10 to Watch

Movers and shakers. Up-and-comers. New kids in town. Call 'em what you will, but we predict 2014 will be a big year for this group.

Aaron Ross | Professional BMX Rider

In the high-flying, fast-paced world of BMX, a beloved veteran on the scene always makes time for helping others.

Catch me up to speed on your year. What have you been working on?

I pretty much spent the year traveling nonstop. I got out of the country for a bunch of different trips. I rode a lot of bikes, and saw a lot of cool places. I’ve done some volunteering in Austin with the Christian Outreach Foundation—hanging out with kids, helping with homework, and reading books. I am always talking back-and-forth with BMX kids through social media: I remember what it was like to be a little kid and being able to talk to someone that was a pro or who I looked up to, so I try to just put myself in their shoes.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

There are a few secret projects as of right now… Since it’s BMX, not everything is planned in advance…It just kind of comes up a month before. But, I’ve been traveling for about nine years now, so I’m sure it’ll just be another year [of] a lot of [that and] a lot of fun.

What’s one thing in town you are really loving right now?

The weather! You can’t ask for better weather to be outside. I play a lot of golf, tennis, and ride all kinds of bikes so this is perfect to be outside.

What’s something I don’t know about your job?

It never feels like a job.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

I’ve been very lucky and there’s a lot highlights and accomplishments I’m really proud of. But being able to travel the world with my best friends riding a bicycle (I started riding when I was 11) is my favorite. I’m very appreciative of it all and look forward to more.


Aisha Burns | Musician

The violinist in the local instrumental ensemble Balmorhea, Burns stepped out on her own this year to release “Life in the Midwater,” a nuanced and delicately-powerful folk album Burns has been quietly working on since 2010. Her first press? “Somehow the first thing that came out about the album was on NPR’s World Café,” Burns laughs. “So…good things are happening?!”

Catch me up to date on your last year.

Well, this time last year, I was in the thick of mixing “Life in the Midwater” with Michael Landon, who also engineered the record. The process was kind of drawn out, as I jumped out on the road with Balmorhea for a full U.S. tour literally a few days after I finished tracking. I spent the fall/winter getting the mixes done and moving through the stages of artwork with my designer Bethany Bauman. All the prep of getting the actual physical record together and finding people to help promote it always takes way longer than you originally imagine[…]

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

I’m still figuring all of that out. I’m talking with some promoters about putting together a European tour in the spring…The year prior to this one was pretty rough for me, and had me moving around a lot. And between touring with Balmorhea, Idyl (another band I play violin in), and traveling on my own for work and play, I haven’t been home for more than three weeks at a time since early June. So as excited as I am to tour and share this record with everyone, I’m also really looking forward to being in Austin for a couple months and not going anywhere…

What’s one thing in town you are really loving right now?

I am obsessed with the migas taco at Veracruz All Natural. I have no idea what it is about this specific taco...but I find myself daydreaming about this thing.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Being featured on NPR’s World Café was exciting. That was the first piece of press for the record, and it appeared months before the record’s release. I listen to NPR pretty frequently, and I had no idea they were going to cover it like they did. It was a strange feeling to make the record and then keep it to myself for a year until all the prep work was done. I remember the day I heard that broadcast as the first time that the record felt real to me.


Patrick Ley | Office Leasing & Sales Broker, ECR & President, Friends of the House

Making deals and serving others in the community­—it’s all in a day’s work for this young philanthropist.

Catch me up to speed on your year. What have you been working on?

Continued expansions of our home-grown companies and well as major corporate relocations have been keeping Austin’s office market intensely competitive. Friends of the [Ronald McDonald] House has had an astounding year by doubling our active membership as well the frequency of our very popular Speaker Series, held every other month.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

I will continue to serve in a support capacity to the Leadership Council for Friends of the House and focus efforts to strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations in Austin. I’m always looking for ways to connect people or organizations in need – whether it’s the right office space or a nonprofit they align with, I like a challenge.

Tell me a story about the most fun you had in Austin this year.

