San Antonio Woman Magazine January/February 2024

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January/February 2024



It’s only human to want the best seat. It’s only Lexus to make every seat feel like it’s the best. With a vehicle designed to put everyone’s needs first. No matter where you sit. Get ready for a new era of three-row luxury. The first-ever Lexus TX.

NORTH PARK LEXUS OF SAN ANTONIO Prototype shown. ©2023 Lexus, a Division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.






14 Cover Story

Enjoy a lively exploration of the culinary creativity and passions of Di-Anna Arias.

18 Feature


Explore leadership profiles of three women transforming San Antonio: Barbara Goldman, of TEAMability, Rev. Denise Barker of Magdalena House and Jacquilyn Leath of Recovery in Motion.

22 Role Model

Balancing the role of CEO, mother and community leader can be daunting, Ashley Landers makes it look easy.

24 Guy to Know

24 6

Oscar Villarreal Jr. isn’t just a jewelry maker but a purveyor of stories through the personalized craft of creating jewelry.

is now open in San Antonio! New & Vintage JEWELRY & WATCHES 14230 San Pedro Avenue | San Antonio, TX 78232 | Former Moretti’s Fine Jewelry location 210.493.8080 |




14 Cover Story: Di-Anna Arias 18 Feature Story: Nonprofit Visionaries 22 Role Model: Ashley Landers 24 Guy to Know: Oscar Villarreal, Jr.


26 Fashion: San Antonio Loves the Rodeo 32 What’s In Your Bag? Angela McLendon Johnson 34 Beauty: Best Practices with Dr. Murphy 36 Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace: The Magic Behind the Joci Awards 38 At Home: How to Design a Room Around Your Peloton


43 Dossier: Private Bankers 50 Women in Medicine 57 Women on the Move

To Your Health

58 Special Section: American Heart Association 63 Why Does My Kid Have So Many Ear Infections? 64 Special Section: Education

Food & Entertainment



70 Ski New Mexico! 72 Hill Country Curated: New Braunfels 74 Dining: Pecantown 76 SA Curated Dining: Barbecue 78 Final Thoughts: Victoria Champion, “The Perfect Pair”



Where artistry meets medical expertise to help you reach your goals.

Scan to schedule your FREE consultation!

Microneedling - Body Contouring - Injectables - Hydrafacial Laser Treatments - IV Infusions - Hair Restoration - EZ Gel Plasma Pen -Weight Loss - Regenerative Medicine

14800 San Pedro Ave Ste 202 San Antonio, TX 78232 (210) 253-3313


Suzanne Pack Photographer

David Teran Photographer

Bill Murphy, MD Writer

Lainey Berkus Writer

Janis Turk Writer


Michelle Vasquez Writer

Blithe Wiley Writer



Happy New Year! Our cover woman is Di-Anna Arias, Vice President of Sales and Culinary Vision at Don Strange of Texas, and Di-Anna knows how to throw a party! I had the joy of watching Di-Anna in action at her home and office as she created the beautiful settings for her photoshoot. When I read her story, it all came together - pure Texan through and through, a deep connection to her roots and a contagious love of life. We need more DiAnnas in our lives, making every day a reason to celebrate. You’ll love meeting the dynamic women in our feature story who drew from their life stories to find a way to help others. Our Role Model, Ashley Landers, shares her story of taking the reigns at a top local Advertising agency. Our Guy to Know, Oscar Villareal, shares his passion for creating custom jewelry that will become cherished family heirlooms. So many inspiring stories! February means one thing to San Antonio - Rodeo season! Our fashion feature will inspire you to go all-in this year as we showcase two real-life cowgirls wearing gorgeous ensembles curated by Fashion Editor, Edie O’Brien. I hope the new year brings renewed hope for good things to come and that you will find an abundance of inspiration for your personal and professional life in the pages of San Antonio Woman. Here’s to an amazing 2024 and finding reasons to celebrate all year long!

Cathleen Cheers!

Cathleen Lane

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kimberly Pipes WRITERS Lainey Berkus Bill Murphy MD Janis Turk Michelle Vasquez Blithe Wiley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Shauna Forkenbrock Shawna Percival PHOTOGRAPHY Cover: Suzanne Pack David Teran PRINTING Shweiki Media PUBLISHED BY Las Tres Muchachas, LLC. NOMINATIONS & ADVERTISING INFORMATION Email: A Las Tres Muchachas Production Cathleen & Dale Lane 300 E Ramsey, Suite 2 San Antonio, Texas 78216 (210) 236-5834 @sanantoniowoman

On the cover: Photography by Suzanne Pack with Celebrated Reflections

Makeup by The Look Beauty Studio @thelook.beautystudio

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

Introducing CHRISTUS Children’s.

Same hope. Same healing. New name. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is now CHRISTUS Children’s. Why? Because we’re the first and only San Antonio hospital built just for kids and expectant moms, but we’re so much more than a hospital. Our care extends far past the city limits and we are part of a world-class healthcare network. Our new name better represents who we are and the purpose we pursue every day.

Hershel, Age 17 Brain Tumor Survivor Dr. Mark Lee, Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Your children. Your family. Our purpose.


Di-Anna Arias

The Culinary Artistry of Di-Anna Arias By Michelle Vasquez | Photography by Suzanne Pack

The eyes of Di-Anna Arias dance as she talks about her passion for Texas history, food, and women. Speaking to Di-Anna, you engage in her sparkling laughter, the warmth of hospitality, and the creative magic she imparts on a properly set table. Di-Anna views the world through curiosity, possibilities, and purpose in everything she does. This perspective has made her a creative force as Vice President of Sales and Culinary Vision at Don Strange of Texas, Inc., a 71-year-old catering company in San Antonio. To relate to Di-Anna, you must know where she and her family come from. The two sides of the family are from East Texas and Laredo. Her East Texas family had a true Texas pioneer spirit about them. The other side of the family encompasses the Spanish/Mexican heritage, a significant part of Texan culture. These two influences and her ancestral English DNA have shaped Di-Anna’s spirit and reflect who she is, what she does, and how she does it. Di-Anna’s love of food started at an early age. As a child in East Texas, she grew up afoot in the kitchen of her mother’s family, learning how to make southern biscuits and chicken and dumplings. Always preferring the kitchen to the playground, this experience fostered her curiosity and prompted her to ask questions like, “Where does our food come from?” Her uncle encouraged her to explore her curiosity, “Go into the field and dig up a potato,” he said. So she did, and Di-Anna reflected, “That memory is something I will never forget.” Traveling from East Texas to Laredo to spend time with her other grandmother, Di-Anna remembers

enjoying a freshly picked avocado sliced on a homemade corn tortilla. “It sparked my interest to know that this odd green fruit growing on a tree in her yard could be so delicious.” After college graduation, Di-Anna’s career began with a bit of luck. In 1985, she agreed to help make gorditas for one night at The Witte Game Dinner. Through serendipity, she met the owner of the company she worked for, Don Strange. He offered her a temporary job, which she accepted, to learn about the catering business. Thirty-eight years later, her inquisitiveness and “why not” attitude continue, and she has built a career cultivating interests in food and business. In her role, she creates growth opportunities for the organization and develops relationships with clients, turning their vision into reality. Di-Anna credits her tenure at the company to Don Strange’s mentorship. He believed in her abilities to contribute beyond the scope of her responsibilities. “His belief in me provided me with the foundation and knowledge I needed to unleash the creativity that our customers have come to expect from our organization,” says Di-Anna. He taught her to see through the lens of his experienced attention to the details that are important to the client but that they may not be aware of. This meticulousness led to opportunities to cater events at the White House. “As a culinary visionary, I aim to honor our culinary legacy while moving our offerings into the future with passion, creativity, and expertise,” she says. While Texas culture is a large part of the heritage provided in their menus, Di-Anna quickly

January/February 2024 15


mentions that her organization creates meal selections that celebrate cultures worldwide. A singular event can incorporate Texas quail with croffles, a beautiful Korean “street food” dessert. The creativity and legacy of Don Strange are executed by Di-Anna, along with his son Brian, the current CEO, and the operations team, who demonstrate a commitment to innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction. Di-Anna has a particular way of looking at the world visually and viscerally and considers herself “a curator of parties, entertaining and memories for every season and reason.” Where most people might walk through a garden and see only flowers, Di-Anna sees color combinations of lighting and décor, reminded of table settings created from antique jewelry or glassware – think cobalt blue glasses with jade green place settings and marigolds adorning the table. This magical way of ‘seeing’ makes her events unique, and she regularly shares her visions on


‘Daytime: Dishing with Di-Anna,’ which appears on FOX KABB. Strong Texas women from the 1830s to the 1930s also inspire her. Curious about pioneer women, she delved into the memoirs of Mary A. Maverick and the book Texas Ranch Women by Carmen Goldthwaite. Both books communicate resilience that she can relate to. “You know the grit that these women had? I feel like I have similar grit, and it just inspires me that they went through so much and remained resilient.” Despite obstacles, these pioneers built businesses and communities, held their families together, and shaped Texas history, which motivates DiAnna’s resilience. Personal goals that keep her going include ‘always staying positive even in the face of adversity, never saying no just because you may not have encountered a solution yet, creative problem-solving, going for the win, and helping your neighbor along the way.” Her

COVER STORY ambition and drive often take her outside her comfort zone, and she sees this as an opportunity for growth and development in her creativity and career. Taking this one step further, Di-Anna has a plan and life purpose. “First and foremost is to live a life that’s pleasing to God, to live a life that’s pleasing to me, to love my family unconditionally, to be there for my friends, and to enjoy a career that always brings a smile to my face.” This philosophy underpins her success with its focus. Another trait that defines Di-Anna is her ability to serve others, and she does so in and out of the kitchen. Di-Anna enjoys spending time at home with her husband, Roger Arias, and her son, both of whom have worked in the culinary industry. And, of course, there’s the wrangling of the newest addition to the family, their new puppy, Dottie Belle, a SNIPSA rescue. Outside of home life, her leadership skills and civic involvement align with her interests. She has taken on roles with The Alamo Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (AMC-DRT) and Les Dames d’Escoffier, San Antonio Chapter (LDEISA).

As the first vice president of the AMC-DRT, her love for Texas history is personal; her sixth greatgrandfather, Edward Morris Tanner, volunteered alongside Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto and received Spanish land grants that are part of her family’s homestead legacy in East Texas. This fact explains her love of Texas history. She has served as President and is currently Second Vice President of Programming for LDEISA, a women’s organization focused on food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, and agriculture. The group raises money for scholarships and supports local initiatives such as the Time Dollar Community Center, a West Side food pantry and community garden, and the Roy Maas Youth Alternatives shelter. At the shelter, they fulfill resident children’s wish lists for Christmas and create culinary memories for the children. Di-Anna Arias’s journey as a respected culinary and civic leader intertwines with her love for Texas heritage and community engagement. Her creativity, passion, and hard work blend tradition with innovation, meaningfully impacting people who cross her path at work, home, and community.


