling at a stranger as she passes on the sidewalk to offering support to those who can offer nothing back to even just quietly listening to a friend tell you about her week. He’s so quick to lend a hand—to a neighbor building a new fence or one in need of a part-time job to help support her family—that his own selfcare often gets overlooked. This is maybe what makes the news of his recent stint in the hospital so hard to hear. It’s a painstaking truth to be reminded that even the best among us are still, at the end of the day, human. But it’s reassuring to know the minute he returns home, his neighbors will have already fed his chickens and he’ll have a line of townspeople out the door and down the creaky front-porch steps ready to check in on him or drop off a casserole. It’s comforting to know he lives in a pocket of the state—rather, of the country—where people don’t blink an eye, don’t check their calendars or their to-do lists when someone needs a helping hand; they just show up. Social good was a way of life for Mother Teresa, and I’d be remiss to not leave you with one of her timeless quotes: “Spread love wherever you go,” she said. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Sincerely,


Photo by Lisa Muñoz.


all, tough, talkative and as sweet as iced tea on a hot summer afternoon: That’s my grandpa for you. An agricultural educator by trade and a rancher by passion, he’s one of the kindest souls you’ll rub elbows with in Mullin, Texas (population: 179). If you ever find yourself passing through town on a Sunday at noon after church service has let out, you’re sure to find him checking in with the townspeople at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant.

Proudly serving Central Texas for over 40 years

Since 1977, Texas Disposal Systems has helped communities, organizations and schools manage and divert waste to beneficial uses. Our fully integrated facility incorporates solid waste disposal, compost production and recycling operations to make it easier than ever to reduce the landfilling of resources, improve communities and protect the environment. We always try to reuse and repurpose materials – from concrete and metal to everyday materials such as plastic bottles and food scraps – before sending to the landfill.

TDS also partners with communities by teaching others how to recycle and compost to preserve resources. We educate K-12 students about trash, recycling and composting through the TDS Eco Academy. The program was designed to minimize waste in Central Texas schools, and includes campus-wide recycling, plus compostables collection in cafeterias. TDS provides curriculum and educational materials to staff and administrators, as well as students, instructing them how to recycle and divert waste, and why it’s important.

At TDS, we’re constantly expanding our vision of what recycling can include by continually looking for ways to divert a material otherwise intended for landfill disposal and repurpose it for a new life. This can include traditional “closed-loop” recycling, when a material is reconstituted into the same product, such as turning a discarded aluminum can into another aluminum can. It can also include “open-loop” recycling, when a material is reused for a whole new purpose. For example, the Garden-Ville shovel, which is made from all recycled materials diverted from the landfill including scrap metal and telephone poles, was designed and constructed by our resident artist. The shovel stands tall at over 40 feet high weighing 5,000 pounds, displayed as a symbol of our commitment to reclaim, recycle and repurpose.

Learn more about our efforts to sustain natural resources and our environment for future generations at

Noticeably Different. Noticeably Better.

Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) is a local resource management company that helps customers manage and divert waste to beneficial uses. Our fully integrated facility incorporates solid waste disposal, compost production and recycling operations. We’re also proud to partner with local communities by teaching others how to recycle and compost to preserve resources. TDS programs such as Eco Academy and Green Event Solutions implement recycling and composting within schools and community events. A few of our partners include Austin City Limits, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, The Dell Diamond, Keep Austin Beautiful and school districts from Lake Travis to Georgetown.

Learn more about our services and commitment to environmental preservation at


This month, we asked our contributors: What is some good news that recently happened in your world?


.COM Because our readers look to us to help them make informed choices, including which doctors to see, we have launched a powerful digital solution—ATXDOCTORS.COM.



Keith Trigaci is an Austin-based photographer who was lucky enough to recently move back to Texas from Los Angeles. When he isn’t doing commercial photography, he enjoys documenting life’s moments, including weddings and day-in-the-life family sessions. “I just found out my little sister is in town and recently stumbled upon a new dumpling spot in Austin. We both share a common love for juicy dumplings, and I can’t wait to take her!”



Become a part of our online directory featuring Austin’s leading doctors and health-care centers

Answer our readers frequently asked health questions in an exclusive Ask An Expert article

Steve Uhler has written for such varied publications as Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and Texas Music Magazine. He is a longtime contributor to Austin Woman. “Last month, my daughter Marlie and I flew to California to attend my son Jeremy’s graduation from Cal State East Bay. It was a wonderful, inspiring, perfect day.”



Showcase your business and experience with an in-depth doctor profile page

Laura Martinez was born in beautiful Austin, and has traveled from New York to LA for makeup work, but still calls Austin home. She is a freelance makeup artist who specializes in makeup for print, commercial and lifestyle photo shoots. She’s recently worked with L’Oreal, Marie Claire and Entertainment Weekly, to name a few. Follow her for beauty tips on Instagram @bylauramartinez. “I recently got engaged in Paris and I finalized a wedding date for spring 2018!”



Physicians and healthcare providers, we welcome your participation. Please contact us at: or 512.328.2421

Clarisa Ramirez is a multimedia journalist, publicist and content-marketing professional. She is the founder and principal of Small Coffee, an Austinbased digital-marketing firm, where she helps small-business owners with their communications and marketing projects. Since graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism as a McCormick Foundation scholar in 2011, her journalism work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, Vocativ, Bust, Hartford Courant, Dallas Morning News and several local publications. Having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, Clarisa is also enthusiastic about community service and helping the greater good. “I recently got married! It was amazing to see so many friends come out for the wedding from around the world to spend some time with us.”

Advanced brain and spine care close to home. Brilliant.

© Elizabeth Jameson

Serving patients across Central Texas, the Neurological and Spine Center at Baylor Scott & White Health treats all conditions of the brain and spine. Physicians on the medical staff of our neurological center are board-certified to provide advanced care, from diagnostics to surgery. Baylor Scott & White Health accepts most major insurance plans.

Call 512.509.6387 to schedule an appointment.

Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of those medical centers, Baylor Health Care System, Scott & White Healthcare or Baylor Scott & White Health. ©2017 Baylor Scott & White Health. BSWMCL_37_2017 SM


➥ More miniature horses. If the pictures of these tiny equines visiting (and

receiving their fair share of attention from) people suffering with health problems aren’t heartwarming enough, then you’ll want to read the story behind why Sally Iwanski founded her nonprofit, Minis and Friends, 10 years ago.

➥ More dating apps. We swiped right when given the opportunity to chat with

Amanda Bradford, the founder of Austin’s newest dating app, The League. Just as on a first date, there was a lot of ground to cover and plenty of questions to ask. Here’s what we wanted to know: How does the app differ from Bumble and Tinder? And what’s this we hear about there being a wait list?

➥ More handwritten letters. In late April, Tiffany Lewis started Pens for Pals, an

Austin-based, crowdfunded nonprofit, with the goal of brightening the lives of at-risk youth and adults through the power of sending handwritten letters of love, support, hope and encouragement. cancer the same day Heidi learned she had been accepted into the graduate nursing-school program at the University of Texas. Now, she’s riding all the way from Austin to Alaska—a total of 4,500 miles—with the Texas 4000 team to help support cancer research.



ORANGETHEORY GIVEAWAY Get your sweat on this summer—in a good way—with a pack of 10 free class vouchers from Orangetheory Fitness, a one-of-a-kind groupand personal-training workout. Orangetheory’s heart-ratemonitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The Orangetheory folks call it the afterburn. The high-intensity interval training enables members to burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes—and keep burning calories for as long as 36 hours after the workout. With top-of-the-line equipment, upbeat music and motivational trainers, Orangetheory takes pride in offering what trainers call the most energetic fitness environment around. To enter, keep an eye on our Instagram account, @AustinWoman, for the giveaway announcement in July. Word to the wise: We like to be spontaneous. A winner will be chosen and notified at the end of the month.



20 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017


The Wizard of Oz musical performance July 7 through Aug. 12, Thursdays through Sundays, 8:15 p.m. ZIlker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Drive Austin Film Festival: Shot Caller screening July 11, 7 to 10 p.m. Galaxy Highland Theater, 6700 Middle Fiskville Road Think and Grow Rich for Women Experiential Summit July 15, 9 a.m. Hotel Granduca Austin, 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy. Texas Rollergirls Bout Day July 15, 5 p.m. Austin Sports Center, 425 Woodward St. Trailer Food Tuesday July 25, 5 to 9 p.m. The Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive #bossbabesATX Babes Fest July 27 through 29, times vary Locations vary


@ austinwoman

Minis and Friends photo by Sarah Holcomb. Amanda Bradford photo courtesy of The League. Orangetheory photo courtesy of Orangetheory.

➥ More pedal to the metal. Heidi Simmons’ grandmother passed away from







son Ln .


Mo p




NORTHWOOD PLAZA 2900 W. Anderson Ln., Ste H | 512.323.9220 O P E N : M-F: 10am-5:30pm | Sa: 10am-4pm


Last chance!

Exhibit Closes July 23 Music festivals break barriers and establish common ground. • Muddy Waters' acoustic guitar played at the Newport Folk Festival • Hand-drawn map of Woodstock • John Mellencamp's corduroy jacket worn at Farm Aid • Photos and videos of the top music festival performances of all time! Curated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio. Support for the Bullock Museum’s exhibitions and education programs provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.





Check out the July agenda from our favorite local insiders. WILLIE NELSON’S FOURTH OF JULY PICNIC “For the ultimate Fourth of July, celebrate with Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic at the Austin360 Amphitheater. I’m so excited for the star-studded lineup—Kacey Musgraves, Sheryl Crow, Margo Price, Jamey Johnson—and all-day music that ends with fireworks!” July 4, noon | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd. Ticket prices start at $39.50.

Jane Ko @atasteofkoko

“In partnership with Alamo Drafthouse, Birth Movies Death Events is bringing back Jaws on the Water, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart! Here’s the rundown: You head out to Volente Beach and watch Steven Spielberg’s Jaws while floating in an inner tube on the water. It’s super creepy, but also totally fun!” Fridays through Sundays in July, 6 p.m. | Volente Beach Water Park, 16107 FM 2769, Leander, Texas | Tickets start at $12.

Kristy Owen @365thingsaustin

TRAVEL “I just got back from a trip to Morocco, where I am sourcing some brightly colored custom rugs for my store. Travel is a great source of inspiration for both home and fashion design for me, and it can be a great chance for you as well, particularly for your home. Find something great on the road—a photograph or piece of art can make for a great memory of your trip—and turn it into a fabulous décor piece. You’ll treasure it for years to come. There are lots of fun spots to visit in Texas alone. Visit Rancho Pillow in Round Top or take a wine-tasting trip to Fredericksburg.”

Katie Kime @katie_kime

BODY MIND SPIRIT EXPO “Explore health and wellness indoors because—news flash—it’s hot outside, at the Body Mind Spirit Expo. This two-day event offers a wide range of topics, activities and products geared to help support you in cultivating the healthy lifestyle you need to shine your truth, the theme of this year’s expo.” July 15 through 16, times vary | Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road | Admission is $12.

Adriene Mishler @yogawithadriene

CLUELESS: MARTINIS AND MANICURES “We can’t think of a better way to spend your next girls’ night out than by getting manicures and sipping martinis while you await the showing of Alicia Silverstone’s classic portrayal of a Beverly Hills high-school fashionista in her quest for love in Clueless. Does it sound too good to be true? Hold onto your popcorn. It’s all a part of the Paramount Theatre’s 42nd annual Summer Classic Film Series.” — April Cumming July 30, 6 to 9 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. | Tickets are $25.

Austin Woman @austinwoman

22 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Willie Nelson photo by David McClister. Jaws on the Water photo by Heather Leah Kennedy. Katie Kime photo courtesy of Katie Kime.




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Facts and figures on females from throughout the world. BY ABIGAIL ROSENTHAL, ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA WETTERER

24 Award 75 Percent Ceremonies Cheryl Boone Isaacs served on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 24 years before stepping down from her position. As the departing president, Boone Isaacs was still eligible to run for re-election for her position on the board. She served as president for the past four years, enduring multiple controversies, such as the #OscarsSoWhite campaign for more diversity in 2016 and the infamous but wildly entertaining envelope scandal this February. As the first African-American and third female president of the academy, Boone Isaacs spearheaded multiple campaigns for a more diverse pool of members in an organization that is 58 percent male and 87 percent Caucasian. Results of the new board-member races will be announced in July.

A 2012 study conducted by the Colorado Women’s College of the University of Denver found women make up 75 percent of team members at nonprofits, an industry that accounts for the third-largest employment sector in the U.S. A more recent study, The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Untapped Potential of Women in Nonprofits report, found that 57 percent of women in this sector, including 72 percent of women ages 18 to 34, aspire to hold the position of CEO. However, on the leadership side of the table, women make up only 45 percent of CEOs at nonprofits with budgets less than $25 million, and only 21 percent of CEOs at nonprofits with budgets of $25 million or more. Research has shown nonprofits with women in leadership positions are more successful in reaching their goals and satisfying employees—proof that hopefully encourages more nonprofits to employ women in higher positions.

13,000 Women Walking

To celebrate International Women’s Day March 8, women’s-empowerment network Vital Voices organized 117 Global Mentoring Walks in 60 countries. More than 13,000 participants from throughout the world gathered in their respective parts of the globe to address a variety of area-specific challenges that women and girls face in their own communities. Participants raised awareness of the dangers of child marriage in Pakistan, promoted storytelling to elevate female leaders in South Africa and encouraged women’s leadership in the tech industry in Mexico. This annual event continues to create a way for established female leaders in their communities to connect with other women and girls, inspiring them to create change for future generations.

