FROM THE PUBLISHER
Welcome to our Spring issue of Austin Way, the first of 2017. To capture the excitement of the season, this issue covers everything from the latest fashion trends to South by Southwest. And of course, Austinites are front and center: We have interviews with cover stars Spoon, the local producers of the new Terrence Malick movie premiering at SXSW, and director/ writer Jeff Nichols of the movie Loving, which received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for star Ruth Negga.
Nichols is going to be honored in March at the Texas Film Awards, one of the biggest events of the year and a vital part of the community, with proceeds supporting the
Austin Film Society. One of the annual sponsors of the gala is a company that I think has reached superstar status itself: H-E-B.
It seems that every time I attend a charity function, run in a 10K, or go to a local sports event, H-E-B is a sponsor. In 2016, 12 percent of its pretax earnings went to causes in H-E-B communities, and in 2015, Forbes ranked H-E-B No. 67 on its list of America’s Best Employers. But its community support doesn’t end there. I was excited recently when H-E-B added my friend Matthew Lee’s award-winning TEO Gelato to its lineup in 15 stores. I commend H-E-B for recognizing the quality behind Matthew’s gelato and getting behind his booming Austin business.
We Texans are well-versed in the H-E-B legend—how it was born when Florence Butt borrowed $60 to open the CC Butt Grocery Store at her family home—and how CEO Charles Butt grew the chain to what it is today. But I give a lot of credit for the success of H-E-B in Central Texas to my friend Jeff Thomas. Jeff has spent his entire career with H-E-B and is now senior vice president and general manager, overseeing 81 stores. Not only is Jeff a great operator, he is a truly exceptional person. He is greatly responsible for the local presence we all feel here in Austin.
Local pride is something we take seriously in this city and at Austin Way. I’m looking forward to showcasing a lot of it this year in the magazine as well as on Austinway.com, which is updated every day with fresh content, and on our social media channels. We’re ready for a great 2017.