Twenty-two acres downtown are fast becoming a “world-class culinary gathering destination” thanks to the insightful marketing direction of this San Antonio native.
By Donna Parker
Elizabeth Fauerso, who received a degree in comparative religion and art from Trinity in 1996, has deep roots in San Antonio. In her current role as the chief marketing officer at the redeveloped Pearl Brewery, she is working with a team of community leaders to revitalize downtown San Antonio. The mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural events at Pearl make for an amazing opportunity for this marketing expert who is charged with furthering the evolution of the former brewery in the city she once again calls home.
"My mother's family goes back generations in San Antonio and South Texas. My grandmother was a force of nature and huge influence in my life, particularly during my years at Trinity. My great uncle, Walter Mathis, was one of the first people to move back into King William in the late 60s and worked to preserve the historic architecture of the homes and revitalize the neighborhood. I feel a responsibility to make an impact in and contribution to San Antonio, in part to honor the work of my predecessors" explains Elizabeth.
"And, after travelling on my own for so many years, I couldn't have imaged how lovely it would be to live around the corner from my parents, siblings, and in-laws."
In her role at Pearl, Elizabeth is part of a team that is determining the strategic direction and vision of this mixed-use property that is revitalizing the now-bustling downtown community.
"It feels like an amazing time not just at Pearl, but for San Antonio. I moved back 10 years ago and it's been astounding to see the vision for the next phase of our city really come to life. Downtown is changing and becoming a place for San Antonio residents - not just tourists."
A big part of the Pearl and downtown San Antonio mission, says Elizabeth, is to turn attention to our local culture and resources, and to what makes San Antonio and South Texas distinct and unique. At Pearl, you will see a sharp focus on shopping and eating locally and knowing the owner operators of the stores, the restaurants and the vendors who sell local produce and products at the farmer's market, for instance - a regular Saturday event at the Pearl.
"Having a living, dynamic community of residents is essential for a vibrant downtown. At Pearl, we see people using our neighborhood in lots of different ways; hosting events in the historic stable, shopping at our boutiques, exploring our restaurants and markets, and even the Pearl old-timers (employees who used to work at the brewery and continue to be involved with the community) mixing in and leading tours every weekend. There is a certain sense of ownership by the whole community that is making this work."
Elizabeth says, as a younger person, she never dreamed she'd return to San Antonio and become this invested in the community. Blessed with a healthy dose of wanderlust after college, she spent time in San Francisco, Latin America and Europe. She had an epiphany travelling which brought the romanticism of living abroad into perspective.
"I understand now why people want to come to the U.S. to work and live. The history and traditions that makes Europe so lovely are a double-edged sword that can make it feel restrictive and somewhat limiting as a young professional."
After working on a series of promotional projects helping West Coast wineries, art galleries and designers establish a presence in London, Elizabeth returned to San Antonio in 2001 and became part of the catalyst for progressive cultural change in the Alamo City.
"My family was very Bohemian. Because we travelled a lot we were exposed to different cultural points of view and learned the value of cultural pluralism and creativity in community building."
"As a student at Trinity I had the opportunity to immerse myself in an incredibly rich community of students and professors. It was a true liberal arts education that challenged us to think critically, to express ourselves and value diversity in how to approach our education and our lives. It prepared me to jump right off into the deep end."
"Professors at Trinity like Dr. Larry Kimmel, department of philosophy, and Dr. Randall Nadeau, department of religion, have remained important figures in my life and I sought them both out when I moved back to San Antonio."
"I now live just blocks from Trinity and am struck by both the nearness and farness of that time and place in my life."
You may contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story posted: November 2012