Women Leading Change San Antonio Visionaries

Women leaders make change look easy, but it’s not. It takes passion and leadership to create change in our communities. In San Antonio, Barbara Goldman of TeamAbility, Rev. Denise Barker of Magdalena House, and Jacquie Leath of Recovery in Motion make a difference for those afflicted with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and substance abuse disorder. Each woman has led in founding a non-profit to impact these societal problems.

By Michelle Vasquez | Photography by Suzanne Pack


Barbara Goldman: Unlocking Potential at TEAMability

An issue that arose was the importance of a team approach to optimize each child’s ability. Initially working within a single school district, she observed the limitations of working in silos and the transformative power of a multidisciplinary team involving occupational therapists (OT), physical therapists (PT), and speech therapists (ST). Her work at schools led to the creation of a non-profit in 2003, aiming to extend these services beyond a single school district to all children in San Antonio.

“It’s been over 20 years, TEAMability has been making an impact in the lives of children with severe and complex disabilities,” says Barbara Goldman, the founder. The core mission of this non-profit is to offer opportunities for children with disabilities to reach their potential because, in her words, “all children deserve that.”

The non-profit grew rapidly, driven by a dedicated team and community support. TEAMability opened its first center in 2006 and expanded further. This growth allowed the organization to cater to various disabilities, including rare genetic disorders.

A driving force behind the organization’s success is her belief in the potential of all children. Despite challenges like funding and professional training gaps, the organization fosters growth, collaboration, and a sense of community among staff and other nonprofits.

The organization provides therapies and emphasizes education and training, partnering with universities to offer practicums and internships for OT, PT, and ST students. They also focus on supporting families emotionally and working on helping them set realistic goals and expectations for their children.

Barbara started her career teaching the blind and visually impaired and took a hiatus to care for her family. A shift in client needs coincided with advancements in medical science, which increased the survival rate of children with severe disabilities. Barbara realized that the needs for the future would impact their methods.

The organization’s triumphs are evident in the significant improvements in the lives of the children they help. These successes are a testament to the organization’s commitment and the community’s support in recognizing the potential of children with disabilities. January/February 2024 19


Rev. Denise Barker Empowering Women at Magdalena House

critical to advancing the organization’s mission. Their participation makes leadership essential to sustaining the organization. “Leadership is about believing in the people that work with you, hearing their ideas, and growing an individual into the best they can be.” Individual growth, however, must be balanced with the pragmatic aspects of managing a non-profit.

Rev. Barker, also known as Denise, created Magdalena House in 2007, focusing on educating and empowering women. Denise talks about their mission, “We walk with women for an unspecified period as long as they are willing to commit to the program of Magdalena House, which includes academics, living in the community, participating in events, and working on their emotional well-being.” Denise, a minister at the United Methodist Church, reflects on her life and the motivation behind starting Magdalena House, a residential community for victims of violence. “I consider myself a feminist. I’ve always had a penchant for empowering women.” Through the encouragement of others, she created the momentum to make Magdalena House a reality. “The number one advice my mentors gave me is you don’t do it alone.” Her board members are


While the vision of Magdalena House stems from personal experiences, Denise emphasizes that though they are a non-profit, you have to run it like a business. “This philosophy is essential to keep my promises to those I’m committed to,” she says. According to Denise, passion is the final element that provides the impetus for mission-led work. “From the ends of my fingertips to the tips of my toes, I believe women should be empowered and valued equally,” she says. Facilitating empowerment and value is at the heart of relationships at Magdalena House. The community transforms the women and children who come to live there for generations. The transformation of these relationships now and in the future provides the most significant rewards of her work. “Without these relationships, I may never have had an opportunity to meet some of the women that I’ve met. They have changed me so much and enhanced my life culturally and emotionally. Transformation is bi-directional, and we are both forever changed,” she reflects.


Jacquilyn Leath Cultivating Hope at Recovery In Motion Everyone who comes to Recovery In Motion experiences the values guiding the organization to those in recovery: diversity, inclusivity, respect, and connection. These are just a few principles that make Recovery In Motion the organization it is. Their passion has translated into successful programming. For example, their “Serenity Under the Stars” program supports those afflicted with SUD and their families by providing a weekend camping getaway designed to foster a community. Another program includes trauma-informed group fitness training. Trauma-informed fitness is unique to their organizational philosophy. The approach creates emotional and physical healing. Jacquilyn Leath is no stranger to adversity. She has overcome obstacles from personal and familial substance abuse to cancer. Her ability to cultivate relationships has been pivotal to her success as a cofounder of Recovery in Motion, which she describes as “a fitness and nutrition-based non-profit that serves people affected by substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health.”

Jacquilyn was motivated to co-found the organization because of her love for her husband and his recovery, for the population they serve, and to enable a positive way forward. “Sometimes disadvantaged populations just need someone to tell them that they’re worth it, that they can do it, and that you’re going to love on them until they can love themselves, and that’s what Recovery in Motion is all about,” she says.

The non-profit was her husband Ty’s, brainchild, and she co-leads the organization in lockstep, building legitimacy in the community. “When you see somebody that you love come from a place where they were hopeless to a place where they have something that they want to do to give back to a community of people, and you understand that passion because you’ve had it, there is nothing more that I would rather do than to support his dream,” she says.

Leadership paves the way for motivation, and mentors are essential. Mentorship is about seeking out people who have proven themselves in the SUD community, can be trusted, and have pure intentions for the organization. The common goal is to see people supported, get services, and get well. The role of leadership is what keeps Jacquilyn coming back. “It fills my soul to know that the teams of people involved see the value in their work because they see lives changed.”

January/February 2024 21


Ashley Landers A Path to Success By Michelle Vasquez | Photography by Katie Clementson


ROLE MODEL Role models inspire with leadership by example, relentless pursuits of excellence, and a willingness to bring others along on their journey. Ashley Landers, CEO of Texas Creative, exemplifies all these qualities. Perhaps that is why she is one of San Antonio’s 40 under 40 leaders. Whether parenting her kids, serving on the board of directors for the Methodist Healthcare Ministries, or taking the helm of Texas Creative, Ashley has a gift for making others feel comfortable. She coaches, mentors, and shares her knowledge with others readily, always being open to the contributions and collaboration of others. Ashley’s foundational values and approach stem from her early years, influenced by her family in Arkansas. Her mother instilled a deep appreciation for education, laying the groundwork for Ashley’s commitment to learning. Complementing this, her grandfather encouraged her to explore Spanish-speaking cultures through language and anthropology starting in the third grade. This exposure ignited Ashley’s passion for languages and cultures, leading to her fluency in Spanish, a skill she has mastered to perfection. Her talent and love of culture led her to work for, at the time, the largest Hispanic agency in the U.S., Bromley Communications. “I’m lucky that the two things I studied, Spanish and Communications, are directly related to my career,” Ashley reflects. Who knew one day, that road would lead her to manage an agency of her own as CEO of Texas Creative? The agency prides itself on providing a solid strategic foundation, elevating projects through exceptional design, and implementing ideas with deep technical expertise. Her journey is eighteen months strong, and in her mind, when the momentum is swinging in your favor, “you gotta jump with it because that’s your chance. You never know if it will swing back the other direction,” she says. Ashley balanced her pregnancy with purchasing and setting up a new agency governance structure with her two partners as she took the helm.

Ashley cites this experience as one of her most significant accomplishments and emphasizes the art of communication. “We’re in the business of communication… If you listen to the problems people are trying to solve – in the boardroom, in a startup’s garage, at a non-profit, in every business meeting – it usually can be boiled down to communication to some degree.” One senses that Ashley is a passionate and motivated leader. Her motivations inspire being the type of person who always has “something to prove.” “Everyone has self-doubt about being where they are; anybody that says that they don’t is probably not honest with themselves,” she explains, “and that’s just from a work perspective.” From a life perspective, it’s proving that she can balance being a great mom, wife, and businesswoman while being present for those who need her. When asked what inspires her, Ashley quickly replies, “It’s not so much about what inspires me, but it’s about me inspiring them as their leader.” When asked what three lessons she would impart to others as a role model, she has the following to say: 1. “Surround yourself with people that are better than you.” By challenging your comfort zone, you will grow. 2. “If you’re going to lead others, don’t lead them for your benefit; lead them for their benefit.” Doing what’s suitable for individual growth is good for the organization. 3. “Change is messy, but almost always good.” Ashley touts being willing to be uncomfortable because that is how we come to do things we haven’t done before, and that is important to personal growth. Ashley Landers’ journey is a compelling example of effective leadership and personal resilience. As CEO, mother, and community advocate, she demonstrates the power of combining professional excellence with a deep commitment to mentorship and personal growth. Ashley’s story underscores a vital message: success is about reaching individual heights, growing, and lifting others up for their development.

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Oscar Villarreal, Jr. Crafting Timeless Memories Through Jewelry

By Michelle Vasquez | Photography by David Teran

GUY TO KNOW In the heart of San Antonio, Oscar Villarreal Jr. shapes the local jewelry landscape with artistry, tradition, and innovation. His journey from a summer job to a lifelong passion in the jewelry business demonstrates the power of hands-on experience, creative drive, and the creation of family memories and heirlooms. “I got into the jewelry business in 1979,” Oscar, a San Antonio native, recalls. He initially joined the industry through his uncle’s business, Dennis Jewelry. “I was going to college, came home one summer, and my uncle asked if I had a job. I didn’t, so I started working with him. Here I am, fortyfour years later, still in it but with a shop of my own.” The shop is called The Jewelry Store, and it is located at 5603 Broadway. Oscar’s passion for jewelry comes from his love for hands-on craftsmanship. “I have always been mechanical,” he says. “My uncle saw that in me. I am a bench jeweler by trade. I sit on the bench and manufacture from scratch. I sculpt, cast, and set – the whole turnkey process.” Clients often bring heirlooms to Oscar, seeking to infuse them with new life. He views each piece as a puzzle, a challenge to merge past elegance with modern flair. “When clients come in, they bring a piece that’s been passed down. I maintain the integrity of the original piece while adding a contemporary touch that relates to the person who brought it into the store. It’s about storytelling,” he explains. Oscar’s intuitive approach to his customers is pivotal. He believes in understanding the person behind each piece. “I have a good sixth sense when I read people. I look at them, see what they’re projecting, and try to incorporate that emotion and their style into the piece.” This connection makes Oscar’s work deeply personal and sought after. When asked what clients should know about shopping for fine jewelry, Oscar highlights two things: work with a jeweler you trust and understand the context of how the piece will be worn. For example, pearls can vary in price, so he might ask what they want the pearls for and

where they will wear them. “People come to me because they might not know what they want but have an idea; as a professional, I talk to them about their needs, wants, and style and then let them decide based on the options we have selected together,” Oscar explains. Working with him is about cultivating a trusted relationship, as purchasing jewelry is profoundly personal and symbolic.

