Winner: Spurs Jesus
Nothing trumpets a celebrity's arrival in the big time more than becoming a go-to Halloween costume. And who among us hasn't had at least one Spurs Jesus ring the doorbell at trick-or-treat time? Part of Spurs Jesus' enduring popularity comes down to his skill at walking a fine line with his schtick. It's edgy, maybe even a little irreverent, but he's never stooped to being crass. After all, this is the guy who's posed for photos with smiling nuns and with famously straight-laced former Spur David Robinson. It's also easy to cheer for a local celebrity who's (at least publicly) strived to live up to his spiritual inspiration. In recent years, Spurs Jesus has run in the San Antonio AIDS Foundation's 5K wearing full biblical regalia, promoted local pet adoptions and marketed Robert Tatum-designed charity t-shirts. Perhaps most admirably, he even carried a sign urging us all to forgive L.A. Lakers fans.
2. The Batman of San Antonio
3. Tencha La Jefa
Winner: Jason Dady
If it came down to recent media exposure, there's little question which local chef reigns supreme. Jason Dady has graced the pages of Fine Cooking Magazine, displayed his gift for gab on the Today Show and bared knives on Food Network's Iron Chef Gauntlet. But camera appeal alone doesn't account for Dady's repeated BOSA wins. The James Beard Award nominee has done plenty to make fine food accessible to San Antonio. Part of it comes down to his prolific and diverse ventures, which span the gamut from Tre Trattoria's Italian fine dining and Range to the decidedly casual Two Bros BBQ Market and Shuck Shack. And at one point or another, he's planted a flag in nearly every part of the city, so whether you're looking for a meal on the Museum Reach, Lower Broadway or the North Side, chances are there's a Dady joint nearby.
2. Johnny Hernandez
3. Gus Bard
218 N. Cherry St.
Winner: Billy Madison
The Billy Madison Show, KISS-FM
Filling the shoes of KISS morning mainstays Lisle and Hahn after their 20-year run was a tall order. But since landing at the station in 2011, Billy Madison has had no problem waking up San Antonio rock fans with a chaotic barrage of boobie-and-doo-doo jokes, bizarro news clips and self-deprecating humor. When he and sidekicks Derek and Nard get on a roll, it's like eavesdropping at a frat house after the keg's almost floated. Or maybe closer to junior high detention hall the instant the teacher steps out of the room. Part of the appeal is also their willingness to let the audience in on the joke. The crew's (hyper-) active on social media and a good portion of every show is spent fielding listener calls. And in true shock-jock fashion, Madison's not afraid to court controversy off the airwaves either. Last year, he made headlines by arranging a "dudes-only" showing of Metallica Through the Never in response to Alamo Drafthouse's women-only screening of Wonder Woman.
2. Tony Cortez
3. Sean Rima
Winner: Steve Browne
There are meteorologists, and then there are those who gain the vaunted title of "weather man" by bringing personality, rapport and a sprinkle of showbiz to their role. Steve Browne, who retired in June, was undoubtedly the latter. During a 25-year run on KSAT-12, Browne, with his easygoing charm and offbeat humor, felt like a familiar guest in viewers' homes. He introduced the Critter Cam, inviting viewers to share snapshots and videos of visits by local wildlife, and he nurtured the station's on-site vegetable garden, making his hobby part of nightly broadcasts and showing off ripe red tomatoes at the anchor desk. From his "human tuba" interpretation of Christmas carols to his spot-on impressions of Spurs players, Browne understood how to make memorable TV seem natural and unforced. "Steve has been so much more than a meteorologist, he's been a part of so many families and his retiring is almost like saying good-bye to a family member," KSAT General Manager Phil Lane said on the station's website when Browne announced his retirement. Apparently, a whole lot of Current readers agree.
Winner: Maggie Wilmoth
Maggie & Company at Keller Williams
An Air Force brat with 35 years in San Antonio, Maggie Wilmoth relied on word of mouth to build her residential real estate business. But her expertise and service are what kept clients coming back and recommending her to others. "I want people to call me because they know me, but I want them to hire me because I'm really, really good at my job," Wilmoth said. That means as business grows, she's made it a priority to deal directly with clients, from first meeting to close of sale. That goes for someone first-timer getting an $80,000 condo in the Medical Center or a family purchasing a $1.2 mansion in the Dominion (both examples of recent transactions she handled). Wilmoth jumped into the business just about six years ago, after being laid off as marketing director of a tequila company. She bartended her way through real estate school and, as a result, fattened her client list. "I don't think real estate is that different from bartending," she said. "They're both service businesses."
