The Austin Woman staff reflect on the craziness of 2021 and share moments of celebration in their lives.


Parke Ballantine

Director of Events and Branding Strategy

Amidst the many changes and chaos of the past year, celebratory milestones seemed to get somewhat put aside, but one that stands out and deserves extra applause was the completion of my MBA in Innovative Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. As a high school dropout, I never thought I would have a bachelor’s degree let alone a master’s degree from a top-tier school. 
My BA was in Ethnic Studies and Film. With a career in startups and nonprofits I wanted to understand the models, methodologies and resources behind entrepreneurship and business more thoroughly. I believe in the impact entrepreneurship has to create sustainable and meaningful economic power and exciting products, services and content for women, LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities not seen from the contemporary business landscape. 
In completing my MBA, I feel even more empowered to break the rules as I’ve come to know them. So, cheers to the tough days and late nights for the sake of innovation, passion and authentic embodiment through our work!


Anne Cox

Production Coordinator

My girlfriend and I moved in together just over a month ago! We’re one of those pandemic relationships, as we started dating right before lockdown toward the end of 2019. We’ve made it through quarantine, the freeze, both of us graduating, navigating new careers and plenty more obstacles. I’m super lucky to have her through it all, and she’s a fantastic co-parent to my son—I mean cat, Tommy.


Monica Godinez

Editorial & Marketing Intern

To say this year was chaotic is an understatement. Having said that, every accomplishment this year, big or small, felt monumental. The biggest milestone I accomplished this year would have to be publishing my first ever article. Ever since I could remember I always hoped to one day be a published writer, and for it to finally occur was such an amazing ordeal. I will eternally be thankful for the opportunities I have had this year and am excited to see what comes next.


Emily Manning

Marketing Intern

Dawn Weston


I’m turning 40 later this year! I’d love to take a big vacay to celebrate, but I’m hesitant to make any travel plans. This picture is from a fantastic European vacation I took with my mom. It’s in a small pub in Debenham, with our family from across the pond. I was turning 29. It was one of those trips of a lifetime. What I do know is that no matter what the big 4-0 celebration looks like this year, I’m excited to step into a new decade with my amazing family, friends and co-workers by my side.


Cy White

Managing Editor

One of the biggest milestones this year is my one-year anniversary at Austin Woman magazine. I know, I know. It’s the easy way out. But honestly, the experience was more than just the first year at a new job. I’m in a position I’ve never been in before: the head of the table. It’s the first year of being able to guide interns into a new phase of their writing careers. I’m celebrating being able to truly do what I’ve always set out to do (edit and be a part of telling amazing stories). Celebrating coming into my own as both a leader and an editor. Earlier on in my tenure, I had the honor to meet Queen Mother Dòwòti Désir Hounon Houna II Guely. She told me to keep in touch with her. When I message her, I can tell her that I’ve made it through my first year with this magazine and am truly beginning to realize and step into my greatness.



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