Denton County Magazine September-October 2020

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DENTON County Wo m e n o f I nf l u e n ce I s s u e



COVID-19 FIGHTER Epidemiologist Lily Metzler and her colleagues at Denton County Public Health work to keep us safe during this pandemic



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E C I O CH The Power of Choice means working online or on-site in any of four class structures. Enroll today for our 2ND 8-WEEK SESSIONS for associate degrees, certificates or transfer/core credits in Denton County. It ALL fits your schedule and your wallet and it’s SAFELY available NOW at NCTC.


What does a plan for your heart look like? Let us show you. Mitchel Kruger, MD | Mary Youssef, MD

Advanced Heart & Vascular Care Your heart is uniquely yours. At Texas Health Physicians Group, your heart and vascular care begins with a plan that’s customized for you. And with locations across North Texas, our care is close by. Schedule an appointment today, either in-person or via virtual visit, and discover our compassionate, comprehensive approach. From proactive prevention and diagnostics to advanced bypass and valve surgery and more, we’ll get you started with a plan for your heart health. And, as always, we have protocols in place designed around your safety. To learn more, go to

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Physicians employed by Texas Health Physicians Group practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Resources hospitals. © 2020



Volume 3, Issue 5

The timeless sound of The Ryan Glenn Band




Women of Influence

12 inspirational women you need to know

DE PA RTME NT S 20 Dining: Marty B's

Texas-style food, fun & live music

26 Shopping: Ten:One

Artisanal cheese from around the world


What defines our county today

11 The Ryan Glenn Band Photo courtesy of Brian Y Anderson Photography

Where classic meets modern

14 Dusk Comics

Helping other share their stories

IN E V E RY ISSU E 8 About This Issue On the cover: Get to know Lily Metzler of Denton County Public Health on page 32. Photo by Mike Morgan Photography.

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Women of Influence


his year marks 100 years since the Nineteeth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote after nearly a century of protests and demonstrations. It was a start. But it must be noted that many Black women, Native American women and immigrants had difficulty actually exercising that right, thanks to poll taxes, intimidation, bureaucratic requirements and other barriers designed to disenfranchise them. Since then, women have made progress toward closing the wage gap, ending gender discrimination, becoming elected leaders and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence. Last year, we witnessed the first all-female space walk, and this year, the first Black female vice presidential candidate is on the ballot. It is a start. Women are making strides, but there is still so much work left to be done to achieve true equality and inclusivity. The National Museum of American History declared 2020 the “Year of the Woman,” so there is no better time to honor a few of the women who are helping to make Denton County a better place to live. This special issue will introduce you to inspirational Denton County women of all walks of life. From human rights activists to senators, youth mentors to entrepreneurs, philanthropists to academics — the one thing all 12 of these awe-inspiring women have in common is their desire to make a difference in the world. Elsewhere in the issue, we’ve got coverage of the timeless Ryan Glenn Band, the creativity of Dusk Comics, quintessentially Texan dining at Marty B’s and Denton’s own cheese experts at Ten:One. Happy reading! If you haven’t already, please visit dentoncountymagazine. com to get this magazine delivered to your home six times a year for just $25. As always, we welcome story ideas, photo submissions and feedback of all kinds. Email us at

PUBLISHER Bill Patterson

EDITOR Kimberly Turner

S A L E S M A N AG E R Shawn Reneau


ACCO U N T EXECUTIVES Becci Hendrix Joanne Horst Danielle Thompson Shelly Vannatta


MAILING ADDRESS 3555 Duchess Drive Denton, Texas 76205 EDITORIAL 940-566-6879 A DV E R T I S I N G INQUIRIES 940-566-6843 C R E AT I V E PA R T N E R madison/miles media

DESIGNER Phil Lor CO N T R I B U T I N G W R I T E R S Kristy Alpert, Abigail Boatwright, Samantha Colaianni, Jessica DeLeón, Mary Dunklin, Nicole Foster, Annette Nevins, Rachel Hedstrom, Ellen Ritscher Sackett, Leslie J. Thompson, Kimberly Turner CO N T R I B U T I N G PHOTOGRAPH ER Mike Morgan PROOFREADER Wendy Angel

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Denton County magazine for $25/year. Subscribe online at or mail a check or visit us at 3555 Duchess Drive, Denton, Texas 76205. For subscription questions, call 940-387-3811. S T O RY I D E A S LETTERS TO TH E EDITOR Write to Please include your full name, city and phone number. Denton County magazine reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. L I K E U S FAC E B O O K FIND US ONLINE

© Copyright 2020: Denton County magazine is published by Denton Media Company, publishers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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What defines our county today

INSIDE: u An 18-year-old making huge waves in the North Texas music scene u An independent publisher that helps local writers and artists share their stories


Nate Morefield, Ryan Glenn and Dave Moore. Not pictured: Steven Kistner


TIMELESS Photo courtesy of Ryan Glenn

The Ryan Glenn Band’s seamless blend of classic and modern have caught the attention of audiences across North Texas. BY SAMANTHA COLAIANNI


yan Glenn may have just graduated from high school in May, but the Highland Village 18-year-old is already a rising star in the Texas music scene. Named one of NPR’s 20 under 20 North Texas artists to watch, The Ryan Glenn Band blends innovation and creativity with classic inspiration. Vintage Inspiration “My two biggest heroes are the rock and roll pioneers Eddie Cochran and

Buddy Holly,” says Glenn. “They both strived to be different in a world full of musical copycats and to create their own sounds in a scene where originality lost its value. They were also both around my age when they started, so I can really relate to them. There’s never been a truer song than ‘Summertime Blues!’” With his ’50s style, crooner vocals and rockabilly sound, Ryan Glenn brings the best parts of the retro music scene to modern-day Texas and, in doing so,

honors the rock legends who changed the music scene long ago. “My favorite part of making music is paying tribute to those who have come before me,” he says. “A lot of my favorite artists aren’t around anymore, and if they’re not around to keep their music alive, then it’s up to the younger generation — all the ones who still appreciate them — to do it on their behalf. While I very much have my own style in my music and sound, it’s always important to never forget your roots.”

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CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN DENTON Peterbilt is proud to call Denton, Texas its home for the last 40 years. Since moving to Denton in August of 1980, Peterbilt’s manufacturing facility has grown to more than 700,000 square feet on 238 acres of land, with more than 2,500 highly-skilled employees who take great g pride in building the best trucks in the industry. Thank you to our employees, partners and the Denton community for 40 years of excellence.


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Photo courtesy of Ryan Glenn

A Foundation for Success Music has been a part of Ryan’s life since he was very young. His parents, both of whom are professional musicians, bought him a guitar and brought him along when they did radio tours. With their support, Glenn has been able to pursue his dreams. “I’m very fortunate in the fact that I’ve grown up around the music industry,” says Glenn, “but until you’re trying to do it yourself, there’s so much you don’t realize. It’s not like the movies; I’ll definitely say that. There’s a lot more work and moving pieces involved than you would ever expect.” The band recorded their first music video for their single “The End” using footage from around the city of Denton. “I really wanted [Denton Square] to be a focus of the video because it — well, Denton as a whole, actually — really represents what I stand for,” says Glenn. “It’s one of the only places I’ve ever been where old and new blend so seamlessly. Music is a part of everyday life, and the

On stage at GMBG in Dallas

history of the city wants to be remembered, not forgotten. It’s really a beautiful thing. Not to mention that I am a proud Denton County resident!” Unstoppable “If I had to identify the most important lesson I’ve learned, I’d say it’s to always be grateful for every opportunity, because every opportunity will lead to another,” he says. So while the pandemic has been difficult for performers and artists, Glenn has managed to find — or rather, to create — opportunities, even during these tough times. The Ryan Glenn Band headed to the studio in May to record their first fulllength record. The album, which should be out in early 2021, was produced by John Pedigo and features all-star Texas guests like Ken Bethea of Old 97’s and Kevin Geil of Two Tons of Steel. The band’s next show, as of this writing, is September 13 at Love and War in Plano.

