www.sanantoniobusinessjournal.com Women of Influence
SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL mARch 3, 2010
Women of Influence
here is something magical about grade school Influential Educators in San Antonio,”
history books. In the hands of the right teacher, by Scene in San Antonio Magazine. She is a
students virtually can hear Paul Revere’s cries popular speaker at San Antonio events, and is the
as he winds his way through the cobblestone streets of annual Ms. of Ceremonies at the Cancer Therapy
Boston or they can smell the roasting corn on the early and Research Center’s Book Author Luncheon.
settler’s crackling campfire. For years, though, the his- In addition, Grissom has kept good literary company
tory books reflected primarily the accomplishments of over the years: Author Joyce Carol Oates wrote a poem
white men, leaving out — or downplaying — the roles for her; among her guests for dinner when she lived in
of women and minorities from the chapters. Today, a university residence were the late John Updike and
progress has been made on the national scene, but lo- Kurt Vonnegut, and Margaret Atwood is one of her
cally — especially here in San Antonio — the stories of dear friends. In October 2008, the Trinity University
women leaders who impacted our city mostly are hid- Press published “A Novel Approach to Life,” a collec-
den away in a few books. tion of speeches Grissom has written and delivered
As part of National Women’s History Month, the San over the past five decades. Grissom, who lives in the
Antonio Business Journal, Oppenheimer Blend Texas Hill Country with her four toy poodles, three cats
Harrison + Tate Inc., Frost Bank and Regnier Val- and five saltwater fish, abides by John Hoyt’s famous
dez champion the accomplishments of local women. quote: “Figure out what you care about and live a life
This year’s national theme is “Writing Women Back that shows it.”
into History,” and the committee researched and chose With this publication, we hope to start mapping out
14 women — 10 deceased and four living — who cou- the leadership footprints that strong women have left
rageously have stood up for education, preservation, on the Alamo City’s history. Many thanks to freelance
discovery and civil rights in San Antonio. On Thursday, writer Dawn E. Cole for her profiles of our modern
March 4th, these women were honored at the San Anto- heroines and to staff photographer Catherine Domin-
nio Country Club at a “Beyond the Glass Ceiling” event. guez for her wonderful photographs of Lila Cockrell
Each women received a special piece of art glass from and Joci Straus. Kudos to our Assistant Creative Direc-
another local icon, artist Gini Garcia. the torch for women’s rights, fighting for equality in tor Cathy Monroy for her exquisite design skills on the
To act as Ms. of Ceremonies for the event, the com- professional ranks and mentoring women students to layout of this publication. And a special thank you to the
mittee could think of no better woman than Coleen achieve their dreams. In addition to college courses on talented staff at Regnier Valdez for creating the event
Grissom, Ph.D. Grissom is a Trinity University pro- reading and writing, Grissom leads community literary logo, invitations and advertisements.
fessor and former vice president of student affairs. She workshops, where women of all ages (and a few brave In addition, we are appreciative of historical photos
has — almost singlehandedly — opened the minds and men) meet weekly to discuss and debate the writing provided by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s
hearts of San Antonio to the joy of reading and the ap- styles and themes from her rigorous reading list. the Institute of Texan Cultures and those photos from
preciation of quality literature. During the more than 50 This role, and her fierce loyalty to her students and the San Antonio Light Collection, UTSA’s Institute of
years she has worked at Trinity, Grissom has carried friends, earned her a nomination as one of the “50 Most Texan Cultures, Courtesy of the Hearst Corp.
march 3, 2010 Women of Influence
SaN aNTONIO BUSINESS JOUrNaL www.sanantoniobusinessjournal.com
By Dawn E. ColE
heir fingerprints are evident in city hall, the arts,
the state capitol, and indeed, in how business
is done in San Antonio. Without them, San
Antonio’s history would lack some of its most beauti-
ful facets, and their work continues to shape the city’s
Lila Cockrell, Joci Straus, Sheryl Sculley and Esper-
anza “Hope” Andrade’s unique stories have not only im-
pacted their community and states, but have also blazed
new paths for women in their respective arenas.
