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KEDC's Top Forty places emphasis on the broader Hill Country economy

12 of the 40 selected were from outside of Kerr County this year.

The Kerr Economic Development Corp. presented its Top Forty awards on Friday night to 40 people from around the Texas Hill Country.

It was a diverse bunch, from a yoga instructor to a county commissioner, but after 40 under 40 years of age, this was a broader opportunity for KEDC to reach beyond Kerr County.

Still, 28 of the 40 selected were from Kerr County, but it was also a chance to showcase some of the innovative and inspiring work done a short distance from Kerrville. There were coffee house owners in Mason and Junction — both enterprising women, who saw an opportunity in their markets.

And age didn't define those selected. Kendall County Pct. 4 Commissioner Don Durden was selected, and he's proud to say he's retired from his day job as a civil engineering consultant. Kathleen Yosko taught for 40 years in Port Neches before moving to Fredericksburg and opening a children's boutique in 2018.


There were plenty of inspiring stories. City of Kerrville Director of Information Technology Charvy Tork is the child of Cambodian refugees who escaped the terror of the Khmer Rouge, which murdered millions of Cambodians. Tork found her way to Schreiner University and then ended up getting an internship with the city. She earned a promotion in 2012 to her current role.

There were staples of the community honored, like The Hill Country Community Journal Publisher Tammy Prout, who has operated her independent newspaper in 2005.

The ceremony was shepherded by Allison Bueche, Leslie Jones, Ty Wolosin, William Garrett Ford and John Oliver.

Misty Aguilar

Aguilar is the owner of Rising Arrows, which provides ultrasound imaging for expectant parents.

Alyson Amestoy

Amestoy is the owner of Story Garden Co., a video production company based in Kerrville.

Toby Appleton

Toby Appleton is the marketing and communications manager at Schreiner University.

Ashlea Boyle

Boyle is the director of parks and recreation at the city of Kerrville.

Rose Bradshaw

Bradshaw is the office manager and graphic designer at SoFast Printing, LLC.

Marinda Brand

Brand is the office manager and a certified dermatology technician at Precision Dermatology.

Pete Calderon

Calderon is the assistant director of community relations and public information officer at Kerrville State Hospital.

Elizabeth Cox

Cox is the events coordinator at Bandera Brewery.

Kathryn Dover

Dover is the owner of Kerrville's Uniquely Kind Yoga.

Don Durden

Durden is the Precinct 4 Commissioner in Kendall County and the founder of Civil Engineering Consultants.

Valerie Esparza

Esparza is the communications coordinator of the Kerrville Area of Chamber of Commerce.

Raymond Gallego

Gallego is the store manager of Kerrville's Prime Metal Buildings and Components.

Andrew Gay

Gay is a financial advisor with Texas Hill Country Advisors.

Paul Giguere

Giguere is the project director for the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation's Kendall County Behavioral Health Initiative.

Leigh Owen

Owen is the vice president of development at the Cibolo Center for Conservation in Boerne.

Justin Hill

Hill founded a Fredericksburg nonprofit that aims to improve community connection through sports and recreation.

Katie Milton Jordan

Jordan is business coach and broker with Texas Business Buyers

Candace Morrison

Morrison owns Junction's The Honey Bean Coffee and Tea Company.

Connor Odom

Odom is a civil engineer with Wellborn Engineering and Surveying in Kerrville.

Jose Otero

Otero is a social studies teacher at Hill Country Youth Ranch.

Ashley Phillips

Phillips is a development associate at the Hill Country Youth Ranch.

Tammy Prout

Prout is a longtime journalist and newspaper publisher. She founded The Hill Country Community Journal in 2005.

Callie Roberson

Roberson is creative director at Boerne's GRIT Co., a design and construction firm.

Jasmine Rodriguez

Rodriguez founded Mason's La Copa Joe — a drive-thru coffee shop. Rodriguez advocates for other small businesses in Mason.

Jessica Slay

Slay co-founded the Fullbrook Center, which provides care for women seeking help from substance abuse.

Josh Slay

Slay co-founded the Fullbrook Center, which provides care for women seeking help from substance abuse.

Jennifer Smith

Smith is a wellness advocate who owns Essentially Rejuvenate.

Charvy Tork

Tork is the director of information technology at the city of Kerrville. Tork, the daughter of Cambodian refugees, started at the city as an intern from Schreiner University in 2007 and was promoted to her current role in 2012.

Albert Vasquez

Vasquez is the resident program director at Brookdale in Kerrville.

Kathleen Yosko

Yosko owns Fredericksburg's Liebeskind Children's Boutique.

Unable to attend, not pictured: Dusty Block, Jairo Cruces, Charlie Givens, Kayte Graham, Heather Greene, Sabrina Griggs, Jarrett Jachade, Caitlin Probandt, Somer Tinsley and Micah Wrase.


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