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TEXAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE

M A R C H | A P R I L 2 014

SHELLY MILES

APRIL ANCIRA

NATALIE PFEIFFER

15 Years of

FABULOUS A Taste of the Northside (pg.40)

AUSTIN: THE NEXT

HOLLYWOOD HILL COUNTRY?

XAVER JEWELS: BRINGING YOUR BLING-FILLED VISIONS TO LIFE

CENTER STAGE: A TASTE OF THE TEXAS WINE SCHOOL


WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES... WE’RE HERE FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY Let us tell your story of what really happened. Let the truth be known. We also handle cases in:

• Swimming Pool Drowning Accidents • Workplace Injuries/Death • Industrial Accidents and/or Explosions • Commercial Business Disputes • Trucking Accidents involving commercial vehicles and 18-wheelers JESSE E. GUERRA JR., a.k.a. “The Texas Safety Lawyer”, is the founder of The J. Guerra Law Firm and serves as the firm’s lead litigator and trial attorney. In 2009, Mr. Guerra was selected as one of twenty five attorneys statewide by Texas Lawyer Magazine as Extraordinary Minority Lawyers. Mr. Guerra is nationally recognized as an aquatic litigation attorney who’s practice is primarily focused on swimming pool safety law.

We represent people and companies who have suffered a serious loss or been detrimentally wronged by the hands of other individuals and companies. At our firm we truly care about our clients and realize that this is their only chance for justice.

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NSIDETHISISSUE MARCH.APRIL 2014

64 Austin

Page 40

STYLE 64 » Style and class 66 » Where your journey begins ARTS 68 » Fascinating finds 70 » Austin: the next Hollywood Hill Country?

NONPROFIT 72 » Style for a cause

FEATURE 76 » The key to success

78

8 Texas

PROFILE THE GONZALEZ MEN

This father and his three sons share their stories of success and how the world-class education and brotherhood they enjoyed at Central Catholic High School helped them get there.

FEATURE 8 » The evolution of life

40

FINANCE 10 » The right fit

One of the most popular Fiesta events in the Alamo City celebrates 15 years of Fiesta fabulous and standout success for the Brighton Center.

EDUCATION 82 » ‘One for the books’

44

money

POLITICS 12 » The next generation REAL ESTATE 16 » The pursuit of perfection RELATIONSHIPS 22 » The rites of spring FINE DINING 26 » True event professionals 30 » Enjoying wine 32 » Larger than life 34 » All the best 36 » Out-of-this-world delicious LEGAL 38 » It can wait

PROFILE A TASTE OF THE NORTHSIDE

PROFILE GEORGE DANNER AND BUSINESS LABORATORY

By performing scientific simulations and model-based analyses, this “accidental entrepreneur” and his team help businesses and organizations solve highly complex business problems and achieve optimization.

STYLE 50 » For the win 52 » Going places

54

STYLE & SUBSTANCE VERONICA MONTELONGO

Page 50

The star of “Flip This House” treats us to both a gorgeous photo shoot and some insight into her personal and professional success with her fiancé and business partner, John Morales.

76

San Antonio

FINANCE 84 » Talking to parents about ENRICHMENT 86 » Leaders open doors MENTOR 88 » The right path LEGAL 89 » Planning and preparation NONPROFIT 90 » Advancing the voice 92 » 28 years of family Fiesta fun 93 » Hope, healing and help 94 » An insider’s view 96 » The human-animal bond 98 » Showing God’s love SPORTS 99 » The ultimate fan

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TEXAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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THE DECADE OF DOWNTOWN IN THE ALAMO CITY

DELIGHTFUL AND DELECTABLE MAX'S WINE DIVE GOES STATEWIDE

Style across the state, featuring:

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NSIDE Texas Business Magazine - March/April 2014

CEO / NSIDE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS

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eliot@getnside.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Kelly Hamilton EXECUTIVE EDITOR Erin O’Brien CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jennifer Pucci Starr DESIGN MANAGER Cristina Villa Hazar PROJECT MANAGER Michael Mancha REGIONAL SALES MARKETING DIRECTOR Martha Morales SENIOR WRITER Jody Joseph Marmel EXECUTIVE BUSINESS ADMINSTRATOR Jessica Black CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa Bakke, Mario A Barrera, Douglas S. Cain, Katrina Campbell, Eric Carvajal, Christine Castano, Heather Daniels, Chris Emmitt, Ginny Flanders, Marcie Hernandez, Emily Jaschke, Cedar Joiner, Donald J. Levine, Saumil Manek, Jody Joseph Marmel, Medora, Aaron Pena, Lauren Thompson, Edmund Tillet, K. “Andy” Tiwari, Johnny Walker, Emily Wells PHOTOGRAPHY Alexander Aleman, Justin Calhoun, Manuel Serrata

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TEXAS FEATURE

[ Life with Lisa ]

THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE Embracing the unexpectedness and riding the waves of our experiences

For more information, contact Lisa Bakke of Bakke Limited Interiors at design.lisa@yahoo.com or 210-861-7798.

I SEE MY LIFE as perpetually evolving. I embrace the unexpectedness, the joy, the sorrow and the delight in keeping myself open to new relationships and experiences. More often than not, I find myself chuckling at the sequence of events that suddenly present themselves to me – surprises and scenarios for learning wondrously delivered by God. Most recently, I found myself aboard a private flight to Alpine, Texas, with Alicia, a friend of mine with whom I share a passion for spiritual and holistic healing. She was hosting a Mind

Alicia, Lisa and Sherrie

8

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

Science lecture with Dr. Caroline Leaf at the Gage Hotel in Marathon. And so the journey began. On a record-cold afternoon, the “weekend crew” boarded the plane bound for what would soon reveal itself to be a fantastic alignment of diverse and special individuals (along with two adorable dogs: Rex and Chalk). Once we arrived, our first activity was a tour of the beautifully remodeled historic Gage Hotel (owned by Alicia’s parents), followed by a “JP margarita” (or two) at the 12 Gage Hotel bar and dinner at the White Buffalo, where I

experienced the most delicious “melt in your mouth” filet mignon ever! I was in culinary and ambient heaven. Legend has it that the Indians believed a white buffalo was born once every thousand years, and that such a sacred birth symbolized the coming together of humanity into oneness of heart, mind and spirit. That’s rather profound, don’t you agree? The mount at the Gage was purchased by Alicia’s father from a particularly exquisite and rare estate collection. We spent the first few days at Maravillas Ranch, where we hiked the surrounding mountain ranges and toured the ranch in a Suburban (which we aptly named “The Beast”) by moonlight. Alicia was behind the wheel, navigating us through what seemed to be endless miles of ranch road that would otherwise have me lost for sure. Sherrie was making certain not a single jackrabbit met its final demise via The Beast as the rabbits darted across the road ahead. With the music blaring, all of us were dancing in our seats and laughing our silly heads off in the middle of absolutely nowhere, feeling as though we were the only people left on the planet. We hung out at the hunting lodge George W. visits annually with Alicia’s family. It seems I was merely separated from the president by two degrees, not seven! Atti (short for Atticus) is a strong, yet most gentle soul. His life experiences have given him wisdom far beyond his age – not to mention he flips jet skis over the crests of waves and hunts gi-

ant pigs with pro ball players for the fun of it. There is no one better than a man like this to take care of us girls in the middle of a million uninhabited acres. He tended to important matters like keeping bears and lions at bay as we hiked and making certain we had plenty of bubbles in our Styrofoam cups. Warren, an acutely intelligent and rather handsome individual, gave all of us a run for our money when it came to “factoid” intelligence. There seemed to be nothing he didn’t already know. He was brought in to help Alicia with her plans to develop a Divine Health Center in San Antonio, which is a conferencebased center focusing on personal recovery and healing. Alicia has brought together world-renowned experts in their fields to collaborate and partner with her on the project. I personally believe such a center will be a significant asset to San Antonio. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was spending an evening at the Chalk Draw Ranch. As we drove up to the house, the view was spiritual at the very least, as dusk was nearing and the fading sun casted moving shadows against the mountains surrounding the immense valley. In the kitchen, I found myself chatting with JP, discussing the significant history of the ranch he and Mary John own, and somehow segueing on to a bit more metaphysical topic, in which we both share a particularly deep interest, as he poured me a lovely glass of wine, while Brandon, their chef of many

PORTRAIT PHOTO OF LISA BAKKE BY MICHAEL GIORDANO

By: LISA BAKKE


Atti, Sherrie, Lisa, Alicia, Warren and Rex at 12 Gage Bar

years, prepared dinner. Before sitting down to a wonderful meal, JP took the five of us out on an abridged, highly informative ranch tour. We encountered a myriad of pheasants, deer and other wildlife along the route. Apache Indians once lived there, as evidenced by dwellings in the Bee Caves, which were visible from the house. The artifacts from these cultures are now on exhibit in New York and London. We watched the sun set from atop one of the mesas, Javelinas, scattering as the three of us girls scrambled out of the Suburban for a photo op. From the moment I met JP and Mary John, I adored them both; they are gracious, intelligent and Godly individuals. And it was on this eve that all of us had the honor of partaking in a quiet and intimate dinner celebrating their 50 years of marriage. Mary John, an elegant woman, seated in a comfy, pony-hide chair next to a warm, crackling fire, shared with me how the existing ranch house (a beautifully appointed and blissfully unexpected jewel completely off the grid) was a surprise for her from JP. Many years prior, she had told her husband that she was no longer going back to the original ranch house, as it was simply too rough and she did not enjoy it. I fell in love with the romance of such an undertaking. What a beautiful and precious gesture for his wife. This, of course, led to conversation over

dinner about the secret glue that has bound the both of them so lovingly throughout the more than 50 years they have been together. I never tire of hearing others speak of love – and yes, I am undoubtedly a hopeless romantic. We spent the final night of the weekend at the beautifully restored, fivebedroom historic Shepard House. After settling in to our new accommodations, we attended Leaf’s lecture. A neuroscientist, Leaf spoke about her most recent book, “Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health.” Her research concentrates on the effects of stress and toxic thoughts, as they directly correlate to our mental and physical health. Her findings spoke volumes to me. Although a neuroscientist I am not, I most certainly believe that “we are what we think,” and more and more science is supporting such thought. Fantastic stuff! On the flight home, I pondered the events that had unfolded and the people I had met over the course of the weekend. Laughter abounded, lasting friendships were made, my mind was enriched and I had made room for some very special people who had made my life greater. My heart was expanded. You never know what tomorrow will bring. I am simply here to ride the waves.

Sherrie and Lisa at Shepard House

The view from the house at Chalk Draw Ranch

“WE MUST ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR ENDLESS WAVES OF TRANSFORMATION.” – LIZ GILBERT MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

9


TEXAS // FINANCE

BE WARY OF ANY TAX PREPARATION SERVICE THAT PROMISES LARGER REFUNDS THAN THE COMPETITION.

In 2013, BBB received nearly 4,000 complaints against tax return preparation businesses across the United States. Common complaints state that the tax preparer made errors in their return that resulted in fines and fees. Other complaints allege customer service, billing and contract issues. There is also the risk of tax identity theft. This occurs when someone uses your Social Security number and personal information to file a tax refund in your name. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s  2012 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, statistics show tax identity theft accounted for more than 40 percent of identity theft complaints. BBB offers the following advice when searching for a tax preparer:

READ THE CONTRACT CAREFULLY. Read tax preparation service contracts closely to ensure you understand issues such as how much it is going to cost for the service, how the cost will be affected if preparation is more complicated and time-consuming than expected and whether the tax preparer will represent you in the case of an audit.

ASK AROUND. Get referrals from friends and family on whom they use. Check the BBB business review of the tax preparation service you plan to use at  bbb.org  for detailed complaint information. And you can use checkbbb. org  for a list of BBB-accredited businesses.

ABOUT THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

THE RIGHT FIT The Better Business Bureau offers some advice on finding a reputable tax preparer that’s right for your business. By: LAUREN THOMPSON

PREPARING AND FILING TAXES is an important part of any business, but it can be complicated. For that reason, many businesses turn to professional tax preparers. However, choosing the wrong company to handle your taxes could result in tax return errors that could expose your business to costly penalties in the future. BBB serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin recommends that you take time and use caution when selecting a tax preparer. Every year, BBB receives thousands of complaints against tax preparers. BBB has seen a rise in tax preparer complaints over the last three years.

10

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

LOOK FOR CREDENTIALS. Ideally, your tax preparer should be a certified public accountant, a tax attorney or an enrolled agent. All three can represent you before the IRS in all matters, including an audit.

2

DON’T FALL FOR THE PROMISE OF A BIG REFUND.  Be wary of any tax preparation service that promises larger refunds than the competition. Avoid tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.

3

THINK ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY.  Many tax preparation services only set up shop for the months leading up to April 15. In case the IRS finds errors, or in case of an audit, make sure you are able to contact your tax preparer at any time of the year.

4

For more information, contact BBB  serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas at 512-445-4748 or visit www.bbb.org.

The mission of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities. 

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TEXAS // POLITICS

THE NEXT GENERATION George P. Bush: the next Texas land commissioner? By: AARON PENA

“WHEN WE GIVE PARENTS A CHOICE, WE GIVE KIDS A CHANCE.”

12

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

THE YEAR 2014 may well be the year that sees the people of Texas elect George Bush to office. Only this time, it will be George P. Bush, an entrepreneur, educator and Navy officer who served in Afghanistan. And the office will be Texas land commissioner. He has been campaigning hard across the state for the past 15 months, and he appears well-positioned to win the Republican Primary, as well as the general election. Some voters may be wondering, ‘Who is this next-generation Bush?’ Born in Houston, George P. received his undergraduate degree from Rice University. After graduating, he taught history to at-risk students at Homestead High School in Florida’s Miami-Dade Independent School District and created its first speech and debate team that competed statewide. He then returned to Texas to work on his uncle, George W. Bush’s, presidential campaign, and in 2000, attended the University of Texas School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate. After his clerkship for federal Judge Sidney Allen Fitzwater, George P. joined one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, as a corporate attorney. He subsequently cofounded Pennybacker Capital LLC, a real estate private equity firm, in 2007. And most recently, he founded St. Augustine Partners LLC, a Fort Worth-based investment firm focused on oil and gas transactions and consulting for private businesses. In 2006, George P. joined the U.S. Navy Reserves through the Direct Commission Officer program. In 2010, he began an eight-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom under the Special Operations Command. George P. is committed to helping his community and the state of Texas. He co-

chaired a $30 million capital campaign for Big Brothers Big Sisters in North Texas and serves as the co-chairman of the Dallas/Fort Worth Celebration of Reading. He is currently the Tarrant County chairman for Uplift Education, a highly successful Dallas-based public charter network focused on closing the achievement gap in inner-city public schools. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. George P. has deep roots in the Republican Party. He has assisted and supported many GOP campaigns, beyond those of his uncle and father. He has served as the deputy finance chair for the Republican Party of Texas and cofounded Hispanic Republicans of Texas (HRT). With HRT, George P. travels around the state speaking to Hispanic groups about “kitchen table issues,” which he believes unite the Hispanic community and conservatives. The group also seeks out and helps Hispanic leaders run for public office. George P. is also the past national cochair of Maverick PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to engaging the next generation of Republican voters. On the campaign trail, he has made a point of saying that his background in business, education and the military uniquely qualifies him for the office of Texas land commissioner. And he has laid out bold plans to deal with each of the major issues facing the General Land Office (GLO). On education, George P. has promised to use the GLO’s management of the permanent school fund that helps fund our public schools to influence the performance of these schools. In particular, he has promised to push for higher standards in schools. “When students graduate from high school,” he says, “they should be prepared to excel and

not be discouraged when they arrive on a community college campus or four-year university.” He also wants to see schools emphasize math and science so that we don’t have to import our scientists and engineers from a different hemisphere. “Right now, industry leaders can’t find enough American scientists and engineers to fill all the job openings,” he says. “We need to change that. We have talent here in North America, and education is the key to unlocking that talent.” Finally, George P. must create more school choices, both private and public, to give parents and students alternatives and to create competition for continuous improvement. As he often says on the campaign trail, “when we give parents a choice, we give kids a chance.” On the economy, George P. wants to use the GLO’s management of 13 million acres to encourage more oil and gas drilling while protecting the environment at the same time. “The days of false choice between the economy and the environment are over,” he says. “We can and we must do both.” He pledges to use his experience in the oil and gas business to help create a growing energy sector where people can build careers. Finally, on veterans’ issues, George P. wants to leverage his own experience in uniform to help those returning from service. “We need to take care of our battle buddies,” he says, referring to the veterans in Texas who depend on the GLO for assistance. George P. has pledged to use his position to fight for the rights of veterans. As Election Day nears, the George P. Bush campaign continues to build momentum as people are drawn to the young, charismatic Bush who is speaking across the state every day with his conservative message and his hopeful view of the future. As he often says, “Texas is a great state, but I believe it can be even better.”

Aaron Pena is the former state representative from 2003-13. Note: While NSIDE Texas officially adheres to AP style, certain exceptions were made in the editing of this article.


LUXURY HOME, BREADMAKER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

TEXAS

Real Estate SPECIAL SECTION


TEXAS // REAL ESTATE

WHEN EVALUATING ANY BODY OF WATER, YOU MUST EVALUATE THE SOURCE OF THE WATER AND THE REASON FOR ITS EXISTENCE.

THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION

Perfect water is in the eye of the beholder, but there are some critical factors to consider in your search for the ultimate piece of waterfront property.

By: ERIC CARVAJAL

WHEN SEARCHING for waterfront property on Lake LBJ, it’s important to have a general understanding of the different factors that affect waterfront property. Because no two properties are alike and no two buyers are looking for the exact same thing, perfect waterfront is in the eye of the beholder. However, basic knowledge of waterfront property is critical in your personal pursuit of perfection. When evaluating any body of water, you must evaluate the source of the water and the reason for its existence. In Texas, many nearby bodies of water are manmade; therefore, their water source may be limited. Our current Central Texas drought conditions have taught us all a very important lesson about water conservation and have unfortunately forced many to regret their waterfront purchase decisions. Lake LBJ is a manmade lake designed and created to facilitate a major source of power to the Texas Hill Country. The water from Lake LBJ is an essential piece in the power source’s operations, as it is used to cool the power plant. Even in very extreme drought conditions, Lake LBJ must remain constant for the region to have power at the expense of other nearby lakes. 16

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

The type of waterfront property is also a very important factor to consider in your search. There are three main waterfront types: ➊ Open water ➋ Cove ➌ Channel Open water, at first glance, seems to be the sure bet and is usually the first choice for many buyers, but careful consideration may steer you in a different direction. Open water is very beautiful and offers priceless views. However, it is typically the most expensive waterfront type that you will find on Lake LBJ. Many also forget that open water is usually synonymous with a busy and windy environment, which often equates to “choppy” water. It’s almost impossible to swim in front of an open water property on a holiday weekend and even harder to park your boat. Cove waterfront, depending on the location within the cove, can usually offer the best value. Large coves offer similar views to open water, but provide more protection from boat traffic and weather. Be careful,

however, as debris and trash can collect in front of properties located toward the back of a cove or inlet. Also, smaller coves tend to have more stagnant water, which can create a natural habitat for underwater plant growth. The third category, channel waterfront, is usually something to be wary of on Lake LBJ. The channels are typically stagnant and difficult to navigate, and they offer little to no privacy due to the proximity of nearby houses. Another important tip is that sound also travels over water, so private conversations and noise easily carry to all surrounding properties. Statistics show that channel waterfront homes take much longer to resell than properties with open and cove waterfront types. Lastly, directional orientation is a huge factor to consider when purchasing a waterfront property on Lake LBJ. When evaluating a waterfront home, the water-side is the most important, as this is where most property owners will spend the majority of the their time. The afternoon sun on a western-facing property can be very harsh on a hot summer day, but eastern-facing properties miss out on some of the most beautiful sunsets you will find anywhere in Texas. Understanding the relationship between the rising and setting sun and a given waterfront property, as well as determining your personal preference, is a crucial factor in making a purchase decision. Also of note: Tree coverage and home design can influence the effects of directional orientation. Perfect water is in the eye of the beholder, but understanding these critical factors will help any buyer make a sound purchase decision, as well as help them move closer to their goal of owning a piece of waterfront property that is perfect for them.

For more information on Lake LBJ, visit www.lbjrealestate.com or email Eric Carvajal at eric@carvajalgroup.com.


