Influence Magazine Kenny Wilson July/August 2018

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Wealth Management: Stacking the Deck

Philanthropy: All-Star Donors Estate Planning: Passing on Wealth


Hall of Fame Banker and CEO, Haven for Hope

Strategic Account Director, Sustainability & Inclusion focus for Caesars Entertainment

Howard Shelf & Associates Realtors

Top Bankers and Financiers | Wealth Building for Kids WWW.INFLUENCESA.COM

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July/August 2018

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ANTHONY MCCRARY SR. Caesars Entertainment


















ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Charles Martin (“Marty”) Wender


FUTURE INNOVATORS Dr. Kevin King Fixes Medical Mistakes 10



THE ALBATROSS Business on the Green


ALAMO REAL ESTATE The Unstoppable Howard Shelf


WEALTH BUILDING FOR KIDS Investing Kids in Their Future






ESTATE PLANNING Multiple Rewards Using Cash Balance 18 HIGH NET WORTH INVESTMENTS STRATEGIES Three High Net Worth Investment Tax Strategies


SWAGGER Clothes That Show Who You Are


POLITICS Happy First Year, Mayor Nirenberg




July/August 2018





THE TICKET Executive Decision-making


EDUCATOR Dr. Adena Williams-Loston




FIT PRO How to Sneak in Exercise at Work


WHAT'S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND? Finding God in the Everyday & A Line in the Water


THE GRILL Good Lookin’ Bar-B-Cutie


PHILANTHROPY Harvey Najim Priscilla Hill-Ardoin

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ARTS AND CULTURE Painter Amy Hillenbrand


MOVIN' & SHAKIN' Travis Wiltshire Terri Williams Madhu Sridhar

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COCKTAILS AND CIGARS Hill Country Distillers & Finck’s Puritanos


CHILD INNOVATOR Love and Inspiration


YOU GOT GAME United on the World Stage


OUR MUSIC Buddy Guy & Ruben Rea


TRAVEL Blowing Around Chicago


SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE Leading Inclusively Strategic Planning The Cardinal Sins of Outsourcing Small Business Resoure Guide

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Marcia Shelf Orlandi


Marcello Diaz


Alayne Merenstein


Elisa Giordano





Model Non-Profits Exclusive: Renaissance Leader Santikos CEO - David Holmes

What’s Cookin? + The Grill Featuring Frank restaurant & Chef David Bully


Wealth Management Plus SA’s Financial Gurus Small Business Resource Guide

“Every success in my life has come from discipline and preparation ...”

Fit Pro How To Sneak Exercise in at Work


Joseph Sanchez


Roger Turnbow, Epic Sites PHOTOGRAPHERS

Larry Crawford, Ora Garza, Aaron Cruz, Florence Alexander CONTRIBURING WRITERS

Vince Alexander, Romy Antoine, Ian Bertini, Ondrejia Scott, Larry Picasso, Bonita Owens, Delmi Nieto, Amy Collins, Madeline Ritter, Mario Mares, Evita Morin, Larry Hobbs, Ed Robe, Jeff Weber, Marcia Shelf Orlandi, Cayce Kovacs, Steven Finck, Cecilia Orellana-Rojas.



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WE HEAR YOU, SAN ANTONIO SA’s INFLUENCE is back! Well, actually, we never stopped publish-

his passion to assist the homeless.

ing – other magazines and books,

He stepped up to the helm at Haven

that is. And we never stopped

for Hope. Kenny’s work and magic

listening to local professionals who

surface daily as his organization

have been encouraging us, telling us

works to reach the needs of our

this magazine fills a void. They tell

homeless citizens.

us we answer the need to promote

On the other side of life, mak-

both established and emerging

ing money, managing money, and

leaders, that we encourage inspir-

investing money are also necessary

ing and informative authorities and

activities in a progressive society.

influencers to share where we can

We’ll introduce you to top bank-

go with our careers, who we can be,

ers, wealth managers, and financial

and that the sky’s the limit.

experts. Keep this issue on the shelf

We hear you. As an example,


he had more to give and so pursued

and refer to it throughout the year

we recently surveyed a group of

as your financial management needs

our readers and writers about their

change. We also celebrate several

preference for print versus digital.

rock star donors who’ve directed

The consensus is our audience

their hard-earned income to causes

desires both. So, we’ll continue

and efforts that fuel our non-profit

publishing in both – digital and

communities. And check out our

print. We’ve had our challenges

featured artist and our diversity and

during our launch season, but we’re

inclusion expert.

confidently doing necessary and

We want to hear from you.

valued work; that of introducing

Follow us on social media, send a

leaders to other leaders.

note – controversial or constructive,

We’d also like to welcome our

applauding or educating us. We’re

staffers back, our newbie’s and our

your advocate and we’re here to

distinguished panel of writers/con-

serve you. Contact me directly at

tributors. We appreciate each and Thank

every one of you.

you and enjoy the issue.

With that, welcome to our inaugural Wealth Issue featuring our

See ya ‘round town,

profile on Kenny Wilson, a hall of fame banker who upon retiring from a high-yield banking career, realized

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As a former Longhorn and Ranger, Delmi enjoys helping people, writing, making music, and all sorts of sports. Whether it's singing praises to God in her church parish, catching her son's curve ball, or jazz dancing with her daughters, you can be sure to find her with her glass always half full, remaining a hopeless romantic until the day she dies.


Vince Alexander- Beer/Cocktail/Cigar and travel enthusiast, Adventure on, Cheers!


The CEO of One Stop Wellness, Romy is a sought-after fitness expert, corporate wellness specialist, and nutritionist who has worked with clients on five continents. Using his degree in biology and exercise science, he fuses fitness with science to make it fun, educational, and empowering so that everyone can be their best selves.


Bonita Owens is a Personal Development Coach and Women’s Empowerment/Inspirational Speaker. Founder at Amazing Women Network, Bonita helps women entrepreneurs and other women professionals design plans to gain clarity and confidence in their professional life.


Larry is a personnel management specialist who assists employers in human resource matters.


John Lovitt is President/CEO of Lovitt Consulting, LLC and is a Family Systems Therapist at Lovitt Psychotherapy. He holds a doctor of education degree with training as a Counselor of Education with cognates in Adult Education and Gerontology from Mississippi State University. Lovitt taught in the MSU Graduate School of Counseling (Meridian Campus) and has written over 30 university course curriculums. | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 7




hen it comes to economic development in San Antonio, he’s a hall of fame visionary: Charles Martin Wender (known to most as “Marty”). Marty’s well known for his achievements and vision. A Fort Worth native, Marty began his San Antonio business career in 1969, upon graduating from the Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin and marrying San Antonio native Rene Lynn Mandel. Marty’s business real estate development projects in San Antonio include the 3,500-acre Westover Hills development, one of the country’s premier, mixed-use,

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large-scale, master-planned, developments; Fawn Meadow in the South Texas Medical Center; and Crown Ridge at IH 10 West and Camp Bullis Road. Marty was selected as one of five “visionaries” by the San Antonio Business Journal special section entitled “A Century of Business” for his vision and accomplishments in his revitalization of the city’s West Side and his Westover Hills Development. Westover Hills has become home to Sea World of Texas, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort Hotel, Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, Maxim Integrated Products, Wells Fargo Operations Center, and the Alamo College’s Northwest Vista Campus. QVC Network, Inc., The American Funds Group/Capital Group Companies, Nationwide Insurance, and numerous other major companies have built corporate campuses in Westover Hills. Additionally, Westover Hills is home to seven major data center facilities, including Microsoft and Valero. We asked Marty to describe his work, competitive advantage – a day in the life. “I am a large scale real estate developer, but most importantly I fix problems. I tell people I’m in sales, not management. I like doing things that other people say could not be done. The competitive advantage I have is, I like to fix problems that others have given up on. I do not see them as problems but rather as opportunities. I like to make things happen! I do NOT give up. My slogan is ‘Thank God it’s Monday.’ I will outwork my competition.” Marty is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. He is a past Chairman of the Board of the Alamo Public Telecommunications Council, a board member of the Masters Leadership Program of San Antonio and Bexar County, and a board member of the University of Texas Health Science Center- San Antonio Cancer Therapy Research Center. Marty was the 2002 Chairman of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and was a member of “Team Toyota” that helped lure Toyota to San Antonio. Marty served on the board of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; the board of the San Antonio Medical Foundation; the University of Texas Health Science Development board; and many others. Additionally, Marty is a member of the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council; the University of Texas Longhorn Advisory Council; and the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business Advisory Council. Marty has been the recipient of many awards and honors because of his achievements, his devotion and service to the community, and his vision for the future of San Antonio and Texas. Marty’s willingness to try the untried and his insistence on quality are his hallmarks. I


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Tell us about yourself. I’m 45 years old and I was born in Lubbock to an Air Force family. I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and then received my medical degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. After that, I served eight years in the Army. I did my residency at the University of Florida Health Science Center. In 2009 when my time in the military was completed, I moved to San Antonio with my family. In 2010, I started working at the UT Health and Science Center as an assistant professor in emergency medicine. What led you to practice emergency medicine? When I went to medical school, I originally thought I wanted to do practice family medicine. We, as emergency physicians, are charged with assessing patients that we’ve never met, that we don’t know, determining if they have an emergency or not; and if they have an

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emergency, stabilizing them so they can be appropriately treated. What appealed to me was that every single day of the emergency department is never the same. Some days it’s sniffles and fevers, other days it’s people who are critically ill all day long. I really like that variation of practice. Some people don’t like the chaotic environment; It’s something that I feel that I thrive in. How did MedCognition Inc. get its start? There has been a lot of discussion in the last few

years about the role of error in medicine. I’ve been very interested in why people make mistakes, how those mistakes get made, and how we can work to improve human cognitive performance in high-stress clinical situations. Emergency medicine is a high-stress clinical situation. Because other industries such as the airline industry, nuclear power industry, the maritime industry etc. can practice with high-risk scenarios using high fidelity simulation, I started thinking, why can’t we do this in medicine? Simulators in medicine today are essentially manikins with blinking eyes and moving chests. But they’re not particularly realistic and it’s hard to interact with them in a natural way. These manikins are very expensive, costing anywhere from $60 to $100k. They are also very heavy, require electricity, are rather complex to program, and are not very accessible. I began to wonder how I could get a high-quality simulator into the workspace and make it accessible to more people. As I was mulling this over, I started to learn more about this augmented reality (AR) technology, which

continued 

led to the idea of marrying AR technology with patient simulation. What is PerSim and what are its advantages? PerSim is our entry into the augmented reality patient simulation market. To date, we are unaware of any AR patient simulator that are on the market. Our device uses the Microsoft HoloLens to display a simulated patient that we can place anywhere we want, such as the side of the road, on a stretcher, in the emergency department, etc. The system consists of a Microsoft HoloLens, iPad, or Samsung tablet to control it, and a small wireless router. The whole thing weighs less than 20 pounds and is battery operated. So its advantages are that it’s affordable (a fraction of the cost of a mechanical simulator), portable, and very realistic. How will PerSim revolutionize pre-hospital training? Pre-hospital personnel such as firefighters, po-

lice officers, and rescue workers are critical to the treatment and stabilization of someone who is sick or injured. So we’re really focused on that market assessment because nobody is really addressing their needs. We’re trying to introduce this product to allow paramedics and pre-hospital personnel to more frequently practice their critical skills, enhance their thinking about how they take care of their patients, and give them more practice in their own work environments. For instance, rather than have the firefighters go to the simulator, we’re going to bring the simulator to their paramedics at the station, allowing them to train in their ambulance or fire truck. The goal is giving them the tools to train better so they can provide better care. What role did UT Health San Antonio play in the development of PerSim? We came up with the idea of the PerSim while I was at the UT Health San Antonio. I contacted the Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization. This office is there to help scientists at UT who have ideas with commercial potential develop those ideas and bring them to market. So the University of Texas system not only helps me create new technology, they’re also potentially injecting future jobs into the SA technology market and helping us provide better patient care worldwide using simulation technology that today has not yet been brought to market. What book is currently on your nightstand? Hamilton by Ron Chernow | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 11




hen I was on the verge of ending my junior year of civil engineering at the University of Texas-San Antonio, I was interning with a firm that was starting up an establishment here in San Antonio. After getting the chance to talk to my boss, he asked if I played golf. I said, “Yes, I do.” His face lit up and I began going with him to golf tournaments around town, helping him network and market the firm. What I learned was that not all business deals take place behind closed doors. Rather, they often take place in a golf cart between swings and an ice-cold beer. I quickly learned that the better I was at golf, the more value I was to my firm. Clients like to be on a team that will win a tournament – or at least place. Quickly, word spread about the solid duo my boss and I had become. We became the team that clients wanted to be on. I took those opportunities not just to network for the company, but for myself. I knew that eventually after college I was going to want people to remember my name and remember that I was more than just “drive for show and putt for dough.” I associated myself with colleagues in my profession, city officials, county officials, and state representatives. Five years later, I can confidently say I have not only established a strong client network of my own, but a strong friendship as well with each of them. The reason why it’s easy to talk business on the green is because as engineers, we cannot help ourselves but to “geek out” over a project we are doing or a submission that is creeping up on us. We talk about it so unintentionally that it’s almost humorous. However, business matters are discussed and by the time you got to the 18th hole, you had set up a gentleman’s deal, connecting on a project and creating partnerships at the19th hole (i.e., the bar). One thing I have stressed to interns in our office of whom I have had the pleasure of helping, is to always participate in events that occur outside the office and to network with everyone from everywhere because you never know when you will need them. Learn to play golf, learn to play softball, learn what the person you want to connect with likes and go out there and connect. As large as San Antonio is, the engineering community is small and tightly knit. I am thankful to my dad for taking me out to play with him while I was growing up. It has turned into time well invested. The amount of golf-affiliated events within the engineering community is major. Golf has helped my career tremendously. I

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I Howard Shelf Sr.

