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nsidethisissue may / june 2013 profiles



cover story

Dr. Ricardo Romo Always remembering to put the interests of the students above all else, the popular president of UTSA has made dramatic and impressive improvements to the school, transforming it from a commuter school into a Tier One university within only 14 years.

Xavier the Freakin’ Rican

In what could be called the Alamo City’s own Cinderella story, Xavier the Freakin’ Rican entertains the city with the Xavier’s World morning show on San Antonio’s No. 1 station for hip-hop and R&B, 98.5 The Beat.


Alan E. Baxter

By running the city of Windcrest like a business and always remembering to do the right thing, mayor has made the city more profitable than ever within just two years in office.


Judge John J. Specia Jr.

Having dedicated his career to advocating for children and preventing child abuse for more than 30 years, the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services continues to work for the future of the Lone Star State.

cover: Photographed by Alexander Aleman



also inthisissue may / june 2013

NSIDE Business Magazine - May/June 2013

ceo / nside media productions Eliot Garza eliot@nsidesa.com

editorial director


Kelly Hamilton

executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

graphic designers

Damaris Fike, Cristina Villa Hazar

executive assistant Ashley Gray

international marketing account sales Anabelle Rodriguez


integrated account executive Paul Cartwright

account exective

contents 14 nside mentor - ‘What do they think?’

15 nside


- A worthy investment - An evening to remember

18 nside events

- Microsoft comes to La Cantera - Fun for a cause

22 nside nonprofit - Advocating for the arts - Laying out the leadership cards - Taking a stand

28 nside feature - Swim safety 101 - The CCHS legacy - Making people feel

50 nside tech

- Swipe it! - The cure for IT headaches

Marissa Tejeda

contributing writers

54 nside


- Get out of your own way

56 nside legal

- Policing your social media policy - Common misunderstandings - Special achievements in mediation

62 nside finance

Mario Barrera , Doug Cain, Dan Corbett, Erik Darmstetter, Kat Delgrande, Chris Emmitt, Suzanne Vernau Feezel, Emily Glisson, Rosie Gonzalez, Jesse Guerra, Lauren P. Halpern, Juan de Lascurain, Michael Liersch, Sylvia Mack, Jody Joseph Marmel, Jamie Newman, Dorota Plecien, Cyrus F. Rea II, Ana Clarissa Rodriguez, Sharon Schweitzer, Lauren Walthour, Mary Zambrano


Alexander Aleman, Jonathan Garza, Michael Giordano, Robin Jerstad, Rory Keeth, Chris Lozano, Wilson Parish, David Rubin Photography, Steve Walker, Suzie Walker

editorial intern Katrina Torres

- Understanding the investor in you

68 nside etiquette - Building relationships

76 nside espaÑol

- Los que saben lo que quieren, obtienen lo que quieren

79 nside austin 95 nside houston

www.getnside.com For advertising information, please call 210.373.2599 or email eliot@nsidesa.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, email kelly@getnside.com. 18402 U.S. Highway 281 N, Ste. 201 San Antonio, Texas 78259 Phone: 210.298.1761 Copyright © NSIDE Media Productions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.





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editor’s letter Change. In our daily quest for normalcy, change is something that often catches us abruptly off guard. Road construction, such as the muchbemoaned Hildebrand closure, reroutes our preferred pathways, and Texas weather leaves us befuddled with how to dress in the morning. Plans change, people change – some for better, some for worse. Regardless, our ability as humans to demonstrate empathy and tolerance allows for smoother transitioning during the process of change. As such, it is frequently apparent to me that the strongest periods of personal growth and development are born through the tight canal of change. This year marks NSIDE’s seventh anniversary, and as indicated on our front cover, we have the seven-year itch – we are making a change. Through the support of our readers and sponsors, NSIDE San Antonio is taking the leap and expanding into NSIDE Texas for both our business and medical issues. We are expanding not only our page count, but our circulation and coverage cities, as well. As of this issue, NSIDE Texas and TEXAS MD will cover San Antonio, Austin and Houston, with the following issues adding Dallas, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. It’s a leap of faith, and one in which we are firmly convicted. Through the years of growth and challenge, the resounding factor at the end of the day is that our readers and sponsors are our full priority, and without both sectors, we would not have the privilege of growth. Both covers for this issue firmly bolster our endorsement for the benefit of change. Dr. Ricardo Romo has, through his leadership as president of UTSA, exuberantly fostered the resounding growth of our largest local university to



the merry tune of an over 30,000-student enrollment for the coming academic year. As this growth brings accolade to his leadership, it also poses the challenges of building expansion and fundraising to maintain such an astounding growth rate. As an alumna of UTSA, it is with absolute pride that I can now attend my alma mater’s football games – something of which we only dreamt in the early ‘90s. San Antonio Wellness Institute (SAWI), under the direction of Medical Director Robert N. Schnitzler, M.D., and President Maria Cristina Rodriguez, R.N., BSN, knows all too well the changing demands of seamlessly running a premier concierge concept health care facility. Through their tireless devotion to the quality of care for their patients, SAWI forges the path for a new kind of patientcentered treatment. Both covers are shining examples of not only working within their changing industries, but excelling through the change management process with the ultimate goal of making and keeping their patrons happy. All this to say, next time you are presented with the challenging proposition of an unwelcome change, embrace it – welcome it as an opportunity for growth. After all, a diamond is coal that did well under pressure.

kelly hamilton Editorial Director kelly@getnside.com



[ NSIDE mentor ]

‘What Do They Think?’ On what do you base your decisions: the opinions of other people or your personal beliefs?

By: [Chris Emmitt]

Chris Emmitt is the executive pastor and a teaching pastor at Community Bible Church. He preaches Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. You can contact him via email (chris@ communitybible.com), Facebook or Twitter (@chrisemmitt). You can also visit www. communitybible.com to see service times, video sermons and podcasts.



Recently, I was out on a date with my wife, who is a gorgeous blonde (that has nothing to do with this story, but I hope when she reads this article, it will score me a few points). We had a great time at dinner, enjoyed adult conversation (with three preschool kids, you cherish every one of those conversations you get to have) and realized since my parents were watching all three kids and a babysitter wasn’t on the clock, the night was ours! I told my wife, “The night is free. Where would you like to go?” I thought she was going to say a movie, a coffee shop, the River Walk or pretty much anything other than what I was about to hear. She replied, “the Dress Barn!” Imagine the sound of a record scratching … “Huh?” I replied, not very enthusiastically. “But I don’t want to go to the Dress Barn.” So a few minutes later, I find myself in – you guessed it – the Dress Barn. There we were, rummaging through dresses and shoes, when she found a dress she wanted to try on. She went into the dressing rooms, and I went about looking for the proverbial bench that every husband sits on while his wife is trying on a dress. You know the one: It’s tucked away in a corner, behind the clearance section, so no one sees the pathetic look on our faces. While I was looking, I ran into a lady who attends one of the church services where I speak. She, her husband and her son attend every week, and they are a wonderful family I have gotten to know over the years. I started making

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be God’s servant.” small talk with her, and then I became extremely aware of my surroundings. There I was, all alone on a Friday night, in … the Dress Barn. I suddenly felt the back of my neck begin to sweat, I began to trip over my words and the room started to spin (I may be exaggerating on that one, but it might as well have been). I quickly informed her that my wife was there with me and that she was in the dressing rooms. She laughed and said, “I know.” I don’t know about you, but I find it very tempting to waste valuable time and mental energy asking myself the question, ‘What do they think?’ Now, I’m not saying you should not care about others’ opinions, but I do think we can have a tendency to be paralyzed by fear of what others may think of us. When I find myself racing toward those emotions, I remember a verse in the New Testament that a man by the name of Paul wrote: “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10 NLT 2nd Ed.).

I love that scripture because Paul is not self-serving, but rather, aiming to serve God. And he doesn’t waste valuable time or emotional energy wondering, ‘What do they think?’ As a person of faith, I find extreme comfort in knowing my life is accountable to God over anyone else. It allows me the freedom to make decisions for my life based on scripture and not someone else’s opinion. It allows me the freedom to know exactly what I believe and what those beliefs are based on. So let me ask you this question: On what do you base your decisions? Think about it. You make countless numbers of decisions day in and day out – decisions that have a dramatic impact on your life and the lives of those around you. Have you ever stopped to think about what they are based on? I hope you wrestle with that simple thought about what your decisions are based on, and if you ever see me sitting on the proverbial “husband waiting while his wife is shopping” bench, please stop and let me know what you decide.

[ NSIDE community ]

A Worthy Investment

St. Peter – St. Joseph Children’s Home celebrates more than a century of healing children at the 10th Annual Red Shoes Gala.

Photography: [David Rubin Photography] The San Antonio community has proven, once again, that the futures of vulnerable children are worth the investment. St. Peter – St. Joseph Children’s Home (St. PJ’s) held the 10th Annual Red Shoes Gala on March 23, 2013. It was the biggest gala to date thanks to generous businesses, individual donors and dedicated volunteers who helped raise more than $270,000. The Red Shoes Gala was inspired by a 4-year-old girl with red shoes who, like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” just wanted to go home. What began as a modest gathering of dedicated St. PJ’s supporters and volunteers has since grown into one of the most anticipated charitable functions in San Antonio. The event brought together more than 600 St. PJ’s supporters, volunteers and local child advocates, including Sen. Carlos Uresti, Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner John Specia and City Councilwoman Letecia Ozuna. Several from Bexar County were also in attendance: Judges Lori Valenzuela, Peter Sakai, Melissa Skinner, Phillip Kazen, Solomon Casseb and Mark Luitjen. Larry Benson, this year’s Fiesta King El Rey Feo LXV, and Richard Ojeda, last year’s Rey Feo LXIV, were present, as well. St. PJ’s was pleased to honor the Charity Ball Association, and it presented the Hero of the Prairie Award to Terry and Hailee Folawn, the motherdaughter team who have championed the children of St. PJ’s for the past nine years through the annual My Princess & Me event.

1/ Past Board President Paula Miller, Michael Traugott, Kim Nourie & Twinkles the Puppy 2/ Joe & Joy Reinagel of The Annual Joe Reinagel Golf Tournament benefiting St. PJ’s

3/ James Castro, St. PJ’s CEO, & DFPS Commissioner John J. Specia Jr. 4/ Mistress of Ceremonies Deborah Knapp & Celso Gonzalez-Falla 5/ Spurs Coyote & Hero of the Prairie Awardee Hailee Folawn

➌ ➎



[ NSIDE community ]

An Evening to Remember ARTS SA and the McNay Art Museum host An Elegant Evening, featuring the Joffrey Ballet. Photography: [Wilson Parish]

An Elegant Evening, hosted by ARTS SA and the McNay Art Museum on March 7, featured the principal dancers, artistic leadership and senior management of the Joffrey Ballet. Complete with a fascinating exhibition of items from the Ballet Russe era (all part of the McNay’s fabulous Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts), the evening celebrated the return of the Joffrey Ballet to San Antonio after 34 years. Gourmet cuisine, the signature “Joffrey-ini” and a special performance by Ballet San


For more information on ARTS SA, visit www.artssa. org. To learn more about the McNay Art Museum, go to www.mcnayart.org.


Antonio were just a portion of the exquisite evening. Proceeds from the unique Joffrey event benefited ARTS SA’s acclaimed workshop program that serves thousands of elementary school children and seniors in San Antonio.

➎ ➐

➑ ➒ 1/ Ballet San Antonio dancers 2/ Overhead photo of Leeper Auditorium, where ARTS SA presents An Elegant Gala Evening at the McNay with The Joffrey Ballet was held 3/ Ballet San Antonio dancers 4/ San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet dancers 5/ Bronze Gala Sponsor Matthias Schubnell and ARTS SA Board Director and Bronze Gala Sponsor Erika Ivanyi with San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet dancers 6/ Joffrey dancer, ARTS San Antonio Board Director and Sable Gala Sponsor Susan Franklin, Joffrey dancer and Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet 7/ ARTS SA Board Director and Sable Gala Sponsor Ana Montoya and Sherri Singletary 8/ Silver Gala Sponsor Vicki McLaughlin, Ramiro Salazar, ARTS SA Board Director and Bronze Gala Sponsor Xitlalt Herrera-Salazar, Silver Gala Sponsor John McLaughlin and ARTS SA Board Director, Silver Gala Sponsor and Gala Co-Chair Margaret Kanyusik 9/ ARTS SA Board Chair and Sable Gala Sponsor Will Liebmann and ARTS SA Board Director and Silver Gala Sponsor Andi Porter Lutz



[ NSIDE events ]

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Microsoft Comes to La Cantera To celebrate the grand opening of its new store at The Shops at La Cantera, Microsoft gives software grants to the Wounded Warriors Project, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and Junior Achievement of South Texas, and treats visitors to a free concert by singer Kelly Clarkson.

❺ ❶

❻ 18



1/ Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft, cuts the ribbon with Bridget Thrun, store manager, for the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 2/ Inside the Store: Customers check out the latest tech at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.   3/ Happy Customers: Customers brave the rain outside our new Microsoft retail location at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.

❿ 11

4/ Grand Opening Day: Excited customers gather in anticipation of the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 5/ Flag from the Wounded Warrior Foundation: Bridget Thrun, store manager, and Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft, accept a flag and certificate from the Wounded Warrior Foundation at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 6/ Software Grant for YMCA of Greater San Antonio: Sandy Merander, CEO and president of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, accepts a grant from Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets for Microsoft, at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.

8/ Software Grant for Junior Achievement of South Texas: Joe Burke, president of Junior Achievement of South Texas, accepts a grant from the Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets for Microsoft, at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 9/ Customers Line Up: Customers line up to experience the new Microsoft store at the grand opening at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 10/ Software Grant for the Wounded Warriors Project: Rick Willis, director of transition training activity for the Wounded Warriors Project, accepts a grant from Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft, and Bridget Thrun, store manager, at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.   11/ Fun with Kinect: Kids have fun trying out the Kinect for Xbox 360 games at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9. 12/ Hands-On With the New Microsoft Surface: Customers get a personal lesson from a Microsoft store associate on how to navigate the Surface at the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.

7/ Kelly Clarkson Rocks Out: Singer Kelly Clarkson performs a free concert for visitors to the new Microsoft store at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio on Saturday, March 9.



[ NSIDE events ]

Fun for a Cause

Culinaria treats the city to its Third Annual 5K Wine & Beer Run and enjoys another excellent turnout. Photography: [Rory Keeth]

This year marked Culinaria’s Third Annual 5K Wine & Beer Run, and we couldn’t be more pleased to say we had another great turnout this year! At Culinaria, we pride ourselves on hosting events that allow our participants not only to enjoy themselves, but to take part in something that benefits our community, as well. We thank everyone who has helped make our events a success and encourage you all to look out for our 2013 Festival Week from May 15 to 19. Check us out at www.culinariasa.org for more information about our events and how to get tickets!



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[ NSIDE nonprofit ]

Nick Fearon

1st Place Dance & Overall Winner 2011

Edwin Bates

1st Place Vocal Winner 2012

Advocating for the Arts Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Las Casas Foundation continues to further its mission to preserve some of the Alamo City’s finest historic theatres. [Special to Nside] Long before the downtown San Antonio skyline looked the way it does now, a theatre house rose that unknowingly was destined to span the decades of time. A staggering $3 million and 11 months in 1928-29 rendered architect John Eberson’s Majestic Theatre – an anchor of San Antonio’s downtown establishments. The Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture accented by Greek and Roman motifs represents a village courtyard. Statuary and angels look down on the theatre from their perches high above. A rare white peacock perches on a balcony railing and doves are caught in mid-flight. Stars twinkle from above amid drifting clouds. Truly a masterpiece, the Majestic Theatre has rightfully earned its title as one of the finest atmospheric theatres ever constructed. Since opening its doors, innumerable productions have graced the stage of the Majestic and left their indelible mark upon the walls of the hallowed



halls beneath the theatre’s stage. With each playbill passed, the ghosts of creativity linger in anticipation of the next performance. Lithe bodies float across the stage as souls are stirred by mesmerizing notes that rise from gifted hands below. Each adulation and season that passes chips away at a once majestic splendor. Established in 1988, the Foundation for Cultural Arts in San Antonio, also known as Las Casas, is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Majestic Theatre and the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, and the development of the San Antonio Performing Arts Center. The San Antonio Performing Arts Center was officially dedicated on Sept. 11, 1989. Las Casas’ first commitment was to restore the Majestic Theatre as the cornerstone of the San Antonio Performing Arts Center. Through the tireless fundraising efforts of the founding chairperson and purveyor of the arts, Jocelyn L. Straus, the $4.5 mil-

lion necessary to restore the theatre was raised, and in 11 short months, the restoration was complete. Under the watchful eye of Arts Center Enterprise, Inc. (ACE), the entire theatre, with the exception of the upper balcony and non-essential decorative plasterwork, was restored to its original appearance as accurately as possible, while making the theatre more technically up-to-date and more comfortable for audiences and performers. Architectural ornamentation was cleaned, repaired and repainted in the original vibrant colors; replicas were created as necessary. A new orchestra-level concession area with expanded restroom facilities was constructed adjoining the main lobby. A Broadway-quality production sound system, an acoustical shell and an electronic sound-enhancement system were installed. The basement area under the combined theatre complex was redesigned to create functional support facilities for both theatres; redesigning the


Las Casas Foundation Officers and Board of Directors • Jocelyn L. Straus, Founding Chairperson

Left side:

Kevin Parman, Lauren Lane

Right side:

• Frank Z. Ruttenberg, Chairman


• Kathryn L. Rhoads, President

Joci Straus, Seth Fisher, Janice Goldberg, Phill George, Frank Ruttneberg Las Casas 2012 Scholarship Winners

• Kevin Parman, Vice President

Las Casas’ first commitment was to restore the Majestic Theatre as the cornerstone of the San Antonio Performing Arts Center.

