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Amazing Grace

Bed & breakfast owner does it all Walk over the threshold of Amazing Grace Bed and Breakfast in Belton and feel the 21st century melt away. Gone are the sounds of traffic zipping by on Main Street. Instead, all you hear is the soft music playing throughout the two-story, 126-year-old mansion that was originally home to Dr. Taylor Hudson and his family from the late 1800s into the early 20th century. Last June, business owner and entrepreneur Debra Schwarz opened the doors to the newly renovated house, keeping the original rustic interiors that include the solid pine floors, wainscoting and trim, marble fireplaces, furniture and iconography from that era. A grand, suspended staircase in the entrance of the home leads guests upstairs to three suites decorated with a 19th-century flair. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Rising through ranks Dedicated service brings achievement and change

Susan Kamas refers to herself as a servant leader. As the executive director of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas for 28 years, she said she has a job that she comes to every day where she can help people. “We are able to help people because no one wants to be unemployed,” she said. By CATHERINE HOSMAN




ABWA members offer encouragement, support

Cleaning company builds relationships with clients

Darling Decor and More gives new life to antiques

Strong sisterhood The Globe Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in Killeen has been empowering women for 53 years. Each month a group of about 40 women meet to hear speakers discuss topics like branding, social media and networking. By CATHERINE HOSMAN 

Helping hands

Everything is coming up pink for Kay English, founder and owner of English Maids — a family-owned and operated residential and commercial cleaning service. Along with her daughter, Lauren English, they manage offices in Waco and Temple. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Treasure trove

Leah McHorse, owner of Darling Décor and More, an antique shop in Temple, has made a career out of picking through grandmothers’ attics, old homes and garage sales. It all started when she was a child in Colleyville and would accompany her grandmother to garage sales. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Contributors & Departments 8

Publisher’S LETTER




TexTalk Neighbors Guns and Glitz empowers women



Lauren English opens her bag


MITCHEL BARRETT is an award-winning photographer and owner of Mitchel Barrett Photography. Although originally from the British Virgin Islands, for the past 12 years he has come to call the city of Killeen his home. He developed his love of photography while attending high school and the KISD Career Center, and has enjoyed life behind the lens ever since. When not busy taking photos, you can probably find him at the movies with friends or at home with his family and two dogs.

CRAIG LIFTON is a freelance photographer and has been shooting photographs since his early teen years in Detroit, Mich. A 24-year veteran with the National Guard Service and the Air Force, he now works as an Army civilian in public relations, video broadcasting and journalism at Fort Hood. Craig recently branched out on his own to study more about his interest in photography. A resident of the Central Texas area since 2005, Craig and his family now love the culture and landscapes of their new home.

TexTalk SCENE Bell County Heart Ball




AMY PROCTOR is a professional travel, landscape and news photographer and is an Army spouse of almost 27 years. Her work has been featured on CNN and National Geographic, and she has written for various military newspapers around the country. She and her husband have four children.

ADVERTISERS INDEX Life & Style in Central Texas

May 2016

Tex Appeal Magazine Special Edition May 2016

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Susan Kamas of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. 19 Photograph by Mitchel Barrett 

GABE Wolf is an award-winning photojournalist, with the most recent being the 2015 Barbara Jordan Media Award. He lives in Kempner with wife Stephenie, two dogs, Benny and Joon, three cats, Mouse, Veruca and Augustus, and two horses, Trouble and China. He’s been a professional photographer for the past 15 years, documenting the Western Lifestyle with his wife and business partner, Stephenie.


Tex Appeal Magazine is looking for photographers and freelance writers with experience photographing and/or writing features for a newspaper or magazine. We are seeking candidates from the Central Texas area. Candidates must be detail- and deadline-oriented and good storytellers, and must be familiar with AP style. Ability for writers to take photos is a plus, but not required. Interested candidates may send their resumes and three to five recent stories and/or photographs for consideration to

Call us at 254-501-7500 or 254-778-4444


From the Publisher Dear Readers, Much has changed since I first entered the workforce, when jobs available to women were relatively limited. At the time, most of the opportunities were in traditional careers such as teaching, nursing, accounting and office administration. The women who moved into these fields often excelled, and as they advanced, they took on increasing responsibilities along the way. Their valuable contributions were crucial to the success of their office, business or school. When I became editor and publisher of the Temple Daily Telegram and Killeen Daily Herald and president of KCEN-TV in 1987, I attended state and national meetings of media organizations at which women were well represented, yet still in the minority. Over the years, however, more doors have been opened, and women are increasingly rising to the top ranks in their companies and serving as CEOs, presidents and executive directors. While not yet broken in all fields, the proverbial “glass ceiling” of advancement and promotion continues to fracture in workplaces across the nation. According to the Department of Labor, women make up 57 percent of the workforce as of 2015. Not only are they taking leadership roles in corporations and organizations, women today are also excelling as entrepreneurs, starting and running their own businesses. This May we celebrate women from diverse backgrounds who have risen to the top of their respective companies through hard work and dedication, and who have taken a passion and turned it into a business. Susan Kamas, executive director of the Workforce Solutions of Texas, started her career 40 years ago in Odessa. Over the years, her strong work ethic and dedication led her to her current position, which she has held for 28 years. In an interview with Tex Appeal, she discusses how things have changed — especially in the area of technology — since she began her journey with Workforce Solutions of Texas four decades ago. Tammy Jo McCleney is a 24-year veteran of law enforcement. Currently, she is a police officer in Belton. When she learned of a need to teach women how to be strong and protect themselves, she started Guns and Glitz shooting academy. Together with Kim Martin, general manager of the Hawkeye Shooting Academy in Temple, she teaches women the skills they need to safely handle a firearm and a safe place to practice their marksmanship. Leah McHorse always had a knack for merchandise display. As a young woman, she honed her skills working in her grandmother’s thrift store outside of Colleyville, where she grew up. Realizing she had a natural gift for display, she started her own estate sale company. When she moved to Texas, she opened Darling Décor and More, a place to treasure hunt through old things that are new again. When Kay English retired from her career as a dental hygienist, she wasn’t sure which direction she wanted to go. Some family members commented on her talent for keeping everything clean. Working out of the trunk of her car, she started English Maids residential and commercial cleaning services in Waco eight years ago. Business boomed and she expanded into Temple. Today, she and her daughter, Lauren, run the offices and manage 20 employees who help keep Central Texas homes and businesses clean. Every working woman needs support every now and then, and the Globe Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in Killeen welcomes women from all areas of business to meet, learn and mentor others to succeed in their jobs. The working women of Central Texas are among our local communities’ most valuable assets. As such, we are proud to acknowledge and recognize some of their noteworthy accomplishments. I sincerely hope you enjoy Tex Appeal’s Women in Business issue for 2016.

Sue Mayborn

Tex Appeal Publisher 


Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Published by FRANK MAYBORN ENTERPRISES, INC. KILLEEN DAILY HERALD 1809 Florence Rd., Killeen, TX 76540

TEMPLE DAILY TELEGRAM 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501

Publisher SUE MAYBORN Editor CATHERINE HOSMAN Editorial Director ROSE FITZPATRICK Photographers/Graphic Designers


Tex Appeal Magazine is published monthly by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501. The cover and content of Tex Appeal Magazine is fully protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. Subscriptions: For the United States, $24 per year, 12 issues. Mail check to P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114.

Questions about subscriptions, call 254-778-4444.

Postmaster: Send address changes to: Tex Appeal Magazine, P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114. How to contact us: Advertising: Call 254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500. Editorial: Contact Catherine Hosman at 254-501-7511 or email edittexappealmagazine@

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You can read back issues of Tex Appeal Magazine at Log on today to find the current issue and older editions of Tex Appeal. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

Tammy Jo McCleney, left, and Kim Martin teamed up to teach women how to handle a gun through the Guns and Glitz shooting league that meets twice a month at Hawkeye Shooting Academy in Temple. 10


neighbors TexTalk

Empowering women with Guns and Glitz

Law enforcement officer creates shooting league for women Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS


ammy Jo McCleney, founder and owner of Guns and Glitz, teaches women how to be fearless in the eyes of danger. Formerly an Austin police detective and currently a Belton police officer, McCleney is a 24-year law enforcement veteran. In 2016, she received the Distinguished Service Medal for the Belton Police Department for her work with the RU OK program, an organization of volunteers that call area seniors to check on their welfare. She is Belton’s first female firearms instructor and is a Licensed To Carry instructor at Hawkeye Shooting Academy in Temple, where Guns and Glitz meets twice a month. McCleney knows that walking into a shooting range for the first time can be scary and intimidating for many women who want to learn how to use a firearm. Many of the women who come, she said, are doing it because they have been victims of domestic abuse or other crimes and they want to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones. Others come because they want to know how to arm and protect themselves in an uncertain world, and some just want to learn how to shoot a gun. In order to make this a comfortable experience for women, McCleney along with Kim Martin, general manager of Hawkeye Shooting Academy, teamed up to teach women of all ages how to handle a gun. “They just have to have the courage to take the first step to make it happen,”

Joan Boutwell, left, a member of Guns and Glitz, gets gun-handling advice from instructor Renee Bustilloz.

“They just have to have the courage to take the first step to make it happen. They just need to walk though the door and we’ll do the rest.” Tammy Jo McCleney McCleney said. “They just need to walk through the door and we’ll do the rest.” McCleney said she sees the fear in some women’s faces who walk into the gun range for the first time, saying, “We have to pull them off the wall, but once

they shoot a few times, that’s when they realize they can do this.” The league meets every second Wednesday and fourth Thursday of the month at the academy for a new kind of Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


girls’ night out. When the doors open at 5 p.m. on league night, newcomers are directed to a classroom for a new shooter briefing with McCleney and Martin. “The two main focuses in our new shooter briefing class are safe gun handling skills and range etiquette,” McCleney said. Experienced gun owners can go directly to the 10-lane range. There are always volunteer certified firearm instructors to help with gun safety and the fundamentals of shooting, “such as correct stance, grip, sight alignment and trigger control,” McCleney said. “This gives women a place to go, gives them a sense of community,” Martin added. McCleney said people enjoy milling around in the women’s accessory area and break room, where refreshments are always provided. “They are getting to know each other and making friends. Women in similar life experiences lean on each other for support,” Martin said. McCleney said Guns and Glitz has more than 400 members, and up to 200 women participate in these evening practices twice a month. The range gives them a place to hone their skills, and the league gives them a camaraderie not found by meeting up with friends at a mall. The league began in October with 72 women attending the first practice. “Currently our practices are averaging 90 women,” McCleney said. “We teach a variety of courses from Beginner Shooting to License To Carry. We also offer specialized lecture classes on topics like holster selection and concealed carry.” When McCleney meets with newcomers in her class, she asks them why they want to learn how to use a firearm. Some women come to the league out of fear because of something that may have happened in their lives, and McCleney said she wants to know what that is so she can help them overcome their fears, while teaching them to protect themselves. “I want to find out what happened to cause their fear. I want to know if they are here for fun, or to obtain a license to carry,” she said. Once the class is finished, McCleney said, women who do not own a firearm 12

Kim Martin briefs new shooters at the Guns and Glitz league night at Hawkeye Shooting Academy in Temple.

“We teach women about situational awareness. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t put yourself in that situation.”

experienced and brown is medium. Martin said instructors first look at the tags to determine a member’s level of shooting experience and then teach them everything they need to know based on their ability. “That includes stance, grip, help them with whatever issues there are,” Martin said. “Every shooter is different.” Safety and range rules are stated and must be adhered to. No exceptions.