Lila Cockrell started blazing trails right after graduating from Southern
Methodist University, when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy WAVES program,
and served during World War II. She and her husband, Sid, made San Antonio
home in 1956, and in the half-century since, you’d be hard-pressed to name an
arena in which Cockrell hasn’t been a part.
She turned her attention to politics early on, and had served two terms as
president of San Antonio’s League of Women voters when the business-friend-
ly “Good Government League” came calling in 1963.
Cockrell told the “San Antonio Light” that the GGL contingent pulled up in
two cars, “and four or five gentlemen got out of each car,” to talk her into being
the first woman to run for San Antonio City Council under the GGL banner. After being
reassured that they wouldn’t try to tell her what to do, Cockrell says she agreed.
She was elected to the council five times in all, and then in 1975, became the first woman
elected mayor of a major United States city. Although she would joke on the campaign trail
when introducing her husband: “This is my husband Sid, he tells me what to do,” Cockrell
always clearly has made her own decisions.
Cockrell served three terms as mayor, then stepped down from the mayor’s seat in 1981
when her husband fell ill. But after his death, she returned to politics, and voters elected
her for a fourth term.
Reporters during Cockrell’s early terms were prone to describing her as a “prim school-
teacher type” with a passion for Roget’s Rules of Order, but she grew into her own convic-
tions, and her own style.
As she told a crowd at the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce in Texas as
she began her final term as mayor “At first, I would vote with the crowd. Then, I started
finding my own way, forging my own path.”
Her opponents would learn Cockrell was no pushover, as well. When she crossed
swords with Homeowner-Taxpayer Association president C.A. Stubbs in 1990, Cockrell
faced television cameras and reporters and threw down the gauntlet.
“I’m a person who likes to work with people,” she said. “But there’s a point when you
can’t be conciliatory any more.”
After her final term as mayor, Cockrell continued that fighting spirit, turning her atten-
tions to the city’s cultural legacy. At the Convention Center Complex she lobbied to bring
to San Antonio, the theater on the River Walk bears her name.
Cockrell today continues to serve the city as president of the San Antonio Parks Founda-
tion, a perfect fit for a woman who has spent a lifetime cultivating growth in San Antonio.
www.sanantoniobusinessjournal.com Women of Influence
SaN aNTONIO BUSINESS JOUrNaL march 3, 2010
In the academic building of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San
Antonio, a portrait of Jocelyn “Joci” Levi Straus hangs in recognition of her 20-plus
years of service on the Health Science Center’s Development Board.
In it, she is the picture of a genteel Southern lady, dressed in a shell-pink suit ac-
cessorized with perfect pearl earrings, flawless all the way down to her manicure.
But the soft image belies a woman who’s commitment to her political convictions,
and the arts in San Antonio, are tough as nails.
Joci Straus cut her political teeth as one of the “Nixon Girls,” and her determina-
tion was one of the driving forces for making the Republican Party viable in Texas. Soon,
she was rolling up her sleeves to work on George Bush Sr.’s run for the U.S. Senate in
“Competition in free enterprise makes it successful,” she said in 1982, when the Junior
League of San Antonio named her its Volunteer Extraordinaire. “Government is the big-
gest business in the country, and a two-party system stimulates healthy competition.”
Esperanza “Hope” Andrade
Although the elder Bush wouldn’t win that campaign, he and Barbara Bush became Esperanza “Hope” Andrade had the odds stacked against her. The child of cotton farmers,
close friends of Straus. Indeed, in 1980, when First Lady Barbara Bush needed a luncheon her father a Mexican national, she didn’t begin speaking English until she was school-age.
hosted for herself and 17 other economic summit spouses, she called on Straus, who the But her parents instilled early the value of hard work, giving the young Andrade chores on
“Wall Street Journal” called “indisputably the most influential woman in San Antonio.” the farm.
And when the Health Science Center honored her for her work in 2007, it would be And as she grew independent, she applied that work ethic to education and business,
President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush who taped a special message of thanks. paying her way through college with a job at IBM, and then starting her own child-care
But Straus has hardly limited her influence and fundraising prowess to the GOP. The business with a friend.
