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Career summary[edit]

Donald G. "Don" Martin

Early years[edit]

 Born April 18, 1954,[1] Martin grew up in Baytown, Texas and he attended Robert E. Lee High School and Lee College before entering the University of Texas at Austin. While majoring in Journalism (Public Relations) at the University of Texas (1972-1976) Martin was elected to the Texas Student Publications Board of Directors[2] also worked in the Texas Legislature for State Representative Joe Allen and interned for Congressman Robert C. Eckhardt in Washington, DC.

In 1976 Martin along with other partners co-founded Legi/Slate,[1] a very early computerized bill and vote tracking service for lobbyists to follow the actions of the Texas Legislature, and later expanded it to cover the United States Congress in 1978. In 1981 the partners sold Legi/Slate to The Washington Post Companyas part of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive who in turn sold the business in 1999 to the Congressional Quarterly.[3]

At the same time Martin also wrote and published a weekly newsletter on Texas government and politics, Texas Government Newsletter,[4] as well as writing and self-publishing the biennial A Voter’s Guide to the Texas Legislature.[5] [6]after each legislative session.  The business was later sold to Thomas L. Whatley,[2] currently director of the House Research Organization.

Don Martin Public Affairs[edit]

In 1989 Martin founded  Don Martin Public Affairs [7] in Austin, Texas,specializing in public affairs, public relations, crisis management, issues management, and media relations. In recent years the company added Online reputation management services. Over the years the firm has represented a number of high-profile clients, as well as small businesses and individuals, and managed numerous campaigns for political and business clients.[8] Clients include Dell, Tokyo Electron, Sun City Texas, Round Rock Express, Del Webb Corporation, TXU, Energy Future Holdings, U.S. Postal Service, AT&T Wireless, D.R. Horton, Southland Corporation, and Seton Family of Hospitals. Martin won the state Public Relations Association "Silver Spur Award" in 1997 for his work with Sun City Texas.[9][10]

Re public campaigns:  Martin was the 1991 co-manager (with Mimi Correa) of Bruce Todd's successful Austin mayoral campaign,.[11] and general consultant for Todd’s successful 1994 re-election effort. Martin also managed the campaign for the Austin Bergstrom International Airport referendum;[12] the Round Rock Express Dell Diamond stadium referendum; and the Round Rock, Texas city referendum to approve a half-cent sales tax dedicated to roads and transportation; and other referendum campaigns.[13][14]

In 2001, Don Martin Public Affairs changed its name to Martin & Salinas Public Affairs[15] to reflect the firm's new partner Trey Salinas, a former aide to Mayor Todd.[16]. Also hired as a senior executive was Jed Buie, a senior partner in a competing PR firm.[17] The company spun-off a Hispanic marketing business called, Adelante Solutions, run by employee Paul Saldana.  Martin sold his 51% interest in the company to Salinas in 2008 and reverted back to Don Martin Public Affairs.[18]

Real estate development[edit]

A residential condominium project overlooking the San Gabriel River is part of the San Gabriel Village mixed-use "walk-friendly" development.

In addition to his public affairs business, Martin has also developed and co-developed Central Texas real estate projects with business partner Bill Smalling (1952-2008) over some 20 years.  He and Smalling developed the 52-acre San Gabriel Village project, a "walk friendly"[19] in San Gabriel Village.[20] They also joint ventured with Larry Peel the development of 54 luxury condominium units overlooking the river.

Martin and Smalling[21] also developed the high profile, signature La Frontera project,[22] a 330 acre mixed-use, master-planned commercial center in Williamson County with more than 1,000,000 square feet (90,000 m2) of retail [23] including La Frontera Village,[24], three apartment complexes[25], multi-use offices[26] and corporate headquarters and is home to the 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) corporate headquarters of Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSL).[27]

A fountain at La Frontera

The walkability and connections within the mixed-use development was an early form of New Urbanism.The project also includes Williamson County's only full service hotel,[28] the Austin North Marriott which provides space for large conferences, meetings and banquets - a first for the county and an important component of Round Rock's and Williamson County's economic development efforts.

The project was also among the first in the nation to pioneer a bundled utility concept in joint venture with TXU.[29]

Their financial partner in the La Frontera project was Fort Worth philanthropist and businessman Ed Bass.[30][31]The project was located at the busy intersection of FM 1325 and Interstate 35 which later became Austin's first toll road, Texas SH 45 North.[32] Martin and Smalling purchased the land from dairy farmer Tom Kouri in 1999.[33] The project was completed in 2008 when all parcels had been sold[34][35]


  • As part of Arcadia Publishing's Postcard History Series,[36] Martin wrote a book offering highlights of his collection of historic Austin-area postcards.[37] Titled simply "Austin" the book presents 247 vintage postcards showcasing historic Austin-area landmarks, such as the Old Main Building on the University of Texas campus, Scarborough Building, French Legation, and the Texas Governor's Mansion. [38] [39]“Austin” was published March 23, 2009.  The book is available at all major on-line book sites such as Amazon "Austin."