Tammy Jo McCleney and Kim Martin

Personal safety Gone, today, are images of the damsel in distress. Today’s fictional heroine usually wears sensible shoes or combat boots, has a holstered gun strapped to her hip, another one hidden someplace else on her person, and may even be carrying an AR-15. Instead of wavering, they meet their threat with impunity.

are directed to the gun counter where a Hawkeye employee will assist them with finding a gun that suits them. Members wear color tags that identify their level of expertise with firearms: Red means new, blue is


Members of the Guns and Glitz all-women’s shooting league meet at the range to practice. Tammy Jo McCleney is front row third from right. Photo courtesy of Heather Bankhead.

Members of Guns and Glitz practice their shooting skills on league nights.

Over the past decades, strong women have been sending out a different message to generations of young women that they don’t have to be helpless. They can

be strong. They can fight. And they can overcome. McCleney is one of these women. She founded Guns and Glitz in 2012

while living in Giddings and witnessing an increase in violent crimes, including one that affected a friend. When she moved to Belton in 2014, she became friends with several of the women who worked in a downtown hair salon. “When they found out what I did for a living, they wanted to learn how to shoot, expressing concern for their personal safety because of the increasing crime in all communities,” she said. It was because of her friends at the salon that she approached Martin to start a Guns and Glitz league in Bell County. “I wanted them to learn how to protect themselves and learn how to use a gun,” McCleney said. League member Rhonda Roberston said, “A lot of the ladies in our group have reasons to need the confident, empowering feeling these two ladies have given us. As an older woman with back issues, I can’t rely on techniques I learned years ago to keep myself safe.” “We shine the light on how not to be a victim,” echoed Martin and McCleney. “We teach women about situational awareness. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t put yourself in that situation. If you do find yourself in one of those situations, we hope that we have taught you how to be prepared to deal with it.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Beauty in the Bag


How do you stay beautiful on the go?

Lauren English

Each month Tex Appeal peeks inside the bag of one busy woman to reveal her best beauty secrets and must-have essentials.

Director of Operations English Maids

The ESSENTIALS she CARRIES Maybelline Baby Lips — Crystal Kiss: I keep this with me because it moisturizes my lips without adding a lot of color. Jordana Retractable Easyliner for Eyes — Black: I use this eyeliner every morning and it stays on most of the day, but I carry it with me for touchups as needed in the late afternoons or evenings to freshen up for an event or dinner. Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel — Paris: I keep hand sanitizer with me at all times because I never know when I may need it. Bath & Body Works Body Lotion — Pumpkin Latte: I wash my hands a lot at


work during the week so I always keep lotion with me to soothe my dry hands and skin. Mark Kay Mineral Powder Foundation — Ivory 1: I carry powder and a powder brush with me to use throughout the day to control shine. Polarized Coach Sun Glasses with case: If you see me out and about, I usually have my sunglasses on or somewhere nearby. I am used to having them with me and I prefer to drive with them on to help block the sun. Ice Breakers Duo Mints — Watermelon: I keep these in my purse because I like the way they taste and to help keep my mouth fresh while I am on the go.


Photographs by MITCHEL BARRETT

Most valuable TOOL in her BAG

iPhone: It is crucial that I carry my phone with me everywhere I go. It is how I stay connected with my customers and employees when I am unable to be at the office. It gives me a piece of mind knowing I can be reached to answer questions no matter where I might be. It is also how I stay connected with my family and friends. Do you have a beauty signature item you are known for wearing? Mary Kay Lip Gloss — Fancy Nancy: I love the color and the way it makes my lips feel. I can wear it for a formal social event or to just go grocery shopping. It is my goto lip accessory for all occasions. Do you have a helpful hint you can share with readers? I like to use a wallet with a wristlet so I can easily take what I need inside the wristlet verses carrying my whole purse, especially if I am making a quick trip. Tell us about any other essential item that helps make your life easier. My English Maids name tag. I keep it with me so I can easily be identified and can market our business everywhere I go.

254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500



TexTalk scene


Vascular Institute hosts 2016 Bell County Heart Ball 2




1. The Baylor Scott & White Vascular Institute held its 2016 Bell County Heart Ball on April 23 at Tenroc Ranch in Salado. 2. Linda and Mike Cornett own the ranch. 3. From left, Joel Allison, Baylor Scott & White Health President and CEO, Adrian Olivarez, Jesus Olivarez, 6-year-old Jesus Olivarez Jr., Vicki Olivarez and McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White pediatric cardiologist Dr. John Pliska. 4. Pat Currie, left, president of Central Texas for Baylor Scott & White Health, and her husband, Don Currie. 5. Joel and Diane Allison. MAY 2016 | TEX APPEAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS

6. Musicians Joe Gee of Austin, left, and Paul Cox of Salado entertained guests. 7. Heather Licht and Frans Van Wagenberg. 8. Robert Prove, CMO for Baylor Scott & White Health, and his wife, Barbara Weiss, physician for executive health. 9. Wendell and Earlisha Scott. 10. American Heart Association Committee Chair for Bell County Carrie Psencik and her husband, Mike. 11. Max Cordova and Lynette Vanbeber. 12. A silent auction raised funds to benefit the American Heart Association. Photos by AMY PROCTOR

scene TexTalk











Susan Kamas is the executive director of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. 18


Rising through the ranks Dedicated service brings achievement and change



usan Kamas refers to herself as a servant leader. As the executive director of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas for 28 years, she said she has a job that she comes to every day where she can help people. “We are able to help people because no one wants to be unemployed,” she said. Her week often begins with early morning meetings with local community officials to discuss public policy. As the executive director of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas in Belton, she also attends executive committee meetings, scholarship luncheons, and serves on the boards of several local, state and national organizations including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Workforce Development Council; Association of the United States Army; Texas Association of Workforce Boards; AUSA Central TexasFort Hood Chapter Board of Governors, Chapter Secretary; past president of Rotary Club of Belton and so many more. A 40-year veteran of Texas Workforce Solutions, her career began in 1976 when she relocated to Odessa with her husband, James, a chemical engineer, who accepted a position working in the oil industry. With her experience as the assistant volunteer coordinator for the Travis State School, she applied to, and was hired by, the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, where she designed training programs for her customers before computer assistance. Nine months later, she was the assistant director. “In those days, if you worked hard, you would advance,” she said. Five years later, the Kamas’ returned to Austin and she became the director of the Job Training Partnership Act, commuting weekly to San Angelo. Five years after that she became the Deputy Director for the Department of Community Affairs in Austin and

James and Susan Kamas and Rusty stand beside acres of cotton planted and raised by James.

three years later, she returned to the local level at the Central Texas Council of Government in Belton, as Division Director for Employment and Training. She was named executive director of the Central Texas Workforce Board in 1997, which is now called Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and is part of a statewide branding for 28 local workforce boards. For 20 years she commuted from Austin to Belton until eight years ago, when she and her husband, James, moved to a farm outside of Temple where her husband is a commercial farmer growing crops of wheat, corn, cotton and sorghum. Her commute is shorter now, and for someone who was born and reared in Temple, she said being in Belton is very natural.

Career couple Working hard and long hours was never an issue for either Susan or her

husband, James. Both are career oriented people and understood the demands of their respective positions. Now she runs an office of 10 and enjoys working with a staff of “overachievers and high performers.” Turnover is low. Her executive assistant, Sandra Russell, has been with her for 18 years. During her years with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, Kamas said she has seen many changes in the job market, the economy, technology, and the overall workforce. Currently, the Central Texas economy is booming and Kamas said unemployment in Bell County is 4.4 percent. When the economy is good, unemployment is low, which is good for job seekers, she said. “We have a lot of jobs to apply and compete for,” she said. “But the market changes with the economy and so far, Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


the past 28-year cycle has not varied that much,” she explained. “When the economy is down, you have high unemployment.” During periods of high unemployment, employers have many applicants for open positions, which creates a more competitive field for job seekers. “With so many applicants for one position, people often start looking at entry level jobs only to be told they are over qualified,” she said. “In times of high unemployment, those who can, return to school for advanced training, or to upgrade their skills.” People with higher a skill and education level could see a salary increase and advancement. “Those in the lower end have not seen an increase in five, six, seven years,” she said. But the nature of jobs has changed dramatically since the introduction of technology in all areas of employment. Kamas said the types of jobs we had 20 years ago no longer exist. Gone is the day when a low-wage earner could get a support job within an organization. With today’s technology, there are fewer support jobs to go around and many have been eliminated.

Keeping current Not too long ago the new and longterm unemployed would have to go into a local Texas Workforce office to fill

Susan Kamas said she has stayed with the industry because it is ever-changing. She recalls the early days when information was bound in a book. Today, everything is instant, including correspondence. “People expect you to respond to email immediately,” she said. out their application for benefits. There would be long lines as hopefuls waited to speak to a counselor who may be able to steer them in the right direction for a job opening or potential training. Job boards were set up and applicants could search for jobs on microfiche or through the pages of a newspaper’s job ads. Staffs were large to accommodate the constant flow of traffic into the offices, and people would have to return many times to meet with an appointed counselor. Kamas said today’s technology is the driving force on both ends of the job search spectrum. “We have a variety of customers we work with ­— both business and job seeker — and oftentimes today, businesses only accept online applications and resumes,” she said. But employers no longer rely solely on an applicant’s resume. Today they look for a person who will fit into their culture and has the soft skills that are needed for

Susan Kamas works with Linda Angel in the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas office in Belton. 20


that business or organization. “Work in Texas is a statewide job matching system for all types of job seekers,” she said. Staying current with technology in the 21st century is challenging. Things change daily and we rely on all different sources of information. To keep up with the latest trends for her organization, Kamas attends seminars, meetings and conferences in and out of State. Professional development is offered to all employees. “We bring online training to our all-staff meetings with new technical information three to four times a year,” she said. Kamas said she has stayed with the industry because it is ever-changing. She recalls the early days when information was bound in a book. Today, everything is instant, including correspondence. “People expect you to respond to email immediately,” she said. Another change is her role as an office leader. In the past, her community interaction was limited to locally within the Central Texas region, state and national meetings, with a greater emphasis on national. Today, a large portion of her job is collaborating within the Central Texas communities. Kamas’ community collaboration includes working with chambers of commerce, Central Texas school districts, economic development corporations and Fort Hood. She also gathers information on the national level with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Workforce Development Council. “It has the brightest and best innovators all over the country,” she said. Dr. Vivian Baker, past superintendent for the Belton ISD worked with Kamas on the Central Texas Workforce Board in 2002. She said Kamas’ focus was always on her work and not for personal gain. “She wanted what was best for the

Susan Kamas, front, executive director of Workforce Solutions of Texas, with, from left, Sandra Russell, executive assistant; Yolanda Rodriguez, accounts payable; Sherry Trebus, Child Care Policy & Quality Assurance Manager; Linda Angel, Strategic & Performance Management; Horace Dicks, director of administration; and at back, Jerry Haisler, LCSW, MPA, director.

people and the community,” Baker said. “At that time, she was one of the few women leaders I knew and her focus was on exactly what she was hired to do: help people get jobs, and the betterment of the community.” As a woman in a leadership role, Baker said she was able to pave the way for a lot of women.

