Blake joined BB&T in 2007 where he currently serves as the Austin Market President. Prior to joining BB&T, Blake served as the Retail Sales Manager for IBC Bank in Austin. He has worked in Commercial Lending roles with BB&T in Austin, Houston, and The Woodlands, TX areas. He also has served in several roles in BB&T’s Retail & Small Business Lending areas in the Austin market. In early 2013, he was given the opportunity to become the North Houston Market President to lead the Bank’s expansion efforts in North Houston and surrounding areas. He served in that role until November 2014 when he became the Austin Market President. Blake and his wife, Christine, enjoy the local performing arts and being active in several non-profits & causes.
Blake also serves on the board of directors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas and Make-A-Wish of Central & South Texas.
Stories connect us all. They are the thread by which we all grow, learn, and prosper. The hero’s journey from obscurity to triumph is something we can all relate with. Ruben has established this caveat at the center of his, and CORE Media Enterprise’s, mission, which is to change the world through social entrepreneurship and thought provoking content.
Defining himself more specifically as a “mediapreneur,” Ruben has been working in media since he was 14 when he hosted his first weekly radio show. During this early period, he established his first company at 18 and won national recognition for his college television show in 2002-2003. In 2004, he gained a clearer perspective on inner workings of the media industry while working at MTV and Sony Music. He decided that the power of media could still be profitable if it was harnessed to bring awareness to social and environmental issues instead of just selling sensationalism. That idea sparked CORE Media Enterprises which launched in 2007. CORE Media Strategies is the commercial arm of CORE, that creates strategies and marketing campaigns through web, high-end video production, and experiential activations. He takes these methods and specializes in cause branding, strategic storytelling and sparking cross-cultural conversations. This work provides the foundation for CORE’s mission of impacting hearts and minds by creating remarkable campaigns for brands that are changing the world. The company’s film division, COREageous Films, reflects Cantu’s extensive background in filmmaking and provides a path for these socially aware and progressive projects to come to light.
Ruben is a first generation college graduate. He holds a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from the Moody College of Communications and an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business, both from The University of Texas at Austin. As a social entrepreneur, his ambitions are focused on establishing a platform through media that allows society to reflect on its condition and spur progressive change.
He is also the Executive Director of Austin+SocialGood a community-based action tank and accelerator which is part of the Social Good Summit where he serves as a global connector and Director of Business Development. Also, he is a co-founder of WeAreAustinTech.com a video series which covers the tech community in Austin Texas. Ruben graduated from Leadership Austin’s Essential class of ‘14. He was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year for Austin Under 40 in 2015. He also was nominated for Changemaker of the Year in 2016 by the Austin Young Chamber. As an international speaker and trainer on startups and social innovation, he is helping shift the focus onto triple bottom line economics. When not working he is focusing on fostering entrepreneurship with the youth.
A San Antonio native, Elsa relocated to Austin to attend the University of Texas. She promptly fell in love with the city, its quality of life and all it has to offer. After graduation she made Austin her permanent home, and began to work as a Realtor in the residential arena. In 2001, an unexpected opportunity led Elsa to focus her industry experience on property title work with a locally owned Title Company, focused on the upper-end of the residential market. After 11 rewarding years, she returns to residential sales armed with over a decade of knowledge in the upper-end market, property conveyance, development issues, and local government and growth trends.
Combining business experience and a sincere concern for people and their happiness, Elsa offers a unique set of talents to clients along with a clear understanding of their needs. Coupled with true professionalism and a sincere commitment to her work, Elsa’s reliability and tenacity is evident in every task she undertakes. She provides expansive knowledge in the centralized segments of Austin’s residential market, and tireless dedication toward finding her clients the home of their dreams.
After spending most of her career with a large engineering corporation, Karen made the decision to start her own engineering consulting company in 2003. Focusing on large scale regional and municipal water supply planning, water and wastewater infrastructure, and transportation and drainage planning, design, and construction services, her firm has grown to employ 15 people.
A graduate of Leadership Austin, Karen is currently a member of the City of Austin Bond Oversight Committee. She is also a former member several of the City of Austin Commissions and Task Forces including the Water and Wastewater Commission, the 2010 Transportation Bond Citizen Task Force, and the 2011 Austin Energy Rate Review Public Involvement Committee. Other professional contributions include national and State Board positions within the American Consulting Engineers Council.
Karen is an Austin Chamber Board member, a member of the UT Performing Arts Director’s Council, and a member of the Junior League of Austin. As an Austin resident, she has contributed her time and talents to a number of local charitable organizations including the Breast Cancer Resource Center and Habitat for Humanity, with one of her most cherished memories being a trip to El Salvador with Austin Smiles.
