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MAURINE MOLAK SA Mom Putting Cyber Bullies on Notice

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49 16 PROFILE After facing a tragedy with her own child, Maurine Molak and her family were determined to save others from the relentless messages of cyber bullying. Her story shows how passion and love can make a difference.

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These three women each play a major role in taking the city forward into a successful future. Meet three powerhouses with big hearts, great strength, and approachable smiles.


Meet four experienced women in the commercial real estate industry working daily to serve their companies and clients. This is followed by a directory of women in commerical real estate industry.

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cation a couple of years ago, I did so with a heavy heart. I personally taught students who were mercilessly bullied on social media, and after fighting on their behalf, I could get little to no attention on the school level. This is why I so appreciate the battle fought by Maurine Molak and her family. Not only have they experienced great personal pain, they have fought a hard battle against a system not ready to deal with the problems. But they have achieved victory with the passage of David’s Law, which begins this school year. Maurine is to be commended for the work she has done on behalf of all students who are bullied every day. I think her story will touch

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every mother’s heart. You will also be inspired by the young women in our Game Changers feature who are now

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While processing her own grief, Maurine Molak heeded the call to protect other children from cyber bullies. Read the story of the mother behind David’s Law.

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SHETLER JEWELERS REBRANDS, ADDS NEW SERVICES Passport Season — Shetler Fine Jewelers wants to take you on a journey. We create what looks like an actual passport, and this includes a series of designer events taking place from September – December. Clients will have the opportunity to get their “passport” stamped at each event they attend and will be in the running for exciting giveaways and prizes. Shetler Privé — We are proud to announce the newest addition to Shetler Fine Jewelers known as Shetler Privé. This private space lets clients shop privately for engagement rings and other special pieces. Customer privacy is extremely important to us, and this space will offer a luxurious experience away from the public for you to pick out the perfect piece for your special someone. Website launch — Shetler Fine Jewelers announces our revamped website launched in July. Please visit to step into the world of Shetler Fine Jewelers and explore our different designers, special services and more.

SAINT MARY’S HALL MIDDLE SCHOOL COMMUNITY SERVICE COUNCIL TO RECEIVE PHILANTHROPIST AWARD The American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio celebrates the next generation of philanthropy in the local community. In October, the Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) Middle School Community Service Council will be awarded The American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio Young Philanthropist Award. Representatives of the council will receive the honor at the Red Cross Gala to be held in the Mays Family Center at Witte Museum. The distinction recognizes an individual or a group of young men and women who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to improving their community through financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering, and/or leadership in philanthropy. SMH’s Community Service Council was created to encourage student involvement in helping to make the school and broader community a better place through direct service activities. Students actively plan and help facilitate community service projects both on campus and in the community. The council participates in various service-oriented projects at organizations such as The American Red Cross, Haven for Hope, and the Animal Defense League. SMH’s minimum graduation requirement of 60 hours of community service speaks to the value SMH places on giving back. Saint Mary’s Hall strives to instill universal values to ensure students are set on a course for achievement and fulfillment in life. To learn more, visit 14 |

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Educators have struggled with how to discipline cyberbullies and how to determine when the lines are crossed, but many families have lost their children when the bullying became too much to bear. Now one mom decided to step up and say, “ENOUGH.” After tragedy struck her family, and her son David was one of the victims who could not take any more, Maurine Molak became a warrior representing all of those lost in an attempt to bring cyberbullying to a halt in the public school systems.

The David’s Law Pledge When a David’s Law Pledge sticker is placed on a cell phone or computer, it serves to communicate to others,

to never use “thisI pledge device as a weapon.

Traditionally, this time of year has brought joy for most families with school-aged children. The thrill of new books, inspirational teachers, football games and class parties has always created an excitement many hold on to throughout life. However, with the introduction of technology and social media, there are many families who face a new year with fear and trembling.

The journey for change begins Just a day or two after David’s death, his older brothers, Cliff and

“I was in a fog for at least four months after David’s death,” says Maurine, who also has two older sons. “I stared at the ceiling for weeks. I kept hoping that it had been a nightmare and that somehow I would wake up and find out that it did not happen.” As time wore on, Molak and her family were enraged and ready for things to change, so students would think twice about using their electronic devices as weapons against others. 16 |

Chris, posted a letter on Facebook about what happened to their family, expressing their grief and anger, while also offering insightful suggestions about how similar tragedies could be prevented by building character and a sense of accountability in young people from an early age. The tragedy prompted Cliff’s UT Health Science Center San Antonio med school classmates to start a GoFundMe campaign for an anti-bullying organization, explains Maurine, who wasn’t involved with any of it at the time. Close to $75,000 was raised within a very short

time. “People from all over were reaching out to us and wanted to be

jarez, who were already working on the beginning stages of legislation

a part of the solution to this epidemic,” she says.

to prevent the cyberbullying of minors.

The money helped Maurine, her husband, Matt, and their sons to set

The prospect of working with lawmakers to protect other children from

up the David’s Legacy Foundation (DLF), which is dedicated “to ending

being victimized got Maurine “definitely out of bed. I had so many chil-

cyberbullying by educating communities about the harmful effect of

dren and parents contacting me on my personal Facebook page who

cyberabuse, providing support for victims, promoting kindness and

shared their similar stories of what we had been through. They ex-

supporting legislation that prohibits cyberbullying of minors.” Other

pressed the same feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and talked

early supporters were state Sen. José Menendez and Rep. Ina Min-

about how it created a mental health crisis in their homes. To honor september/october 2017 | 17


David, I knew I wanted to fight for all those families, so that no one

tatives about passing a law to curb cyberbullying, a bill with some real

would have to endure what we endured,” notes Maurine, who is now

teeth, not just a feel-good one. We did that every week for months.”

deeply involved with the foundation. Statistics show that some 35 percent of children in the U.S. say they have been bullied online. Other

The hardest part of the process was to fight against opposing groups

individuals with expertise in the law, education, IT, marketing and non-

that argued against the bill behind closed doors instead of in open hear-

profits volunteered to help as well. Former NEISD Superintendent

ings. “We were blindsided and disappointed by that,” she notes. “This

Richard Middleton is a current board member.

was very personal to us, and we were going to fight for the strongest bill we could get. We didn’t give up even when things looked grim.”

The Molaks threw themselves into the work by talking to everyone who had a stake in this issue, from teachers, students and school boards,

David’s Law brings hope

to police, mental health providers, and most importantly, legislators.

The climate for cyberbullying in Texas will change for the better this

“Our team worked countless hours to draft a law that would address

fall when the new law, named David’s Law after Maurine’s son, be-

these issues, draft after draft, meeting after meeting,” says Maurine.

comes operational. It’s a sad but also heartwarming example of how

“We even hired a government affairs consultant out of Austin to guide

a tragedy can become a call to action, in this case to address the mis-

us. Either Matt or I would go up to Austin to talk to various represen-

uses of the internet and social media.

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This was very personal to us, and we were going to fight for the strongest bill we could get. We didn’t give up even when things looked grim.”

The Texas legislature passed David’s Law in May of this year, bringing

sticker on their digital devices. It says: “I pledge to NEVER use my de-

a sense of relief to the Molaks and their supporters. It mandates that

vice as a weapon.”

all public schools create anti-bullying policies, which include protection from abuse after school hours, as well as systems that allow students

As for Maurine, she hopes that the law will be a deterrent, but that a cul-

to anonymously report instances of bullying. In addition, victims’ parents

ture of kindness will ultimately prevent cyberbullying from occurring in

must be informed about the abuse within three days, and in the most

the first place: “I hope we all become proactive and that we’ll never need

serious cases, the offense can be treated as a criminal offense.

to apply this new law. The more people we can get on board to address this issue, the higher the chances are of creating a change in culture.”

To its credit, the Alamo Heights ISD, where David’s torment started, had already taken measures to educate students in digital citizenship, earning the recognition as a “Certified District: Digital Citizenship” from the national nonprofit Common Sense Education.

Since the passage of the law, DLF has launched the David’s Law pledge

On August 16, city officials and students joined the Molak family at City Hall to take David’s Pledge as a group and officially begin the school year with David’s Law in Place. Police Chief William McManus cautioned students to remember it is now against the law to use a phone as a weapon and one bad move can ruin the rest of your life.

campaign to spread the word and encourage kids to put the pledge september/october 2017 | 19




San Antonio has made huge strides in recent years to improve and enrich the lives of citizens and visitors. From very visible physical improvements to the diversification of the economy and the expansion of educational opportunities, the momentum has been created showing that we as a community are determined to invest in our future. The three women featured in this article are on the forefront of that change, working with dedication and enthusiasm to build a stronger city.

Lori Houston When Lori Houston first visited San Antonio, she was impressed by the city’s size. Only 22 at the time, she had spent most of her life in smaller towns, such as Enterprise, Ala., where she grew up, and Las Cruces, N.M., where she attended college. “San Antonio was huge to me and very exciting, but it also had a small town feel to it. I felt welcome,” she says. Today, Houston can honestly say that she has made a real contribution toward making her adopted city even more exciting and welcoming. As the first employee, and later director, of the Center City Development &

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Operations Department for the City of San Antonio, she was involved in some of the most significant and high-profile projects in recent years, such as the Museum Reach segment of the River Walk expansion, the redevelopment of Travis Park, the downtown housing boom and the transformation of both the Pearl Brewery complex and the Hemisfair Park. Since her promotion to assistant city manager in July 2015, she continues to oversee her former department, as well as arts and culture, the library system, the World Heritage site and the Alamo master plan. Exciting indeed! And a huge responsibility.

“I have always felt that I wanted to be in public service,” explains Houston, who has been with the city since 2002. “My heart is in it. My dad was in the military, and it was embedded in us that we were expected to do work for the community. I feel connected to my work, and it’s satisfying to be able to make a difference.” Her City Hall career started with an internship but rapidly progressed to more and more demanding positions. The big break came when City Manager Sheryl Sculley gave her “the incredible opportunity” to work on the Museum Reach expansion as the city’s project

“I have always felt that I wanted to be in public service. My heart is in it. My dad was in the military, and it was embedded in us that we were expected to do work for the community. I feel connected to my work, and it’s satisfying to be able to make a difference.” Lori Houston

september/october 2017 | 21


“The ability of human beings to come together to tackle societal challenges is at the heart of nonprofit organizations, which I came to see as beacons of community change.� Molly Cox

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manager when she was only 27. In this capacity, she worked closely with the San Antonio River Authority, the county and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the $72 million project on time and under budget. “We wanted to finish the job before (former mayor) Phil Hardberger left office. I worked with engineers and architects, as well as developers who wanted to develop properties along the banks to make sure that development was compatible with the plan. For two years, I worked from the office but also was out there in boots and a hard hat.” Hardberger’s term expired one day after the completion of the work. “It was extremely satisfying to see it all done,” she acknowledges. “I could actually see how it changed the community.” The process also gave her valuable managerial experience, and for that she is grateful to Sculley. “I had a woman CEO (Sculley) who allowed me to make important decisions and lead. It was an empowering experience.” But she is no less proud of facilitating general downtown revitalization, especially in regard to housing, which is on track to reach the goal of 7,500 new housing units by 2020. “I developed a passion for downtown,” she states sincerely. “Great cities have great downtowns.” Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Centro San Antonio, led by her former boss, Pat DiGiovanni, named her Downtowner of the Year in 2014. But now there are new challenges, such as the Alamo Plaza. The city has been working on that for a number of years, she explains, but now the strong partnership between the state’s General Land Office, the City of San Antonio and the private Alamo Endowment has made the project a reality. Houston wants everyone to know that there is no actual design yet. In fact, the next step is to hire an “interpretive planner” to work with architects on the actual design. And she promises more opportunities for citizen involvement. “I am extremely humbled to be working on this,” she says. “The Alamo is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we have now this great opportunity to tell the world why San Antonio is so special.” Dedicated as she is to San Antonio, like many mothers, Houston strives to create balance between work and family life. Weekends

are strictly for family. On Saturday mornings, she takes Millie out in her stroller for a mother-daughter outing through Brackenridge Park, refreshments at the Pearl, a visit to Mi Tierra Bakery and play time at the Yanaguana Garden. “I love that experience. I love being a mom and raising a San Antonian,” she says.

Molly Cox Molly Cox’s community engagement started very early. “I did community theater since the age of 5. At that age, you don’t even know that you’re involved in the community, but I was, in fact, a community volunteer,” says Cox, who is now the president and CEO of SA2020, the nonprofit that grew out of an initiative to gather and define goals for the future of San Antonio. The effort was initiated by then-mayor Julian Castro, and thousands responded to his call by sharing their thoughts on what was important to them. Cox, who moved to San Antonio from her native Corpus Christi in 2006 to get her master’s in political science from UTSA, was drawn to the idea. A seasoned volunteer by that time, she saw it as an opportunity for people to connect with one another to work toward a goal. “The ability of human beings to come together to tackle societal challenges is at the heart of nonprofit organizations, which I came to see as beacons of community change” she observes. Post-degree, Cox worked at UTSA as the director of the school’s Center for Policy Studies, where she ran nonprofit management programs for students and professionals. It was in that capacity that she developed a working relationship with the mayor’s office that led to an invitation to serve as a table facilitator for some of the SA2020 “public envisioning” meetings. By March 2011, the report from all the meetings and online input was compiled, showing 11 areas where the citizens wanted to see improvement, including public safety, downtown development, economic competitiveness, education, health and transportation. Cox had just opened her own consulting business when Castro hired her to work on “community engagement,” this time with the goal of turning the vision into reality. The first

move in that direction was to launch three educational initiatives and recruit community partners to run them, which is how SA2020 operates to this day. It now has more than 145 partners, from health and children’s services organizations to museums and theaters. It is those partners who carry out the work necessary to improve the myriad parameters in each of the 11 categories. Cox became SA2020’s CEO after the first president, Darryl Byrd, left in 2015. With only a handful of employees, the role of SA2020 is to report, engage and inform, says the CEO. It’s a “catalyst for progress” on the community vision. “We’ve been called San Antonio cheerleaders,” she adds. That progress is measured by following dozens of parameters, such as downtown housing, teen births, obesity, crime rate, use of public transportation and many more. “It’s working. Forty-two percent of the 59 indicators followed are either on track or have exceeded expectations,” notes Cox. Some, like improving water conservation or reducing police response time, were easy to fix. But positive trends have been recorded in many others, such as high school graduation rates, fitness amenities, access to health care, arts venues, employment in “target industries,” etc. Unfortunately, the obesity and diabetes rates are “flat or getting worse,” and not much has moved forward in transportation and infrastructure. (The 2016 data was not yet available.) “The teen pregnancy rate is something I like to talk about (in public presentations). It has gone down substantially,” observes Cox, her voice slightly rising. “It’s a highlight for SA2020 because it proves our theory, and our theory is that if people work together toward common goals, positive change occurs. So leave your political beliefs and your agenda at the door, come inside, and let’s talk about how we can reach a goal together.” The remarkable decline of 26 percent over only two years was accomplished through a joined effort of a number of both secular and religious entities. Cox is also hoping that initiatives being put into place now will show results in the future, especially in educational achievements, which take time. Cox, who still spends some of her free time working in the theater – she will direct

september/october 2017 | 23

W GAME CHANGERS two plays this fall – attributes at least part of her success to her stage experience. “Theater makes you a better listener and a better storyteller. It teaches you to respond quickly and to work cooperatively; it teaches you to improvise if necessary – all good things for this job,” she explains. And she still does a lot of volunteer work and invites others to do the same. “It’s easy to find an organization (on SA2020’s website) whose work appeals to you, so volunteer and give them your dollars.”

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera As a VP of public affairs and brand management at CPS Energy, Jenna Saucedo-Herrera was also a board member of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) and sat on the search committee looking for a new CEO for the agency. While the search process was still underway, however, the organization’s chair, Wayne Peacock, asked her to switch roles and throw her name in the hat for the top job. So she did. “It wasn’t an easy decision. I had an incredible job at CPS Energy and a great team,” says Saucedo-Herrera, who was only 29 at the time. “But this job offered a unique opportunity to make a difference. As hokey as that sounds, I am driven by a wish to provide value. When I thought about this opportunity and the trajectory of the San Antonio economy, the chance to be in the driver’s seat and directly impact the future of the community was very appealing to me... the San Antonio community is at the pivotal moment when we are finding a balance between how we celebrate our rich history, legacy and culture while also preparing for new opportunities. SAEDF is quarterbacking a lot of that.” For decades, the main role of SAEDF was to attract new businesses to San Antonio, but about five years ago the agency revised its mission to include helping existing local companies expand and improve their operations. Since she took the helm a little over a year ago, Saucedo-Herrera has enlarged the vision further by adding international recruiting and workforce development. Long-term, SAEDF hopes its efforts will impact economic indi-

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cators such as median household income, GDP and capital investments, which influence the “vibrancy of the community.” To accomplish this ambitious agenda, the CEO and her team have to do a great deal of marketing, traveling and nurturing bonds with various companies, though some leads come to them through state agencies. In the weeks prior to our interview, Saucedo-Herrera traveled to Spain and Japan to “tell the San Antonio story” and extol the benefits of locating a business here, such as low costof-doing-business, climate, central geographical location and a skilled workforce. While all business investments are welcome and helped, the focus is on certain target industries that are already pretty strong here – IT/cybersecurity, biosciences, new energy, financial services and advanced manufacturing. And local enterprises are courted as well, often with the help of city and county officials. “About 70 to 80 percent of jobs across the U.S. are created by existing companies,” points out the energetic CEO. Recent SAEDF successes include Hulu’s “viewer experience” headquarters, which will employ 500 San Antonians, and the large distribution and manufacturing center that TJX (parent company of TJ Maxx and other brands) is building on the South Side, bringing 1,000 new jobs to the area and benefiting the neighborhood in additional ways. A good example of retention success is the deal negotiated with Capture RX, a San Antoniobased health care IT company that wanted to leave but has decided to stay and move downtown, adding 200 employees to its workforce. Altogether, the recent developments created 2,583 new jobs in the city. Not surprisingly, she sees the workforce development and the economic expansion strategy as closely related. A program of SAEDF called SA Works offers experiential learning opportunities for young people in the form of internships, career fairs and job shadow days to prepare them for the job market. An Elmendorf native, Saucedo-Herrera grew up on her family’s working ranch and attended Catholic schools, including St. Mary’s University, where she majored in marketing. Her only previous employer was CPS Energy, where she quickly ascended through the ranks to a VP position. “I am humbled and

proud to have had this tremendous career in recent years,” she says. “I was taught early on to do everything 110 percent, with pride and passion. That’s what I have done, and opportunities presented themselves, many in the form of challenges. I like challenges and thrive on ambiguity. In ambiguity, there is space for innovation and creativity.” One area where her creativity may come in handy is in formulating an easy-to-absorb brand identity for San Antonio, along the lines of Austin’s high-tech identity and Houston’s image as the energy capital of the country. “We need to articulate what we are and to become that community of preference for young professionals seeking a place to live and work,” she says emphatically. Branding talks are in progress with other interested entities in town. While her life is as busy as they come, there is room for love and fun. In 2016, she tied the knot with former CPS Energy colleague Adrian Herrera in New Orleans. They have no children yet, but she happily mentions three godchildren that the couple like to babysit. “Our pride and joy — plural,” she says. For recreation, the two go fishing, boating or hunting. Of the two buck heads mounted on the wall in their home, hers is bigger, she tells us, laughing. Like Lori Houston’s, Saucedo-Herrera’s love of and commitment to San Antonio are obvious. So how does she see the city’s future, say, in 10 years? “It will be incredibly different, even physically, with Hemisfair completed, the San Pedro Creek project, the new Frost Tower downtown… There’s tremendous momentum and energy here right now, not just downtown but across the board. There will be growth and change in many areas — the Medical Center, Brooks City-Base, the I-1035 corridor. San Antonio is going to step into its shoes as the seventh largest city in the U.S.”