A driving force Kamas admits to being very driven when she first began her career. She and her husband both had jobs that demanded much of their time, so they understood each other’s schedules. She

worked very long hours, traveled often, attended meetings and worked weekends. “My husband worked as many hours as a chemical engineer,” she said. “Now he sometimes works seven days a week on the farm.” Patience is a virtue and this is a value she has learned over the years. “It’s OK not to have all the knowledge, to defer and rely on other individuals,” she said. “In the past people would come to me and ask me to look up tech info for them I realized I was doing them a disservice and put it back to them.” Another core value she gained is

confidence. “If you would have told me 40 years ago that I would have the confidence to speak to a four-star general,” she said, trailing off. “I’ve been exposed to a lot of political leaders, CEOs of Business and military personnel and spouses. I can maneuver in the business world and enjoy the military opportunities.” Today she balances her life with a flex schedule and said, “It’s not the number of hours you put in, but what you accomplish while you are there. I enjoy and cherish every day.” Workforce Solutions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Debra Schwarz owns and operates Amazing Grace Bed and Breakfast in Belton. 22


Amazing Grace Owner of Belton bed and breakfast serves as chief cook, bottle-washer, gardener and hostess



alk over the threshold of Amazing Grace Bed and Breakfast in Belton and feel the 21st century melt away. Gone are the sounds of traffic zipping by on Main Street. Instead, all you hear is the soft music playing throughout the two-story, 126-year-old mansion that was originally home to Dr. Taylor Hudson and his family from the late 1800s into the early 20th century. Last June, business owner and

entrepreneur Debra Schwarz opened the doors to the newly renovated house, keeping the original rustic interiors that include the solid pine floors, wainscoting and trim, marble fireplaces, furniture and iconography from that era. A grand, suspended staircase in the entrance of the home leads guests upstairs to three suites decorated with a 19th-century flair. The Blue Bird sleeps up to three people; the Whispering Dove sleeps one or two and is the honeymoon suite; and the Sparrows Nest accommodates up to seven guests. The suite names pay homage to Schwarz’s love of birds.

Downstairs is the Under the Canopy Tea Room with tables converted from a twin-sized canopy bed and where 3-yearold little girls’ tea parties, generational “teas,” granddad and granddaughter luncheons, anniversaries and wedding receptions are hosted. The Chickadee Tea Room and high tea parlor add additional space to seat up to 40 guests for a special occasion like a birthday, shower, small wedding reception or business meeting. The main dining room is open to the public and serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


ABOVE: A panoramic view of the Whispering Dove guest suite. BELOW: Debra Schwarz prunes rose bushes to help with the upkeep in the garden.

reservations required. One thing all the rooms in the house have in common is Schwarz’s favorite color — pink. Also on the lower level is Schwarz’s office and private suite, which she sometimes converts into a guest room when the upstairs rooms are sold out. She keeps a fifth-wheel trailer in the back, which she moves into during days when the mansion is full. Fine china and glassware are used in the dining room and tea room. Schwarz, who is the proprietor, gardener, renovator, chef and hostess, said, “You can serve hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and if you serve it on china, it makes a good experience. It brings you out of your sadness for the moment.”

A life of travel Schwarz, traditionally, is not one to settle down. Her adventurous spirit moves with the wind in whichever direction it leads her. Her life journeys, and career in hairdressing, cosmetology and as an aquatics instructor, took her from the family homestead in Buffalo, N.Y., to Louisiana, Dallas, Boulder, Colo., Tennessee, Port Neches, Texas, Mill Spring, Mo., and back to Port Neches before settling in Belton. She was a platform stylist and worked shows from Los Angeles to Chicago and New York to 24


London. Along the way, and before semiretiring from her career as a hair stylist in 2005, Schwarz purchased vintage homes and buildings in the states where she lived, and converted them into livable and workable structures before selling them and moving onto her next project. When she was living in Missouri, she purchased a 100-year-old farm house on 60 acres that she renovated and also built a 5-acre lake on the property. In all, she has renovated and restored six houses in 30 years. Many were two stories. Nearly all were 100-year-old buildings. But when she found the opportunity to open a bed and breakfast in a historic mansion in Belton, she signed a 10-year lease and dug her heels in for the long term. “I’ve wanted to own a bed and breakfast for 25 years,” she said. “I

attempted to open one in another area, but the location wasn’t right. It was a town of just a few hundred people.” Settling down in one place for an extended time is a new concept for Schwarz. “When I leased the place, my dad said, ‘You always buy, why lease?,’ but I had his full support,” she said. Always looking for her next project, she is in the process of converting the carriage house into an event center. When that is finished, she will find another project to keep her tireless spirit at bay. “Now, if I stand still long enough, something is going to get painted: floors, wall murals, walls,” she said while sitting in the main dining room, looking at the wall where she painted a mural of the house.

Born holding a hammer Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., she grew up in the house her father was born in. It was a two-and-a-half story brick home with a basement that her dad converted into an apartment he rented out. She said he was constantly remodeling something. It was there that she learned how to work with her hands from the time she was 5, working side by side with her dad Continued

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Debra Schwarz painted a mural on the wall of the Chickadee Tea Room. BELOW: A marble fireplace adds to the ambiance of the Whispering Dove guest suite.

on household tasks like painting and pulling nails out of wood. When she was 13, she helped her dad build a weekend chalet in the New York countryside. She said she was raised to work hard, and gets a lot of pleasure out of it. “My dad was a teacher on how to do and take care of things, like electric, plumbing, painting and finishing,” she said. Schwarz flipped her first house 30 years ago in Ville Platte, La., her exhusband’s home town. She bought a condemned office building, and in three months, she transformed the building into an upscale salon, while continuing renovations on a home. Her other properties include a 100year-old home in Tennessee; and she also renovated two homes and another condemned building in Port Neches. At one point, she bought a 100-year-old log cabin in Colorado, which was her first attempt at a bed and breakfast, but instead she hosted advanced education retreats for hairstylists. 26

“I do a lot of the work myself,” she said. “I buy a home, live in it for two years and while working on it, see the potential.” In 2005, she sold her Port Neches


salon and moved to Mill Spring, Mo., population 250, but continued commuting to Port Neches every other weekend, where she worked out of a salon in her parents home, keeping

Canopy beds were turned into tables in one of the tea rooms at amazing grace, a perfect setting for little girls’ teas.

a commitment to her clients. When her mom died, she sold her Missouri property and returned to Port Neches for a while before she found her way to Belton and taught cosmetology at a Killeen college. The relocation turned out to be serendipitous for Schwarz. Looking for another building to renovate, she was driving through Belton when she found the old jail house and had the idea to purchase and renovate it. But a cash offer from another buyer took precedent. On her way to the old jail, she kept passing a mansion on the corner that had a for lease sign on it. When she finally took a look inside, she knew this was what she wanted. But there was much work ahead of her to get it repaired and decorated. She signed the lease, not knowing how she was going to pay for this new venture. “It didn’t matter,” she said. “It’s God’s grace.” “I’m a calculated risk taker,” added this divorced mother of three, who lost her oldest son in a vehicle collision in 2000. “I’m a visionary. I always have a plan B, plan C. When someone says I can’t do something, I find a way to do it.” Schwarz said she follows God’s lead. “He plants a seed that puts that yearning, that wondering,” she said. “I’m not running from (something), I’m running to.”

Debra Schwarz dons her pink chef’s jacket to prepare evening snacks for her guests. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Strong sisterhood American Business Women’s Association members offer encouragement, advice and support to one another Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by CRAIG LIFTON


he Globe Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in Killeen has been empowering women for 53 years. Each month a group of about 40 women meet to hear speakers discuss topics like branding, social media and networking. Members can learn how to update their resume and present themselves at an interview. Regional conferences offer seminars such as Giving and Receiving Feedback and Constructive Criticism, which are counted as four Continuing Education Units. “ABWA is a place where women are empowered to go for their goals,” said Misty Baumgrotz, current vice president and incoming ABWA Globe Chapter president for 2016. “If you want to start your own business, you can find answers to whatever questions you may have. If you want to become a better leader, there are leadership conferences, and professional development seminars that qualify for CEUs.” Baumgrotz said ABWA is not just a group for women in business, it is a sisterhood. “You meet women you can depend on; women you can trust to help you,” she said. “We build each other up, in times of happiness, or in times of sorrow.” Women (and now some men), from all levels of business backgrounds Join ABWA. “It doesn’t matter if you are a CFO or just getting out of high school, you have worth, you will have something to give,” said Baumgrotz, a paralegal and mother of five. Baumgrotz has been a member for four years and currently serves as the 30

Debi McKamie, of Waco, and Elizabeth Roberts, of Killeen, wear their masks at the American Business Women Association Masquerade Ball.

newsletter editor, social media chair and education chair. As the Education Chair she is responsible for processing scholarship applications. ABWA and its partnering foundations dispense thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving members. Since the


organizations inception, more than $17 million in scholarships have been awarded to women all over the United States. “It doesn’t matter if you are in school, starting school, or what area of study you are in,” Baumgrotz said. Baumgrotz became a member four

Globe Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association officers, from left, Tina Rodgers, Board Advisor; Sandra Williams, Secretary; Misty Baumgrotz, Vice President; Michelle Davis, President; and Lillie Aguero, Treasurer. The ABWA held a masquerade ball at the Shilo Inn on April 28.

“ABWA is a place where women are empowered to go for their goals. If you want to start your own business, you can find answers to whatever questions you may have. If you want to become a better leader, there are leadership conferences, and professional development seminars that qualify for CEUs.” Misty Baumgrotz years ago when she realized she wanted to be more than just an entry-level employee. Through the organization she said she learned that it’s OK for a woman to want more in a career and it is OK for a woman to say she wants more. For too long, she said, women were to be seen on not heard. But today it’s

OK for a woman to speak up for what she wants. “Membership in ABWA includes online training courses you can take any time,” she said. “When I listened to the speaker, it was like she was speaking to my soul.” Outgoing president Michelle Davis

joined ABWA in 2007. She has also served as vice president, secretary of the Ways and Means Committee Chair, as well as assisting as needed with other committees. In 2011, her husband joined the organization and was the first male member. “He supports ABWA’s mission, thinks highly of the Globe Chapter’s members, and the organization’s goals,” Davis said. During her term as president, Davis said the chapter earned Best Practices recognition at the 2015 ABWA National Convention for the 2014-2015 chapter year. She said she worked close to their budget so they could use funds raised to “make a larger impact for our members and our community.” ”One of the ways we streamlined it was by using more technology at meetings and fundraisers, which lowered costs for Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Maria Garcia, followed by Wanona Stallings and Karola Anthony, all of Killeen, line up at the buffet at the American Business Women’s Association Masquerade Ball.

reproducing materials.” Davis said if it wasn’t for ABWA, she wouldn’t be where she is today, personally or professionally. “Our chapter is very diverse. I am able to get multiple perspectives on decisions I had to make so I can make the best possible choices for myself.” Through her association with ABWA, she was able to find work at the bookkeeping and tax office of sister member Lillie Aguero & Associates. Every woman has a story about what Globe Chapter of ABWA has done to help them in their careers, whether it be assistance with college funding, gaining interview skills and the confidence to go after that job they’ve always wanted, and the courage to keep moving forward, overcoming whatever adversity they may face. For Amy Milsap, a member for 20 years who served as president for two years, said she learned that if you get 32

a group of women behind any project that “there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.” “ABWA introduced me to many successful women in our community. I watched them, worked with them and sought advice from them on numerous occasions, both personal and professional. I have attended many ABWA district and national conventions and many of the speakers I heard stirred something in me to make changes in myself and my goals.” For Milsap, those changes led her from a front desk receptionist job at a local realtors office to owning the company. “I started out answering phones and taking rent payments. As time went on, a colleague encouraged me to go to college to study accounting and business management,” she said. Returning to school was no easy task for this wife and mother of three young


children. After studying for two years, she was encouraged to go into another direction and get her real estate license. “So I did.” She worked for 10 years as a realtor, joined ABWA and became active in the Rotary Club, two organizations she still supports. In 2001, when the owner of the real estate company she was working for decided to retire, she went back to school to earn her broker’s license so that she could continue to operate the business. In September 2002, the owner transferred the business to Milsap. Both of her mentors have passed on and Milsap said, “I can’t imagine what may life would be had I not met both of my mentors. I miss them both and think of them often. I aspire to be encouraging to others as the two of them were to me. For more information on ABWA and to become a member, visit http://www.