• Jay Higginson, Treasurer • Valerie Samaniego Finch, Assistant Treasurer • Laura G. Richmond, Secretary • Mary Margaret Amberson • Nancy Avellar • Sunny Blumenthal

Madison Tinder

1st Place Vocal Winner 2011

Nick Fearon

1st Place Dance & Overall Winner 2011

basement created more than 20,000 square feet of usable space. ACE has an impressive record of restoring entertainment venues and rejuvenating theatres throughout the United States, and it is currently the management company under which the Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire Theatres operate. For the fifth consecutive year, the Las Casas Foundation has held the annual High School Scholarship for Excellence in the Performing Arts competition. The foundation’s performing arts scholarship program is designed to award financial assistance to college-bound high-school seniors based on their interests and abilities in the performing arts. The scholarship program is open to citizens and naturalized citizens of the United States and resident Texas public schools, private high schools and home schools, to include San Antonio and the surrounding and expanded Texas regions. Consisting of four scholarship categories (acting monologue, vocal solo, acting duet and dance solo), all categories are theatre- and musical theatre-based, including dance. Affording gifted students the opportunity to shine is something the direc-

tors of Las Casas are passionate about, and with more than $70,000 in scholarship monies available, the competition’s caliber of talent promises not to disappoint. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Las Casas Foundation in San Antonio, Straus will receive a lifetime achievement award in recognition of her relentless fostering of the arts in our community and nationally. The award will be given on May 14 at the foundation’s gala featuring Il Divo in their first-ever appearance at the Majestic. Through continued fundraising and advocacy of the arts, Las Casas strives to continue its promotion of hidden talent waiting to be discovered, as well as to further the preservation of San Antonio’s finest historic theatres.

• Clifton J. Bolner • Aliza Cantu • Bob W. Coleman • Eric Dupré • Melissa S. Fleming • Elaine Honigblum Kaufman • Lisa Koenig • John D. Likovich • Charline McCombs • David Nicolson • Peggy Penshorn • Judge Bonnie Reed • Barbara Richmond • Rollette Schreckenghost • Jill Harrison Souter • Don Thomas • Linda G. Tillery

For more information on the Las Casas Foundation, visit www.lascasasfoundation.org/index.html or call 210-2234343.

• Chris Turner • Pat Wheeler • V. T. “Skip” Wood

Note: Partial content for this article was provided by the Las Casas Foundation website. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE nonprofit ]

Laying Out the Leadership Cards

Taking our nonprofit organizations from good to great and securing a better future for the community starts with strengthening our leadership. By: [Lauren Walthour]

In this article, I hope to start a serious dialogue about how we can strengthen the leadership of the many good nonprofits in San Antonio and encourage new volunteers to get involved at the board level to serve, as well as to learn about the immense work and benefits given to our community. While I have been in the advancement and fund development side of the nonprofit industry close to 40 years, I don’t view myself as an expert, but as more of a technocrat. I know what works in the segments I have served, but I will never know everything there is to know about nonprofits. There are just too many different segments within this large industry.  I am not starting a new topic of discussion, but one that can be broadened and perhaps provide some value to local nonprofits.   Everyone employed in the nonprofit industry feels the “squeeze” and has felt it for several years. With increases in overhead costs, attempting to do more with fewer human and other resources and rising client and customer demand, nonprofit professionals are a bit stressed. So I ask, in the real world, after all the books have been read, how do nonprofits not only move from good to great, but also reduce employee burnout while doing so?  San Antonio is a big city and a small town. We are growing economically, improving our higher edu-



Our history is full of people and groups who have taken on big challenges. cation status and increasing in population.  However, we still lag behind other large Texas cities in expendable dollars per person and in the number of corporations with philanthropic foundations or departments, among other measurements.  Our history is full of people and groups who have taken on big challenges.    San Antonio is blessed to have a long history of outstanding individual and group philanthropic volunteers.  This legacy is visible everywhere one looks.  But in the 21st century, many nonprofits are finding it harder to find experienced, engaged board members, especially those with a résumé of fundraising success. Generally speaking, the generational passing of such a volunteer leadership torch has been slow to visibly non-existent. With diminished legacy succession, where do we find leaders?  In times of great stress, history has recorded that

individuals who think outside of the box and even those who are not very successful during normal times can thrive and succeed as great leaders. William Sherman, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are examples. So what qualities and abilities should or can we look for in San Antonio nonprofit leadership?   I have my ideas, and I am sure you have yours.  Over the next few issues, let’s lay the cards on the table and see if we can define stronger nonprofit leadership for the future in San Antonio.  

Lauren Walthour is the director of advancement at the Winston School San Antonio. For more information, you may contact her at lauren@walthourconsulting.com.

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[ NSIDE nonprofit ]

Taking a Stand Boys Town Texas kicks off Child Abuse Awareness Month with the third annual Race for Prevention of Child Abuse.

By: [Jamie Newman] Photography: [Steve Walker and Chris Lozano]



Child abuse and neglect is an epidemic that affects more than six million kids annually in the United States. And according to Childhelp, more than five children die every day as a result. Boys Town Texas took a stand to bring awareness to the problem and lower the number of abused children through its third annual Race for Prevention of Child Abuse, raising more than $60,000 for the youth at the site. Child abuse is an issue Boys Town Texas already tackles on a daily basis with many kids who enter its Foster Family Services (FFS) program. The San Antonio community showed their mutual support against child abuse, drawing a crowd of more than 700 runners and walkers. “We are thrilled to have the San Antonio community join us in ending child abuse one step at a time,” said Janie Cook, Boys Town Texas executive director. “Boys Town is changing the way America cares for kids, and this is one way to make a difference.” The race kicked off Child Abuse Awareness Month in April and featured 10K and 5K runs and a 1K fun walk starting at Valero Headquarters and continuing through the Leon Creek Greenway. The crowd also enjoyed rock and country music from the U.S. Army 323rd division, words from San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and food provided by donors including Kiolbassa sausage, Snapple Beverages, Sanitary Tortillas, Starbucks, La Madeleine, Micaela’s Café, McDonald’s and Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. Strategic Skills donated first-aid services. Participants also received gift bags with items that help shed light on child abuse. These items included a business card with the signs of child abuse and information about the Boys Town National Hotline. The race is the site’s way of reaching out to the community. Individuals and entire families are invited to participate each year. Youth in the Boys Town Texas FFS program were there to work and participate in the event. “It’s an event that has great potential to grow,” Cook said. “We had a great turnout this year, and a lot of people learned more about Boys Town and its mission in the process.” Other sponsors for this year’s race included title sponsor Valero, Capital Group Companies, Tesoro, NuStar, CPS Energy, H-E-B, the College of Health Care Professionals, IBC Bank, the Gambrinus Company, HCV Coalition for the Cure, M2 Technology Inc., Frost Bank, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, Ameritas Group and Best Body Ever.

More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse and neglect.

To learn more about Boys Town Texas, please visit www.boystown.org/texas.



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Swim Safety 101 Five tips for taking serious caution and ensuring a safe swim season for your family this year By: [Jesse Guerra] As spring break has now come and gone, this marks the start of swim season. Memorial Day officially kicks off the opening of thousands of pools across South Texas, and families and children race to the pools to beat the heat that comes with late spring and early summer. However, the pools, ponds, rivers and lakes all create an attraction for children who really can’t appreciate the danger that lurks below the water’s edge more often than not. As parents, our responsibilities go beyond just making sure our children know how to swim and that they are properly supervised around water. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death for children under the age of 5. Proactive, safety-minded parents need to be familiar with the pool or body of water their children swim in. As guests of pools at apartment complexes, hotels, water parks and resorts, we expect that pool operators will maintain their pools in accordance with local, state and national pool safety guidelines. However, as we have seen in many sad drowning cases, diligent pool operators are very rare in the state of Texas. Many pool operators simply fail to hire proper pool techs and instead hire people who often lack the pool certifications and training necessary to maintain the pools open for public use in a safe and healthy manner. The Texas Department of State Health Services’ safety standards for pools and spas lay out numerous minimum requirements for class C or commercial pools as found in hotels, apartment complexes and resorts. Having litigated numerous pool drowning cases, I am never surprised at the testimony offered during the course of litigation where maintenance employees testify that they have no idea what the water clarity standard of a pool they maintain should be. The Texas laws make it clear that “you must be able to clearly see the drains and/or bottom in the deepest part of the pool.” If you cannot, you must close the pool immediately. Additionally, the pool codes for Texas mandate certain equipment and safety device features be installed in certain pools essential for public safety. Here are a few tips to help ensure a safe swim season: Swim Tip 1: Inspect the pool’s water clarity by walking to the deep section and observing whether or not the pool drains are clearly visible from the deck. If the drains are unclear and hard to see, do not allow your children to swim in that pool. Immediately alert the operators of that facility’s pool so they can close the pool until the water clarity issue is corrected. Do not judge a pool’s water clarity by whether or not you can see the steps in the shallow end of the pool or the demarcation line in the middle of the pool. You must be able to see the drains in the deep end. You must be able to see clearly so that children or swimmers who get into trouble in a pool can be seen and res-



Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death for children under the age of 5. cued promptly. If you cannot see a child at the bottom of the pool, you cannot rescue that child. Therefore, proper water clarity in pools is essential for the safety of swimmers. Do not allow your children to swim in pools with murky or cloudy water.


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Swim Tip 2: Always keep a close eye on your children when they are in pools. Parental supervision is essential when children are swimming in pools. It’s recommended to stay within arm’s length of children if at all possible while they swim. Additionally, when supervising children in pools, parents should not use cell phones, read books or engage in activities poolside that take their attention from supervising children. Children can become distressed or submerged in seconds, and therefore, children have a better chance of survival if they are being properly supervised around the pool or body of water they are swimming in. Swim Tip 3: Make sure the pool is equipped with proper safety equipment. First and foremost, every commercial pool must have an emergency phone located within 200 feet of the pool. Secondly, pools should have ring buoys with throw ropes and a shepherd crook to help rescue swimmers. If the depth exceeds 5 feet, some pools require a demarcation line/guard line or a float rope to separate the shallow end from the deep end. These safety devices act as secondary layers of protection in pools, should someone need help. Swim Tip 4: Parents should have their own emergency action plan that outlines the rules for children on the day when and at the place where swimming will occur. Where will everyone be, and who will be watching whom? What do you do if they start to have trouble in the water, and what are the pool rules? Pool users should be mindful of pool rules at all times. Also, make sure to tell children not to play near pool drains or to put their hands or bodies on pool drains. Drains can cause serious harm and death if they are outdated or not functioning properly. Swim Tip 5: Watch the lifeguards and pool monitors if they are present to ensure they are doing their job. Lifeguards can often be found texting, flirting and messing around on the job instead of properly supervising the pool and watching their assigned pool zones. If you notice this behavior, report it to the management immediately. Lifeguards are often young, yet are trusted with life-and-death matters around pools. Never assume the pool is safe just because a lifeguard is present. The best parental supervision cannot always prevent tragedy. Pool owners must also do their job to properly hire, train and develop staff members who will make sure the pool is safe before the pool is opened. If a pool is not up to code, it is the pool operator’s responsibility to ensure that the pool is closed immediately until the non-compliant pool hazards are corrected.

These are just a few tips on swimming safety. For more information regarding pools, feel free to contact swimming pool safety lawyer Jesse Guerra at jesse@ jguerralawfirm.com or 210-366-4529. Guerra is an aquatic litigation pioneer and a sought-after pool attorney nationwide regarding unsafe pools. He is passionate about water safety, and he believes all drownings are preventable.

• Banded custom fit toe rings • Anklets • Silver, gold, gold filled, diamonds • Special order available • Monthly toe ring parties

! N O O S COMING Email us at jod@tiastoerings.com to join our mailing list and receive notification of our Grand Opening and the location of our monthly toe ring parties. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE feature ]

The CCHS Legacy Mike Bolner of Bolner’s Fiesta Products on the importance of Central Catholic High School and what drives its graduates to give back to both the school and the community [Special to NSIDE]



The impact Central Catholic High School (CCHS) alumni have had on San Antonio and beyond is not hard to understand if you review this list of just some of its illustrious graduates: • Patrick Molak (owner, Gruene Hall, Gristmill and Josephine Street Cafe) • State Rep. Michael Villarreal • County Commissioner Paul Elizondo • Dr. William Gonzaba • The Hon. John Specia • Larry E. Grothues (MG Building Materials) • Dr. Fernando Guerra (former director of public health) • Former State Sen. Frank Madla Jr. • Former Mayor Henry Cisneros • Clarence Kahlig II (owner/CEO of North Park car and Bluebonnet truck dealerships) • Sonny Melendrez • State Rep. Jose Menendez • Carl Raba Jr. (CEO of Raba-Kistner) • Monsignor Lawrence J. Stuebben • Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros

• Jim Tsakopulos and Mickey Schott (Tsakopulos, Brown and Schott CPA) • The Van De Walles (Van De Walle Farms) • Most Reverend John Yanta • Bill Mason (Kinetic Concepts) • County Court Judge David Rodriguez • Dr. Paul Saenz (Sports Medicine Associates) In case you are new to San Antonio, CCHS was founded by the Brothers of the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1852, and it is one of the largest all-male private high schools in Texas. CCHS is renowned as an academic and spiritual leader in values-based education. As a result, through seven generations of graduates, the school has provided the community with men who

achieve what is truly good in their roles as citizens. As CCHS is now in its third century of Christian service, its alumni, students and religious, clerical and lay leadership are building on the past to bring about a new era of academic achievement and unprecedented physical development. A family that exemplifies the CCHS legacy is the Bolner family from Bolner’s Fiesta Products: Clifton, Tim and Mike Bolner. Clifton founded the familyowned business in 1955. NSIDE Texas magazine recently sat down with Mike to get insight on what drives a CCHS graduate to succeed and to generously support his alma mater. Here are Mike’s thoughts on CCHS:

June 5 | September 1

An intimate look into Rockwell’s creative process Central Catholic has always been a part of my life. My grandfather, Otto Richter, attended St. Mary’s College – the precursor of Central Catholic – when it was located downtown on the River Walk in the buildings now occupied by La Mansion del Rio. In my immediate family, my father, Clif, and my older brother, Tim, graduated from CCHS, as did many of my relatives, including my cousins from Bolner’s Meat Market and many cousins from the Specia and Richter families. It was just understood that I would attend CCHS. It was a natural extension of going to Catholic grade school. Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t have a choice. When you are 14, you don’t have a clue how important an education like the one you receive at Central will be during your lifetime. It’s not until you’ve left and gone to college that you know what you had. When I got to A&M, I realized that I had already been introduced to most of the subject matter that freshman year while at Central. And I hear this from every fellow CCHS grad I have ever met: The academic preparation and discipline learned at CCHS made an incredible difference in college – no matter what school they attended – and made the transition to college life so much easier. Now, looking back, I realize how special the Marianist “process” of learning is. Education is a big wheel with lots of cogs, and CCHS offers all the spokes to hold it all together: discipline, Catholic-based spirituality, college-level education, strict supervision, sports and other extracurricular activities, military training in the first two years and a blend of students from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. These things merge together as life goes along. And that is exactly why CCHS needs to be here for future generations, and why CCHS graduates are extremely generous when it comes to supporting the school. The Bolner family supports CCHS many ways – a favorite being the MG Building Materials-CCHS Golf Classic at Canyon Springs Golf Course. Neither Tim nor I are golfers, so Tim’s wife, Judy, and their sons represent the Bolners at the tournament. CCHS personifies the strength and strong morals of the Catholic faith. And those traits stick with you, as do the friendships made. My class was full of great guys, and we are still tight. After graduation, we started reunions every five years, and now we meet every year. I see at least four to five of them regularly and count them as my best friends. These men continue to shape my conscience, as did the Marianist brothers and CCHS teachers decades ago. Central grads remember those important lessons of equality and respect when they move into their professional lives. If you have a son nearing high school age, do him the biggest favor of his life (and the lives of those around him): Consider an education at Central Catholic.

McNay Art Museum 6000 North New Braunfels www.mcnayart.org This exhibition has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992 is generously giving major funding. The Director’s Circle and the Host Committee are providing additional support. Norman Rockwell, Going and Coming (detail), 1947. Tear Sheet. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, August 30, 1947. ©1947 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. Reference photo for Norman Rockwell’s Going and Coming (detail), 1947. Photos by Gene Pelham. Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.

Mike Bolner is the vice president sales for Bolner Fiesta Spices and a member of CCHS class of ‘69. To learn more about Bolner Fiesta Spices, please visit www.fiestaspices. com. For more information on the MG Building Materials-CCHS Golf Classic (or on CCHS in general), call Elisa Estrada at 210-5764357 or visit CCHS online at www.cchs-satx.org. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE feature ]

How you make people feel can make all the difference in the world.