Memories are for a Lifetime

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Dusk Comics helps local artists and writers share their stories. BY MARY DUNKLIN


Dusk Comics founder David Daub at Fan Expo in Dallas


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The Power of Community He feels compelled to help others because he knows how hard the publishing process can be. “It can be maddening at times, but you love it,” he says. “I’m always willing to talk with new artists and put them on the right path.” Doub is especially focused on celebrating diverse creators. To that end, he helped start the Texas Latino Comic Con and the Women of Wonder Con, which supports women in creative industries of all types (most of his own works focus on resilient, capable female protagonists). These conventions, he says, allow him to meet new people while promoting the works of Dusk Comics. “At its simplest, comics are very isolating,” he says. “When you get out there in the community, you’re engaging yourself more. You’re making connections.”

Photo courtesy of David Doub

avid Doub knows the power of a good story. As owner of Dusk Comics, an independent publisher in Denton, he has been sharing his own stories and helping others to tell theirs since 2006. He serves as publisher and writer for the business, which caters to the sort of niche comic markets and creators that he’s loved since childhood. The company is named after Doub’s first work, Dusk, a supernatural vampire series.

Color image courtesy of Dusk Comics; black and white image courtesy of Helmut Racho

Local Inspiration Denton itself is another creative inspiration for Doub. It’s an influence that dates all the way back to Doub’s comic-making classes at UNT. This strong link to the area is evident in one of his latest works: Dusk vs. Cheerleader Karate School. The crossover comic, which he’s launching with BJ Lewis of Taurian Films, is set in Denton and includes landmarks such as Denton High School, Old Alton Bridge and the now-closed Hastings Entertainment store. In his own work, Doub says characters are often “complicated and usually not clear-cut with where their moralities lie. They’re not one thing.” Many of his stories take on themes of representing people who feel bullied or those seeking justice, and he has added more social commentary to his work as a way to stand up for his values. “I’m not an activist,” Doub says. “I don’t see myself holding picket signs. But I do have a voice, and I know how to tell stories.”

Doub is offering several comics for free during the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit to get some free quarantine reading.





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Classic Mazda of Denton W

hen he looks out through the glass wall of his corner office at Classic Mazda of Denton, general manager Rick Wick sees the beautiful results of three years of planning and another six months of renovation work -- not to mention the dealership’s latest lineup of automobiles -- that has completely reshaped the dealership’s home facility. The expanded space and newly designed layout has made it the automaker’s first Retail Evolution facility in the North Texas area. In what is a nationwide effort by Mazda to overhaul and modernize its dealerships, the Retail Evolution program is geared toward the customer with the hope of making their facilities more welcoming and less intimidating. By updating and redesigning their dealerships, Mazda is also striving to make the whole customer experience more efficient with new amenities ranging anywhere from informative video boards to easy and open access between the sales and service areas. “It’s making it all user friendly,” said Wick. “It’s upscale in alignment with Mazda’s upscale, premium automobiles. The reception area for our service advisors is right across from the customer lounge. The customer lounge and the whole facility is open, so it’s commingling between sales and service. It’s all open and upscale.” Planning to make the Denton location the first in North Texas to satisfy Mazda’s Retail Evolution guidelines, Wick said, began in 2015. Architects worked with Mazda officials as well as Wick and his staff when it came to design proposals. A major change was expanding the outside walls of the main building by 12 feet to increase the facility’s overall square footage (larger showroom and more office space) to nearly 1,400 square feet. Also, the facility’s ceiling was lowered so customers don’t feel like they’re in a warehouse while walking through the building. One of the first changes longtime Mazda customers might recognize upon entering Classic Mazda of Denton is a new color scheme: gone is the old green and orange. Everything from the Mazda logos to the

furniture inside and out are now based in black, white and chrome. The use of glass is also prominent throughout the building, giving the main offices a more open look as well as providing upscale partisans between the individual sales offices on the main floor. The work stations for the sales staff are now updated with chairs and tables that follow the Retail Evolution requirements. That they are separated by the glass partisans also are in line with Mazda’s company design principals. Wick said that the dealership’s technology has also been completely redone to provide wireless service throughout the building. Customers can utilize their devices while waiting in the lounge area and if there’s a need for a quick recharge, Classic now has a table with electrical outlets for that option. Elsewhere, the dealership’s lighting is now programmed to be more efficient thanks to a motion detection system and it features cost-saving LED lights that require less voltage to use. While many of the changes at Classic Mazda of Denton are cosmetic, the dealership has maintained its successful approach to selling vehicles. Even during the construction process as well as the unique environment the recent pandemic has created, Wick proudly notes that sales are currently up compared to a year ago. Classic Mazda of Denton is very aggressive with their factory incentives. Classic Mazda of Denton is currently offering a variety of purchase options, including zero percent interest on 60-month loans, zero payments for 90 days and an assortment of cash back programs. With over 400 new award winning Mazda’s available you need to see them now. That Mazda has made its Denton location the first in the North Texas area to fulfill its new Retail Evolution status should really not come as a surprise. After all, back in 2006, the Denton dealership was also the first area Mazda outlet to qualify in the automaker’s then-new Retail Revolution program.

5000 South I35 E, Denton, TX 76210 • 940-310-6275 |

Thank you, Denton. For voting Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton the Best Medical Center. At Texas Health Denton, we’ve grown with our growing community, bringing you the same technology found at major metropolitan hospitals. We offer advanced medical technologies close to home, like robotic surgery and the area’s only low-dose 512-slice CT scanner. Plus, you will find over 300 physicians on the medical staff representing more than 45 specialties ranging from neonatology, for our tiniest citizens, to cardiology, for every beat of your heart. So when you and your family need it most, the care you need is right here in your own backyard. And, as always, we have protocols in place designed around your safety. To learn more, go to Heart & Vascular Services ■ Electrophysiology ■ CT Cardiac Imaging ■ Robotic Surgery Neurology ■ Weight Loss Surgery ■ Endovascular Surgery ■ Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Neck & Back Program ■ Women & Infants Care ■ Neonatology ■ Cancer Care ■ Emergency Care General Surgery ■ Critical Care ■ Wound Care & Hyperbaric Treatment Center ■ Stroke Care

Texas Health is right there with you. Whatever comes.

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DENTON Doctors on the medical staffs practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health hospitals or Texas Health Resources. © 2020

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V I D -1


Marty B’s is currently open for dine-in service with new safety precautions for patrons. To-go options are available for those who choose not to dine in at this time.



Marty B’s serves up live music, community fun and Texas Hill Country flavor. BY ELLEN RITSCHER SACKETT

Tap your feet to the sounds of live bands every weekend.


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Photo courtesy of Nick Allen Photography


he old adage “Everything’s bigger in Texas” describes Marty B’s to a T. It’s hard to miss the immense dining, live music and event venue, which opened in 2017 off FM 407 across from Lantana, in Bartonville. Perhaps the one thing bigger than the venue is its owner’s dedication to sharing experiences unique to Texans. It’s easy to find him: Pass the larger-than-life “B” branding iron sculpture, go through the front doors during dinner and you’ll likely see owner Marty Bryant — “Marty B” himself — wearing a grin as big as the Lone Star state. “Everybody wants to be a Texan!” says Marty, who grew up in Lexington, a little farming community east of Austin, where he spent his time “roping and riding, doing what a stereotypical Texan does.”