Howard Shelf II

f you decided today that you were going to go out and purchase a brand-new home, you could do that. When Howard Shelf Sr. and his family moved to San Antonio, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. “I came here in 1971 and I couldn’t buy a house. It’s not like we didn’t have the money. The problem was nobody wanted to sell one to us. That’s when I decided that I should go into real estate.” In 1975, he began his journey and ever since, Shelf Sr., President and CEO of the Shelf Management Group, has been a pivotal force in the real estate industry. He created a path for homebuyers who were unable to purchase homes due to societal discrimination or had financial problems becoming homeowners. Shelf Sr., originally from North Carolina, served in the Air Force for 26 years. While there, he attended night classes at several universities. After his Air Force career ended, he and his family moved to San Antonio. After running into several obstacles during house hunting, Shelf Sr. vowed to make the home buying experience both accessible and equal for everyone. Shelf Sr. notes, “If you were black and wanted to buy a house, you had to come to me.” This tender period was still transitioning from a post- Jim Crow era into equal rights. Consequently, minorities still faced discrimination in many different areas, including buying houses. Howard Shelf II, owner and CEO of Howard Shelf & Associates and his sister Marcia Shelf Orlandi, VP of Operations, are keeping the family business alive. Shelf II joined the family business at the young age of six. Since then, Shelf II continues to hold service as a top priority for doing business. Shelf II notes, “You cannot judge someone by the way they’re dressed. From

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picking up clients from the airport to shuttling clients around the city, service is essential.” These principles seem to be paying off, as almost all of their current business is referral based. When asked what words of advice he would give to someone who has had problems buying a house, Shelf II said, “A healthy financial plan and strong credit score will get you in any home. We help you create a plan to get you there.” When the Shelfs aren’t doing business, they’re spending time with family. Orlandi notes, “Learning and development are so important in our family.” Shelf Sr. and his wife created an environment for their children at a young age, one where they were encouraged always to seek knowledge. In fact, Shelf Sr. obtained

A HEALTHY FINANCIAL PLAN AND STRONG CREDIT SCORE WILL GET YOU IN ANY HOME. WE HELP YOU CREATE A PLAN TO GET YOU THERE.” his mortgage brokerage license in 2007 when he was in his early eighties. Needless to say, Shelf Sr. holds education in high regard. Orlandi notes, “All of us love to learn. We are lifelong learners because of our dad.” Such a phenomenal success bloomed from hardship. This family was able to turn a negative into a positive. Having the courage to step out on faith and start a business that has transformed hundreds of lives says something about Shelf Sr.’s character. He is an innovator, educator, and unstoppable. I





here is no greater gift you can give your children than the gift of wealth building. You must realize if you don’t do it nobody else is likely to. Schools might teach your children a lot of useful things, but financial literacy won’t be one of them. Start your children off young using simple ideas. Show them how to use money wisely, that they don’t need to buy every new “thing” for which somebody is trying to extract from their wallet. Show them how to spend their allowance wisely. Hopefully, they earned additional money the hard way, like I used to do: mowing grass, raking leaves, and – unlikely in San Antonio – shoveling snow. Encourage them to put 10 percent into savings. Teaching wealth building to your children is important for children in all income ranges – rich or poor. Start them out by teaching them the basics of investing. If you are doing your own investing, spend time showing your children how you invest, and the profits you are making from your investments. Do this on a regular basis, emphasizing that investing needs to be a lifetime endeavor in order to have a good life and be able to live the kind of life that they will want in the future. Tell your children that living an economically good life is only going to get harder. Explain to them that companies and governments are eliminating pensions and that they will be responsible for investing for their own future. Tell them the company (companies) they work for might have a 401(k) for their employees and that hopefully, their company will match funds that they invest. Be sure to tell them that any employer-related investing plan is only a small part of their future investing puzzle. They will need to do a lot of investing on their own in order to have the kind of successful life they will want. Teach them that there are two ways to approach investing: what should they invest in and what should they not invest in. If you can start teaching your children this at a young age they will form the smart habit of spending their money wisely and realize that future needs are just as important as immediate gratification. Teach them simple rules like always pay yourself first by putting away 10 percent of what you earn into an investment, even if it’s one that pays poorly like a bank savings account. Encourage them to always add more money to their savings account. And when they get a little older find them some good investing books to start reading. Find beginner investing books that teach the basics. Give them more advanced books as they get older and become fore familiar with the topic. You accomplish two goals at the same time: you encourage them to read and you encourage them to learn about investing. Get them autobiographies on famous investors like Bernard Baruch and Warren Buffet. Talk to them about how these men were once like them


– they started off knowing nothing about investing. Show your kids how investing helped these men have great lives and do a lot of good in the world. Expect your kids not to understand why you are teaching them about investing. They will want to run off and play games. Use their interest in technology and social media to teach them about investing. Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha. com) has great articles on any stock you are interested in and it’s free. Subscribe to articles about stocks you are investing in or thinking of investing in

and share these articles with your children, pointing out how the article helped you become a better investor. Another great site to share is Yahoo Finance. Show them how they can find information about stocks by merely typing in the symbol of the stock. And show them top financial newspapers like Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal. Finally, here’s the best way to reach your kids: Tell them that investing is the only game that will make money for them. Explain the incredible miracle of compounding, how they can earn profits on profits they earned earlier. As an example, tell them that $10,000 compounded at 30 percent (I can show all of you how to make 30percent a year) will grow to $232,000 in ten years – tell them how to retire early and live life – not just exist. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 15




that it doesn’t belong. Some advisors are okay with listing education funding high up on the list; some even recommend that education funding come after the emergency fund in terms of planning importance. I disagree. Education funding is very important, but not to the detriment of your survival. While there are many ways to pay for higher education, the same cannot be said for retirement. I think many of us want to do all that we can for our children, but I have seen many parent/child relationships undergo great strain because of poor planning. RETIREMENT FUNDING I strongly believe once the foundation and emergency funds are in place, the next piece in the blueprint of your financial house should be retirement planning. My reasons for this are:

In our last issue, I discussed the importance of your financial foundation and what pieces you need to construct it. In this issue, I will wrap up the discussion of your financial house by laying out what makes up the rest of the house. Just as in the foundation, there are many opinions as to what should be included in its construction and the order in which they should be arranged. EMERGENCY FUNDING One of the most important pieces in your financial house is your emergency fund. Many people consider it part of their foundation. The agreed amount to have in an emergency fund is three to six months of living expenses (e.g. food, shelter, water, electricity, etc.). I’m a fan of erring on the side of caution. What are not considered emergencies are expenses such as birthdays and holidays because they don’t sneak up on you. To be cautious, I typically recommend that those with a flexible or fluctuating income (i.e. commission based) have an emergency fund of 12 months. EDUCATION FUNDING Next is education funding, a much debated piece – as far as how high up on the list it should be located – not

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• Compound interest. The power of starting now cannot be overstated. • Retirement cannot be financed. • Delaying retirement savings by 10, 15, or 20 years can have a detrimental impact on what your retirement looks like. The sooner you make this a part of your budgeting, the more likely you are to have a successful retirement. If we think about disability insurance, health Insurance, and life insurance as the foundation, then we can equate your emergency fund and retirement planning to the walls; they are very important to the overall structure, but not to the same extent as the foundation. You wouldn’t build that dream patio deck if the walls were not structurally sound. So don’t rush to fund education before the other, more important pieces are strong. Bear in mind, these are not necessarily separate steps. Simply separate pieces of your financial house and assign their level of importance to its structural integrity. In many cases you’ll construct these pieces simultaneously, but I don’t suggest that it be the standard. DISCRETIONARY FUNDING There’s one more piece to your financial house: discretionary funding, but let’s call it the pool/guest house. Your pool/guest house should be the last piece to think about because most people don’t have the means to get there. Compare it to speculative investing. Speculative investing is highly unpredictable by nature, but it can carry a substantial reward if it works out (e.g. the stock market, real-estate, antiques, fine art, etc.) These investments are risks that should only be taken if every other part of your financial house is fully constructed and well maintained. They tend to be hot, sexy, topics … what movies are made about. However, if your financial house isn’t built to weather the storm, you could end up with your own personal Hurricane Harvey. I




“Dreams are only fulfilled when your faith, passion, and dedication are committed to seeing that vision become a reality,” according to Juan Adriatico, President of Military Athletics. Juan “Chaps” Adriatico, a native of Orlando, Florida, fell in love with San Antonio during his initial visit to Texas and wasted no time making Military City USA his home. Chaps attended Lander University and Erskine Theological seminary for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business on an athletic scholarship for baseball. But his dreams of playing professional baseball were cut short. Two arm surgeries later and countless hours praying, he redirected his focus towards ministry and triathlons. Feelings of loss and depression escalated in his early twenties as he sought security, stability, and challenges to fill the void left by no longer playing competitive ball. Although he excelled in his career as an Army Officer, his love for baseball and athletics never subsided. After serving nine years as an Airborne Army Chaplain with Army Rangers and SPEC OP units, his adventures lead him to trauma and burn centers, which allowed him to thrive as a Medical Chaplain. Juan transitioned services from the Army to the Navy where he has served four years as a U.S. Naval Officer, empowering sailors daily by carrying out his lifelong mission of service to God, family, and country. Chaps credits family for his success. His Polish grandmother, WWII Army Flight Nurse and First Lieutenant, and Filipino grandfather, citrus farmer and WWII veteran, always inspired and challenged him to make the most of everything life had to offer. Juan and his younger sister Alcira Samson, director of Softball Is Fun, recognized early their love of church, baseball fields, and the outdoors were instilled by their parents’ values of faith, fam-


ily, service, hard work, and integrity. Through his father’s heritage and mother’s Christian faith, wealth and overseas missions were possible. Opportunities to be good stewards of God’s blessings came in the form of building orphanages and hospitals across Honduras and Costa Rica. His mother Sandra’s sense of humility, care, and love are the virtues Juan demands of his staff and are directly responsible for his passion for helping children, employing veterans, and giving back. Military Athletics’ vision seeks to employ, build, and educate communities around the globe through a mission and devotion of integrity and humility. In 2014, Chaps left active duty despite a 22 percent unemployment rate and sought his Ph.D. in the business school of “hard knocks”! Setbacks did not discourage Juan, for he knew God was bringing him through a process of growth and maturity. Seven years later, Military Athletics has relocated to three offices in San Antonio, with more than 20 staff and 150 athletes internationally. Through God’s given vision, Juan sought to combine his dearest passions of honoring those who served, empowering the next generation, building local business, and bringing unity to all through athletics. Military Athletics has grown outside the perspective of just baseball. It now hosts events in running, triathlons, basketball, soccer, airsoft, archery, CrossFit, golf, softball, hunting, and fresh and saltwater fishing. Life consulting, mentorship, animal therapy, survival courses, and educational opportunities are offered as well. Their mission is simple: help people, honor our U.S. Military, and assist others to achieve their dreams. Whether it is through mentoring young kids, embarking on one’s first business adventure, or qualifying for its Pro Sports Teams, Military Athletics is committed to serving and networking across the globe. “Fallen Soldier Tours” launched in the fall of 2017 establishing its International Headquarters in San Antonio. These tours honor the lives of those lost and their families, support the Cause 22 event for the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide, and give back to youth programs by providing free youth clinics for kids across the world. Military Athletics is a non-profit organization that relies on the donations and support of sponsors who can connect with their vision in honoring the fallen, giving back to youth, and empowering communities around the world. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 17




ost business owners today have a 401(k) plan. This plan has a dual purpose. It provides the business and its employees with a qualified retirement plan. The business owner also receives a tax deduction. But the 401(k) plan has its limits. In 2017, the most that could be put away for retirement was $54,000 for the year ($60,000 if you were age 50 or older). What if we could take the attributes of your current 401(k) plan and significantly scale it up? How could we do that? By adding a cash balance plan to your retirement and tax planning arsenal. A cash balance plan is a type of retirement plan that allows an owner that makes more than $265k annually to accumulate in excess of $2.5 million dollars over a ten-year period. With a cash balance plan, your deductible contribution increases from $54,000 to as much as $250,000 or more. It’s perfectly legal and fully qualified by the IRS. Increased Contributions, Tax-Deferred, Tax Deductible, Scalable A cash balance plan is a cross between a pension plan and a 401(k) plan. It has an account balance that grows each year with employer contributions and interest credit. That account balance becomes a benefit that you receive from the plan. What’s really nice is that contributions funding the plan are tax deductible. The growth in the plan is tax-deferred. You even have the option to roll over your distribution to an IRA so that it continues to remain tax-deferred. A cash balance plan contains the same features that make your 401(k) plan so attractive, but lets you receive benefits on a much larger scale. A cash balance plan is for small and large companies. Since, the cash balance concept is scalable, you could get similar results if

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your business has multiple owners and a larger staff. Large doctor groups have begun to use cash balance plans more often, for both the tax deductions and as a tool to help attract and retain top talent. Since these groups often have 10 or more doctors, they can usually get very good results, including the potential for large tax savings. A cash balance plan may not be a solution in all cases, but if you’re looking for larger deductible contributions than your 401(k) plan

offers, it is worth looking into. A cash balance plan can leverage your tax savings and may boost your tax savings and retirement capabilities.






210.829.5420 10203 KOTZEBUE ST. 224 SAN ANTONIO TX, 78217









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KENNY WILSON, CEO OF HAVEN FOR HOPE, TELLS HIS STORY. I hadn’t been there very long. A young man was sitting on a bench outside. It was about 9 o’clock at night, he was by himself. And I just sat down beside him. He really didn’t acknowledge me. He was aloof. “How’s it going?” I said “Fine,” the man said And then I wanted to ask more questions. “How long have you been here?” “A couple weeks.” “Are you by yourself?” “I have my wife and children with me.” “Where were you before?” “I was in jail.” I didn’t know what to say, but then said, “Have you been in jail before?” Up until that point, he hadn’t looked at me and then he just began weeping. “I’ve been in jail before … too many times. This is my last chance. I’ve let so many people down. I’m getting all the help I need here.” GET TO THE ROOT OF IT “So you get to the root of the cause of what’s going on. It’s rewarding to discover those things and watch a person progress,” says Wilson. “I try to stay connected to them. Many people here aren’t used to hearing people listen to them, so to ask them, “Tell me about yourself, how’d you get here? … they are willing to share.” Wilson earned a degree from Abilene Christian University. He is native to Fort Worth, has a wife, three daughters, and three grandchildren. Being a servant to the community runs in the family. His youngest daughter is the founder of a non-profit organization in El Salvador. His accolades include 2015 City Year Award and the 2015 Briscoe Friends of Youth Award. Wilson has always been active in the San Antonio Community and a true leader serving as

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chairman of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a board member of the San Antonio Museum of Art, the P16 Education Council, and a former member of the executive committee of The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. When we asked him what the most rewarding part of his job was he told us, “The best part is the stories that I encounter every day. The best part is the people that I’ve met.” Wilson came from the banking world. With 30 years at Bank of America, he brought with him the skills he learned about teamwork, managing, client service, problem-solving, and communicating. In addition, he served at U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management as Managing Director and Market Executive. He wanted to apply those skills at a place that needed it the most, he says. “What I decided to do was learn this business by meeting the people that we serve,” Wilson continues. “Day and night at the campus, sitting down with someone and saying ‘Tell me about yourself,’ they are all willing to share. The stories I hear just astonish me. The stories keep me going. The individuals that are here have made great strides.” We asked Wilson how he is able to connect with individuals on the campus. He told us he takes time to listen and ask questions. “The people at Haven are grateful to be at Haven.” The big question we had for Wilson: Is the homeless problem getting better or worse? Wilson tells us truthfully that he doesn’t know the answer to that question. “One person leaves, and two more walk in. We believe homelessness is a symptom; it’s not the problem.” Haven for Hope is a non-profit San Antonio organization. Its campus has fifteen buildings sitting on twenty-two acres. It’s a unique solution. Delegations from major cities flock to the campus and want to follow the same model, says Wilson. “It took $100 million to build this campus, so to replicate that is a challenge,” Wilson adds. “And then to maintain it is an even bigger challenge. This is not just a shelter, although

we have that piece of it. This about helping people find the root cause of their homelessness.” “The community has been great to Haven for Hope,” Wilson continues.