Making People Feel When it comes to successful sales and dating, the same rules apply. By: [Erik Darmstetter] While writing our book, “Dating & Sales: The Same Rules Apply” (and taking many breaks), we discovered some startling data. Some people are amazed by it and others argue with it, hoping the results are wrong. People in the dating world see the results firsthand, but sometimes, change may seem impossible. People have been making the same mistakes for years. For married people, parents and businesspeople (not just salespeople), what we’ve learned relates to life. The title of our book could be “Sales and Dating,” “Sales and Marriage” or “Sales and Kids” – all of them would fit.

The perfect dance

Both sales and dating rely on a key word. A sale is the transfer of trust. Dating or courtship is where we build trust. If trust is broken, you lose the reputation of being dependable, and dependability builds true trust. I like to call this the perfect dance. Men and women who are too aggressive at the beginning of the sales and dating dance suffer unpleasant consequences. If you come too close, touch too soon or talk too much, you will probably be repelled. Like wooing among wolf spiders, baboons and other



creatures, picking up (earning the trust of ) people is all about your message. At each turning point in the dance, both partners must respond correctly. If you miss a step, the courtship fails. Communication is key: how fast, how often and most importantly, the words you use.

Communication currency

Imagine you need a pair of shoelaces. You go to the store to buy them and a sales rep automatically tries to “up-sell” you on the “fabulous” sneakers, some socks, a sweatshirt and a pair of shorts. All you needed was the shoelaces. The rep didn’t even ask you what you needed the laces for. That’s what we call trying to sell too much too fast – it’s the No. 1 way to un-sell (aka, lose the trust and interest of ) a potential customer. In our survey, bragging was rated the top way to un-sell someone on dating you. Looking at the similarities, I love to ask our potential clients how they prefer to communicate. I call this “communication currency.” Typically, faceto-face communication is best, then email. Voicemail is the worst. In the dating world, most people prefer texts if

not face-to-face, and few ever want a phone call. One little mistake can send your relationship into a holding pattern and keep it from moving forward. Are we really that critical? The answers show that yes, we are. We ignore the creeper who talks too much, does not listen and keeps texting silly messages like, “Hey beautiful, watcha doin’?” We avoid the sales person who will not leave us alone and keeps wanting a one-hour meeting.

Five ways to sell with success

Telemarketing, which used to have its place in sales, has now “sold us on never wanting to answer the phone,” say many of the people we ask and interview. So what is the secret to today’s success in sales, dating, marriage and more? Data shows that the top five things that work for all of these are: 1. Listening 2. Relating to you 3. Eye contact 4. Asking lots of questions 5. Humor When you put this in perspective, it is really about being human and not a salesperson. This quote by Maya Angelou seems to sum it up: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” How you make people feel can make all the difference in the world. It can have a positive impact on your marriage, how well your kids get along with each other and so much more. Do you listen to the needs of the woman you’re trying to sell a copy machine to? Do you listen and adjust your actions and expectations for the man who is bad with dates and times? It’s time to go make people feel!

Erik Darmstetter is the founder and CEO of San Antonio-based Sales By 5. For more information, please visit www.salesby5.com.






Leadership During his nearly 14-year tenure as president of UTSA,

Dr. Ricardo Romo

has transformed the university from a commuter school into not only a Tier One university, but also a true beacon of excellence. By: [Dan Corbett] Photography: [alexander aleman]




ery rarely does an individual attain the presidency of a university and immediately have a more positive impact than when Dr. Ricardo Romo became the leader of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 1999. He served as the vice-provost at UT Austin before coming to San Antonio. Romo’s tenure at UTSA has been an example of what can occur when someone who possesses tremendous talents, intelligence and charisma is given the reins of an educational institution. After being named the school’s fifth president nearly 14 years ago, Romo has transformed UTSA from a mere commuter school into what it is today: a Tier One university. Look at some of the dramatic strides the school has achieved under Romo’s leadership. When he first arrived, UTSA had only three Ph.D. programs; today it has 24. UTSA’s endowment has doubled since Romo first arrived, the number of colleges

“Dr. Romo has spearheaded the university into something we are all proud to be part of.” has grown from four to nine and the all-important graduation rate is twice what it was when Romo first came on board in May 1999. It’s quite impressive, to say the least. Equally impressive is the fact that Romo has increased the number of endowed professorships from five to 52 in less than 14 years. In 2012, the London-based Times Higher Education Report ranked UTSA No. 53 in the list of 100 worldwide universities under 50 years old. According to the editor of the ranking, “This report is not about the traditional elites; it is about a new breed of global universities – those who have managed to join the world’s top table in just decades, not centuries.” In his early life, Romo attended Fox Tech High School. Later, after accepting a track scholarship to UT Austin, Romo gained fame when he became the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes. His record lasted 41 years. Romo achieved a BS in education in 1967, then went on to earn a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. in history



from UCLA. Romo is a well-respected urban historian. His book, “East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio,” is in its ninth printing. Romo is married to Dr. Harriett Romo, a UTSA professor of sociology and director of the UTSA Mexico Center and Bank of America Child & Adolescent Policy Research Institute. Their son, Carlos, earned degrees from Stanford and the UT School of Law. Their daughter, Anadelia, graduated from Princeton and earned a Ph.D. at Harvard. Over the last 10 years, every state budget in America experienced a decline in revenue, and as a consequence, support for higher education has suffered. In the past five years, every university in Texas saw some cutbacks in appropriations in addition to a reduction in financial aid. But because Romo anticipated a budget shortfall, he moved aggressively to raise funds for scholarships and endowed professorships. Every university president is expected to raise a substantial amount of funds; there are no exceptions. Given modest success in his first three years at UTSA when a total of $9 million was raised, Romo understood the challenges of his personal proposal to raise $120 million in the last three years. The campaign received a major boost when a former schoolteacher, Mary McKinney, left UTSA $28 million in cash when she passed away in 2009. Her donation helped encourage other affluent citizens to invest in UTSA while moving the school forward toward Romo’s quest for Tier One status. There are no shortcuts or direct paths to attaining a campus presidency. There are no formulas or guidebooks to research and rely on. An individual has to rely on the value of an outstanding education, and an abundance of educational experience is significant, even if in short durations such as when Romo had short stints as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and a year at Stanford. These various experiences contributed to Romo’s vast understanding of higher education and have been pivotal to him, tooling his skills toward success and production at the highest levels of administrative leadership. Equally significant is Romo’s association with outstanding colleagues and mentors. Romo feels these relationships were instrumental in teaching him the value of collaboration and consensus building. He was pushed to new heights and inspired to work hard, constantly striving for excellence. Romo’s personal journey centered on continuous improvement and learning, as well as reliance on a network of friends and mentors, which did not end with his appointment as president of UTSA in 1999. When Romo arrived in San Antonio, he established collaborative research programs between UTSA and the UTHSC. Romo was then appointed to the board of the Southwest Research Institute, which allowed him to meet new scientists and transform this new relationship into an exciting collaboration for joint Ph.D. programs in physics and mechanical engineering at UTSA. Romo soon learned that partnerships were extremely beneficial to UTSA’s faculty and students. Romo also learned that team building is essen-

Romo’s popularity among local leaders rivals that of even the most popular politicians and sports celebrities. tial to successfully managing complex organizations such as universities. While all universities have a provost, a vice president of business affairs and an advancement office, there is also great variation beyond those standard posts. So Romo decided not to make any dramatic changes in the administrative team that reported to him at UTSA. He made much more significant changes in the middle management arena, whereby creating new departments and new chairs to lead those departments. Romo did much with limited resources, but by hiring more than 500 new tenured track faculty members over the last 13 years, UTSA offered many of their new hires leadership opportunities. By expanding to nine colleges from four, he also hired five new deans. While Romo more than doubled the size of his administrative team in the colleges, the growth took place in key areas that served UTSA students well. One thing Romo learned over the last 13 years is that universities thrive if they remain true to their mission of educating students. Matthew W. Oliver, a current UTSA graduate student and fulltime employee of a prominent local engineering firm, also received his bachelor’s from UTSA during Romo’s tenure. Oliver summed up his perspective of Romo’s impact at UTSA: “Behind the leadership of Dr. Romo, I witnessed UTSA undergo impressive growth and maturation during my time as a previous undergraduate and current graduate student. I began my undergraduate studies at UTSA in the fall of 2006, and since then, I have seen Dr. Romo spearhead the transformation of UTSA into something we are all very proud to be a part of. “It’s evident in the student population – more and more, I see students who come to UTSA and graduate from UTSA, rather than aspire to transfer somewhere else. I’ve never seen the student population more spirited to be Roadrunners than I do now.”

Individuals who earn college degrees tend to have higher incomes and lower unemployment rates than those with only high school diplomas. Not only are universities serving to educate the next generation of doctors, teachers, business leaders and lawyers, they are also contributing to regional and statewide economic development. Romo feels that public universities are beacons of learning, discovery and excellence. Romo’s popularity in San Antonio among city and community leaders rivals that of even the most popular politicians and sports celebrities. He is looked upon as a tireless worker who always puts the interests of his students first above all else. Romo’s energy and drive for excellence have not only led him to achieve outstanding results that have improved the learning environment for UTSA’s students a hundredfold, but also made him without a doubt one of the most popular and well-liked university presidents in the nation. In March of this year, Romo was recognized with the prestigious 2013 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. The award recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary and distinguished contribution to the advancement of higher education. Romo began his career with solid objectives and a focus on making a positive difference. Nearly 14 years after being named UTSA’s president, he has achieved those objectives. And few would argue that the best is yet to come.

For more information, please visit UTSA online at www. utsa.edu. Dan Corbett is a local history teacher, a Republican political strategist and the president of the British Society of San Antonio. He can be reached at corbett2004@ yahoo.com.





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“to this day, I can still hear my old boss telling me I’ll never make it in radio and The Beat will close down in six months. Well, that was 13 years ago, and we’re both still here,” joked Xavier the Freakin’ Rican, on-air radio personality for 98.5 The Beat. San Antonio’s own Cinderella story of a man who worked his way to the top to make a name for himself in the radio industry on the city’s No. 1 station for hiphop and R&B, 98.5 The Beat. Since the birth of the station in 2000, Xavier has made an undying impression in the ears of his listeners on his popular morning show, Xavier’s World. “I made it to where I am today because one man (JD Gonzalez, former manager for 98.5 The Beat) saw something in me,” Xavier explained. “He embraced me, and he believed in my talent. He gave me opportunities in this industry I could only dream of, and for that, I will always be grateful to him.”

Xavier has been part of the team at The Beat since the very beginning. He was the third jock in the studio and the very first on-air personality to do an entire live show on the frequency. His unique “Texas” accent has made him the city’s most memorable radio show host. “You’d be surprised how often people recognize me just from my voice,” he said. “It happens all the time, especially in the drive-thru.” As a San Antonio native, Xavier knows the ins and outs of the Alamo City. He was raised on the city’s east side and graduated from East Central High School. He comes from a strong Puerto Rican family with a military background. And in true Puerto Rican fashion, he broke the Air Force tradition when he decided to pursue a career in radio. “I almost enlisted in the USAF (U.S. Air Force), but thankfully, I decided not to – otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today,” he said. “I spent most of

my impressionable years in San Antonio with my mother, Linda. She served in the Air Force for many years, so we moved around quite a bit, but we always managed to come back to San Antonio.” Music became part of Xavier’s life at an early age. His mother exposed him to an eclectic band of music genres, including Latin and hip-hop. “I always knew radio was my first love,” Xavier said. “The sound of music made a lasting impression on me. I felt different when I listened to music. When I was a kid, I would hear a DJ on the radio and tell myself, ‘I can do that!’ So that was the direction I took. I wanted to be a DJ.” Xavier was determined to become a DJ. In his early years, he dabbled in mobile DJ-ing and eventually began booking gigs at birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and weddings. “When I got a little older, I came across an opportunity to DJ in local nightclubs,” he said. “I started by just hanging out with the crew and carrying crates

it being my own little world. I felt like I was still at home recording my own broadcasts. The only difference was this time, people were actually hearing it.” Xavier worked at the heritage station for a little more than nine months until fate brought him to The Beat studio in 2000, where he made the right impression on the right man. “It’s crazy how life works,” he said. “My wife was actually the one applying for a job at the station, and I just so happened to be there with her and someone recognized my voice. Days later, the station manager (Gonzalez) contacted me and asked for me to come in for an interview.” Xavier admitted he was nervous and hesitant about applying at The Beat. Loyalty meant everything to him, and he wanted to remain dedicated to his then job at the heritage station. “I met with JD, and he offered me afternoon drive, which is a huge deal in the radio world. The only thing bigger than afternoons is mornings,” he

“I met Biggie Paul back in 2003,” he said. “I thought he was a natural, so I brought him on eight years ago and we’ve been working together ever since. He and I are simpatico. Everything about us fits together perfectly, and it makes for a great radio performance.” Xavier accredits his wife and his team at The Beat team for molding him into the man he is today. He is proud of his accomplishments and plans to continue to perfect his craft and discover and develop new talent. “I never thought it would be like this,” he said. “In this day in age when there are so many things distracting us, I want my listeners to know how much I appreciate them. None of this would be possible without them.” Technology has allowed Xavier to expand his fan base, which currently reaches far beyond San Antonio city lines. He receives daily Facebook and Twitter messages from fans in different cities and states.

s i o d I g n i h t “Every fans. I love ” . s r for my e n e t s i l y m around, and then eventually, they let me take over the turntables.” Xavier quickly realized DJ-ing was not a profitable career, so he transitioned into working as a bouncer and picked up a part-time day job selling furniture at Furniture Factory Warehouse. “Money was tight,” he admitted. “I was living paycheck to paycheck, but I still wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of working in radio. Every night at the club, the local radio stations and on-air personalities would be there. And it was only a matter of time before someone gave me a lead for an industry job.” Xavier applied for a board operating position at local radio station, but was turned down. “They told me I had neither the education nor the experience to work there,” he said. “But I didn’t let that deter me. I perfected my craft. I started recording demos at my house and kept applying.” Xavier was eventually hired at the former heritage station as a swing shift/research employee in charge of board operation and conducting research for the station. Three weeks in, he was asked to take over the weekend show as an on-air personality. “Doing my first show was interesting,” he explained. “Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. I remember

explained. “I was speechless. Here I am with less than a year of experience, and this man was offering me more than what I had. It took a lot for me not to tear up.” That day, Xavier jumped ship and joined forces with The Beat. In three months, they squashed their competitors and claimed the No. 1 spot in the city. “We had done the unthinkable,” he exclaimed. “The city embraced our format and held on to it, and here we are 13 years later. A great deal of strategy and planning went into creating the station and molding it into what it is today. We have an amazing staff, and everyone in this building is passionate about what they do.” In 2003, Gonzalez asked Xavier to consider taking on his own morning show. “At first I wasn’t excited about mornings because I was 21 at the time and under the impression only old guys were doing morning shows,” he said. “And I really didn’t want to get up early.” After deep consideration and a turn of events, Xavier took over the morning show. He began working with the former morning crew, but felt they were not a good match for him and his personality, so he decided to find a new sidekick for Xavier’s World.

“Everything I do is for my fans,” Xavier said. “I love my listeners, and I plan to be around until I am no longer able to entertain the city. If Howard Stern were any indication of how long a person can work in radio, then I plan to be on-air for as long as I am in the business.” Outside of the studio, Xavier is heavily involved in the San Antonio community. He is currently the voice for the San Antonio Talons football team, and he does remotes for Hallmark College and NIOSA. He and his wife of 12 years, Frenchesca, have four children together and are currently expecting a fifth: their first boy. “My wife is the best,” Xavier gushed. “She has been with me since the beginning. She was the source of me wanting to be better and pursue my dreams. I pushed harder for her. It’s because of her that I have been able to be successful in this business.”

Xavier’s World airs every morning on 98.5 The Beat from 5 to 10 a.m. The show can also be accessed online at www.thebeatsa.com and via mobile using the Univision Radio app. NSIDE BUSINESS


lessons in


A humble man with a heart of gold and a head for business, Mayor Alan E. Baxter serves the city of Windcrest well. By: [Emily Glisson] Photography: [michael giordano]

Alan E. Baxter, mayor of Windcrest, is a man who could easily write a book filled with life’s great lessons – daily affirmations that would help any individual realize the potential of their greatness. To put it simply, Baxter is a humble leader with a big heart. He’s the guy in the corner cheering you on and encouraging you when you need it the most. He’s the captain of the team who will never take all of the credit for victories. He’s the type of man who will give you a firm handshake, look you straight in the eye and make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. With qualities like that, it is no wonder the city of Windcrest is more profitable than ever. Baxter is the son of two people who came from humble beginnings, Dr. Roy Edward Baxter and Juanita Baxter. His father, who was a retired colonel

and a doctor of social work, grew up in the Great Depression, but it was education and hard work that eventually pulled his parents out of hardship. Their perseverance and strong values helped mold Baxter into the man he is today. “We were taught to stretch the dollar, shake everyone’s hand and respect everyone,” Baxter said. And today, those crucial, life-long lessons have certainly paid off. Baxter, who has been in office for two years, has earned the respect of residents and business owners in the city of Windcrest simply by being proactive. “If someone has a problem, it is corrected within 24 hours,” Baxter said. “We run a lean organization, and the city’s employees bend over backwards for the people of Windcrest. They truly love and enjoy what they do.” Baxter’s passion for Windcrest start-

ed in 1973, when his family moved to the friendly city after bouncing around in the military. As soon as Baxter’s feet touched the ground, he fell in love with the city. “If I won the lottery today, I would stay right here in Windcrest,” Baxter joked. “My roots are here, and I am happy to call this place my home. Windcrest is the utopia in the northeast side of town.” After receiving a J.D. from St. Mary’s Law School in 1989, life took Baxter on many interesting paths and turns, particularly in the world of the sports and entertainment industry. He previously represented athletes as their agent, but now focuses primarily on coaches and entertainers. However, his heart has always been in the city of Windcrest. But over the years, Baxter noticed that the vision of Windcrest was being lost and he had to do something about it. “I felt like the focus had shifted and it was time to fix things and clean up the city,” Baxter explained. “So a group of us got together and decided to implement some changes. It was tough the first yearand-a-half, but we eventually turned that train around and got it on the right track.”

