Sponsored Content brought to you by The Governor’s Commission for Women.
The Governor’s Commission for Women was established in 1967 as a resource and champion for women throughout the state of Texas. The Commission has continued to serve the state in carrying out its mission to provide access to the resources and tools that empower and enabled Texas women and girls so that they may live healthier, more productive and more prosperous lives. The Commission for Women is currently charged with developing strategies and implementation plans to address advancing women-owned businesses and human trafficking prevention. To assist the Commission in fulfilling its charge, the State Agency Council was established. Appointments to the council are made by the head of each state agency, and the appointed members assist with implementing the Commission’s strategies. In addition, the Council also presents the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Awards. This biennial award honors women in state service who are helping to shape the future of Texas by contributing their notable talents and skills. Candidates are nominated by their state agency leadership in the categories of Leadership, Professional Development, Community Involvement and Rising Star. The Governor’s Commission for Women and State Agency Council are incredibly proud to host this event honoring the incredible women who work in state government
The Governor’s Commission for Women and State Agency Council will recognize Lesley Guthrie for her 26 years of State Service at the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Awards.
Lesley Guthrie serves as director of community relations and business development for the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services. A state employee for 26 years, she most recently worked as a director in the Chief Public Affairs office at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Prior to HHSC, she worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services where she launched two divisions, coordinated child welfare summits and collaborated with foundations to serve youth and families. As executive director of the Governor’s Commission for Women, a position she held for14 years, she established the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame at Texas Woman’s University, co-founded a conference for women seeking employment and hosted public awareness campaigns and press events on women’s health issues. She also worked for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Texas House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives. Guthrie earned her bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a graduate of the Texas Health and Human Services’ Executive Leadership Academy and The Leadership Challenge
Gina Gallegos is being recognized for her Outstanding Professional Development
Gina Gallegos started her career at TxDOT in 1994 as an engineering assistant in the San Antonio District after receiving her bachelor’s in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. She rotated as a young engineer through various sections such as design, lab and construction. In 2006, she became the first female area engineer in the San Antonio District, managing more than 40 projects with an aggregate total of more than $700 million and more than 190 employees. Then in 2010, she was named the director of construction for the San Antonio District’s 12-countyarea, where she instituted processes that improved department efficiencies and the delivery of quality infrastructure. She also served as an advisor for the Young Engineers Group, actively participating in recruiting and hiring young engineers. She then advanced to become director of the Construction Division in 2017, where she oversaw division functions including contractor prequalification, monthly statewide construction and maintenance contract letting, construction engineering support for the 25 districts and the department’s contractor claims process. She began her current position as the San Antonio District engineer in January 2021.She’s the recipient of the 2014 Women in Transportation Services – San Antonio Region Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, the 2017 Gibb Gilchrist Award and the 2018 WTS-SAR Womanof the Year Award. In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature honored Gallegos with House Resolution 1374,recognizing her for her skill, leadership and dedication to the profession and commitment to TxDOT’s mission
Jennifer Feliciano is being recognized as the Rising Star in her agency
Jennifer Feliciano is the contracting branch manager for the Infrastructure Division at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Feliciano began her career in public service in 2004 when she enlisted in the United States Air Force as a command post emergency actions controller. Following her active-duty enlistment, she began working as an administrative assistant in the Purchasing Department at the Texas Department of Insurance. She then went on to serve in various procurement and contracting roles at the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department before joining the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2017.Under her leadership, the contracting branch has achieved a high level of success as the sole contracting authority for capital construction projects for the department. In her current role, Feliciano leads a team of 13 contract managers of varying specialty that manage over 180 contracts valued at approximately $400 million. Alongside her team, she strives to provide an ethical, transparent and compliant procurement process that supports all stakeholders and best serves the citizens of Texas. Feliciano holds a BS in Business Management from Colorado State University and an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Lisa Craven is being recognized for her Outstanding Leadership
Lisa Craven has over 30 years of state service, having worked in both the executive and legislative branches. Craven began her career as a tour guide at the State Capitol in 1986. She then worked in the Texas House of Representatives from 1989 to 2007. She served as chief of staff for then-Senator Glenn Hegar from 2007 to 2014, then from 2015 to 2018 as his chief of staff when he became Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. In October 2018, Hegar appointed Craven to deputy comptroller and chief of staff, where she serves as the agency’s administrative head. Craven has a Bachelor of Science degree in speech from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as Comptroller Hegar’s appointee to the State Water Implementation Fund’s (SWIFT) advisory committee, is a member of the National Association of State Chief Administrators and is an advisory council member for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin. She and her husband, Eric, are the proud parents of two daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth.
Margie Henson is being recognized for her Outstanding Community Involvement
Margie Henson currently works for the Texas Workforce Commission as a digital signature analyst. Her husband was a career firefighter and emergency medical technician. A victim of a residential fire himself, he saw firsthand the devastation that residential fires and other natural disasters can bring topeople. Henson and her husband founded Texas Firewalkers, a nonprofit with a mission to fill the gap between the time immediately after a traumatic event and the time assistance arrives. Since 2008, they have helped families (and pets) displaced by fires and other disasters, the families of first responders who died in the line of duty and, with their own cooking trailers and network of volunteers, provided hundreds of thousands of hot meals to communities affected by natural disasters across Texas. During the massive freeze in Texas in 2020, they cooked and served over10,000 meals for Texans in need. During Hurricane Harvey, they served an astounding 347,000 meals in nine days. On Christmas Day 2018, the good work Henson, her husband and volunteers do every day was recognized on a Facebook Watch series called Returning the Favor, hosted by Mike Rowe. Henson is so passionate about giving back that her supervisor for almost 10 years noted that the only time she really takes off work is to help others. Last year, during Thanksgiving and Christmas, she helped prepare 75 turkeys, with all the fixings, and delivered those holiday dinners to families that had been displaced by residential fires. Henson truly exemplifies this Community Involvement award. She consistently goes above and beyond to help others.