Haven for Hope is a non-profit San Antonio organization.

“The city, the county, the philanthropists have helped to get it started. It’s expensive to operate. We have a very diverse funding pool, but we need more funds to help more people. There are more people we could help if we had the funding to do it.”

Having completed his second year at Haven for Hope, Wilson now has a better grasp and understanding of the issue of homelessness. He says the most surprising thing is, “It’s bigger and more complicated than I expected. The problem of homeless-

ness is a big issue for our country.” Wilson takes away a story each day, some like the one he shares with us. “I am so grateful to be here because of the change I see in those the folks who live here.” I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 23



Strategic Account Director, Sustainability & Inclusion Focus – Meetings & Events STAFF WRITER

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TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT’S YOUR AGE, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I’m age 40-something (laughs). I was born in South Central Los Angeles and raised by a single mother. Even though I grew up without the benefit of having two parents in the household, I was privileged in that my mother and grandmother filled in for my absent father. Due to my mother’s hectic work schedule, I spent a significant amount of my formative years with my godparents, who lived two blocks away, on what was considered one of the worst streets in Los Angeles at that time. Despite growing up in one of the roughest parts of Los Angeles, these experiences helped shape my character, my morals, and my sense of social responsibility. I’m very thankful for my childhood neighborhood because it taught

me the meaning of family, determination, and the importance of giving back. In addition, I consider myself very fortunate because I had the privilege of having two individuals play a significant role in mentoring me during my formative years in South Central LA; one of them being your publisher, Cedric Fisher and the other, Ms. Artimese Porter. I met Cedric in the early 1990s while interning for the publication Black Enterprise Magazine, where Cedric served as the western regional sales manager. Cedric has served as a great mentor throughout the years. He taught me the true meaning of being a professional African American man, life leadership skills, the value of entrepreneurship, how to mentor others, overcoming obstacles, and pursuing goals with a purpose. My other mentor, Ms. Porter, was the ex- | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 25

ecutive administrator at the University of Southern California (USC). She was a huge inspiration in my life, the first person to introduce me to the college experience. She taught me organizational skills, the importance of saving money, never giving up on my dreams, and how important it is to serve others.

Prevention Commission, which works to reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders. Last but not least, I spend a great deal of time traveling with my lovely wife and spending time with family and friends.



I hold a BS degree in business and marketing from Sonoma State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

I attended JFK College of Law for one year while working full-time at my previous employment.



As a Strategic Account Director, I serve as the central point of contact for all Diversity Association accounts, ensuring that we have a coordinated approach to potential meetings business. I also work in collaboration with the Chief Sustainability Officer, Social Impact and Inclusion Vice President, and our internal & external teams to build partnerships that support the sustainability and inclusion efforts of Caesars Entertainment. As stated by our Chief Sales Officer Michael Massari, "The goal of launching this new role is to align with the strong corporate social responsibility values of Caesars Entertainment.”

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, which talks about the power of building healthy relationships.

REGARDING LEADERSHIP, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADER? Someone who has a strategic mindset; the ability to communicate effectively and provides simplistic roadmaps and playbooks to their team; and someone who is compassionate and humble towards others. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES? WHEN AND HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I’m involved with many community organizations. I currently serve as a mentor and a member of the Advisory Board for Jesse Bethel High School Law Academy, which exposes at-risk high school students to the legal profession in California. Being the only non-lawyer on the Law Academy Advisory Board, I bring a unique perspective to the students by sharing my educational experiences. In addition, I recently finished a two-year term as Commissioner of the Solano County, CA Juvenile Justice Delinquency

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WHAT ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALUES? HOW ABOUT CAESARS? Caesars values integrity, providing service with a passion, celebrating successes, diversity and inclusion, and creating a caring culture and ownership. Moreover, Caesars values being a responsible corporate citizen. This emphasis on purpose over profit drives the business and helps all Caesars employees behave with integrity and care for each other, their communities, and the environment. HOW IMPORTANT IS DIVERSITY TO CAESARS AND WHAT VALUE DOES IT BRING? Our team members are the heart and soul of Caesars Entertainment and the backbone of our success. Because of this, we value having a diverse and inclusive workforce, not only because this means team members reflect the communities in which we work, but because we know that when we embrace what makes us unique, we inspire innovation and win together. Evidence shows us that companies that embrace diversity and inclusion and set measurable actions for it in all aspects of their business outperform those that don’t. At Caesars Entertainment, we take it one step further. We try to achieve diversity and inclusion by striving to attain both equity and equality within our corporation and with all the suppliers with whom we work. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE FEELS INCLUDED? As they often say, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” While diversity is a key

driver of our business objectives and goals, we understand we are nowhere without creating an inclusive culture. We do this in a variety of ways: • Our internal Business Impact Groups (BIGs) provide employees of shared backgrounds and interests a forum to network with and support one another while driving business goals. We have seven BIGs, primarily in Las Vegas, representing the full diversity of our employees, including, for example, employees who are military veterans (SALUTE), employees of Hispanic or Latino background (VIA), and female employees (SAVVY). • We have helped more than 350 employees become naturalized citizens in the last five years through our Citizenship Rewards program in Las Vegas and Southern California. • Caesars is committed to hiring military veterans through our Enlisting Heroes program, which holds job fairs specifically focused on veteran candidates. • Caesars was the first in the industry to provide protections to transgender guests and employees and to train employees on policies relating to transgender employees and guests. • Caesars has long led public policy and advocacy around relationship recognition and anti-discrimination on a state and federal level, including advocating in favor of LGBTQ rights related to the following legislation: the Equality Act (with official support given through the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act), the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, two DOMA U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs, Nevada transgender anti-discrimination bills, and a Mississippi bill to limit LGBTQ civil liberties. • Building on the teachings of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, Caesars established its own Lean In circles to help advance female employees and to encourage women to pursue their ambitions by providing a support framework and inspirational tools. CAN YOU SHARE DATA ON CAESARS’ DIVERSITY? We are proud that our workplace makes up an array of diverse team members. In the U.S., we have a total work-

force of approximately 57,600 (excluding certain seasonal, temporary, and nonpermanent workers) of whom just over 50% are women (with 44% women in management) and 60% to minority groups (with 37% minorities in management). To continue driving diversity and equality in our workforce, we have set a goal to have 50% of manager level or higher employees be minorities by the year 2030 and 50% of management level or higher employees be women by 2025. We are also committed to working with a diversified pool of vendors, contractors, professional service providers, and with developing businesses to help them grow. We continue to diversify our supplier base and procurement spent with minority and women-owned, LGBTQ, veteran, disabled, and disadvantaged business enterprises. To further support women in business, we partner with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to certify suppliers at are at least 51% women owned. We also sponsor the Women of Distinction Awards event for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) of Southern Nevada. We also support national business resource groups and local chambers that promote diverse suppliers. HOW DIVERSE IS THE EXECUTIVE TEAM AT CAESARS? At Caesars, we recognize there’s more to be done to create equal representation at the top. We’re taking action to achieve this equal representation at the executive level by establishing a goal to achieve a level of 50% women among our corporate and casino-hotel managers by 2025 and 50% minorities at the manager level or higher by the year 2030. By creating these aspiring goals we know that we will be establishing a strong pipeline of diverse leaders who are prepared to break the industry’s glass ceiling. ARE CAESARS RECRUITING EFFORTS SUPPORTING A DIVERSE CULTURE? We hire for diversity, compensate fairly, and reward positive contributions and service. Our training programs are designed for all and our working environments are positive and open. With tens of thousands of employees across our organization, we try to create a workplace where we can collectively work as one big team toward one big ambition, to create memorable experiences for our guests by serving them with passion. Caesars also has an equal employment opportunity policy for all applicants and team members and this policy extends into our recruitment policies and efforts. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 27




or high net worth individuals, investing has special challenges. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring your profits are not devoured by high taxes. Many high net worth investors could face being placed in a 39.6% tax bracket. Investing must be tailored to reduce the tax burden as much as possible. Here are three ways to reduce yours:

1. Take advantage of tax-free investments. A very good way to reduce taxes is with tax-free municipal bonds. Here’s a simple example: Let’s say a high net worth investor has the choice between two fixed-income investments: a taxable bond paying 5% interest or a taxfree municipal bond paying 3%. At first glance, it may seem an easy decision to take the 5%. But if you’re in the top tax bracket of 39.6%, you’ll pay that rate plus an additional 3.8% in net investment income tax if you meet the criteria. All of a sudden, that 5% yield is effectively lowered to just 2.83%.

2. Diversify. Diversifying is very important to investors who have many assets. A typically diverse portfolio on average is 18% stocks, 18% hedge funds, 14% global equities, 10% private equity, 10% taxable bonds, 7% cash, 7% municipal bonds, 6% real estate, 5% commodities, and 5% other assets. Diversity will translate into lower portfolio risk and lower taxes.

3. Rebalance your portfolio regularly. Set up your portfolio so that 70% of your holdings are stocks and 30% are bonds. If you or your financial advisor does not regularly check on the current allocation, this ratio could become seriously out of balance. And if you have a very diverse portfolio like the typical investor above, this becomes even more important. Get advice on how rebalancing can reduce your future taxes. I

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Don't Miss this Moment!

1 hour of your time will change their lives.

Children who are not fluent readers by 3rd grade may never catch up to their peers.

Spread the word - Become a Reading Buddy - donate books Learn more on how you can help at or by calling 210-299-1533. | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 29



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MODELS: Veronyka and Cleon Bass Marie Fellbaum and Ian Bertini LOCATION: Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, Veronyka’s Color Salon & Spa WARDROBE: Wearing Robert Graham and Bonitas, and designers LenaM, and Be Fabulous Boutique personal wear PHOTOGRAPHER: Larry Crawford CAR: Rolls Royce Dawn Convertible

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Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars PressClub | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 35


Carlos Martinez Tell us about yourself: age, marital status, children, birthplace, etc. I’m Carlos Martinez, born and raised in San Antonio. As for my age, let’s just say I’m a brand new recipient of Social Security benefits. I’ve been married for fifty years to Rita. We have two adult daughters, Angela Alderete and Cynthia Rosas. I enjoy spending time with my four grandchildren Erik, Alyssa, Olivia, and Frankie.


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What is your educational and career background? I grew up in the near west side of San Antonio and graduated with honors from Lanier High School. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era, I attended Our Lady of the Lake University using my GI Bill benefits. After completing a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a major in Management, I went on to receive a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). I also hold an FAA license for aircraft maintenance, but most of my career has been devoted to building a service entity to help fellow veterans. For the past forty-five years, I served as President and CEO of the American GI Forum National Veterans

Outreach Program, Inc. a diverse entity comprised of six separate non-profit corporations that provide housing services, employment assistance, has acquired business enterprises and real estate holdings, and creates economic development projects. Who do you consider your mentor, or who do you aspire to emulate and why? As a young person growing up in the sixties with a lot of social change at the forefront, I had the opportunity to meet with many community leaders that mentored my development. Among those leaders, I especially admired the work of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Founder of the American GI Forum, a national civil rights organization that advocated for veterans and their families. Dr. Garcia introduced me to many other civic leaders at state and national levels. He always advocated for those in need, and I truly admired the devotion and time he put into this work rather than just enjoying his fruitful life as a medical doctor. What’s been your greatest accomplishment? The National Veterans Outreach Program organization that I joined in 1972 relied on one single short-term grant to

help veterans find employment. I am proud that I was able to share a vision and direction with some wonderfully dedicated members of the organization that helped expand it over forty-five years to become one of the nation’s premier community-based groups serving veterans. Recently, a national survey conducted by Syracuse University found approximately 45,000 organizations that served veterans in the U.S. The National Veterans Outreach Program was one of the most unique and successful operations and it was included as one of the twenty-five national models from that research. What are some extracurricular activities you enjoy outside the office? My devotion to work and family uses up most of my time. Beyond being a poor golfer who occasionally hits the links, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family. What’s on your nightstand ...what book are you currently reading? I am an avid reader of fiction novels, but on my nightstand, I also keep my TV remote control that I use to turn off the TV as my day comes to a close and I drift off to sleep. I



INFLUENCE Magazine recently met with Mayor Ron Nirenberg for a brief update on our July 2017 conversation that took place as he was celebrating his closely-won election, days away from assuming office. This is his one-year anniversary as mayor of our great city. Happy first anniversary in office, Ron. We’ve followed you all along the way and are proud to see you still standing tall. INFLUENCE readers appreciate what it takes to accomplish the first year at any job. You’ve inspired us all. As you round the corner on your first year … What’s your greatest success? We’ve changed the conversation of the city in many aspects, such as folks thinking progressive and having a shared vision of

what we could be while celebrating what we’ve become. Another success is being able to avoid the housing crisis most cities our size are experiencing. We’ve included things like multiple mobile transportation; internationally competitive airport; top-flight businesses which are now being attracted to the city, such as the Hub Group. We turned around the 300 Tricentennial from something that had potential into a milestone with annual significance. What’s your greatest challenge? Preventing a misguided charter proposal by the Fire Union from crippling our future and keeping them from exercising the Evergreen Clause in every wrong way. This proposal could be devastating to the city.