“My mother always taught me: It takes just as much energy to be mean as it does to be nice, so always be nice.” 42


And Baxter could not have accomplished such a challenging feat without teamwork, particularly Rita Davis and Pam Dodson, who currently sit on the city council. “Those women inspired me to get involved. I could not have done it without them.” Prior to being mayor, Baxter sat on the city council for one year. It was during that time when Baxter decided he wanted to bring his city back to the place it once was: a safe, clean and family-oriented community. His goal: “Let’s run it like a business!” And that’s exactly what he did. Upon becoming mayor, the first thing on Baxter’s checklist was to mend the broken relationship between Windcrest and Rackspace.

This was no small task, either. He put Rackspace on top priority, gave them a public apology and successfully regained their trust. Today, there is a mutual respect and friendship between Baxter and Rackspace Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder Graham Weston. “Mayor Alan Baxter has revealed great vision for the city of Windcrest, and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside him as we build a strong civic and corporate relationship,” Weston said. “Just like Rackspace, the mayor values transparency and openness, and this has served the city well.” In fact, that transparency is something Baxter is very passionate about. “We are proud of our transparency,” NSIDE BUSINESS


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he said. “All city council meetings are broadcast on our website. We want the public involved as much as possible.” The second thing on Baxter’s to-do list was to reinvest in the Windcrest residential area by putting money back into the park, the ball fields and the landscaping. Today, these areas are pristine, which has overall improved the quality of life for residents and business owners in the area. But out of every challenge and accomplishment that Baxter and his team have successfully met, probably the most intriguing one is his debt-free plan for the city. “We have a plan that will see the city debtfree within the next few years, and the ability to completely eliminate city property taxes within seven years.” What may seem like the impossible dream to many in the wake of our current economic climate seems more than possible to Baxter. It is because of the economy that Baxter is passionate about eliminating debt, increasing jobs and giving the people of Windcrest the quality of life they deserve. “I am an entrepreneur, and I watch every single penny,” Baxter explained. “This is why I am running Windcrest like a business. It is not the government’s

responsibility to create jobs. It is the government’s responsibility to create the environment that creates jobs. And that’s exactly what my team and I are doing for Windcrest.” Aside from humility, what separates Baxter from many other leaders is his desire to not get mixed up in the politics of his position. Baxter is the every man who can relate to any average Joe on the street. It is that characteristic that has allowed people like San Antonio attorney and president of the EDC, Tim Maloney, to sit up and take notice. “Alan understands what is important,” Maloney said. “He understands what needs to happen to move Windcrest forward. He has the courage to do what is right without bowing down to political pressure. Community is first, and politics is a distant second. That is how he has always operated.” Baxter pauses for a moment, smiles, then closes with this: “I am proud to say that my legacy is this job. Everything that I do for the city of Windcrest will live on.”

For more information, contact Alan Baxter at abaxter@ windcrest-tx.gov.

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arge than

l fe A lifelong advocate for children and the prevention of child abuse,

Judge John J. Specia Jr.

works for a better tomorrow as the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel] Photography: [robin jerstad]



W hen people are attending school and just beginning to get a feel for what they want to do to make a difference in the community, state and country, they often do not realize the enormous impact their careers may have. Such was the case with John J. Specia Jr., who grew up in San Antonio as the oldest of five siblings. Attending St. Henry’s Catholic School through eighth grade, he then entered Central Catholic High School (CCHS) and graduated in 1967. “What I learned there became a very important part of my life,” Specia says of CCHS. “Leadership, critical thinking and a major emphasis on being involved with your community were lessons that I carried with me throughout college and law school and beyond. Not only were we taught to be involved, but we were encouraged to make our community a better place to live.” Specia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and from St. Mary’s University School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. “I always wanted to be a lawyer,” he says. “While I was finishing my degree at UT, I worked with the legislature and also worked part-time at Mary Lee Foundation, which is a residential treatment program for girls. That began my work with children, along with the added bonus of my wife, a social worker who I met while we both worked for im-



proving living conditions for children.” Thus was the beginning of being an advocate of children’s rights for Judge Specia, which continues to serve as a guiding light in his mission as commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as of Dec. 1, 2012. Being a distinguished jurist and attorney with broad experience in civil law and special expertise in family law, foster care and Child Protective Services cases, Specia has dedicated his career to public service for more than three decades and is defined by his commitment to children and preventing child abuse. As a founding member and jurist in residence for the Texas Supreme Court Children’s Commission, Specia established the Bexar County Children’s Court. This court provides specialized services for children, as well as the Family Drug Treatment Court, which became a model for the state. His career path is never-ending. Specia went on to serve as district judge of the 225th District Court in San Antonio for 18 years (1988-2006), and he was the administrative judge for Bexar County District Courts for four of those years. Specia was one of the state’s first child welfare attorneys, serving as regional attorney for the former Texas Department of Human Services (1980-85), and he was a family law attorney in private practice before becoming a district judge. “The activities of those years represent my passion for children’s issues and improving the foster care system, as well as the courts who serve them and their parents,” Specia says. “After six years, I

itarian in all aspects, this man is the one who will get the job done by following his goal to improve the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in the next few years. Sharing details of the enormous responsibilities he is in charge of, Specia continues to explain all of the people involved. “The responsibility for a budget of over $2 billion, 11,000 employees in the 254 counties and approximately 28,000 children in foster care at any given time is one of the reasons I may be difficult to reach.” Specia laughs as he apologizes for not getting back to me sooner. The future of Texas is in his hands. By the word, “future,” I am referring to the children of our state. Nothing should come before them. This man is larger than life; just imagine all of the people he has to coordinate to make the system work well for all of the children who need it to work in the best way possible. Looking ahead, Specia is concentrating on staff retention and staff recruitment. While this is an ongoing problem due to the emotional stress, case overloads and hardships of the job, the commissioner is developing a number of strategies to keep workers on the job. While many of them are social workers, there are others with majors in criminal justice, education, psychology and the list goes on. “We are working with the most vulnerable people in our society,” Specia says. “The workers perform perhaps one of the hardest, if not the most difficult jobs in state government.” This, of course, includes Specia himself; he does not say this, but it is a given. In his professional life, Specia cites “helping people in difficult situations” as one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. On a personal level, “the success and happiness of my three children and the time spent with my wife, children and three grandchildren are what I value most of all.” Enjoying travel and spending time with his fam-

For Specia, helping people in difficult situations is one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. was approached by the executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to become the new commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. After receiving a direct request from Governor Perry to consider the position, I accepted and began on Dec. 1, 2012.” A dedicated, devoted and compassionate children’s advocate for life and an exceptional human-

ily is at the top of his list. “I also enjoy golf when time permits this,” he says. “Lately, golfing has not been a priority, but in the future – perhaps in six years.” Specia looks forward to playing golf with his friends, but he will forever be involved in child advocacy. On behalf of the Lone Star State, we thank Specia for all he has done and all he will continue to do.

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[ NSIDE tech ]

Swipe It!

The good and the bad in the world of mobile retailing

By: [Mary Zambrano]

Increased technology has made it possible for sales to take place outside of a “brick and mortar” store. These days, traveling retailers can make a sale with just the touch of a button and the swipe of a credit card via their smart phone. These smart phone credit card readers offer new opportunities for businesses. However, business owners need to make sure that such a system is right for their business. If you’re not currently accepting credit cards, remember that most major brands charge merchants a “swipe fee.” Texas has laws forbidding merchants from passing those fees on to consumers, so make sure you factor that into your costs. For businesses looking to add the credit card reader capability to their sales technology, Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends the following tips: • Do your research. Just like a landline-based credit card system, you’ll need a merchant account to process payments, a scanner device to read the card and software (an app) to make it run. Don’t skimp on research. Start with your bank or your credit card service for suggestions on recommended services and devices. • Choose the right combination. Your smart phone merchant account might interface with your existing landline-based account, and that will make life easier. Build from there; find the app you feel comfortable using that has the features you want. There are more than a hundred apps available for different smart phones, and they are usually compatible with a number of different swiping devices. The reader itself is the last step (and the easiest to replace or exchange). • Read the fine print. Using a smart phone credit card reader might be a great way to increase your sales while on the road. However, make sure to read the fine print for the smart phone app to make sure you won’t get charged while you’re not using it. • Understand the technology. Once you choose a card reader and software, spend



Once you choose a card reader, spend some time learning how to use it before offering it to your customers. some time learning how to use it before offering it to your customers. Run a few test charges on your own. Some apps are more user-friendly than others, and you want to look competent in front of your customers.

receipt there with a separate smart phone printer. This will allow your customer to have a record of the transaction and reduce the hassle, should the person want to return the product.

• Offer the customer service your shoppers expect. Some shoppers may not be familiar with this kind of payment method. Be sure to offer them the option of having a receipt emailed to them, or even offer to print the

• Beware of scams. As with any emerging technology, scammers are figuring out how to exploit vulnerabilities. Don’t buy devices or apps from vendors you don’t know.

BBB’s mission 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. For more information, please contact Mary Zambrano, public relations specialist for BBB, at 512206-2815.

[ NSIDE tech ]

you to set up your company’s IT the correct way, and to prevent as many problems as possible from occurring. Now we don’t have to wait until something breaks to fix it. There are several obvious benefits to this new IT system:

vCIOs In a small business, most employees wear several hats. If you do not have an IT pro on your staff, we can provide you with a virtual chief information officer (vCIO). Our vCIOs provide IT leadership and strategic leadership by understanding your business and developing a technology roadmap for your business. After assessing your current IT systems, our vCIO will provide recommendations and planning on how to improve or assist the current network environment.

Network monitoring 24/7 Once your network has been set up, your MNS provider will monitor your systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are so many small facets to monitor when it comes to a network, server and computer systems, and the MNS team will be on top of all of that. With constant monitoring, 50 percent of problems you would normally have had to call an IT person in for in the past can be completely eliminated before they even become an issue. For the customer, this means less downtime, less hassle and no lost data. Win, win, win.

The Cure for IT Headaches

Small businesses enjoy faster and more efficient solutions to any problems that arise thanks to managed network services – a new trend in information technology. By: [Sylvia Mack]

Availability Having an MNS team on your side gives you more than just one guy or gal to call when something breaks. You will have access to a team of skilled IT professionals who are just a phone call away. If and when you have a serious network problem that needs to be addressed in person, you don’t have to rely on just one person to get there quickly. And there is a bonus: Not only will this team be able to help you when your server crashes, but you can also call them with basic computer questions. Having trouble putting a graph into your PowerPoint show? No problem – call DOCUmation!

Remote access For those of us who are not skilled information technology (IT) professionals, hearing the words, “call the IT guy,” is never a good thing. It usually means lots of waiting, downtime and frustration. Thanks to some recent trends in the IT world, however, you might be hearing those words a lot less than you used to. In the past, IT for small businesses was fairly standard. We would hire an outside guy who might have 20 to 30 customers he serviced on a consistent basis. When something broke down, froze or went haywire, we put in a call to the IT guy. We also grabbed our rabbit’s foot and crossed our fingers,

hoping he was available to come out in the next few days to fix our problems, and that one of his other 20 customers wasn’t ahead of us in line. After a day or two (if we were lucky), the problem would be fixed, and the cycle would begin all over again. For companies that were too small to justify hiring a dedicated IT professional, this used to be the best option. So many small businesses were frustrated with this perpetual process, and a new solution was desperately needed. In the past few years, a new system of managed network services (MNS) has emerged. There are now companies that are designed to partner with

Hand-in-hand with the continuous monitoring and easy availability, you will also have easy access to your IT professionals. When you have a problem, they can help you fix your issues over the phone by remotely accessing your computer. By allowing them this access, problems can be solved more quickly and efficiently. Don’t wait for a problem to take your network down. Be proactive and address the issues before they become major problems!

DOCUmation is located at 231 E. Rhapsody, San Antonio, Texas 78216. For more information, please call 210-341-4431 or visit www.mation.com. NSIDE BUSINESS


“Is WordPress Right for Your Business?” WordPress is used to power nearly 58 million websites around the globe. Conventional wisdom has it that it is an easy-to-use, SEO friendly, all-in-one content management solution. But Boss Creative—a San Antonio web design and online marketing firm that has thrived since 2005—contests the popular “wisdom.”



San Antonio Web Design Firm

Boss Creative Bucks Conventional SEO Wisdom boss Creative, a san antonio Web design and online marketing firm, shook up the marketing blogosphere with a blog post titled “is WordPress right for Your business?” the popular online marketing firm bucked the conventional wisdom that WordPress is a good fit for almost any business. WordPress is a popular web development platform that was released as blogging software in the spring of 2003. since that time, it has become the go-to content management system for both amateur web hobbyists and professional web development companies alike. both clients and developers like the software because of its almost infinite design templates, flexible functionality, robust support communities, and ease of use. the platform is so popular, in fact, that the official WordPress statistics site claims there are nearly 58 million websites being run on WordPress! but boss Creative says that the easiest route is not always the best. in fact, they say, the easiest route may not be as easy as many people think. “Unless you happen to be gifted in the areas of HtML code, Css, or PHP, (that’s development speak for “knowing how to program”), then using WordPress to create your business website will likely be more headache than help,” they state in their post.

in fact, they think that using WordPress can hinder a business’s lead generation and branding capabilities, saying that its one-size-fits-all nature leaves little to no branding flexibility when it comes to professional websites.

By: Boss Creative

it’s not that the firm hates WordPress. in fact, they claim to even use it for some of the sites that they develop for clients. the company’s main objection is simply that it is not a “magic bullet” when it comes to online marketing, branding, and search engine optimization. “We here at boss utilize WordPress for a number of websites, but we do so in conjunction with a multitude of other solutions, such as online marketing and search engine optimization,” says the firm on its official blog. they implement these solutions “in addition to applying [their] expertise in business web development and other graphic design capabilities.” in other words, the san antonio web design firm doesn’t believe that WordPress is an adequate online marketing solution straight out of the box. What they advise business owners is to avoid looking at the platform as a quick-and-easy solution.

A bout Boss Creative Boss Creative has no small amount of knowledge about the field. Established in 2005, the firm has carried on a strong presence in the San Antonio market. It has successfully weathered the recession— even thriving—by way of advanced marketing techniques and frequent referrals. They have even won three advertising awards from the American Advertising Federation. To learn more about the San Antonio web design & online marketing firm, or simply get online marketing tips for your business contact them at: Contact Name & Title: Charles Pilkilton (Managing Partner) Contact Agency/Company: Boss Creative Address: 18402 U.S. HWY 281 N Suite 201 San Antonio, TX 78259 Contact Telephone: (210) 568-9677 Contact Email: hello@thisisboss.com Website: www.thisisboss.com



[ NSIDE enrichment ]

You are neither a victim of your past circumstances nor hitting a glass wall in front of you.