34 Percent As the hot months of summer continue to saunter on and the sun gets mercilessly more intense throughout the next few months, women everywhere are stocking up on sunscreen for long days spent by the pool. For those planning to soak up some vitamin D, consider this a reminder to wear sunscreen at all times, even when spending periods of the day inside. A survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals only 34 percent of women regularly apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, a shockingly low statistic, considering skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, there are more cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year than the diagnosed number of cases of prostate, lung, breast and colon cancer combined. Stock up on sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, one with at least 15 SPF, in order to guard against both UVA and UVB rays.

25 Versus 45 Years Old Regarding research about the gender pay gap, Wellesley College economist Sari Kerr told The New York Times college-educated women at the age of 25 earn 90 percent the amount of pay as men of the same age. However, the research shows that level of equality starts to dip with age. As women choose to have children, the pay gap widens. By age 45, on average, women make 55 percent the amount of pay as men the same age. That’s a 35 percent paycheck decrease for women between the ages of 25 and 45. According to Kerr, the choice to have the spouse that earns less take on more housework and child care is, while logical, a decision that also reinforces the pay gap. 24 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Schedule your 3D mammogram* at ARA Get yearly exams starting at 40 Choose ARA for expertise and convenience

Locations and information at Request an appointment at or call 512.453.6100 *Also known as breast tomosynthesis.





Therapist, blogger and podcaster Davia Roberts is prioritizing selfand mental health-care for all women. BY AMANDA PINNEY

Photo by Carolina Treviño.

When it came to her career as a therapist, Davia Roberts was “We’re talking about mental health and wellness and the different certain she wanted to work with women and girls. She had stereotypes and stigmas,” Roberts says of her online workspace. “Just always felt passionate about serving and mentoring other having these conversations that normally aren’t had, it can be really females. When the 27-year-old completed her graduate freeing.” program at the University of Texas, she quickly realized her Part of Roberts’ goal is to steer the topic of mental health away from desire to work with women would require her to gain experibeing labeled as taboo. With this in mind, in February she created a ence in trauma work. podcast called Affirm to augment her wellness blog. With a total of eight “Sadly, statistics show that most women have 30-minute episodes, the podcast often some area of trauma,” Roberts says. “I started “I think the No. 1 stigma people have features Roberts interviewing other figuring out ways to just support women so they women, who share aspects of their life, with mental health is they assume can feel whole because that’s something I always such as experiences with anxiety and struggled with.” depression or a personal journey through mental health equates to a mental This personal struggle motivated Roberts to illness, and that’s just not the truth.” self-care. create an outlet through which she could share Roberts wanted to make sure the her journey to discovering wellness with women podcast was specifically focused on of all backgrounds. In July 2015, the idea for Redefine Enough was mental health, not just life and womanhood. She wanted it to be very born and, before she knew it, Roberts had become a wellness blogger. direct in addressing how mental health isn’t scary, and she hopes that by The mission behind her blog is to help other women reach a place of discussing the topic, it will normalize a subject so often stereotyped and self-acceptance and engage in conversations about mental health. stigmatized by the public.

26 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

“I think the No. 1 stigma people have with mental health is they assume mental health equates to a mental illness, and that’s just not the truth,” Roberts says. “Mental health is really just the state of your mental and emotional well-being.” Although Roberts understands the importance of achieving positive mental health, she fears this same importance is not fully recognized within our society. She feels the problem comes from a treatment gap, one that leaves the needs of people who need support unmet. Traditional therapy is too expensive for many women, and that’s one of the reasons Roberts created her blog and podcast. She knew they might reach women who need professional help but don’t have the resources to seek it. “When you have all these barriers in the way, people’s mental health suffers,” Roberts says. “If we’re not meeting the basic needs of someone’s mental well-being, how are we supporting them in their life? We’re not.” Roberts is confident Redefine Enough is a step toward filling these needs, these gaps. In just two years’ time, her blog and podcast community has grown tremendously and is now on social-media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, which help serve as modern-day means for women to connect and share stories. May 1, Roberts launched a new Facebook group called The Inner Circle to help extend her message to the public and create more conversation. She says continuance of conversation is the most powerful tool for self-care. “It’s really exciting because these words do have purpose, they do bring healing and just reduce some shame for a lot of women,” Roberts says. “The reality is life is hard and we all go through our stuff, and if more of us were willing to talk about it, we’d see that we weren’t the only ones.”



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The CEO of Austin Habitat for Humanity shares her insight on what makes a house a home. BY ABIGAIL ROSENTHAL, PHOTO BY KEVIN GARNER After 18 years running multiple chambers of commerce throughout Texas, Phyllis Snodgrass felt she wanted to try something different. She knew by utilizing her experience in community development and the connections she had made throughout Austin, she could benefit Austin Habitat for Humanity as its CEO. Since she took on the position in November 2015, her days have included meeting with developers, conversing with community groups and speaking with potential supporters of Austin Habitat for Humanity and its resale store, ReStore.

During the course of the last 30 years, Austin Habitat for Humanity has provided more than 420 homes through its main outreach program. Before entering their new homes, partner families must pay a down payment, put in 300 hours of sweat equity building homes for neighbors and themselves, and take homebuyer-education courses. “We feel like when we turn over the keys to that home, it really changes the lives of the people from that point forward because they’re able to make decisions about their future and start saving and be a part of their community,” Snodgrass says. As someone working to help families build homes of their own, Snodgrass defines the principles that help turn a house into a home.

28 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

HER LIST 1. B eing able to host friends and family. “For a lot of these kids, this is the first time they’ve really felt comfortable bringing people over. Now they’re going to have a place where they can invite their friends over and bring them home.” 2. G etting to make a home your own. “When you own a home, you get to make personal touches. It’s a place you can make your own in a way you can’t do with something you don’t own.” 3. F  ood smells. “When we celebrate a new home with a family, we always celebrate it with a dedication and the families do the cooking. The families come from so many different backgrounds, and they’re always doing this wonderful cooking and just the smell of the food and the meals … [getting] shared in that home continue.”

4. T  he ability to get involved in the community. “Because you’ve put down roots, you start to have a real stake in that community. You’re going to live there a long time and the decisions that get made there matter to you. It’s difficult [to do that] when you’re spending time looking for that next place to live. To be able to stay in that community, it makes such a difference.” 5. T  he people in the home and the memories made. “When you own that home, the longer you stay anywhere, the more memories you have and the more attached you become to that location. There’s going to be so many snapshot moments and wonderful things that are going to happen in that home. When you look at the smudge on the wall or the BB bullet that made it through the window, those are just the things that, to me, really make a house a home.”






Kim Updegrove, executive director of Mothers’ Milk Bank, is fulfilling her mission to save the lives of countless preterm babies. BY ALESSANDRA REY

“After seeing the ad in the paper for a position at the Mothers’ Milk Bank, I called the then-executive director and set up an interview that ended up lasting almost three hours,” Updegrove recalls. “I was hired the next day.” Prior to moving to Texas, Updegrove worked in the maternal child-health sector for almost 30 years. “I started out as a hospital nurse and I knew within the year that it wasn’t the role for me. I eventually pursued a degree in public health,” she says. While completing her degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Updegrove was assigned a mentor from Harvard University. The two worked together, conducting research regarding the financial burden of charitable care and bad debt on local hospitals. “The outcome was that 40 percent of bad debt and charitable care came from maternity care—unpaid costs of having a child,” Updegrove explains. “That seemed like such an atrocity to me that I decided I had to work in maternity child health for the rest of my life.” After receiving her degree in public health, Updegrove continued on to receive her graduate degree from the Rutgers School of Nursing, a move reflective of her decision, her driving purpose to help preterm babies. Fast-forward 16 years and Updegrove is now the executive director of Mothers’ Milk Bank, the largest milk bank in the country. Her latest—and perhaps largest—project involves overseeing the construction of a brand-new, 29,000-square-foot facility, through which the bank will expand its operations. The milk bank purchased the facility in Central Austin more than a year ago, and the building has been undergoing renovations since November 2016. Since the purchase, the Mothers’ Milk Bank team has raised more than half of its $2.9 million goal. Once complete, the new space will provide board rooms, training centers, lounge areas for feeding and a state-of-the-art operations unit for processing donated milk. During her time with Mothers’ Milk Bank, Updegrove has been credited with expanding the research program, as well as increasing the number of hospitals the milk bank serves from 45 to 130 hospitals throughout the country. She credits the Austin community for all the development the milk bank has experienced. “From the beginning, when the milk bank started here in 1999, the city listened to the difficulties families face when they have a preterm infant and how human milk might answer some of those difficulties,” she says. Updegrove’s team has also lobbied for the passing of legislation that would allow for Medicaid to cover a portion of the costs that come with issuing donor human milk, as well as processing fees. Since its inception, the milk bank has provided more than 4 million ounces of breast milk for those in need and has also substantially reduced the rate of necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, 30 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

an inflammatory intestinal condition that is the No. 1 cause of mortality among preterm babies. “NEC causes the tissue to die if the child is born at 3.5 pounds or smaller and not provided human milk,” Updegrove says. “The rate of the condition plummeted under the availability of human milk from donors.” Updegrove adds the milk bank’s responsibility and commitment to preterm babies is multinational. “We have a responsibility to not keep our intellectual property private,” she says. “We can’t ignore the fact that there are more people having more babies later in life. The preterm birth rate is more than doubling. We mentor people around the world to establish safe banks [that are] based on our country’s standards but also reflective of their own culture and medical technology.” After 30 years spent working in the health sector, matched with her extensive experience directing the largest milk bank in the country, Updegrove says her passion for helping those in need often surpasses her business objectives. “The board of the directors and my staff now are very supportive of the fact that I am a health-care provider first,” Updegrove says. “You matter to me as an individual or a family first before I start operating business processes. We are in this for the people.”

Photo by Rossi English.

When Kim Updegrove picked up the newspaper one morning in Austin, she never knew a simple print ad would change her life. The year was 2001, and Updegrove and her husband had just moved to Austin. Her timely discovery of an ad in the Austin American-Statesman for a part-time position as a clinical coordinator helped carve out the path to her career today.





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Sisters JennaDee Detro and Abianne Falla, founders of CatSpring Yaupon, aren’t just brewing tea; they’re rebuilding lives. BY VICTORIA STOWE sister, JennaDee Detro, started researching. They discovered a legacy of yaupon consumption spanning millennia. The only naturally caffeinated plant to grow wild in North America, yaupon is filled with natural, nutritious properties like antioxidants and polyphenols. “Most of the landowners in our region are literally bulldozing this Realizing there might be something special about this plant that [plant] to clear land, totally unaware of its benefits,” Falla says. “[Jengrows near their family’s property in Cat Spring, Texas, Falla and her naDee and I] both thought there might be something to this plant, so we started experimenting with different preparation methods, and Abianne Falla and JennaDee Detro it tastes really good!” The sisters started with smallbatch processing to gauge interest and, once requests began streaming in, they invested in their own facility in Katy, Texas, which they have affectionately named the Tea House. “Four years later, we’re in a position that we’ve basically quadrupled our production year after year, and it looks like a totally different business,” Falla says. As hard as starting your own company is, Falla and Detro’s job is only made more difficult by the fact that they also have to reintroduce yaupon as an ingredient to the public. “We realized at the beginning that we can’t be the only ones out there promoting yaupon and educating consumers,” Falla explains, “so, we sell to other, larger tea companies. The biggest challenge has been learning how to build a company—CatSpring Yaupon— while also building out a product category in yaupon.” Falla and Detro have risen above their growing pains and are embracing their success, winning such designations as Southern Living’s Southern Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year award this May. Unlike most business owners in the beverage industry, the sisters measure their success by more than large profits and awards. “We have a different goal than some other companies in the sense of how we are creating our company and how we employ people,” Falla says. “We choose to define success as when everyone in our community benefits.”

32 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Photo courtesy of CatSpring Yaupon.

“There was a drought about six years ago,” Abianne Falla, co-founder of CatSpring Yaupon remembers. “Everything out there was wilted spinach, even 100-year-old oak trees, but the yaupon was surviving.”

Their altruistic employment mission began when a friend who worked with an anti-trafficking organization informed Falla and Detro about the difficulties women face in finding a job when they have a felony charge on their record. “We decided with knowledge comes responsibility, and we would really like to be a bridge out for these women,” Falla says. “We believe that every human deserves a life of dignity.” To start building that bridge, the sisters created what is today, the lifeblood of CatSpring Yaupon: the CatSpring Working With Dignity program. They started actively looking for people who need job flexibility, whether that’s due to generational poverty or some other aspect of their lives. They even reached out to probation officers who could help them identify individuals who wanted their future to look different than their past. Due to the nature of their business, and because they have a shelf-stable product, Falla and Detro say they are in the unique position to offer flexible shift schedules. “It’s a beautiful parallel to me,” Falla expounds. “Here is this plant that is totally overlooked by our community [and,] in the same way, there are so many people in our community who have been written off by society as [not] having value. … One of the hallmarks of that demo-

graphic is that they live crisis to crisis, and because our packaging facility is a shelf-stable product, we can be a little more flexible ... so that the next crisis that comes up doesn’t have to mark the end of employment with us.” The sisters currently employ about 12 to 14 people, all of whom work in packaging at the Tea House and harvesting yaupon in CatSpring. When asked what gets her most excited about her business, Falla points to her employees. “It’s the small successes,” she says. “For example, one of our employees had a flat tire on the way to work and he was able to get it taken care of and still show up. And that is something that would have derailed him when he first started working with us.” As integral as the Working With Dignity program is to the company, the true philosophy of CatSpring Yaupon involves the idea of curating a moment, and it’s infused into every aspect of the company, from the harvesting and packaging process to the employees to the taste of the tea. “I think it’s through curating for yourself that you can turn around and find ways to give back in your life,” Falla says. “If our product can help curate moments for our customers, then that’s something we want to be able to encourage people in.”