Top photo, ribeye and sheet cake photos courtesy of Marty B’s; Tamale cakes and nachos photos courtesy of 44 Farms

Lone Star Dining The menu is as Texan as Marty himself. “Barbecue is a big deal in Central Texas,” he explains. That’s why it is the foundation for Marty B’s menu, which also includes steaks and Tex-Mex cuisine. “They’re our favorite foods and are very Texan,” he says. Pitmaster Jerry Lisby left the corporate world to assist Marty, who is himself a veteran of a couple of well-known national chains. Marty’s extensive expertise in restaurant operations has served him well in creating and running his own concept. “We’re both excellent cooks. It’s a collaboration between Jerry and [me],” Marty says. Together, they created the menu, which hasn’t changed much since the place opened. The culinary team preps and produces 3,700 pounds of meat a week — brisket, turkey, ribs, sausage, wings, meatballs, stuffed jalapeno peppers, Jerry says. Their meat is part of a “never-ever program,” sourced from humanely raised cattle that are fed an all-natural diet and have not been exposed to hormones or antibiotics. “The food is so clean,” Marty says. “It makes such a difference in the flavor.” Ranch-Style Escape Marty B’s location is not exactly rural — a half-million people live within a 25-mile radius — but the modern-day ranch feels off the beaten path. At a glance, the massive steel structure that is home to Marty B’s could easily be mistaken for a barn or roping arena rather than a restaurant. On five acres of property, the facility was constructed next to a good-sized “tank” (Texas talk for “pond”), surrounded by grassy slopes and unobstructed sky. Marty incorporated Central Texas elements into Marty B’s spacious design — natural Austin stone, cedar beams and fencing and native landscaping. His inspiration was Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas, a restaurant that seats 1,000. “From Thursday through Sunday, we have three restaurants working simultaneously,” Marty says. “The rooftop, patio and restaurant each have their own kitchens.”

Standout Dishes

Owner Marty Bryant and pitmaster Jerry Lisby work together in the kitchen.

Ribeye If you’re hankering for steak, Marty B’s offers filet, ribeye and New York Strip cuts. All of Marty B’s Angus beef, including the burgers, come from 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas.

Texican Tamale Cakes Buried under a heap of coleslaw is a roasted sweet corn griddle cake with in-house smoked meat (or not, making this a good pick for vegetarians). A lunch version is topped with chicken tenders, honey, hot sauce and cinnamon butter.

BBQ Nachos Order this as an entrée or an appetizer; there’s plenty to share. This dish is a bed of chips topped with a choice of meat, house-made queso, Mexican crèma, barbecue sauce, cilantro and pico de gallo.

Texas Sheet Cake No matter how big the meal, there’s always room for Marty B’s desserts. Chocolate upon chocolate with pecans and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream — what could be more Texan than that? S E P T E M B E R /O C TO B E R 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


Marty B’s brings the vibe of the Texas Hill Country to patrons with a welcoming, modern ranch atmosphere.

On weekends, people have come to expect up to an hour-and-a-half wait to be seated in the dining room. Even the wait is part of the experience though: Kids (and kids at heart) can roast marshmallows around a community fire pit or play lawn games, such as corn hole and Connect 4, or try their hands at roping a steer. “If you’re going to be busy, you’ve got to make the waiting comfortable,” Marty says. “We’ve done a lot to make that experience super pleasant.” For a quieter experience, adults can head to the rooftop. The space is reserved for those 18 and older and has its own menu, TVs and bar. If you’d rather party, the open-air patio, lined with rows of picnic tables, is the place to be, especially from Thursday through Saturday nights when live bands perform. Alongside the patio, small groups can lounge on couches in private cabanas and nosh on appetizers and drinks. Two luxury


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Taking Care of Texans During the time when the restaurant was closed due to COVID-19, Marty B’s partnered with nonprofit Mission Moms to provide hundreds of free home-cooked meals every weekend to families in need. Today, the restaurant is once again open to the public, but it has added a number of new safety precautions. For those who may not be ready to dine in yet, it has added family-style meals to to-go options and offers orders for pick-up that can be placed online or by phone and delivered to your car. “Since we opened, part of our daily routine is to clean all surfaces with Clorox wipes, door handles, table-tops, menus, ledges and all customer touch points,” Marty says. “As a result of the [novel] coronavirus, we have implemented the same routine, but more frequently.” Hand sanitizer stations are accessible throughout. “In the food industry, washing hands for 20 seconds with warm water is a standard,” he continues. “We have and will continue to make safety for all of our employees and customers our number-one priority.” “At Marty B’s, we want you to walk through these front doors, take it all in, engage with family and friends, have an amazing meal and enjoy all we offer,” Marty says. “Just come eat and drink. Everything else is included. We bring the experience.” Marty B’s 2664 FM 407, Bartonville, TX 940-241-3500

Photo courtesy of Marty B’s

suites can accommodate 40 or 50 people, respectively; the lower suite spills onto the patio when its glass garage doors are raised, while the upper suite overlooks the action below. “There’s always something to do here,” Marty says. “We bring people together and give them a chance to connect.” You won’t find many TVs at Marty B’s, and that’s intentional. “In today’s society, everybody’s on a screen,” Marty says. “I want people to be able to engage with each other.”

PROVIDING HELP TO THOSE WHO WANT TO STAY AT HOME We provide care and support for seniors, people who have been ill or in the hospital, senior’s family members and others requiring help at home. Most people would prefer to remain living in the privacy and comfort of their own home. However, at some point, they are going to require help with the daily demands of life. There’s where Local Hearts becomes invaluable to you.

940-736-0496 320 County Road 466, Gainesville, TX 76240

MINOR & JESTER, P.C. ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS Minor & Jester’s demonstrated experience allows the firm to provide clients with unmatched legal services, which is why Denton County’s most sophisticated clients call upon us to provide counsel in their most complex issues. Minor & Jester, P.C. is well positioned to be your full service law firm.

Our top goal is clear communication between our law office and you. REAL ESTATE • FAMILY • PROBATE • CIVIL LITIGATION CONSTRUCTION LAW • BANKRUPTCY • BUSINESS LAW

Phone (940) 387-7585 • FAX (940) 808-0054 502 W Oak St, Denton, TX 76202 •

Christopher B. Henry & Jill E. Jester

Serving Denton Since 1967 DE-29212


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Say Cheese!

Ten:One Artisanal Cheese shop brings fresh flavors from around the world and a wealth of knowledge to Denton. BY MARY DUNKLIN


Savoring Knowledge Bonard became a “cheese enthusiast” years ago when he started visiting a Dallas cheese shop. His visits became more regular, and that’s when he started “paying attention to the nuances and differences of cheeses.” Bonard didn’t learn about cheese all at once, and neither will guests of his shop. “You’re not going to cram cheese expertise in one visit,” he says. Instead, he suggests visiting frequently to taste small portions, letting your palette appreciate and study each one you try. Bonard sees his background as a cicerone (beer expert) and his recent studies to become a sommelier (wine expert) as essential to helping him describe how things taste to customers. And even if he doesn’t personally like a particular cheese, he’s learned to recognize the benefits of each. “Staying open to different tastes is important, whether it’s beer and wine or cheese,” he says. “This lets you appreciate a lot of different styles.”