Get Out of Your Own Way Your past impacts who you are, but it does not define who you will become. By: [Doug Cain] As many of you know, I get to my terminal office around 5:30 every morning. It allows me to take care of many emails, do some planning, review reports and in some cases, just envision where I am taking us in the future. But one of my favorite things to do in those pre-dawn hours is walk the property. I like to go look at the trucks and trailers of Lake Truck Lines and the oilfield equipment of Lake Oilfield Services and think about what I am going to do, not just that day, but way off in the future. Sometimes I think about how, from my past, I got here to my present and how that has prepared me for this future that is before me. I noticed something recently as I walked on the yard. The yard I normally walk on is about 5 acres of hard-surface crushed limestone, and I have enough lights on it that it looks like a high school football stadium from Highway 1604. I noticed as I walked toward the middle of the yard, with massive lights behind me and equally



massive lights in front of me, that there were three shadows of myself in front of me and three shadows behind me. Now, anyone will tell you I am not a very deep person, but something profound hit me. Those shadows behind me – two lighter ones on both sides and a very dark one directly behind – represented my past. The lighter ones were the mistakes I had made. The dark one represented the true spirit of who I am. Now, all three ended up connecting to the heel of my boots, and all were important in my life. The mistakes you make in your life are obviously learning lessons (if you are smart enough to get the lesson), and of course, all lessons are necessary parts of growth. As anyone will tell you, I admit to having tons of skeletons in my closet. While I am not proud of those behaviors, I am glad I learned from them. But that part of me – the part that is who Doug Cain really is – well, that’s the very bold shadow directly behind me. That is what pushes me forward,

demanding my very best in all that I do. Sometimes, just like Peter Pan trying to catch his shadow, I did not know that entity was there, pushing me, encouraging me and believing in me … but it was always there. Then I looked at the three shadows in front me. Those three guys have their place in my life, as well. As I stood in the early morning silence (with the exception of the roosters crowing and the cows mooing – I am out in the country, after all), I noticed something about my three friends in front of me that made me think. The two lighter ones on both sides were very bold as they came off the tips of my boots, but faded the farther out in front they went. And the shadow in front of me? Well, he was bold and stayed pretty dark all the way out. Now, that got me thinking about what this meant. I decided the ones on the sides indicated that many powerful influences will try to draw me to the right or to the left, but in any case, away from my true calling going directly forward. And the reason they became lighter? Well, that is because as I get closer to goals, my vision and my horizon, they will become less and less of an influence. And my good friend in the middle that stays bold, straight and true? Well, that, my friends, is my destiny. Soon I will no longer be pushed by my “self,” but instead, will be drawn toward what I am to do with my life. Soon, the notion of self will be left behind and what I am meant to do will be like a siren’s song drawing me to it. So what, you ask, does that mean to you? Well, I encourage to you to get out of your own way. You are neither a victim of your past circumstances nor hitting a glass wall in front of you, preventing you from going as far as your destiny will take you. Remember, folks: It took 25 years for this potatoeating Irishman to become an overnight success. And now, I’ve gotta go and commission a picture to be painted. Until next time …

For more information, contact Doug Cain at douglascain@laketrucklines.com or 210-626-1329.

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[ NSIDE legal ]

Regardless of the size of your company, it only takes one complaint to trigger an NLRB investigation.

Policing Your Social Media Policy Protect your company by ensuring you are up to speed with current regulations and in compliance with the laws regarding social media.

By: [Mario Barrera]

From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest, the use of social media is expanding exponentially in the workplace. And now federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what employees can say online. Employers have long discouraged negative comments about the company, managers or coworkers, as well as asked that company matters not be discussed publicly. Violations of these policies can be a firing offense. But not according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Employees have always had the right to gripe – and now they have the right to gripe online. Through a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared that workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely, without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place in real life or on the Internet. These rulings make blanket restrictions illegal, meaning that overly broad social media policies cannot be enforced. While these recent rulings may be a surprise to many employers, federal law has long protected the right of employees to discuss work-related matters. But rather than protecting speech around the company water cooler, the law now applies to today’s gathering spot, social media. The NLRB is simply adapting the provisions of the National Labor Relations



Act (NLRA), enacted in 1935, to the 21st-century workplace. The NLRA protects an employee’s right to engage in “concerted activity,” which occurs under Section 7 of the statute “when two or more employees take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment.” “Concerted activity” is the term for employees exercising their right to communicate with one another with the aim of improving working conditions, wages or benefits. It covers many different activities, including discussions about pay, work conditions and even safety concerns. The labor board’s rulings indicate that it is illegal to adopt broad social media policies if those policies discourage workers from engaging in “concerted activities.” The NLRA applies to any company involved in interstate commerce. Think that’s not you? Have you ever ordered supplies from out of state or shipped materials out of state? The NLRB regulations cover non-retailers whose inflow and outflow of goods and services equals $50,000 per year, whereas retailers are covered if their gross annual volume of business is $500,000 or more. Therefore, don’t assume that because you’re a small company, the NLRB won’t discover if your policy isn’t compliant. No matter how big or small your company is, it only takes

one complaint to trigger an NLRB investigation. By the way, the NLRB has found that it is permissible for employers to act against a lone worker ranting on the Internet, so not all of an employee’s online activity, even when addressing workplace matters, comprises protected activity. So what can you do to protect your company and ensure you are in compliance with the law? First, be aware of the NLRA and understand that it likely applies to you. Second, if you don’t have a social media policy, you need one and it needs to comply with the current regulations.  Moreover, keep in mind that these regulations continue to evolve.  Third, if you already have a social media policy, if the language is overly broad or too vague – general bans on “disrespectful” comments, posts that criticize the company or phrases such as “confidential information” – will be deemed illegal if they discourage workers from exercising their right to communicate with one another or participate in the protected concerted activity previously outlined.  The NLRB General Counsel has issued three reports concluding that many companies’ social media policies illegally hinder workers’ exercise of their rights. The agency offers examples of what’s acceptable and what language you can use, so

be careful. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to rewrite your policies as several corporate giants have done. The NLRB has also indicated that some policies might have been lawful if they had included specific examples of prohibited conduct. So make sure your policy provides examples of what you deem to be “inappropriate,” “disrespectful” or “disparaging.” Fourth, if you become aware of employee postings online that you disagree with and want to take some form of disciplinary action, contact an experienced board-certified labor attorney before doing so. In addition to having to rewrite your policy, a worker terminated in violation of Section 7 would be eligible for back pay, reinstatement and interest, so the damage award could be sizeable. Finally, it’s important to note that the NLRB is not the only government entity setting new rules about corporations and social media. Earlier this year, California and Illinois became the fifth and sixth states to bar companies from asking employees and job applicants for their social network passwords. Similar legislation has been introduced in the current Texas legislative session, so time will tell if Texas will be added to that list.

Mario Barrera is a partner with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. For more information, visit www. fulbright.com

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[ NSIDE legal ]

Common Misunderstandings

When it comes to common-law marriages, termination of parental rights and military retirement, the law is more confusing than most people think. By: [Cyrus F. Rea II] Part of a lawyer’s job is to educate clients about the law. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to correct certain misunderstandings about what cops can and cannot do, what you can and cannot sue for and what is and is not illegal. In the area of family law, there are several issues that come up over and over, and I’ve chosen three to briefly discuss.

Common-law marriages

Texas is one of only nine states that recognize “informal marriages.” And of these nine, most are phasing out the concept, recognizing such marriages only if they were entered into prior to the 1990s. Kansas and Texas are pretty much the last two states where you can thumb your nose at the county clerk, hold your head high and say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ license!” So how do you create an “informal marriage” in



Texas? It’s quite straightforward. First, you need to find a potential spouse. All of the regular restrictions on whom you may marry apply, so avoid siblings, uncles, cousins, etc. For “informal marriages,” both parties must be 18 or older. The second step is to agree to be married; oral agreements are fine. Third, cohabitate – no specific amount of time is necessary. And last, but not least, hold yourself out as married to others. Once these factors have been met, you are married. It’s important to understand there is no “common-law divorce.” That is, once you have met these factors, you can’t simply wander off and quit being married. As a practical matter, the courts get involved to determine when (or if ) a couple was, in fact, married when the couple breaks up and one party files for divorce, when one party is injured and the other party seeks damages as a spouse and in probate matters.

Is it a good idea to forgo a marriage license? It can certainly lead to confusion when dealing with hospitals, insurance companies, divorce courts and the like. But this inconvenience might be made up by the “coolness” factor of telling your friends you have a common-law wife. On the other hand, if your fiancé thinks it will be “cool” to tell his friends he has a common-law wife, perhaps you should reconsider your choice of fiancés.

Termination of parental rights

Another area of confusion relates to the termination of parental rights. In Texas, parental rights may be terminated in cases involving child abuse, certain criminal activity and other serious factors. But in many cases, the mother wants the father’s rights terminated because she simply doesn’t want to deal with the jerk for the next 18 years. Likewise, some fathers wish to have their rights terminated in

other hand, the service member will have to pay her himself. In any case, the treatment of military retirement in a divorce is exceedingly complicated, and you should not rely on what your buddy tells you – unless your buddy is an attorney who deals with such matters.

It’s important to understand there is no “common-law divorce.” order to avoid paying child support. In both cases, there is a perception that the courts can easily erase the rights and duties that flow from being a parent. This isn’t entirely correct. Even when both parents are in agreement with the termination, the court must determine whether it would be in the best interest of the child. It usually isn’t. That is, even if both the father and the mother agree to the termination, there will be some resistance from the court if the parties do not have a very compelling reason. On the other hand, agreed terminations are commonly granted when done in the context of a stepparent adoption. Specifically, when the mother has remarried and the stepfather wants to adopt the child, the court will usually consent to the natural father’s rights being terminated so long as he agrees. In general, though, despite the common perception of many, there is no simple way to have a court “de-parent” you.

Military retirement

Everything set forth here is gender neutral, of course. But littering an article with “his/her” can be annoying. I hope this has cleared up a few misunderstandings. For more detailed explanations, of course, consult an attorney.

The third area of confusion we frequently see relates to military retirement and divorce. I have had dozens of soldiers and airmen come into my office seeking a divorce after being married for nine years or so. They think if they get divorced before their 10th anniversary, their spouse will not be entitled to a portion of their military retirement. This “10-year rule” has been bouncing around the barracks for years, and it is completely wrong. Military retirement and the way it is divided in a divorce are very complicated. But you should be aware that if you are married to an active-duty service member for any length of time, retirement can and will be divided by the court. Perhaps the misunderstanding comes from the rules regarding how the spouse gets her money. If the marriage lasted for more than 10 years, the spouse of the service member is eligible to receive her cut of the retirement directly from the government. If the marriage lasted less than 10 years, on the

Cyrus F. Rea II, J.D., practices family law and commercial litigation. He graduated from Stanford Law School, has been rated “superb” by AVVO and has been practicing in San Antonio for more than 15 years. For more information, visit www. cyrusrealawfirm. com or call 210223-9700.

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[ NSIDE legal ]

According to Recent Statistics: • 78 percent of all cases mediated at the BCDRC are successfully resolved • 82 percent of surveyed participants said mediating their cases prevented them from going to court

Special Achievement in Mediation

The San Antonio Bar Foundation proudly honors the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center with the 2013 Peacemaker Award for Corporate Community Service. By: [Rosie Gonzalez] Photography: [Suzie Walker]

The Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC) is the recipient of the 2013 Peacemaker Award for Corporate Community Service from the San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF). The Peacemaker Award recognizes the efforts of an organization in the San Antonio community that is committed to promoting non-violent means of dispute resolution and has demonstrated outstanding service to the community. The award was presented to the BCDRC staff at the SABF’s annual Peacemaker Awards Ceremony. What is mediation?  Mediation is an alternative approach to the traditional methods of resolving disputes. Mediation is an accepted practice staving off the need to go to court if the conflict can be



resolved in a sit-down, face-to-face meeting with the assistance of a mediator. The mediator listens to both sides and helps the disputing parties work toward a mutually agreeable solution. The BCDRC offers mediation at no charge for individuals and businesses in Bexar County. There is a wide range of issues that can be mediated. Examples of community-based mediation cases include consumer problems, real estate and property, auto repair, neighbor complaints, landlordtenant issues and animal nuisance, among others. The BCDRC’s family mediation program has assisted thousands of families embroiled in disputes involving child visitation and children’s medical expenses. These are just a few of the types of dis-

putes resolved by the BCDRC on a daily basis. Professionally trained mediators provide their services pro bono to community-based cases. Mediation serves to remind us that unless we have been taught how to identify, address and resolve conflict, we may not have the necessary skills to resolve personal disputes on our own and thus require the help of a neutral third party such as the BCDRC. The mediator will facilitate when necessary by helping the parties either move the conversation along or clarify a point. If an agreement is reached that is acceptable to both parties, the mediator will help write an agreement.  Both parties sign the agreement and each receives a copy. This process can be a win-win situation for all parties. There are definite advantages to using mediation. Mediation provides both parties in a dispute with the opportunity to contribute to the resolution of their own problem.  In mediation, all matters are confidential. In order to achieve a win-win solution, parties come in good faith expecting to resolve the issue privately and out of court. In addition, mediations are held in a secure, neutral setting and scheduled in a timely manner. Mediations may be conveniently scheduled during the daytime or evening dockets. Lastly, mediations can be conducted in either English or Spanish.    When mediation is not appropriate, the BCDRC can offer referral information and resources to the caller.  In addition, the BCDRC Speakers Bureau is available to make presentations to neighborhood associations, community groups, businesses, health fairs and civic organizations. The presentations can be conducted in the daytime or in the evening at no charge, and they are available in Spanish. 

Please contact Rosie Gonzalez or Sandra Hackard for additional information at 210-335-2128. You may also visit www.bexar.org/drc.

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[ NSIDE finance ] her investing lifetime, a natural distrust of the markets seems logical. In behavioral finance terms, this is what’s known as “recency bias,” or the belief that a shortterm scenario reflects how a situation will progress. Ironically, “playing it safe” may turn out to be riskier in the long run for younger investors. By not investing, younger investors may be accepting a sure loss that’s equivalent to inflation. A better understanding of one’s investment personality can help by allowing risk-averse investors to make decisions based on reality rather than perception. Equally important is having a more complete understanding of your goals and how to help achieve them. We often tend to think of risk in terms of losses, but true risk is not being able to achieve the goals we define for ourselves. Young investors hesitant to wade into the markets can more clearly determine their relationship to risk by first considering their long-term objectives, and then devising an investment strategy. Are they more likely to have the assets they hope for in retirement by opting out of the markets? They may want to consider taking some market risk – albeit with some degree of protection.

Understanding the Investor in You Get in tune with your investment personality in order to develop a financial strategy that best serves your needs. By: [Michael Liersch] In an experiment conducted by Stanford University researchers, young participants viewed onscreen digital avatars of themselves. Some participants saw images of themselves at their current age, while others saw images of their future selves, aged via a process called immersive virtual reality. Participants who saw their future images allocated more than twice as much to their retirement accounts as participants who saw only youthful images. This study is part of the growing field of behavioral finance, and can create a starting point for a collaborative conversation about your investing behavior. The idea is to make the investor’s appetite for risk and other behavioral traits a more integral part of the planning process. Key to this process is understanding your Investment Personality, which takes into account your mindset and behavioral tendencies as an investor – including unknown biases and decision-making blind spots. Understanding this can allow you to invest in a way that’s more in line with your goals, risk tolerance, liquidity needs and time horizon. It may also help you avoid costly investing choices that can result when temporary market events cause shifts in your sentiment.



That’s not to say that emotions are something to avoid. On the contrary, you should embrace and work with your emotions. There are three key components of understanding your Investment Personality: • Investment Mindset – your comfort with and willingness to take investment risk • Investment Approach – the elements and solutions that can be included in an investment strategy to help you stay invested • Investment Purpose – your reasons for investing and whom you’d like your investment to benefit Different investors have different needs and preconceptions affected by many elements, including their assets, experience with the markets and age. Better understanding who you are as an investor can help you develop a financial strategy that better serves your needs.

Younger investors

Consider a young investor beginning to dabble in the markets: Having only known volatility and uncertainty in

Looking ahead to retirement

Investors who have watched the markets rise and fluctuate over the course of a lifetime have different concerns. Many baby boomers approaching retirement worry about outliving their finances, but there are steps they can take to reduce this risk, including delaying Social Security or purchasing an immediate annuity. Investors’ perceptions, however, often hinder long-term planning that may require committing a lump sum of money. Their perceived loss of control makes a rational decision seem counterintuitive. Enhancing one’s awareness of how different strategies fit together to achieve personal goals can help. Income solutions like annuities should be viewed as insurance rather than investments, since they hedge longevity risk. A thoughtful approach to allocating assets helps you feel comfortable and assured in retirement but may reduce your upside potential. Better understanding yourself as an investor isn’t necessarily meant to change your attitudes or behaviors. By recognizing your reactive traits and investing comfort level, as well as considering the purpose of your investments, this behavioral approach allows you to productively set your financial goals. Understanding why we make the choices we do is crucial

Ironically, “playing it safe” may turn out to be riskier in the long run for younger investors. to investors at every stage, for their present and future selves.

For more information, contact your Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Tiffany Mock Briggs of the San Antonio office at 201805-2848 or Tiffany_Mock@ml.com. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Asset Allocation and Diversification do not assure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets. All annuity contract and rider guarantees, or annuity payout rates, are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by Merrill Lynch or its affiliates, nor does Merrill Lynch or its affiliates make 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”). Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.: Are Not FDIC Insured. Are Not Bank Guaranteed. May Lose Value. Are Not Deposits. Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency. Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity.

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. is a licensed insurance agency and a wholly owned subsidiary of BAC. Any information presented about tax considerations affecting client financial transactions or arrangements is not intended as tax advice and should not be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding any tax penalties. Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.

ing affiliates of BAC, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Brokerage services are performed by wholly owned brokerage affiliates of BAC, including Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC. © 2012 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. Note: This article was reviewed and edited by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management according to the company’s policy and style.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a marketing name for the Retirement Services business of Bank of America Corporation (“BAC”). Trust and fiduciary services are performed by wholly owned bank-



Lone Star National Bank

Introduces the Bexar County Advisory Board of Directors Lone Star National Bank opened for business on January 23, 1983 in Pharr, Texas. Conducting business in a small, 3,000 square-foot, temporary building and with only ten employees, the bank opened its doors with the objective of making the future more prosperous for the community. Today, Lone Star National Bank is a technologically advanced, full-service, independent, community bank with over 600 employees, 32 locations, and over 2 billion dollars in total assets. With 5 full-service banking centers in San Antonio, our rapid growth is attributable to several factors such as offering personal “value added� customer service and providing a rewarding environment for our employees. Staying true to our mission of supporting individuals and small business who contribute to the growth of their communities. And staying at the forefront of technological advances

Alonzo Cantu Chairman of the Board Lone Star National Bank Cantu Construction, Inc.

