November Ribbon Cuttings

The Chamber’s commitment to celebrating entrepreneurship and fostering connections comes to life through our exciting ribbon-cutting events. This month, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on three exceptional additions to our flourishing community:

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David Weekley Homes

Step into the future of home living with David Weekley Homes. As a beacon of innovation and quality craftsmanship, they bring a new standard of excellence to San Marcos, offering homes that seamlessly blend style, sustainability, and comfort.

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Over the Moon Popcorn

Get ready for a taste explosion at Over the Moon Popcorn, where snack time gets a gourmet makeover. This delightful addition to our community crafts artisanal popcorn in an array of flavors, turning a simple treat into a culinary adventure.

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SOAR Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Experience the transformative power of SOAR Therapeutic Horseback Riding, where compassion meets equine therapy. This organization provides a unique and impactful experience for individuals with special needs, fostering healing and growth through the profound connection between humans and horses.

2023 Shining Stars Under 40

This year’s Shining Starts Under 40 award winners include:

  • Robert Dorsey, McNabb & Co.
  • Jason Hendrix, Texas Regional Bank
  • Andrew Fernandez, San Marcos CISD
  • Cody Lock, Frost bank
  • Lauren Lowry, Lauren Lowry Interior Design

The SSU40 award aims to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of young leaders. These awardees have not only achieved significant success in their respective fields but have also demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the San Marcos community.

Their nominators shared highlights of their accomplishments, and then the award winners themselves where asked to share about their mentors and advice to other young professionals.

Robert Dorsey, McNabb & Company


Robert is active with the Texas State Alumni Association, Park North Condominiums Homeowner’s Association Board, National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, San Marcos Area Board of Realtors Board of Directors, and Recycling Ambassador for the City of San Marcos. He won New Face of the Year 2013. He’s a successful real estate agent and part owner of a property management company. He completed the Texas Realtor Leadership Program. He has been a great ambassador for the Chamber and served on the first Executive Board to create the San Marcos Young Professionals, building excitement and engagement. He acts as a role model for young LBGTQ+ future business leaders.

Tell us about a mentor who inspired/inspires you in your career. 

Monica Malorgio Katz has had the single most influence on my career and I have been so incredibly privileged to call her my mentor, leader, and friend. We first met at Texas State University where she was my professor. From there she convinced me to join her real estate office. Fast forward to today, she has been my broker for over 10 years and I have not only helped her grow her office into the company it is today, but we are now business partners as well. Monica’s persistence, guidance, and mentorship is solely and completely the reason I entered real estate and I can’t thank her enough for it.


What is a favorite leadership quote of yours?

“There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs.” -Zig Ziglar (repeated endlessly by Monica Katz) 


What advice would you give another young professional starting out in your field? 

This job is not for everyone and it won’t be easy, but it is SO incredibly rewarding once you master it. To be enormously successful in this industry, accept that mistakes will happen and steadfastly remain solutions-oriented.


Andrew Fernandez, San Marcos CISD


Andrew joined the SMCISD team in 2017 and oversees the Communications and Technology Department, while serving on the Superintendent’s Cabinet. He previously spent three seasons working in the Basketball Communications Office for the San Antonio Spurs, including the 2014 Championship season. He led a holistic rebrand for SMCISD with new Rattler logo, weekly communications, and high quality social media platforms. Prior to COVID-19, he organized the 1-to-1 technology initiative. This proactive approach helped students and families to be better equipped for online learning during 2020-2022. He sought out wireless internet solutions for SMCISD households to receive free hotspots to support the usage of district-issued devices for social-emotional support during the lockdown and academic achievement by students.

Tell us about a mentor who inspired/inspires you in your career.

My daily inspiration is Rudy and Debra Fernandez, my parents. Both of my parents come from a single parent household but they worked hard to provide for my brothers and me. My dad worked at the post office where he was a mail handler. Every day, he would lift 30-50 lb pallets for 8 to 10 hours a day. When I think I am having a rough day or dealing with a communication crisis, I think of the effort he put in day in and day out. My mother raised three boys – I think that should be enough to motivate someone, but she handled the challenge with grace, love and most importantly, she made all of us better men while working a full-time job herself. She was the foundation of our family and I am eternally grateful for her. 