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NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014


MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

21


TEXAS // RELATIONSHIPS

THE RITES OF SPRING What women want: the only four things you need to know

IN HIS POEM, “Locksley Hall,” 19th century poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “…in the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Ironically, these thoughts of love just might follow on the heels of a holiday/winter breakup. As I wrote in the last issue, the holiday season/winter time is the No. 1 time of year when people tend to break up – sort of a relationship house cleaning around the New Year. Spring, however, with its promise of rebirth and renewal – which is evidenced all around us in nature – raises our hopes. This hope and promise works on our subconscious. And if you are in the market for a relationship (for men especially), spring tends to be the peak shopping season. So if there has indeed been a relationship house cleaning, it doesn’t mean that a young man – or any man, for that matter – is over and done with love or the pursuit of it. Quite the contrary – especially if they are the ones who ended the relationship. I think Tennyson was onto something when he so poetically observed this phenomenon, as it does appear to be true 22

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

that men perk up more at the dawning of spring and begin looking for love. And as a subconscious quest (some might even call it a hunt) begins, according to reliable male sources, some thought is given as to how to find and forge a satisfying relationship. I understand that it is rather tiring to continually churn through relationship after relationship on the quest to find that person who really “gets” you. That one whose faults you can live with and they with yours. That one who fulfills your needs and wants. That one with whom you can trust your heart. Sadly, when looking for love, I believe many folks are prone to making the same mistakes over and over in their choice of a romantic partner because they don’t stop to analyze what is necessary in order to find what they really need and want. But for men, analyzing that can be a particularly frustrating and futile exercise because eventually, that unanswerable question is pondered: What do women want? This is a question and riddle that has tormented

WHEN SHE CRIES OR IS UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING, DON’T TRY TO FIX IT OR SOLVE HER PROBLEM – JUST HOLD HER AND LISTEN. men since the beginning of time. And since I understand that for most men, it is the thrill of the chase, as well as the challenge of this question, that intrigues them, I suppose it is one of the things that makes the world go round. Yet, even though the thrill and challenge of the chase is probably what keeps the universe organized, I do feel the need to offer some insight into what

COUPLE IN LOVE, MARIDAV/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

By: MEDORA


women want, as I’m a huge fan of satisfying relationships. Also, this insight is not just for men on the hunt, but also for men in established relationships. If you are in either of these categories, there are only four things you need to know:

1

TENDERNESS: Hold her when she cries or is upset about something.

2

THOUGHTFULNESS: Compliment her accomplishments and intellect,

3

KINDNESS: Subordinate your own wants, needs and desires and

4

RESPECT: If you’ve got a problem with something she has said or

Don’t try to fix it or solve her problem – just listen. And after listening, ask only one question: is there anything you want or need for me to do? Don’t be surprised if her answer is “nothing – I just needed you to listen and care.”

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as well as her looks. Listen to and observe what she likes and is interested in and respond accordingly. Your approval, validation and affirmation can be the fuel that runs her engine.

pay attention to what she needs. Help lighten her load. Most women I know are particularly observant and more appreciative of the little things more than the grand gestures. Although, grand gestures are very nice, too!

done, talk calmly about it to her privately and never – and I mean never – denigrate her in front of others. Always strive to protect and preserve her dignity. It’s called class. If you don’t have it, learn it. And there you have it: the solution to the riddle that has tormented men for centuries. Don’t think I’m wrong about this – trust me, I’m not. I’m a woman who knows a whole bunch of other women, and these four things are what we really, truly want.

For more information, contact Medora, the relationship expert, at www.medoraonline.com or www.medorasmarket.com. You can also look for Medora on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (@medoraonline).

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TEXAS

Fine Dining SPECIAL SECTION


TEXAS // FINE DINING

TRUE EVENT PROFESSIONALS

Always focusing on “culinary first” and consistently delivering excellence, Signature Catering Inc. and O’Neill’s In-flight Catering prove they are much more than just caterers. By: HEATHER DANIELS

26

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

RECENTLY, A GROWING NUMBER of economists have emphasized the need for a diverse education and experiences in order for one to successfully adjust, adapt and excel in today’s quickly evolving marketplace. Neill Reagan, a coproprietor of Signature Catering Inc. in San Antonio, followed the researchers’ directions years ahead of their popularity. A successful caterer is one with a wide range of talent and knowledge: a chef foremost, and at the heart, a creator, a planner, a technician, an artist, a short-haul shipper and an entertainer. In 2010, Reagan and Chef Shawn Monroe partnered to start Signature Catering, San Antonio’s premier full-service catering and food service business. Reagan grew up on Long Island, N.Y., and began his entertainment experience almost immediately. At age 5, he started taking lessons and then competing in Irish step dancing. He won many regional and national championships over the next 15 years, which culminated when he became one of five Americans to win the world championship in Irish step dancing. At 16, he began helping manage the concert performance tours; by 18, he had assumed the tour management of a variety of singers, musicians, comedians and full concert tours, affording him extensive travel throughout all 50 states while he honed his early management skills. Reagan began his restaurant training at 16. When not on tour, he worked first as a busboy, then in wait staff and by 18, as the restaurant’s manager, receiving extensive food service operations experience in a concentrated time frame. Following his passion for business, cultivated by his early entertainment and restaurant management experiences, Reagan attended Hofstra University in New York, earning a computer science degree and taking a programming position for Prudential Securities on Wall Street for four years until 1995. For some time, he juggled his full university schedule, his dance tour management company and his work at the restaurant. He obviously learned effective time management skills! While catching up with his tour group in San


Antonio in March 1995, Reagan became enamored with the Alamo City’s European Old World appeal, business and real estate opportunities and warm weather. After an evening performance, surprised to hear that no area Irish pub existed for refreshment, in May 1995, he began building O’Neill’s Irish House on Commerce Street. He sold his entertainment business to fully concentrate on his new venture. Within a year of O’Neill’s opening, inquiries about catering his restaurant fare led Reagan to start offering catering services to local hotels, beginning with a single restaurant customer – a local hotel manager – and growing to over 30 hotels in the next couple of years. By 2000, the catering efforts had exceeded the restaurants and O’Neill’s Irish House was sold in order to concentrate on the growing catering business. Later that year, O’Neill’s Catering expanded to serve private jet operations’ food service needs throughout the Central Texas area. The company has proudly served princes, presidents (including both candidates’ entourages in 2008) and celebrities over the last decade of the operations of its expansion to O’Neill’s Inflight Catering. In-flight catering services run 24 hours every day of the week in order to meet flight schedule demands around the clock. With a firm grasp on a successful food service operation in the sky, as O’Neill’s In-flight Catering had been rated one of the best in North America for many years, Reagan looked to establish himself as a fullservice caterer of distinction in Texas serving the freshest and finest food in terms of quality and creativity on terra firma, as well. With Monroe, his partner at Signature Catering, Reagan has complemented his food service skills with a chef who has more than 26 years of experience, also working stints with worldrenowned Chefs Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Boulud, as well as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, to name a few. Monroe brought experience to O’Neill’s In-flight Catering as the head of the food program for Midwest Airlines in Milwaukee and Kansas City, as well, serving more than 3,000 meals daily. Given their similar, but complementary backgrounds, Reagan and Monroe have made an immediate impact. Signature Catering features all selections made from scratch with the freshest in available local ingredients and impeccable service. “We are a ‘culinary first’ caterer,” Reagan said of the basis of their business model. The model marries high-quality and creative menu selections with meeting any request in cuisine that is served in the New York-style manner Reagan learned and appreciated during his early restaurant training in the Empire State. All Signature Catering chefs are culinary trained and understand food, from its selection, preparation and proper storage through its transport, presentation and serving to maintain peak freshness and flavor. “Signature Catering is Chef Shawn’s and my baby,” Reagan said. “To watch it grow each and every day with the help of our talented staff is so incredible.” The Signature Catering menu offers a wide variety

“SIGNATURE CATERING PROUDLY OFFERS A COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZED OWNER SELECTION.” of selections of hors d’oeuvres such as blue crabstuffed hearts of palm and mini lamb “lollipops,” food station offerings for fresh pasta and sushi selections, desserts from a torta cioccolato to crème brûlée served in citrus cups and four-course meal plans to meet a range of tastes and occasion themes. “Signature Catering proudly offers a completely customized owner selection, developing a unique menu and beverage presentation, providing a truly personalized service to fully satisfy our clients’ taste, budget and style,” Reagan explained. Signature service ideals are defined by providing exquisite food, expertly coordinated and presented and served graciously to every client and their guests. Based on their rapid growth and the comments of their clients, they are more than meeting many of their goals. After a recent event performed by Signature Catering for event planner Tracy Reeder, she exclaimed, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Signature Catering on several occasions, and often recommend them to clients and friends. Aside from the excellent, unlimited culinary creations, their talented team of professionals exercises extra attention to detail and unparalleled customer service that ensures my clients and their guests are in great hands from start to finish.” Other local event planners agree. “Haute Weddings has enjoyed referring and working with Signature Catering,” said Lisa Morales of Haute Weddings. “The service is impeccable, the staff topnotch and the food is always beyond delicious! The detail and effort put into pampering our clients is beyond comparison of any other catering company we have worked with.” “Signature Catering has been my preferred caterer for several years,” added Meghan Sandau of the Music & Entertainment Group (MEG). “Whether I am producing events for clients or personally hosting events for friends and family, they are always my first call.” Sandau shared some additional insight from her experience with caterers: “The top complaint I hear

about other caterers is in the inconsistency of great results. Some events are great, and some fall flat. Signature is one of the very few caterers out there who always nails top-level quality and service. They take each event very seriously and have the goal of delivering excellence (a trait I truly admire in any service provider). Whether it is a small dinner for 20 or a large corporate event for thousands, you can count on them to treat your event like it is their top priority. You can trust that the food will taste delicious and that the service will be maintained at a very high level. In the rare times a problem arises, they immediately tackle it with a high degree of professionalism. “They aren’t just caterers … they are true event professionals who understand how important it is to be a part of the team. In addition to the superior service they provide, it is such a delight to work with a company led by warm and friendly people. While they are all serious pros, they are also a ton of fun and genuinely kind people (my absolute favorite combo).”

For more information on Signature Catering Inc., visit www.signaturecateringinc.com. And to learn more about O’Neill’s In-flight Catering, visit www.oneillscatering.com.

SIGNATURE CATERING INC. SAN ANTONIO: 8418 Broadway 210-701-7070

AUSTIN: 4321 Emma Browning 512-850-9127

O’NEILL’S IN-FLIGHT CATERING SAN ANTONIO: 8418 Broadway 210-541-9800

AUSTIN: 4321 Emma Browning 512-247-5800

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

27


The SUCCESS of your event is our main CONCERN BLACK TIE AFFAIRS CATERING, INC. Full-Service Catering Richard Ojeda, Owner • 210.854.9074 Debbie Gonzaba, Sales Director • 210.379.2137

210.226.9881 www.btacatering.com • sales@btacatering.com


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TEXAS // FINE DINING

ENJOYING WINE

At the Texas Wine School, students learn about wine from the introductory to the certification levels in a fun, laidback atmosphere where the wine itself always takes center stage. By: JODY JOSEPH MARMEL

30

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

HOUSTON IS AN AMAZING CITY on all levels, but when I discovered the Texas Wine School, I was taken back in time to a European lifestyle where wine is a staple to be enjoyed throughout the day. That philosophy has not extended to the United States, but everyone enjoys a good glass of wine, and more and more people want to gain the knowledge about different wines either for fun or as part of their livelihood. James King, who grew up in the “shires” outside London, has brought the Texas Wine School to the Lone Star State, and it is expanding beyond the Houston boundaries. In fact, classes are taught in Austin, and soon, classes will be available in San Antonio. “Where I grew up, wine was always present at high days and holidays,” King says. “I graduated from Edinburgh University, Scotland, and in my last year, 1993, as part of my geography course, we spent a week in Alsace, France, comparing German and Alsace wines.” King realized that this way of life seemed a lot better than working in an office. After he graduated, King went straight into wine retail and started studying for his “wine exams.” These exams are the very same exams he teaches now. “I passed the WSET Diploma on the first go in 1996. I wanted to learn more, and I traveled to Australia and started working in a winery. I was seeing both sides of the business: the production and then the tasting; diversity and appreciation.” After his ventures in Australia, King arrived in Los Angeles and formed a partnership with the Wine House retail store to teach the WSET courses. WSET – the Wine & Spirit Education Trust – has more than 40 years of experience in the design and delivery of wine education classes and qualifications in wines and spirits. According to King, “In that time, it has grown to become the largest global provider of wine education classes, with over 36,000 examination candidates per annum, in 55 countries and nine different languages.” WSET is a U.K.-based educational charity that works closely with the drinks industry, educational partners worldwide and the relevant regulatory authorities. In the U.K., the WSET is approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. “We continually work in close liaison with all sectors of the drinks and hospitality industry to ensure that the standards laid out in each syllabus provide a service that not only meets, but also exceeds the needs and expectations of our customers.” King moved to Houston due to his wife’s career, and “it seemed obvious to set up an independent wine school. To be quite honest, we researched quite a bit and saw that no one was offering such a thing. Being independent is very important to me, as I want to be seen by everyone as neutral. I do not offer the wholesalers over consumers or retailers over restaurants.” The Texas Wine School is a fun, laidback atmo-


AT THE TEXAS WINE SCHOOL, THE EMPHASIS IS ALWAYS ON THE WINE – NOT THE SPEAKER. sphere to learn about wine from introductory to certification level, where the emphasis is always on the wine and not the speaker. “I think too many of us want to make wine a tool to show everyone how sophisticated they are, and I think that is sad,” King says. “I adore standing in front of a group and seeing them taste a wine they have never had or even dreamed that wine could come from that region. Listening to them tell me in their own words, mostly not in the official wine terminology, how wonderful it is and how interesting and then asking me, ‘Why is it this way? How can it be this way?’ This sharing is what wine should be about. This is the passion that people talk about when referring to me; I enjoy everything about wine, and my enthusiasm is ever growing.” “Enjoy wine” is the motto that King lives by, and he wants to translate this lesson to his students. “I love when people come to my class after a hard day at work and they are so keen to learn. Even though they are tired, we start talking – at times, we tend to go off topic and before we all realize it, two or three hours have gone by. That is what I call special.” One creative educational tool King uses is what he calls the “Las Vegas Room,” which “means that what is said in this room stays in this room and if anyone

calls you on a comment outside the classroom, you call ‘Las Vegas’ and don’t answer,” he explains. “It is my way of relaxing the students and allowing them to freely ask questions, make comments, debate, discuss without them thinking people are laughing or looking down on them. There is no room for that here, and the students know it.” The WSET Level 1-3 is a curriculum-based course that allows the wine novice, openly encouraged, and the wine professional to sit side-by-side and learn. “I personally think it benefits both sides, as the trade can often be insulated and the consumer can be intimidated by the ‘pro,’” King says. “Everyone works their way up the levels, increasing their knowledge each time and expanding their skills and network.” King explains that the Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of Wine is a course that has been traditionally offered as self-study. They have now allowed a few schools – including the Texas Wine School – to start offering it as a curriculum-based course. “We create our curriculum from the study material provided. This has traditionally been seen as a trade course, but with our approach, we are getting more consumers.” The next step in wine education is the French Wine Scholar course. King is very proud to be associated with them. This is a course only on France, and it really delves deep into all aspects of French wine from environment factors and production to styles and food pairing. “I expect to see more countries offering a stand-alone country-specific course.” The non-certification classes are King’s fun classes for everyone, but in reality, the consumer is the main attendee. The trade wants to spend their money on certifications, which is an intelligent business strategy. “The courses, like everything I offer, are academic/

educational in a relaxed, fun environment. We taste the wines, we discuss the wines, we assess the quality of the wine and we understand, from the environmental and winemaking factors, why the wines tastes the way it does. The object is that the students can go out the next day and buy or select a wine from the region or topic from the night before, not just the wine we tasted. I want to show them the diversity of wines out there.” King is on his way to fulfilling his school’s namesake: the Texas Wine School. King has a great presence in Houston and a great team in Austin already offering classes, and by March, he hopes to have classes available in the San Antonio area. He would like to offer the WSET Diploma Level 4; this is the most prestigious offering by the WSET. It is only offered to those proven to be very successful in graduating students with high grades over an extended period of time. “The SWE offers the highly prestigious CWE certification, and I would like to be one of the first, if they ever do allow schools to teach it, to offer it in the country.” As King concludes, “We all have aspirations to be a Master of Wine (MW), which is the pinnacle of the wine world. Running a school and also being heavily involved in the rearing of my 8- and 3-year-old, I call myself the ‘stay-at-home’ dad whilst my wife works the ‘regular hours.’ The MW has been put on the back burner for now.” Knowing King, the MW will not stay on the back burner for too long.

For more information on the Texas Wine School, visit www.thetexaswineschool.com or call 713-882-8773. You can also look for the school on Facebook or Twitter (@texaswineschool). MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

31


LARGER THAN LIFE

High Velocity: providing San Antonians with the full “Texas sports” experience. By: EMILY WELLS

THE BEST SPORTS BAR in San Antonio just got even better. JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa recently expanded its High Velocity sports bar, one of the most popular venues for sports fans in San Antonio. The sports bar’s need for additional space is a testament to the resort’s continued success and its plans to grow with the surrounding community. According to Food and Beverage Director Scott Siebert, “The expansion gives High Velocity an ‘arena’ feel, bringing together the best views of the larger-thanlife video screens and the sounds and echoes of a big-league stadium.” Siebert says the original design of High Velocity was narrow and did not provide premium views of 32

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

the sports bar’s most outstanding feature: the 120foot video wall. By enclosing the space with floor-toceiling glass walls, there is now room for up to 100 additional patrons. The new Sky Box area of High Velocity is a unique design created by Austin-based architectural firm

“THE EXPANSION GIVES HIGH VELOCITY AN ‘ARENA’ FEEL.”

RHadius p.c. The $500,000 expansion, led by San Antonio general contractor Harvey Cleary, adds 1,500 square feet of space and fantastic views of the action with a skybox feel, making the sports bar the ideal spot to cheer on the Spurs. Complementing the larger-than-life viewing experience is High Velocity’s FANFare, a menu influenced by the flavors of Texas and the Southwest, and the Sky Box buffet. A couple of our favorites are the grilled lime-basted chicken satay with spiced teriyaki dipping sauce and the house-made beer-battered onion rings with horseradish cream. And along with an unbelievable selection of more than 20 local craft brews on tap, the mixology menu can satisfy the most eclectic thirst. “Stadium-style buffets, coupled with some of the best local Texas drafts and spirits, give our guests the full ‘Texas sports’ experience.” More fun than the 50 yard line and with better service than sitting courtside, there is no better place to meet up with friends and fans to celebrate victory (or console defeat) than High Velocity.

Emily Wells is a public relations professional in San Antonio, Texas.

YOUNG MEN IN BAR, DEKLOFENAK/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

TEXAS // FINE DINING


Come experience LA FOGATA’S Pork Tamales and other delicious specialty dishes. Make your reservation today!

2427 VANCE JACKSON ROAD ◆ SAN ANTONIO, TX 78213-3924 ◆ 210.340.1337 ◆ WWW.LAFOGATA.COM

Restaurant - Bar HOURS OF OPERATION

MON – THURS: 11AM-10PM FRI – SAT: 11AM -11PM SUN: 12PM – 9PM FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.SPEISENS.COM

7115 Blanco Road #110 ❖ San Antonio, Texas 78216 ❖ 210.541.8911 MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

33


TEXAS // FINE DINING

ALL THE BEST

The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival: one you won’t want to miss SPECIAL TO NSIDE

WITH MORE THAN 40 EVENTS over three days, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is one of the most dynamic culinary events in the country. From April 25 to 27, 2014, the third annual festival will showcase all the best in food, wine and cocktails, including hands-on grilling demonstrations, interactive fire pits, panel discussions, Grand Tasting Tents, live music, book signings and much more. Presented by C3 Presents and FOOD & WINE, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival will feature some of the food and beverage industry’s leading names and attract attendees from near and far. C3 Presents also produces Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park, Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin’s Zilker Park and several other must-experience festivals around the world. Needless to say, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is one you won’t want to miss.  New to the program this year is Feast Under the Stars, a pre-festival dinner that will be hosted at Austin’s Butler Park on Thursday, April 24. Attendees are invited to join five Texas chefs to kick off the festival with a collaborative, al fresco dinner under the – you got it – stars. Prepared by chefs Tim Love, Tyson Cole, Kent Rathbun and Chris Shepherd 34

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

and pastry chef Jodi Elliott, this event will make sure the weekend is off to a perfect start.  The 2014 festival kicks off on Friday, April 25, with Taste of Texas, held at Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown Austin. Some of the Lone Star State’s brightest chefs will be serving their specialties, including Alexis Chong, Jason Dady, James Holmes, Philip Speer and Justin Yu, among others. Stick around for a live performance by Escort, a Brooklyn-based 17-piece club orchestra. On Saturday evening, the competition heats up with Rock Your Taco, where chefs will compete against each other to create the ultimate taco. Cole, a two-time Rock Your Taco champion, will defend his crown against the likes of superstar chefs Love, Shepherd, Rick Bayless, Richard Blais, John Currence, Bryce Gilmore, Mike Lata, Georgia Pellegrini and Ming Tsai. An esteemed panel of judges, including Christina Grdovic, Graham Elliot and Andrew Zimmern, will choose the winner. JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, an American indie soul band from Chicago, will close out the night.  Back by popular demand, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival will feature two fire pit stations, where Texas chefs will take to the grounds of But-


THE AUSTIN FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE MORE THAN 40 EVENTS OVER THREE DAYS. ler Park for live fire cooking throughout the weekend. Chefs including Dady, Tim Byres, Ned Elliott, Aaron Franklin and Paul Qui will offer a front-row experience and tastes of their smokin’ dishes.   The Chefs’ Showcase will also return, featuring a dynamic lineup of Texas-based chefs serving tastings of signature dishes. Don’t miss John Bates and Brandon Martinez, Stefan Bowers, Shawn Cirkiel, Allison Jenkins and Janina O’Leary, Josh Jones and Josh Watkins, to name a few.   