S. David Deanda, Jr. President & Chief Operating Officer

which let us bring the bank to our customers. These factors, combined with the support of our stockholders, customers, neighbors and friends, have made Lone Star National Bank a well-known success, and a leader in financial services in South Texas. We are truly committed to the San Antonio business community and its people. Alonzo Cantu, Chairman of the Board, and S. David Deanda, Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer of Lone Star National Bank, are pleased to announce the election of the following individuals to the Bexar County Advisory Board of Directors of Lone Star National Bank. We are pleased to introduce each of these distinguished community leaders to the Lone Star National Bank team. For more information, contact Edna De Saro at (210) 572-3225, or visit www.lonestarnationalbank.com.



Ricardo Castillo, M.D. Family Practice

Ed Garza Former San Antonio Mayor & SAISD Board President Managing Partner, Zane Garway, Inc.

Rajiv S. Dahiya, M.D., FACR Edmundo O. Garcia, M.D. Heritage Medical Clinic President & CEO Oncology San Antonio

Eliot Garza NSIDE Magazine

Larry E. Safir Damaso A. Oliva, M.D. Alamo Psychiatric Care, P.A. Media/Health Care Executive

Amit Mehta, M.D., FRCP

Baltazar “Walter” Serna Attorney at Law

7954 Fredericksburg Road • 40 NE Loop 410, Suite 408 (The Mercantile Building) 10000 San Pedro Avenue • 6986 S. Zarzamora Street • 15326 Huebner (210) 572-3225 www.lonestarnationalbank.com NSIDE BUSINESS




From saving money to spending time WE’RE WITH YOU.

SWBC can be at your side as you journey through chapters in life, starting with building wealth, developing strategies for managing your assets, and on to enjoying the fruits of your labors. SWBC would be honored to help you plan and financially prepare for life’s big moments. Start now at info.swbc.com/time. INVESTMENT AND ESTATE PLANNING MORTGAGES



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[ NSIDE ETIQUETTE ] ances that may leave a New Yorker baffled in Texas. Networking requires some preparation unless you wish to approach it like Chatty Cathy with her hair on fire!

Before you join a networking organization:

Seek self-awareness: Are you comfortable with who you are as a person? Do you have an understanding of both your communication style and personality profile? Your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a written list of values and beliefs? Regardless of where you are in your career, if you cannot answer these questions in the affirmative (and positively), engage an executive coach to help you. There are also numerous self-assessment tools, including iSpeak, DISC and Myers-Briggs to work with. All of this self-discovery work will help you decide which appropriate networking groups to join.

Be both interesting and interested when you network in order to build rapport and develop new and lasting business relationships.

Research the networking organization: Research and know about the networking group. Read about the hosts, speakers and panel members so you are familiar with their backgrounds. A picture is worth a thousand words – viewing prior photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be invaluable to determine the tone, camaraderie and formality of the group and get a sense of its “spirit.” (You can also determine the formality of an event by asking when you RSVP.) Visit as a guest until you decide that you’d like to commit to membership. Choose your groups carefully; not all will be a good fit. Be willing to invest time in your membership of these groups. Remember: It is not just about receiving or selling – it is about the relationship.

By: [Sharon Schweitzer]

At networking events:

Building Relationships

➊ Recently, a colleague and I attended an event for the British Consulate General. We arrived early and were just about to split up and mingle when we spotted “Chatty Cathy” come blazing up to the registration table. You know Chatty, don’t you – that person who “gloms on” for the entire event and talks at you non-stop? We just wanted to ask her to take a breath and come up for air! Luckily for us, Chatty did not clear the gatekeepers. If she had, how would you have handled her? In the past, I’ve handled Chatty by visiting with her for five minutes, and then saying politely, with a smile: “It has been nice to visit with you, Cathy; thank you for your time” or “Please excuse me; I’ve enjoyed our conversation, and hope you did, too.” Even more importantly: How do you avoid being a Chatty yourself? In previous issues, we have explored global networking etiquette. Now let’s turn our sights to the United States with a different cultural lens. Remember: Within the United States, we experience regional business nu-



Have an agenda: Plan ahead and know the outcomes you want for every event you attend. Who are the two or three most important people you want to connect with? Connect with them early while you are on your A-game. Plan to thank the host or event organizer, the registration staff and the speaker. Be sure to take plenty of current business cards and use them judiciously.

Be interested (not just interesting): As with any relationship, conversations should be more about the other person than about you. By asking questions and engaging in active listening, others will share their ideas, thoughts and views, and this could lead

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Copalli Café

(“How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

Coping for introverts: If you are not especially comfortable networking, try this: Arrive early. After check-in, save a seat with a glasses case or bag near the center of the room, and then approach someone you see standing alone. Say “Good morning. My name is Samantha Smith with ATX Consulting. Nice to meet you.” Wait for them to introduce themselves. Then ask, “Have you attended this event before? ” That will help kick-start a natural conversation. Remember to approach people who are standing alone or in groups of three or more. Avoid approaching two people engaged in deep conversation.

Playing to win: Try not to stand near the buffet or the bar during the event; stand near the room entrance where you can catch people arriving while they are fresh and ready to interact. Be sure

you know the end time of the event; say your goodbyes and depart promptly. Like the handshake that goes on too long, the guest who stays too long is unwelcome. Unless you are one of the hosts, avoid being one of the last guests in the room (which may suggest business is bad and you have nothing else to do).

Finishing first: It’s always appreciated (and it will help differentiate you) to follow-up with a handwritten thank-you note on personalized stationery for the host and event organizers. Develop a system for how to assess your new business cards before they multiply. Update your business database. Evaluate each of those connections and follow-up with select people within 24 to 48 hours. Networking events can be wonderful opportunitities to show respect, build rapport and develop long-term business relationships. But like any business opportunity, these events should not be taken lightly or enjoyed without thoughtful strategy, tactics and follow-through. By following these simple guidelines, next time you attend a networking event, you will be that relatable individual whom others love to meet … and the Chatty Cathys will, one day, be a thing of the past.

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural global etiquette consultant with Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, located at 111 Congress Ave., Ste. 400, Austin, Texas 78701. For more information, visit www. protocolww.com, www.facebook.com/protocolww or www.twitter. com/austinprotocol, or email sharon@protocolww.com.

Korey Howell Photography

to all sorts of mutually beneficial opportunities. Ask lots of open-ended questions such as “How is business?” and “What is happening in your industry?” Remember: The quality of your interactions with others is more important than the quantity of interactions. Making a true connection where you “click” with another person is crucial in today’s business climate, where trust and engagement are at a premium.


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[ NSIDE espaÑol ]


Acuérdate de que sólo a los que terminan se les dan medallas, no a los que comienzan y se dan por vencidos. 76


Creo que una de las cosas más importantes en la vida es el tener un sueño, seguirlo y desarrollar tus talentos y habilidades. Todo surge de una idea, un pensamiento o una visión. Muchas veces a la gente le da miedo poner esas ideas en movimiento porque piensan que quiénes son ellos para lograrlas o porque se ponen a pensar en qué es lo que va a decir la gente. Si todo el mundo tuviera una mentalidad pequeña todavía estaríamos andando a caballo, ni los aviones, ni los coches existirían. El mundo no estaría tan abierto como lo está y algunos países todavía estarían viviendo el comunismo. Es increíble pensar que Cuba es un país que existe en este siglo. Pero esa es otra historia. Yo siempre he tenido sueños muy grandes, nunca me he dado por vencido y no ha sido solamente el tener un sueño, he sabido que es lo que quiero hacer en cada momento. El momento en que me dí cuenta que tenía un talento para pintar y diseñar, pude ver lo que no existía. Yo sabía que un día mis productos iban a estar en todos lados. Hoy tengo más de 25 productos por todo México. Cuando competí en triatlones sabía que mi meta era competir por todo el mundo, y lo pude hacer, aún cuando la mayoría de la gente me decía que estaba loco. Hace unos meses se me ocurrió la idea de contactar a la Federación Mexicana de fútbol y ofrecerles hacer un co-branding con mi marca de Dream Big. Un co-branding para fusionar el arte de ellos con mis diseños y mi lema. Contacté a una de las personas encargadas y me dio una cita, le presenté el proyecto y me dijo que estaba muy interesante y que lo iba a presentar internamente. Después de varios días me dijo que les había gustado mucho. Yo sabía exactamente lo que quería y a donde quería llegar con eso. Mi idea era de crear una campaña nacional para inspirar a la gente de México utilizando el fútbol, mi diseño y mensaje. Quería presentársela a patrocinadores y al gobierno. Después de varios meses y algunos obstáculos cerramos el trato y me puse a hacer los primeros diseños. Ahorita ya contamos con una colección de mas de 50 y ya tenemos las primeras licencias vendidas. ¿Imposible? ¡No! A mi nadie me conocía en la Federación, pero cuando tienes buenas ideas, sabes lo que quieres y te arriesgas, la mayor parte del tiempo puedes lograr tus sueños. No sé en dónde estés en tu vida, a lo mejor quieres comenzar algo nuevo pero te da miedo, o ya vas en el camino y te quieres dar por vencido. Sigue adelante. Yo me tardé 9 años en recoger lo que estoy recogiendo, nada es gratis, todo toma mucho trabajo y esfuerzo, pero creo que todo es posible. Acuérdate de que sólo a los que terminan se les dan medallas no a los que comienzan y se dan por vencidos. Los dejo con algunos diseños del nuevo co-branding: Dream Big/ Femexfut.

Para más información sobre Juan de Lascuraín, visita www.juandelascurain.com o www.facebook.com/dreambigworld, o siga @dreambigworld en Twitter.

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contents ď‚„ 80 nside feature - The natural - The way we roll - The real deal

86 nside style - Adorning Austin

88 nside dine

- Fine, friendly dining - Dining with Gusto - Fine dining in the heart of Pflugerville



[ NSIDE feature ]

“I feel incredibly lucky to have built a success business around something I love so much.”

The Natural A lifelong dog lover with a knack for working with “man’s best friend,” Stephen Haynes trains his clients’ pets for any kind of situation at Fidelio Dog Works. By: [Lauren P. Halpern] Fidelio Dog Works founder and owner Stephen Haynes loves the summer months. Warm weather, green grass and blue skies remind him of growing up on a farm outside of Mayfield, Ky. There, he trained and raised several dog breeds, including cattle dogs, huskies and a pack of Miniature Schnauzers that his grandfather used as barn



dogs. He never realized his connection with the dogs was unconventional. For Haynes, dog training was something that came easily. “I’ve been a dog lover since childhood and trained dogs for fun as a kid,” he notes. However, the path to owning and operating a dog training business was not a straight shot. Life took its normal path after college, and Haynes started

his own software sales company. After selling the business, an opportunity to manage a high-tech sales team brought him to Austin. He eventually transitioned his career into a consulting role with clients, including Microsoft, Federal Express and Cisco. Feeling like “there must be more to life,” he took some time off to determine his next business move. Haynes filled his downtime by training a neighbor’s puppy. The joy and tranquility that came from the experience made everything click. Fidelio Dog Works was born. “The natural talent that I had as a kid was still there. I still loved working with animals, and dogs still responded to me,” Haynes says as he remembers his career shift in the year 2000. While based in Austin, Fidelio Dog Works helps clients all over the United States. Haynes achieves incredible results for his clients by being able to train all kinds of dogs for any kind of situation. No client request is too outrageous. Word-of-mouth referrals have delivered a roster of executive-level clients who have fabulous, jet-setting lifestyles. “Their dogs need to be able to do things that normal dogs don’t do,” he says. Standard requests include doggy potty training to withstand the eighthour flight over to Europe aboard a private jet. Some pooches need to be trained to sit through Fashion Week and runway shows. Others need house training for city living in high-rise residential condominiums. Elevator manners are also extremely important for citydwelling clients. No one wants their dog barking at the children of highprofile neighbors. With downtown Austin’s recent high-rise building boom, Haynes is seeing more of those unique training requests at home, as well. Another of his unconventional services is navigating the legal requirements for getting dogs through Customs in hard-to-enter locations including Hawaii, England and Japan.

He also has trained dogs to stay out of the way of presidential guard dogs. Other dogs have needed to “make nice” with lap dogs. Moreover, Haynes is a genuinely nice guy to work with. Clients sing his praises and the results he achieves. In one client’s words: “Daisy is the perfect barn dog that I wanted all along! She hops out of the car when I get to the barn, plays where I can see her while I tack up my horse and waits patiently outside the arena while I ride. She and Riley (my horse) get along and play with each other. She is really smart around the animals. Thank you!” As Haynes is a software guy through-and-through, the business runs smoothly and efficiently thanks to back-end software that manages Fidelio’s database and appointments. Haynes’ corporate experience lets him bring a level of sophistication to an industry that was not used to it. His clients notice and appreciate that difference. In his spare time, Haynes is active in charitable endeavors involving animals. He trains companion dogs to help recovering patients in rehab facilities. In addition, he works with dogs in rescue groups to correct their behavior and thereby increases the likelihood that those pets will find forever homes. In the end, all dog owners want the same thing: a loving, well-behaved pup that is a true member of the family. Haynes’ mission is to help dog owners nurture that loving relationship and help every dog be its best. “I feel incredibly lucky to have built a successful business around something that I love so much,” he says. “I go to work each day happy and content.” In the end, isn’t that what we all desire from our careers?

For more information about Fidelio Dog Works’ customized in-home dog training and many other services, contact them at 512-231-8095 or visit www. fideliodogs.com.

The Future of San Antonio’s Southside




[ NSIDE feature ]

The Way We Roll

Turning a joke into a national franchise and Austin favorite, brothers Yuen and Peter Yung offer a made-to-order, affordable and healthy alternative to fast food at custom sushi shop How Do You Roll? By: [Jody Joseph Marmel] Photography: [Michael Giordano]

On occasion, random thoughts translate into a great idea. The idea transforms into a business, and with extraordinary marketing talents, the business grows. This is the short version of the beginnings of How Do You Roll? It’s known as “the custom sushi shop,” and owners Yuen Yung and his brother Peter Yung opened their first shop in Austin in October 2008. This devoted duo began franchising under HDYR, LLC, in 2010, and since then, the number of restaurants opening throughout the country has been growing. As CEO, Yuen has led How Do You Roll? into a healthy alternative to fast food and has grown the brand to include 11 open restaurants and 15 franchise groups. Speaking with Yuen, it is easy to understand the success story of the business. Hearing the smile in his voice speaks volumes. “I love what I am doing, and by the looks of where the business is going, we must be doing something right.” Make that more than something – with their mission cited as “making the world better, one stomach at a time,” awareness has been created about eating healthy and it has become contagious. Having developed a company culture focused on work ethic, coach-ability, betterment, integrity and emotional competence has proven to be a success. “I always like to add in the element of fun,” Yuen says. “It’s important to enjoy what you are doing and have a good time while doing your job well. This results in optimal results for our customers in the long run.” Their quality, healthy food at an affordable price, plus the option to customize your food, has created a novel approach to dining. With five locations in Austin, future growth includes adding more destinations in the Capitol City. With two corporate locations and nine franchised, How Do You Roll? can be found in Marina del Rey, Calif., Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz., and San Marcos, College Station and Houston, Texas. In March, another shop opened in Gainesville, Fla. Other planned locations include the D.C. area, Sunrise, Fla., and the Austin area. In other words, the growth rate is as great as the food, as well as the concept the brothers started five years ago. Yuen explains how the name was derived. “It ac-



tually started as a joke. We grew up in urban Houston and were constantly saying, ‘that’s how I roll. ’We thought it was fun to say, ‘how do you roll?’” They thought wisely; Austinites adore them. Apparently so does investor Kevin O’Leary. On Feb. 15, the Yung brothers swam rather well on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Making an excellent deal by marketing their “sushi revolution” where their customers are “our chefs,” O’Leary offered a deal with them for $1 million in exchange for 20 percent equity in the company. Explaining that there were only two types of places to eat sushi prior to How Do You Roll? was an eye-opener to the five sharks.

business plan at work that requires action by all parties involved. And they are enjoying every minute of it. Locally, so are those of us in the eclectic and lively city of Austin. Employing close to 100 people in Austin alone, How Do You Roll? is helping the economy grow in a healthy direction, just as the food they serve. Their rolls are made-to-order, completely customizable and affordable. “We also offer ingredients that other places don’t carry. These include fruits – strawberries and mangos – and non-fish proteins like grilled chicken and beef.” While a majority of people create their own

“I love what I’m doing, and by the looks of where the business is going, we must be doing something right.” According to Yuen, “There was the fancy type of restaurant where you paid an extremely high price for quality food or the local grocery store where the quality was fair and not quite as fresh as it claimed to be.” Having the same quality as the fine dining experience in an easy environment has made all the difference in the world. As all of the Sharks loved their rolls, their ending pitch was “Who wants to roll with us?” The strategic alliance made will help Yuen and Peter continue with their plans for growth. And since the airing of the show, How Do You Roll? has noted an increase in traffic both in stores and online. Their goal is to open 20 restaurants a year at a minimum. Aiming for an additional 100 locations over the next five years, the Yung brothers are going full force with their business plans. Having successfully made the largest deal on “Shark Tank” to date, there is no stopping in sight. It is a constant

rolls, their popular featured rolls are the 3 Alarm, the Spicy Tuna, the Crazy Cajun and the Slammin’ Salmon. “There are millions of ways that someone can create their own roll. For the less adventurous, we do offer the featured rolls, which can be altered, as well. None of the sushi is made until it is ordered.” For both Yuen and Peter, How Do You Roll? is “our business that makes the world better, and that is very rewarding.” Yuen says with a big smile, “All I can say is God bless America.” And all I can say is “God bless How Do You Roll? It’s time for dinner, and I know where I am heading.” As all of the investors on “Shark Tank” said “yummy,” I knew I was going back to How Do You Roll? soon. I just didn’t realize how soon it would be.