Several reviews of the book include: [40]>[41] (Collecting postcards is called Deltiology and postcards are the third most collected item behind stamps and coins).

Online Reputation Management[edit]

Community involvement[edit]

Martin is a current member of the Seton Williamson Foundation Board of Trustees, part of the Seton Family of Hospitals. He founded the Austin Chamber of Commerce's Project Greenscape program, in the 1980's, dedicated to the restoration of the Texas State Capitol grounds, the planting of 50,000 trees in Austin, and the replacement of trees along Congress Avenue.[42] He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) Board,  Executive Committee and Transportation Chair,  The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Austin Board of Directors,[43] was Chair of Leadership Austin in 1991,[44] and served on boards of both the Georgetown[45] and Austin Chambers of Commerce, and many other boards. 

He also led the effort and was a founder and Chair of the Northern Edwards Aquifer Resource Council (NEARC), a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the Georgetown Salamander population, which later became the Williamson County Karst Foundation.[46][47] These species would be preserved through voluntary donations of land rather than required setbacks and other involuntary means typically enforced on landowners without an incidental take permit. The group eventualy transferred their successful work on an Environmental Impact Statement to the county in 2002 and obtained a $2.3 million grant for the project.[48] A county-wide 10-A permit was obtained in October 2008.[49]

Profile articles[edit]

  • Westlake Picayune: Don Martin Builds "Win, win" Image With Never Say Die PR Team [50]
Note: Because a number of the references below are in paid archives and cannot be accessed by direct citation, the text of those particular articles are posted HERE for purposes of establishing relevancy and notability.

External Links[edit]


