Quantcast
Photo courtesy of SHI

Twelve of the country's 100 most successful female entrepreneurs live in Texas this year, and eight of them call Austin home. So says Forbes in its 2023 list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, released June 1.

"Bolstered in part by a rebound in the stock market, [the richest 100 female entrepreneurs] are cumulatively worth a record $124 billion, up nearly 12 percent from a year ago," says Forbes.

To make the Forbes list, women had to garner wealth on their own, rather than by inheriting or winning it.Texas' wealthiest women have made their fortunes in fields ranging from home health care, insurance, and aviation logistics to jewelry design, dating apps, and running the show at SpaceX.

With an estimated net worth at $4.8 billion, Thai Lee, of Austin, remains at the top of the list in Texas, and ranks No. 5 nationally.

She falls behind only No. 1 Diane Hendricks of Wisconsin (co-founder of ABC Supply, $15 billion net worth); No. 2 Judy Loveof Oklahoma (chairman and CEO, Love's Travel Stops And Country Stores, $10.2 billion); No. 3 Judy Faulkner of Wisconsin (founder and CEO, Epic Systems, $7.4 billion); and No. 4 Lynda Resnick of California (co-founder and co-owner of Wonderful Company, $5.3 billion) among America's richest self-made women.

For some additional perspective, Oprah Winfrey lands at No. 13 on the list for 2023. The TV titan (and most famous woman on the planet) has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, Forbes says.

Austin's Lee, a native of Bangkok who holds an MBA from Harvard University, is founder, president, and CEO of SHI International Corp., a provider of IT products and services with a projected revenue of $14 billion in 2023. Fun fact: "Lee majored in both biology and economics," Forbes says, "in part because her English was less than perfect and she wanted to avoid writing and speaking in class."

The other seven Austin women on the list are:
  • Lisa Su, No. 34, Austin. Forbes pegs Su’s net worth at $740 million, tying her with April Anthony of Dallas. The native of Taiwan is president and CEO of Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices.
  • Kendra Scott, No. 47, of Austin.Forbes says she has amassed a net worth of $550 million as founder of Kendra Scott LLC, which designs and sells jewelry in more than 100 stores (and is worth $360 million). The celebrity entrepreneur is also a judge on TV's Shark Tank.
  • Whitney Wolfe Herd, No. 52, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $510 million. Herd is co-founder and CEO of Bumble Inc., which operates two online dating apps: Bumble and Badoo. She owns a 17% stake in Bumble and became the youngest self-made woman billionaire after it went public in February 2021.
  • Paige Mycoskie, No. 73, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $380 million. Mycoskie created founded her 1970s-inspired California lifestyle brand, Aviator Nation, which took off during the pandemic and now has 16 retail locations across the U.S. If the name sounds familiar, that's because she's the sister of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, with whom she competed on TV's The Amazing Race.
  • Imam Abuzeid, No. 77, of Austin. Her net worth is estimated at $350 million. Abuzeid is the co-founder and CEO of Incredible Health, which she started in 2017 to help alleviate America's nursing shortage. Forbes describes it as "a souped-up version of LinkedIn for nurses." Abuzeid is one of only a handful of Black female founders to run a company valued at more than $1 billion, Forbes notes.
  • Julia Cheek, No. 92, of Austin. Her net worth is estimated at $260 million. Cheek founded at-home testing company Everly Health in 2015 "out of frustration at having to pay thousands for lab testing to diagnose issues related to vitamin imbalance," Forbes says. It got a Shark Tank deal with Lori Greiner and is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.
  • Belinda Johnson, No. 96, of Austin. She is worth an estimated $250 million. Johnson was Airbnb's first chief operating officer and led many of its legal disputes. She stepped down from that role in March 2020, Forbes says, and left the company's board in June 2023.