Long-term, SAEDF hopes its efforts will impact economic indicators such as median household income, GDP and capital investments, which influence the “vibrancy of the community.� Jenna Saucedo-Herrera


HOUSE OF FU International Flavor, Eclectic Design BY ROBYN BARNES

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James J. Ivy has a bit of a drive from his home in Canyon Springs Estates to his office in San Antonio every day. Unlike many people, though, he never complains about the commute. “No matter what kind of a day I’ve had at work, I know that once I get home, everything will be peaceful,” he says. It’s no wonder he feels that way. The home is located on a quiet street backing up to the fifth fairway at Canyon Springs Golf Club. The interior design is eclectic, reflecting the couple’s love of color and a bit of bling. The home contains treasures collected over more than 20 years of work in contracting and design and contains items from all over the world. Furnishings from sources including Henredon, Marge Carson, Matiland Smith and Century are found throughout the home. “The house was built by Art Burdick of Burdick Custom Homes,” James says. “We

you smile when you walk into it,” James

screen hangs a clock from Hong Kong, un-

were looking for a house with Narcy Nelson

says. “One of the things we really love are

usual because it is hand-painted chinoiserie

of Keller Williams City View. She was friends

Fu dogs, and you’ll see them in almost every

on reversed glass.

with the couple who owned this house — her

room in the house.”

clients at the time — and she asked if we could see it.

Two 36-inch rose medallion vases flank

Fu dog statues trace their lineage back to

the entry to the sunken formal living room,

ancient China. They were originally palace

where several sets of Fu dogs are placed.

“It immediately appealed to both of us,”

guardians, large statues made of stone. They

The sofa and chairs are accessorized with

James continued. “It is a single story ,and

are designed in pairs, one male and one fe-

plush pillows, one of which was made from

every bedroom has its own bath. Every

male. Tradition says they should always be

James’ grandmother’s mink stole. Atop the

room has special ceiling treatments. The

displayed together. The Chinese influence is

coffee table stands a 1902 emperor and em-

natural beauty of the area is special, and

found throughout the home, as are McKenzie

press statue that was originally a lamp base;

we already knew some of the people in the

Childs ceramics and Versace porcelain.


the patina is original. The curio cabinet con-

To the right of the entry is the study. On

tains crystal collected from Saks Fifth Av-

The homeowners closed on the sale of

the left wall is a hand-carved altar table,

enue, Imari porcelain and a variety of

their former domicile and their new home on

sourced from Stowers Furniture in San An-

cloisonné pieces. The pair of emperor and

the same day. Their relationship with the

tonio. Two ottomans upholstered in faux

empress antique paintings is hand painted

former owners was so good that they were

tiger skin and accented with hand stitching

on silk.

allowed to begin remodeling a month before

are positioned beneath the altar. The room

The short hall to the right of the entry

they closed on the home.

features Satsuma porcelain jugs from the

serves as a gallery for one of the owners’

“We moved into a work in progress,”

late 19th century. The built-in bookcase

favorite artworks. It’s a lithograph titled

James says. “My remodeling crew was busy

holds a 150-year-old etched gong, amethyst

Blue Dragons, signed by Christine Tarpey,

with construction. It all came together just

crystals and a hand-carved Thai piece from

the artist.

in time.”

an old carousel. Across the room are framed

A left turn leads to the master suite,

mementoes, including a 1947 birthday card

where a huge gilt mirror from Lux boutique

Makes You Smile The house is about 3,300 square feet,

given by James’ grandmother to his mother.

guards the entry. To the left sits a delicate

The formal dining room to the left of the

Lillian August desk accented with hand-

with three bedrooms, three and a half baths

entry hall is lit by a large chandelier that

painted inlay and a mirrored surface. The

and a three-car garage. While two cats live

came from James’ last house. The chande-

desk chair is upholstered in silk with

in the house with them, one look around tells

lier hangs from an oval dome ceiling over a

crushed suede, a rich combination. Hanging

you the house has gone to the dogs.

hand-carved table with a sparkling glass top

beside the desk are two stencils hand

and skirted chairs. Against the far wall is a

painted in gold leaf.

Fu dogs

Chinese screen from Orville Carr’s local an-

The king-size bed features a hand-tufted

“We believe that you should decorate with

tique showroom. The screen is a favorite be-

headboard with tiny mirror pieces placed

what you love and that a house should make

cause of its muted colors. Adjacent to the

around the edge. The bed is dressed in ani-

september/october 2017 | 27

W AT HOME mal print and red and gold striped fabrics. “Red is an energy color, and I love it,” James says. “I use it everywhere.” Fu dog lamps sit atop the bombé bedside tables. Opposite the bed is a Henredon Arabesque entertainment center containing a large screen television and a variety of international treasures. Fu dogs keep watch on the shelves. Past the formal dining room and bar area are the family room and kitchen. Where the formal living room is about gilt and glamour, the family room is about putting your feet up and relaxing. Elephants reign in this room. “This pair of teak elephants is from Thailand,” James says. “It took me 10 years to find a pair that weren’t cracked. I found the mother first; she’s hand carved with gold leaf accents. I finally found a baby elephant in a similar style that was whole, and I was so pleased. Pairs such as these were once very popular decorator items, but over time heat cracks the teak. and people have disposed of them. You rarely seem them now.” The sideboard beside the elephants is mahogany surfaced in glass and accented with mirror slivers. A sizable set of carved and etched candleholders stands sentinel. The built-in shelves near the sideboard are full of framed photos of family and friends. Grandparents, near and distant relatives, friends both famous and unknown share pride of place on these shelves and show that their greatest treasures are in the people they love. The coffee table is a special piece, James says. “It’s from Thailand. Notice the gold inlay and the elephant motif. That small box on top of the table is hand-painted teak from Rich Harvest Trading Company in Hong Kong.” Across from the sofa is a large-screen television set on a hand-painted European chest. “That chest is an antique,” James says. “When I saw it, I had to have it because of the turquoise color.” Perhaps the most striking item in the room is the large painting of a woman in red playing a cello that hangs on the far wall. “I love music and the color red, so I bought the painting,” James said. “It always gets raves from my guests.” Behind the family room are the breakfast area and the kitchen. “I love the flow of this

28 |


space,” James says. “If I’m working in the

Currently the chandelier over the table is of

pieces are from Crate and Barrel and Pottery

kitchen, I can talk to guests at the table and

iron and crystal; it’s 5 feet tall.

Barn. A spacious pergola in the yard pro-

see over the breakfast bar into the living room.

draperies are 108-inch satin panels hanging

This is a very efficient space to work in, too.”

from mahogany chocolate rods.

While he loves the flow, he’s ready to


vides even more space for entertaining.


“We’re known for our large parties,”

thoughts include the possibility of a new

James says. “We love to entertain. and when

change the kitchen’s appearance. The next

color scheme, but the chandelier will stay.

we do, we invite the neighborhood. I think

renovation will have stenciled cabinets. The

“It was a challenge to install,” he says.

people’s homes are about their life journeys,

countertops and backsplash will be converted to Patagonia quartzite. The breakfast area may get a change, too.

30 |

The covered patio is a great place to

and this house is a perfect illustration of

watch wildlife on the fairway. It’s furnished

ours. We’re always happy to share it with

in resin wicker with Oriental influences; the

families and friends.”

september/october 2017 | 31


GSABA AWARDS The local team from Scott Felder Homes won multiple awards from the Greater San Antonio Builder’s Association 2017 Summit Awards, held July 29 at the Omni Hotel in the Colonnade.

Pictured above: John Zeller, superintendent, Havenwood at Hunters Crossing and Grove at Vintage Oaks, Brandon Noack, vice president of operations, Corinne Wall, marketing coordinator and online sales associate, Mike Woods, purchasing agent, Sam Ralph, area manager, and Ryan Turner, sales associate with Esperanza.

GSABA Winners Mike and Molly Sowry of Virtuoso Builders.

Financial advisor Diane Moore, divorce coach Robin Brown, and attorney Heather Tessmer have teamed up for one goal, the “Divorce Workshop for Women.” Their 4-hour workshop provides a roadmap to navigate the divorce process and help women get to the end as smoothly as possible. They are happening all around the city.

FIRST FRIDAY NETWORK The First Friday Network met Aug. 4 and presented a check to Morgan’s Wonderland for a special event coming up in March 2018. This group of over 300 senior care businesses who serve our community meets the first Friday of the month. Organization representatives Charlie Gerdes and Maria Reyna present a check to a representative of Morgan’s Wonderland.

NAWBO-SA COCKTAIL CONNECTIONS Members of the local National Association of Women Business Owners gathered July 28 for a special networking event at the San Antonio Stars game. The evening included pregame cocktails, entrepreneur connections and, of course, competitive basketball. Pictured are Lauren Culp, Crandall & Associates, Dina Petrutsas, Concordis Practice Management, Shirley Crandall, Crandall & Associates, and Jackie Boyle, Toolbox Studios.

32 |

San Antonio Woman Magazine recognizes how our community is growing and predicted to grow even more, so we want to help you in making the best decisions possible for building a new home. Here are a select group of our city’s building leaders. We recommend you get to know them and get in touch for an appointment. We believe you will be impressed with all they have to offer.

Imagine Homes San Antonio's home builder Imagine Homes is leading the nation in new green building technology. Their national award winning system delivers high performance new homes to San Antonio home buyers that result in savings of over 50% on new home heating and cooling costs.

ABOUT THE BUILDER At Imagine Homes, innovation, craftsmanship and integrity are the inspiration behind everything they do. Since 2006 when Jim Bastoni and John Friesenhahn started Imagine Homes, these words have been their driving force. The intention from the outset was to challenge some of the conventional building practices by bringing the latest technology available into the building design. Imagine has worked with various national testing groups and certification programs to validate that the improvements forecasted in energy efficiency in their building practices would translate into real dollar savings for buyers. Ultimately, it's about delivering a better-built home, where the owner will enjoy years of comfortable living with low maintenance, while reaping the benefits of low utility costs.

34 |

With homes certified by the Energy Star program, homeowners not only enjoy lower energy costs and increased comfort, but they have peace of mind knowing that the Imagine Homes building system helps reduce energy use, water consumption, greenhouse gases, and solid waste generation, while creating a home of value that is ahead of its time.

ing Award – Production • 2007-2010 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS • In Feb 2015: Imagine Homes Named First Dow-Certified Outperformance Home + Solar Builder in North America • Jul/Aug 2014: Texas Association of Builders – Featured Project: Amorosa • Dec 2008: Greenstone jobsite waste reduction • Member of The Greater San Antonio Builders Association and The San Antonio Board of Realtors



WILLIS RANCH (San Antonio) From the 320s 210.807.3570

Imagine Homes has a home for every buyer. From cottage-style homes in Mahncke Park to one-of-a-kind, custom homes, Imagine offers homes from the $320s to $900s.

THE RESERVE AT OLD FREDERICKSBURG (Boerne) From the 420s / 830.331.4013

AWARDS • 2008-2014 National Association of Home Builders Green Building Award – Production Home of the Year • 2012 Build San Antonio Green, Green Gala Award as First Production Builder to feature Solar Standard • 2010-2011 Energy Value Housing Award • 2010 City of San Antonio Green Build-

AMOROSA in Cibolo Canyons (San Antonio) From the 390s / 210.497.6114 ESTANCIA in Cibolo Canyons (San Antonio) From the 440s / 210.807.3560 MONTEVERDE in Cibolo Canyons (San Antonio) From the 360s / 210.497.6114 COTTAGES AT MAHNCKE PARK (San Antonio) – From the $340s /210.805.6232 HIGHLAND ESTATES (San Antonio) – From the $500s Coming Soon /210.807.3570

Build Green on Your Lot

CKC Custom Homes We know for a lot of clients choosing a builder can seem daunting, but at CKC Custom Homes we have had 15 years to perfect our craft and make every phase of the process seamless for our clients. We only work with the top architects and contractors in the city and have the best interior designers on staff, so be assured that whatever images you have floating around in your head we will make them a realtiy in your dream home.

2017 Best Theatre Room 2017 Best Website

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS Greater San Antonio Builder’s Association

COMMUNITIES Build on Your Lot

ABOUT THE BUILDER CKC Custom Homes is an award winning, family owned custom

We understand deciding to build a home is a huge commitment and you can’t just call anyone. So please give us a call today and take advantage of our creativity and experience for building your dream home!

home builder serving San Anto-


volume low, each home starting

Custom Builder/$500,000+

AWARDS 2017 Grand Award 2017 Best Landscape Design

nio, Texas and surrounding areas. Founded in 2002 CKC specializes




builds, restorations, and interior design respectively. We strategically keep our yearly

7902 Calle Rialto San Antonio, TX 78257 210.408.7613

at $500,000.00 and above, to make sure your home gets the attention it deserves. Additionally, we are fully available for renovations and interior decorating of all sizes and budgets.

september/october 2017 | 35

Meritage Homes There’s plenty to see in a new Meritage Home: open-concept floor plans, stylish details and thoughtful design. But there’s also more than meets the eye. Some of the best features of Meritage homes are the ones that make homes healthier, smarter and more energy-efficient. COMMUNITIES Meritage is now building in 21 communities in the greater San Antonio area, with neighborhoods underway in Boerne, the Dominion and other highly desirable North Side locations. Homebuyers can select their own homesite, then choose from several floor plans, elevations and design elements to create the home of their dreams. Meritage’s unique building practices have earned the EPA’s highest ENERGY STAR® award, Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence, every

36 |

year since 2013. A national leader in building energy efficient homes, every new Meritage home includes open cell spray-foam insulation, ENERGY STAR® appliances, ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostats, low-E3 vinyl windows, water-efficient fixtures and other energy- and money-saving features.

WHATS NEW Homes in many new Meritage communities now come standard with the M.Connected Home Automation Suite™, including Wi-Fi enabled video doorbells, smart door locks, lighting controls, advanced thermostats, smart garage doors and weathersensing irrigation. The technology comes standard in homes at Valencia, a new gated community nestled on the city’s northern edge at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. The neighborhood offers a tranquil setting that’s still easily accessible to big city amenities, with homes starting in the low $300s.

Meritage’s new Trails at Westpointe neighborhood on San Antonio’s bustling Far West side also features technology-enabled homes starting in the mid-$200s. Homeowners here can select 40- or 50-foot homesites and choose from more than a dozen one- and two-story home plans. Visit the model homes at these new communities or view more Meritage homes and neighborhoods online at

3010 North Loop 1604 West, Suite 214 San Antonio, TX 78231 210.293.4919

ABOUT THE BUILDER Isolda Sicina, Vice President of Sales, Meritage Homes – San Antonio Isolda Sicina became hooked on the homebuilding industry after purchasing her first home. “I knew I would enjoy helping people find their dream homes and putting them at ease throughout the process,” she said. After starting as a sales associate for a home builder, Sicina quickly worked her way up to management positions and is now Vice President of Sales for Meritage Homes in San Antonio, her hometown of more than 20 years. She manages a team of sales associates and markets multiple communities in the area and helps establish new Meritage neighborhoods here. One of the most satisfying aspects of her job is helping colleagues. “This career was life-changing for me,” she said. “I’ve benefited from mentoring and coaching throughout my career and now I take pride in helping other employees grow their careers and improve their own lives.”

september/october 2017 | 37



Fall 2017 Fashion Trends To Wear in a Less Seasonal Climate If past seasons have drawn fashion lovers toward minimal and “normcore,” that slightly ridiculous trend of wearing clothes that look “normal,” this fall is all about luxe. Over-the-top details, rich textures and gilded fabrics strutted down the runways, much to every fashionista’s delight. It doesn’t matter where you’re heading, you can and should look like a million bucks.