What is a favorite leadership quote of yours?

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

What advice would you give another young professional starting out in your field?

My advice to young professionals starting out in the field of communications is be bold, be the hardest worker in the room, network and always stay true to yourself.

Be Bold – I took every internship, I worked every communications job I could find in college and post graduation. I broadcasted games in college, interned at the San Antonio Express News, interned at Fox 29 news and did everything I could to gain knowledge in the field of communications. 

Hard Work – Be willing to stand out and pride yourself on hard work. During my interview with San Marcos, I remember telling the committee: You may find someone smarter, or more experienced but I promise no one will outwork me.

Network – My first full time job in communications was with the San Antonio Spurs. This opportunity came about through a friend I had in college. You never know who will provide your next opportunity so be willing learn from anyone and everyone. 

Most importantly, I would advise any professional to never forget where they came from and those that supported them along the way. Something I try to be cognizant of is that no matter what I do or what I achieve, I am a reflection of more than just myself.


Jason Hendrix, Texas Regional Bank

Jason has been a community banker for almost 15 years. He has been in San Marcos for the over 4 years. He also attends the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU. A very prestigious accomplishment. Plus he is an incredible performer and mentor for his coworkers.

Tell us about a mentor who inspired/inspires you in your career.

I’ll forever be grateful for the many people who have and continue to disciple me throughout my life and professional career. I want to highlight my parents, who have been the two most influential mentors in my life. Growing up, they exemplified selflessness, fairness, resolve, and consistency. Those traits formed a foundation in my life and an understanding that everything will be okay as long as you treat people with respect, be consistent in who you are and what you do, and push through when things are difficult.

What is a favorite leadership quote of yours?

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’” Philippians 2:3-4

What advice would you give another young professional starting out in your field?

Seek out challenging new things. Be consistent with showing up and being present in the moment with people. Be courageous to meet new people and build professional relationships. Respectfully, be professionally curious, ask a lot of questions, and listen with intent.


Cody Lock, Frost Bank


Cody is a vice president in commercial banking. He has been successful in both personal/retail banking and commercial/business banking. Cody was one of the youngest to be promoted to a VP position at Frost. This is direct result of his hard work and dedication to serving his customers and fellow employees with excellence.

Tell us about a mentor who inspired/inspires you in your career.

I have a great deal of gratitude for John Schawe and Justin Payne for taking a chance on me and hiring me in San Marcos. Not only did they give me the opportunity to move out of Austin to San Marcos and become a part of this wonderful community, but have continued to help me grow and succeed professionally and personally.

What is a favorite leadership quote of yours?

 Earn your leadership every day. – Michael Jordan

What advice would you give another young professional starting out in your field?

You will never know everything. Always continue to look for opportunities to learn and grow.


Lauren Lowry, Lauren Lowry Interior Design


In 2015, Lauren launched her business and was recently awarded Best of Hays 2022 for Interior Design. She serves investors in short term rentals, and she serves clients through her interior design online e-course. She co-owns Group 24, a real estate investing group. This year she launched Tallulah Studio Home Staging; Streams, an online course teaching people how to earn income through Digital Marketing; and Lolo, a furniture and home decor retail business. In addition, she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors for ACCEYSS, a community resource network providing underserved and underrepresented youth with access to STEM and agricultural pathways.

Tell us about a mentor who inspired/inspires you in your career.

My mom and husband have been my greatest mentors. While I’ve had coaches and leaders in my life my mom and husband have shaped me into who I am today and inspired my career choices.  From a young age, my mom taught me to look at the world through the lens of possibility. She was always seeing beauty in the world around us. She taught me to see faces in my banana slices and how to turn dead weeds into a beautiful floral arrangement. She is a true artist and because of that so am I.  

