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Lean In: How a Community of Cover Women Stepped Up

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Austin Woman magazine needed help—and our community of cover women answered the call.

For the past 18 years, Austin Woman magazine has celebrated, championed and shared the stories of women. When our founder, Melinda Garvey, created the magazine in 2002 with her Co-founder Samantha Stevens, she worried a magazine highlighting local women wasn’t sustainable. Would there be enough women to fill the pages month after month, year after year? Nearly two decades later, finding women to feature has never been a problem. There aren’t enough pages to recognize the women breaking barriers, fighting inequality, founding companies, transforming entire industries and leading our city. Before Austin was a trendy destination, the women in this city were putting it on the map.

This month, like countless other small businesses and local companies, Austin Woman was faced with the financial ripples of COVID-19. A May issue was no longer a guarantee— without some help. Garvey turned to the women who have always been our loudest and best cheerleaders: our former cover women. She asked if they would lean in and support us, so in turn we can continue to support all Austin women.

The responses were immediate and humbling. The women on the following pages stepped in to financially support Austin Woman to make this issue possible. Representing our first decade through this year, these women are pillars in their communities and industries, and they have changed Austin for the better. In the years since their cover stories, they have gone on to accomplish incredible things, continuing to pave a way for women behind them.

As these women have supported us, we hope you will support them. Many of them have been equally impacted by COVID-19 and yet continue to lift up the women in their communities. We asked each of them for specific ways we can help them, their businesses and the women in their circles. As you read their career updates, please also take them up on their asks for support if you can. From simply signing up for newsletters to donating financially to sharing resources, there are ways everyone can help.

A global pandemic is daunting, but there is comfort in knowing that regardless of circumstance, women will always support women. As we weather this storm together, we’re grateful for the support of our former cover women and grateful to call this beautiful city home. Thank you for the past two decades, and here’s to the next one.


Sylvia Acevedo

CEO of the Girl Scouts, 2005 Cover Woman

Sara Brand and Kerry Rupp

General Partners of True Wealth Ventures, 2017 Cover Women

Heather Brunner

CEO of WP Engine, 2017 Cover Woman

Tiffany Taylor Chen

Founder of Tiff’s Treats, 2010 Cover Woman

Yolanda Conyers

Chief Diversity Officer at Lenovo, President of the Lenovo Foundation and Vice President of Global Human Resources, 2018 Cover Woman

Lisa Copeland

Speaker, Author, Mortgage Broker, 2011 Cover Woman

Brooklyn Decker

Actress, Entrepreneur, 2020 Cover Woman

Kim Hanks

CEO and Co-founder of Whim Hospitality, 2019 Cover Woman

Jen Hatmaker

Author, Speaker, Podcaster, 2015 Cover Woman

Margaret Jabour

Owner of Twin Liquors, 2008 Cover Woman

Andra Liemandt

Founder of The Kindness Campaign, Drummer for The Mrs, 2015 Cover Woman

Lynn Meredith

Philanthropist, 2011 Cover Woman

Sheena Paul

Chief Operating Officer at World Class Holdings, 2018 Cover Woman

Karen Quintos

Chief Customer Officer at Dell, 2017 Cover Woman

Emily Ramshaw

Co-founder of The 19th, 2019 Cover Woman

Patti Rogers

Founder of Rallyhood, 2013 Cover Woman

Heidi Marquez Smith

Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust, 2011 Cover Woman


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