It is the individual relationships that give Oscar a knack for intergenerational service. “I am a generational jeweler. I have worked for families of up to three, going on four generations. It’s not just about making a piece; it’s about creating a legacy.” This reputation for generational service is perhaps why his business thrives on word-ofmouth. People trust Oscar to preserve, update, and create new jewelry that will stand the test of time and be treasured for years to come, and others take note. Oscar Villarreal Jr.’s transition from a summer apprentice to a master jeweler is a personal achievement and a testament to his consistent dedication to his craft. His commitment to preserving tradition and embracing innovation in jewelry-making has become integral to many families’ histories. As he merges traditional methods with modern designs, Oscar remains a key figure in the San Antonio jewelry community, known for his quality craftsmanship. His clients recognize him for creating pieces that hold special meaning and memories. Oscar Villarreal Jr. strives to make each item a part of the fabric of personal stories that are as unique as the individual. January/February 2024 25

San Antonio


the Rodeo

The beloved San Antonio rodeo is right around the corner! Against the backdrop of Tejas Rodeo in Bulverde, our beautiful models, barrel racer Zoey Thygesen of ZT Performance Horses, and country singer Morgan Layne, show off some Western trends to consider this rodeo season!

Photographer: Jennifer Denton, Models: Zoey Thygesen, & Morgan Layne, @morganlaynemusic Stylist: Edie O’Brien, Hair: Taylor Lane Clothing provided by Petticoat Junction, Bulverde & Holly Berries Boutique, Spring Branch Shot on Location: Tejas Rodeo, Bulverde

On Zoey (pictured with her horse Ruby) Scully, Western fringe leather jacket, $279, Petticoat Junction Ces Femme, Off white sheer bodysuit, $45, Petticoat Junction Wyoming Traders, Wild rag-100% silk, $48, Petticoat Junction Fate, Black faux leather skirt, $50, Petticoat Junction Boots, Ariat Cassanova Brooklyn black, $270, Petticoat Junction Hat & belt: Zoey’s own


On Morgan: Mustard Seed, Denim feathered dress, $62, Petticoat Junction Dan Post, The Loverly boot, $305, Petticoat Junction Uno de 50, Silver with turquoise pendant necklace, $240, Petticoat Junction Uno de 50, Heart beats bracelet, $155, Petticoat Junction Uno de 50, Swarovski & silver cross bracelet, $250, Petticoat Junction Uno de 50 ring, $140, Petticoat Junction Hat: Stylist’s own

January/February 2024 27


On Zoey: Ariat, Endless Serape Blazer, $90, Petticoat Junction Rock & Roll, studded tank, $32, Petticoat Junction Ran Can, Jeans, $85, Holly Berries Boutique Bracelet, $18, Holly Berries Boutique 20” 6mm Navajo pearl necklace, $225, Petticoat Junction Belt: Zoey’s own Boots: Stylist’s own


On Morgan: Wishlist, Sequin relaxed crop top, $48, Petticoat Junction Ariat, Sage suede top, $80, Petticoat Junction Rock & Roll, Rust embroidered corduroy pants, $88, Petticoat Junction Belt, Ariat, $69, Petticoat Junction Bracelet, $18, Holly Berries Boutique 14” 8mm Navajo pearl necklace, $138, Petticoat Junction Turquoise Pendant, $180, Petticoat Junction Boots: Morgan’s own

Bag? What’s in your

Angela McClendon Johnson By Lainey Berkus Photography by Suzanne Pack

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG Who jumps up and down, paces the field, and cheers from the top of their lungs more than a committed soccer mom? No one!

blankets and portable chairs with me, too. Puzzles, books, and drawing/coloring supplies are handy for the downtime in between games, practices, and tournaments...

Readers, I proudly introduce you to Angela McClendon Johnson. By day, this superpower is a committed premier project manager at a top insurance bank in the Alamo City. By late afternoon, she turns into a passionate, hands-on SOCCER MOM extraordinaire.

How do you survive the busy soccer season? Preparation is the key to surviving and enjoying soccer life. Both moms and the players need to organize themselves for the season. This means making sure I stay on top of laundry, meal prepping, balancing homework, family, and quiet times, plus all the other things we moms do in life.

Every day, this high-energy and go-getter professional trades in her fabulous designer handbags, exquisite professional clothing, and stunning 5-inch heels for a Texas Longhorn jersey — with plenty of bling— leggings or yoga pants and wedge sneakers. Her must-have accessories are a visor, sunglasses, a Yeti water bottle in hand, her cell phone, and a massive soccer bag so heavy she needs a utility wagon to tow it around. Eight seasons and counting…Year-round, this soccerista drives her two sons (often with six of their teammates) to practices, games, tournaments, clinics, and summer camps. Simply put, rain or shine, Angela is in the moment with her growing kids, who are competitively chasing that black and white soccer ball all over San Antonio. “Being a soccer mom is an artful balance of support, dedication, and the joy found in every kick, win or defeat. More importantly, this game provides valuable life lessons to my children and their teammates. Playing soccer helps our young people understand hard work. Kids learn about concentration and focus, decision-making, perseverance, problem-solving, communication skills, cooperation, leadership, and good sportsmanship. Through the highs and lows of the soccer field, my kids not only have an appreciation for the game but learn profound lessons of resilience, teamwork, and personal growth. Soccer isn’t just about scoring goals; it’s a field where their character matures while developing skills that shape them into well-rounded individuals ready to face life’s challenges.” Let’s jump right in and discover what the must-haves are in Angela’s soccer bag. What are your Soccer Mom essentials, the items you must have on hand? My soccer bag is an organized chaos of preparedness and versatility. Within its depth lies everything you need to be ready to play in an active practice or a competitive game. Soccer balls, air pump, mouth guards, sweatbands, headbands, bug spray, water bottles, plastic bags, sports braces, snacks galore for recharging, sunscreen, umbrellas, canopy, extra jerseys, shin guards, cleats, sweatpants, changes of clothing, deodorant, portable cleansing towelettes, a first aid kit for occasional mishaps (on and off the field), cooling towels, spray water bottles, extra socks, and hand warmers. I always carry

My phone is the major tool to stay organized and in the know. As a soccer mom, you must embrace technology. I have three soccer apps that connect me to the other soccer moms and players on the team. The TeamSnap and Mojo apps keep soccer moms updated on schedules, canceled games, time changes, results, scores, snack assignments, and so much more. The games are live, too. My fellow soccer moms and I also upload our game images, videos, and comments onto the apps. What are your tips from the sidelines? Clean out your soccer bag at least once a week, along with vacuuming, washing, and disinfecting your car. Time your meals and snacks. You don’t want your players overeating before the game on anything other than healthy foods like energy bars, protein snacks, carrots, and oranges. Always be prepared with lots of water. Have a mental checklist. Before I head to the field, I go through all the schedules and the needs of each family member. Moms (and Dads) must balance their timelines so they can support their children on and off the field, too. I make it a point to be cognizant of school tests, quizzes, projects, and homework assignments for my kids and make sure to balance the quality time of studying and resting. Know the etiquette of the game. Your children are watching how you handle yourself on and off the field. You always want to be respectful to everyone on the team, the coach, and other parents under all circumstances. If you have a concern with the coach or a call, handle it with calm and thoughtful dignity. Every act and word is a teachable moment. The soccer mom is there to teach values and help their children deal with adversity and uncomfortable situations and conversations. Everyone reacts differently and not always with kindness. I prefer to be a beacon of light, a vessel for what is right, and lead by example. It is all part of the soccer game — and prepares you for the real world, outside the sport. Be ready to cheer on all the team players – fostering those leadership skills, giving endless pep talks (win or lose), with plenty of high fives. January/February 2024 33


Give Us 3 Months… We Will Give You Ten Years!! By Bill Murphy, MD, Medical Director, Turquoise Springs Medical Spa

The aesthetic fellowship training experience I completed just over five years ago was replete with tips and stories from many different experts from around the world. One of my professors has a clinical practice in Las Vegas with clients ranging from showgirls to Hollywood stars to tourists visiting the Las Vegas strip. Many of the visitors would ask him for a complete make-over while they were there for only a few days. His response was, “If you give me 3 months, I can give you 10 years”. A short phrase, but full of meaning. So much of what we see in marketing, in the media, or online appears to make everything we desire or wish to change in our lives appear to be so easy. Lose the weight, look younger, have more energy, be the person we wish to be…….all we have to do is take this pill, this shot, use this cream, buy this exercise machine and so on. We all know it is much harder than that. In fact, the hardest part is making the decision to make the change and mustering the discipline to hold ourselves accountable. Once done, then you must decide what you wish to accomplish, what the plan is, and what the timeline is. My professor’s response made an immediate impression on me and helped me realize how to set a treatment plan for each individual’s needs. Some clients have a goal to lose a few pounds or reverse a few lines or wrinkles. Others desire to start a make-over, which requires more steps and more time. Not everyone needs a long-range plan, but everyone needs a plan. As I write this, it is the final days of the last week of the year 2023. The new year of 2024 is upon 34

us, and a time most of us resolve to make the next year better, healthier, and more productive. Most resolutions revolve around losing weight, exercising more, and reducing stress, but a goal is not a plan. So, with detailed instructions, a timeline, expectations, and a bit of oversight, most hit the dustbin by early February. Let’s discuss how to be successful in 2024. A wellplanned consultation will first list what we wish to accomplish. It can be a simple or complex list.

For a simple consult, it will be directed toward the one or two goals stated by the patient. “I want to look less wrinkled. I wish to feel less tired.” For a more complicated make-over, I will go over the basics of body composition, diet, skin health, supplements used, medical issues, sleep patterns, exercise, daily skincare routine, and aesthetic history. We will discuss the many tools or “arrows” in the aesthetic “quiver” to apply to the problems to reach the goal and the proper order and timeline for each treatment or service. For weight loss and nutritional health, we might start a personalized 8-week program to reach the goal. If body shape is an issue, non-invasive body contouring with TruSculp iD and Flex for fat reduction and muscle toning is possible. Skin rejuvenation with natural bio stimulators like PRF Gel to increase collagen and elastin and make skin look younger and more supple is a possibility. Fillers, neuromodulators like Botox, lifting threads, and chemical peels may be just what the doctor suggests for wrinkles, saggy skin, or thin skin. Microneedling, light and laser energy applications, and red light treatments can make skin more youthful and healthy looking. And let’s not forget health and vigor under the skin as well to combat inflammation, poor immunity, and fatigue. Proper supplements and vitamins can make skin, hair, nails, and body healthier. Change won’t happen overnight. It takes setting a goal and deciding on a reasonable timeline where you will commit to small improvements each week toward the goal. Then, set a plan unique to you, and one which can be accomplished if followed. At Turquoise Springs, we like to say, “If you give us 3 months, we can give you 10 years!”. If you think you can follow a plan for 3 months, we agree with you!! Call 210-253-3313 or go to our website at to schedule a consultation.

Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace Meet the Producer of Broadway Dreams and the Magic Behind the Joci Awards By Shauna Forkenbrock | Photography by Jeanann Wilkinson of J Wilkinson Co

In the captivating world of the performing arts, Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace stands out as a shining star. As the Executive Director of the Majestic Empire Foundation, formerly known as Las Casas Foundation, Jaselyn brings a rich mosaic of experiences to her role with passion, dedication, and a flair for theatrical brilliance. The Joci Awards: Where Young Stars Are Born At the heart of Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace’s story lies the Majestic Empire Foundation, an institution deeply committed to preserving the past, enriching the present, and nurturing the future of the performing arts through preservation and through the cultivation of young performing artists. Central to its mission is the belief that the performing arts can change lives. The Majestic Empire Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship Program empowers college-bound high school students to pursue higher education. This program, now in its 16th year, offers financial support and invaluable educational opportunities such as workshops and master classes. The pinnacle of this program is the Joci Awards, an electrifying Broadway-caliber performance featuring 25 exceptionally talented performing arts high school students from 38 cities across Texas, which will be held this upcoming May 5th at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. Jaselyn has many reasons to be gratified with the Joci Awards, “Since the inception of the Joci Awards in 2009, the Majestic Empire Foundation has proudly awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships, making us the largest scholarship funding source for the performing arts in the United States.” For the past seven years, Jaselyn has orchestrated a mesmerizing transformation, taking the Majestic Empire Foundation’s signature event, The Joci Awards, and sculpting it into a Broadway-caliber extravaganza. As the Executive Producer of this spectacular showpiece, she has elevated not only its artistic grandeur but also its impact. Affectionately dubbed the “Tony Awards of Texas,” it’s a testament to Jaselyn’s unwavering commitment to nurturing the future of the performing arts and ensuring that the spotlight always shines on the stars of tomorrow. Jaselyn’s Trajectory Destined for Greatness Jaselyn’s brilliance doesn’t end on the stage; it permeates every facet of her artistic journey. She’s a theatrical producer, an actress who knows the limelight intimately, a singer whose voice can move

hearts, a playwright who weaves narratives that enchant, a choreographer who orchestrates movement like poetry, and a BBC/Audio Go audiobook narrator who transports listeners. Her multidimensional background is a treasure trove of creativity, and it’s this diverse expertise that she brings to the table enriched by her academic accolades. Armed with a Bachelor of Music (BM) from New York University and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the esteemed Brown University, she’s a true scholar of the arts. A Legacy for Generations: Majestic Empire Foundation’s Enduring Impact Jaselyn’s passionate and visionary leadership is the driving force behind Majestic Empire Foundation’s educational initiatives. She explains, “I’m dedicated to fostering a profound connection with students, schools, community organizations, and individuals throughout the San Antonio and South Texas region through our educational initiatives.” This commitment to outreach and engagement is a cornerstone of the foundation’s ethos, achieved through diverse educational and enrichment programs. One of the foundation’s key initiatives is its Masterclasses & Workshops, which provide invaluable educational opportunities for students and provides paid opportunities for teaching artists, a testament to Jaselyn’s commitment to nurturing talent and expertise in the field. Through these multifaceted initiatives, guided by Jaselyn’s commitment and leadership in continuing education, the Majestic Empire Foundation remains unwavering in its mission to enrich the cultural tapestry of the San Antonio community and cultivate a deep appreciation for the performing arts both locally and throughout the South Texas region. Jaselyn says it best, “Through the power of the performing arts, we can change lives, inspire transformation, and create a cultural legacy that resonates for generations to come.” Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace is more than an artist; she’s a force of nature, a visionary leader, and the beating heart of the performing arts. Her story is a testament to what one individual can achieve when fueled by passion, talent, and a relentless drive for excellence. In the world of theater, she’s a name that ensures that the show always goes on, and it does so in the grandest, most spectacular fashion imaginable.

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How to Design a Room Around Your Peloton By Shawna Percival CEO + Creative Director, Styleberry Creative Interiors

Our team is known for being a very active bunch, so naturally, when the pandemic made it difficult to attend our favorite studio classes safely, we made our homes into a place to work out. You too?! I, personally, added a Peloton, which isn’t as pretty but is perfect for squeezing in between all my kids’ swim meets & lacrosse practices. Nothing makes me laugh harder, work harder, & get my life together more (ha!) than Cody. Tunde’s arm challenge is also a personal fave! Our Director of Design, Kennedi, also brought home a Peloton around the same time. Between the two of us and our equally active clients, we’ve bonded over our love of Peloton’s quick burn, sharing it with our spouses, & of course… designing beautiful homes around this bulky piece of machinery! If you have been wondering where to put your Peloton… how to help it blend into the design of the room… & how to hide it out of sight… this one’s for you. Let’s take it step by step.


1. Which room will house your Peloton? When we help clients design a room around their Pelotons, we always consider placement first. Gyms, bedrooms, & utility rooms are the go-to locations, but it depends on the space you have available… & who will have to look at it when it’s not in use!

AT HOME This client’s space is a home office/workout hybrid room, where we fit a treadmill & a Peloton. This was a smaller home with no separate space for the workout room, so we got creative! The closet houses gear, there’s a window for a view, and any Zoom calls will not have a machine in the background, so no one will be the wiser.

The same is true for hardwood floors. Although levelness isn’t a problem, a mat will protect those floors from potential damage. Even if you have carpet or a rug, we’d probably recommend a mat to protect the soft surface from any sweat.

2. Will your Peloton be out in the open or hidden? In this home office, it wasn’t possible to hide the Peloton, but in a larger room, it can definitely be done. Again, creativity is key! Here’s a great example:

Kennedi’s house, where her beautiful Peloton set up includes a mat for stability. Stylish partitions always help if we are trying to hide the Peloton. We added a partition to this bedroom, so from the door and the bed, our clients will only see the seating area. We also put a floor mirror in front of the Peloton to add some light & a reflection of the pretty art on the wall by the seating area. This keeps it out of sight but not closed in. 3. Is the flooring stable & supportive? Once we have the location identified, we have to consider how the Peloton will sit on the floor & if it needs a mat. If you have tile floors, you’ll probably want a mat to level the service and keep it from catching on the grout.

4. Is there enough space around the bike? We need to consider the space around the bike for a variety of reasons. Yes, this question may have already come into play when we were considering where to put a Peloton in a home, but there’s more to it than that: If the rider does other classes on it, they will need space to raise their arms or get out of the saddle. If the bike is a Bike+, we have to pay attention to where the screen swivels for mat classes.

January/February 2024 39

AT HOME If there is other equipment in the room, do we have space for it? Or can we strategically hide it? Is there a nice view? Natural light? Room to breathe? Etc. You know best what you need from the space. & if you’re working with us, we’ll ask all the important questions to help you discover and address those needs. 5. What else do you need in the room? Don’t forget access to an electrical outlet! Pelotons need to be plugged in, so if you find the best location in your home but you can’t access electrical, you’ll have a problem. The other essential to factor into the equation? Fans & airflow. Because you’re going to sweat!

The QR code links to a panorama of the space above—this is our immersive VR experience. We are the only design firm in town offering clients a VR experience before implementing their design concept.

6. Can you make your Peloton work with the room’s color palette? Yes. If there’s a will, there’s a way. If we can work the decor around the black & red color scheme, we do, but here at Styleberry we have an allergy to the color red. In most cases, we choose to add contrast instead (think black & white) so that the Peloton blends in with the room as a black accessory. Then, we’ll add at least one or two other elements in the same color scheme to help it feel cohesive. 7. How should you style a space with a Peloton in it? Just like any other space! Styling a space with a Peloton in it isn’t so different from incorporating a black TV or other large appliance into a room. We treat Pelotons like any other accessory and try not to make the room feel like a gym (unless that is the goal). Instead, we apply our signature touch to the space, like we did in Kennedi’s home. You can follow our lead by adding a gallery wall of art, some fresh (or faux) greenery to boost your spirits, and simple yet meaningful decor to make the space feel warm and welcoming. Or, hire us for Custom Interior Design, and we’ll design the room for you! Until next time, you do you, boo! Shawna 40

Styleberry Creative Interiors specializes in fresh, relaxed design for local renovations + furnishing design nationwide. We often work virtually for furnishings projects, even for some SA clients. We offer fresh, relaxed, meaningful design plans for women who want to lead their renovation or home furnishings projects with ease. We believe in creating spaces where you can come home &... exhale. Spaces that help you power down, connect, and really live. Giving you the tools to proudly create these spaces yourself? That’s what sets us on fire! Find us online at or on Instagram at styleberrycreativeinteriors.

come see us in person, to view our courtyard filled with sample walls

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connect. empower. transform.

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connect. empower. transform.

Impact San Antonio members have selected six nonprofits to receive this year’s $100,000 High Impact Grants. Four will receive $10,000 Support Grants. HIGH IMPACT GRANTS ($100,000) Wonder Theatre Experience Wonder Arts & Culture Restore Education East Side Community Learning Lab Education

Great Springs Project Landowner Engagement Initiative Environment, Recreation & Preservation

Kinetic Kids No Limits for Adapted Sports & Fine Arts Health & Wellness

Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Technology Upgrades for Client Records Family

Respite Care of San Antonio Oasis in San Antonio’s Childcare Desert Education

SUPPORT GRANTS ($10,000): Agarita, Headwaters at the Comal, Latched Support, YMCA of Greater San Antonio

We thank them for their work to transform lives in our community

Dossier Private Bankers

As we move into 2024, there continues to be uncertainty about the economy. It is more important than ever to stay on top of our finances and make smart decisions about what to do with our money. Private Bankers offer a wealth of knowledge and personal service to help you navigate your financial future. Meet some of San Antonio’s top Private Bankers in this month’s Dossier section!

January/February 2024 43


American Bank

L-R -- Jeff Hawthorn, Senior Private Banker; Diana Cervantes, Loan Administrative Assistant – Private Banking; Anthony Perez, Private Banker; Candace Tottenham, Senior Fiduciary & Compliance Officer; Jerry Daniel, Senior Private Banker; Susan Wiesner, Managing Director, Fiduciary Services.

DOSSIER Why do your clients benefit from having a Private Banker? Perhaps our most precious commodity of all is our time. And most people simply do not have enough of it. American Bank’s Private Banking team works hard to become a trusted partner for our clients, which enables them to focus on other priorities in their lives, such as running a business, volunteering, or spending time with their family. We get to know our clients so we understand what is important to them and how we can best serve them.

What are some examples of Private Banking services you provide? How do you work together with Wealth Management? Our team of Private Bankers, Trust and Wealth Advisors work in concert to develop and implement custom financial strategies for high-net-worth individuals and businesses. Our services include investment strategies, financial planning, specialty asset management, trust and fiduciary services, family office solutions, estate planning and administration, as well as custom lending and cash flow management. Like everything we do, we focus on delivering exceptional client service.

What sets you apart from other Private Bankers? American Bank’s fundamental approach to banking is proactively client-centric and relationship-focused. This means we focus on building long-lasting and meaningful relationships with our clients. Our Bankers are locally based and deeply experienced in providing advice and adapting strategies to ensure that our clients are well-prepared for the future.

How do you define success in working with your clients? Client satisfaction is a crucial indicator of our success. We believe happy clients are the result of meeting or exceeding their expectations and delivering open and effective communication. We feel that we truly serve a noble purpose within our industry. We get to share and participate in the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of our clients. Creating strategies and providing tailored solutions to assist clients in succeeding along their life’s journey is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of our business.