Participating in this years’ CharityBash Live Auction was an absolute blast. I developed the skill of putting together a large auction package, raised over $140,000 in one evening, and was there to give it all away a month later.

What’s one thing in town you are really loving right now?

Beyond my weekly bike rides out to the hill country, I’d have to say the Rooftop Architecture Film Series at the Contemporary Austin We became members this summer and I’m looking forward to putting the art major in me to good use! Wednesday nights, Dinner-For-Two picnics with a bottle of wine, and a few irreplaceable friends.

What’s something I don’t know about your job?

I’ve helped some incredible companies find office space— everything from horse farrier’s to drone helicopter manufacturers to law firms and job search engines. I meet new people on a daily basis and love learning about their businesses by producing a strategy for space needs and future growth.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

I feel fortunate to have been with ECR when it started in a little window bay on 8th Street. On the community side, I’m beyond proud of serving as President of Friends of the House. When you’re surrounded by great people focused on a common goal serving the greater good, incredible things can happen!


Jay B Sauceda | Photographer + Owner, Sauceda Industries

It makes sense that this creative cowboy almost went in to politics—he knows how to inspire and bring people together.

Catch me up to date on your last year. What have you been working on?

This year has been a busy one. Photographically, some of the bigger projects were the spring catalog for Dick’s Sporting Goods, a national campaign for Sierra Mist, and I was asked to shoot for and star in a Hampton Inn Ad. It was surreal to be on that side of the camera, especially since the ad ran on Hulu and ESPN. The TexasHumor/YesToTexas.com business I started as a joke has kind of exploded, so recently I’ve hired people to help grow it. Also, the studio I’m a partner in, Public School, is relaunching our long-dormant blog and site, which has been a year in the making.

Tell me a story about the most fun you had in Austin this year.

There’s no one specific thing I can point to about this year other than moving South. My wife and I have mainly lived downtown and moved to the Manchaca area when we got married. Exploring that area and settling into the neighborhood has been great. There are bumper stickers that say “Old Austin didn’t die, it just moved south” and it’s totally true. Strange Brew, Casa Garcia, the Horseshoe Lounge, and the Broken Spoke are all south, which has been perfect for us.

What’s one local thing you are really loving right now?

I started organizing Shuffleboard tournaments at the Horseshoe Lounge on South Lamar about a year ago after they had stopped a few years back. That has been one of my favorite things to do every two weeks. We have them every first and third Tuesday of the month, and the group of people who come each week have really grown into a vibrant family.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

My grandfather worked construction in Chicago and picked tomatoes in South Texas for a living with zero education. Every day I’m blessed enough to be self-employed, I’m proud and thankful for the road he and my father paved with their Tejano work ethic. I’ve been very proud to have the opportunities I’ve been given.


Amanda Garcia | Music Industry Manager, Austin Convention & Visitors' Bureau

Garcia has the official job of promoting Austin’s music scene for out-of-towners, “making sure everyone knows how to access live music when they get here,” she explains. And in a job—and city—that is constantly evolving, Garcia is a natural trailblazer.

Catch me up to date on your last year. What have you been working on?

My job is to chase music and find out what’s going on: a huge part of that this year was the Airstream Road Trips project. We bought a 1974 Airstream trailer, had Jack Sanders’ Design Build Adventure gut it, and then now we take it around to different festivals around the country, from DC to Nashville to Atlanta to New Orleans. This summer we took it to Lollapalooza and throughout the Midwest.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

I just joined the board for the Austin Music Foundation, so with that we just kicked off a fundraiser for their Creative Media Center, which is a space for musicians to come in and use software or consult with people in different parts of the industry as mentors. The organization was recently been given a new space, which currently exists as four walls, a roof, and a dirt floor. We have launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to finish that out, but eventually, it will be a huge resource for Austin musicians

Tell me a story about the most fun you had in Austin this year.

I saw Los Lobos at ACL Live and it was such a good night. I also just really love walking around Austin at night—downtown and Clarksville especially. It’s a great city to just walk around and listen.

What’s one thing specific thing in town you are really loving right now?