The remaining Texas women on the list include:

  • Gwynne Shotwell, No. 27, of Jonesboro (Coryell-Hamilton counties). Her net worth is estimated at $860 million. Shotwell is president and COO of Elon Musk's SpaceX. She manages the operations of the commercial space exploration company and owns an estimated stake of 1 percent, Forbes says.
  • Robyn Jones, No. 29, of Fort Worth. Her net worth is estimated at $830 million. Jones is founder of Westlake-based Goosehead Insurance Agency LLC. She started the property and casualty insurance agency in 2003 after being frustrated with her truck-driver husband's "road warrior lifestyle," Forbes says. He joined her in 2004 and they took the company public in 2018. It has nearly 1,000 franchised offices.
  • April Anthony, No. 34, of Dallas. Forbes puts her net worth at $740 million. She founded the Dallas-based home health and hospice division of Encompass Health Corp and sold it for $750 million to HealthSouth. In 2022, she was named CEO of VitalCaring, a home health and hospice care firm.
  • Kathleen Hildreth, No. 44, of Aubrey. Her net worth is estimated at $590 million. Hildreth is co-founder of M1 Support Services LP, an aviation logistics company based in Denton. A service-disabled Army veteran, she graduated from West Point in 1983 and was deployed all around the world as a helicopter pilot.
Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Whataburger weighs in as healthiest cheeseburger in the nation

THEMS EATIN' WORDS

With its love of greasy enchiladas, gluttonous fried steaks, and fat-speckled brisket, Texas isn’t always known as a healthy eating mecca. But it turns out that one locally beloved dish isn’t as unhealthy as one might think.

Inspired by February’s American Heart Month (albeit belatedly), Gambling.com decided to dig deep into which fast-food burger was best for the ticker and the body overall. What that has to do with online slots is anyone’s guess, but perhaps open-heart surgeries are not conducive to risk-taking.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Local favorite/ food cult Whataburger took the top slot, earning honors with its standby cheeseburger. Assumably, the gambling site considered the mustard-slathered original, eschewing calorie bombs like bacon slices and creamy pepper sauce. Where’s the fun of Whataburger if you can’t get it just like you like it?

To arrive at the rankings, Gambling.com analyzed each burger for sugar, fat, salt, and calorie content per ounce. Each metric was given a one to ten score that factored into the final report card shared with content-hungry food journalists everywhere.

Coming in a close second was In-N-Out’s cheeseburger, a comforting fact for Texans who enjoy complaining about Californians. Rounding out the top five were Checker’s Checkerburger with Cheese, Culver’s ButterBurger Cheese, and Del Taco’s del Cheese Burger.

For those trying to make better eating choices, that list should give some pause. Yes, Whataburger beats out other fast-food faves, but it was competing against a chain that literally toasts all their buns in churned cream. Health is a relative concept.

Elsewhere on the list was another Texas darling, the No. 6 ranked Dairy Queen. Apparently, all that “hungr” is being busted by a hefty dose of sodium. Yes, we will take fries with that.

wikimedia.org

Charming Austin suburb is the fastest-growing city in the country, plus more top stories

hot headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From Georgetown to Brenham, and of course inside Austin proper, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Charming Austin suburb is the fastest-growing city in the country, with neighbors close behind. Georgetown had a 14.4-percent population increase from 2021 to 2022, bringing the city's total population to more than 86,500 residents.

2. Austin dethroned from top spot in new ranking of top summer travel destinations for 2023. Some Austinites are happy to hear the summer will be less crowded, but tourist revenue may suffer.

3. Lengendary Texas ranch resort makes waves on the market with $15 million price tag. It's a stretch to call it rustic, but this resort for sale includes horse stables, wildflowers, and an organic farm.

4. This is how big Austin apartments get for $1,500 a month. Unsurprisingly, it's not as much square footage as you can get elsewhere in Texas, but it's still not even close to Manhattan.

5. Here are the top 7 things to do in Austin this holiday weekend. The Memorial Day weekend brings chances to try great barbecue, take a walk with faeries, and hear lots of live music.

Photo by Andrea Calo

Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events

Wet Hot Austin Summer

Memorial Day is here, which means so are the days of sitting in a lounge chair and sweating while looking unreasonably fabulous. Whether it's to beat the summer heat or to show off a new swimsuit, Austinites may have more options than they think to take a swim at the many pools around town. Even if you haven't committed to an overnight stay, most hotels offer day passes, and some even offer other deals or poolside programming.