200 Concord Plaza Drive, Suite 120, San Antonio, TX 78216 (210) 930-9700 | INVESTMENT AND WEALTH SERVICES: Not a deposit | Not FDIC insured | No Bank guarantee | May lose value


Broadway Bank Pictured L-R: Michelle Beza - AVP, Private Banker; Margaret Below - SVP, Private Banker; Brandy McQuiston - AVP, Private Banker

What are the benefits of having a Private Banker? We provide a high level of service while offering customized solutions for clients. Our Private Bankers will clear your path to any account, loan, investment or solution you require for yourself, your family and your business. As a Private Banking client, you will have access to various lending options and custom-tailored advice to help you achieve your personal and business financial goals. What sets you apart from other Private Bankers? We pride ourselves on developing a personal connection with our clients and are committed to gaining a deep understanding of their unique financial needs and objectives. Our partnership is built on a foundation of trust, confidence, and communication that begins with our initial meeting and extends through every stage of their financial journey, ensuring their success every step of the way. How do you differ from a Wealth Advisor? How do you work together? Our Wealth and Private Banking teams work in concert to ensure the needs of our clients are met. If the most pressing need happens to be a customized loan, deposit or business banking need our Private Bankers can assist. We serve as the connector and assembler for Broadway Bank’s vast resources. This includes collaboration with our Wealth Management team of highly credentialed professionals who work together to provide a comprehensive proposal for structuring and managing your customized portfolio. As a Broadway Wealth Management client, our team will provide you with customized solutions, a dedicated Portfolio Manager and access to experts with experience in specialized services. What do you love most about your work? We value the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with clients, understand their stories, and collaborate to achieve their financial aspirations. The ability to make a genuine impact in our clients’ lives while helping to retain and build their wealth for their future is incredibly rewarding. Broadway Bank 1177 NE Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78209 (210) 283-4023 | Private Banking at Broadway Bank is subject to eligibility qualifications. Eligibility criteria may include financial, professional, and/or account verification and evaluation. Subject to change without notice. Member FDIC.


Frost Private Banking Pictured L-R: Gloria Connor, Assistant Vice President; Cindy Snyder, Vice President; Sibonae Jones, Vice President; Maralessa Gonzales, Assistant Vice President; Mildred Markl, Assistant Vice President; Denise Henk, Assistant Vice President; Leanne Ethridge, Senior Vice President | Not pictured: Linda Douglas, Senior Vice President; Veronica Payne, Vice President; Kandice Persad, Assistant Vice President

What type of clients benefit from having a Private Banker? We find that affluent individuals and families look to a trusted advisor to offer guidance through the various wealth management issues that may arise throughout their financial life cycle. That said, our clients are also those who benefit from a holistic approach that offers solutions to their multi-faceted financial needs. What are some examples of Private Banking services you provide? Our private bankers serve as the primary point of contact for the full suite of services offered through Frost. From traditional banking and credit management to planning centered on investments, insurance, or your estate, our bankers are here to help you prioritize and realize your goals. What sets you apart from other Private Bankers? Rather than categorizing our clients’ finances, we view them as parts of a whole. In the pursuit of helping our clients reach their goals, we collaborate with Frost specialists in investments and insurance, as well as with the clients’ CPAs, attorneys, and other advisors. At Frost, you have the benefit of specialists across many disciplines, all working together to help you protect and grow your wealth. How do you define success in working with your clients? Our success is measured against helping our clients achieve their financial goals. When a client is able to buy their dream vacation home or watch their child graduate from medical school with no student loan debt, we know we’ve done our job right. We are grateful when a client is gracious and willing to share their experience and refer a friend or family member. In doing so, it demonstrates our bankers have provided valuable guidance and excellent service. Frost Private Banking 111 W. Houston Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205 (800) 513-7678 |


Jefferson Bank Private Banking Pictured L-R: Mary Ellen Archer, Carixa Martinez, Katie Butler, Whitney Pigg, Vilma Pena, Betsy Baker What type of clients benefit from having a Private Banker? Our solutions cater to diverse situations: Family Offices, complex businesses pursuing personalized services, or families with a legacy of wealth seeking approachable advice. We understand the unique requirements of multigenerational families, women, professionals, and entrepreneurs and aim to provide comprehensive financial services tailored to each client’s needs. What are some examples of Private Banking services you provide? Our team has the capabilities to pay close attention to your accounts, allowing us to anticipate and plan for a variety of situations. We act as the primary point of contact, maintaining a close partnership with your CPA, lawyer, and other advisors. Our team has tools and resources that allow us to personally execute services across our various bank departments, such as moving money and opening accounts. How do you differ from a wealth manager? How do you work together? Think of us as your comprehensive financial companion. While our focus is banking, we collaborate with 1900 Wealth, our investment subsidiary, to ensure a seamless integration between your checking and investment accounts. We take a holistic view of your financial life and help support you through every stage- growing your business, educating your family about financial strength, and bringing in team members to strategically plan for your future- maximizing opportunities along the way. What sets you apart from other Private Bankers? We believe that financial stability isn’t just about numbers; it’s about personal fulfillment. Your family, your business, and you are truly personal to us. We have a team of smart, caring individuals, located here in San Antonio. We know this community and are honored to serve it. For us, it’s not just banking; it’s about building a future legacy for you to feel proud to pass on. Jefferson Bank PO Box 5190, San Antonio, Texas 78201 (210) 736-7600 | Jefferson Bank Member FDIC, Wealth Management and Insurance products are not FDIC insured, Not a deposit, Not Insured by and federal government agency, Not bank guaranteed. May lose value.


5K Vending LLC & 5K Coffee Co.

Amber Gaines Owner/Operator

What sets 5K Vending apart from other vending machine businesses? I can’t speak for other vending machine operators, but at 5K Vending, we strive to be responsive and adaptive. I think most operators can manage costs and set prices appropriately, but I want to be the best at giving our customers what they want, when they want it. So when customers were asking for fresh and healthy food options, I sourced locally owned food providers and collaborated to develop packaging that was suitable for vending machines and micro markets. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? The advice that has helped me the most was from my Dad. He was a very quiet person and used to tell me that it was important to listen more than you speak. I believe that learning to listen has served me well in business, as I am able to really listen to what colleagues and customers are communicating. What would people be surprised to know about you? Most people are surprised to learn that I do my own vending machine repairs and maintenance. We have

many different types and brands of machines, so learning was a daunting and often humbling process. I believe being able to fix machines myself was important in order to maximize the time the machines are in service and to manage costs. Because of this repair knowledge, we are able to buy broken machines and refurbish them to use in our routes. Who has influenced you the most in your life or career? My Mom. She was an excellent role model for me, and the skills she taught me have served me well throughout life. She loved people and always made you feel like you were the only person in the world when speaking to her. She worked hard, especially on the things that mattered most to her. She also taught me the importance of being able to rely on yourself, which is another reason why it was a priority for me to learn to repair vending machines. What do you do to relax outside of work? To relax, I enjoy working in the yard with my plants, playing with my kids (hide and seek is their favorite!), fishing, and having my family over to visit.

5K Vending LLC & 5K Coffee Co. 10448 Gulfdale Street, Suite 5, San Antonio, TX 78216 210.441.2106 |


Esther Kwon

Chief Executive Officer Methodist Hospital | Texsan

Amber Austin Vice President CBRE


Heather Hanson President BioMed SA

Dr. Mary Lou Lugo, PT President/Owner Liberty Rehabilitation


Making An Impact on San Antonio’s Healthcare Ecosystem By Blithe Wiley | Photography by David Teran

According to a 2021 study commissioned by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the healthcare and biosciences sector of the San Antonio economy delivered a $44 billion impact to the region and directly employed more than 180,000 people. Today, one out of five San Antonians works in the healthcare and biosciences industry locally, and this sector is the largest regional economic contributor in the seventh largest city in the U.S. The healthcare and biosciences sector of the San Antonio community is a remarkably diverse one that offers career paths that span areas ranging from direct patient contact to research positions to even supporting areas such as real estate. In this article, you will meet four women professionals whose careers represent varied areas of the San Antonio healthcare and biosciences industry.

January/February 2024 51


Esther Kwon

care. We continuously partner with our expert physicians on how we can advance care through the adoption of new technologies and evidencebased protocols and the elevation of the knowledge, skills, and competencies of our multistakeholder care team.

Esther Kwon was named Chief Executive Officer of Methodist Hospital | Texsan in May 2023. The 120-bed facility offers advanced cardiovascular and orthopedic services in addition to general medical care. Prior to joining Methodist Hospital | Texsan, Kwon served at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin for more than 11 years, including serving six years as its Chief Operating Officer.

This emphasis on continual workforce development is an integral component of delivering outstanding health care to the San Antonio and South Texas communities both now and in the future. “Texsan is focused on developing nurse leaders through mentorship programs, partnering with community schools to create externships and clinical pathways for ancillary and nursing professions, and providing bridge programs for individuals interested in career transitions within the organization,” Kwon said.

Chief Executive Officer, Methodist Hospital | Texsan

“Methodist Healthcare has an exceptional reputation that extends beyond the San Antonio community for delivering high-quality care and service. It’s truly a unique and impactful organization because of its partnership with the Methodist Healthcare Ministries, which allows us to live out our mission of ‘serving humanity to honor God’ both within the four walls of our organization and also in the communities. I was excited to be part of Methodist Healthcare because our mission gives me great purpose personally and professionally.” Kwon noted that a large part of her job is establishing and communicating a shared vision to the organization that meets and responds to the community’s needs, aligning teams and resources to achieve the vision, and supporting innovation and performance improvement, she explained. According to Kwon, the size of Methodist Hospital | Texsan allows it to be agile in its responses to the community’s needs. “We are elevating the services we provide to best meet the healthcare needs in the community,” she said. “We are a high-touch, high-service facility where we really get to know our patients.” “Here at Methodist Hospital | Texsan, we continue to make advancements in our service offerings, particularly in our cardiovascular


Heather Hanson President, BioMed SA

BioMedSA is a membership-based nonprofit that was founded in 2005 to accelerate the growth of San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector, create regional economic benefits, and support the establishment of San Antonio as a leader in healthcare and bioscience. Heather Hanson was named president of BioMedSA nearly four years ago after working in multiple areas of the medical device industry, including research, design, regulatory, manufacturing and clinical trials. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University and her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. Hanson has designed medical products and equipment, resulting in 24 patents, and also founded a successful consulting company, Corvax Solutions, to assist companies and entrepreneurs in the development of medical devices.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS Hanson is passionate about BioMedSA’s mission to grow the healthcare and bioscience ecosystem in San Antonio. “BioMedSA plays a central role in helping companies develop and expand in the growing San Antonio healthcare and bioscience ecosystem. We also help to bring partners in these sectors together for collaborative opportunities and promote the region and its assets.” “What originally drew me to the field of biosciences was my desire to have my work benefit other people and improve their quality of life,” Hanson explained. “Today, BioMedSA is helping healthcare and bioscience companies reach their goals by connecting them with resources and other companies for collaborative ventures,” she said. “We’re helping companies that are already here, companies that are coming here, and the community at large.” As part of its support of the growth of the San Antonio healthcare and bioscience sector, BioMed SA annually honors leaders of healthcare innovation through its Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience. BioMedSA has also collaborated with San Antonio’s Workforce Solutions Alamo to help local residents identify healthcare sector career paths that are a good fit for them and help them get the specialized education and training to secure such careers.

