Welcome to Austin Woman magazine’s inaugural Change Makers List, comprised of woman- and femme-identifying folks who are making significant and intentional strides to uplift Austin’s community. This list represents phenomenal names in business, tech, art, activism, C-suite, education and professional development, as well as people elected to seats of influence by the community, for the community. This list is by no means exhaustive. However, we at Austin Woman have found that the unfortunate norm on lists like this is a significant lack of women-identifying people and people of color.

While unfortunately we can’t list each and every phenomenal woman-identified person in Austin, we sincerely hope this is the start of something magical: A list that showcases the array of Austin womxn from all walks of life, all professional backgrounds, all passions, visions and experiences, with one thing in common—they are creating impact in our great city, even if they are rarely recognized for doing so. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening all around you. We hope that this list brings you hope—and builds confidence in the generation of womxn change makers to come.

Change Makers: The Arts

These women-identified creatives are redefining the landscape of the arts in Austin. They combine varied experiences, talents, industries and a common red thread of passion to continue to cultivate and nurture the true artistic spirit of Austin and push it beyond the confines of the slogan “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Christine Albert, CEO

Swan Songs

Artist, entrepreneur, singer-songwriter
and leader

Rubina Anjum, Artist & CEO

Rubina Art Gallery

Creating satellite imagery-inspired artworks; inaugural Artist-in-Residence at ABIA

Elizabeth Avellan, Vice President; President

Troublemaker Studios;
EYA Productions

Film producer and co-founder/co-owner
of Troublemaker Studios

Jann Baskett, Co-President


Co-President and CBO of SXSW;
supporting co-conspirator at Yard Dog Art

Chris Cowden, Executive Director

Women & Their Work

Best job in the world: director of
Women & Their Work

Mela Sarajane Dailey, CEO

American Artists Project

Grammy-winning performer, producer
and national nonprofit CEO

Bertha Delgado, Co-Founder, Art Curator, Art Activist, Executive Director

Arte Texas Inc.

Native Chicana East Austin resident with
numerous awards for preserving cultural art

Mama Duke, Recording Artist & Songwriter

Triple Whammy Records

Recording Academy member and an award-winning artist

Amanda Johnston, Founder & Executive Director

Torch Literary Arts

Passionate artist and leader amplifying
Black women writers at Torch

Francés Jones, Esq., Founder

Visionary Law Firm

Experienced trademark law firm empowering visionary founders making social impact

Lurleen Ladd, Founder

Wavemakers Women in Music

Singer/songwriter sharing music, improving the industry for women 40+

Beili Liu, Artist; Professor

Beili Liu Studio; UT Austin

Artist, Carnegie Fellow, Pollock Prize Awardee, Fulbright Distinguished Arctic Chair

sharon maidenberg, Executive Director & CEO

The Contemporary Austin

Executive director and CEO at The Contemporary Austin

Nagavalli Medicharla, Singer/Composer, Music/Arts


Singer/composer, first AAPI Music Commission Chair, Mayor’s Arts Commission appointee, D&I advocate

Barbara Morgan, CEO

Austin Film Festival/On Story

Co-Founder/CEO of Austin Film Festival and Executive Producer of On Story

Sylvia Orozco, Executive Director

Mexic-Arte Museum

Artist, curator, co-founder and executive director of the official Mexican and Mexican American museum, Mexic-Arte

p1nkstar, Artist & Musician

Ur Fav Electr0nic Pop Superstar

China Smith, Founding Artistic Director

Ballet Afrique

Pioneers youth development in ballet with African cultural fusion

Heidi Marquez Smith, CEO

Texas Cultural Trust

Community and nonprofit leader,
experienced public servant

tk tunchez, CEO & Creative Director

Las Ofrendas & Frida Friday ATX

Award-winning CEO, community builder and creative entrepreneur

Ashley White Fryer, Founder/Principal & Co-Chair

Ashley White Public
Relations & Women in Music Austin Chapter

20-plus-year veteran of music and entertainment PR

Change Makers: Corporate Power Players

The corporate rock stars on this list have truly elevated the game in each of their respective industries. They’ve not just broken through the glass ceiling; they’ve utterly obliterated it, reaching down through the rubble to bring up other women-identified professionals in their wake. Imposter syndrome, where? You won’t see any imposters here!

