North Austin Influencers January Mixer

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Thank-you to everyone that attended the North Austin Influencers January Mixer. This month’s highlighted Influencer is Dr. Teresa Granillo with Con Mi MADRE.

Dr. Granillo graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Psychology. Additionally,she earned her Masters of Social Work, Masters in Psychology and Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from The University of Michigan.

Before joining Con Mi MADRE she was a Tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Austin in the School of Social Work.

Con Mi MADRE is a non-profit in the Austin area whose mission is to empower young Latinas and their mothers through educational and support services. Dr. Granillo joined Con Mi MADRE because she was a Latina who grew up with a single mother who didn’t have an education. Her mother encouraged her to do well in school and pursue post-secondary education. While Granillo didn’t have a Con Mi MADRE, she had many mentors outside of her family that helped her throughout high school, college, and graduate school, and she says she owes her success to them. Thus, she believed whole-heartedly in Con Mi MADRE’s mission. She feels she is proof that with the right guidance, support, and mentorship, even Latinas from low-income families can achieve great things in education. For 10 years she has been doing research on finding ways to improve the lives of young Latinas, to provide them with opportunities to be healthy (physically and emotionally), happy, and successful. When presented with the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of Con Mi MADRE, it was like a dream come true! Now she gets to use her personal experiences and knowledge to empower young Latinas and their mothers to fulfill their dreams of obtaining a college education and having a successful career.

Special thank-you to Casa Chapala Mexican Grill & Cantina for hosting us at their beautifully renovated location and as always great service!

For more pictures from the event, visit our Facebook album HERE.

Teresa Granillo

North Austin Creatives Virtual Gallery

Category : Blog

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North Austin Creatives’ (NAC) mission is to advance the arts through connections, community and creativity. The group does this through business connections, civic engagement through the arts, and sharing and creating opportunities for the creative scene.

The group recently added a gallery on their site to showcase the art work of their members.  Artist wanting to be included can join a monthly meeting then fill out their form. The page shows the top 30 active members in NAC. Users can add the word cloud to filter members based on their speciality and see additional members.

Some of the groups other projects include establishing new galleries; facilitating connections between businesses, property owners, and creatives; hosting art markets; volunteering with summer camps; and sourcing artists for murals and other art projects.

For more information, visit:

by: LISA BUSSETT, one of the artist featured on the site.

by: LISA BUSSETT, one of the artist featured on the site.

Meet Stuart Wallace, stay-at-home dad, an artist, and a board member of the Georgetown Art Center

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Stuart Wallace is a stay-at-home dad, an artist, and a board member of the Georgetown Art Center. He founded North Austin Creatives and was its chair until moving to Georgetown in 2016. While his daughter takes up most of his time, he is always striving to create a wide variety of art while supporting local arts organizations. A creative household and community are priorities he works toward for himself, his daughter, and his neighbors.

Stuart Wallace grew up in Texas to a British mother and a Canadian father whose family emigrated from England and Scotland. Growing up, Stuart felt as though he was living in a British enclave. Feeling out of place drove him to move abroad after university. He studied abroad in Spain, and then moved to rural Nagasaki, urban China, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Tokyo, Panama, and Turkey. His 7 years abroad were transformative and his art expresses foreignness, identity, and place.

After Turkey, Stuart taught bilingual 5th grade in Austin Independent School District (AISD). That experience prompted him to pursue his art full-time at his home studio. Becoming a full-time artist in North Austin frustrated him due to a lack of consolidated information and opportunities. To serve his community and improve these conditions, he worked with Love North Austin to transform that organization into North Austin Creatives, works to strengthen the arts in North Austin.

Stuart Wallace

Call for Artwork Submissions for Round Rock Arts “Imagine” Exhibit 2017

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Round Rock Arts (RRA) whose purpose is to encourage, support and enhance current and new arts & cultural activities, is now accepting artwork submissions from all artists 18 years of age and older who reside or work within the greater Round Rock/Austin area for its Imagine Exhibit. Entrants under the age of 18 may do so with parental consent.

