Virtual Gala Features Mary Lou Retton And Molly Fletcher 

By Lance Avery Morgan           Photography by Laura Aguero and courtesy of 4word

Molly Fletcher, Mary Lou Retton and Diane Paddison. Photo courtesy of 4word

THE SETTING: Virtual events, as we all know by now, can be just as meaningful and create as much of an impact as live galas. Recently, over 400 guests from across the globe attended the 4word Virtual Gala to celebrate the Dallas organization’s 10-year history, as well as to participate in a stimulating conversation between two legends, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton and former-celebrity-sports-agent-turned-business-coach, Molly Fletcher. The virtual fundraiser benefited 4word’s mission to help women in the workplace reach their God-given potential with confidence.  

International in its reach, guests tuned in from as far as Korea…and as nearby as the multi-media studios of The Slate in Dallas. Whether wearing floor-length gowns or pajamas and slippers, guests participated from the comfort of their own homes, bidding on silent auction items and continuing to give with the text-to-donate program. Guests were also gifted engraved champagne flutes, presented by Toyota, to further the celebratory activities.    

Alva Adams-Mason and Diane Paddison. Photo by Laura Aguero

THE STYLE: Even though the audience and impact were impactful, the night was also intimate and emotional. Hosted by Shelly Slater, former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, the gala began with prayer in three languages and inspirational stories by various 4word members. Both Fletcher and Retton discussed their personal lives and spoke from the heart. “We are blessed,” exclaimed Diane Paddison, executive director and founder of 4word, “to have so much interest, excitement, encouragement and support for ten years. I look forward to see where we progress in the next decade and the lives that we touch.”

The triumphant evening raised a net $200,000, meeting the charity’s fundraising goal after pivoting in early December from a live event to the virtual gala. Proceeds support 4word’s online blogs, monthly podcast, email newsletters, social media, and more; 28 community groups; and flagship mentorship program, an exciting 10-week experience that has connected over 600 women with mentors to help guide their spiritual, relational, and professional journeys. Now that’s far-reaching. 

Emma Sharma and Vicki Gunning. Photo by Laura Aguero

THE PURPOSE: The 4word 10th Anniversary Virtual Gala was made possible by the generous support of Toyota (Presenting Sponsor); Linda Buford, Locke Lord LLP, Valiant Integrated Services, and Monica and Leland White (Gold Sponsors); and Swallowtail Group and FedEx Office (Silver Sponsors), among others. So, mark your calendar for the 2022 4word Gala to be held Saturday, February 26th at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, TX with keynote speaker Tammie Jo Shults, a retired naval aviator, author, and captain of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380.  For more information, visit



Broadway Bank Wealth Management Understands The Value In Owning A Piece Of Texas

By: The Broadway Bank Wealth Management Team 

Rural land is important to Texans, while many of us enjoy the great outdoors to “get away”, there are also financial benefits and considerations for owning a piece of this great state. As you consider how you want to build your legacy, rural land can play a unique role in your overall wealth portfolio. Broadway Bank Wealth Management has a long history of providing oversight for farms and ranches in Texas. Our team has the experience and expertise to do the heavy lifting to help you maintain, improve, and grow this unique asset. In 2019, The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University reported that almost 6,000 rural land transactions occurred with a hefty 5.4% year-over-year price increase. While most of these properties were purchased for recreational use—owners should explore their options for gaining additional revenue from this natural asset.  

Regarding assets, the lease rates for hunting property continue to increase with rent eclipsing the $15-per-acre mark that had become common. In 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that hunting-related expenditures in Texas totaled $1.8 billion. Of this amount, $837 million accounted for food, lodging, transportation, and other expenses. Those seeking to participate in this sport through excursions will spend anywhere from $500 to $20,000 for a single hunt. The total economic impact of this recreational sport makes it a viable option for landowners looking to gain revenue from their rural land. Texas has some of the nation’s best outdoor recreation opportunities. Each year, those seeking to create memories and enjoy some time in nature, flock to our great state. As you work to build your legacy, consider the value of landownership, it could be a revenue generating asset now and for future generations.  