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As the interim executive director of the Amala Foundation, Jen Lucas passionately encourages Austin’s youth to embrace their similarities. BY AMANDA PINNEY

Founded in 2001, the Amala Foundation aims to unite young people from all walks of life and inspire them as leaders and individuals. The foundation offers a variety of programs for all ages, ranging from a summer camp called Camp Indigo to leadership conferences with a focus on creating safe spaces for immigrant and refugee youth who have resettled in Austin. To ensure youth from low-income families can participate in the programs, the foundation raises money from individual donors and corporate sponsors, as well as through yoga classes offered in its Sanctuary Yoga studio on South Eighth Street. In 2014, the studio raised more than $115,000 to apply to scholarships, and to this day, 100 percent of class proceeds from Sanctuary Yoga benefit the Amala Foundation. The foundation’s programs are meant to offer a sort of healing process for many of Austin’s diverse youth. What makes these programs successful is the welcoming atmosphere that prompts young participants to open up and speak freely about personal issues. “I’ve always been astounded by the magic that happens within Amala’s programs, and how quickly Amala is able to create a space where youth are so free to be open,” Lucas says. “I’d been running all these youth programs, trying to get young people to talk about what’s really going on with them and was never successful.” After answering that call in 2010 to join Amala’s Global Youth Peace Summit, Lucas stuck with the foundation, helping out with program management before moving into fundraising consulting. In September 2015, she became the foundation’s director of development, a position she held for a year before board members started dropping hints about needing someone to fill the exiting long-time executive director’s role. Now the interim executive director, Lucas oversees all operations, programs and fundraising for Amala, helping the organization work on its strengths and weaknesses. Now, Lucas says, it is time to tackle segregation in the city. “The work with Amala is really timely right now. Our schools are intensely segregated,” Lucas says. “We do have a global community, but it’s not mixed and everybody is kind of held in these pockets and there’s not a lot of work being done to blend them.” According to a 2015 study by the Martin Prosperity Institute, Austin is one of the most economically segregated cities in the nation. Public schools in Austin were also rated “intensely segregated” by a 2013 education study spearheaded by the University of Texas. 34 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Lucas hopes Amala can provide a solution for this separation by incorporating more of the foundation’s programs into schools in the near future. “A big part of what [Amala is] trying to do with the mixing of youth is [to make people] realize that all these differences they think are there don’t compare to what we all have in common,” she expounds. Built on a purpose of celebrating diversity and recognizing common humanity, Amala’s programs continue to attract more participants. The organization currently serves 5,500 youth from more than 50 different countries, and the popular Global Youth Peace Summit—considered the Christmas Day of the foundation’s programs—has a wait list every year. “We’re all just humans. We all have struggles. We all have hobbies and passions and horrible things that have happened in our lives,” Lucas says. “As far as the work that needs to be done in the world right now, this little, tiny organization is helping people realize their differences are so small compared to how similar we are.”

Photo by Yannik Rohrer..

In 2010, Jen Lucas received a desperate call from the Amala Foundation. One of the counselors for the foundation’s annual Global Youth Peace Summit had taken ill and the organizing committee was in need of a female representative to fill her place. At the time, Lucas was running a mentor program for another Austin nonprofit called Youth Advocacy and had no idea saving the day for Amala would mean she would soon find herself immersed in the goals and aspirations of the organization. Indeed, it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the foundation’s work.





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|  35


Chef Erin Wade of Vinaigrette tells us where to fuel up and wind down in this city of soul, arts and culture.

Photo by Chris Corrie.


Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi




For a fashion-design student turned farmer turned restaurateur, it’s fair to say Chef Erin Wade has many talents. As the owner of Vinaigrette, a farm-to-tablefocused restaurant that adds a creative, decadent twist to healthy salad concoctions (Try the All Kale Caesar! or The Beet Goes On.), she’s obviously comfortable mixing things up. In early 2016, Wade made the leap from managing her two Vinaigrette locations in New Mexico (The first opened in Santa Fe in 2008 and

the second in Albuquerque in 2012.) to open the first Austin location in a space saturated with natural light off South Congress and College avenues. The restaurant’s wall-high windows serve as somewhat of a reverence to the outside world, to the earth that provides the food served on that day’s menu. Reflecting on where Vinaigrette first got its start in 2008, Wade drew up an agenda of how she would spend her ideal Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M.—a city, she says, that makes many first-time visitors feel like they are in a foreign country.



“If I’m not working, which is the idea on weekends but doesn’t always happen, I’m a late riser. I try to catch up on sleep on the weekends.”

“Because [Santa Fe] is in the high desert, the climate and ecoregion is sort of like the love child of Colorado and Arizona. It is arid and alpine, with four distinct seasons and surprisingly cool summer nights. We also have monsoon season in July and August, when daily afternoon rains cool everything off and then pass as quickly as they came, leaving behind a clean, refreshing sparkle. It also gives the plants, trees and soil a deep drink right when they really need it. The other great thing about summer in Santa Fe is it’s just buzzing with activity, travelers and things to do. There are three huge festivals—Folk Art Market, Spanish Market and Indian Market—that bring tons of people to town and showcase the varied cultural history that makes Santa Fe what it is.”


“That particular vibe of peace and pause that is different from any other day of the week. Saturday is the go-go weekend day. Sunday is chill day. I go totally off-grid on Sundays. I think it’s important that we all disconnect from our devices and the internet and connect with the physical world, our bodies and nature for at least 24 hours a week. Sunday is a great day for it.” MORNING SOLACE

“I live on a farm just outside of Santa Fe, so on a proper Sunday—that elusive day of rest, if I play my cards right—I’m in my jammies, chilling with Jeff, my fiance, and Sadie, my dachshund. We are accompanied only by some noisy chickens and goofy pigs. I drink coffee in bed, read, write in my journal and make a kale smoothie. It’s a very lazy affair.” SHOP HOPPING

“My favorite stores in Santa Fe are Shiprock Gallery (The owner has the most incredible eye.), Rainbow Man (old-pawn turquoise, hand-painted ceramics, vintage and new Pendletons and kachinas) and the Rug Room at Malouf on the Plaza, where my aunt, who knows everything you could possibly know about Navajo rugs and other weavings, works.” Shiprock Gallery CAFFEINE QUENCH

“We have two great coffee spots in town: Iconik and Betterday Coffee. Locals love these places and they are always buzzing. If you want my current favorite, and perhaps [a] dangerous, energy trifecta—coffee with a wheatgrass shot and a green juice—you can check out my store and café, Modern General. One of my favorite old-school institutions for coffee and snacks, though, is the French Pastry Shop at La Fonda. La Fonda is my favorite hotel in town. I went there when I was a little girl, but it goes back way further than that. The pastry shop has great, classic pastries, quiches and real-deal French onion soup.”

Modcakes at Modern General

38 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Farmers Market

Modern General photo by Jen Judge. Other photos courtesy of Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau.




“Tent Rocks, in Cochiti Pueblo, is an incredible day hike. It’s a must. The hike takes you through these ancient geologic formations shaped like tents on pillars and, at the bottom, you weave through them and the strange caverns carved out by their bases, winding your way up and up until you are atop a plateau with [360-degree] views of the entire mesa between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It’s transcendent, [I] promise.”

“[At night,] I wash my face and apply approximately five layers of high-desert-ready biodynamic serums and moisturizers from Mist, my favorite skin-care spa in town. I’m super girly about my skin.” SUNDAY, IN A WORD

“Relaxing. Just slightly more engaged than slothful.”


“For casual drinks, I love the rooftop cantina at Coyote Cafe. The drinks are super refreshing and the queso fundido creates conflicts if you only order one. I also love La Choza for my fix of cheese enchiladas Christmas (That means smothered in green and red chili.) and a margarita. Can you tell I have an unhealthy relationship with molten cheese? The patio at Vinaigrette in Santa Fe—my first baby—is a good place to take a break from chili and cheese with a salad made from greens harvested on the farm the same day.” BUCKET LIST

“This is very embarrassing for me to admit, but I have still not been to Meow Wolf, which is this amazing interactive, multisensory art installation that went in to a former bowling alley. Everyone who goes loves it and is shocked, delighted and amazed by it. It’s sort of the hottest thing in town right now and I need to get there!” SWEAT IT OUT

Erin Wade photo by Sergio. Canyon Road Gallery photo by Chris Corrie.

“Ideal Sunday evening in Santa Fe: I’d take a hike or a run on the Dale Ball Trails on Canyon Road and soak up the panoramic views of the city in the setting sun, then cruise a half mile further up the mountain for a soak in the Ofuro private tub (my favorite) at Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe’s very own super-authentic and incredibly peaceful Japanese spa and bathhouse. Afterwards, I’d stop at their izakaya restaurant, Izanami, for sake and snacks, like gyoza and this superaddictive burdock-root, carrot and sesame dish they have.”

Erin Wade at Vinaigrette

Canyon Road Gallery






Artist Sharon Keshishian of sign shop Ion Art tells the story of how her iconic Austin creations came to be. BY RACHEL RASCOE It would be hard to go anywhere in Austin without seeing the work of Sharon Keshishian. With her design company, Ion Art, Keshishian has created some of Austin’s most iconic landmark signs. “We always kid that it’s our own graffiti we’re putting all over town,” Keshishian says. “We’ve been doing it so long, you pretty much can’t drive on any street in Austin and not see something that we’ve made. From my house, I can see things that I’ve made downtown on the skyline.” Keshishian originally worked as a sculptor and glassblower in Austin. She began picking up more neon-sign jobs by word-of-mouth and eventually, founded Ion Art in 1986. Greg Keshishian, now her husband, joined as her business partner soon after. In the past 30 years, Ion Art has expanded to provide clients with custom lighting, interior furnishings and art installations, in addition “We try to be the to creative signage. Keshishian’s 48-person team works out of Ion best at whatever it Art’s design-and-fabrication studio is we’re making.” on Radam Lane in South Austin. “We try to be the best at whatever it is we’re making,” Keshishian says of her skilled staff. “We’re always trying to push ourselves and do unusual and different things.” Keshishian prides herself on not having any salespeople, adding that she relies on Ion Art’s reputation of quality to connect with local customers. “One thing I love about our business is that most of our clients are other business owners, so, through the years, we’ve met a lot of people that are starting their own restaurants and new [ventures],” she says. “That’s one of the neat things about Austin: There’s so many small mom-and-pop kind of places around.” Looking back on her years in the business, Keshishian shares a few of the favorite design projects she’s worked on. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL GUITAR

DISCOW “I first saw the Cow Parade in Chicago years ago and always wanted to create one of my own. The Discow (aka Disco Cow) was a really fun project that embodied my love of glass art, and it was for a good cause. The Austin Art Cow Live Auction proceeds went to the Dell Children’s Hospital. We cut over 5,000 pieces of mirror for the cow and placed each piece by hand!”

40 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

All photos courtesy of Ion Art.

“Who doesn’t like a 16-foot-tall guitar covered with red, reflective eye-catchers? This went on to become one of ACL’s landmarks and an embodiment of Austin’s festival scene. I love seeing all the photos taken with it year after year!”

ATX “ We have a long relationship with Whole Foods, dating back to the earliest days of both of our companies. I was thrilled to have a chance to collaborate with them again. [The ATX sign] was designed to be an interactive publicart installation, but we had no idea it would become such an iconic piece.”

KENDRA SCOTT “When Kendra Scott and her design team first walked into Ion Art, they brought a myriad of ideas with them, and we helped to solidify these concepts. It’s really rewarding to watch another woman-owned local company find so much success. We’re delighted to be part of their journey from small, local business to a nationally recognized brand.”

DRUSS SCULPTURE “This was a sculpture commissioned by Linda and Teddy Druss for their private home. The idea stemmed from a series of sculptures I designed that were inspired by Henri Rousseau paintings. Doing personal commissioned projects is when I get to be my most imaginative, and it’s exciting to create art on a more intimate level.”





Add this fashionable warrior-esque statement piece to your arsenal of accessories.

Nina Berenato Jewelry is made by women for women in Austin, and the metal smith and eponymous founder behind the brand just celebrated the opening of her first brickand-mortar storefront at The Domain—right next door to jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. Her store will be a limitedtime shop, open through January 2018. Stop in to see the designer hammer out charms with your favorite girl-power mantras, choose the perfect length of chain for your body and type a personalized gift tag on a vintage typewriter—all set among Berenato’s signature vintage and kitschy aesthetic. The Hunter’s Ear Cuff is part of the Nina Berenato Warrior collection, an assortment of accessory armor inspired by the stories of the Valkyries, Nordic female goddesses who choose who may live and who must die in battle. “The Valkyries have often inspired poets as women warriors,” Berenato says. “Their name means ‘chooser of the slain,’ and they are one of ancient mythology’s strongest feminine symbols.” Hunter’s Ear Cuff, $76

42 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Photo courtesy of Nina Berenato Jewelry.