What continues to encourage you? The city has evolved. The landscape has changed in San Antonio. However, the soul of its people still thrive on rich traditions and promise. Our people have authenticity and a self-confidence second to none. We’re now one of the premier cities of the world. San Antonio was recently heralded the fastest growing city in the nation (Forbes, 2018). It’s always about our people. Our civic leaders are wise to follow the hopes and dreams of their constituents and be held accountable for delivering them. We need to recognize their hard work. What’s on your nightstand … what are you currently reading? Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Philips

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When Bishop isn’t meeting with a client to strategize on an upcoming renewal, collaborating with an underwriter to negotiate a renewal, or meeting with an insurance carrier partner to discuss new products, she’s in the office mentoring new producers or sitting with her partnership group to understand the most critical components which are allowing the company to grow profitably. Catto and Catto was founded 1933. Since then, the company remains an independent agency. Culture is an important factor in the company’s sustainability. As San Antonio’s only member of Assurex Global, Catto & Catto draws on the strength of the world’s largest privately-held risk management, employee benefit and commercial insurance group (encompassing over 20,000 professionals on six continents) to fulfill any insurance need for any client anywhere in the world. After 10 years with Catto, Bishop, Partner and Director of Employee Benefits, strongly stands by Catto and Catto culture. The 2012 Producer of the Year recipient says, “It starts at the top. It starts with the partnership group.” Investing in employees, creating an attractive workplace, and understanding each employee’s strengths is what differentiates this insurance and risk management company. Bishop believes “the Catto and Catto experience is what sets us apart from our competition.” Catherine holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. To connect to Bishop visit


Brandey Wimberley Orsag is Executive Vice President and Commercial Lending Group Manager and a 21-year veteran of Jefferson Bank. In addition to managing one of the most diverse loan and deposit portfolios, Orsag also manages lending teams in New Braunfels, Boerne, and part of San Antonio. Orsag serves on the faculty of SMU’s Southwestern Graduate School of Bankers (SWGSB) where she leads discussions on bank performance as well as overall bank management. In addition to serving as the 2017 President of CREW-San Antonio, Orsag has held various board positions. She accepted a Board of Director position for Texas State University Development Foundation, which is the main arm of the university that manages endowment funds for scholarships and teacher advancement. On this board, she has served as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee. To fulfill her passion for mentoring others, Orsag also serves on Texas State University’s Advisory Council for the Department of Finance and Economics. Orsag has been married for almost 20 years and she and her husband are the proud parents of a daughter.​She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance at Texas State University, holds an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word, and has a graduate degree in Banking from SWGSB at SMU. For more information or to connect with Orsag visit 38 | JULY/AUGUST 2018 |



Angela K. Holliday is the President of Frost Brokerage Services, Inc. and Frost Investment Services, LLC. She began working at Frost in 1996 as a Sales Assistant for the top advisor. Later, Angela went on to serve as the Trading Manager, Operations Manager, Sales Support Manager and Chief Operations Officer. Her leadership is inspired by the Frost core values, integrity, caring and excellence. She was promoted to President in July 2017 and she has the privilege to lead the firm’s advisor teams, sales management, operations and compliance. Angela has the FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 63 and 99 licenses.


David Bohne, CEO of Broadway Bank, has spent almost 26 years in the financial services industry. Prior to working at Broadway Bank, Bohne spent 22 years in various executive roles at USAA Federal Savings Bank, including seven years as their president. A San Antonio native, Bohne holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting and Business Administration from Texas A&M University and the University of the Incarnate Word, respectively. He has served on the San Antonio boards of United Way, the Children’s Shelter, and the USO. Bohne and his wife Cathy have been married for more than 25 years and have two children. Embracing the bank’s strong tradition of personalized customer service, Bohne is leading Broadway Bank into providing online experiences that simplify banking. Backed by more than 600 employees, he is excited about the impact Broadway bankers can have on local communities both as solution-oriented financial partners and as an energetic volunteer force. “We are carrying on a legacy of customer service handed down from our founders. Anyone who joins the Broadway Bank team feels an immediate connection to finding answers and uniquely personal ways to exceed customer expectations. It’s the Broadway way,” Bohne shares warmly. Broadway Bank offers personal, private, military, and business banking, as well as wealth management services. For more information on Broadway Bank visit


Eric Kala is nothing short of extraordinary. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, he underwent a career change. He became an advisor with the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company and later founded the affiliate firm, Avid Wealth Partners. Kala’s position has allowed him to not only help his clients achieve financial security and prepare for best-and worst-case fiscal scenarios but also to develop lifelong relationships. Avid Wealth Partners is a dedicated team focused on helping professionals in time-challenged careers create a financial blueprint that guides them towards their goals. Kala shared that “Our clients tell us where they want to go, and together, we design a plan that builds efficiencies from investment, tax, and insurance standpoints.” Kala’s education is extensive and ongoing. He holds certifications and designations including CPWA®, CIMA®, CFP®, AEP®, CLU®, ChFC® and CRPS®. | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 39




In today’s highly competitive environment corporations need exceptionally reliable tools to ensure good hiring and promotion decisions to get the most from training and development initiatives and to maximize employee performance. Accuracy in hiring and placement is more critical today than ever and employee development must be more focused and relevant. Standard assessments are not enough. Organizations need an integrated system for more accurate and in-depth analysis. CORE analytical systems, a multidimensional awareness profile, provides deep, accurate analysis that truly gets to the core of employee issues. CORE is the acronym for four primary personality styles: Commander, Organizer, Relater, and Entertainer. CORE systems accurately measure and predict 78 critical performance factors so current effectiveness in any job can be accurately predicted and specific training and development needs CAN BE pinpointed for optimal performance. Hiring mistakes can be greatly reduced, training costs minimized, and results maximized.”

CORE assessments have the ability to: • Get beneath the surface and provide deep analysis to ensure that only the best job candidates are selected • Measure self-perception, behavioral styles, and preferred functions in a single analytical system that correlates and compares each factor • Measure and predict areas of emotional competence (or

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emotional intelligence), not just generally, but in specific joband performance-related areas • Define and describe how effectively an individual is likely to function in a particular position with co-workers, superiors, peers, and overall • Detect attempts at skewing • Accurately measure development levels for all

possible traits • Describe reactionary patterns and behaviors with and without stressors • Become quickly conversational and applicable to people and situations across the board. Everyone, from co-workers to customers, can be understood and appreciated more fully using the CORE model


• Get beyond erroneous self-perception and right to the core of authentic interests, motivation, and drive • Predict where disengagement and lack of motivation are likely to occur • Provide specific information to help individuals systematically move away from self-defeating behaviors and toward their highest potential • Separate behaviors so positive, negative, and coping behaviors are identified and correctly reported. • Accurately define training needs so training can be narrowly applied or greatly improved, greatly reducing waste in both training time and dollars • Measure and track employee progress

FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE For more than 70 years, we’ve been crafting banking services to meet the unique financial needs of our customers in San Antonio and surrounding areas. From personal checking accounts to mortgages, from business loans to online banking, we’ve got you covered. This is personal to us.


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DR. ADENA WILLIAMS-LOSTON is the president of St. Phillips College in San Antonio, a position she has held since 2007. I met Dr. Owens at her beautiful office at the college. During our interview, she was a confident storyteller. She spoke of her experiences growing up in the segregated South and her journey to becoming a leader. Tell us about yourself; your age and background? I am 65 years old and I grew up as one of five children in the segregated South, Vicksburg, Mississippi. My mother was a registered nurse and my father was the first black licensed master plumber in Vicksburg. Mom was a proponent of education and Daddy believed in the importance of having a trade. I was able to earn extra money as a seamstress.

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What is your educational background? I obtained my bachelor of science degree from Alcorn State University and my master’s and doctorate degrees in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University. What is your current position? What is your typical day/week like? I’m the fourteenth president of St. Phillips College. Every day is different. There are many activities that involve making sure that students have the programs and resources they need. What do you love most about your job? I love to stop and talk to the students and discover ways I can make things better for them and improve their situation.

What is a major accomplishment in your career? In June, St. Phillips College received the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) award. It’s the highest honor you can receive for performance excellence in the state of Texas. What do you for fun? I love to dance! What don’t people know about you that they should? I wrote a soon-to-be-released book, The Arc of My Leadership Experiences. What’s on your nightstand? What leadership book has impacted you? Good to Great by Jim Collins. I


CINDY SABEK QUICK PRESIDENT, GRACIOUS GIFT WINES Tell us about yourself: age, where are you from? I am 38 years old. I grew up in the Texas Hill Country in Kerrville. My husband is Dirk Quick. What’s your educational background? In 2014, I received my Professional Masters in Business Administration from Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University after receiving my undergraduate degree in 2001 from Texas Tech.

truly helping your neighbors in need. What are some of your extracurricular activities? My biggest one is this wine project. It keeps me super busy. I also absolutely love to cook. These two passions go hand in hand. I also have a 2-year-old son and another son on the way, so my life is full … chasing down a toddler and watching him grow and learn every day.

Describe your current job … a day in the life of. I am currently in medical sales. I sell an injection for the knee for osteoarthritis. That is my day job, but as for my passion, I have another job which is helping feed the hungry of Texas through my wine company, Gracious Gift Wines.

What’s been your greatest accomplishment? My two greatest accomplishments are having my son, Jackson James (“J.J.”), watching him develop and learn, and launching this amazing wine company (against all odds). I didn’t have any previous wine business experience, so my journey to making this idea come to fruition wasn’t easy. But it has been full of rewards along the way.

Describe your product/service and its competitive advantage or need it addresses. Gracious Gift Wines is unique in that it provides delicious high-quality wines with one purpose: feeding our neighbors in need. Every bottle of wine sold results in an average of three meals being donated to your local food bank. It is zip code specific, so when you purchase a bottle of this special wine, you can be assured that you are

What’s on your nightstand ...what book are you currently reading? Ha! At the moment my nightstand has diapers and baby lotion on it! I recently started re-reading the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I have already read this book a couple of times, but it is a great resource to revisit every now and then to make sure that I keep my life in focus and use my strengths to the best of my ability. I



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n an increasingly idle world spent sitting in front of computer screens, cell phones, and televisions, self-care has become a crucial element in counteracting stagnancy. Massage, once considered a luxury item, is now an important and often mandatory part of any lifestyle. The staff at Neva Massage & Yoga Studio are constantly training, studying, and practicing their craft so they are prepared for people with a variety of conditions who walk through the door. Massage therapy has been shown to ease not only prominent physical ailments but tension that causes headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, and injury. Neva’s all-inclusive therapeutic massage style eases muscle constriction while also focusing on alignment and range of motion throughout the body. So how do you retain the pain soothing effects of a quality massage? Neva has the answer: yoga. Yoga, or more accurately, asana (posture) practice, has taken the West by storm. There are many competing opinions about the history,

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mysticism, and theories of yoga but there is no doubt that its physical practice has helped people from all walks of life, no matter their condition. At Neva we focus on the power of mindful breath and quality movement to open one’s body and create space for new physical challenges and mindful insight on daily life. When you walk in, know that you are accepted just as you are and every one of our instructors and therapists is ready to help you unveil your pure potential. Whether you are interested in how our therapeutic massage can benefit you or you’re looking to start a yoga practice, come in and let us learn how we can assist you on your path to a healthier

lifestyle. Ease from the stresses of pain and anxiety is only a step away. The hardest part is deciding to walk through the front door. Contact Collins at and visit Instagram: @whereisamycollins


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Physical activity doesn’t need to be formal exercise.

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WORKING A FULL-TIME JOB can make it seem almost impossible to find time for exercise. The idea of packing your bag, going to the gym, working out, getting changed, and heading back to work can be daunting tasks. But you don’t want to just skip it all together and put your health at risk, do you? Studies show lack of exercise can negatively affect your physical and mental health, decreasing energy and productivity. So how can you still get the health benefits of

exercise while boosting your work performance without going to the gym? Add some physical activity to your workday. Physical activity doesn’t need to be formal exercise. Just making a few daily changes to your routine and being conscious of how you spend your free time can add about 15 minutes of extra activity to your day, totaling over an hour during a 5-day work week! Here are a few ideas to get you started.


exercise at work. Rather than looking for the closest one to your office as you normally would, go to a restroom on another floor or different part of the building. This will force you to walk more and add some extra steps to your day. 4. Take the stairs over the elevator. This might not seem like much of a workout either, but taking the stairs throughout your workday can add up to five minutes of activity during the day. According to Dr. Harvey Simon at Harvard Medical School, climbing stairs is one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine. Taking the stairs has many cardiovascular benefits, including reducing the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Plus, every time you climb a flight of stairs, your body releases endorphins, making you feel happier and more relaxed! 5. Replace your chair with a stability ball. Ever walk into an office and wonder why there are exercise balls in place of chairs? No, there’s not a fitness class going on. Sitting on the exercise ball can result in better posture because it forces proper spine alignment. The exercise ball will engage your core and abs because those muscles need to stabilize themselves in order for you to sit upright. So every time you’re sitting on a ball, you’re training your abs and burning calories at the same time. I

5 Simple Ways to Slip in a Workout at the Office: 1. Turn your commute into a workout. This seems crazy, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. If you live near your job, this can mean walking or riding your bike to work. Otherwise, if you’re driving, try parking a little farther away from your office, forcing you to walk a little extra. The American Heart Association recommends taking 10,000 steps per day, so why not use your commute to rack up some steps? Besides, getting this exercise done will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle your day. 2. Take short breaks during the day. Instead of sitting at a desk or cubicle all day, try to set an alarm to force you to take short, active breaks every 30 to 45 minutes. These breaks can include walking around to fill up your coffee mug or water bottle, or even just standing up to stretch. You don’t need to do much; just moving around will burn off some calories and improve mental focus. 3. Walk to the “other” restroom. Believe it or not, going to the restroom is a great way to sneak in


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H. Rick Goff’s gift for storytelling puts you right there in the boat with him. A Line in the Water is a delightful book filled with faith, family, friends, and fishing. A fun and light-hearted read, perfect for transporting you to several prime fishing destinations across the country where Goff, a former military officer in the Air Force, was stationed. Although I’m a novice when it comes to fishing, I found the heartwarming stories about Rick and his fishing buddies both comical and relatable. Particularly touching was the story of his friendship with his neighbor and their adventures in Tampa Bay. A great book for all ages, A Line in the Water is a great catch of a read with important life lessons.