Majestic Theatre downtown stands in tribute to her commitment to the arts. When it “Two Latinas started with just an idea and a newspaper ad,” Andrade told the “Austin-
was threatened in the late 1980s, Straus spearheaded an effort to raise $4.4 million in American Statesman.”
11 months. About the same time, she founded the Las Casas Foundation, a nonprofit But that idea and ad weren’t the end of Andrade’s entrepreneurial spirit. In the decades
dedicated to the preserving and restoring buildings for cultural use, and went on to reno- to come, she would get into the home health-care business, an enterprise that employed
vate the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in 1998. More recently, she helped found hundreds and earned annual profits in the millions.
the Women’s Leadership Council, a powerful group of San Antonio women leading the The “Latina with an idea” also put her drive and determination into public service, work-
charge against poverty, violence and abuse and advocating for women and children in ing with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater San Antonio Chamber of
Bexar County. Commerce. In the 1980s, she was selected for “Leadership San Antonio,” a training pro-
Although she never sought elected office, Straus has a intensely personal interest in gram that fine-tuned her skills.
Austin these days, with her son Joe serving as the first Speaker of the Texas House from She focused her attentions on improving U.S.-Mexico business relations, expertise that
San Antonio. served her well when she was appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission, where
He doesn’t hesitate to give credit where it’s due. she served as chair.
“I first learned about politics from my mom,” Straus says. “I was the youngest of three Then, in 2008, she made history when she was sworn in as Texas’ Secretary of State,
children and too young to stay home alone, so I grew up attending Republican women’s becoming the first Mexican-American woman in that role in the state’s history. Gov. Rick
club meetings. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her example.” Perry, who appointed her, said “Hope’s dedicated public service and business savvy have
made her an indispensable asset to the state of Texas.”
Andrade, a proud grandmother, noted she grew an inch at her physical last year. Her doc-
tor might have been startled, but the 5-foot-tall Andrade wasn’t phased. She says
Sheryl Sculley representing Texas has her standing taller these days.
Sheryl Sculley is the trailblazer who almost wasn’t. DaWN E. cOLE is a San antonio freelance writer.
San Antonio courted her to serve as city manager, with then-Mayor Ed Garza putting
an offer on the table. But when her proposed salary became fodder for political showman-
ship, she said “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Then Council-Member Julian Castro held a news conference to say he wouldn’t vote for
it. And Sculley said if the council wasn’t unanimous in its support, she’d stay in Phoenix,
where she’d served in the number-two slot for 16 years. At least one business leader
there reacted with a “Hallelujah!”
But after election season came and went, San Antonio came calling again. This
time, Sculley said yes. The determination to get what she wanted, on her own
terms, has been a hallmark of Sculley’s tenure.
A nine-time marathon finisher, Sculley’s trademark in public service has been
a steady, dependable, results-oriented approach. She served 15 years in Kalama-
zoo, Mich.; 16 in Phoenix, and after signing a new three-year-contract in late 2008,
doesn’t appear to be planning an exit from San Antonio anytime soon.
The council and business leaders were effusive in their praise of Sculley’s ac-
complishments, which have included increasing the city’s bond rating to AAA,
and adding 284 police officers and 160 fire and EMS workers.
And when it came time for that contract renewal, Mayor Julian Castro was
among the loudest voices of support, won over at last.
“My greatest challenge is resistance to change. Most folks embrace improve-
ment until change directly affects them,” Sculley says. “Convincing others that
to improve, change is often necessary requires extensive communication, perse-
verance, and courage to say and do what needs to be done.”
But like her “no-I-won’t, yes-I-will” entrance into San Antonio’s top job showed,
Sculley isn’t too staid for surprises. She donned a shiny Supergirl jumpsuit and
jet-black wig for Cornyation festivities, stepping out in a shiny blue cape and
platform boots to the delight of the Fiesta crowd.