Entries must be original work in any visual media including: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, fibers, computer based art, or mixed media. Definition of original work:  All work must be from the artist’s own imagination or personal photo reference (not a photo reference from the internet or taken by someone else), no work shall be submitted which has been done in a workshop environment or under any other supervision. All art submitted must be new (completed within the past two years) and not previously exhibited at Imagine.

Artwork may be two or three-dimensional. All artworks are welcome except crafts, large scale installations and video projected art due to limited exhibit space and nature of exhibit. RRA carries no insurance for loss or damage to artwork in the exhibit or in transit, nor assumes liability for the same. However, every precaution will be taken for the safety of the work. Artist should provide their own coverage if desired.


Artist may submit up to 3 original works in jpeg format at a maximum of 1.5 MB per image.  File names should match title of artwork.  Before uploading images to your Artist Information Form (below), name each jpeg image file with your last name, first name and title of painting i.e., Smith_Jane_Sunflowers in Spring.  File names should not contain backward or forward slash marks or special characters such as ampersands, apostrophes, quote marks, exclamation points, etc.  They should be purely numbers, letters, underscores and hyphens.  Artist must complete all information requested below including size and media used in the form following these instructions. A fee of $20 is required per entry at time of artwork submission. Payments may be made through PayPal. Submission does not guarantee acceptance and all submission fees are non-refundable. 

Art content must be family friendly, as it will be displayed in a community facility. Artist will be responsible for art delivery and pickup at dates specified upon notification of art selection(s) and listed in this document.

A People’s Choice Award will be given to one selected artwork from each category of art (2D, photography, and 3D/Sculpture) during the opening reception Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Artist must agree to display during the entire exhibit. No work may be taken down early due to sale(s). If a work is sold during the exhibit time period, the art shall remain in the exhibit until official take down, Saturday, May 6, 2017.  Any artist who removes work before the official take down date will automatically be disqualified from entering future Imagine exhibits.  Customers may pick up sold pieces at the time of take down.  Art work that is not picked up on the scheduled take down date without prior arrangements will be donated to charity.


  • 3D works and sculptures which are accepted must be set in place by the artist, including pedestals for display.
  • 2D works must be framed, with some exceptions:
    • Work supported by a dowel and having either grommets or wire for hanging. (NO SAW TOOTH hangers will be accepted)
    • Unframed stretched canvas (wrapped canvas) will be accepted if the sides are painted, no staples are visible and canvas is a minimum of 1” deep. No ¾” unframed canvas will be accepted without being properly framed.  Fully wrapped canvas – must also be wired for hanging – NO SAW TOOTH hangers will be accepted.
  • No two-dimensional work shall exceed 4’ vertical and 3’ horizontal overall (multi-part must include spacing) including frame, nor shall weigh more than 20 lbs. each unit. All hanging works must be wired with heavy picture wire attached securely for hanging in order to be considered for exhibit. All works on paper or fragile surfaces must be framed and/or under protective Plexiglas or glass. Improperly framed art or art that is not securely wired to support the weight of the painting will be rejected at time of delivery.
  • Three-dimensional work may be a minimum of 10 in. and a maximum of 4 ft. in any one direction and shall not exceed 25 lbs. in each unit. Multiple part works must have each part labeled along with the diagram for hanging or assembly on each part.
  • Wet and/or uncured paintings, electrical works, works needing special hooks or any work considered unsafe will not be accepted. Work deemed too fragile or delicate or failing to meet other requirements, will not be accepted.

Every artist who submits entries will be notified by email from Vicki Brevell ( on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 as to acceptance or non-acceptance.  Please check your spam folder if you have not received your email by this date.  Anyone not receiving notice should immediately contact Vicki Brevell.  After notification date it is the artist’s responsibility to check their emails and if they do not see notification then contact Vicki Brevell at the above email address.  Everyone who enters will be notified!

  • Date for delivery of art is Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 1 pm. Late arrivals of artwork will not be considered.
  • Opening Reception is Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 7 pm-9:30 pm.
  • Exhibit dates are March 4 to May 6, 2017


Deliver items on Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m., to Texas State University Higher Education Center, 1555 University Blvd, Round Rock, 78665. Volunteers will be available to assist you. You may pull up in front of the Avery Building (circle drive) to unload artwork.

Please note that initial acceptance of submission does not guarantee acceptance in the exhibition.  The artwork may be declined at the council’s discretion.

