March / April 2012 InFluential Magazine

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March/April 2012

IN F L U E N C E Building a Strong Culture in the Workplace..14 BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

Building the Perfect Abs.........................20 HEALTH & WELLNESS

Winning Workouts for Women..............22 HEALTH & WELLNESS

Ava Arenella, The Lovely Songbird...... 26 ENTERTAINMENT

Enchanting Africa.................................. 34 TRAVEL

Restoring Homes, Humanity and Hope....37 THE ART OF LIVING WELL

Sam Hurt and Humor............................ 44 THE ART OF LIVING WELL

Impressions of the World Part II........... 46 TRAVEL SUBTLE SIMPLICITY Pg.16

Photo by Annie Ray On location at The W Hotel, Austin, Texas

FEATURES SUBTLE SIMPLICITY ...................................................16

IN N E T W O R K Manja Hossa........................................... 48 Reuel Meditz............................................ 50 William Jackson...................................... 52

Ross Bennett’s Rising Star In The Fashion World



Austin Foodie World Tour........................54

Education and Mentors:The Achievement Formula


SOUTHERN COMFORT...............................................41

EVENTS Welcome Lenoir....................................56

A Unique Sorority History Founded Upon Meals

Spring Gala Guide................................59


...............................................................................................2 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

...............................................................................................5 CONTRIBUTORS

...............................................................................................6 MEET THE TEAM


Cover Photo: Photography by Annie Ray Director of this Shot: Cabil Gibbs Location: The W Hotel, Austin, Texas Ava Arenella, Hair and Make Up: Her Own Wardrobe: Her Own Ross Bennett, Hair: Danielle Bar of FaceKandy Make Up: Kandy Glass of FaceKandy Wardrobe: His Own

PUBLISHER’S NOTE more about Ava for years to come. On the immediate horizon, Mayor Lee Leffingwell will declare April 5th as Ava Arenella Day in Austin with a program of song and celebration. What an accomplishment for this little Jazz songbird. Our second figure and another Austin treasure, is Fashion Star Ross Bennett of The Ross Bennett Collection. Ross and his wife Erin founded The Ross Bennett Collection back in 2008, with one main goal in mind, to bring the art of classic, custom tailoring back to modern, everyday life. I have known Ross for several years and the Photo by L. Andrew Sterling of Sterling Images


man eats and sleeps clothing design. Ross’ creative determination and staying on top of fash-

hile you’ll find plenty of fascinating sto-

ion trends have resulted in clothing from his col-

ries related to our theme for this issue,

lections being featured in shows in Texas and

A Culture Celebration, it’s two unbelievably tal-

New York. This month Ross will unveil his new

ented figures in their respective fields I’m partic-

bridal collection at an invitation only gala. Also,

ularly delighted to bring to you. They are poised

this month is the premiere of NBC’s Fashion Star

to leave a visible imprint on the cultural fabric of

hosted by Elle Macpherson where designers are

Austin and very soon hopefully on a global scale.

given the chance to win a multi-million dollar contract to launch their line in America’s largest

First, there is the little Jazz songbird Ava Arenella

retail stores. By the way, Ross is one of the con-

who in just a few short years has made quite a

testants so you will definitely want to stay tuned!

name for herself in Austin’s vibrant musical scene. Her majestic performances of Jazz standards

Austin has an amazing sense of culture and the fact

have taken her from Ballet Austin’s Fete and

it is so diverse is even more awesome. Never for-

Good Day Austin to high profile events hosted by

get the impact you can have on the culture in and

AMOA-Laguna Gloria, and Chez Wedd, to name

around your life. May we encourage you to make it

a few. Ava strives to entertain with a sound and

a positive impact and we hope this issue provides

style that is both nostalgic and sincere. For those

just the right amount of inspiration.

fortunate enough to enjoy a musical performance

Warmest Regards,

hosted by Ava Arenella, it is an unforgettable musical experience that touches deep within. Austin is blessed to have this talented artiste who calls Austin home and we will be hearing a great deal 2


William Jackson Founder & Publisher

Saturday, March 24th • 6 –9pm Sunday, March 25th • 12 noon– 3pm RSVP please: 512.478.4440

Russell Collection 1137 West 6th Street Austin, Texas

Join us for a special uncrating party on Friday, March 16 from 7 – 9pm. Preview appointments begin March 17. A selection of recent works from Peter Max’s “Colors of a Better World” will be available for purchase.

All Art © Peter Max 2012


Where else would male only waiters be paid in meals and end up marrying sorority girls! Her second piece shares some funny moments in the life of artist and writer Sam Hurt, creator of “Peaches” the comic strip. He is about to release a new book. In this issue we celebrate culture around the world and at home. We go on Safari in Africa and see amazing pictures, meet Michael Torres and his humanitarian efforts and have a healthy dose of higher sense with one of my favorite interviews of Beverly Kearney, one of the most successful and most decorated of all collegiate coaches recently awarded by BET who believes education is the foundation to success in every life. Did I forget to mention Ross Bennett and


uthor Arnold Patent said is best when he noted one of the basic principles of life:

“What you think about expands.” This is exactly how this issue came into being. Better yet, it practically burst like a ripe strawberry overnight. There is so much to say I don’t even know where

Ava Arenella? There are so many wonderful people and stories in this issue but I shall let you read them and gracefully end this letter by following one of my favorite quotes ever by Beverly Kearney: “Believe it, speak it, then shut up and do it!”

Best Wishes

to begin but any attempt would have me start with our newest contributing writer, Wendy Taylor, a Telly Award talent and new friend. Her writings have been published in UTEP, The Wall Street Journal, The

Sandra Rascon Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Washington Post and the L.A. Times to name a few. Thanks to her we have a terrific look into the history of the SRD (Scottish Rite Dorm) at the University of Texas that birthed a unique culture around food.



MS. MICHELLE ADAMOLEKUN Michelle Adamolekun is the Human Resources Director for the Talent Acquisition organization at the Seton Healthcare Family since 2007. Among her list of accolades, Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s of Science degree in Healthcare Human Resources Management from Texas State University, a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification, and is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQi) trainer and assessor. Michelle strongly believes in giving back to her community; therefore, she currently serves as board member for the Texas Workforce Solutions Board, Capital Idea, Jack & Jill of America – Austin Chapter, the NBMBAA-Austin Chapter Executive Advisory Council and the Lake Travis Middle School Campus Advisory Committee.


Realtor | Keri Chmelik has worked in the lending and real estate industries for over ten years. She currently works for one of the most innovative and influential real estate companies in Austin, Realty Austin as a multi-million dollar producer and is among the top 5% of Austin Realtors.

Keri also enjoys designing and build-

ing custom homes with her husband Cameron and they’re currently working on their new home in Lakeway. She loves to travel to far flung corners of the earth and loves wildlife photography, but is also always happy to get back to Austin.




Lean Images Personal Training | June Morrow, owner of Lean Images Personal Training, has more than 20 years experience as a personal trainer. Education: • Certified Personal Trainer, ACE • Certified Spinning Instructor • Registered Massage Therapist, Licensed by the state of Texas. • Bachelor of Science from SUNY New Paltz, New York “I am dedicated to helping people achieve healthy, fit lifestyle. It is very rewarding to know I have a positive impact on people’s lives and their self-esteem.”


Freelance Writer | A Telly Award-winning freelance writer, Austinite Wendy Taylor’s work includes published topics from financial literacy to childhood marriage in developing nations to social media. Her work appears in ExPat Travel & Lifestyle and has been distributed through USAToday, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and The Wall Street Journal. Through her feature writing, she’s completed profiles and conducted interviews with respected politicians and humanitarians, as well as athletes and celebrities, such as Vernon Davis and Christy Turlington. A confessed travel junkie and Hibernophile, she compensates for living in the Texas heat by traveling whenever she can to her beloved Ireland.





The Art of Living Well

Business Development James Nelson

We appreciate and say thank you to each member of our talented Team for their outstanding,

For advertising information, please e-mail ads@

unique and relevant contributions.



William Jackson

shall be signed with full name and include day-

W. Jackson & Associates, LLC

time phone number, full mailing address, or e-

Austin, Texas

mail address. Letters shall be no longer than 300 words. We reserve the right to edit all submis-


sions. Letters may not be edited, added to, or

Consultants Anita Roberts, Shannon Yarbrough


changed by sender once we receive them.