This article was contributed by Austin FOOD & WINE. Please visit www. austinfoodandwinefestival.com for more information, and purchase tickets at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

35


TEXAS // FINE DINING

OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD DELICIOUS Gourdough’s Public House: The home of the big fat donut treats Austinites to crazy, creative cuisine and an all-around fun atmosphere. By: JODY JOSEPH MARMEL

IN AUSTIN, there are many fine eateries – from casual to “on the go” to that special dining experience to those restaurants that are divinely different and help “Keep Austin Weird.” Gourdough’s fits this slogan well with their unique menu, which offers an unusual blend of donuts with a hearty (and sometimes crazy) Southern-inspired spin. The fun atmosphere the owners create filters through to customers while being delighted with their meals and drinking specialty drinks at happy hour and the happiest hour. Just like the restaurant, the story of Paula Samford and Ryan Palmer is unusual, but entertaining. Samford grew up in the Central Texas area, but she spent most of her time in Wimberley. Always having an entrepreneurial spirit, she graduated from high school a year early and then attended Tarleton State University. After beginning a career in real estate, she was quickly named rookie of the year by Keller Williams and she went on to win many other awards and recognition for production. She became a real estate broker in 2006 and opened a boutique brokerage called the Samford Group, which still exists today. Palmer grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas, and graduated from LSU. He began his career as a graphic designer, but felt a need for a larger challenge. He went back to school to attend Loyola Law School, and then, still feeling a need for a challenge, he moved out of the South and headed to New York City, where he finished his law degree at Brooklyn Law School. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York and New Jersey. Palmer and Samford met in 2006, and Palmer began to enter the real estate world alongside Samford. His knowledge of graphic design and law was a perfect fit for the brokerage. Since Samford always liked to explore different business ideas and opportunities, she and Palmer flipped houses, learned to trade foreign currency and expanded the real estate brokerage to a brick-and-mortar location. The idea of Gourdough’s was spawned quickly one night after casually discussing the emerging food truck business and how lucrative it could be to attend just weekend festivals. “I was going to open a food truck and create the concept, the name, and I had about 19 different crazy donut ideas within about an hour,” Samford jokingly 36

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

said. “We started making these donuts for ourselves and found them to be incredibly delicious. However, we had to put the idea on hold because real estate consumed all weekends and there was definitely no time to pursue a weekend business for the fun of it, not to mention that we knew very little about the food industry.” A year later, the idea would not go away. In 2008, when the banks started to fail, they both forecasted that the real estate market was about to be severely affected. “It was the perfect opportunity to start exploring this idea further,” they explained. “The trailer concept made so much sense. It was not a huge financial risk and hopefully we could supplement a little bit of income.” With the collaboration of Samford’s crazy ideas and Palmer’s management of the operations, Gourdough’s was opened for business in October 2009, housed in a vintage air stream trailer on South Lamar across from Alamo Drafthouse. This same flagship trailer is now located on South 1st Street, just a couple of blocks away. The trailer was opened for three years before Gourdough’s Public House was opened. The actual concept for the donuts was inspired by Samford’s love for desserts – “the desserts my family would always make around the holidays,” she elaborated. “I thought it would be great to have these yearround and not just one day out of the year. I needed

combinations in their brick-and-mortar restaurant today is their marketing edge. “It is something that your mind hasn’t thought of before, and adding a fun playfulness by creating a unique name for each one has brought us the attention and fellow Austinites enjoy our different concepts.” It may be shocking the first time you hear of a donut burger or chicken fried steak on a donut, but judging by the crowds eating at Gourdough’s Public House, the unusual concept is contagious and absolutely delicious. Everything on the menu except for a few appetizers is created around the donut concept. Even the salads come with a garlic donut! The menu is a full menu with burgers, entrees and of course, desserts. Top sellers include the Dirty South, the Ron Burgundy Burger, the Freebird Donut and the Squealing Pig Donut, to name a few. “Our favorite is the Dirty South. We hand-batter chicken fried steak and then start building the donut with our golden halo. We then add a potato pancake, the chicken fried steak and finishing it with our house-made cranberry jalapeno jelly. It is extremely delicious.” Gourdough’s Public House is growing in popularity, just as the trailers caught on rather quickly in the Capitol City. With a full menu and bar, Samford explains that this newer concept for them takes people by surprise the first time they visit. “I think that because we had a reputation for just selling desserts for so long, people are still unaware of our restaurant concept. I still hear two or three times a day from people who are visiting the restaurant that they had no idea we had a full menu and bar. It’s exciting to watch that part of the business grow. We added drinks to our establishment because we were amazed at how many people would come to our trailer and bring their own alcohol. We saw an opportunity to reach a market and took it.” Currently, Gourdough’s Public House has something called the “happiest hour,” where the drinks are almost free. The word is getting out there, and this wonderfully creative and delicious eatery is becoming a favorite local hangout. Samford and Palmer plan to open their third trailer

THIS WONDERFULLY CREATIVE AND DELICIOUS EATERY IS BECOMING A FAVORITE LOCAL HANGOUT. a medium to serve these on in order to have a full concept. The idea of my second love quickly popped into my head … freshly fried donuts. But they couldn’t be just ordinary donuts. They needed to be big and fat in order to get attention.” Gourdough’s certainly got attention; the donuts are out-of-this-world delicious, and the demand kept growing throughout Austin. Gourdough’s has also been featured in many national food shows and magazines to boot. The concept of offering crazy food

at The Picnic off of Barton Springs Road, and looking ahead, they see opening Gourdough’s nationwide. With their unique concepts and business savvy, this duo will certainly reach beyond the city limits in no time at all.

Gourdough’s Public House is located at 2700 S. Lamar in Austin, Texas. For more information, call 512-9129070 or visit www.gourdoughspub.com.


TEXAS // LEGAL

IT CAN WAIT

How employers can protect themselves from texting-while-driving lawsuits to minimize business risk and potential liability By: K. “ANDY” TIWARI

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING: We have all probably done this more than we’d like to admit. It usually involves texting a quick update with one hand while rushing somewhere in a car or replying to text messages behind the wheel at a stoplight. In recent years, texting while driving has received a lot of bad press due to the distractions it poses for drivers. Prominent talk show hosts have made celebrities pledge publicly that they won’t do it, and large wireless service providers have partnered in the It Can Wait campaign to discourage the practice. In San Antonio, you’ve probably noticed the signs banning texting (and cell phone use) while driving in school zones. Texting-while-driving cases are also being challenged in the legal system. In November 2013, a lawyer for a Florida couple dropped an appeal involving New Jersey’s texting-while-driving law. We’ve traditionally assumed that the recipient who looks at or responds to a text message is the party responsible for any accident caused, but the plaintiffs’ attorney argued that the couple’s injuries had been caused by both the re38

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ceiver of the text and the person who sent the text. The case went all the way to the New Jersey state appeals court, which decided that they didn’t see enough evidence to support further analysis of whether the text sender could be held responsible in this specific case. The court also didn’t see enough evidence to show that the person sending the text knew the recipient was driving. The court effectively left the door open for other plaintiffs with the right evidence to consider a claim against the sender of the text that ultimately distracts a driver. Cases like this will continue to be challenged, and we frankly don’t know how a similar case might proceed in a Texas court. But to minimize business risk and potential liability, employers need to recognize this could be an issue they encounter. Vicarious liability (holding the employer responsible for the acts of an employee) already exists in Texas and could apply if employees drive as part of their job. But the newer concern is whether there is liability if an employee is simply on his or her way to work.

For example, if a supervisor tells an employee not to be late to a meeting through a text (or email by phone) and that employee causes a serious accident, is it possible that the supervisor and the employer could both be deemed legally liable for damages related to the accident? That’s what a plaintiff might argue, especially if the supervisor knew, for example, that the employee was driving at the time the message was sent. Even if such a case was later dismissed, an employer might have to pay legal fees or increased insurance costs. Instead of putting that scenario to the test, why not include company prohibitions against texting while driving on the job and reading or responding to employer texts in employee handbooks or company policies? Supervisors and directors should also be made aware that, absent further guidance from Texas courts, there is a risk that they and the company could be liable if an employee is involved in an accident while responding to their text. While there’s no such thing as perfect protection from lawsuits, small steps like this can help. Texting cases are becoming more popular, and it’s best to confront this issue now before your company becomes the next headline.

K. “Andy” Tiwari is principal and named partner at Tiwari + Bell PLLC. For more information, visit www. texaslegalpros.com.

WOMAN TEXTING, DEAN DROBOT/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

VICARIOUS LIABILITY ALREADY EXISTS IN TEXAS AND COULD APPLY IF EMPLOYEES DRIVE AS PART OF THEIR JOB.


attOrney at law

Kenneth SaKS Oliva, SaKS, garcia and curiel, l.l.p.

Kenneth S. Saks, J.D., LL.M.* OLiva, SaKS, Garcia & curieL, L.L.P. attOrneyS & cOunSeLOrS at Law 85 n.e. Loop 410, Suite 200 San antonio, texas 78216-5844 (210) 308-6600 ext. 105 (210) 308-6939 Fax • Business Formation and Advisory • Civil Litigation • Non-Profit • Business Disputes • International Transactions • Immigration • Divorce • Adoption • Asset Protection • Off-shore Corporations • Estate Planning/Probate • Real Estate • Personal Injury

Dedicated

www.kensaks.com

Over 20 Years of Experience

*LL.M. - International & Comparative Law

Mr. Saks is a proud supporter of the George Gervin Youth Center, which provides vocational training, remedial education, mentoring, tutoring, job placement, and supportive services to over 1,400 San Antonio's at-risk and disadvantaged youth and their families annually. Their mission is to provide innovative, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive services to positively impact the lives of troubled youth and their families.

For opportunities to be a part of the new George Gervin Fitness & Wellness Center, please contact Ken Saks. NSIDE BUSINESS

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TEXAS • SAN ANTONIO // PROFILE

15 YEARS OF

FIESTA

FABULOUS!

How A Taste of the Northside and its royalty have changed how people Fiesta By: KATRINA CAMPBELL | Photography: ALEXANDER ALEMAN

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“W

e should have a fundraiser to support the Brighton Center!” Who would have known that those 10 words spoken 15 years ago would turn into one of the most popular and successful Fiesta events San Antonio has ever seen, A Taste of the Northside? Known for its all-inclusive ticket pricing and sophisticated atmosphere, the event allows guest to partake in several samplings from some of the city’s finest restaurants, to expand their wine pallet and taste multiple wine and beer options and to enjoy live music under the stars. Throw in free


parking and a shuttle, and there is no wonder this event has put the north side of San Antonio on the map when it comes to Fiesta. However, the event that now hosts thousands and has been voted Best Fiesta Event by NEWS 4 WOAI three years in a row didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start out with such grandeur; in fact, it started as more of a small get-together. At the start of the millennium, the Brighton Center, a small nonprofit agency serving roughly 500 children with

disabilities and developmental delays at the time, had no established fundraiser to help support their organization. But with their strong desire to grow their programs and serve more children and families, Brighton knew they needed another revenue source to realize this vision. Throwing a special event fundraiser seemed like a great place to start. The organization reached out to two of their biggest supporters and local business own-

While A Taste of the Northside is celebrating a milestone, the event is far from getting â&#x20AC;&#x153;old.â&#x20AC;? MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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ers, Angie and Jeff Bridges of Copa Wine Bar, to help get them started. The Bridges agreed to help the organization host a wine and food tasting event in the lobby of a nearby JC Salon. One hundred people and $3,500 later, Brighton was ecstatic at the success of their impromptu fundraiser and decided it should be an annual event. They made plans to move the wine and food tasting event to Canyon Springs Golf Club, and from there, the event began to take root and grow wings. It grew large enough to warrant the Fiesta Commission’s interest in making A Taste of the Northside an official Fiesta event and a permanent part of the weeklong party’s lineup. A Taste of the Northside now hosts nearly 7,000 guests and features 50-plus restaurants, 40-plus wine varietals, premium beer selections like Stella Artois, five live bands and an exclusive VIP lounge, all set on the beautiful rolling landscape of the Club at Sonterra. The success of A Taste of the Northside has undoubtedly forever changed the Brighton Center. Since its inception, the event has increased its annual gross revenue from $3,500 to more than half-a-million dollars, and as a result, Brighton has experienced immense growth, increasing the number of children and families they serve by 200 percent (now more than

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Watch for “Big Give S.A.,” coming on May 6, and make Brighton your charity of choice! www.thebiggivesa.org NSIDE Special Discount to A Taste of the Northside NSIDE2014 for $5 off www.brightonsa.org

2,700 annually), quadrupling their staff and adding two new programs that focus on parents and special education in schools. “As the owners of Copa Wine Bar, we know two things: great wine and good food,” Angie Bridges said. “When Brighton approached us for help in creating a fundraiser, we thought, why not leverage our contacts within the industry and host a food and wine pairing event? We never would have dreamed it would have turned into an event that has helped change the course of the Brighton Center and the families that they serve.” While A Taste of the Northside is celebrating a milestone, the event is far from getting “old.” Guests can expect many of the same great restaurants, wine, beer and music that they have experienced in the past, but they should be prepared for a few fresh and fun additions. This year, the Brighton Center is pulling out all the stops to make sure their guests have a wonderful time and get to be part of celebrating the event and the nonprofit’s success with additions like a special Stella Artois beer garden, a 10-minute fireworks finale and local favorite band, The Max, playing on the main stage. In regards to restaurants, there will be many veterans to the event like Kirby’s Steakhouse, P. F. Chang’s


and H-E-B, with their abundance of food, wine and sommeliers onsite to tell you more about what you are tasting. However, there will also be some more recent additions to the event, like Nothing Bundt Cakes (featured on the cover), which has promised guests “nothing bundt the best” when it comes to the samples at their booth. No Fiesta is complete without one’s own set of royalty, and A Taste of the Northside is no different. This year’s Queen of the Vine, Natalie Pfeiffer, will reign over the event, ensuring that the VIP lounge named in her honor offers only the best food, drinks and music. Raising more than $175,000 for the Brighton Center, Pfeiffer has broken every campaign record to date and earned the designation of Queen of the Vine, a title given to the woman who raises the most funds for the organization throughout a six-month campaign. Pfeiffer, a former director for the Brighton Center, has been consistently involved with the organization for more than 10 years. When she was presented with the opportunity to run for Queen of the Vine, she quickly jumped at the chance. “I am blessed and honored to have worked with this amazing organization in the past, and my family, friends and I continue to support them in their efforts to reach even more children in our community,” Pfeiffer said. “Based on our experience working and being involved with Brighton Center, my daughters have witnessed firsthand the value of inclusion and encouraging others to reach their potential. I am so proud to know that my girls do not see disabilities – instead, they see the ability in all children.” The entire 2014 Queen of the Vine campaign court includes Tiffany Mock Briggs, a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch and mother of two, and ZZ Mylar, a marketing and advertising specialist and mother of six (two of whom received services from Brighton). Collectively, these three women have raised more than $200,000 for the Brighton Center, a feat that would typically take a whole army of volunteers to accomplish in several years. These ladies stand in good company and have followed well in the footsteps of their most recent predecessors like April Ancira (2013 Queen of the Vine), Shelly Miles (2012 Queen of the Decade and 2008 Queen of the Vine) and Dr. Amy Jackson (2011 Queen of the Vine), who each broke the Queen of the Vine campaign record in the respective years they ran. “We can’t fully express the amazing gratitude we have towards every Taste of the Northside attendee and each of our Queen candidates and their supporters,” said Kim Jefferies, executive director of the Brighton Center. “By being a part of each of these initiatives, people are helping our organization do more than ever before for children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families.” As a longtime employee with the Brighton Center, Jefferies has been integral in helping grow A Taste of the Northside, the Queen of the Vine Campaign and as a result, the entire organization. She has helped create a solid foundation within the organization that is now allowing Brighton to make big plans for the future. With a second inclusive childcare location opening in August 2014 in the Monte Vista area and a new master plan for their campus at Higgins Road, she and her staff and board are creating a new model

for how children with disabilities and delays are served and supported. It is the goal of the Brighton Center to become a “one-stop shop” for families seeking services for their child, including case management, childcare, parent training and education programs, extended therapy services and more. So this Fiesta season, as you consider which events to attend, remember the Brighton Center and what they stand for. Not only do they know how to throw one heck of a party, but they know how to reinvest that money in services and programs that are forever changing the lives of children right here in San Antonio.

To purchase your tickets to A Taste of the Northside, visit www.brightonsa.org. All NSIDE readers will receive a special $5 discount through April 1. Just type “NSIDE2014” in the promotion code box.

The success of A Taste of the Northside has undoubtedly forever changed the Brighton Center.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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TEXAS • HOUSTON // PROFILE

THE ACCIDENTAL

ENTREPRENEUR Passionate about helping businesses and organizations solve highly complex business problems by building simulation models, George Danner lives the dream at Business Laboratory.

» SPECIAL TO NSIDE » Photography: JUSTIN CALHOUN

G

EORGE DANNER

never considered becoming an entrepreneur. But he found himself on a new career path when his employer, Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, was shut down in 2002. A self-proclaimed nerd, Danner has founded two companies since then and doesn’t see himself running anyone’s business but his own. Danner is the founder of Business Laboratory, which performs scientific simulations and model-based analyses for mid-size and large businesses and government agencies. He has helped more than 40 organizations around the world, including oilfield operators, national retailers and air carriers, with forecasting, optimization, business strategy and other complex business problems to achieve operational efficiency and maximize the bottom line while promoting innovation and productivity. Business Laboratory solves problems such as IT optimization, retail store location, supply chain analysis, product development, sales forecasting and even counter-terrorism. His impressive client roster includes large corporations, gov-

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ernment agencies and nonprofit organizations such as BP, Sun Microsystems, Schlumberger, Target Stores, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, AstraZeneca, National Grid (U.K.) and the U.S. Navy. Danner is passionate about math and science, and he advocates businesses and organizations thinking like scientists and using real data to deal with the complexity of the modern business environment. While many companies capture vital information, they do not utilize it. Companies often make the mistake of trying to predict the future and adapt their strategy based on those predictions. Because so many variables and unknown factors exist, it is difficult to accurately forecast the future. Instead, it is possible to run computer simulations for hundreds or even thousands of scenarios, each one based on different assumptions about what the future may hold. This allows companies to develop a robust strategy that will work for many of the plausible futures. “We chose the name, Business Laboratory, because a laboratory is a place to experiment and share ideas and


“AT BUSINESS LABORATORY, WE EXPERIMENT WITH BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES TO PROMOTE INNOVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY.” MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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DANNER WORKS ON PROJECTS RELATED TO POLITICS, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, FINANCIAL SERVICES, RETAIL AND HEALTH CARE.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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that is exactly what we do: experiment with business management concepts and principles to promote innovation and productivity,” Danner explains. “If a business model is not well understood, simulation allows companies to safely change the parameters and see how the business behaves under a variety of situations. With this experience, they can move to optimization – getting the greatest possible reward for the least possible cost.” Danner caught the science bug early on while watching the first moon landing as a child. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in mechanical engineering and spent the next decade working on automation and process control software for a number of companies. While he enjoyed the work, he missed seeing the “big picture.” That inquisitiveness pushed Danner to pursue a career in corporate strategy and decision-making. He sold most of his belongings and moved to Boston to study system dynamics and game theory at the renowned Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “I always felt there was something about the business strategy behind a company itself and the complex layers of decisions that led to its creation and operations,” Danner says. “My time at MIT enabled me to think deeply and quantitatively about business problems and gave me a whole new analytical approach to strategy that allowed me to see things I had not noticed before.” With his new skill set, Danner joined Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, where he spent five years using simulation models as a means to jointly solve problems with clients. “I had a front-row seat on very complex and unusual problems with some of the world’s best-run companies,” he says. “It was the most gratifying work I had ever done, and I was devastated when the firm was shut down. I took a hard look at myself at the ripe old age of 40 and asked myself one simple question: What am I passionate about?” The answer was easy: building simulation models and using them to solve highly complex business problems. Danner was uncertain if there was a market for him to operate as a sole practitioner, though. He was convinced he would go broke within six months, but he decided to pursue his passion. He named his first company Industrial Science to reflect that his methods were derived from science and then applied to industrial work. With his low expectations, Danner was delighted when the first client walked in the door. A few months later, another client came along. Then another. Pretty soon, the business was in fulltime mode and turning a profit. “One of my very first clients was a gentleman who ran a marine transportation business,” Danner says. “He needed a simulation model to optimize the number of vessels in a fleet for a particular oil company customer. He wisely engaged a gain-sharing arrangement with his customer, so he participated in the savings as vessels were removed from the system. I believe we cut the number of ships nearly in half by

analyzing the routes and crafting a more efficient system. The model was a huge success, and I went on to build six more models for them in the next five years.” Industrial Science went on to optimize supply chains for BP; model IT systems for Ford Motor Co.; and streamline operations for Shell Chemical. The company was so successful that Danner was approached five years later by a software company with an offer he couldn’t refuse. He sold the business and remained for another two years to guide the firm before realizing he missed running his own company. So

an organization daring to throw out the old rules for managing [baseball] teams and discovering new ones to build a successful franchise through data and analytics. A few months after the movie came out, we started receiving phone calls from clients interested in creating their own ‘Moneyball’ story. Who would have thought that a movie could spark interest in a particular business strategy?” Danner supports using outside experts to build business models. Too often, subject matter experts carry industry baggage with them, losing the “naïve

DANNER ADVOCATES BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS THINKING LIKE SCIENTISTS AND USING REAL DATA TO DEAL WITH THE COMPLEXITY OF THE MODERN BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT. he founded Business Laboratory in 2009. The new company still uses scientific simulation and advanced forecasting to solve business strategy problems, achieve operational efficiency and maximize the bottom line. It also places high value on visualization, especially when building a model to address problems that are less physical and tangible to allow clients clearly “see” and understand complex relationships, parameters and behaviors. “Models are not mechanisms that make decisions, but the means to leverage human thinking,” Danner says. “Therefore, people should be ‘in the loop’ for any important strategic decisions to be made, and visualization helps tremendously to clearly show complex issues to non-technical, non-mathematical audiences, which make up the majority of business professionals and executives.” Danner is excited about the rapid changes in computer technology, making simulation and optimization accessible to smaller businesses and nonprofit organizations. He believes any industry, any company and any organization where complexity exists can be modeled and benefit from resulting optimization. Computing power is getting better and cheaper, which means simulations can run faster and more scenarios can be considered. Simulations shifted from being conducted by small research communities to widespread collaborative exercises performed worldwide, and Danner works on projects related to politics, criminal justice, financial services, retail and health care. In 2011, Danner noticed an increase in prospects approaching him about simulation and was surprised to learn he owed this sudden increase in demand to the movie, “Moneyball.” “I never saw that one coming!” he says. “I had read the book and loved it. It told an important story about

questions” and important discussions they stimulate. Instead, he recommends selecting someone who has never set foot in a given industry, but is experienced in many other industries that have mastered important problems and thinks in “systems” that transcend company or industry. “True business models are not packaged software applications – they are bespoke to the industry and the problem at hand,” he says. “Too many times, companies and their IT departments try to break analytics down into some software solution that can be bought (and worse yet, standardized upon across the company). This is a horrible practice, and misses the point entirely.” Danner calls himself an accidental entrepreneur and says he has made every mistake that can be made in business. With his analytical nature, he took the time to document his mistakes, to think them through and to build upon lessons learned. He is now working on a book – a compilation of all the mistakes he’s made and the fun his team had making them. “It’s an important piece of work and a story that needs to be told – a how-to guide for practitioners,” he says. “I hope my legacy is that I’ve inspired a few young people to take up the banner of analytics and work to make our organizations around the world better by using science as a prism through which business problems are viewed. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of their journeys.”

