All hail SaulPaul and the other 2017 AU40 Awards winners!

We couldn’t make the Austin Under 40 Awards ceremony this year, but we can sure follow up on our advance story with a list of winners and a hearty cheer.

RELATED: Matt Curtis sings the praises of the Austin Under 40 Awards.

Austinite of the Year
SaulPaul, Musician with a Message, ReRoute Music Group

WAG Photo SaulPaul 4.14(1)
SaulPaul is the AU40 Austinite of the Year. Contributed

Arts, Media, and Entertainment
SaulPaul, Musician with a Message, ReRoute Music Group

Culinary Arts and Hospitality
Mason H. Ayer, Chief Executive Officer, Kerbey Lane Cafe

Community Service and Nonprofit
Amy E. Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Emancipet

RELATED: Amy Mills takes Emancipet’s animal mission national.

Engineering, Architecture, and Design
Daniel Goodman Carl, Regional Director, BSA LifeStructures

Entrepreneurship and Startup
Matt Stanley, Founder, President and CEO of Sundance Memory Care

Financial and Insurance Services
Rich Coffey, Founder, Coffey Advisory Group, LLC

Government and Public Affairs
Rudolph K. Metayer, Litigator, Chamberlain | McHaney

Milam F Newby, Managing Partner – Austin, Vinson & Elkins LLP

Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
Maria Orozova, Founder + President, The MOD Studio

Medicine, Healthcare, and Life Sciences
Lauren Chauret, Partner & Director of Operations, PTV Healthcare Capital

Mentor of the Year
Ann Jerome, Executive Director, American Heart Association

Real Estate
Mark Strub,  überAGENT® + owner of STRÜB RESIDENTIAL

Sports, Wellness, and Fitness
Rashanna Moss, Owner- Pure Barre Austin

Technology and Sciences
Jeffrey Palermo, CEO, Clear Measure, Inc.

Youth and Education
Larkin Tackett, Executive Director, IDEA Public Schools, Austin

UPDATE: Left off of AU40’s original official list was:

Engineering, Energy, Mobility and Systems Sciences
Becky Hollis Diffen, Attorney, McGuireWoods



Fall Social Season, White Ghost Shivers, Snapchat Filters and La Lotería Mural

wgs3_resize500x500NIGHTLIFE: The fall social season is upon us. It begins Saturday with the Texas 4000 Gala, which welcomes back university students who biked to Alaska to raise money for cancer causes. The event is at the Austin Music Hall. Expect a lot of outrageously fit folks in dinner attire. Before that, on Friday, Water for Life will hold an informal event at Vuka. We’ve planned a handy preview of the fall season — with a “Ditch the Tux” fashion theme — slated for a Sept. 3 print publication date. Yet there’s plenty happening before then, including the Big Give for I Live Here I Give Here at the Hyatt Regency on Aug. 28, the Forklift Dance Party at Scottish Rite on Aug. 29 and Celebrando Austin from the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Hyatt Regency on the same night. Of course, that’s also the night of the Austin Pride Parade, but …

MUSIC: I first encountered White Ghost Shivers some 10 years ago at the Broken Spoke. They played a dark, hot, fast version of jazz, blues, ragtime, western swing and other prewar musical styles. Scary good. Since the, I’ve caught variations on the core act at clubs, parties and festivals. Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing them in the comfort of the Rollins Studio at the Long Center. (As I enter my 60s, I so appreciate being able to sit down in air-conditioning to hear a great band play relatively close to the announced set time.) I was not the only guest over the average age of the band members, but the Shivers appeal broadly across any imagined generation gap. Extremely tall Short Stumpy — a mix of Tommy Tune, Tony Perkins and a 30s cartoon character — most often acts as front man, while Cella Blue — a sort of Amy Schumer with a supremely supple voice — takes most of the vocals. It would be sinful not to mention as well the crazy talents of Smokebreak Slemenda (lead guitar), Hot Thomas (violin), Poppiticus (string bass) and Ten-Penny Brown (clarinet). (Sorry if the stage names have changed.) They made me happier than I have any right to be.