1 2

Boot Bling The YSL glitter boots were the shot heard around the world for the fall shows, and the message is clear: Sparkle is sexy. The feet are the perfect place to incorporate the trend without going too far. Add a little shimmer to your step with these Gucci booties if you’re not yet on the wait list for the $10,000 YSL versions.

Visions of Velvet Is there a more luxurious fabric than velvet? Choose a metallic hue like this midi skirt from Chelsea28, and dress it up or down for evening or daytime. The options are endless -- a casual graphic tee, formal structured blazer or anything in between.

No Belt Wide Enough Where a few years ago we saw the rise of the skinny belt, the pendulum has now shifted toward waist-cinching wide belts that elevate a standard outfit to high society status. This Salvatore Ferragamo option from Saks Fifth Avenue cuts down on the bulk with lace cutouts, but maintains the opulence with gold finishes.

Statement Sleeves This is the trend we just can’t shake: Off-theshoulder, ruched ruffles, anything to add a little bit of spice to an ordinary top is fair game this fall. The wrap style of this Gianni Bini blouse is flattering on any body type, and the gingham pattern plays up the tiered sleeves. Pair with black denim cigarette pants and wedge heels for a Spanish flair. You’ll notice color is noticeably absent in this spread, but that’s not to say it’s off-limits as the temperatures cool. Find dark florals, royal hues and berry tones still prominent on the store shelves, and discover what speaks to you. It’s all fair game, and it’s all fabulous.

38 |


1. Gianni Bini gingham blouse 2. Chelsea28 velvet midi skirt 3. Salvatore Ferragamo wide cutout belt 4. Gucci glitter boots with bee brooch


FASHION CALENDAR W September 9 Marianista Fashionista Benefit Gala: Boots & Bling Hosted by Tecaboca’s University Center at St. Mary’s University 7pm September 12 – 13 Claudia Lobao Jewelry Show and Personal Appearance Julian Gold September 14 Vineyard Vines Shopping event benefiting The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, Space 1525 11am – 3pm September 16 Cure for Cancer Closet Birthday Party Morris Kaye & Sons 10am – 5pm September 17 – 23 Beauty Trend Week Nordstrom - Cosmetics September 20 – 22 Dior Handbag Pop-up Shop Saks Fifth Avenue September 26 – 27 Gigi Handbag Trunk Show Julian Gold September 28 – October 1 Christian Louboutin Ladies Shoes Trunk Show Neiman Marcus at La Cantera October 2 Fendi Pop-up Shop Saks Fifth Avenue October 4 The Prosthetic Foundation Fashion Show Hosted by Morris Kay & Sons Paesanos Lincoln Heights October 5 10,000 Villages Shopping Event benefiting The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas 302 Pearl Parkway #114, 78215 3 – 7pm

October 11 David Yurman Trunk Show Neiman Marcus 10am – 4pm October 11 Bulgari Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue October 11 Lafayette Styling Event Neiman Marcus 10am – 4pm October 12 San Antonio Fashion Awards Style Lush TV Tobin Center October 12 Sisterhood Soiree Style show & shopping event by Julian Gold benefiting The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas 205 W. Olmos, 78212 7. – 10pm October 12 – 13 Oscar de la Renta Spring 2018 Trunk Show Julian Gold October 14 Runway En La Calle Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center 7 – 11:45pm October 19 – 20 Marchesa Couture Spring 2018 Trunk Show Julian Gold October 20 Sisterhood of Strength & Style Benefiting the Bexar County Family Justice Center St. Anthony Hotel 11:30am – 1pm October 26 Dena Kemp Trunk Show Saks Fifth Avenue October 28 Dia de Los Muertos Gala Hosted by the San Antonio Public Library & Neiman Marcus Central Library

October 9 – 11 Lafayette 148 New York – Resort 2018 Trunk Show Julian Gold

september/october 2017 | 39


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 Peñaloza & Sons.

2001 N.W. Military Hwy.


ENCORE FOR WOMEN Fall into style with these fashion accessories. Start with an Hermes scarf with horse motif, add Yves St. Laurent Hobo bag with bone handle and Yves St. Laurent platform sandals with ankle band.Find fashions that deserve a second life at Encore for Women.

1931 N.W. Military Hwy.


THE MELODY EDENS SALON FALL’S BEAUTIFUL UPS & DOWNS. Fall glam finish replaces summer casual hair, worn up and down for the season. Versatile styles combine smooth shape with touchable texture over the shoulders and at the nape. Rich burnished dark chocolate hair color adds the final depth, polish and volume that turns a great cut into a great look! One of many style and color moods from the Melody Edens Salon Fall-into-Holidays Hair Fashion Collection.

148 E. Huisache Ave.

210.734.3556 40 |


Lipo for Less:

San Antonio Spas Offer Fat-Reducing Alternatives BY AQUILA MENDEZ-VALDEZ


s any woman will tell you, there is often a familiar spot our eyes drift to when looking in the mirror. We each have our insecurities, our generational traits passed down from mother to daughter that drive us nuts, and the stubborn pockets of fat that hang around no matter how many crunches we do. For San Antonio medical spas, the options for resolving these issues are developing at a rapid rate. We spoke with two business owners who are building their brands around fat removal with an affordable and convenient process.

Jennifer Owen of Ideal Weight Loss of San Antonio says she sees these alternative treatments as a great way to supplement their weight loss programs. “We have clients come in who have lost over 100 pounds, and now they’re dealing with tons of excess skin or a few lagging trouble spots,” she says. “If you’re going to have a tummy tuck, it’s a major surgery. With our Lipo Melt treatments, you’re in and out in 20 minutes.” The Ultimate Light Machine has no long-term side effects, she says, and in one treatment they’re able to target hips, arms, stomach and thighs. The procedure involves large pads that cover these sections of the body and produce a slight warmth. Fat cells are “open” for 48 hours, she says, so it’s important to practice healthy habits throughout the practice. Bio2 Skin Studio owner Crystal Holmes echoes that sentiment. “Our body contouring treatments are really for people who are already eating right, exercising frequently, yet they still can’t target the spots they want to reduce,” she says. Their Viora Reaction machine uses radio frequencies to target fat cells without killing them. “Freezing your cells or destroying them completely is a bit concerning for us. We want our patients to see great results without worrying about any side effects.”

We all know what that one area is for each of us, but it’s a relief to know there’s a solution with today’s cosmetic technology.

To experience this growing field of cosmetic treatments firsthand, I tried the Viora treatments on my hips for four sessions at Bio2 Skin Studio’s La Cantera location. I noticed inches lost, but more importantly, a smoother effect overall. As Crystal puts it, “This isn’t going to make up for eating cheeseburgers every day, but it will make a big difference on the one troublesome area that won’t go away despite diet and exercise.”

As with most treatments, in order for any lipo to be successful, it is important to practice a healthy eating plan as well as daily exercise. These treatments will not make fat disappear like a magic wand. Everything works together to bring the desired results, and lipo should not be done without the other.

42 |






t’s true technology has expanded our ability to network with others; yet it has also stifled it. Many find comfort with text messages and social media posts because they remove the fear associated with face-to-face interaction. This is why we all need reminders every now and then

of how to step out of our comfort zones and do old-fashioned, hand-shaking networking. On July 27, Linda Elliott, founder of Elliott Connection, spoke before over 70 atten-

dees at the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) luncheon about the benefits of real connections. She did not speak about how to sharpen your elevator pitch or how to upgrade an Instagram profile. She placed a microphone before new members, asked about their business, and told them why they needed to know certain people in the room. Then she allowed each attendee to speak briefly about her own business. It was a simple way to illustrate the power of getting before others with whom you are in real interaction.

Elliott’s tips for attending a networking event are as follows: •

When in a large networking environment, don’t cling to one person or group. Move around. And don’t sit with other people from your company — pick a table where you don’t know anyone. In other words, mingle.

Don’t give your entire story at a networking event. Practice your very brief description of who you are (yes, an elevator speech). Ambiguity stirs the curiosity and creates an opportunity to meet again for a scheduled appointment. Remember, if you focus on them, they will like you, but they really won’t know much about you. That’s exactly where you want them.

It is always fun to meet new people, so make sure you go with the attitude that you are going to have fun.

Sometimes a friendly, approachable smile can be better than a business card. Here at Pixelworks Publications, we also want to assist local businesswomen with connections. No matter what stage your career is in or where you work, we have an online directory just for you, If you are interested in appearing on this unique local profile online, please email We also recommend joining associations such as NAWBO, NAFE, CREW and the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Linda will also be hosting regular connection luncheons through NAWBO. It is an exciting time to be working as a woman in our city. Get out from behind your phone and enjoy the interaction face to face.



Michelle Shetler Owner, Shetler Fine Jewelers

Length of time at this job: 12 years in the same location What is it that you like best about your job? I love being a part of my friends’ and clients’ special occasions and celebrating milestones with them. Why is your business special? For over a decade we have been offering exceptional customer service and experiences such as private shopping events, personal delivery, and other concierge services. We pride ourselves in the excellence in selection and quality of our merchandise. Unlike most other stores, we hand-select each piece of jewelry that is brought into our store. Education/Major: Elementary education When did you know that you were in the right place in your career? When I couldn’t wait to jump out of bed each morning and get to my store. I knew this business venture had become my passion. Would you encourage your children to go into the same field? Absolutely, but only if THEY are interested. Who were your mentors? My grandparents and my parents were all entrepreneurs who taught me important skills to run a business. What person do you most admire? It’s two people: my parents. They both owned their own businesses and taught me entrepreneurship at an early age. What are among your favorite social media apps? Instagram and Facebook What do you like most about San Antonio? I love that San Antonio is a little more laid back than other more cosmopolitan cities in Texas. And it’s a great place to raise a family.

What is your favorite vacation? A trip to the mountains in Colorado in the summertime. Who has been the biggest influence in your life personally and professionally? Personally — my parents. They are ALWAYS happy and they taught me the importance of happiness in my life. Professionally — my husband. He has always been the No. 1 cheerleader and supporter of my business. He encourages me to continue to reach for my dreams each and every day. What is the best advice that you have ever received? Always tell the truth.

What community groups or not-forprofit groups do you support? Because it’s very important for me to give back to the community that supports my business, I donate to dozens upon dozens of non-profit groups each year. What did you want to be growing up? A teacher. How do you find balance in your life – career, community and home life? It’s a challenge every day, and I have not found the formula for the perfect life balance. People would be surprised to know that I played the piano for eight years. september/october 2017 | 47

BUSINESS CALENDAR Every Tuesday Business Mixer Luncheon Braza Brava Pizza Napoletana 11:30am Meet up every Tuesday at Braza Pizza for great networking opportunities. Good times meeting new people and business owners. You will have 2 minutes to talk about your business. Bring a friend and lots of business cards! This event is FREE. September 6 North SA Chamber of Commerce SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Overview SA District Office 11:30am – 12:30pm September 7 North SA Chamber of Commerce 2017 September ATHENA Leadership Awards & Conference La Cantera Resort & Spa 8am – 1:30pm September 13 NAFE Meeting Old San Francisco Steakhouse Check-in & Networking 11:30 – 11:45am Lunch & Speaker 11:45am – 12:30pm Opportunity Networking 1 – 1:30pm September 13 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Smart Woman Series


Institute of Texan Cultures 11:30am – 1pm September 14 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce POWERhour! Luncheon Old San Francisco Steakhouse 11:15am – 1pm September 15 North SA Chamber of Commerce Alamo Area Clay Stoppers Shootout National Shooting Complex 7:30am – 1pm September 18 NAWBO Lunch Connections Location: TBD 11:30am – 1pm September 21 SAPA Paralegal CLE Lunch Speaker: Ellen Lockwood, “Ethics” Paesano’s in Lincoln Heights 12pm September 21 NAWBO Monthly Meeting Petroleum Club 7:30 – 9:30am October 3 NAWBO Young Entrepreneurs Happy Hour Geekdom

5pm – 7pm October 5 North SA Chamber of Commerce 2017 Oct. CFO: Economic Update – Reading the Tea Leaves Norris Conference Center 11am – 1:30pm October 6 Live 2 Lead Leadership Conference Hosted by the SA John Maxwell Team Embassy Suites by Hilton-San Antonio Brooks City Base 7am – 4pm October 10 NAWBO Cocktail Connections Plaza Club 5 – 7pm October 11 NAFE Old San Francisco Steakhouse Check-in & Networking 11:30 – 11:45am Lunch & Speaker 11:45 – 12:30pm Opportunity Networking 1 – 1:30pm October 11 North SA Chamber of Commerce Mays Family Center The Witte Museum 6 – 9pm

October 18 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce POWERhour! Luncheon Old San Francisco Steakhouse 11:15am – 1pm October 18 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce New Member Mixer San Antonio Public Library Foundation 5:30 – 7pm October 25 SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce Smart Women Series Location: TBD 11:30am – 1pm October 26 NAWBO Monthly Meeting Petroleum Club 11am – 1pm October 27 SAPA Paralegal Paralegal Day Celebration Speaker: Tom Vick, Jr., President of the State Bar of Texas Norris Conference Center 12pm


Women in Commercial Real Estate




hen people think about different types of commercial real estate, they typically think about shopping centers, office buildings or warehouses. The commercial real estate industry includes much more -- all kinds of industrial spaces for manufacturing and producing goods, multifamily homes, hotels, land, even special purpose real estate for facilities like churches or nursing homes.

ants, all while sharing insights on the latest trends in commercial spaces. The specialized knowledge of a commercial real estate company is helpful, as the rules and regulations governing such property vary by state, county, municipality, industry, even by the size of the commercial development. With growing industry sectors in San Antonio, businesses need space to expand operations — space a commercial real estate specialist can find or develop.

A commercial real estate firm advises both investors and companies how to select properties for investment or development and how to negotiate lease agreements that will attract and keep ten-

These four women shared their insights into commercial real estate trends and talked about why they are optimistic about the future of their industry in San Antonio.

september/october 2017 | 49

Kelly Ralston

Planning for Quality Investments


reputation, work ethic, and “ Your the trust clients place in you are


all part of your calling card.

Commercial real estate represents a boundless industry for Dallas native Kelly Ralston, who has worked 13 years for Transwestern. After getting her start with Trammell Crowe in Dallas, Ralston followed her husband when his job brought them to San Antonio. She leverages her undergraduate degree in business from Texas A&M University as she seeks high-performing quality investments for her clients. Ralston has detected several shifts in commercial real estate over the past decade. The types of investors in the market previously came mostly from established institutions and possessed a shorter five-year time frame for holding onto real estate investments. While these investors are still in the market, Ralston sees an increase in foreign investment, especially from Mexico. “Mexican investors tend to be more patient, with a longer-term vision for holding investments,” she said. “They’re comfortable with San Antonio.” Another shift has been in where focused commercial real estate development activity has been. According to Ralston, the epicenter 10 years ago was more North Central, near Highways 281 and Loop 410. “Now, it’s shifted more to 410 and I-10 near the Medical Center, as well as more north to the intersection of Loop 1604 and I-10,” she said. As for more recent changes, Ralston can see how San Antonio is evolving as a city and a market. “The quality of the new construction being delivered here is Class A, which benefits our industry,” she said. Class A buildings represent the highest-quality buildings in the market and are generally the best-looking buildings with the best construction and high-quality building infrastructure. These tend to be well located and have good access and professional management, attracting the highest-quality tenants and commanding the highest rents. Class A buildings also attract many out-of-state tenants. The California-based streaming video player company Hulu will spend an estimated $13 million building out a 45,000square-foot campus at 4511 Horizon Hill Boulevard in the Transwestern’s Fountainhead Business Park, while the Illinois-based Grainger, a maintenance, repair and operating products supplier company, also recently moved into Fountainhead Business Park. Ralston sees a continued push for quality construction and amenities in commercial spaces. Mixed-use developments like the ones at the Pearl Brewery, the Elian and La Cantera embrace the demand for workplaces, residences and entertainment to coexist in an urban-style mixed-use development. Both employees and companies seeking to recruit and retain talent are interested in spaces that embrace the work-liveplay trend that has taken root in San Antonio. Technology has also impacted commercial real estate, with the introduction of the internet, email, live time reporting and tracking systems, and electronic signatures quickening the pace of the industry and increasing client expectations of faster response times. These technology-driven innovations only serve to support Ralston’s dedication to careful planning of her clients’ projects.

Stream Realty

One would think starting a career in real estate at the bottom of the housing cycle would have deterred San Antonio native Carolyn Shaw from joining Stream after completing her undergraduate degree in finance at the University of Texas at Austin. She started in 2009 at a challenging time for real estate in general, during the housing real estate “bubble” when prices dropped to historic lows. The experience taught her good working habits from the beginning of her career, especially the importance of being thorough. “Every single deal matters, no matter the size,” Shaw said. “It’s meaningful to your owner, so you have to work every deal, follow up and think through every angle of it.” Shaw’s portfolio includes commercial real estate acquisitions and development, typically involving anywhere from a million to a million and a half square feet of commercial space across all her projects. She works with the developer and/or owner of a large project on all phases of development. Not only is she involved in site selection to help decide where to develop land, but her work continues as she helps the developer with the platting and surveying of the land, understanding utilities, dealing with construction drawings and the permitting stage, as well as working loan packages. Her finance expertise comes in handy as she also develops the project’s budget and oversees its development. “There is a year minimum of planning effort before construction can even start,” Shaw said. “Construction on a large project can easily take another year, with leasing afterward to populate the building.” Her latest completed projects are a two-story 101,000-square-foot office building located on the south side of Highway 151 in Westover Hills, the One51 Office Centre, and the state-of-the-art 397,600-square-foot warehouse located at Interstate 35 in New Braunfels, a logistics facility she developed for USAA. The trend Shaw sees in current development is a focus on efficiency — both in the layout and use of the commercial space and in its co-location with other amenities. Whether building a new space or redeveloping an existing one, companies are looking to be cost-effective in how they utilize space. “For the most part, such as in the new Westover Hills building, the majority of the commercial space is meant for open office use,” Shaw said. “The other growing trend is a move toward a live-work-play mix of development, such as at the Pearl or at La Cantera. San Antonio is catching up with other cities on this particular trend.” Shaw also thinks the industrial real estate market will remain strong in San Antonio, as she explained how Amazon has changed the marketplace, and with it, customers’ expectations on receiving their purchases. “We’re ideally located in the middle of the country, we’re right

Meeting demands and “ making decisions that make business sense is how we will attract companies like Hulu, by offering quality buildings with these amenities.

