San Antonio Woman May/June 2017 Issuu

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Four Nurses With a Vision for the Future





US $3.95

Susan Pape

Woman in Charge at San Antonio Express-News

San Antonio WOMAN










What’s New


At Home








Sustainable Gardening


Around Town


SA Woman Connect


Business Woman Spotlight


Business Fashion


Women on the Move


SA 2020


Guy to Know


Role Model


Mommy Matters





115 Travel 118 Hill Country Guide


120 Restaurant Guide 126 Entertainment Calendar 129 Weddings

56 18 PROFILE For the first time, the San Antonio Express-News has a woman at the helm. Meet new publisher Susan Pape and read about her two favorite passions.


CHANGERS These four nurses are working at the top of their industry to make positive contributions to local patient care.


We all love a great salon and featured in this issue are four women businesses that offer more than basic hair care.

SPECIAL SECTION 83 Alzheimer’s Association

124 DINING Everyone is talking about San Antonio’s favorite hot spot. Read about why we love Graze on Grayson.

COVER IMAGE by Janet Rogers 8 |

San Antonio WOMAN


MAY/JUNE 2017 PUBLISHER J. Michael Gaffney

FROM THE EDITOR Pamela Lutrell, Editor San Antonio Woman

EDITOR Pamela Lutrell ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jasmina Wellinghoff COPY EDITING Kathryn Cocke FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR Aquila Mendez-Valdez CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Scott Austin, Robyn Barnes, Shari Biediger, Molly Cox, Karina Gafford, Nanci Gandy, Iris Gonzalez, Pamela Lutrell, Pamela Miller, Dawn Robinette, Janis Turk, Jasmina Wellinghoff

Dear Readers:

PHOTOGRAPHY Janet Rogers, Martin Waddy, Eber Guerrero, Candace Schaddelee, Al Rendon

I wonder how many San Antonio women are actually working their dream jobs. I decided in

GRAPHIC DESIGN Tamara Hooks, Maria Jenicek

eighth grade to major in journalism and never questioned it from day one. Fifth grade was when I began to write, so working in media and writing has been a part of who I am most of my life. I realize I am one of the lucky ones.

ONLINE MEDIA Raleigh Hart, Social Media Brittney Lopez, Web Designer BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING Cindy Jennings, Madeleine Justice

However, our cover profile for this issue, Susan Pape, has taken my dream job to a higher level. She is the first woman to run our San Antonio Express-News, and I am envious! Susan sets that high bar for many of us and proves all things are still possible in an ever-changing

ADMINISTRATION & CUSTOMER SERVICE Nancy A. Gaffney, Raleigh Hart PRINTING Shweiki Media, San Antonio, Texas

media world. You will enjoy reading about her love for the newspaper and her life in Boerne. This issue is packed with stories of dynamic women in our city. Four are changing the game in the nursing profession and opening big doors for others to walk through. Four more are running the city’s top salons and making sure we all have a confident style. We have new in-

EDITOR EMERITUS Beverly Purcell-Guerra FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION call (210) 826-5375 email:

formation about the weight loss industry, plastic surgery advancements and care for Alzheimer’s patients.

You will be inspired by the trendy downsized home one family designed themselves, and ready to buy an RV when you read about Boomers on the road.

Sit down, get a cup of tea, and get ready for an uplifting, informative issue from our staff at SAN ANTONIO WOMAN. I am honored to work my dream job alongside them.

Keep Smiling,

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8603 Botts Lane, San Antonio, TX 78217 210-826-5375 San Antonio Woman is published bimonthly by PixelWorks Corporation (Publisher). Reproduction in any manner in whole or part is prohibited without the express written consent of the Publisher. Material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher or its staff. San Antonio Woman reserves the right to edit all materials for clarity and space and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions. San Antonio Woman does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertisements or editorial, nor does the Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Articles and photographs are welcome and may be submitted to our offices to be used subject to the discretion and review of the Publisher. All real estate advertising is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention to make such preference, limitation or discrimination.” Printed in the U.S.A.



IRIS GONZALEZ Iris Gonzalez is a freelance writer who enjoys meeting people and learning about the variety of topics she covers. For the Rivard Report, she writes about technology, cybersecurity, bioscience and veterans’ issues. Iris also writes for Edible San Antonio about local, sustainable food. Her first career as a government research analyst exposed her to issues such as public health and emergency planning for the city of Houston and the safety of the U.S. food supply and countering bioterrorism. Iris blogs on her latest writing project, currently a book in progress about her travels alone across Cuba, on her new website

DAWN ROBINETTE A communications and marketing expert who loves to tell stories, Dawn Robinette was told by her high school English teacher that she couldn’t write. Proving her wrong, Dawn is an award-winning writer who enjoys telling the stories behind the places and faces that make San Antonio such a terrific city. A military spouse and mom who made her way to Texas as fast as she could, she’s Accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America and works with clients to help them share their stories. She’s also a regular contributor for Alamo City Moms Blog.

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And if you miss an issue, our website features profiles published throughout our 14-year history — that's more than 80 issues!

THIS ISSUE The San Antonio Express-News was born in 1865, and finally has a woman publisher, Susan Pape. Susan is as passionate about building the newspaper as she is about the place she calls home. You will enjoy getting to know our local powerhouse newswoman.

@SanAntonioWoman We just reached almost 8,000 followers.

CATCH US ON THE WEB AND THROUGH OUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THESE AND OTHER TRENDING STORIES is a resource for connecting professional women from all over San Antonio. For more information, please call 210-826-5375.




With so many reasons to celebrate this time of year, brunch is always an option. Tweet us your favorite places to have brunch.

Enjoy the sun with a friendly competitive sand volleyball game…of course, send us the pictures for Facebook of the winning team!

From fresh cobbler to the 55th Annual Peach Jamboree & Rodeo in Fredericksburg, peaches are everywhere. Send your favorite recipe our way.

SAN ANTONIO WOMAN wants to inspire you. Sharing events and stories of local women via social media.




Quite simply…it’s food trucks. More and more brides desire to offer their guests options with a selection of food trucks for the reception. A fun way to say casual, country Texas fun!

Time to paint your toe nails and set them free in a great pair of sandals. This lovelies are from Elaine Turner in Alamo Heights.

Pull out the blankets and lawn chairs, it is about time for the San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival in downtown SA. For more details, go to SASJAZZFEST

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DID YOU KNOW? We distribute 30,000 copies of SAN ANTONIO WOMAN to nearly 500 locations throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas and to subscribers in 244 cities throughout the U.S.


THREE-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION AND VETERAN SPEAKS AT SAINT MARY’S HALL The Saint Mary’s Hall community welcomed three-time Super Bowl champion, former Dallas Cowboys player, and Air Force veteran Chad Hennings, in March as part of the Betty and Bob Kelso Speaker Series. During his visit, Hennings shared his personal story of postponing his entry into the National Football League to fulfill his obligation to the U.S. Air Force. His message to students focused on the importance of identity and the idea that your legacy is defined by the people you've been able to impact In the question and answer period, students asked about Hennings’ military service, his years as a Dallas Cowboys player and advice for leading a life of significance. The Kelso Speaker Series is unique to Saint Mary’s Hall and creates tremendous learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom. ABOVE: Chad Hennings takes a moment with SMH students (pictured l to r) Chase, McLean, Yosh, Daniel, and Diego after his Betty and Bob Kelso Speaker Series presentation.

GET FIT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER Get Fit In The Fight Against Cancer is a new program benefiting the American Cancer Society. It raises funds through fitness events to support cancer research and the Cattle Baron’s Gala. One event is Donate a Mile/Pound - you get sponsors to donate to the ACS for every mile completed or pound lost. Visit today for all upcoming events.

NEW VENUE FOR PARTIES IN SA Big Heart Parties is owned by Alamo Heights resident Amy Spears, and located at 1016 Townsend Ave.The studio can accommodate parties for adults, teens, and children. Formerly the events director at The Argyle, Ms. Spears loved designing parties that were theme oriented. Her favorite is the graffiti wall for party guests © AL RENDON to spray-paint personalized birthday messages. 210-827-8820 16 |


A MEDIA LEADER for the 21st Century Susan Lynch Pape takes charge at the San Antonio Express-News By JASMINA WELLINGHOFF

One question Susan Lynch Pape frequently gets is, “Are you healthy?” The query is not about her personal health but about the San Antonio Express-News, the 150-year-old newspaper that Pape now leads as its top executive. The answer: “Yes, we are. I intend to be here a long time. This appointment is more like a Supreme Court appointment. I am going to be here until I die.” She is joking, of course, but the longevity part is meant seriously. Her commitment to the city’s only major daily is a mission she’s pledged to. Before she was named publisher in September 2016, Pape spent 12 years at E-N, first as its chief financial officer and more recently as the COO, and she has a deep understanding of the organization’s role in the life of the city. “The Express-News is a legacy business in San Antonio that has a well-established place in the community,” she says. “The publisher must appreciate the paper’s history but also lead it into the future by building upon that legacy. The question is how do we do that in a more fragmented marketplace of today?” Her strategy to reach this goal involves increasing E-N’s visibility and engagement across the board, both with advertisers and the community. Meeting and listening to people and their needs is key to building these relationships. “We must offer more customized solutions to our

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advertisers through a variety of products” she notes, citing some 300 products E-N puts out, which, in addition to the main newspaper and its two related websites, include special sections, neighborhood editions, a variety of digital platforms, social media and collaborative projects with other organizations. The variety of options gives advertisers choices they did not have before. For instance, a restaurant may choose to place an ad in a neighborhood edition, while a car dealership may want to reach the widest possible audience, including folks in the Rio Grande Valley, by placing its ads in the daily paper and its web-based versions. The business community has been very responsive so far, says Pape. On the community side, the task is more in the hands of the newsroom, but the journalists have her full support. “We need to be out there to report and support what’s important to the people in our community,” she states. “And we need to engage our subscribers more. One way to do it is through the town halls we set up, for example. We do text alerts about the news. You can have emails summarizing major stories of the week, etc. And that’s just the beginning. In the digital environment, you can personalize delivery of content based on individual interests. It’s a little scary,” she adds with a laugh. “But none of that will affect the core print product. The paper will stay central from the information point of view, but the subscriber will have many ways to access content.”

Susan with her daughter, Shayleigh in front of her Boerne home.

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Susan Pape in the pressroom with Richard Robles (l) and Johnny Rodriguez (r).

Other initiatives that help E-N stay in touch with readers include the formation of a community advisory board, and readers’ surveys are in the works. Though it’s not her job “to decide what goes into the paper,” Pape is a member of the editorial board, which is responsible for the unattributed opinion editorials that appear daily to discuss and offer recommendations on various issues ranging from a local school district’s problems to presidential policies. The task is not easy for her because she can usually see the merits on both sides of any issue. As a CPA by training, Pape tends to analyze and think things through logically, seeking a balanced approach. As for her overall relationship with the editorial department, it’s one of “honest conversation,” says the personable publisher. “We need to listen to each other. My relationship with the newsroom is not one of direction. I hire smart people, and we respect each other. I am all about team building. My leadership style is to discuss and seek consensus, because without it things will not get done.”

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Making a Difference A native of Corpus Christi, young Susan grew up in the country around Robstown, with relatives living along the same country road as her nuclear family. Her rural upbringing included raising animals for livestock shows, quarter horse competitions and agriculture classes, where she was the only girl at first. Her face lights up at the memory of traveling with her mother to the various shows, horse in tow, and her mom at the wheel of a tractor-trailer. “I spent all my time with horses and livestock after school,” she recalls. “I bred horses, raised the babies, trained them. The last one I showed, while I was in college, was one I had bred.” What training horses taught her is patience, resilience and the need to communicate clearly, principles that have shaped her life: “These things have had a tremendous impact on my mind and how I approach my work in general.” To this day, Pape and her brother hunt and raise cattle on their ranches, and a few horses hang out around her house as well, which is the same house her parents chose when they moved to Boerne when she was 15. Today, she shares it with her mother and 15-yearold daughter.

Susan works closely with editor, Mike Leary.

With her love of farm animals, it was natural that upon graduation the young woman would choose to study veterinary medicine at Texas A&M, but that didn’t last long. The small-town girl felt uncomfortable finding herself one of 600 students in a huge auditorium and contemplated dropping out of school. Her dad would have none of it, however. Thus, she spent two semesters at San Antonio College before moving to UTSA, where she picked accounting “by accident.”

“I believe there was a higher direction at work; it was meant to be,” she muses. “I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not gone to UTSA.” With its logic and order, accounting appealed to her. Following a short stint with Ernst & Young, Pape joined the HarteHanks and Belo television stations, becoming chief financial officer for the company. She’s been with the Express-News, the third-largest newspaper in the Hearst media empire, since 2005.

“Community is very important to me, and media companies embody that sense of community. A newspaper can make a real difference in the city, and I wanted to be part of that,” she says. Pape is E-N’s first woman publisher and the only female in that position in the Hearst Newspapers division, which publishes 17 dailies and 57 weeklies across the U.S. Upon her promotion to publisher, Hearst Newspapers president Mark Aldam said in the official announcement that “Susan’s leadership continuity will ensure that our commitment to serve readers with depth and substance will continue unabated while Susan pursues her personal commitment to deepening our community involvement throughout the San Antonio region.” It is often said that it gets lonely at the top, yet other San Antonio women in prominent executive positions have reached out to her in support, inviting her into their circle and organizations, which both surprised and pleased her. may/june 2017 | 21


Susan and Shayleigh with Brutus, who is definitely a family member.

During a tour of the E-N building, she confesses that she still hasn’t moved into the publisher’s office, which is a large, isolated room on the top floor, looking “very masculine” and kind of forlorn since her predecessor vacated the premises. But she will, she says, because it’s important to the staff, who view it as part of the history and culture of the organization. On the way down, we stop on the advertising department’s floor and the newsroom, where things are humming along smoothly, before descending underground into the press room. It’s an incredibly imposing operation, with three-story-high presses, massive rolls of paper and ink containers, conveyor belts and other assorted equipment. In addition to the Express-News, this manufacturing plant also prints the Austin American-Statesman, the regionally distributed New York Times and the Laredo paper. The tour makes one keenly aware of the size of the newspaper enterprise, with so many different parts and 460 employees with diverse skills and expectations. The publisher knows a lot of them, chats with them about their families. Family is enormously important in her own life. Asked if she has time for pursuits that feed her soul and replenish

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her batteries, Pape explains that all of that revolves around her daughter, Shayleigh, right now. “We have a wonderful relationship, and that’s rewarding to me,” explains the proud mom. “She pushes me into trying different things, different music styles, restaurants, theater; she plays tennis, loves road trips. So what I do for my daughter and with her is what I do for me.”

Does she see herself as a role model for young women?

“I don’t think of it on a daily basis,” she admits. “I have never been subjected to any kind of discrimination because I was a woman. In fact, I never thought of myself as a woman CFO. I was just a CFO... But yes, I see that my position allows me to be a role model, and I need to become more active in that role. I need to share my experience and help others to move forward and become leaders.”


NURSING LEADERS Promote Innovation, Education and Quality Care for Local Patients By JASMINA WELLINGHOFF


From education to research, nurses in San Antonio are making a huge impact in the quality of patient care in this community. As we spend time with four leaders in the nursing profession, residents should feel reassured San Antonio is a city with excellent medical care. They work alongside physicians and nursing students to raise the bar and offer new ideas, innovations and peace of mind.

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W GAME CHANGERS Shannon Friesenhahn On this day in mid-April, there’s a lot of activity on the 9th floor of University Hospital. Crews are putting on the finishing touches on the new inpatient Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Care Unit (PCCU), part of the Children’s Health Heart Center (CHHC), which relocated here three years ago. And it seems everyone has a question for the unit’s director, Shannon Friesenhahn, an RN with a master’s degree in nursing administration, who is overseeing the renovation. “I think I’ll add ‘construction manager’ to my résumé,” she quips, as she leads a couple of visitors on a quick tour of the site. The new unit has 18 “variable acuity” rooms where young patients can receive every level of care needed, including intensive care. “It’s a unique concept,” explains Friesenhahn. “We provide variable acuity care in their rooms so that the kids don’t have to be moved all over the hospital, and they have the same team of health providers taking care of them throughout their stay.” A team typically consists of physicians such as a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon, nurses, child-life specialists, and other specialized personnel. But it is the nurses who stay with the patients 24/7, says the director. “Their ability to assess the patient’s situation and notice subtle changes is absolutely vital.” Friesenhahn also points out that the new facilities will enhance the family-centered aspect of care, making it possible for parents to stay on the same floor, and even in the same room, to comfort and support their child. This is especially important for families who do not live in San Antonio, as is the case with quite a few. CHHC — which includes the outpatient clinic and family accommodations in addition to PCCU — has patients from all over the south-central Texas region. Since the pediatric cardiac program was started at University Hospital in 2014, the number of patients has increased by 40 percent while the number of nurses under her supervision has jumped from 6 to 38. Until the new facility opens, current patients are temporarily treated on the 10th floor. As a mother herself, the PCCU director is acutely aware of the anxieties of the patients’ families. As we walk toward her office on the 10th floor, she stops several times to chat with colleagues about their little patients whom she knows by name and health condition. “These patients are the sickest, and I get to know them and their families and develop a bond with them. I absolutely get attached to them,” she says. “After they leave, they come back for checkups and visits, and once a year we have a reunion party with all of them.” In addition to Texas kids, the heart center provides lifesaving surgeries to children from developing countries who are sponsored by the philanthropic HeartGift program. Friesenhahn made the decision to go into a health care profession early in life when she performed her first “healings” by pulling thorns out of her father’s hands. They lived in the country and thorns were a common occurrence. “He seemed so happy after I did that,” she re24 |

calls, “that it gave me a sense of what it means to alleviate pain or distress.,” Her first job was as a staff nurse assisting with child birth. In her current position, she is in a leadership role, supervising the nursing staff, overseeing the logistics of moving into a new space, developing the budget, managing the unit as a whole and, as already mentioned, overseeing the renovation itself. It was a challenge that stretched her “pretty thin,” but she wouldn’t have it any other way, she notes. “The challenge of it is also the satisfaction. I love the patient care aspect of it, but working on building a team and working on this entire project has been very rewarding.” Research has shown that the combination of family-centered care and the benefits of having a single team of providers for each child result in considerably better outcomes than the traditional hospital model, something Friesenhahn takes great pride in. Still, not every child can be helped, and that can be heartbreaking. To work where she works can clearly bring both great joy as well as great sadness. So, how does she detach from all the worries and anxieties of the job at the end of the day? “I don’t,” comes the prompt reply. “Some people may call it unhealthy, but this is my passion. I’ll sit at home and cry sometimes. My daughter comes first, of course, but these kids and their families are very important to me.”