Proving sometimes, trailblazers set their own terms.
march 3, 2010 Women of Influence
SaN aNTONIO BUSINESS JOUrNaL www.sanantoniobusinessjournal.com
Artemisia Bowden Katherine Stinson Emma Tenayuca Marion Koogler
(1879 - 1969) (1891-1977) – Aviator (1916-1999) McNay – Art patron
School administrator Marjorie Stinson Social justice labor activist he daughter of a wealthy physi-
and civic leader
(1896-1975) – Aviator cian, Ohio-born art teacher and
s a young girl, Emma Tenayuca
rtemisia Bowden was the patorn Marion Koogler used her fortune
visited La Plaza de Zacate, now
daughter of a former slave and atherine and Marjorie Stinson to feed and nurture her love for the arts.
Milam Square in front of Santa Rosa
newly minted college graduate when were born into a world where And lucky for San Antonio, that passion
Hospital, with her father and grandfa-
she traveled to San Antonio from North women were expected to be homemak- was fueled while Koogler McNay lived
ther and watched as “contractors came
Carolina in 1902. At the height of this ers and weren’t allowed to vote. in the Alamo City.
to make arrangements with the families
country’s fierce struggle with minor- Being respectable young ladies, the In 1917, Koogler married Don Den-
Stinson sisters took one look at the or- who wanted to go to the beet fields.”
ity and women civil rights, a 23-year-old ton McNay and moved to San Antonio
dinary life of their peers, strapped on It was there, according to an oral his-
Bowden took on the world of academia before her husband’s Army posting to
aviator goggles and became two of the tory stored in the library of the Insti-
and never looked back. Laredo. Ten months later, he died from
first 10 women in the United States to tute of Texan Cultures, that Tenayuca
Bowden’s first job in the Alamo City influenza.
earn pilots’ licenses. learned firsthand about plight of San
was as the principal of St. Philip’s Nor- Koogler McNay married four more
You go, girls. Antonio’s working class Mexican popu-
mal and Industrial School, an Episcopal times, but during her third marriage,
Older sister Katherine led the way, lation.
day school for African-American girls. she and her ophthalmologist husband
earning her pilot’s license at age 21 in As Tenayuca grew into a teenager,
For the next 52 years, she led the trans- Donald T. Atkinson, commissioned ar-
1912 with the intent to perform exhi- the struggle of her people to earn a
formation of the small private school to a chitects Atlee and Robert Ayres to de-
bition flights and raise money for her fair wage, safe and sanitary workplace
fully-accredited, two-year public college, sign a 24-room Spanish Colonial-Revival
planned music education. But there standards and equal privileges lit a fire
where she served as president and dean house that would one day become the
was something rather anticlimactic in her young soul. “She had a magnetic
until 1954. core of the McNay Art Museum.
about teaching piano after flying a personality an possessed extraordinary
It took courageous leadership — es- Part of the inspiration was Koogler
Wright B in the wide open sky. And so, organizing abilities,” author Zaragosa
pecially during the Great Depression, McNay’s purchase of her first modern
Katherine became a full-fledged avia- Vargas writes in his essay on Teneyuca
when the Episcopal Church and the Dio- oil painting, Diego Rivera’s “Delfina
tor and pioneer known as “The Fly- for “The Pacific Historical Review.”
cese of West Texas decided they would Flores.” She later went on to collect
ing Schoolgirl” — setting a series of At 16, Tenayuca joined a strike of
no longer underwrite the institution. American watercolors, French Impres-
distance records and firsts in the field, women cigar makers in San Antonio
Bowden “refused to let the school die” sionist paintings and pieces by artists in
including: the first woman authorized and later went on to organize sit-down
and “began a campaign to have the San the New Mexico area.