  1. ^ "Martin, Don (Birth Announcement)". The Baytown Sun. 21 April 1954. p. 2. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Baytonian Is On Publishing Board At UT". The Baytown Sun. 17 Feb 1975. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Legi-Slate". Unknown parameter |Accessdate= ignored (|accessdate= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ "[[Texas Government Newsletter]]". Texas Government Newsletter. URL–wikilink conflict (help)
  5. ^ Martin, Don (Pub 1981). "A voters guide to the 67th Legislature (6th Edition)". Library of Congress Online Catalog. Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms Call No. JK4867. permalink Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ of Congress Online Catalog "Voters Guide to the 67th Legislature" Check |url= value (help). Library of Congress Online Catalog.
  7. ^ Allen, Ed (July 26, 1995). "Profile: Don Martin Builds "Win, win" Image With Never Say Die PR Team". Westlake Picayune.
  8. ^ Wendle, Rickie (June 9, 1995). "Through The 'Mists and Fogs.' Profile: Don Martin". Austin Business Journal.
  9. ^ [ "Martin named Texas Public Relations Association's Silver Star award for work with Del Webb"] Check |url= value (help). Austin American-Statesman ( Archive). February 8, 1996.
  10. ^ "Martin named Texas Public Relations Association's Silver Star award for work with Del Webb". February 8, 1996. Unknown parameter |publication= ignored (help)
  11. ^ Todd, Mike (5 June 1994). "The winners: Todd, Mitchell. Mayor gets second term with narrow win over Slusher". Austin American-Statesman (Pay Archive).
  12. ^ Eskenazi, Stuart. "Out-of-town firms biggest donors to Bergstrom campaign committee". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). Text "date:April 27, 1993" ignored (help)
  13. ^ Wendle, Rickie (June 9, 1995). "Through The 'Mists and Fogs.' Profile: Don Martin". Austin Business Journal.
  14. ^ Bryce, Robert (May 10, 1995). "Citizen Martin: With a Little Help from his Friends". Austin Chronicle. p. 29.
  15. ^ Hudgins, Matt (July 27, 2001). "PR firm's name changes to reflect partner's role". Austin Business Journal (Paid Archive). Text " Retrieved on 2010-05-10" ignored (help)
  16. ^ Dworin, Diana (January 15, 1997). "Mayor's chief aide accepts job with Austin public relations firm". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive).
  17. ^ Chantal, Outon (June 2, 2006). "Competition heating up". Austin Business Journal.
  18. ^ "Don Martin launches Don Martin Public Affairs in Austin, TX". I-Newswire. November 5, 2008.
  19. ^ Easterly, Greg (September 20, 1996). "Walk-friendly Village planned for Georgetown". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive).
  20. ^ Wendle, Rickie (December 8, 1997). "Georgetown Grows Up". Austin Business Journal. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  21. ^ Shiffler, D.Ann (September 17,1999). "Real Estate Deals of 1999 Overall Winner; Real Estate Profile: Don Martin and Bill Smalling". Austin Business Journal. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ Novak, Shonda (August 30, 2007). "Deal is milestone for La Frontera". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). Austin, TX. p. D1. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  23. ^ "Real estate ringing up retail across the county". Austin Business Journal (Paid Archives). September 17, 1999.
  24. ^ "La Frontera Village for Sale". Austin Business Journal. 06 October 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2011. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  25. ^ taboda, M.B. (April 26, 2007). "Austin apartment market is seeing a building boom". Austin American-Statesman (Archives). Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  26. ^ Hudgins, Matt (November 10, 2000). "Round Rock offices coming". Austin Business Journal (Paid Archive).
  27. ^ "Texas Guarantee Student Loan Corp".
  28. ^ Seifert (March 30, 2001). "Austin Marriott North in Round Rock offers room for travelers, space for community affairs". Austin Business Journal (Paid Archive). Text "first Melinda West " ignored (help)
  29. ^ Colley, Jenna (September 19, 1999). "TXU brings single-service utilities to La Frontera". Austin Business Journal.
  30. ^ {{cite news |title=Round Rock May Get Retail Project: Arboretum-like development slated for I-35 and FM 1325.
  31. ^ Outon, Chantal (2 June 2006). "Competition heating up". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  32. ^ Jacobs, Janet (June 28, 1999). "La Frontera puts roads before retail; Project will bring intense development to busy intersection". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archives).
  33. ^ Ramussen, Blake (September 3, 2011). "La Frontera; Before commerce was king, cows ruled". Community Impact News. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  34. ^ {{cite news|url=
  35. ^ "Austin gives $6M boost to SH 45 North project". Austin Business Journal (Paid Archive). September 14, 2001. |first= missing |last= (help)
  36. ^ " Austin, TX (Postcard History)]". Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  37. ^ Cox, Mike (22 November 2009). Austin American-Statesman (Pay Archive) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ "Press Release: City of Austin - Austin Public Library: Meet the Author, Don Martin".
  39. ^ Mistretta, A.J. (17 April 2009). "A Different Look at Austin". Austin Business Journal.
  40. ^ Cox, Mike (November 22, 2009). "Postcards take readers into Austin's past". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive).
  41. ^ Pafford, Will (April 30, 2009). "Postcard book offers glimpse into Austin's glorious past". Westlake Picayune (Austin, TX) Paid Archives.
  42. ^ "Project Greenscape: Planing Austin's Future". Texas Monthly. August 1986. p. 73.
  43. ^ "ON THE MOVE". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). September 18, 1994.
  44. ^ "ON THE MOVE". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). June 17, 1991.
  45. ^ "On The Move: Georgetown Chamber of Commerce". Austin American Statesman (Paid Archive). October 3, 1997.
  46. ^ Nelsen, Carter (March 14, 2002). "Consultants will study species that could be declared endangered". Austin-American Statesman (Paid Archive).
  47. ^ Heinauer, Laura (October30, 2003). "Plan sought to protect Georgetown salamander; Willimson group collaborates on strategy in bid to avoid S.S. rules". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). Austin, TX. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  48. ^ Barrios, Jennifer (September 30, 2004). "Grant will help creepier residents. $2.35 million to save beetles, spiders and other endangered species". Austin American-Statesman (Paid Archive). Williamson County. p. A1. Text " Retrieved 2010-05-11" ignored (help)
  49. ^ Doolittle, David (October 23, 2008). "Plan to protect species gets OK; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gives approval". Austin American-Statesman (Pay Archive).
  50. ^ Allen, Ed (July 26, 1995). "Profile: Don Martin Builds "Win, win" Image With Never Say Die PR Team". Westlake Picayune.
  51. ^ Bryce, Robert (May 10, 1995). "Citizen Martin: With a Little Help from his Friends". Austin Chronicle. p. 29.
  52. ^ Shiffler, D.Ann (September 17,1999). "Real Estate Deals of 1999 Overall Winner; Real Estate Profile: Don Martin and Bill Smalling". Austin Business Journal. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  53. ^ Wendle, Rickie (June 9, 1995). "Through The 'Mists and Fogs.' Profile: Don Martin". Austin Business Journal.

  • In many cases full text of articles are not available by citation because they are part of Paid Archives (Austin American-Statesman and Austin Business Journal for example). In such cases the Newspaper title above is noted as Paid Archive) Full text of all such referenced articles is provided HERE
  • Full text of the profile articles located HERE.

Category:Public Affairs consultants Category:Public relations Category:Austin, Texas Category:Real estate and property developers