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The Lead Sept. 21, 2022: Conversations about Kerr County leadership; remembering a life well lived

Peterson Regional Medical Center hosts a stroke clinic today; UGRA says good bye to retiring General Manager Ray Buck.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We are in for some warm — very warm — days ahead before we might see a cool down next week. It's starting to feel like we'll finish September with less than an inch of rain, putting us right back into the drought conditions we've seen for most of the year.

On today's The Lead Live!

We continue our shows about business and leadership. Today we turn the show over to podcaster and attorney Tom Fox who will host a discussion about the future of work with guests Michele Martinez, Kristi Curry and Rachel Fitch. Martinez is a software developer who launched her company in Dallas more than a decade ago, but she's always made it remote capable. Curry works in estate planning and abandoned the office several years ago. Rachel Fitch, our regular Wednesday co-host, was able to shift, with the immense help of her daughter, to an online selling platform during the pandemic, which earned the family laudation for their innovation and resourcefulness.

Holy smokes, they did it!

The Hill Country Youth Ranch's annual Healing Hearts Celebrating smashed its way past the $200,000 mark in fundraising on Tuesday afternoon at Schreiner Univerity. The event, run by the ranch's auxiliary, raked in $206,000 through its online donations, raffles, auctions and ticket sales. The goal was to get $200,000 — they did it.

Today's events

Markets and sales

  • Kerr County Produce Market Day — The Big Red Barn, 10 a.m., Information: 830-896-7330 The details: Kerr County Produce Market Day (The Big Red Barn). Local Hill Country wholesale warehouse distributor for the finest fruits and vegetables. Open to the public.
  • Friends of the Library Book Sale — Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, 1–3 p.m. Information: The details: Looking for a great read? Or better yet, come down and support the work of Friends of the Library. Maybe find a banned book? That sounds like a fun day to us.

Live music

  • The Pickers Circle — La Escondida 1962, 7 p.m. Information: La Escondida 1962 The details: Anyone can join. Just show up.
  • Karaoke — Pier 27 River Lounge and Pizzeria, 7 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437
  • Justin Heflin — Gravity Check Saloon and Arena, 6 p.m. Information: The details: Inviting all songwriters and live music lovers. Hosted by Justin Heflin, the Singer-Songwriter Series will feature four rounds of singer/songwriter performances. During each round, three writers will perform three songs each. Heflin will kick things off with an acoustic set at 6:30 p.m., followed by singer-songwriter rounds at 7:30, 8, 8:30, and 9 p.m.

Upcoming Featured Events

The Kerrville Chalk Festival, Oct. 15-16, Kerrville City Hall.

Kerrville Chalk Festival is a family-friendly art event for the Texas Hill Country. More than 65 artists create large-scale chalk drawings directly on the pavement. Kerrville’s downtown becomes a festive canvas for local and regional artists, as wells as invited guest artists from around the United States.

The Festival has live music, many free activities, food trucks, as well as wine and craft beer. It attracts an estimated 10,000 attendees annually. Read about the history of chalk art.

Held at Peterson Plaza in the heart of downtown, the event encourages tourists and locals to dine, shop, and experience the beauty and charm of Kerrville, Texas.

The 2022 beneficiary is Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center (KACC). KACC was founded in 1995 by a group of artists with a mission of providing a show place for local artists and to further the arts and culture in the community. The Center is comprised of sixteen affiliated groups representing over 500 artists and has three distinct gallery spaces. It attracts over 20,000 visitors annually.

Mark your calendar for Public Power Week Oct. 2-8, and the Bucket Truck Rides

The Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) is hosting a family-friendly event to meet our heroes in hardhats while we celebrate Public Power Week!

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., to join us in Louise Hays Park for a free community event!

This will be a free community event with family-friendly activities that will include taking a ride in one of KPUB’s bucket trucks, arc & spark demos, line worker tool displays, photo ops with our linemen, face painting and more.

KPUB will be providing free hot dogs, chips and refreshments on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as a free t-shirt for the first 100 attendees. For more information:

From Tuesday's leadership conversations

Former Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn led four discussions Tuesday focused on leadership development during The Lead Live! His guests were Kerrville Police Chief Chris McCall, Peterson Health President and CEO Cory Edmondson, Broken Arrow Ranch's Chris Hughes and retired economic developer John Anderson.