Amber Bradbury, Global Site Strategy & Operations


Visionary leader and architect of
equitable change

Heather Brunner, CEO

WP Engine

CEO of unicorn technology company that’s tripled in size since 2018

Evonne Delaney, Chief Human Resource Officer


Twenty-plus-year HR professional focusing on empowering talent engines in dynamic organizations

Tamara Fields, Office Managing Director


Business veteran helping better serve clients with creative, strategic and transformative solutions

Melanie Fish, Head of Global PR

Expedia Group

Travel expert appearing on national broadcasts to share tips, trends and travel news

Cathy Harm, VP of Central Texas


Inspires, empowers and develops female leaders to significant leadership roles
within the community

Thai Lee, CEO & President

SHI International

5 on Forbes‘ list of the Richest Self-Made Women

Leticia Mendoza, Director of Marketing & Communications

Texas Disposal Systems

Creative, compassionate, results-oriented leader with a demonstrated history of
building strong community partnerships

Cate Prescott, Chief People Officer & Senior Vice President


25-year international CHRO driving growth across industrial, retail, distribution,
manufacturing and tech industries

Alison Roscoe, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships

Austin FC

Highly experienced leader with an exceptional record of commitment in sports

Dionn Schaffner, Chief Diversity Officer


Discovering and implementing ways to enable opportunities for those who have systemically lacked access

Rosandra Silveira, Global Consumer Sales SVP

Dell Technologies

L500 board director, “Most Powerful Latina Class of 2023,” diversity advocate

Rose Stuckey Kirk, CEO


Award-winning journalist; executive producer of Without A Net: The Digital Divide in America

Lisa Su, CEO


Loves semiconductors, solving problems, challenges and pushing innovation

Perri Travillion, Austin Community Investments
Senior Manager

Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Respected professional, passionate about the impact of sports in our community

Jennifer Warren, VP, Global Brand Marketing & Creative


Innovative global marketing leader, advancing better work for all

Whitney Wolfe Herd, Executive Chair


More dedicated than ever to advancing gender equality and putting an end to misogyny

Elsa Zambrano, SVP, Global Talent and Cultures

NXP Semiconductors

Developed and implemented flexible work and well-being strategies addressing effects of the pandemic on NXP’s global workforce

Change Makers: Education

The women-identified education professionals on this list have dedicated their lives to ensuring that every Austinite gets the tools and resources they need and deserve. With their gazes ever toward the future, they are creating pathways for more brilliant minds to further elevate the Austin community.

Rosemary Cavazos, Program Specialist

Capital IDEA

Second-gen family and education advocate, with more than two decades of service

Judith Dullnig, Founder

Women’s Storybook Project

Founder of a nonprofit that connects children with their incarcerated mothers through the joy of literature

Shaleiah Fox, Chief Campaign Officer


Fundraiser, philanthropist and community advocate uplifting professional and personal success of women and communities of color

Montserrat Fuentes, Ph.D., President

St. Edward’s University

24th president of St. Edward’s University, the first Hispanic and second female president

Kassi Kincaid, Founder and Program Director

Book Days

Children’s literacy pioneer, inspiring global creativity and career transformation

Dr. Kristi Kirk, Provost

Concordia University

First woman provost in Concordia University’s 100-year history

Monica M. Martinez, Associate Professor

UT Austin

Award-winning author, educator and public historian; helped secure four state historical markers along the US-Mexico border

Linda Medina-Lopez, Executive Director

Pflugerville Education Foundation

Mission-driven executive director of Pflugerville Education Foundation

Deirdre Mendez, Director, Center for Global Business

McCombs School of Business

Intercultural consultant, speaker and author helping U.S. companies identify and resolve culturally based problems

Tara Miko Ballentine, Founder

Bright Littles

Award-winning entrepreneur, parenting change maker, preparing the next generation