Amber Austin

estate holdings. “My job is to help healthcare and medical practices make their physical assets the most successful they can be,” Austin explained. Today, Austin manages approximately 230,000 square feet of local healthcare office space in her portfolio. “On a day-to-day basis, I work to attract healthcare professionals to these properties as well as help practices find new locations or expand existing ones,” she said. She noted the healthcare real estate sector comes with unique challenges. “The construction costs to build or remodel medical space have increased dramatically post-pandemic, resulting in a domino effect on deal structures. The cost to build out medical space was always higher than that of non-medical offices due to the specialized nature of healthcare real estate, but not to this degree, Austin explained. “As a result, landlords have increased rental rates to offset these augmented costs, causing an overall increase in the cost to do business on both sides of the table.” Austin explained that her part in the local healthcare delivery process is very much a supporting one. “The doctors and medical professionals I work with are the ones who are improving our healthcare delivery systems today. My role is to help them place their facilities in the very best locations for their practices. That way, they can perform their best work and deliver superior healthcare services to our residents.”

Vice President, CBRE

Amber Austin is Vice President of CBRE San Antonio, where she specializes in healthcare landlord and tenant representation. In her 20-plus-year career, she has successfully negotiated over seven million square feet of lease and sales transactions. When Austin relocated to San Antonio from Dallas in 2002, she diversified her portfolio to include working with owners, doctors, and medical practices to maximize the value of their real

Dr. Mary Lou Lugo, PT President/Owner; Liberty Rehabilitation Liberty Rehabilitation was founded in 2002 as a physical and occupational therapy practice. Mary Lou Lugo worked as a physical therapist for several January/February 2024 53


years before acquiring the practice in 2013. Today, she has grown the practice from four to 24 employees at three San Antonio locations and has continued to expand their therapy services. Lugo became interested in physical therapy as a career after seeing her cousin, who had lupus, become comatose as a result of a medical mistake and also her high school friend who injured her knee in athletics. Lugo saw how both benefited from different physical therapy applications. “My career path gives me continual opportunities to help patients regain their previous abilities,” Lugo said. “In our practice, we go above and beyond in treating our patients like family. We very much promote the one-on-one relationship.” Today, Liberty’s therapists hold certifications in a variety of physical therapy specialties, including lymphedema, TMJ, hand disorders, and more. The practice also has geriatric, strength and conditioning, CrossFit, and neurology-certified specialists. Lugo is proud of the community outreach programs Liberty has established in an effort to help others in the community live healthier lives. “We offer free senior yoga and senior exercise classes at two of our practice locations,” she said. “In addition, we offer a ‘Better Bones Program’ for our osteoporosis clients, where we teach them how to exercise safely. We are also going to be launching our ‘Safe Landing Program,’ which teaches seniors how to fall safely and how to prevent falls.” She emphasized that she and her staff are a group of specialists who are dedicated to helping their patients get better faster. “To us, it’s all about keeping people moving,” Lugo said. “When you move better, you feel better, and you have a better quality of life. Our overall theme is ‘Move well, feel well, be well.’”

As a visionary leader for South Texas Spine & Surgical Hospital, Angie has had continued success in building successful teams that drive innovation, operational excellence, and strategic collaborations. She is recognized for creating an organizational culture that thrives on authenticity, kindness, vulnerability, and transparency. She is an experienced leader in healthcare operations and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders. Her philosophy emphasizes the importance of extending empathy and compassion for each individual who is encountered throughout the day; this includes patients, family members, staff, and doctors. “Exceeding expectations in all we do is a vital part of the culture. I’m here to serve everyone, from physicians to employees to patients. It takes every single one of us, and it’s important for us to come together as a team by focusing on service excellence.” She has helped drive STSSH to be named one of the top surgical hospitals in the state.

Angie M. Kauffman, RN, MSN, MBA, NE-BC Chief Executive Officer

South Texas Spine & Surgical Hospital and Outpatient Center 18600 Hardy Oak Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78258 210-507-4090 |

Angie started her career as a scrub tech and worked her way through various healthcare positions before functioning as a CEO. There are only 15% of female Hospital/Healthcare CEOs and Angie takes her role as a mentor seriously as she inspires the next generation of female leaders. She knows she would not be where she is today if it were not for those before her who inspired and empowered her. “I know my success is directly related to breaking the stereotypical boundaries of businessmen in suits. There are facets of a female CEO that can deliver different perspectives to a healthcare organization.” Angie obtained her BSN and MSN from Texas Tech Health and Science Center and her MBA from The Ken Blanchard School of Business at Grand Canyon University. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending quality time with her family. January/February 2024 55




Anne Melby,

Director of Spa & Recreation, Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness in San Antonio As Director of Spa & Recreation, Melby will oversee the daily operations of Loma de Vida, an opulent 25,000-square-foot center offering an array of spa services, treatments, and wellness classes along with Recreation and Retail for La Cantera Resort & Spa. Melby’s impressive career encompasses diverse leadership roles in spa, wellness, hospitality and med-spa operations. To her new role at Loma de Vida, Melby brings not only a lifelong dedication to wellness but also a wealth of knowledge poised to enhance guest experiences and solidify the spa’s reputation as an elite destination for wellness enthusiasts.

Introducing primary care every Texan deserves. • Medical Visits • Nutrition Services • Physical Therapy*

Teresa A. Seidel, RPLS

• Mental Health Counseling*

Project Manager, Colliers Engineering & Design

Colliers Engineering and Design San Antonio announces the appointment of Teresa Seidel, RPLS, as Texas Regional Discipline Leader. As a Registered Professional Land Surveyor, Teresa brings 36 years of experience in surveying and management. She specializes in a wide range of surveying services including utilities, boundary, tree, topographical, design, site selection, improvements, route, and construction surveying. Teresa has been with the firm, formally KFW Engineers & Surveying, for over 15 years and is paramount to the firm’s success, leading surveying services across Texas. Michelle Rodriguez, MD

Celeste Rodgers

Senior Project Surveyor, Colliers Engineering and Design Colliers Engineering and Design San Antonio announces the appointment of Celeste Rogers, SIT, as Senior Project Surveyor. She specializes in Survey/Geospatial engineering and is a member of the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS), National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and proctors the NSPS CST exam. Celeste has been with the firm, formally KFW Engineers & Surveying, for over 4 years delivering diverse surveying skill sets that are crucial to project success.


MEMBERSHIPS AND ONE TIME VISITS AVAILABLE Patients 12 and up. Insurance is not accepted. Services vary by location. *Tier 2 membership and provider referral required.

Visit or call 855-803-9355 to learn more

Celebrating 20 years of Go Red for Women® Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the No. 1 killer of women — claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Nearly 45% of women over age 20 are living with some form of CVD. Women experience unique life stages that increase their risk of developing CVD over the course of their lifetime. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement is the trusted, passionate, relevant force for change to eradicate heart disease and stroke in women all over the world. Launched in 2004 as an awareness campaign, Go Red quickly grew into an international movement and has become a platform for real change.

National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 2, 2024. From landmarks to online communities, neighborhoods to news anchors, this annual groundswell unites millions of people for a common goal: the eradication of heart disease and stroke. Wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives. Why? Because losing even one woman to cardiovascular disease is too many. ©2024 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Go Red for Women is a registered trademark of the AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of the U.S. DHHS. Unauthorized use prohibited.

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM JK Baxter Gabriela Black Robby Brown Pat Burns Barbara Gentry CeCe Griffin Katie Harvey Jamie Kowalski Kay Kay O'Brien Katie Reynolds Tinsley Smith Keegan Villa Allison Walker

2024 San Antonio Go Red for Women® Chairperson

CORINNA HOLT RICHTER President and Chief Administrator, Holt Group

Lori Warren

Locally sponsored by

Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by

©2024 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Go Red for Women is a registered trademark of the AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of the U.S. DHHS. Unauthorized use prohibited.

HISPANIC AND LATINA MATERNAL HEALTH Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of maternal death in the U.S., or more simply put, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms. It can pose a threat to women’s heart health during pregnancy and later in life, making it important that women understand how to care for themselves and their baby.

Over one-third of Hispanic and Latina women are living with cardiovascular disease, and in recent years, the maternal mortality rate for this group has jumped sharply. Despite these troubling trends, there is a lack of awareness in the community with Hispanic and Latina women being less likely to know cardiovascular disease is their greatest health risk.4 Understanding and supporting your cardiovascular health is vital to a good pregnancy.

The American Heart Association and Go Red for Women are doing something about this crisis. Social Impact Fund – Maternal Health: Grant funding awarded in communities often hit hardest by the maternal health crisis that supports community-based solutions to improve perinatal health and reverse adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Postpartum Medicaid Extension: Advocating to pass more coverage to help lowincome mothers have better access to care.


Research Goes Red: Allocating research grants to help better understand the unique intersection between cardiovascular and maternal health. Go Red for Women Real Women Class of Survivors: Raising awareness through the real stories of women who faced cardiovascular disease during pregnancy.

We know that many women not only want to be great moms but want to be moms for a very long time. Go Red for Women is here to help every step of the way.

Fast Facts The Hispanic and Latina maternal mortality rate rose in 2020 – up 44% from the year before. For every 100,000 births, there were 18.2 deaths among Hispanic women, up from 12.6 in 2019.

Hispanic and Latina women are more likely to have high blood pressure than their male counterparts, which can put pregnant women more at risk for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that can result in high blood pressure or kidney damage.

Hispanic and Latina women have an increased risk of being an unhealthy weight. Being overweight can increase the risk for serious health complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

A little more than 40% of Hispanic and Latina women have prediabetes, which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes when pregnant.

Questions to ask your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant: Am I at risk for cardiovascular health issues during my pregnancy? If so, how can I reduce my risk? How can my blood pressure levels impact my pregnancy and how can I best manage them? How can I keep myself and my baby healthy during my pregnancy and in the critical weeks after giving birth? I have a family history of heart disease or stroke. How can this impact my prenatal and postpartum health as well as the long-term health of my child? How can I support my emotional well-being and reduce my stress during my pregnancy? Last updated May 2023

SOURCES: Petersen EE, Davis NL, Goodman D, et al. Vital Signs: Pregnancy-Related Deaths, United States, 2011–2015, and Strategies for Prevention, 13 States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:423–429. DOI:;Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA, Liu J, Ma J; Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published ahead of print January 25, 2023]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123; Centers for Disease Control Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020; Cardiovascular Disease in Hispanics/Latinos in the United States; Cardiovascular Disease in Hispanics/Latinos in the United States;; Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA, Liu J, Ma J, Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published ahead of print January 25, 2023]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123; American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Obesity and Pregnancy,anatomy%20on%20an%20ultrasound%20exam; Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA, Liu J, Ma J, Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics— 2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published ahead of print January 25, 2023]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123; Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA, Liu J, Ma J, Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published ahead of print January 25, 2023]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123 © Copyright 2024 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Go Red for Women is a registered trademark of AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of U.S. DHHS. Unauthorized use prohibited.