Karen Frost is principal and owner of Frost Media Relations, and currently serves on the Board of I Live Here, I Give Here. A few of Frost’s public relations clients include Whole Foods Market, Keller Williams Realty International, The Red Twist, The Nobelity Project, Zachary Scott Theatre, The Texas Medal of Arts Awards and American Mensa.
Karen currently serves on the board of The Long Center and served as alumni president of the Bob Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University, as well as the executive board for CreateAustin, Impact Austin and Leadership Austin. In 2006 Karen was honored with Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award and in 2008 she received the Austin Under 40 Award for business entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Karen was raised in Houston, but spent a number of years living in Dallas, Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. Since April 2002, she has claimed Austin as home and lives in the central part of town with her husband, Charles Levy, and their border collie/golden retriever mix, Melvin, and their rhodesian ridgeback, Athena.
Following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Karen collaborated with one of her clients – Jackie Waldman – and together they co-authored America, September 11th; The Courage to Give, which ultimately raised over $100 thousand for the American Red Cross.
Patsy is the founder and former Executive Director of I Live Here I Give Here. Through its outreach and educational campaigns, Patsy designed the organization’s programs to inspire a movement to grow the culture of philanthropy in Central Texas. Under her leadership, I Live Here, I Give Here has changed the definition of philanthropy in Texas, making it fun and accessible. The organization’s newest program, Amplify Austin Day, a 24-hour online fundraiser, is a leading example of this innovative approach.
Before assuming her role at I Live Here, I Give Here, Patsy was the Vice President of Resource Development for United Way Capital Area. She has been a key fundraiser and volunteer for a wide range of Austin nonprofit organizations for over twenty years. Patsy currently serves on the board of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, the Women’s Fund of Central Texas and the advisory board of the newly created Legacy of Giving, initiatives to expose children to philanthropy. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Junior League of Austin, Leadership Austin, and is a founding member of Impact Austin and UWCA’s Women’s Leadership Council. She has also co-chaired galas for the Helping Hand Home for Children and Hospice Austin and was a member of the Board of Regents at Texas Tech University. Patsy has been recognized by Ballet Austin as a “Woman on Her Toes”; by the Junior League of Austin as “Volunteer Extraordinaire” and by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas as a “Woman of Distinction.”
A fourth generation rancher in Montague County, Texas, Patsy is active in her family ranching and oil business.
Patsy and her husband Jack have three grown children and have called Austin home for over 30 years.
Todd is a Digital Strategist, CEO, and Partner at Four Kitchens. Todd’s role is to help organizations define and reach their goals using a combination of technology, creativity, and strategy. His background in design, development, communication, and psychology provides unique insight into how people use technology: how we think, feel, interact, and form communities both off- and online.
Since 1996, Todd has designed and built countless websites and written for, edited, and managed several online and print publications. In 2006, he co-founded Four Kitchens, a web design, development, and strategy consultancy. Four Kitchens’ mission is to change the world by setting knowledge free. They achieve this mission by working with open-source software and communities, choosing projects that advance human knowledge, and freely sharing our expertise with the world. Recent awards for client projects include an Emmy, Stevie Award, Davey Award, AVA Award, WebAward, and two Communicator Awards.
The business leadership and progressive management philosophy Todd helped shape at Four Kitchens have garnered both local and national attention. Four Kitchens has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., BetaNews, Texas CEO, and Texas Tech Pulse to name a few. Four Kitchens was named one of the “Best places to work in Central Texas” by the Austin Business Journal in 2014 and 2015, and Todd was a finalist for the Austin Under 40 Awards in 2015.
Kathy has worked at Bazaarvoice since late 2007 and during this time she has navigated the employee base through meteoric growth, including an IPO and several acquisitions. Additionally, she has been a driving force behind such achievements as winning Austin’s Best Place to Work and Austin’s Entrepreneur Foundation’s Community Award. She is a motivating power behind Bazaarvoice’s extensive, employee-led community involvement and corporate giving. In 2011, Kathy met a personal and professional goal when she helped found the Bazaarvoice Foundation – an organization dedicated to motivating and propelling the next generation of entrepreneurial youth. In 2011 it was granted 501(c) (3) status and she currently sits on the Foundations’ Board of Directors.
In 2015, Kathy was asked to participate in a SXSW panel focused on Social Good, entitled: “Elevate: How Businesses & Entrepreneurs are Taking Social Good to the Next Level”.
Mr. Turner is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University, where he earned a bachelor of arts in Public Relations, and Baylor University School of Law, where he earned his juris doctorate.
In 2012, Mr. Turner received a gubernatorial appointment the Texas Real Estate Commission where he continues to serve as a public member commissioner. He is also involved with I Live Here I Give Here, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Baylor Business Network, Texas Tech University Alumni Association and First United Methodist Church of Austin where he has served on the Administrative Board and Board of Trustees. Mr. Turner resides in Austin with his wife, Jamie, and their two children.