While exploring Sequoia National Park this past summer I came across an explanation of what can happen to a Sequoia Tree pine cone.  It read that “female pine cones, hanging on male trees, can hang on the tree, sealed up for twenty years until something opens it.”  This is what my husband Joel Lowry has done for me. He has opened up the potential in me and with patience walked with me as I stepped into who I was always created to be. He has challenged my bad thinking and habits, seen the gold in me and created space in our lives so I could run into the things I carry in my heart. I learn most from how he loves and interacts with other people. He is a cheerleader to so many and my biggest fan. 

What is a favorite leadership quote of yours?

My favorite quote is “Wise people are builders – they build families, businesses, communities.  And through intelligence and insight their enterprises are established and endure.” – King Solomon

What advice would you give another young professional starting out in your field?

My advice would be… Do it scared. You’re not going to know what you’re doing and are going to feel like an imposter but don’t let that keep you from taking the risk and just going for it. The answers and understanding will come as you try and fail and pick yourself back up again and try again. AND if you’re going to be an entrepreneur you have to get rid of an employee mindset. There are no “normal” work hours and no one to tell you you’re doing a good job. You must gauge your success by becoming a better you today than you were yesterday.

Special thanks to these 2023 sponsors who support Young Professionals in the greater San Marcos area!

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsor

October Ribbon Cuttings

We take great pride in fostering a thriving business community. Our regular ribbon-cutting events are a testament to our unwavering commitment to supporting local businesses, welcoming new enterprises, and celebrating milestones. This month, we are excited to introduce you to five remarkable additions to our community:

Newmark Homes in La Cima

Embrace the future of living at Newmark Homes in La Cima, where innovation meets luxury. With a focus on sustainable design and the latest in home technology, this new addition to our city is raising the standard for modern living.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is synonymous with compassion and community service. With their presence in San Marcos, they extend a helping hand to those in need, providing assistance, support, and hope to our community’s most vulnerable members.

Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center

The Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center offers an invaluable service to our community. They specialize in conflict resolution, providing mediation and educational programs that promote harmony and understanding among our residents.

Buddy’s Burger

Satisfy your taste buds with the delicious offerings at Buddy’s Burger. This family-friendly eatery is a new hot spot for mouthwatering burgers, delectable fries, and an atmosphere that’s perfect for indulging in quality comfort food.

The Bug Master

For all your pest control needs, look no further than The Bug Master. Their expertise in managing and preventing pest infestations ensures a safer and healthier living environment for San Marcos residents.

2023 Annual Dinner & AWards Gala

Thank You for Making the 120th Annual Dinner & Awards Gala Unforgettable!

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who attended the 2023 Annual Dinner & Awards Gala. Your presence added a special touch to the evening, making it a memorable celebration of our vibrant community. A sincere thank you to our sponsors for their unwavering support, contributing to the success of this remarkable event. Congratulations to all the award winners for their outstanding contributions, innovation, and dedication. Your achievements inspire us, and we are honored to share in your success. Together, we continue to champion commerce, foster growth, and build a future filled with prosperity. Thank you for being an integral part of this extraordinary night!

Honorees of the Evening:

2023 Award Winners

Ambassador of the Year: Tiffany Harris

Green Business of the Year: Central Texas Refuse

Non-Profit of the Year: School Fuel

Education Partner of the Year: AirOne Heating & Air Conditioning

Emerging Business of the Year: DMJ Real Estate Investments

Small Business of the Year: KnD’s Boutique

Large Business of the Year: Corridor Home & Commercial

Citizen of the Year: Stephanie Reyes


2023- 2024 Chamber Board of Directors

CHAIRMANJustin Payne – Frost Bank
CHAIR-ELECT Cassidy Berenato – San Marcos Regional Airport
PAST CHAIRThomas Curtis – Chuck Nash Auto Group
TREASURER Brooke Damron – The Damron Group Realtors
SECRETARY Alfonso Sifuentes – Central Texas Refuse

