Amelia Simmons, J82

HOME: Austin, Texas

AGE: 47

PROFESSION: Empress of ice cream (the business she founded in 1984, Amy’s Ice Creams, now has 14 stores in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio)

RECENT VENTURE: Phil’s Ice House, a burger joint she and her husband opened in 2005 as a tribute to her former business partner, Phil Clay, who died in a motorcycle accident

SIDELINE: Mayor pro tem of West Lake Hills, a small city (pop. 3,116) on the outskirts of Austin

FORMER SIDELINE: Boxing. “I was the first professional female boxer in the state of Texas.”

ROOTS FOR: The Houston Astros (baseball), the Texas Longhorns (basketball), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (her daughter’s soccer team)

WACKIEST AMY’S ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Guinness. “I made it as a joke. But people loved it, so we now make five other beer flavors.”

WHY YOU HARDLY EVER SEE AN AMY’S AD: “Instead of having a traditional advertising budget, we use our money to sponsor community events and make donations to local charities.”

AMY’S ANSWER TO THE OFFICE PARTY: An annual prom, complete with a king and queen

HOW TO GET A JOB AT AMY’S: “We give folks a plain white paper bag and ask them to be as creative as possible.”

MOST MEMORABLE APPLICATION: A helium balloon floated into the store attached to a bag made to resemble a hot air balloon basket. Inside were items like the applicant’s report card, her Girl Scout badges, and photos of her with her friends and with her dog.

DEFINING TRAITS: Empathy, enthusiasm, pride in her work. Loves Austin, “the friendliest, most creative, artistic, smart, fitness-focused, and accepting community I have lived in.” Loves running a small business, which “allows you to work and grow in so many disciplines.” Loves ice cream for “the way it makes people happy.”

CURRENT FAVORITE READ: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s account of her post-divorce travels in Italy, India, and Indonesia

ICE CREAM OF CHOICE: Belgian chocolate with Reese’s peanut butter cups crushed in

HER ALMA MATER: Tufts (biology, psychology)


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