The discussion ranged from obtaining leadership positions, navigating challenges and drawing inspiration. In one part of Blackburn's conversation with McCall, the former mayor highlighted the work of Baylor University President Linda Livingstone, who came to the university amidst a football program scandal.

"I asked her because her background was the psychology of organizational development, and I said, given your background, what is your primary task as you come in as present, and she said, build trust," Blackburn related.

McCall jumped on the opportunity to share his own insight into the principle.

"There's a note that's on the bottom of my my computer screen that I wrote within the first couple days that I was here and that's what it says, build trust daily and that's I try to read that every day and try to make that happen somewhere with someone either internal or external of the organization," McCall said.

Here are some other observations from the day:

Kerrville Police Chief Chris McCall

"I learned early on in my career, you know, sometimes you work for folks who aren't really great leaders and other times you work with phenomenal leaders that you hope you can aspire to. And you take lessons from both and you try to make yourself better and the organization around you better through those lessons."

One of the areas of discussion for Blackburn and McCall focused on the city of Kerrville's Lean Six Sigma Academy, which works for continuous improvement.

"City university is a great resource, and I was very impressed to see an organization of this side that made that type of commitment and investment to leadership, to training, to the development of their folks throughout the organization."

Peterson Health President and CEO Cory Edmondson

Edmondson arrived shortly before the coronavirus pandemic and said he inherited an organization with strong management and leadership practices. Still, he wanted to find out more about what made Peterson work.

"When I first arrived, I wanted to learn a little bit more about the organization and where there was opportunity. So, I did 90 interviews in about 90 days."

"I asked pretty standard questions and what came out of that was some results and some actions that allowed say okay where's the organization today and where does it need to go because people express their desire of we we haven't done this or we haven't done that we'd like to go here we'd like to go there this is what we'd like to."

"So, I took all that and and worked with leadership and with our board of directors and said okay let's do a strategic plan, let's figure this out. About seven months into my tenure, we did a strategic planning retreat with our board of directors, our foundation board, the medical executive committee and some Peterson leaders — about 50 people there. You might think well, how can you accomplish anything with 50 people but we did that set the stage for where we are today."

Edmondson said he relies on humility to lead.

"I think that's what leadership is about is you're not the smartest bulb on the tree in the room here. So, you gotta there's a lot of smart people out there and the organization has a lot of smart people and I and I lean on em."

Broken Arrow Ranch owner Chris Hughes

When it comes to marquee businesses, one that draws the attention of national media for quality, Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram may lead the way in Kerr County. The wild game business' accolades reached the Wall Street Journal, NPR, The New York Times and Texas Monthly. Hughes took over the business from his dad, Mike, who founded the company in 1983. When Chris Hughes took over the business, he found that he wanted to stay true to the company's core mission, which meant keeping good employees.

"I'm supposed to be in charge of them that they're established in their habits, and I'm trying to instill new habits or new directions or new philosophies for this company, so how do you do that in a way that's productive and doesn't really just run everybody off or create a whole bunch of bunch of conflict. That was certainly a big challenge coming in, and for me, you know, in my leadership style, I think leadership is really about relationships."

During the interview, Hughes related that his wife taught a class on relationships during the coronavirus pandemic, and those lessons are part of his leadership efforts.

"Relationships are based on kind of four key things. It's based on mutual trust. It's based on mutual respect. It's based on communication and it's based on shared experiences. And you know not every relationship will have all four of those components you know some will be stronger weaker than others but the stronger you can build up each of those four pillars the stronger that relationship is going to be."

John Anderson, retired economic developer, boating enthusiast and world traveler

John Anderson played many economic development roles, honing leadership skills across a broad and diverse career. He's worked across the United States and around the world. He's worked for some of the biggest companies in the world and served in the military. But his view on leadership is all about teamwork.

"My natural instincts were to think of the organization as a team, a group of people, a team and we were assigned a purpose, a goal, responsibility and my principal job were to make sure I understood what that goal was clearly and that I could describe that to everybody on the team regardless of what level they were in the organization so that they could visualize it."

Like others during the conversation, Anderson said the ability to attract and retain talent is another leadership principle he espouses.