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Two of Austin’s most fashionable clothing-boutique owners show off how they add a splash of summer flair and light-layer comfort to their 9-to-5 work attire. PHOTOS BY STEF ATKINSON

Who: Katie Kime, owner and designer of Katie Kime What She’s Wearing: “I chose this outfit for my summer 9-to-5 look because it’s casual but fun. The oxford button-down is a classic wardrobe staple that can pair well with anything, and the monogram gives it a modern-day, preppy twist. Of course, I love bright colors and bold patterns, and selected the skirt because palm leaves remind me of summer. Greenery is the Pantone color of the year too. Both are made of cotton, which also breathes well in the summer heat. I think this look could easily transition to happy hour with friends, date night or a Sunday brunch, and these earrings are a great way to add in another punch of color.”

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Katie Kime monogrammed oxford, $98; green jungle-leaves skirt, $125; silk tassels, $49, available at Katie Kime, 500 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 150, 512.358.4478, Marni sandals from Ford Consignment, 500 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 130, 512.382.9234,

Who: Mallary Carroll, owner of Good Company and owner and designer of clothing line SBJ Austin What She’s Wearing: “I love summer for the simplicity of dressing. Despite the Texas heat, the Angela pant is one of my summer-wardrobe staples. It is effortless, chic and allows me to be playful with my shirting while still looking professional. The Stephanie blouse is another go-to piece for us at Good Company. Easily worn with a dress pant or paired together with jeans, it elevates any outfit. I am also never without my Ariana BoussardReifel Despina Cuffs. They are the perfect statement piece." SBJ Austin Stephanie top, $238; SBJ Austin Angela pants, $348; Gabriella Kiss earrings, $2,650; Ariana Boussard-Reifel bracelets, $550 to $1,250, available at Good Company, 918 12th St., 512.520.4402, Shoes by Celine,





COLOR GUARD The Texas sun doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your tresses if you use an SPF made specifically for hair. BY NIKI JONES

Nothing can ruin a good (and most likely costly) dye job like the harsh rays of summer. Fortunately, there are some hair-centric products on the market that can mitigate the fading while protecting against a painful scalp burn. We’ve found five products to help ensure your summer hair hue is anything but dull.

Aveda sun care protective hair veil, $28,

Furterer Solaire protective summer oil, $23,

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Clarins sunscreen care oil spray broad spectrum SPF 30, $36,

L’anza Healing ColorCare Color Guard, $30,

Phyto Phytoplage protective sun oil, $30,

You don’t have to accept a different standard of

beauty because you’ve previously had cancer.

Austin’s premier breast reconstruction surgeon, Elisabeth Potter MD, takes a personal approach to breast reconstruction. Dr. Potter was Fellowship trained at MD Anderson in Microsurgery and Plastic Surgery Reconstruction and is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. Call 512.867.6211 to schedule a consultation. 6818 Austin Center Boulevard, Suite 204 Austin, Texas 78731





This year, make your Fourth of July celebration pop and shine. WRITTEN AND STYLED BY MORGAN STEPHANIAN, PHOTOS BY ASHLEY KRIEGEL

Let’s watch fireflies buzz through the backyard and sip watermelon martinis with close friends as we celebrate Independence Day. This year, I’ll be raising a glass to toast a dear friend who recently became a citizen of this country, giving the holiday new meaning and giving me a whole new reason to celebrate my favorite party of the year.

The highlight of this Fourth of July party plan is a festive hot-dog bar, where guests can heap on toppings to create the ultimate in hot-dog creations, from the Californian to the Texan to the New Yorker. Mix together a festive menu, patriotic decorations and an American whiskeytasting station, and you’re guaranteed a win in the hostess handbook. End the evening with sparklers and glow sticks, and you’re really in business.

PARTY FLOW I try to avoid a long line forming at any food or drink station. Offering stations so guests get parts of their meals in different locations helps move people around and avoid lines. I like to set up my red, white and blue appetizer—which consists of blue corn chips, white queso and fresh red salsa—in a place where friends will see it as they come in. I also set up the other food stations inside during hot summer months to avoid food spoiling and bugs, and offer a big tub of cold drinks outside for easy access. Simplified: Remove the chairs from your dining table to make the food accessible from all sides. Next level: Consider your guests. If children will be in attendance, be mindful about what they can reach and what is appropriate for them. For example, I keep the whiskey-tasting station and desserts at bar height so parents don’t have to fight little hands grabbing. And I like to set out fruit and kid-friendly drinks at kid level so they can help themselves.

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THE MENU watermelon martinis red, white and blue appetizer hot-dog bar kettle chips mini chocolate Bourbon pecan pies American whiskey tasting

HOT DOG TOPPINGS The Texan pulled pork barbecue sauce coleslaw candied jalapeĂąos

The Californian avocado slices crumbled bacon cilantro dressing sliced tomatoes

The New Yorker sauerkraut sliced, sauteed onions spicy mustard dill-pickle rounds

WATERMELON MARTINI Serves four Ingredients:


4 ounces fresh watermelon juice (blended and strained, or store bought)

Serves six to 12

4 ounces vodka



1 ounce mint simple syrup

12 mini frozen pastry shells

1. Place the frozen pastry shells on a flat baking sheet. Cover the bottom of each shell with about a tablespoon of chocolate chips.

Juice of one lime

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup coconut oil 1 cup dark corn syrup 2 tablespoons Bourbon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs 1 cup chopped pecans vanilla ice cream salted caramel sauce

2. In a separate bowl, mix the next seven ingredients until combined, then stir in the pecans. 3. Scoop the filling into the pastry shells over the chocolate chips, being mindful to get an even amount of pecans in each shell. 4. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly browned. 5. Serve the pies warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

1 bottle Topo Chico sparkling water sugar for rim fresh watermelon slices for garnish Directions: 1. T  o make mint simple syrup, add half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water to a microwave-safe jar and microwave in 30-second increments until the sugar is completely dissolved when stirred. 2. R  emove the jar from the microwave, add 10 mint leaves and let it steep for 10 minutes, then remove the leaves. 3. To make the martini, shake the first four ingredients over ice. 4. P  our the mixture into sugar-rimmed glasses and top with a splash of Topo Chico. 5. Garnish the martini with a fresh slice of watermelon.


Amanda Uprichard Emlyn dress, $207, available at Estilo, 2727 Exposition Blvd., 512.236.0488,

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Teresa Granillo is on a quest to help empower more young Latinas through the pursuit of higher education, making progress one amazing woman at a time. The morning of Nov. 9, 2016—the day after the U.S. presidential election—was one of the worst mornings of Teresa Granillo’s life, but not in the way one might expect. It began in Austin with the ominous portent of rainy weather, slick roads and a nation awakening in collective shock about the single most jawdropping overnight political upheaval in American history. As the executive director of Con Mi Madre, an Austin-based nonprofit group that works with Latina girls and their mothers to help prepare them for college and beyond, Granillo was on her way to work, driving to a morning conference. She’d been up late the night before, watching the election results. “I had this Mini Cooper, which I loved,” she says, “[and] as I was driving in the rain, it died in the middle of the road. You can take whatever interpretation you want from that.” In the months to follow, a broken-down car would prove to be the least of Granillo’s worries. During the course of one historic election night, Latino families throughout Texas and beyond suddenly found themselves vulnerable to a whole new paradigm in national policy, one that threatened the very existence of Con Mi Madre’s core constituency. “I remember waking up the next day and I was like, ‘We’ve got to fight for these people in any way we can,’ ” Granillo says. “We had a mother-daughter conference set on November 12, and we weren’t sure how many families were going to

show up. The staff had just come back from a week of campus meetings at schools with the girls, and they reported back how many of the girls were upset. They couldn’t do the curriculum that week. We had to stop and just do straight-up crisis intervention, there was so much emotion. Families were coming up and moms [were] talking about how scared they were. I just kept communicating that, ‘We’re going to continue to be here. We’re going to fight for you.’ ” Things went from bad to worse when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began staging a series of local raids purportedly aimed at illegal immigrants in the Austin area, a so-called “sanctuary city.” “That set a whole other level of fear running through the organization,” Granillo recalls. “Basically, our job became responding in the most positive way we could. We started holding information sessions about families knowing their rights. We were able to switch perspectives and say, ‘OK, today, we’re not doing education curriculum. Today, we’re going to take care of you as a human being.’ ” Almost overnight, what had previously been a successful local education-outreach program was abruptly transitioning to a makeshift trauma center for Latina kids and their extended families. Suddenly, the new normal at Con Mi Madre seemed anything but normal.


Six months later, Granillo—relaxed, radiant and looking much younger than her 34 years—is sipping coffee at an empty desk in a bare, freshly painted white-walled office that will soon become part of Con Mi Madre’s new Eastside facilities. In the months to come, the cavernous space will become a hub of activity, with computer stations, staff, volunteers and conferences. But on this late spring day, the smell of fresh paint still lingers in the air. Despite a hectic schedule juggling moving preparations with graduation celebrations, award ceremonies, conferences and strategy meetings, the aftereffects of the November election are still at the forefront of Granillo’s attention. Asked how things have been going since those chaotic, transitional days, Granillo’s usually upbeat demeanor shifts into sober reflection. “It is heartbreaking to have young girls, middle-school girls, terrified that their families are going to be broken up. In that regard, it’s been really hard. It makes the work that we do so much more important and necessary than ever before,” Granillo says. “We had another conference right after the raids in Austin. We thought, ‘Nobody’s going to show up for this.’ It started slow that morning, then, family by family, they all started showing up. One mom pulled me aside, hugged me and thanked me for continuing to have the program in all of this mess because it was the only place she felt she could bring her daughter. Her little girl could forget all the other stuff that was going on and not be afraid to be with Con Mi Madre. It was a safe place for her daughter to come.” Stirring her coffee, Granillo allows herself a small, reflective smile. Taking a deep breath, she suddenly brightens, recharged. There is work to be done. Granillo’s work actually began long ago and more than 900 miles away, in her hometown of Tucson, Ariz. Granillo was raised in a modest two-bedroom townhome, and by the time she was in middle school, her parents had divorced, her two older brothers had left home and it was pretty much just she and her mother from then on. Working full time as an administrative secretary to support her daughter, Granillo’s mother faced daunting economic and cultural obstacles. As a child, Granillo was athletic, independent and relentlessly persistent, traits that still define her. “Teresa was amazing at a young age,” recalls her mother, Penny Davis, who’s now remarried and living in Mesa, Ariz. “She was a joy to me, kind and generous and very busy with school and sports. Teresa was very driven. If she decided she wanted to do something, she worked hard and got it.” But young Granillo didn’t necessarily always live up to her mother’s wishes or expectations. “I was so happy to have a little girl and looked forward to buying her pretty dresses and dolls. But she had different ideas,” Davis says. “She enjoyed playing sports, exploring in the desert and climbing trees. Teresa was very self-sufficient.” She was also whip-smart, consistently earning high grades at school and, more importantly, praise from her mother. “I always did great in school,” Granillo confides. “It was my safe place. I knew that no matter what happened, I’d get positive accolades from that.” Like many Latinos and Latinas in that time and place, none of Granillo’s family had received a college education. “There was no expectation that I was going to go to college. There just wasn’t. But from my mom, it was different. She wasn’t very explicit about it, but I would say she recognized that she was stuck in life because she didn’t have an education,” Granillo says. “She hit a point where she recognized that and said, ‘You’re going to go get an education.’ ”

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“There was no expectation that I was going to go to college. There just wasn’t. But from my mom, it was different.” —Teresa Granillo Despite her academic acumen, Granillo faced a barricade of obstacles entering adolescence and public high school. Wanting the best for her daughter, Davis managed to get her transferred to a nearby private Catholic school after freshman year. With a move away from her familiar classes, teachers and classmates, Granillo found herself alienated and adrift in a different world. She rebelled. “I didn’t like that school,” she says, reflecting. “I couldn’t relate to the kids. I felt like such an outsider. I was embarrassed because of my socio-economic status and never had people come over to my house from that school. I became angry.” After two years of frustration and badgering her mother, Granillo quit Catholic school during her junior year and retreated back to the comfort zone of her old public high school, her familiar circle of friends and a world of limited prospects. “What stood in my way more than anything was the community, the people that I hung out with sometimes,” she says. “I was working a lot during high school and got a car so I could get to my jobs. So, you can imagine as an adolescent with a car and a lot of jobs and a mom who worked full time, there was plenty of opportunity to be around people my mom didn’t know about. I got involved with some kids, and we would steal—alcohol, clothing. … I was in a rebellious phase, hanging around with the wrong crowd, getting into trouble.” Today, when Granillo shares this part of her life with highschool-age girls, it’s often the one element of her story they most identify with and relate to. “It wasn’t until recently [that] I realized that and started using it. I did a talk at East Austin College Prep, speaking to these kids about the road to post-secondary education,” Granillo says. “And my message to them was, ‘It’s not always straight, and don’t fear if you haven’t taken the straight path. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.’ I was wearing a suit that day, and I said, ‘How many of you in here think this woman standing in front of you drove the getaway car for alcohol runs?’ They saw me in a different light after that. All of a sudden, I got street cred.” Granillo’s flirtation with misdemeanor behavior in high school may have also gained her street cred with her peer group, but her increasingly risky behavior alarmed her mother, who sought out professional counseling. There was a YWCA in town with a therapist who would take on one client pro bono, and Granillo’s mother successfully lobbied to get her into the program. “I got to benefit from somebody in that field working with me, and I was fascinated,” Granillo says, still visibly wide-eyed. “How did this woman get in my head and help me see things in a different way? I wanted to understand, and I wanted to help other kids like she helped me.” Granillo began aspiring toward a healthier future vocation. In terms of what drew Granillo to psychology, it was simple. “My life,” she answers, with a spontaneous, self-aware laugh.

