Jill A1Today is a difficult day. Retirement is claiming our dear leader, Texas Highways magazine editor Jill Lawless, after 27 years of service. It’s hard to imagine what day-to-day life at the office will be like without her leadership, guidance and encouragement.

I know we’ll persevere and keep the wheels spinning smoothly on this machine, because there’s a solid team in place, still Jill brought extra heart into the mix.

Texas Highways is a well-loved and well-respected publication. Its readers are extremely loyal and new fans are constantly coming on board. We are so grateful for that. If you look back through the years, though, you’ll see that Jill has long been a key, behind-the-scenes pillar that makes Texas Highways the success that it is. Her guidance, judgment and wisdom have helped steer the magazine in a direction that’s in tune with its readership, all while building a staff that, in turn, respects and admires her.

She is a role model.

She epitomizes that positive Texas spirit that we all try to carry, but even in the toughest of times, Jill’s kind nature is ever present. She’s a genuinely good person who is wonderful at her job and excellent at lifting up those around her.

Jill rose from the ranks as an intern to her top spot as the magazine’s editor. She has worked tirelessly where the workload never really ends. Most amazingly, she can be inundated with deadlines and other administrative tasks, and still kindly handle the consistent demand for her time. She takes the time out to recognize others’ efforts and successes, which seems simple, but it goes a long way.

Jill has helped make this workplace home, and for that, I am ever grateful.

As the editor, there were times when she served as the face of Texas Highways, but there were many more times, when no one was watching, that she poured her heart into the projects such as our annual wildflower photo exhibit at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. She has organized and physically helped set up the exhibit, which is much more work than it seems. She’s also volunteered her time at events like the Texas Book Festival, and has been a great support for me during my guest chef duties at the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival.

I could say many more things about Jill, but I hope it’s clear that I respect her to no end and appreciate all that she does to build a happy staff and to steer the magazine in all the positive ways that she has – all without ever looking for her own spotlight of glory. She deserves it, though.

Most of all, I feel blessed to have Jill in my life.

We wish her well on her new journey, but make no mistake, she will be missed sorely!

From the July 2016 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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