The last six years have seen tremendous growth and innovation in our services, programs and events at ACG.  There are many highlights but some might include our largest events like Austin Pictures, Austin Goes Classical, and FlamencoAustin, and the growth of our education program, and the gala that supports it: Guitars Under the Stars. 

One sponsor has been behind us for all of those initiatives, and that sponsor is Austin Asset.  Founded by John Henry McDonald, who serves as ACG’s board vice-president, Austin Asset is once again this year the presenting sponsor of our sold-out Guitars Under the Stars Gala.

I asked Austin Asset’s CEO, Eric Hehman, to tell me a little bit about the company, and their approach to philanthropy and community engagement.

Matthew Hinsley: You and Austin Asset have been major supporters of Austin Classical Guitar for a long time now and seen us through major changes and growth, what do you like about ACG?

Eric Hehman: Art is an important part of people’s lives, as it rouses the mind. Art in the form of music, entertains, enlightens and educates people in promising ways and helps people to feel and express their emotions.  Like Austin Asset, Austin Classical Guitar wants to change and improve lives and it has been very rewarding to help them do so through music education.  This has grown to be a very worthy program with scholarships and community outreach; we believe more than ever in the transformative power of Austin Classical Guitar’s programs and are proud to be a sponsor.

MH: Austin Asset is very involved in philanthropy, what are some of the other causes you support?

EH: Giving back is a true representation of how wealth can not only change our clients’ lives, but also impact the lives of others.

Investing in our community is a fundamental belief of Austin Asset. It’s as much in our DNA as is investing for our clients. Our team members serve on multiple boards such as Any Baby Can, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children by strengthening them and their families through education, therapy and family support services, The First Tee of Greater Austin, which uses the game of golf to build character, teach children life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices and Make-A-Wish, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  We also volunteer as individuals and participate as a firm multiple times a year in community projects. 

MH: Tell me about Austin Asset, what makes Austin Asset unique?

EH: Our firm was founded by John Henry McDonald on the belief that “you can’t out-give a giver”. Over the last 27 years, we have felt that if we used our talents to serve the community through pro-bono advice, volunteer service and transparent financial education, our firm would be supported as well.  The desire to look outward at how we can meet others’ needs keeps us connected to the purpose of building endearing relationships. This concept helps us take a long-term look realizing that we all have a role to play in improving not only our clients’ lives, but also those in our community.

MH: Is there anything else you’d like to mention? 

EH: We see our role of support as a way to make incremental adjustments to the course of many lives; offering the opportunities for development and enhancement.  Our society and our world is a better place for the effort.