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Women in Business



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Front left to right: Dr. Ryun Summers, Owner Vicki Langan, Dr. Joshua Hull. Back left to right: Mayra Vitolas, Dylan Ashby, Michael Langan, Cathy Barnes, Kim Faraoni, Bailey Coleman

AFC Urgent Care

3614 SW HK Dodgen Loop, Temple (Next to Cracker Barrel)   \5RGENT#ARE4EMPLE48COM AFC Urgent Care Center in Temple is the quality, quick and convenient health care alternative for individuals and businesses. “We treat every patient with respect and compassion,� said Vicki Langan, owner of the Temple AFC office, which has been serving the community since 2009. “We serve our communities by providing the highest quality medical care in a quick and convenient manner.� With a background as a CPA and executive management experience in the retail and service industry, Vicki and her husband, Pat, were the first franchisees to open in the system. Originally opening under the Doctors Express brand they have officially rebranded under the American Family Care (AFC) network of more than 170 urgent care clinics across the U.S. “Despite the fact that new AFC Urgent Care signage has been installed, very little will change,� said Langan. For example: s7ESTILLHAVETHESAMELOCALOWNERSHIP s9OUWILLSTILLBEGREETEDBYTHESAMEGREATSTAFF s9OUWILLSTILLBETREATEDBYTHEEXACTSAMEEXPERIENCED doctors s!LLOFTHESAMEINSURANCEPLANSWILLBEACCEPTED s/URAFFORDABLECO PAYSANDOTHERPAYMENTRATESWONT change s!SALWAYS YOUWILLSTILLRECEIVETHESAMEQUALITY healthcare and convenient services



AFC Urgent Care is open seven days a week with no appointment needed. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday Noon to 6 p.m. Discounted 3ELF 0AY RATES ARE AVAILABLE ALTHOUGH MOST INSURANCE PLANS ARE accepted including Tricare, Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, United and Baylor Scott & White. !S AN ADDITIONAL CONVENIENCE !&# 5RGENT #ARE OFFERS ON LINE patient registration through your mobile device or tablet. Patients will know how quickly they can see the doctor and can receive text messages letting them know it is time to arrive at the office. Medical Director, Dr. Ryun Summers along with Dr. Joshua Hull are the full time physicians and are always on site. Dr. Summers leads his professional medical team which includes licensed 2.S -!SAND8 RAY4ECHS!&#5RGENT#AREISREADILYAVAILABLEAT convenient times patients can count on when their primary care PHYSICIANISUNAVAILABLEANDEMERGENCYCAREISNTREQUIRED


Patients come to AFC Urgent Care to feel better. They come back again and again because they know we care. Vicki Langan, owner


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Pop-Abilities Gourmet Popcorn & Goodies

7349 Honeysuckle Drive, Suite 120, Temple | 254-295-0996 | In 2014, Amanda Parker took a big leap of faith and quit her job to open Pop-Abilities, Temple’s first gourmet popcorn store. Amanda’s passion for food inspires her to create her own recipes. Pop-Abilities currently offers more than 70 unique flavors. With an emphasis on freshness and high quality, different flavors are offered each day. Entrepreneurial women are common in Amanda’s family, including her mom owning and operating a preschool, and her grandmother and great-grandmother owning and operating a sandwich shop. “Owning and operating your own business is challenging,” said Amanda. “The difficulties drive me to work even harder to reach our goals. Faith and family are my support system,”

Amanda Parker, owner

Amanda always loved cooking for family and friends. She dreamed of sharing her love of food with others in the food-related business. “Starting with a little air popcorn popper in my home kitchen, I began experimenting with everyone’s favorite snack – POPCORN!” Pop-Abilities features a fun, family-friendly environment where kids are always welcome. “We are people-driven,” Amanda said. “It’s all about the relationships for me, customers and employees. It may not make us millionaires, but if I think my little store has made someone’s day better, then that’s what matters to me. To me success is measured more by the people you impact than by the money you make. It might make us different, but that’s okay.”

Gabrielle Neadham, Correctional Officer/Trainer 1018 Arnold Bartlett | 254-527-3300 | |

CCA is America’s Leader in Partnership Corrections. CCA’s values is having P.R.I.D.E in all we do.; Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Duty, Excellence. Bartlett State Jail’s Training Officer, Gabrielle Neadham demonstrates all CCA’s values. Officer Neadham constantly serves CCA with professional commitment and personal integrity while working to develop innovative and effective training techniques for CCA’s new hires. Officer Neadham’s work ethic and demeanor inspires staff to do their best. She is a great example of CCA’s core values and always willing to give a helping hand to anyone that needs it.

Gabrielle Neadham

Marvina’s Optical Boutique

1408 South 31st Street, Suite B, Temple | 254-771-2522 Marvina has over 30 years of experience in the optical field. She formally worked for Family Vision for over 15 years and is certified by the American Board of Opticianry. Marvina has lived in the Central Texas area for over 35 years and has two children. Having a passion for people has lead her to offer personalized service to customers, something that seems to lacking in the big cities. “I have lots of lab experience and love being able to offer one-day service on most single vision lenses,” said Marvina. “I keep everything locally in state, which keeps jobs in Texas.” Her boutique carries many brands: Gucci, Elle, Adrienne Vittadini, Jimmy Crystal, Charmont and more.



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Pamela Craig, MSN, RN


850 W. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights 254-690-0900 | Pam Craig serves a chief nursing officer for Seton Medical Center, Harker Heights. Prior to joining Seton, she served as the Chief Nursing Officer for Brownwood Regional Medical Center. Craig is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, American Nurses Association, and the Texas Nurses Association. She serves as the Immediate Past-President for the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, is a member of the Council on Policy Development for the Texas Hospital Association, and serves on the Board of the Greater Killeen Free Clinic. Craig co-authored a book entitled Nursing Assessment, Plan of Care, and Patient Education: The Foundation of Patient Care, published by HCPro and an article entitled Medication Processes, Equipment Improved Through Research, Collaboration, which was published in the Voice of Nursing Leadership May 2015 edition. She was a contributor to the articles Keeping kids safe: One facility’s approach to pediatric security which appeared in the January 2008 issue of HCPro’s Briefings on Patient Safety and to Safety First: How Texas Hospital Are Creating a Culture of Safety with emphasis on Safe Staffing which appeared in the January/February 2010 issue of the Texas Hospital Association’s Texas Hospitals.



Craig was a 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award by Community Health Systems. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Grand Canyon College, now University, and received her Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “As a chief nursing officer, I take our mission of delivering exceptional care very seriously. Each patient has entrusted us with his/her care and deserves our very best. To deliver this exceptional care, it requires great collaboration among many dedicated individuals including nurses, physicians, and many other ancillary and support staff. I consider it my responsibility to support them so that they can deliver the best care possible. At Seton Medical Center Harker Heights we are continually striving to grow and better meet the needs of our community. We recently achieved our Trauma designation and our Chest Pain Accreditation for which we are very proud. This accomplishment signifies to our community that we are delivering a high level of care that is worthy of recognition. We are very appreciative for our community and all the patients that entrust Seton with their care.”

R.K. Bass Electric Inc.

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1200 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights | 254-698-8751 | Designing, furnishing and installing complete electrical systems since 1985, R.K. Bass Electric is owned by Robert and Cheryl Bass. Striving “to provide the community with quality electrical expertise,” they work to educate employees in all aspects of the electrical industry so they can advance in knowledge and position. Doing so helped Bass become “the preferred electrical contractors in our area.” “A locally owned and operated business for over 30 years, our employees are honest, trained and hard-working, and they make us unique,” Bass said. “We focus on operating with integrity in all circumstances.” Back Row: Angela Hardy, Vicky Cumba, Karen Glascock Front Row: Larissa Gilbert, Dawn Ming, Linda Hutto

Customers appreciate R.K. Bass Electric’s responsiveness to each project. “We have been here for 30 years and we are experienced and trustworthy in all aspects of the electrical trade.” R.K. Bass Electric is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give them a call to discuss your electrical needs.

Cochran, Blair & Potts

221 East Central Avenue, Belton | 254-939-3333 | find us on Facebook The motto for Cochran, Blair & Potts helps tell its story: “Texas’ Oldest and Finest Department Store.” Ashley Potts, an owner of the landmark business that’s been serving Central Texas since 1869, works hard to carry on the tradition of outstanding customer service and offering “a product that will last.” “Unlike big-box department stores, we have the advantage of personally buying the merchandise that we sell and have firsthand knowledge of what our customers want,” Potts said. “People like the history of our store and its capability of keeping up with the evolving market.” The business has prospered by having many dedicated employees through the years, such as Sandra Chaney, the current office manager. Potts said Chaney “goes above and beyond to make our business operations run smoothly and efficiently.” Now in its seventh generation of family ownership and management, Potts said the business has deep roots in the community. “We have been here for the community for 147 years and will be here for years to come.” The store is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday. Ashley Potts, owner and manager

Susan B Mitchell Investments

2100 Trimmier Road, Suite 105, Killeen | 254-554-4426 | Susan B. Mitchell, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is the owner and branch manager of the Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. office in Killeen and along with her associates provides financial planning services for individuals, and organizations. The practice is built on the foundation of strong relationships, partnering with our clients in working towards financial independence. Before we start to develop your financial plan, we’ll talk in-depth about your goals, time horizon and comfort level with risk. Each season of life is different, and we never know what the future will hold. But with the right advice and planning today, you can become better prepared for financial independence tomorrow: Living life to the fullest, realizing your hopes, enjoying the benefits of your hard work and wise decisions. Whether you’re just starting out . . . building a family or career, or both . . . anticipating college expenses or considering your retirement options . . . we can help you bring your financial future into focus. As your advisor, we’ll develop an individualized investment plan that reflects your financial priorities, designed to help support the lifestyle you desire both today and tomorrow.

Susan B. Mitchell

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, located at 2100 Trimmier Road, Suite 105, Killeen, TX 76541. Please call (254) 554-4426 or visit our website at for more information. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Dr. Sherry O’Donnell, Administrator

Montessori Schools of Central Texas 1302 S. 27th Street, Temple | 254-771-1116 5610 E. Centex Expy., Suite 2, Killeen | 254-680-7500

Dr. Sherry O’Donnell has spent her entire professional career ensuring children reach their potential. With 34 years of classroom teaching experience, Sherry also taught Sunday school, which put her on her current journey positively affecting the lives of children. “A young girl came to me when I was teaching at the church and told me I should be a teacher,’ Sherry said. In 1982, Sherry set up a preschool in her converted garage in McGregor. But the school did not progress as she hoped. “The children were all uniquely different, as all children are,” Sherry said. She then discovered the Montessori approach that allows students to work at their own pace and the teacher to introduce new lessons with hands on materials unique to each child. Sherry attended training in the Montessori-style teaching method and did an internship in a Waco Montessori school. She was encouraged to become certified through the Association of Montessori International. She prayed about it and learned the certification was available in New Braunfels. “I could not believe how close (the schooling) was. God had made it available to me,” Sherry said. After seven years, she closed her preschool in McGregor and moved to Temple, to start a Montessori school. “We kept driving around looking, and we finally found the building through prayer. It was a stately building from the 1800s and had a sign that it was for lease,” Sherry said. She opened the school in Temple in 1989 with God once again showing her the way. After 13 years of teaching and overseeing school operations, Sherry decided to retire and turned the Temple school over to her daughter. But she still showed up the first day of school ready to go to work. “My daughter told me that I did not work 38


there anymore and that I had turned the school over to her. But I could not bear to let everything go. So, I opened up the Killeen school in 2004,” she said. Montessori Schools of Central Texas, with campuses in Temple and Killeen, is a family business. Sherry and her husband Jerry are administrators in Killeen and Temple. Her son handles maintenance work for both sites and also teaches sports. Her daughter is a former director at the school. Sherry, 73, earned her education degree at Baylor University as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate degree. She is certified by the Association Montessori International and American Montessori Society. Even as an administrator, she cannot stay out of the classroom and still teaches.