Gayle Dasher On the third-floor of the Christus Santa Rosa hospital complex downtown, there are several rooms occupied by very special “patients.” They breathe, blink, cough, and exhibit signs of illness at the touch of a button, or more accurately, at the click of a computer mouse. They are human-like manikins that can do pretty amazing things. For instance, there’s Noelle, a female manikin who can give birth to a “baby.” There’s “baby” Hal, who cries and flails his arms and legs, and there’s Sim Man, who can have a seizure on command. Called the Simulation Lab, the facility is used for training of staff nurses and other personnel employed by the Christus Santa Rosa Health Care System (CSRHCS). “The lab has allowed us to bring education to a whole new level,” says Gayle Dasher, a Ph.D. in nursing, and the person most responsible for the development and design of the lab. “They can learn without real patients. I tell them, ‘If you are going to make a mistake, make it here. And I think it’s fun for them.” Dasher, whose current title is director of clinical practice and standards, has been a nurse for 35 years, though her education in the biological and healing sciences started even earlier. Her first degree was a BA in biology, which was followed by a couple of years in dental school. By the third year, the young woman was ready to jump ship to follow her heart into nursing. “That first day in the (nursing school) classroom, I told myself, ‘This is where I belong,’” she recalls. And she has never looked back. After serving in the Army for six years, where she was exposed to patients from all over the world suffering from all sorts of injuries and illnesses, Dasher became “well versed in a range of treatment modalities,” eventually choosing to specialize in neurological care. To this day, she lectures in this area, which was also the subject matter of her Ph.D. dissertation. “I joined the Army to see the world and they put me at BAMC,” she jokes, but she “loved” the experience and met her husband during that time. Her Army service completed, the native San Antonian joined the Santa Rosa system, where her first job was as the coordinator of critical care development. Over the years, Dasher has made a huge cumulative contribution in a number of leadership positions. Her boss, Patty Toney, the system’s chief nurse executive, called her “my healthcare hero,” saying that Dasher “is considered by many, myself included, to be the heart of nursing practice at Santa Rosa.” In her current role, Dasher is responsible for coordinating the implementation of care standards throughout the organization and, over-

seeing both nursing research and the nursing residency program that she was instrumental in developing. Called the Versant Residency Program, the hands-on education helps new graduates navigate the transition between academic learning and hospital practice. Dasher also oversees other educational efforts, which focus on specific practices and conditions, and works with various teams throughout the system to address issue in care delivery. As leader, she was recently helping the entire nursing staff of the Medical Center Santa Rosa adult hospital to prepare for a special. nonmandatory but prestigious accreditation, known as the Magnet designation, awarded by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center. “This is official recognition for care facilities that deliver superior patient outcomes,” explains Dasher with satisfaction. “The surveyors stayed for three days and talked to nurses and looked at everything. I spent three weeks over there, helping them to put the stories they wanted to tell in a presentation format. Though we won’t know the result for a couple of months, we feel good about it. One surveyor said to me ‘I feel like I’ve been on a spiritual retreat.’” This amazing woman and life-long Catholic has recently gone back to school to become a geriatric nurse practitioner. The move was inspired by the nurses in her mother’s nursing home. “I regularly visited my mother, who had Alzheimer’s, and I observed the nurse practitioners who checked on the residents,” she says. “They didn’t just check the vital signs; they stayed and talked to the patients. I thought, that was the right way to do it. So, that motivated me, and also the desire to get back to direct patient care. And I love it.” So every Friday afternoon, she heads to one of the Catholic nursing homes in town, including the retirement home of the Sisters of Divine Providence, some of whom were her teachers in elementary school. “It’s humbling for me, and rewarding, to feel like I am giving something back to them. I hope they are proud of me and feel like they have done a good job.”

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Susan Griffin “We are a faith-based organization, and our nursing mission is aligned with the mission of the entire system, which is to serve humanity to honor God,” says Susan Griffin, chief nursing executive for the Methodist Healthcare System. With that in mind, the 3,500-strong nursing staff has adopted the system’s ICARE motto, which stands for integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence. “That’s who we aim to be and why we are here, to serve our patients and the community,” adds Griffin, who has been a nurse since 1978. Prior to joining MHCS in early 2015, she held a variety of executive-level positions in Austin, The Woodlands, Conroe, and other cities. The slim, friendly executive proudly points out that her organization is “on the Malcolm Baldridge Award journey,” which means looking at all aspects of the operation to identify improvement goals. The award was established by the U.S. Congress and bestowed on enterprises that demonstrate quality and performance excellence in seven areas, including leadership, customer/patient treatment, workforce engagement and results. It is a good framework for enhancing quality across the board, notes Griffin, who helped her former employer, St. David’s Healthcare in Austin, to get the award in 2014. And that’s just one feather in her professional cap. Her CV is positively packed with accomplishments on many fronts. The four goals that she set out to achieve across the eight Methodist facilities in town are spelled out on a blackboard in her office: to achieve top-tier patient satisfaction; to reach 12 percent or less turnover in RNs; improve nurses’ engagement, and to reduce hospital-acquired conditions. Retention of nurses is a special challenge. “Engagement and retention are tied together. The millennial gen26 |

eration tends to be mobile, and today there are so many other places where they can work besides hospitals,” she explains. To increase job satisfaction, a multifaceted approach was adopted that beefs up clinical education and provides a culture for professional growth. “We have a system of rewards and recognition for our staff. They can be promoted, make more money, participate on committees, etc. That has improved retention. The national turnover rate is around 18-29 percent; ours is 14.1 percent. We plan to bring it further down.” After listening to staff nurses, another change she has initiated is to simplify the electronic documentation that nurses must handle. “That’s a big part of why I am in this role. A leader should have the courage to step up and remove barriers that employees face in their work. I no longer take care of patients, but it’s my job to identify the needs nurses have so that they can take better care of patients,” she says emphatically. For Griffin, nursing was definitely a calling. The loss of her mother at age 10 taught her what suffering was. To be a patient means to suffer, she observes, and she decided early on that her calling was “to help people who suffer.” Married to a psychotherapist and a mother of three grown children, Griffin has clearly inspired her kids to choose helping professions – two are nurses and the third a physical therapist. The entire family is active in international missions, where they often help the poorest of the poor who live in deplorable conditions. Working through a Christian organization, they played a major role in establishing a clinic in Arusha, Tanzania, which now serves some 3,000 patients a month. “I would definitely encourage (Americans) to get out of their comfort zone and take a trip like that.”

Adelita Cantu Professor Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., has her own simulation lab for her nursing students. It may not feature manikins like Santa Rosa’s, but it simulates another kind of real-life situation that patients find themselves in – living in poverty. As a specialist in public/community health, Cantu wants future nurses to understand how environmental and social conditions influence health and longevity. “Life expectancy is directly correlated to the ZIP code you live in,” says the professor. “Where we live, work and play affects our health in a myriad of ways. These social and environmental determinants are the focus of public health. In other words, there are other factors besides our personal responsibility that influence our health. Here in San Antonio we have large pockets of health disparity based on where people live.” Developed by the Missouri Community Action Network and brought to the UTHSCSA by Cantu, the poverty simulation program is an immersive experience where participants “role-play the lives of low-income families.” In Cantu’s classes, students have to figure out how to use public transportation to get to work or a doctor’s appointment, how to pay their bills and not get evicted, how to get food to the table, and deal with all the stressors that poor people live with. No wonder health care is not high on their priority list. “I want our student nurses to know that the patient they’ll be seeing in the hospital for, say, diabetes, is bringing with him all those influences that helped create his illness,” explains Cantu, whose heart is clearly involved in this issue. “The nurse has to be aware that the patient may not have insurance, or doesn’t have transportation to get to the pharmacy to pick up his medication or the money to pay for it. I want them to understand that help is so much more than what happens in the hospital.” Thus-educated nurses can direct the patient to appropriate community resources for help. Ultimately, Cantu would like her students to follow her example and become involved with nonprofits and other initiatives that aim to improve public health. She is on the board of the Diabetes Association, which partners with YMCA to run camps for West Side youths that teach the youngsters and their families about healthy living. She personally helped develop the curriculum and performs the program evaluations. But that’s just one of her many volunteer activities. Working with senior centers on the West Side, for instance, is also a big priority for her, and she’s always ready to partner with community-based agencies in pursuit of health-related goals. Born and raised on the West Side, Cantu started her career as a hospital nurse, which did not agree with her. Fortunately, the young woman soon discovered her true niche in public health. She had a long career in the University Health System before joining UT Health. To advance further in the academic setting, she earned a Ph.D. in 2006 and has just become a tenured professor in April of this year. In 2016, the health science center honored Cantu with the Presidential Teaching

Excellence Award, one of the many honors and recognitions the professor has received over the years. She still lives not far from where she grew up, in the Woodlawn Lake area, with her husband of 13 years, John Cantu, and takes good care of her own health by going to the gym, bicycling and taking walks. The improvements the city has made around the lake and in other parks and public spaces is a good step toward getting people to embrace fitness, but it’s going to take time for obesity and diabetes rates to show substantial declines, she observes. Nevertheless Cantu is certainly not giving up. “We still need to build a culture of health and teach people how healthy practices fit into their lifestyle... I am from the barrio; I feel an affinity for the barrio and the West Side, and that’s where I want to make the most difference,” says this passionate advocate for health and compassion. may/june 2017 | 27


“Epicc Vascular, was born out of pure determination, perseverance, and a willingness to walk through the fire.”



enette Buenrostro is like the company she founded…strong and focused with a servants heart. First she persevered through challenges of military training for combat medics supporting the 3rd Infantry Division, in Kitzingen, Germany. It would be the toughness of this training which has served her well throughout her life.

Leaving the military was liberating, and like so many woman she looked forward to marriage and a picket fence. She became the mother of four wonderful children, but once again had to call on perseverance to get through a difficult marriage and ultimately a divorce. Denette has a very supportive family and with their help she completed a first nursing course and graduated at the top of her class as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). She said, “The passion for my profession — and the love for the patients under my care — was magnified with each home health visit I completed. So, working during the day and caring for the kid’s in-between home health visits, I studied at night to complete my Registered Nurse (RN) program.” A Heart to Serve As an RN in home health, Denette was now in charge of patients’ care plans and didn’t take long to recognize the gap in service levels when it came to long term antiobiotics and vascular access. Patient treatments were being seriously delayed simply because they had to be transported and admitted to a hospital. Conversations had already started in the industry about placing vascular access devices outside of the hospital setting — and some — small companies were starting to form, in response to the acceptance of these new procedures. “Picc line placement procedures” as they are


called, are performed under maximum sterile conditions by specialized healthcare professionals and physicians. The catheter is inserted through a major vein in the arm and threaded to a very specific point very close to the patients’ heart. At one time, this procedure was deemed so specialized that it was not permissible to attempt in any setting outside of the hospital. “The risk of complications and the lack of staff education were major obstacles to overcome,” Denette said. She had found her calling and knew it was time to make a difference. Her military and professional training would prove invaluable as she overcame various obstacles to build one of the more successful new companies in the city. Also, joining Epicc Vascular as chief nursing officer is Kim Pulis, RN, one of the most prolific vascular access nurses in the industry. Two of the leading national authorities in vascular access now make up her consultative board. Denette assembled a board of directors, whose expertise spans multiple health care disciplines. At the national level she is now a recognized name in the vascular access industry — a fact that was validated when she was a presenter at the National Convention of the Infusion Nurses Society. In just three years, Denette led Epicc Vascular's expansion throughout Texas and developed a franchise model to give others the same opportunity. Her franchise operations now extend from Hawaii to Alabama with more to follow. Epicc Vascular has become a national brand. Successful women who are forged through adversity will persevere through any challenge!





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LARGER LIFE How downsizing improved the life and career for busy professionals BY ROBYN BARNES PHOTOGRAPHY BY AL RENDON

Jody and Stephen Becker own Mother Earth Adult Day & Health Care Center. The thriving business has been the center of their careers for more than 20 years. They established the business on a quiet country road where oak trees and songbirds proliferate. The location offered a large lot for expansion when the time came — something the couple thought they might need.

The surprise came in how they used it. While the Beckers were growing Mother Earth, they moved into a 4,500 square-foot home in Bluffview on San Antonio’s north side. They raised four active children there, watching them graduate from high school and college and move away to establish their own careers and families. Suddenly the Mediterranean home that once buzzed with children and laughter felt very big and empty. Jody started thinking about downsizing. Pinterest provided the inspiration plan for the Becker’s modern, smaller home. The plan was then modified and implemented by Bo Broll Homes and Oscar E. Flores Design Studio.

Should we stay or should we go? “It’s a burden to maintain a large residence,” she says. “It’s much less expensive to maintain a small home. And there’s less stuff to deal with, too.” may/june 2017 | 31


“The older I’ve become, the less important stuff has become,” Jody continued. “We had 20 years of stuff in this big house and I knew it would take time to clean it up. What would we take and what would we discard? I began wondering what kind of home would make us happy if we moved.” The pair started house hunting but couldn’t find anything that excited them. In the meantime, Jody got busy searching on HGTV and home improvement websites for designs that might fit the next phase of their lives. They also began exploring the idea of building on the property next to Mother Earth. There was plenty of room for a smaller home, and living next to their workplace had its attraction. Their daily commute took 25 minutes each way — when traffic was good. “It wasn’t a bad drive,” Stephen says, “but it was a consideration.” “I spent a lot of time on to figure out what kind of home we wanted,” Jody says. “We talked a lot about what we liked and what would look good on the site and chose a contemporary design. We wanted something that was low maintenance and that would bring the outdoors inside.” Jody found the outline of a plan on Pinterest. She modified the plan, and the couple chose Bo Broll Homes as their builder and Oscar E. Flores Design Studio as their architect. They set the plan in motion to build next to their business.

Jody and Stephen desired clean, easy care surfaces; so, they selected predominately granite counter tops and concrete floors. She loves the stainless steel kitchen; particularly, the Bosch dishwasher.

32 |

W AT HOME Sourcing and selling “Four months from signing the contract, the foundation was poured,” Jody says.

During those four

months, she sourced nearly everything for the house, from the cabinets and lighting to exterior finishes and doors. “Jody has a knack for decorating,” Stephen says. “There’s nothing she can’t do when she puts her mind to it. I liked what she chose, and I really like how it all came together.” The house was finished in less than eight months.

The Beckers put

their Bluffview home on the market before their new home was finished, thinking it would take time to sell. “We had an offer within a week,” Stephen says. “We had to move into our new home while punch lists were still being completed!”

Center space The two-bedroom, two-bath home is 2,350 square feet of modern liv-

The kitchen, across the room, is a model of efficiency. The large is-

ing. The bulk of the space is in the home’s center, where the kitchen

land is of white quartz. One side of the island is a work surface,

and living area are located. The room is filled with natural light that

with an edgeless stainless sink in the center. The Bosch dishwasher

pours through clerestory windows on the front elevation and windows

is a favorite appliance because it operates with a whisper.

that form the north and south walls. The north side of the home opens to the backyard via a set of three massive sliding doors that exit onto

The other side of the island serves as a dining space, with four black

a covered patio.

barstools. To the left of the island is a wall of cabinets housing the coffee and wine bar, a wine refrigerator, a French-door refrigerator

Eschewing carpet, the Beckers chose concrete floors throughout the

and a microwave drawer, all finished in stainless steel. The Bosch

home for easy care. Most of the countertops in the home are of gran-

gas cooktop along the back wall is centered between open shelving

ite, which Jody says is easy to maintain. Ceiling fans in every room

that displays glass- and dishware.

keep the air flowing and help cool the home. Jody has a small office beyond the kitchen that she uses for household The living area is simply furnished with a modern sofa, chairs and a mir-

projects. The office is decorated with pictures she brought with her

rored coffee table. The gas fireplace is framed by black porcelain tiles

from Italy, where she lived as a child. Spacious cabinets border the

finished with metal edging Jody found at Home Depot. Floating shelves

desk, and a large walk-in pantry opens off the room.

on either side of the fireplace hold art sourced locally. The cabinets below the fireplace are surfaced with leather-finished granite. The buffet beneath the front picture window came from their previous home and is flanked by a pair of red molded modern chairs, part of a set the Beckers use to seat guests. Their gateleg dining table folds up to double as the sofa table when not pressed into dining service.

34 |

“For a small house, we have an abundance of storage!” Judy says.

Off the kitchen is the sitting room for television viewing or an extra sleeping space if needed for family functions. Jody enjoys shopping for the décor and loves to do this online or in outlets.

may/june 2017 | 35

W AT HOME Even her large laundry room has excellent storage for laundry and cleaning supplies. To the right of the kitchen is the sitting room, complete with a full bath. Comfortable L-shaped seating opposite the large screen TV is just right for movies or a nap. The colorful painting of poppies came from Nieman Marcus Last Call. “I surround myself with things I like,” Jody says. “I have no mad desire to spend a lot of money for something when I can get what I like online or at an outlet. Half the fun is shopping the outlets!”

Master and a spare The guest room and master suite are located across the living area behind the fireplace. The guest room is decorated in shades of white and gray. The kingsized bed is arranged so light from the windows flows over the white comforter. The art is from a trip to Puerto Vallarta. “My favorite artwork is memories,” Jody comments. The spacious master suite is bathed in light from clerestory and picture windows on opposite sides of the room. The king-sized bed, with its upholstered head- and footboard, came from Basset Furniture. Jody found the side tables at West Elm at The Pearl. The room is simple and spare, choosing to let the view of the oak trees and landscape serve as natural art.

says. “Someday we might need a roll-in shower that would fit a wheelchair because you never know what might happen to you. This shower meets that need.”

The master bath is separated from the bedroom by a pocket door. To the left is a double dresser sourced from Stowers Furniture and to the right is a double granite vanity. A large mirror with Hollywood lights offers plenty of space for Stephen and Jody to prepare for their day.

Like the rest of the home, the master suite has great storage in its walk-in closet. His and hers sections neatly hold the Beckers’ wardrobes.

Downsizing and upsizing The Beckers agree that downsizing their home was the right move for this time of their lives. They spend less time maintaining their home and yard and more time enjoying family and friends. They recently hosted their daughter’s wedding at their home, hanging lights from the trees and opening the sliding doors to facilitate the flow of guests.

Jody designed the large walk-in shower walled in porcelain tile. She installed a Koehler HydroRail shower package with a

“The house was perfect for that event,” Jody says. “We had plenty of room to accommodate everyone. And when the party was over, clean up was easy. What more can you ask of the home you love?”

custom faucet system. The rail provides a rain showerhead and multi-function hand shower wand. “I was thinking ahead when the shower was designed,” Jody 36 |

The house is about light and windows, which bring the country setting inside. Both bedroom areas In the master bedroom, the natural light flows over the white comforter for a clean, fresh look.



Espadrilles by Shudz


there anything that strikes more fear in a woman’s heart than swimsuit shopping? It’s enough to make even the most confident lady want to slip on a pair of sweatpants and never show her face on a beach again. But with smart styling and a little bit of gumption, it’s possible to feel both fabulous and fearless on your summer getaway.

So whether you’re headed to Lake Travis or the white beaches of Mexico, spend summer the only way we Texans know how: soaking up the sun!

Romper from Everything But Water

Off-the-shoulder two-piece from Dillards

When the evenings bring a chill to the shores of your destination, opt for a light-as-air kaftan or kimono to showcase the season’s flowing shapes. For shades, oversized cat eyes and mirrored colors will continue to frame fabulous faces at resorts everywhere. Although there are no rules on vacation, the trends this year lean toward bright colors, free spirit festival details, and chic neutrals in all shades of black, white, and beige. Remember, there is a swimsuit cut for everyone, and although it may seem like torture, trying them all on is the only way to find out what works for you.

Sliders from Prada

For those brave enough to don a two-piece, this black-and-white option from Dillard’s is absolute perfection in my book. The offthe-shoulder trend draws the eye up and away from the midsection. As Diane Von Furstenberg says, the only place you never gain weight is your shoulders — so show them off! The high-waisted bottoms will hide any tummy insecurities, which many of us harbor no matter how many crunches we do. Then Rebecca Minkoff chandelier earrings add glamour and are ontrend with their delicate tassels. If you just can’t picture strutting in a suit without some heels on, these Schutz espadrilles are made in Brazil and exude the country’s famous sex appeal. The wedge heel will make it easier to walk on cobblestone beach town streets, and the added embroidery is an ever-popular feature.

