Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Torin Bales supports community by leading
Victoria is full of leaders. Our city is home to dozens of nonprofit and citizen-led organizations, from the United Way and Food Bank of the Golden Crescent to the Main Street Program and the Victoria Art League.
But even in a community full of leaders, there are times when some individuals stand out. This is the case with Torin Bales, the owner of a well-known jewelry store who was recently named Citizen of the Year at the Victoria Chamber of Commerce's annual awards banquet. This honor was given to Bales for his work in the Victoria community.
Bales moved to the area almost 20 years ago with his father's jewelry company. After opening his own jewelry store, he was one of the first to move his location out on Loop 463 in 2008. Bales has also invested in downtown Victoria by buying three properties in the area. He first renovated a building at 103 W. Santa Rosa St., which became Steve-A-Reno's Rock 'N' Roll Blues Bar. Now, he is renovating a building at 212 S. Main St., which he plans to open as a restaurant or reception venue, as well as a property on Williams Street, which will become a retail and corporate rental space.
In addition to his efforts to improve the downtown area through his personal investments and renovations, Bales is also a member of the Victoria Main Street Program board. He was also elected to the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corp. and previously served on the Victoria Symphony board.
On top of his work to improve Victoria's economy and preserve its historic downtown area, Bales is also a known animal lover. Recently, his jewelry store held a fundraiser for the Dorothy O'Connor Pet Adoption Center. Facebook fans were asked to post holiday pictures of their pets, promising to donate $5 for every picture. The company ended up donating $1,000 to the center, as well as awarding three posters $500 Christmas shopping sprees.
We agree with the chamber's choice to honor Bales at this year's banquet. It is clear from looking at this list of investments and involvement that Bales is a leader who is concerned about the future success of Victoria as a city and as a community. We applaud Bales for all of his efforts to preserve and uplift Victoria. We hope he will be an example for many others to follow, and we wish him the best in the coming years. Thank you for being one of the leaders Victoria needs.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.