For additional information, please send inquiry to: or call 512-461-8433.


1/31/17 by 8 pm                     Deadline for submissions.  No late entries will be considered

2/7/17                                        Accepted artwork will be announced via email

2/18/17 (9am-1 pm)            Accepted artwork will be received at Texas State University, 1555 University Blvd., Round Rock, Texas

                                                      Late arrivals of artwork will not be accepted

3/4/17 (7pm-9:30pm)        Opening Artist Reception at Texas State University

5/6/17 (9 am – 1 pm)          Artists to pick up art at Texas State University


Indie Meme Thanks All Their 2016 Supporters

Category : Blog

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Indie meme is about building communities around film by showcasing South Asian Indie Documentary & Fiction Films and their filmmakers like the real stars that they are! Indie Meme is excited about this year and would like to thank all of their supporters in 2016 that helped with a successful year.
Here is a quick recap:
1st Indie Meme Film Festival @ Austin
Indie Meme showcased some excellent SOUTH ASIAN Cinema to enthusiastic audiences in April 2016 and got an AUSTIN CHRONICLE award for the BEST INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT! The opening night gala, filmmakers panel, and Member Mixer were the icing on the cake!
Year-Round Screenings
Since they are what they screen!
5 Films in Austin &  6 Films in Dallas
Screen Connections
Last year Indie Meme had 6 filmmakers & actors IN PERSON at the screenings and had fascinating conversations with 3 via Skype. A big shout-out to the uber-talented, committed and driven filmmakers who make the excellent cinema we love so much!
2017 is going to be another amazing year!!
starting with the:
2nd Indie Meme Film Festival
April 20-23, 2017
Regal Cinemas Arbor 8 at Great Hills
Find out how to become a 2017 member HERE.
Here is a look at the films presented last year:
Indie Meme 2016 films

Hindu Charities For America 2016 Updates

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By:  Harish Kotecha (Founder) & Hindu Charities For America Board Members

Contact:  512.994.4638,

The 2016 year was a very successful & dynamic year for Hindu Charities For America. We not only grew in number with our Board members but also had some very noticeable achievements with our fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Our three major events are the Bollywood Meets Borscht Belt (over 1,400 children were supported), the Annual School Supplies event and the HC4A (Aadhaar) Gala ($43k was donated for scholarships). These fundraising events sum up to support our efforts to award Vocational Training Scholarships for economically disadvantaged students and the Annual donation of School Supplies to Homeless Children with Jewish Community.  The financial statement of our fundraising numbers will be officially announced early next year.

In order to get a head start in our planning process for the events in year 2017, we would like to announce the dates for 2017 events. Please add to your calendar. If you are running an organization, we kindly request you to spare the HC4A event dates to avoid two major events happening on the same date – We really appreciate your cooperation in this!!

Dates for 2017:

Bollywood Meets Borscht Belt – 4:00 pm, May 28, 2017 (Dell Jewish Community Center)
Annual School Supplies Event – 12:30 pmAugust 13, 2017 (Dell Jewish Community Center)
HC4A Gala – 6:00 pmNov 4, 2017 – Crowne Plaza Austin

We truly appreciate the wholehearted support that was extended by the community & volunteers and look forward to the same in 2017.

Please feel free to contact us if you like to be part of charity administration or participate in event organization or simply volunteer!

Child writing

How to Be Happy and Think Positive When The World Around Is Not?

Category : Blog

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By Maribel Garcia Valls, MPH, ACC with Bee Happi

I have been watching the news alot lately to see what’s happening around the world. And it’s amazing that there are so many ways to get the news 24 hours a day, everyday because there is that much stuff is happening.

Now it is rare that I will turn on the news and hear that something wonderful has happened, like world peace has spread across the earth. I literally have to do a Google search for this type of news.

Instead it’s more like “breaking news”: blah, blah, negative, negative, blah, blah, negative, negative and more negative.  Honestly, it’s very discouraging sometimes. As Winnie the Pooh would say “Oh Bother.”

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and she said, “How can we be happy when others in the world are suffering?” Of course, this is a tough question to answer.