I’ve really put my heart into it. Dr. Sherry O’Donnel

Gretchen Williams

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254-699-9050 | When a bride and groom plan their wedding, they often strive to express the uniqueness of their love through music to create an unforgettable experience for themselves and their guests. This is where Gretchen Williams of Harker Heights enters in. Williams has been playing the harp for over 50 years. She plays for every venue imaginable, including weddings, showers, grand openings, and memorial services. She has harped for the March of Dimes, played with both choirs and symphony orchestras, and currently teaches harp to several students in the Central Texas area who have gone on to become harpists in their own right. Many of Williams’ clients have expressed their appreciation for her distinctive sound through testimonials, saying: “Your music added so much to the marriage ceremony…It added a certain elegance and calmed my nerves.”

Gretchen Williams, Harpist

Crotty Funeral Home and Cremation Services 5431 West US Highway 190, Belton | 254-933-0900 |

Crotty Funeral Home and Cremation Services is the only mother-daughter owned funeral home in Central Texas. Debra Crotty has over 25 years experience in the funeral industry; managing several local funeral homes before deciding to open Crotty Funeral Home with her daughter, Jarrah, in 2011. Debra and Jarrah decided to open Crotty Funeral Home with a goal of providing personal dignified services at affordable prices. Crotty also offers pre-arranged funeral and cremation services as well as a discounted Veterans program. They were recognized in 2014 by Ft. Hood for their service to soldiers. Debra and her daughter have made a name for themselves by going above and beyond for their families. Their mother daughter touch is making a difference in how Central Texas families and their loved ones are honored.

Jarrah Crotty Schonewolf, Director; Debra Crotty, Owner

Mary Dell Designer Fashions

2904 E. Stan Schlueter Loop, D-403, Killeen | 254-618-5058 | Stylish, affordable and fabulous best describe the selections awaiting shoppers at Mary Dell Designer Fashions. Located in The Village Square, Killeen’s popular shopping venue, customers like the quality and style of garments and accessories from top national and international designers , like JSong Collection by Way. “We cater to the individual needs of women in all areas including all sizes, styles, and price ranges,” said owner Mary Dell White, who opened her boutique in 2013. She noticed a void in the area when it came to designer garments and wanted to offer something more than department store clothing. “We bring the highest quality, the most unique and the most fashionable style of clothing to Killeen.” Customers love coming to Mary Dell’s to find garments and accessories that they would otherwise have to travel out of the area to find. “Our customers like to touch the fabrics and try on garments before purchasing high quality garments online, plus we provide excellent individual attention to each customer based on personal choice and style,” said White. The Village Square Tues-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm Closed Sun & Mon Like us on Facebook Mary Dell TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Confetti Rentals

2802 Capitol Way, Belton; 3101 Courtney Lane, Killeen 254-939-3302 | Chris Cowan turns vision into reality. Chris is the owner of Confetti Rentals, a full service event rentals, design, and decor firm with showrooms in Belton and Killeen. “We are purveyors of pretty. Collectors of the classics and the curious. Unabashed hoarders. Delighters in good design.” The Confetti Rentals warehouse is packed with over 120,000 trend-setting linens, table runners, chair sashes, chair covers, beautiful place settings, unique centerpieces, dramatic backdrops, modern lighting, lounge furniture, and basic tables and chairs. “We have the area’s largest design showroom, created to surround you with beautiful wedding displays and unique ideas and decor that can be tailored to suit your style. Confetti Rentals offers complimentary design sessions with options for everyone, from the DIY bride to the bride who wants to leave set up to a trusted team of professionals. “Not only do we have an extensive collection of carefully curated pieces, we have a dedicated, experienced staff that can decorate your event from set up to take down so that you can relax and enjoy your party.” Confetti Rentals is the “someplace” that has everything you are looking for with the know how to bring it all together. So dream. Dream BIG. And call Confetti today to get started.

Erin B. Shank, P.C.

1711 East Central Texas Expy # 107, Killeen 254-690-4110 | Erin B. Shank is an attorney whose practice is concentrated on representing individuals and companies find honorable solutions to their financial problems. For the past 33 years, she has represented clients who need to file for bankruptcy relief, assisted clients negotiate modifications of their home loans in order to prevent foreclosure and assisted clients eliminate or reduce debt owed to the IRS. Erin has maintained an office in both Killeen and Waco, Texas for the past 16 years. She and her family have recently moved from Waco to Belton and are proud to now call Bell County home. Four paralegals assist Erin represent central Texas clients. Dallas Anderson, Darcy Wheeler, Dawn Gustin and Jozie Petty provide excellent customer service and attention to detail on clients’ legal matters. Since opening her central Texas offices, Erin has represented over 4,000 Erin B. Shank, P.C. Texans eliminate their debt and retain their assets. Clients appreciate Erin’s ability to eliminate debt and lower monthly mortgage payments without the necessity of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. As the wife of a Texas veteran, Erin is especially honored to represent soldiers and veterans find honorable solutions to their financial problems. She offers free initial consultations and convenient payment plans.



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Gift City Hats

306 E. Ave. D., Killeen | 254-290-7974 | A family owned business celebrating its operation for 10 years in business. What started out as a beauty supply store evolved to wig’s, church hats, snacks, antiques, collectibles, handmade motivational/ spiritual themed t-shirts, candles and thrift items. We thrive on being a one stop shop. Diversification has proven to be our bread and butter. We look for social causes as well as opportunities to promote literacy within our local community; our latest effort partnering with other vendors and non profit organizations to provide scholarships for disadvantaged students in our local area. As our business moves forward, we have launched a website that features Gift items that are shipped free within the continental US and APO’s/FPO’s. As usual, a portion of the proceeds from all sales will go toward a charitable cause. We say with boldness that we are a business with biblical principles. We welcome other vendors to be a part of our store family.

Faye Thomas

Principal Preparation and Certification Program ESC Region 12 2101 West Loop 340, Waco | 254-297-1108 | Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12’s Principal Preparation & Certification Program (PPCP) prepares the next generation of world-class administrators for Central Texas schools. Belton ISD’s Director of Federal Programs Celia Ray and High Point Elementary Principal Amy Armstrong testify to the difference the PPCP program made in their careers. “The ESC Region 12 program helped me prepare to lead a campus in areas with which I had minimal previous experience,” Armstrong said. “This program was invaluable in helping me develop the global perspective I needed to be successful as an assistant principal, and later as a principal.” And the rewards of the job have proven to be worth the fast and effective certification process. “As an educator you get to watch students succeed at simple and complex tasks every day,” Ray said. It’s an amazing job getting to positively impact children’s lives.” Amy Armstrong, left, and Celia Ray

Temple Chamber of Commerce

2 North 5th Street, Temple | 254-773-2105 | The Temple Chamber of Commerce has served the needs of Temple citizens and the business community since 1907. As a member-driven organization, the Chamber is in business for business, with a strong commitment to enhancing members’ success, fostering economic growth and contributing to Temple’s quality of life. Serving a growing, enthusiastic membership interested in networking, advocating business-friendly legislative initiatives and the promotion of business in Temple, the Chamber is an information resource and the collective voice of Temple’s business community. The Chamber develops and nurtures relationships with government, educational organizations and other community sectors to facilitate the needs and interests of business in Temple. The Women of the Chamber are honored to serve our community and encourage all to join us to ensure that Temple remains the top choice to live, play and do business. Pictured left to right: Vice President Julie Haag, Director of Events Shanae Lutz, Director of Communications and Marketing Whitney Allen, and Director of Membership Services Mikie Cummings. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Elite Therapy Center 254/399-TALK (Waco & Gatesville) 254/899-TALK (Temple & Killeen A Journey of Hope and Healing Elite Therapy Center offers quality speech, occupational and physical therapy services for children of all ages and abilities. The skilled therapists are committed to providing treatment plans tailored to meet the unique needs of each client and their family. The team works collaboratively with parents, doctors, caregivers and teachers to increase the effectiveness of therapy. Therapy is provided in a variety of settings including the clinic, home, private schools, head starts or daycare. Elite Therapy Center is locally owned by Kari McKown, MOT, OTR, Lauri Cole M.S., CCC/SLP and Heather R. Field, M.S., CCC/SLP. Each of these women bring a unique set of skills and experience to the clinic, setting the highest Heather Field, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist, Owner ethical standard to uphold a reputation of Lauri Cole, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist, Owner clinical excellence with a personal touch. Elite Kari McKown, MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist, Owner Therapy Center is the culmination of a shared vision originally established in 2005 that included the cofounding of Hope Therapy in 2007. The dynamic team looks forward to embarking on this new journey of Elite Therapy Center and bringing cutting edge services to the children of Central Texas.

Exchange on Central

Formerly Moore, Garrett & Co. 216 East Central Avenue, Belton | 254-933-8833 With more than 75 vendors, Exchange on Central in Belton is a shopper’s delight. There’s something for just about everyone. Wendy Puccio is the manager of Exchange on Central, which is owned by David K. Leigh. Formerly Moore Garrett & Co., Leigh purchased the business in October 2015. He wanted to make sure it stayed open in downtown Belton and attract more people to the historic district.“Our re-grand opening and new name/brand launch is Memorial Day Weekend,” Wendy said. “We’ll have giveaways and raffles.” Vendors offer a range of merchandise, including antiques, furniture, collectibles, Clay+Chalk paint by Cece Caldwell and handcrafted items. Puccio said customers like the variety. “They can find almost anything in our store, whether they’re looking for it or not. Very rarely does someone walk out empty handed.” The relationship between Exchange on Wendy Puccio, Manager Central and its vendors is one of mutual support. “Our vendors keep this business going with their great finds, hard work they put into refinishing a piece of furniture and reasonable prices,” Puccio said. “We help individuals start or keep their business going by renting spaces to them, allowing them to have a small successful business.” In addition to shopping, Exchange on Central occasionally offers classes taught by vendors. There was an introductory painting class using clay and chalk paint in March, for example. Future offerings may include woodworking, jewelry making and other topics from local artisans. Exchange on Central is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.



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So Natural Organic Restaurant & Market 706 Edwards Drive, Harker Heights 254-245-8571 |

“We’re Serving Real Food” as seen on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. Founded in August 2013 by Owner/Manager Luvina Sabree, So Natural Organic Restaurant & Market is the only full-service veteran and family-owned organic restaurant and market in the area geared towards those seeking organic and diet-specific foods and meals made from scratch. Voted one of the ten best restaurants in Bell County and in seven categories across Central Texas, the restaurant serves GMO-free, Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, a juice and smoothie bar and healthy meals for on the go. Our market carries local grass-fed beef on an order-only basis as well as specialty items. On top of great selection, we also cater and deliver. We support local gardeners, farmers and ranchers whenever possible, using only fresh, natural organic food in our restaurant.