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Bonard says part of the shop’s appeal is his staff, which includes day-one hires Benjamin Matt, a former Central Market cheese monger, and Hannah Bogen, who previously worked at Molto Formaggio in Dallas. “Between the three of us, we had different tastes and perspectives, but we had tried a lot of cheese,” Bonard says. They wanted to bring all that knowledge to the Denton shop. Why the name “Ten:One”? Bonard explains that it’s the ratio of milk that yields a pound of cheese. Slow Down “I wanted everything to be approachable and accessible,” he says of the cozy, welcoming shop. Bonard wants guests to savor the experience. “The way we eat good cheese is totally different than the way we eat hamburgers,” he says. “The whole approach is you take your time and you take a bite and enjoy it. You nibble. Slowing down makes us more mindful of our meal.”

Photos courtesy of Ten:One


hen Justin Bonard describes cheese, it’s as if the whole world stops. Customers hang on his every word as they listen to his passionate descriptions of taste, texture, history and pairings. His knowledge is impressive, but he delivers it in such a way that even newbies to the cheese world can understand and appreciate. As owner of Ten:One Artisanal Cheese on Locust Street in Denton, Bonard uses his shop as a way to reach others who are hungry for good food. “We’re not out to make cheese more difficult and more pretentious,” he says. “These are things we all can enjoy.” Judging by the popularity of his shop, which opened in 2018, it’s filling a niche for customers who want cheeses from around the world, a curated selection of beer and wine and other local specialty items. “Everything we carry, we carry for a reason,” Bonard says. “We feel very passionately about everything we serve.”

COVID -19 Update: As we go to print, Te n:One is not open for dine-i n patrons but is offering vir tua l classes, cheese tastings an d limited delivery. Please cal l ahead to determine availabil ity.

Some people come in and get cheese to go, but most stay and eat in-house. [Editor’s note: This piece was written prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.] Ten:One’s cheese experts take their time to explain the ordering process at the shop’s walk-up counter. “We really are blessed in that a lot of the folks who come in are so nice,” Bonard says. “And they enjoy our company too. Return customers are getting the hint, and they realize what we do for them. Ninty-nine percent are more willing to be patient and wait.” Those who stay get rewarded with offerings that include the shop’s famed cheese boards, which typically consist of a selection of cut-to-order cheeses, multiple house-made sides and bread from Ravelin Bakery, a beloved Denton shop. Your Flavor Profile The offerings are always changing based on season and in-house preferences, but the knowledgeable staff’s advice makes it easy for customers to decide what to get. The first step, Bonard says, is discovering what types of cheese a customer likes. These flavor profiles then lead Ten:One’s cheese experts to suggest suitable options. For people unaccustomed to cheese, recommendations start with milder and sweeter cheeses. “Some cheese from Europe is made sweeter for American palettes,” he says. In an age when cheese boards can be so big they look like “they’re made to feed a football team,” Bonard takes a more restrained approach. He suggests that guests limit themselves to three or four cheeses because “if you do a lot more, you’re not going to remember anything.” “It’s not about picking one favorite out,” he says. “It’s about the cheese board as a whole.” Though you don’t have to pick a favorite, Bonard says there are a few standouts at the shop. Ossau-Iraty — “a fun cheese named after two regions in France” — is a young sheep’s milk cheese with a sweet nutty flavor, similar to Manchego. Ashbrook is good for “inexperienced to connoisseurs alike.” A layer of ash runs down the middle of this cheese, which is produced on a nonprofit farm in Vermont from Jersey

cows (which typically give less milk with a higher fat content). Finally, Meredith Dairy marinated goat cheese has earned a “cult following.” The goat cheese cubes are marinated with olive oil, peppercorns and thyme.

Cheese Board Theory

There are different approaches to building a cheese

board. Here are a few options that Bonard suggests Community Support to help you with your selections: Bonard is grateful for the shop’s partnerships with u  Choose cheese from different milk sources local businesses such as such as cow, sheep or buffalo. Dude Sweet Chocolate u  Pick cheeses with different textures — soft, in Dallas and Denton semi-soft, semi-hard or hard — to give the board institutions such as The variety. Bearded Monk and u  Focus on similar attributes by choosing cheeses Steve’s Wine Bar, which that are from the same region or of similar styles. keep small cheese boards This option could be good for someone who on hand. knows what they like and wants to try others in “All these small the same category. businesses in Denton u  Create a board with cheese from diverse flavor are great at working profiles or a random selection based on what’s together,” he says. His popular or intriguing. This is an ideal option for hope is to “get good adventurous guests or for groups with varying cheese into a lot of these tastes. establishments that u  Add some non-cheese elements. Options at don’t serve food.” Ten:One include house-made preserves, flavorful Bonard and the rest spiced nuts (such as almonds tossed with Chinese of the Ten:One staff five spice powder), pickled vegetables and fresh share their knowledge fruit. Guests also have the option to add prosciutto through regular or one of the store’s unique grilled cheeses, such classes, including as pecan-smoked Gouda with strawberry-black virtual classes during pepper jam. the COVID-19 outbreak. The lineup of topics is posted at For instance, one month, all of the hour-long classes discussed cheddar, including its history, the process of making it and a sampling of different options. The events have been popular with customers curious to explore what the shop carries. “We are seeing a lot of customers who have learned a lot in a rather short amount of time,” Bonard says. “When you start coming here, you don’t have to know everything — you just need to know you like cheese.”

Ten:One Artisanal Cheese 515 South Locust St., Denton 940-320-5639 S E P T E M B E R /O C TO B E R 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


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Saving lives, fighting for human rights, busting through glass ceilings, mentoring the next generation — there’s absolutely nothing these 12 inspirational Denton County women can’t do. BY ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHT, PAULA FELPS, NICOLE FOSTER, RACHEL HEDSTROM, ANNETTE NEVINS, LESLIE THOMPSON AND KIMBERLY TURNER

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Lily Metzler, MPH Epidemiologist • COVID-19 fighter • Denton County Public Health team member

Battling the Pandemic

Ever since our county’s first COVID-19 case was reported on March 15, Metzler and DCPH’s other epidemiologists — Taylor Keplin, Abby Hoffman and Chief Epidemiologist Juan Rodriguez — have been working nonstop. The team helps identify people who have the virus, conducts case investigations and finds potential exposures and places of transmission. On a daily basis, Metzler consults with healthcare providers and coordinates with regional and local health departments about disease outbreaks. She and her department also help educate the public on the symptoms of COVID-19, provide information on how it’s transmitted and recommend ways to prevent the virus from spreading in the community. Even before the pandemic, Metzler and the rest of the DCPH team were busy — reacting to public health threats, running immunization campaigns, monitoring influenza and other conditions, providing prevention education and exchanging epidemiological information with other regions, states and nations. But COVID-19, Metzler says, has been the biggest challenge of her career, which already included case investigations for 80


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notifiable conditions and diseases, including zoonotic, infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases.