Going to the White Horse on Sunday nights. Also, the truffle popcorn at the Driskill Hotel.

What’s something people don’t know about your work?

Promoting music in Austin is an all-year thing: I think some people only think we’re busy during festivals, but we have convention groups coming in all year long. We’ve had almost 900 music inquiries so far this year—people asking about live music, venues, musicians, or booking. It’s kind of crazy.

What has been the proudest moment of your career this year?

We made a music video last summer and then, this past May, recreated that in a live performance. That was definitely something special that took a lot of hands on deck and came out really awesome in the end…A really proud moment for me.


Ben Edgerton & Andrew Wiseheart

For the co-owners of Contigo, running one of the city’s most talked-about restaurants isn’t enough; there is always more to explore. Between continually editing Contigo’s menu, keeping up with the uncertainties of an outdoor restaurant, and pursuing a new restaurant project for 2014, the duo is always—happily—kept on their toes.

Catch me up to speed on your last year.

Ben: Just trying to keep Contigo going: with the recent weather shifts, changing seasons...the challenges of operating an outdoor restaurant are never-ending. However, the challenges [make it] fun; we plan on getting a tent for the winter this year, so that should help.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you both?

Ben: We are working diligently toward a second restaurant. There is absolutely nothing fast about this process, but I am hopeful it will happen in 2014.

Andrew: In addition to figuring out our new project, I will be working to stay focused on cooking and Contigo. It sounds basic, but it is easy to get distracted and forget about the basics.

Tell me a story about the most fun you had in Austin this year.

Ben: Memorial Day 2013: Brunch at Perla’s, drinks at the San Jose Hotel, swimming in Barton Springs, dinner at Chez Nous, and a nightcap at Easy Tiger.

Andrew: ACL Weekend

What’s one thing in town you are really loving right now?

Ben: Houndstooth Coffee. Simply put, my life would not be the same without this place, and without these people.

Andrew: I like the food that is being cooked at Wine Belly in South Austin, as well as Lucy’s Fried Chicken.

What’s something I don’t know about owning a restaurant?

Both: There is a really wonderful community of people who comprise the food community of Austin. If you are not a daily part of that community, it might be hard to realize or understand what a rich tapestry of talented, creative, and extremely hard-working people we get to call our colleagues.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

Ben: April 15, 2011: This was the very first day we ever served a customer at Contigo. I decided I wanted to own a restaurant when I was 16, and I had been working on this project specifically for over two and a half years. Hands down, the proudest day of my career.

Andrew: I vividly remember the sign being put up about one hour before we opened Contigo in 2011. I can’t think of many times I was more proud than that.


Maile Roberts-Loring

Don’t just call her the “daughter of”—this petite dynamo is taking the family business—the legendary Salt Lick—to new places with her role in the company.

Catch me up to date on your last year.

For me, there really is zero separation between my work life and business life. Welcome to working for the family business. That said, this past year has been crazy! I have been working to increase sales in our catering division, I’ve been managing Salt Lick Cellars [the restaurant’s winery and private label]—picking the wines and merchandise we offer, I renovated Pecan Grove, our largest event facility, my husband and I renovated our home, my mother and I have started a side business buying and renovating a house together, and I helped a good friend plan her wedding that was held in our vineyards.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

A new Salt Lick location! I have been pushing my dad for years to open another Salt Lick, and I think this is the year it will finally happen. We are also planning to upgrade some of the facilities at our Driftwood location—new bathrooms, a new catering kitchen...the list goes on and on. We are constantly striving to make the Salt Lick experience better for our customers.

What was the most fun you had in Austin this year?

I love football. I mean I really love football. You might not be able to see me in the stands (I’m only 5’1) but you will defiantly hear me. The most fun I have all year is tailgating and going to UT football games with my husband and friends. We lead such busy lives that I have learned to really cherish the few hours of uninterrupted football bliss that we get to spend together each week.

What’s one thing in town you are really loving right now?