Making the Numbers Work


on [Interstate Highways] 35 and 10, and we have commercial traffic coming in from Mexico,” Shaw said. “Retailers will need more warehousing space in order to ship goods quickly.” What excites Shaw the most about the current scene in commercial real estate are the well-executed back-office projects that help recruit companies to San Antonio. Office projects with amenities such as a gym, locker rooms with showers and food options for tenants are in demand. The balance between spending money on amenities and sacrificing rentable space versus attracting companies to San Antonio is one where Shaw’s keen financial acumen and planning experience become even more valuable. september/october 2017 | 51

CHRISTI GRIGGS Peloton Real Estate

Adviser Who Visualizes Potential

Commercial real estate is a second career for Texan Christi Griggs. A designer for over five years with a degree in interior design from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s School of Architecture, Griggs has always been interested in the business aspect of interior design. “It’s difficult for people to visualize space,” Griggs said. “I can help people ‘push the buy button’ by helping them visualize alternate layouts. I can answer lots of questions rather than having buyers go to a web designer for a computer-assisted design or an architect — that takes time, and time kills deals.” Over the course of 16 years at Peloton, Griggs has seen how the exciting changes in San Antonio are attracting investors from across the country. What intrigues her most about commercial real estate is dealing with people from so many industries. “The fact is that San Antonio is still growing We are advisers to clients who need real estate solutions. and still building,” she said. The more questions you can answer before someone leaves “We get lots of people from all over, East Coast, West the building, the more you help them get to yes. Coast, as well as from the middle of the country.” The next time you’re walking downtown, a glance at the One Riverwalk building, location and design of office buildings. which USAA currently leases, reveals Griggs’ name on the build“With remote working options, we’re becoming less dependent ing. “I’ve worked on that one several times over the years,” she on office location and transportation,” Griggs said. “Office buildsaid. “I officed there in my first job in real estate, then leased it ings are much denser now, but that doesn’t translate into more to two different owners, including its current one, USAA.” parking because people don’t come into the office like they used Griggs points out how real estate decisions are being made to, so there’s more flexibility in office site location.” with lifestyle choices in mind rather than focusing only on the Griggs mentors students and is a believer in the value of inbottom line. As more young professionals join the workforce, ofternships to give young people a taste of what a commercial real fering the opportunity to work, live, and play in a vibrant place estate career entails. Commercial real estate requires in-depth where owning a car isn’t necessary has become a recruitment knowledge of the many factors that impact someone’s business, tool. Another emerging trend Griggs notes is how office building such as the psychology of how employees interact in a space, spelocation has become less of a factor for employees. Co-working cific characteristics of a site’s location, and understanding the options, working remotely, job sharing, and more employees economics of how to expand and contract commercial real estate using Uber and public transportation are all helping to drive the space as the business contracts and expands.


CARRIE CAESAR Putting San Antonio on the Map

Cushman Wakefield

For many years San Antonio had a singular economic base driven by defense investment in multiple military bases, according to Carrie Caesar. Over time she has seen how San Antonio has diversified its economy so it is not so heavily dependent on the military sector and tourism. “Energy, the biotech and biomedical sector, manufacturing, technology, e-commerce — all this growth is putting San Antonio on the map,” Caesar said. “Because investors are interested in these emerging sectors, they’re interested in the growth of San Antonio.” The Colorado-born Caesar moved to Austin to attend high school Companies and individuals are taking a bigger role in mentoring, which is after growing up in the good for the community and for business. Doing this helps to develop the Midwest. After obtainnext generation of real estate professionals. ing her master’s degree from Texas A&M University in land economics driver in the city’s industrial sector, according to Caesar. The popand real estate, Caesar moved to San Antonio to work on real estate ulation growth in San Antonio also translates into more people appraisals. In the business for 17 years, Caesar has since moved buying online who expect next day or same day delivery. To meet into the commercial division to focus on commercial investment growing demand for industrial types of warehousing space, such sales. She recently joined Cushman Wakefield in San Antonio. as for storage, logistics, or manufacturing, retailers are looking “Our economy has become more diverse, and our demoto store merchandise in warehouses closer to consumers. graphic growth has increased along with these emerging trends,” Over time, Caesar has seen San Antonio grow outward, movCaesar said. “Our employment base is much different now, reing geographically outside its urban core. An emerging trend is flecting the economic growth in our new tech industry, as well as redevelopment of the city’s center. “[The development at] Pearl significant growth in biotech and biomedical, manufacturing, inwas the catalyst for that, but I think we will continue to see rededustry and e-commerce.” velopment of older buildings,” she said. “I see lots of in-fill deCaesar has seen the increase in investors acquiring comvelopment in our future.” mercial assets. Because of the surge in technology-oriented Caesar mentors students interested in pursuing a real estate businesses, the commercial real estate sector is growing to career and is active in the San Antonio chapter of Commercial match demand from investors across the U.S. and globally. Real Estate Women. A past president of the local chapter, she “Historically we’ve not been included in the discussion of gateemphasized the importance of the chapter’s partnership with the way markets like Los Angeles, Dallas or New York,” she said. University of Texas at San Antonio’s School of Business, which “San Antonio is now included in these tracking reports, espehelps real estate and finance undergraduate and graduate stucially in the industrial sector.” dents with mentoring and scholarship opportunities. San Antonio’s proximity to Mexico and Latin America is a

september/october 2017 | 53

Commercial real estate acquisitions and sales are moving so quickly in San Antonio it is no wonder the careers of those in the industry are soaring. Women are found throughout this thriving field in sales, law, finance and management. Market trends continue to track upward, bringing optimism throughout San Antonio for our growth and potential. From the Pearl Brewery to Southtown, the city offers a trendy creative flair for businesses and upcoming professionals. San Antonio is now a more cost-efficient option than Austin with all the bells and whistles offered in the state’s capital. This month, SAN ANTONIO WOMAN introduces readers to a sampling of the superstars of commercial real estate. Whether you need office space for relocation or a place to open a new endeavor, these are the powerhouse women in the know, and they are ready to offer assistance.


DEBORAH BAUER Founder, Drake Commercial Group DEBORAH BAUER is the founder of Drake Commercial Group, a commercial real estate brokerage company founded in 1989 and based in San Antonio, TX. The last twenty-eight years Deborah has been representing investors and developers for retail, office, multi-family and large master planned developments. Drake Commercial Group’s reputation, as well as Deborah Bauer’s commitment to excellence, earns her the respect of the commercial real estate community as a top professional. Deborah has been the recipient of numerous awards including: Entrepreneurial Spirit and Visionary award from NAWBO, Business Achievement Award from North Chamber, Entrepreneurial Leadership award from San Antonio Business Journal, Best in Commercial Real Estate – Land Deal from San Antonio Business Journal. Deborah was also featured in NSIDE Magazine and was on the cover of San Antonio Woman magazine. In 2017, she received Best Office Lease award for the Vistas Corporate Center from San Antonio Business Journal. Deborah is one of the founders of Women Give Back, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the San Antonio community. All monies raised are donated 100% to the charity with the founders paying all the expenses. The Women Give Back mission is to inspire the next generation of women leaders in both business and community. Through fundraising campaigns, WGB has reinvested thousands of dollars back into San Antonio.

4630 N Loop 1604 W Suite 510 • San Antonio, Texas 78249 O: 210-402-6363 • F: 210-402-6767


CYNTHIA LEE CCIM, GRI Cynthia Lee is the first to admit that her latest success as a top 25 real estate Broker® for KW Commercial nationwide is because of her outstanding support staff. Cynthia is on track to nearly double her production this year alone after creating an office environment where employees are respected, understand their value and are rewarded for their hard work. “Real estate is a people business, but you have to first invest in your people before experiencing exponential growth,” says Cynthia, who is continuing to build on that growth daily with the critical

“None of us is as good as all of us.” – Ray Kroc

component: client communication. “There is no such thing as over-communicating in real estate. Our goal is to keep the client continually informed so they never wonder where their deal stands.” Cynthia Lee is among an elite 7% who holds the CCIM designation, Certified Commercial Investment Member. CCIMs are recognized as leading experts in commercial real estate with advanced knowledge in financial and market analysis. With this expertise, Cynthia specializes in office and retail tenant representation and carries the prestigious title of Director of Real Estate for two national brands including San Antonio-based Massage Heights and The Gents Place. She is also the master broker for Jugo Juicery. In addition to franchising and some residential transactions, Cynthia manages the real estate of other large groups such as The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, Kalypso Wellness Centers and Consultants in Pain. Cynthia’s background includes 16 years as a television news anchor and reporter for KABB-TV in San Antonio. She currently serves on three nonprofit boards: Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (City of San Antonio), CCIM San Antonio and South Texas Strong. She is a Leadership San Antonio alum and was featured as a top Broker in the June 2016 & 2017 issues of Texas Monthly magazine. Cynthia is a mother to a five-year-old daughter and in her spare time, is a certified kickboxing and boot camp instructor for two local gyms and plays the piano. Cynthia grew up in Seguin, Texas and is a graduate of SMU in Dallas, Texas.

Licensed Broker Associate #0607833 M: 210.386.8148 • O: 210.630.6100 •

september/october 2017 | 57


LAURIE GRIFFITH EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TEXAS CAPITAL BANK, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Laurie is a 30+ year veteran in Commercial Real Estate Banking. Her 17 years with Texas Capital Bank has given her the opportunity to provide specialized and creative financing for all Commercial Real Estate types. Texas Capital Bank is headquartered in Texas and works with clients throughout the state and across the country. Texas Capital Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ®: TCBI) and is consistently recognized by Forbes as one of the best banks in America. Laurie has served the community through various committees and boards throughout her career. Currently she is serving as CoChair of the UTSA Founder’s Council for the Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development, Member of the UTSA College of Business Council, President-Elect of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio and Legacy Board member for Commercial Real Estate Women. Previous awards include the Eva Rosow Award of Excellence and the ATHENA Leadership Award.

745 East Mulberry, Suite 350 San Antonio, TX 78212 O: 210.390.3805 • C: 210.859.0817

CAROLYN JOHNSON FLETCHER COMMERCIAL ESCROW OFFICER Carolyn is a commercial escrow officer with Alamo Title Company; specializing in commercial closings including: SBA, hotels, motels, office buildings, strip centers, C-Stores, restaurants, and multi-family. Carolyn has served on the following boards: CREW, CCIM, CTAGGL and actively serves on committees for each organization. Carolyn has served on the CREW-Network Gold Standards committee and is an EVA ROSOW Award of Excellence recipient. As an active volunteer for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, she serves on the Steer and Bar-B-Q committees. Customer service and communication are a high priority with Carolyn’s team! Alamo Title Company has been in San Antonio for over 90 years and is part of the Fidelity National Title Group, the largest title insurance group in the United States.

18618 Tuscany Stone Drive, Suite 240 San Antonio, TX 78258 Main: 210.490.1313 • Direct: 210.536.0205 58






“I have always found it doesn’t take just knowledge and experience, but passion, joy and most of all, caring about your client to build strong, beneficial, and long lasting relationships” says Dawn Vernon. Dawn has been a business development professional in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry serving commercial real estate clients for over 12 years. She currently serves as the Regional Business Development Manager for TTL/Drash Consultants, providing geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, materials testing/inspection, forensic engineering and analytical services in Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Christi and Peloton provide commercial real estate (CRE) services to include project leasing, asset management, development, tenant representation and investment sales. She represents users of CRE/Tenants in their business site selection and negotiations, and CRE investors in property sale or purchases. As a CCIM, Christi is recognized for attaining the global standard in CRE professional achievement. Peloton is a regional commercial real estate firm taking great prided in how we execute client transactions.

1045 Central Parkway North Suite 103 San Antonio, TX 78232 E: O: (210) 888-6100 F: (210) 888-6101 C: (210) 867-2076






Christy Rhone works closely with Cram Roofing 's leadership to promote growth in the marketplace. She is responsible for identifying and tracking business opportunities, maintaining relationships, and promoting the firm’s growth. She is active and serves on the board of several local associations including CREW, IFMA and BOMA.

For more than 28 years, Novie Allen has served in the financial industry assisting members with all their needs. Novie has been with RBFCU for a little more than three years, working as a Business Lending Development Officer. With more than 10 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, Novie has been a member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio, serving on the New Member Committee. She is also an active participant of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, Central Texas Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, CREW and NAWBO.

Established in 1986, Cram Roofing is one of San Antonio’s largest full-service commercial roofing companies. They live by their mission to establish long-term relationships with quality-oriented customers by exceeding their expectations. Cram Roofing has repaired and installed roofs for commercial and government buildings all over the country.

5171 Casa Bella San Antonio, TX 78249 O: 210.694.7815 x108 C: 210.744.7019


250 W Nottingham Drive, Suite 115 San Antonio, Texas 78209 (210) 299-1172, ext 231

1 Randolph Brooks Parkway Universal City, TX 78148 210.650.1738

BRANDEY WIMBERLEY-ORSAG SR VICE PRESIDENT COMMERCIAL LENDING GROUP MANAGER Brandey Wimberley-Orsag is a Senior Vice President and Commercial Lending Group Manager at Jefferson Bank. She is celebrating her 20th anniversary. In addition to managing one of the most diverse loan and deposit portfolios, she also manages lending teams in New Braunfels, Boerne and part of San Antonio. Brandey is on the faculty of SMU’s Southwestern Graduate School of Bankers (SWGSB). She leads discussion on bank performance as well as overall bank management. In addition to serving as the 2017 President of CREW-San Antonio, she has held various board positions. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Texas State University Development Foundation, which is the main arm of the University that manages endowment funds that allow for scholarships and teacher advancement.

P.O. Box 5190 San Antonio, TX 78201 O: 210.736.7450 • F: 210.736.7416

CHERYL L. PYLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER SAN ANTONIO AND SOUTH TEXAS CAPITAL CERTIFIED DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Cheryl’s value proposition is simple; she makes owner occupied business dreams come true. Cheryl utilizes her more than 30 years of banking and commercial lending experience by helping lenders meet their borrower’s needs through the SBA’s 504 program for commercial real estate and heavy equipment purchases and refinance. Cheryl is the Past President of CREW-San Antonio; she is the past chair for signature events and remains active on the board. Why Capital CDC? • 2016 Top CDC-504 Lender for the San Antonio District • Top Ranked CDC in the State for the past 12 years and counting • We pride ourselves on providing the best possible customer service to our borrowers, lending partners, as well as to our staff.


september/october 2017 | 61

Women on the Move


WENDY ASKEW Dr. Rogers Centers welcomes Dr. Wendy Askew to its practice. A board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Askew is also board certified in anti-aging, functional and regenerative medicine -- one of only seven such doctors in the city. She is an expert in all areas of women's health and is passionate about helping patients maintain their vitality throughout their lives.

ASIA CIARAVINO SA Youth is proud to announce Asia Ciaravino has been appointed as its new chief executive officer. Ciaravino, a veteran nonprofit executive, joins the SA Youth team with 19 years of experience in working with underprivileged youth and arts organizations across the country. She has held leadership roles in marketing, development, event planning, management and public relations, including most recently with the San Antonio Tricentennial.

TESS COODY-ANDERS Tess Coody-Anders, ’93, founder and CEO of Wellvana, has been appointed vice president for strategic communications and marketing at Trinity University. She has more than 20 years of experience developing integrated marketing communications strategies and campaigns. She will be responsible for leading the university’s overall communications strategies, researchbased messaging, marketing and branding activity.

KATY FLATO Katy Flato is now executive director of the San Antonio Book Festival. She served on the board of San Antonio Public Library Foundation from 1989-2012 and helped to create the “Copyright Texas” author reading series, as well as other literary events, which eventually resulted in a partnership between SABF and the Texas Book Festival.

LILLY GONZALEZ Lilly Gonzalez is the assistant managing director for the San Antonio Book Festival. She tackles a variety of logistical and event-planning duties, helps with the annual fiction contest and guides social media strategy for the festival.

YESIKA GONZALEZ As executive assistant to the president and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Gonzalez manages and prioritizes the schedule and correspondence of the CEO. She is also responsible for human resource administration, event coordination and facilitation of office operations. She joined SAEDF from the Witte Museum, where she served as chief of staff, providing organizational support during the $100 million campus expansion.

ANN MCGARRAUGH Ranger Health, the health services technology startup, announces the hiring of Anne McGarraugh as community relationship manager. Her primary responsibility will be to initiate and develop new partnerships throughout the San Antonio community, as well as to nurture and enhance existing ones.