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“Con Mi Madre was destined to find Teresa. Her work is best described as a calling. Through her leadership and expertise, Teresa is changing the lives of a generation of Latinas, one amazing woman at a time.” —Cookie Ruiz

“Trying to understand why in the world things happen the way they do. Why do people act the way they do? I just had so many questions about that, and I thought, ‘Maybe if I study psychology, I’ll understand some of that.’ ” In addition to a watchful mother and an insightful therapist, Granillo had a third ace in the hole: She was still scoring stellar grades at school, a fact that did not go unnoticed. A perceptive science teacher sensed the possibilities within her. Taking Granillo aside one day, she firmly announced, “You need to do something with your life. You are too smart.” “She saw me through a lens I didn’t see myself through,” Granillo says. “I was in her physics class and loved it. She loved the fact that I was really good at science, and she wanted to see this young Latina do something with her life. It made me stop to think about things like, ‘If this super-smart woman who I look up to sees me this way, am I really utilizing my skills in the right way? Is my life on the right track? Am I hanging out with the right people?’ ” Granillo reflects on the recurring motif of people who helped her on her journey. “I’ve had angels all along my path that have said, ‘You know what? I see something in you. I’m going to help you whether you’re looking for help or not,’ ” she says. After high school, Granillo attended the University of Arizona, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her first boots-on-the-ground social-work assignment with a local nonprofit named Our Family. Granillo found herself thrown into the deep end of the pool. “I co-facilitated a class for parents whose kids had been taken away by CPS,” she says, wincing at the memory. “I was a child. Those parents ate me alive. They were like, ‘What do you know about being a parent?’ And I didn’t know anything.” But by the end of the class, the group had grown impressed with

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Granillo’s passion and commitment. “I saw this transformation in these parents, in their way of seeing the world, their responsibility for caretaking,” she says. “I realized, ‘This is where I need to be.’ ” After graduation, Granillo took a year off, applying to various colleges and universities to continue her education while simultaneously continuing her social work with underserved children. Impressed with Granillo’s credentials, the University of Michigan offered her a full six-year scholarship, including a joint study in social work and psychology, with an emphasis on Latina adolescent mental health, an ideal mixed curriculum for Granillo’s talents. But being offered a full scholarship at the University of Michigan was a bittersweet blessing. It meant leaving home and her steadfastly supportive mother. “We were super close. We were each other’s support network,” Granillo says wistfully. “She was very proud, but also not very happy about me leaving. I joke that I had claw marks on my back when I left.” Six years later, armed with her master’s degree in social work and Ph.D. in social work and psychology, Granillo pondered her next move. “I was coming in to the market when the demographic shift started to really hit home for a lot of places, where they [realized], ‘Oh, we’ve got a lot of Latinos!’ Social services were expanding, and my area of focus was Latinas and Latina well-being and mentalhealth issues. I specialized in working with children,” she says. Granillo began receiving invitations from several institutions, including an offer from the University of Texas School of Social Work to become a tenure-track professor. Embarking on a scouting expedition to check out the Texas terrain, she discovered an oasis of possibilities.

“Coming in from Michigan, I was so excited to be in a place where I saw tons of Latinos,” she says. “And the lifestyle was exciting for me. I’m a runner. I’m very active. I was sold. I wanted to be here.” She moved to Austin in 2011. One afternoon, during her first year as a tenure-track professor, Granillo passed a tiny office tucked away on campus that was adorned with a small sign reading, “Con Mi Madre.” Intrigued, she stepped inside and, in effect, she never left.

Con Mi Madre began as a volunteer program of the Junior League of Austin in 1992, when it was called the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program at UT’s School of Social Work. At that time, a Latina child in Texas had a less than 1 percent chance of receiving a college education, with many ending their formal education by the 8th grade. The program was originally designed to help encourage young Latina girls about to enter high school to continue their education into college. The initiative teamed mothers and daughters together to attend weekend conferences focused on college selection, financial assistance, applications and enrollment guidance. The organization changed its rather austere name to Con Mi Madre in 2008, officially becoming a stand-alone nonprofit the following year. By the time Granillo arrived on the scene, the organization had accumulated an untapped treasure trove of priceless data pertaining to Latino families and their unique challenges. It was catnip for Granillo. She immediately began volunteering, immersing herself in the data and becoming UT’s liaison with the Con Mi Madre program. In 2013, then-executive director and co-founder Sandy Alcala announced her impending departure, and the organization began searching for her replacement. Cookie Ruiz, executive director of Ballet Austin and a founding board member of Con Mi Madre, had long been a fan of Granillo. “I first met Teresa in a meeting at UT with the dean of the School of Social Work,” Ruiz says. She and her fellow board members were immediately impressed with Granillo’s depth of educational knowledge and expertise related to the girls and their mothers, the focus of Con Mi Madre’s mission. “When I left that meeting, we knew we had just found our next executive director,” Ruiz says. “She’s the living embodiment of the organization’s aspiration.” It was a perfect match. As executive director, Granillo proved a quick learner and an adept multitasker, collating valuable data into compelling case studies, learning the delicate art of fundraising, networking, speaking at community meetings, as well as working with entrepreneurial companies, philanthropic organizations, community leaders and school districts. “Con Mi Madre was destined to find Teresa,” Ruiz says. “Her work is best described as a calling. Through her leadership and expertise, Teresa is changing the lives of a generation of Latinas, one amazing woman at a time.” Under Granillo’s leadership, Con Mi Madre has made great strides. It has expanded its constituency from 6th-graders all the way through college-age students and beyond, now serving nearly 800 mother-daughter teams a year, with an impressive 77 percent of the program’s youth participants going on to college. Since its launch, Con Mi Madre has nurtured more than 3,500 young Latinas through the process of enrolling in college. But the real proof of Con Mi Madre’s impressive success is in the proverbial pudding. Itzel Okumura, now 21, graduated from Texas A&M University last year, and attributes a lot of credit to Con Mi Madre for getting her there. Okumura first learned of the organization as a young student in middle school.

“My teacher told me, ‘There’s this program so you can go to college. You should check it out.’ Being in 6th grade, college was the last thing on my mind,” she says. “But in my parents’ minds, it was something important. So, my mom said, ‘Let’s go ahead and do that,’ and I’ve been with the program ever since,” Okumura says. “The workshops were great. They didn’t just speak about college, but on how to pay for it, exploring different ways financially through scholarships, grants and loans. I got the opportunity to learn more about colleges and learn more about myself.” When asked what she enjoyed most about her time with Con Mi Madre, Okumura gets unexpectedly emotional. “I love the name of the program,” she says, pausing a moment to blink back tears. “Growing up, I didn’t really engage with my parents. Going to workshops was really great for me to spend time with my mom. She went to all the workshops for the parents. It was very interactive, and I think with that, our relationship really grew. We’re a pretty tight-knit family.” Still closely tied to Con Mi Madre, Okumura currently works as a volunteer several days a week, and intends to continue her education through a master’s program at Texas A&M. “My major is psychology, but I want to do industrial psychology, applying my psychology background to the business world,” she says. “My dream since I was young was to work for NASA, and I’m currently trying to get an internship there.” Okumura’s younger sister, Lizbeth, 17, a senior at Austin’s Akins High School, is also a Con Mi Madre convert. Like her older sister, she hopes to attend Texas A&M after high school. “It was actually because of Con Mi Madre that I became hooked on going to A&M,” she says. “One of the things that they do is take you to visit colleges. Me and my mom and sister went with the group. It was an amazing experience, a very beautiful campus.” She already has her eyes on the prize. “I want to major in forensic science and minor in pre-law. I hope to be an FBI agent,” she says, noting she enjoys the motherdaughter team dynamic of Con Mi Madre. “It’s brought us closer, working together. We’re both learning along the way, and if I don’t understand something, [my mom] can explain it to me. Or, if sometimes she doesn’t understand something, I can help. We both work together.” One fortuitous ripple effect of Con Mi Madre’s program is that while working in tandem with their daughters, mothers often find themselves becoming more empowered in the process. “Now we’re seeing all the moms who go back to school themselves, moms who turn what they do on a daily basis into a business,” Granillo says, “moms who take it up a notch in their own career and say, ‘You know what? I’m going to go for that promotion now!’ Now we’re putting it into our program. We’re starting to build an actual curriculum for that because we’re seeing what we’re doing for girls is working for moms.” The more data and experience Granillo accumulates, the more passionate she becomes about the possibilities for Con Mi Madre’s future. “It’s the perfect recipe, taking our cultural practices and using that as a strength to propel these kids into getting an education,” she says. “We need this everywhere.” In May 2016, Granillo participated in a three-minute fast-pitch competition for Philanthropitch Austin, proposing an expansion of Con Mi Madre outside the Austin region into Hays County, and won. “Now we’ve been a full year with Hays County, and it’s going incredibly well,” Granillo says. “Simultaneously, the more I go out in the community speaking about our program and the impact we’re having, the more phone calls we receive asking, ‘How do we get your services?’ So, we’ve built out a strategic plan and are going to San Antonio. Then we’ll be expanding into El Paso starting this fall.”


“When I go to a motherdaughter conference, and a senior comes running up to me saying, ‘Dr. Granillo, I got accepted into a college!’ her life has changed, and she recognizes that. And we didn’t do it for her. She did it, she and her mom. We were able to help them along the path. What more could you ask for?” —Teresa Granillo

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Granillo has also been approached by a school district in her home state of Arizona. “It’s happening quickly and in a way we didn’t anticipate,” she says. “We’ve focused on Texas and I want to stay deep in our reach here, but I [can] think of places in California, Arizona, Michigan and up and down the East Coast that could utilize our services. I want Con Mi Madre to be a national name.” In the months since November’s election, Granillo has been gratified that, rather than distancing themselves from Con Mi Madre, community members and organizations are stepping up to the plate. “They’re saying, ‘Now more than ever,’ and stood behind Con Mi Madre,” Granillo says. “We’ve got to help these girls. There are more obstacles in front of them now than there were before—and there were plenty before. So, let’s do what we can to push them forward because they’re our future. … When I go to a motherdaughter conference, and a senior comes running up to me saying, ‘Dr. Granillo, I got accepted into a college!’ her life has changed, and she recognizes that. And we didn’t do it for her. She did it, she and her mom. We were able to help them along the path. What more could you ask for? To change the life trajectory of not just this one girl, not just this one mom, but for generations to come, there’s not one thing more inspiring than when I see that moment. They made it!” Next year, Con Mi Madre will celebrate 25 years of service in Austin. Starting this month, the organization will officially begin operations in its new Eastside facility. But, as always, the ongoing mission at hand takes top priority, and Granillo remains tirelessly persistent in her quest to empower more young Latinas through continuing their education. Not surprisingly, Granillo’s mother remains as proud as ever of her never-say-die daughter who went from driving getaway cars for beer runs to helping countless other Latina girls achieve dreams they previously didn’t know they had. “Her work at Con Mi Madre is amazing,” Davis says. “I am so proud of what she is doing, and the organization is a perfect fit for her. As a single mom, I think this organization would have been very helpful to me.” Despite a seismic shift in national policy, there’s little doubt Con Mi Madre will continue its success and expansion. And Granillo will still obsessively compile data, initiate new strategies and carry the torch for Latinas to pursue a better future, remaining steadfast and undeterred by the winds of political change. Regarding the fate of Granillo’s beloved Mini Cooper that gave out on Election Day, sadly, it was pronounced DOA at the repair shop and has since been replaced by a shiny new Jeep, ideal for Granillo to take her two dogs, Sophia and George, down to the Lady Bird Lake trail for their almost daily run. The vehicle is easy to spot. Look closely and you’ll see a simple, lone bumper sticker affixed to the back, adorned with a single word that says everything you need to know about Teresa Granillo: persist.


RIPPLE EFFECT Lila Igram, founder of the global crowdfunding platform Connecther, shows what powerful, impactful changes are possible when we start to consider all the women in the world as friends, as family—and as one. BY CLARISA RAMIREZ | PHOTOS BY DUSTIN MEYER Shot on location at Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.,

Lila Igram is undeniably hospitable. “Would you like a gumball?” she asks, pointing to a slender package of colorful orbs resting on her desk. “I love them.” In her humble, tidy office, there are two simple desks facing each wall, one for her and one for visitors. She is loquacious, curious and all smiles as she walks room to room in her house slippers, giving a quick tour of her workspace in the Westview Canyon home she and her husband built when they moved to North Austin two decades ago. At 50, Igram appears to be a woman in her mid-30s. Her style is effortless and natural and she wears barely a stitch of makeup. Only a couple gray hairs poke through her long, cascading, dark-brown hair.