 For 80 years, Broadway Bank has been an integral part of South Central Texas, evolving into one of the largest independently owned banks in Texas with more than $4.6 billion in assets and $2.6 billion in Wealth Management assets, Broadway Bank offers a full range of financial services, including personal, private, business and mortgage banking, and wealth management, and is committed to enhancing the banking experience through leading edge technology. With financial centers across San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country, Broadway Bank delivers modern banking, locally sourced and personally delivered. 

ABOUT BROADWAY BANK’s FARM AND RANCH MANAGEMENT TEAM:  Our Farm and Ranch Management Team is led by Kyle Gubernator who has more than 32 years of experience in the Real Estate Industry, and 22 years managing Fiduciary held Real Estate and Farm and Ranch assets. Prior to joining Broadway Bank in 2014 Kyle served as a Vice President and Regional Manager representing the management of a fiduciary real estate portfolio for a global bank. He currently serves on the Texas Bankers Association’s Asset Management Task Force who develops and organizes educational events for trust and estate professionals. If you are interested in learning more about our Farm and Ranch Management team or are considering the purchase of land as part of your overall wealth portfolio, contact Kyle Gubernator at or visit Broadway.Bank/Wealth.


*Source for real estate facts: Victoria Advocate and Texas Outdoor Digest 



When it comes to theater, it has indeed shape-shifted, like the rest of the world…due to the pandemic. The future is bright, though, according to the University of Texas’s Bass Hall and Texas Performing Arts’ Executive Director, Bob Bursey, who weighs in with his point of view on the performing arts…

By Lance Avery Morgan     Photography courtesy of Texas Performing Arts. Portrait photography by Lawerence Pert

Bob Bursey

LAM: Bob, thanks for your time to connect about theater. Why is Bass Concert Hall at UT such a special place for performances, in your opinion?  

BB: It’s the largest theater in Austin, and for 40 years has been the Austin home for top artists and productions from around the world. The scale of it is breathtaking, and that allows artists to go big.

LAM: The show must go on. That in mind, with the pandemic, how has TPA adapted and pivoted with its online presence and a new exhibit like Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop?

Backdrop from Two Weeks In Another Town

BB: We’re staying true to our purpose of connecting people with creativity, especially in these times. We’ve been finding the opportunities in the pandemic through projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, like using the Bass Concert Hall stage as an exhibition space for the Hollywood Backdrops show.

LAM: Why is an exhibition like this so important about telling a more complete story about the theatre?  

BB: Theater and filmmaking both rely on the work of many, many people behind the scenes.  These are extraordinary artists in their own right, though you never see them on-stage or screen, and sometimes they’re not even credited.  This exhibition celebrates some of those artisans and their work. 

LAM: What do you want a visitor to experience when they see this exhibit? 

BB: To be transported out of day-to-day life during these long months.  It’s an opportunity to take a trip to a Golden Age Hollywood backlot without leaving Austin.

LAM: How important is it for UT to have an organization like Texas Performing Arts?

BB: Having a leading performing art presenting and producing program is part of what makes the University of Texas at Austin a flagship school. The university’s commitments to excellence and to research extends to the arts.  Artists develop new projects here, and we provide UT students with hands-on, real-world experiences that further them toward becoming the next generation of creative leaders.

LAM: Texas Performing Arts will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary–congratulations on that. That’s a major milestone–what does that represent for the future of the venue? 

BB: We’re excited about the next forty years. We’re always improving the facility itself of course, and even more important than that are the opportunities to welcome new artists and audiences, as well as creating opportunities to connect with artists and performances beyond the walls of our building.

LAM: What can we expect to see with the next season (2021-2022) of performances? 

BB: That will be our 40th anniversary season, so you can expect the return of remarkable artists who have been favorites in Austin over the years. That will be balanced with new voices—the emerging generation of performing arts is extraordinary, and we want Austin to see them first.