TECH: Snapchat’s geo-filters happily explained. Sample taken from Paighten Harkins‘s story in the American-Statesman: “Austinites are a welcoming bunch of people whose eclectic attire and free-spirited lifestyles characterize the city — and they love to ride bikes. Or at least those are the types of Austinites Joe Ahlert sought to represent when he created a Snapchat geofilter to overlay the entire town. He acknowledges there are different subsets of Austinites, from the tech types in the silicon hills to the fashion-forward denizens who dot the city, and maybe one day he’ll create filters for them, too. Filters are the graphic overlays users can swipe and add to photos taken on the photo-sharing social media app, Snapchat. Geofilters are tied to a user’s location, meaning that when you’re in a different city, or even a different part of town, you’ll see different filters available, provided one exists in the area.”

CITY: The secrets of the restored La Lotería mural. Sample taken from James Barragan‘s story in the American-Statesman: “For almost 25 years, the “La Lotería” mural stood on the east-facing wall of 1619 E. Cesar Chavez St., as a reminder of the neighborhood’s Latino culture and a celebration of its spirit. In February, an art project affiliated with the South by Southwest Music Festival painted over the mural, unleashing outrage from neighborhood residents. Last month, a group of artists funded by the festival — which apologized for painting over the mural in the first place — restored the beloved artwork to its initial location. The new mural, which includes designs from the original artists who painted the work in 1989, has restored the art piece but also includes new touch-ups that reflect the changing character of the neighborhood. Some are serious; others are personal and some are hard to spot. Compiled here is a list of some of the hidden secrets of neighborhood history that can be found in the new “La Lotería” mural. Do you know any more of the mural’s secrets?”

Nature Conservancy Luncheon, Lake Travis Education Foundation Gala, Austin Shakespeare and NTEN Conference

Michael Dabney, Trey Low and Cooper Drenner at Nature Conservancy of Texas Luncheon.
Michael Dabney, Trey Low
and Cooper Drenner at Nature Conservancy of Texas Luncheon.

NATURE: This luncheon is irresistible. Every year, the Nature Conservancy of Texas welcomes a huge assembly to the Hilton Austin. Last week, the program started right away, as guests munched on a wonderfully fresh salad. Leading the persuasive panel discuss was magnetic TNC leader Laura Huffman, who doubles as the international group’s North American captain for sustainable cities. She was joined by Global Managing Director of Lands Justin Adams and prolific scientist Peter Kareiva. They talked about comprehensive solutions to the water crisis and to the Gulf of Mexico’s health, including “whole system” conservation at Powderhorn Ranch. They optimistically discussed SNAP programs that crowdsource tough scientific problems and how the collaborative effort to save the Edwards Aquifer is studied and copied around the globe. At all times, they respected the private sector as part of the solution, never vilifying oil, gas, cattle or crop producers in Texas, but rather finding ways to include them in resource management. Heady stuff.

Alex Salazar and Jewell Kibling at Lake Travis Education Foundation Gala.
Alex Salazar and Jewell Kibling at Lake Travis Education Foundation Gala.

SCHOOL: The advantages of a suburban school district are many. The Lake Travis district throws benefits for its championship sports teams, but also to support academic programs. Its smoothly stage-managed Education Foundation Gala attracted legions to the Renaissance Austin Hotel. But I was there to chat with Chris Tyson, a regular at such charity events. His company, Tyson Fundraising, started by supplying autographed sports memorabilia for benefits, you know, signed jerseys, balls, photos and so forth. Then Tyson branched out into vacation packages and jewelry, all auctioned live or otherwise. I plan to interview him at length soon. He’s very straightforward about the cut his company gets and how he acquires the valued objects. Should be fascinating.

