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On my wrist, I wear a gray and black band with the words “the Giving Man Pledge and” People notice it and inevitably, a conversation begins. Making 2012 The Year of the Giving Man at AW Media was all about starting a conversation—a conversation that began with an idea from columnist Roy Spence and immediately snowballed. We talked about ways to inspire people to make Austin better by looking in to their hearts and making a commitment to giving in ways that spoke to their individual and collective passions. With the winter issue of ATX Man, the Giving Man Pledge was launched and the conversation began. Pledges came from Austinites well-known and involved, private and procrastinators, men and women, all ages—Austinites with one thing in common: the desire to make our community a better place by paying it forward.

As we complete our first year of ATX Man with the spring issue, it seems natural that the Giving Man Pledge would become part of our fabric and our mission. When we launched, we wanted to include stories that would reach out and touch everyone in Austin. Initially, doors opened because of the affiliation with Austin Woman, allowing ATX Man to come in to its own. Austin has embraced ATX Man and I am grateful to our advertisers, readers and to the men who have allowed us to tell their inspiring and unique stories. I feel so lucky to meet these people who make Austin great. For example, I looked at our cover man in this issue, Turk Pipkin, and I thought I knew him. He is huge—literally and figuratively. You can’t miss Turk when he comes into a room. When I read his story, I realized that there was so much I didn’t know about Turk, his accomplishments, his projects and the evolution of his passion for giving. Turk Pipkin embodies the spirit of the Giving Man Pledge.

In our first cover story, Roy Spence was quoted as saying, “The spirit of Austin fosters and celebrates creativity and encourages entrepreneurial types to take a risk and try something new. We are a city of dreamers with big ideas.” And so the conversation began as we risked thinking outside the box to create a magazine celebrating the ideas and dreams of the men of Austin. This issue also recognizes and celebrates the entrepreneurial soul of Austin and those willing to take risks to live their dreams and big ideas. Join us by making a commitment to the city we all love.

Visit to join in the conversation and make a commitment to Austin via the Giving Man Pledge. At the end of 2012, together we will celebrate our pledges made from passion, dreams and ideas large and small. I wear my Giving Man band every day as a constant reminder to continue the conversation. The next time you see me, please ask, “What is that gray band you are wearing?” and be prepared for a lengthy conversation that begins with a huge smile.

Christopher Garvey
Co-founder and Publisher
Photo by Korey Howell


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  1. Mercedes Rodriguez on


    This is Mercedes Rodriguez and I am writing you because I am voicing out like one of the little who from Dr. Suess’s who-ville to everyone and anyone in hopes that either I get information to lead me onward on my quest, or that I receive the aid in making the quest a solid landing success. Now if you are reading this I am sure you are thinking I should get straight to the point of my intentions, but then you wouldn’t truly understand why I am in an up roar to be heard. So here goes, my son is autistic. He is a wonderful nine year old trying to figure himself out of the labyrinth that attains him from connecting to society. We have traveled down Alice’s rabbit hole and hiked our way back up towards the rim of horizon. Pj’s struggles began way before he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified), high functioning autism, extended speech delayed. He was about to be closer to two years of age that he began to develop unusual behavior. He would start to spin, align his toys in a specific order, did not hold any eye contact and the worse part stopped eating and began to head bang himself. We struggled through countless of sleepless nights I must have cried myself the Nile river when we finally got to see Dr. Kane a neurologist at the well accredited clinic Specially for Children. He then gave me this single sheet that listed the symptoms of PDD-NOS. I felt such a numbed relief of finally knowing I wasn’t crazy, that there was something wrong with my son and thank God and the good spirits that he wasn’t plagued with cancer or a brain tumor. Little did I know that the milestones of autism is much more intense than cancer or anything like it. See with an incurable disease you have a two way street; to live or to die, with autism and other special needs syndromes you only have limbo. You do not know if there will ever be a recovery…You only pray, hope, wish and fight for health and wellness to be achieved. We battled through him being kicked out of daycare after daycare, being bitten by another child seven times before anyone saw or knew! Fighting with an apartment maintenance man and one of his past sitters for calling him a Retard. Working full time in a job that I love and am under appreciated but what am I to do, I need to supply PJ with his organic diet and mineral supplements. Being a single parent, working full time, seeing my son drift evermore away from me broke my heart but I did not stop from having faith, hope, belief, whatever you want to call it. I fought for him. I knew he was in there somewhere hurting, confused, waiting to come back to me. I took him from doctor to doctor. If one did not want to do a test I would find one that did. I had help from Easter seals, being blessed with Child Inc, Central Texas, and even Kidspace. I would hold him and night hoping that whatever he was feeling would just stop and let him sleep. Little by little we found different ways to make him calm down, eat a little more food like gave him juices or let him just suck out the juice of fruit. we have been through a lot and still going through many rough patches but PJ has show great improvement in his health and wellness. I write you a small piece of our story so that you can all understand why I am in need of voicing out. With the help of Rama Chittajallu’s brain wave therapy, PJ continues to show improvement, but it is not enough. If I were to get him into an appointment for a DAN! doctor, maybe then we can strive towards unraveling his true potential. I voice out to you to see if you can help me venture my fundraiser to see the light of day so that I can do for PJ as well as donate half of the earnings to the National Autism Association of Central Texas since this organization funds to give grants to children for therapies that do help them reach potential of unlocking their minds. Right now I am hand crafting puzzle magnets and selling for a dollar to see if I can make the minimum of 5000.00. I had been trying to get a screen print shirt out of pj’s 1st drawing he made in his transitioning stages of autism. I still want to make the screen print shirts, totes and mugs a success in time. I am asking for any type of help, even if its a number to a discount on a screen printing press or matching of whatever I can raise, even just saying here is a booth you can borrow this date 🙂 honestly just replying back will let me know that my hard work is not going unseen.

    Thank you Kindly for your time and Patience with hopes to hear back,

    Con Amor y Carino: Mercedes Rodriguez and PJ 🙂
    wk (512)873-1605
    cell (512)902-7866

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