For more information on George Danner and Business Laboratory, please go to www.business-laboratory.com. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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TEXAS // STYLE

FOR THE WIN

Xaver Jewels: broadening your diamond knowledge and bringing your bling-filled visions to life By: SAUMIL MANEK and EMILY A. JASCHKE

THE INVESTMENT

When celebrating a momentous occasion with a diamond, it is difficult to equate potential market value with that of sentiment. Rest assured that your investment has three major payoffs: ➊ The joy it brings the receiver ➋ The love and eternal commitment it represents ➌ A polished diamond is an annual appreciation-yielding commodity Compared to other investment venues, the diamond market is less volatile, thus paving the way for stable capital preservation. Current market trend projects that prices will increase due to growth in consumer demand and supply decline. According to Edahn Golan, an analyst specializing in the diamond industry, “In practical terms, there is no expectation that global diamond production will increase in the next 10 years – at best.” Acquiring one of nature’s most precious and sought-after gems – a diamond – yields both financial and sentimental return. Xaver’s knowledge of the industry, accompanied by vast resources, will maximize your investment while preserving your budget.

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BUDGET

With a purchase often driven by emotion and expectation, establishing a diamond budget can be austere. Alleviate unnecessary stress by making it your first priority. When love meets budget, keep a level head. Carefully evaluate your finances to establish a comfort level. If purchasing together, make sure you and your partner’s money values align. Long gone is the rudimentary formula that two months’ salary equals the value of an engagement ring. While it is at the buyer’s discretion, it is recommended to purchase within your means. Plan ahead for the extras. Allocate a portion of your budget for a setting and wedding band. Personalized, high-tech jewelry boxes are in vogue and engraving is often an option. You need to protect your investment with a warranty and an insurance policy. Take a moment to analyze the benefit of having a private jeweler versus cost of a using a retail vendor:

XAVER JEWELS: BENEFIT

RETAIL VENDOR: COST

Two Payments: Down Payment and Last Payment Due at Pick Up

Multiple Payments: Down Payment, Monthly and Last Payment Due at Pick Up

Reasonable, One-of-a-Kind Designs

40 to 50 Percent Increase for Mass-Produced Designs

No Financing Needed

Average APR: 24.9 Percent

Best Value for Your Money

Same Value, Extra Expense

DIAMONDS, EVERYTHING POSSIBLE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

HISTORICALLY AND CULTURALLY, gems and luxe adornments represent a gamut of intentions – perhaps the most important being a token of love. Whether for a promise, for gratitude or for a commitment, the act of giving is a deep representation of your investment in that individual. Xaver Jewels is your personal assistant in successfully solidifying that connection. As a private jeweler, we set out to establish a life-long relationship with our clients. In the “getting to know you” process, we extensively discuss need, want and aesthetic preference. In addition, we educate you regarding budget, quality and certification. We value you as a life-long client as you will value your diamond investment for a lifetime. Most importantly, Xaver strives to bring your bling-filled vision to life.


THE MOST DESIRABLE DIAMONDS ARE COLORLESS. Once all factors are considered and a budget is in place, you must educate yourself on the basics of diamond value and grading.

THE FOUR CS

A diamond’s rarity, value and beauty are determined by four factors: carat weight, color, clarity and cut (proportion and finish). Becoming familiar with how the four Cs determine value will give you a better understanding of the anatomy of the diamond. Ultimately, this will assist in your selection because it will help you discover what appeals to you most.

1

CARAT WEIGHT Carat weight refers to the size of the diamond. Based on a standard unit of measure, one carat is divided into 100 points. The term originated from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times.

2

COLOR The most desirable diamonds are colorless because the absence of color enhances the diamond’s ability to reflect a rainbow of color. Diamonds are graded on a scale of D (almost clear white) to N-Z (yellow).

3

CLARITY Diamonds can contain slight imperfections. Often invisible to the naked eye, these natural birthmarks fall into two categories: inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external). Fewer inclusions increase the value of the stone.

• Mostly conducts appraisals for diamond engagement rings Building everlasting relationships requires consideration, procurement and the utmost personal investment. The same application lends itself in choosing a precious diamond or designing a one-of-a-kind, exquisite piece of jewelry. As the age old adage says, “Knowing is half the battle.” If you have found yourself at that special place in which you are ready to invest in your forever piece, the hardest part is over. Currently equipped with investment, budget, quality and certification knowledge, you are more than halfway there. Xaver Jewels will take you to the finish, for the win.

Saumil Manek, AJP, is a certified diamond grader and the owner and CEO of Xaver Jewels in Houston, Texas. Xaver Jewels specializes in high-end, custom jewelry.

4

CUT Cut gives the diamond its brilliance. Of the four Cs, it is the only one dependent on human touch. Using precise mathematical formulas, the cutter transforms a diamond in the rough into a sparkling jewel that reflects and refracts light. The combination of the four Cs is strictly a personal preference. Grading and certifications set the standard at which the four Cs and cut grades are determined. Most importantly, a reputable grading certification will protect and authenticate your purchase.

GRADING AND CERTIFICATIONS GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (GIA) • Most recognized grading lab in the world and industry preferred • Consistent and abides by the highest standards • Created the four Cs and the International Diamond Grading System AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY (AGS) • Consistent and abides by the highest standards • First lab to issue numerical cut grades • Certifies diamonds based on their cut grade from 0 (most desirable) to 10 (least desirable) EUROPEAN GEMOLOGICAL LABORATORY (EGL) • More lenient in their grading standard than the GIA and the AGS • EGL diamonds are priced lower • Clarity grades are typically one to two lower and color grades vary three to five in difference than that of GIA and AGS INTERNATIONAL GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE (IGI) • IGI standards are leaner than GIA and stricter than EGL MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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TEXAS // STYLE

The dynamic duo: Esperanza Merida and Stephen Vaughan of Merida Fine Custom Jewelry bring the gems of the future to Houston. By: JODY JOSEPH MARMEL

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“MY GOAL IS TO BRING INTO BEING A DESIGN THAT HAS SPECIAL MEANING TO MY CLIENTS.” one-of-a-kind piece to our clients reminds us why we do what we do.” Vaughan explains the rapidly evolving diamond and gemstone jewelry industry: “The industry is in the beginning stage of a radical change. The traditional stores that catered to the baby boomers with their floor cases stocked full of designer inventory and their salespeople greeting the customer behind those intimidating glass cases aren’t as appealing to the younger generations. “Generation Y will be the dominant buying force in five years. They do most of their research online before ever stepping into the store. They want more interaction. They are more interested in communicating directly with an artist who will design their piece rather than a salesperson.”

JEWELRY PHOTOS BY ESPERANZA MERIDA

GOING PLACES

SOMETIMES DURING LIFE, you connect with people because of the story they have to tell. Add in the way they tell you the story, and the passion and love for what they do and what they share touches us on so many levels. This story is about Esperanza Merida and Stephen Vaughan, who founded Merida in Houston. It is about rising above the challenges of the competition and believing in their mission. The custom-designed jewelry Merida creates is breathtaking; combine that with the support and marketing savvy of her husband, and this dynamic duo knows where they are going and so do their fans. They are just beginning to make headlines, and the future holds endless possibilities. Just by looking at the beautiful custom-made rings and chic, elegant cuffs and other fine pieces and hearing their story, you know they are going places. It may just be in Houston for now, but in the years ahead, Merida will be known and respected throughout the Lone Star State and beyond. “To build the kind of business we are building in an industry that has high barriers to entry while challenging the status quo requires a great deal of passion, fearlessness, competency and the ability to get back up every time we get knocked down,” Vaughan says. “The response we get every time we deliver a


However, most jewelry stores are still operating like they always have. It is very similar to the railroad industry in the 1950s as the first jet airliners were emerging on the scene. The railroad industry leaders were myopic in their thinking that the airline industry wasn’t a threat. History tells us they were wrong. Today, there are two primary advancements in tools that have completely changed the landscape for the custom jewelry business: computer design software and 3-D printing. This refers to CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) software and the 3-D printer. “As an engineering student in the ‘80s at Texas A&M University, I had a couple of classes in the first generation of this software,” Vaughan says. “The renderings were not that impressive then. However, the top CAD programs used by the jewelry industry today provide renderings that are so realistic that many people have to be told that they are renderings.” Not only do these renderings give customers a much better idea of what their final piece will look like, but they help manufacturers know what the end result needs to look like, as well. The end result: “no surprises to the customer.” Most consumers today still think a custom jewelry designer needs to be a good sketcher. “It’s akin to thinking that a modern airplane has to be designed with a slide rule.” Merida goes straight to the computer rather than creating a detailed sketch. The story begins when a CAD operator for a manufacturer meets the love of her life, and he realizes how talented she truly is. Shortly after Merida and Vaughan met, Merida told him she wasn’t an artist; she was just a CAD operator. Last March, they entered one of her designs in a national contest against other jewelers from all over the nation, many of who had been in business for several generations. Merida took second place. Vaughan exclaims, “I guess she was wrong!” While Vaughan was growing up and going to college in Texas and serving as a marine officer during Desert Storm, as well as obtaining his MBA from Boston University, Merida grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She attended college at Universidad Autonoma del Es-

tado de Morelos (the University of Morelos in Mexico) and studied information technology. Growing up in Mexico, she was fortunate when her first post-college employer got her a visa to the United States. “This is a rarity for middle-class Mexicans,” Vaughan says. “She came over here by herself and ended up as a CAD operator for a manufacturer in Houston.” This was 12 years ago, and since then, Merida has developed experience in jewelry CAD design, as well as many other facets of the business. This was all valuable because she developed many contacts in every area of the industry, which in turn, has helped her grow in the right direction with the quality contacts they were seeking. “When I first met Esperanza, I really didn’t know that much about jewelry, having been a financial advisor for 18 years,” Vaughan says. “Neither one of us was thinking about her CAD job turning into a major business. I was more interested in her photography as a potential business for her. She does all of the photography of our final pieces. “When I first noticed her jewelry designs, I told her she was very talented and was indeed an artist. She didn’t agree with me; in fact, everyone around her – the jewelry designers that came to her for CAD work, as well as the manufacturers – made sure she knew her place and that was not as an artist. Many jewelry artists didn’t know CAD and had to rely on the skills of a CAD operator or learn themselves, which is very time consuming. I quickly figured this out and decided then that she was going to get paid what she deserved.” The true inspiration to start Merida Fine Custom Jewelry was when Vaughan watched Merida design her own engagement ring in December 2009. The two were married, and in February 2011, they incorporated. In August 2012, their website was up and running. A few months later, Merida Fine Custom Jewelry was discovered by Fruchtman Marketing, which had the promotional contract for the Palladium Alliance International. “Our designs are now on their website alongside the most well-known designers in the country. They have

a studio in Los Angeles that is only available to celebrities and their stylists when they are looking for jewelry pieces for red carpet events such as the Oscars.” Merida’s three target markets are engagement ring upgrade, just getting engaged and cocktail and fine jewelry – mostly Generation X (mid 30s to late 40s) and Generation Y (late 20s to mid 30s). Merida gets her creative inspiration from a combination of sources – from her clients and what is significant and special about them and from many artistic influences in her life. “I like the sleek, modernistic design elements that one would see in modern architecture, while on the other end of the spectrum, I like the elaborate and ornate elements associated with some of the early Spanish and European cathedrals,” Merida says. “My goal is to bring into being a design that has special meaning to my clients.” As the word spreads and Merida’s designs draw more attention, this enthusiastic and chic couple will start hiring soon. “If business keeps coming in like it is, we will need to expand,” Vaughan says. “The word is finally getting out. Esperanza is getting the respect she deserves, and we have solid relationships established with some of the world’s greatest craftsmen and suppliers.” And this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more updates on Merida Fine Custom Jewelry – the gems of the future.

Merida Fine Custom Jewelry is located at 6222 Richmond Ave., Ste. 825, in Houston, Texas. For more information, call 713-396-6956 or visit www.meridacreations.com. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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TEXAS // STYLE

SHE LOOKED FANTASTIC AT OUR RECENT PHOTO SHOOT AT MERCEDESBENZ OF BOERNE AND THE LOVELY TERRAMONT IN SAN ANTONIO. BUT IT’S CLEAR THAT “FLIP THIS HOUSE” STAR

VERONICA MONTELONGO AND HER FIANCÉ AND BUSINESS PARTNER,

JOHN MORALES, ALSO HAVE BOTH PERSONAL AND BUSINESS SAVVY IN SPADES.

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Substance PHOTOGRAPHY // ALEXANDER ALEMAN

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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“JOHN AND I CHOOSE TO LOVE EACH OTHER. IT REQUIRES EFFORT AND DISCIPLINE – AND THOSE SAME RULES APPLY IN OUR BUSINESS.”

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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“WEALTH IS MORE OFTEN THE RESULT OF HARD WORK, PERSEVERANCE AND MOST OF ALL, SELF-DISCIPLINE.”

SLR MCLAREN COURTESY OF

MERCEDES-BENZ OF BOERNE 58

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“WE SHARE COMMON INTERESTS, INCLUDING PREPARING A HOUSEHOLD BUDGET, PLANNING AND MAKING INVESTMENTS, SETTING FINANCIAL GOALS, OPERATING A BUSINESS AND SHOPPING, OF COURSE.”

STYLIST

RECHELLE G 210.279.5342 WARDROBE

NEIMAN MARCUS, LA CANTERA MALL PAGES 54 & 56

ON HER JOVANI COCKTAIL DRESS $560

ON HIM

ETRO BLAZER $1945 ETRO SHIRT $435 ZEGNA PANTS $745 PAGES 58 & 59

ON HER JOVANI GOWN $860

ON HIM

CANALI SUIT $1,895 CANALI SHIRT $275 CANALI TIE $150 THIS PAGE

ON HER

ROBERTO CAVALLI GOWN $2,510 IPPOLITA RING $2,395 IPPOLITA BRACELETS $1,795-$3,495

ON HIM

HUGO BOSS SUIT $795 ETRO SHIRT $415

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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AUSTIN SKYLINE, KUSHAL BOSE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

AUSTIN


AUSTIN STYLE

STYLE AND CLASS SPECIAL TO NSIDE

BROTHERS DEMIAN AND ALEX VAZQUEZ

are the creative talents behind the international Demian & Alex (D&A) jewelry collection based in Austin, Texas. The brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passion for style and class in everything they create appeals to followers of all ages, as well as serious fashion jewelry collectors. In seven years, they have built D&A into a thriving design company with a loyal following.

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Their life has been surrounded by rich culture and diversity. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, raised in Santa Fe, N.M., and finally settling in Austin in 1992, this duo brings a fashion-forward vision of beauty to jewelry design that highlights the Austin business and fashion scene. Their family is an amazing group of creative designers who have been published, received national

For more information on Demian & Alex, contact Alex Vazquez at 512-797-9963 or alex@dandadesigns.com, or visit www. demianandalex.com.

recognition and been showcased in museums in Boston and Washington, D.C. Their mother, Char, is a renowned fashion designer; their aunt, Sherry Stein, is an industrial designer and fashion designer; and their aunt, Judy Blankenship, is a published photographer and writer. Needless to say, Demian and Alex bring a strong heritage of creative design to their jewelry business.

PHOTO OF DEMIAN AND ALEX BY CHRISTIAN TAIT; JEWELRY PHOTOS BY ALEX VAZQUEZ

Demian & Alex: dynamic designs for Austin and beyond


JEWELRY PHOTOS BY ALEX VAZQUEZ

DEMIAN AND ALEX TARGET A SOPHISTICATED CUSTOMER WITH A MODERN STYLE AND JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SPIRITUAL MYSTERY.

Both brothers exhibited artistic talent from an early age, but initially followed different paths of self-discovery and creative development. Demian pursued his dream and learned the fine art of jewelry fabrication, while Alex went into a career in software engineering. Fate would have it that these two disciplines, coupled with their mutual interest in creative design (sketching, painting and working with textured materials), would bring them together to create D&A Brothers Corp. To create is who they are, and the fusion of their talents has been extremely successful. When asked about their favorite piece of jewelry, the answer is endless. With different skill sets and strengths, they both feel it is nearly impossible to choose just one piece, design or style. Their response to this question is both organic and wonderful. They both love the creation process, but “holding the finished fabricated design in your hand,” both agree, is magic. They did mention a few designs that are standouts for them and their customers: The sterling silver and 18K gold “Santo” bracelet for men, the 18K gold and diamond pave “Sophia Fang” pendant from the “Fortuno” collection and, their most current, the carved and cast “Dog Tag” collection, which quickly became a signature look for Demian and Alex. Their spring 2014 addition to D&A is a semi-precious and vibrantly colored stone group called “Florence.” It is receiving great acclaim and selling out nationally. The event that brought their business into the limelight was Austin Fashion Week (AFW) in spring 2011. The experience was outstanding. Demian and Alex met many incredibly creative and wonderful people. They are grateful

to AFW Founder Matt Swinney for creating the event offering Austin fashion designers a place to showcase their work. The entire week was an opportunity for Demian and Alex to present their passion and jewelry in a way they had never previously experienced. The ultimate compliment was that everyone embraced and honored their collections by voting them Best Overall Designer, Best Men’s Designer and Best Mash Up Photo. They were honored not only as individual designers in their creative arena, but also to work as a team in the Mash Up event. “Winning these prestigious awards was such a humbling experience for us. We were ecstatic when we learned we had won the Best Men’s Designer award. Winning that award made our AFW experience! But winning Best Overall Designer at the ACL Moody Theater was icing on the cake. We had never entered a competition, so to win such high-profile awards was incredible. We are proud to display the golden boot awards in our studio. We look forward to participating in AFW again this year and are already gearing up for a great week of design and fashion.” From the beginning, with their first “Sanctuary” collection in sterling silver, cast skulls, sacred hearts and roses, they kept evolving while continuing to maintain a style and presence that is truly their own. Inspired by their Latin heritage, the collections are dark and dreamy, light and classic, hot and clever – modern designs with an ancient twist. This has attracted customers from every walk of life, as well as a fabulous celebrity following. Celebrity customers include Jada Pinkett Smith, Pierce Brosnan, Val Kilmer, Natalie Maines, Robin Williams and Joey Kramer of Aerosmith.

The brothers continue offering new and innovative collections that are currently sold in stores, boutiques and resorts nationwide. In Texas, they are proud to have their collections at Austin’s Positive Images and Eliza Page. Other Texas retailers include Sloan-Hall in San Antonio and Houston, Ranch at The Rim in San Antonio, Swag in Dallas, Maverick in Fort Worth and Trends & Traditions in San Marcos. They are also offered at top retail establishments in the United States. The number of stores carrying their designs continues to grow in Texas and the United States as they gain recognition. D&A has become recognized for vibrant gemstones, instigating “gem-

stone envy.” The textured metals and dazzling designs symbolize the people and places that have influenced them throughout their lives. Demian and Alex target a sophisticated customer with a modern style and just the right amount of spiritual mystery, offering a unique aesthetic for men and women. D&A will continue to serve as an asset to the Austin business and fashion communities, as they build, grow and support the city they call home.