For more information, visit www.howdoyouroll.com or call 1-800-4MY-ROLL.



[ NSIDE feature ]

“We are here to help companies achieve their goals.”

The Real Deal ROI guys Andre McKay and Michael Depallens help brands leverage the playing field both on- and offline at Branding Brigade, set to launch in June 2013. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel] People are searching for your products and services; are they finding you? People are talking about your brand; are you engaging? Every now and then, you meet people who leave an everlasting impression, and realize there are so many new doors to open that lead you on paths never explored before. They are intelligent, honest, down-to-earth, real guys who are techno-savvy and the finest of business entrepreneurs with that extra touch of class. Andre McKay and Michael Depallens are those guys; after meeting with them, you know they are the real deal. Their new company, Branding Brigade, launches in June 2013. There are currently five team members “think tanking” – four of who reside in Austin. McKay (CRO), residing in Austin, and Depallens (CEO), who hails from Laguna Beach, first met in California when they were introduced to one another



through mutual friends. They began a vehement professional relationship, exchanging ideas and strategies on a regular basis. These two are dynamic creators of stunning websites, mobile apps, master marketing strategies and branded stationary material that can become the infrastructure of any business’ investment strategy. Their mission is simple: They actively help brands leverage the playing field on- and offline. Depallens explains, “We are here to help companies achieve their goals, from creating ‘master sites’ or masterpiece websites, mobile applications and strategic marketing that align with our brand’s goals and initiatives.” Branding Brigade takes new clients on an extremely thorough initial consultation to diagnose the marketing needs of any ailing or expanding business venture. After the client’s goals and target demographic are comprehensively identified, Brand-

ing Brigade begins an all-out analytical assault on the business’ products, services and industry, and it’s this type of in-depth research that really distinguishes Depallens and McKay’s operation from others in their field. Once a concise marketing strategy built around current and potential customers is defined, Branding Brigade executes with its tools and tactics, exposing your business’ brand and products to the world. Through the collection of monthly/quarterly insights and initiatives, Branding Brigade can assess how effective the current marketing strategy is and identify where and when a brand’s audience is communicating. Cohesiveness of a client’s brand is always prioritized, no matter how many people or groups are employed managing the brand’s online presence. Branding Brigade’s short-term goals are “working with five brands that we love and love us. We want to develop that meaningful relationship and assist them with the goals they have for their business. It really is all about the collective effort to help others grow.” Branding Brigade’s strategies tend to focus on brands that revolve around consumer goods and lifestyle products; however, their strategies can be tailored to the infinite marketing needs of any business type and should always be unique to the company’s brand. Some of the brands that Branding Brigade has been talking to include Jewel Lines Vodka based in Russia and Charter AMG, which is based in Austin. Various other brands are in the workings in Texas and California. Branding Brigade’s presence in Austin is a mere foreshadowing of the technological revolution that’s beginning to transform Central Texas into a new-age Silicon Valley. With this huge influx of techno-business in Austin, Branding Brigade will prove to be a major ally for new and expanding startups seeking marketing advice. As McKay explains, “We make the ROI real for our clients, not a silly pipe dream. It is in our collective interest to raise them to a new level and help facilitate that journey. It is more about the ‘we’ than just ‘us.’”

For more information, visit www.brandingbrigade. com, www.facebook.com/brandingbrigade or www. twitter.com/brandingbrigade. You may also call 512298-8268.



[ NSIDE style ]

Adorning Austin There’s something sensational for everyone at Fawn + Raven, a uniquely Austin boutique that features a diverse collection of fashion-forward finds. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel] Photography: [jonathan garza]



In October 2011, Kim Sierra graced Austin with a chic boutique catering to women who favor innovative and eclectic fashion. Sierra travels from the west coast to the east discovering and buying the latest trends to showcase in Fawn + Raven. Upon walking into her inviting shop, it is immediately apparent that Sierra’s travels have brought a combination of New York sophistication, California cool and Dallas elegance. There is the perfect balance of easy style and signature silhouettes with the bonus of dashing accessories that are uniquely Austin. The customer base represents women who are 20 to 40-plus, watch trends and pull from the best of them. “She is a woman who is sophisticated and likes to have fun with her clothing,” Sierra explains. “She embraces the casual Austin boho sensibility that never goes out of style.” Designers highlighted include Parker, Young, Fabulous & Broke, Jen’s Pirate Booty, Cleobella, Natalie B Jewelry, Rene Guest Jewelry and Genetic Denim. Sierra is also excited to introduce Eternal Sunshine Creations, Charles Henry, Show Me Your Mumu, 9 Seed and Goddis in the coming months. This diverse collection of fashionforward finds leaves a bit of something for everyone. And somehow you find yourself wandering through the designs that will dress you from head to toe with an air of distinction that translates into wanting to buy more than you originally planned. Besides the enticing wardrobe, Fawn + Raven’s service makes their boutique a notch above the other shops around the Capitol City. “We track our clients’ sizes, likes and wishes, and we let them know when we have something fabulous that they would love.” Wardrobe consultations, private shopping and styling services and seasonal wardrobe revamps are provided, and the private consultations are complimentary. As Sierra says, “Style begins when you walk through our door. We strive to make style easily accessible, effortless and occasionally daring.” Fawn + Raven is known as an intimate haven of carefully selected ready-to-wear garments for both the day and nighttime lifestyles.

“I am always looking for a new line, a new designer, and each market has a unique offering,” Sierra says. “LA works best for Austin and its casual feel. New York brings the sophistication that I think is a nice alternative to our flowy, loose styles. We strive to carry lines that are new and fresh, but also carry tried-and-true lines that never fail in their cuts and fabrics.” Price points range from $13 for slips to $400 for beaded cocktail dresses. Sierra specifically incorporates all price points because every woman wants a deal. Whether it is a piece they can easily afford or the dress that is a splurge, Sierra’s philosophy is that you should always be able to come in and find something you love. “I don’t ever want to be the store that people think, ‘I can’t afford anything they have,’ simply because we want to please every customer that shops here.” Fawn + Raven is a dichotomy of edgy and sweet/romantic in fashion. It is about exploring the concept of dressing based on your moods. And it also helps you achieve different looks for both moods – as in the boutique’s name, Fawn + Raven. “Most looks are best pulled together when they have a mix of both,” Sierra elaborates. “A lace dress with a simple shoe and a modern earring is an example – nothing too precious and nothing too hard.” Austin is a city of open-minded, creative entrepreneurs. Amazing ideas sprout here because of the people who want to become part of its exciting future. Specifically with fashion, Sierra is happy to see small concept boutiques with a very specific viewpoint open and succeed. “Our boutiques are not cookie-cutter,” she says. “There are many different, unexpected perspectives. I am excited to see us evolve into a fashion mecca that will always have a casual, youthful feel, but grows in maturity and sophistication as our city continues to grow.”

“We strive to make style easily accessible, effortless and occasionally daring.”

For more information, call 512-371-8998 or visit www.fawnandraven.com. Please note the new location at 3404 Kerbey Lane, Austin, Texas 78703. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE dine ]

Fine, Friendly Dining Whether you opt for a delectable dining adventure at Mirabeau Patio Bar & Grill or a world of luxury and indulgence at Jezebel, Parind Vora has the foodies of Austin covered. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel]

There are a variety of restaurants in downtown Austin that offer good food, good prices and good drinks. But there are only a select few that offer all of these and a phenomenal patio to enjoy outdoor drinking and dining. And there is only one restaurant that has a spacious patio overlooking Shoal Creek that offers class, style and a vacation-like ambience with excellent food and drinks to please the crowd. Welcome to Mirabeau on West 6th Street. Parind Vora opened this elegant neighborhood patio bar and grill in September 2012. To date, the crowds are heading to Mirabeau for the dining experience and the best happy hour on West 6th Street. Vora caters to “people who think food is more than just fuel,” he says. “We are an upscale neighborhood place where you can eat good food with a slight touch of sophistication. Enjoying the experience is of paramount importance, and the team here ensures that our customers are satisfied. We go the extra mile because we believe that when you come here, you should be happy with the food, the drinks and the best patio in the downtown area.” He further explains that the restaurant is light and airy and the menu reflects that. A glimpse of Mirabeau’s “special” dishes includes the natural sandwich and pan-seared Atlantic salmon rice bowls with a spicy red Thai curry for lunch. Roasted Chilean sea bass with a Meyer lemon caper beurre blanc, pork belly and crab cakes are among the specials for dinner. During both lunch and dinner, Mirabeau of-



At Mirabeau and Jezebel, Vora and his team just want their customers to be happy. fers what others refer to as a really “cool” burger: a buffalo softshell crab burger. The menu keeps changing to cater to the customers’ desires and to offer a variety of savory meals. “We are constantly evolving as we define who we are in the neighborhood.” For Austinites who are looking for a happy hour unlike any other, Mirabeau has exciting options. From Tuesday through Thursday (4 to 7 p.m.), specialty cocktails are $5 and featured appetizers are 50 percent off the regular price. Mirabeau has a reverse happy hour on Friday (9 to 11 p.m.), and on the third Friday of the month, there is a double happy hour. Sip and socialize on the huge deck, which has classy, comfortable furnishings that can only be described as elegant and inviting. Special events include a Southern Mother’s Day buffet, PAELLA + patio with live music performed by Luis Banuelos on Tuesdays and the Blues Brunch with $1 mimosas on Sundays. Events are updated each month, which adds even more variety to your dining experience. Mirabeau offers an extensive menu that has a favorite for everyone, and all of the dishes are made from scratch. Be ready for fine, friendly dining and have a drink on the phenomenal patio in the heart of the Capitol City. Prepare yourself for the muchneeded time to relax as you enjoy the outdoors and the views. Vora also opened Jezebel, adjacent to Mirabeau. A world of luxury and indulgence, Vora coins this “a jewel box of a restaurant.” There are just eight tables, and this is boutique dining where the staff pampers to your every need. “You discuss your preferences and dietary needs with the staff, and the renowned chef – Parind Vora – prepares every plate unique to your palette.” Vora smiles and says, “Yes, I am the chef here.” For couture dining at special occasions and everlasting memories, Jezebel is the ultimate choice. The food, service and environment are perfect in both restaurants, which cater to two different crowds. Vora considers himself lucky to be able to partake in both venues, and we are lucky to have Mirabeau and Jezebel in Austin. “We just want our customers to be happy,” he says. The buzz is spreading quickly because the customers are more than happy; they keep coming back for more. Eat, drink and be merry!

For more information on Mirabeau, call 512-436-9633 or visit www.barmirabeau.com. To learn more about Jezebel, go to www. restaurantjezebel.com. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE dine ]

Dining With Gusto Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar delivers delicious new twists on classic Italian favorites in a warm, funky atmosphere. [Special to NSIDE]



Located in the Rosedale neighborhood of North Central Austin, Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar captures the warm, comforting, everyday flavors of Italian cuisine in its casual and diverse menu. Dishes range from house-made antipasto such as roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella to hand-formed pizzas, salads, pressed Paninis, pastas, entrees and desserts. The funky, inviting design incorporates rich colors with Italian stencil “graffiti” art. At the center: a long, mirrored bar featuring select wines from Italy and around the world,

beers on tap and by the bottle and fair-trade Italian roast espresso drinks. This terrific new Italian eatery and popular neighborhood spot is owned by business partners Cameron Lockley and well-known Austin restaurateur Eddie Bernal. The two met eight years ago when Bernal spoke to a restaurant entrepreneurship group that Lockley and several fellow students at the McCombs School of Business formed to enhance their practical understanding of the hospitality industry. Lockley, who handles Gusto’s

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day-to-day operations, started working as a manager for Bernal’s 34th Street CafĂŠ in the summer of 2009 after beginning his career as an accountant with Deloitte & Touche. Shortly thereafter, the two men formed a business partnership and opened Gusto at the beginning of this year. “We created this partnership with the mutual objective of providing unique, customer-centric dining options in the Austin neighborhoods we love,â€? Bernal says.

Lockley agrees, adding that “our different perspectives and personalities mesh well, and this allows us to tackle the challenges of owning a business knowing that we have each other’s support and consultation when making the important decisions. And in a service-driven industry, all the details matter.�

Gusto is located at 4800 Burnet Road. You can view the menu online at www. gustoitaliankitchen.com.

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[ NSIDE dine ]



Fine Dining in the Heart of Pflugerville PBK Stem & Stein revitalizes the city with Southern fusion cuisine. By: [Suzanne Vernau Feezel] Photography: [Michael Giordano] NSIDE BUSINESS


Some might consider Pflugerville an unlikely spot for a fine dining restaurant encompassing the trifecta of delicious food, beer and wine and live music, but for PBK Stem & Stein, it is the perfect home. The restaurant, which features southern comfort-inspired cuisine, a variety of wines and more than 50 handcrafted beers (many of which are from Texas), was the vision of Shannon and Jeff Coleman to help revitalize downtown Pflugerville. Together with investments from five other prominent couples in Pflugerville and one exceptionally creative chef and sommelier, their idea came to life. Shannon, managing partner of PBK Stem & Stein, grew up in the restaurant business, helping her grandparents as a young child manage their family-owned restaurant of 43 years. Jeff, fiveyear-standing mayor of Pflugerville and PBK investor, had a passion not only for upscale food and wine, but also for improving the quality of businesses and restaurants within the city. As they brainstormed over a glass of wine at their favorite wine bar in Round Rock one night last summer, they began chatting with the owner. Bryan Gano, Level I sommelier and owner of the Round Rock wine bar, had always dreamed of opening a restaurant of his own and quickly became the mastermind behind the decadent menu at PBK Stem & Stein. The restaurant itself showcases three unique dining and entertainment experiences for guests – what PBK Stem & Stein calls The Lounge, The Loft and The Patio. However, before you can appreciate the charm of these three areas, you must first understand the rich history of the building. Built in 1906, the building originally served the community as the Pflugerville Mercantile selling dry goods, notions, hats, boots, shoes and fancy groceries. Following the end of Prohibition in 1933, P. B. Knebel opened PBK Tavern, which was also formerly a German-style speakeasy during Prohibition. In 1971, disaster struck the city of Pflugerville when this old building, along with several other downtown establishments, burned to the ground in a devastating fire. Then in the 1980s, the building was resurrected as the Dodge City Steakhouse through 1999, and then the European Bistro through 2012. With the grand opening of PBK Stem & Stein on Oct. 5, 2012, this charming restaurant aims to honor the history and tradition of the building once again, rekindling the PBK name and the social spirit that once brought the residents of Pflugerville together in this exact location. In fact, their tagline reads “a legacy of bringing people together since 1933.” When you visit PBK Stem & Stein, you’ll notice that the design of The Patio resembles the crumbled brick wall from the old building, brought back to life with a splash of color, hanging globe lights, free-standing Big Ass Fans and a modern flair. Inside, The Lounge takes structural elements of the previous businesses and transforms the space into private, curtain-drawn booths with an



intimate setting for guests to celebrate a special event, watch the big game or simply enjoy a romantic evening. Upstairs, The Loft, managed by Level II sommelier Danny Payne, sets a romantic and cozy ambiance for dining guests with previously adorned ornate, silver ceiling tiles and the recreated original 31-year-old bar from the Dodge City Steakhouse. The 12 investors who poured more than $800,000 into the creation of PBK Stem & Stein see this opportunity as a way to “put their money where their heart is.” “We aren’t just investing in the restaurant, but in the city of Pflugerville,” Jeff says. He and Shannon describe the restaurant as a place to “come and know people.” In fact, Gano envisions the restaurant as a place for guests to slow down from their busy lives and break bread together. Guests are invited to linger as they enjoy a fivecourse meal with their friends and family. With the breadth of diversity in the PBK Stem & Stein menu and live music every Thursday and Friday night both inside and outside, you’ll find that lingering comes naturally. The menu begins with “Soup, Salad & Sammies” and “Small Plates” such as Cheese Fries (a generous portion of home-cut fries covered in gorgonzola cheese, touched off with fried prosciutto and drizzled with truffle oil) and Crab Cakes with Roasted Pepper Aioli (two jumbo crab cakes grilled and topped with a roasted red pepper aioli). It doesn’t stop there. The “Large Plates” include homemade creations such as Savory Sausage & Shrimp Cheesecake (smoked andouille sausage and shrimp Creole savory cheesecake, topped with a succulent crawfish remoulade), Boudin Bread Pudding and Seafood Gumbo (savory, scrumptious boudin bread pudding topped with a homemade rich Cajun seafood gumbo) and the Double-Cut Pork Chop (a thick, marinated doublecut pork chop, cooked to perfection and smothered with roma tomatoes and homegrown okra). Top off your dining experience with one of their signature desserts, including the Chocolate Mousse (a deliciously sweet, creamy, chocolate treat covered with a heaping portion of signature cayenne whip cream) or the unique Not Your Mamma’s Root Beer Float (Independence Brewery “Convict Hill” Oatmeal Stout and cinnamon gelato float). Even with an outstanding menu and unmatched ambiance, the Colemans say their biggest challenge is overcoming the misconception that nearby residents need to travel to downtown Austin to enjoy a first-class dining experience. They hope to attract residents from Central and North Austin, Pflugerville and Round Rock by building the same upscale atmosphere you would find in the warehouse district in downtown Austin without the hassle of parking and congestion. But don’t take PBK Stem & Stein’s word for it; head to downtown Pflugerville and see for yourself!