to carry U.S. mail, the first woman to strikes and protests at City Hall. She
Antonio Independent School District Upon her death at age 67 in 1950,
perform a loop, the first night flight, is best known for leading the 1938 pe-
take over the institution,” according to Koogler McNay’s will created the Mar-
inventor of skywriting and more. can shellers’ strike. With more than
the Handbook of Texas Online. ion Koogler McNay Art Museum as the
Katherine’s success inspired her 10,000 participants, the strike was one
Bowden took on the board of educa- “first modern art museum in Texas,” a
whole family, including younger sister of the largest community organized,
tion, arguing that “as long as it contin- campus that includes her house, the sur-
Marjorie, who became the ninth U.S. race-based wage fights in the coun-
ued to operate a white junior college out rounding 23 acres, more than 700 works
woman to earn her pilot’s license in try— seeking equal pay for Mexican
of public funds,” the board had an obli- of art, and an endowment. The museum
1914 at the age of 18. Marjorie also shellers, who were being paid less than
gation to fund a black junior college as opened in 1954, has grown to include
became an air mail carrier and in 1915 their white colleagues and facing a fur-
well, the Handbook reports. more than 20,000 works and attracts
was inducted into the U.S. Aviation Re- ther wage cut. Tenayuca, like many of
In 1942, Bowden won her fight when more than 100,000 visitors per year. In
serve Corps as its only woman. her fellow strikers, was arrested and
the board incorporated St. Philip’s into June 2008, the addition of the $33 mil-
One year later, the sisters, along thrown in jail for her efforts.
the municipal junior college system. In lion Jane and Arthur Stieren
with their brother Eddie, opened up In her attempt to rally groups against
addition to serving as the school’s dean Center doubled the muse-
Stinson School of Flying on about 500 oppression, Tenayuca joined the Com-
for another decade, Bowden was an ac- um’s space.
acres in San Antonio, which they rent- munist Party and was, consequently,
tive civic leader, serving as president of run out of San Antonio by death threats.
several of the city’s African American ed for $5 per year. It was there that the
Stinson sisters taught many men to fly She later quit the party, moved back to
women and business groups. The Na- the Alamo City with a teaching cer-
tional Council of Negro Women cited for the military, and Marjorie earned
the title “The Flying Schoolmarm.” tificate, earned a master’s degree and
Bowden as one of the 10 most outstand- taught reading in the Harlandale school
ing women educators in the country. Katherine volunteered several times
to fly combat during World War I, but district until her death in 1999.
Today, San Antonio’s Bowden Elemen-
tary School and St. Philip’s Bowden Ad- was rejected. The family aviation busi-
ministration Building are named for her ness thrived until civilian flying was
legacy. banned in World War I, and the City of
San Antonio took over the airfield and
www.sanantoniobusinessjournal.com Women of Influence
SaN aNTONIO BUSINESS JOUrNaL march 3, 2010
Clara Driscoll Mary Nan West The Chili Queens Mary Maverick
(1881-1945) (1925-2001) of San Antonio Green Emily
Savior of the Alamo South Texas Rancher Street chefs chili inventors Edwards
Stock Show Rodeo Leader
he only child of multimillion Founders San Antonio
oday’s mom-and-pop entrepre- Conservation Society
dollar ranching and bank- ever mind any of that fancy of- neurs have sleek tools like mi-
ing couple Robert and Julia Driscoll, fice business. cro-financing and iPhones to help boost he best teachers know that
Clara Driscoll was a “a restless little For Mary Nan West, a woman did her business. But 200 years ago, all a group showing students is much more
redhead of 22 when she came home best work on the wide open ranch land of women known as the Chili Queens effective than telling them. That’s why
from a costly education and a trip of South Texas. needed, was money for red chiles and when Mary Maverick Green and Em-
abroad,” according to a 1945 TIME West grew up on her family’s 36,000- beef and little elbow grease. And with ily Edwards fought to preserve San
magazine obituary. acre Rafter S Ranch near Batesville in that, the American staple known as chili Antonio’s historic places, they used two
In San Antonio, Driscoll found the Zavala County in the late 1920s and was born. tried-and-true weapons: A puppet show
three-acre Alamo wallowing in state of early 1930s. Although she was sent to According to Linda Stradley of “What’s and a field trip.