General e-mail address:

Editor-in-Chief Sandra Rascon

Assistant Editor Laura Ferguson

Mailing address:

Contributing Writers

InFluential Magazine, P.O. Box 1307, Round Rock,

Michelle Adamolekun,

June Morrow, Keri Chmelik, Wendy Taylor

TX 78680

Returning Writers Nycia Emerson, Ingrid Garner, Linda Ginac, Kyle Golden, Christy Horton, Rich Monyer

ART & PRODUCTION Creative Director Marcia Nelson Creative Services / Web Design The MOD Studio Contributing Photographers Trent L. Maxwell of Trent Lee Photography Annie Ray

Members of W. Jackson & Associates are BMI affiliates

L. Andrew Sterling of Sterling Images All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. All artwork and photography are the rights of the publisher.





Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief Sandra Rascon is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and a veteran of the entertainment industry in music, television, live theatrical and post production in the areas of rights clearance, licensing, contract administration, mechanical rights distribution, intellectual property rights and business affairs. She has worked for Universal Music Group, Universal Studios Network and Television Group, MTV, America’s Next Top Model and Dreamworks in Los Angeles. She is also a literary educational consultant holding a Master’s in Education, is certified by the State Board of Educators and a published writer.


Editorial Assistant James is our technical ‘go to’ guy, applying skills obtained through education and practice at well-known companies such as General Motors and Apple. James consistently applies appropriate business techniques to take an idea from vision to successful implementation. James has employed his innate entrepreneurial skills to develop several interesting businesses and is dedicated to seeing them grow and influence. In addition to planning activities for his very busy family, James enjoys savoring the outdoor lifestyle living in Austin affords, particularly playing tennis with his son.




Assistant Editor Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s of Liberal Arts in Humanities and English with a focus in creative writing. This training has helped her excel in her career path, which includes staffing coordination of a large family of hospitals and community outreach and education for an environmental organization. An avid writer, Laura has built a collection of short stories some of which are included in her work In a House Where the Rooms Don’t Lock. Laura also has a passion for records. She has an eclectic collection that includes everything from The Beatles to Richard Pryor’s entire discography to Motley Crue.


Creative Director Joining with an aligned background working with industry leaders such as Dell and Key Bank, Marcia is an expert in conflict resolution and identifying win-win solutions. She applies these skills to create and execute new opportunities for our client roster and assists with negotiating the most lucrative deal. Marcia has always had a passion for style, making her a natural fit for a foray into personal wardrobe styling. Most recently she has directed photo shoots for our client roster including performing as the wardrobe stylist. In her spare time, Marcia can be found enjoying activities with her family and, of course, reading fashion magazines.




IN F L U E N C E : B U S I N E S S E T I Q U E T T E

BUILDING A STRONG CULTURE IN THE WORKPLACE By Linda Ginac “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation

ple to do almost anything. Being a great manager is

determines what you do. Attitude determines how

about so much more than moving the profit line. It is

well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

about empowering those who work for you. When people feel empowered it will almost always create a

If you were to list the things that make you a good employer and asked your employees to do the same then compared the two lists, would they be similar?

strong culture in the workplace; therefore, impacting the bottom line. Or, as in Holtz’s case, create a résumé littered with unsurpassed championship records.

Some would and some wouldn’t. For those employees whose lists are similar to yours, you are probably

How do you become the Lou Holtz of your organiza-

an employer of choice for them. If you have more lists

tion? If you don’t already use a performance man-

that differ than are similar, you may want to consider

agement approach, you may want to consider doing

a different approach to your management style.

so. Performance management replaces the old annual performance appraisal system which has always

An employer is only as good as is his ability to manage people, or better yet, lead them. Lou Holtz has been one of the most admired coaches in football history because of his leadership ability. Holtz believes in encouraging people to do the right thing, do it to the best of their ability, and to show people they are cared about.

been negatively driven, an obstacle to open communication, and a direct cause of low morale. Annual appraisals can be ineffective because unless the evaluator is efficient at noting performance throughout the year, they tend to base their review on the most recent events.

Football players wanted to play for

Holtz regardless of the team he was coaching. There

Performance management is an ongoing process of

is a certain attraction toward people who have a

creating a work environment enabling people to per-

strong leadership quality, a quality that can get peo-

form to the best of their abilities by communicating



and clarifying job responsibilities, priorities, and per-

Are you an employer of choice? If not, become one.

formance expectations. It ensures individual goals and development are aligned with that of the organization and it encourages employee skill development through open communication, frequent collaborative

To learn more about becoming an employer of choice, please contact TalentGuard at 512.943.6800 x106 or visit our website:

goal and performance feedback, and the cultivation of teamwork. Quality performance is recognized and becomes a promotional measure. Strong leaders, who utilize performance management, squash toxic culture, and take initiative to create a foundation of job satisfaction for all employees. They gain trust from their employees through visibility, utilizing employee surveys and feedback programs, providing a feeling of security, and emphasizing the benefits of focusing on the strong points of others. Furthermore, by drawing people from every culture into your company’s equation, you will grow

Ms. Linda Ginac CEO | TalentGuard, Inc. Linda is the Founder and CEO of TalentGuard, an organizational talent management firm headquartered in Austin, TX. With over 14 years of experience in organizational development, people strategy and career development, she supports individuals and corporations in developing, planning and managing a range of career management and worklife issues. Particular areas of expertise include career development, change management, career transition, professional development coaching and performance improvement.

a foundation rich in problem solving and innovation.



SUBTLE SIMPLICITY By Ingrid Garner Photo by Annie Ray On location at The W Hotel, Austin, Texas


ustin fashion designer, Ross Bennett, is

cess. “I didn’t really want to attend law school. My

not quite what he seems…and he’s okay

mom said to take a fashion class, so I did.” He initially

with that.

thought about going into retail marketing, but after

If you were to meet him for the first time, you would see a man with impeccable taste, approachable charm, and southern wit who knows what the wom-

learning to sew and how to construct clothing, he decided fashion designing was for him. And after 12 years in the retail industry, he determined it was time to be his own boss and begin his own fashion line.

en he dresses dream for themselves. Indeed, when I met him the first time I was impressed with his style

During one of our conversations, I asked how he would

of dress and easy manner. Asked to describe himself

create a custom piece for me. “First I would ask what

he would simply tell you he is “just a normal guy who

event you were preparing for and then request three

loves bow ties and the outdoors. He also likes to de-

to five pictures of dresses or styles you absolutely

sign women’s clothing.”

love. I would then have you do the same for dresses or styles you absolutely hate.” I know my expression

When trying to decide what to do instead of studying law his mom made a suggestion that led to his suc-

read like “Really”? Three to five styles I hate? Why do that?” His response was astounding. “Nine times out


of ten, people say they hate something because they

that was it! The fedora was always popped the right

are jealous of it. When subconsciously, they wish they

way.” And, this is where the movement is coming

could wear a low back or a sweetheart neckline. So I

from. “Everyone thinks it has to be all love and fun

try to take all these elements and incorporate them

and frilly and frou-frou, but no it doesn’t. It can be

into three to seven dress sketches, bringing together

mysterious and underground and sexy.” It’s a move-

what you both loved and hated into something you

ment that is evident, albeit somewhat subtly, today in

would enjoy wearing.”

shows like Boardwalk Empire, Suits, Mad Men, White Collar…the custom suits, the white shirts, the lit ciga-

Asked to describe his sense of style and creative in-

rettes or cigars. Even Austin can attest to this un-

fluences, Ross reflects on the past and an apprecia-

derground movement, with speakeasies (known and

tion for how dressmaking used to be. “I’ve always

unknown), catering to a particular clientele eager to

been inspired by the classics. Even before the turn

be a part of something in an age of knowing about

of the century and roaring ‘20s and ‘30s…Old Paris

it when it happens, remains on the down low. If all

fashion…just the whole appreciation for clothes back

goes according to plan, Ross hopes to create a “dark

then.” These influences lend themselves to his new

& dapper” world of tailored, mysterious, underground

bridal collection set to launch in early spring with The

elegance that is “found but not found…here but not

Knot magazine and I Thee Wed. This bridal line will


go beyond the traditional styles in white to include color. “A hundred years ago was when they came up

Ross Bennett can be found on the NBC series Fash-

with this whole white idea…of a white dress. It used to

ion Star as he competes with 13 other designers for

be the people would go to a dressmaker and have a

a chance to launch their collections in Macy’s, H&M,

dress made in any color they wanted for their wed-

and Sakes Fifth Avenue. Check your local listings for

ding day, and that dress would be the dress they

day and time.

would wear after being a bride to parties and events. It was their dress they had made for their special day.” There is also a movement Mr. Bennett hopes to bring to light focusing on the Roaring 20’s and 30’s, a favorite era. It’s a period he likes to refer to as “dark & dapper”. A time when there was a feeling of innocence and romanticism coupled with corruption and greed. As Ross would put it, “beautifully crafted”. “Look at Frank Sinatra, look at Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire…anybody from that era. The way they wore their suits, they way they had their ties always clean…

Ms. Ingrid Garner Since moving to Austin in 1995, Ms. Garner has served in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Her primary focus has been in project management and she acquired her Project Management Professional certification in 2005. Utilizing her diverse work background and project management skills, she has extended her support in various activities within her church and community. In her spare time, Ingrid can be found practicing yoga, doing core and weight training, reading Stephanie Plum novels, and participating in the wine club at her favorite wine bar Vino 100.