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“Why does my kid have so many ear infections?” The simple answer is anatomy. Ear infections are a common ailment in childhood, causing distress for both the child and their parents. A suspected ear infection is one of the most common reasons parents take their child to the doctor. The most prevalent type of ear infection affects the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum. Anatomy Lesson: The middle ear space is an air-filled cavity that functions optimally when the air pressure in that space is equal to the air pressure in your environment. This is why some people experience discomfort when traveling on an airplane. There is a tube that connects the middle ear space to the back of the throat called the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube is responsible for maintaining the air pressure in the middle ear space. The Eustachian tube is the only draining mechanism for the middle ear.

A child’s eustachian tubes are shorter and positioned more horizontally, limiting the ability to effectively drain fluids which makes children more susceptible to infection. As a child grows, the Eustachian tubes gradually lengthen and adopt a more vertical orientation, which allows for better function. This is why ear infections are far less common in adults. Middle ear infections can cause severe pain and temporary hearing loss. If you think your child has an ear infection, I encourage you to contact your pediatrician or an Ear Nose and Throat Physician. Your trusted audiologist is a great resource to measure the hearing loss your child is experiencing secondary to the infection. They will refer for medical treatment when necessary and provide advice to improve communication until the infection is resolved. Thanks to modern medicine, your kid’s ear infections can be treated effectively until they outgrow this phase.


The Benefits of Electives and Extracurriculars in College-Prep Education By Blithe Wiley

According to many education experts, a well-rounded approach to a college-prep education can develop critical thinking skills, nurture creativity, and foster a better understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives. Families in San Antonio have many highly regarded educational options for their students that provide challenging academics while also emphasizing the important role of electives and extracurricular activities in developing graduates who are prepared for success in college and beyond. Two of these educational options are the seven local BASIS Ed Texas charter schools and the independent school, Saint Mary’s Hall. BASIS Ed Texas Charter Schools are open enrollment, tuition-free public charter schools serving students in grades K-12. Dr. Peter Bezanson serves as CEO of the parent organization BASIS Educational Ventures, while his wife, Patti Bezanson, is CEO of BASIS ED Texas. In 2022, BASIS Texas Charter Schools was tied for the Number One School District in Texas per the TEA’s School Accountability Ratings. (TEA’s 2023 Accountability Ratings haven’t yet been released.) As of the 2023-24 school year, BASIS San Antonio Shavano, which serves grades 6-12, was named the 2023 Number One high school in San Antonio by U.S. News & World Report. According to Peter Bezanson, BASIS Ed Texas schools provide the most advanced curriculum of any school in Texas. “The average BASIS Charter School student takes 12 Advanced Placement courses before they begin their senior year,” he said. “While our schools place a heavy emphasis on academics, we also pride ourselves in providing a ‘Work Hard and Play Hard’ environment. It’s very important to offset the academic rigors with activities that are fun and that provide a release valve.” BASIS Ed Texas offers a wide range of electives, including astronomy, personal finance, ceramics, photography, and robotics, to name a few. “Most of our electives are more exploratory and more project-based,” explained Bezanson. “They complement our heavy emphasis on academics.”


BASIS Ed Texas also offers students a wide array of extracurricular activities and clubs. “Just a few of these are the Advancing Herpetological Awareness Club, the Board Game Club, the Creative Writing Club, and the Pokemon Club,” Bezanson said. “They are very driven by the interests of our students and teachers.” Saint Mary’s Hall was founded in 1879 on the principles of knowledge, self-confidence, and respect for others. Today, it is an independent and coeducational school for students from Montessori (age 3) to Form (grade) 12. Adrian Viccellio, Social Studies Department Chair and Coordinator for Off-Campus Programs said the school is a huge believer in the power of experiential education. “Here at Saint Mary’s Hall, we focus on a dynamic portrait of learning to stretch our students and prepare them for success in college and fulfillment in life,” Viccellio explained. Viccellio, who teaches several courses, including Global Studies and a college-level History of Modern Africa course, also oversees the school’s summer enrichment programs, such as Summer at the Hall and the global experiential programs to South Africa, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and other locations. Beyond the AP curriculum and advanced coursework, the Saint Mary’s Hall curriculum offers students the choice to sample various elective subjects such as different languages and various visual and performing arts. The school offers numerous extracurricular opportunities for its students, including Model UN, where students navigate global issues such as human trafficking, and a variety of summer scholars programs where the students work alongside professionals at institutions such as the Alamo, McNay Museum, Southwest Research Institute, and Saint Mary’s University. “These types of interdisciplinary opportunities allow our students to create real-world solutions in their collegeprep experience,” said Viccellio. “Colleges want to know if prospective students are ethically prepared to change the world. We believe they are.”

Grades K–12

EDUCATION is an investment. Ours is TUITION-FREE. Now accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year! Individuality and self-expression are our school uniforms!

BASIS San Antonio Jack Lewis Jr. 3303 N. Ellison Dr., San Antonio, TX 78251

BASIS San Antonio Northeast 11550 IH 35 N., San Antonio, TX 78233

BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center 8519 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78240

BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central 318 E. Ramsey Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216

BASIS San Antonio Shavano 4114 Lockhill-Selma Rd., San Antonio, TX 78230

Apply Now at



Join our Brotherhood! Accepting 2024-2025 Incoming Freshman & Transfer Student Applications (210) 225-6794 1403 N. St. Marys St. San Antonio, TX 78215






The Premier K4-12 Christian School in San Antonio



We would love to provide you with a personal tour.

Call 210-979-9203 or visit to schedule a tour today.

We invite students applying for grades 3 through 12 to join us on campus to experience a full day in the life of a Warrior.

Call 210-979-9203 or visit to schedule a visit.

“Our purpose is to develop and train the whole person spiritually, intellectually, physically, and socially with unprecedented excellence in a Christ-centered culture to take all the Gospel to all the world and to every generation.”

(210) 979-9203 • SA-CCS.ORG 17702 NW MILITARY HWY., SAN ANTONIO, TX 78257



Saint Mary’s Hall offers students age 3 through 12th grade a rich liberal arts curriculum in a supportive environment where they are known - by faculty, each other, and themselves. Graduates go forth confidently armed with the skills, knowledge, and self-awareness needed to thrive in college and in life.

Experience Saint Mary’s Hall Learn more:

Saint Mary’s Hall does not discriminate in admission or educational programs against qualified students on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or national/ethnic origin.

S t. M a r y ’ s U n i v e r s i t y

WHERE TEACHING AND LEARNING FLOURISH At St. Mary’s University, we are committed to helping you find a profession that aligns with your personal values and educational background. With more than 75 academic programs in arts and humanities, business, the sciences and law at the undergraduate and graduate levels across our four schools, you’ll find more than just a career — you’ll find your true calling.


Academic Programs

*U.S. News & World Report 2024 — #1 University in San Antonio for Social Mobility

The Catholic and Marianist University 68




for Social Mobility*

We’re HEAR for Good Since 1947 Sunshine Cottage has promoted early identification and intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and has helped them develop their maximum potential through listening, spoken language, and literacy. Sunshine Cottage offers a low student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1, which allows for more individual and personalized instruction. To learn more about our program, visit:

We are a TEA Approved non-public school, accredited by AdvancED, and a member of OPTIONschools, Inc.

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January/February 2024 69


Roundup of Our Favorite New Mexico Ski Destinations! Courtesy of the New Mexico Tourism Department

operated in partnership with a local ski club, and maintaining it remains a labor of love by Los Alamos scientists and other locals. This a small but mighty resort with 40 trails and 750 skiable acres, including reputed tree skiing, bump runs, and a terrain park. Red River Ski & Summer Area

Angel Fire, New Mexico Photo Credit: Angel Fire Resort & New Mexico True Situated at 8,600 feet with stunning views of Mt. Wheeler, Angel Fire is a perfect fit for families and couples wanting to enjoy a chill, fun-packed vacation. In addition to skiing and boarding, mountain activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing tours and lessons, horse-drawn sleigh rides, tubing, and old-fashioned sledding. For families, there are themed crafts and game nights to follow up a post-ski stop at Zia Bar for hot chocolate and s’mores, while adults can partake in seasonal mixology classes, whiskey tastings, and cooking demonstrations. Additionally, there will be live music performances and opportunities for horse-drawn sleigh rides, cross-country skiing trails/tours, and snowmobile tours within Northern New Mexico’s scenic Enchanted Circle. Pajarito Mountain Ski Area Pajarito is an untold character in the blockbuster film Oppenheimer. Located just a few minutes from Los Alamos National Laboratory, it was founded in 1943 by a group of ski-thirsty scientists and soldiers who were working on the Manhattan Project. Many had immigrated from Europe and had grown up climbing and skiing the Alps. Today, Pajarito is 70

With over 60 years as a family-owned business, Red River Ski & Summer Area offers the best unspoiled New Mexico vacation experience surrounded by New Mexico’s Southern Rocky Mountains. Situated along the famed Enchanted Circle — near Taos, it is the perfect family-friendly escape to the mountains. Guests can enjoy skiing and snowboarding with no crowds and minimal lift lines. Ski Apache Among North America’s southernmost ski resorts, Ski Apache is owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe and is one of only two Native American-owned ski resorts in the country. Situated near the family-friendly, outdoors-centric town of Ruidoso, Ski Apache features 750 skiable acres accessed by 11 lifts and the only eight-person gondola in the state. The terrain offers wide, gentle greens, blue cruisers, black bumps, bowl-skiing, and a terrain park with jumps, tubes and rails. Ski Santa Fe With five lifts, two conveyor belts, and 77 trails, Ski Santa Fe has something for skiers of every level and taste just 15 miles from town. Totemoff’s Bar & Grill, affectionately called “Tottie’s” by locals, is a great mid-mountain indoor and outdoor gathering space with local beer taps, wallet-friendly New Mexican fare, and frequent live music. This resort is especially family-friendly with a certified Ski School,


Chipmunk Corner Children’s Center, Freestyle Terrain Park, including The Bone Yard and a Children’s Adventure Land. To up the sustainability ante of your ski trip, ride the free bus to the resort from Santa Fe and get a $5 token that can be used toward virtually anything at the resort (alcohol excluded). Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico Located in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley is the state’s largest ski resort. With more than 50% of the runs classified as advanced or expert, Taos offers exhilarating experiences on and off the slopes. • New Trails & Lifts: Taos Ski Valley is introducing three new trails, including Ponsse Scheme and Cache Stash, both black diamonds, and Dadou’s, a double black diamond. The trails are the result of forest cleanup after the 2021 wind event and the ongoing forest health initiatives undertaken by the resort over the last several years. Over the summer, the resort replaced two chairlifts: Lift 4 was replaced with a high-speed detachable quad, and the Pioneers Lift was replaced with a fixed-grip triple chair. Both new lifts will help visitors move more comfortably and quickly around the mountain. • The Return Of Martini Tree Bar: The legendary Martini Tree Bar is set to make its much-anticipated return as the ultimate après-ski destination. The bar has undergone a minor renovation and will offer a vibrant atmosphere, tasty bites, and a wide array of beverages. The Martini Tree will operate Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings and will offer live music, sporting events, pool tables, and fun for all ages. The cherished destination, which has been closed for several seasons, was named after a cheeky tradition of Taos Ski Valley’s founder, Ernie Blake. As the legend goes, Ernie would stash glass porrons filled with gin martinis in the trees throughout the mountain, for visitors who needed a quick swig of liquid courage before attempting Taos’ more daring trails.