Luvina Sabree, Owner/Manager

Visit us during our regular lunch and dinner hours, Monday through Thursday & Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

5 Hills Lawn Care

551 CR 3371, Killeen | 254-644-3982 | When my husband lost his job we were devastated, but out of the ashes came 5 Hills Lawn Care LLC. Even after he secured another job I decided to keep my little company going alone. 5 Hills had become more than just a Lawn Care service it had become a mission of compassion and caring for those who cannot take their own property. My clients have expressed such gratitude knowing they have someone to trust to be there week after week. Funny thing is I left a 6 figure job to mow lawns, but have never had a greater sense of satisfaction than getting a hug, being told I am a friend or hearing they wouldn’t know what they would do without me. There are easier ways to make a living but you know, I feel more accomplished than I have ever felt in my career.

Susan Wilson-Maher


Spanish Ranch Casa Collection Home Furnishings and Accessories 320 South Main Street, Belton | 254-939-0000 | Staci Schoepf opened Estacia’s in April 2014 with her husband, Ronnie. Estacia’s is a home decor store located on Nolan Creek in Belton, Texas. Their store specializes in carrying upscale authentic furnishings and accessories. The home décor store features items from Texas and across the world. Displayed items include imported rustic furnishings, one of kind decor items, architectural iron featuringJan Barboglio, hand blown glassware, lamps, chandeliers, wall art, cowhides, candles, purses, jewelry & much more. Estacia’s offers layaway services, bridal & gift registry, and complimentary gift wrap. Come to Estacia’s if you’re looking for those unique gift items and beautiful home furnishings. Staci and her husband Ronnie Schoepf also own Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton. The restaurant has been in business for over 22 years and specializes in serving some of the best BBQ in Texas! They also host Schoepf’s Free Texas Music series happening on Thursday nights from April-August in Schoepf’s Backyard. Staci Schoepf, owner TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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From left to right Maria (Lucy) Cardenas, Renee Juarez, Safina Sadruddin, Miriam Rojas, Coral Soto

AI United Insurance

826 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Killeen 254-519-3444 What began as a partnership with her boss after a move from Houston to Austin grew into an opportunity for Safina Sadruddin to own her own home, auto and rental insurance firm. “The Austin market was very different (from Houston) and did not seem beneficial for my boss to continue to invest. He gave me an option to buy him out so I took that chance,” Sadruddin said. Since 2007, all her sacrifices have paid off. “Now I am a franchisee of seven offices and 25 team members in my Ai family — Austin, Bastrop, Killeen and Copperas Cove.” At AI United, Sadruddin and her team strives for the best service and providing customers the best rate. “We treat our customers like family with honesty and respect,” she said. “Customers like our down to earth and fun-loving environment when they are with us or over the phone.” One of the things that sets AI apart is that agents take part ownership of the business. In Killeen, the faces of the company are Maria “Lucy” Cardenas, Renee Juarez, Coral Soto, Miriam De Dios Rojas and Cindy Lopez, and each plays a role that contributes to the company’s success. “Customer service is key,” Cardenas said. “All customers are treated with respect and appreciation. They are making the decision to be part of this great company, so giving my all to get them the best company and price is very important. I take pride is working for this company as if it were my own and love the family that we have become.” 44


Juarez agrees that AI is a family. “Together we’ve learned to strive for excellence in customer service, production and marketing. We have strong leaders who guide us and keep us motivated. Working for AI United is a blessing and I love being here.” So does Miriam De Dios Rojas. “I have learned so many things working for AI United. I’ve learned to give my very best in customer service. I’ve also learned to work with a great time. This feels like a family to me, and I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to work for this great company.” Teamwork and treating customers with respect and honesty is what brings Coral Soto to the office each day. “I love being part of this family. Working here is not just a job. We all treat it as a family business. We enjoy and have fun doing what it takes to make it a success.” Cindy Lopez has grown with the company and loves being able to help people. She takes personal responsibility to provide great customer service. She said,” the love you receive from people is incredible and being able to see them every month to share life stories while providing the service they need means something to me.” Ai’s Killeen office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Stop by or give them a call.

Hewett-Arney Funeral Home

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14 W. Barton Ave., Temple | 254-778-3200 | For Amanda Arney, it’s all about family. Amanda owns and operates the Hewett-Arney Funeral Home, a family business that’s in the business of serving families. “When a family lets us serve them we treat them like a member of our family,” Amanda said. “Families always compliment us on how ‘homey’ our funeral home feels and how comfortable they feel here.” Hewett Funeral Home opened it’s doors in 1911 offering traditional funerals and cremations to Central Texas families with respect and loving care. The Arneys bought the business in 2008 and have continued the same service while following their mission: “To offer beautiful, personal and dignified services regardless of burial or cremation to every family we serve at an affordable price.” Amanda’s husband, Justin, who died in 2013, bought the business after working for “corporate” funeral homes that sold “pre-packaged funerals” in which the family cannot deviate from the package.

Amanda Arney, left, Margaret Arney, Janet Wilde

“No two families are alike, so no two funerals are alike,” Amanda says. “Our services are custom built by the family of the deceased.” Amanda is supported in the business by her mother and co-owner Janet Wilde, and her mother-in-law Margaret Arney, who is the assistant office manager.

House of Smiles

5610 E Central Texas Expy. Suite 3, Killeen | 254-680-4450 | If you are looking for a great place to regain your smile, then look no further than House of Smiles in Killeen. Since 1989, the caring staff uses the latest technology to help you and your family maintain a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles. “We focus on preventative dentistry, and if treatment is ultimately required, we focus on a treatment which will last a longer term and suit the patient’s requirements the best,” said Paula Luss-Porter, manager at the Clinic. In addition to general dentistry, the office provides cosmetic dentistry, like Implants, Invisalign, Lumineers, and teeth whitening. Dr. Aditi Saxena and Dr. Pundt, D.D.S., have a keen interest in continuing dental education and are frequently learning how to do new dental procedures and techniques. For more than 25 years, House of Smiles has served all patients throughout the area, including those that have served so well in the military and retirees and their family with the most comprehensive cosmetic and dental care available. House of Smiles’ friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to help each patient. Open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Dr. Aditi Saxena D.D.S.

Lone Star Ag Credit

Temple Credit Office - 2552 Blue Meadow Drive, Temple | 254-778-8111 | Introducing Nancy Staudt: Nancy Staudt is a Loan Administrator with Lone Star Ag Credit, a part of the Farm Credit System. Lone Star Ag Credit is the local expert for financing farms, ranches, equipment and other agricultural needs. This year, Nancy is celebrating her 20th year with the Farm Credit System. Nancy lives in Belton with her husband, Casey, and their two daughters, Lauren and Molly. “My favorite part of Lone Star Ag Credit is promoting agricultural living and helping our borrowers achieve their dreams of obtaining their piece of Texas,” Staudt said. Nancy is the heartbeat of the Temple Credit Office and is always willing to help customers. Lone Star is proud to have Nancy Staudt as an employee and celebrates her as a local woman in business. Nancy Staudt, loan administrator TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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RE/MAX Temple-Belton 4016 South 31st Street, Temple 254-771-3633

RE/MAX Temple-Belton is one of the most productive offices in Temple. With a growing office of 19 agents, RE/MAX has been the number one office in the area for several years offering top quality performance as well as being voted one of the top Real Estate firms in the Readers Choice Awards.

Front left to right: Ali Thompson, Julie Mahler. Back left to right: Carolyn Copeland, Hylie Mihatsch, Frances Yerkes, Karey Poe, Owner Sue Lockett, Office Manager Shirley Gwyn, Lauren Hartshorn, Jeanne Mosbaugh, Margaret Pleasant

Truecore Fitness

7373 Honeysuckle Drive, Suite 120, Temple 254-931-1282 | Holly Roehl wanted to bring group Pilates with fun music and high energy to Central Texas – just like she enjoyed when she lived in California. She made her dream come true last November when she opened Truecore Fitness. Truecore’s mission is to build your outer and inner strength – to propel your personal fitness goals and restore your wellbeing through highly effective and fun classes. With boutique fitness classes – Pilates, Barre and Cycle – Truecore has brought a new fitness experience to the community. If you go to a gym, you walk in and you’re on your own. You may not be doing the exercises correctly or to the best benefit. Every Truecore class offers instructors that are going to tell you exactly what muscle you should be feeling when you’re lifting and why. “The community has totally embraced us, which is Owner Holly Roehl, center wonderful,” Holly said. “All our clients are excited to try something new. And, once they get in the door and try our classes – they love it. Our New Client Special has been very successful for this reason. It’s the best way to try all our classes and get to know the studio environment.” There has been a great response to the Pilates classes. “The community loves that we are the only place to offer such a specialized fitness experience,” Holly said. The business has quickly outgrown its space, requiring an expansion of the studio and more class times to fit client schedules. Classes are available seven days a week. Holly, herself an instructor, credit her “amazing instructors” for the success. They are: Jen Roland, Kathleen Phillips, Becky Maks, Jennifer Douglass, Julie Hall, Kelly Stewart and Madison Savanuck. Truecore Fitness is celebrating Moms in May, offering a one-month unlimited membership for $99.



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Front: Beverly Parrish and Lorena Sarinana. Back from left: Alicia Bachmayer, Jan Boesel, Jessica Bachmayer.

Temple Iron & Metal 815 North 14th Street, Temple 254-773-2700 |

Women have always played an important role in the 82 year history of Temple Iron & Metal. Today, Beverly Parrish is our cashier/dispatcher, Lorena Sarinana and Jan Boesel are both cashiers, Alicia Bachmayer does payroll and accounts payable, and Jessica Bachmayer is the Office Manager. Temple Iron & Metal was founded in 1934 and has been operated by Billy and Jessica Bachmayer since they purchased the company in January of 2003. Temple Iron & Metal is a family-owned business with a strong Christian influence, striving to serve God and the community. The Bachmayer family is a strong supporter of local schools, and is also active supporters of the FFA and 4-H clubs of Bell County through the purchase of serveral items at the Bell County Livestock show each year.


We recycle all types of metals: Copper Brass Aluminum/cans Scrap cars New and used steel available: Structual metals Angle Flat Pipe & tube Plate & sheet Expanded Trash container service: Roll-off containers, 20-yard to 70-yard Drop-off, Pick-up service Commercial, industrial, residential Property Clean-Up & Demolition

Temple Iron & Metal . . . where recycling pays more!


Jessica Bachmayer, owner TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Lovely Leaves

1402 North 3rd Street, Temple 254-899-5799 | Giselle Callahan launched Lovely Leaves in January 2014, catering specifically to brides. Two years later – just in time for Valentine’s Day 2016 – the business opened a new shop near downtown Temple offering floral design for all occasions. Giselle’s mission is simple: Create gorgeous arrangements for weddings and every day occasions. She accomplishes the goal with one-of-a-kind designs. “We have a very organic feel and specialize in custom orders,” Giselle said. “Our style is unique in the way that we use lush greenery with higher end focal flowers in addition to cool stems.” While opening the shop has allowed Giselle to diversify, the primary business is weddings. “We attract many brides by our consultations. We make it fun. Our style is different than most florists in the area. I feel that sets us apart,” she said. Giselle photo by Dani Cowan Photography credits all of the beautiful brides and families that have helped spread the word about the creativity and service for the success she has enjoyed so far. “We couldn’t do it without such amazing clients.” Being part of weddings is special for Giselle. “We are honored to be a part of so many events each year and to have our flowers live forever in the memories and photos of these families. Lovely Leaves arrangements are sent for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, well wishes and sympathy. “We have delivered every day arrangements to so many people over the past few months and hope that we make them feel special and brighten their days,” Giselle said. Lovely Leaves is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Orders may be placed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Debra Minzak, REALTOR® Rodney Dunn Company Real Estate 1400 South 31st Street, Temple 254-541-7194 |

With more than 13 years of real estate experience, Debra Minzak has learned the importance of making a transaction as seamless and stress free as possible for her clients. Knowledge of the market, strong communication, and a commitment to excellence make up her business plan. Debra, a Realtor with Rodney Dunn Company Real Estate, honed her listening and organizational skills as a secondary English teacher. Whether a client is relocating from another state or across town, up sizing or downsizing, she works to help them find just the right house to fit their needs, budget and lifestyle. “This Central Texas real estate market is dynamic and growing rapidly,” Debra said. “I am very proud to be part of an industry that is working to keep step with this growth.” Debra’s focus is helping clients experience a successful transaction, whether it’s buying or selling a property. Her great relationships with lenders, title companies, inspectors and builders helps make that possible.