Note: While NSIDE Texas officially adheres to AP style, certain exceptions were made in the editing of this article.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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AUSTIN // STYLE

WHERE YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS The fundamentals of luxurious adventure: ZINK offers exclusive, heirloom-quality designs that showcase the intricate art of simplicity.

By: HEATHER DANIELS

EVERY NOW AND THEN, a boutique opens and the quality and beauty of the merchandise is an instant fashion victory. Couple that with the intelligence, warmth, creative genius and charismatic charm of the store’s founder and creative director, Ben Freedland, and Austinites realize the definition of quality and sophistication personified. Freedland grew up in Newton, Mass., and graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies. After graduation, he moved to New York City to work in the Bergdorf Goodman men’s buying office. From there, his career travels went to Ermenegildo Zegna in creative services and Michael Kors men’s wholesale to Burberry, where he was the director of merchandising, and then to Diesel. “I always knew I wanted to start a company that would be fashion related,” Freedland explains. “I didn’t know it would be an accessory company; I just knew that I wanted to make quality products that focused on craftsmanship with a modern classic aesthetic.” ZINK bags tell a story, and the fine craftsmanship that goes into designing each bag is an art form unlike any other. Launched in 2009, ZINK grew from a temporary popup to a company focused on wholesale to a company focused on their own retail shops and website. A niche brand with limited distribution, ZINK is a timeless collection of bags with a twist. Well-known for their Steamship Bag, inspired by vintage travel bags, ZINK is about the intricate art of 66

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simplicity. Each season, they take their modern classic bags and introduce a seasonal print. “It can be a hand-loomed fabric that has been handcrafted by artisans for generations or an exceptional material I discover on my global travels. Each discovery adds cultural character to the classic heritage of ZINK design.” Each ZINK design incorporates timeless techniques to create designs of heirloom quality. ZINK designs are luxurious items that are built to last. Each handbag is lined in the finest Italian canvas, using solid brass and chrome hardware, and ZINK sources the fabrics either directly from renowned family-run mills or in partnership with socially responsible cooperatives and nonprofits across the world. ZINK is exclusive to their website and to their store in Austin. “To me, Austin is the new America,” Freedland explains. “It is a place that likes to support local businesses and where people can be themselves. It’s

not only the capitol of Texas, but home to one of the largest universities in the world. Consequently, it is young, old, new, historic and always changing.” The ZINK team explores the world to find exceptional materials that have been handcrafted by artisans for generations. Each discovery adds cultural character to the classic heritage of ZINK design. Defined by its ability to effortlessly travel from one world to the next, from East to West, from city to country, the ZINK creation is as rooted in history as it is constantly changing. “Every piece in our collection is the result of a journey. They are a celebration of the experiences, discoveries and passion that brought us where we are today: to ZINK, modern American classics with a global aesthetic.” ZINK bags are for the chic adventurer. As Freedland adds, “It’s where your journey begins.” ZINK clients like to collect things of quality and meaning. Fashion is not the client’s first priority, but she always wants to look appropriate and have things


“EVERY PIECE IN OUR COLLECTION IS THE RESULT OF A JOURNEY.” that have an emotional resonance. Her family, friends and home life come first. Freedland continues to describe the clients: “She adds to her wardrobe each season, but it is not about trend. It is about filling a need in her wardrobe. The things she cherishes are the memories she acquires while using her collection of carefully selected items.” Adding exotic leathers to ZINK has been a success. Freedland decided to increase the exotic offerings starting last holiday season. The “wow” factor has been fine-tuned, and the patchwork and camouflage stingray were the first of this collection. For holiday, ZINK introduced camouflage snake, gray camouflage stingray, rainbow stingray and bright-color python, to name a few. A whole line of exotic small leather goods – including cardholders, men’s wallets and women’s wallets – was available in time for the holidays. All of the exotics are handmade and lined in calfskin. Men’s launched at holiday, as well. These bags have a sophisticated, utilitarian look. “I feel this is what men want: a bag that can take them from the office to the playground to wherever their daily adventure of life

takes them. I want the men’s collection to be about workhorse bags they can take everywhere, use them and come back with marks on the bags that remind them of their journey.” For this collection, ZINK uses military fabrics that are sourced directly from a company that makes them for the military all over the world. ZINK also showcases scarves – dip dyes and shibori. The dip dyes are hand-dipped in natural plantbased dyes. These one-of-a-kind creations support the revival of a traditional cottage industry in rural Thailand. Shibori, an ancient Japanese dyeing technique dating back to the eighth century, is the process of hand-dyeing cotton that has been intricately folded and bound with thread. Each of the scarves in ZINK’s exclusive collection comes from a single-family farm in rural Japan where new meaning is given to the term, “handmade.” Each handmade and hand-dyed shibori scarf is unique and takes more than three months to produce exclusively for ZINK. Price points for the Core Collection of ZINK bags start at $525. With the introduction of the Exotic Collection small leather goods, the line will range from $160 to $2,495. Like his grandfather, Robert Zink, an award-winning weaver of Nantucket baskets and the namesake of the company, Freedland embraces the world’s wonders while treasuring every detail of an artist’s touch. “Everything my grandfather does is done with passion, enthusiasm and with the highest-quality craftsman-

ship possible by a human’s hands. Because of this, naming my company after him just seemed right. Everything he stands for, I try to put into the DNA of ZINK. “The journey of ZINK might have begun in New England, but it continues to traverse the globe. To Italy for superb canvas in a rainbow of magnificent hues; to South America for stunning textiles hand-loomed by artisans practicing age-old traditions; to Southeast Asia for indigo fabrics and naturally dyed textiles; to rural Japan for the finest organic cotton. These are just some of the elements that go into creating ZINK’s meticulously crafted, timeless designs – the very fundamentals of luxurious adventure.” Future plans for ZINK include opening more of their stores in the right places. “We are about slow fashion, so we are taking our time to grow our distribution and to develop our product. We see ZINK in markets like Boston, Nantucket, New Canaan, Greenwich, Dallas, Houston, the Hamptons and San Francisco, to name a few.” The journey has just begun for ZINK, and it will continue, as ZINK continues to live for the voyage.

ZINK at Jefferson Square is located at 1601 West 38th St., No. 11, in Austin, Texas. For more information, call 512-502-5836 or visit www.zinkcollection. com. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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FASCINATING FINDS

Kay Briggs promotes local artisans and encourages her clients to be their own kind of beautiful at Pink Poppy ARTisans Boutique, an artistic showcase in Georgetown.

By: JODY JOSEPH MARMEL

KAY BRIGGS moved to Georgetown in 2006 after living in Houston for more than three decades. She began her career on the square in Georgetown as an artist in 2009 and operated the artist co-op known as Good Water ART & Gifts inside the “Chuparosa” building. She had a studio upstairs and a space on the bottom floor to sell her art. “I soon realized that Georgetown loves local art and crafts, and I began taking my love of color and fabric and started making one-of-a-kind aprons.” The response was phenomenal, and Briggs couldn’t keep up with the demand. She decided to move forward with a line of women’s clothing; what spurred her on was other women always asking her, “Where do you get your clothes?” Knowing there was a need for beautiful clothing in Georgetown, she added women’s fashions to her space. Outgrowing her arena, Briggs leased another space and started Diva Chicks ARTful Boutique. She eventually sold that in May and discovered the current building where her new boutique can be found. “The building was built in the early 1900s, and we kept some of the original floors and ceiling. Since the space is so large, I decided to add a few local artisans to the mix.” Pink Poppy ARTisans Boutique is an artistic boutique that allows her to showcase “featured artists” and help promote them and their talents to the community. “I feel very strongly about encouraging women of all sizes to embrace their gifts, talents and the body. My love of beauty landed me into the boutique busi68

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

ness, where I have combined my love of art and fashion. Georgetown has been welcoming my concept of combining beautiful clothing and art made in the USA and locally.” Having a sensational selection of chic styles, Winter Sun, Inside Out, Sympli and the Pink Poppy Boutique Signature line are some of the favorites. The signature collection is made in Georgetown. Briggs designs the pieces, and a friend produces the clothing. The fabrics are cottons, modals, linen blends and knits. “This line is designed with all the things I value in clothes – color, fabric, style, comfort – and they all wash and wear well.” The fall line is fun and highlights blacks, browns, turquoises, reds and purples that can be worn throughout the fall and early spring. Briggs’ philosophy is, “Be your own kind of beautiful.” She explains that women come in all shapes, sizes and ages. “Women can look and feel beautiful in the clothing they wear when they consider the fabric, style and cut, combined with the correct fit.” Pink Poppy ARTisans Boutique provides individual, confidential services for all clients. Other fascinating finds are accessories, home décor and artwork. Bridgewater Candle Company includes candles, sachets, car vents, travel candle tins, reed diffusers and more. This line promotes, “Buy a candle; feed a child for a day.” Also supporting Women of Hope, an organization that helps women in need through a mission in Mexico, the women use their talents while they are there. Beading, sewing and stitch-

ing to produce jewelry, belts, pillows and clothing, Briggs purchases these accessories and home goods to support the mission that speaks to the needs of women both spiritually and physically. Born in a Barn is a line of hand-painted home décor, and other local artists Briggs supports include Rudy Ximenez of RSX Studios (his pictures are wonderful and the effects are spectacular), Karen Short (a jewelry artist who works with silver and real stones and makes beautiful pieces) and Sharon White (another local craftsperson who makes fashion jewelry that has been a hit in Georgetown). “People love to buy from ‘the locals’ and support the local artists. I have so many more items coming into the boutique so that I can offer more to the women who shop here.” Although they say, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet,” Pink Poppy ARTisans Boutique was created word by word. “Pink” implies “girly” or women, and the shade Briggs chose is fun and happy. “Everyone, even the guys, loves the way it makes you feel when you come in.” “ARTisans” was chosen because as an artist, Briggs knows how difficult it is to make a living as an artist. “I wanted to have a space that would allow local artisans to have a retail space, and I wanted to promote the local talents that Georgetown is known for.” And “poppy” was chosen for two reasons: (1) Georgetown is known for its red poppies, “so when people are searching the Internet for poppies, I show up”; and (2) “poppy” promotes a sense of community. Coming from a military family, Briggs grew up all around the States and was able to fish, hunt and raise animals. She was a musician and an avid athlete. “I kept that competitive spirit, and it keeps me moving and dreaming forward.” And Briggs was always “into” fashion starting in the ‘70s. She was Miss Bloomington, and she went on to compete in the Miss Victoria Pageant and the FFA Beauty Queen contest, which she won. After graduating from high school, she moved to Houston in 1979, where she met her husband, Charlie. She was an art teacher and an athletics director and coach in Houston for a 2A high school until she and her husband moved to Georgetown in 2006. With an impressive and extensive background, Briggs kept up with her “spirit” and plans to open another Pink Poppy in Austin within two years. Somewhere down the line, she would like to franchise the business. “I promote local, I shop local and want to support the efforts to educate more people on how much it affects our communities and our country when we shop local and shop small. Small business is successful when people understand that a commitment to local keeps small business in business.”

Pink Poppy ARTisans Boutique is located at 114 W. 8th St. in Georgetown, Texas. For more information, call 512-943-8252, visit www.pinkpoppyboutiquetx.com or look for Pink Poppy on Facebook.

ALL PHOTOS BY RUDY XIMENEZ PHOTOGRAPHY

AUSTIN // ARTS


â&#x17E;ť HAIR BY HAYLEY GROLL

AT STELLA BLUE SALON AND BOUTIQUE Dream Catcher Extension Specialist Master Stylist & Master Colorist

1204 S. Congress, Austin TX 78704 512.443.2583 | stellablueaustin.com


AUSTIN // ARTS

“WE’RE EXTREMELY BLESSED TO FIND THIS PROJECT. THE STORY IS SIMPLY AMAZING.”

AUSTIN: THE NEXT HOLLYWOOD HILL COUNTRY? With recent movies like “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Soul Surfer” and “Act of Valor,” it seems like Texas is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. SPECIAL TO NSIDE

WHAT DO REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT,

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and U.S. Army Special Operations have in common? Nothing other than the fact that it is the cake-mix recipe for what hopes to be the next canine box office smash. At least that’s what a trio of Texas entrepreneurs are thinking, and why not? The story is already a viral Internet sensation and an Amazon.com No. 1 bestseller. Sitting on the roof of their production house nestled in between the Hill Country canyon walls, one could easily imagine they were in the mountains of

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North Carolina or perhaps in the Coldwater or Topanga Canyons near the Los Angeles, Calif. coast. Quite the opposite: “Who knew Austin, Texas, was so beautiful?” Austin real estate developer J.P. Newman says. “I absolutely love it here.” He, Napoleon Smith III and Joel Carpenter have joined forces as executive producers of a feature film project about a down-on-his-luck ex-rodeo cowboy who takes a blue heeler puppy stray home to his wife and changes their lives forever when the dog gains worldwide celebrity status. The project is entitled

“Skidboot,” and it is based on the true story that took place just outside Dallas, Texas. “When this project was first brought to me, I didn’t want to like it,” Newman says. “I tried every reason to dismiss it, but I couldn’t. The story just resonated with me.” Today, Newton is the CEO of Thrive, a progressive commercial and residential real estate investment company. But it wasn’t that long ago when he  was vice president of family entertainment at  Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the perfect blend of talent,” says Carpenter, a U.S. Army Special Operations veteran-turned indie producer. “We come from such diverse backgrounds, yet with parallel themes. Each of us brings strength to the project in unique ways. We’re extremely blessed to find this project. The story is simply amazing.” Carpenter is no stranger to Hollywood or the importance of teamwork. Before his enlistment in the Army, he lived in Los Angeles and pursued an acting career, studying at schools like the Stella Adler Academy, which graduated big names such as Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty and Robert De Niro. He auditioned for the lead role in several well-known movies like “She’s All That” and then authored a spec script entitled “Hoover Dam,” which was repped by talent management/production company Career Management Corp (CMC), whose talent roster included Shannon Elizabeth, Paul Walker and various others.  “It’s a bit of unfinished business, you see,” Carpenter says. “In 2001, I placed my life on hold out of patriotic duty. Now it’s time to make some movies – only this time, I’m doing it for the right reasons.” And he’s not alone. One of his good friends from high school, Smith, just happens to be one of the executive producers for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014). “I had been extremely busy with TMNT 2014 when Joel first contacted me about the ‘Skidboot’ project, but after taking a look at it, I also couldn’t walk away,” Smith says. “It made too much sense. There hasn’t been a good dog movie in a while. In the end, it was the redemption theme that reeled me in. I guess you can say we’ve come a long way since the old days.”

For additional information, please visit www.projectskidboot.com or email projectskidboot@gmail.com.


855.596.3398


AUSTIN // NONPROFIT

STYLE FOR A CAUSE

The MADSTYLE “Love Affair” event turns back the clock to make the future brighter for Austin’s Hispanic students.

By: EDMUND TILLET

1

2 PHOTO 1 BY RUDY XIMENEZ; PHOTOS 2,3,4 BY RUBEN MORALES

ON FEB. 21, 2014, Austin Social Affair and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation teamed up to turn back the clock by embracing a 1960s theme with the MADSTYLE “Love Affair” event at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater. The historic Austin theater served as the perfect backdrop for the classy styles that were displayed by the attendees. Moving throughout various areas of the event were sharp suits and stunning dresses that embodied the era, while a live band played music to match the sophisticated atmosphere. Some in attendance graced the dance floor, while others tested their card knowledge at blackjack tables, tempted their taste buds with mouthwatering food and drinks and showed off their good looks in a photo booth. At one point, the crowd gathered in the theater as two of the nine foundation scholarship recipients shared their touching story of triumph and perseverance in pursuit of their educational aspirations. Foundation Chair Judge Bob Perkins spoke on the importance of keeping our Hispanic children in school, and said that the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to funding scholarships in partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium. The benefit event brought donors and sponsors together to celebrate the importance of education and the community’s philanthropic efforts to keep our Hispanic students in college.

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Alexia Dabdoub, Martha Morales, Pepe Zevada, Beth Newill and Maria Antelo

6 Nick Streeby, Beth Newill, Martha Morales, Melissa Fournier and Tim Valderrama 7

Alex Juarez, Vicki Sepulveda, Mynor Alvardo and Gus Guzman

8

Antonia Warren, Yenis Martinez and Time Valderrama

9

Mirca Cruz, Yocelin Avalos and Judge Bob Perkins

10 Jonas Martinez, Chris Martinez, Jim Dimeo and Justin Custis

5

8

PHOTOS 5, 6, 8, 9 BY RUDY XIMENEZ; PHOTOS 7, 10 BY RUBEN MORALES

6

9

7 1

Wendy and Novert Morales

2

Stefan Molina, Teresa Granillo and Mr. and Mrs. Pelayo

3

Lauren Reed

4

S tefan Molina, Teresa Granillo, Patricia Gomez, Ana Gonzalez, Adriana Rodriquez and Fernando Valerio

10 MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO SKYLINE, JO ANN SNOVER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

SAN ANTONIO


SAN ANTONIO FEATURE

THE KEY TO SUCCESS Spring into new things at the San Antonio Public Library. By: MARCIE HERNANDEZ

LOSE WEIGHT AND GET FIT

Build your mind and muscles with health and fitness resources from the San Antonio Public Library. A total of five library locations – the Johnston, Memorial, Mission, Parman and Tobin branches – are home to outdoor fitness centers. Besides exercise equipment, the Johnson, Mission and Parman branch libraries also feature walking trails and playgrounds so everyone can get in on the fitness boom. Also, be sure to check out other fitness resources at the library, including workout videos, books on healthy cooking and more.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Learning is fun at the library! Whether it’s a new language, new technology or a new hobby, the library is home to a multitude of books and services to help you learn more. Students from elementary through college can take advantage of live homework help through Tutor. com. Also, be sure to check out BookFlix and TrueFlix. BookFlix features Scholastic’s award-winning ani-

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mated storybooks and non-fiction eBooks, plus interactive games and other features. TrueFlix features electronic versions of Scholastic’s award-winning True Books series paired with topical videos, project ideas, age-appropriate Web links and interactive educational games. Older students and professionals will enjoy the library’s online software tutorials. These interactive tutorials, offered by Learning Express, allow you to learn at your own pace on your own schedule. Courses in-

of all of the free and fun programming at the library. Dozens of exciting events take place at local library branches daily, including movie screenings, author talks, book clubs, story hours, arts and crafts, exhibits, plays, performances and so much more. Check our online calendar of events often at MySAPL.org. Search by branch or system wide. You can also take a bite out of your entertainment budget with services like Freegal and IndieFlix. Freegal allows cardholders to download and legally own mu-

THE SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS MORE THAN 1.7 MILLION PRINT BOOKS AND 25,000 EBOOKS TO CHOOSE FROM. clude Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint and Publisher), as well as Adobe programs and WordPerfect. Connect, located on the first floor of the Central library, offers a variety of free training classes and programs, from résumé writing to e-reader tutoring and 21st-century technology skills. When in doubt, ask a librarian! Visit Ask.MySAPL.org to ask your question online, or call 210-207-2500. You can also tweet your question (@askmysapl) or text it to 210-591-7445.

sic from popular artists, up to three songs per week. Users have access to more than seven million songs in 220 genres of music, from almost 30,000 labels originating from close to 100 countries. IndieFlix gives you access to thousands of streaming movies from independent filmmakers and more than 2,000 film festivals worldwide, including SXSW, Sundance and Cannes. IndieFlix delivers the films to patrons on their computers, tablets, mobile devices, Roku players and Xbox 360s.

SPEND LESS, SAVE MORE

Looking to give back to the community this year? The library has a number of ways you can get involved

Saving money is easy when you take advantage

VOLUNTEER/GET INVOLVED

BOOKS, DONATAS1205/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

THE BEGINNING OF SPRING is the perfect time of year to spruce up, clean up and get things in order. Every January, millions of people across the country resolve to make a change in the New Year. However, by March, most of us have fallen into old routines and abandoned our resolutions. The San Antonio Public Library wants you to know that it’s not too late to accomplish those goals! Spring reminds us of the resolutions we made for the New Year. Renew your excitement, and take a look at how the San Antonio Public Library can help you achieve your goals.


and volunteer. Volunteering can be rewarding, and just a few hours of your time each week can lead to several positive results: meet new people, have new experiences, gain valuable information about what your library has to offer and gain a sense of satisfaction from helping others. Volunteer duties include assisting with programs and children’s activities, shelving books and maintaining periodicals and other library materials. Teens are encouraged to get involved by joining Teen Leadership Councils at select branches. Teen Leadership Councils help plan teen programming and other events. You can also give back by donating to the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF) or by joining the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library. SAPLF supports a wide range of the public library programs targeted to all ages, with new programming introduced regularly to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. To donate, visit SAPLF.org. The Friends of the San Antonio Public Library is a membership organization that supports the library through volunteer service and cultural and educational activities. To join, visit FriendsofSAPL.org.

SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY

Have you resolved to spend more time with your family this year? Look no further than your nearest library branch. Library programs range from toddler story time to social media for seniors. Family members of all ages can take part in fun events like story time or game time or join clubs like the Lego club. Teens will enjoy programs like Eclectic Electric: Guitars at the Library. The Live Well Age Smart senior programming at the library produces ongoing events for seniors like Silver Screen movie screenings and book clubs, in addition to lectures and classes specially tailored to seniors. You can also spend more time with the family while learning about your family history with the library’s genealogy services. Located at the Central library, the Texana/ genealogy department acquires, preserves and offers access to research materials relating to San Antonio, Bexar County and Texas history, and North American and Hispanic genealogy. Library cardholders also have access to digital genealogy services like Ancestry.com. Incorporate story time into your family routine with Dial-A-Story. Sponsored by the San Antonio Express-News, families can call 207-4466 to hear a new story in English or Spanish every week.

FIND A NEW JOB

Located at the Central library, the jobs and small business center is dedicated to helping patrons as they search for a job or perform business research. Resources are also available through the online career center, where you can find help on résumé writing and interviewing or with GED preparation. No laptop or computer at home? Use ours! Library computers have Internet access and are equipped with Microsoft Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word. You can also check out a laptop or bring your own laptop or other Wi-Fienabled device, head on over to your nearest library branch and get connected via our free wireless Internet. You can also print directly from your device using our Wi-Fi printing software.

READ MORE

Perhaps our favorite resolution, deciding to expand your horizons by reading more is good for the mind, body and spirit. The San Antonio Public Library has a plethora of books to choose from – more than 1.7 million print books and 25,000 eBooks, to be exact. You can pick up the most popular titles and bestsellers without waiting thanks to our express collections, which are made up of popular book and media titles that are in current high demand. These items can’t be put on hold or renewed, so they’re more likely to be available when you want them. We’re constantly adding to our collection, too. Wowbrary can help keep you up-todate on the library’s most recent additions. Once a week, Wowbrary crafts a list of the library’s newest titles into an easy-to-browse website complete with images and summaries. You can even sign up to receive a weekly email of the top 20 items. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the San Antonio Public Library holds the key to your success.

For a list of local library branches and more information about all of the library’s services, visit www.mysapl.org. Also be sure to like us on Facebook by searching for the San Antonio Public Library, or follow us on Twitter (@MYSAPL).

SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC LIBRARY EVENTS MARCH AND APRIL 2014 January 22 – April 15

VITA TAX ASSISTANCE Select Library Locations Tax preparers from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) San Antonio are available at select San Antonio Public Library locations to help citizens making up to $60,000 annually file their income taxes free of charge. For a list of participating locations and hours of operation, visit www. MySAPL.org. March 20

TEXAS WOMEN OF INFLUENCE Central Library Auditorium In celebration of Women’s History Month, the San Antonio Public Library will host Texas Women of Influence, an event that will exemplify the 2014 national theme: “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.” Starting at 6:30 p.m., the panel will include San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley. Each panelist will field questions about her career and what challenges she faced in a previously male-dominated profession. For more information, contact Barbara Kwiatkowski at barbara.kwiatkowski@sanantonio.gov or Sherrie Hardin at sherrie.hardin@sanantonio.gov, or call 210-207-2500. April 5

THE SECOND ANNUAL SAN ANTONIO BOOK FESTIVAL Central Library This free all-day event, sponsored by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, is held downtown at Central Library, Southwest School of Art and the Empire Theatre, where book lovers of all ages and interests have a chance to get up close to their favorite authors at engaging readings, panel discussions, sales and signings. There are topics for everyone, from politics and fiction to poetry and cookbooks. The lineup of 70 authors showcases acclaimed national and regional writers who reflect the best books that American publishers are currently offering, while local talent adds a unique sense of

place and reflects South Texas’ rich cultural heritage. In addition to the author programming, there is plenty of entertainment. Food trucks offer a variety of eats, and special tents feature live music, recipe demonstrations by cookbook authors and a new Wi-Fi technology area. For families and younger festivalgoers, there are interactive bilingual areas with story time, art projects and learning activities. Small presses and nonprofit organizations focused on literacy, culture and education will promote their wares and work at booths in the exhibitor tent. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.SAPLF.org. April 12

SCORE: SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS Central Library Auditorium In this workshop, attendees will learn some basic dos and don’ts in building a website and an in-depth understanding of how best to utilize the Web in optimizing marketing messages. Learn how to determine the effectiveness of your business’ webpage, how to organize the information from your search engine to promote and deliver a strategic marketing plan and how to focus on the customer’s perspective in the delivery of branding, advertising, content and social media marketing for small businesses. SCORE also offers free business counseling at Central Library. The workshop starts at 2 p.m. For more information, call 210-207-2500 or email Lilia Perez at lilia.perez@ sanantonio.gov. April 17

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH – OPEN MIC Westfall Branch Library Do you write poems? Are you comfortable reading them out loud? If so, please join us at 5:30 p.m. for our open mic night for National Poetry Month. For signup and more details, call 210-2079220.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // PROFILE

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The Gonzalez Men: a legendary legacy By: JODY JOSEPH MARMEL | Photography: MANUEL SERRATA

Andres Gonzalez, Central Catholic High School (CCHS) class of 1977, considers himself and his three sons extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend CCHS. Education was at the forefront of his parents’ list of accomplishments to bestow upon their children. “Because of their lack of educational opportunities, they were determined to ensure that my siblings and I had the best education possible.” Andres went to public middle school, and although his parents allowed him to attend public school, there was never a question in their minds that he would attend CCHS. “It was a challenge going from public school to Central Catholic, but very much worthwhile.

However, after an adjustment period, I feel that I was able to rise to the challenge of the rigorous curriculum. And I must say that after the Central education, the University of Texas was very manageable in spite of the fact that I was in the top accounting program in the country.” Beyond the academic rigors of CCHS, there were many other values instilled in Andres that prepared him not just for college, but for life. He explains that from day one, they were all treated as young adults and given responsibilities and expected to live up to them. “The diversity at Central Catholic was a major plus for me. As long as you were diligent in your studies and willing to participate and play by the rules, it didn’t matter what part of town you were from or what your parents did for a living. You were part of a ‘brotherhood’ that treated everyone the same.” There is always a great deal of talk about the aforementioned brotherhood at CCHS, and to those who are part of it, it is very real and very special. Andres often thinks of the opening words of the novel, “A Tale of Two Cities”: “It was the best of times;

it was the worst of times.” He explains that the worst of times was in his senior year when they lost one of their classmates. It was a devastating experience that forced all of the students to face their own mortality. But even in that trying time, they all came together – to mourn, to pray and to celebrate their classmate’s life. As for the best of times, Andres says there are many examples, from athletic and academic successes to projects that brought the class together. “It created memories which will last a lifetime.” An example of the “brotherhood” at work in his professional career occurred in 2000 when Andres was working in New Mexico for Vice President Al Gore. He was putting together a large event bringing in dignitaries and celebrities from different parts of the country. “I was warned in advance that the agent who was coordinating the ‘talent’ for the event could be very demanding and at times difficult to work with. Before our first meeting, I found out that not only was this person from San Antonio, but he was a part of the ‘brotherhood.’ Before the start of our first official meeting, I pulled him aside and told him that I also MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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was a Central graduate. We talked for quite a while about our experience and how despite the passage of time, we had so many shared experiences. Needless to say, I had an instant ally.” As a partner in Adelante Strategy Group, Andres feels blessed to have been able to pursue a career in a field he is passionate about. He became interested in politics and government at a very young age. “I remember being 9 years old and seeing a national political convention on television and hearing the commentators describe the crowd of delegates as being a cross section of America. I wondered who the delegates were and how they got there and how come no one we knew was there. It struck me that the crowd was almost entirely made up of white males, while the world around me was very diverse. It didn’t seem right, and it got me onto the path of wanting to participate in the political process and help others who were of a like mind do the same.” Among the many lessons CCHS taught Andres was that he could do anything he set his mind to do and that working with a team provided many advantages. He has used these experiences and sentiments to strive to be at the top of his profession. And apparently the formula has been a success. Part of Andres’ business is helping candidates – trying to influence voters’ opinions, determine who the supporters are and get those supporters out to

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“THE FRIENDS I MADE AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC WILL BE MY FRIENDS TO THE END.” vote. “It is now a very sophisticated and technological process. I have been fortunate to have been a part of developing these processes and refining them, using them all over the country in support of candidates and issues that I believe in.” Perhaps the biggest step Andres took in his political career was in 1992 when he moved to Las Vegas to run the presidential campaign effort for Nevada as the state director for the Clinton/Gore campaign. He honestly admits, “At that time, I didn’t realize exactly what I was getting into. I was sent to what was considered a ‘non-targeted’ state. Basically it was a state that the Clinton campaign considered not winnable. I was sent with a minimal budget and very little support or supervision. Long story short, Nevada was the only non-targeted state in the country that Bill Clinton and Al Gore won. This victory gave me credibility on a national level.”

In 1994, Andres came back to Texas and became the first Hispanic to manage a statewide campaign. In addition to campaign work, he has also been involved with working with local governments and private companies to provide resources and opportunities to underserved communities. He has worked with local communities to help secure funding for economic development projects, creating new jobs and retaining jobs for needy communities. Andres has also had the opportunity to consult with large corporations and influence their policies in order to secure projects, helping them become better corporate citizens. ‘“I have been working on several public advocacypublic education projects throughout the years. Recently, I was working on a public education campaign encouraging participation in the Affordable Care Act.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Andres Gonzalez Jr., CCHS class of 2004, explains how CCHS influenced his life. “I gained confidence in myself while I built a support structure of peers that still help me to this day. A lot of my beliefs and values were solidified while I attended Central Catholic. I learned how to deal with different kinds of people and solve problems constructively.” While he was at CCHS, Andres Jr. was a member of the National Honor Society and several other clubs. He stayed in JROTC as an upperclassman; he reached the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and was a mem-


ber of the brigade staff. Andres Jr. was also a member of the Chaminade Guard and executive officer of the Loyd Rifles drill teams. “In JROTC, I learned public speaking, how to be an effective leader and just as importantly, how to be an effective follower when required. It almost goes without saying that I received a world-class education.” Attending Texas A&M University, Andres Jr. received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Systems Management. He was an officer in the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, as well as a founding member of two organizations: Ags for Upkeep (a community service organization) and the Texas A&M Iaido Kyokai (a martial arts club). With a strong work ethic, he worked part-time doing jewelry engraving and computer repair, as well as rolling sushi. After graduating from A&M, his career took a few twists and turns. He worked as an assistant manager at H-E-B and moved back to San Antonio to take a position as sales and marketing coordinator for local sculptor, Carlos Cortes. In summer 2012, Andres Jr. was hired to work on the Democratic National Convention. At the conclusion of the convention, he was picked by the Obama campaign as an “advance” associate. “Before each campaign event, a small team of us would be flown in to plan and execute all aspects of

FROM FATHER TO SONS, ALL AGREE THAT THE BROTHERHOOD IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF CENTRAL CATHOLIC. the event. After the election, I was hired as associate director of the credentials department for the Presidential Inauguration, which brought me back to Washington.” Currently, Andres Jr. works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The office manages regulations of inspection, importation and marketing of plant and animal products. “I think seeing all the things my dad did and the places he went while I was growing up had an undeniable effect on where I’ve gone with my career. I got to attend the White House Christmas party when I was 11. How many people can say that? We moved away from Washington, D.C., over a decade ago, and I have been working my way back here ever since.” As far as his career is concerned, he would like to stay in politics. While he is still a long way off from having sons of his own, he wants them to go to CCHS when the time comes. “I don’t know where life will have taken me when that time comes, but giving them the opportunity to attend Central will be high on my priority list.” Jose J. Gonzalez, CCHS class of 2007, continued the legacy of being a CCHS alumnus in the Gonzalez family. “Going to Central Catholic prepared me for the world by teaching me how to manage the balance of work, extracurricular activities and free time. I learned how to work hard for what I want and to keep myself well-rounded with activities outside of work. I also learned how to organize and motivate people to achieve a common goal, be it winning a lacrosse game or finishing a group assignment. Central taught me

how to network to the best of my ability and to utilize that network when I needed to.” Jose explains how the CCHS brotherhood is not something that is lost after graduation. “The friends I made at Central will be my friends to the end. It may be morbid to say this, but I know that these are the guys that are going to carry my casket someday.” Jose is currently the chief of staff for a government relation and public affairs consulting firm called Prevailing Trends Inc. (PTI). While his career is still fairly new, he has been working for PTI for about two years, and in that time frame, he has gone from an intern to chief of staff. He also works nights at California Pizza Kitchen because he knows that if he is working, he is better able to stay a productive and hardworking individual. Jose thinks it is very important to continue the CCHS legacy. “I want my sons to have the same advantages that I have from attending Central. Central is a place that I know I will always be welcome. I got in my fair share of trouble at Central, but the faculty and staff never gave up on me because they saw my potential and truly wanted me to perform to the best of my abilities. For that, I will be forever grateful for attending CCHS.” Jorge A. Gonzalez, CCHS class of 2014, is a four-year varsity letterman and pole vaulter on the track and field team, and he serves as the executive officer of the physical training team (one of the school’s JROTC teams). He is also the brigade commander of the Army JROTC Corps of Cadets, which consists of about 380

cadets, as well as the vice president of the National Honor Society. “An important component of my experience at Central Catholic has been Army JROTC. After participating in the program for four years, I can confidently say that it has played a major role in developing my selfconfidence, discipline and leadership capabilities. Central Catholic has also helped me to develop a moral integrity and passion for service that I hope to maintain for the rest of my life.” Next year, Jorge will be attending MIT, where he plans to study mechanical engineering. He would like to pursue research in alternative and renewable energy sources. From father to sons, all agree that the brotherhood is one of the most important aspects of CCHS that makes it unique. “We are all a part of a tradition that spans the generations. The brotherhood is evident in all that we do at Central Catholic, both inside and outside the classroom. It is all about taking responsibility and caring for your brothers.”

Central Catholic High School is a well-known allboys college preparatory school located at 1403 N. St. Mary’s St. For information regarding enrollment, please call 210-225-6794 or visit www.cchs-satx.org. Note: While NSIDE Texas officially adheres to AP style, certain exceptions were made in the editing of this article. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // EDUCATION

‘ONE FOR THE BOOKS’ The Literary Death Match – also known as the “most entertaining reading series ever” – comes to San Antonio.

SPECIAL TO NSIDE

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title of “literary master.” A more informative response would be as follows: Each episode of this competitive reading series features a thrilling mix of four well-known authors (all representing a recently published book) who perform what they feel is their most electric literary excerpt in seven minutes or less before a panel of three all-star judges. After each reading, the judges will take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary about each story and then select their favorite authors to advance to the finals. The two finalists will then compete in the Literary Death Match Finale, which transitions from the show’s literary sensibility to an absurd and comical climax to determine who is crowned the Literary Death Match champion. Contrary to perception, the Literary Death Match is not a show that only caters to “lit-nerds”; rather, it caters to anyone who is inspired by creativity and audacity and who simply loves to have a full, hearty laugh. General admission for the Literary Death Match is $10 a person and can be purchased through www. ticketmaster.com or on the San Antonio Public Library Foundation website. VIP tickets are $50 a person and will also be available for purchase on the foundation’s website; they will also include premier seating and a

THE SAN ANTONIO BOOK FESTIVAL HAS GOTTEN BIGGER AND BETTER. reception with festival authors, moderators and sponsors from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. before the event with a full bar, a plethora of hors d’oeuvres and a special performance by Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin & the Bad Breath. The members of this locally based band describe their style as “a combination of ragtime blues, New Orleans-flavored rock ‘n’ roll and music of the 1930s and 1940s with some honky tonk thrown in.” Don’t miss out! The debut of the Literary Death Match in San Antonio will most certainly be “one for the books.”

For more information, visit the San Antonio Public Library Foundation online at www.saplf.org.

OPEN BOOK, MELIS/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

CROWNED BY the Los Angeles Times as the “most entertaining reading series ever,” the Literary Death Match will make its debut in San Antonio on April 5 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre with special thanks to the Las Casas Foundation. The event will be the icing on the cake of the second annual San Antonio Book Festival, which is a free, daylong familyfriendly event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southwest School of Art and the San Antonio Central Library. With more than 80 acclaimed national and regional authors scheduled to appear for book readings and signings, there will be a little something for everyone at the San Antonio Book Festival. With an extremely successful first year under its belt, the book festival is sure to be another crowd-pleaser, as it has only gotten bigger and better. One of the festival’s new additions, the debut of the Literary Death Match, will showcase some of the most outlandish and hilarious material of the day to serve as the grand finale to the downtown literary extravaganza. One might be wondering, ‘what exactly is this highly entertaining and outlandish reading series coming to San Antonio?’ The short answer would be to equate the reading series to a literary faceoff where authors perform literary acts of wonder to earn the coveted


GIVING YOUNG MEN THE ADVANTAGE.

CCHS-SATX.ORG

(210) 225-6794 EXT. 209


TALKING TO PARENTS ABOUT MONEY By: DONALD J. LEVINE

FOR PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN, aging presents a host of financial issues – on everything from managing finances to preparing for medical costs. Given the emotionally charged nature of the topic, adult children understandably shy away from the dialogue. However, the right and well-timed conversation between children and parents helps everyone think through their options. It’s a tough conversation but an important conversation, since ultimately, if a longterm health care challenge is not planned for, that burden is likely to fall on the next generation. That’s typically not what parents want. For those having trouble figuring out how to have the discussion, the best way to avoid conversational gridlock is to broach the topic with empathy. Many parents are motivated by a desire to maintain independence and control over their lives. The good news is that advance planning will help parents to stay in control, particularly financially. 84

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

To that end, here are some questions you should consider asking your parents:

ARE YOUR DOCUMENTS UP TO DATE?

Having documentation that will guide health and financial decisions is crucial. According to a 2012 survey by online legal service Rocket Lawyer, 41% of baby boomers don’t have wills. But this checklist item is a must. A medical power of attorney names who will oversee health care and make medical decisions in the event of an incapacitating crisis, and a financial power of attorney appoints an agent to manage finances during that period. A Financial Advisor can help both parents and children identify individuals capable of filling these roles.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR LONG-TERMCARE COSTS?

Whether a parent needs in-home care or a nursing home, Medicare likely will not cover these

costs, so it’s critical to have a plan for financing them. In most cases, those who don’t expect to have the money to pay expenses out of pocket may want to consider purchasing a long-term-care (LTC) insurance policy. (Medicaid will fund coverage only after a parent has become “impoverished,” and it offers limited choices with respect to facilities and care.) Consumers have a greater variety of LTC insurance options than they did in years past. The traditional stand-alone LTC product is more straightforward in comparison to other LTC options: In exchange for annual premiums, you’ll only get a payout if you need care. In contrast, newer, hybrid LTC products fuse longterm care insurance with a death benefit. These policies entail paying a lump sum up front to purchase a specified amount of coverage to help pay for longterm care expenses. If the policyholder doesn’t need the coverage but does need the money, he can surrender the policy in return for the principal that was paid in. Alternatively, if the policyholder dies before needing the payout, the policy pays a death benefit to their beneficiaries.

IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL SETBACK AND NEED A REHABILITATION FACILITY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD, HOW WILL YOU PAY FOR IT? Medicare typically covers a large portion of the tab for physical rehab, but it’s important to determine how other out-of-pocket expenses will be covered.

OLDER WOMAN AND DAUGHTER, MAYA KRUCHANKOVA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

SAN ANTONIO // FINANCE


Set the bar for us. Nice and high.

HAVING DOCUMENTATION THAT WILL GUIDE HEALTH AND FINANCIAL DECISIONS IS CRUCIAL.

We expect you to have expectations. No problem with that. You have worked hard for what you’ve got. We’ve done the same.

Additional issues may come up for parents who live alone such as who will watch the house and pay the bills while they’re away.

Now’s the time to try building it bigger. Stronger. Together.

HOW CAN I HELP?

It’s important to respect the wishes of your parents if they prefer to work on the solutions alone. If, on the other hand, your parents find the potential challenges overwhelming and are amenable to help, you and your siblings should review with them the important choices that need to be made. If the conversation is too emotionally fraught, consider meeting with your Financial Advisor. The important thing is to communicate that you respect what your parents are going through and send out a clear signal that you want them to have the highest quality of life they can get.”

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® A registered investment advisor

Treating you & your money with care, kindness & wisdom. For more information, contact your Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Tiffany Mock Briggs of the San Antonio office at 201-805-2848 or Tiffany_Mock@ml.com. Long-term care insurance coverage contains benefits, exclusions, limitations, eligibility requirements and specific terms and conditions under which the insurance coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. Not all insurance policies and types of coverage may be available in your state. All guarantees and benefits of an insurance policy are backed by the claimspaying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by Merrill Lynch, nor by any of their affiliates, and none of them makes any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BAC”).