FINDING GOD IN THE EVERYDAY Finding God in the Everyday by Lillie Ammann is an exceptionally good chronology of a lifetime journey through a myriad of diverse experiences, leaving the reader with a sense of gratefulness for many of the everyday blessings one often takes for granted. The devotional format of Lillie’s unique, real-life experiences, followed by biblical scripture and closing prayer, very effectively lead the reader to arrive at a sense of ultimate gratitude. Both helpful and therapeutic, Finding God in the Everyday gives us a way to successfully navigate through our own unique hardships. Lillie does it again. I

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SA’s INFLUENCE recently attended Culinaria 2018 and met several undiscovered pit masters who operate in our fair city. One newcomer is Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse, a franchise started in Tennessee, operated by genuine Pit Master Ron Gonzalez. The company’s original concept was good food and eye candy. We had the pleasure of sampling their fare at an office catering and the consensus was – as it relates to the quality, taste, and flavor of the meats – these folks know what they’re doing! The sauces (particularly Carolina), sausage, and sides were outstanding. The ribs – the true testament of a pit masters prowess – were moist and tender and easy on the teeth. As a barbeque connoisseur, I’ve traveled extensively to analyze and judge various pit masters. Ron is a bona fide grill guru. He understands that the customer experience starts with preparation of the meats (the work we don’t see), and “negotiating” all the spices so they work together. All accessories and ancillary items such as sides and sauce complete the experience – but it’s all about meat prep, wood choices, grills, climate, length of marinade … whether your unique recipe calls for base or rub. Having only known and experienced their food once, I’m already placing them in my top three barbecue joints list for San Antonio – top ten statewide. These folks are doing a lot of things right.

sity of Texas. At twenty-one, he finished culinary school and received his certification from the Texas Culinary Academy. Soon after, he became part owner of a restaurant in Gruene. At twenty-two, Ron decided to leave school behind. Two years later, he bought another bar and grill and also started a catering company specializing in – of course – barbecue! For eighteen years, Ron owned and operated several bars, restaurants, and clubs. Later, he decided to sell his businesses to work as a small business consultant. But barbecue was calling to him. Recently, Ron made his way back into restaurant operations where he oversees all the barbecue preparation at Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse. I Location: 5603 Presidio Parkway, SA 78249, (

Some scuttlebutt about Ron Gonzalez, Bar-BCutie Pit Master and General Manager Ron traveled the world, having grown up in a military family. He eventually made his way to Texas. At fifteen years old, he began working in the restaurant business as an assistant cook. He soon started working directly with the owner in the Catering Department where he was in charge of seasoning and loading the pits daily. After high school, Ron attended the Univer-




Dr. D. Anthony Miles is an entrepreneur, award-winning researcher, award-winning professor, statistician, legal expert witness, and best-selling author. A nationally known expert in the fields of entrepreneurship and marketing, Miles is a startup and marketing expert who has appeared in the national media for his expertise. He is CEO and Founder of Miles Development Industries CorporationÂŽ, a consulting practice and venture capital acquisition firm. He is also host and executive producer of Game On Business TalkÂŽ radio show and a visiting professor. He has presented his research at conferences around the country, most notably, Stanford University, and was recently invited to speak at Harvard Business School. With over twenty years in retail banking and financial services industries, Miles developed the business plan for Brooks City Air Force Base. He has ten years of experience consulting startups; and eleven years as a statistician in marketing research, analytics, survey design, data collection, and focus groups. MEDIA EXPERT/LEGAL

EXPERT WITNESS Miles has been featured on nationally syndicated media outlets including Forbes, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, The Debbie Nigro Show, Money Matters with Chris Hensley, The Earl Cobb Show, and The Michael Dresser Show. He is also a legal expert witness, provides expert testimony on business scams, false advertising claims, and trade dress for local, state, and federal civil and criminal cases, RESEARCH/PUBLICATIONS

Miles is an author and researcher of numerous academic journals. He is the best-selling author of Risk Factors and Business Models and Entrepreneurship and Risk. His most popular

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research is his marketing study featured in, which discusses social media and consumer behavior. He is also an editorial board member of ten academic journals. AWARDS Miles has won numerous awards for his business research. He is a four-time winner of the Academy of Business Research Conference (ABR) Award for best research in Marketing and Economics, won the Best Research in Marketing Award at the 2017 ABR Conference, won the 2010 Teaching Excellence Award from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, won a fellowship for his doctoral research with the 2009 USASBE Doctoral Consortium while completing his Ph.D., and he was selected as one of seventeen distinguished doctoral researchers nationwide in the field of entrepreneurship. CONTACT www.mdicorpventures. com, email:, business cell: (210)-362-0460 I



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have always wanted to give back in a big way,” says Harvey Najim, who as a young person developed a habit of charity in support of his church and nonprofits in his community. In 1980, Najim developed Sirius Computer Solutions, an IT business integration company that is today one of the leading IT integrators in the U.S. In 2006, Najim founded the Najim Family Foundation thanks to his financial success. Now retired from corporate life, Najimfocuses full-time on investing in the community through charitable giving, funding a number of nonprofit missions that impact vulnerable children and families. “I love people and I

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love helping people.” When asked about his role models, he stressed that he’s never tried to be like someone else. “I just try to be me. My employees will probably say that they’ve never met anybody like me.” Admiration is another story. He effortlessly mentions three local leaders he greatly admires. “Gordon Hartman, for what’s he’s accomplished with Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island, and the academy at Morgan’s Wonderland; Bill Greehey for what he did with Valero, what he’s done with NuStar, and I think his legacy will be what he’s accomplished with Haven for Hope; and Phil Hardberger … he was a great mayor.” Despite a life filled with successful business leadership and giving back, Najim continues to take self-reflection and self-development very seriously, referencing a favorite quote from Muhammad Ali: “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Adds Najim, “It encourages me to stay active, to stay involved, and to continue to learn each day about different things.” Najim also does not attribute the highlights of his life to himself but credits many people for influencing the opportunities and honors awarded to him. In 2010, six years before

Warren Buffet was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, Bill Greehey nominated Najim for that honor. “Had Bill not done that for me, there’s no way I would have gotten in,” says Najim. “I got in six years before Warren Buffet and I’m sure he’s got more friends on Facebook than I do.” Najim cares less about popularity and more about focusing on others. He encourages aspiring leaders to get involved, as he did. “Find​​your​​ passion​​and​​serve​o ​ n​a​ ​n ​ onprofit​​ board​ ​and give​ ​your​ ​time,​ ​talents​ ​ treasures​ ​to​ ​others​ ​who​ ​are​ ​less​ ​ fortunate.” He shares his serious concern for community nonprofits long-term. Referring to United Way campaigns, he used to provide ongoing funding to dozens of nonprofits. “Last year, Rick Cavender raised $56 million. This year, the goal that was set was $47.5 million. So that keeps me awake knowing that this decrease in United Way giving is going to affect the nonprofit agencies we support.” “Service is the rent we pay for being,” he reminds us, referencing a quote from Marion Wright Edelman. “It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” Those are words to live by. I






riscilla Hill-Ardoin, a seasoned businesswoman, motivational speaker, and “cheerful giver,” shares her living room couch and a cold glass of water on this sweltering morning. The season could really use more rain. Discussing books, she calls upon Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson, a story about the hurricane of 1900 that devastated Galveston. “They didn’t want to use the word ‘hurricane,’ because they didn’t want the flack if it didn’t turn out that bad. Thousands died because information wasn’t shared and bureaucracy got in the way,” Hill-Ardoin recalls. There is no question Hill-Ardoin’s journey into giving parallels the theme of overcoming the devastation of life’s greatest storms. Losing her son Aaron to sickle cell anemia complications when he was a young man, she shares her intimate and personal understanding about the lack of resources needed to treat this disease. “When you’re in your storm, you’re doing what you need to do.” After losing Aaron, she could have surrendered to the devastation, but she realized something profound and empowering. Looking back at her family’s experience, she was actually privileged compared to other families battling sickle cell. “It primarily impacts economically disad-

vantaged people,” she explains. They face conditions similar to a hurricane: bureaucracy, lack of communication, misunderstanding. “My husband and I were both employed. We had the benefit of access to assist in a disease that’s under-researched, that’s not well understood, that’s improperly handled by most emergency rooms, and that research shows primary care physicians are uncomfortable treating.” Priscilla Steps Up Hill-Ardoin felt responsible to act, formalizing the Aaron Ardoin Foundation for Sickle Cell Anemia. The foundation funds sickle cell research and education and exists as an avenue of hope for the courageous children, adults, and families who suffer from this disease. “There was just an enormous need. Losing a child to a disease that nobody understands is awful.” Thanks to the Aaron Ardoin Foundation, children with sickle cell disease now have access to a resource that teaches them how they can empower themselves, ask for help, and care for themselves using a helpful narrative in a coloring book. The books are distributed in hospitals and are in growing demand. Families also receive financial help; for instance, gift cards for the holidays.

Hill-Ardoin is a “fairy godmother,” according to Donna Daulton, a registered nurse who authored the coloring book and treats children with sickle cell at University Healthcare System. When Hill-Ardoin is not funding the immediate needs of families, she is directing funds to fill gaps that support medical research and increasing accessibility to medicine in underdeveloped countries. “One of the things I’m so grateful for is when I go to the mailbox and there’s a check from a donor, from their personal resources. They could have done anything with that but they directed it to us.” 1. Hill-Ardoin believes that leadership in any circumstance is possible. “People who want to be leaders need to lead wherever they are, in whatever seat, title or position they are in at the moment.” 2. Stay future oriented. Don’t base your next steps on moving away from a challenge. “Always move toward something.” 3. Approach life with an attitude of gratitude. “There is always an opportunity to make something better.”Even in the eye of a storm. I


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he 144th District Court – a criminal district court – handles felony criminal matters such as murder, sexual assault, aggravated robberies, burglaries and drug offenses and Lorina Rummel is its Judge. Rummel brings over twenty-six years of criminal trial experience to the bench, having served as a prosecutor and defense attorney prior to assuming her judicial post. Judge Rummel has handled thousands of felony cases and hundreds of jury trials throughout her career, including the most serious crimes: capital crimes, murders, aggravated robberies, rapes, and burglary of habitations. As a prosecutor, she served in Juvenile, regular felony, DWI, and Family Justice and Victim Protection sections of the Bexar County DA’s Office. As a prosecutor, she was the voice for victims – women and children. As a defense attorney, she assumed the role of advocate for defendants. As a judge, Rummel has proven that her extensive trial experience can help bring timely and efficient justice to Bexar County. Judge Rummel began with a


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docket of cases and came out winning in all categories in the district courts. Before she came on board, the courts had the largest number of cases awaiting trial, the longest wait in jail for a trial, and the largest jail population. In four years, with the help of an incredible staff and excellent prosecutors and defense counsel, a total turn-around has taken place. The number of cases awaiting trial has been reduced by over 50 percent, the court has one of the lowest jail populations, and it is consistently one of the quickest courts to bring cases to trial. Judge Rummel plans to continue serving the citizens of Bexar County by applying her exceptional experience and dedication to fairness to the 144th District Court Bench. Judge Rummel has been married twenty-six years and is the proud mother of four children. Her extensive involvement in the community includes her church, school PTAs, various philanthropic organizations, and her neighborhood association. Judge Rummel’s commitment to our community and her experience make her an invaluable addition to the 144th District Court. I




’m Mario and it’s been 28 years since I was diagnosed with HIV. I’m telling my story because I’m tired of living in the dark. At the time, HIV/AIDS was a disease that was cutting short the lives of so many gay men in our community. I was terrified of contracting the disease and my life ending in my 20s. Because of this, I asked my doctor to test me for HIV every time I went in. Every test would come back negative until that fateful day in 1989. The doctor’s office called me a few days after that test, telling me I had to come in immediately. When I got there, I was taken into an exam room and told I had HIV. I was shocked and scared since I had only had a small handful of sexual partners. I could only think of two men who could have possibly infected me. I was able to hold my composure as best as I could but all I could think of was my mother burying her only son in his 20s. On the way home, my big concern was how I was going to tell my family, especially my mother. While driving home, the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” came on the radio and I cried the rest of the way home. When I got home, I did the hardest thing I had ever done at that point in my life: I sat my mother and sister down to tell them I had HIV. Now I had to let the rest of my immediate family know. I told my other two sisters and brothers- in-law. Since my nieces and nephews were in elementary school or younger, I didn’t tell them until years later. Once they got older, I told them. I am so lucky that I am loved by my family and that they accepted me even with my diagnosis. My family has stood by me through everything. I have also had a small close group of friends who have been an amazing support system for me. I just haven’t been willing to share my story with the whole world until now. I started treatment, taking AZT immediately after I was diagnosed, even though it made me sick as a dog and I felt horrible all the time.

After a couple of years and being sick from the medication that was supposed to save my life, I decided to stop treatment. I didn’t seek treatment for many years and continued to live life my way. During this time, I had numerous sexual partners. As time passed, I started to feel the physical effects of living with HIV and decided it was time to start treatment again. I’ve been on medication for approximately 18 or 19 years now. I am not the norm when it comes to taking care of myself. I’m not one of those individuals who frequents the gym or eats healthy. I want to let everyone know that you can live with HIV, You don’t have to be ashamed of it anymore, as I have been. My goal is to be a motivational speaker, to reach as many people as I can, tell my story and educate people about HIV. I’d really like to reach out to the young people in my community, those who are impressionable and are easily influenced by peers in a negative way. I want people of all ages to take care of themselves. No one is immune to this disease. People of all ages need to take care of themselves, talk to the partners they are sexually active with and get to know who they are having sex with. There is nothing wrong with asking anyone you are going to have sex with about their sexual history. Even though it is now a manageable disease, a stigma comes with the diagnosis. I am a survivor and am now proud to share my story with all of you, in hopes that it will save at least one of you from the same experiences I have had. I will no longer hide who I am and what I have. I have been in the dark for too long and now I am finally in the light. Learn to take responsibility for yourself and don’t be afraid to talk to someone. There are many different agencies within San Antonio where one can go to get tested. If you want to reach out to me, you can do so through this publication. If this article can reach just one person who checks their status or learns how to live with HIV, then I’ve made a difference! I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 57





eet Amy Hillenbrand, an accomplished oil painter living in the Alamo City. Hillenbrand is a member of the new art renaissance group, the San Antonio Artist Collective (SAAC). We recently sat down with Amy for a conversation. Tell us about yourself. I’m happily married, originally from Racine, Wisconsin, a city located between Milwaukee and Chicago. I lived in Indianapolis, San Diego, and Austin and in 2014 I moved to San Antonio. I have a BS degree in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. My first career was as a commercial interior designer. I designed spaces for banks, hospitals, restaurants, and corporations. It was my job to dream up the space and then create all the working architectural drawings that were required to make those conceptual designs into a real office. At 26, I was terminated by my employer (for marrying someone from a competing company). After that happened, I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny, so I decided to open my own interior design architectural firm. So that’s what I did at 26 years old. Fourteen years later, ironically, I ended up hiring one of the architects who had laughed at me when I told him I was going to open my own firm. What motivated you to pursue painting? After twenty years in interior design, working seven days a week, sixteen-hour days and no vacations, etc., I’d burned myself out. I then sold my business. It was hard to think about what I was going

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to do next because my health at the time dictated my next move. I was struggling to know what my purpose was. It may sound crazy to some, but one morning a voice told me to pursue oil painting. So in my mid-40s, I started painting. And yes, I’m established and accomplished now, but I always feel like I can do better. I’ll keep striving to be the best oil painter I can be. My journey to painting has been one of healing and self-discovery. As I look back now, I can see the desire to create started when I was five years old. When I was in kindergarten, we were given three options: play in the big life-size-house, play with blocks or color. I colored every day. It all seems obvious now, but as I look back over my life, the answer was always there. This is what I was supposed to do, my life’s purpose. This is what I was called to do. Along the way, I took some classes to hone my craft, but I learned that the best way for me to learn was to just do it, just paint and keep painting. This also turned out to be very therapeutic for recovery from my health situation. It healed my mind, soul, and body. I now translate healing into my art. Explain your style of painting. I describe my style as contemporary realism. Color and composition are a big part of my style. As I have grown and progressed, it has become important to me that my art serves a double purpose: to beautify spaces and also heal hearts. This desire to heal provides me purposeful perseverance. I have been led to paint flowers. They are a symbol of birth, growth, and healing. So now, before

