On March 3, four companies were recognized for their generosity and dedication to serving people in the Austin region during the 5th Annual Austin Gives award program. Austin Gives, a program of the Austin Chamber, recognizes businesses for their commitment to philanthropy and giving back to Austin. The recipients of this year's 2016 Generous Business Awards were chosen from a group of 12 finalists and include:
- Charitable Champion – Hoar Construction (under 26 employees) - View
- Big Heart – Round Rock Express (27-100 employees) - View
- Bold Giver – Keller Williams Realty International (100-400 employees) - View
- Community Leader – Seton Family Healthcare (over 400 employees) - View
The keynote speaker was the world-renowned designer and philanthropist Kendra Scott. She spoke on the importance of giving back to the community by supporting charity efforts that strengthen Austin’s most cherished resource—the people.
Lasting Words “You Do Good”
Kendra's stepfather Ron suffered from cancer and battled each and every day to grab as much of life as possible. Amidst suffering and before he passed, Ron imparted three simple words: you do good. This motivated Kendra not only to start her own business - The Hat Box - but to instill deep within her a sense to give back to those in need, and never make it about yourself, but put others first. “What he was trying to say is that we all have a responsibility to do good with what we are given,” she reflected.
Guiding Principles: Family, Fashion, Philanthropy
Those three values are at the core of Kendra Scott. “It is at the heart of what we do,” she observed. The mindset of giving was incorporated into her company when Scott first began fulfilling orders from her spare bedroom as a young entrepreneur. “I gave to everyone because it was the right thing to do. If I could help someone that would be more than enough for me.” The three core values are tenets her company holds close. She asks every employee to buy into this philosophy. Each staff member is given philanthropy days to engage in giving back to the community.
“When you give, you receive so much,” said Kendra.
Kendra Scott started with a $500 dollar investment. With an unbreakable dream and iron-clad determination, Kendra's business grew into a fashion empire worth millions. Never forgetting her motivation, the company has donated over $2.7 million to charitable causes. “This community believes so much in local business,” she recalled. “This city, this state gave me my wings.”
To learn more about finalists and winners, click through our video series below starting with our Charitable Champions.
To relive the event, view photos here.
Greater Austin Chamber
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.