IN F L U E N C E : H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S


Food doesn’t have to be a nemesis to your sixpack. You want to make sure you eat enough to build muscle, but at the same time, you don’t want to overeat and cause fat to be stored around your midsection. Use an online calorie calculator to make sure you are eating the right amount of calories everyday. Your food choices also make a difference.

Ask a man what his problem spot is, with regard to keeping fit, and he will probably answer his belly and love handles. What man doesn’t want

1. Stay away from processed foods. 2. Make sure your carb selections include whole grains.

to have chiseled abs? While weight distribution is different from person to person, in general

3. They don’t call it a beer-belly for nothing. Try

these are the areas that tend to trouble a lot of

your best to avoid alcohol, but when you do

men. However, these problem spots can benefit

drink alcohol choose a light beer or a 6 ounce

from proper attention.

glass of red wine.

Many men think a perfect six-pack forms from

4. Consider consulting a registered dietician or

the result of doing endless crunches day after

nutritionist to help you design a diet that is ab-

day. That couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, over-


training the abdominal muscles can be coun-

You have to find time to exercise.

terproductive. And, don’t fall victim to an easy abs gimmick. Those “magic” pills and machines

1. Each week try to include at least three days

are not miracles no matter how flawless the

of interval cardio training that is sustained for

spokesmodels appear.

about 45 minutes.

Now, there are a few lucky guys who have great

2. Vary your cardio routine and make sure you

abs without trying. It’s genetic. For the rest of

are working hard enough to burn calories.

us who want nice abs, we need to train smart

3. Get a full body resistance workout in at least

and, more importantly, follow a fairly strict diet

three times a week, as well.

to prevent unwanted fat from covering them a. During this resistance workout include at




least three abdominal exercises performing

Mr. Kyle Golden

eight-12 reps of each exercise.

Work It Personal Training | Kyle is the founder of Work it Personal Training. He is native

b. Planks, side planks, medicine ball twists,

of San Antonio, TX, but moved to Austin in 1997 to attend

Pallof presses, and suspension training for the

St. Edward’s University where he graduated with a Bach-

abs are all excellent choices to include.

elor’s of Arts degree in Psychology. After working in the financial services industry for many years, Kyle decided that

Above all, don’t overly obsess about your abs

he wanted to bring his passion for fitness to his career life.

or any other area of your body for that matter.

In 2007 Kyle founded Work It Personal Training. Kyle has

Everyone is different and, as with many things

been a guest speaker on fitness and health for organizations

in life, building a perfect physique takes time, commitment, and a lot of determination. Ex-

including the Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association of the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Austin: Emerge program.

ercise, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, drink mostly water and soon you will enjoy the results of your hard work – a six-pack you can see on your stomach instead of in the fridge! IN FLUENTIAL 21

IN F L U E N C E : H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S

WINNING WORKOUTS FOR WOMEN By June Morrow Many women have common areas they want to target such as arms, hips, thighs, and abdominal area. Understanding the big picture involves knowing how food, sleep, stress, hormones, and exercise intensity work together to help produce the desired results. Below is a quick list

• Exercise selection and incorrect form. • Exercise intensity being too low.

of winning tips that provide any woman with a head start in winning the game. Common mistake women make are:

• Using the scale instead of measuring body fat to track progress -

Losing body fat and add-

ing muscle tissue should be the primary focus.

• Only doing cardio and forgetting about weight

Add ten pounds of muscle and raise your meta-

lifting - An hour of weight lifting can burn more

bolic rate, so you burn 500 more calories per

calories than an hour of running.

day doing nothing.

• Old school training methodology of low in-

So, if you want target those problems areas and

tensity long duration - New research proves

make your entire body leaner and tighter then

30 minutes of higher intensity of cardio, such

work big muscle groups. Get off circuit ma-

as, sprints or interval training is shown to burn

chines to raise your metabolic rate. As we lose

more calories than 90 minutes of walking.

body fat and gain muscle our bodies become

• Being afraid to use a heavier weight for fear of being bulky and building large muscles Heavier weights for reps of 8 to 15 can raise the metabolic rate for up to 48 hours; whereas, light weights and high reps will only raise the metabolic rate for a little over 12 hours.



fat burning machines. To do this: • Perform compound exercises, such as: squats, lunges, lat pull downs, dead lifts, push-ups, dumbbell chest press and/or rows which will

strengthen the back, core, and stabilize muscles plus improve balance and functional strength. • Perform higher intensity exercises. • Use correct form and range of motion. • Change your eating habits.

Eat more lean

protein, fiber, and good fats. Avoid processed,

liptical trainer, or spin bike: 20-40 minutes. Advanced: Circuit 1: • 5 -10 pull-ups • push-up to failure

sugary, and high fatty foods.

• 10-20 barbell squats

So let’s look at a sample workout:

Circuit 2:


• 10 heavy dumbbell row

Circuit 1:

• 10 - 15 dumbbell squat to overhead shoulder

• 10-15 reps of Lat pull downs • 10-15 dumbbell rows • 15-20 body weight squats Circuit 2: • Knee Planks for 20 to 60 seconds • 10 wall or knee push-ups • 15 Ball hamstring curls • 20 tube or cable tricep press down • 15 step ups on 10-14” platform per leg

press • 2 Min plank • 50 abdominal rev curls • 10-15 dead lifts • 25 plyometrics squat jumps Circuit 3: • Triceps Dips to failure • 10 overhead triceps press • 10 dumbbell bicep curl • 10 squat thrust

Repeat each circuit 3 times with 1 to 2 minute rest. Repeat each circuit 2 to 4 times. Try to complete all circuits within 45 minutes or less. Perform 2 times per week. Perform 3 days of cardio such as treadmill, el-

Perform circuit one first, rest 1 to 2 minutes between sets; repeat 3 to 4 times, then move on to circuit 2 and rest between sets. Then to circuit 3, performing 2-3 times per week with 3 hours of high intensity cardio and see your body perform results for you! IN FLUENTIAL 23

move it & lose it !

Fitness training & boot camps Visit Our New Location! Now at 7817 Rockwood Ln off Anderson Ln near MOPAC

512.426.2336 |



IN F L U E N C E : E N T E R T A I N M E N T

AVA ARENELLA, THE LOVELY SONGBIRD By Nycia Emerson Photo by Annie Ray On location at The W Hotel, Austin, Texas

In the heart of Central Texas the sound of this beautiful songstress is one like no other, a sound that is such a delight and echoes in beauty and a style completely her own. The lovely songbird Ava Arenella brings uniqueness to the Jazz music scene in Austin, and she simply can’t be stopped.

With her vintage dress style and a

classic voice which brings a nostalgic touch of Paris romance to each event, she is definitely one of a kind. At a young age, performing in many musicals in Austin and always singing wherever she could, Ava had a very passionate connection with music. She started her love for Jazz music as a child, and growing up in the Live Music Capital of the World which allowed her to expand her love for Jazz. Two artists that inspire her are Blossom Dearie and Chet Baker. Ava listens to these artists daily and believes they both have a unique passion and connection with Jazz. Whether it’s taking a great song and making it a piece of her own or



writing her own words, they inspire her to have a similar passion and connection with Jazz. Ava is also inspired by vintage style. Her love for vintage fashion allows her to bring a one of a kind style and appearance to her audience. Ava loves the bright colors of mid-century modern aesthetic and all things French artistic flairs which “influence the music she sings.” Ava loves to shop at boutiques and to find the perfect classic dress that speaks to her. To Ava vintage clothing and soft Jazz make the perfect pair!

