Monday, August 03, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA education helps alumna Tracy Xie run her restaurant

Xie family

The Xie family: From left are Tracy, Dylan Bo (known as BoBo), Keng, Venice and Kelsey

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(Oct. 16, 2013) -- Meet Tracy Xie '99. Her bachelor's degree from UTSA prepared her for jobs in banking, financial services and insurance. And, for seven years, she has been running a Chinese restaurant.

When you open the door of China Bistro, you are greeted by her father, who gives you a big wave and a smile, or by Tracy, who says "Welcome! Welcome!" -- and after only one visit calls you by name and shakes your hand or gives you a big hug.

"My first goal was to be a chief financial officer for a big company, but I went a bit smaller," said Tracy. "But, our hands are full, and it's a family affair."

She says her bachelor's degree in business administration and finance laid a good foundation and gave her the knowledge and skills that paved the way to entrepreneurship. Coincidentally, her husband, Keng Xie, also is a UTSA alum. He earned his M.S. degree in computer science in 2001 and is now a defense contractor.

Tracy and her parents came from a city near Hong Kong to the United States in 1991. Her husband had come to the States in 1988, and they met here and were married in 1997. They have a 12-year-old daughter, Kelsey, a nine-year old daughter, Venice, and a four-year-old son, Dylan Bo. Since going into business, several close friends who are like family, an uncle and a cousin have come from China to work with her at the restaurant and help with raising the children.

Already in operation, they bought the restaurant on Babcock Road, south of the Prue Road intersection, more than seven years ago and further developed the business. When the economy went downhill in 2008, they managed to hold on. The bigger challenge came in 2010-2011, when road improvements on Babcock periodically blocked an entrance to the small shopping center and reduced traffic on the street. A bakery, a Mexican restaurant and a doctor's office came and went, but China Bistro remained.

"We love our loyal customers who got us through it," Xie said. "A lot of young Roadrunners come into our restaurant, and we all get along because we're part of that UTSA family. We hope our three children will go to UTSA, too, to carry on a family tradition."

China Bistro has a great takeout business. Sometimes there are some empty tables, but generally the phone rings off the hook with orders. And, customers don't just leave with full stomachs or bags of tasty Chinese food. They also are taking out good will and a big smile.

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Do you know someone at UTSA or a UTSA alum who is outstanding? Email us at social@utsa.edu, and we will consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Events
Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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