LAURA VILLARREAL Laura Villarreal is the new development director of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, a nonprofit organization that works to foster healing for grieving children and youth, their families and the community in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. Villarreal joined the organization with development, special events and marketing experience.

september/october 2017 | 63



Trends for Fall 2017

Professional Jackets JONES NEW YORK


where a more formal suit jacket or blazer is appropriate and can send the message that you are up to the task, whatever that may entail. For looks that lighten the workload, look to the following four options:


During the early fall in San Antonio, the definition of “cruel and unusual punishment” may be wearing more than one layer of clothing. Insufferable as it may be, there will undoubtedly be moments in the workplace



To pull off the all-white trend, this Elie Tahari jacket features lace details that scream casual chic. Nothing says “power play” like a monochromatic look, so take the risk and opt for a slick chignon and dewy makeup to accentuate the look. If black is your idea of color, this Antonio Melani pleated chiffon vest is a twist on the traditional blazer that will give you a professional vibe without the weight of sleeves. It’s a trendy look that is surprisingly easy to pull off, and the chiffon material will feel light as air in even the stuffiest of boardrooms. Because there is no greater fashion magic trick than wearing layers that don’t actually feel like layers. Silk is also a lightweight fabric option if you can ensure sweat is not a major factor, and this open-front Lafayette 148 New York piece from Saks Fifth Avenue is just the right mix of modern and classic. I adore the ruched sleeves for a casual vibe, and yet the luxe gold sheen will all but guarantee your big sales pitch will receive a standing ovation. Pair with mixed metal accessories and a statement pair of heels if you’re more of the daring type, or tone the metallic down with matte black cropped pants and mules for a serious overtone. Finally, the frayed trend is popping up all over the runways and our Instagram feeds this summer, from pants to bags. Bring it into the cubicle with this Jones New York linen- blend jacket from Dillard’s. At a phenomenal price of $129.50, you can add this statement piece to your wardrobe and still wear it over and over again from fall to winter. It’s also rocking the three-quarter-sleeve length, so you can shed the extra fabric in the midst of the inevitable late fall heat wave. So there you have it, my sartorial CEOs. There’s no need to fear the extra layer, even in triple digit temperatures. With these outerwear options you will certainly be blazing new trails in the workplace. See what I did there?


september/october 2017 | 65

W SA2020

Staging Collaborations, Producing Results in the Arts by MOLLy COX

During the SA2020 visioning process, community members again

ance, support and advocacy to prepare them for life after foster care.

and again emphasized supporting and strengthening San Antonio’s arts

Through their work, THRU Project helps youth in transition graduate

and culture scene. In fact, by the year 2020, we want San Antonio to

from high school, obtain health insurance, and even complete higher

lead the world as a creative community. The arts boost our economy

education. They impact our community in education, economic com-

— a $43 billion economic impact in 2014 — reflect and celebrate our

petiveness, health, and community safety. So after seeing a show that

vibrant history, and make our city more beautiful and interesting —

addresses what it feels like to be “other,” we hope that audience mem-

program attendance for arts and cultural events exceeded 4 million

bers will better understand the challenges facing youth right here in

people in 2015.

San Antonio — and then get involved.

At SA2020, the nonprofit acting as the caretaker of the commu-

When The Playhouse asked us to help them make these connec-

nity vision, we’re well aware of what else art can do. Art starts con-

tions, we were so happy to be a part of it. As a nonprofit, The Play-

versations — often difficult conversations — and many times helps

house could have stuck to putting on amazing shows and focusing on

create solutions.

their own fundraising. Instead, they’re using their platform — the

That’s why we’re so excited to collaborate with The Playhouse during their 2017-2018 Season. Already one of our fantastic nonprofit

stage, in this case — to elevate other community organizations, efforts and voices.

partners (see them all at, we’ll be kicking our

This is exactly what we love about what we get to do at SA2020,

partnership up a notch. For each of their productions, we’ve connected

and it’s what we hope will become the norm in San Antonio. We know

The Playhouse with an SA2020 Partner whose work ties into the theme

that the goals we set for ourselves become more attainable when we

of the show. Audience members will get the opportunity to make a do-

listen to one another and work together.

nation to the featured nonprofit when they purchase tickets, learn more

We hope you’ll go see some theatre and learn more about the or-

about the organization and their contribution to San Antonio in the

ganizations featured during each show. You can buy tickets online at

playbill, and find out ways to get involved in their work at a post-show, Beyond that, though, we hope you’ll follow The

SA2020 talkback.

Playhouse’s lead and find your own place in making a difference. In

For The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which runs from September

your own pocket of our city, how might you be able to amplify your ef-

15th until October 15th, we connected THRU Project as The Play-

forts by aligning toward our collective goals? Find out the areas that

house’s community partner. THRU Project helps youth overcome the

need your help at We all have a role to play in

challenges of growing up in the foster care system by providing guid-

making San Antonio even better — whether it’s on stage or off stage.

66 |






Help give every baby a fighting chance. Visit

2016-2017 Prematurity Partners 2016 Signature Chefs Supporters 2016 Event Chairs Dawn Krauskopf Kirk Thompson

Corporate and Individual Supporters Accenture Adam Wilson Custom Homes Kaashif Ahmad Allan, Nava, Glander and Holland, PLLC Allied Advertising Agency, Inc. Rey Andrade Artcom Associates, Inc. Dr. Christine Aune Bank of America Dr. Isabel Basaldu-Prado Dr. Michael A. Battista Dr. Timothy Biela Brown and Ortiz, PC Capital Group Nicholas Chacon CHRISTUS Children's Hospital of San Antonio Dr. Timothy Cleland Bellinda K. Conte CRG Community Resource Group, LLG Peter DeYoung Brian Dotzler Matthew Egalka Frost Bank Dr. Sanjie Garza-Cox Joseph Gonzalez Dr. Cody Henderson Barbara Holmes Horizon Design and Development, Inc. Institute for Women's Health Johnson Isaac Jefferson Bank Dr. Katie Johnson Dr. Alexander Kenton KFW Engineering + Surveying John Kirschbaum Koob Consulting Group Dawn and Steven Krauskopf Elizabeth Lakin David Lam Legacy Sitework LLC DeLisa Leopold Jaclyn Levan


Mednax/Pediatrix Neonatology Group Bob and Carolyn Millet Mission Pharmacal Rodolfo Molina David Morgan Dr. Cheryl Motta Brenna Nava North Park Lexus & North Park Lincoln Open Studio Architects Dr. Maria Pierce Ginger Pope Dr. George C. Powers Dr. Patrick S. Ramsey Retina Associates of South Texas, PA Lillian Riojas Juan C. Rocha SAMMC Neonatology San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services SBS Construction Shining Star Home Therapy Services, LLC Connie and Zane Shullanberger Scott Stine The Perry Foundation The Whiting Turner Contracting Company Kirk Thompson University Health System UPS Foundation Valero Energy Corporation Vivek Vijayamadhavan Dr. Mary Wearden Mark Welborn Ernie Zuniga

2017 March for Babies Sponsors, Top Corporate Teams, Family Teams and Circle of Champions March for Babies Executive Leadership Ed Belmares Bill Brotherton Danny Gonzales Robert Lenza Vincent Nathan Marcie Trevino Ripper

Capital Group Samantha Cerna Citi-San Antonio Community First Health Plans H-E-B Rachel Heymans KENS 5 Mednax Maria Pierce Isabel Basaldu Prado Methodist Children's Hospital Methodist Healthcare Systems/HCA Wayne Segars Metropolitan Methodist Hospital Mission Pharmacal Carrie Cunningham Tom Dooley Barbara Keelan Natalie Sirjuesingh Oak Farms Dairy Bonnie Seal University Health System Family Teams and Circle of Champions Gwendolyn Oquendo Our lil' Hero Mia Raquel Team B-Squared Kadynce's Steppers Kim Chanler Korie's Angels Team Carter Grace Maggie Beldon Team Cruzito Team Elliot Jocelyn Cooper Tige Witsberger Team Jesbri Team Rylan Jacob Anna Martinez

Corporate Teams and Circle of Champions Accenture AT&T Finance Dunlap/Lockwood




Maternal & Child Health

Strategic Mission Investment Plan

Texas 2017-2020

GOAL | Reduce preterm birth rate to 8.1% by 2020 1 Racial disparities in preterm birth rates Black women in Texas are more likely to deliver a baby prematurely than women of other races. March of Dimes goal is to reduce the state’s preterm birth rate in black women from 13.6% to 12.4%.

2 Steroid injections to reduce repeat preterm birth Women who have delivered a baby prematurely are more likely to repeat with additional preterm births. The steroid, alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) has been shown to reduce this risk. Currently 4.9% of Texas women with previous pre-term births report receiving 17P shots during subsequent pregnancies. March of Dimes goal is to maintain or increase that percentage.

3 Prenatal care in the first trimester The first trimester is a vital time for the prevention of birth defects and pregnancy complications. March of Dimes goal is to increase the number of women in Texas who receive prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy rom 67% to 73.9%

4 Women seeking care following the birth of a child Identifying post-partum depression as well as newborn development and feeding concerns helps ensure all babies have a healthy start in life. March of Dimes goal is to increase the number of new moms in Texas who attend a post-partum care visit with a healthcare worker from 85.4% to 88.5%.








Meet Melodie Zamora, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist with the Institute for Women’s Health in San Antonio. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zamora, please call 210.349.6626 or visit

Q: What is Gardasil? Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against nine types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Q: What is HPV? HPV is an extremely common sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. The seven types of HPV which are implicated in 90 percent of cervical cancers, in addition to two types that are associated with genital warts, are covered with Gardasil. Q: Who should receive the Gardasil vaccine? Vaccination against HPV is recommended for girls ages 9 – 26 and boys ages 9 – 15, ideally before they become sexually active. However, getting the vaccine is strongly recommended for anyone under 26 years of age who become sexually active before receiving the vaccine. The Gardasil vaccine is administered in three doses over a six-month period for boys and girls 15 years and older, or in two doses over a year-long period for boys and girls younger than 15. Q: How often should women get tested for sexually transmitted diseases? The Centers for Disease Control recommends annual screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea for all sexually active women ages 25 or younger. Women older than 25 should be tested annually if they have risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners. And annual testing for HIV is strongly recommended for women who practice unsafe sex or share injectables. Q: Do pregnant women need to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases? Yes. All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, chlamydia and gonorrhea, in addition to other STDs. Q: How can a woman schedule an appointment for testing or vaccinations? Talk to your OB/GYN about your risk factors and determine which testing schedule is right for you. Most importantly, be honest – we’re here to help, not judge.

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Using Technology to Cut Breast Cancer Down to Size:


One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, it’s not something you can ignore. “I hear it all the time, ‘I don’t have any family history.’ But one in eight. That’s 12 percent of women. And that means a high percentage of women will be the first in their family to be diagnosed,” explains Dr. Justin Boatsman, a radiologist with South Texas Radiology Imaging Center. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and, sadly, the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women. It’s also the second most common cause of death from cancer in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women. But new technology is helping with early detection, giving women the opportunity to discover—and treat—breast cancer earlier. Digital breast tomosynthesis, also called DBT or tomo, is the medical term for what has become known as 3-D mammography. While 3-D brings to mind high-tech computer imagery and makes it sound like something is going to jump out of a screen to scare you, that’s not the case with 3-D mammography, a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. Tomo or 3-D mammography creates a three-dimensional picture of the breast using X-rays. Several low-dose images from different angles around the breast are used to create the 3-D picture, while a conventional mammogram creates a single two-dimensional image from two X-ray images of each breast. An easy way to understand the difference is to think of a loaf of bread, explains Dr. Claire McKay, DO, FAOCR, board-certified diagnostic radiologist with Baptist Breast Center / Baptist M&S Imaging. “Three-D imagery is like taking pictures of ‘slices.’ Images are taken at two-millimeter intervals, ‘slicing’ into the breast to give us a better view. If you’re looking at a loaf of bread, you can’t see what’s inside. But when you slice into it, you can see each slice. 3-D mammograms allow us to see better inside.” Dr. Amy Lang, MD, FACP, medical oncologist with START Center for Cancer Care, explains how the imaging works: “When those multiple

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images are stacked together, we get a much clearer picture. It’s almost like giving doctors 3-D glasses to give you a better view, especially for women with dense breast tissue.” Breast density is a measure used to describe the proportion of the different tissues that make up a woman’s breasts. It’s not a measure of how breasts feel, but rather how breasts look on a mammogram. Mammograms of dense breasts are harder to read, which means that it can be harder to detect breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue.

“The fibrous tissues of the breast have the same density of cancer, so it can be missed. But 3-D mammography increases the chance of finding it,” says Dr. Boatsman. If you don’t know the density of your breast tissue, you should. Texas law requires that mammography providers notify all women with dense breast tissue that the accuracy of their mammograms is less than that of women with lower breast density and that they may benefit from supplemental screening. “When we send the letter about patients’ results, we send a separate letter detailing their breast density,” says Dr. McKay. However, Dr. Lang noted that if patients don’t receive the information, they should absolutely ask their physician: “Ask your doctor or radiologist. Be proactive so you know what’s best for you.” Research suggests that women with dense breast tissue are more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density. Breast density is classified into four categories and is rated on a scale of A to D. Category A is almost entirely fatty, indicating that the breasts are almost entirely composed of fat. Category D is extremely dense breast tissue. “Having fatty breast tissue has nothing to do with your weight. Fatty tissue is just easier to see through than dense breasts, which have more connective tissue and fibrous tissue. You can be any body type and have fatty breast tissue or have dense breast tissue,” explains Dr. Lang. Category C and Category D are recommended to receive supplemental screening such as 3-D mammography, ultrasound or an MRI.

Several studies have found that 3-D mammograms find more cancers than traditional 2-D mammograms and can also reduce the number of false positives. The great news for Texas women: Beginning January 2018, insurance providers in Texas will be required to cover 3-D mammography with zero copay for women over the age of 35, thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott this summer. “3-D mammograms are on the verge of becoming the new standard. They offer improved cancer detection and accuracy. They also reduce the need to be called back for additional imaging and help eliminate false positives,” says Dr. Boatsman. A false positive – when a mammogram shows an abnormal area that looks like a cancer but turns out to be normal – can be scary, though ultimately the news is good: no breast cancer. The suspicious area usually requires follow-up, including additional screening and a possible biopsy. There are psychological, physical and economic costs that come with a false positive.

“There’s a 99 percent cure rate when breast cancer is found early, 25 percent when it’s stage three or four,” says Dr. McKay. “You have to be proactive. Understand your body, know when something is different so you can address that. That includes annual mammograms so you know about your breasts. We have to take care of ourselves, including ruling out false positives.”

For all of the up sides to 3-D mammography, there are myths floating around. Drs. Boatsman, Lang and McKay all said one of the biggest myths is about radiation exposure. “A mammogram is a low dose exam. It has less radiation than a chest or spinal X-ray,” notes Dr. Boatsman. “If you live in San Antonio for seven weeks, you get the same amount of normal background radiation exposure.” Dr. McKay is quick to point out that people are exposed to the same amount of radiation when they fly to London or take a trip to Denver. “Thanks to the higher altitude, you have a greater exposure to radon. But you don’t see any of us avoiding travel to avoid radiation. And we all use our microwaves—another source of everyday radiation. Mammograms are too important to skip—the exposure is not a risk.” The three doctors also agreed on guidelines that all women should follow: Begin annual mammograms at age 40 unless you have an immediate family history of breast cancer, then begin 10 years prior to the age that family member was diagnosed. And no matter what, do them annually so you know if anything changes and can address it. “Earlier detection means cancer is more curable. As scary as it is to have something found, it’s an easier cure -- less invasive, less extensive treatment. What we’ve always said is true: Early detection saves lives,” says Dr. Lang.

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Adopting clean eating can transform your lifestyle and have longlasting impact on your health, as well as support sustainability by avoiding packaged, processed foods. Clean eating translates into understanding the sources of your food, knowing what is in the food you are eating, and choosing chemical-free methods to grow and prepare food. Getting into the habit of selecting food mindfully at each step of the eating process is a good way to adopt a cleaner diet.

What if you want to grow your own food as a way to eat a clean diet, but aren’t sure where to start? If you can follow directions to bake a cake or assemble a bookcase, you can grow your own food. The key to a green thumb is to start small and build on your successes. Here are five steps to help you get closer to clean eating, starting with food choices and ending with growing your own food. Don’t worry — we’ll get you started with some tips so a “black thumb” won’t keep you from achieving your clean eating goals. 1. Eat Clean. Rethink dinner as a smaller serving of protein plus a whole grain, with half the dinner plate comprising vegetables. Using local produce in season not only is less expensive because it’s plentiful, it’s usually more flavorful and nutritious and less likely to be genetically modified or grown with pesticides. The smaller protein serving reflects the USDA recommendation of only five to six ounces of meat per day for most men and women.

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2. Shop Clean. The perimeter of the grocery store is an ideal place to shop, where fresh food is typically displayed. Read ingredient labels and choose simpler foods rather than processed foods that often have unpronounceable additives. Make whole grains like brown rice your default choice, and only choose more refined grains like white rice as the exception. 3. Cook Clean. Learning how to cook not only enables more cooking at home, but the knowledge helps in controlling exactly what goes into each meal. Adapting recipes by adding more vegetables and whole grains and omitting extra fat, salt and sugar is a great way to start cleaner eating. Select whole, unrefined foods that are organic whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides. 4. Keep Clean. Avoid food containing chemical preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, artificial sweeteners and harmful ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats. Instead, choose naturally preserved fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi or pickled vegetables that contribute ‘good’ bacteria to the healthy population that lives in our large intestine. 5. Grow Clean. Eating home-grown vegetables straight from one's kitchen garden is the best way to ensure food is free of chemical fertilizers and insecticides. There are a number of vegetables that can be easily grown, so your backyard, balcony or even the kitchen window sill can be transformed into a starter garden.