Fringed Tote from JADEtribe

If you’re looking to lounge poolside without actually dipping a toe in the water, this romper from Everything But Water shows skin in all the right places. If you’d prefer to minimize your hips, the sheer skirt wraps around and transitions perfectly from lounging to grabbing a bite to eat. Pair it with a fringed basket tote from JADEtribe that’s spacious enough to fit all the essentials and nothing more. Of course, make sure you have a copy of SAN ANTONIO WOMAN to dig into on the beach! As a final touch of whimsy, I’m obsessed with these Prada sliders with feathery wisps to adorn your sun-kissed toes. While they may seem excessive, what’s summer without a little indulgence?

Chandelier Earrings by Rebecca Minkoff

may/june 2017 | 37



Color your world beautiful with diamond and colored stone ring guards. Mix and match color for the coordinated fashion look of the season. Available in platinum, yellow or white gold at PeĂąaloza & Sons.

2001 N.W. Military Hwy.


ENCORE FOR WOMEN Perfect for cruising into summer! Blue jeweled Ferragamo sandals and white Valentino double handle tote with signature bow. Find fashions that deserve a second life at Encore for Women.

1931 N.W. Military Hwy.

210.341.0939 38 |

FASHION CALENDAR W May 2 – 4 Nini Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue 7400 San Pedro Ave. 10 am – 6 pm May 3 – 4 Mary James – Jewelry Trunk show Julian Gold 4109 McCullough Ave. May 3 Theta Alumnae Sip and Shop Elaine Turner 5922 Broadway St. 4 – 7 pm May 4 – 6 Algo – Swiss Designer Trunk Show Julian Gold May 4 Fragrance Event with Bottle Engraver Saks Fifth Avenue Time: TBD May 4 The Big Give Benefitting Good Samaritan Elaine Turner 10 am – 6 pm May 5 David Yurman Trunk Show and Luncheon Saks Fifth Avenue 10 am – 5 pm May 10 JDRF Elaine Turner 4 pm – 7 pm May 10 – 11 Sweet Annie Jewelry Trunk Show Julian Gold May 11 – 13 Lourdes Chavez Fall 2017 Designer Trunk Show Julian Gold May 12 – 13 Mothers Day Flowers Bar Saks Fifth Avenue Time: TBD

May 16 Akris Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue 10 am – 5 pm May 18 – 19 Oscar de la Renta Fall 2017 Trunk Show Julian Gold May 19 Fashion Group International SA’s Model Dresser Workshop Neiman Marcus 15900 La Cantera Pkwy 9:30 am – 2:00 pm Attendees will learn the fast-paced skills of dressing models for runway shows as well as the behind-the-scenes of working backstage during a fashion show production. Top program students will receive the opportunity to dress in the FGI Fall/Winter 2017 Trend Presentation Runway Show. To apply please email a copy of your resume and bio to Cost: $75 May 24 SA Yes Elaine Turner 5 pm – 8 pm June 1 – 2 Graff Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue 10 am – 5 pm

June 6 – 7 Escada Fall 2017 Trunk Show Julian Gold June 7 – June 9 Michael Stars Contemporary Trunk Show Julian Gold June 22 – 23 Martin Katz Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue 10 am – 5 pm June 29 Fur Salon Restyle Event Saks Fifth Avenue Time: TBD

May 15 – 17 Lafayette 148 New York – PreFall/Fall 2017 Trunk Show Julian Gold

may/june 2017 | 39




eauty is in the eye of the beholder … or is it in the hands of your plastic surgeon? Horror stories of botched procedures and emotionless expressions are all too common, and yet Americans continue to undergo cosmetic procedures in the pursuit of the fountain of youth. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an estimated 17 million patients underwent surgical and minimally invasive procedures in 2016, a number that’s up 3 percent from the previous year.

40 |

The numbers seem to indicate that although surgery always involves some risk, our desire for physical perfection may forever outweigh caution. So how are San Antonio’s leading surgeons molding the future of plastic surgery? Can they move beyond stereotypes and misconceptions for a world in which your friends will always be guessing if you’ve had work done? We talked with three of the top surgeons in San Antonio to find out.


Dr. Marc Taylor of the Timeless You Center says the biggest trend in plastic surgery is the movement toward minimally invasive procedures.

“We now have numerous safe and effective synthetic products that can be injected into the facial areas to restore volume,” he says. “These synthetic ‘fillers’ help patients look better without having to undergo surgery. In addition, there are a large number of new devices that are applied directly to the skin to dissolve the underlying fat, while stimulating the skin’s collagen to make it tighter. Depending on the amount of fat and the condition of the skin, in some patients these devices can be a good alternative to surgery.” The statistics back up Dr. Taylor’s statements. In 2016, almost 2 million patients underwent surgical procedures, while a staggering 15 million chose minimally invasive options.

“We are seeing patients with less pain, which means they need less medication, and they’re back on their feet in no time.” Above all, Dr. Regina Fearmonti of Alon Aesthetics Plastic Surgery reminds patients there’s no rush in making a decision.

“I feel it is my job as a surgeon to ease my patient’s apprehensions, but not to convince someone to have a procedure,” she notes. “I want to ensure that they are clear about scars, recovery and realistic results. I similarly caution patients against making a hasty decision to undergo a procedure without doing their research. There are very few emergency indications for a plastic surgical procedure. Take all the time you need.”

The good news for patients that still want a dramatic transformation is even surgical procedures have gotten a face-lift. Dr. Elizabeth Her-

Most plastic surgery providers offer complimentary

nandez with Eterna Cosmetic Surgery says medical advancements

consultations, and with medical advancements con-

like FDA-approved tissue glue have transformed recovery times for

stantly improving the field, it seems there is an an-

ever-popular tummy tucks. “People think a tummy tuck is more inva-

swer to almost any concern. As it turns out, the new

sive and will require down time and missing work, but this tissue glue

face of plastic surgery is not only gorgeous, it’s safe and effec-

eliminates the need for drains, and most people can go home the same

tive as well.

day,” she says. 42 |

may/june 2017 | 43


EDUCATION & MEDICATION COMBINE TO TIP THE SCALES IN TODAY’S WEIGHT BATTLES By DAWN ROBINETTE The sun comes out and the bathing suits go on. But then come the cover-ups, as most women are not pleased with the extra pounds on full display. This time of year puts a spotlight on weight issues. But just like one-size-doesn’t-fit-all, one weight loss plan is not right for everyone. Before hitting the gym or jumping into whatever the latest online diet trend is, consider what really works. Today’s weight loss options include customizable plans to meet specific needs or challenges, such as underlying health conditions that might hamper weight loss efforts. Rather than simply looking at weight loss as a diet, most programs today approach the whole picture to help you improve overall health while also losing weight. That often means a health evaluation, nutritional education and learning about portion control, an important component to maintaining a healthy weight once you’ve reached your goal. But most women are too busy to plan healthy meals, let alone fix them and squeeze in workout time. “We have busy lives. We depend on fast food or foods that aren’t fueling our bodies the right way, then we can’t figure out how to lose weight. You have to think about food differently,” explains Jennifer Owen, a representative for Ideal Protein, a medically designed and developed program for long-term weight loss management, located in medical offices. Using evidence-based guidelines to manage weight loss, Ideal Protein’s approach tackles the root cause of metabolic syndrome — the body’s overproduction of insulin — by restricting consumption of sugars and carbohydrates. “Today’s diets cause our pancreas to be overworked, making our cells insulin-resistant. Removing carbs from your diet lets your pancreas recover, forcing your body to use its stored fat as fuel,” explains Owen. “Carbs are sugar. Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. Is it any wonder we all struggle with weight loss?” Ideal Protein participants are supervised by medical personnel and typically lose two to three pounds of fat a week. Body composition is measured weekly to keep everything on track, and weekly counseling sessions, as well as emails with nutrition and exercise tips, help support participants during their weight loss journey. A mother of three, Owen lost 43 pounds on Ideal Protein more than five years ago and has maintained her weight using the nutritional education she gained through the program. “We think exercise is the key to weight loss. We think the faster we go, the harder we push, the more we’ll lose, but that’s not how it works,” says Owen. “You have to understand nutrition, portion control and how your body works. BLTS (bites, licks, tastes and slips) add up to work against us all.” Education and medical supervision are also key components behind the weight loss management programs offered by Clinical Nutrition Services, an approach built on the idea that choosing the right foods 44 |

can help transform your health. The program features coordination between a doctor and an in-house registered dietitian to allow for better weight loss management and any underlying medical issues that might impact weight loss. To address weight loss issues, Clinical Nutrition Services’ physician-led office conducts metabolic testing and body composition analyses while using objective clinical analysis to determine vitamin and micronutrient levels and food sensitivities. “We often see people who have tried other weight loss methods that haven’t been successful. They then feel that they’ve failed, or that they can’t do it, but we discover that it’s a hormonal issue or something else medically. Once we address their underlying problem, they’re able to successfully lose weight,” explains Dr. Rosemary Castoreno with Clinical Nutrition Services. “We’re not a typical primary care clinic,” she says. “We conduct comprehensive evaluations and laboratories that go further than what you might see in standard testing. For some patients, weight loss is not a discipline issue — their bodies are making it very difficult for them to lose weight.” Dr. Castoreno herself had trouble losing weight until she conducted testing that showed her insulin levels weren’t correct. “Once I addressed that medically, the weight came off on its own.” Clinical Nutrition Services does use appropriate medications to assist weight loss when warranted. “Our goal, however, is not to keep people on medication. It’s to make sure they can sustain the weight, so we reteach/re-educate on portion sizes, good versus bad carbs and more. After many of our patients lose weight, they no longer need medication for diabetes or blood pressure, so we see people reduce or eliminate the medical conditions, thanks to their weight loss,” says Dr. Castoreno. Using medication to aid in weight loss is also a component of SliMedica’s weight loss services. SliMedica offers nutritional weight loss solutions, which may be paired with medication to assist in weight loss — as well as laser treatments to melt away fat. SliMedica’s Zerona Laser treatments utilize cold laser technology to emulsify unwanted fat and allow it to secrete naturally out of the body. “Combining weight loss with the cosmetic procedure (laser treatments) maximizes results. We can help patients lose a large amount of weigh in a small amount of time,” explains Alexandrah Castillo, an SliMedica patient counselor. Typical patients at SliMedica achieve their ideal weight in four to eight weeks, losing 20 to 60 or as much as 80 pounds during that time. Like Ideal Protein and Clinical Nutrition Services, SliMedica offers a customizable program designed to meet each patient’s needs. “It may include prescription medications to suppress appetite or help give them energy to keep their bodies in maximum fat-burning mode,” explains Castillo. “To avoid losing muscle, a patient might take a medication that helps preserve muscle while losing weight. Medical supervision is key to our program.” So find the weight loss program that’s perfectly suited for you, then toss that cover-up and let the swimsuit enjoy the season.


ASK A DOCTOR FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH/ ADVANCED FERTILITy CENTER Meet Dr.Molly Shields, who provides comprehensive obstetric and gynecological care, including routine and high-risk prenatal care, well-woman exams and preventive care, minimally invasive surgery and management of abnormal bleeding and menopausal symptoms. She is currently accepting new patients at Northeast Methodist Plaza, 12709 Toepperwein, San Antonio. To schedule an appointment, please call 210.34-WOMAN (349-6626) or visit

1. When should women have their first visit to a gynecologist? The first visit should occur during a woman’s teenage years. This visit focuses on establishing a relationship and on patient education. It is an opportunity to discuss the normal menstrual cycle and how to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. 2. When should women have a pelvic exam? At age 21, a pelvic exam with pap smear is recommended for all women, whether or not they have been sexually active. It may also be recommended for women under 21 who have concerning symptoms. A pelvic exam is not required for a prescription for birth control or to screen for infections. 3. Should parents accompany their daughters to their appointment? A parent should accompany any woman under the age of 18. The patient should have an opportunity to speak to the doctor alone to discuss sensitive or embarrassing issues. 4. Should young women get any vaccines from their gynecologist? The HPV vaccine is recommended at age 11-13 and is often given by the pediatrician. HPV is the virus that causes abnormal pap smears, cervical cancer and genital warts. If a woman has not had this vaccine she can receive it in the gynecologist’s office. 5. What should young women tell their gynecologist? Young women should tell their gynecologist if they have heavy, painful, or irregular periods, or if they experience things like headaches or mood changes during this time. You should also let your doctor know if you have been sexually active or had a sexually transmitted infection.

may/june 2017 | 45


A PROGRESSIVE DINNER PARTY CAN BE EASY AND SUSTAINABLE Invite neighborhood gardeners to share their harvest at the dinner table STORY AND PHOTOS BY IRIS GONZALEZ


ooking for an easy way to entertain and get to know your neighbors better? There is one approach that takes little work or expense, is enjoyable for everyone, and keeps the party moving

all night — a progressive dinner party. At a progressive dinner a group of friends plan a meal together

Planning tips for your sustainable progressive dinner can make certain everyone will have a memorable experience. Here are 10 tips to get you started.

where successive courses are prepared and served at a different host’s

1. The closer the hosts live to one another, the better to keep travel time down.

home. The dinner party literally moves from place to place throughout

2. Appoint designated drivers if you'll be driving between homes.

the evening and works best for friends who live close to one another

3. Plan on three courses spread across three changes of locale for a three- to four-hour dining experience. Each course will last about 45 minutes, plus travel time to the next destination.

in a neighborhood, an apartment building or a condo complex. It's a great way to entertain a group without taking on the entire planning for a multicourse dinner party. A unifying theme can help in planning the cocktails and appetizers, main entrée and dessert courses. If you and your neighbors are avid

4. Choose recipes that can be made ahead and reheated, kept warm or served safely at room temperature once guests arrive. 5. If you are a host, set your table before leaving your home for the first course.

gardeners, a sustainability theme can help make best use of fresh, seasonal produce from your own backyard. At its core, sustainable food relies on farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, communities and animal welfare, with a focus on keeping food production and consumption as local as possible. Home gardeners often avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers to grow plants as organically as possible. With the distance from “soil to table” as short as the walk from backyard to kitchen, the organic home gardener can easily contribute sustainable food, especially when

6. Set a time for each course and stick to the schedule as much as possible. Hosts can then plan on when to leave in order to prepare the food for the next course. 7. Include in the invitation the dinner’s theme, the time each course is expected to begin, the name and address of the host for each course and cell numbers for each host in case someone gets lost. 8. Be sure to ask guests about any dietary restrictions and/or food allergies. 9. No matter what course you're hosting, keep a few empty containers handy so storing leftovers can be done quickly.

the garden’s bounty is shared. Stress the use of compostable disposable table ware such as bamboo plates to cut down on cleanup time, and your progressive dinner can be both enjoyable and sustainable.

46 |

10.If several guests have younger children, consider sharing the cost of a baby sitter for all children at the final house on the dinner route for both happy children and happy diners!

First course: Cocktails and appetizers A few moderately priced bottles of wine and a pitcher filled with a signature drink should make for a festive first course. Using fresh ingredients from the garden helps reinforce the sustainability theme and gives cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks vibrant color and flavor. Sangria is simple to make for a crowd. Mix a bottle of red wine with one cup Grand Marnier or brandy, two cups orange juice, one cup fresh lime juice and four tablespoons sugar. Add about one cup of sliced citrus such as lemons, limes and oranges and chopped or sliced seasonal fruit such as strawberries, melons or peaches. Be sure to make the sangria ahead of time so the flavors can blend. Serve in a tall glass with ice and a slice of fruit as a garnish. A nonalcoholic punch can include herbs from the garden for refreshing flavor. Make a simple syrup the night before by boiling equal amounts of water and white sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then add a handful of fresh herbs (organic, please) to the syrup so it steeps as it cools. Basil, mint or lemon balm will add different herbal flavors to the simple syrup. With new varieties of herbs now available, a lemon basil or chocolate mint will result in syrup that can add an interesting twist to your favorite punch recipe. Strawberries, lemonade and basil are a pretty and refreshing combination for a punch. Appetizers should feature seasonal produce. Check online resources to see what is in season if dinner hosts do not have a garden to draw

may/june 2017 | 47

W SUSTAINABLE GARDENING upon for produce, or visit the local farmers market for ingredients.

both delicious and a good protein-laden entrée that can be made with

Simple and fresh is always a foolproof way to get the dinner party

spinach, mushrooms, Swiss chard or sun-ripened tomatoes.

started. A platter of sliced vegetables with a prepared dip (such as a locally made yogurt from the farmers market flavored with herbs and

Third and Final Course: Dessert

seasonings), along with crackers or toasted bread and perhaps some

For a sustainable progressive dinner, focus on incorporating sea-

olives or a bowl of extra-virgin olive oil and herbs for dipping, should

sonal fruit in a dessert than can be made ahead. Fresh figs, peaches

be plentiful for the first course.

or late berries can be added to a classic clafouti batter you whip up in a blender. This easy yet classic French dessert is made with eggs, milk,

Second Course: Entrée

sugar, vanilla and just enough flour to create a thick batter that is

With so much fresh produce available, dinner can be as easy as prepping different vegetables for roasting on a large sheet pan in the oven

poured over fruit in a baking dish for a warm sliceable dessert after an hour of baking. (Check out this easy recipe below.)

at 350 F. For even cooking, be sure to chop or slice washed vegetables

If you’re not a baker, there’s always fresh fruit such as sliced

into similar sizes. Toss baby carrots, zucchini, eggplant, various types

peaches that can be served over ice cream. Pre-scoop the ice cream

of peppers, onions and/or baby potatoes on the large sheet pan with

into individual portions and freeze on a tray for faster serving. If

some extra-virgin olive oil, perhaps a little seasoned vinegar and your

you’re up for theatrics, try your hand at flambéed peaches. To save

favorite seasonings and herbs. The vegetables will be done in about an

time, pre-slice the peaches, then add to a large sauté pan where you

hour or just as guests are arriving after the appetizer course.

have already cooked melted butter, brown sugar and a bit of your fa-

For proteins, consider roasting a couple of chickens or a couple of

vorite apricot jam. Once the sugar dissolves into the melted butter,

smaller pork roasts at the same time as the vegetables. The key will

add some of your favorite brandy and take the pan off the stovetop.

be to roast several smaller pieces of protein rather than one large por-

Aiming the pan away from yourself and others, light the liquid and

tion that will take more than an hour to cook. If you preheat the oven

watch the alcohol burn off before spooning the warm fruit and sauce

to 450 F. and roast a 3-pound chicken for 15 minutes, then lower the

on top of ice cream.

temperature to 350, you can then add the vegetables to cook at the same time as the chicken. After the initial blast of heat, a 3-pound

The planning for your next sustainable progressive dinner can start in earnest after the last spoonful of dessert is finished.

chicken will be cooked in one hour at 350 or at 20 minutes per pound. At 350 F., a 3-pound pork loin roast will need one hour of roasting

Web Resources:

time, or 20 minutes per pound.

Sparkling basil strawberry punch recipe:

Braised meats or stews with vegetables, an eggplant lasagna, pasta casseroles that can be kept warm at low temperatures, even slow

To check for produce that is in season:

cooker chili can provide good options for an entrée that can be made

Make ahead entrée ideas:

ahead and accommodate the addition of garden-fresh produce that is in season. If a vegetarian option is needed, frittatas or quiches are

Dark Chocolate Cherry Clafouti FROM IRIS GONZALEZ

If you don’t like chocolate or cherries, this basic French dessert recipe can be used with a mix of fresh and dried figs, sliced fresh strawberries or fresh raspberries.