Ava’s performing style is an extension of her and she particularly enjoys diving into a cool Jazz mood on stage. She enjoys seeing her audience vibing to her sound when performing and hopes to continue to delight as she expands her musical reper-

tive and sultry way. Ava is definitely one to watch!

She has been

featured at events all over Austin. She and the boys in the band are always happy to entertain as a trio, but they are also available with drums and / or with upright bass as well. You may have heard her sound during TRIBEZA Wedding Day, the HYP Gala, or Austin Fashion Week. If you haven’t seen Ava in the spotlight you should definitely visit her website (www.avaarenella. com) for upcoming shows. Ava is already starting 2012 off doing big things. April 5, 2012 will be proclaimed “Ava Arenella Day” in Austin, Texas by Austin Mayor, Lee Leffingwell. She is scheduled to perform a song in the council chambers at City Hall. Fall in love with this lovely songbird. Ava Arenella is definitely on the move! Ms. Nycia Emerson Inspired Events & Design | Nycia Emerson is the Owner and Certified Wedding Planner of Inspired Events and Designs, a one of a kind wedding, event and interior planning company. Nycia’s years of experience, meticulous event planning, passion for interior design and a degree in business, allow her to bring creative

toire. Ava wants her audience to truly get a feel

glam to every design. When Nycia is not busy with clients

for how passionate she is about Jazz. She looks

she finds herself gathering inspiration and blogging on her

forward to expanding her horizons over the next

blog Be Inspired www.inspiredeventsbynycia.blogspot.

few months by taking her music on the road and

com. Nycia believes inspiration comes from anything that

releasing an album so larger audiences will come

causes you to think freely and live fabulously. Nycia has

to appreciate her and her music. For now Ava will

been featured on local TV segments with KXAN and is also

continue to bring Jazz to Austin in her own distinc-

featured in the current edition of Crave Austin.


InTouch with Austin’s homes Dedicated Austin real estate expert providing specialized expertise and a unique experience.





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Whether buying or selling, let’s make the move together. Keri Chmelik, REALTOR®

ABR, CRS, GRI Multi-million dollar producer


Read about Keri’s trip to South Africa & Botswana in this issue of InFluential magazine.




s. Adamolekun is the Human

2. Failure is not an option. To succeed in anything in

Resources Director for the Talent

life you must “believe it, speak it, then just shut up

Acquisition organization at the Seton

and do it”;

Healthcare Family. 3. There are only two types of things in life: things

Often I am reminded of the individuals who have

you can control and things you can’t; therefore, do

been instrumental in molding me into the person I am

not focus on changing others, only yourself.

today. Who are these amazing characters who had such an astounding impact in my life and why? After much thought, I can only conclude at how blessed I am to have had role models in three essential areas of my life: at home, at school, and in the community.

I sat down with Beverly after her recent achievement as the recipient of the BET Honors Award for Education, alongside the likes of Tuskegee Airmen, Maya Angelo, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee and Mariah Carey, to understand what this award meant to her. Beverly

One such amazing person who readily comes to

was truly humbled and overwhelmed by this recogni-

mind is Beverly Kearney, Head Track Coach at the

tion, not because it was an award given to her by fel-

University of Texas in Austin. She is more than just

low African Americans, nor was it an award based on

a legendary head coach. Her inspirational life story is

her coaching credentials. She was honored because

one of survival and triumph. Through her life teach-

this award was based on something she holds near

ings and applications she instilled in me three factors

and dear to her. “So many have sacrificed so we may

I attribute to personal successes:

have the opportunity to succeed and without education our success potential is limited,” says Beverly.

1. Education is the greatest equalizer; 30


As the head track coach at the University of Texas

relationships. For success will not be generated sole-

at Austin, Beverly provided insight into the culture

ly from our resume, or from our personal finances, but

she is working to create on campus. “We live in an

the most important will be the relationships we form.”

era where we are now once again openly speaking about diversity and inclusion, but still the subject of

Beverly’s vision for change comprises all of the above

race is not a subject matter that is comfortable for

ensuring equal representation at the top as well as

all. We are still living in a generation of people who

decision-making positions at the University and all

do not understand the hardships that face minorities

communities across the country. The second com-

and women in the workplace. The only difference is

ponent is to encourage people to develop stronger

we are willing to speak openly on gender, but not on

relationships in every facet of their lives to better as-

race. We also live in an era where the economic chal-

sist them through their life’s journey.

lenges are greater; therefore, there is a greater need for us to think outside of the box in order to generate and sustain success. One of those ways can be found in the development of better working and personal

Beverly sees herself as a mere servant here to assist in any way God sees fit, which has been to utilize her services to benefit all. Beverly “truly wants to take


giving back to its purest state. Giving with an expec-

“Life has its challenges. Many people see the end re-

tation is not giving. That’s called business. As you re-

sult of the journey or the story but they do not rec-

ceive, you give, and thus as you give you will receive,

ognize the journey itself. Everyone you see out there

which is the true cycle of life and a greater under-

in life trying to make a difference is running into daily

standing of God’s work and word: To whom much is

challenges, some more difficult than others. . .

given, much is required.” The future is truly bright for Beverly. She has resolved herself to trying her best to give more than she receives. As God’s grace continues to bless her, she acknowledges with profound awareness: “I could never repay the gifts of life, love and people I have been blessed with.” Beverly reminded me towards the end of our conversation that change is not easy. Introspectively she paused and had this to say:



...I pray that we all take a moment out of our day to wish others well or acknowledge them in some way. You never know what impact a hug, a hello, or a smile can have on an individual’s day.”









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IN F L U E N C E : T R A V E L

ENCHANTING AFRICA By Keri Chmelik Growing up in a small town in NY State, I vividly recall watching countless nature shows on PBS with my dad during the long cold winters. My favorite ones were always set in Africa and featured the big cats or large plains animals. It seemed like Africa was worlds away from anything I knew and though I desperately wanted to see this wild place up close, I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I’d one day be there. Watching the lions lick their paws, hearing an

San Bushman builds a fire

elephant trumpet as we approach and smell-

Cape Town area. Cape Town and the Stellen-

ing the fragrant African grasses, let alone visit

bosch wine region being just a short drive away

twice within 12 months.

were fantastic. With Table Mountain as the

Southern Africa has

captured me and I can’t get enough. Our first trek to Africa was definitely jumping into the unknown for us. We hadn’t yet traveled overseas, but my desire to see Africa and its wildlife and my husband Cameron’s love of

backdrop against the Atlantic Ocean, the city is as beautiful as it is welcoming. Everywhere we went we met people eager to help us find our way and thrilled that we loved their city as much as they do.

adventure soon had us booking a trip to South

As much as the Cape area captivated us, the sa-

Africa. We began with a safari on a private re-

fari experience is what had us coming back for

serve in the Mpumalanga region not far from

more. On the return trip, we re-booked with the

the famous Kruger Park and finished up in the

same lodge, Naledi Bushcamp. When the time



The magnificent Cape Buffalo

came to leave Naledi we had tears in our eyes.

by the people who were so friendly. They were

We both knew it wouldn’t be the last time we

eager to share their country with others that

saw this place. Three months later we had our

appreciate its rugged beauty and enchanting

next trip booked to visit Botswana.

appeal. We met other travelers and were able

Botswana is best known for the vast Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. It is about the size of Texas and sparsely populated so to truly experience the country we rented a 4x4 Jeep, crossed the border and drove into Kalahari and Okavango, the only inland delta in the world. Our expectations of Botswana were surpassed

to share stories, mainly of how it is we all managed to arrive in this beautiful remote place. We met so many locals that ranged from calling neighboring Zimbabwe home to those who have never been outside their local village in the Kalahari. While at Dinaka Kalahari Lodge, we were introduced to two local San Bushmen who worked at the lodge as trackers on the sa-


A close-up of the elusive Leopard

fari vehicles and they shared their knowledge of

weeks left to live, to huge pods of hippo, black

the land with us. They walked us through the

and white rhinos, hyenas, zebra, waterbuck and

bush and dug up water plants the tribespeople

many more including my personal favorite, the

eat during the dry season to stay hydrated which

elusive and endangered wild dog.

resembled a large watery potato. We were also shown how they hunt with poison arrows and how to make fire from nothing but sticks and grass.