Getting Started in the Garden In San Antonio, fall gardening means planting vegetables in time to mature for harvesting before the season’s first hard frost arrives, typically around Thanksgiving. While there are years when warm winters mean the occasional garden tomato graces the Christmas meal, it’s best to use the November 26 frost date as the outer limit for tender fall plants. Before choosing plants or seeds, always check for your area for what to plant for the season. Online resources and local nurseries can help in choosing the most appropriate plants to grow, no matter when you are starting your garden. Now is the time to grow cool temperature-loving vegetables like peas, garlic and onions, lettuce and other leafy vegetables, and cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. If planting seeds, check the “days to harvest” on the seed packet to make sure the plant will mature by first frost. Some hardier leafy vegetables actually taste better after a light frost, so kale, broccoli, and other winter-hardy vegetables in South Central Texas will do just fine or perhaps benefit from a protective cloth covering anchored in the soil if temperatures dip to freezing. Start with a small garden located where you can see it daily, making it easier to check on plants as you walk into the house or drive into

your garage. Making it easy to garden means you will notice it’s time to water plants or harvest. Select a spot where plants will get at least six hours of sun. If it’s close to your water source (either your front or back door or the closest hose connection), that’s a bonus that will make watering easier. Avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Focus on organic gardening methods for the cleanest produce possible. If your plants are under stress, their leaves and stems will show it. Leaves get yellow or black tips; stems may look shriveled or droop. Most “black thumb” gardeners don’t notice the signs of plant stress until it’s too late. If you examine plants regularly you can spot the beginning of insect infestations or plant disease and can treat these problems before they kill the plant. Online resources are great for using photos to show what problems in specific plants look like and how to address each problem. Over time, the act of choosing food, slowly learning how to prepare tasty, healthy dishes and growing your own vegetables and herbs becomes an opportunity to learn more about the food you eat, getting you closer to cleaner eating on a daily basis.

Online Resources

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Getting away from it all sounds wonderful, letting go of schedules and routines to enjoy a new destination or a favorite spot. Lounging, cruising, relaxing and soaking in the culture, flavor and fun. But how do you enjoy and indulge without having your waistline take a vacation, too? “So much about travel screams indulgence,” says Kathryn Scoblick, author and the owner of Health Inspires in Austin, where she works as a certified health and wellness coach. “Rethink the way you think about food and vacation. Many times, we ‘diet’ before vacation, so that we can ‘enjoy’ our vacation, as in, ‘eat whatever we want’ while on vacation.” But Scoblick has a different take. “Think of vacation as a great time to break less healthy habits. Notice that you may snack less on vacation and have the opportunity for healthy and satisfying meals, while enjoying the luxury of time, somebody else shopping, cooking and cleaning up for you!” All of that is a benefit of getting away. So is the opportunity to explore and sample food “new to you” when you’re in a different region or country. Scoblick agrees. “’When in Rome’ applies, and enjoy the foods the area you are traveling is known for whether it is chocolate, or bread, or seafood. You can enjoy a piece or two of chocolate. All things in moderation, even on vacation.” Scoblick recently published her first book on wellness, Health Inspires: Your Way to Sustainable Weight Loss, and knows that travel 88 |

options, like buffets or all-inclusive resorts with meal plans that include an array of breakfast, lunch and dinner options can be a challenge for anyone who doesn’t want to bring home a higher number on the scale as a vacation memory. “Studies show that we eat more when our plates our bigger, when there is more to choose from, and if the servings are large. Food is pleasurable, and its function is to fuel and nourish our bodies. Make sure you are choosing the right fuel for your travels,” she explains. “Have a plan before you go to the buffet to avoid temptations. Whether you prefer saving room for dessert or trying foods you might not otherwise make at home, your portions and servings matter more than anything else. Avoid sugary pastries and too much saturated fat, especially at breakfast. Start with lean proteins and fresh fruit. Think eggs, whole wheat toast, oatmeal, fresh fruit and easy on the breakfast meats. Sometimes a bowl of cereal with berries is enough to get you moving,” she explains. “The same rules apply for the extravagant lunch or dinner buffets. Have a plan and keep your portions and servings in check. Avoid heavy sauces and cream sauces. Choose from lean proteins, mostly vegeta-

bles and whole grains, and avoid fried foods and refined grains.” Outside of buffets and making smart choices on meal plans, other eating travel tips include booking hotels that offer a mini-fridge in your room so you can keep healthy snacks like fruit or cheese on hand, as well as water. Amy Trudeau, CTC, a certified travel counselor who works with both personal and business travelers, suggests that travelers think ahead. “In addition to booking hotels that offer refrigerator option, pack nonperishable items like granola bars, almond butter and powdered drink singles like lemonade. It's better than grabbing a vending machine soda and helps keep you hydrated for sight-seeing.

“And depending on the trip, try to stay in hotels that are close to a grocery store, or even a farmers market area so fresh food options are readily available.” Trudeau also recommends turning to technology to help keep your travel healthy. “If you’re traveling abroad, the FDA has tips and tricks on staying healthy by avoiding certain foods, where water consumption wouldn't be recommended, illnesses to be aware of in underdeveloped countries you might travel to,” she explains. “The CDC offers an app called Travwell that allows you to input the country you’re visiting and it will be more specific on things to avoid, diseases to watch out for and more.” Other apps she recommends include Fitness Pal, which provides nutritional information and includes foods from many different countries. Food Tripping is a free app that provides information on things like local farmer markets, healthy eateries and juice bars, while the app Happy Cow features options for vegetarian and vegan eaters. Scoblick agrees with Trudeau’s advice on hotel amenities. “Stay in a hotel that offers an onsite gym and in-room fridge. Make a stop at the local grocery store for healthy snacks to include fruit, maybe milk for cereal and coffee. Use your fridge to keep fruit and water cold, and maybe even beer and wine! It can save you money, unwanted calories and makes healthy choices available when you are hungry.” And of course, pack well. “Always pack your sneakers and the right exercise attire for the climate. The obvious part of vacation is rest and relaxation, and part of that plan should include time for your physical health. A brisk walk or run each morning just might be the best way to start your day, and those sneakers make it doable,” says Scoblick. Another option for a healthy vacation: a destination with builtin activity. If a dedicated mountain hiking or scuba diving trip isn’t for you, you can still plan an active getaway. Scoblick offers, “Part of the beauty of vacation is getting out of our regular routine. Whether you plan a hiking or diving vacation or not, you can choose cities such as San Francisco or New York, where you can walk and subway/trolley your way to most every place you want to go. If it is time for a beach vacation to catch up on those books you want to read, book breaks can mean taking a long walk along the beach and enjoying the sound of the waves, the beautiful views and the smell of the ocean.” september/october 2017 | 89

-Kind, Caring

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Working Hard, Taking Risks and Getting Things Done

ANDREEN MCDONALD of Starlight Homes Assisted Living BY DAWN ROBINETTE

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ome people sit back and watch the world go by. Others jump in feet first, taking the reins and charting their own course. Andreen McDonald definitely falls into the second category. “I like to get things done,” she explains. The owner/manager of Starlight Homes Assisted Living, McDonald operates two locations serving 28 patients in San Antonio. From operations and human resources to marketing, she is responsible for everything, all while providing a warm, loving environment to the residents. Tackling tasks, juggling roles and keeping everyone happy is something McDonald enjoys. Her residents range in age from 56 to 100 years young, and there’s nothing that gives her more joy than seeing them happy. “Coming in and seeing smiles on everyone’s faces, I know I’m doing something good. The fact that I can have a family member come in and commend me on the job that we do here, that their mom/dad is doing better — I like that recognition. It drives me to do better,” she says. Drive is something McDonald is definitely not lacking. She’s known for her competitive streak, which comes out when she sees a challenge. “I like to win. I see everything as a competition. Not being able to overcome a challenge would be like losing. And that’s not acceptable,” she explains with a determined smile. That attitude has served her well. She graduated from high school in her native Jamaica, then went on to earn her associate degree in marketing by the time she was 18. Marriage and a move to Florida followed before her husband’s Air Force career brought them to San Antonio. She earned her business degree in finance from the University of Texas San Antonio. But McDonald knew her degree wouldn’t automatically mean she’d get a job: “For me to get a job, one has to be available. Someone has to create a job.” So she decided to do just that: create a job for herself while also creating jobs for others — and making a difference for still more people. She founded Starlight Homes at 22, just a month after she graduated from college. “Being young, if I fail, I still have time to catch up,” she explains. But for the hardworking young woman who loves competition, failure really isn’t an option, and her business choice wasn’t as random as it might seem. The spark to provide assisted living care grew from a strong foundation within her family — her mother’s career as a certified nursing assistant and her husband’s family’s loving care of his grandmother, the victim of a tragic accident that caused her to need care after her left leg had to be amputated. “Combining both experiences, I thought I could start something on my own,” she says. And Starlight Homes Assisted Living was born. McDonald was also guided by advice from a friend in Jamaica. “He said, ‘The decisions you make when you’re young create a path for better or worse for your future. That’s going to ultimately determine what’s going to happen for the rest of your life.’ I always go back to that: It’s the decisions that you make when you’re young that change your future.” However, McDonald doesn’t think about the future in detail. “I focus on right now and just take one day at a time. I want to continue to work hard. Everything will fall into place. It’s a matter of continuing to work

hard and provide the best care we can,” she maintains. But she does know that she wants to get involved locally, both in San Antonio and Jamaica. She explains, “When I go back and see things there, I want to do more. I grew up with nothing. I know what that’s like. There were days I couldn’t go to school. I can’t help everybody, but if I can help one or two or three at a time, that would make a difference.” She recently went home to Jamaica to be the guest speaker at her former primary school’s graduation. The experience gave McDonald the opportunity to reflect on her life in Jamaica and where she is today. “I come from a very poor family in Jamaica. We didn’t have a lot of people who had a college degree or a formal education. Seeing young girls like me working to get their education — with that sort of motivation, they can achieve anything they want,” she says. When asked what advice she’d give other women, McDonald goes back to what struck her when she was speaking at the graduation: “Women must believe in themselves — and that they can achieve their dreams. “If you work hard, you can achieve your goals,” she says. “Put in the time and effort. Nothing comes easy. You can be in a bad situation, but you can make it better if you work hard.” McDonald and her husband, Air Force Maj. André McDonald, have one daughter, 6-year-old Alayna, whom Andreen lists as her pride and joy. The three eat dinner together every night, no matter how busy McDonald’s day has been: “It’s one of the rules we have: We eat dinner as a family.” Since her mother and sister also live in San Antonio, family time includes spending time with extended family, enjoying trips to the Texas coast and simple activities together. “You have to squeeze in time for yourself. Providing care for others is 24/7/365, but you still have to sleep, you still have to rest. And family time is important,” she says. While she successfully juggles it all, McDonald does admit that it can be overwhelming at times, explaining, “I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes, no matter how much you try, you can’t satisfy everybody. I want to be the one to solve the problem. I want to be the one to make everyone happy. When that doesn’t happen, it’s hard.” However, she doesn’t let setbacks get her down. McDonald draws inspiration from her residents every day. “To know that the job that I do, that someone appreciates that — that motivates and inspires me. Knowing that we’re doing a good job and it shows, that matters.” september/october 2017 | 93



The changing face of Comfort, Texas BY JANIS TURK

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a bright room filled with local goods to buy and good things to eat, it's a sunny Saturday afternoon at High's Cafe & Store in the Hill Country town of Comfort. Even though most of the lunch crowd has left, a number of happy locals and visitors still linger, enjoying cold Dublin, Texas-made colas, fresh salads and healthful sandwiches. Warm and inviting, like the community it calls home, High's is just one mustmake stop for those on a weekend road trip to this delightful small Texas town. Comfort: Even the community’s name is inviting. Just 15 miles from Boerne, it is an enchanting place. Set amid the bucolic beauty of Kendall County, where I-10 and US Hwy 87 intersect, just 32 miles from La Cantera, Comfort is a close, friendly neighbor to the Alamo City. Although the town covers only about 3.5 square miles, its well preserved historic center along High Street, with attractive limestone buildings dating back to the 1850s, is packed with shops, restaurants, art galleries, taverns and more, making it seem like a sweet mini-Fredericksburg. High Street, between 7th and 8th Streets, is where you’ll find most of the downtown boutiques and restaurants, but beyond that strip there are more shops and businesses, as well as picturesque areas outside town, with creeks, riverbeds, ranches, parks, vineyards and more. For decades Comfort has been mainly known for its many antique stores, but the town offers contemporary pleasures too, like wineries with sunny tasting rooms, shady outdoor arbors, friendly little venues with live music, bistros with fine dining, pretty parks and recreation opportunities and lodgings that even the most discriminating traveler will appreciate. There's even a local distillery nearby, along with small cafes tucked away in the hills off quiet country roads. Comfort was founded by a group of German settlers called “Freethinkers” who immigrated to Texas between 1845 and 1860, seeking freedom from the political and religious tyranny of dictatorial monarchies and clerics during a time when revolution was springing up in Germany. An estimated 1,000 Freethinkers settled throughout the Hill Country, and according to historian Edwin E. Scharf, many of these settlers were respected nobles, philosophers, scientists, physicians and engineers who were not only educated but affluent; when they immigrated to Texas, they brought books, linens, china, paintings, and musical instruments—as well as a sense of culture and refinement. "Higher ideals, classics and cultural affairs were studied, discussed and debated, and their children early on were schooled in these areas," explains Scharf. Today, a friendly, tolerant, open-minded attitude still prevails in Comfort, making it an inviting place to visit or live. In a town this small (pop. 2,363), you might not think there's much to do, but Comfort offers more than one might expect. Spend a weekend there, and get to know the new face of Comfort, a community that is at once contemporary and welcoming while still steeped in rich history. Meet friendly merchants at Christi’s, Huckleberry’s, The Loop Room... to name a few.

Photography by Janis Turk

Here are six ways to get into your own weekend Comfort Zone…

1. Check into Hotel Faust (717 High St.) This clean, classic modern boutique High Street hotel may be more than 130 years old, but it's not some musty old-fashioned B&B with lace doilies and floral bedspreads. Polished, fresh, clean and contemporary, with fine bedding, simple furnishings, soothing colors and (on weekends) a full homemade breakfast, it's also centrally located on Comfort's main downtown street. Behind the hotel's main building, just off the courtyard with its gazebo, the original Carriage House holds both the Altgelt Suite and the Karger Suite. Or stay in the Ingenhuett Log Cabin, a romantic reconstructed 1820s Kentucky log cabin suite. With a small front porch, gingerbread trim and a spacious suite with a separate bedroom for the kids, the Gorman Cottage is another special stand-alone structure on the grounds. 2. Enjoy Comfort foods The 814 A Texas Bistro (713 High St.) is housed in a building that was once the town's old post office (814 was its original address). This remarkable little restaurant offers a casual yet superior menu with juicy steaks, fresh seafood, ginger-glazed Bandera quail, mussels, lamb chops and other delights. The atmosphere is comfortably unpretentious, but the kitchen boasts farm-to-table fine dining. Want an even more casual meal? Why not eat outside and let the kids run around? Try a fabulous handmade wood-fired pizza at Comfort Pizza, where you can also find ice cream and can rent bicycles. Crave a sandwich, soup or salad? Try the wholesome delights of the High Street Cafe. (726 High St.). After your meal, you may still want something sweet, so stop by this darling shop across from Comfort Pizza. Surrounded by a glorious garden, Miss Giddy's (817 High St.) offers fun retail finds, like clever kitchen gadgets, attractive home decor items, fun fashion ac-

Women's Specialty Shop

Clothing • Shoes Jewelery • Gifts Art OPEN Tuesday-Saturday 10:30-5:00 CLOSED Sunday & Monday Owner-Christy Embry

704 High Street Comfort, TX

830.995.2493 september/october 2017 | 95

W HILL COUNTRY cessories, handy gardening items and other goodies, and, of course, it always has good pie, tea, coffee, water and sodas on hand.

4. Taste Texas wines and sip local spirits. Just outside town are a couple of great boutique wineries. My husband and I stopped by Bending Branch Winery, (142 Lindner Branch Trail), which was named “Top Texas Winery” by the San Antonio Express-News 2017 Top 100. When we dropped in, guests sitting outside were enjoying live acoustic music, while in the tasting room folks were sampling Bending Branch's award-winning wines. Other local wineries and tasting rooms include the Singing Water Vineyards (316 Mill Dam Road), and the tasting room of Newsom Vineyards at Comfort (717 Front St.), or you can sample cheese boards and small plate delights and sip local wines at the Branch on High (704 High St.). Comfort also is proud to be home to "Texas Moonshine" from Hill Country Distillers (723 Front St.), using Texas ingredients (like prickly pear cactus and jalapeños) to make their spirits, so stop by the tasting room (Thursdays and Fridays 2 - 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays noon - 8pm).

Photography by Janis Turk

3. Get to know the locals at the Meet Market. A former meat market turned beer joint, with sodas and snacks, live music on weekends and a nice vibe that will appeal to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers alike, the Meet Market (714 High St.) is filled with lots of kitschy fun Beatles and Elvis photos and memorabilia. It's a nice, dark, cool place to duck into to escape the heat.

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Photography by Raleigh Hart

6. Shop in comfort and style. “Pickers" who love looking for antiques, collectibles and all kinds of fun finds will enjoy antique shops, including the Comfort Antique Mall (734 High St.), Blackbird Antiques (509 7th St.), Downright Texas Antiques (205 TX-27), Wilson Clements Antiques (405 7th St.), Stuff N More (515 7th St.) and the 8th Street Market (523 8th St.), just to name a few. Not an antique lover? That’s OK. Comfort also has modern boutiques with contemporary fashions at places like Elizabeth Daniell Boutique (705 High St.), Christy’s Boutique (704 High St.) and home décor and more at inviting shops like Huckleberry’s (708 High St.), Turkey Ridge Trading Company (527 TX-27) and at The Elephant Story (723 and 725 High St.), which features eclectic international imports, home décor and fashion items, and 100 percent of its profits support Asian elephant conservation efforts in Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. The Artisan Gallery at Comfort Crockery (402 7th St.) features original art of local and regional artisans, and 15 minutes away, between Comfort and Sisterdale on FM 473, you will find Hill Country Pottery (738 FM 473), where both artistic and functional pottery is made and fired on site.