Ingredients Unsalted butter for greasing pan 1/2 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted 1/2 cup dried cherries 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips 1 1/4 cups (12 ounces) whole milk 1/2 cup (4 ounces) flour 4 large eggs, at room temperature 1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar 1/8 teaspoon. salt 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon for dusting on top (optional) 48 |

Directions Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter a shallow 1 1/2quart baking dish. I use a glass pie plate with good results. Arrange the chocolate and cherries (or other fruit) in the prepared dish. Omit the chocolate, if desired. Blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture over fruit, then dust batter on top with cinnamon to taste. Place the dish on a baking sheet. Bake until browned, 4555 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then dust with confectioners’ sugar or more cinnamon if desired and serve warm. Serves 6-8. Should there be leftovers, a slice warmed slightly in the microwave and enjoyed with coffee or tea makes for a delightful breakfast treat.



CREW EVENT On April 17, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of San Antonio hosted a seminar at the Tobin Center called Before the Big Shift, San Antonio’s Journey. Speakers included Secretary Henry Cisneros, Mayor Ivy Taylor, Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Lila Cockrelll, and Molly Cox, president of SA2020. (L-R) Kim Ghez and Cherie Short were part of a packed audience ready to learn more about the city’s growth and future plans.

NAWBO Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards Gala On the evening of March 24, the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) celebrated their annual Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Gala at the Club at Sonterra. Award Winners included Dar Miller, Pam Goble, Heather Tessmer, Bonnie Garcia, Corine Wofford, and Shannon Badger. High School scholarship winners judged on business plan development were Nadia Ascencio, De’Jiah Edwards, Jeri Ann Hernandez, Jacquelyn Joaquin, Victoria Lopez, and Payton Luster. Among the 300 in attendance were (L-R) Brandy Hernandez, Farrah Stohner, and Erica Domingues of North Park Lexus.

(L-R) Dawn Dixon, Susan Deitkier, and Kelly Kuhl enjoy networking with other businesswomen at the SA Girl’s Happy Hour. The hostess of the event for working women is Candace Lynch of BDO and it is held at Paesano’s at 1604.

(L-R) Dawn Hamilton and Kathleen Chavez were two of over one hundred medical industry professionals who gathered for the First Friday Networking Event on April 7 at the Select Rehabilitation Hospital of San Antonio. The event is predominantly those who are in elder care, hospice, and medical related fields for the elderly.

(L-R) Heather Vraa, Ileana Canales and Carol Ghanbar enjoy a special Fiesta networking event at The Waterford at Thousand Oaks for Independent Living on April 13.

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There’s a lot to love about San Antonio, but one of the things that I value most about being a part of this community is that we are a city with heart, or corazón. This has been highlighted to me over the past year that I have assisted in the planning of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary — our Tricentennial. Three hundred years of culture, art, education, community and vision will come to life in 2018 as we embark on a year-long commemoration, and San Antonio’s legacy, rooted in corazón, will be on display for the world. San Antonio will honor our milestone in ways that only our city can. The celebration will be purposeful and anchored by four initiatives: History and Education, Arts and Culture, Community Service, and Commemorative Week — one of the crowning jewels of 2018. As a city, let’s collectively mark our calendars for the first week in May because Commemorative Week will be an experience you don’t want to miss.

If you’ve been wondering about what Tricentennial is all about, here’s a sneak peek of the biggest week in 2018: May 1 – Day of Reflection. San Antonio’s rich diversity extends to its faith. Commemorative Week will begin with a candlelight vigil in Main Plaza in which all faith-based communities are invited to set our intentions for the next 300 years. Interfaith sunset services, emanating in the heart of San Antonio from Main Plaza, will set the tone for Commemorative Week, punctuated with the lighting of an eternal flame to symbolize the city’s bright future. May 2 – History and Education Day. Local students of all ages will have the benefit of learning about our city’s rich history via Tricentennial resource materials throughout the academic year. History and Education Day will be a culmination of educational initiatives, coordinated by the Tricentennial Commission with public and private schools, parochial, and home-schooled students. On History and Education Day, students across San Antonio will celebrate our 300 years of history through live readings, history plays, and interactive educational events for the community to enjoy. May 3 – Founders Day. The community will celebrate our shared culture by focusing on the founding mothers and fathers of San Antonio and Bexar County. San Antonians, international dignitaries, and celebrities will attend Founders Day events downtown and in various parts of the city where food from around the globe will be enjoyed and a world-class art and culture experience will illustrate


the beauty of all that makes our city unique. The five programs will occur simultaneously citywide to commemorate our community’s joint heritage. All five events will be simulcast to highlight the community experience throughout San Antonio that evening, bringing together every corner of the city in celebration of our joint heritage. May 4 – Arts for All Day. The San Antonio community will celebrate our diversity, culture and heritage through an array of art forms. Museums, art venues, and theaters will offer a full complimentary day for anyone to experience our city’s artistic expressions. From theater and concerts to dance and museums, Arts for All Day is free of charge. Our Arts community partners will create Tricentennial-centric programming to premier on this day. The unveiling of the Tricentennial public art piece, along with tours of the cultural murals, will also be available. May 5 – Legacy Day. The Tricentennial Commission, in coordination with The City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the San Antonio River Authority, will dedicate the transformation of San Pedro Creek as a cultural park to reflect its place in our cultural history, improve its function in flood control, revitalize natural habitat and water quality, and catalyze economic development. The grand reveal of the art piece Plethora will take place on this day as well. The World Heritage Celebration will feature five miles of musical entertainment, health and fitness opportunities, historical facts and tours, all culminating in fireworks over every Mission. We will celebrate our birthday San Antonio-style with the biggest fireworks show in the history of our city. May 6 – Military Appreciation Day. The Tricentennial military initiatives will showcase active duty military and the past and current missions of Joint Base San Antonio — Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, and Camp Bullis. The military initiatives are further designed to highlight the military’s rich history and how the military has been instrumental in San Antonio’s development. Weekend festivities will include spectacular exhibitions such as flyovers, skydiving, band performances and high school drill team competitions. The final spectacular show of fireworks will both end the commemorative week and celebrate San Antonio’s bright future. After all, that’s what the Tricentennial is all about — commemorating our past and our future. Start preparing now, San Antonio! This is one you won’t want to miss!

CALENDAR May 3 North SA Chamber of Commerce SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Overview SA District Office 615 E Houston St. Ste. 298 11:30am – 12:30pm May 4 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce New Member Mixer San Antonio Public Library Foundation 625 Shook Ave. 5:30 – 7:30pm May 9 North SA Chamber of Commerce 2017 March Networking Breakfast The Petroleum Club 8620 N New Braunfels Ave. #700 7 – 9am May 9 NAWBO Member Orientation Location: TBD 8:30 – 10:30am May 10 NAFE Meeting Old San Francisco Steakhouse 10223 Sahara Dr. Check-in & Networking 11:30 – 11:45am Lunch & Speaker 11:45 – 12:30pm Opportunity Networking 1 – 1:30pm May 11 North SA Chamber of Commerce 31st Annual Gold Tournament Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr. 12 – 6pm May 15 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Grand Golf Tournament Fair Oaks Golf Course 7900 Fair Oaks Pkwy. Registration – 7am Tee-off time – 8am May 17 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Smart Women Series Franklin Park Alamo Heights 230 W Sunset Rd. 11:30am – 1pm May 18 North SA Chamber of Commerce 2017 May Ribbon Cutting & Relocation My Education Solutions 7330 San Pedro Ave. Suite 108 4 – 5:30pm

May 23 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Bloom Business Program Location: TBD 11am – 1pm May 25 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Old San Francisco Steakhouse 10223 Sahara Dr. Transformational Leadership Development Series 8am – 12pm Transformational Leadership Spotlight – 8:30 – 9:45am May 25 NAWBO WMB Luncheon Petroleum Club 8620 N New Braunfels Ave #700 11:30am – 1pm May 26 North SA Chamber of Commerce May State of the County Omni San Antonio Hotel @ the Colonnade 9821 Colonnade Rd. 11am – 1pm June 7 North SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce SBA (8)a Program Overview SA District Office 615 E Houston St. Ste. 298 11:30am – 12:30pm June 14 NAFE Old San Francisco Steakhouse 10223 Sahara Dr. Check-in & Networking 11:30 – 11:45am Lunch & Speaker 11:45 – 12:30pm Opportunity Networking 1 – 1:30pm June 22 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Old San Francisco Steakhouse 10223 Sahara Dr. Transformational Leadership Development Series 8am – 12pm Transformational Leadership Spotlight – 8:30 – 9:45am June 27 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Bloomberg Business Program Location: TBD 11am – 1pm

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Troy Robbin Hailparn, MD, Ob/Gyn Cosmetic Gynecology Center of San Antonio What do you do? Cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgery Length of time at this job: 12 years What is it that you like best about your job? Changing the quality of women’s lives in a positive way by educating them about how their body functions and ways to improve it. Education/Major: Psychology major, pre-med. What career path led you to where you are today? Never would I have guessed that I would become one of the most experienced gynecologists performing labiaplasty surgeries in the United States when I graduated from residency. My goal was to change the field of gynecology for the better by taking the best care of women that I could. After a decade of performing routine Ob/Gyn care, it became obvious there were areas that were not being adequately addressed, including sexual function after childbirth and the impact of the extra skin of the labia majora, labia minora and clitoral hood on comfort, function and appearance. I learned to use the laser with vaginal procedures and labiaplasty, and later realized any tool is good if one knows how to use it and is properly trained. Learning from Drs. Matlock, Pelosi II, Ostrzenski and Alinsod has broadened my perspective and improved my surgical abilities. When did you know that you were in the right place in your career? The right place has been moving like a branch in a stream, propelling me into new opportunities of growth. During residency, there were several experiences of being there at the right place and time to help women through difficult and emotional losses or near losses. Preventing the death of an unborn baby confirmed to me I was doing what I was meant to be doing at that time. When women started expressing to me how much it improved the quality of their lives to have labia reduction surgery, I became drawn to the needs of this group, as they are not as well understood as they should be. Would you encourage your children to go into the same field? No. One must follow one’s natural inclinations and strengths and have a passion for what you do. Who were your mentors? I have been lucky to have many great teachers during middle school and high school who supported and encouraged my creative mind, including

my tenth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Eleanor Dette; biology teacher, Eleonor Kiersten; and senior English teacher, Charles Tucker (he called me “Helen Of” my entire senior year). My Hebrew School principal, Phillip Shimmel, always asked me questions to stimulate my mind to ask more questions. My love of education and its ability to make us stronger has been emphasized by my two Ph.D., college-professor/post-graduate professor parents since I was a little girl. What did you want to be when you were growing up? At different ages, I wanted to be different things, but the common thread is nature and the sciences. I have always had an interest in how the body works and how to fix things, and by 16, I was already thinking about medical school as a possibility.

What person do you most admire? I admire strong women who have overcome adversity to achieve success for themselves and other women — Oprah is a prime example. What do you enjoy doing on a day off? Relaxing with friends and family, listening to music, a massage, eating good food. How do you find balance in your life – career, community, and home life? It’s not easy, but the transition of my practice to surgery only and focusing on outpatient procedures has allowed me to have a better balance and more family time. When my son was 3, I chose to stop practicing routine Ob/Gyn in order to be more present in his life (and my husband’s), and I have never looked back.

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SKILLS & COMMUNICATION A good stylist learns to listen BY IRIS GONZALEZ



eeing a hair stylist, especially for the first time, can be an emotional experience. Hair is an important part of how we look, and a great hairstyle can go a long way in making us look and feel wonderful.

It is no surprise that a woman's relationship with her hairstylist can be much like her relationship with a significant other. When things are going well, a woman is happy and feels like the most beautiful version of herself she can be. These San Antonio hair salon owners share in common a focus on customer service, using their extensive training as hair stylists to enhance the natural beauty each woman possesses. Each salon owner also shared advice for those seeking a new hair stylist. All agreed that any successful relationship is based on good communication, which often starts with the consultation before each hair appointment and continues throughout the stylist-client relationship. With skill and keen listening, each salon owner strives to achieve the same end result: a client with the best hair possible.



a woman’s beauty Petra Williams Petra’s Salon and Boutique 434 North Loop 1604 West

Advice: “Look for a stylist who will listen and suggest more than one option for you. You don’t want someone who will talk you into something but instead will work with you, your hair and what you want. It is always about the customer; we as stylists are just enhancing the beauty that’s already there.” Petra Williams was always interested in beauty, especially when it came to styling hair. As the biracial child of an AfricanAmerican father and a mother of German descent, Williams realized her hair texture was different from that of her mother, who had no experience from which to offer her daughter styling tips. Once Williams decided to learn how to style her hair, she was drawn into a career as a stylist. “When I was a teenager, working in beauty helped build my self-esteem,” Williams said. “Hopefully, I can continue by helping others with their self-esteem by sharing my experiences.” Williams is a military transplant to San Antonio, settling here when her father retired when she was attending Theodore Roosevelt High School. A stylist for 38 years, she decided in 2006 to open Petra’s Salon and Boutique in north central San Antonio. A full-service salon, Petra’s location offers hair styling and

color, along with nail services, facials, massages, hair removal and makeup application and lessons. The salon has a boutique with unique clothes, shoes and fashion accessories clients can browse during a salon visit. Almost all of the salon staff has been with Williams since 2006. With little staff turnover, she can ensure that she along with all the stylists get to know every client who comes in for a service. This is what makes Petra’s Salon stand out, according to Williams—its dedication to customer service. “It’s all about service,” Williams said. “Clients will want trendy styles, but in the end you still have to give good service. You can do that by getting to know people, their lifestyle and preferences and what makes them tick in order to learn how to best cut and style their hair so that they’re happy.” Her goal for the salon in 2017 is the same goal she has had every year since first opening: “I am fully invested in the success of my stylists and in the satisfaction of my clients. If my stylists are successful and my clients are happy, I have reached my goal.”

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hair’s integrity

Stephanie Sikkink Pure Beauty Bliss Salon 20322 Huebner Road

Advice: “We offer a pre-service consult for new clients to discuss their desires and needs so we can recommend what would work best. Bring in multiple pictures of what you’d like to help that discussion, because a picture is worth a thousand words.” Stephanie Sikkink grew up in her mother’s salon and day spa, spending time there before and after school. After moving to San Antonio in 2009, the Riverside, Calif., native attended the Aveda Institute. Sikkink first started styling hair in a rented individual salon space, then decided to open her salon December 2013 in Stone Oak. She co-owns Pure Beauty Bliss Salon with her mother, Sylvia Pico. The salon also includes a boutique with the latest styles in clothing, jewelry, fashion accessories and candles. “My mom is my biggest inspiration; she’s been in the business for over 28 years,” Sikkink said. “I would sit in on the stylist training in my mom’s salon before my school day started.” The full-service hair salon uses the Kevin Murphy color and hair brand, which includes a line of vegan products and ammonia-free hair color. “We’re one of the few in San Antonio that carries this line,” Sikkink said. “We also carry the Unite line of hair products, and as color specialists we use the Olaplex brand of hair products.” 58

All eight salon stylists are Aveda trained. The salon offers a spectrum of color options, with free-hand balayage as its most popular service. With its subtle blend of color, it is a lower maintenance hair color option, giving hair a sun-kissed look without the need to retouch roots every four to six weeks. In addition to more dramatic color options such as oil slick (a blend of iridescent colors that mimic the look of an oil slick’s surface) and ombré color effects, the salon’s stylists can suggest a sombré, also known as "soft" or "subtle ombré.” Instead of using dramatic colors, the base color transitions into lighter shades with more highlights at the ends of the hair. Sikkink has “a two-year plan to open a second location on a different side of town so we can build a new clientele and offer more services, such as nails and facials,” she said. With so many color options for clients, Sikkink stresses the importance of hair care above all else. “Our philosophy is to focus on maintaining the integrity of your hair, whether it’s explaining the importance of taking home the right products for your hair or consulting with you on your hair and what will work best, given your desires and hair,” she said.

Caring for hair

at the highest level Advice: “I cannot stress enough the importance of a good consultation. Open-ended questions such as, ‘What kind of challenges are you having with your hair?’ help us note what clients like about their hair because we want to incorporate that into the end result.” Inside the salon, housed in a historic home in the Monte Vista district of San Antonio, the shelves lined with owner-developed hair products offer intriguing choices. A stylist for 35 years, Melody Edens has studied the science, art and psychology of hair color. “Think about the colors in your hair and the emotion that color elicits; it reflects your personality and communicates your personal image,” Edens explained. “Understanding what your client wants to communicate is an important aspect of hair color.” An Amarillo native, Edens moved to San Antonio in 1988 and opened Melody Edens Salon in 2010. She attended barber college in Amarillo, and then received color specialist education with Redken, also spending time at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. With three full-time stylists and one apprentice, Melody Edens is the only American Board of Certified Hair Colorists salon in San Antonio, the prestigious board certification status applying to everyone on the hair design team. The salon also uses a formatted, systematic approach to the consultation with clients. “We recommend solutions to solve their issues with their hair,” Edens

Melody Edens Melody Edens Salon 148 E. Huisache Ave.

said. “We give clients the tools and knowledge by educating them on how to recreate the salon result at home. It’s been life changing for many of our clients.” Edens stresses the importance of hair care at home with products to keep hair looking and feeling healthy. The need for home versions of specific hair products drove Edens to develop her own line of hair care and styling products, working closely with a cosmetic chemist. The salon has been offering the Melody line of hair products for over three years, including a gentle conditioning wash for curly hair and an anti-aging hair elixir to restore luster and shine. “The process of developing these new products has given me a deeper understanding of why some products do or don’t work,” Edens said. “This has taken our ability to care for the health of our clients’ hair to a higher level.” Melody Edens Salon has supported the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) since 2012. This year the salon donated to the American Heart Association and hosted beauty makeovers for women who have survived heart disease. Edens’ goal is to expand the salon staff to six stylists, offer longer hours of service for clients and continue the high level of education and success for her team of stylists. She is also working to expand her cosmetic beauty products and plans to continue to contribute to the community. may/june 2017 | 59

Restoring hair’s beauty

Life changing Maria Antonietta Joeris Salon Visage 2510 N. Main Ave.

Advice: “If you’re changing stylists, I would ask for a referral card from your current stylist with your hair color information if you’re happy with what you have so the next stylist can replicate it. If you’re used to a particular product line, you can also look on their website for salons in your area trained on your product.” Maria Antonietta Joeris grew up surrounded by the beauty business. As a child, she would cut her doll’s hair to practice her skills as she watched her stylist mother and barber father working with their clients. Joeris also learned she must connect with the clients who come into her salon, so the consultation before an appointment is her time for listening. This is especially important for women experiencing issues with their hair because of their health. “I deal with a lot of women who need wigs because of an illness, such as hair thinning from alopecia, so I work with them to create hair integration pieces and hair extensions,” Joeris said. “The end result can be life changing when you help clients make the transformation to having beautiful hair again.” Salon Visage has been open in Monte Vista for seven years. A salon owner for 25 years, Joeris has trained with Clairol, Redken, Vidal Sassoon and Toni and Guy and has received specialized training on hair integration pieces and wigs. The full-service hair


salon offers color services such as highlights, balayage, ombré and other current color trends, plus keratin and straightening treatments. Salon Visage can also perform microblading, which is a style of brow tattooing in which fine, individual eyebrow hairs are tattooed for a more natural look. Nail services, eyelash tinting and extensions as well as waxing are also available. Joeris helps clients with special events such as weddings, proms and Fiesta. “We are already committed to working with 15 ladies on their hair and makeup for the upcoming Fiesta coronation,” Joeris said. Three years ago Joeris added a boutique to the salon, which carries fashionable clothing, jewelry and accessories. In addition to festive party garb and Fiesta-worthy accessories, Joeris carries Felipe Barbosa vermeil jewelry from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico What does not sell in the boutique is donated to the Battered Women’s and Children’s Shelter in San Antonio. “We are known for listening carefully and recommending the best approach to help clients feel good about themselves and their hair,” Joeris said. “Restoring the hair’s natural beauty can be a life-changing experience. As long as we continue to help our clients, I am fulfilling my goals.”