My journey to painting has been one of healing and self-discovery. PHOTOS FROM AMY’S WEBSITE AND INSTAGRAM

I begin each painting, I make specific healing intentions … intentions such as unconditional love of self, letting your light truly shine, intense gratitude for health, and letting go. Any extracurricular activities? Life coaching, gardening, cooking, exploring Texas with my husband, and even interior design now and then. What are your secrets to success? Intuition. I need to be quiet and listen to my intuition. I listen for my next decision, for my next step, my next goal, my next lesson, and my next painting. I have found when I try to force or think my way through something it doesn’t work. So finally after learning my lesson over and over again and being burned when not listening, I have learned to trust that higher voice. Mission. To be successful is so important, to know your “why.” And for me, it is to create healing joyful art that really impacts others in a positive way. This mission keeps me motivated and peaceful. Also, perseverance. When I want to quit, I talk to God and get renewed inspiration to keep going. Do you have a mentor? The artist I really admire is Thomas Darnell. He lives in the South of France and is around my age. Interestingly enough, he grew up in San Antonio about a mile from where I currently live. He paints extremely large gorgeous flowers. When I saw his work, I knew there was a place for flower paintings in the current abstract art movement. Amy, what’s on your nightstand? What book are you currently reading? Find Your Why by Simon Sinek I;; | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 59




hen you think of Texas, a few things jump out. Horses, cowboys and the beautiful open ranges are among them. Inevitably, the Alamo is going to be in there somewhere. Noel Burns knew this 3-1/2 years ago when he started Alamo Distilling Company and he hasn’t looked back since. At 37 years old, Noel has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and has been a professional chemist for the last thirteen years. His interest in craft spirits trends is what inspired him to use his knowledge of chemistry to fulfill a vision. That vision involved developing a diverse company that is built on stable business relationships, which Alamo Distilling has done in spades. Privately contracted by companies to distill all sorts of spirits, their new business ventures have allowed them to thrive in the ever-changing craft spirits market. When asked what he believes makes a great leader, Noel had this to say: “Trusting people is key. You have to trust your team and know that they know exactly what to do, even if you aren’t around. Leading by example is a

big part of that and I promote a safety-first environment so that my team can always function properly and cohesively.” This is a truly exciting time for the team at Alamo Distilling. I was fortunate to get a taste of their new Black Label Bourbon. Noel is hard at work on it. Innovation has allowed him to make a clean tasting, rich, authentic

Texas bourbon at only $20 a bottle. Hearing that is like music to my ears and the ears of my fellow spirits enthusiasts. Using a lower rye content and bringing the strong woody flavors and aroma out of the whiskey is going to give this liquor a strong showing right out of the gate. Black Label is not currently on

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the market but will be released in August. Never fear; already on the market are a variety of spirits that satisfy every kind of drinker out there, no matter their spirits preferences. From their Red Copper Vodka and Alamo Dark Rum to their Alamo Bourbon, Alamo Distilling has you covered. I




TRAVIS WILTSHIRE is the President/ CEO of CNG Engineering, PLLC. CNG is a professional, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design firm that provides master planning, design, and building commissioning services for public and private sector projects across the State of Texas. Since 2004, CNG has provided superior designs that are clear, concise, and complete to continuously exceed their clients’ and end users’ expectations. INFLUENCE sat down with Travis at his offices to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and business success. Tell our readers about CNG Engineering. What does it stand for? As you can tell, CNG does not stand for Travis Wiltshire! CNG is named for my children C for Caiya and G for Gavin. “Caiya N’ Gavin.” I figured to be successful in business I needed to name the business after my children. Tell us about yourself? Where are you from? Where were you born? I’m 50 years old, born in 1967 and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. I attended Penn State University, got my degree, lived in Pittsburgh for a short while before relocating to the sunny Texas environment of San Antonio. I have been living here in San Antonio for the past twenty years. How many years have you been in business? I have been in San Antonio for twenty years, but in our field for twenty-six years now and CNG has been in business for thirteen years. You’re a highly accomplished entrepreneur. Tell us what a current day in the life of Travis Wiltshire is like? One of the things that is very important to me is my health. So I try to work out every day or at least five times a week. I try to get up pretty early, first thing in the morning or work out later in the evening. I am a P90X type of guy. I try to get to here to the office pretty early, and I normally read a few devotionals; one devoted to prayer and the other a leadership devotional. The first few hours of the day I spend meeting with the different

departments here at CNG. We don’t call them meetings but “huddles.” Huddles are very important in the industry and important for our team. The huddles are team meetings where we discuss what we are going to accomplish that day, what was accomplished yesterday, and what will be accomplished tomorrow. We also discuss our “stuck” items. We review with our people where they are and how that affects accomplishing the task. Normally we spend a few hours working on that. As I go through my day, I review emails and spend the next few hours communicating with clients on the phone or go out to meet with clients to drum up business during the middle of the day. The evening is devoted to extracurricular activities or things I like donating my time to. I’m really big into soccer. My kids are involved in soccer and I sit on the board of their soccer team. I also volunteer with an organization called Ace Mentoring. We have an organization for inner city kids who would like to get involved with architecture, construction, or engineering. That is a typical day. Describe CNG Engineering’s product and competitive advantage in the marketplace? So we provide mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services to architects who design facilities. To say it another way, we make buildings habitable. Most of the time when you walk into a space you look at the archways, at the doors, and at the space itself. Normally that’s what an architect does; they make a space beautiful. But if it’s too hot in a space or too cold, if it’s not bright enough or if the restrooms don’t work, those are the things that make it less habitable; those are the things that people typically don’t notice until something has gone wrong. That’s what we typically provide. I think we do things a little bit differently than most engineering firms and hopefully, I am a good example of that. Most engineers are introverts; they don’t like talking to people. I love people and love talking to people. I try to make sure that we are good communicators. I tell clients we need to know what they want. Our ultimate goal is to manage our clients’ expectations and meet or exceed those expectations. When you do that you will be successful. What’s on your nightstand … what book are you reading? Kingdom Man by Tony Evans. The premise is about men who are godly leading their lives and leading their families. Another one is Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. This one is about the scaling up process of a company that is small in size, taking it to the next level. That’s what we are trying to do at CNG. I continued  | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 61

TERRI WILLIAMS MEET TERRI (WOMACK) WILLIAMS, the current director of SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center and newly elected member to the Board of Trustees at North East Independent School District (NEISD). As director of the SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center, she provides management and oversight as part of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. The program provides counseling, training, emergency preparedness, human resource management, and cybersecurity small business training to small businesses, veteran and woman owned businesses in South Texas. She’s also owner of Williams Economic Development Consulting, established in 2001, it specializes in Real Estate Development, Site Selection, Corporate Relocation, Business Research, and Military Base Redevelopment. INFLUENCE sat down with Williams recently for a candid conversation. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given: My grandmother once said “not everyone is your friend.” Be careful who you call your friend. At the time, I thought my grandmother was older and didn’t know what she was talking about. As I got older and meeting more people, I realized she did know. It’s hard to determine who’s really for you or those who come along because you have something they can benefit from. What was your inspiration to become civic leader: That’s an easy one, it was truly my mom. Growing up, my mom was always involved in something political. I remember her in the NAACP years ago, clubs organizations, etc. As I got older, I also became involved in activities and organizations. As a teenager I was involved in a club called the Teenage Canteen, National Honor Society, math club and felt that’s just what kids do. I was originally an electrical engineering major in college – started at UT Austin. I was valedictorian of my high school class. However, I got my degree in political science (same as my mom) from UTSA. So again, along the way I remember my mom doing certain things such as being involved with politicians. People are always asking me when are you going to run for office? I’m flattered by their confidence. I think you should have a passion for whatever you do, but timing has to be right as

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People should know I hold the standard of integrity very high. No one needs to wonder “why’s she’s doing that? It’s because it’s the right thing to do. No hidden agenda.” Also, to relax, I like to watch cartoons, specifically the Flintstones and the Jetson’s. And I also play cards even Texas hold ‘em poker.

well so you can make an impact, and truly be able to make a difference or feeling like I had something to do with a given project or person’s success. What do you think are the 3 most important attributes of an effective leader: Passion - being relatable or able to build true relationship with others. Empathy - people should be able to feel you understand their situation or predicament. And creating an impact - if what you’re doing is not affecting anything or anyone positively, you’re doing the wrong thing. What’s your proudest accomplishment: Working for the City of San Antonio, where I/we created the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, making it easier and better for small businesses to do work with public agencies. Also created and wrote the first ordinance for the city of San Antonio that developed the city’s small business program back in 1989. What’s the one thing people don’t know about you that they should:

What advice would you give a 30 year old Terri: It’s okay to follow your heart and not necessarily the money. Sometimes I would think, maybe I should’ve gone a certain way because I’d make a lot more money. Sometimes you have to weigh the money against doing something that you enjoy going to work at every day and doing. If you really like what you’re doing, it’s not really “work.” You’re a wife, mother and a career woman, can you really have it all: Sure, of course you have to define what “having it all” is, so when you arrive you know what that is. For me I attribute my faith in God in helping me overcome everything. My mom passed away at 38 years old when I was 17 years old of a sudden heart attack (she never got to see me give my valedictorian speech). Dad passed away in a car accident when I was 8 years old. When Kelly AFB closed and my husband’s job got transferred to Ogden Utah, a couple years assignment, turned into 8 years and I was here in San Antonio with two little boys. Again, it’s doing what you have to do through the grace of God. Operating almost like a single mom, I raised both boys through the church and both graduated high school then college. What’s a typical day like for Terri Williams: Get in the office between 8-8:30am. I reviewed my calendar night before, and I’m meticulous about completing a task at a time, I like to see things completed. I may have a meeting with my staff, and/or meetings with other stakeholders or organizations we’re involved with. Basically I oversee a lot of our programs, making sure funding is in place, etc., coordinating with other organizations such as Bexar County sister organizations like the City of Austin. Making sure goals are being achieved, monitoring success and ensuring staff has the tools they need. I usually leave office between 6 or 7pm. When I get home I like to have wind-down time (and wine too). I

MEET MADHU SRIDHAR MEET MADHU SRIDHAR, president of the League of Women Voters of the San Antonio area. Madhu leads the nonpartisan organization in its mission to encourage informed and active participation of citizens in government, increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy. Sridhar has over 26 years of leadership and management experience in the nonprofit sector. She served as President of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters for four years. Under her leadership, the League drafted and passed election reform legislation including the Massachusetts Voters Bill of Rights that was signed by then-Governor Mitt Romney and Secretary of State William Galvin. The Bill of Rights mandated that it be posted at all polling places. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts appointed Sridhar to the Commonwealth Corps Commission that engaged residents to rebuild communities. She was appointed to the Massachusetts

Commission on the Status of Women by Massachusetts Senate President Theresa Murray. Boards she served on include ACLU, WGBH (PBS affiliate), Andover Community

for Education, and Chinmaya Mission. Sridhar was the Founding President and CEO of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, an organization which provides freshly prepared midday meals to over 1.3 million underserved children daily in schools across India. Under her leadership, 12 grassroots chapters across the U.S. were established to help raise funds. She engaged with Advisory Board luminaries like Deepak Chopra, Fareed Zakaria, Narayana Murthy, and Nitin Nohria. President Obama; the late Senator Kennedy; and Senators Kerry, McGovern, and Dole praised her groundbreaking model. Sridhar has over a decade of corporate management experience. She worked as the Director of Actuarial Department for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, as a consultant for Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co., and New England Mutual Life Insurance Company before diving into the nonprofit world. Sridhar is a graduate of the Masters Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 63




inck’s Puritanos is a medium, full-bodied cigar made in Nicaragua for Finck Cigar Company, a family-owned business established in San Antonio in 1893. Finck Cigar, boasting 124 years of experience in tobacco, has been owned and operated by the Finck family from day one and has five generations taking part in creating some of the best smokes available! As the name suggests, the Puritano is a Nicaraguan puro, which means the tobaccos in this stogie are entirely from Nicaragua. Tobacco from Nicaragua is known for adding body (read strength), sweetness, and sometimes spiciness to cigars, depending on the region in which they are grown. Finck’s Puritanos contain tobaccos from the three main growing regions of the country, which results in a complex taste and enough body to hold up to whiskey and scotch, but not so much strength that these smokes will overpower other cocktails. Tasting notes for this cigar include the natural sweetness that tobacco from Nicaragua is known for, a spiciness akin to white pepper, and a bold flavor reminiscent of leather and coffee. Finck’s Puritanos will pair well with the sweetness of bourbon or complement the smoothness of scotch with its spicy notes, but it will not cover up the oak flavors found in either. If whiskey is not your drink of choice, these smokes will also pair well with cocktails like the Texas Mule, a mix of Enchanted Rock vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. The spiciness of ginger beer and the acidity of lime juice are a perfect complement to the peppery and sweet flavors of Puritanos. If you are playing cards over scotch with some buddies, hanging out by the pool with a cold drink, or just looking for a great smoke to relax with, you can’t go wrong with a Finck’s Puritano!, 210- 226-4191 I

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Moade Center 300E Ramsey, Suite 305 San Antonio, TX 78216 Tel: 210-389-8976 Facebook: Photography by Ora



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ost Texans despise prickly pear cactus, but not Hill Country Distillers in Comfort, Texas. About four years ago, we decided to start making a unique and tasty spirit from this thorny plant. We wanted a simple process that didn’t use any corn or grains – and we found it. The flavor profile starts out similar to tequila but finishes very clean, fresh, and light. However, since we only distill one time and we are not in Mexico, it cannot be tequila or vodka. Prickly pear cactus is a “specialty distilled spirit.” We use our Texas Prickly Pear Spirits in cocktails that would typically contain a tequila or vodka; even a light rum works very well. The most popular cocktail we serve in our distillery tasting room is Marvelous Mule. We also use this spirit to make margaritas and mojitos. It’s just that versatile! Another one of our specialty distilled spirits is Texas Jalapeno Spirit which – you guessed it – is made from jalapeno peppers and without corn or grains. This spirit has that wonderful jalapeno flavor with only a hint of spice, and it makes an award-winning Bloody Maria, the second most served cocktail in our tasting room. Hill Country Distillers has many other spirits, all made 100 percent on-site, all with Texas ingredients. The tasting room is open for tastings and tours Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. FB Hill Country Distillers, 830-995-2924. I

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he Battle of Goliad was the second fight of the Texas Revolution. On March 27, 1836, the battle claimed the lives of almost 400 soldiers but rallied support for Texas independence. Goliad Brewing Company embodies the history, purity, and passion of the region. Those qualities are apparent in their company atmosphere, the naming of their lagers, and even the company motto, “I would rather cut off my right arm than live under tyranny.” The family-owned brewery has

a passion for making fantastic craft beers. Goliad Brewing is tucked away on 50 acres just north of Goliad. In this brewery is where some of Texas’ finest lagers are made. Goliad Brewing Company has been creating clean, crisp-tasting lager for four years. Its lagers are distributed just about all over Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, and the valley area. The company prides itself on receiving the award for the best beer in the Wild West Brewfest Tap Wall contest back in May of 2014.