disrepair and in danger of being con- St. Mary’s Hall all-girls school in San Cooking America,” these Latino women In 1924, after founding the San Anto-
verted to a hotel. Driscoll joined the Antonio and traveled to California for prepared the chili at home and then nio Conservation Society (SACS)with
Daughters of the Republic of Texas college, West’s true love was the ranch “loaded it onto colorful chili wagons, 13 women, Green and Edwards created
in a fight to save the Alamo and ap- where she cared for the cattle and prac- and transported the wagons and chili to puppet characters to look like the city
peared “before the startled legislature ticed roping. At the age of 18, West the plaza. They build mesquite fires on commissioners and staged a play about
at Austin, vainly heckled its members, moved back to her grandparents’ ranch the square to keep the chili warm, light- the conflict between the city’s preserva-
and finally rescued Texas’ shrine with and began to manage its Hereford cat- ed their wagons with colored lanterns, tionists and commercial development.
her own $65,000 check,” TIME’s obit- tle operation. There she also raised two and squatted on the ground beside the Later, when the city was considering
uary reported. daughters, who worked side-by-side cart, dishing out chili to customers who paving over a portion of the river, Green
Dubbed the “Savior of the Alamo,” with their mother cultivating the Texas sat on wooden stools to eat their fiery and Edwards took the commissioners
Driscoll went on to become a novelist land. stew.” “on a canoe ride on the bend just to
and author. She married and moved In the 1960s, when her children were Jeffrey Pilcher, history professor at show the men how beautiful it was,” ac-
away from Texas several times, be- grown, West volunteered for the San The Citadel in South Carolina, has re- cording to Sally Anne Buchanan’s story
fore settling back down in Corpus Antonio Livestock Association and searched the story of the chili queens, on the SACS Web site.
Christi after her divorce. She spent soon became the first woman chair of using photographs from the University Today the River Walk is San Antonio’s
the next decade passionately involved the board for the San Antonio Livestock of Texas Institute for Texan Cultures, pride and joy, and
with historic preservation through the Show and Rodeo. to show that San Antonio’s military SACS is one of the oldest and most ac-
Daughters of the Republic of Texas, West was instrumental in expanding plaza came alive at night with makeshift tive community preservation society’s
and served as Democratic National the San Antonio Livestock Exposition tables, chili vendors, musicians and in the country.
Committeewoman between 1928 and (SALE) in 1984 to include the first more. The work of Green and Edwards
1944. Upon her death in 1945, Driscoll college scholarship fund for students These women entrepreneurs im- hardly was all fun and games, though.
bequeathed her family fortune to es- studying agriculture and science at proved their recipes over time and Both women, who met on a San Antonio
tablish the Driscoll Foundation Chil- Texas colleges. Fifteen four-year schol- The Chili Queens remained a high- street, bemoaning the state of a land-
dren’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. She arships were given out that first year. light in San Antonio for many years, mark in disrepair, were artists, preser-
is buried here in San Antonio. Today, more $96 million in scholarships according to the International Chili vation advocates, women’s rights fight-
has aided more than 4,600 students. Society. “There was even a “San Anto-
West’s ranching prowess once earned ers and supporters of the public school
nio Chili Stand” at the Chicago World’s system. Green was the first woman
her the Texas County Agricultural Fair in 1893, until the late 1930s, in fact,
Agents Association’s Man of the Year on the San Antonio School board and
when the health department put an end founded this city’s first legal aid office.
Award in 1988. to their time-honored profession,” the
She went on to break down plenty Edwards was an art teacher at Brack-
society reports. enridge High School, where she taught
other male-dominated barriers, includ- Indeed a 1937 “San Antonio Light”
ing being appointed the first woman to students like Robert Harvey Harry
article reports that health department Hugman, who later would become one
serve as the Chairman of the Board of shut down the Military Plaza chili mak-
Regents of Texas AM University by of the River Walk architects.
ing for sanitation violations. Green’s and Edward’s passion and
former Texas Governor Ann Richards
— proving that even cowgirls get their fortitude is evident amid the curving
due. archways of the River Walk bridges and
the architectural integrity of historic
landmarks — providing a show and tell
that will last for generations to come.