I really love the THIRST installation on Lady Bird Lake. I run around the lake every day and am always amazed by it. For as long as I can remember, my dad has ingrained in me the importance of water conservation because he saw firsthand how awful the 50s droughts were on Central Texas. At the Salt Lick, we do everything we can to use as little water was possible. In addition to rain water capture, we collect wastewater from the ice machines and the A/C condensation and use it to water the gardens.


Kyle Osburn | Cinematographer

Through His Lens—the gifted filmmaker finds beauty all around him.

Catch me up to speed on your year. What have you been working on?

A few highlights were working with the camera crew on the final year of filming of Richard Linklater’s “12 Year Project” in Big Bend and collaborating with director/photographer Matt Rainwaters on a couple projects, including a lookbook film for Austin’s own Traveller Denim Co.

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

I enjoy collaborating with friends in the creative field who are designers, photographers and artists so I’ll be working on some documentary film projects and narrative film projects with friends in 2014. I turn 30 this month (December), so I’m looking forward to what the first year of my thirties has in store.

Tell me a story about the most fun you had in Austin this year.

I saw a lot of great shows at SXSW this year but one band I missed seeing was Night Beds. I was able to catch them play again in June at Mohawk inside. It was one of the best shows I’ve see in a long time.

What’s something I don’t know about your job?

Filmmaking is very collaborative, and I consider myself lucky to be in Austin and work with the most talented and friendly crew base in the country of camera assistants, gaffers, grips, electrics, and other crafts people.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

There hasn’t been one specific moment, but being in the Austin film community and working with and being surrounded by influential filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Richard Linklater, David Gordon Green, and Jeff Nichols is a big highlight.


Hillary-Anne Crosby

The pixie-haired editor is a veritable force to be reckoned with; the founder of feminist local ‘zine Vagina, Crosby balances the smart, progressive voice of her growing publication with personal aspirations to become involved in politics and policy conversations.

Catch me up to date on your last year. What have you been working on?

So much! Really, if I’m ever not trying to accomplish ten things at once then someone should probably check my pulse and call a doctor…I’ve been working on Vagina of course. It’s the most exciting, creative, and challenging part of my life any given day of the year. We put out four issues this year and I’m hopelessly proud of each of them[…]

This year I also served as a spokesperson for U by Kotex’s Generation Know campaign. It was meant to de-stigmatize periods and bust myths that young girls fall victim to. A commercial in which I said awkward things about periods aired for a few months on MTV and CW. Beginning in the spring, I started planning for a book I’m putting together about female cyclists called Babes & Their Bikes…in May I rode out of Austin to do a bike tour from here to Chicago, stopping to interview and photograph lady riders along the way…Recently I began interning with Pioneers Youth Leadership. It’s an organization that works with students from rural Texas counties to get more involved with local/state/national issues like water, education, food, [and] environment[…]

What new projects does 2014 hold for you?

I’m really hoping to turn Vagina into a ‘real’ magazine next year! I’m not yet sure how this will happen or what this will look like but we’ve grown so much over the past (nearly) three years and I think it’s time to step things up. I’m also intent on getting Babes & Their Bikes published in 2014.

I’m applying to the LBJ School next fall for the Masters of Public Affairs Program and maybe even law school! I’m ready to get focused on my dream of someday working in Texas politics and with everything that has happened to Texas women with the past two legislative sessions, I think it’s time I get down to business.

What’s something I don’t know about making a zine?

It can be whatever you want it to be! I think the fun thing about zines is that any time you tell someone you have a zine, they’re going to picture something completely different—cut/pasted/Xeroxed, laid out on InDesign, full-color, black and white, completely art-based, completely diary-based, etc. Really they’re all just so unique! You’ll never see the same zine twice.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I cried the day that I opened an email from Kotex saying that they’d been following my work with Vagina and wanted me to be a part of their Generation Know campaign[…] And definitely my time at the Capitol during the special session this summer. I took off work and cancelled plans so I could watch everything unfold and follow it for Vagina. I was there for something like 100 hours total and ended up with my arm in a sling and lost a handful of friends, but I got to witness democracy in action[…]


Photography by Randal Ford


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