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SAN ANTONIO // ENRICHMENT

How creating opportunities and stepping outside your comfort zone can make you a more effective leader By: DOUGLAS S. CAIN

IN THREE DECADES of serving as president of Lake Truck Lines, I only started taking on the mantle of leadership in the last year. Most of the reason was that I lacked an understanding of whom I should be leading. But that paradigm was permanently shifted when I realized I was not so much an all-powerful owner of a company, but instead, a steward of its assets. From there came the realization that the greatest asset the company had was its employee partners, followed by the realization that my primary role was to lead this company and its employees. This epiphany resulted in the tasking of the human resources department with building a training program based on our five core values:

“THE TASK OF THE LEADER IS TO GET HIS PEOPLE FROM WHERE THEY ARE TO WHERE THEY HAVE NOT BEEN.” – HENRY KISSINGER

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1. Honesty 2. Passion and dedication 3. Salesmanship 4. Results orientation 5. Communication The program was custom built around the core values, the skill sets of the employees and the Lake culture. Five well-known business-management books were chosen by the designer of Lake University (not a real college), Jennifer Webb, who massaged the curriculum so that it would match the employees and be fun at the same time. I realized that without participating in the entire 15-month program, I would not be setting the model that I needed for our employees. We all felt that in order for the employees to get what they needed, we needed

Douglas Sterling Cain is the president and CEO of Lake Truck Lines and Lake Oilfield Services. For more information, visit www.laketrucklines. com.

to know what they wanted. And what we found out is that they all wanted opportunity, security and appreciation. Lake tasks its employees with getting outside their comfort zone each day. I want them to come up with ideas: great ideas, dumb ideas, cheap ideas and expensive ideas (boy, do we get a lot of those). And that is where my job comes in and where the title of this piece comes from. As your company, department or family leader, are you opening doors to the people around you? Are you creating an environment where there are endless opportunities opening up inside regardless of what is happening outside? Some only look for the opportunities; I challenge you to look at the opportunities that are inside every challenge. Leadership should be simple, not complex. The opening of Lake U has given me so many opportunities to give opportunities that I’m having trouble deciding where to start. But I knew this: I wanted to fundamentally change the people who call Lake their home. “Open-door leaders uplift us,” Bill Treasurer, author of the book, “Leaders Open Doors,” said. “They elevate our standards, ethics and performance by creating opportunities for us to transform ourselves.” To think that you can have an impact on an individual so deeply that you touch their standards and ethics is simultaneously exciting and daunting. A whole lot of change has to happen to be an effective leader. As Dr. Kissinger said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” You have to get people out of where they are comfortable (and perhaps complacent) and into where they are uncomfortable. The executive committee of Lake has tasked itself with finding the “white space” in our industry. White space is that unchartered territory in a market that is untapped and where competition doesn’t really exist. Lake U has taken it upon itself to find the white space in each and every employee – that uncharted part of their human spirit where they have never been. So as you transform yourself, your company or your employees, think way outside your comfort zone. When you look at where you are in your life, be a leader who opens doors. And while you are being that person, lead your employees to a place they have never been. The subject of leadership to your employees is so important that I will dedicate my next two articles to it. Until next time …

BUSINESSMAN LOOKING AHEAD, PINKYPILLS/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

LEADERS OPEN DOORS


Because of your support, Silver and Black Give Back is able to fund initiatives like Team-Up Challenge and Spurs Youth Basketball League.

AA Best Bail Bonds AECOM Alliance Limo Aramark Ashley Furniture Home Store AT&T Barbara and Michael Gentry Bracewell & Giuliani Caliente Harley-Davidson Cassandra Carr CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System Corporate Travel Planners CPS Energy Dahill Frost Bank George C. Hixon

Gordon Hartman Family Foundation Holt CAT Kens TV Linda and Ed Whitacre Linda and John Graham Livingston Lures Manrique Custom Visions Margaret and Gary Dudley MUY! Pizza Hut NuStar Rackspace Robert W. Baird & Co. SACU Silver Eagle Distributors Texas Descon, LP. Instead of Doug Smith Texas Med Clinic

Since 1989, the Spurs Youth Basketball League has offered youth the opportunity to play basketball and improve their athletic skills while learning teamwork, cooperation and discipline in a positive and safe environment.

Ticketmaster Time Warner Media Uni-Trade Group USAA Valero Corporate Services Valero Energy Corporation Valero Foundation Warrior and Family Support Center Weston Centre Whataburger Xgrafx

The Team Up Challenge empowers students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to the real world, bringing education alive in powerful ways.


SAN ANTONIO // MENTOR

THE RIGHT PATH

You may be following your heart, but what is your heart following? By: CHRIS EMMITT

SOMETIMES I FIND MYSELF in a precariously awkward social situation. My wife and I will attend a social event, and she is usually already friends with the other wives there, so that leaves the husbands to awkwardly cluster together into a group and become friends by “association.” If you’re a dude, you are fully aware of this moment. Time goes by and we connect on some level – sports, kids, wives, little league, etc.

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The conversation has glimmers of hope, and it’s obvious that we have connected at some level and the social function is going well. Then it happens: The conversation turns to everyone’s job. One guy is in sales, another is a doctor and another is in construction – then I hear it: “Hey, Chris, what do you do for a living?” I smile because I know immediately what is about to happen. “I’m a pastor,” I

reply. Imagine crickets chirping or a record scratching at this point. It becomes awkwardly quiet, and then I hear “Oh, well … um, I’m a good person” (they usually lower their voices at this point, as well); “I haven’t been to church in a while, but I have a good moral compass”; and “My wife and kids are church people, but I find that if I follow my heart, it guides me.” The awkward phrases continue, but you get the general idea. I try to steer the conversation back to sports. Following your heart sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? You hear it in movies, read it in books, listen to speakers say it – and it just feels good to say. It doesn’t offend anyone, it doesn’t step on anyone’s toes and, quite honestly, there is zero accountability with it. It’s the “perfect” phrase (let’s put it on a coffee mug!). But here is a question I have for you: If you are following your heart, what is your heart following? This question should rattle your mind a bit because if I pressed, my hunch is the answer would be “nothing” or “nothing of significance.” You are a smart person, so you know it’s not culture, media or your friends – so what is it? Understand this: A heart that follows nothing will lead you down a path that’s headed nowhere. Think about it. So one more time: What is your heart following? In light of this question, let me recommend you read Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT 2nd Ed.): Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Your heart determines the course of your life, and if you’re “following your heart” and your heart is following nothing, you will quickly find yourself down a path you certainly don’t want to follow. If you are following your heart, what is your heart following? I hope this question rattles around in your mind this week, and years from now, I hope you find yourself down the right path.

DIFFERENT PATHS, HONZA KREJ/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

A HEART THAT FOLLOWS NOTHING WILL LEAD YOU DOWN A PATH THAT’S HEADED NOWHERE.

Chris Emmitt is a pastor at Community Bible Church. He preaches on Sundays at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., and on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (high school service). You can connect with him via Twitter or Instagram (@chrisemmitt). You can also visit www.communitybible.com for more information about the church.


SAN ANTONIO // LEGAL

ALWAYS TAKE ANY THREAT SERIOUSLY. tion Act (OSHA), employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. So what can employers do to protect themselves and meet their responsibilities under the law? FIRST, understand two basic principles: 1. Workplace violence can happen anywhere at any time. 2. All employers, regardless of size, are vulnerable. SECOND, research the issue and become familiar with materials offered by experts in the area. For example, OSHA has published several workplace violence guidance documents geared toward late-night retail establishments and health care/social service workers, which are the employee groups at greatest risk of injury.

PLANNING AND PREPARATION NO GUNS PACIFIST, AFRICA RISING/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Workplace violence: What can you do to avoid this frightening trend? By: MARIO A. BARRERA

ON JAN. 25, 2014, 19-year-old Darion Aguilar, a

recent high school graduate with no prior criminal history, entered a suburban Baltimore shopping mall. After spending some time in the food court, he walked into a skateboard shop and headed toward the dressing room area, where he assembled a shotgun hidden in his backpack. Upon exiting, he shot and killed two store employees before taking his own life. The incident occurred at 11:15 a.m. and was over in two minutes. On Dec. 17 at around 2 p.m. last year, 51-year-old Alan Oliver Frazier, who was described as a good neighbor and had no known criminal history, entered a medical office in Reno, Nev., with multiple weapons. He shot at physicians, killing one and injuring a woman who was

in the building accompanying a relative on a medical visit before taking his own life. Everything happened in a matter of minutes. These are just two recent sobering examples illustrating that the term, “workplace violence,” is more than just threats or even assaults. News stories like these and statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics bear this out. In 2012, there were 463 workplace homicides in the United States – an increase from 2011 that reversed a three-year decline. Another statistic shows that assaults and attacks, including homicides, make up 18 percent of all fatal occupational work injuries. Under the Occupational Safety & Health Administra-

THIRD, establish “best preventive practices” within the company. This would include installing security cameras and safety doors at the entrance; conducting preparation drills much like fire drills at least once a year; developing a master contact information list for all employees; setting up a master alarm system that can be sounded in the event of a dangerous incident; and establishing escape routes. Employees also need to be trained on what to do in the event of a threat (run, hide or fight). FOURTH, train managers on how to identify warning signs, take notice of a change in an employee’s personality, diffuse workplace conflicts and report any threats to the appropriate personnel department. FIFTH, consider hiring security personnel and develop a written plan for them. Then perform drills and exercises on the plan at least once or twice a year. Like your employees, security personnel need to be thinking, anticipating and planning before an incident occurs. FINALLY, always take any threat seriously. Do not assume the individual is joking or simply venting, and encourage employees to report any threat of workplace violence. As with most things, preparation and planning are key. Your employees are your most valuable asset, so protect them and yourself so you can avoid this sad trend.

Mario A. Barrera is a partner specializing in labor and employment law in the San Antonio office of Norton Rose Fulbright, a global legal practice providing the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

ADVANCING THE VOICE

The Second Annual DreamWeek celebrates San Antonio’s diversity. By: CHRISTINE CASTANO

FROM FRIDAY, JAN. 10, through Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, thousands of San Antonians joined together during the Second Annual DreamWeek to celebrate San Antonio’s culture and diversity. Over the 12 days, more than 60 events were held in partnership with San Antonio’s leading business and nonprofit organizations, including the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA), SA2020, 90

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the University of Texas San Antonio, St. Philip’s College, Frost Bank, SAGE and HemisFair. As the world trends toward a more integrated landscape, there is a growing need for a vehicle to promote tolerance, interaction and exchange of ideas. DreamWeek creates a platform through keynote speaking engagements, mixers, workshops, art exhibits and other

events for all voices to be heard. Within this groundswell of emerging voices are ideas that may have a profound effect on the way we see our tomorrow, today. The power lies not in the activity of a rally or mantra, but the interactions that lead to a greater knowledge of issues that touch our lives. The opening ceremony breakfast kicked off DreamWeek 2014 at The Spire, located at the Historic Sunset Station, and included guest speakers Bishop David Copeland, chair for the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission, and District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, fresh from her visit with President Obama to receive the east side ‘Promise Zone’ designation. Copeland and Taylor addressed the crowd of more than 100 business leaders and community organizers on the value of empowering the community. Many of San Antonio’s cultural mainstays participated in DreamWeek with events at the San Antonio Children’s Museum, McNay Art Museum, ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, Southwest School of Art and the San Antonio Museum of Art, which led the pack with five events. The San Antonio Museum of Art Dream Art Party on Friday helped set the tone for DreamWeek with more than 450 guests attending the evening’s festivities, which featured live music, cocktails and the “Eldzier Cortor: Master Printmaker” exhibit. The party was a collaboration of the San Antonio Museum of Art, LOOP SA, KRTU Jazz 91.7 and DreamWeek. The San Antonio Museum of Art also drew large crowds at screenings for two films from the Created Equal Film Series: “The Loving Story” and “Freedom Riders,” which included a lively panel discussion with four of the original freedom riders from the Civil Rights Movement. The panel concluded with the freedom riders joining hands with the 140 attendees in a celebratory rendition of “We Shall Overcome.” Over at the San Antonio Children’s Museum, San Antonio Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla read from her children’s book, “That’s Not Fair!: Emma Tenayu-

ca’s Struggle for Justice,” and “dream” writing and art workshops were held for the children afterwards. SAHA and SAY Sí joined together to host an event for students who were recognized for academic achievement and/or perfect attendance through SAHA’s Reach awards. Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum hosted an immigration-themed evening that featured the Blane De St. Croix exhibit, “Broken Landscape III,” which was inspired by his travels along the 3,000 miles of fence construction on the U.S./Mexico border. Local Latino civil rights activist Jaime Martinez held the crowd captive opening his speech with a chant of “Si se puede.” Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz provided the music for the evening. For the business community, there were plenty of opportunities for networking, including the SAGE business mixer at the historic Lambermont on the east side and a Good People Mixer hosted by PR firm BethanyEast PR at Eva’s Escape, a local bed and breakfast located in the historic King William District. Sistas in Business also hosted a Power Sistas Speaker Series at the Aztec Theater, and Who’s Who San Antonio hosted a Women of Distinction mixer at Aldaco’s. On Jan. 18, San Antonio photographer Sarah Brooke Lyons held the “1,005 Faces” exhibit party at Southwest School of Art. The project was inspired by Lyons taking photos of faces in the crowd during last year’s DreamWeek, which led to the idea of taking 1,005 black-and-white portraits of regular people holding a board with personal messages that ranged from heartfelt to silly. “The desire is to showcase the diversity of San Antonio through the faces and thoughts of our community,” Lyons said, “and in doing so, provide a clear image of what our city really looks like.” Reflecting on the exhibit, Lyons added, “my heart is full of joy today, and a special thank you to DreamWeek for the inspiration, love and support to make this all happen.”

ALL PHOTOS BY SARAH BROOKE LYONS

DREAMWEEK CREATES A PLATFORM TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE, INTERACTION AND EXCHANGE OF IDEAS.


The San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission hosted several events throughout the 12 days, including the SA Ivy Educational Fund Enrichment Dinner featuring Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, the MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecture Series with Dr. Julianne Malveaux at Trinity University and the Youth Empowerment Summit at St. Philip’s College. Other DreamWeek highlights included the premiere of “The Mountaintop” at the Carver Cultural Community Center, the District 2 Senior Citizen Recognition, Tha1 Radio Jazz Happy Hour at Aloft and the Second Annual Nevil Shed United Basketball Tournament at Antioch Sports Complex. You might have also seen MLK Jr. quotes made with chalk art on the sidewalks outside participating locations. In an effort to help promote and contribute to DreamWeek, Trinity University students took to the streets and inscribed the quotes and spread the word through social media with the hashtags #TUDreamTeam and #DreamWeek2014. This year, the historic San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. March, organized by the MLK Jr. Commission, attracted more than 175,000 individuals, making it the largest in the nation. Each year, the march attracts businesses, community groups and individuals from all walks of life from San Antonio and the surrounding areas. DreamWeek is no longer San Antonio’s best-kept secret, as evidenced by the Jan. 15, 2014, cover story in the San Antonio Current. The participation in DreamWeek has seen significant gains since the inaugural year, not just in partners, but in attendance. “The word is spreading in a very organic way, and people are not just curious about what it is, but they actually want to participate and become more active

in their communities,” explained Shokare Nakpodia, president of DreamVoice (the nonprofit entity that organizes DreamWeek). Following the success of the first two years of DreamWeek, the expectation is to continue to grow the summit and invite more community organizations and businesses to participate. DreamVoice will be reaching out to Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ communities, as well as family and women’s organizations, for inclusion. “There is increasing anticipation for next year, with over 30 partners already committing to hosting events, and we estimate to have over 100 events in total,” Nakpodia said. “Plans are to focus efforts on bringing in leading key speakers and highlight current issues facing the world.” There is no shortage of ambition on the part of the DreamVoice team, who envision DreamWeek becoming a national and eventually global destination for visitors wishing to celebrate tolerance, diversity and equality.

DreamWeek is organized by DreamVoice LLC, a nonprofit organization founded in 2011. It is a collection of civic-minded individuals who are committed to empowering those who seek to participate in dialogue addressing key issues impacting their community. For more information, visit www.dreamweek. org or contact Tracy Watts at 210-444-2315 or tracy@ dreamweek.org. You may also visit www.facebook. com/dreamweeksa or follow @DreamWeekSA on Twitter. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

28 YEARS OF FAMILY FIESTA FUN The Alamo Heights Rotary Club celebrates Alamo Heights Night’s first year as an official Fiesta event.

SPECIAL TO NSIDE

“BEING AN OFFICIAL FIESTA EVENT WILL BRING INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION TO MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH US.”

FESTIVITIES FOR THE 28TH ANNUAL Alamo Heights Night will take place on Friday, April 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word at 4301 Broadway. “We are very excited to have Alamo Heights Night 2014 as an official San Antonio Fiesta event for the first time in our successful 28-year history of the event,” said Alamo Heights Night Operations Manager and Rotary Club Secretary Richard Berchin. “Being an official Fiesta event will bring information about our rotary organization and the event to many people in the city who are not familiar with us, and hopefully they will then be able to come and enjoy a familyoriented, fun-filled evening as part of their Fiesta experience.” Alamo Heights Night began in 1987 to provide an opportunity for the Alamo Heights Rotary Club to raise funds for community services, conduct a large family-oriented event for the community and provide an outstanding fellowship activity for its members. From its modest beginnings, the event known as Alamo Heights Night has developed into one of the most popular and highly respected events in the Fiesta city of San Antonio. “Party Time in ‘09,” as the event has been dubbed for many years (“09” being the last two digits of the Alamo Heights zip code), has all of the food favorites 92

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San Antonio expects from a Fiesta event. Savor cuisine from some of San Antonio’s leading restaurateurs and caterers. Culinary offerings include Texas-style barbecue, funnel cakes, roast corn, bean burgers, shaved ice, turkey legs and other scrumptious Fiesta fare. Fajitas, another party-time staple, are grilled fresh onsite over wood-burning pits. This family-friendly atmosphere delivers live entertainment all night on multiple stages. Hotcakes and the Rick Cavender Band will perform on the main stage. Blow My Cover, Tennessee Valley Authority and a mariachi band will play at other locations in the event area. The carnival midway will captivate kids of all ages with a variety of fun activities. Among the many attractions will be returning crowd favorites hamster balls, laser tag, basketball bounce, face and hair painting and a photo booth. New activities will include archery hoverball and an obstacle course and slide. Admission is free for children under 12 and all active-duty military with a valid ID; $5 for ages 12 to 17 and students with a valid ID; and $10 for adults. All ticket sales will take place at the event site (no advanced sales). Free park-and-ride service will be available at Alamo Heights Methodist Church and Alamo Heights High School. Shuttles will run from 5:15 p.m. until midnight. Parking is available at the AT&T lot at

Hildebrand & Broadway. Park-and-ride and parking details are on the event website. The Alamo Heights Rotary Club has raised more than $2,000,000 in support of nonprofit organizations and community service activities since the event’s inception. Alamo Heights Night is their largest fundraiser, organized by more than 100 volunteer Rotarians who head numerous committees and recruit 750-plus volunteers to make the event a success. Funds are raised primarily from gate admissions, concession sales at the event, sponsor donations and sales of merchandise such as T-shirts. The club accepts applications from local charities; applications must be endorsed by one of the club members. The applications are reviewed by the club’s finance committee and approved for distribution by the club’s board of directors. Beneficiaries have included a wide range of local organizations including, but not limited to, the Alamo Heights School Foundation, Alamo Heights Little League, the Family Violence Prevention Center, Fisher House, the Texas Water Mission, Haven for Hope and SAMMinistries, as well as the club’s extensive academic and vocational scholarship program. Periodically, some of the funds raised are used to sponsor special projects for the local school district or other organizations.  It is truly an exciting and rewarding opportunity to be able to put on an event that is enjoyed year after year by the community and at the same time, benefits so many worthwhile causes.

For more information, call 210-824-2462, visit www.alamoheightsnight.org or look for Alamo Heights Night on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alamoheightsnight.


SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

RUNNERS, WARREN GOLDSWAIN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

TEXAS LEADS THE NATION IN CHILD ABUSE FATALITIES.

HOPE, HEALING AND HELP

Boys Town Texas continues to provide child abuse awareness at the Fourth Annual Race for the Prevention of Child Abuse. SPECIAL TO NSIDE

IT’S TIME TO LACE UP your sneakers and get ready to run for children in need! April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and all of us at Boys Town Texas invite you to participate in our Fourth Annual Race for the Prevention of Child Abuse on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The 10K will begin at 8 a.m. with the 5K following. The race begins at Valero Headquarters (located at 1 Valero Way in San Antonio, Texas) and continues through the Leon Valley Greenway. Child abuse and neglect is an epidemic in Bexar County, and it is a continuing problem in the United

States. Many people are unaware of the signs that a child is being abused. This race is our opportunity to bring awareness to child abuse and to reduce the number of confirmed cases of abuse in Bexar County and the surrounding areas. By participating, you bring awareness to this horrible problem one step at a time.

DID YOU KNOW? 1. Texas leads the nation in child abuse fatalities. 2. In the state of Texas, 176 children are confirmed victims of abuse/neglect every day.

3. Bexar County is No. 1 among our state’s counties in confirmed cases of child abuse. Boys Town Texas is a beacon of hope, healing and help for abused and neglected children in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. This year, Boys Town Texas will serve more than 1,500 children between the ages of 0 and 18 years. The children in our care come from various backgrounds. Some of the children’s biological parents have had their rights terminated either temporarily or permanently. Many of the children have been removed from their homes because they were abandoned and abused (sexually, physically or mentally) and some were even tortured. The children at Boys Town are with families who love them, care for them and give them opportunities to succeed.

The Race for the Prevention of Child Abuse costs $25 during pre-registration or $35 on the day of registration. You can register online at www.boystown.org/ texasrace. MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

AN INSIDER’S VIEW Las Casas Foundation grows future artists and audiences with its new Behind the Scenes program, lifting the curtain to spark a lifelong love of theater.