Backdrop from National Velvet

LAM: How important are the “road” shows of Broadway hits that are brought to our culture–it seems that Hollywood has returned to The Great White Way for its creative inspiration–unprecedented since the 60s. 

BB: That’s exactly right—TV and film are drawing heavily on shows and talent from the theater world. Our silver linings of the pandemic is that the performing arts world is getting more comfortable with putting productions on screen, and is finding that it makes the live experience even more special. 

LAM: What are other types of performances on the horizon, beyond the Broadway Across America productions?

BB: Our next season will include some of America’s leading dance, theater, and music artists and ensembles. We’re putting more emphasis on big dance and theater projects—the sorts of ambitious productions that we’re uniquely positioned to take on because of our facility and the spirit of UT. Some of the most exciting music being made now is coming from unexpected collaborations between different artists, so that will be a focus as well.

LAM: Regarding your role, what are some of your key objectives with the future of TPA? 

BB: I want the artists and productions on our stages to reflect the broadest possible view of what Texas is in 2021—a big, diverse, forward-looking state. We’re planning to create more new projects here.  UT is about changing the world for the better through research and learning, and that’s the objective for Texas Performing Arts through our creative development programs and what we can do for students of every age.



By Lance Avery Morgan        Photography by Brian Bowen Smith

Rande Gerber wearing Thursday Casamoto boots

A good boot is hard to find. One that fits well, and that will last, is even more rare. To the rescue is celebrity entrepreneur Rande Gerber, who has teamed with Nolan Walsh of Thursday Boots, to create Thursday Casamoto, a superior boot at $235. Yes, $235. 

Available at, the sleek new footwear comes in two colors, black and café racer brown, so why not have both? It all started because Gerber always seeks the best in everything (think Casamigos Tequila & Mezcal, which he founded with pals George Clooney and Michael Meldman).  

“When I can’t find the best, I create it, which is how after over 700 ‘sample’ bottles, Casamigos was born. And because I’m always creating for myself, I never compromise or settle for anything less than perfect,” shares Rande Gerber. He continues by saying, “When my friends at Thursday Boot asked me to partner with them to design the ultimate boot, I took all my favorite boots and combined those details into the Casamoto. Made with the highest-quality, softest leather to ensure ultimate comfort, but rugged enough on your favorite ride. I’m sure they will be your go-to boots. I guess now you can buy cool.” 

Thursday Casamoto boots

What the boot turned out to be, thanks to Gerber and Walsh’s attention to detail, is a revised take on the classic motorcycle boot. But, you don’t have to be on two wheels to enjoy it. The style and fabrication of the boot design’s elements contain a super-soft, semi-distressed upper, custom-developed lug outsole with 100% Recycled RPET laces and aglet that is perfect for any occasion. 

This is a boot that is going places. It can be just as at home on a world-wide jaunt as it would be for date night. Now that’s versatility. ““I’ve always admired Rande’s casual, effortless style with an impeccable attention to detail,” states co-creator Nolan Walsh. “This collaboration was particularly exciting and was custom developed for this boot to reflect the high quality and approachable ethos of both Rande and Casamigos.” 

Your next purchase? Make it a Thursday Casamoto boot. For more information, visit



By Lance Avery Morgan      Photography provided by Austin Symphony Orchestra

Through its characteristic creativity and tremendous cultural presence in the city, the Austin Symphony Orchestra continues to deliver their full year of music and musical education even while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. But, to do so requires the support of the community, and you. How great is that?

ASO’s Peter Bay

So, why not join the Symphony for a virtual concert, Rule of Three, preceded by the launch of their special Play On program where you’ll also learn about their commitment to keep symphonic music alive and accessible to a broader audience than ever before. 

Mela Sarajane Dailey, performer

What are you waiting for? To purchase tickets, donate to help the organization Play On, and/or sponsor their virtual fundraiser below, go to and And, to make a pledge, or process payment through another channel, please contact Marilyn Willson, Development Director at