Lee Colon – PGM of Texas
Mike Kamerlander – Greater San Marcos Partnership
Crystal Dixon – Edward Jones-Crystal Dixon
Dominic Encinias – The Heart Church
Cassie Frow – Amazon SAT2
Jo Anna Gilland – Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
Eddie Glidewell – Comfy Air
John Hardy – Divided Sky Roofing and Solar
Keely Hennig – Corridor Title Company
Josh Paselk – Corridor Home & Commercial/Sagebrush Landscaping
Hondo Powell – Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
Kristin Williams – Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park, The Groove
Kevin Wolf – Cobb, Fendley & Associates
Elva Zdeb – Gary Job Corps Center


EX-OFFICIO:
Dr. Brian Guenther
– San Marcos Academy
Mayor Jane Hughson – City of San Marcos
Dr. Shreek Mandayam – TXST Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
CJ Odam -San Marcos CISD
Rebecca Ybarra – San Marcos CVB


Chamber Board Outgoing Directors – Sept. 2023

Forrest Higdon, Gumby’s Pizza

Eduardo Rios, WillThrive Foundation

Jessica Walshak, McCoy’s Building Supply

Matthew Worthington, PAM Health


2023 Shining Stars Under 40 Award Winners

Robert Dorsey, McNabb & Co.

Jason Hendrix, Texas Regional Bank

Andrew Fernandez, San Marcos CISD

Cody Lock, Frost bank

Lauren Lowry, Lauren Lowry Interior Design

120th Annual Dinner & Awards Gala

Thank you to these 2023 Annual Dinner Sponsors

2023 Annual Awards Nominations

Prepare for a remarkable evening filled with celebration! The Annual Dinner & Awards Gala marks the transition in board leadership with the Passing of the Gavel from outgoing Chairman of the Board Tommy Curtis from Chuck Nash Auto Group, to incoming Chairman Justin Payne from Frost Bank.

Join this night to remember! It features live music, a delicious dinner, silent auction, the announcement of Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Shining Stars under 40, and more! Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 awards.

Nominate an exemplary business and/or citizen for these awards!

Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Green Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Education Partner of the Year, or Emerging Business of the Year

Who will you nominate? Click below for the online Nomination Form. The deadline for nominations is Monday, October 23 at 5pm. Submit a person or business you feel should be honored this year!

Member Satisfaction survey

We value your input and invite you to participate in the 2023 Chamber Member Satisfaction Survey!🌟

Your experiences with the Chamber this year are essential in guiding our efforts to enhance your membership experience. Your feedback will help us tailor our services, events, and initiatives to better serve your needs. It only takes a few minutes, and your responses are entirely confidential. Let your voice be heard – together, we can build a stronger Chamber community.

Don’t miss out – the deadline for responses is Friday, October 20 at noon.

Thank you for being an essential part of our Chamber family. We look forward to hearing from you!

2024 Welcome Guide

The annual, highly anticipated “San Marcos Welcome Guide” is starting production now. This is your golden opportunity to connect with millions of potential customers!🌟

This exclusive opportunity is offered to San Marcos Chamber members only! This is the most sought-after publication in the community. With 10,000 copies printed, this glossy guide is the key to our city of new residents, businesses and visitors.

Click here to view the current 2023 Welcome Guide!

Every Chamber member is listed in the Business Directory that is included inside the Guide. But you are also eligible to place a full-color display ad to stand out from other businesses in this award-winning publication!

  • Exclusive Access: This opportunity is available only to Chamber members, ensuring your business stands out among the best in town.
  • Year-Round Exposure: Your ad will be on display for 12 months, ensuring maximum visibility and impact for a full year.
  • Diverse Audience: Reach new potential customers along with current customers, neighbors and partners – all with one ad. Gain a competitive edge and reaffirm your business brand in San Marcos.
  • Full-Color Brilliance: Your ad will shine brightly in full color, leaving a lasting impression on the minds of business readers, residents and visitors.

Reach out today to be among the first to get more info and secure your spot in the 2024 Welcome Guide. There are a range of ad sizes to suit your needs and budget.

Don’t miss your chance to shine! Showcase your business’ brilliance! Click below to contact ad sales rep Marcy Holt at the Daily Record, mholt@sanmarcosrecord.com.