Photography by Raleigh Hart

5. Go on Welfare. One of the best rustic little restaurants in South Texas is just 12 miles or so from Comfort in the one-building hamlet of Welfare, Texas. There the Welfare Cafe (223 Waring Welfare Rd.) welcomes foodies who are often thrilled to find this tiny treasure spot with authentic German cuisine and hearty Texas dishes.




a balmy June night, more than a hundred people packed the Little Carver Civic Center to see three young women from Kenya perform American songs, mostly numbers from popular musicals. Clad in bright red dresses and sporting curly wigs, the singers — known as the Moipei Triplets — kept the audience enthralled with their clear, smooth voices and even smoother harmonies. Songs like My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Send in the Clowns, Blow Gabriel Blow and The Sound of Silence followed each other, plus hits from Les Miserables and the recent blockbuster, Hamilton. Along the way, they threw in a bit of light humor, a playful reference to their birth as triplets, and spiced up the charming musical cocktail with the lovely Spanish classic Cucurrucucu Paloma. For the sisters — Marta, Maggy and Mary — musical theater is a relatively new love. Upon arriving in this country to study vocal performance at St. Mary’s University, they felt a bit homesick, they explain a few days after the concert when we gather in “the guitar room” at St. Mary’s music school to talk. “That’s when you start looking for things that will help you to keep going,” says Mary. “Musical theater brought a new light into our lives.” To which Marta adds, “I was so impressed by how people could sing, act and dance, all at the same time, and do it for multiple shows a week. It was so cool, and it made me happy to watch them online.” The sisters soon learned that there were several places in town where stage shows could be seen live, such as the Woodlawn Theater and the Majestic, where they later saw The Phantom of the Opera and Finding Neverland. But their repertoire includes other styles as well,


from Kenyan traditional music to art songs, jazz, gospel and pop. “We do what sounds good to us,” notes Mary. Now 24, the siblings grew up in a musical family in Nairobi, and for years performed with their younger sister, Seraphine, as a quartet. Their parents realized that the triplets had a special talent for music when on their second birthday, Mom and Dad sang a short prayer to them, and the kids “echoed the melody back to them in perfect pitch.” “So, when we got a little older, we started competing in music festivals,” explains Maggy. “Our first was at age 8, the Kenya Music Festival. We won in our age group and did it again for six years in a row. That’s how it started, and we never stopped,” she concludes with a laugh. As 12-year-olds, the sisters were invited by UNICEF to represent their country at a youth festival in South Korea, which was also the first time they traveled abroad. Too young to be intimidated by the responsibility of representing their country at an international event, they “just had so much fun.” After the fest, they were chosen to be the first “child ambassadors” for Kenya and subsequently traveled to many countries in Africa, as well as to China and Venezuela, to perform and carry the torch for their homeland. More recently the quartet was honored to perform at the inauguration of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

From Nairobi to San Antonio What brought the sisters to San Antonio is one of those circumstantial chain of events that seems unlikely until it happens. Their family knew Father Martin Solma, the head of the Marianist Province of the United States, who had lived in Kenya for 25 years. When he revisseptember/october 2017 | 97

W ARTBEAT ited Kenya a couple of years ago, he brought back with him a Moipei sisters’ CD, which he played for the president of St. Mary’s. Subsequently, the entire Moipei family was invited to visit in February 2014, when the girls were on a six-state tour of the U.S. A welcoming dinner with the school’s president and the board, combined with full scholarships, convinced Mr. and Mrs. Moipei that St. Mary’s was the right school for their daughters. Though Maggy “was originally scared” to attend college so far away from home, she and her siblings are enjoying campus life. “It’s a small community where everyone knows everyone else,” they say, practically in unison. “It’s been a real home away from home. We like to walk around campus at night, and we feel safe. The people are kind, and the food is not that different.” And they have discovered new things to love. For Marta it’s mariachi music, for Mary it’s Tex-Mex cuisine, and for Maggy “it goes back to musical theater.” The one thing they find hard to adjust to is the chaotic American measuring system, having grown up with the logical and easy-to-handle metric one. The three tend to do everything together, sharing classes, friends and extracurricular activities. Though they can tell each other apart, Mary admits that looking at photos she is not always sure which one she is. In public, they usually elicit curiosity wherever they go. “Oh, triplets! Are you triplets?” people ask. Another question they get is, “What’s it like in Africa? Have you ever met a lion?” Well, almost. Not long ago, a few lions did escape the confines of a national park near their high school and roamed the streets for a while. One ended up killed by a car, and the other two were tranquilized and returned to the nature reserve, but the sisters did not personally witness any of that. However, they remember seeing giraffes and buffalos while walking to school and recall one instance of a buffalo staring intently at them. “It’s cool as long as he doesn’t charge,” quips Mary. “Buffalos don’t like humans.” When it comes to music and performance, the sisters are usually on the same page, but outside of music “not so much.” Still, friends tell them that they feel like they are hanging out with a single person. None has a boyfriend at this point. Career comes first.

them, to explain that he would like his Richter Agency to manage the girls’ career. “They perform at an inspiring, virtuosic level,” says Richter, “and as I got to know them, I’ve found that they are delightful, smart, charming girls. They have a great future in the music business, and I hope to help them get to the next level.” Since 2015, the group has had 25-30 performances locally, including appearances in churches and schools. “And they just sang for Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s inauguration,” notes Richter. “The crowd went crazy.” That was followed by an invitation to perform at the opening ceremony for the conference of city managers and mayors, scheduled for October at the Convention Center. Some 3,500 people are expected to attend. The Moipeis will also sing in Alamo City Opera’s September production of Speed Dating Tonight at the Buena Vista Theater. What’s more, the composer, Michael Ching, has written a new piece for his opera, especially for the trio. At about the same time this fall, they will be having their senior recitals, which are pretty much like the most important exams for voice students. That’s where each student really gets to show off her vocal chops in a carefully chosen repertoire of classical songs from different composers and periods, in at least four languages — English, French, Italian and German. We are talking Mendelssohn, Debussy, Schubert, Rossini, Samuel Barber and the like.

Growing Career That career was given a boost when Alamo City Opera founder Mark Richter discovered their clarion voices. A friend sent him a cellphone video of the triplets’ open-mic appearance at a Broadway Nights event at the St. Anthony Hotel. Despite the poor audio quality, Richter “heard something very special” and lost no time trying to locate the talented trio. He then wrote to their father, who had been managing 98 |

So, how do they see their future?

Maggy takes on that one. “Wide open,” she says, giggling. “What I hope for is to perform around the world; just traveling around the world making a living with music. I hope we can just keep on singing.”


You needn’t wait until October 31 BY PAMELA V. MILLER

nless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to ignore the displays of spooky decor, candy and costumes lining the aisles in stores everywhere. Halloween is one of the most decorated holidays of the season and offers people of all ages a variety of fun ways to celebrate. The festivities begin long before Oct. 31, so if you’re looking to get into the spirit, here are a few fun ways to celebrate Halloween this year:

“Boo” Family, Friends and Neighbors

Halloween Games Halloween-themed

Have you ever been “Boo-ed” before?

games are perfect for getting

It’s a wonderful way to spread Hal-

the kiddos excited about the

loween fun and excitement. Basically,

coming holiday. Something as

you assemble a package filled with

simple as a spider race, using

Halloween-themed treats and/or ac-

straws and plastic spiders on

tivities (think inexpensive). Place a

a smooth surface, can produce

note or tag in the package letting the

a few laughs and lots of fun. Some of my favorite games are Pumpkin

receiver know that they’ve been “Boo-ed” with instructions on what

Ring Toss, Poke a Pumpkin and Make a Mummy. (TIP: Don’t forget to

to do next (a quick Pinterest search will produce hundreds of free

bring some Halloween-themed games to a Trick or Treat party. More

printables for this). Then drop the package off on the doorstep of an

on that below.)

unsuspecting family member, friend or neighbor. The object of the

Serve up a Spooky Meal

game is to remain anonymous while engaging in some Halloweenspirited fun. The receiver of the package places the enclosed sign saying they’ve been “Boo-ed” on their door and creates their own package for the next “victim.”

You can turn a normal weekday meal into a Hal-

Pumpkin Picking and Decorating

loween feast with only a

One of the oldest and most adored traditions for this holiday

few tweaks. Having pasta

is pumpkin picking and decorating. It’s a fun activity that

tonight? Why not pur-

both children and adults enjoy. Get creative this year and use glow-in-

chase the green veggie

the-dark glue or paint to decorate your pumpkin. It’s such a great way


to channel your creativity and get into the Halloween spirit. (TIP: Chal-

pieces of mozzarella into

lenge your neighbors to a pumpkin decorating contest, and invite trick

eyeball or ghost shapes? Use black olives for irises and/or ghost eyes,

or treaters to vote for the winner on Halloween night!)

and don’t forget to add some blood-red pasta sauce.




september/october 2017 | 99

W MOMMY MATTERS Halloween-Themed Movie Nights Start a new tradition or keep up an old one by pulling out your Halloween movies for the month. This is a great way to spend time together as a family and prepare for the festivities. Whether it’s Hocus Pocus or Toy Story of Terror, the kids will appreciate a Halloween-themed movie, and for added effect you can serve the popcorn out of a cauldron.

Trunk or Treat For Moms with little ones, Trunk or Treat events are one of the easiest ways to have fun without having to do much or go far. Find or organize a Trunk or Treat event in your neighborhood and have fun decorating your trunk, along with your neighbors.

Get Crafty Fish out that black and orange construction paper and get to making some great decor and keepsakes. From easy construction paper pumpkins to cheesecloth ghosts, children love to create holiday crafts. You can use what you already have around the house and make things more interesting by creating the challenge to do so. Reuse plastic bottles for ghosts and give them personality with painted faces, or cut out large spider webs from garbage bags. The possibilities are endless, inexpensive and fun for everyone.

Visit an Amusement Park Who says you can only wear your costume on Halloween? Make good use of your spooky (or fun) getup, and head over to an amusement park. Both Sea World and 100 |

Fiesta Texas celebrate Halloween throughout the fall, making scheduling a breeze. Take a look online or call ahead of time to see which events are age-appropriate for your children, then suit up and have fun!

Host a Haunted House (or visit one!) Haunted houses are one of the most beloved Halloween traditions. If your kiddos are old enough to enjoy it, visiting a good haunted house is likely to make some great memories. If you’re up to the challenge, creating your own haunted house can also be a lot of fun and will score you lots of points with the neighborhood kids! What better way to celebrate than to have the fun come to you? It doesn’t have to be too complicated, and there are plenty of great ideas on the internet just ready to be put to good use. Don’t be afraid to be scary.

Trick or Treat Party With Halloween falling on a weekday this year, it’s a little more difficult for busy families to celebrate. Between the after-work commute, dinner preparation and tending to regular weekday activities, there’s not much time left before bedtime. However, throwing or attending a Trick or Treat Party is a great way to celebrate. It allows friends to eat, trick or treat and celebrate together. This not only saves loads of time for working parents, but is safer and more fun. Find out what your friends are doing, and have a get-together this Halloween!

Halloween doesn’t just begin and end with trick or treating. There are so many activities and events leading up to Oct. 31 that make the whole month enjoyable. Start a new tradition or celebrate through everyday events, and make this Halloween a fun and memorable one for your family. september/october 2017 | 101






obert Fleming has been in the restaurant business since the age of 13, when he got his first job as a dishwasher in a Chicago Greek steakhouse. Before long, he was recruited to help with food preparation, handling ducks and lobsters and fancy desserts. But he didn’t think of it as a career. In fact, in 1973 he moved to San Antonio to study accounting at St. Mary’s University, only to realize that his heart wasn’t in it. He wanted to be back in the kitchen, whipping up good food. So Fleming returned to Chicago to enroll in the Harper College’s culinary program and has never looked back. Since then, he has had a multifaceted career in the hospitality industry as chef, restaurant manager, hotel general manager, VP of regional operations for a prominent hotel chain and restaurant owner.

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Over the years, he’s worked for the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton and Remington corporations, traveled a great deal and lived in several cities, including San Antonio. He spent six years in the Alamo City in the 1980s before leaving again, and finally returned for good in 1999. It was also in San Antonio that he met his wife, Sheila, with whom he has a daughter. Seventeen years ago, he and Sheila decided to open the Magnolia Pancake Haus, a restaurant that serves only breakfast and lunch. San Antonians voted with their feet and wallets as they flocked to the eatery, willing to wait for a table, sometimes as long as an hour. Today, there are two locations, and the newer one on Huebner Road also includes the adjacent Magnolia Halle, an “urban barn” that has become a popular wedding reception venue.

How did you get interested in cooking? I come from a large Irish family in Chicago, and I was the second of seven children. When my mother was pregnant with her last child, doctors put her on bed rest. I was 9 years old. She would sit at the kitchen table and tell me how to chop onions or slice carrots or whatever. She walked me through whatever we were making for dinner that day. The very first thing I learned to make was spaghetti sauce. But she eventually taught me how to make stuffed tenderloin, herb-roasted chicken, pot roast and other dishes. It’s interesting that my youngest brother, the one she was pregnant with, is also a chef.

Robert works with his daughter, Tricia Fleming, opening a new entertainment venue off Huebner Road. One day the restaurant and venue will be hers.

When did you decide that food and cooking would be your career? I started working in restaurants when I was 13. My mother told me, “If you learn how to cook, you’ll never go hungry and you’ll always have a job.” All these years later, I think she was absolutely correct. But it was while I was at St. Mary’s University that I made the decision. I was spending more time helping in the cafeteria than attending classes, so one day the fellow who ran the food services there said, “You are pretty good at this. You may want to make it a career choice.” I took his advice and enrolled in culinary school in Chicago led by a guy who was a CIA (Culinary Institute of America) graduate. You ran and owned several restaurants in San Antonio at different times before opening the Magnolia Pancake Haus. Tell us about them. Yes, I opened a number of restaurants for other owners in the 1980s. Two were pretty well known at the time — Cyrano’s and Potpourri in the Elms (shopping center), which was a Louisiana-style restaurant, just when Cajun food started to get popular. Which led me to open my own first restaurant called Steamer’s Café, a little bistro specializing in Cajun and Creole cuisine. We were critically acclaimed but financially not very successful. At that point, I was only 30 and did not have much background in operating a business. The restaurant failed in 1988 when we had a severe economic downturn, and I went back into the hotel business in Minneapolis. I ran the Old Normandy Inn downtown and also the Sheraton Hotel at the airport. Later I went to work for the Remington hotels. When I was at the Sheraton, the executive chef gave me the pancake recipe that we use today. He said, “You keep this; you’ll want it someday.” Those were his exact words. Is that why you decided to open a breakfast place when you returned to San Antonio? In 1998 I was downsized by the company I was working for in Dallas, and I didn’t really want to go to work for somebody else again. in 1999 Sheila and I moved back to San Antonio and decided to do this (The Magnolia restaurant.) I sure went looking for that recipe. From my time in the hotel business I knew that breakfast had great profit margins, and what also appealed to me is that I would be done every day at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, which meant I could go home and have dinner with my family. To what do you attribute the restaurant’s extraordinary success? We started this back in 2000 with two simple goals: to keep a roof over our heads and hopefully send our daughter to college. Well, we still have a roof over our heads, and our daughter has an MBA, so the restaurant has achieved everything that I set out to achieve (laughs)

and has done a lot more. We’ve been very fortunate. To what do I attribute our success? First, the food is consistently top-notch; the service is pleasant, not overbearing, and we keep reinvesting in the restaurant to keep it fresh and up-to-date. We also use higher-quality products than our competitors. We make so much in-house. We make our own pancake syrup, we cure our own corned beef, we cure and smoke our own Canadian bacon, we make Italian sausage from scratch, and we crack fresh eggs. Others often use pre-cracked ones that they buy in cartons. About 90 percent of what is served here is made here. You have also made an effort to eliminate harmful ingredients such as trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, right? About 10 years ago we went through the menu and eliminated all the ingredients that were not really a natural part of the food. Which is why we make so much from scratch. I have had my health struggles along the way, and I became much more aware of clean eating. Shortly after we opened the restaurant, I found out I needed to have a triple bypass surgery at the age of 47. Then in 2009 I faced another struggle when I was diagnosed with stage-four cancer in my tongue. That was a tough fight, with a lot of chemotherapy and radiation, but the Lord blessed me with an incredible remission, and I have been cancer-free now for eight years. After that, we made an additional effort to make our food as scrubbed-up and clean as we could make it… Cancer saved my life! I weighed 300 pounds when I was diagnosed. (He is now very slim.) What’s the most popular dish” By and large, blueberry pancakes. Our corned beef hash is very popular, too, and our Eggs Benedict. Where do you and your wife like to dine when you go out? We like three or four restaurants that we go to on a regular basis. Piatti at the Quarry is one of them, and also Bliss, quite outstanding. For a more casual meal, we love the 410 Diner — good, wholesome food. september/october 2017 | 103


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

LA PANADERÍA Serves exotic Latin American breads, coffees and specialty bakery items.. $ 8305 Broadway

MANOLIA PANCAKE HAUS Arrive early to get a seat at this popular country café serving classic American breakfasts to locals and tourists. $ 606 Embassy Oaks and 10333 Huebner

Local Coffee

Let’s Lunch

Elegant Dining


Snooze Tre Enoteca

LOCAL COFFEE Completely focused on the taste and quality of the coffee, including their own Merit Roasting Company brand in an eclectic neighborhood setting. $ Six locations: Shavano Park, Leon Springs, Alamo Heights, Pearl Brewery, Medical Center and Stone Oak TWIN SISTERS BAKERY AND CAFE Healthy food created with local ingredients. Rich coffees and expressos, quiche and pastries. $ 6322 N. New Braunfels