The Perfect Fit

“I always knew I wanted to help people, and I think infectious diseases are super interesting, so when I stumbled across epidemiology, I felt like it was the perfect fit,” Metzler says. Raised in Fairview, Metzler received a Bachelor of Science in biology at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. She returned to Texas and attended the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) to earn her master’s in public health with a concentration in epidemiology. There, she was recognized with the Leon Brachman Award, an honor given annually to a public health graduate student who demonstrates exemplary academic achievement. Metzler is also a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society. Metzler feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to intern with multiple employers in different fields prior to committing to a career as an epidemiologist. Her internships and mentorships allowed her to gain experience on a variety of different subjects, including non-fatal abusive head trauma and injury prevention. “I was able to narrow down what I wanted — and didn’t want — in a career, which ultimately led me to public health and epidemiology,” Metzler explains. Her busy schedule doesn’t allow Metzler a lot of free time, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, but she does love cooking and baking, as well as being outdoors and spending time with her family in McKinney. —Rachel Hedstrom

Photo by Mike Morgan Photography


he COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a formidable challenge to everyone. Thankfully, Denton County has epidemiologist Lily Metzler and the other dedicated professionals of Denton County Public Health (DCPH). Along with her teammates, Metzler has been working tirelessly to try to keep more than 800,000 Denton County residents safe, healthy and informed.

Good advice “Looking back, I wish I had given myself a little more grace on things that were out of my control and wasn’t as hard on myself if I made a mistake. Mistakes are normal, and they give you an opportunity to learn and perform better the next time. I would tell myself to only worry about things that I had the ability to change.�

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Suzanne Cruz-Sewell • A ssistant VP of Business Diversity & Development at DFW Airport


• A vid supporter of small, minority- and womanowned businesses

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

• H ispanic leader

allas/Fort Worth International Airport is the third busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements — so large it has its own ZIP code. The 75 million+ passengers who streamed through last year didn’t just get on planes. They shopped. They dined. They spent money. Suzanne Cruz-Sewell — assistant vice president of the Business Diversity & Development Department — helps make sure those businesses represent everyone. Cruz-Sewell, who lives in Carrollton, has held her role at the airport for 15 years. She helps foster success for minority- and woman-owned businesses, consistently proving that diversification gives companies a competitive edge. But her greatest satisfaction is the difference she can make for these entrepreneurs by providing opportunities and access to information. “I can’t speak enough about the airport’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, not only from the workforce side but also the supplier side,” she says. “I’m lucky to work with an organization that believes in the value of supplier diversity from the top down.” Cruz-Sewell is especially proud of her work with the Women of Color program, an initiative of Women’s Business Council Southwest (WBCS) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) that supports female entrepreneurs of color to help increase their competitive advantage and inclusion in corporate supply chains. “There continues to be a remarkable growth of women of color entrepreneurs in our community, and we need to ensure they have the same access to information, opportunities and contracts,” she explains.

Good advice ”Choose to make a difference. Be passionate about your work, as it will help you persevere. Believe in what you do and the purpose it fulfills.”


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Cruz-Sewell says the pandemic has shown just how savvy women entrepreneurs can be. “If they can’t go through it, then they figure out a way above it, around it, and they innovate,” she says. “In my experience with the WBCS and the WBENC, I see female entrepreneurs who have had to pivot to survive. The innovation that’s come out of this pandemic — how they’ve been ‘Jill on the spot’ — proves that they’re open to shifting, adapting and coming up with Plan B to survive.” Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for her. A first-generation college graduate, Cruz-Sewell went from a small town to what she describes as “the monstrous campus” of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a bachelor’s in architecture. She then found success in the male-dominated construction industry, using her talent and perseverance to shine. Never one to stop learning and growing, she also earned an executive MBA from Texas Woman’s University. Last year, Cruz-Sewell was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame and won the 2019 Corporate Volunteer of the Year award from the WBCS. She is a member of the DFW Hispanic 100, a network of Latina leaders, and is on the boards of the WBCS and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is also a graduate of the world-renowned National Hispana Leadership Institute. —Rachel Hedstrom

Photo courtesy of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Jill on the Spot

Senator Jane Nelson A

s a UTA freshman in 1969, Jane Gray Nelson never imagined her future career path. She dreamed of being a teacher and a mother, and married her college sweetheart three years after graduation. Little did she know that 50 years later, she would sit on the board of his company and be heralded as the highest-ranking member of the Texas State Senate.

The Pioneering Politician

Photo courtesy of the office of Jane Nelson

“Neighbors, educators and fellow PTA moms encouraged me to run for the Texas State Board of Education,” says Senator Nelson, explaining the detour from her life as a schoolteacher and mother. “That was the first door of public service that opened up to me.” During her two terms on the state board, she advocated for quality education and strong families. She went on to win the Texas Senate seat in 1992, widening her sphere of influence. Since then, she has spearheaded legislation to improve education standards, curb family violence and increase funding for women’s health and mental health services. As the current chair of the Senate Finance Committee (and the first woman in Texas legislative history to chair a standing budget-writing committee), she also plays a key role in crafting fiscal policy for the state of Texas. In 2019, she became the first woman in state history to preside over opening day in the Texas Senate. She was listed as one of the 10 most effective legislators this decade by Capitol Inside, a Champion for Texas Children by Texas CASA and the National Distinguished Cancer Advocate of the Year by the American Cancer Society.

Building a Legacy

Though all of her groundbreaking achievements may make it seem so, politics is no walk in the park. The long-time public servant, mother of five and grandmother of 12 has fought her share of battles in the legislature. “One of the most important — and toughest — bills I’ve ever passed established the Cancer Prevention Research

Institute of Texas” in 2007, recalls Senator Nelson. The state initially issued $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention services, and the institute has helped millions of people. “We have made historic discoveries, with one of our scientists earning a Nobel Prize,” Nelson says proudly. “With most Texans surviving five or more years after diagnosis, I’d say the challenge was well worth the reward.” As she hits the campaign trail in hopes of prolonging her tenure in District 12, which encompasses parts of Denton and Tarrant counties, Senator Nelson continues to build a momentous legacy. Last fall, the Texas Parent Teacher Association named her a Texas PTA Champion for Children, and the Texas Women’s University Board of Regents voted unanimously to rename its leadership institute in her honor. The programs offered through the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership are designed to prepare the next generation of women leaders for successful roles in business and public service. —Leslie J. Thompson

• H ighest-ranking member of the Texas State Senate • E ponym of TWU’s Institute for Women’s Leadership • D estroyer of glass ceilings

Good advice “There will always be people who think women can’t be CEOs or can’t run for public office,” says Senator Nelson. She encourages those following in her footsteps to ignore the naysayers and instead focus on setting clear goals, working hard and making the most of every opportunity. “Countless women are living proof that there is truly no limit to what women can do!”

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Amber Briggle Internationally recognized advocate for human rights Dedicated and protective mom • Public speaker


mber Briggle is not new to making the world a better place. This Denton mom and activist has helped her community get bike lanes, splash parks and even a fracking ban, but these days, she focuses on making the world a better, safer place for her son, Max. The popular 12-year-old has earned a black belt in taekwondo, is a competitive gymnast, plays more instruments than his mom can name (cello, ukulele, piano, guitar and violin, to name a few) and makes a mean taco. So why does Briggle have to fight for his basic human rights? Max is also transgender.