One great way to find passes not just to pools around town, but also to spas and other hotel amenities, is to browse ResortPass. (Not sponsored, just cool.) There are 26 Austin options on the site right now.

But we wanted to let you know what's going on beyond the pass — who will set you up for a great meal, who lets you drink out of a coconut, and whose views (or lack thereof) provide the best ambiance for your day off. Some of our choices aren't even on the platform.

Go grab your sandals, and save us a towel.

Greater Austin YMCA
Let's start with the less glamorous before we break out the poolside fashion. The YMCA is a family staple for a reason, and if your goal is just to get in the water regularly throughout the summer, especially with kids, it's a great place to start. There are "interactive hours" at the outdoor pools (more fun than swimming laps) at the East Communities, Hays Communities, Northwest Family, Southwest Family, and Springs Family YMCAs, as well as the YMCA at Camp Moody. The Y is semi-affordable; It would probably be cheaper to visit a hotel pool once or twice, but a Y membership includes a month of access, guest passes, and much more, and may replace your gym membership for the summer. $69 per month, with age and household discounts. austinymca.org

Hotel Van Zandt
If your pool visit doesn't include spritz and giggles, why are you even there? Hotel Van Zandt is opening up its stylish rooftop pool for the "Spritz & Giggles Poolside Happy Hour & Sunset Swim" event series. Every Monday through Thursday, visitors can enjoy $8 frozen Aperol spritzes, $8 specialty cocktails, and a special pool menu with items like a refreshing green salad, pork belly al pastor tacos, and a spicy fried chicken sandwich. Geraldine's, the main restaurant, is right inside for even better drinks, expanded bites, and sometimes live music. Starting at $48 per day for adults, $15 for kids. hotelvanzandt.com

Carpenter Hotel
If one day at the Carpenter Hotel pool is just not enough, the hotel has now added monthly passes. In addition to unlimited access to the secluded pool in the Zilker neighborhood, a pass gets a $30 discount for the new monthly BBQ Pool Parties (bringing attendance down to $25). That will include a great spread of less commonly seen barbecue items like grilled bay scallops, mushroom skewers, elotes, deviled potato salad, and more. Monthly pass holders also get to bring one child under 8 for free. $40 daily, $200 monthly. Both Monday through Thursday. carpenterhotel.com

South Congress Hotel
The South Congress Hotel is right in the middle of where many Austinites want to be on a summer day, if it weren't so dang hot. This rooftop pool solves that problem in style, with daily pool passes every day of the week, as well as cabana rentals. Café No Sé supplies poolside drinks and snacks, and downstairs, Austin's Best New Restaurant Maie Day offers a hearty meal after a day of napping in the sun. Cabanas can be rented for four people and include self-parking, bottled water, and a bottle of champagne or bucket of High Noon. Days for $40 and cabanas for $300 on weekdays; days for $75 and cabanas for $400 on weekends. southcongresshotel.com

Hotel Viata
Hotel Viata is a bit of a sleeper hotel among Austin boutiques, as it's located a little beyond West Lake Hills. Still, if you want a taste of Italy, the drive to this retreat will be worth it. Not to mention, with the extra room these downtown hotels can't offer, a pool pass includes access to a hot tub, fire pits, and great views of the hills around the city. Pool passes are available, but if you want to see it for free before you spend, wait for June 10; The hotel invites guests 21 and up to check out the pool for free at the "Summer Festa in Piscina" party, with a "Taste of Italy" add-on ($55) for Aperol Spritz, limoncello lemon drops, and negronis all day. $45 per day for adults, $25 for children. resortpass.com