58 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Igram is the founder and executive officer of Connecther, a communication and crowdfunding platform focused on advancing the lives of impoverished women and girls worldwide. Through a fundraising platform, her largely volunteer-driven organization connects already-formed nonprofit partners in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and North America with donors who search for what they want to fund on The projects—ranging from training midwives in Somalia to funding a girls’ soccer team in Malaysia to bringing clean water to the children of Palestine—are fueled by leaders on the ground. Connecther also organizes the Girls Impact the World Film Festival, an initiative that provides an outlet for youth to tell stories about the critical issues facing women and girls in their own communities. To date, the festival has received more than 1,000 short films and has provided more than $25,000 in scholarships to high-school- and college-age students each year. Celebrity judges from festivals past included former model and humanitarian Christy Turlington Burns, movie producer Jeff Skoll and musician Michael Einziger. Igram’s work keeps her incredibly busy. A typical day involves sending emails to partners, meeting with donors and communicating with people throughout the world who keep the wheels moving at Connecther. In July, she and her board members are set to have a strategic-planning session about extending the two-hour film festival to a full-day event with workshops. They’ll also discuss how to best grow the organization’s Girls Global Education Fund and how to incorporate the films coming out of the GITW Film Festival into curriculum intended for teachers to use in schools.


“I can’t wait to get everyone in the same place at one time and discuss our goals,” Igram says of her impending team meeting. It’s been six years since Igram launched Connecther, and she’ll be the first to admit her unwavering enthusiasm for the job has her working late nights while her family is watching TV. On a typical Friday, she’s frustrated because she can’t get enough work done. “I love the work that I do, so just researching is fun to me. But I have to wait all the way until Monday to get responses to emails,” she says. “Sometimes I just get so excited being at my laptop and I’ll send out emails but, oh, [I’ll remember] it’s a Friday! It’s like, ‘What am I doing?’ It doesn’t even make any sense because nobody is going to reply.” Although it can be a challenge for Igram to turn off work, she ascertains her family remains her top priority. She enjoys traveling, going on trail walks and watching movies with her husband, Tarik, and her three children, Zak, 24, Noah, 22, and Mena, 19. If the line between her work and family life ever blurs, Igram justifies it’s because her family is a constant source of mentorship and inspiration for Connecther. Zak’s involvement with the Harvard Men Against Rape campaign, for example, prompted Igram to add a Stand Up Men award to this April’s GITW Film Festival, an honor that celebrates stories about men who are standing up for women’s and girls’ rights. Connecther’s vision to elevate the status of women and girls everywhere is deeply rooted in Igram’s sense of identity and growing up as a Muslim woman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As the daughter of entrepreneurial Lebanese immigrants, Igram represented one of the few minorities at her school. “I grew up in a place where my voice wasn’t really represented,” she says. However, outside her larger community was a smaller yet more diverse one. Every week, she and her family attended a mosque that represented more than 80 different ethnicities. It opened Igram’s eyes to the spectrum of people who shared her faith. “To get the chance to create opportunities on a platform for people to authentically represent themselves was really important for me,” Igram says. “It kind of gives you a chip on your shoulder, especially when you see people in the media talk about your religion and your background when they have no direct experience with it. And everything they’re saying is not the reality of the people I know and the diversity of my community and the people I’m surrounded with.” Igram and her immediate family moved from Iowa to Austin when her husband, Connecther’s first sustaining donor, received a job offer from Dell. Igram had been a stay-at-home mom for several years, dabbling with a few business ideas before finding her calling. Prior to being a mom, she had studied economics at the University of Iowa, but says her heart just wasn’t in it. “I’ll tell you straight out: It was hard for me to stick to things,”

Igram says. “When my kids were younger, I was gungho about a few projects, but mostly, everything would last three or six months. With Connecther, it was 100 percent different. I have to believe in what I do. I have the luxury to be able to do that, but even if I didn’t, I’d be a bum on the street before I did something that goes against my grain.” Igram attributes Fast Company magazine with sparking her passion for philanthropy. She started subscribing to the magazine when it came out in 1995, and says those earlier issues highlighted and profiled a ton of social entrepreneurs. “I read every single issue,” Igram confides. “At that time, I definitely wanted to do something that had an impact. If anything got me fired up and passionate, [it] was reading those stories, not just about the people, but of the impact they were having in the world.” In 2005, Igram started volunteering with Flow (now called Conscious Capitalism Inc.), a nonprofit dedicated to “liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good” that was started by Whole Foods Co-founder John Mackey and educational entrepreneur and consultant Michael Strong. A year later, she was hired as the organization’s community-outreach and programs coordinator, working at Flow until 2008. Igram credits her capability to start a nonprofit to the woman she worked most closely with during that time, Phyllis Blees, who served as the nonprofit’s vice president. “She was over-the-top meticulous about documentation and making sure everything was filed properly,” Igram says of Blees. “I learned so much about nonprofits [from her]. When I left Flow and started Connecther, I had all the skills.” After Flow, Igram spent the next few years helping a doctor start up her practice in Austin, but the idea for Connecther started to percolate. Igram first had the idea to create the global, female-focused crowdfunding platform while she was working on a program at Flow called Empowering Women Entrepreneurs. Taking the idea off the back burner, Igram started educating herself and attending social-impact conferences, meeting women from throughout the world who were doing amazing things, and following up to ask them if she could invest in what they were already doing. Igram’s approach was simple. Connecther was a way to share women’s stories with people from throughout the world so they could get a variety of perspectives on the reality of a woman’s unique situation. In other words, she wanted to show that a woman living in Syria faced a different set of obstacles than, say, a woman living in Egypt.

“I’m not a big loyalty person. I’m more of a freedom person. If you trust someone, she’ll get the job done.”

60 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Starting the nonprofit was easy, Igram says with a tone of determination. It was coming up with a purpose she was passionate about that was a challenge. She started thinking about her roots, growing up with a mother who was raised in a village in Lebanon, and thought about how to best represent marginalized people who don’t have the same opportunities as those living in developed countries but are still capable of helping themselves. “Naturally, what came to me is: Why don’t we identify women who are on the ground and are from the communities that we are trying to help, women who actually understand the culture, community and religion, and have a vested interest in making sure a project thrives because they’re from the communities?” she says. This sense of responsibility creates sustainability in the community, Igram explains, because the next generation will be able to move forward and cite a history of successes.

The first step for Connecther was to identify leaders in local communities who had already founded grassroots organizations. Igram bootstrapped Connecther by getting as many in-kind services as possible, knocking on several doors before someone agreed to create graphic design for Connecther’s website pro bono. In 2011, she launched Connecther with half a dozen projects on the website. Now the group focuses on funding a dozen projects a year. Although the platform initially focused on projects overseas, Igram recently started working with local nonprofits, including She is Rising, which helps survivors of sex trafficking. A year after launching, in 2012, Igram had the idea for Connecther’s GITW Film Festival. “I watched a film that a girl produced for college about education for women and girls, and I was obsessed!” she exclaims, her eyes widening as she recalls how the film stirred up some strong emotions. “I was like, ‘Woah! What if we could get students from all over the world to do these films?’ ” At the time, Igram had an intern working for her, Kerry Hammond, a student at Harvard. Igram had her watch the film and told her about the idea to start a film festival. Convinced and on board, Hammond recruited a couple other Harvard students, Ara Parikh and Kara Kubarych, to help get the festival off the ground. The trio formed a partnership with the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative, a program still deeply involved with Connecther, and Igram reached out to influential partners about being judges, including Liberian Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and Zainab Salbi, founder of the grassroots humanitarian organization Women for Women International. Almost all of them said yes.


LAGUNA GLORIA Laguna Gloria is a historic landmark site located on West 35th Street with lakeside views, beautiful, natural grounds and strong ties to Texas culture. The Italian-style Driscoll Villa and the expansive grounds allow for a variety of events, from weddings to corporate gatherings. 62 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY JUNE 2017 2017

The first red-carpet screening for the film festival took place in February 2013 on the Harvard University campus. It was a huge success, Igram says, thanks to the buzz produced by the festival’s celebrity judges. The festival received more than 100 short films produced and directed by girls from throughout the world, all of which highlighted issues related to advancing women’s and girls’ rights. Since then, Connecther has scaled the festival, securing sponsors and creating themes for entries that address education, economic independence, global health and violence against women. This year was the first time Connecther hosted the festival on home turf at St. Andrew’s Dell Fine Arts Center in Austin, a welcome and rewarding move, seeing how the festival received more than 200 film submissions from 20 different countries and saw 400 people attend—almost double the audience of the event’s first year. Connecther’s emphasis and focus for the festival is to showcase stories from people who have a deep relationship with their subjects, stories that aim to promote awareness and make a direct impact. The short films must be watchable, but there’s more weight on the story itself than on the film’s production value. “The whole reason we even started the festival in the beginning was to elevate these stories on a more global level,” Igram says, referencing a documentary called Harvesting Hope that Sarah Jehaan Khan, a teenager in Pakistan, submitted when she was 16 years old. In 2014, it won the Green IS first-runner-up award, which is granted to films with an environmental focus. The film centers on how the cotton industry in Pakistan is relegated to women, and because of the use of harmful pesticides, the cotton pickers suffer disproportionately from health concerns, ranging from skin rashes to miscarriages. In the film, Khan interviews women who work on an organic cotton farm and are saving money they should be spending on medicine. After the festival, Khan was invited by the Asian Development Bank, the biggest development bank in Asia, to screen her film at a conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Surrounded by lawyers and policy makers, Khan was the youngest presenter at a judicial round-table session focused on how environmental factors affect women. Several of the judges cried while watching her film. “I learned about the power of stories and the power a film can have to influence policy,” Khan says of her foray into filmmaking. “A high-court judge said she was willing to take up a petition on behalf of the girls in the film in attempt to restrict chemical pesticides.” Getting a law passed in Pakistan is a long and difficult process, Khan acknowledges, but she was happy to inspire others to take the first step. Since then, Khan has won the Green IS prize for another film, The Ripple Effect, and is

currently working on a submission for the 2018 festival. Each year, Igram pushes to innovate and bring something new to Connecther. In the past few years, the organization has begun creating more projects with the GITW Film Festival submissions, projects that have the promise to make a significant social impact. Take, for example, the film Asma, which won the Judges’ Choice first-runner-up prize in 2016. Igram loved the film, which documents a day in the life of Asma, a 13-year-old tea seller in Bangladesh whose childhood has been sacrificed to support her family. The film’s producer, Pooja Khati, documents Asma working at her family’s tea shop from 5 a.m. until midnight. As Igram describes the setting, her voice quavers. “In the film, Asma is saying, ‘When is my dad going to send me to school? I want to study. Those who study have importance.’ ” The film was so powerful, a donor decided to provide the seed money for Connecther’s Girls Global Education Fund. In partnership with the Asian University for Women, the fund provides scholarships to students in need who are living in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. Asma was the first scholarship recipient through the fund and, thanks in part to that donor, she’s now going to school every day. However, funding the project wasn’t simple. Asma started going to school, but Asma’s father sent her back to work at the tea shop soon after a boy who replaced her stole the shop’s money. Connecther Program Director Azmina Karim, a former GITW Film Festival winner based in Bangladesh, manages the Global Fund for Girls Education and told Igram that Asma’s father had broken the agreement to send Asma to school. Igram’s response was not to pull the plug on the relationship, but rather to be understanding and patient. “She said, ‘Talk to him. Is there a way we can convince him to recruit someone else and show him that she needs to be there?’ ” Karim says, recalling her conversation with Igram. “I think that shows her ability to see situations out of the box and, at the same time, be respectful of other cultures.” Karim adds that she admires how Igram rejects being a savior figure, and that Connecther, unlike many other agencies, doesn’t have any strings attached with its funding. “Lila is not someone who is leading the team, but is moving along with the team. She understands that we can make the most [of a situation] when we work together on the same issue,” Karim says. “[She] recognizes that the people we work with have an equal contribution and are capable of making decisions themselves.” After Karim talked to Asma’s family, Connecther made some adjustments to the agreement and decided to offer the family a stipend that provides them with the same amount of money Asma was making at the tea shop. “That’s why it’s so important to work with local partners on the ground,” Igram says of the situation with Asma. “If we didn’t have that, it’s not going to happen.”

“I watched a film that a girl produced for college about education for women and girls, and I was obsessed! I was like, ‘Woah! What if we could get students from all over the world to do these films?’ ”


“When my kids were younger, I was gung-ho about a few projects, but mostly, everything would last three or six months. With Connecther, it was 100 percent different. I have to believe in what I do. I have the luxury to be able to do that, but even if I didn’t, I’d be a bum on the street before I did something that goes against my grain.”