"Part of my job was to make sure I would reach out and recruit the top talent I could, get the best people I could find and afford and bring into the organization for specific assignments or roles, and I always felt, I mean you know, John what you need to do is get people who have more experience and who are smarter than you are and that was not a very high standard. It was fairly easy for me to do so I always felt I had surrounded would surround myself with people who it was an outstanding team and my job was to help us continue to understand if the conditions change how we would shift."

And finally, Anderson said he drew from the examples of others, passing on the standard management books.

"I never read a management or a leadership book in my life. Never and but what I did I guess by osmosis, I didn't intend to, but to the degree, I've learned what I think is a style or styles of leadership, I've learned them from watching other leaders or reading by for example Nelson Mandela Winston and Winston Churchill."

Stroke Awareness Program at Peterson's Ambulatory Care Center today!

If there's one event we should all attend, it's one about stroke prevention, and Peterson Regional Medical Center is playing host to such an event this afternoon.

With a keynote from Dr. Mirelle Foster, the acute rehabilitation unit medical director, visitors will learn about warning signs, how a stroke is treated and services available to recover from a stroke. The event starts at 4 p.m. at the Ambulatory Care Center, 260 Cully Dr. Visitors can also learn about:

  • Home Health
  • Healthy Diet and Nutrition
  • Screenings of Risk for Stroke
  • Outpatient Specialty Services
  • Low Vision and Driving Assessments
  • Stroke Support and Peer Mentoring
  • Dietert Center and Meals on Wheels
  • Bioness Integrated Therapy Systems
  • Pet Therapy Visitation
  • Center for Fitness

Peterson said refreshments and door prizes are available for those in attendance. Need more information? Call (830) 258-7442 ext. 9.

Ray Buck says farewell

After 16 years on the job, Upper Guadalupe River Authority General Manager Ray Buck says goodbye to the agency. To mark his retirement, the UGRA Board of Directors and staff invite those interested in a reception from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the UGRA Cafeteria.

Because he doesn't have anything better to do with his time

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton doesn't have the best luck when he ventures into the realm of national issues, but that doesn't stop him from trying. On Tuesday, Paxton led 10 other states to file an amicus brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to dissuade the continued investigation into how former President Trump ended up with a bunch of classified documents. The Texas Tribune has the story:

In memoriam: Brig. Gen. Wayne Yeoman (ret. U.S. Air Force)

There are stories in our communities that never get told until the obituary appears at the mortuary or in the newspaper. Such a story came to our attention on Tuesday with the passing of retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Wayne Yeoman, who died last week at 99. He loves sports and he called Riverhill home.

To say Yeoman lived a life of distinction is mild — he lived a remarkable life, spending his final years in Kerrville. Born in Indiana in 1923, the Depression led his family to Glendale, Ariz. — just outside of Phoenix. In his obituary, Yeoman's children said their father never shied away from a challenge — that seemed like a strong family trait.

See, Wayne Yeoman wasn't satisfied with accepting his surroundings; he worked to improve them — not only for himself but those around him. A standout student at the University of Arizona, Yeoman decided his best path was in the military. He finished his college career at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. — just before the Air Force became a separate military branch. In 1946, he earned his pilot's wings and during the Korean War, he flew 50 combat missions in the B-26 Invader — a medium-range bomber known for its tenacity.

Constantly working to improve, Yeoman earned a master's degree at Harvard University, where he would later receive a doctorate. His family referred to him as both Brig. Gen. and Doctor. In civilian life, Yeoman joined Eastern Airlines, where he was a vice president. He later taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Earlier, we mentioned that success ran in the family. Yeoman's younger brother was College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Yeoman, who led the Houston Cougars for 24 years, winning four Southwestern Conference titles and two Cotton Bowls. Bill Yeoman died in 2020. Another brother, Elmer, the oldest of the three, was a physician and died in 2001.

However, for Wayne Yeoman's immediate family his achievements were matched by his love for his wife, Agnes, to whom he was married for 68 years. The couple traveled the world together before she died here in Kerrville in 2015 at 91.

Brig. Gen. Wayne Yeoman is survived by his children Wayne Jr. (Connie) of Las Vegas, Carol (John) of Tucson, grandchildren, Dr. Kristin Hess of Nashville, Andrew Hess (Gwen) of Scottsdale and great-grandchildren Tyler Hess and Kayla Hess.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Kerrville on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, at 2 p.m. Brig. Gen. Wayne Yeoman, will be buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado at 10 a.m. today with military honors.


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