Amy Simmons – Founder & President
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Amy originally wanted to go into medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology at Tufts University in Boston.
While in school and after, she worked at Steve’s Ice Cream, launching new stores in Manhattan and Coconut Grove, FL. When Steve’s Ice Cream was sold to a publicly traded real estate company, Amydecided to start her own company where she could focus on the quality, community, and customer service values that first lured her into the ice cream business.
Finding Texas most hospitable, she opened Amy‘s Ice Creams in 1984 in Austin. She attended the University of Texas and received her Option II MBA in 1992, where she received the Dean’s Award. In 1986, Austin Business Journal voted her Entrepreneur of the Year!
Based on the philosophy of “making people’s day,” Amy‘s Ice Creams has grown to 15 stores in three cities. Through her stores, she inspires young people to have a lifetime of community participation. The success of Amy‘s is known worldwide from featured articles in Inc., Southern Living, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People, Fast Company, features on Food Network, ABC, and multiple reference university textbooks.
In 2003 she founded Choose Austin First, an alliance of locally owned businesses dedicated to fostering and promoting the city’s unique lifestyle and sense of community.
In 2007 Amy founded Phil’s Ice House, a burger concept which also thrives on being a gathering and giving place for the community. Her deep rooted concern for community motivated her to run for and be elected to Westlake Hills City Council Place 3 in May 2007 where she served as Mayor Pro Tem.
In addition to her businesses, Amy‘s personal time is also a priority. She has three children active in sports and education. She runs marathons and was the first female professional boxer in the state of Texas. She is a frequent speaker for and supporter of non-profit and educational organizations and mentors others in small businesses.