64 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

She follows up with a short email on the subject a few days later. “Some organizations might have scoffed at the father and possibly have tried to rush or impose the scholarship, or just drop it altogether,” she says, “but that is not our approach. We are trying our best to create sustainable relationships, which means working with all of the families to make sure we do it right, and find what works for each family in order to create lasting impact.” In 2016, Connecther generated $200,000 in revenue. Igram says the organization is on track to surpass that amount by 20 percent in 2017. The bulk of Connecther’s revenue comes from the Stahl Family Foundation; the Ian Somerhalder Foundation; JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation; Connecther Gems, two dozen supporters who donate at least $100 a month to Connecther; and crowdfunding projects spearheaded by other donors. Since Connecther only has three employees, Igram relies on a family of volunteers, contractors, collaborators and donors to help her accomplish the platform’s mission. Last year, Connecther added 15 chapters in Asia and the U.S., including one at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin. The chapters host screenings of Connecther films and work on fundraising for projects. The organization is advancing and innovating, but Igram remains humble, crediting her team for the success they’ve seen so far. She’s mindful about who she brings into her circle, looking for people she vibes with instead of those who can grow the organization. She seeks out those who apply the same life practice of leading with compassion that she learned from her father, a man, Igram says, who always forgave any debt owed to him. She wants to surround herself with people who are really committed and believe in the mission so much, they want the same results she does. “I’m not a big loyalty person. I’m more of a freedom person. If you trust someone, she’ll get the job done,” Igram says. When discussing Igram, the women in the Connecther family bring up glowing character qualities to describe how they feel about her: She’s a good listener. She’s fair. She’s inclusive. Igram makes a point to maintain contact with all of Connecther’s donors, recipients and the alumni who’ve been associated with the film festival, and it’s her relationship-building skills that make it easy for her to approach more influential people about getting involved with Connecther. “She’s just really interested in having a genuine relationship with people, whether it’s [Twitter Co-founder] Biz Stone or me,” says Constance Dykhuizen, the director of JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation. Dykhuizen first met Igram in 2013 at South By Southwest and has been working closely with her ever since Eloise DeJoria (the wife of JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation Co-founder John Paul DeJoria) got involved four years ago as the GITW Film Festival’s presenting sponsor. The film festival, Dykhuizen says, is an expression of who Igram is and how she lives her life. The fact that Igram has chosen, thus far, to work from home, welcoming visiting volunteers to use the second desk in her home office, couldn’t be more symbolic of how tightly knit Connecther is with her own family. Igram pauses to reflect on this observation and chooses her words carefully. “What better way to live your life,” she asks, “than to incorporate all of [your] values in everything you do?”

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Cool off with this flavorful twist on a sweet summertime treat. BY APRIL CUMMING

Natalie Gazaui was raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a home with both Basque and Middle Eastern influences. As a visual-arts major and photographer, Gazaui says her life experiences and upbringing eventually led her to the hospitality industry. In 2006, she studied culinary arts at Texas Culinary Academy in Austin before training in Monforte d’Alba, Italy, where she found her love for pasta and pastries. In 2011, she joined McGuire Moorman Hospitality in Austin as a corporate pastry chef, managing the pastry programs at the company’s Clark’s Oyster Bar, Jeffrey’s, Josephine House, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue and Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. After five years spent honing her pastry skills at MMH, Gazaui decided to broaden her horizons and joined Eberly—the chic, contemporary American restaurant on South Lamar Boulevard —as the executive pastry chef. At Eberly, Gazaui is passionate about exercising her creative talent, transforming childhood favorites into thoughtprovoking desserts. Her latest concoction is a simple, vibrant, purple godsend meant to make the sweltering days of summer sweet again.

PRICKLY PEAR AND TEQUILA ICE POPS Ingredients 2 3/4 cups prickly pear puree (available for purchase online at 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice 1/3 cup Dulce Vida blanco tequila

1. M  ix all the ingredients together. (Pro tip: If you want to make a few ice pops for the kids, simply swap out the tequila for water.) 2. P  our the mixture into ice-pop molds and freeze for at least three hours. Recipe courtesy of Eberly, 615 S. Lamar Blvd., 512.916.9000

66 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

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Lucky Lime, Austin’s newest meal-delivery service, is lunchtime’s main squeeze. BY AMANDA PINNEY Browse one of Lucky Lime’s weekly menus and you’ll find a mouthwatering array of options ranging from kale-andcoconut rice salad to chocolate-banana chia pudding. Are you craving a little Tex-Mex? Add a side of sweetpotato chips with fresh tomatillo-and-avocado salsa to complete the meal. Whatever the combination, Lucky Lime, Austin’s newest doorstep meal-delivery service, is focused on creating wholesome, feel-good food to spice up the monotony of a lunch break. Lucky Lime Owner and Founder Rebecca Meeker says she wants to cook food that strikes a balance between well-being and wellness. “Where the balance comes from is being able to eat superfoods with a margarita or a glass of wine,” Meeker says. “Instead of [ just] counting the bad, count all the good you’re putting in.” Meeker previously served as the executive chef of both Jeffrey’s and Josephine House in the Clarksville neighborhood. Her inspiration

to start a food-delivery service came after she completed a nutrition program certifying her as a holistic health coach. Meeker says she learned a lot about healthy food from the program and found herself drawn to the idea of making lunchtime delicious and fun. She officially launched Lucky Lime and began food-delivery service in early April. A new menu is posted every Thursday on, which gives customers until 5 p.m. each Friday to place their orders for the week ahead. The orders can be scheduled to arrive Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, and customers can choose to order what Meeker calls “mindful lunches” for the whole week or simply one lunch. The company does its best to stay green, incorporating environmentally friendly practices through the use of sustainable fish, meat and produce, as well as recycled packaging. As the variety of the creative menu continues to reel in positive feedback, Meeker says she hopes to see Lucky Lime’s customer base grow, fulfilling her mission to fuel the city of Austin with happy and healthy lunches.

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Lucky Lime’s kale-and-coconut rice salad

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Dr. Simone Scumpia of Austin Thyroid & Endocrinology highlights the warning signs of malfunctioning hormones. BY SHELLEY SEALE Today’s high-tech world is full of robotics, quantum computers and artificial intelligence, with new technology breakthroughs happening every day. Yet the complex systems within our own bodies are still more highly developed than any supercomputer out there. The endocrine system is one of these: a tightly regulated biochemical process that involves our hormones and glands such as the pituitary, thyroid, testes and ovaries. For women who are trying to become pregnant, irregularities in this system can wreak havoc. A host of complications, from diabetes and fatigue—often caused by stress—to disorders such as congenital adrenal hypoplasia and polycystic ovarian syndrome, can interfere with the ability to conceive. “It is a very precise system,” says Dr. Simone Scumpia, the founder of Austin Thyroid & Endocrinology. “The beginning of menstruation starts a complicated cycle for a woman. The number of eggs every female has in her lifetime is determined when she herself is in utero. For one of those eggs to be fertilized, the woman needs to have normal thyroid, adrenal and reproductive systems.” When the ovaries mature, a signal is sent to the pituitary gland, a gland Scumpia calls the “queen of all glands.” “Hormones then begin to be secreted throughout the woman’s body, which command release of the egg,” she says. “In a way, the entire cycle of a woman is in anticipation of the possibility of pregnancy. In order to have a normal cycle, all of these glands and the reproductive system need to be working correctly.” From her first year in medical school, Scumpia began training in endocrinology, and was later mentored by many prominent endocrinologists. She completed her internship and residency in Canada, moving to Austin in 1991 to work at Austin Diagnostic Clinic. Early on, she envisioned having her own independent hormone institute, offering comprehensive endocrine assessment and treatment. Her dream was realized in 2002, when she opened the integrated center in North Austin. Scumpia has been called a sleuth in endocrinology and medicine because of her passion to find the root cause of a patient’s symptoms, often for patients who seek her help as a second or third opinion. “The problem with the endocrine system, and what makes it so fascinating, is that at any step, something can go wrong,” she says. “We are known as detectives because we have to know the whole system. The symptoms can be very vague, and people end up seeing other specialists for things that are caused by the endocrine system. It can affect any organ in the body.” Irregularities in the endocrine system that can affect the ability to get pregnant can be inherited or caused by factors such as illness or surgery. Scumpia has even seen women who run or workout too much, which can result in a lack of body fat that distresses the cycle and ovulation. Irregular periods are often a sign of a problematic endocrine system, and women— even young girls just beginning menstruation—should always consult a doctor about an abnormal cycle. “It can set the stage for her entire reproductive life,” Scumpia advises. “Don’t ignore the signs and think it’s temporary, or just start the pill. Have it checked out.” Scumpia outlines numerous symptoms that signal possible problems with the endocrine system. If you experience one or more of these, you should have it checked out by a doctor: • swelling • excessive fatigue • a lump in the neck • prominent eyes • excessive hair growth 70 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

• irregular menstrual cycles • heart palpitations • excessive acne • abnormal pigmentation of the skin

INFERTILITY AND HORMONE-REPLACEMENT THERAPY Hormonal balance is necessary to get pregnant. When hormone problems cause infertility, there are several options for treating it, both natural and synthetic. 1. Bio-identical Hormone-replacement Therapy, or BioHRT: These hormones are isolated from plants, minerals or animal sources and are considered natural duplicates of steroid hormones. Although some hormones may be bio-identical from biological sources, they may not be considered human-identical. 2. S  ynthetic Hormones: These hormones are made in a lab and are patented medications. They have a similar effect to our own endogenous hormones and are commonly used for hormone-replacement therapy, or HRT, and artificial reproductive technology, or ART. The most common use of synthetic hormones is birth control. 3. X  enohormones: These are human-made chemicals that mimic our natural hormones. The most common xenohormones mimic human estrogen and are called xenoestrogens. A combined dose of estrogen and progesterone is usually the recommended approach for women struggling with infertility. The combined dose can help to put hormones back in sync and help the body to regulate the reproductive cycle, increasing a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Like all fertility treatments, hormone-replacement therapy does carry risks. Some studies have indicated a risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease, stroke or blood clots. As a result, patients who have an increased risk of heart attacks or blood clots should consider alternative treatments.

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Endocrinology is the science of hormones, which affect every cell and every function in your body. The glands secreting these hormones form your endocrine system, a tightly interconnected system with thousands of feedback loops. It is far more complex than any supercomputer today. Hormones control everything in your body from birth to death. Without hormones, your body cannot function. Examples of hormones: estrogen, testosterone, insulin and hormones like thyroid, cortisol, adrenal and pituitary.


They are diseases caused by a malfunction of one or more endocrine glands in your body. Examples: thyroid, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome and obesity, hirsutism, menopause, low testosterone in males, andropause and impotence, polycystic ovaries, irregular or lack of menstrual periods, high and low calcium, and diabetes.


hypothyroidism. Thyroid ailments include Graves’ and Hashimoto disease, goiter, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Thyroid problems require lifelong attention. Each person has a different genetic set point for TSH, the thyroid stimulation hormone.


Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Osteoporosis affects one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 and is generally missed. Bone fracture is considered to be the heart attack of the bone and can have major consequences on your quality of life, from reduced mobility to potential loss of mobility altogether. A bone density test is the only way to test for osteoporosis. We perform such testing and provide consultation on bone metabolism and osteoporosis treatment.

HORMONE MYTHS DEBUNKED The facts about some hormone myths:

“Seek your optimal health, your ideal yet achievable health, and increase the quality of your life.”

Aging, other diseases, stress, environmental and genetic factors do influence your endocrine system. Aging changes how hormones are produced and absorbed by your body. Genetic factors and other diseases can do the same. Stress triggers a cascade of hormones that affect your heart, kidneys and other organs. Recent research identified endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environment.


Hormone treatments must be followed by a hormone specialist (endocrinologist) the same way heart disease is followed by a heart specialist (cardiologist). An endocrinologist has years of special training in diagnosing and treating your hormone imbalances. Endocrine diseases are often missed, since symptoms are often subtle and easy to brush aside. An endocrinologist starts out with a thorough physical evaluation looking for these telltale sings, then follows up with a battery of blood and other lab tests. Often, additional highly specialized tests are involved to identify the root cause of your hormonal imbalance.


Since hormones rule your body, have your hormonal balance assessed by an endocrinologist to optimize your health. Dr. Simone Scumpia of Austin Thyroid & Endocrinology outlines everything you need to know about hormones and their effect on the body.

Thyroid disease affects 30 million Americans, yet half of them do not know they have it. It is called the “silent disease.” One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder in their life; women are five to eight times more likely than men to develop hyperthyroidism or

3 Bioidentical hormones are not human identical and may cause complications.

3 Fountain of youth hormones (otherwise known as human growth hormones) can cause serious side effects when used for anti-aging.

3 hCG diets (HCG) by themselves do not cause weight loss, but can cause irregular periods for women and breast enlargement for men.

3 Hormone treatment of fatigue, depression or anti-aging should be avoided due to many side effects it can cause. 3 Adrenal fatigue is not a real disease, but adrenal failure is a life threatening disease.


Medicine addresses disease treatment and prevention. Optimal health and biological age deal with your health before disease prevention or treatment. We focus on optimal health, the ideal yet achievable health of your body as you reach middle age and beyond. Our specialized equipment allows us to measure and evaluate your biological age, a measure of how well or poorly your body is functioning relative to your actual calendar age. Biological age is a composite of several “ages” such as brain age, bone age, heart age and vessel age. Optimal health focuses on your wellness before disease can be identified; it is a step before disease prevention and does improve the quality of your life.



(behind North Austin Medical Center) MON-FRI, 7 AM TO 4 PM 512.467.2727 |

Dr. Simone Scumpia treats all thyroid and endocrine (hormonal) ailments with emphasis on optimal health and biological age.




HOW SWEET IT IS Here’s the best alternative to your daily spoonful of sugar.


