The Tower of Americas and the Alamodome at Sunset. Photo by Melissa Burnett.
The Tower of Americas and the Alamodome at Sunset. Photo by Melissa Burnett.

I’m a San Antonian, born and raised. I went to Boerne High School and the University of Texas San Antonio.. My roots were planted here.

More than 20 years ago, my father and grandfather founded Artcom. They wanted to create a business that demonstrated the art of communication, and more importantly, they wanted to build it in a city with substance and potential for growth, a place he called home. So, they launched in San Antonio.

When I finished school, I worked in essentially every part of the business and got to travel around just about every corner of San Antonio. In the past 15 years since I’ve been actively working within the company, I have watched this city transform.

At a glance, our company specializes in identifying the best business telephone system for your application. We exist to help others communicate and connect. Our purpose comes first, but our location is a close second.

Rose Flores, Art Flores Sr., his wife, and Lori Ann Flores-Garcia. Courtesy photo.
Rose Flores, Art Flores Sr., and Lori Ann Flores-Garcia. Courtesy photo.

In 2008, I entered into ownership of the company with my sister, Lori Ann. My grandfather passed away that year and my father found a brain tumor that had to be operated on immediately. It was time for my sister and I to fill the big shoes that our father and grandfather had worn to build the business to what it had become. The same year, I joined the local chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO).

Since then – well, quite frankly since my twenties when I really started appreciating the city for what it was – I have seen San Antonio grow in an intriguing way.

Our city has become a data center and a call center city. It may not be touted as that through traditional media, but it has definitely made that name for itself. This is significant to anyone in the communications/technology industries. Becoming this type of hub city has created a tremendous growth trigger for corporate development.

Companies like Rackspace, founded by Graham Weston, Mobius Partners, founded by Junab Ali and Capture Rx, founded by Chris Hotchkiss – all of whom are or were members of EO – started here. These are million and billion dollar businesses that were launched here and are are growing here, succeeding here. Some of our residents don’t even know they exist, but they are here and booming.

We underappreciate companies like these that are here in town. There are little giants all over this town – building the economy and hope for entrepreneurs who are just getting their start or dreaming about the day that they will. There are mentors everywhere you turn, because the growth trajectory in this city is so great. There are entrepreneurs, and successful entrepreneurs, at that, who are willing to lend a helping hand or a word of wisdom.

Some of us, like myself, are blessed enough to have grown up as the child of an entrepreneur to learn first-hand from our own blood about how to lead and grow a business. But for those who don’t have familial background in the business, there are so many resources to support the launch and success of businesses, regardless of the industry.

There are also a lot of people, as well as more and more companies, who are willing to invest in San Antonio because of its growth and the opportunity. It’s a low-risk city to start, so we are lucky and blessed to be here.

I love the way San Antonio has grown and is continuing to grow. It’s why I want my business to stay here. It’s why our local EO chapter is continuing to get stronger, both in number of entrepreneurs and success of our current members’ businesses. We are courting larger corporations to come live the San Antonio lifestyle, and a fine lifestyle, it is.

We’ve been trending up since 2010. 2008 was a rough one, 2009 was a little better. But in 2010, we started growing up, a trajectory aided by mixing business opportunity with our culture that is like no other city on Earth.

One thing I have always appreciated about San Antonio is the loyalty of its people. Sure, you’ll find a bad apple here and there, but we have a city of relational loyalists. It’s what makes San Antonio different than many other cities – the depth of our relationships. When you go to Dallas or Houston, it’s different. Yes, there are business relationships, but it’s not the same as it is here. We have a fiercely unique culture and understanding.

People call it San Antonio a “little big town,” which I think can somewhat diminish what we our city is and will continue to become. Our culture is familial. It is fun. It allows us to experience the balance of life and appreciate where we came from – to have a family life, a business life, and a life where we can really value what we are passionate about, because there is a host of people (both in the tech industry and figuratively) surrounding us every day that provide a loyal support and cheer us into being one of the finest cities in the world to start a business.

*Featured/top image: The Tower of Americas and the Alamodome at Sunset. Photo by Melissa Burnett.

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Artemio Flores III

Art Flores III is the current San Antonio president and co-owner of ArtCom Associates, Inc., a family-owned telecommunications company based in San Antonio.