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At SA’s INFLUENCE most recent edition release party, we served General Zaragoza. Our guests noted this light

lager was both refreshing and crisp. I had the opportunity to attend an event held at Goliad Brewing’s beer garden. The event was filled with live music, local barbecue, and plenty of beer. I sampled the seasonal Watermelon Gose, which had a delightfully sweet twist. After taking a tour of the facility, I hung out with locals and enjoyed the band, which was performing about two yards from where we sat. It was simply amazing. Goliad Brewing’s Beer Garden Specialist Joshua Zapata notes, “I love our company and I love our lagers. The history of the land connects us with our product.” Zapata couldn’t have worded it any more gracefully. This company is like no other that I’ve encountered.

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INFLUENCE Publisher Cedric Fisher stopped by recently for a visit and thoroughly enjoyed the beer samples provided by Beer Garden Manager Connie Hargrove (Owner Stefan Zurakowski was away on vacation). “Connie introduced me to the variety of beers and I was given a tour of the facility by Tour Guide Josh Zapata,” says Cedric. An occasional lover of Stout, Goliad’s version was “outstanding,” Cedric remarked. “A luxurious sweet flavor with the enticing bouquet of malted milk. The body laces the tongue with silky-smooth chocolate and vanilla, leading to a decadent yet satisfying sweet cream finish.” “Stout notwithstanding, my favorite of the day was their popular Presidio La Bahia Black Hefeweizen (aka Black Hefe), named in honor of Texas’ most historic fortress,” says Cedric. Traditional Hefeweizen aromas of banana and bubblegum greet you. The body takes a complex twist with light roast flavors co-mingling with dark chocolate notes, culminating in a spiced clove finish. The flavors are complementary to one another and balanced. This beer is deceptively light and easy to drink.” I enjoyed my Black Hefe with barbecue provided by Dad’s Place BBQ owner and Pitmaster Shane McClellan, whose recipe features a sweet, smoky, tender sensation. Shane’s personality is as good as his meats: a sweet southern Texas disposition, a smooth compliment at Goliad’s famous beer garden. Goliad featured their General Zaragoza label at one of our Issue Release parties last year. Stay tuned for another partnering with us at an upcoming event. The history of both Texas and Goliad Brewing Company are founded on triumph and courage. Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad. For more information, visit I

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ow do you begin to put a miracle into words? Alexandria Witherspoon still remembers the day she learned that her unborn baby girl would have Down syndrome. She was twelve weeks pregnant when she received the phone call from her doctor. Instantly, she felt numbness take full control of her body while the phone hit the floor and fear of the unknown ripped at her body and soul. She was too scared to call, go home, let her husband know – or anyone else know, for that matter. So many burning questions plagued her mind including, what would everyone think? Would her husband still love her? Would he still want

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his daughter? And lastly, what exactly was Down syndrome? Once returning home, her husband picked her up on her feet, dried her tears, and reassured her that everything remained unchanged. She was still their daughter and they would love her just the same. But her feeling soon evaporated, once the doctor offered to medically abort the baby. The married couple turned and looked at each other without hesitation and made the choice to let her live. After all, she was their daughter. A few weeks later, they were given another horrific diagnosis of their little girl, Persayus: congenital heart defect. She would need surgery

to survive. Witherspoon was thankful she had her best friend and husband by her side through it all, even though she knew he was just as scared. But because they shared the most precious bond, Persayus became their purpose for living, saving them both in ways they would never be able to put into words. Persayus Adrianny Witherspoon was born on July 28, 2011, to parents Matthew and Alexandria Witherspoon. She spent three months in the NICU, then two months later, at the age of five months, had open heart surgery. At the age of six, she has gone through fourteen surgical procedures and came out smiling every time. Persayus is thriving in her growth and development and is an aspiring model, hoping to show others that different is beautiful. She dances ballet and tap at Earl Cobb Dance Studio and attends NISD Frances Rhodes Elementary. Her best friend is her big sister, Aralynn, whom along with her teachers, play a vital role in her daily life. Just recently, Persayus was featured in her first billboard advertisement in North Central San Antonio. Persayus has taught her mother, Alexandria, and countless others what true love really is, not to hate, how to give without expecting anything in return, how to count your blessings every single day, and to never give up when life backs you into the darkest corners. Her selfless and pure love brings salvation to all who encounter her. She easily replaces Wonder Woman as a superhero. It is plain to see Persayus was sent here to help others. She has become San Antonio’s very own little celebrity, after having strangers come up to her to say hello and take a random picture. One person can change the world; one child can impact lives, inspire others to never give up and to accept others with disabilities. Here are some amazing testimonies about our little encourager, Persayus: From local Down syndrome mother Maria Mijares: “Persayus has helped me see that Xavi-

er’s future would be so full of life and that he would have no limits! She was only six months old when I fell in love with her.” Mayor of Somerset, TX, Lydia Hernandez: “Persayus has touched my life in the most precious way. I cannot pinpoint only one specific trait about her. I will say, however, that I admire the strength she has. She is a fighter and may not even realize it. Her smile can brighten anyone’s day, and the pureness of her heart is a beautiful thing. I feel that she is an inspiration to other children out there. She

does not let anything stop her from what she loves to do. And lastly, I must mention, she does have some killer dance moves! Persayus, the world is yours, sweet girl!” Local San Antonio resident and friend, Karina Villa: She reminds us what innocence is and that it’s ok to be vulnerable. She shows us how to love despite the hate around us. Persayus reminds us that beautiful is different. She will always remind us that we are capable. Thank you Persayus for touching and inspiring our lives. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 69




hat does it mean to be a part of a culture that almost went extinct? This is the question I ask myself, being a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas. It is the same question I asked Florence Nananisuki Alexander, Acting President of the San Antonio Council of Native Americans. It isn’t an easy question to answer. She had been through a long winding road before she finally found her place here in San Antonio – and none of it was easy. Growing up in Los Angeles and being from Texas, she was constantly in search of who she was as an individual. I asked how she went about finding her lineage. “It was my dad who really pushed me to find the roots of my heritage when I was a teenager and from there I found my culture and my passion for The People,” says Alexander. The People. It sounds like a vague, mystic term you would hear in a Kevin Costner film. It’s actually a phrase used in the Native tongue to describe all of us as one, and one of us as all. It is a way of thinking that she has tried to stand by her entire life. After working as a medical assistant during the Rodney King riots in LA, she moved to San Antonio in search of a safer

GROWING UP IN LOS ANGELES AND BEING FROM TEXAS, SHE WAS CONSTANTLY IN SEARCH OF WHO SHE WAS AS AN INDIVIDUAL. place to raise her kids and get back to her roots. Upon arriving, she immediately got involved with American Indian civil rights relations in Texas by protesting

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at the Alamo, organizing and performing in drum circles at Native gatherings and building up the Native Brethren church. As of late, she was entered into

the Library of Congress alongside Charles Chibitty, one of the last Comanche Code Talkers of World War II, who was a life-long friend and mentor. Recently, activism has increased, due to the blatant treaty violations at Standing Rock involving the Dakota Access Pipeline, in addition to the immigration policies surrounding separating children from their parents at the border. “Nothing hurts more than seeing children be stripped from their families, laments Alexander.” They did it to Native American children hundreds of years ago and it’s shocking to see that kind of policy be implemented today.” Seeing the civil rights violations at Standing Rock and the devastating circumstances of reservations in North America, I was curious what Alexander’s answer would be to the question “How do we overcome?” Her response: “Awareness is the best cure for ignorance. The only reason that this is happening is because nobody is looking and the media refuses to acknowledge it. If you look into your humanity, you will see that these things are wrong at their core.” So only by acknowledging our past mistakes in government policy, can we prevent future generations from having to suffer. I




The world’s game is on the world stage. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is currently underway in Russia and all eyes are on it. For San Antonio FC players Diego Restrepo, Cesar Elizondo, and Ever Guzman, the World Cup brings back some of the fondest memories. The three players’ career paths overlapped at the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Peru, before any of them knew each other personally. Restrepo was a goalkeeper representing the U.S., while Elizondo and Guzman were forwards representing the nations of Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively. Restrepo first faced off against Elizondo in the competition, a match which he recalls with a smile on his face. Representing the U.S., he says, is one of the greatest honors of his career. “Representing one’s country is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a soccer player,” Restrepo said,

“especially doing so in a World Cup. I’m really glad to be able to watch the World Cup that’s happening right now because those memories make me really happy.” Guzman enjoyed the ultimate prize that soccer can bring to a player: becoming a World Champion. Furthermore, the Mexican forward also had the pleasure of scoring the game-winning goal against a strong Brazil side in the final to earn Mexico the U-17 World Cup. In order to get there, Guzman’s Mexico side had to defeat Elizondo’s Costa Rica in a tight quarterfinals match. Costa Rica was up 1-0 near the end of the match after going up in the 67th minute before Mexico scored a late equalizer in the 88th minute to send the match into extra time. Then, Guzman struck in the 96th minute to earn the lead before Carlos Vela – who is currently representing Mexico in this year’s World Cup – sealing the match with a goal in the 109th minute. “I think it’s every player’s dream to represent their country on the world stage,” Guzman said. “I think we all would like to represent our people and it was an incredible honor to be able to do so.” Years later, the three players find themselves playing alongside each other in the Alamo City. Elizondo, who has been part of the San Antonio soccer scene since before the time of SAFC, has been part of the Silver and Black’s roster since its 2016 inaugural season, scoring 8 goals for the club and adding 4 assists since then. Restrepo joined SAFC prior to the 2017 season on trial, and amazingly performed his way to the top of the rankings in the United Soccer League to become the USL Goalkeeper of the Year, recording a league-high 12 clean sheets while allowing a league-low 24 goals in 27 regular season matches played. Guzman also made his mark on San Antonio, despite joining the Alamo City club late into the 2017 season. The forward scored 5 goals in 11 matches played, including a stoppage-time penalty in the club’s first-ever playoff match. Guzman has also added 1 goal and 1 assist so far this season. For the three players, playing together and representing the same club years after their careers first overlapped, is one of the great gifts the sport has given them. “That World Cup was a beautiful experience for all of us,” Guzman said. “We all remember that tournament fondly and it’s something that brings about a lot of memories for us. Every once in a while, we talk about it and go back to those days, but the important thing is that now we’re all here defending the San Antonio FC badge and giving our best for this city.” I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 71



“If you haven’t seen Buddy before, you’re in for a real treat,” exclaimed an excited concert-goer as he passed me. He, among a few others, seemed to notice that I was much younger than the average fan. On Friday night, fans flooded The Aztec Theater eager to see the Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy, and the Damn Right Blues Band. A renowned blues guitarist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Guy has greatly influenced the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, Jimmy Page, and countless others. Starting the night with “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues,” Guy took no time putting the crowd under his spell. Those first electrifying chords served as a reminder to everyone of his mastery. At 81, he sings and plays his guitar with ferocity, hip thrusts, and a wide gold-capped smile. The capriciousness of his performance had the audience growing more enthralled by the moment. He swung his guitar about, played it one handed, behind his back, with his teeth, a drumstick and even with a towel. I had never seen anything like it. The Damn Right Blues Band grooved with Guy flawlessly. The chemistry between Guy and his band was undeniable, both having a powerful stage presence. The Chicago-based band consists of Ric Jaz Hall (rhythm guitar), Marty Sammon (keyboard), Orlando Wright (bass), Tim Awesome Austin (drums), and Chris Bynum (guitar tech). Guy and the band covered numerous postwar American blues classics such as B. B. King’s “Sweet Sixteen,” Muddy Waters’ “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man,” and Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” along with some of his own songs like “Born to Play Guitar.” In between songs he interacted with the audience, telling fascinating and hilarious anecdotes. The songs and stories

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painted a picture of an era that I had never experienced. To my surprise, opening the show was 18-year-old guitar phenom Quinn Sullivan, who gave me a new perspective on the genre.“Blues music is the basis for most genres. People my age don’t really understand that,” Sullivan said. “I honestly think that if kids knew the history behind it, they’d understand that more.” The New Bedford singer and blues guitar prodigy, Sullivan, was only 8 when he asked Buddy Guy to sign his guitar backstage at one of his shows. Guy asked Sullivan to play it for him and was blown away by what he heard. That was the beginning of what became a now ten-year mentorship and successful blues career. But according to Sullivan, it’s much more than that. “Touring with Buddy has been a dream come true for me,” wrote

Sullivan. “I never knew any of this would happen to me at my age, but I’m honored to know him and call him my best friend. He’s a one of a kind soul that changed my entire life.” Halfway through the show, Guy takes a moment to share his feelings about recent events surrounding Hurricane Harvey. In a time when the country is frighteningly polarized, Guy stresses the importance of people putting their differences aside to help one another in the wake of such disaster. “Let me tell you something, y’all need one another,” Guy said. “So bring your boats, because the person that you do not like, that might be the person that you need the most.” A treat it was. Memorable were his words and songs, but there really is nothing like watching this legendary bluesman do what he was born to do: play guitar. I