Eat this: stevia sweetener Not that: sucralose, aspartame and saccharin Says who: Lauren Delaney, Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach and NSCA-certified personal trainer Why: “It has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and none of the nasty side effects of artificial sweeteners, such as headaches, migraines, liver and kidney impairment and mood disorders, making it an ideal natural sweetener.” Benefits of this: 1. “ Stevia is extracted from a plant, one related to the sunflower and native to South America, and is minimally processed. The plant’s sweet leaf has been used as a sweetener and sugar substitute for hundreds of years.” 2. “Stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.” 3. “Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose. It may even enhance glucose tolerance. So, unlike sugar, it is not going to spike your insulin.” Drawbacks of that: 1. “ Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin are created through chemical processing, so when these products are consumed, you are potentially putting yourself in danger of ingesting toxic ingredients.” 2. “The chemicals present in these artificial sweeteners can lead to future health concerns and affect the absorption of medications in the body’s system.” Make the Swap: “Many companies have caught on to the fact that stevia is a more natural sweetener. My stevia brand of choice is SweetLeaf. It’s a more expensive product than other commercial sweeteners, but a little goes a long way.” 3  “ Some people feel that stevia has a more bitter aftertaste, so that may take some adjustment as well.” 3  “ Because stevia is so much sweeter than sugar, a direct substitution is not possible when baking. For every cup of sugar your recipe calls for, replace with either 1 teaspoon liquid stevia, 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon stevia extract powder, 1 tablespoon concentrated stevia liquid or 18 to 24 individual serving packets.” 3  “ You can add stevia to your daily diet in food staples such as coffee, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. They also sell stevia in packets for keeping in your bag or purse since this sweetener is not typically available in restaurants or coffee shops.”

74 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

“Stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.”


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Fitness fanatic Kelly Faldyn has a theory about how to stay fit. Kelly Faldyn only wears orange these days. Ever since the 37-yearold exercise enthusiast became the studio manager of Orangetheory Fitness on South Lamar Boulevard, she’s been a walking billboard for what she says is the best one-hour workout in the country

“We offer a full-body workout that’s half cardio and half strength,” says Faldyn, who loves group fitness and has 10 years of experience working as a personal trainer. Faldyn has a master’s degree in sports management from Texas State University and worked for many years at Wild Basin Fitness before getting into the business end of things at Orangetheory. “I like the results-driven aspect of Orangetheory,” she says, noting that participants wear a heart-rate monitor to class and can see their data reflected in real time on a large screen. “I also like the high energy and fun feel of the workout.” Orangetheory got its name partly because it started in Florida, a place famous for oranges. The creators of the workout also claim there’s real science behind it—a theory. Depending on the day, a typical Orangetheory workout will focus on building endurance, strength or power using treadmills, medicine balls, water rowers, TRX bands, step-up benches and more to tone muscles. Faldyn, who got hooked after taking advantage of a free trial in 2015, says people can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories in an hour. “It’s high-intensity interval training, but the magic happens post-workout,” she says, adding that participants will continue to burn calories for as long as 36 hours after class. Faldyn says it takes about three classes a week for six weeks to see real results. Orangetheory Fitness now has 11 locations throughout Austin, with three more set to open later this year. Membership packages are available at different price points, and there’s also a drop-in option. Here’s how the hardworking Faldyn keeps herself looking fit in orange.

76 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017



“I wake up staring at my daughter. She’s the first one up in our house every morning, and she likes to snuggle with me in bed until I drive her to school. I head to the studio after that, and I try to read something inspirational before I start working.”

“I do about three Orangetheory workouts a week and then weights and cardio at home on the other days. We don’t recommend going to Orangetheory every day, so I use my phone [to track] interval training, doing burpees or running in place when I’m not in the studio. If my kids and job allow it, I like to get away for a barre or cycle class when I can.”

Photos by Chris Coxwell.



“I eat all kinds of food, but I feel the best when I eat healthy things. I love good sources of protein, and I like sushi when I want to splurge. I prefer to save my calories for wine than to eat dessert. I’ve also got this trick I use to stay hydrated where I wear eight rubber bands on my hand, and as I drink glasses of water throughout the day, I shift the rubber bands to my other hand.”


“I always kiss my babies on the forehead before I go to bed. I like to have dinner with my family in the evening, and then I usually have a bath and about 30 minutes of ‘me’ time before lights out.”



“I’m an orange ambassador. You will only see me wearing orange. My closet has turned orange. When I exercise, I like to wear Adidas running shoes, tights and a workout top with a sports bra underneath. It’s all orange. Some people do Orangetheory workouts in shorts, and that’s fine too. The studio is dark with orange lighting, so really, wear what’s comfortable.” THE MOTIVATION:

“My children motivate me. I want to keep up with them, and I want them to see me living a healthy lifestyle. I want them to see me making good choices with food and how I spend my time. I want them to see me happy. I believe that when we look good, we feel good. I see a difference in my mood on the days when I haven’t worked out. I’m just a better mother, friend and manager when I exercise.” THE MINDSET:

“I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying. I tell myself that I don’t have to workout; I get to workout. It’s a blessing that I can do something so good for myself. Not everyone can. Believe in yourself. Show up, push your body and be proud of how far you have come.”

North Austin n


Town Lake n barbecue n Barton Springs n


hours n food truck n cabernet n Whole Foods n rescue n

8 8 n Alamo Drafthouse 8 n MoPac 8 n frozen yogurt 8 n ACL 8

n South Austin 8 n neighborhood trail n Tex-Mex 8 n Deep Eddy 8 n miles n brick-and-mortar location 8 n chardonnay 8 n Central Market 8 n purebred 8

mountain bike n

n road bike

Torchy’s Tacos n

n Tacodeli n Congress Avenue bats n I-35 n ice cream n SXSW






Humor is a much-needed, free form of therapy when raising a teenager. BY JB HAGER, PHOTO BY RUDY AROCHA

My wife has a great genetic makeup, but I have clearly messed this up. I have always heard the rumors and rumblings of the Odds would be in our favor with this mix-up, although it reminds me challenges of raising a teenage daughter. Boys may of when my dad thought he got one over on a friend be equally difficult, but I don’t have one by trading his AMC Hornet for his convertible VW for comparison. I’m here to tell you that all Beetle. They both laughed as they drove off thinking I’ve completely turned the hype is true.

they had just traded a lemon only to find out both Excluding combat, famine or an alien abduction, into my parents, saying were days away from the scrapyard. I’m challenged to think of anything more mentally Similar to the switched-at-birth plot is the popular things like, “If all your taxing than raising a teenage girl. At this point, I Lifetime theme of finding out you have a child in her friends jumped off a would take my chances for a better life with the 20s you didn’t know about. We both love this idea. alien abduction. So I’d get probed a bit with blunt cliff, would you?” How do we sign up for this? Let me get to know my space instruments. At least that seems better child when she has her own place and a decent wine than having a 15-year-old girl tell selection. The money saved would be me, “You don’t get it,” “You’re off the charts and I would spoil her so ruining my life” and “All the girls much on holidays. are wearing this.” Does this sound Affairs with nannies: You wouldn’t familiar? I’ve completely turned believe how many films are centered into my parents, saying things on this. My wife would be thrilled if a like, “If all your friends jumped nanny were tending to my overactive off a cliff, would you?” It sounded libido. Nothing seems to ruin a beach ridiculous to me hearing it 35 years vacation for my wife quicker than ago and feels even more absurd me sitting next to her on the beach coming out of my mouth. slurping loudly on a piña colada. My wife and I have discovered She would welcome the nanny and a very bizarre way to deal with probably suggest we stay on the other it. We get lost in the brain candy, side of the island. A spinoff of this is better known as the Lifetime Movie the nanny that wants to steal your Network, which airs low-budget child, to which we would just say this: movies meant to scare the hell out of “We are going to turn our backs for the you. Each plot is based on something next five minutes. You do what you’ve shocking, tragic and complicated got to do.” aimed at keeping you from ever We laughingly joke about packing wanting to leave your home or our things and going to our secret turn your back on your spouse or families, yet another popular children. However, when you have Lifetime theme. We then realize your very own living, breathing our secret families could potentially teenager at home, these scenarios no have teenagers. Disgruntled, we pull longer seem scary. On the contrary, back out the ball-peen hammers and sometimes they are laughable. start swinging. I’ll give you some examples of My point, which could likely be how things mentally switched misinterpreted here, is that in going for us at this current moment in through the rite of passage of raising our lives. I recently walked into a teenage girl, our warped senses the living room and my wife said, of humor have made us that much “Check this out. This woman has stronger. Movies meant to “scare amnesia and can’t remember who you into good behavior” become our she is or anyone around her. Doesn’t laughable little escapes. Misery loves that sound awesome?” I agreed. We company, right? debated whacking each other on As I write this, my wife and I the head with ball-peen hammers are surfing the channel guide for a in lieu of dinner plans, but couldn’t Lifetime movie to enjoy this evening. Here is a solid option: 8 p.m., scientifically pinpoint the area of the head that might cause memory A Neighbor’s Deception: “When a young woman accepts the kind loss. For a while, we Googled those devices from the movie Men in offer from her therapist neighbor to be treated for free, she thinks Black that, in a quick flash, wipe out your memory. Our searches she’s found the perfect situation. But the more she learns about came up empty. her seemingly altruistic savior, the more she begins to fear for her The biological switch at birth is a heavily recurring theme on safety—even her life!” Lifetime. As an adult parent realizing how much of my genetic makeup We glance at each other and I say, “Free therapy! I’ll take my is passed on to my offspring, this is something I would roll the dice on. chances.” 78 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017



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Tanya faces her final days at The Salvation Army, where she shares sleeping quarters and a bathroom with hundreds of other women. Each night, she dozes off to a symphony of fighting, crying and coughing while clutching her valuables and food to avoid theft. It’s not luxurious, but it’s also not the streets. In two weeks, her three months will expire. She needs to come up with $1,200 to secure housing or she will return to a pedestrian sidewalk on 23rd and Guadalupe streets. I’m one of the only people obliged to help. After all, she is my cousin-in-law. I’ve always prided myself on being altruistic. However, on that sweltering day in October 2015, I ignorantly assured my wife, Heather, that our guest bedroom was unavailable. I first met Tanya at a wedding in 2009. Heather’s brother was getting married in Houston and this was the first time I was going to meet her entire family. From Denver, we flew to a concrete jungle of mental illnesses, staunch conservatism and quarter-sized mosquitos. I coped by losing myself in something creative, like amateur wedding photography. “You’ve got great hair,” Tanya said. I turned to face a radiant woman. We connected immediately. She owned a hair salon and struck me as the sanest person I met that weekend. I snapped her photo and left the wedding wanting to keep in touch with her. But life resumed and we never spoke again. Six years later, Heather’s dad got sick. We made a hard decision to move to Texas to take care of him. Our first week in town, Heather reconnected with Tanya at a coffee shop. When Heather returned home, she was a mess. “Tanya is homeless and needs a place to live,” she told me. What? I couldn’t believe it. There were dozens of people I could imagine this happening to, but not Tanya. We were the only family in Austin with an open room. Yet I felt uneasy about the situation. I felt unsafe and guarded. Was she an addict? Would she take advantage of the open invite and then never leave? I was exhausted by the amount of care that we expended on our situation. Still, would it really be that difficult to add one more person to our giving list? I had dinner with Tanya a week later. As she talked, I was blown away by my obliviousness to homelessness. I learned that she had a series of misfortunate and expensive health events that forced her

to live in her car and, eventually, on the streets. Because she didn’t qualify for rehab or have a physical or mental disability or an illness, she was unable to get shortlisted for low-income housing. She was on a wait list that could take up to two years to play out. After three months at The Salvation Army, she had to figure out where she was going to live in the remaining eight-to-20-month gap. She, like many others currently living on the streets, was stuck in a system loophole. She was considered too healthy to get governmental resources. I had so many questions. For one, how did she eat? I learned that she carried a fanny pack of basic hairstyling supplies and groomed people on the streets, charging $5 to $10. “Austin has the best-looking hobos in Texas,” Tanya once claimed. Hobos? I had a visceral negative reaction to the word. And then I looked up its origin. The word “hobo” possibly derived from “homeward bound” or “hoe-boy,” and involved traveling workers returning from war. The word became derogatory in the Western U.S. due to skewed perceptions of homeless people. Suddenly, I was rapt by my biased unknowing. If open-minded me was uneducated and squirmy with this topic, how did others feel? So, I decided to create Hobo Salon, a mobile salon that provides free haircuts to Austin’s homeless community while collecting their personal stories. Using a play on the word “salon,” our mission is to create a safe space for an invisible community to be seen, heard and groomed. I collaborated with community activists Kate Proietti and Roni Chelben to experiment with the idea for the Cohen New Works Festival. Soon, we had a team of hairstylists hitting the streets to give free haircuts to homeless participants while we filmed participatory interviews. What we’ve learned most through our research is that Tanya is not an anomaly. For people without support and resources, Tanya can be any of us. One act of kindness can change someone’s life in an instant. Our family ended up helping Tanya get back on track. She has been off the streets for almost a year now and can be found working full time as a hairstylist for Ulta Salon and part time for Hobo Salon. To watch a trailer about the Hobo Salon film project, visit

Austin Woman features a reader-submitted essay every month in the I Am Austin Woman column. To be considered for September’s I Am Austin Woman, email a 500-word submission on a topic of your choice by Aug. 1 to with the subject line “I Am Austin Woman.”

80 |  AUSTIN WOMAN |  JULY 2017

Photo courtesy of Lisa Donato.

A new film project, spearheaded by Director Lisa Donato, gives Austin’s homeless population a platform to share their stories.

OF ALL THE AMAZING REASONS TO DRIVE A MAZDA, THE ONE YOU’LL VALUE MOST IS HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL. You want the best ER care for your kids. So do we. There’s nothing we won’t do for our kids. That means giving them our best when they need it most. With an emergency care network that treats every emergency with the highest level of care possible. Because that’s what they deserve.

Emergency Care The Best Is Here.


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