Wax Myrtle's
This rooftop bar and pool is known for its never-ending events calendar, and of course that energy extends to poolside entertainment. There will be live music on the weekends, plus live DJ sets on Saturday nights, alongside whatever other programming happens to be going on inside. Even if it's a do-nothing day, these large, over-the-top drinks will give you a delicious challenge. The "Boot Scootin Fruity" mixes rum, an aperitivo, hibiscus, and lime in a cowboy hat punch bowl ($90); the luxe "Mojito 75" combines Moët & Chandon with rum and mojito must-haves in a disco ball ($230); and an unnamed cocktail is worth trying just to enjoy it from a real coconut. Starting at $15 for adults, $10 for children, and more for daybeds and cabanas. waxmyrtles.com

Austin Motel
Perhaps one of the best known pools in Austin for its retro vibes, fun events, and accessibility to on-foot wanderers is the Austin Motel. This is a great, less expensive choice that's probably more fun for casual pool revelers who would feel a little put out by having to dress up and behave in a more luxe hotel setting. There are also frequent poolside events at this motel, like the free "Bounce Motel" series with live DJs, or the body-positive "Chunky Dunk." The pool is offers daily passes every day, even when there's nothing on the calendar. $25 on weekdays, $45 on weekends, or $600 in three-and-a-half-month "waves." austinmotel.com

Carpenter Hotel pool

Photo by Andrea Calo

Austinites don't need to stay at a hotel to be invited to the pool. (Pictured: The Carpenter Hotel)

wikimedia.org

Charming Austin suburb is the fastest-growing city in the country, with neighbors close behind

POPULATION REPORT

We already know things are changing in Texas at large, but how about just outside of Austin? Now, six out of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States are in Texas, and three Austin-area suburbs made it into the top five: Georgetown, Kyle, and Leander. The U.S. Census Bureau's latest findings add more validity to reports that less people are interested in living in Austin proper, and are seeking residence in the suburbs.

“Georgetown, Texas, [had] the highest rate of growth among all U.S. cities and towns with at least 50,000 people,” said Crystal Delbé, a statistician in the Census Bureau’s Population Division.

Georgetown had a 14.4-percent population increase from 2021 to 2022, bringing the city's total population to more than 86,500 residents. That's a growth of nearly 10,900, which puts Georgetown at No. 10 on the list of numerical increases (as opposed to proportional growth). For scale, the report lists Austin at 1.0 million.

Kyle and Leander landed in No. 3 and No. 4 with the same population growth rate of 10.9 percent. Kyle's total population in 2022 was just under 57,500, while Leander's reached 74,375 residents.

The top 10 fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. are:

  • No. 1 – Georgetown, Texas
  • No. 2 – Santa Cruz, California
  • No. 3 – Kyle, Texas
  • No. 4 – Leander, Texas
  • No. 5 – Little Elm, Texas
  • No. 6 – Westfield, Indiana
  • No. 7 – Queen Creek, Arizona
  • No. 8 – North Port, Florida
  • No. 9 – Cape Coral, Florida
  • No. 10 – Port St. Lucie, Florida

In an overall analysis of the 15 largest American cities in 2022, Austin barely made it into the top 10 with a population of 974,447. Three Texas cities ranked higher, with Houston earning No. 4 with its population of over 2.3 million people, San Antonio at No. 7 with over 1.47 million residents, and Dallas at No. 9 with a population of just under 1.3 million. Fort Worth ranked outside the top 10 at No. 13, with a population of 956,709.

The top 10 most populous American cities are:

  • No. 1 – New York City, New York
  • No. 2 – Los Angeles, California
  • No. 3 – Chicago, Illinois
  • No. 4 – Houston, Texas
  • No. 5 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 6 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • No. 7 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 8 – San Diego, California
  • No. 9 – Dallas, Texas
  • No. 10 – Austin, Texas

The report additionally discovered that housing inventory skyrocketed by 1.6 million units between 2021 and 2022. Texas had the third fastest housing growth with a rate of 2.3 percent, versus Utah, which had the fastest growth at 3.3 percent. Travis County had the third highest numeric gains in housing units in the nation, only to be beat by Maricopa County in Arizona (No. 2) and Harris County (No. 1).

