Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: David Spencer from H-E-B

This week’s Mid-Week Intermission comes from Long Center partner and friend David Spencer, Hancock Center H-E-B’s Center Store Leader. With H-E-B’s excellent history in community work, we wanted to hear from David about their partnership with United Way and how his life looks a little different now. Stick with us for some playlist recos, too!

Hi there! I’m David Spencer, Center Store Leader at the Hancock Center H-E-B. Most days, you’ll find me on the sales floor talking with customers and doing whatever it takes to make their H-E-B experience a great one! In addition to my store assignment, I’ve also been involved with H-E-B’s United Way Campaign for the last ten years.

group with butter half mural | Long Center
H-E-B United Way team in front of the United Way Butter Half mural

Over the years, I’ve served as an In-Store Coordinator at multiple stores and had the opportunity to be the Loaned Executive to United Way back in 2014. This is a program where H-E-B places one of its Partners (employees) at the United Way office for 3 to 4 months and we assist the United Way staff with their capital campaign while H-E-B pays our salary. It was the most fulfilling thing I’ve had the opportunity to do in my H-E-B career and I’m thankful to work for a company that is so committed to its community.

For the last 5 years I’ve helped coordinate H-E-B’s Central Texas Campaign which includes all H-E-B Partners in our region. I’ve worked with several great H-E-B Partners on the campaign, but my friend Angela Adams has been there with me during every campaign and I can’t imagine doing it without her. Last year our Central Texas H-E-B Partners donated almost 1.5 million dollars to United Way, which makes it the largest employee giving campaign in Central Texas

Our Partners are incredibly caring and generous and those dollars come from Partners who are your cashiers, baggers, meat cutters, and every other Partner you see while shopping in our stores. Normally, we have unique and special in-person United Way Meetings where Partners share stories about how United Way has helped them or their family or friends during a rough time in their lives. This year, because of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, our campaign is digital/online for the first time and we’re in the middle of it right now.

HEB and United Way | Long Center
David Spencer & United Way for Greater Austin CEO David Smith at last year’s Feast of Sharing

My New Normal

Unlike most Austinites, my work environment hasn’t shifted to home as our stores have been open for business during the pandemic. But my life outside of work has certainly changed. Normally, I love doing happy hour with friends and visiting breweries such as St. ElmoLive Oak, and Austin Beerworks. I love live music and regularly attend concerts and shows in Austin or at cool venues across the country. That’s obviously on hold. My last concert in Austin was Amanda Shires at Antone’s on February 28th — I miss live music so much!

To compensate, I do my own happy hour on my deck overlooking Barton Creek. My favorite happy hour foods are, of course, from H-E-B! I absolutely love our in-store made tortilla chips paired with our in-store made guacamole. A new addition is queso from Fresa’s, which we sell at our stores to help our local restaurants and pass along all of the proceeds back to them. It’s the best queso I’ve ever had!

chips and HEB guacamole | Long Center
Chips, H-E-B guac, and Fresa’s queso on the deck for happy hour

The Best Things I’ve Heard This Week

I now get my music fix by listening to my headphones instead of seeing my favorite artists live. The best things I’ve heard this week are:

This is the new album by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.

By Over the Rhine, this album was released 17 years ago on August 19th and is one of my favorite albums of all time. If you want to know how it feels in your soul to grow up and live in the Midwest, listen to this. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

The latest by Sharron Van Etten. This album came out in 2019 and has been stuck in my head ever since I saw her at an Austin City Limits Taping last September.

By Gov’t Mule, this was recorded in New Orleans in 203 as a tribute to the band’s late bassist Alan Woody who died in 2000.

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