NOTHING IS MORE EXCITING than when the lights go down, the curtains go up and the spotlight glows as a performance begins. Thanks to a new program from Las Casas Foundation, a group of San Antonio students is enjoying that feeling and learning what it takes to really bring the performing arts to life. Called Behind the Scenes, Las Casas Foundation’s latest educational effort provides students with unique experiences, paired with a performing arts curriculum, to encourage their interest in the performing arts. Partnering with ACE Theatrical Group, Las Casas Foundation organized and sponsored the program for the 2013-‐14 school year. Thirty students from the theater arts programs at SAY Sí and The Playhouse San Antonio are participating in the inaugural year of the program, which includes educational programming on “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Wicked,” two of the 2013-14 Broadway in San Antonio series, as well as other activities designed to ignite a lifelong love of the performing arts. The program is designed to give the students a full range of theater experiences, from enjoying live shows and meeting members of the cast and crew to seeing what it takes behind the curtain to bring a production to life. The idea is to spark a love of theater and engage the students so that they embrace the performing arts and become active members of the 94

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performing arts community, whether onstage, behind the scenes or in the audience. “We want to bring the performing arts to life for these students, giving them an insider’s view to the entire world of performing arts,” explains Kaye Lenox, CEO of Las Casas Foundation. “From meeting with drama professors who teach drama and have realworld stage and writing experience to talking with cast and crew members or going backstage at two of the most beautiful historic theaters in the country, Behind the Scenes is crafted to spark imagination and bring theater to life. “Sharing our love of performing arts in a fun, educational setting with these terrific students is a natural fit for Las Casas and our efforts to support the performing arts community in San Antonio. We appreciate ACE Theatrical Group working with us to make this program come to life and are excited to work with SAY Sí and The Playhouse San Antonio to share this program with their students.” Serving San Antonio’s youth, SAY Sí is a year-round, long-term, nonprofit multidisciplinary arts program that provides students opportunities to develop artistic and social skills in preparation for higher educational advancement and professional careers. SAY Sí is committed to creating a premier, dynamic and nurturing educational environment for San Antonio’s

BEHIND THE SCENES IS CRAFTED TO SPARK IMAGINATION AND BRING THEATER TO LIFE. artistic youth, recognizing that the arts reshape the way young people learn, communicate and prepare for their work and civic future. SAY Sí’s Activating, Leadership, Art & Service (ALAS) Youth Theatre Company provides students interested in the performing arts with opportunities to develop their skills in acting, directing, playwriting, technical theater and stage management. Participating students are in the ninth through 12th grades and come from all public school districts in San Antonio and Bexar County, as well as local private and charter schools. Many of the students currently enrolled in ALAS come from economically disadvantaged households as determined by the City of San Antonio and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Their involvement in SAY Sí’s ALAS Youth Theatre Company provides them access to arts education resources

THEATER SPOT LIGHT, MATUSCIAC ALEXANDRU/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

SPECIAL TO NSIDE


THE TRUE HIGHLIGHT OF BEHIND THE SCENES IS AN EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM THAT FOCUSES ON THE BROADWAY IN SAN ANTONIO SERIES.

and cultural arts opportunities that they have limited or no access to in their schools or homes. Students apply to the program during three annual recruitment cycles and must demonstrate a commitment to SAY Sí’s rigorous arts training curriculum; maintain a C average or above; participate in all ALAS productions, events and college preparation programming; and have a passion for theater arts and serving their community. Joining students from SAY Sí in Behind the Scenes will be students participating in The Playhouse Conservatory. The Playhouse produces high-quality live theater that inspires, educates and entertains audiences of all ages. The Playhouse’s passion is to connect the San Antonio community to the world at large by telling stories that reveal the truth of the human experience. The Playhouse Conservatory’s mission is to offer students a diverse theater curriculum taught by master teaching artists, preparing them to perform in the widest range of theatrical genres and giving them the necessary skills to succeed in life. The Playhouse Conservatory works to ignite a fire for learning, growing and self-exploration in a safe theater environment. The Playhouse Conservatory program integrates each discipline associated with the theatrical process. The Playhouse is committed to providing students with the highest-quality theater education to best prepare them for the professional world. Even if a student does not want to pursue a career in theater, these classes will develop and foster creativity, selfesteem, public speaking, leadership and teamwork. Behind the Scenes began in August when the students enjoyed a performance of “Ragtime,” a production of The Playhouse that ran at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. In September, the students went on a special tour of the Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire Theatres, giving the students a peek into the historic theaters that grace downtown San Antonio. The theatres share some backstage and dressing room space and are connected via hallways that display autographs from artists and touring shows that have performed at the theaters. The unique artwork is personal to each show’s cast and serves as a fun visual history of the amazing shows and fabulous talent that have entertained San Antonio audiences over the years. The students also visited Texas State University’s theater department, meeting with Kaitlin Hopkins, the university’s head of musical theater, as well as an accomplished stage and screen actress. As an actress, Hopkins has performed in theater, film, television and radio for more than 25 years. Her credits include more than 50 film and television appearances, as well as “Noises Off,” “Anything Goes” (Lincoln Center) and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the original

Mama Who) on Broadway. And Off-Broadway (original cast), she was also involved in “Bare: A Pop Opera” (cast album), “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” (cast album), “Nicky Silver’s Beautiful Child” and “Bat Boy: The Musical” (cast album), for which she received a Drama Desk and an Ovation Award nomination for her performance as Meredith. The Texas State University visit included a campus tour and dinner in the university’s cafeteria before seeing the theater department’s production of “Adrift in Macao.” After the performance, the show’s playwright, Christopher Durang, met with the students for a question-and-answer session. Durang’s smash-hit comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play of the Year. The true highlight of Behind the Scenes is an educational curriculum that focuses on the Broadway in San Antonio series. Using educational materials provided by the shows themselves, Behind the Scenes guides the students through classroom sessions on “Peter and the Starcatcher,” then in March 2014, “Wicked.” As part of the program, the students attend both shows, meet with members of the cast and crew and more. Behind the Scenes continues to unfold as the performing arts community embraces the program and offers additional opportunities to the students. Las Casas Foundation is dedicated to the development of the performing arts through education and scholarships and the restoration and preservation of historic theaters. The foundation works to support the performing arts in San Antonio through programs such as Behind the Scenes and the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition, an annual event for graduating college-bound high-school seniors to assist them in their future education and produce continuing art lovers, supporters and audience members. Since the program’s inception in 2009, $385,000 in scholarship funds has been awarded to competition finalists. Details about this year’s scholarship program and application procedure can be found on the foundation’s website. To close out Behind the Scenes, the program will feature an essay contest, allowing participants to write about their experience with the performing arts and the Behind the Scenes program. The winner of the contest will be announced during the 2014 Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition on May 18, 2014, at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.

For more information about Behind the Scenes or Las Casas Foundation, visit www.lascasasfoundation. org, or follow Las Casas on Facebook (LasCasasFoundation) or on Twitter (@LasCasasScholar).

ABOUT LAS CASAS FOUNDATION Funded through foundation memberships and the generous support of donors, corporations and grants, Las Casas Foundation is dedicated to the development of the performing arts through education and scholarships, as well as the restoration and preservation of historic theaters. The foundation hosts the annual Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition and offers a variety of educational initiatives and efforts to nurture and grow the performing arts. As a recipient of the 2013 National Arts Star Award from the American Foundation for Arts Education in recognition of its significant impact on arts education, Las Casas Foundation has awarded $385,000 in scholarship funds to deserving students in the field of performing arts since 2009 and plans to award another $100,000 in 2014.

LAS CASAS PERFORMING ARTS SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION Sunday, May 18

See talented high school seniors break a leg as they vie for a total of $100,000 in scholarship money during the sixth annual Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater (226 N. St. Mary’s St.) on Sunday, May 18, at 6 p.m. Competition finalists will take the stage to entertain and delight a panel of judges, as well as an audience anxious to see the best and brightest young performers that San Antonio has to offer.

LAS CASAS CELEBRATES THE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF THE EMPIRE THEATRE BY HONORING CHARLINE MCCOMBS Wednesday, May 21

The Charline McCombs Empire Theatre is marking 100 years of entertaining San Antonio with Las Casas Foundation’s annual gala honoring Charline McCombs with a celebration that spans two locations and events. The first features pre-show cocktails and a seated dinner on the stage of the Majestic Theatre, followed by a special performance at the Empire Theatre. All gala proceeds benefit the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition, created to support young talent that needs assistance to climb the ladder to success in the performing arts.

MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

“UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, A PART OF ONE’S SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED.” – ANATOLE FRANCE

THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND Therapy Animals of San Antonio: bringing people and animals together for healing By: GINNY FLANDERS

EVERY OUNCE OF Emma’s little cavalier frame “body wags” with excitement when she realizes it’s time to put on her vest and head out the door as an ambassador for Therapy Animals of San Antonio (TASA). I am the nameless one at the other end of the leash, the driver, the enabler, but nonetheless enthusiastic as we hop in the car and head toward our visiting assignment. I initially discovered TASA five years ago while browsing the Internet. I was captivated by the possibility of using a personal pet as a therapy dog and serving as a therapy team. I contacted TASA online and began supporting the organization as a silent member. After relocating to San Antonio, I acquired my puppy in 2012 and we began the marvelous journey leading to our June 2013 status as a registered therapy team with TASA. San Antonio manages to intersperse a few blustery, cold mornings in its usually moderate winter climate. Such was the day when TASA President Dr. Linda Porter-Wenzlaff graciously carved time from her teaching schedule at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing to interview for this writing. Actively engaged in TASA since the early 1990s, Porter-Wenzlaff shared that TASA is a 501(c)(3) 96

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the human-animal bond, which promotes good health and healing through therapy animals. TASA provides training and support to therapy teams that choose to become registered with TASA or Pet Partners Inc. (formerly Delta Society). Health, obedience, temperament and teamwork while interacting with a variety of persons and situations constitute the registration criteria. In 2013 alone, the approximately 60 therapy teams (volunteers and their pets) improved the mental and physical health of more than 24,000 local citizens through animal-assisted activities (AAAs) and animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Our teams work at rehabilitation centers, the Juvenile Justice Center, nursing homes, independent living centers, hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses, the Wounded Warrior Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston and other not-forprofit agencies in San Antonio. University students under the pressure of final exams benefited from TASA’s de-stress teams. “Story Tails” (our literacy program) worked with underperforming elementary students to help improve their reading skills and build their self-esteem. Multiple pre-

sentations were conducted throughout the community to educate the public on the human-animal bond. A quick visual of a therapy team typically reveals a handler sporting a TASA logo-patched shirt with an ID badge swinging at the end of a lanyard and a therapy animal wearing a TASA ID-tagged collar, complemented by a blue vest complete with the TASA emblem and any number of other achievement patches. The common observer has little to no clue what the animal actually does to bear the title, “therapy dog,” because it is not obvious from this visual what happens when the visit begins. The correct answer is deeper than the commonly used response that the dog enhances people’s overall general well-being. Porter-Wenzlaff discussed that research has repeatedly shown that specially trained therapy pets offer people of all ages not just comfort and diversion from emotional or physical wounds, but actual help in the healing process, whether through AAA or AAT interactions. For both children and adults, a very partial list of pet therapy’s proven benefits include lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, releasing


endorphins that provide a calming effect, lessening depression, encouraging communication and helping children focus better. The impressive catalog of cardiovascular, physiological, musculoskeletal and neurological benefits and psychosocial impact of interaction with therapy pets is medically documented information, both published and taught in college and graduate university courses. It is important and should be understood that therapy dogs are not service dogs, and therapy dogs do not enjoy the same legal public access as do service dogs. (The Americans with Disabilities Act defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, and the work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.) TASA will certify service dogs to therapy dog status if the service they provide their handler does not compromise the AAA or AAT they are to engage in. TASA’s training, screening and evaluation criteria remain constant, whether or not the animal has service dog status prior to consideration for therapy dog certification. Complete information regarding our existing therapy teams, training classes and current and past events is available on our Web page. While TASA operates as an all-volunteer body, it does require the support of local organizations to continue its important work. Our primary fundraising activity for 2014 is the 16th Annual Fiesta Pooch Parade, an official Fiesta event that will occur on April 26. All proceeds from the event go to support our local programs. We invite you to join in the fun by participating in this year’s

Fiesta Pooch Parade. Please visit our website for complete details on this family-friendly event. As TASA is a tax-exempt organization, all membership dues, donations and gifts are fully tax-deductible. If you feel otherwise led to make a general, celebrative or memorial donation or to join TASA as an individual, family or business, we welcome your involvement in our commitment to bringing people and animals together for healing. On a very personal level, when I ponder my eightmonth journey as the leash-holder half of a therapy team, I cannot begin to imagine the experiences that are yet to unfold when I consider the many people who already have laughed and cried tears from the depth of their soul into the silky softness of Emma’s pendulous ears. I smile back tears of my own as I recall a child’s bald chemo head burrowing into Emma’s little sides. My throat constricts from emotion recalling a dementia patient surfacing from that lost twilight zone of the mind – briefly, yes, but long enough to allow refocusing of the eyes as a beatific smile crowned that face with a glorious moment of recognition and connection. I find myself overcome with feelings of intense love as I gaze down at this little dog curled up next to me, and I send out a mental note to Anatole France that the part of my soul that harbors animal love is alive and well, and it is definitely awakened.

For more information, contact Therapy Animals of San Antonio at P. O. Box 690221, San Antonio, Texas 78269; 210-614-6734; or www.therapyanimalssa.org.

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SAN ANTONIO // NONPROFIT

SHOWING GOD’S LOVE

Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries works to break the cycle of poverty one family at a time through food, companionship, mentoring and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. By: CEDAR JOINER

IN OCTOBER 2000, Agnes and David Hubbard set out on a mission to help the less fortunate in their community. Working out of their garage, the couple created Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries (HCDBM), an organization that sought to transform the Boerne community by providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to neighbors in need. The organization’s mission is to help and equip the body of Christ with the food, resources and training necessary to transform our communities and the lives of those in poverty and in need through the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ. According to Agnes Hubbard, executive director of HCDBM, “our goal is to break the cycle of poverty and impact these families so they can move out of their situation.” With the help of more than 5,000 trained volunteers from more than 170 ministry partners and agencies, HCDBM has become a hub of community resources, services and supplies delivered directly to more than 18,000 adults, children and families in need. The process HCDBM uses is designed to foster long-term, meaningful relationships between people in need and people who are called to help, from family to family and neighbor to neighbor – a community united to end situational and generational poverty in the Hill Country. “We walk with them so they can feel the love of Christ and know they are not alone,” Hubbard says. “We grow with them in order to walk out of the crisis together.” In addition to serving the Hill Country as a food bank, HCDBM has created the following ministries:

STAND BY ME MENTORING: Stand By Me is a

FAMILY MENTOR RESOURCES MINISTRY: Twice

THANKSGIVING BOX: On the Sunday

a month, approximately $80 to $100 worth of canned food, bread, desserts, non-perishables and produce is delivered to hundreds of families and individuals in need by family mentors from their outreach partners. The families they serve at times must choose between keeping their utilities on, buying medicine for a sick child or buying food. The boxes they give ease the need to make those terrible decisions.

before Thanksgiving, families sign up for a complete “cook for themselves” Thanksgiving dinner to be delivered by their family mentor volunteer.

mentoring program that matches a Christian adult with an at-risk child from the Hill Country in grades K through 12. These kids need another adult in their lives to provide extra spiritual, emotional and educational support. Mentees and mentors make a one-year commitment to the program and receive careful screening, ongoing support and training.

KINGDOM KIDS CLUB: Children 18 and under reinforce their reading and literacy skills as they learn about the love of Christ. Spiritual and inspirational books are distributed through family mentor volunteers, the Kingdom Kids Book Club, the Bible Treasure Hunt, the Easter Basket Project and the Christmas Bible Project.

RESOURCE CONNECTION: Families who are registered in their computer database enable them to assess and make referrals to local and state agencies for special needs.

NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / MARCH.APRIL 2014

HCDBM has gone past the limits of Boerne to offer their services to eight counties in the surrounding area, including Bandera, Comal, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Uvalde and Northern Bexar. The rapid growth of the organization called for a capital campaign that would help establish a bigger headquarters where their services could be provided on a grander scale. Countless fundraisers and community events, as well as private donations, have helped HCDBM raise approximately $6.2 million. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, they broke ground on a 42,000-square-foot campus that consists of a warehouse, an office building and a training and program center. The groundbreaking ceremony began at 11:30 a.m., and the attendees included elected officials from the eight counties where HCDBM currently offers their services, as well as the HCDBM Board of Directors, pastors, volunteers, staff and the community at large.

HILL COUNTRY BABY: Babies and toddlers are provided with disposable diapers and wipes so as to alleviate the health hazard caused by unclean conditions.

For more information on volunteering, mentoring or donating, please visit www.hillcountrydailybread.org or call 830-249-0025.

HILL COUNTRY SILVER CROWN: The elderly

CHRISTMAS TOY PROJECT: Along with SAM’s Kids and Boerne ISD, HCDBM supplies every registered family with

GIRL EATING BREAD, SUNABESYOU/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

and the disabled are provided with Depends, wipes and other personal hygiene products to help them maintain good health.

“WE WALK WITH PEOPLE IN NEED SO THEY CAN FEEL THE LOVE OF CHRIST AND KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE.”

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Christmas toys and gifts to give to their children ages 0 to 18.


SAN ANTONIO // SPORTS

THE ULTIMATE FAN How players relate to their loudest supporters in the stands – and their loudest ridiculers

SPORTS FANS, WILLIAM PERUGINI/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

By: JOHNNY WALKER

THE SUPER FAN, the consummate fan, the ultimate fan – as a former player, I can say that through their endearing support, you grow to love them. They become like family. They show up hours before the game and tailgate, socialize, reminisce on past victories and prepare for future wins. They’re like a cult-like following – some engulfed from head to toe with the same colors and logos of their favorite teams. They cheer, they cry and they love, and they do it all to show how much they care for you, especially if you win. I will never forget coming out of Lambeau Field and seeing all of the bright-eyed little kids dressed in green-and-gold garb with the occasional cheese head to match. The ultimate fans willingly offered up their bikes and struggled to run along the side as I rode the bike to practice. The ultimate fans! Now, that same loving and caring fan filled with so much joy can easily – and suddenly – flip the script when facing the opposing team. We are reminded of the chaotic free-for-all and the ultimate fan’s nightmare: when several Indiana Pacer professional basketball players went into the stands fed up with the humiliating and egregious treatment and took matters into their own hands, literally losing their composure and taking part in a deplorable display of sportsmanship. Once again, we were witness to a college basketball player from Oklahoma State not being very smart. He lost his composure and allowed his emotions to take the place of his rationale and shoved the ultimate fan – who, to all’s surprise, admitted to his verbal indis-

THE SAME LOVING AND CARING FAN FILLED WITH JOY CAN EASILY – AND SUDDENLY – FLIP THE SCRIPT WHEN FACING THE OPPOSING TEAM. cretions toward the player and disciplined himself by not attending any basketball games for the rest of the season. I recall my encounter with the ultimate fan. I had been called just about everything derogatory that you could imagine, from racial epithets and family dishonor to just plain personal attacks. The ultimate fan’s belligerent verbal lashing continued while I was out on the field and every time I got up to bat. The more derogatory he got, the madder I got. I couldn’t believe he was actually being cheered and encouraged by all sitting near him. After striking out and being ridiculed the entire time at bat, I lost my composure and threw my helmet, watching it slam into the fence behind the batter’s box. I was subsequently yanked out of the game, and my coach, not known to mince words, disparagingly let me have it. He told me I would never play again if couldn’t control my emotions. Disgusted, humiliated and embarrassed, I sat on the bench thinking of what I would do to the ultimate fan if I got him alone. Nature called, and to my surprise, once I got to the restroom, I saw that someone else got that

same call. Yes: the ultimate fan. You can only imagine the adrenaline rush I had. So there we were: just me and the ultimate fan with no one else around. As I started walking toward all 5’5” of him, he started turning a pale color about a shade away from transparent. He probably wished he were transparent. He was shaking, and I wasn’t quite sure if it was fear, but I hadn’t noticed before that he stuttered. Now, let me go on record and say that by no means would I ever condone an athlete going after a fan for any reason. There is just no excuse for such a blatant lack of emotional control and appalling disregard for sportsmanship. Oh, I bet you are wondering what happened between me and the ultimate fan. Well, I didn’t say or do anything to him. I didn’t have to. When I took a glimpse at him up in the stands, he was still that same pale color and he did not have much to say the rest of the game – or the series, for the matter. I guess the moral of this story is that when it comes to the ultimate fan, it is best to be careful what you say because you never know when nature will call and who may get that same call! MARCH.APRIL 2014 / NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS

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MAY 18

4-8pm

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$85 Admission Includes: Fashion show and a Special Performance

for something you have never seen in San Antonio before. Glam it up SA is a fashion show event. All of San Antonio up-and-coming fashion designers, boutiques and more. Please bring gift cards for Little black dress society drive.

Complimentary Valet parking

Sonterra country club

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San Antonio NSIDE Texas Business March/April 2014