Austin didn't make the cut in the list of the 10 most populous U.S. metro areas (as opposed to the cities, themselves), but Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 4, and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranked No. 5.

The full report can be found on census.gov.

Photo by Bianca Ackermann on Unsplash

Texas makes a buzz as the 4th best state for beekeeping

protect our pollinators

Have you heard the latest buzz about Texas? We're one of the best states for saving the bees. Pollinators are the key that allow us to enjoy many of our U.S.-grown crops, and without them, we would lose access to nearly a third of our food supply.

Texas came in fourth in Lawn Love's 2023 edition of "Best States for Beekeeping" with the third-highest honey production value, and the fifth-highest number of honey-producing colonies. The three states that ranked higher include North Dakota at No. 3, New York at No. 2, and California leading the way at No. 1. Rounding out the top five is Ohio.

Surprisingly, the so-called Beehive State of Utah was a let-down in the report with its poor beekeeper salaries, a lack of bee-friendly legislation, and a high amount of colony loss per year. It came in at the bottom of the list as the third worst state for beekeeping, with Arizona (No. 38) and Wyoming (No. 39) ranking even lower.

If you want to take a few steps to extend our classic Texan hospitality to our vital pollinators, Lawn Love suggests four tips: planting native plants, replacing your grass with clover, using organic pest control, and designing bee-friendly landscapes in your yards. Those looking to start beekeeping can look into their local beekeeper's association, which in our case is the Austin Area Beekeeper's Association.

Rachel Mallinger, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, explained in the report that one of the most common misconceptions about bees is that honey bees make up the most of the population. The truth is that honey bees only account for a "very, very small fraction" of the "thousands of species of bees around the world."

"Most bees are actually solitary, meaning each female or mom bee has her own baby bees in a small nest with no queens or workers," Mallinger said. "One consequence of this is that when you see an individual bee in your yard — if it is indeed a solitary species like most species — it means there is no large colony nearby. These bees are also usually very gentle and do not sting unless directly bothered."

The report can be found on lawnlove.com.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Austin has the 3rd most active real estate market in the U.S. within the last decade

red-hot ATX

A new report has discovered Texas cities hold the top five most active real estate markets in the country, with Austin landing in third place. The study by storage marketplace StorageCafe reflects the city's resiliency over the last decade after a recent reported plummet in Austin's quality of life.

Austin had the third highest number of single-family home permits between 2013 and 2022, totaling 37,000 units. At the same time, the city also permitted over 98,700 new multi-family/apartment units. The massive influx of housing ultimately adds up to an impressive national surge.

On the industrial end, the Texas Capital also took the No. 3 spot in the country for the most square feet of new industrial space construction. Nearly 25 million square feet of new office space was erected in the last decade, further solidifying the city's standing as a top destination for business.

Outshining Austin in the list of real estate growth is Houston(No. 1), with 55,600 single-family homes permitted between 2013 and 2022, and nearly 90,000 multi-family units. San Antonio (No. 2) also outranked Austin with 34,000 single-family units and 8,500 new multi-family units.

The real estate markets in Fort Worth and Dallas respectively round out the top five.

The cities that complete the top 10 include:

  • No. 6 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 7 – Jacksonville, Florida
  • No. 8 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • No. 9 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 10 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The full report can be found on storagecafe.com.

Austinites can now rent pickleball and tennis courts around the city

PLAY BALL

Pickleball and tennis lovers are getting more access to underutilized courts in Austin. Swimply, an online provider that lets homeowners rent out their private pools by the hour, has now expanded their services to include sport courts.

"After disrupting the $15B private pool industry, other backyard spaces for rent was a logical next step," Swimply said in a press release. "Pickleball is a phenomenon and there aren't enough courts to meet demand ...Tennis, likewise, has historically been an exclusive leisure activity where people pay upwards of $100 an hour at private clubs for court time."

In addition to tennis and pickleball, basketball courts will also be listed for rent on the site, beginning at $25 an hour. There are nearly 200 total spaces listed in Austin, and over 300 courts available across their other popular markets in Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. Expansion is currently underway for their remaining markets around the nation by the end of the summer season.

