On my wrist, I wear a gray and black band with the words “the Giving Man Pledge and atxman.com.” 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 atxman.com 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.