To try to explain the captivating quality of southern Africa is nearly impossible. We were put to sleep each night by the calls of the lions, hyena, and frogs and awakened in the morning by

Then, there were the animals around every cor-

birds, monkeys and the excitement of not know-

ner never ceasing to amaze us as we shamelessly

ing what enchantment that day would bring. I can

gawked at their perfect beauty. We were for-

say without hesitation, I wholeheartedly echoed

tunate enough to see the Big 5: The lion, leop-

the words of Ernest Hemingway: “All I wanted to

ard, rhino (black & white varieties), buffalo and

do now was get back to Africa. We had not left

elephant within the span of twelve hours.

it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would


also saw leopard mothers and cubs, herds of elephants including one protecting a day or two old infant, roughly twenty lions ranging from just four weeks old to one who had only a few 36


lie, listening, homesick for it already.�

IN F L U E N C E : T H E A R T O F L I V I N G W E L L

MICHAEL TORRES IS RESTORING HOMES, HUMANITY, AND HOPE By William Jackson Never one to shirk a challenge, Michael Torres takes on the momentous mission restoring homes, humanity, and hope. He talks to Wil-

new strategies and enthusiastic collaborators to bring more awareness to the mission of his company GreenWorld Restoration and was now looking forward to spending a relaxing evening with his children, eating a good meal, and drinking a glass of wine. Michael credits nurturing grandparents who instilled within him values, lessons of the heart, and not taking life too seriously. Their wisdom gave him the tools to learn from life’s lessons and show empathy, and as much as possible sympathy, to the plight of others. When asked if his family taught him how to be a visionary Michael says, in his case, it was not something taught more so than learned from lessons experienced.

Nonetheless, motivated by love,

his grandparents could not foresee the profound affect their influence would have on their grandson.

liam Jackson about his life and pursuit of his

Early in his career, Michael served in various se-

mission, with the ultimate goal of making a dif-

nior executive roles. He was the Founder and

ference in how we interact with each other in

Executive Vice President for CSIdentity, a com-

terms of humanity and the environment.

pany focused on Consumer Identity Protection.

Upon meeting Michael Torres you quickly get the sense he has a lot going on. Not only is he trying to save the world (and no, that is not just an expression), but he’s a very involved family man who has found a way to balance life. I was eager to learn more about this humble visionary and his family, so I relished the opportunity to be invited into a “day in the life” of Michael Torres. On this particular evening, Michael had

He was vice president of Strategic Marketing and Business Development at Infoglide Software Corporation.

From these experiences,

Michael had to be adaptable and receptive to change. He learned much about the business world and how to respond timely to the ever changing market. It is during this stage of his career Michael recognized his talent for developing solutions to complex problems.

the look of a man who spent the day seeking IN FLUENTIAL 37

Shortly after 9-11, Michael was asked to support

Michael has since applied these same skills and

the US, UK, and Australian governments in design-

vision in creating GreenWorld Restoration, a

ing solutions and system architectures to address

company leading the way as a first responder

complex problems. He later became an advisor to

in restoring homes, humanity, and hope to dev-

Interpol on International Data Sharing.

astated areas of the globe. To accomplish this,

The world changed after 9-11 and many of the sys-

GreenWorld Restoration applies an integrated

tems in place were no longer relevant to the new

Solution Architecture for Sustainable Commu-

task at hand. Prior to 9-11, many of the systems

nities™ and Community Assessment Methodol-

and agencies operated in silos. Not much differ-

ogy™, as well as a Pay-It-Forward model. In this

ent than the way our communities operate today.

model, up to 30% of profits are contributed to

Homes are in one place, water in another, food

the Worldwide Maniac Foundation with 80% of

somewhere far away, energy somewhere else. Mi-

the funds going back into the communities from

chael’s strengths reside in identifying the patterns

which it was generated in order to assist in build-

of these separate systems and bringing them to-

ing sustainable communities.

gether into fully integrated solution architecture

As Michael says, “Now more than ever, it’s time

whereby the whole is greater than the parts.

to act.” The statistics are staggering. Since 2010,



over 12,000,000 people have been left home-

Michael looks forward to a world where people

less due to natural disasters. The frequency and

respect one another and are connected to and re-

magnitude of these catastrophic events are in-

spect the land. When we do this, Michael strongly

creasing at unprecedented rates, leaving mil-

believes our lives will be much easier. Every citi-

lions of families displaced and without shelter.

zen can be part of change by starting small by

Without a clear solution for sustainable housing

looking within our spheres of influences for op-

and community development, trillions of dollars

portunities to act and become more aware. Take

will be wasted rebuilding in the ways of the past;

advantage of local recycling programs. Conserve

ways of rebuilding that do not restore balance


to our planet and are not scalable on a cost per

cated to improving the plight of mankind and the

family basis.

health of our earth.

The immediate focuses of efforts for Green-

The legacy this visionary wants to leave

World Restoration are in Haiti and Texas, where recently approximately 1,700 families lost their homes due to wildfires. It is a daunting and complex challenge to restore homes, humanity, and hope in these situations. It is this vision of hope, love, and humanity to those in need that drive Michael to look for others who share a similar vision. “You can’t gift the world out of poverty,� says Michael. It will take an immediate response to the call for decisive action. There is plenty of work to be done and Michael wants to be the catalyst for change ensuring there are those eager to recognize the need and respond to the

Become part of organizations dedi-

is one where people know that through example, they realize they had the answers all along deep inside them.

call for action. With so much going on in our world there are so many opportunities for input from GreenWorld Restoration, it is important for Michael to maintain a happy medium with his personal and pro-

While building his legacy through GreenWorld Restoration, Michael is busy restoring homes, humanity, and hope. He invites us to join him and encourages us to not let our fears get in the way!

fessional lives. His family is a priority. He encourages his children to realize the first part of helping is healing you first.





ike a hidden treasure, you find the Scot-

Southern culture. Food is the center of all.”

tish Rite Dormitory (S.R.D.) dining room underground. One floor below an expansive lawn in a red Colonial Revival just

west of the University of Texas campus, crystal chandeliers sparkle above Uggs-wearing diners.

Although known to attract residents of affluent backgrounds, the food’s formality shocked many for a dorm setting. Sunday shrimp cocktails and daily desserts registered as extravagances with most, while others searched dictionaries for the definition of cru-

Once home exclusively to female relatives of Scottish


Rite Masons, the legend of the dorms’ superior food spread by mouth and food-column praise — highly unusual for dorm fare. According to Amie Stone King, author of a book on the dorm’s history, “It’s a Sardine’s Life for Me,” rumors suggest the first meals served in the 1920s arrived courtesy of recipes from residents’ mothers. The “home” atmosphere continued with family-style table service bearing platters of fried chicken, pork chops, twice-baked potatoes, succotash and lots of green vegetables. Imagine a table straight from The Help, only feeding more than 300. “It’s very much like home,” King, a resident in the ‘90s, recalls. “Eating is such a big part of life — especially in

“I remember thinking it was hilarious they wrote roast beef au jus on the menus,” Melissa Peabody Wilson, a Ft. Worth-native who lived at S.R.D. in the late ‘80s says. “I’d never really heard of au jus. It’s just ‘roast beef with juice.’” But the item recalled most often remains the famous CCBs. Yes, chocolate covered balls became a part of University lore. Reserved for special occasions, such as visiting Masons or holiday dinners, the dessert of ice cream rolled in Oreos and covered with a rich, buttery chocolate sauce ranks as the kitchen’s most sought-after recipe. IN FLUENTIAL 41

Table Manners Stories of the famous dining room extend beyond cuisine.

more than friends or the other way around, but we took care of them.”

Protocol played a huge part. Throughout bobby socks,

Wilson agrees, recalling a time when stranded by a friend

minis, maxis and grunge, dining formalities continued at

at a party, an S.R.D. waiter looked after her.

S.R.D. Until the later part of the last century, the dorm required dresses for dinner and Sunday lunch.