Four Ways to Wear: Power Pants By AQUILA MENDEZ-VALDEZ


Floral print culotte from BP

When the summer temperatures start to rise, you can still pull off these silk cigarette pants from Leith. Just remember to slip some shapewear on underneath to prevent any embarassing sweat-related incidents. Tuck in a smartly patterned dress shirt to show off the feminine tie waist, and you’re ready for that promotion.

Striped palazzo pants from Chloe

For a breezy summery look, pick up on the culotte trend with this floral print from designer BP. Make sure to choose a pattern with a darker background to keep the overall effect professional.

Alexis wide-leg trousers, Saks Fifth Avenue

Take, for example, these Alexis wide-leg trousers from Saks Fifth Avenue. While a black work pant is nothing to write home about, the extra spacious cut and peekaboo slit update the staple to modern times.

Silk cigarette pants from Leith

the history of Western civilization, women have been wearing trousers for a relatively short period of time. What began in the Victorian era as a practical means for industrial work evolved into a statement of women’s liberation by the mid-20th century. In 2017, while skirts and dresses still have their place, it’s undeniable that pants are associated with power. Whether you’re in the boardroom or an artist’s studio, the brilliant news is the work wear category continues to evolve with fresh and fun silhouettes.

Finally, stripes are going to be everywhere this spring and summer, so take full advantage with these Chloe palazzo pants. The soothing colors avoid being obnoxious, and their vertical alignment will add approximately 8 feet to your legs. When it comes to business pants, it’s important to know your body type and which silhouettes will complement your frame. But a contrasting top and a great pair of heels can go a long way in making almost any trend look great on any woman. Each time you slip on a pair of trousers, just remember you’re upholding a long-standing tradition of powerful women. That alone should be enough to make you feel confident in your own skin.

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Women on the Move


REBECCA HELTERBRAND Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) has selected Rebecca Helterbrand to lead the nation’s first collaborative effort to develop a system of care for people with serious mental illness. She will be the deputy director of the South Texas Crisis Collaborative (STCC). She previously held senior leadership positions at both nonprofit and for-profit entities, most recently at Clarity Child Guidance Center, tripling the size of the children's mental health hospital in only five years.

ERICA HURTAK Erica Hurtak joined the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) in April 2017 as vice president of public affairs and communications. She will oversee the integrated communications, community engagement, member relations and revenue generation functions of the SAEDF. Prior to joining SAEDF, Hurtak owned a consulting practice focused on brand and advertising strategies, traditional and social media and membership strategies for local small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

CHRISTINE KHETARPAL Christine Khetarpal has opened Emerge Now Coaching. As a certified life coach, she assists her patients with clear choices amidst difficult circumstances; such as, the many decisions which must be faced during divorce.

BRITTNEY LOPEZ Brittney Lopez is a branding and website designer for women entrepreneurs. She recently left her 95 job to pursue her passion full time and start her own design business, Branded by Britt. Her mission is to help passionate, driven women stand out online, and establish a beautiful brand for their business. She believes in the power of great design and how it can take a business to new heights, and wants to help women reach that potential.

MARGUERITE MCCORMICK Expanding her commitment to bring musical experiences of exceptional quality to San Antonio, Marguerite McCormick is the new Chair of the Tuesday Musical Club Artist Series for the 2017-2018 season. McCormick previously served as founder and artistic director emeritus of the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. She retired from that organization in 2014.

ANGIE O’CONNOR Angie O’Connor, owner of the Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center , recently won the “Rising Star” Award from Children’s Lighthouse at the annual franchise convention. The national award is given to a franchisee who shows superior support for the brand and an outstanding commitment to the success of the company. The O’Connors opened their learning center to have a positive impact on local families to give children a head start in life through early education.

TAMARA ORANDAY Tamara Oranday, former marketing associate, is the head of the PR and Communications Department for South Texas Radiology Imaging Centers (STRIC), responsible for advertisements, social media accounts and relations between STRIC and the community. She started at STRIC in 2015 as a receptionist before moving into marketing in May 2016. She holds a degree in marketing from UTSA and plans to start her master’s in the spring of 2018.

ANN WARD Ward Certified Consulting, LLC, has opened a new office in Alamo Heights as their headquarters. Ward has worked for twenty years to create more effective, positive, millennial-embracing workplaces for her clients. Out of the new office, Ward will do executive coaching, speaking and training throughout the country.. The new office is located at 4901 Broadway, Suite 235, 78209.

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MEET & EAT San Antonio Woman makes it easy to schedule a quiet meeting with fabulous food! Check out your favorite local restaurants with meeting rooms here on MEET & EAT. LA FONDA ON MAIN Up to 16 people 210-260-8068 THE BARN DOOR Up to 130 people 210-824-0116 THAI TOPAZ Up to 30 people 210-290-9833 FIG TREE ON THE RIVER Up to 40 people 210-224-9180 ALDACO’S STONE OAK Up to 90 people 210-494-0561 BOUDRO’S Up to 100 people 210-224-1313 BIGA ON THE BANKS Up to 400 people 210-225-0722 CARMENS DE LA CALLE CAFE Up to 80 people 210-737-8272 GRAND HYATT SAN ANTONIO Achiote River Cafe: 30-150 people Bar Rojo: 30-60 people 210-224-1234 MAGGIANO’S LITTLE ITALY Up to 240 people 210-451-6010 TEXAS DE BRAZIL Up to 45 people 210-299-1600 OLD SAN FRANCISCO STEAKHOUSE Up to 700 people 210-342-2323 64


JOIN A NETWORK National Association for Female Executives

NAFE Luncheons are the 2nd Wednesday of Every Month. Please join us.

Working collectively — that’s what makes Female Executives more powerful, resilient, and self-sufficient. While we may have different professional and personal goals, we all share certain issues as businesswomen. The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) was founded in 1972 and is one of the largest women’s professional associations in the United States. NAFE serves to provide business and personal growth through education, relationship building and community resource development in an atmosphere of mutual respect and integrity. • Networking with peers and mentors • Events on cutting-edge subjects tailored to meet your needs — at any career stage • Exclusive benefits As a NAFE member, you have access to career development, success strategies, resources, contacts and support from women in business. Build lasting relationships with other female executives like YOU. Connect with us

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Education FOCUS By MOLLy COX

This was my exchange with one of my political idols, First Lady Michelle Obama. ‘Cause I’m eloquent. Obviously. “It’s so great to meet you! How are you feeling?” she asked as she pulled me in for a hug. “I feel like I might vomit,” I replied, overcome with nervousness. She stiffened and slowly backed away from me. “Please don’t. I’d have to change my shirt.” Perfectly delivered. Straight-faced. It was May 2, 2014, and Michelle Obama was at the University of Texas at San Antonio to launch her Reach Higher initiative, a national effort to encourage students to further their education beyond high school. She had chosen to launch in San Antonio because of the fantastic collaborative efforts we show to celebrate students during College Signing Day. More specifically, in San Antonio, we had prioritized education. In 2010 our community came together and set a bold vision for the future: By 2020, San Antonio hopes to orchestrate one of the greatest turnarounds in education in the United States. It continued: San Antonio provides access to quality education for all students, no matter where they live in our city. In its third year, College Signing Day hosted over 1,200 local high school students for a celebration of their accomplishments and a pledge that they not only go to, but finish, their higher education. And it just so happened that Michelle Obama was our keynote speaker, and she was sporting a college Tshirt — the requisite uniform. And so it goes. Every year, we celebrate our high school seniors. Last year, we joined over 1,100 other communities across the United States who also hosted College Signing Days. San Antonio paved the way — something we do often in our city. We’re making progress, and there is room for improvement in our city. San Antonio’s high school graduation rates are up, yet college enrollment, college attainment, and certificate credentialing remain relatively flat.

At the same time, 65 percent of all jobs will require some type of postsecondary education by the year 2020. You read that right. More than half of our jobs will require something beyond high school.

So…I’m asking you to join SA2020 ( in making this city even better. For all our students. Here are just a few ideas on how to get involved: 1. Find an organization that is working in education and volunteer with or make a donation to them. Volunteer as a family. Volunteerism is positively correlated to more successful academics. We have a handy-dandy list to start with at 2. Own a business? Connect with SA Works ( and give students an opportunity to experience working with you through internships. You can also connect your kids who are 16-plus to internship opportunities over the summer.

3. Drive your kids over to cafécollege, 131 El Paso St. Ask the folks there about how to get your kids started on the pathway to college. If you have some college under your belt, but haven’t yet completed a degree, ask them about Upgrade, a program to reconnect adults to college. 4. Vote for your council member, mayor and school board, then talk to them about how important education is to you. You can find more information on municipal elections – and who your reps are at Got other ideas? Share them! This is hard work. It’s going to take time. We’re not always going to see immediate results. But in a community that dreams big, we also do big.

This year, College Signing Day is Friday, May 5. Wear your college T-shirt to show your support of San Antonio’s students. *I promise not to hurl on you.

may/june 2017 | 67



The beautifully designed Ricos Products headquarters on South Presa have a distinctly clean, airy contemporary look, with original art by San Antonio artists adorning the halls, among them Vincent Valdez and the late Chuck Ramirez. But just left of the main lobby, a different space beckons you to take a look. It’s a small museum that tells the story of the company’s extraordinary success. As president and CEO, Tony Liberto is the fourth-generation family member at the helm, following in the footsteps of his Sicilian immigrant greatgrandfather, Rosario; grandfather, Enrico, and his innovator father, Frank. It was Frank Liberto who created what became the most popular snack food at sports stadiums and movie theaters’ concession stands across the U.S. — nachos with cheese sauce and sliced jalapeños. The company took off from there, with Frank developing new products, machines and procedures to enhance the quality and delivery of Ricos’ products. Today, the $100 million-plus company makes all sorts of fun snacks, such as cheese sauces, popcorn, roasted peanuts, nachos and tortilla chips, sliced jalapeños and, of course, concession nachos. 68 |

You started working in the family business right after graduation from Texas A&M. Was it something you really wanted to do, or did you primarily feel an obligation toward the family? When I was young, I wanted to be a professional basketball player. Unfortunately, my mom and dad did not make me 6 feet 8 inches, so I had to change my direction. But by the time I got to college, I realized that our family business had so much history and tradition, and I felt a strong desire to get involved. That’s why I focused on business management, and when I graduated, I came to work for the company. When I came on board, I started from the ground up. I worked in the warehouse, in the distribution facilities, manufacturing, in the credit department, and then moved over into sales and eventually became the VP of sales in 2000. In 2006, I was promoted to president while my dad was still CEO. Now I am president and CEO. How does it feel to be in charge of a legacy business such as this one? There is a lot to be proud of. And we already have a member of the fifth generation working here, too — my niece, Megan MacDiarmid. There are five grandkids (Frank’s grandchildren), so we’ll see who else will want to get involved. Your father was the innovator who put the company on the national map. Was it difficult to follow in his footsteps? It was challenging. He was an entrepreneur and recognized for his skills. I always say he could sell ice to the Eskimos because he had that kind of sales skills. But as time moved on, we got out of the concession industry that Dad pioneered to focus more on the retail-gro-

cery side of the business. I think I have maintained the concession side and added the retail side and the international side. Our retail business has been growing steadily every year. We are in all 50 states, in WalMart, H-E-B, Sam’s Club, Kroger, all of them. And internationally, we are selling products in 57 countries. I am concentrating my effort on continuing growth in those areas. What is the most popular product? The cheese sauces. You can use them in many ways, not just for nachos. You can put cheese sauce on vegetables, as an ingredient in recipes, in casseroles. We have a lot of recipes on our website. But nachos dominate on the concession side of sales. We are known as the originators of ballpark nachos. You have added some new products. Tell us about the Texan Original brand. It’s a higher-end product line of tortilla chips with three different flavors. We also have some hot sauces and a snack mix, and we are coming up with a cheese product that has jalapeños and tomatoes already mixed in. It’s attracting a different type of consumer. Where are Ricos’ products manufactured? We have a plant in Arlington, Texas. Right now, we are adding a third tortilla chip line, and getting that line commissioned is on the forefront on most of our efforts right now. We make our own chips and also private-label tortilla chips for other companies. Do you eat a lot of chips with cheese sauce? (He laughs.) Yeah, I enjoy our products, and I like tasting new ones. We are al-

Tony Liberto is the fourth-generation family member at the helm of Ricos Products. Here Tony stands in front of an oversized vintage photo of his grandfather, Enrico Liberto (at right).

ways developing new formulations. In fact, today we are having a product tasting. It’s a healthier formulation of the cheese sauce. Is Ricos involved in the wider San Antonio community? Yes, we are strong supporters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We’ve been involved with that organization for 25 years. My mom was diagnosed as a diabetic as an adult in her 50s. We continue to contribute to JDRF in the hope of finding a cure. We are getting closer and closer every year. I am also on the board of the Seton Home (for teen mothers), the zoo, and Variety — the Children’s Charity of Texas, an organization that provides support to children with disabilities. It was founded by the movie theater industry. Since our products are in movie theaters, we have been involved with that organization for years. (Ricos also sponsors Spurs games, as well as many other teams’ events.) What aspect of your job do you find most satisfying? l would say it’s the culture. We consider the people working for us part of our family, and that’s the culture we have here. I feel that people wake up in the morning and look forward to coming to work. I think that’s the most rewarding aspect. Mr. Liberto’s comments have been edited for publication. may/june 2017 | 69




alk to anyone in the restaurant industry, and they’ll tell you that there’s nothing easy about it. For Kasey Hanlon, that’s part of the draw. “I like going, going, going. I’d rather work 17 hours on my feet, on the go the whole time, than work eight hours at a desk each day,” she says. Hanlon is the franchise owner of Salata, a next-generation salad bar that offers completely customizable salads and wraps. With 50 different toppings and 10 housemade dressings, everything is chopped, prepped and prepared in-house, giving the food a freshness that resonates with today’s health-conscious, time-crunched consumers looking for a quick, healthy dining option. In addition to being the owner, Hanlon is also a dedicated customer: “I eat Salata every single day. I get sad when I don’t get to eat it. “I fell in love with Salata as a customer and made my father try it. Once he saw the presentation of the line, the quality of the product, the freshness, the cleanliness, he agreed. Salata is all about quality and presentation, and that’s what drew us to it. Salata was founded on quality, service and a clean environment, and we wanted to bring that to San Antonio.” She’s definitely spreading the Salata love. They’ve already opened four San Antonio locations, as well as three in the Austin area. Hanlon’s goal is to have five San Antonio locations and seven in Austin. The growing chain has 58 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida. Owning Salata is not Hanlon’s first exposure to restaurants. Her family also owns San Antonio favorite Alamo Café, making a career in the hospitality industry a natural fit. “My dream has always been to

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own my own resort — and take over Alamo Café,” she says. “My dad worked so hard, and it’s such a part of our family that I can’t imagine anyone else running it.” But the lure of hotels is what pushed her to get her degree in hotel and restaurant management from Oklahoma State University. During college, her internships and jobs were at hotels, but within their restaurants, sparking a realization that restaurant management was more of a calling than she’d recognized. When the opportunity came to be a part of Salata, she decided to make the jump. Hanlon started her post-college hospitality career with an event management and production company in Dallas, traveling nonstop, helping plan and manage corporate and team meetings and events. “My father told me he knew that I would be successful in the restaurant industry based on how I responded to working events. Going nonstop, juggling whatever came up and finding solutions — working events was the perfect job for me coming out of college. It gave me the opportunity to see different parts of the hospitality industry. And I learned so much that applies to what I’m doing now, like changing things at the last minute to work around whatever obstacles arise,”

she explains, adding, “I feel like you can throw any kind of customer my way and I can adapt. You have to. Working in events was a great training ground for that. You have to have an organized, logical mindset and always be troubleshooting. The answer is always yes. I just have to figure how it’s going to work.” As franchise owner, Hanlon is ultimately responsible for everything: “I wear every hat. I started out in charge of our operations, making sure that everything we do is up to the Salata standard, but as we’ve grown, I’ve taken on a wider role.” While she also relies on a district manager, to keep in touch with what is going on in each location Hanlon visits every store each week, usually hitting two stores per day. That schedule keeps her on the road between Austin and San Antonio all the time, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I like being in the day-to-day. I feel disconnected if I’m not checking in and talking with the team. I want to be there for them and support them,” she says. When she’s at one of the stores, you won’t find Hanlon sitting down. She works the line and helps the team during the busy lunch and dinner rushes. “Your adrenaline kicks in, and you work together. I think it’s important for the team for me to be a part of that,” she says. When she’s on-site, Hanlon doesn’t promote that she’s the owner, choosing instead to work side-by-side with the staff. “When people find out I’m the owner, I get the shocked face and ‘Why are you here?’ But I love working with the team. I love getting to prep. And if they need help mopping floors or doing whatever, I’m here to help. I will never let anyone drown — if they need help, I’m here.” Her hands-on attitude has gained Hanlon the respect of her team and gives her a firsthand perspective on what’s working in each store and what they need to improve. Hanlon also uses group texts as a way to stay in touch. “If one of the team has a question, someone else probably has the same question, so it keeps us on the same page,” she says. Open communication is also key to keeping the team aligned, especially when things are busy. “We opened four locations in nine months, and right now we’re opening another three in the span of four months. Open communication is what keeps us all together.” That also goes for the family behind the business. “I know everyone says going into business with your family is hard, but I love it,” she says. “I’m 50 percent my mom and 50 percent my dad, so working alongside them every day is a great fit. My brother, cousin, uncles — we really are a full family business. We’re honest and open — there’s no tiptoeing around what needs to get done. We all have our roles, and it works, ” With all that Hanlon has tackled since jumping into the world of Salata four years ago, the thing that has surprised her most is people simply not showing up. “People not showing up for interviews, managers not showing up—just quitting without saying a word. That’s not

how I was raised. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to always show up, even when you don’t want to. That’s when the biggest surprises will happen. And it’s always been true for me.” She’s also learned that there’s no end to what you can learn from others. “You really have to be open to any kind of person who comes into your life,” she explains. “I’ve learned the most from people whom I judged too quickly. I get to work with so many different types of people, and they each bring different perspectives to what we do. I’ve learned something from all of them.” So what’s ahead for Hanlon? When asked where she’d like to be in 10 years, having Salata continue to be successful was first, along with perhaps running Alamo Café. She also dreams of creating something new: her own franchise concept. “I don’t know what that is yet, but it’s something.” Based on her track record thus far, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a success. may/june 2017 | 71


things you need to survive the summer with little ones BY PAMELA V. MILLER

Make your life easier and more fun It might be spring across the United States, but you wouldn’t think so in San Antonio. In fact, this winter was the second warmest on record in San Antonio! While that might sound pleasing, it begs the question: What will summer be like? Despite my aversion to blazing-hot temperatures, skin-burning leather seats and mosquitoes, we’ve managed to survive the summers relatively easily here. As with all mommy matters, it’s all about planning and preparation, and having the right tools can make all the difference. So before the looming threats of heat, bugs and outdoor activities have you planning indoor activities all summer, here are 10 must-have items to help you survive the summer with little ones in San Antonio:

Canopy This is the most important item to have for the summer. Before you head to the river, the park, the beach or even your own backyard, consider bringing a canopy. It acts as a shield against harmful sun rays and provides the cool shade needed to make outdoor activities enjoyable.

