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Andra Liemandt

The Kindness Campaign | Founder + CEO

Thought leader, author, CEO and founder of The Kindness Campaign. Since 2015 Andra Liemandt has been a driving force in emotional health through her nonprofit TheKindness Campaign (TKC). Providing innovative, arts-based programming, TKC serves schools and students beginning at age 3. Last year, TKC served 55,423 students at nearly 100 schools across the country for World Kindness Day, provided Kind Campus training to 53 elementary schools and translated its emotional health curriculum into Spanish, as well as Ukrainian for Ukrainian refugee families currently living in Budapest. Liemandt also spearheaded the KindGym app, a suite of school-based emotional health programs, and Kind Leadership, a self-paced program for high school students to build long-term leadership skills. Kind Leadership develops communication, social awareness, self-management, inquiry skills and thinking as a leader. Participants present annual work that showcases Kind Leadership in action and measurable community impact.


Emily Chenevert

Austin Board of Realtors | Chief Executive Officer

Emily Chenevert ensures Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) is fueling the success and improving the professionalism of the organization’s 20,000-plus members. She is the youngest and first female CEO for ABoR and Unlock MLS and is chair of the MLS Technology Holdings, LLCBoard of Directors. She has a proven record and passion for advocating on behalf of REALTORS® and homeowners across Central Texas.Under her tenure of leadership at ABoR, she’s led the implementation of two five-year ABoR strategic plans while elevating the organization’s profile and impact, regionalized ABoR’s footprint and member services and championed MLS listings data integrity standards


Angela Shaw

Amplify Credit Union | Senior Vice President of Talent

Angela Shaw is the senior vice president of talent at Amplify Credit Union, where she oversees human resources and culture. A native Austinite, Shaw chose to stay and impact the city that raised her even though she felt she would find easier pathways elsewhere. Shaw has become a recognized leader in the human resources space here in Austin and beyond, working to create more inclusive and high-performing workplaces. In addition to her corporate work, Shaw has given back to the community through volunteer leadership and adjunct teaching. Her board work has supported making college accessible for adult learners, empowering women and strengthening communities. In addition to her action-oriented work, Shaw is fiercely devoted to her family and friends. She is a zealous and loyal daughter, sister, auntie and friend. She has built her brand on leaving a legacy as a servant leader who selflessly gives of herself above and beyond.


Dr. Seema Desai

Seema Desai Coaching and Consulting | Transformational Success Coach & Speaker

Dr. Seema Desai is a credentialed executive coach specializing in performance and well-being. Her coaching helps high-achieving, ambitious leaders go from stressed, overwhelmed and frustrated to productive, effective and fulfilled. Through her speaking, coaching, workshops and online course, she empowers people to discover the inner peace that lives within so they can unlock the Transformational Success they seek. Desai draws on her cultural background and experiences with imposter syndrome, angry mom syndrome and postpartum depression to bring empathy and compassion to the people she serves. Desai is the author of the book Connected:Discovering Your Inner Guides and co-host of the podcast Happy and Human. She serves as co-president of the Austin chapter of Pratham USA, a nonprofit organization aimed at creating learning equity for underserved children in India and globally. Though no longer seeing patients, Desai is a general dentist who practiced in the Austin area.


Denise Bradley

St. David’s HealthCare | VP, Marketing and Corporate Affairs

Denise Bradley is vice president of marketing and corporate affairs for St. David’s HealthCare. In this role, she is responsible for planning and executing marketing and corporate affairs strategies for the eight-hospital healthcare system in Austin. Bradley has held a variety of state-and nationally recognized positions, including both director of correspondence and special projects manager in The White House Office of the First Lady. Her work experience also includes lecturer at UT Austin, research and policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Presidential Management Fellow. She serves on the board of directors of 4ATX Foundation and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, on the community advisory board of Helping Hand Home, and is a member of the Austin Area ResearchOrganization. She also chaired the 2023 Go Red for Women Campaign for the American Heart Association.


Heather Brunner

WP Engine | Chairwoman and CEO

As chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine, Heather Brunner has steered WP Engine through hyper-growth into global technology leadership. Brunner has led the expansion of WP Engine from an Austin startup to a global brand with 1,200-plus team members around the world to now serve millions of users and over 200,000 customers. A 30-year technology veteran, Brunner has generated billions in enterprise value, delivered growth and led business strategy for privately funded new ventures and Fortune 500 companies. During her tenure as WP Engine CEO, she has been honored by Great Place to Work with the CEO Leadership for All award, EYEntrepreneur of the Year for Central Texas, the Austin Business Journal Best CEO award and a Stevie Award for Executive Leadership. Brunner serves on the board of directors for Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), an S&P 500 company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Trinity University.