Debra Minzak

Born in Sweetwater, Debra is a native Texan. She is married to her college sweetheart, Tom, and they have two sons. TK and his wife, Alyssa, live in Seattle with their new son, Ethan. Scott and his wife, Janie, live in Belton with their two children, Bekah and Weston. Debra serves on the board of directors for the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors. She is the president elect and will be the board president in 2017. Debra and Tom attend Temple Bible Church and are involved in small group ministry and Bible Study Fellowship. They also have served at Feed My Sheep in Temple and at Helping Hands in Belton.



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Home Care Assistance

7363 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102, Temple 254-856-0600 |

Changing the Way the World Ages Research studies have shown that nine out of ten seniors would prefer to live at home as they age. Debbie Wycoff, Client Care Manager for Home Care Assistance in Bell and McLennan counties, is dedicated to helping seniors who want to remain at home achieve this goal. Debbie is committed to working with clients, their families and caregivers to ensure Home Care Assistance is delivering the highest caliber of care and concierge services. To this end, she spends significant time matching skilled, compassionate caregivers to clients based on their needs and preferences. Each caregiver is trained in the company’s Balanced Care Method™ and clients receive customized care plans based on this holistic approach to care. Debbie Wycoff, Client Care Manager Debbie is also in charge of training caregivers in the company’s Cognitive Therapeutics Method™. This is an activities based program to exercise the mind, and is especially good for people with early onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Caregivers can implement this program daily at no additional charge and is part of the overall value that the company delivers to its clients. Debbie has a degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado in Denver and is passionate about helping others--from working with disadvantaged youth, to child protective services, to clients and families with significant mental health disorders. And with Home Care Assistance, Debbie is focused on helping older adults and applying programs that truly help change the way the world ages. Find us on Facebook!

West Temple Orthodontics

207 Westfield Boulevard, Temple 254-899-2500 | A beautiful smile is a wonderful benefit of orthodontics. Did you know that braces can also improve your oral health, bolster your selfconfidence, and stop damage to your teeth and gums? Dr. Julie E. Sieh and Dr. Larrissa Cali invite you to benefit from these changes at their practice, West Temple Orthodontics. The doctors at West Temple Orthodontics regularly work with a variety of patients and cases. They provide care to children, teens and adults. Some of the many patients they treat include: early treatment, extraction or non-extraction cases, cleft palate patients, surgery cases, and other complex cases. From simple to complex care, the staff at West Temple Orthodontics will work to bring you the change you desire in a friendly and comfortable environment. Dr. Sieh(front, second from left), Dr. Cali (front, second from right) and staff Dr. Sieh is a general dentist who has limited her practice to Orthodontics for the past 13 years. Dr. Larrissa Cali is an orthodontic specialist. She completed her orthodontic residency at the University of St. Louis. Dr. Cali has also completed a fellowship in cleft lip and palate at Cardinal Glennon Hospital. If you would like to see what orthodontics might provide to you or a loved one, give us a call. Your first visit is free and there is no obligation. The visit will include digital x-rays, diagnosis, and a treatment plan designed by one of our doctors. We offer traditional metal braces, tooth colored (ceramic) braces and clear tray aligners (Invisalign). Call us today and smile more!



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Melissa Freeman RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, CPC-I, COC, CPC, CRC AHIMA Approved ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainer & Ambassador

OS2 Healthcare Solutions 4524 WS Young Dr., Suite 105 | Killeen 254-432-4203 |

Melissa Freeman, CEO/Owner of OS2 Healthcare Solutions, founded the boutique medical coding firm in the summer of 2011. Specializing in coding, auditing, coder training and physician education, OS2 consults with medical professionals, insurance companies, and hospitals to ensure coding compliance and revenue cycle.

OS2 coding academy’s comprehensive professional training, mentoring and certification in medical coding are approved by AAPC, the industry’s largest coding accrediting agency. Additionally, OS2’s curriculum meets coding ethics and certification domains set by AHIMA, a professional health information management organization.

“I was inspired to open OS2 Healthcare Solutions for both business and personal reasons,” Freeman said. “Nearly 20 years ago, regulatory standards in the medical coding industry were virtually nonexistent, often resulting in cases of medical fraud. The business opportunity to bring solutions and innovative ideas to the marketplace was something I was compelled to do. As a change agent in healthcare revenue cycle, I am passionate about leveraging OS2 to improve the quality of life for families and individuals by providing a career path that leads to economic growth and stability.”

“OS2 prides itself on consistently delivering the types of effective outcomes and solutions that impact our clients’ bottom line,” she said. “Since most healthcare organizations do not have the resources or desire to train entry-level coders, we take on the burden of quality oversight, including the mentorship and training of entry-level coders.”

OS2 is built on four foundational principles — experience, partnership, integrity and commitment — with a mission to create exceptional client experiences and solutions at all phases of the revenue cycle management process. “There are a lot of larger medical coding firms around, but OS2 stands above its competitors because we’re dedicated to cultivating a rapport with our clients and collaborating for the most effective outcomes and solutions,” Freeman said. “The other niche that OS2 has carved out for ourselves is serving smaller health care vendors and providing experience for novice coders. As a small business, we understand the unique needs of smaller healthcare vendors and are able to customize our consulting and coding services to meet those particular needs.” Customers like working with Freeman and her team. “Every member of our staff — coders, managers, support — contribute to our reputation for solving problems, creating exceptional client experiences and delivering products and services that exceed clients’ expectations. I couldn’t do this without the support of my entire staff and amazing coders.” 50


As a veteran-owned company in a military community, Freeman believes “a medical coding career is the perfect career for military spouses, retirees, single moms and veterans who need the flexibility to work from home while earning an income of more than $50,000 per year.” With over 400 coders nationwide, she hopes to add more in Bell County and recently started a new project with 16 Killeen residents. As the company grows, Freeman said OS2 is rolling out a new training program — Prep-Practicum-Placement. “PPP is presented in an online format and is especially designed for non-certified coders interested in pursuing a coding career, by earning an AAPC certification, a two-month practicum and placement on one of our five-month Risk Adjustment contracts. New classes will start monthly every Monday from May to July.” To learn more, about OS2 or to enroll in training, email info@ and find out why OS2 Healthcare Solutions is the heartbeat of the revenue cycle.

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Mary Beth Harrell, Harrell Law Firm 4201 W. Stan Schlueter Loop, Suite A, Killeen 254-680-4655 |

Mary Beth Harrell has practiced law for over 17 years and specializes in defending those accused of criminal offenses. I believe client satisfaction distinguishes our law firm from so many others. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recently rated us among the Top Ten Best Lawyers in Texas for our high level of client satisfaction. Our clients consistently award us their highest 5-star rating on, a national attorney referral website. We have almost 30 testimonials on Avvo. com so they presented their “Client’s Choice in Criminal Defense” award to us for two years in a row. rates us as “10.0 Superb” overall. Our dedication to each client makes our law firm so successful. We make it our business to know and understand each client’s special needs and concerns. Our number priority is to get a client’s case dismissed, reduced or win at trial. We understand that each client has lot riding on their case. Yes, they’re worried about having a criminal conviction on their record and paying a fine or worse, like going to jail. But they could also lose their job, professional licensing, military career, marriage, right to carry or possess a firearm, right to vote, right to drive, and much more. A criminal conviction Mary Beth Harrell, Harrell Law Firm could even disqualify someone from getting a student loan. So we take each and every case very seriously and do our best for every client. My paralegal, Teresa Stubblefield, and I have been a winning team for 13 years. But I don’t hesitate to use experts and private investigators to help win our cases. We have a passion for practicing law and trying cases. The National Trial Lawyers Association named Mary Beth Harrell among the top 100 Trial Lawyers in Texas. The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association recently published her article in their magazine The Voice, profiling her successful legal challenge to the prosecutor’s eyewitness testimony resulting in the dismissal of her client’s felony case. Harrell is currently the president of the Bell County Women’s Bar Association and past president of the Coryell County Bar Association.

Frances Yerkes, REALTOR® RE/MAX Temple-Belton 4016 South 31st Street, Temple | 254-493-4517

It is important to find the right real estate agent when focused on a financial investment as substantial and personal as your home. Frances believes wholeheartedly in the unique, personal nature of real estate. She follows through on what she promises as she carefully guides you through the many steps and decisions along the way.

photo by Katie Thornton

For 11 years now, Frances has been in real estate, serving Central Texas with a focus on the Temple, Belton and Salado area. She is a member of the Texas Board of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. She has also served on the Fair Housing Committee and achieved the 2015 Executive Club Award in Sales. She and her husband have been blessed with two lovely boys and have lived in Texas the majority of their lifetimes. In her spare time, she enjoys decorating and spending time with family and Frances Yerkes, A house SOLD name! Making your move my business. friends. France’s desire and passion is to help others achieve the American Dream of owning a home. “I place the interest of my client FIRST and treat them with fairness, honesty, care and respect through the entire buying or selling process, because lifelong relationships with them means everything to me,” Frances said. “You can expect from me personal and knowledgeable service that is genuinely responsive to your needs,” she said. “I offer top professional skills that are continually refined through the process of helping you meet your needs. I am committed to help you in every way possible and save you valuable time and effort in securing home financing, insurance, and home connections. I would consider it an honor and privilege to journey with you in your decision making process to sell or purchase your home.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Helping hands

Lauren English, left, is director of operations and her mother, Kay English, is the founder and owner of English Maids. 52


Cleaning company focuses on building relationships Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by MITCHEL BARRETT


verything is coming up pink for Kay English, founder and owner of English Maids — “We will sweep you off your feet!” — a familyowned and operated residential and commercial cleaning service. Along with her daughter, Lauren English, she manages offices in Waco, where the business started, and in Temple, where Kay English expanded her network. A former dental administrator, when she retired from her position, after 18 years of service in 2005, Kay wasn’t sure what to do. She searched for jobs, but nothing turned up. When she got a response, it was usually someone telling her she was either over-qualified or above the pay scale for a specific job. So she took things into her own hands. By the end of 2005, she started cleaning houses for family and friends. But something happened along the way. Her cleaning skills, personal attention to detail and genuine interest in her clients helped her take a temporary job and turn it into a family-owned business. “I started on a lark,” Kay English said. “I like to clean for exercise.” One of her cousins suggested she start her own cleaning business full time. “She laughingly told me I had OCD as a kid and was always picking up things behind her,” Kay recalled. Before she could grasp the idea of owning a business, another family member came up with some ideas for a slogan. After a few tries, “We’ll sweep you off your feet,” became the mantra for the ladies in pink. English launched her business

Gena Quenteros gathers equipment for a cleaning job. Looking on is Socima Rivas.

in 2006 out of her home’s laundry room, using her washing machine and dryer to clean dirty rags. Her car became a mobile office that doubled as a supply closet for jobs. She continued to work hands-on for two years. When the business began to grow, English moved from her mobile office inside a

local fast-food restaurant where she conducted interviews with prospective employees. By the end of her first year, in mid-2007, she opened an office in Waco with four employees. A year later, she expanded into a larger space with eight employees. Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