Winner: Anthony Flores
Self-described "poet, educator, three-time [San Antonio] Grand Slam Poetry champion, daddy of two awesome humans and hardcore Spurs fan" Anthony Flores (AKA Anthony the Poet) is like a Shaolin master of the spoken word. Although he comes from a traditional poetry background, Flores, who studied at the University of Pennsylvania, discovered slam poetry and performance art by accident 18 years ago in the Alamo City. His material for his poetry runs the gamut – from Mexican food to Manu Ginobili to la migra. Flores can be found all around town performing on stage, emceeing poetry events and sporting his signature facial hair – a white beard reminiscent of something you'd see in a classic kung fu flick. Since he's such a big Spurs fan, maybe Flores would like to recite one of his older Kawhi Leonard poems at his next gig before he and Uncle Dennis get shipped off kicking and screaming to Canada. "It is now your destiny to be the go-to guy, Kawhi. And when the game is on the line, the ball is in your hands because all of San Antonio knows that in you we can rely, Kawhi." Great verse, but we're gonna need a slight rewrite before the new season starts. Good thing Kawhi rhymes with "bad guy."
2. Sean Rima
Winner: Joaquin Abrego, interior designer
From Texas A&M University-San Antonio's campus to law firm Strassburger Price's offices, Joaquin Abrego's pop art-inspired interior design projects are colorful, fun and make prominent use of patterns. The approach has made him a valuable asset to Muñoz and Co., the award-winning architecture firm where he's spent the past ten years. But that's not all he does. On the side, Abrego's found time to build up a solid book of residential clients. In addition to a variety of local work, from full-home renovations to house flips, he's also done projects as far flung as New York's Museum Tower, State Street in New Orleans and Capitol Street in D.C. Working freelance allows the designer to unlock an even more eclectic side while still exploring the love of patterns and textures that marks his commercial side. Ultimately, recognition is as much about service as it is about his aesthetic, Abrego added. "It's how you treat your client, how you treat people, that they remember about the experience."
2. Felicia Amazon, makeup artist
3. Angelina Mata, fashion designer
Winner: Gio DiZurita
Whether it's a mixed-media portrait of Frida Kahlo on canvas, a commissioned painting of someone's hairy Schnauzer or a colorful customized backpack or pair of capri leggings, local artist Giovanna DiZurita wants each one of her artworks to be a masterpiece. It's all part of her masterplan to expand her personal brand – a series of pop-art creations that range from images you'd find on Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers in the '90s to superhero prints selling at comic conventions. No one can deny DiZurita is prolific or that she's a savvy businesswoman. And there doesn't seem to be anything she won't paint. Art has always been a part of her life since she was a child. Each artwork, she says, "allows [her] to jump into the fantasy world within [her] mind and bring that world into reality." She hopes to do the same for her customers. If not, at least you can still own one of her snazzy Betty Boop tank tops.
2. Analy Diego
3. Ray "Tattooedboy" Scarborough
Winner: Scott Langford
MovieMaker Magazine might've bumped San Antonio back into "on the cusp" status as a film-friendly big city earlier this year after it had broken the Top 10 in 2015, but local filmmakers aren't hanging their heads. In fact, with San Antonio boasting the best incentives in the state, directors like Scott Langford are working hard to raise money for their projects. Langford's new short film Damsel, a medieval comedy described as "a knight's happily ever after gone horribly wrong," premiered in San Antonio in June. The short stars Wesley Blake (Gang Money Run) as fairytale hero Sir Timothy, who sets off to save a princess (Kacie LaCombe) from a villain known as the Dark Wizard (Brant Bumpers). During a six-month internship while attending Texas State University, Langford was given the opportunity to work with Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater on Boyhood. Before Damsel, Langford made the 2014 comedy short Remake about a group of first-time filmmakers who try to remake Braveheart.
2. Justin Rodriguez
3. Alex Ramirez