The Right Thing to Do

This determined “mamabear” has done a TEDx talk and countless speaking engagements across the nation, challenged a local sheriff and state legislators, hosted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for dinner in her home and been a guest at the Obama White House — all in the name of protecting her son and others like him. She never planned to become an outspoken, internationally recognized humanrights advocate; after all, no one can plan to have a transgender child. Still, her (unsuccessful but fulfilling) run for city council and (successful but terrifying) fight against

the oil and gas industries helped prepare her to speak to large, sometimes hostile crowds, so she was ready when the time came. Though she had the skills, it was not easy, especially at first. She felt alone and unsupported. The national conversation about transgender rights was not where it is today, and she even had fears that Max could be taken away from his loving parents. But with Max’s permission, she spoke up. She did it because saw her son rush home from school rather than using the bathrooms there. Because she never wants him to be denied gender-affirming healthcare or deprived of the opportunity to play on a sports team that aligns with his gender identity. But most of all, she did it because “it was the right thing to do.” A 2018 study found that only 48% of Generation Z (ages 13 to 20) identify as strictly heterosexual, which means their parents, caregivers, family and teachers need to find new ways to support kids. That’s where Briggle comes in. “I feel like my target audience — for lack of a better word — really is the straight, cisgender community. There are plenty of people out there who want to know how to be better allies,” she says. “Transgender and LGBTQ people are perfectly capable of speaking on their own and using their voices for this. I’m relatable to people who are like me: a white, cisgender, middle-aged, middle-class woman in a straight-passing relationship. I can break it down. Look, I’m a business owner, like you. I’m a mom, like you. I go to church and drive a minivan, like you. And I have a trans kid. These are the things I need us all to be on board with to make the world safer and more equitable for him.”


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Photos courtesy of Amber Briggle

A Relatable Voice

Amber and her 12-year-old son Max at church

You’re Not Alone

Denton Count y LGBTQ+ resources include OUTreach Denton, the local chapter of Trans-Cendence International and online groups such as Trans Denton (Facebook). Briggle’s website also features a resources page, and she says local parents who can’t find the support they need should feel free to reach out to her via her Facebook page or website. “Seek out support from other parents of gender-expansive kids,” she says. “They are out there.” While his mother finishes writing her book and continues fighting for his rights, Max is enjoying being a kid. “The older he gets, the more I’m going to be able to step back,” says Briggle. “Because this really isn’t my fight. It’s his. But as a mom, I need to do all that I can so that when he reaches the age where he can speak for himself, he’s both able to do it and it should not be necessary. That’s what I’m hoping. Let’s just get this out of the way while he’s a kid.” —Kimberly Turner

Good advice “Listen to your kids. If I would’ve listened to my kid sooner, I would’ve saved him years of heartache and confusion and anxiety. Don’t listen to the haters and so-called experts. Listen to your kid.”

A Nightline segment being filmed at the Briggles’ home

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• L ong-time United Way of Denton County volunteer • A ward-winning humanitarian • P illar of the community


llen M. Painter is deeply committed to serving her community. The philanthropist and former marketing director for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton has spent decades volunteering to make Denton County a better place to live.

Decades of Service

Painter retired from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton in 2013, after a career of several decades. She has also been involved with the Denton Chamber of Commerce (as a past board chair), the Aubrey 380 Chamber of Commerce, local chapters of the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, the Holiday Festival Foundation, TWU Founder’s Day Luncheon and more. But she is best known for her work with one organization: The United Way of Denton County. This nonprofit organization serves the community in many ways, helping veterans, families, children, people who are homeless, those who need mental health assistance and others. Over the last 25 years, Painter has held a variety of volunteer positions within the United Way of Denton County. In January, she received the Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Award, an achievement she calls one of her life’s greatest honors. “I believe so strongly in the work United Way has done over the years,” Painter says. “Being recognized with this award is one of my highlights from my career with United Way. And I knew Bettye very well — she passed away last year — so it really made it special.”

Relationships Matter

Before Painter retired, the hospitals’ board of directors named the women’s resource library in her honor. “It was


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If she were to give her younger self advice, Painter would encourage persistence to find the right career. “I would tell myself to stay the course, find your passion in a work environment, because I think if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not going to be successful. I have been very blessed to be able to do what I love and be involved in this community for so many years.” in recognition of my involvement and support of women’s services, and it made me feel really honored,” Painter says. Painter’s philosophy about relationship building has always guided her. “Being able to develop strong relationships with each organization I have been involved with has certainly benefitted not only me personally, but also the organizations and the work families that have been developed,” she says. “I’ve always felt that if you want to be successful in the business world, you’ve got to develop relationships. You can’t be in a silo.” Despite her husband David’s frequent job transfers, which meant they moved 14 or 15 times over the years, Painter was able to plug into work that was meaningful, no matter where they landed. Moving so frequently made finding jobs in new locations a challenge, but Painter turned that into a benefit. “After holding a couple of positions at hospitals, I was able to use that to my advantage, because I had the experience and could be immediately successful in a new position,” Painter says. “It was difficult, but I was able to do it, and it was very rewarding for me to be able to continue in my field.” The Painter family includes their daughter, Amy, her husband, Doug, and their granddaughter, Caroline, who is a freshman soccer player at Troy University. —Abigail Boatwright

Photo courtesy of Ellen M. Painter

Ellen M. Painter

Good advice

Shanice Ready • B asketball coach • Y outh mentor • C ofounder of Stay Ready Enterprises


ask etba ll h as a lways been about more than the game for Shanice Ready, who has coached in the club, high school and college ranks for 26 years. It has been about life. “It teaches us, especially young women, to have faith in ourselves, to take our best shot,” she says. “Whatever we dream, we can make it happen.”

Photo courtesy of Shanice Ready

Stay Ready

Ready — who was honored at this year’s Denton Juneteenth Celebration for her positive impact on kids — cofounded a basketball skill development organization called Stay Ready Enterprises ( with her husband, Derial. Between them, the couple has more than 40 years of playing and coaching experience, and their organization helps more young people in the community participate in the game of basketball at cost. Ready blends the ideals of faith and family to help individuals and teams reach their full potential — both on and off the court. She got the idea to help at-risk youth during her days as an athlete at Oklahoma State University, where she began using basketball as a way to reach and render social services to young girls who needed a support network. She went on to work as a coach for girls’ teams at a variety of schools, including

Good advice

She says more such hardships and contrasts among players are only becoming evident as the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip on the economy.

Ready wants to help women overcome fear to succeed. “It was the biggest hurdle when I started out. There was this fear of the unknown and not being guaranteed that things would work out. We just have to have faith in ourselves and good things will come.”

Rice University, Clemson, the University of North Texas and Jackson State in Mississippi as well as the Denton Calvary Academy. Along the way, she began noticing a difference in the background of the girls she coached. “There were a lot of privileged families, capable of paying the fees to be coached,” she says. “Then there were girls who had the skills, but they didn’t have the money to play.”

Changing Young Lives

Ready recalls a story about one girl she coached. She lacked a family support system. Her mother was using drugs. Basketball was all the young woman had, and she connected with Ready through a nonprofit called Community Link. “Basketball set this girl on a new path,” Ready says. “The game taught her life skills, and she broke through what could have been a generational curse.” The girl went on to be the first in her family to graduate college. Looking back on her experiences, Ready, who is 49 and a mother of three, says she would have taken it easier on her younger self. “I used to beat myself up too much,” she says. She now teaches others, both boys and girls, how to be proud of their achievements and embrace accomplishments as a form of self-love. But she also teaches them to embrace competitiveness: “For men, it is an asset,” she says, “but women who compete strong are often considered too aggressive and emotional. We have to break that stereotype.” —Annette Nevins

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Dr. Suzanne Enck UNT professor • Advocate for women and other marginalized populations Founder of the Denton Feminist and Queer Collective

Merging Academics and Advocacy

Enck devotes her time to teaching about identity and differences while advocating for marginalized populations. Most of her work centers around issues of intersectionality, particularly between gender, race, sexuality and class. Over the last 30 years, she’s worked with domestic violence shelters and crisis centers in various capacities, and these experiences have informed her work with real-world knowledge.