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W MOMMY MATTERS Inflatable Pool When temperatures start to rise, an inflatable pool can help children to cool off. Coupled with the canopy, it makes a great place for little ones to have fun outdoors. Inflatable pools can also double as a safe place for toddlers to play indoors, and if you throw in some plastic balls, you have an instant ball pit.

Collapsible Wagon Compact and easily portable, collapsible wagons have a multitude of uses. You can conveniently cart all of your beach or river items (including the canopy) to your desired spot or use it as an impromptu bed for a toddler nap, and it’s great for towing the kids to the park. It comes in handy at festivals or anywhere your kids want to be free from the stroller, but you still need a place for them to sit. At home, I’ve also used it to cart heavy loads from the car into the house, so it’s useful year-round. (TIP: It’s worth splurging for the one with the removable canopy.)

Mesh Bag It’s perhaps the cheapest and easiest item to carry around, so having a mesh bag on hand for summer activities is incredibly useful. You can use it to store and carry all the pails and shovels your little ones need for the beach. When you’ve done playing, just throw all the sand-covered items in the bag and shake. The sand falls out, the toys stay in. This limits the amount of sand you put into the car and/or bring into your home. The bags are also great for sports equipment, wet towels, wet shoes and deflated, wet inflatables, allowing them all to breathe or dry more easily while being transported. Perhaps the best part about mesh bags is that they’re washable and dry quickly — definitely a summer must-have.

Electric Air Pump With all the floaties, tubes, inflatable pools and air mattresses awaiting summer visitors, an air pump makes inflation quick and easy. Setting up for summer fun can be done in five minutes, which is something excited (and impatient) kids will be happy about! We especially like the electric air pumps that can be powered via your car’s cigarette lighter. It makes filling your inflatables at your destination possible, while saving space in the trunk and making transport easy.

Collapsible Cooler and Reusable Ice Packs Gone are the days of toting around a giant heavy plastic cooler. A collapsible cooler with reusable ice packs is so much easier. They keep food and drinks chilled just as well, with no ice to buy, with no water spills, no heavy load to carry, and afterwards, they’re great space-savers.

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SPF/Sunscreen and Insect Repellent With harmful sun rays and the threat of West Nile, protecting your little ones from the sun and bug bites is important, so keeping these two items on hand is a must. According to the CDC on repellents, “Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under age

the of


years.”* They also


mend that you use your hands to apply the product to your face, being careful to avoid your eyes and mouth. For children, they suggest not spraying their hands, as young children tend to touch their eyes and mouths often. Always apply sunscreen before repellent, with repellent being sprayed above clothing, and try to avoid cuts or scrapes.

First-Aid Kit Whether you’re out exploring Government State Canyon Park, collecting seashells at the beach or enjoying a tube ride down the river, accidents happen. For all the minor cuts and scrapes that accompany outdoor summer activities, being prepared is easy by keeping a first-aid kit in the car.

Finding things to do in the summer is the easy part — the hard part is combating summer woes. Putting together an arsenal of tools like the ones mentioned above can make summer fun more enjoyable for you and your little ones! *Insect Repellent Use & Safety. (2015, March 31). Retrieved March 27, 2017, from

may/june 2017 | 75


Retiring? Time to Hit the Road BY SHARI BIEDIGER


n the journey of life, no one wants the scenery to go by too fast. So when Nancy Schwarz and her husband, Mark, retired, it was a reminder that they had turned a corner — one that Nancy wasn’t sure she was ready to take. “My husband had this dream to get an RV (recreational vehicle), and after retirement, travel and see the U.S.A.,” Nancy said. Her response? “That’s what old people do.” At 62, Nancy had raised two sons and had four grandchildren, and after working for 12 years in secondary education, she was looking forward to more time to spend with her husband, who had retired last spring from a career in commercial real estate. “I don’t have anything against traveling,” Nancy said. “It’s just the thought that, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to be of that age where I can do this. I’m not sure I want to face that. To get an RV and travel was just putting a big stamp on my head saying, ‘I’m old and I’m going to travel until I die.’” Mark persisted for five years, showing Nancy photos of RVs and blogs by people who loved to travel by RV, and slowly she came around. “He found a particular company that made exactly what it took for me to say, ‘Yes, I can see myself in that, and I might like it,’” Nancy said. With that green light, Mark planned a road trip to Winkler in Manitoba, Canada, where they toured a factory and chose the vehicle and amenities they wanted. Today, they own a 25-foot leisure travel vehicle (LTV), which is equivalent to a B-plus in RV terminology — not the smallest model, but not the biggest either. The LTV is equipped with a very comfortable Murphy bed, a kitchen with all the appliances and a “nice-size” bathroom. “It’s not like being in a five-star hotel, but it’s really nice and comfortable,” Nancy said. “The décor feels Scandinavian; it’s sleek and attractive but very simple. It’s truly comfortable to live in and travel in.”

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It’s also easy enough to drive, according to Nancy, and she often takes the wheel on their cross-country treks. After bringing the LTV home from Canada, their first trip was to visit a son and his family in Maryland. They took the scenic route to get there, stopping along the way in the Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, Nashville, Pigeon Forge, the Biltmore Estate and Monticello. “If we had gotten on an airplane, we would have missed all that,” Nancy said. And having their own place to stay meant they could extend the visit with their son. “On another trip, we went to my favorite place in the world — Mount Rushmore. We had taken the kids when they were younger, and I said that’s the one place I want to go back,” said Nancy. Again, they took the scenic route on the return trip home, stopping to visit friends in Colorado and a niece in Canyon, Texas.

“We really are trying to make the most of being on the road — taking our time and visiting interesting places as well as the people we love,” she added. The travel may be a dream come true for Mark, but Nancy is already fulfilling her wish list as well. At Christmastime, with both sons unable to make it home, they hauled the LTV out of storage and drove to Pasadena, Calif., to attend the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2. They took advantage of off-season rates at a campground overlooking the ocean in Malibu and also toured the studios where the floral parade floats are decorated. In April, they are bound for the Indianapolis 500 races that occur at Speedway, Ind., every May, and Mark has a couple of surprises planned along the route, Nancy said. “I trust him implicitly. He is so happy I

agreed to do this, he makes it really special for me. And I love it.” But it’s not just the big adventures she enjoys. What makes the travel most memorable and enjoyable are the little things in between, she says, like the festivals, small-town shops and cafes, the people they meet in campgrounds. It’s also memorable when things go wrong, as it did on one occasion when they were at an LTV rally in Canada with 85 other LTV owners. “We pulled into our space, put out the slide, then decided to go into town for something. So we cranked her up and started driving,” Nancy said. “We noticed people were looking at us funny and thought, ‘Whatever, maybe they are just admiring our beautiful RV,’ that looked, of course, just like theirs.” Instead, they discovered on their way out of the gate that they had left the slide out – a big no-no – and the next day had to play along with the others as they gossiped and chuckled about the people who were driving with their slide out. “There’s a huge learning curve to every single aspect of the RV life,” Nancy said, admitting she’s still learning how to shop and stock the camper’s kitchen and cook on the propane burner stove. It’s not gourmet like others can do, but “we’re not just opening a can of soup. We’re actually cooking and enjoying the food.” She’s also growing more comfortable with what it means to be an empty nester, to being retired and traveling the country by RV. “More than anything, I am adjusting to being the age I am,” Nancy said. “I’m not ancient, but I’m adjusting to being in this chapter, whatever chapter it is, and appreciating the people, old or not-soold, that are out there enjoying life in an RV.

“I think part of it is because I have seen women in their 70s and 80s doing this and enjoying it. They are vibrant and looking forward to the next place. They are engaged in life,” Nancy said. “So I do think it has been a real inspiration to me to see the adage ‘age is just a number.” “And I’ve been encouraged and inspired by the fact that there is just lot of meaningful life in front of me, however long God chooses. The RV that I thought was going to put a ‘you’re old stamp’ on me has put on a different stamp that says, ‘OK let’s go.’” may/june 2017 | 77

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A POET AND A LEADER Award-winning poet Sheila Black has ably led Gemini Ink since 2012 ByJASMINA WELLINGHOFF



pening a special reading at Gemini Ink on April 1, executive director Sheila Black greeted a crowd of about 30 people with these words: “This is one of my favorite programs of all the things that Gemini Ink does.” She was referring to the mentorship program that brings together established and emerging writers in a mentor-mentee relationship that offers a precious opportunity for the mentees to receive sustained guidance on a work in progress free of charge. Black praised the current mentors — poet Connie Voisine and novelist Amanda Ward — for tak-

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ing up the task and for promoting “the art of writing and the art of communication, which is what Gemini Ink is all about. “Through writing, you become a more engaged human being; writing is essentially an endless quest into what it means to be a human being. Writers invite readers to go on that journey with them,” she explained. Black has been on that journey for a long time, as a poet, teacher, editor and a literary arts administrator. In the fall of 2012 she moved to San Antonio to assume her current position.

In an interview with this columnist in January 2013, the new director discussed her goals for our city’s only independent literary organization that’s truly open to all who are interested in writing and literature. Almost five years later, she’s pleased to note that progress has been made across the board, from reviving the mentorship program and restructuring the main educational classes for writers, to a vastly expanded Writers in the Communities program (WIC) that sends writers into diverse community settings to work with marginalized students and adults on finding their own expressive voices. “When I came, most classes were one-day workshops (often just several hours). I thought that was problematic,” she said. “If you are going to learn how to write, you need time to work on it. Switching to the multi-session format has worked very well. We have a robust Creative Writing Classes program now. The mentorship program is going strong, and the number of people served by WIC has gone from 401 in 2012 to 1,731 last year. Gemini Ink worked with only 10 or 11 sites back then; now we are all over the city at many, many sites. That’s a big change. We have also doubled the budget in the last five years.” Black, who is well liked by everyone who knows her, is also proud of free readings and discussion events with notable Texas writers, which are designed to appeal to people who are “passionate readers” but not necessarily writers. In addition, the well-established Autograph Series is another successful initiative that brings nationally known authors to San Antonio to read and interact with fans at both a free and a ticketed event. “It all creates a literary-rich eco system,” remarked the director. A new contribution to the literary scene is the summer Writers Conference, which was successfully launched last year. “I think it was a brilliant idea,” noted Black, “I am a member of the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs), which has 18,000 members. I saw firsthand how writers like to get together to exchange ideas. I thought we could create something like that here in Texas. Alexandra (Van De Kamp, a colleague) and I thought maybe we could get some 30 people to come the first year. Instead, 181 registered for the conference, and more came to public events. We had 38 panelists. It was a super fun event.” The theme for the 2017 meeting, scheduled for July 21-23, is Writing For Change, and some prominent authors and industry professionals were already lined up at the time of this writing, namely Pablo Miguel Martinez as the keynote speaker, as well as Brian Turner, Octavio Quintanilla and Marilyn Atlas. Writing is about change and transformation, commented Black. Ideas and communication can change the civic conversation.

country was often seen as problematic in other parts of the world. Yet moving around the world was not the only defining experience of her childhood. She was born with a genetic condition called X-linked hypophosphatemia, or XLH, which causes short stature, bowed legs and soft bones, according to a moving article she wrote about that aspect of her life for the New York Times. At first, doctors thought that her mother was not feeding her properly, so it took a while before the correct diagnosis was made. At 13, she had a surgery that considerably straightened her legs, and she was suddenly seen as more socially acceptable. “I realized then how deep is people’s fear of disability,” she observed. “That was ultimately my motivation for becoming an advocate for removing barriers that the disabled face every day… People are more than their bodies.” Several years ago, she co-edited Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, which was designated a Notable Book of 2012 by the American Library Association and made her famous beyond the strictly literary circles. Young Sheila discovered poetry very early in life. For a while she attended a school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the students were made to memorize poems. “I can still recite the verses. I was good at that, I liked the sound of poems, every word had a weight,” she recalls. In high school, she was already composing her own poems, but her life took a detour into “commercial writing” after college, when she produced a series of children’s books for a book-packaging company. It wasn’t until her mid-30s that Black returned to poetry while living in New Mexico with her husband, Duncan Hays, with whom she has three children. She is the author of four poetry collections, including two recent ones, Wen Kroy (Dream Horse Press, 2015) and Iron.Ardent published this year by Educe Press. In 2012, the U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine chose Black as one of two poets to receive the Witter Bynner Award, a prestigious recognition that you cannot apply for. Levine described her as “a consummate poet of memory who seems able to inhabit all the various women she is and has been… Hers is a poetry of feeling, and the whole panoply of emotions — from love to rage — is present and earned.”

Writing is a discipline, she believes: “You set the table and inspiration will come. You have to train yourself to be receptive, to see the world around you, to be in the moment.” But you also have to read a lot, be aware of trends in contemporary poetry and be willing to revise.

Poet and Manager Born in Minneapolis while her father was getting his Ph.D., young Sheila soon found herself traveling all over the world courtesy of Dad’s diplomatic career. “It’s hard for me to say where I am from; we spent so much time away from the U.S.,” she said. “When I got to college, I realized how little I knew about America.” Still, she claimed her American identity when it was convenient. As a budding high school entrepreneur, she made and sold American sandwiches in Britain because people loved them and she had access to American foods. But the young woman also saw a great deal of poverty in many places, which taught her that life could be uncertain and precarious. Beyond that, she learned to respect other cultures and understood that her native

Though poetry is her passion, Black also pursued a career as a development executive for two Las Cruces, N.M., organizations, including seven years with the local Colonias Development Council. The combination of her literary and fundraising skills made her an ideal choice for the Gemini Ink job. She was hired just a few days following her job interview here. Gemini’s board chair Michael Soto lavished praised on Black. “Sheila has an incredible excess of energy for all things literary,” he noted. “And the wider community is the beneficiary of her efforts to make San Antonio a more literate and literary city.” And Black intends to “keep the momentum going. I feel like I am in a good place,” she said, simply.

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Letter from the Chapter Board Chair PENNY PEPPERLING

To the current and future supporters of the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease: As the board chair for the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, I have the opportunity to raise awareness in our community about Alzheimer’s disease and support the talented staff of the Association. Most people are not aware that one in three seniors dies due to Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined; however, far fewer funds are raised for Alzheimer’s research and care than are raised to fight cancer or heart disease. Further, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease, since very little of the care patients require is covered by medical insurance. Currently, there is no cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, so increased community support through fundraising is critical. I was fortunate to attend the Alzheimer's Association Leadership Summit this year. The overriding theme of the sessions was the need to step up the pace in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. The vision of the Alzheimer Association is to “imagine a day when we can stop Alzheimer’s disease from stealing our memories, our ability to make decisions and solve problems, our relationships, our personalities … a day when the first Alzheimer’s survivor holds onto everything the disease takes away.” This vision inspires my passion as board chair to help promote awareness and raise much-needed funds for research, so we can find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease within our lifetime. I think all of us have been touched in one way or another by someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. For me, it was my grandfather, who suffered a brain aneurism that left him with no short-term memory. On most days, he did not recognize me as his granddaughter, but thought I was his classmate, instead. Because of this painful experience, I have always wanted to be a part of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease before it strikes someone else I love. I would like to challenge each of you to consider participating in at least one of the Alzheimer’s Association’s signature fundraising events during 2017. The events are “Blondes vs. Brunettes,” April 23; “The Longest Day,” June 21; and the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” October 21. You can build teams through your corporate or family networks, and help raise funds to find a cure for Alzheimer’s sooner, rather than later. Let’s join together to end this disease! Sincerely,




Margaret Barron Regional Lead – Texas and Executive Director The Brains Behind the Alzheimer’s Association Accelerating Research The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s research and has been part of every major research advancement for the past 30 years. “The most rewarding part of this job is having the opportunity to help families like my own and empower those living with the disease,” said Margaret Barron, executive director of the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. When Meg’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the family learned she had been living with the disease, undiagnosed, for a number of years. “It didn’t seem odd; in our culture, we often expect 80-year-olds to forget things,” said Barron. “After the diagnosis, we cared for my grandmother, but there was little we could do to help as the disease systematically devastated her.” Meg’s personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease and her leadership role at the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter drive her passion to advance research to find a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association supports investigations that advance the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, identify new treatment strategies, improve care for people with dementia, optimize services for their families, and further the association’s knowledge of brain and disease prevention. This July, Meg Barron will attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London to learn about many new exciting research updates. “I enjoy helping families of patients understand what’s happening in the Alzheimer’s world,” added Barron.

Accelerating Research


Over the past few decades, the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has funded more than $1 million in research grants to The University of Texas at San Antonio and UT Health San Antonio. The dedicated staff is committed to maintaining a leadership role in convening, collaborating, and coordinating efforts to advance research. The local chapter plays a significant role in raising funds that support research for the cure and prevention of Alzheimer's disease by expanding public and private funding efforts here in San Antonio.




Ginny Funk Program and Advocacy Director The Brains Behind the Alzheimer’s Association Enhancing Care and Support Through its contact center and, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a vast number of resources and excellent programs to individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The San Antonio and South Texas Chapter’s goal for 2017 is to increase the public’s utilization of these assets by 50 percent. “My role is to ensure we continuously reach more people in the community through the educational classes, support groups, helplines, and online resources we offer,” says Ginny Funk, director of programs and advocacy. Ginny, who has been with the Alzheimer’s Association for more than 16 years, believes this year’s goal can be achieved by coordinating local awareness campaigns and partnering with community organizations to promote the programs. These days she is highly motivated by a new personal connection to Alzheimer’s. “Originally, I began working as a volunteer, with no personal connection to the disease,” Ginny says. “However, I now find myself on this journey with my mother, who has been diagnosed with mixed dementia.” The San Antonio and South Texas Chapter relies heavily on local volunteers and members of the community affected by the disease to help promote awareness of its resources and programs. The San Antonio and South Texas Chapter is conducting an assessment to identify appropriate standards and evidence-based programs to ensure delivery of quality care, including support and diagnostic services.

Enhancing Care and Support


“The most rewarding part of my job is hearing the gratitude and appreciation in the voices of those who come to the San Antonio Chapter for guidance and resources to help them better understand the disease,” said Ginny. “It is important that everyone impacted by Alzheimer’s disease is aware of our helpline, a contact center that has specialists available by telephone 24/7 for information, support, and referrals.”



Cacie Waters Public Policy and Community Outreach Specialist The Brains Behind the Alzheimer’s Association Advancing Public Policy One of the most critical objectives of the Alzheimer’s Association San Antonio and South Texas Chapter is to persuade state and federal policymakers of the importance of effectively implementing the national Alzheimer’s plan. “Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive disease in America and the sixth-leading cause of death,” said Cacie Waters, public policy and community outreach specialist. “Raising awareness that this disease is a public health crisis and creating ‘eureka!’ moments among legislators and San Antonio opinion leaders is what drives my work.” Cacie works alongside powerful advocates, state legislators, and members of Congress who champion the Alzheimer’s Association’s cause. They expend a tremendous amount of time and effort developing productive relationships with lawmakers and urging policymakers at every level of government to establish strong policy priorities for the disease. “The best way to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s is to talk about it,” says Cacie. “We need to constantly build on the awareness and momentum we have created.” Waters’ determination comes from her grandmother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. “An individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds. After four months of working with the association, my grandmother’s diagnosis made that statistic very real to me.”

Advancing Public Policy


The Alzheimer’s Association San Antonio and South Texas Chapter continue to help advancements in public policy by engaging with members of Congress through an activist-orientated plan. The chapter disseminates the latest research and clinical trial results, and provides opportunities for locals to make their voices heard by sharing personal stories with elected officials.