“I didn’t even know his name. I never sat at his table, but knew him by sight,” she says. “He put me in a cab, paid for

When residents pulled a coup in 1955 and brought Char-

it and sent me back to the dorm. It was that big-brother

leton Heston, in town for the premiere of Lucy Gallant, to

responsibility type of thing.”

dinner, it caused a kitchen panic. The menu was fine, but as it was a Monday evening, all the tablecloths were in the

Modernizing A Legend

laundry. Today, the dining room holds pieces of its formal legacy, Table service consisted of bells signaling girls to enter the

but like many parts of Austin, it progressed with the times.

dining room and stand at the table of their choice. They

Staff packed away dwindling pieces of the china years

were only seated after a waiter said grace. Yes, waiters

ago, as residents often swiped souvenirs.

served S.R.D. residents. “I still have some of the dessert plates, coffee cups, soup

Waiter Daters

bowls — very little,” Tracy Mussey, food service director for the past 20 years says. “There’s always breakage, but

To this day, S.R.D. hires campus men — paid only in meals

not that much breakage.”

— to refill iced tea and attend to the needs of girls nicknamed Spoiled Rotten Daughters. Few complain about the residents. After all, if the food initially draws waiters to the job, meeting girls ranks a close second. In fact, many resident-waiter marriages occurred through the decades. King herself married a waiter. Several other couples, as well of groups of waiters on their own, return for annual reunions, as many waiters feel as attached to the female-only dorm as the residents. “These guys were my friends, my support group, my buddies, and the women there were my friends,” Shannon Phillips, a waiter in the early ‘80s says. “I’m sure there was a lot of uncomfortable tension, where she wants to be



One of the greatest traditions now gone makes Mussey a bit wistful as she looks at the new generation of dinners approaching a loaded buffet table. “I think the seated meals in their day were a great tradition,” she says. “I think that family-style dining was more prevalent 20 to 30 years ago. But the dorm is tradition in itself, so if we have to give up some things like seated meals for buffets to make it easier on the girls, I think that’s what’s important. And, the great food continues.”

IN F L U E N C E : T H E A R T O F L I V I N G W E L L


Austinite Sam Hurt made a career of pointing out the ironic and comical aspects of both the mundane and slightly insane elements of our culture. Through his Eyebeam and Queen of the Universe comics, Hurt became a premier story-

and said, “Gum?”

teller of life’s quirkier side. Now celebrating the

“Uh … are you asking me if I’d like a stick of

recent release of his latest book Eyebeam Re-


turns, he reflects with InFluential on a few items in his own life that still make him chuckle.

20 Questions Our family plays 20 Questions on long car trips — only we allow unlimited “yes” or “no” questions to stretch the game. Playing with my cousin, I thought of the object chewing gum. The round became interminable, matching the incessant West Texas landscape. She established it was something put in your mouth, but not swallowed. She’s a doctor and felt certain it was a dental hygiene tool, and grew increasing-

“Yes.” “No, thanks” She began chewing. It was a few more seconds before she got it.

Interlingual My youngest brother Tom worked as an architect in Germany. Visiting Austin, Tom encountered a young German boy playing video games with my son. They held a brief conversation in German, and I asked Tom what they’d said.

ly suspicious that I was misleading her. Finally,

“Well, I asked him how he was doing, and he

pushing her annoyance aside, she pulled a pack

said fine, and I asked him how he liked the

of gum from her purse. She held the pack to me

game, and he said it was just OK.”



Wanting more, I asked him to translate word for

Former Resident Visit

word. In 1991, I answered the door to find a former resi“Well,” he said. “I asked, ‘How goes it for you?’

dent of our house simply reminiscing. Having

and he said, ‘For me, it goes well.’ I asked, ‘How

accompanied my mom on former-home visits,

do you find the game?’ He said, ‘For me, it is sau-

I was familiar with the concept and invited this


out-of-town visitor to look around. She shared

Marriage Carriage

memories of each room and upon entering my studio, she said, “This was the baby’s room.”

Driving down Barton Springs one day near the Dougherty Arts Center, I saw a fancy horsedrawn carriage bearing champagne-sipping newlyweds in their finery. They passed a group of

She then asked why all the Queen of the Universe cartoons were in the room. I explained it was my comic strip and I drew it there.

off-the-grid residents, who were partying out of brown paper bags by Bouldin Creek. I watched as the two groups toasted one another in a most cheerful manner. The overall effect was decidedly

“That’s weird,” she said. “It’s our daughter’s favorite


comic. Every day my hus-

Chocolate Bar

band cuts it out of the paper

It’s possibly a genetic component that my son

and puts it on her place-

and daughter have the key to their Mom’s credulity, and use it with great skill. While playing in the yard when they were in grade school, my daughter dropped a chocolate bar. After recovering from the loss, they were struck by how much it resembled something more commonly found

mat so she can read it with her breakfast … and you’re drawing it in her old room!”

floating in a toilet. They manipulated it further, refining the resemblance, and placed it in our bathroom sink. When their mom demanded an explanation, they explained that they both had to “go” at the same time, and urgency made taking turns impossible. They still treasure the memory of her head exploding in motherly fastidious outrage. IN FLUENTIAL 45

IN F L U E N C E : T R A V E L


OF THE WORLD: PART II By Rich Monyer When Rich Monyer isn’t training clients in the international oil and gas industry or completing projects for 987 Beauty, or Groupon at his business, Paul Marcus Photos, he is capturing images of the world with his camera. Harnessing the energy and excitement of each new place and culture, he is led to live his life as an artist and photographer. We asked Rich to share some of his favorite memories and photographs to lift our imagination and appreciation for other places in the world. Rich will share his experiences and photography in the final of this two part series entitled Impressions of the World. Colorado Springs, CO During a visit to Colorado Springs, I had some free time and decided to visit Pikes Peak. This peak is over 14,000 feet above sea level. It was amazing to see. I got lightheaded from the thin air; my chest was pounding hard as I walked around. I noticed a man sitting out on a rock and snapped this photo. It makes me think that maybe the sky IS the limit.

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, CO 46


Egg Man, Bangkok, Thailand Bangkok, Thailand I was excited to travel to Bangkok. I usually stay at four or five star hotels when traveling abroad, so I make it a point to get out of the hotel to get acquainted with the local people and culture of a foreign city. I took a trip to a market where locals go to shop and found a man sitting on the ground and selling. I pause every time I see this photo.

It reminds me what a good life I have. This man gets up every

morning, collects eggs from his chickens, and sits on the ground at the market selling eggs to make money. Think about that life then sit back and think of your own. I relay these types of messages to my children so they can appreciate what they have and look to help others when they can.



Recently we sat down with Manja to find out more about her views on skin care and experi-


ences with opening a spa in Austin. Why the interest in skincare? Practicing skin care gives me an opportunity to connect with people every day. I consider most of my clients as great friends. Helping them understand and appreciate their skin is very rewarding.

LePa Skincare | Austin, Texas

What are the unique aspects of LePa Skincare? The most unique aspect of LePA Skincare is it is Manja Hossa comes from a small village in the beautiful country of Slovenia. She came to Austin after meeting and falling in love with Sam Hossa while he was stationed in Europe (US Air Force).

completely authentic to Europe. • We import our skin care products directly from the manufacturer in Europe. LePA is the only spa in the US that has these products, and they’re really great!

She knew early on that she had a passion for skin care and looked over her mother’s shoulders at the family day spa in Europe as a young girl. Later in life, after graduating from medical school for esthetics, she helped expand the family business and managed two new locations in Slovenia.

• Our service menu is the exact menu that is offered at our family day spa in Europe. The service providers at LePA go through intense training when they join the team to ensure authenticity. Going to LePA Skincare in Austin is the exact

After moving to Austin, Manja and Sam knew her background in skin care would be a hit –

same experience as going to our spas in Europe. We didn’t change a thing.

so they opened LePA Skincare in 2008 as a

What do you think of the Austin culture? Aus-

boutique day spa that offered a completely

tin was the first place I’ve lived outside Slove-

authentic European experience.

As a young

nia. It was a little tough to adjust at first, but I

professional, Manja traveled throughout Eu-

quickly learned how wonderful this city is. Sure

rope to Austria, Italy, and Germany to earn her

the music, food, and weather are great, but it’s

international certification in several skin special-

the people that made me feel at home.

ties. LePA Skincare is a reflection of these early lessons.



What are your thoughts on the importance of taking risks in business?