Katherine Lees and Michelle Lapides

dozanü innovations | Co-Founders & Co-Owners

The visionary powerhouses behind dozanü innovations, Katherine Lees and Michelle Lapides are leading lights in the marketing realm. As Deaf co-founders and seasoned marketers, they’ve been reshaping the industry since 2017, earning accolades like being 2023 Rising Star finalists. Lees, a strategic mind with extensive marketing expertise, complements Lapides, a creative force dedicated to crafting universally resonant messages. Beyond awards, their impact extends to being recognized among Austin’s Top 15 digital marketing innovators by Best Startup Texas.They’ve not just built a company but a family, a team of full-time employees, each proudly disabled, showcasing their commitment to diversity. Certified as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise, a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council-Certified company, an LGBT+-owned business and a woman-owned small business, dozanü offers comprehensive marketing services, crafting an inclusive narrative and setting a blazing trail of innovation in an evolving industry, with clients spanning Fortune 1000 and Valuable 500 corporations.


Lourdes G. Zuniga

Financial Health Pathways | Founder & Executive Director

Born in Peru, Lourdes Zuniga is a journalist, influential leader and global humanitarian. Selected as a 2022 Presidential Leadership Scholar, Zuniga champions social justice through economic empowerment. Recently, she joined the United Nations Children’s Fund as a member of the UNICEF Austin Task Force, where she will continue her global work as a humanitarian advocating for children. Through her work leading the Financial Health Pathways and as faculty for the Texas Justice Court Training Center, Zuniga drives innovative solutions to systemic issues and fights the criminalization of poverty in the justice system. A proud LBJ Women’s Campaign School alumnus, her remarkable story as an immigrant who came to the United States with nothing shapes her leadership. Zuniga has been locally and nationally recognized, and in 2021, The Austin Business Journal named Zuniga as one of the most Influential Women in Central Texas.


Jacqueline Samira

Howdy.com, Inc. | Founder & CEO

Jacqueline Samira, the visionary founder and CEO of Howdy.com, is a trailblazer reshaping how tech companies build remote teams. After bootstrapping Howdy to $3.5 million ARR two years after inception, she was accepted into Y Combinator, the preeminent accelerator behind AirBnB, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, and many more. Following YC, she raised a$2.9million Series Seed and an $18 million Series A from renowned investors Greycroft (Bumble,Goop, The RealReal) and Obvious Ventures (Medium, Gusto, Beyond Meat). A people-centric entrepreneur and captivating speaker, Samira disrupts mainstream narratives, advocating for equality in the industry. Leading Howdy’s talent sourcing platform connecting Latin American talent with U.S. companies, she fosters efficiency, happiness and community. Samira has been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes and Business Insider. A devoted advocate for holistic well-being, she enjoys dancing, yoga, reading, her many children and meditation, emphasizing the importance of mental, emotional and physical health.


Lurleen Ladd

Wavemakers Women in Music 40+ and Lurleen Ladd Music | Founder & CEO

Lurleen Ladd is a performing songwriter and the founder of Wavemakers Women in Music. She enjoyed past business success in healthcare and the nonprofit arena, but music was the dream waiting in the wings. Since 2018, she has released two albums of original music as well as a Christmas album in 2023. Sharing her music is the joy multiplier in her life, but she is equally committed to helping other female musicians 40+ make strides in their careers. She founded Wavemakers in early 2023 to shine a light on inequities and opportunities for women in the music industry. Wavemakers is making waves of positive change for women 40+ in music.

wwimusic.com | lurleenladd.com

Shari Wynne Ressler

KASAMA Retreat Hotels | Founder & CEO

Shari Wynne Ressler is an Austin-based entrepreneur, attorney and ecosystem builder dedicated to helping people achieve success. Wynne Ressler moved to Austin in 1996 to participate in Austin’s growing entrepreneurial economy. She co-founded what became RWR Legal, where she provided legal and business consulting for emerging companies until June 2021, after a firm merger. She brought together and fostered what is now Austin’s active consumer products ecosystem by co-founding Incubation Station, now SKU, in 2011, the national/leading CPG accelerator. She remains an active board member and mentor. Her current project is KASAMA Retreat Hotels, intentionally designed to meet the demand for high-impact leadership, corporate, retreat and event experiences. KASAMA members are innovators and thought leaders, successful humans who come together for collaboration and connection, and to transform self and society. Wynne Ressler continues to mentor and connect leaders to strategic resources for success and remains active in Austin’s entrepreneurial and investor ecosystems.