“During my PhD program, I probably spent as many hours in the hospital working with victims of violence as I did doing any kind of classwork,” Enck says. “The combination of being an advocate and an academic are really important to me. I think we can only do academic work as far as we see ourselves as part of a community.” Enck hopes her work will help end intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

Productive Engagement

She also helped found Denton Feminist and Queer Collective to encourage political activism within the local community. The group has organized feminist phonebanking, an anti-racist book club and workshops on topics such as queer sexual health and managing difficult dialogues with family. “I’m really trying to figure out how we can engage with each other in a more productive way, that isn’t so hostile,” Enck says.

Enck founded the Denton Feminist & Queer Collective


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Enck has worked with incarcerated women in the Dallas County Jail with the empowerment program Resolana. She helped conduct workshops on topics such as communication and resume writing. She also interviewed 36 women in the jail and is writing a book to share their stories and encourage communities to rethink their over-reliance on incarceration. “I’m thinking about those connections between a long ongoing history of violence against a woman and that pathway to incarceration,” Enck says. “There are reasons why people make the choices they do, and it’s almost never so clear as we might think.”

Working Through Pain

Enck’s most challenging season in her life was when she moved to Texas 11 years ago. In the span of just a few years, her sister, mother and grandmother died; she got a divorce; and her father died — all while she was going up for tenure in her work. “Trying to really balance what it meant to grieve in the midst of also researching and writing about very difficult topics — gender violence and the Prison Industrial Complex — at the same time, was a pretty big challenge,” Enck says. Though difficult, that series of events has given Enck insight into helping students in a unique way. “When students have losses in their life, they know they can come talk to me, because I’m willing to talk about it with them when others may not,” she says. “It’s my goal in life to say that we’re all going to have pain; we’re all going to go through some terrible things. How can we recognize what’s happening to us and use that to connect with other people?” — Abigail Boatwright

Photos courtesy of Suzanne Enck


eaching communication and engaging in activism are the avenues Dr. Suzanne Enck uses to make a difference in her community. Originally from Ohio, she now works at the University of North Texas as the Communication Department chair, associate professor and member of the executive committee for Women’s & Gender Studies.

Good advice “Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions and keep pointing out where things aren’t good or right. Even when I was a 12-year-old kid at our family’s bluecollar bar, I would still tell someone ‘Hey, that’s racist. That is not okay.’ And then we’d have a conversation.”

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Erica Pangburn • T ireless cheerleader for local businesses • P roblem solver


n A pr i l 2 019, t h e D e n t on County Chamber of Commerce gained a vibrant new president. Erica Pangburn has spent every day since then promoting and demonstrating the chamber’s revamped mission: “To advocate, educate, and collaborate for economic growth in Denton.”

Aggressively Helpful

When Pangburn first took office, her priorities were to develop deeper relationships within the community and to examine the chamber’s practices to ensure they were relevant and serving the needs of local business owners. Less than a year later, the connections Pangburn and her team had been building were put to the test as coronavirus swept through North Texas. “When COVID first hit, we called members,” Pangburn says. “Real phone calls to 700 members, just to touch base and see where they were at. None of us knew what was needed. This was a place we had never been before. This has given us an even more intensive opportunity to connect with our community and find commonality.” A self-described “f ixer,” Pangburn explains that due to her supportive nature and overt candor, her husband has coined her “aggressively helpful.” Because of this quality, Pangburn reminds herself to honor each business owner’s situation and ask what they need, rather than rushing in and trying to solve each member’s challenges. She extends this attitude toward her team, too. “I want to help everyone internally understand what our mission is and how those pieces fit together,” says Pangburn.

Part of Your Success

“We’re solidifying who we are, what we are and why we do it,” she says. “Chambers across the country are positioned to fill a niche. We’re the only organization funded by private investments to further economic vitality of a community as a whole. We are created to be advocacy for the needs and interests of business owners, for the community and for our future workforce. How can we advocate to make their voices louder, stronger, more impactful?” Even her LinkedIn profile exudes enthusiasm. “I bring the art to what we do. The creativity and the fun. I bring relationship and team building and conflict resolution. I LOVE STRONG TEAMS! I bring the details and logistics that turn big to-do’s into big did it’s,” she writes. She is a self-described connector and “fiercely loyal right-hand (wo)man” who is ready at a moment’s notice to give a pep talk. She is, in short, a whirlwind of productivity and passion who loves her job — really, truly loves it. Though a n excited a nd power f u l leader, Pangburn does not see herself as a woman of influence. “I don’t want it be about me. I want to take every opportunity I can to point to our organization — to tell you that if you are a business owner who is struggling, chances are you’re doing something much braver and bolder than what I do every day. I would like the opportunity to connect you to whatever you’re looking for. Give me the opportunity to be a part of your success story.” —Nicole Foster

Good advice “Aspire for more. Start sooner. Work harder. Be more. Be the best vision carrier and you’ll be the vision caster before long.”


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Photo courtesy of Erica Pangburn

• P resident of the Denton County Chamber of Commerce

Donna Trammell Beloved local theater fixture • Philanthropist Board president of Denton Community Theatre


he musicals Donna Trammell creates are much like the woman herself: laugh-out-loud funny, entertaining and beloved by the entire community. She also finds a fulfilling way to give back to the community through her song and dance routines.

Photo courtesy of Donna Trammell

The Toast of Texas

Since 1986, Trammell has penned more than 100 musical productions, which have raised more than $2 million for Texas charities. It all began with a little musical called A Slice of Texas Toast, written when the Denton Benefit League wanted to put on a luncheon performance for its members. Because it was the sesquicentennial, Trammell suggested doing a show about Texas. “I had written song parodies in high school and hadn’t done it in years, but I thought I’d give it a shot,” she says. The show cheered and jeered Texas using familiar songs reinvented with Trammell’s humorous lyrics. It was so well received that the group was invited to perform it as part of Denton’s citywide sesquicentennial celebration. Afterwards, an audience member from Tyler asked if they’d do the show elsewhere. “We ended up doing 40-some shows in different cities. It went on for a long time,” says Trammell. It was the start of Texas Toast Productions, which saw Trammell writing full-length musicals using the same successful format: parodies of familiar songs built around a theme and tied together with a narrator. Her shows were performed by community groups across the state and quickly became a popular way for organizations to bring the community together and raise money. “Those big summer shows had 150 or 200 people in them. I still hear from people who say those are highlight memories for them,” Trammell says. “Getting people to get on stage and feel good about what they’re doing is probably one of the most rewarding things I do.”

Good advice “Remember that success is not a goal you reach — it’s the goal that keeps you reaching.”

A Different Kind of Value

In 1991, she formed The Trammell Group, an eight-person troupe that performed her parodies in a dinner theater/cabaret format. And her Footlight Fundraising Series, now in its fifth year, was created specifically to raise money for designated charities. It runs for four or five nights, with ticket sales benefitting a different charity each night. “I never felt good about charging for what I do. It has a different kind of value for me,” Trammell says. “I tend to think of it more as I have this really wonderful hobby and I get to involve other people. And it doesn’t

cost as much as playing golf.” She gives back to the community in other ways as well. Her work with Denton Community Theatre dates back to 1985; she’s done everything from designing sets to acting to directing. She was honored with DCT’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, and today, she serves as its governing board president. She’s also on the governing board of the Greater Denton Arts Council. Looking back, the one thing she wishes she had learned earlier in life is to “learn to accept compliments — and then do your best to deserve them.” —Paula Felps

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Jill Jester • A ttorney • T WU Board of Regents Chair • C ommunity leader


olstering her work as an attorney with community leadership, Jill Jester mentors, leads and inspires both in the business world and in academia. Jester comes from a family passionate about volunteering. Her father, Tom Jester, was mayor of Denton, and she was born and raised in Denton. After graduating from Texas College of Law in 2010, she joined Minor & Jester, P.C., where she focuses on real estate, probate, general civil litigation and business law.