For more information about PBK Stem & Stein, visit www.pbkstemandstein.com.

Investing in Our Own Little Piece of Heaven Dyezz Surveillance and Security owner John Dyess is a man who wears many hats. The successful entrepreneur is not only a dedicated husband and father; he is also a proud resident of Pflugerville, Texas. “Pflugerville is not only the ideal place to raise a family,” he says. “It’s the perfect place to start a business.” Leaving the West Texas town of El Paso at age 21, Dyess headed to Austin with $400 and the determination to find success in the field of surveillance and security. “I started small, got busy bootstrapping, and 15 years later, we have an expert team offering the highest-quality equipment in the field. And we provide customer service that is second to none.” With the extreme hustle and bustle that goes along with running a successful business, Dyess loves nothing more than going home at the end of the day. “Me and my family call Pflugerville our very own little piece of heaven,” he says. Although they love Austin and the business, art and people, it can get a little hectic commuting every day. “We love the uptick in investment right here in Pflugerville. With the new retail spaces, banks and eateries, it’s getting easier for our family to stay in Pflugerville, take care of business and have some of the cooler experiences we would have previously had to go to Austin for.” Dyess is doing his part to grow Pflugerville and make it just a little more fun. He, along with Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman and City Councilman Brad Coleman, are investing in a new restaurant opened by Shannon Coleman called PBK Stem & Stein, which boasts an extensive beer and wine list and features Southern fusion cuisine. “When my wife, Tracy, and I talk about the future, we love thinking about our kids, Arden and Koby, going off to college and being stoked about coming back home. That really drives us to invest in Pflugerville community and business.” To check out the PBK Stem & Stein menu or details about their upcoming shows, visit www. pbkstemandstein. com.

contents  96 nside feature - A walk on the cider side

97 nside style - Fashion with an edge

98 nside dine

- Swirl it, top it, get it!

100 nside green - Shop with a purpose

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★




[ NSIDE feature ]

“Once most first-timers have enjoyed their first bottle, they understand why we have grown as fast and as big as we have.”

A Walk on the Cider Side

Growing fast and gaining momentum on an international scale, Leprechaun Cider Company brings the fastestgrowing alcoholic beverage in the country to the Lone Star State. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel]

Due to the fact that cider is the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the country with distinction and class, it is time to hear CEO Jake Schiffer’s tale on the beginnings of Leprechaun Cider Company. When Schiffer was a junior at the University of San Diego, he lived abroad in Italy and Ireland for seven months and fell in love with hard cider. Abroad, cider has been a traditional drink through the centuries, and it captured America’s taste from the beginning of our history. “However, in America, the cider demand had diminished to nearly zero after Prohibition took effect,” Schiffer explains. “It was more economical to produce beer and spirits than produce the mass amounts of cider previously made. The new ‘Renaissance of Cider’ has emerged.” And Leprechaun Cider has become a much soughtafter cider. Schiffer started Leprechaun Cider Company when he was taking his second semester off from college during his junior year. “We re-



ceived all of our permits, created our recipes and business strategies.” The need to secure the correct distribution for their specific style of cider was in the workings. At that time, Schiffer had already returned to San Diego to complete college. “The first year, I was semi-running a Texasbased company out of a house on the beach in San Diego and had to make multiple trips back to Texas,” he says. “We launched two months before I graduated in 2011. Then I moved back to Houston and have been here ever since.” Houston is the epicenter of Leprechaun Cider, and Texas is their main focus in terms of market goals. “We are Texans, and we love our cider and we love our state,” Schiffer says. “We have a growing presence in all major cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco, College Station, McAllen and other large towns. Leprechaun Cider is gaining a great deal of traction.” Schiffer details that the most important job now is to get out and get people to sample it. And this is what the Leprechaun team has been doing. They guarantee it is unlike any cider you have ever had before. Using fresh, hand-picked cider apples crushed and fermented in premium champagne yeasts is the start of the successful recipe. The kicker to why Leprechaun Ciders is so unique is the fact that they never add any artificial sweeteners or acids. They only add fresh crushed, non-fermented apple juice. To give you a better idea of how difficult that process is and why Leprechaun Ciders are on the higher end of cost for some ciders, Schiffer says, “For every 15,000 gallons of Leprechaun Cider, there are 120 tons of hand-picked apples.” While expansion is not their focus as of now, Leprechaun cider can be found in other states. “The real grandiose feeling of ‘making a name for ourselves’ was when we started getting international attention to sell internationally only within the second year of being on the market,” Schiffer adds. “We were flattered when Canadian importers, Chinese importers and European importers were requesting meetings for our future in those markets after having tried Leprechaun Cider at some time in Texas. We will never say never, but for now, our main focus and goal is to become a household name in Texas.”

Leprechaun Cider is getting closer by the day to reaching “household name” status throughout the Lone Star State. Many people in Schiffer’s immediate circle and families who know the Schiffer family knew about Leprechaun Ciders and learned about their mission very quickly. They were not at all surprised that within many circles in Houston, Austin and Dallas, its desire spread like wildfire. Going into the market and doing demos and tastings also affirmed that they were not going to have a problem selling their cider. “Everyone seemed to find at least one blend we make that they enjoyed.” Taking their time using experience, pride and pleasure to produce a cider they are proud to send to the leaders of the world screams success for the future of Leprechaun Cider. Having sent a few bottles to President Clinton and Hillary, who are family friends, is a huge step in gaining recognition. And the momentum keeps growing stronger with their marketing knowhow and businesssavvy plans. The most time-consuming challenge is educating the consumers. Their desire is to have people learn what hard cider is, to learn what Leprechaun Cider is and to try a glass. “Once the majority of first-timers have enjoyed their first bottle, they understand the reason why we have grown as fast and as big as we have.” Available in almost all major retail stores throughout Texas, you can find Leprechaun Cider at H-E-B, Spec’s, Whole Foods, Central Market, Gabriel’s and Kroger. The cider is also sold in many craft beer stores, wine stores and a handful of convenience stores. Leprechaun Cider has a vast presence in the premier bars and restaurants in most of the large cities in Texas, including Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. A few of the bars that have Leprechaun Cider include The Hay Merchant in Houston, The Friendly Spot Ice House in San Antonio, Blackfriar Pub in Dallas and Whip In in Austin. Try a glass of the great Texas cider, and you will find yourself moving onto the cider side.

For more information, call 832-788-8297 or visit www.leprechauncider.com. If you are in search of Leprechaun Cider in your area, email contact@leprechauncider.com.

[ NSIDE style ]

The KB Kasuals consumer base covers the 25- to 60-yearold woman who has a passion for fashion.

Fashion With an Edge

Krista and Sherlynn Burks bring Houston to the forefront of fashion at KB Kasuals, a new boutique that features dynamic designs and cutting-edge styles. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel]

When Krista Burks left Houston to attend college in Miami, she did not just learn academia. Noticing how fashion-forward Miami was made her realize how Houston was behind the times on the fashion forefront. She was determined to go back home after graduating and open a chic boutique. “I wanted to create a boutique for the Houston customer that wants to be fashion-forward and am always looking for the top trends,” Burks explains. In September 2012, KB Kasuals was on the Houston map for those Houstonian fashionistas who craved a boutique with dynamic designs and cutting-edge styles. “I believe that this is one of the reasons that we have had such a good response to our merchandise,” she says. “There really is not another store like us in Houston. We carry a vast array of lines with celebrity followings. Peace Love World is a casual and comfortable designer line, and it basically

sells itself. The Kardashians are always wearing these styles, and people like what the famous females wear. “Our customers also like the fabrics, designs and colors we bring into the boutique each season. I focus on staying ahead of the trends and giving the modern-day woman high fashion with an edge to it.” Other designer styles include Donni Charm Scarves, Lovers + Friends, Walter Baker, Paige Denim, Black Orchid Denim and Amanda Uprichard. Since KB Kasuals is a mother-daughter boutique, their customer base covers the 25- to 60-year-old woman who has a passion for fashion. Burks’ mother, Sherlynn Burks, helps her when they go to the Las Vegas market to buy for their large demographic following. “Instead of going to the Dallas market like many other boutiques in Houston, we chose to go to market in Las Vegas because the latest trends are highlighted there,” Burks says. “A lot of our customers ask us where we go to find our merchandise mix because it is so different than all other boutiques in the city.” KB Kasuals carries comfortable, casual attire, as well as cocktail dresses and signature classic pieces. Being ranked one of the top trendiest boutiques that opened in Houston in 2012 by CBS News is an honor, but it is not surprising at all. One look at their sensational silhouettes paints the picture best. This boutique has done extremely well in the months since they opened. And their numbers are growing stronger by the day. A motto the Burks women follow is “Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.” Their blend of styles and designers is exquisite; the beauty of fashion is what KB Kasuals symbolizes. “I believe if a woman feels that she loves her fashion and feels comfortable in it, she will project this image to the public,” Burks says. “A woman has to feel comfortable in order to feel confident in what she is wearing.” One of the top-selling lines – Peace Love World – has a quote on all of her clothing that says: “Love is not something you look for; love is something you become.” Designer Alina Villasante gets the credit for this as she refers to the line as the clothing that gives you life. This is very much like the Burk’s women’s way of thinking – it is a philosophy that is carried throughout the boutique and one that the customers appreciate. The majority of KB Kasuals merchandise is made in the United States. Top trends to look for this summer are black-and-white combinations, mixed prints and leather trimming. While growing and gaining exposure, Burks is just beginning to make her dream come true. KB Kasuals designs are exclusive, and that has made an everlasting impression on their clientele. “We will continue to bring the tops trends to our customers and offer a one-of-a-kind service while styling them with the perfect outfit.”

For more information on KB Kasuals, call 713-679-8481 or visit www.kbkasuals.com. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE dine ]

Swirl it, Top it, Get it! With its broad variety of delectable – and healthy – menu options and relaxing, interactive atmosphere, Berri Swirl Frozen Yogurt Tea House provides a dessert experience unlike any other. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel]



For the last 20 years, Durwyn Seow worked as an engineer at a large electrical manufacturing firm. But nowadays, with inspiration from his children, he wants to help you engineer your own tasty and low-fat frozen yogurt delight. Berri Swirl Frozen Yogurt Tea House is the newest frozen treat establishment in Houston, and we are willing to bet you’ve never imagined a dessert experience this interactive (or healthy). With a plethora of frozen yogurt and sorbet flavors, including a selection of low-fat, non-fat and no-sugar varieties, customers at Berri Swirl can mix and match any flavor of their choosing in any quantity they see fit. After patrons have concocted a desirable swirl of tasty yogurt or sorbet, they can choose from more than 40 different toppings ranging from candy to fresh fruit. Berri Swirl’s yogurt is made from real milk devoid of the controversial hormone rBST, a synthetic growth steroid, and is infused with live and active probiotic cultures, which promote healthy digestion and overall health.

The relaxing atmosphere at Berri Swirl, combined with its close proximity to schools and other entertainment options, makes it a strategic locale for teens and young adults to congregate while having fun or studying in groups. The Swirl even has an hourly space that can be reserved for any type of social rendezvous, including access to an HD-TV and a Blu-ray player. Access to wireless Internet is also a complimentary amenity for customers because, as Seow explains, “connectivity is a benefit for people on the go and a way to keep in touch with the world.” If it’s not obvious yet, Berri Swirl is not your typical yogurt shop, and it is adequately equipped to service the ever-growing technological needs of an informed and Internet-savvy public. “This is a family-driven business,” says Seow, who used his own savings to finance his family’s business endeavor inspired by the advice of his children. The significance of community is an intrinsic value at the core of the Berri Swirl business model, and it is exemplified by their many fundraisers and social outreach incentives.

Berri Swirl is not your typical yogurt shop. With today’s much more diet- and health-conscious public, Berri Swirl provides an affordable and healthy option for all your sweet tooth’s needs. But frozen yogurt isn’t the only thing on the menu. Berri Swirl also has a selection of refreshing fruit smoothies, which can also be mixed with a little bit of original yogurt to transform your smoothie and enhance its flavor. Just recently, Berri Swirl introduced a new line of Boba Milk Tea, which, if you were not already aware, is a cold tapioca tea that is very popular in Asia and among most hipsters. Berri Swirl offers a diverse selection of Boba tea flavors, all of which are extremely unique and guaranteed to indulge any predisposed palate. With such a broad variety of delectable and refreshing menu options, customers of all ages are sure to find what they are looking for – or they can always swirl it themselves!

Most recently, they held an event dedicated to raising funds for a local patient suffering from a kidney disease. In fact, individuals and charity organizations can easily apply via Berri Swirl’s website for assistance in fundraising for any type of philanthropic exposition. Overall, Berri Swirl is one of the small family businesses that make Texas living unique. And in Houston, where it can always feel like summer, Berri Swirl provides an oasis of natural refreshment.

For more information on Berri Swirl and special offers, visit www.berriswirl.com or call 713-261-2333. NSIDE BUSINESS


[ NSIDE green ]

Shop With a Purpose Houstonians embark on an exciting exploration of healthy alternatives at organic lifestyle destination One Green Street. By: [Jody Joseph Marmel]



“One Green Street is more than just a boutique. It’s a destination.”

There are times in life when a crisis can make you change directions in the most positive of ways. Sherry Eichberger, founder of One Green Street, experienced an “epiphany” that followed a crisis. “Two otherwise healthy men in my neighborhood died of cancer,” she said. “In my heart, I felt like those deaths could have been avoided.” Eichberger ventured on a yearlong study and personal adventure that led her to discover healthy alternatives. The problem was that the public either did not know about those alternatives or was never offered them in the first place. One Green Street, an amazing store in Houston that offers the aforementioned alternatives in a varied roster of products, became Eichberger’s answer. From bedding and clothing to the everpopular cosmetics, there is a promise to make the decision to buy and use healthy products a cool and hip one. Visitors always feel special because Eichberger has a mission: to welcome those who enter One Green Street with the attention they deserve and educate them on living a healthier lifestyle. “I want people to feel welcome in our store – welcome to visit, to ask questions and to learn with us as we discover more about what is best for us,” she explains. “And I hope that they’ll find that what is good for them is also fun.” Every product on the shelves is sourced with the environment in mind. “Our clothing is made locally, recycled, upcycled and/ or made of sustainable materials such as hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.” The cosmetics and personal care products are either USDA-certified organic biodynamically farmed or made with allnatural ingredients, free of harmful – often toxic – ingredients. The mattresses and bedding are made from natural latex rubber and organic wool and cotton. Emphasizing that One Green Street is an organic lifestyle destination, Eichberger explains that “we are more than just a boutique; we are a destination. People are choosing to live healthier lifestyles and are more aware of what they put on and in their bodies every day. We not only offer safe choices, but we amaze our customers by going the extra mile with customer service, education, environmental impact and our community involvement.” Houstonians are seeking better, richer and safer alternatives to what has been provided in the past. Yet it is still considered a hard sell, “as we do live in the oil and gas capitol of the world. It is a slow process of getting our mission and vision out to the masses, but we are growing in strength and numbers.” And the presence of One Green Street can be seen, heard and felt throughout the city. Eichberger started a blog talk radio show called “Meet Me at the STREET,” which broadcasts live every Saturday morning from the store at 10:30 a.m. Her focus is on environmental topics such as plastic pollution, green washing and E-waste. Hosting events is also very much a part of who they are, and it provides a platform for them to educate and bring the community together. In May, they host their next event, Spring Green Fling. CompuCycle and Shred Pro will be onsite so the community can take their E-waste and documents to be shredded in a responsible manner. “But we always add the element of fun, so there will be a live, local musician playing on the porch, Deep Eddy Vodka will have a couple of mix masters and so much more is planned,” Eichberger says. “We call it ‘party with a purpose.’” Being a certified Green American Company that has sensational eco-friendly products that are good for you in more ways than one, One Green Street is a must-stop destination that is “a shop with a purpose.” Most of the products you find there are unique and chic. “That is just one of the many reasons we are so loved!”

For more information, visit www.onegreenstreet.com or call 281-8889518. NSIDE BUSINESS






Profile for Texas MD Monthly

NSIDE Texas Business May/June 2013  

Our vision is to inspire, to educate and to encourage growth in the San Antonio community through a business resource that is highly creativ...

NSIDE Texas Business May/June 2013  

Our vision is to inspire, to educate and to encourage growth in the San Antonio community through a business resource that is highly creativ...

Profile for getnside