Karina Drake

Alexa James Baby | Founder & Owner

Karina Drake is the owner and founder of beloved children’s shop Alexa James Baby. The shop was inspired by her daughter, Alexa James, and their time living in NYC. Leaving a career in advertising, Drake took a leap of faith and opened Alexa James in 2018. Within that first year, Alexa James Baby was recognized both locally and nationally as a top children’s shop in Texas. Today, Alexa James Baby carries some of the most exclusive children’s brands, many brought to Austin via the shop. However, what Drake feels most proud of is successfully building something from the ground up, fighting to keep it alive during Covid-19 and showing her daughter that with a strong dream and hard work anything is possible.


Francés Jones Esq.

Soul Matters – Visionary Law Firm | Founder

Francés Jones, Esq., is the founder of Soul Matters-Visionary Law Firm,“Trademark For Visionary Founders,”a boutique trademark law firm based in Austin, serving clients nationwide and globally. Jones empowers diverse visionary founders making a social impact and their allies, including women, Black, Latinx/Latine, Asian, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and disabled founders, and helps secure their legacies by securing their trademark brands. Licensed in NewYork, New Jersey and Texas, Jones has over 30 years of experience working with international media companies. She’s passionate about helping visionary founders in all industries, but especially those in consumer product goods, health and wellness, and food and beverage. She has worked with brands including Univision, Unilever, General Mills, Warner Bros, Sony, Heineken, Ford, Pepsi, Will Smith and the Latin Grammys, and she was named a 2023 Tri Delta Woman of Achievement. Most importantly, Jones is the proud adoptive single mom of a beautiful young daughter.


China Smith

Ballet Afrique | Founder, Executive and Artistic Director

At the heart of Austin’s dance community, China Smith founded Ballet Afrique in 2008, showcasing a unique blend of African and classical ballet styles. Her work extends to providing fine arts programs, where she inspires young minds with her innovative approach. Smith’s creative genius is evident in her notable productions. She founded the celebrated DukeEllington Nutcracker Suite, a vibrant reimagining of the classic ballet. Her creation of the Nina Simone Suite “Four Women” and the “Echoes of Harlem” capture the essence of these iconic figures, while her Love Letter series explores deeper cultural activism themes. Her dedication to teaching has borne fruit, with many of her students receiving prestigious scholarships in dance. Beyond her professional achievements, Smith is a proud mother of two, balancing her passion for dance with her family life. Her contribution to the Austin arts scene and her commitment to inclusive and innovative dance education have made her a beloved figure in the community.


Bertha Rendon Delgado

Arte Texas  | Founder/Art Curator/ Executive

I was the first Chicana from East Austin to be featured on the front page of {Austin Chronicle} in 2020 and the first Chicano/Chicana organization to receive the Preservation Austin MerrittAward for Best Mural For La Raza in 2018. A changemaker for women in the art industry, a woman of Mexican descent breaking barriers like no other in East Austin. The first Chicana from my barrio to recreate, curate and exhibit more than 40 artists and murals in my hometown, putting art on the map nationally. It has been the biggest challenge but also the best thing that has ever happened for us. I am so grateful to open the doors for so many and pave the way for future generations to come.


Ronnie Sheth


Ronnie Sheth is the founder and CEO of SENEN GROUP, a global strategic advisory firm helping clients unlock the power of data and AI. Her passion for creating unique human-centered experiences using data and AI is rooted in her vision to move business and society forward into a thriving, sustainable future. She loves unpacking and simplifying the complexities of disruptive innovation in her advisory and speaking engagements around the world in an effort to help Fortune 500s, NGOs and governmental agencies solve their most pressing challenges.With an unwavering focus on impact, she serves the Austin community through her work as a board member on theAustin Technology Council and ACG NextGen Central Texas. She also serves on the US-Canada technology and innovation policy team at American Chamber ofCommerce in Canada. Her conviction that technology should benefit both business and society drives her continued involvement in international policy-making and ecosystem development initiatives.



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