Swimply founder and CEO Bunim Laskin said this new launch is a "game changer" for communities whose members want greater accessibility to recreational spaces.

"We're excited to offer this new opportunity for families and friends to have fun, exercise, and connect with each other in a safe, affordable, and convenient way," Laskin said. "Our mission has always been about democratizing access to exclusive spaces and creating positive social impact, and we believe that court rentals are a natural extension of that vision."

The service expansion also serves to improve access for those in low-income or marginalized communities, after a recent Trust for Public Land study said 100 million Americans can't access a park within a 10-minute walk from their homes.

Swimply is currently looking into expanding their recreational offerings to include backyards for events, music studios, and more.

7 things to know in Austin food right now: Pizza newcomer spreads wings for brunch, lunch, and happy hour

News You Can Eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Although Dovetail Pizza has been capturing Austinites' hearts since opening in November of 2022, it's still getting on its feet. Things are looking quite established now that the pizzeria is also offering lunch with sandwich specials, and even a weekend brunch with pizza sauce Bloody Marys and beignoli. (Presumably that's something between a beignet and a cannoli.) Both lunch and brunch will be served from 11 am to 3 pm on weekdays and weekends, respectively. A happy hour from Sunday to Thursday, 3-5 pm, will offer discounts and a new meatball sandwich.

Speaking of service extensions, both the Ramen Tatsu-ya on East 6th Street and Domo Alley-Gato are serving ramen later at night — when you really need it, if you ask us. The full menu at each will now be available until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, serving ramen later than any other Tatsu-ya location. The hospitality group has been focused on new locations for a while, so it's nice to see smaller changes coming to neighborhoods that have supported the restaurant for years.

Despite the low-brow beauty of some beer culture, it's still nice to enjoy some in a real fancy venue — say, The Driskill. The hotel's Beer Dinner Series is back on, introducing Austinites to new local beers alongside a five-course menu of pairings by Chef Alondra Martinez and Pastry Chef Kristen Groth. The first dinner of the returning series will be held on June 20, and will pair Thirsty Planet Brewery beers with grilled oysters, andouille sausage, quail, and more. The timing makes for a great Father's Day gift, if you're looking. Reserve ($80) on Tock.

Italian sandwich by Dovetail Pizza in Austin

Photo by Kati Luedecke

Dovetail pizza now offers brunch, lunch, a happy hour, and new menu items to tie it all together.

There will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate Pride Month in Austin throughout June, but a couple of coffee shop deals will make sure you have the energy to keep dancing. Abby Jane Bakeshop is using a brew by Sightseer Coffee, "Season of the Witch," to make espresso whoopie pies. Proceeds go to Out Youth for the organization's Transgender Wellness program. Another effort by Jo's Coffee has repackaged the house blend in limited-edition Pride Boxes that each drive a $2 donation to Equality Texas.

L'Oca d'Oro, the seasonal Italian restaurant in the Meuller neighborhood known for its progressive ideals as well as its delicious food, is wrapping up its recurring fundraising event, Pasta Paisanos, for the season. The monthly collabs have brought in great chefs from around Austin to drive donations to Lilith Fund, which provides funds and emotional supports to Texans seeking abortions. At the wrap-up event, in collaboration with alumni chefs Fermín Nunez and Angelo Emiliana, the restuarnat will also be celebrating its seventh anniversary and hopes to reach its $50,000 donation goal. Book at locadoroaustin.com.

Locals can always count on the Peached Tortilla for a menu with a theme. The restaurant, which is known for its extensive whiskey menu and "Asian comfort food with a Southern twist," actually already celebrates "Fried Chicken and Whiskey Wednesdays," which falls right on National Bourbon Day this year — the whiskey gods decreed it. Celebrate with umami fried chicken, mixed grilled corn with kimchi miso butter, kimchi mac and cheese, and "proper biscuits." The restaurant has 10 bourbons to choose from, and plenty more if the chicken sounds great but you're...not an observer of National Bourbon Day.