ARTS: So, what kind of crowd would show up for a three-hour play about scholar and poet A.E. Housman? An older crowd, to be sure, and one that pays careful attention to words. And to good purpose, because Austin Shakespeare‘s staging of Tom Stoppard‘s “The Invention of Love” at the Long Center demanded close consideration. I’d seen the play in New York and Houston, but it had been a while, and at no time did my guest, teacher Lawrence Morgan, or I lose connection to the story that weaves together ancient, Victorian and more modern concepts of love. At intermission, we mingled with other gay men, for whom the play remains a literary touchstone. Good on Austin Shakespeare, which made a hit of Stoppard’s “Arcadia” not long ago.

TECH: It’s like catching the wind in a sieve. Every week, it seems, another group of smart people gather in Austin to share ideas. Last week, one group of several hundred attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference at the Austin Convention Center. Development expert Carolyn Appleton was my social guide at a causal after-conference dinner at Second Bar + Kitchen. Jeff Gordy of Chicago explained his web-based Z2 Systems that provide lower-cost membership and fundraising tools for nonprofits. Two Austin members — Ritu Sharma from Social Media for Nonprofits and Stacy Dyer of Trianon Coffee — talked not only about their professional efforts, but our share social spheres. Everyone seemed keen on NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network and its suppleness compared to larger professional fundraising groups. And, oh, the basil-heavy pizza was delish.

African American Youth Harvest Lunch, Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner, Opening of PGi Offices at La Zona Rosa and more

Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell and Pam Parker at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation.
Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell and Pam Parker at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation.

SCHOOL: It takes many mentors. That’s one message that stuck from University of Texas professor Richard Reddick at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation, which combats crime, delinquency, and anti-social behavior among youths of color. The dignified event took place at the AT&T Center and brought together an impressive array of civic leaders for the program founded by Michael Loftin. Reddick served on a brief panel that included Longhorns legend Vince Young, UT vice president Gregory Vincent and a young graduate of the program. Civil rights advocate Ada Collins Anderson, UT president Bill Powers,Deputy City Manager Michael McDonald, and retiring Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe were honored for their service and character.

Rowena and Rey Arellano at Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner and Concert at Stubb's.
Rowena and Rey Arellano at Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner and Concert at Stubb’s.

PARKS: A maturing program. Assistant City Manager Sue Edwards, who oversees economic development, is impressed with the Waller Creek Conservancy. The public-private partnership that aims to transform the shores of Waller Creek has matured, Edwards says, and its phase-by-phase approach makes this multi-decade project more manageable. Edwards shared this with me during the group’s annual dinner and concert at Stubb’s. In my experience, Edwards doesn’t monkey around with projects that don’t make economic sense. This one will require tens of millions of private dollars to fly, but, while looking for a permanent CEO, the Conservancy still maintains the loyalty of various movers and shakers in attendance this night.

Monique Sandhu and Weston Woodward at PGi Office Launch at the former La Zona Rosa.
Monique Sandhu and Weston Woodward at PGi Office Launch at the former La Zona Rosa.

TECH: PGi once occupied the top floor of the Frost Tower. The owner of La Zona Rosa coveted those offices and so a swap was arranged. So says Erik Petrik, chief creative officer for the Atlanta-based firm that creates web conference software. His staff designed the redo of the venerable music venue that is open, clean and includes a club-like performance space against the north wall that echoes the tall room’s former role. A launch party proved it’s got a ton of character. Of course we will miss aspects of the homey club that saw so many local and touring acts as well as charity events. But not the evenings of extreme heat or cold, nor the sometimes grimy circumstances. “It took a long, long time to get the smell out,” Petrik says without complaining. “But now it’s great!”

MOVIES: The “Princess Bride” obsession. Taken from Kristin Finan‘s story in the Statesman: “There are parents who have named all of their children after characters from “The Princess Bride.” Sound inconceivable? Just ask Cary Elwes, who famously played Westley — aka the Man in Black — in the 1987 film. He’s met them. “They’re like, ‘This is Fezzik, this is Inigo, this is Vizzini,’” Elwes said by phone from Los Angeles. “And the weddings — my gosh the weddings. There are now people who provide a service of putting these weddings on for fans. It’s a cultural phenomenon now.”