• Sleigh Ride Dining Experience: Paying homage to the classic European alpine tradition, Taos Ski Valley offers a magical sleigh ride dinner to the famed Bavarian restaurant. Guests can relax in comfort as they are snow-catted to the mid-mountain restaurant from the main plaza. Blanketed by cozy wraps, guests will enjoy a roundtrip journey under the stars and a prix-fixe menu at the Bavarian. • Going Green: With the New Mexico ski resort being the world’s first B Corporation® ski resort and a certified CarbonNeutral® company since 2021, their sustainability work remains a core focus. In their ongoing effort to electrify their fleet and reduce carbon emissions, Taos will have the first electric snowcat of any ski resort in North America, as well as a hybrid snowcat, three electric snowblowers, and several electric snowmobiles. • Affordable First-Timer Package: Taos Ski Valley will offer new skiers and riders a deeply discounted rate to try out the sports for the first time. The package includes instruction, a novice lift ticket, and equipment rental from Taos Sports. Additional packages include the Weekday Getaway and the Ski and Stay, which offer special rates for those who visit on weekdays or bundle lodging with other purchases. • Beloved Ski Weeks Returning with Lodging Package: Since the 1960s, guests have enjoyed the beloved Ski Week, which provides a full week of instruction to inspire and improve visitors’ skiing, renew their spirits, and create long-time friendships. Taos offers the only full-week ski program in North America. This winter, guests who want to embrace the essence of the sport can easily book a Ski Week and experience a week on the slopes with expert instruction. Guests also have the option of booking a Ski Week package, which will include the immersive lessons, as well as accommodations at The Blake, demo skis, and breakfast each morning – all at a fantastic value versus booking the offerings separately.

January/February 2024 71


New Braunfels & Gruene

Landa Park 164 Landa Park Dr., New Braunfels, TX 78130 Landa Park offers a variety of amenities under the shade of giant oak trees. Walk on the park’s trails or ride the miniature train around the 51-acre park. An excursion on a paddle boat is one of the best ways to see the Comal Springs and Landa Lake. Enjoy a round of miniature golf, relax at the playground or enjoy the flora and fauna on the Panther Canyon Trail.

Experience Gruene’s original river restaurant and bar set in an authentic century-old cotton gin overlooking the scenic Guadalupe River. Serving juicy steaks and burgers, tender chicken and fish, refreshing salads, and scrumptious desserts since 1977. New Braunfels Art League The Art League is a thriving community of hundreds of talented local artists, many with national and international profiles, but also home to artists just beginning their journey. At the New Braunfels Art League, all artists and fans of art are welcome!

HILL COUNTRY CURATED Comal River The Comal River is always open for recreation, and is only closed during times of high water or for public safety. River Access Parks are open daily from 6am to midnight. Lifeguards are on duty at the City Tube Chute during weekends in May and daily from June to mid-AuLucy Peveto gust. Lifeguards are not present after Labor Day.

Dancing Ladies Acrylic, leaf, butterfly A River Outfitter is your one-stop shopgold for enjoying the wings, and resin on wood panel Comal River in New Braunfels. 30 xTypically, 60 in. their prices range from $15 to $22 per person, 2023 which often includes

local art with heart

parking, shuttle service (to and from the river), tube rental, and other fees. For more information park- BLOOMS INSIDE OUT,about BUDDING ing, tubing, safety, and what you’re allowed to take on “My current body of work materialized during my sabbatical where I worked in a the river, visit dimly lit mountain studio I was drawn to texture and a mix of finishes, whereas on

Paintings Photography Jewelry INSIDE OUT, BUDDING BLOOMS on view July 6th - August 7th Sculpture AnArte Gallery | 7959 Broadway, Suite #202 | San Antonio, Pottery TX 78209 | Gruene, TX Mixed Media Originally settled over a century ago, Gruene is a snap-

sunnier days, I could see how the movement of shadow and light, with texture, created a new dimension that was both a joyful and vulnerable expression of nature and myself.” Lucy Peveto

shot of Texas culture and history come-to-life. With 15 walkable acres designated a National Historic District, visitors can shop, dine, and dance within the walls of the original township buildings. From tacos to onion rings, antiques to cowboy hats, and Americana music to blues, every doorway leads you to something unforgettable. Gruene is for people who love good music, fun times, and old things! Located in Gruene Historic District Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built. The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden.

Decorate Your Space With Art From Our Place

239 W. San Antonio in Downtown NBTX Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 12pm-5pm


Pecantown Books & Brews By Janis Turk | Photos courtesy of Pecantown Books & Brews

Named for the “World’s Largest Pecan” monument on Seguin’s downtown Square, Pecantown is a good day-trip lunch destination. Visit and discover why so many folks are nuts about Seguin’s sweet little bookstore and café. On a frosty winter Friday, warm soup, toasted sandwiches, strong espresso, fresh scones, and crisp salads fill the menu while a well-curated selection of books line the walls of Seguin’s beguiling little Pecantown Books & Brews. Set in a little yellow house just a block from the twinkling-light-filled trees of the city’s downtown square, this sweet spot entices guests with a warm air of welcome and wonder. An independent bookstore, intimate cafe, artisan shop, and convivial community center, Pecantown is the perfect place to curl up with a good book in a corner chair, order a glass of wine, and enjoy a quiet afternoon. It’s also an excellent breakfast, lunch and early dinner destination where friends gather over sharable plates and dish about books. Featuring a carefully curated menu of fresh dining options, from salads to soups to sandwiches, charcuterie, and pastries, Pecantown “offers thoughtful selections from authors, publishers, breweries, wineries, and farms to create a highly personalized and uniquely local experience,” say 74

owners Tess Coody and Heath Anders, a couple committed to the enrichment of their hometown. Drawing guests from San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels, and surrounding communities, this Guadalupe County jewel box is a delightful culinary destination and a bibliophile’s dream come true, just 30 miles from downtown San Antonio. Two years ago, San Antonio businesswoman Tess Coody never would have considered “restaurant owner” to be her true calling. Since 2017, she served as vice president for strategic communications and marketing at her alma mater, Trinity University. Prior to that, she’d been a name partner and COO of Guerra, DeBerry, Coody Marketing and Communications in San Antonio and also served as the founder and CEO of Wellvana, a digital consumer healthcare platform, as well as CEO of Resolute Health. Running a restaurant had never entered her mind; opening an independent bookstore had. “Living through the pandemic reinforced for me the reality that tomorrow is not promised; we need

DINING DINING cooking techniques, flavors, and ingredients. This month, try Pecantown’s smoky and sweet take on the classic Reuben, made with roasted beets and a house-made Russian dressing served on marbled rye. Other temptations include a salad of crisp pear, brie, cranberry, and pecans. There’s also a tasty smoked chicken salad and a pulled pork with cranberry chipotle chutney sandwich locals love. House-made hummus served with vegetables, grapes, and naan complements daily soup specials.

to act on our dreams and passions. That’s why I launched my passion project, Pecantown, in June 2022,” says Coody. “It was important to support the growth and diversification of offerings in our historic downtown, so we added a small cafe with a menu to inspire and engage customers and to help us meet our mission to bring books and book-related events back to our town,” she says. However, locals say the café filled a need in Seguin by creating a unique culinary and cultural community hub. “Tess thought she was opening a bookstore with a little café on the side — not the other way around. But the food is so good, it was sure to draw crowds,” says Seguin business owner and designer Amber Ehrlich of Keepers Interiors. Before long, Tess and Heath had to move more tables indoors and out.

“Our menu changes seasonally, so our culinary team works with local growers and purveyors to offer a fresh and accessible array of options. It also means our tiny kitchen must be ever-creative,” says Coody, who loves how her Pecantown passion project keeps her surrounded by books and book lovers. “It’s exciting to see how the story of our food and the stories on the shelves inspire each other.” Pecantown Books & Brews 12 S Camp St, Seguin, TX 78155 | (830) 491-9155 Janis Turk is an award-winning travel writer, guidebook author, and editor whose work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, New York City Plus, Southwest Airlines Spirit, United Airlines Hemispheres, AAA Texas Explorer, the Travel Channel, Forbes and more. She has appeared as a guest travel expert on CNN’s airport network and has penned guidebooks for Frommer’s and Smarter Travel.

Locals couldn’t have been happier with the marriage of fine food and good books. “Bookstores act as community conveners, fostering what I call ‘productive collisions.’ People who might not otherwise connect are more likely to do so when they break a book open or break bread together, and we are making both happen here,” says Coody. Just as carefully as Coody, chef Rita DeLeon, and operations manager Hanna Perry painstakingly curate their menus, Coody has thoughtfully curated a selection of nonfiction, literary fiction, and children’s books. Pecan also seeks to offer unique experiences, like book clubs, writing groups, and other exciting events, such as a monthly Wine and True Crime evening and the “Pecan’s Cook the Book Club,” in which guests buy the same cookbook, each prepares a different dish to contribute to a familystyle meal, the chef prepares a main dish from the book, and then she leads a group discussion of January/February 2024 75


Barbecue We admit - this list didn’t come from a team of highly-trained food critics or a carefully measured vote. We just love barbecue, so here’s a roundup of some of our favorite go-to spots when we’re craving melt-in-your mouth brisket, amazing sides, dessert like grandma used to make, sweet Texas iced tea, a cold brew, or just a great place to hang out with friends & family.

Big Bib BBQ 104 Lanark Dr (210) 654-8400 Pinkerton’s Barbecue 107 W. Houston (210) 983-0088 Smoke Shack 3714 Broadway (210) 957-1430



The Barbecue Station 1610 Northeast I-410 Loop (210) 824-9191 Two Bros. BBQ Market 12656 West Ave (210) 496-0222


Blanco Barbecue 13259 Blanco Road (210) 251-2602

T WI N LIQUORS .COM *Twin Deals apply to identical bottles of wine or spirits. No further discount on sale items, closeouts, final few, price matching or mix & match wine discounts. Does not apply to beer, accessories, mixers or cigarettes. Discount cannot be stacked onto special promotions, competitor pricing or other quantity discounts.



Victoria Champion

The Perfect Pair - Apollo and Artemis Both are 24 by 24 inches, original acrylic painting on canvas. “Apollo and Artemis. They have been the symbol of balance for thousands of years. Light and dark, refinement and wilderness, chastity and promiscuity. As with many relationships, opposites often attract and form inseparable bonds. They are a timeless example of love and acceptance, despite personal differences, during these divisive times.”

Victoria Champion’s artwork is available at AnArte Gallery 7959 Broadway St. Suite 202, San Antonio, TX 78209


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