But here’s what I said, “Life is happening and the only thing that we can control is our own view of the world. We can either fall victim to the tragedies around us or be grateful that we still have a life to live.”

So in efforts to celebrate the life we do have, I’d like to shake things up a bit and offer some Rainbows and Sunshine. Because, lets face it, the world could use some positivity and balance right now. So here is an short exercise below to do just that.



Meet Mark K Jordan, BS, MBA, wellness consultant, coach, author and speaker

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Mark K. Jordan’s career background includes almost 20 years in a research driven health setting in marketing and sales.  Prior to that, he had 8 years of training and research as a Chemist in a Medical school clinical laboratory setting.  These years of research combined with decades of health and wellness experience fuel Mark’s enthusiasm and his passion about what wellness and healthy well-being can bring to many people, regardless of where they are currently in life.

At age 54, he set a Guinness World Record for most number of pull-ups done within a 24-hour period. Mark strongly believes, “with age, we can gain additional tools to enhance our well-being. We can always decide for our best years to be ahead of us, regardless of when we start to focus on our health.”

Mark is currently active in the Wellness sector as a Wellness consultant, coach, author and speaker.  He appeared as a guest on the Dr. Oz show to promote health and wellness, at any age. He is available for consultations, workshops and speaking engagements.  At this time, he is active in the wellness sector in Austin, Texas, acting as a wellness consultant, coach, author and speaker.

Mark Jordan


Know Thyself, & Keep Practicing Anyway

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By Kali Jennifer Patrick with A Journey into Health

One of the “benefits” of consistent yoga practice is that you begin to know yourself. And I mean, really up close and all personal-like.

It might be that you notice some physical thing you’ve done unconsciously before–such as standing with all the weight on one leg, hip jutted out to the side while you’re standing in the line at the grocery store, or how you sit hunched over your laptop, working for hours without taking a break for posture, pee, water or food.

Recognizing such physical habits is useful and good, because it increases the likelihood that you’ll make adjustments throughout your day so you’re less sore or tired at the end of it. In fact, this is one of the things I help my private therapeutic yoga clients and beginner students pay attention to as part of starting a yoga practice. And it is certainly a practice, because no one is perfect at this, and certainly not right away. It takes time, but eventually our patterns show themselves, we notice them, we can change, and then we feel better.

In yoga we call these patterns samskaras, and I think of them as super-industrial strength habits, or such well-worn paths that it’s almost impossible at first to believe there’s even another road or that we can do things differently.

I put “benefit” in quotes above because, at least for me, what’s more challenging is when I notice more subtle mental and emotional patterns in myself. A week or so ago one of my mental/emotional samskaras showed up in two different situations: enough that I was able to finally see it. And of course I didn’t like it!!

The first was–somewhat ironically–in a course where I’m learning to chant the Yoga Sutras. Before I enrolled in this course, I’d been listening to CDs in my car, and had almost completed all 4 chapters. Still, I don’t know much about why I’m making a particular sound beyond whether the note is low or high; I don’t know what’s a syllable or what letters are long sounds and which are short or aspirated. In this class, our teacher chants the particular Sutra in question and then we each (individually!) have to chant it back to him, and he corrects us.

Fortunately, these classes are recorded. And what I notice when I go back to the recordings is that when I’m live on the class, I don’t seem to actually hear the corrections that are given to me in a way that I understand, process, and integrate them. I’m too focused on making whatever change is being asked of me and “getting it right” in that very moment. When I do that, I have a very hard time remembering the change later, and can’t apply it well to new instances. Hearing him and me on the recorded version, I realize I didn’t take in what was said. It seems to click in my brain in an altogether different way when I have more time and am feeling more at ease.

The second example came to me in a more pronounced way within a few days. I have been trying to learn Spanish for what feels like a really long time, and I struggle a lot with it. I’m fine “studying” on my own. I’ve used all the nice online apps and videos and I have a grammar book that kicks my ass (pardon my language but it’s true) almost every week. Recently I found a lovely woman from Spain (one of my favorite countries!) who tutors people in Spanish, and so I meet her at a coffee shop sometimes on Fridays.

