Perseverance, Integrity, and Kindness:
The Secret to Boerne’s Success in Challenging Times
While the COVID-19 crisis has devastated many of our country’s small towns and communities, Boerne seems to be weathering the obstacles and managing to not only survive but, quite possibly, even thrive during this time. These three Boerne professionals prove that perseverance, integrity, and kindness are carrying their community through the crisis with grace and hopefulness.
Co-Owner and Director – Lonestar Dance Collective
When seasoned ballet dancer Michelle Hackebeil partnered with Mary Rae Moy to open Boerne’s first competitive dance training program, Lonestar Dance Collective in 2011, she couldn’t have fathomed what operating a dance studio during a pandemic might look like.
After being closed for several months during the spring, the dance studio resumed classes in June (with precautions in place) and even managed to fit in a dance recital unlike any done before.
“We rented a 10,000 square foot warehouse and had five-minute recitals for each class,” explains Hackebeil. “We changed out the whole audience, which was parents only, and dancers. The recital was 14 hours long,” recalled Hackebeil.
When she’s not at the dance studio, Hackebeil and her husband are busy with their many other business ventures. In addition to owning and operating a custom home building business, the Hackebeils also have a concrete construction company, own a vacation property in Colorado, and are on tap to open a franchise in Boerne. As you can imagine, Hackebeil doesn’t find herself with a lot of free time, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Our whole family works hard, keeps going, and asking for more. When we do get to spend time together, everyone gets to relax a little,” said Hackebeil.
When Hackebeil does get a chance to escape from her responsibilities at home, she loves to go to their vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado.
“I can go there, hike with my dogs, escape to the mountains, and it still feels like home,” said Hackebeil.
Luxury Agent – Phyllis Browning Company
When San Antonio native Debra Janes moved to Boerne from Uvalde in 1992, housing in Boerne was affordable, and land was plentiful. As a first time homeowner, Janes scored a historic 1910 farmhouse and lovingly restored it.
“It had oak trees that were the size of a Volkswagen,” remembered Janes.
Perhaps it was the process of restoring her farmhouse, or the nudge from her ex-husband that propelled Janes into the real estate profession. “The only smart thing my ex-husband ever told me to do was to get my real estate license,” joked Janes.
In 1993, Janes received her real estate license and has worked hard (often braving extreme weather and extenuating conditions) to prove herself in the competitive industry ever since.
These days, Janes serves luxury communities as an agent with Phyllis Browning Company and has equipped herself with the tools needed to succeed in real estate.
The former member of Dominion Associated Realtors feels that honesty and integrity are key to forming relationships with clients, especially in times of crisis. “I’m on the phone with my clients during this pandemic because relationships are everything,” said Janes.
“As my father used to say, ‘You don’t have to have a good memory if you don’t lie.’ People appreciate honesty and integrity more than anything else…in business and in life.” advised Janes.
When Janes and her husband, Joey Gleitman, aren’t spending time at their newly renovated Horseshoe Bay condo with their seven and a half year old grandson, Hudson, they’re at home in Boerne, surrounded by their three treasured dogs. Polly is a “bagel”(half beagle, half basset hound); Maggie, a rescued mini basset hound, who loves Mexican food; and Charlotte, an English Cream Golden Retriever, who is currently becoming certified as a therapy dog to work with special needs children.
President, CEO – Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce
Blohm, President and CEO of the Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce, has had a front-row seat to witness the unity that Boerne has shown during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are still united as one unit. So many businesses, non-profits, and people are helping one another, left and right,” said Blohm.
Blohm explains that, while the pandemic has been difficult for this popular spot for weddings, receptions, and other celebrations, the Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce has managed to do well–despite being ineligible for federal funding relief.
Blohm explained that Boerne is a unique community. “It’s the village mindset…the relationships. People go to church together, work together, go to the local brewery together. We know that we have each other’s back.”
Along with the perseverance to emerge on the other side of this crisis stronger, a spirit of generosity is a common theme in Boerne, and it’s something that inspires Blohm.
“Seeing the joy that you can give to others in simple acts of kindness…that energy keeps me going,” explained Blohm. “You can make a difference. Small things can make a huge difference,” she added.
Speaking of finding joy in small things, Blohm has especially enjoyed giving out eggs to community members, laid by the beloved chickens that she and her family care for at their home outside of Boerne.
“When people are extra nice or just notice you, that’s big. You never know what people are going through. Simple acts that don’t cost a lot of money make a difference,” said Blohm.
BY: JENNY JURICA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON ROBERTS