Starting a business

is always risky. Not only does it require you to

fers a European approach at skin and body care.

put a lot of financial resources on the line, but

This relies on all natural and non-invasive tech-

it also takes a lot of time and personal energy.

niques to improve health and wellness. For ex-

Yet, building something from scratch can also

ample, one of our more popular services is our

be very rewarding. The first place I opened in

‘RDT Cellulite Treatment’. It uses non-invasive

Austin was a small 600 sq ft boutique with one

RDT or Radial Endo Dermo Therapy technology

treatment room. We’ve since moved twice and

to break down the cellulite tissue so that it’s

now have over 2,000 sq ft and five treatment

small enough to be absorbed and eliminated by

rooms. It makes all the sweat and tears worth it

our body’s natural biological processes – cir-

to look back and see the growth.

culation and lymphatic drainage. Similarly, the

To date, what is the most important life lesson you’ve learned? I connect with many people on a personal level in my line of business. Listening to their experiences, stories, and life-lessons has taught me so much. Tell us more about the featured line of prod-

facials at LePA incorporate elements found in nature, such as: grape seed oil, algae, and fruit enzymes, to provide advanced results.

Find out more about Manja and Sam Hossa at or

ucts. As mentioned earlier, LePA Skincare of-



REUEL MEDITZ Composer and CEO of Guilt Free Games | Austin, Texas

tion. Routine and practice are keys to constant creativity.

Cultivating creativity takes time,

awareness, and deliberate action.” Other Ventures: “Besides focusing on my live piano tour Lumiere Du Son, I am an active iPhone game developer and CEO of Guilt Free Games which recently created the hit app Tune Hopper. Harnessing

We sat with Reuel to find out his thoughts about

my love for teaching music, Tune Hopper is a

music and being a composer and entrepreneur.

fun musical memory game that teaches interval ear training by repeating melodies perfectly

Here’s what he had to say about:

to win game rewards. It has recently reached the prestigious status of No. 1 in both the Free

Passion for Music:

Educational and Free Music categories on the “There is nothing better than to lose oneself in

iTunes App Store”

a perfectly balanced brilliant work of sound. I am enthralled with the idea of being able to be a performer and composer. Music is my muse and inspiration for others.

Music is the art of

taking sounds and melodies, and fusing them to create a masterpiece that appeals uniquely to the souls and divine spirits of all.” Playing The Piano: “Playing the piano is a complete channel for feelings and thoughts.

I allow myself to re-

move any concerns or life stresses so I can be a clear conduit through which listeners receive the music.” Being Creative: “I am always in a creative state and am very careful not to allow anything to be a distrac-



The Importance of Learning:

“Learning is continuous in every aspect of our lives. I believe learning is about personal discovery, channeling limitless creativity, and the ability to add routine and practice to anything you do to achieve personal and professional success... Learning beyond any set system adds immense meaning to one’s life and also places one on the fast track toward success.”

Austin’s Musical Culture: “Austin is swiftly changing in regards to musical culture. It used to be known as the “Live Music Capitol of the World,” but this was mostly brought out in small venues on 6th street and East Austin. The latest trends I see are big venues and concert halls opening due in part to the population growth.” How His Music Influences Austin: “Cultural influence with respect to my music is tied in with my representation of today as an age of entrepreneurs and people who cre-

like such polar opposites, such as the app game Tune Hopper and Lumiere Du Son piano tour, is a strong representation of the fact people who are specialized in one area can bring that passion out in any form these days.” What’s Your Unique Characteristic: “I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities like rock climbing, archery, and range shooting and have tried spinning fire a few times with, unfortunately, adverse results. Of course, none of these things are recommended for pianists, so it’s a struggle to have fun with minimal risk!”

ate their own formulas for success. Combining creativity on projects that on the surface seem IN FLUENTIAL 51


porters of Austin’s cultural and entrepreneurial


spirit; they are the movers and shakers in their

Selected as a FedEx + Me Participant

W. Jackson & Associates is an entertainment

Photo by L. Andrew Sterling of Sterling Images

management firm.

fields and industries. William was asked to describe the ways in which W. Jackson & Associates is innovative and how future business plans capture innovation.

Our clients rely on us to

provide the expertise to help them expand and sustain their reach in the entertainment indusWilliam Jackson, President of W. Jackson & Associates, LLC and Publisher of InFluential Magazine is a participant in the 2012 FedEx + Me

try. We are creative, versatile, far sighted, and quick to respond to trends in the entertainment industry.

Program. FedEx + Me is a program to help small business owners in Austin and to help them help each other. The program promotes small business growth through networking, mentorship, information from subject matter experts and entrepreneurs, a website covering small-business topics and program participants, and special discounts and programming from FedEx. It is a platform to provide small business owners with

Trends are ever changing. What is in one day is out the next. As such, we must apply innovation to create new and exciting opportunities in response to shifting trends.

support in telling their business story which is where My Story: Austin was derived.

In Austin, we collaborate with businesses, event planners, and various media outlets to create

Participants are selected from the Austin small

unique opportunities. In some cases this gives

business community; they are owners of inno-

rise to an opportunity that may not have been

vative, inspiring businesses who are proud sup-

immediately obvious.



Our business outlooks

are taking us national as we work with those in

promote and express their ideas and careers.

the industry from across the United States to

As an E-zine, our audience is potentially as

create plans for expansion which include larger

large as the worldwide web.

scale live performances and increased market penetration.

As a boutique firm, competing alongside large corporations, innovation is essential to

Recently, W. Jackson & Associates has expand-

ensuring our success long-term as an enter-

ed our services to include publishing InFluen-

tainment firm and publishing house.

tial, an E-zine dedicated to the art of living well. This step allows us to share valuable insight aimed at helping readers to be successful in

We wish William and W. Jackson & Associates success!

both their personal and professional lives. InFluential is also a complement to clients of W. Jackson & Associates serving as a conduit to


IN I N D U L G E : L I F E S T Y L E

AUSTIN FOODIE WORLD TOUR By Christy Horton with Photos by Christy Horton

Want to tour the world and experience cultural diversity first hand but think you need a winning lottery ticket to fund such an adventure? Fortunately, Austin offers a diverse culinary plate to choose from.

Amy’s Ice Cream

In fact, you can

hit all the continents without even leaving the city. Of course, with ingredient restrictions and

cheese and the spice of the ancho chili sprinkled on top.

the need to please American palates, all of the

Next, we head to Brazil at Estancia Churras-

dishes may not be 100% authentic, but these

caria (4894 Hwy 290 West and the Arbore-

places come close enough to make me dream

tum). There are over 20 items on the extensive

of faraway places.

salad bar including hearts of palm and arti-

First, we visit interior Mexico at La Condesa (400 W. 2nd St). There are so many choices with botanas plates to share, five different ceviches, and an extensive tequila menu. I recommend the grilled scallops on brown butter yucca puree.

Whatever you choose, do not

chokes, but do not fill up there. The stars of the steakhouse are the gauchos that serve fourteen cuts of meat including beef and lamb sliced off the skewers they dramatically carry around the dining room. All you can eat meat on swords! What’s not to love?

miss the Mexican street corn. The sweet grilled

Australia is next with Aussie meat pies from

corn is perfectly countered by the salty cotija

Boomerang’s (3110 Guadalupe, #150). The pies



come in beef, chicken, and veggie varieties, and you can even get a pie floater which is a hot pie topped with mashed potatoes and gravy. There are lots of Asian options in Austin, but one of my favorites is dim sum at T & S Seafood (10014 N. Lamar Blvd). Shrimp toast, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, salt and pepper shrimp, various types of dumplings, steamed buns, desserts, and more are all brought to your table on carts to let you choose what looks best and feast like royalty. This is not a fancy place, but the food is delicious and the service is pleasant.

Sweet Corn, La Condesa

You can visit Africa with a lunch buffet trip to Aster’s Ethiopian (2804 N. IH35). Some of the food is spicy, some mild, and there are plenty of vegetarian options. All of it is delicious. Use the tangy injera flatbread as the utensil to eat your meal with. Find Europe at Fabi and Rosi (509 Hearn Street). Chef Wolfgang Murber creates dishes from all over Europe like gnocchi and escargot, but one of his best is from his homeland of Ger-

Schnitzel and Spatzel, Fabi and Rossi

many. The schnitzel and spatzel offers a fried pork loin from Richardson Farms with feathery

Ms. Christy Horton

light spatzel in a creamy mushroom sauce.