Most five-year-olds are never concerned with tedious practices or a set schedule, but when Ruben Rea Sr. put a guitar into his young son’s hands, Ruben Rea Jr. at the very young age of five, instantly fell in love with it. After countless practice sessions at the age of six, after grueling football games, Rea Jr. always went home to his first priority, which was to practice his guitar. Rea Jr. played in many bands in Corpus Christi before moving to San Antonio and slept on many friends’ couches. To this day, he still is unable to sleep comfortably in a solid bed. “The struggle was truly real in trying to make it as a musician,” says Rea Jr. He also remembers being alone and trying to see the most popular bands in San Antonio and asking if he could go onto stage to play a song or two. “Yes, I was THAT guy. Nobody wanted me, so I decided to make my own band.” After being told no at many local bars and restaurants, Rea Jr. would then offer to play for free. He even offered to pay the owner $50 to play. Luckily, he had the support of both his parents to help him through. Slowly, even after playing in front of just five people or so, with most not noticing that a band was playing at all, people were finally starting to take notice. His big break followed soon after, by being discovered by someone who would later become one of his good friends. He was asked to join Pete Astudillo, one of the original members of Selena y Los Dinos. From there, Rea, Jr.’s career took off. He started recording with other major artists such as Steve Augeri, former lead singer of the band Journey. He says he’s glad that he struggled most of his musical career because it taught him the value of hard work, determination, and being humble. Ultimately, his perseverance led him to join AB Quintanilla and the Kumbia King Allstarz, which took him to places he had never been in his life. He also had the privilege of playing with many famous Latin artists such as Grammy award-winning Chris Perez of Selena; Andres Castro, who is a fourteen Grammy award-winning producer; Margarita La Diosa De Los Kumbia; and Saga White Black. He also received a multi-partnership deal with Gibson Guitars. Rea, Jr.’s major musical influences have always been Stevie Ray Vaughn and Nuno Bettencourt, but most influential of all have been his family, friends, and all the amazing musicians that he met along his musical journey. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 73





he Windy City! It’s the town that Al Capone and Michael Jordan built and home of the 2017 World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Romantic and historic sitting atop Lake Michigan, if you catch Chicago on the right weather day, there’s no other place quite like it. I recently visited this Midwest town that spawned the careers of both Oprah Winfrey and Barak Obama, and of course, the classic rock band “Chicago.” As my oldest daughter Zahara, chose to launch her professional career in Chicago, we took in some of the famous tourist attractions. I insisted on taking the trains (Orange and Red) back and forth from the airport to capture as much visible culture as possible. I ventured

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through the grandest display of artistic graffiti (murals) I’d seen in a while. Upon arriving downtown, we had a taste for deep dish pizza and grabbed dinner at Gino’s Pizzeria off Michigan Avenue. There we ordered our pizza with breadsticks and wine. We were both captivated by Gino’s graffiti-style décor and the many celebrities who had passed through that establishment. I stayed overnight at the quaint Raffaello’s Hotel (, nicely situated on Delaware Place between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in the Miracle Mile section of town, nosed up against Northwestern University. Raffaello’s features the popular Drumbar on their 18th floor, arguably the best rooftop, speakeasy bar and happy hour downtown.

The next day had high temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. After a brisk three-mile jog on the shore, I headed down Michigan Avenue (you catch more scenery on foot), and walked to the beautiful Millennium Park past a statue of Abraham Lincoln and “Common Man” by artist Seward Johnson, and arrived at the famous “Bean” sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor. The park also features the music bandshell at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. After catching my breath there, I headed inland past the famous Chicago neon sign at the Chicago Theatre famous from the movie “Chicago.” I ultimately stopped by the “Standing Beast” sculpture by Jean Dubuffet at the Thompson Center on the way back to the airport. We all know Chicago has its bad elements and bad days, as all major metros do. But if sports franchises, history, culture, skyscrapers, and some wind with your pizza are your thing, Chicago is still worth the price of admission! I



Dr. Alma Ingram Saves Lives on a 3-D Scale LET’S TAKE A LOOK LLC. BY ONDREJIA L. SCOTT


et’s take a look at Dr. Alma Lee Ingram, a woman with a vision for heart attack and stroke prevention. The founder and CEO of Let’s Take a Look, LLC received her bachelor’s degree from Corpus Christi State University (currently Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi). Shortly after completing her degree, Dr. Ingram opened her first blood pressure screening and diabetic wellness clinic. Ingram was only 24 years old at the time. Today, her clinic serves hundreds of Corpus Christi residents. Tragedy struck in 1984 when Ingram’s mother passed away from a cerebral vascular accident at the age of 50. This was a pivotal moment in Ingram’s life. She vowed to save as many clients as she could by being proactive with their cardiovascular health. Ingram completed her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Soon after, she earned her doctorate degree in pathophysiology from the University of Phoenix-UC Davis branch. She is board certified in adult cardiology.

In 2012, Ingram opened Let’s Take a Look LLC. This facility has served over 5,700 clients in San Antonio, McAllen, Dallas, Lubbock County, and Louisiana. What’s fascinating about Let’s Take a Look LLC is that it’s the only mobile early detection and noninvasive scanning company that uses 3-D scanning devices. Ingram points out, “The goal of Let’s Take a Look LLC is to empower clients to speak up.” She then mentions the impact of biblical verse Hosea 4:6 on the company’s mission statement. “For the people perish due to lack of knowledge.” With a pathophysiologist, physical therapist, biochemist, registered nurses, and cardiac technicians, knowledge is in abundance at Let’s Take a Look LLC. Ingram and her team seek to educate, empower, and emphasize the importance of preventive healthcare. “We want people to be proactive in their health; their life depends on it.” Ingram services her clients at the cellular level. She knows the composition of the human cell, the building block of life itself. Using this knowledge, Ingram studies her clients to understand what’s going on within their cells

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and where the deficits are. Once she understands these problems she creates a supplemental regimen and blueprint for clients to follow to clean their body’s systems. Shortly after, the healing begins. The 3-D scanning services have been essential to improving lives at Let’s Take a Look LLC. Within a 10-minute scan, clients are given information about their cardiac stroke volume, stroke stiffness index, estimated cardiac ejection fraction, and many other important data concerning their health. Products such as IV Infusion Services and pharmaceutical-grade supplements are available to Ingram’s clients. New, innovative services such as Micro Nutrient Lab testing, 4-D Galvanic Organ Scanning, and Infra-Red Thermography testing were recently added. The good doctor’s innovative concept has not gone unnoticed. Let’s Take a Look LLC has sold its first franchise in McAllen. Ingram and her team are breaking new ground in preventive healthcare and holistic approaches to medicine. Don’t believe me? Go have a look for yourself. I





oday, more than ever, we need business leaders who assert their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community. Researchers at Harvard Business School and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business have documented an emerging trend of CEO activism. This activism is propelled by the nation’s increasing political polarization and the expectations of millennial employees who want their leaders to lead successfully in business while promoting company values externally. Millennials yearn for authenticity and refuse to check their values at the doors of their organization. When company values such as diversity and equality are transgressed in the larger society, they expect their leaders to step up and uphold these values in the community.

Courage as a Trait of Inclusive Leaders What are the traits inclusive leaders must have to lead successfully in today’s environment? Deloitte Australia undertook a study to identify six signature traits of inclusive leaders. Drawing from the experience of best-in-class leaders in diverse sectors across the world and subject-matter experts, the study identified courage as one of these signature traits. A highly inclusive leader is committed to lead with courage by speaking up and challenging the status quo while recognizing their personal limitations. As a leadership trait, I find courage serves as an anchor to ground leaders in going beyond the old conventional wisdom of staying neutral on social or political issues. Today, we are experiencing moments that challenge leaders at all levels. Moments where courage is a most important trait, from my perspective, as we must speak up and challenge conditions that endanger inclusion in our workplaces and communities.

Leading with Courage Amidst events that have shocked and impacted the nation, we see clear examples of courageous leadership across industries. In 2017, Gregory L. Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, made a public statement regarding his decision to remove and relo-

cate confederate statues after the events in Charlottesville. “The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” he said. “But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.” The same year, after the president’s decision to end DACA, more than 400 business leaders signed an open letter urging the president and Congress to protect Dreamers. Among them were the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Best Buy, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. As Tim Cook, CEO at Apple tweeted, “Two hundred and fifty of my Apple coworkers are Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.” CEOs are now wading into controversial issues. In 2016, PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman took a stand against North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill by pulling the company’s plans for a global operations center that would have employed 400 in Charlotte. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Schulman said that “with the passage of the bill, it really goes against the values of our company and we just couldn’t proceed forward.” Other companies with operations in Charlotte also expressed opposition to the bill including Bank of America and American Airlines. Most recently, twelve CEOs of major companies spoke out against the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance border policy, which has resulted in the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents. Money magazine reported that CEOs from Google, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Chobani, and Cisco condemned the policy as “heartless, cruel, and immoral.” In all these instances of courageous leadership, there is one common thread that supports the leader’s action: alignment with core values of the organization and our nation. We see leaders as the linchpin for inclusion at all levels, including the larger society. With courage, business leaders today are taking personal risk to raise their voice involving social issues that affect us all and providing a venue to resolve these issues. I | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 77




mall and middle-sized businesses often miss out on a very important opportunity to help their organization grow and succeed, the process known as “strategic planning.” It sounds like a word that is better suited for big business only, but it should be done in every enterprise because of its insights, revelations, and results. Every business should do planning at some level to guide it towards its goals. It’s surprising how many businesses operate without strategic planning. The strategic planning process helps identify products and services, determine the customer base, and align technical systems, as well as measure market demand, selling methods, cultural issues, distribution flow, human resource strengths and weaknesses, output capacity, natural resources, economic environment, legal and regulatory issues, and the financial results that can be expected from change.

5) Identify internal and external forces that impact the company or organization. These include finances, regulation, competition, demographics, location, the economy, the products and services mix, and the leadership. Brainstorm, be pro-active, and discuss every idea and suggestion—even if it is unusual or absurd. 6) Write a mission statement. 7) Set goals and uncover gaps/needs/strengths/weaknesses and opportunities. 8) Develop specific action items, including timetables, costs, and responsibilities. 9) Take immediate action for implementation according to the plan.

The strategic planning process should include the following: 1) Form a taskforce made up of five to seven employees, including hourly, salaried, and managerial. Select good employees, with a balance between levels and functions. 2) Meet weekly for six to eight weeks. Each meeting should last oneand-a-half to two hours, with refreshments available. 3) Appoint one of the committee members as the recorder. This person will write all ideas and facts on a flip-chart or board. Tape the pages up so that eventually the walls will be covered in writing; visualization is very important. 4) Seek and answer basic questions about “who are we” and “where are we going?”

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10) Measure progress and results on a scheduled basis. The result is a strategic plan that describes the organization’s environment and the forces that will impact it for the next five years. It outlines what the organization chooses to do and details what it must be like to achieve its desired results. Strategic planning involves process facilitation, team building, creative thinking, brainstorming, problem solving, goal setting, action planning, and results measurement. The results will be widely accepted by the employees because it is their plan. I

Telephone consultation with Larry Hobbs, who assists employers in human resource matters is always free–210.316.4206.





ecently, British Airways got into very hot water with a software glitch that caused a total system failure throughout their offices, costing the aviation company to the tune of $100 million dollars. Representatives of the company point to problems with the backup system, which had been developed by an Indian outsourcing firm and had not been properly tested prior to the outage. This has ignited an often-occurring wave of criticism against the use of outsourcing by large businesses as a means to cut corners and increase profit margins at the cost of quality delivered to the customer. However, despite high profile catastrophes like the one that has happened with British Airways, there are several examples of big-name businesses who have successfully utilized outsourcing to build quality products. So, how does one walk the line between getting burned by a bad outsourcing firm and building a successful project within a limited budget? Here are a few major mistakes you can avoid when selecting a software outsourcing firm that will greatly improve your chances for a successful relationship: Keep communication clear, concise, and constant. By far the biggest mistake that many product owners make is letting communication break down during the development process or simply selecting a firm that does not have good communication practices in place. Prior to signing any contracts, make sure to speak directly with


the developers you’ll be working with daily. Often outsourcing companies hide their developers behind face personnel who are trained in business conversation yet have no actual involvement with the development of the product. Have someone you trust audit the code. Another common pitfall that product owners run into is getting into a situation where they can’t properly evaluate the software they’re paying for. This is especially true for non-technical owners who are not developers themselves and cannot realize the true nature of the code. Only when it’s too late do they realize that it is poorly written, too technically complex, or simply undocumented, leaving your team completely lost if you end up hiring another firm or bringing on internal developers to work on the product. Remember that you get what you pay for. Do not expect quality code from paying a subsistence wage in a Third World country. While it is sometimes possible to catch a great deal, IT developers compete on a global market and understand their worth, regardless of where they live. Often a product owner will immediately go for the lowest bidder only to find out that it will end up costing them far more in the long run to repair shoddy code and unstable systems. Just ask British Airways. Keep these factors in mind and you can avoid a lot of issues while building a successful collaboration with your outsourcing firm that will produce a product that you can stand by. I


SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE Chambers of Commerce Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 12082 San Antonio, TX 78212 (210) 777-8899 Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce 600 HemisFair Plaza Way, Suite 406-10 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 226-9055 Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 6141 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 822-7027 www.alamoheightschamber. org Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce 126 Rosewood Boerne, TX 78006 (830) 249-8000 Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 311417 New Braunfels, TX 78131 (830) 625-2385 Greater San Antonio Chinese Chamber of Commerce 10233 IH 35 North San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 653-7288

Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 602 E. Commerce St. San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 229-2100 North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 12930 Country Pkwy San Antonio, TX 78216 (210) 344-4848 Randolph Metrocom Chamber of Commerce 9374 Valhalla Selma, TX 78154 (210) 658-8322 www. San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 200 E. Grayson St., Suite 203 San Antonio, TX 78215 (210) 225-0462 San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way, Suite 217 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 299-2636

West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 314 El Paso San Antonio, TX 78207 (210) 299-5244

Small Business Resource Centers

City of San Antonio Economic Development Department 100 W. Houston St., Suite 1900 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 207-8080 Bexar County SMWBE 101 W. Nueva St., #112, San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 335-2478 SMWBEDBE-Program UTSA Small Business Development Center 501 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78207 (210) 458-2460 San Antonio Business Calendar 2400 McCullough Ave., Building #15053 (210) 370-7550 Development Services Department Cliff Morton Development & Business Services Center 1901 S. Alamo St. San Antonio, TX 78204 (210) 207-1111

Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce 116 N. Camp Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-6382

South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency 3201 Cherry Ridge St., Building C-319 San Antonio, Tx 78230 (210) 227-4722

South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 7902 Challenger Dr. San Antonio, TX 78235 (210) 533-1600

LaunchSA 600 Soledad St. San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 598-6623

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LIFTFund 2007 W. Martin St. San Antonio, TX 78207 (888) 215-2373 PeopleFund 1811 S. Laredo St., Building 108 San Antonio, TX 78207 (210) 405-1447 Geekdom 110 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 373-6730 SCORE Mentors 615 E. Houston St., Building #293 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 403-5931

Financial Agencies

Internal Revenue Service 8626 Tesoro Drive (210) 841-2090 Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts 10010 San Pedro Ave., Suite 410 (210) 342-2300 Bexar Appraisal District 411 N. Frio St. (210) 224-8511 Texas Workforce Commission 4801 NW Loop 410, Suite 510 (210) 256-3000 | JULY/AUGUST 2018 | 81

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