Toward the end of my last lesson, we took a detour to talk about which letters are accented vs. not. “It’s easy,” she said, while quickly saying and illegibly scribbling down three Spanish words I’d never heard before and the rules associated with them. First as a teacher you never want to tell someone that something is easy, because odds are it isn’t easy for them, but anyway…I tried to ignore the category names even though I felt myself being pulled to wondering what they were…and did seem to understand the first rule (even if I couldn’t write/say what the category of words were called. For the curious, they are here.)

When she got to the second rule though, I heard it incorrectly and thus the example she was using didn’t make any sense to me. (In yoga we call this viparyaya–wrong perception.) And instead of assuming my understanding was incorrect, I kept incredulously repeating my incorrect view to her, assuming that she must have said something inconsistent and not realized it. This went on for some time, with me increasingly feeling stupid and hopeless over this “easy” thing, until something happened where I realized my mistake (which was really a stupid mistake). Then everything suddenly became clear. (In yoga we call this pramana–correct perception.) I can’t tell you what happened to make me suddenly “get it”. I think I might have just stopped fighting her!

These two circumstances were not only exhausting but were not pleasant to notice about myself. So what happened? First, I felt overwhelmed. Too much information was coming at me too quickly (especially in the case of the Spanish lesson). I’d felt this before while working in high-tech. We used to call it a “fire-hose” of information. I was tired because my brain couldn’t keep up. I was also frustrated because my brain couldn’t keep up. (Forget about the fact that I’m studying Sanskrit and Spanish on back-to-back days for the moment. 😉 )

Second, I’m too worried about pleasing my teachers. I’m too worried about being right: or more appropriately, about being wrong. This has a lot of ties to my childhood experiences that I won’t go into here, but it’s sufficient to say that it feels dangerous and unsafe for me to be wrong.

Now in the case of the Spanish lesson I can certainly ask my teacher to go slower. In the case of the Sutras class (where I’m on a call with other people), that’s not feasible. And it’s certainly possible that even if I asked my Spanish tutor nicely, she’d forget and go back to teaching the way she teaches. So, the only way I can see to change this is to change ME.

How do I change me? Consistent yoga practice.

This is frustrating and fascinating and motivating all at the same time!


Ransomware targeting law firms a big problem

Category : Blog

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By: Eyal Gallico, owner of TopMac

There is a new age of virus activity called ransomware that is attacking businesses — and law firms in particular — that is no longer containable by antivirus software or firewalls so it’s essential that firms educate their employees about the risks, says DSM Computing Solutions Inc. founder and CEO Sheldon Waters.

“We are seeing this happen on an almost weekly basis — users are clicking on these emails and firms are infected with viruses,” he tells “The way these viruses are being distributed is by users clicking on emails that look like real emails from their bank or Apple or Amazon. It’s really bad.”

The ransomware virus encrypts the data on all your computer systems and makes it unusable. A message will pop up demanding you to pay a ransom to some unknown entity in order to get “the key” to un-encrypt your data, Waters explains.

“The new attack is at the user and this means that proper training and awareness has never been more crucial,” he says. “It’s important that firms have a strategy to help educate users and prevent this from happening. If they haven’t been hit already, it’s just a matter of time.”

Waters describes these viruses as “very nasty” and says that often people who have been hit with them feel as if they have no choice but to pay the ransom to gain access to their data.

“And the more excruciating part of it is that the ransom that you have to pay is with something called Bitcoins, an Internet-based currency. It’s complex to obtain and to transact with Bitcoins. That being said, once you pay these people you’re like a sitting duck. Two or three months later they will come back and hit you again because they know that you’ll pay them.”

Waters says when DSM is called in to deal with one of these viruses, the technology company does not pay the ransom and instead, attacks the virus to shut it down to enable for the restoration of the data.

“There’s no way you want to be kept in the pond of available targets for them to go after,” he says.

In this environment of viruses, backing up to an offsite system is more important than ever before, he adds.

“Many lawyers, especially in the smaller firms, backup their data onto a separate hard drive that they plug in and if that hard drive is visible to that computer, the virus will get the hard drive too,” he says.

Waters says the best way law firms can protect themselves is through training employees how to identify a fake email and not click on it.

DSM has introduced a new education and testing service to help firms train employees how to recognize risky emails.


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