Epicuriosities | Christy Horton graduated summa cum laude from the

Final continent is Antarctica. The best sugges-

Le Cordon Bleu program in Austin in 2006. She has

tion, a scoop of Amy’s ice cream and a dip in Bar-

worked with such culinary notables as David Lebovitz,

ton Springs. Maybe wait till June for that one.

Martin Yan, Rebecca Rather as well as many local Austin chefs. You can find her blogging at epicuriosities.

Thanks for coming with me on my culinary

com as well as actively serving around town in her cur-

world tour. Bon appétit, ya’ll.

rent role as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance.



WELCOME LENOIR: Casual Fine Dining In South Austin By William Jackson

Pork Osso Bucco

with Photos by Trent L. Maxwell of Trent Lee Photography

the dining, are recycled and designed to creThe Austin restaurant scene is vibrant and di-

ate a casual elegance. The space is smartly de-

verse. Successful dining is visible all over the

signed to use every inch of space comfortably,

city making restaurant ownership an appetizing

while avoiding a sense of crowdedness and dis-

ambition for many entrepreneurs. While a new


restaurant is a business filled with potential, it is also a high risk endeavor. Nonetheless, a new restaurant has every chance of joining the long list of thriving Austin establishments with the right planning, commitment and execution.

From the get-go Lenoir’s customer service was a stand out.

From the warm greeting of the

hostess, who is positioned outside the restaurant, to the knowledgeable and gracious staff, we felt welcomed and were treated as if we

This is exactly why it was exciting to be amongst

were the only guests. They made the experi-

the privileged diners who experienced Lenoir

ence personal and prepared us, as best they

a welcoming new establishment by Todd Du-

could, for the delicious culinary experience

plechan and Jessica Maher, one of Austin’s

coming our way.

top husband and wife culinary teams. Knowing this talented duo, it is certain they meticulously planned every detail ensuring an amazing grand opening which took place on Friday, January 20th. And what an opening!

Now as for the food, the focus is on local. The cuisine is lighter, more acidic and spicy which is a complement to the warmer climate. The winter 2012 menu is a three course prix-fixe menu including Field, Sea, Land, and Dream choices.

Lenoir is described as “casual fine dining” and

From the Field, the chickpea panisse with oyster

indeed it lives up to its name.

The décor is

mushrooms, wilted wintergreens, and poached

simple, yet inviting providing a sense of home.

egg selection is an unusual combination that is

With Lenoir, Todd and Jessica focused on be-

flavorful as well as pleasing to the eyes. From

ing “green” and leaving as little a carbon foot-

the Land, the pork osso bucco with red curry,

print as possible on the environment. Many of

Imperial lima beans, and scallions awakens the

the elements, such as the wood used to design

palate with a burst of immediate taste and then



View of bar area settles nicely due to the texture and full flavor

welcoming atmosphere, first class customer

of the Imperial lima beans. The flavors of the

service, delightful and flavorful food presented

dishes are a culinary delight.

so appealingly, and a perfectly complementing

Chef Todd’s choices of “lighter fare” didn’t leave us with an overwhelmingly full feeling. Our appetites were satisfied for sure, but comfortably so. And we were able to stick pretty closely to our healthy lifestyle commitments. The adult beverage selection complemented the array of delightful dishes and did so at a moderate price. The Riesling ‘Leitz ‘Rudesheimer Mag-

beverage selection, Todd and Jessica have set the precedence for ‘casual fine dining’, all without compromising creativity, value and atmosphere. By the way as an added bonus, there’s parking! In a city where this is almost becoming extinct in the downtown area, this offering in itself is a reason to visit.

dalenakreutz”, Rheingau, Germany 2010 was per-

We can’t wait for a sophomore visit. It’s going

fect, light, sweet and not overwhelming.

to be a challenge to top our first experience…

Lenoir is a refreshing addition to the dining landscape in Austin.

Chef Duplechan’s experi-

ence gained while creating such a primo fine dining experience at TRIO at Four Seasons will ensure the dining experience at Lenoir will be

or, is it?

Lenoir 1807 South First Street, Austin, Texas. Hours are Tuesday thru Saturday, 5:00 – 10:30pm. Reservations are gladly accepted by calling (512)-215-9778

just that, a primo dining experience. From the IN FLUENTIAL 57

taStinGS by Cornucopia Popcorn Kellie’s Kandies & Cookies Pink Avocado Catering The League Kitchen & Tavern Dagar’s Catering Manuels Restaurant Green Pastures Catering with a Twist Tiny Pies Olive & June Lambert’s Steiner Ranch Steakhouse Hill Country Cupcake Trento

This chic spring style show features prominent Austinites on the runway, delicious tastings, fashion focused desserts, distinctive live auction items and fabulous shopping. Friday, March 23, 2012 6:30PM SakS FiFth avenue 9722 Great hillS trail auStin, tX 78759

runway aPPearanceS by Vaugnn Brock & his sons, Marshall & Grayson • Barbara Chapman & her daughter, Casey Chapman-Ross • Ashton Cumberbatch & his son, Graham • Ellen Gold & her daughter, Emily • Rebecca Hardeman & her children, Genny & Will • Stephen Jones & his son, Anthony • Lynn & Tom Meredith & their daughter, Sarah • Angela Norton & her daughter, Paloma • Jeff Rhodes & his his son, Caden • Marina Sifuentes & her daughter, Lia • Stacy Bennett & her daughter, Gracyn • Linda McCaul & her Daughters • Jenny Palmieri & her daughters, Ryan & Sydney • Joanna Linden & her daughter, Mackenzie White • Kay Flowers, Krista Moy & her daughter, Catherine • Rosa Maria Avila, & her daughters, Sofia & Victoria • Mary Yancy & her daughters • Anya Utterback & her daughters • Danielle Poag & her brother • Liz Baskin & her children, Alexandra & Chase Northington • Alex Winkelman & her mother • Maria & Eric Groten • Aryn & Tavo Hellmund • Kent Mays & Janet Harman • Venus & Bill Strawn • Mary & Rusty Tally • June Hamilton • Mary Pat Mueller • Kathryn Bechtol • Annette Marie Renaud • Jennifer Windler Robertson • Deborah Corbin • Lorley Musiol • Liz Baskin • Eselle Casanova • Kumora Wilcoxin • Mr. Michelle Issa • Ryan Nail • Bill Wilson



Wednesday, March 21

Saturday, April 14

2012 Austin Torch of Liberty

27th Annual Rare & Fine Wine

Award Dinner


Friday, March 23

Saturday, April 21

Fashion for Compassion

Elizabeth Ann Seton Board’s Evening Under the Stars

Sunday, March 25 The Nobility Project Artists &

Saturday, April 21

Filmmakers Dinner

Red, Hot and Soul

Saturday, March 31

Thursday, April 26

2012 Bandana Ball

Umlauf Garden Party

Thursday, April 5

Friday, April 27- Sunday, April 29

Five x Seven Art Splurge

Austin Food & Wine Festival

Monday, April 9

Visit to learn

“There’s No Such Thing As A

more about individual events and to get the

Free Lunch” Luncheon

scoop on everything going on around town!


With four Magnet® recognized facilities, Seton is at the top. As a growing center for medical research and education, the Seton Healthcare Family is bringing world-class medicine to the region. Our health care teams share clinical innovations across a network of 24 locations, including five ANCC Pathway to Excellence® facilities and the only Level 1 Trauma Centers in the area, making Seton the leading provider of complex health care in Central Texas. Our Magnet culture creates a rich practice environment with low turnover rates and high levels of job satisfaction.

Seton congratulates Influential Magazine on its premiere issue in Austin!

Serving an 11-county area of 1.8 million people, our facilities include: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas* Seton Medical Center Austin* Seton Medical Center Hays Seton Medical Center Williamson** Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital** Seton Highland Lakes Hospital** Seton Northwest Hospital* Seton Southwest Hospital** Seton Shoal Creek Hospital** University Medical Center Brackenridge*

Terri H.

We thank our staff for helping us earn the distinction as one of the Top 100 health care systems in the nation.

Part of the Seton Family since 2008

Visit our website at to learn more.

**Pathway to Excellence facilities

*Seton is home to the region’s only four Magnet recognized hospitals for Nursing Excellence granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Not just a living. A way of life. Austin, Texas.