Helen Flores Educational Summit Chair and Immediate Past Board Chair The Brains Behind the Alzheimer’s Association Increasing Concern and Awareness of the Disease and the Association The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to leading the fight against Alzheimer’s by increasing the public’s awareness and concern about the disease. The San Antonio and South Texas Chapter depends heavily on its invaluable volunteers to strengthen and bring momentum to its awareness campaigns and community events. Helen Flores, educational summit chair, attributes the San Antonio Chapter’s success to the tireless efforts of its local volunteers. Personally, Helen has been volunteering for the San Antonio Chapter since 1998. “With such a small office staff, we rely heavily on our volunteers to raise awareness and bring community involvement to our fundraising efforts,” says Helen. “The volunteers have an unbelievable impact on our success. Ten years ago, I could not have imagined we would have achieved what we have, and that is largely due to our volunteers’ efforts.” The Alzheimer’s Association offers a variety of ongoing educational programs to support those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and increase public awareness. Helen plans and coordinates the Annual Educational Summit on Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias for the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter. Family caregivers, professionals, and the general public are invited to attend.

Increasing Concern and Awareness of the Disease and the Association


“Helping people understand how the disease progresses and that there is a reason behind their behaviors is extremely rewarding,” Helen says. The Alzheimer’s Association is currently promoting its ”Learn the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease” campaign, which teaches how to identify the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Helen encourages the organization’s members and volunteers to stress the importance of these warning signs to friends and family members, and advocate for those who already have the disease. “Many people have the misconception that Alzheimer’s disease is a natural part of aging, but it is not,” she says. “If the signs are recognized early, there is a lot that can be done to slow the progression of the disease and extend a person’s normal lifestyle.”



Michelle Serna Development Specialist The Brains Behind the Alzheimer’s Association Growing Revenue Support of the Mission Individuals, corporations, and foundations further the Alzheimer’s Association's mission through their dedicated involvement and support of the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter. One of the primary opportunities for such organizations to become involved is the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” the association’s largest fundraising event. Michelle Serna, development specialist, oversees the planning of this event. She believes allocating funds for research is not just a job, but also a promise to those affected by the disease. “There is a purpose behind everything we do, and that is to fight for those affected by promoting awareness and the mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s,” says Michelle. Michelle’s grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s at an elderly age, and her family’s lack of knowledge about the disease led her to join the association. “This is why we fight, promote awareness, and educate—so there are no unanswered questions about our loved one’s condition,” she says. The Alzheimer’s Association calls on constituents to help raise funds and increase engagement within the community to promote the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” It is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research, held in more than 600 communities nationwide and eight locations regionally.

Growing Revenue Support of the Mission


“Often, this event is the first encounter the community has with Alzheimer’s disease, and they are able to learn about the many resources the association provides,” says Michelle. “We must continue to grow community engagement with this event, so we can achieve our mission of finding a cure and, ultimately, see our first survivor.” By 2019, the Alzheimer’s Association is seeking to double its revenues to $450 million. The Association expects to achieve this goal by developing a national philanthropic culture that fully embraces, prioritizes, and invests in partnerships, fundraising, and revenue growth as essential keys to the success of the mission.







A popular reality home renovation show revamped this town’s reputation by letting the whole world in on a little secret that locals knew all along:

Waco is wonderful. By JANIS TURk

“Fixer Upper,” the HGTV hit reality show starring husband-and-wife team Joanna and Chip Gaines, is the biggest thing to hit Waco since 1953, when a tornado ripped through downtown. This time, like a happy perfect storm, a number of good things came together all at once, putting a fresh new “Fixer Upper” face on Waco, shining an international spotlight on all this already great Central Texas city has to offer. Since the show’s surprise success, suddenly Waco found its way onto tourists’ radar, and now the town welcomes throngs of visitors each month who come to get their “Fixer Upper” fix. Five years ago, if you’d told the Gaines that today two old rusty out silos edging downtown Waco would draw 70,000 tourists in one week alone and that they’d be household names, they would have thought you were crazy. And if you’d told Waco residents that this young local couple, a friendly shop owner/blogger and her goofy loveable construction/real estate developer husband, would be megastars, they’d never have believed it either. No one could have predicted the Gaines’ meteoric rise, and now the couple gives thanks to God, feeling blessed and humbled by the success. The town is grateful, too. Because most “Fixer Upper” episodes showcase a different Waco house, neighborhood, shop, and artist, an unexpected bonus was that Chip and Joanna were inadvertently renovating their hometown’s heretofore not-so-hot reputation while they were busy renovating houses. Waco’s name had for too long been connected with tragedies that unfolded there in the past, but today it is becoming better known as a beautiful place along the Brazos. The Gaines, with their fresh wholesome family vibe, became the fresh new face of Waco, and America fell in love with them — and their hometown.

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W TRAVEL The “Fixer Upper” pilot aired on May 23, 2013, to 1.9 million viewers, and soon the show was opted for five seasons; already there is talk of a season six. Along with the show, the couple’s Magnolia real estate business is booming, and their Magnolia Market at the Silos, a 2.5-acre complex with a broad lawn, swing sets and more where kids can play, is a huge draw for fans. With food trucks, a butterfly-filled garden, the Magnolia Seed + Supply shop, yummy cupcakes at Silos Baking Company, and a 20,000-square-foot grain barn filled with home décor retail items, the Gaines' popular headquarters now draws 25,000-35,000 visitors each week and even welcomed a record-breaking 70K people during spring break this year. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

But after seeing Magnolia at the Silos, there’s still a lot more to see and do in Waco. So, if you’re heading there this summer for a “Fixer Upper” trip, here are 10 ways to get the most out of your visit: Re-think going on a weekend. Saturdays are insane at the Silos. Unless you like huge crowds and long lines, forget going on weekends. Parking can be a nightmare, and it gets so crowded that you can hardly see the merchandise. Tuesdays are a better day to visit, and even though Thursdays are busy, several shops in town are open only Thursdays through Saturdays, so I’d suggest going on a Wednesday to the Silos and seeing museums and more, then staying overnight in Waco, and saving local shopping for Thursday.



Go before you get there. There just aren’t enough bathrooms at Magnolia at the Silos to accommodate all the crowds, so plan restroom breaks accordingly.

Stay nearby. Thanks to Baylor parents and alums, there are plenty of good hotels in downtown Waco, and if you’re coming to Magnolia at the Silos, be sure to stay in one downtown. We enjoyed the clean modern Hotel Indigo, where we could see the Silos from the parking lot. From there we could leave our car and walk downtown.


Take the trolley. Waco has a free trolley service to shuttle visitors around town. Hop on and off anywhere you like—it stops right in front of the Magnolia at the Silos and the Silos Baking Company. While downtown, check out the good coffee at BRÛ Artisan Coffee Works and visit shops in its historic The Praetorian building, like Interior Glow, and Summer Ellis jewelry designs.


Don’t stop shopping. On the show Joanna sources some of her best décor finds from local shops, and you can, too. For the largest shopping area in one less crowded location, featuring items like those you’ll find at Magnolia, the best not-to-miss shopping spot is Spice Village, a collection of hundreds of booths (think an antique mall but with new great home décor, jewelry, clothing and accessories instead). Set on the second floor of a building at 2nd Street and Franklin, just a couple of blocks from the Hotel Indigo, the Spice Village building is home to Cricket's Grill & Draft House, DiamondBack’s Texas Steak House, Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant, Olive Branch Bakery & Café, and other bars and shops.


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Find antiques, classic home décor and more. On Austin Street (near 16th Street) shop at the boutique shops at Sironia, with its Sironia Café. Across the street (open Thurs-Sat only) stop by Junque Queen’s resale/consignment shop, and then pop next door to Shabby La Chic Boutique. Down the street, stop by the high-end gallery of good taste and fine design at Honey’s Home + Style, with plush bedding, crystal chandeliers, rugs, furnishings, home décor accessories and more. Items here are classic, upscale, traditional and timeless. Then next door, (on Thursdays-Saturdays) visit the Salvage Sisters antiques and collectibles store. Fans will want to stop by Clint and Kelly Harp’s Harp Design Co. showroom, along with JDH Designs, showcasing the unique metal art of Jimmy Don, both featured on the show. Visit the blacksmiths at Homestead Heritage Village to get a custom dinner bell triangle like the one Joanna had made for one of the “Fixer Upper” families. Also not to be missed is the LaSalle Shoppes Antiques & Collectibles Mall.


Stop and see the Bears. On the Baylor University campus, stop and see Lady and Joy, the two live bears that are the beloved Baylor Bear mascots. The bears are well cared for at the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, located near Bill Daniel Student Center on 5th Street. While on campus visit Baylor’s museums and libraries, like the Mayborn Museum Complex, the Martin Museum of Art and the stunning, ornate Armstrong Browning Library, home to the world’s largest collection of the works and letters of famed poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


Be a Pepper. No trip to Waco would be complete without visiting the Dr Pepper Museum. The popular soft drink was originally called “The Waco” and got its start at a drugstore downtown. Another great downtown museum is the Texas Ranger Museum, and there are also several historic house tours, too, like the Earle-Napier-Kinnard House, East Terrace House, Fort House (with its regular exhibits), and McCulloch House.


Go back in time. Visit the Homestead Heritage craft village, restaurant, general store, market and more, just eight miles from downtown Waco in a bucolic rural setting. There, an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community lives in a simple, old-fashioned self-sustainable style, making pottery, building furniture in a woodworking studio, making cheese, milling grain for bread, forging tools in a blacksmith shop, farming the land and more. Be sure to dine at the Homestead Cafe while you’re there. Another way to go back in time is to visit the historic Waco Hippodrome cinema and stage show theater, or visit Hey Sugar, a vintage-style candy store and ice cream shop. After dark, walk across Waco’s picturesque pedestrian Suspension Bridge over the Brazos River. Nearby food trucks provide good options for a casual al fresco dinner.


Grab a good book. Read about the Gaines family story and their longtime love affair with Waco in their new book, The Magnolia Story (written with Mark Dagostino). It’s an easy inspiring read that tells of the couple’s strong faith, loving relationship, and supportive community.


For more information about Waco and its “Magnolia Trail” of Fixer-Upper friendly spots, visit may/june 2017 | 117


Marble Falls & Horseshoe Bay FIVE FUN NOT-TO-BE-MISSED EVENTS THIS SUMMER By JANIS TURk Photo courtesy Marble Falls CVB


here are few places in Texas as pretty as Marble Falls, a small Texas Hill Country town that’s big on beauty, beloved for Highland Lake splendor, stunning vistas, fun year-round events and attractive vacation properties. Best of all, a river runs through it, with the Colorado River forming Lake Marble Falls, a wide blue waterway just five minutes from Lake LBJ — both lovely lakes known for picnic and watersport fun. Located 85 miles north of San Antonio just off Hwy. 281, and 45 minutes northwest of Austin, Marble Falls is also known for its handsome nearby neighbor, Horseshoe Bay, a community just across the river a few miles from downtown, a place where many Texans enjoy vacation homes and condos or rental cabins and RV stays. The popular Horseshoe Bay Resort also draws visitors with its marina, golf courses, restaurants, pools, spa and more, and the Escondido Golf & Lake Club and community is also a popular place at tee time, making the Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay area the perfect place for a Hill Country weekend getaway. For a spectacular stay, check into the Horseshoe Bay Resort tower, which holds 249 hotel rooms and luxury suites. Traveling with the family or a few friends? Adjacent to the hotel tower are the resort’s Paseo Vacation Apartments, with 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartment accommodations, many with private patios or terraces. The resort also offers large luxury condo-like accommodations at The Waters, with panoramic views of Lake LBJ and the Texas Hill Country. Also on Lake LBJ, Escondido offers a private golf and lake club community that many Texans have come to call home. Marble Falls, founded in 1887 by retired Confederate General Adam Rankin Johnson, was named for the area’s natural dams of marble on

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the Colorado River, which were visible before the man-made dam was built forming Lake Marble Falls. Today the dams are only visible on rare occasions when water levels are lowered by the Lower Colorado River Authority when they need to make repairs. Also just one mile west of downtown Marble Falls is Texas’ most famous quarry, Granite Mountain, from which slabs of pink and sparkling “Sunset Red” granite were cut and carried by rail to Austin where it clads the walls of the Texas State Capitol building. It was also used in the building of the Galveston Seawall. Today a historical marker at a scenic overlook along the road tells the story of the 860-foot-tall granite dome there, which before it was quarried, looked much like another Hill Country batholith known as Enchanted Rock. Although it’s a small town, somehow Marble Falls seems larger and busier than most small Texas towns. There is always something exciting going on, with festivals, races, fireworks and fun filling the summer calendar. The population of Marble Falls is just 6,500, although more than 30,000 people live within a 10-mile radius, and in spring and summer months, visitors and part-time residents bring even more bustle to the area. Prosperity and growth are apparent throughout the region, with national chain stores, large markets, restaurants and businesses popping up around the city, along with numerous condos, hotels and vacation properties built upon hills overlooking the lakes. With its historic Main Street, Marble Falls is also proud of its past, and quaint shops and restaurants there have a charming hometown ambiance where friendly merchants welcome visitors. Along the old Main Street strip, boutiques have stylish fashion merchandise, like bling-studded jewelry, sundresses, shoes, home décor and more. Little

stores sell homemade fudge, popcorn and cold drinks, a spa offers pampering, and local cafes offer good eats. Art installations dot the median along Main Street, and local artists showcase their work in bright gallery spaces in town. Restaurants throughout the city, like the popular Blue Bonnet Café, thrill hungry visitors, and everyone enjoys watching the sunset from the decks of the River City Grille overlooking the water. The town has two main parks, including Marble Falls Lakeside Park on the shore of Lake Marble Falls, and Johnson Park near Avenue J. There, birders will enjoy sightings of bald eagles during winter months, and kids can enjoy tossing a Frisbee under the large shady live oak trees that canopy the parks. Bluebonnets dot the fields in spring and line the backroads. Fishermen enjoy the creeks and lakes, and boaters love the wide expanses of river where they can speed across the water with ease.


Ready for a getaway to one of the Hill Country’s most beguiling spots? Here are five fun things to do and see in the area this summer.

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Ride like the wind at the 8th Annual Marble Falls Soapbox Classic - Adult Soapbox Derby and festival to be held on June 16 -18. Adults become like kids again at this fun race in historic Marble Falls. They build their own soapbox race cars and compete with their neighbors, visitors and friends in this wild and wacky derby sponsored by the Adult Soapbox Derby Association/National Adult Soapbox Downhill Association, a Marble Falls-based sports association. Bring your own lawn chairs and shades to the 3rd Street track. Other fun festival events include a Saturday night street dance with live music, a “Show-and-Shine” event, a parade, a derby hat contest, food booths, local vendors, a Friday night Racing Under the Lights event, and more. Get rodeo ready. Since 1956, the Marble Falls Pro Rodeo has always taken place the third weekend in July, and this year it will be held July 14-15 at the Charles Taylor Arena, with events starting at 8pm on both nights. Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Cowgirl's Barrel Racing, Cowgirl's Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling and Team Roping are just some of the spectacular rodeo events you won’t want to miss this year, so put on your boots, jeans and cowboy hats and mosey on over to Marble Falls this summer. Get in shape and participate in the 17th Annual Marble Falls Triathlon, Sunday, July 16th. Swim in the cool waters of Lake Marble Falls, bike through the Hill Country, and then finish with a run through the quaint lakeside streets of Marble Falls. Finally, enjoy a hearty, post-race lunch of pizza from a local Italian restaurant. This annual event is chip timed and USAT sanctioned, and you can register online at if you’d like to join in the fun. Go for golf. Golf aficionados will want to mark their calendars so as not to miss the chance to be in Horseshoe Bay on July 21 for the Horseshoe Bay Resort Red Clay Classic Junior Open, or on July 28 for the Horseshoe Bay Resort Red Clay Championship Adult Open, or on August 18 for the Horseshoe Bay Resort Red

Horseshoe Bay Resort


Clay Summer Classic Adult Open. But you don’t have to be a great golfer to enjoy the courses at the resort anytime, yearround. The resort often offers golf packages, golf clinics, amateur tournaments and more. There are also fun activities and areas for the kids, including the resort’s fun Kids Club events as well as family fun with games of ping-pong, bike rentals, exciting “shark rides” and interactive educational times with exotic birds. You’re going to need a bigger boat. Turn out for the 26th annual LakeFest Drag Boat Races, held this August 11-13. Gather at Lakeside Park in Marble falls, where, according to the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, each year the lake is transformed into a fast quarter-mile racetrack. More than 100 boats will race at speeds greater than 260 mph, and the banks of the lake will turn into a wild three-day boat race party. Races start at 9am, and usually end around 3pm each day, though race times are subject to change. The finals will start at 9am on Sunday, Aug. 13, followed by opening ceremonies at 11am. The day ends with over $100,000 in prize money given to the winners. Throughout the weekend, visitors can enjoy food, drinks, merchandise booths, music and more, making it a fast and fun lakeside event. Daily passes and three-day passes are available online at

For more information about Marble Falls, Lake Marble Falls, and Lake LBJ visit For more information about Horseshoe Bay Resort visit

Janis Turk is an award-winning travel writer and longtime contributor to SA Woman and other magazines. She is the author of several travel guides, including the Frommer’s Texas travel guide and San Antonio & Austin Day by Day. may/june 2017 | 119


Coffee to Cocktails! We all know women have distinctive tastes when it comes to dining out, so, ladies, this new restaurant guide is custom tailored just for you. Let us know about your favorite places on Instagram. Bon appetit!

Coffee, Tea & Treats

Breakfast or Brunch

BAKERY LORRAINE A unique bake shop set in a remodeled home, serving sandwiches, cookies, tarts, muffins, macarons, and more. $ 306 Pearl Pkwy. #110 BIRD BAKERY A delightful bakery and small bistro serving sandwiches, quiche, croissants, pies, cupcakes, cookies and brownies. The new party room is perfect for small showers, meetings, or luncheons. $ 5912 Broadway Commonwealth Coffee

COMMONWEALTH COFFEE Coffee, latte, cappuccino, espresso plus artisanal French pastries, savory croissants, sandwiches, soups, salads, and crepes complete in a French Country setting with outdoor patio. $ 118 Davis Court

Let’s Lunch

Elegant Dining

CAPPYCCINO’S BISTRO Casual dining in a cozy bistro setting. High-quality hamburgers, pizzas, salads, soups, and sandwiches. Patio dining available. $ 5003 Broadway Cappy’s

Chauma Gaucha J. Prime Steakhouse

CAPPY’S From Mimosas to truffled scrambled eggs with crab and lobster in a champagne butter sauce, locals know this is a perfect brunch set in the beauty of Alamo Heights. $$$ 5011 Broadway FEAST Chef Stephan Bowers calls it a New American Cuisine with a Mediterranean flair – set within trendy Southtown. Enjoy crepes, blintzes, eggs, and unique cocktails along with patio dining. $$ 1024 S. Alamo St.