Helping and Leading

Being an attorney with her firm means a lot to Jester. “I like to practice law. I like the idea of helping people, using our words instead fists to solve problems.” Jester is also the board of directors’ chair of the Denton Chamber of Commerce — only the ninth woman in the Chamber’s 110-year history. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to lead our members — 700 businesses here in the Denton area — through these tough times, as we adapt and change with the environment in which we’re all doing business,” she says. In the academic realm, Jester is the governor-appointed chair of the Board of Regents for Texas Woman’s University. As part of the university’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, Jester is a Minerva Fellow. In that role, she teaches students about leadership, shares her experiences and helps women discover different paths to getting involved in politics, community service and advocacy. “It’s been very special to be part of empowering women, and the commitment that Texas has had to women, not only for student leadership and women entrepreneurs, but also for women in politics and public policy,” she says. The attorney has also served as chair of a capital campaign for Health Services of North Texas, which provides low- or no-cost health services in Denton County and Collin County, and is on the KERA public broadcasting board.

Good advice “If you fear failure, you’ll never attempt something that is hard and potentially audacious. Life is much more fun if you’re not waiting until you’re ready to take a step. Prepare yourself the best you can and take that step. And I don’t know that anyone ever feels ready. Failure is part of success.”

Jester takes on a lot of roles in the community but is careful about how she spends her time: “You have so many choices of profession and areas of volunteering, but you can’t do them all well,” she says. “I try to make sure I really care about what I’m doing, or else you may resent it. Don’t take the first opportunity that comes by; make sure it’s one you’ll enjoy and have a passion for.” Jester believes it’s never too late for a new adventure. “I have done some different things in my life,” she says, “Whether it’s moving to London after college, or attending Second City in Chicago and performing sketch and improv comedy for years, or going back to law school later in life. It’s good to continue to challenge yourself, because without a challenge, you don’t know what you are capable of.” Jester and her husband, native Chicagoan Chris Rasmussen, call Denton home, and she’s excited about the future of the area. “Denton is a pretty great place to be, and I appreciate it in a whole different way than I did when I was growing up here,” she says. “There’s so much good here, and such diversity, and it just keeps growing. So I feel really honored to be in the positions I have been in, and encouraged that when you give here, you’re going to get back.” —Abigail Boatwright


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Photo courtesy of Jill Jester

Giving, Getting Back

Pat Sherman

Good advice

• D enton Chamber of Commerce 2019 Volunteer of the Year • V P of Community Relations at DATCU • I nspiration for women who want family and a career

“You be you and do what is best for you and your family. There are more valuable gifts for your children in the long run than just the things you can buy them. When the goal is always pursuing and having more, how will you, or your children, know if it’s ever ‘enough?’”

and the Denton County Community Theatre. And she enjoys performing as a member of the Trammell Group (see the entry on Donna Trammell on page 43 in this issue).

It Will Be Okay


at Sherman hopes starting and building a new career in her mid-40s will encourage young moms who may want more time with their children.

Photo courtesy of Pat Sherman

One Life at a Time

The Denton Chamber of Commerce 2019 Volunteer of the Year has certainly enjoyed some amazing opportunities over the last two decades while working alongside and learning from incredible leaders in Denton and surrounding communities. “Having lived here for a really long time now, I just know a lot of people and find great joy in opportunities to connect folks who need to know (and help) each other,” says the vice president of community relations at DATCU Credit Union. “Hopefully

it has — one life at a time — made a difference in Denton County.” Sherman’s dedication has been noticed. She received the Hearts & Heroes award from Health Services of North Texas for community service and leadership. As a volunteer with many organizations, she has made countless new acquaintances and lifelong friends. She serves on the boards of directors for United Way of Denton County, CASA of Denton County and the Denton Chamber of Commerce, where she is past chair of Women in Commerce. She has also volunteered in recent years with Serve Denton, Communities in Schools of North Texas and the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County. She has served in board positions for the Denton Benefit League

Over the years, Sherman learned something important: “It really will be okay to focus on home and family, with time to build a career later,” she says. The first time she left her hometown of Denton was after high school. She lived in three other states after college and married her high school sweetheart, Jud. Eventually, they were happy to return to Denton to raise their three children. But when it came time to reenter the workforce, she had no idea where to start. With a degree in vocational education, her dream job was in marketing or community involvement, but she had no experience or training in either. So she accepted a part-time position at a local marketing firm, where she handled mail and basic bookkeeping. She quickly learned not to underestimate the idea of starting at the bottom and working up, as well as the value of life experience. Less than a decade later, she was leading the community relations team at DATCU. Sherman says she considers any achievement to be a blessing from God — including 45 years of marriage and being the proud grandparent of six beautiful grandchildren. —Annette Nevins

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Judy Hoberman Entrepreneur • Author, podcast host and public speaker Executive coach for professional women

Become What You Need

When Hoberman entered the world of insurance and financial services, she quickly discovered that there were no female leaders to guide her. The men she

worked with didn’t want to work alongside Hoberman and wouldn’t train her. She was there to check a box, not contribute talent. Full of ambition and a staunch refusal to be anything less than extraordinary, Hoberman excused herself from the toxic culture with a blossoming business idea. “I became that person that I never had — a coach, mentor and speaker for professional women in business, specifically in male-dominated industries,” says Hoberman, who founded Selling in a Skirt ( “What I find is that women trust me, open up, tell me what they might not tell others. I’m somebody

you can count on. I love you when you need it, but also push you.” Selling in a Skirt became a resource for women who need the kind of support and mentorship Hoberman couldn’t find at the beginning of her career.

Don’t Go It Alone

Today, she speaks to audiences around the nation about boosting profit by putting more women in leadership roles, turning passion into revenue, overcoming imposter syndrome and recognizing and embracing the differing communication styles of men and women. She’s a source for anyone who needs direction. She knows that women “want to be equally, not identically,” so she works with women to use their natural strengths in corporate environments and with men to transform their management styles to bring out the talents and strengths of women. Even after becoming founder and president of Selling in a Skirt, the author of multiple books (Selling in a Skirt, Famous Isn’t Enough, Pure Wealth and Walking on the Glass Floor), a TEDx speaker, corporate training director and iHeart Radio podcast host, Hoberman still maintains coaches for herself — always one male and one female. She says it’s vital to have people in your corner who have your best interest in mind and who tell you the truth. “Don’t try to do this alone,” Hoberman advises. “There are so many people out there you can work with. If you don’t have the funds to hire a coach, go to retired executives, YouTube or SCORE [free business counseling for North Texas]. There are plenty of coaches who don’t charge to give great information about building a business or growing your tribe.” —Nicole Foster


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Photos courtesy of Judy Hoberman


hroughout her childhood, Judy Hoberman was told that her worth depended on her looks. She was constantly advised to find a profession that utilized her face, not her brain. But Hoberman had bigger plans. She rejected the beauty pageants her father frequently signed her up for and forged ahead to conquer career goals.

Good advice “It’s not always about you. When someone wants to buy a service or product from you, figure out what their reason is. Know their ‘why’ and stay engaged. Stop looking at your watch and your phone. Show you’re interested in them, not interesting to them. You have to be present. It’s the hardest thing to teach people. Be present.”

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