In the beginning, she admits having difficulty finding quality employees who met her standards. “Employees wouldn’t call in, or show up,” she said. “It took a while to find quality employees. Now ladies call us for a job.” One weekend in a panic for reliable help, she called Lauren, who was studying for her master’s degree in human resource development at Texas A&M University in College Station. Kay needed someone she could trust to do the work and meet her standards. It was an easy decision for Lauren to drive back to Waco that weekend to help her mom. As the Waco business grew, calls for her services in Temple, Belton and Salado kept coming in, so five years ago, in 2011, Kay expanded to Temple. Lauren joined the business full-time in 2009 and now manages the Waco office while Kay runs the office in Temple, which has eight employees. Kay said she looks for employees who best represent her family. She conducts national background checks and each employee has a quality standard they must meet. “A good attitude and work ethic,” Kay said. “It’s challenging to find that.” Happy to be a hands-on trainer, she said, “I can teach someone to clean, be thorough on the job, but I can’t teach a good attitude or work ethic.” Creating relationships When Kay and Lauren English meet with new clients, they are not just there to bid a job but to build relationships. Each job receives a customized quote based on the home and needs of the homeowner. Every need and every detail is covered 54

Francesca Guzman fills her cleaning bucket with inventory after a day of cleaning.

from the most basic cleaning to deep cleaning. “We’ll go into a customer’s home and it takes an hour because she visits,” Lauren said. “It’s the personal attention, the face recognition,” Kay said. “We’re on a first-name basis with people. We check back with them. They like it when the owner comes. It’s


very important to make them feel important.” Kay’s charm isn’t just for her human customers. For those who have pets, she makes an effort to learn that pet’s name. “It’s paying attention to the important stuff.” When it comes to staff, mother and daughter have distinct management styles.

Gena Quenteros, Lauren and Kay English and Socima Rivas go over the day’s jobs list at the English Maids office in Temple.

“They know I care about them, that I’m concerned about their children. I can be stern, but still have a relationship with them,” Kay said. “She’s more of a mother figure to them,” Lauren said. “I have to separate myself (from employees) because we are closer in age.” “She (Kay) helps us to work, and still be with our kids,” said Francisca Guzman, a long-time employee. Currently, there are 16 employees in Waco serving up to 30 jobs a day. Seven teams work full time, nights and weekends. Temple has eight employees with four teams of two that handle up to

“We’re on a firstname basis with people. We check back with them. They like it when the owner comes. It’s very important to make them feel important.” Kay English 13 jobs a day. Employees are long term, which translates into a low

turnover for the English Maids. Giving Back Building community goes beyond regular clients for the English Maids and philanthropy comes in a very special way. As a member of Cleaning for a Reason, a United States and Canadian nonprofit organization founded in Lewisville, Texas, English Maids extends its services to women undergoing treatment for cancer. “Cancer patients often experience extreme exhaustion from treatment,” Kay English said. “This Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM




Monica Hernandez and Francesca Guzman stock up on clean rags for their next job.

Lauren English runs the Waco office while her mother, Kay English, handles the Temple location.

fatigue is especially difficult for women responsible for running a home.” She said the mission of Cleaning for a Reason is to give the gift of free house cleaning for women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. “The goal is to let these brave and strong women focus on their health and treatment while partnering maid services focus on, and take away the worry and work of cleaning their homes — free of charge,” according to www.

To participate, English Maids pays a small, monthly membership fee. Women in active cancer treatment receive one to two hours of cleaning per month for four consecutive months. The company does not make any money on these house cleanings, Kay English said. “The cost of labor and membership fee is out of pocket,” she said, adding, “We enjoy cleaning and want to share the experience of a clean home with the women of our community during this difficult time in their lives.”

“The goal is to let these brave and strong women focus on their health and treatment while partnering maid services focus on, and take away the worry and work of cleaning their homes — free of charge.” Cleaning for a Reason TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Leah McHorse owns Darling DĂŠcor and More, an antique shop in Temple. 58


Treasure trove

Darling Decor & More gives new life to antique items Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS and AMY PROCTOR, with additional photos courtesy of Leah McHorse


eah McHorse, owner of Darling Décor and More, an antique shop in Temple, has made a career out of picking through grandmothers’ attics, old homes and garage sales. It all started when she was a child in Colleyville and would accompany her grandmother, the late Melba Kennedy, to garage sales looking for great bargains, to add to Kennedy’s Bridgeport thrift shop inventory. Those field trips were just the beginning for McHorse, who spent many childhood hours working in her grandmother’s shop. However, it was her entry into the world of estate sales that piqued her love for everything antique. The first estate sale she and her grandmother coordinated was for a friend’s uncle who was moving to California. “He asked my grandmother to look at the contents of his home,” she recalled. She admits to making several mistakes at that first sale, including jelly jars she sold for 10 cents apiece, but were actually valued at $10 to $20 each. When she discovered her error, she decided to learn more about antiques and researched names like Fostoria, Roseville and McCoy. “Big names that carry extreme value,” she said. Her next estate sale was for her dad. “We sold almost everything.”

People line up for an estate sale at the historic Fletcher House in Temple coordinated by Leah McHorse.

When people think of estate sales, it’s often thought that this is something you do after a loved one dies. In fact, McHorse said the majority of estate sales happen with living homeowners, and only about

one-third of estate sales happen after a death.

A new career

McHorse was a stay-at-home mom Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Leah McHorse displays items she finds at garage sales, in attics and from estate sales in her Temple antique shop, Darling Decor and More.

who enjoyed dabbling in antiques and especially estate sales. One day while shopping with a friend, she made a comment that she could consider doing estate sales for a business. Their conversation was overheard by a close-by shopper who was looking for someone to conduct a sale for her. “We were hired on the spot,” she said. Despite their relative inexperience, the sale was a success and she was hooked. That was 14 years ago. Through her antique research, she said she found that what some people saw as junk actually had value. With her knew knowledge, she began shopping for antiques and opened up an antique booth in Colleyville, with some of the treasures she found, 60

“Samantha said, ‘seriously, Mom — get a hobby,’ and I began to think of opening a shop.” Leah McHorse in addition to the estate sales she coordinated. When her husband, Patrick, graduated from medical school five years ago with a specialty in chiropractic medicine, the family moved to Temple where he opened a practice. In between estate sales and antique shopping, McHorse was a


preschool teacher for 10 years and thought of pulling together a summer camp for kids, but couldn’t find a suitable location. She continued her estate sales, however, and donated any unsold items to various nonprofit organizations. “Furniture, household goods, clothing,” she said. When her daughter, Samantha, was a junior at Belton High School and looking at colleges, McHorse said she wanted to find something that would fill up her time. With the empty nest getting close, at first, she thought of adopting a foster child. “But Samantha said, ‘seriously, Mom — get a hobby,’ and I began to think of opening a shop,” she said.

Items in the master bedroom in the Fletcher House were up for sale, including a four-poster bed and a writing desk.

With her decision made, she began to look for that perfect location to open an antique shop — something charming and with character — not in a strip center. The moment she saw the house on West Adams Street, she knew she found her location. Built in 1893, the home has more than 1,500 square feet, enough space to display McHorse’s finds. “It was the first place I saw in Temple,” she said. “When I walked in the front door, I had a happy dance moment. I knew it was the one.” Two weeks after she signed the lease, McHorse moved in and started her business on a shoestring budget. “I needed to fill the shop without investing a lot of money, so I took things on consignment,” she said, also adding her own finds along the way, including some of the leftover Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


inventory at her estate sales and her finds at garage sales. Following her grandmother’s love of antiques and vintage items, Darling Décor and More showcases vintage furniture, china, everyday household items, decorative knickknacks and unusual gifts housed in an early 20th century home.

My mother had one of those!

Leah McHorse has a variety of items for sale at Darling Decor and More. BELOW: A rocking chair once belonging to Dr. Arthur C. Scott was for sale at an estate sale McHorse organized at Fletcher House.



Once upon a time in an era not too long ago, little girls rummaged through the attics, trunks and boxes of their grandmothers’ past. Dust, age and mothballs blended together in an unmistakable fragrance of all things old. Their imaginations ran wild as they tried on old clothes, shoes, hats and strings of faux pearls. Standing in front of a full-length mirror, looking at themselves in clothing that draped loosely on their little-girl frames, they wondered what their grandmother was like when she was young. Foraging through another box, old letters are discovered. Another box yields bone china teacups and saucers made in England. Newspapers used for wrapping and protection are carefully removed from the delicate treasures to reveal another piece of history: Headlines from decades earlier that announce the news of that time. But you don’t have to be a little girl to enjoy discovering old things that remind you of how it used to be. Even big girls like to pick and share their finds with others. For anyone born in the mid-20th century, many of the items in Darling Décor and More are reminiscent of childhood. For someone born in the late-20th century to early 2000s, it is a window to the past of an everyday elegance that was once a part of almost every home.

Beth Drummond, left, and Leah McHorse, arrange a display at Darling Decor and More. McHorse fills the shop with items from attics and garage and estate sales.

With her artist’s eye for displaying merchandise, McHorse sees potential in almost everything that she finds or comes into her shop. Her displays are a collection of the iconic and whimsical. “I love to incorporate antiques in everyday style; do something that gives you a happy memory,” she said. Open until 6 p.m. on weekdays, McHorse said the shop has become a place for women to stop and recharge on their way home from work. “It takes them back and reminds them of their grandmother’s house or mother’s house and they see things they used to have,” said Beth Drummond. “It’s a step back in time.”

An old metal sculpture of a doctor operating on a patient sits on a dresser in the historic Fletcher House. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


ADVERTISERS INDEX 5 Hills Lawn Care......................................43

Erin B. Shank, P.C.....................................40

MB Harrell Law Office.............................. 51

Aesthetic Surgery Associates........................5


Montessori Schools of Central Texas........38

AFC Urgent Care......................................34

Exchange on Central.................................42


Affordable Insurance.................................44

Express Employment...................................5

Pop Abilities Gourmet Popcorn................35


Extraco Banks...............................Back cover

ReMax/Frances Yerkes.............................. 51

Bass Electric...............................................37

First State Bank..........................................15


CCA Bartlett State Prison.........................35

FME News Service................................65,67

Rodney Dunn/Debra Minzak...................48

Central Texas College..................................9

Giebel, Dr. Shelley/Healthy Success...........7

Saxena Dental PLLC.................................45

Central Texas Orthodontics........................7

Gift City Hats............................................ 41


Central Texas Workforce Commission.......5

Gretchen Williams.....................................39

So Natural..................................................43

Children’s Treehouse.................................33

Heights Lumber and Supply......................15

Susan B. Mitchell Investments..................37

Cochran Blair and Potts............................37

Hewett Arney Funeral Home....................45

Temple Chamber of Commerce................ 41

Confetti Rentals.........................................40

Home Care Assistance...............................49

Temple Iron & Metal.................................47

Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc................3

Lone Star Ag Credit...................................45

Truecore Fitness.........................................46

Crotty Funeral Home................................39

Lovely Leaves..............................................48

Union State Bank............. Inside front cover

Education Service Center Region 12........ 41

Marvina’s Optical......................................35

West Temple Orthodontics.......................49

Elite Therapy Services................................42

Mary Dell ..................................................39


The Advertisers Index is published for reader convenience. Every effort is made to list information correctly. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Highlight your business with an upcoming profile feature: June: Attorneys | August: Educational institutions September: Arts venues and medical professionals October: Boutiques

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