CHAUMA GAUCHA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE Besides their perfectly grilled meats, Chauma Gaucha is also known for one of the best and most complete salad bars in town. $$$ 18318 Sonterra Place

MAGNOLIA PANCAKE HAUS Because San Antonio loves the Magnolia Pancake Haus – the lines can be long. So, go early or call ahead and get your name on the list, but it is worth it to begin your day with this menu. $ 606 Embassy Oaks, #110 10333 Huebner

SUSHIHANA JAPANESE Popular, contemporary venue with traditional Japanese sushi, and Asian Fusion dishes. Also features salads and soups. Patio Dining. $$ 1810 NW Military Highway

J. PRIME STEAKHOUSE For a taste of New York dining, visit this contemporary, exquisite steakhouse. Known for their premium cuts of meat and wild fish prepared over a parilla grill; vast wine list; and live piano music. $$$ 1401 North Loop 1604W MYRON’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE Cool off in an intimate, contemporary setting with well-aged steaks, seafood, and wines galore. Noted for the large bar and patio dining. $$ 10003 NW Military Highway PAESANO’S ON 1604 Italian cuisine loved by locals for years set in a beautiful contemporary dining experience. Make sure to try their classic Shrimp Paesano with a fabulous wine. $$$ 3622 Paesanos Parkway

SA Woman Loves ... Enchiladas

Food Trucks

Enchiladas Verdes at Paloma Blanca – Madeleine Cheese Enchiladas at Blanco Cafe – MJ Portabella Mushroom Enchiladas at El Jarro – Nancy Spinach Enchiladas at Mamacitas – Pamela Enchiladas de Ajuúa at Ajuúa Mexican Grille – Raleigh

BENJIE’S MUNCH TRUCK They're serving up international cuisine like you've never seen, so for an eating experience that can't be beat, be sure to look for Benjie's today. Try the Chicken Stix Sandwich or the Zucchini

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Ribbon Salad. $ 210-269-5775 GRAPE LEAVES Enjoy your food and make healthy eating a family affair! Grape Leaves serves up traditional Mediterranean food such as fried kebbeh, hummus, falafel’s and stuffed grape leaves. $ 210-984-8398

Desserts BIGA ON THE BANKS A chic eatery on the River Walk featuring unique American fare and an ever changing menu created by chef Bruce Auden. Recommended musthave dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding. $$$ 203 S. St. Mary’s Street

Twisted Traditions

J. Alexanders

TWISTED TRADITIONS Twisted Traditions specializes in traditional cuisine with a modern twist! Try their egg rolls and choose between mac n’ cheese, pulled pork, or spinach artichoke. $ 210-382-1163

Casual CHRIS MADRID’S Practically a local landmark with signature burgers, nachos, chalupas, beer, margaritas, and typical Tex-Mex décor. $ 1900 Blanco Road

J. ALEXANDERS A contemporary restaurant known for its wood-fired dishes from Tuscan Steak to seafood. Recommended must-have dessert: Key Lime Pie. $$ 255 E. Basse, #1300 TRE TRATTORIA This Tuscan-Italian eatery is the creation of noted chef Jason Dady and features farmfresh Italian cuisine. Recommended must-have dessert: Nutella X3. $$ 4003 Broadway

Fun with Kids BIG’Z BURGER JOINT Known for succulent burgers, crispy fries, a children’s menu for all under 12, and a large play yard for running with soccer balls.$ 2305 North Loop 1604 W

Dough Pizzeria

DOUGH PIZZERIA Always busy and fun with authentic Neapolitan pizzas and salads made with farm-fresh ingredients and served with an all-Italian wine list. $$ 6989 Blanco Road PICNIKINS PATIO CAFE A cheerful, fun modern bistro with American classic dishes such as Southwestern burgers, salmon, and gourmet sandwiches. Patio dining. $$ 6901 Blanco Road

La Hacienda de Los Barrios

LA HACIENDA de LOS BARRIOS Another trusted location from the Barrios family complete with traditional Tex-Mex food, margaritas, live music, patio dining and a playground. $$ 18747 Redland Road

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TWO BROS BBQ MARKET Casual, laid back Texas setting known for oak smoked meats and homestyle sides. The large play yard makes this kid friendly with outdoor dining. $ 12656 West Avenue

and artistic décor.$ 102 9th Street

Happy Hour Bar 1919 Sustenio

SUSTENIO Nestled in the chic Eilan Hotel, this Southwestern eatery features locally sourced and fine wines supported with a spicy menu. $$$ 17103 La Cantera Pkwy. BAR 1919 Swanky, speak-easy style with hipster bartenders in Southtown. Happy Hour is M-F 4-7PM with savings on well drinks, 19 draught beers, the Jameson, specialty drinks and the noted sweet potato bomb. $$ 1420 S. Alamo St. STONEWERKS BIG ROCK GRILLE Three locations celebrate Happy Hour, M-F 3-6:30 PM with special prices on fresh shucked Gulf oysters, draft beers, well drinks specialty drinks and eight special appetizers. $$ The Shops of Lincoln Heights, The Rim and The Vineyard WILDFISH SEAFOOD GRILLE This contemporary chain takes Happy Hour seriously and is one of the most popular places on the Northside. Happy Hour runs from 4-7PM with $2 off cocktails, beer and wine. Don’t forget patio dining and a full specialty menu. $$$ 1834 North Loop 1604 W

Wine & Dine 20NINE RESTAURANT & BAR Unique wines by the glass, bottle or flight in a sleek, chic setting with an American menu and outdoor dining. $$ 255 E. Basse Road PARAMOUR ROOFTOP BAR Where those go to be seen and to see those who enjoy fine wine and drinks with city views 122 |

Best Kept Secrets

Leon Valley Café

LEON VALLEY CAFE Simple building, elaborate tastes run by chef Eduardo Reyes and family. Daily specials. from polenta spinach fried egg to homemade apple pie. $$ 6417 Evers Road RIVER CITY SEAFOOD GRILL Completely dedicated to seafood in a simple, unassuming setting. Might we recommend the fish tacos, grilled salmon, or gumbo.$ 115 N. Loop 1604 E., #1108 SHUCK SHACK Another venue by chef Jason Dady known for oysters, lobster rolls, crawfish, and seafood bites served in a rustic setting. $$ 520 E. Grayson

Eclectic/Eccentric CANDELIGHT COFFEEHOUSE A unique, cozy café/coffeehouse/wine bar like no other with sofas and patio dining. Art by local artists; happy hour and Wine Down Wednesday. $ 3011 N. St. Mary’s Street

Shisha Café

SHISHA CAFE A casual Mediterranean café featuring falafel, kebabs, gyros, fresh fruit smoothies and Lavazza coffee as well as a hookah bar next door with over 50 tobacco flavors. $$ 5500 Babcock Road THE LUXURY Popular, offbeat kitchen and bar, serving big plates of homestyle with a view of the Riverwalk in a funky outdoor setting. $ 103 East Jones TheLuxurySA

Late Night

#Only in SA BLISS Chef Mark Bliss is noted for putting San Antonio on the map in fine dining. This restored former filling station in trendy Southtown features his best new American fare with a well stocked wine list and excellent service.$$$ 926 S. Presa St. BLANCO CAFE A simple, no-frills setting with what has been voted the best enchiladas several years in a row. Daily lunch specials. Tex-Mex fare.$$ 419 N. St. Mary’s 1720 Blanco Road CAFE DIJON Delicious,locally-sourced, seasonal and organic food with a French flair. Eat in or takeout pastries, frittatas, open-faced sandwiches, fresh salads. Enjoy our curated coffee, beer, and wine selections. $$ Patio, pet-friendly 555 East Basse

JIM’S A San Antonio staple, Jim’s has locations throughout the city with most open 24 hours. They offer classic Americana, diner cooking and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at all hours. $ Check website for your nearest location. El Jarro

EL JARRO DE ARTURO Long time favorite for delicious Tex-Mex fare and fun on the patio with live music. Margaritas are a must. $$ 13421 San Pedro Ave. Lulu’s Bakery & Cafe

LULU’S BAKERY & CAFE Home of the 3-pound cinnamon roll, classic burgers, and fried chicken. Traditional food in Texas-size portions. Open 24 hours. $$ 918 N. Main MI TIERRA CAFE & BAKERY Open 24 hours with classic Tex-Mex fare, baked goods, margaritas, and mariachis. Since 1942, Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery has been a San Antonio landmark in Market Square. $$ 218 Produce Row

THE GRANARY ‘CUE & BREW Celebrates Texas barbecue and house craft beers. Lunch features traditional barbecue. Dinner is driven by seasonal, fresh foods and locally responsibly-raised meats. Fun atmosphere. $$$ 602 Avenue A

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Grayze on Grayson: Perfect for Summertime Evenings BY M. SCOTT AUSTIN.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANET ROGERS Dining room at Grayze on Grayson.


en years ago East Grayson Street just east of the Pearl Brewery in the Government Hill neighborhood was a collection of historic homes badly needing renovations. Take a walk down East Grayson these days, and you will find a revitalized, vibrant street of independent restaurants and bars, housed in those same historic homes. The Government Hill culinary scene is a story of revitalization, restoration and culinary sophistication.

ward with hints of bourbon in the background adding spice and depth. This refreshing cocktail is clear to cloudy in appearance with muddled blueberries and mint served in a rocks glass. For something a little boozier, try the Jackie Brown, a restrained mezcal-based cocktail accentuated with brown sugar, simple syrup, lemon juice, basil and soda. During happy hour the Grayze cocktail of the week and glasses of wine sell for $5, and beers are offered at a discounted price.

At the center of the East Grayson Street revival is Grayze. General manager Bruce Martin and executive chef Pedro Cuellar have worked together since Grayze’s inception a year ago to provide guests with what Martin calls a “Barnyard Chic” dining experience.

Get seated, order a cocktail, and then spend some time with the menu. The servers are well trained and happy to explain the unique culinary perspective and give you a tour of the food. It is all local, seasonal and fresh. Start off with a few appetizers, take your time, and wait to order dinner. Grayze is meant to be relished and enjoyed with the cocktails, food and conversation interplay in such a way that you forget your day.

Summer in South Texas is miserable, but the payoff for brutal heat is scores of evenings every year perfect for back porch cocktails and watching the sunset between happy hour and dinner. When it comes to outdoor space, craft cocktails and delicious food, Grayze is an SA power broker! Here are a few tips for your next visit: Plan to arrive during happy hour. Grayze offers drink specials and discounted appetizers Tuesday through Friday 4–7 p.m. The cocktail menu is a collaborative effort created by their highly skilled bartenders. The menu is revised seasonally, including their cocktails. Try the Smash City for a combination of bourbon, lemon juice, green tea simple syrup, blueberries and mint, a light-bodied bourbon cocktail perfect for San Antonio evenings. The mint and green tea simple syrup are flavor-for-

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The Cheeks ‘n’ Buns sliders are quickly becoming local celebrities, so you will need at least one order. For all of chef Cuellar’s creativity, you really see his culinary chops in the Ma Frittes, (Texans, that’s French for fries.) For the spring he’s serving potato fries and sweet potato fries. They are a perfect thickness, somewhere between your standard hand-cut fry and shoestrings — crisp, but soft on the inside. The sweet potato fries are cooked with rosemary sprigs, and that flavor comes through beautifully and complements the natural sweetness of the potato. Chef serves them with grated Parmesan and house-made spicy ketchup. Get two orders of each kind … you won’t regret it!

Grayze offers several lighter options, including soups and salads. The Chock Sally salad may not qualify for “healthy,” but it is delicious. The chef plays off a traditional steakhouse wedge salad with baby iceberg lettuce, lardon bacon, smoky blue cheese and heirloom tomatoes. Instead of a thick blue cheese dressing he opts for a green goddess ranch, made in house, and blue cheese crumbles. The dressing keeps the salad light but bursting with flavor. The bacon is chopped into quarter-inch cubes and cooked to the edge of crispness. The smoky bacon, tart heirloom tomatoes and rich blue cheese play perfectly with the crisp lettuce. If you are looking for a salad that is equally delicious but actually on the lighter side, try the seasonal jerk chicken salad. The spiced slow-roasted dark meat, jicama, pineapple, cucumber and mojo vinaigrette make for a flavorful lunch.

Cauliflower Salad Ma Frittes - Sweetpotato Fries

Grayze also offers a great lunch special called “Lunch box 3-Way.” For $15 you can make your own combination of soup, salad and sandwich. Pair your lunch with a glass of La Marca prosecco or Crossings sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. Grayze is slowly building a reputation for its burgers. It’s no surprise that with such a strong fry game, passionate burger-ing almost always follows. When I was perusing the menu, my waiter recommended the THE CHEESEBURGER — OFFICIAL. He commented on this being Grayze’s take on the Big Mac. That would be true only if someone sent the Big Mac to culinary school, upgraded every ingredient and prepared it meticulously. I took his advice and was very happy I did. In fact, he did an excellent job throughout the meal of making suggestions and steering me through the menu. THE CHEESEBURGER — OFFICIAL is a delicious combination of wagyu/Angus beef blend, house-smoked cheddar, caramelized onions and house-made sauce. The wagyu/Angus combination is brilliant. Wagyu beef is rich and fatty; on its own it can easily overpower a hamburger. However, when blended, it adds just the right amount of richness. These hamburger patties — you get two — are cooked on a flat top so they have a firmness and char that can only come from this particular preparation. The homemade bun and special sauce take this burger over the top. It is a truly delicious treat — in the top five burgers in San Antonio. Grazye offers a variety of entrees on the seasonal menu. Note “seasonal.” With the exception of a few favorites the menu changes frequently. This rotation means at Grayze is always innovating, experimenting, and searching for new flavors. It also means if you find something you love, go back next week and order it again. There’s no telling when it might be gone. Current seasonal entrees include “The Bird,” a roasted chicken breast with fresh herb mozzarella, house pancetta bacon, crushed ragout and fresh summer squash salad.

Cello Bella Raspberry Cocktail

The Cheeseburger Official

Smores Dessert

Finish off the meal with their take on “s’mores,” layers of chocolate pudding and graham crackers topped with torched marshmallow fluff. No worries if the weather isn’t right for Grayze’s porches — they have plenty of indoor seating as well. Stop in for lunch, dinner or brunch on Sundays. Grayze is ideal for private parties; they can accommodate groups from 20 to 200 with customized menus to fit any occasion. Tell them Scott sent you.

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Calendar mediately south of Downtown known as Southtown or the King William District, hosts an art walk known as First Friday. A diverse crowd of art lovers can visit galleries, art spaces, vintage stores, and street vendors selling art and jewelry, all while listening to live music played in the streets. Events vary month to month, and it is free.

Arts & Entertainment produces gorgeous performances with highly skilled children. The Children's Ballet of San Antonio artistic director and founder Vanessa Bessler proudly presents Swan Lake.

May 12-August 12 Fiesta Noche Del Rio A San Antonio tradition, this performance features songs and dances of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas and occurs Friday and Saturday evenings at the River Walk’s historic Arneson River Theatre.

Every Saturday and Sunday Pearl Farmers Market The Pearl Saturdays from 9am-1pm Sundays from 10am-2pm Rain or shine, The Pearl is host to a producers only farmers market. All Pearl Farmers Market vendors are located within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio, providing fresh, local, and seasonal products that they themselves planted, raised and harvested. Come meet your local food producers! farmers-market

Mondays at 7pm Swing Nite Sam’s Burger Joint 7-11:45pm Sam’s Burger Joint hosts swing dancing every Monday at 7 p.m. The San Antonio Swing Dance Society also teaches swing classes on Wednesday nights. For more information, check out their website.

May 5 First Friday Southtown – King William Historic District On the first Friday of every month, the area im-

May 5 Cinco de Mayo Historic Market Square Celebrations commemorate the Mexican Army’s defeat of the invading French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5,1862. Events include a festival with music and food, concerts and other commemorations.

May 6-7 Children’s Ballet of San Antonio Presents Swan Lake Scottish Rite Theatre Saturday, May 6, at 7pm Sunday, May 7, at 2pm The Children's Ballet of San Antonio, a nonprofit, all-youth ballet company,

May 6-7 19th Annual Lavender Festival Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg Saturday, May 6, from 10am-5:30pm Sunday, May 7, from 12-5:30pm Celebrating all things lavender! 30+ artisan lavender vendors selling wonderful lavender and gardening-related items. There will be presentations on the use of lavender as well as lavender cooking demonstrations, food concessions and live music.

July 1, 2017 8pm

ROGER WATERS: US + Them A mixture of Pink Floyd and Roger Waters material spanning 50 years, with new material from his yet-to-be released new album. Legendary live performance with an immersive sensory experience featuring state-of-the-art quadraphonic sound and a never before attempted visual production. AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX 126 |

Ben Cook/Shutterstock


May 18-21 Culinaria – A Wine and Culinary Arts Festival This festival celebrates San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination and an important culinary and cultural gateway to Mexico and Latin America. Visit the website for more information.

May 20 America’s Armed Forces River Parade San Antonio River Walk & Arneson Theatre 6-7pm On Armed Forces Day, professionally decorated floats will travel down the River Walk, themed according to their participants – all branches of


2017 service, veterans of recent conflicts, military support groups and more.

June 9-11 Texas Folklife Festival Institue of Texan Cultures @ UTSA Hemisfair Campus Hosted at the Institute of Texan Cultures, this three-day cultural extravaganza brings more than 40 ethnic groups together

May 20 Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival The 1850 Settlement 4pm-12am Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival hopes to bring the South Texas area a cultural experience that people of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances can enjoy. Live music, good grub and shopping at the Artisans Market makes for a good day for all to enjoy! Don't miss headliner BEN RECTOR as he takes the stage followed by Penny & Sparrow, Ryan Proudfood, Brad Blackburn and Emma Faye Rudkin. Presented by the festival’s platinum sponsors: Ear Institute of Texas and Voice & Swallowing Institute of Texas, Cochlear Americas, and GN ReSound.

May 21 No Kid Hungry Dinner Hotel Emma Join host chef John Brand, and guest chefs Ben Ford, Ned Elliot, Michael Paley and Ryan Lachaine for a multicourse dinner to end childhood hunger now. RSVP at:

in one place to showcase their authentic food, traditional music and dance and authentic crafts.

June 16 AAPAW Inaugural Golf Tournament The Quarry Golf Club 1-6pm Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare (AAPAW) invites you to participate in our first annual golf tournament on June 16. Proceeds from the tournament will provide for care for homeless pets. Cost is $150 per person / $600 for a four person team.

at 6 pm. Mutton busting at 6:45 pm. Rodeo at 8 pm Friday followed by a concert with Zane Williams. Adults $15 and kids 12 and under are free. Parade at 10 am on Saturday; rodeo at 8 pm Saturday followed by a concert with Tracy Lawrence. Adults $20 and kids ages 2 – 12 $5; under 2 free. Weekend pass $30. Daytime activities on Saturday are free. Tickets available at the event ticket window. Concessions are also available. Please visit the website for a complete schedule of events as it becomes available.

May 24-28 36th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio Guadalupe Theater and Rosendale Park Features live performances in Rosedale Park by more than 20 of the best musical groups from traditional conjunto to progressive Tejano.

The San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival is a free, three-day event featuring an outstanding lineup of local and nationally known jazz artist, an arts and crafts fair and delicious local foods.

June 17-18 55th Annual Peach JAMboree & Rodeo 250 Peach Street, Stonewall, TX 55th celebration of the annual peach crop including peach judging, crowning of the Peach Queen, parade, food, music and rodeo. Gates open each evening

Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare 1st Annual Golf Tournament June 16 at the Quarry Golf Club Proceeds provide for care for homeless pets.

June 2-4 San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival Crockett Park may/june 2017 | 127

Weddings W

Mr. & Mrs. Mike Burns (Samera Sedki) January 28, 2017

Loft Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Mike Berringer (Rebecca Fischer) March 25, 2017

Monica Roberts Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Derrick Haese (Felicia Chapa) February 25, 2017

Jackie Willome Photography

Monica Roberts Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Blaze Walker (Katy Perez) March 18, 2017

Whitewood Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Scharff (Amy Dullnig) February 18, 2017

Sonia Freeman Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Johan Espitia (Ellen Marie Klein) November 19,2016

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1955 The Student Union building at Trinity University is recognized as being ahead-of-its-time for it’s beauty and utility.

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