January 25, 2021

Austin, Texas - A City Full of Rich Experiences & Opportunity

More Than Meets the Ears

From the second you enter Texas’ fourth largest city, you begin to encounter numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the rich experience that is Austin, Texas. You might feel inclined to stop to enjoy the sounds and songs bellowing from one of the 6 stages at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Perhaps you find yourself drawn more to the natural beauty of the southwest city, exemplified by the near 12 miles of trails found along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Austin was voted the No 1 place to live 3 years in a row. Regardless of motivation, Austin, Texas becomes home to an average of 169 new families, entrepreneurs, artists and Silicon Valley companies each day. Needless to say, there is quite a bit more to Austin than Longhorns football and being labeled by visitors as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Many Hands Make Light Work - The Value of Professional Networks

“It takes a village to have a successful career; people who provide you with information, connect you to others, help you get your job done, advocate for you, mentor, guide and sponsor you. And to build this type of network, your networking activity needs to be strategic.” - Cathy Hoover, Executive Director of Westlake Chamber of Commerce 

As business professionals, we often wear many hats. It can be difficult to let others infiltrate the inner workings of these businesses we’ve dedicated so much of ourselves to. We often forget that before all else, we are human, and because of that we are not capable of being everything for everyone. One of the best things we can do for growing our businesses is to recognize our strengths, admit our weaknesses and commit to being of high value and quality service to those in your network. By incorporating this mentality into your operations, you will grow your network organically and humbly welcome others to join you in that commitment.

CFTC Designee Highlight

Business Advice From a Designee

"It's always been taught, you leave your community greater than you found it. There's no better way to do so than volunteering and giving back."

Lacy is a Mortgage lender for The Wood Group of Fairway Mortgage. Lacy has always believed in volunteering within her local community. The pandemic made it difficult, but it hasn't stopped her. She has consistently given monetary donations randomly throughout the year to different charities and missions. 

Lacy has pledged to donate $20 to a charity of her clients choice for every loan closed as a result of Co. Mission network. 

 

Good People Doing Good Things

We love a story of businesses giving back, so here’s our most recent favorite. Austin’s The Backspace - a favorite pizza joint created by the same chef who opened Parkside - is celebrating 10 years. But they didn’t want the celebration to be just about them...

As a way to give back, Chef Shawn Cirkiel and his team took the opportunity to thank Austin’s healthcare workers. For every pizza bought for healthcare workers, Backspace will match your pizza donation by providing a free pizza to the frontline workers at People’s Community Clinic. Who doesn’t love free pizza...especially when it’s for the people putting their health on the line to keep us all safe!

And it doesn’t hurt that they're offering a discount for pies that are purchased for your healthcare heroes!

Our thanks to The Backspace team for giving back to those who give so much to the Austin community! And if you want to support Backspace, feel free to check them out here.

Source: https://www.austin360.com/story/entertainment/dining/restaurant-reviews/2021/01/07/backspace-celebrating-10-years-pizzas-healthcare-workers/6580620002/

Austin’s Must See Attractions

Zilker Park

https://austinparks.org/zilker-metro-park/
A visit to Austin wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Zilker Park, affectionately named the city’s “most-loved park.” Complete with a miniature train that is central to the history of the park and the nostalgic memories of beholden by families all over Austin. (Currently under repair until 2021). The park is also home to the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival, attended by over 450,000 music lovers each year. See below for opportunities to support Zilker Park.

Congress Avenue Bridge -

https://www.austintexas.org/listings/ann-richards-congress-avenue-bridge-bats/2841/
While the entire world seems to have gone a little batty lately, we promise you that nothing you’ve seen before compares to the 1.5 MILLION bats that fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge near dusk. This bridge shelters the largest urban bat colony in North America. With thousands of watchers flocking to the bridge each year, it is safe to say that Bat Watching is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. The colony that calls the bridge home is a maternity colony, meaning the group is primarily made of Mexican Free-Tailed females who give birth at the head of summer. If you’d rather see the spectacle by boat, there are public sightseeing tours available. Capitol Cruises and Lone Star Riverboat are both available for touring.

The Heart of the Park

Established as a non-profit in 1992, the Austin Parks Foundation is a dedicated force behind the preservation and restoration of the 300+ parks that call Austin home. APF is the long standing Featured Charity Partner of the above mentioned Austin City Limits Music Festival. The organization has also emerged as the interim operator for the restoration of the Zilker Train, with proceeds of the operation benefiting Zilker Park directly. The future of Austin’s parks relies on the improvements and developments driven by the foundation.

"Success isn't about how much money you make; it's about the difference you make in people's lives." -Michelle Obama

When setting your professional goals it is important to remember that more often than not, those goals directly affect people's lives in one way or another. Being intentional about the impact you intend to have on your community can help you catapult the growth of your business farther than you ever thought possible

Ways To Get Involved - Volunteer Opportunities

Zilker Train - Support the Zilker Train by making a donation. https://austinparks.org/zilker-train/

Austin Parks Foundation - Check out upcoming events at https://austinparks.org/volunteer/. Next up is the Cook Elementary School Outdoor Classroom Setup on January 9th. In partnership with the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative, the Austin Parks Foundation team will help set up brand new outdoor classrooms at Cook Elementary, to provide a safe distant gathering place during the pandemic. Virtual opportunities are also available!

Austin Bat Cave is a community focused on creative empowerment and helping students to find their written voice. ABC is looking for writers, educators and creative professionals to join their network of volunteers. Participants will work with students to develop their creative and expository writing skills. Those without teaching experience are still welcome to apply. The program has moved to a fully digital platform. Volunteers from all over the country, even those without prior teaching experience are able and encouraged to apply. Austin Bat Cave - https://austinbatcave.org/volunteer/

 

During this challenging time in our society, let us be mindful of the challenges faced by Austin’s senior community members. Drive A Senior Central Texas is an organization matching seniors with those who can assist them in running errands. Drive a Senior is on the hunt for volunteer drivers to provide seniors with rides to the grocery store, beauty shops, pharmacy, banks and the like. This opportunity requires no minimum commitment. Drivers who can pilot vans are especially in demand. https://driveaseniorcentraltexas.org/volunteer/

Join an Autism Speaks Walk - The largest foundation dedicated to improving the lives of people with Autism. By joining this walk, you will make an impact on the lives of those who may lack access to the resources they need to 'live their best life'. 

Learn more at https://www.autismspeaks.org/texas

NAMIWalks - A United Day of Hope. Join a NAMIWalk to support the Mental Health for All - Always Movement. 

Join the greater Austin walk here.

 

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