with a Salute to Educators Concert The Spec’s Charitable Foundation Salute to Educators Concert bears the name of one of Houston’s most popular businesses: Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods. Spec’s is the Houston Symphony’s largest corporate donor, and we are proud to recognize it as the Symphony’s Principal Corporate Guarantor. A retail chain with 168 stores throughout Texas, Spec’s is a family business led by owners John and Lindy Rydman, and their daughter, Lisa. The company was founded in 1962 by Lindy’s parents, Carroll and Carolynn Jackson. In their honor, the Rydmans established the Spec’s Charitable Foundation. John and Lindy met as music majors at the University of North Texas in Denton—John was an instrumentalist and conductor; Lindy was a singer. The couple is dedicated to music education; as John said, “We want to educate as many people as possible about the beauty and power of live music.” Since 1996, Spec’s has contributed more than $4.2 million to the Houston Symphony—not including in-kind support; and John serves on the Symphony’s Board of Trustees as a Governing
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Director. John brings his characteristic hands-on style to ensuring that events like the annual Wine Dinner and Collector’s Auction are outstanding experiences. The annual wine industry fundraiser, Vintage Virtuoso, has become a highlight of the December social calendar, raising a cumulative $2.5 million for the Symphony’s education and community programs. The Rydmans’ support extends to many other organizations, including the Alley Theatre, Art League Houston, the Houston Museum of African American Culture and Houston-area Catholic schools. Spec’s is also the lifetime underwriter of the One O’Clock Lab Band, UNT’s renowned jazz ensemble. In 2015, Spec’s was one of 10 companies to receive a BCA 10 Award for exemplary involvement in the arts nationwide. The Houston Symphony thanks the Rydmans and Spec’s for honoring Houston-area teachers through this performance.