PAESANO’S IN LINCOLN HEIGHTS An established San Antonio favorite, this Italian restaurant offers a lunch special with a smaller version of its famous Shrimp Paesano. $$ 555 E. Basse Road SNOOZE Serving American breakfast with creative twists alongside unique Bloody Mary’s, service with a smile, and an eclectic, energetic atmosphere. $ 255 E. Basse Rd in Alamo Quarry Market GUENTHER HOUSE Stunning home setting in Pioneer Flour Mills in King William serving traditional American brunch. Outdoor and indoor dining plus a museum tour and store. $$ 205 E. Guenther

TRE ENOTECA Chic, modern setting by chef Jason Dady featuring small plates and unique creations of pizza, steak and seafood. Make reservations. $$$ 555 West Bitters in Artisan’s Alley

CAPPYCCINO’S BISTRO Casual dining offering highquality hamburgers, pizzas, salads, soups, and sandwiches. Bistro and patio dining. $ 5003 Broadway

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

FIRST COURSE SALAD KITCHEN Delicious, healthy menu of specialty salads, signature wraps and soups, including vegetarian options. $ 22015 IH-10 W Access Rd #107

REBELLE Stylish and swanky atmosphere in the elegant St. Anthony Hotel; known for their meats, seafood and cocktails. $$$ 300 East Travis

Food Trucks SA Woman Loves…..Sandwiches! The French-style Grilled Cheese at Bakery Lorraine The S-1 at French Sandwiches on Fredericksburg The La Vegetariana on a croissant at La Panaderia The California Turkey at Bird Bakery The Grilled Spinach & Chicken at Mad Hatters Tea House & Cafe The Original Italian at Jersey Mike’s Subs 104 |

French Sandwiches

SOUND BITES Popular Asian-Fusion, bubble tea food truck. (Bubble teas are named after local bands). $ 210-455-8568 Find them on Facebook: soundbitestruck

VERO WOOD FIRED PIZZA Delicious pizza prepared in a mobile brick oven. $ Find them on Facebook: veropizzausa A Latte Truck

Desserts CUPCAKE COUTURE BAKERY AND BOUTIQUE Handcrafted cupcake creations made with finest ingredients. Season flavors available. $$ 11851 Bandera Rd. in Helotes Piatti’s

A LATTE TRUCK Authentic churros stuffed or coated with a variety of sweet dips. Also serves ice cream and coffee. $ 210-304-6771 Find them on Facebook: gohonchos

Casual TWO BROS BBQ MARKET Casual, laid-back Texas setting known for oak-smoked meats and home-style sides. The large play yard makes this kidfriendly with outdoor dining. $ 12656 West Ave. Torchy’s Tacos

PIATTI’S After boutique shopping in the surrounding area, stop in with the girls for a piece of Torta Formaggi, the house-made hazelnut crusted cheesecake with pomegranate raspberry sauce $8. $ 255 East Basse in the Alamo Quarry Market LA FONDA IN ALAMO HTS Tres Leches cake is a must after you dine on one of the local favorite Tex-Mex menus. This cream-soaked cake is only $7 a piece. $ 8633 Crownhill

Fun with Kids 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 TORCHY’S TACOS Inventive street-style tacos in creative combinations for any meal, including breakfast. $ 999 East Basse in The Shops of Lincoln Heights GREEN VEGETARIAN CUISINE A favorite of veggie lovers and even meat-eaters. They serve clean salads and healthy favorites from veggie burgers to fried pickles. $ 200 E. Grayson St. at the Pearl and 10003 NW Military Hwy.

Blanco BBQ

BLANCO BBQ Scrumptious Texas barbecue with homemade sides served indoors or outdoors near a state-of-the-art playscape with extra surprises for kids on weekends. $$ 13259 Blanco Road

San Antonio Eats cont. september/october 2017 | 105

TYCOON FLATS An established family-friendly burger joint and beer garden. Kid’s play area, craft beers, live music. $$ 2926 N. St. Mary’s

Happy Hour Tiago’s Cabo Grille

FREDERICK’S BISTRO Elegant dining with a complete wine list. The fare is a unique Asian-French-local fusion menu... quite special. $$$ 14439 NW Military in the Olmos Creek Shopping Center BLISS Chef Mark Bliss is noted for putting San Antonio on the map in fine dining. This restored former filling station in trendy Southtown features his best New American fare with a wellstocked wine list. $$$ 926 S. Presa St.

Best-Kept Secrets TIAGO’S CABO GRILLE AT THE RIM Happy hour begins at 2 pm, a variety of handmade margaritas, premium beer, wine, sangria, and specialty drinks. Check out the Cabo Club!. $$ 117711 IH-10 #101

CAFE DIJON Delicious locally sourced, seasonal and organic food with a French flair. Eat in the cozy boutique setting or on the patio. $$ 555 East Basse Yummi Japanese

THE BROOKLYNITE A known favorite for eclectic, artful ambience, vintage décor, chandeliers, and unique twists on classic cocktails. $$ 516 Brooklyn Ave. WILDFISH SEAFOOD GRILLE This contemporary chain takes Happy Hour seriously and is one of the most popular places on the Northside. Happy Hour runs from 4-7PM with $2 off cocktails, beer and wine. Don’t forget patio dining and a full specialty menu. $$$ 1834 North Loop 1604 W

Wine & Dine

YUMMI JAPANESE Fresh, thorough Japanese menu featuring new sushi combinations and dinner options. Happy Hour, ceviche a must. $$ 24165 W IH-10 and 300 W. Bitters Road BIGA ON THE BANKS A chic eatery on the River Walk featuring American fare and an ever-changing menu created by chef Bruce Auden. Must-have dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding ($9). $$$ 203 S. St. Mary’s St.

Eclectic/Eccentric J. PRIME STEAKHOUSE For a taste of New York dining, Sustenio visit this exquisite contemporary steakhouse. Unwind with a vast wine list and live piano music. $$$ 1401 North Loop 1604 W

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MADHATTERS TEA HOUSE AND CAFE Unique locatin for breakfast, lunch, brunch and tea parties in popular Southtown. $ 320 Beauregard

ADELANTE MEXICAN CUISINE Intimate, cash only, in an artful setting serving healthy Mexican menu. (Must try: the Feta Taco plate). $$ 21 Brees Boulevard

#Only in SA Supper at Hotel Emma

Leon Valley Cafe

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

SUPPER AT HOTEL EMMA Chef John Brands brings daily farm-to-table American cuisine with new flavors and a desire to see visitors gather round the table with a smile. A moderneatery atmosphere that’s worth the visit. $$$ 136 E. Grayson

Late Night JIM’S A San Antonio staple for 70 years, 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. MAMA MARGIE’S Open 24 hours for frozen cocktails, Tex-Mex favorites, drivethrough option, happy hours JIMS are available. $ IH-10 and Wurzbach


CAPPY’S From mimosas to truffled scrambled eggs with crab and lobster in a champagne butter sauce, this is a perfect brunch setting in the beauty of Alamo Heights and loved by locals. $$$ 5011 Broadway NOLA

Mi Tierra

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

NOLA Brunch & Beignets A New Orleans-style brunch, including a variety of beignets in a comfortable, cozy café. $ 111 Kings Court

Coming soon.... september/october 2017 | 107


Huisache Grill: An Oasis for Autumn Dining BY SCOTT AUSTIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANET ROGERS


rom Austin to San Antonio the Interstate 35 food scene is on the rise. Right in between the two cities, just 30 minutes northeast of San Antonio and right off the square in New Braunfels, is Huisache Grill. It’s just far enough to feel like you are escaping for a special meal, but close enough that you can go any night of the week. Huisache is not a newcomer to the I-35 food scene; it has been serving scratch-made food for over 20 years. In 1994 the owners combined their backgrounds in the restaurant business and vintage home remodeling into what would become the Huisache Grill. 108 |

The building they chose for the restaurant was built in the 1920s. Over the years it’s been home to a variety of businesses and at one time a haunted house. For the past 20 years, it’s been an ever-expanding project, opening new dining areas and restaurant features. Huisache showcases contemporary American cuisine with a few additional items from around the world. It’s open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. They offer fast lunch options, and you can sign up for e-mail notifications for lunch specials and the soup of the day. Lunch is substantial, but this just feels like a dinner spot. The old building is charming, the wine selection

is solid, and the back porch is so inviting you will want to stay around for at least a second glass of wine. Plan your trip to Huisache Grill on an evening you can linger. Thursday nights they feature $5 glasses of wine on tap, and Monday nights select bottles of wine are 50 percent off. Start off your meal with a batch of fried oysters and a bottle of rosé wine. The oysters are lightly breaded and served with a dipping sauce. The batter is perfectly light, and the oysters are nicely cooked. The rosé provides a refreshing acidity that acts as a foil to the richness of the oysters.

Hot and Crunchy (Rainbow) Trout

The Charcuterie Board

Southwestern Blackened Chicken Salad

Grilled Pork Sandwich

Basil Grilled Chicken Breast

Chocolate Chocolate Cake with Warm Caramel Sauce

Quick side note to my manly readers: "Bro, get over the fact that it's pink!" Properly crafted rosé wines are light-bodied with a taste profile closer to a red wine and should never be sweet. Huisache has several, so give one a try. The fried brie and chips with three salsas are also reliable appetizer options. With all the wine discounts, you can opt for a charcuterie board as an appetizer or just a lighter meal. There are a variety of soup, salad, and sandwich options like the Hot Ham, Smoky Gouda, and Caramelized Onions. Black Forest ham, dressed field greens,and Ger-

man mustard are strong complements to the smoky Gouda. Or try the three salad sampler with Waldorf chicken salad, Shrimp Louis salad and a fresh tossed spinach salad. Other entrees include Hot and Crunchy Trout or Jumbo BaconWrapped Shrimp. All of these are solid options, but the Steak Frites is a real standout — grilled sliced steak arrachera topped with a dollop of black pepper butter, served with house-made shoestring potatoes and a seasoned green bean medley. Huisache prepares the skirt steak perfectly, resulting in a tenderness that almost doesn’t need a knife, and the black pepper but-

ter will leave you dreaming about this steak. The shoestring fries are served a little on the crunchy side, which is perfect for soaking up the juices that come off the steak. This is a delicious steak, and I am an expert in this department! Huisache Grill can accommodate private parties of up to 40 people and offers a variety of venues for a different kind of dining. Downtown New Braunfels is just a block away, giving you the perfect stroll to finish off your meal. Head north for a delicious meal in a great setting, and tell them SAN ANTONIO WOMAN sent you. september/october 2017 | 109



September 8 SECRET SISTERS The Tobin Center 8pm Growing up surrounded by the sounds of the South and the powerful timeless music emanating from Muscle Shoals, Ala., the Secret Sisters were

is a spellbinding opera with musical fireworks and stunning drama.

heavily influenced by a range of uniquely American musical styles, including country, bluegrass and gospel, as well as classic rock and pop.

September 22–23 CROCTOBERFEST San Antonio Zoo 7 – 10pm Whether you call it beir, brew, brewski, suds… if you like beer, then you’ll love San Antonio Zoo’s Croctoberfest! There’ll be food and a wide selection of beers at the city’s wildest German-themed celebration. And your ticket supports wildlife conservation!

September 16 JANET JACKSON AT&T Center 8pm Janet Jackson stands as one of the best-selling artists of all time with a string of hits that have left an indelible impression on pop culture.

September 9–10 MACBETH OPERA SAN ANTONIO The Tobin Center The story of Macbeth, described by Verdi, the composer, as “one of mankind’s greatest creations,” is a classic thriller of power, greed, and the destructive costs of tyrannical ambition. Set to Verdi’s gripping and ferocious music, Macbeth

September 16–17 BEAD & JEWELRY BAZAAR San Antonio Garden Center The event will feature beads, gems, jewelry, jewelry-making materials and unique, handcrafted items made by Texas artist plus free classes taught by area artists.

September 28 DESTINATION KYOTO San Antonio Museum of Art 7 – 11pm Travel across the world and experience Destination: Kyoto at the San Antonio Museum of Art. This year’s fundraiser is inspired by the Museum’s collections and the beauty and artistry of Kyoto,

Arts & Entertainment September 29 THE DOSEUM’S 8TH ANNUAL OUTSIDE THELUNCHBOX LUNCHEON Tobin Center 11:30am – 1pm This year Randi Zuckerberg will use her unique perspective and insight, to lead a discussion about “Parenting in the Digital Age” and how technology can be integrated into children’s lives in a way that allows them to thrive!

September 30 DWIGHT YOAKAM Floore’s Country Store Doors open at 7pm Show starts at 9pm Outdoors - rain or shine, standing room only.

September 30 PHANTOM’S PASTA PARTY Whitley Theological Center 7pm Before you melt to the Music of the Night, feast on the best pasta from 20 different restaurants in San Antonio, fine wines and a special drink courtesy of Fury Vodka, Phantini.

October 4 TOM JONES LIVE The Majestic Theatre 8pm Jones has a fundamental interest in a wide range of music. Although he is well known for hits including It’s Not Unusual, Kiss, Delilah, What’s New Pussycat, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again and If I Only Knew, he is first and foremost an artist with a true rhythm and blues soul.

Japan’s Imperial capital city for over 1,000 years. Enjoy sake, fusion fare, and the lantern-lit dance floor.

October 6-7 WILLIE NELSON Floore’s Country Store Willie’s back to one of his old haunts. Don’t miss this country music legend at Floores in Helotes.

( EDITOR’S PICK ) LUMINARIA: CONTEMPORARY ARTS FESTIVAL November 10-11 from 7pm to midnight – FREE Heads up! You don’t want to miss this magical festival. 10th annual contemporary arts festival downtown at Hemisfair and Southtown districts. Hemisfair, Magik Theatre, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, UNAM, the River Walk grotto at the Convention Center, Yanaguana Park, and Nueva Street come alive with all of the arts. Southtown Arts District is proud to add Luminaria’s community/ educational component to its list of events. 110 |

Photo courtesy of, Darren Abate photographer

October 21

ADL 5K & TRICK-OR-TROT KID’S 1K Saturday, 9am at the Animal Defense League. Race benefits the Animal Defense League of Texas.



October 7 TOURS FOR VISITORS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED San Antonio Museum of Art 10 – 11:30am Docent-led tours include descriptive language, touch, sound, and smell to enhance visitors’ experience with art. Guide dogs, sighted companions, and others are welcome, as are wheelchairs and other walking aids. Free. Registration required. RSVP to 210-978-8138.

October 16 47TH ANNUAL WITTE GAME DINNER CARRYING THE TORCH WITH A TEXAS FLARE Witte Museum 6 – 10:30pm Celebrate the legendary heritage of San Antonio and Texas families and the New Witte expanded museum campus, where there will be many more transformational Witte stories to tell for generations to come.

Beer Festival proceeds benefit the San Antonio Food Bank. The San Antonio Beer Festival will also have live music, interactive games, a wine garden, food trucks, food booths, local vendors and more

October 25 BRUNO MARS AT&T Center Grammy award winner and multi-platinum superstar Bruno Mars is bringing the 24K MAGIC World Tour to San Antonio.



September 15-16 JAZZ’SALIVE

October 22 BARKTOBERFEST Animal Defense League 12 – 4pm Barktoberfest is a dogand family-friendly event with FREE admission! Bring your blanket and lawn chairs for relaxing in the dog park.

October 6, 7, 13 & 14 OKTOBERFEST SAN ANTONIO FOR HALLOWEEN, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT VISITSANANTONIO.COM for a ton of fun in the spooky city: Ghost Tours, Zoo Boo, Alamo City Halloween Comic Con, Sea World and Six Flags events, and more!

October 22 SÍCLOVÍA YMCA of Greater San Antonio Síclovía is a free event that turns major city streets into a safe place for people to exercise and play. The streets become temporarily car-free for about 5 hours on Sundays for families to run, ride bikes, take exercise classes and enjoy their city streets.

October 21 SAN ANTONIO BEER FESTIVAL Dignowity and Lockwood Parks 1:30 – 6:30pm The 12th annual San Antonio Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in San Antonio, pouring 400+ premium and craft beers from 125+ breweries from around the world. A portion of the San Antonio


October 26-29 24TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY OLÉ MARKET Presented by the Junior League of San Antonio The San Antonio Shrine Do you like to shop? Do you like to improve your community? Then join the Junior League of San Antonio for the 24th annual Holiday Olé Market. This year’s ‘Christmas at the North Pole’ themed event showcases regional and national merchants offering the latest in fashion, beauty and home décor trends, as well as unique gifts and holiday merchandise. Proceeds from Holiday Olé Market benefit the community programs and projects of the Junior League of San Antonio, Inc.

October 28-29

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS At La Villita El Dia de los Muertos presented by La Villita. Translated literally as "the Day of the Dead," this Mexican cultural tradition is a celebration honoring departed loved ones. Creative and respectful altars are set up around town to commemorate loved ones who have passed on. september/october 2017 | 111

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Weddings W

Mr. & Mrs. Tyler Long Jessica Jayson May 17, 2017

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Snap Chic Photography

Mr & Mrs Randy Rodriquez Cassie Finnegan July 22, 2017

West Vita Photography

Mr & Mrs. Joseph Hegedus Sarah Johnson July 14, 2017

Raquel Clapsaddle Photography

Erica Sofet Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Hunter Allen Elizabeth Berringer July 22, 2017

Courtney Stinson Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Jay Williams Lexi Redwine July 1, 2017

Lauren Rathbun Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Sanchez Leah Smith April 8, 2017


1899 Four young girls pose in their Sunday best for San Antonio photographer C.H. Savage at his studio at 217 Commerce Street.

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San Antonio Woman September/October 2017  

San Antonio Woman September/October 2017

San Antonio Woman September/October 2017  

San Antonio Woman September/October 2017