Lillian Mills, Dean

McCombs School of Business

First female dean of the McCombs School
of Business

Julie Mueller, Campus President

Universal Technical
Institute Austin Campus

Ambassador for women in the skilled trades and STEAM careers

MacKenzie Price, Co-Founder

Alpha School & 2hr Learning

Revolutionizing K-12 education through AI learning and life skills development

Lesley Robinson, Founding Director

Kendra Scott Women’s
Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute, University of Texas

Empowering founders to find the best path to their destinations

Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard, Founding Executive & Artistic Director

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Nature’s clarity coach, master-certified spiritual life & dreamwork coach (ICF Trained)

Brooke Turner, Vice President of STEAM Learning


Award-winning change catalyst for lasting outcomes through education and entrepreneurship

Monique Umphrey, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
of Academic & Student Affairs

Austin Community College

Passionate provost, Dr. Umphrey masters data, innovation and systemic change

Dr. Melva K. Williams, President & CEO


President and CEO of the largest
private HBCU in Texas

Change Makers: Elected Officials & Chamber Leaders

These elected officials and leaders of the various Austin Chambers of Commerce strive to give their all for the community that put them in their positions, positions they revere with the utmost respect. They truly embody the sentiment “by the people, for the people.”

Alison Alter, Council Member

City of Austin

Tough, proven leader fighting for a safe, green, resilient ATX

Tina Cannon, CEO

Austin LGBT Chamber
of Commerce

Longtime community leader, savvy politico and recovering entrepreneur

Sheryl Cole, Representative

Texas House of

Champion for civil rights and greater economic opportunity for all

Paige Ellis, Mayor Pro Tem & Council Member

City of Austin

Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilmember representing Southwest Austin

Lulu Flores, Representative

Texas House of

Latina, attorney, community advocate, leader, honesty, integrity, tenacious, fighter

Vanessa Fuentes, Council Member

City of Austin

Policymaker focused on making Austin a better community for all

Vikki Goodwin, Representative

Texas House of

Texas State House Representative
District 47

Natasha Harper-Madison, Council Member

City of Austin

Speaker, mobility advocate,
multi-passionate social entrepreneur and innovative problem-solver

Tam Hawkins, President & CEO

Greater Austin Black
Chamber of Commerce

Passionate about civic engagement on local, national and international levels

Gina Hinojosa, Representative

Texas House of

Leader on environmental policy, fierce defender of Austin’s local control, proudly serving the constituents of District 49

Donna Howard, Representative

Texas House of

Ten-term state legislator, women’s health champion and Lawnchair Lady

Mackenzie Kelly, Council Member

City of Austin

Austin native, volunteer firefighter, police advocate and health care worker, embracing a lifetime of public service

Tara Levy, Interim Executive Director

Austin Young Chamber

Engaging partner, facilitator and
problem-solver; nonprofit strategist, teacher and guide

Monica Muñoz Andry, President & CEO

Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Activator, connector and champion for the Latino business community

Leslie Pool, Mayor Pro Tem & Council Member

City of Austin

Policymaker focused on Austin’s resilience, sustainability, attainable housing and transportation

Change Makers: Fashion, Beauty & Design

While it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the women-identified creatives on this list want every person they work with to truly feel that they are a beauty to behold. Their passion for fashion (beauty and design) is evident in the lives they touch. They are truly making the city a little more gorgeous, one Austinite at a time.

Vanessa Barendt, Owner


It’s about so much more than just an aesthetic treatment

Nina Berenato, Owner

Nina Berenato Jewelry

Traditional metalsmith and owner of Austin-based all-woman jewelry shop

Yazmin Castañeda, Founder

Origin Mexico

Woman-Owned Business of the Year 2022, Women’s Way Finalist 2023

Anais Cruz, Co-Owner

Piel Morena

Business owner and community engagement and communications professional

Karina Drake, Owner

Alexa James Baby

On a mission to create a space that inspires creativity, warmth and joy

Anne Drane, Co-founder & CEO


Empowering women in Africa to create change through fashion craftsmanship

Amber Glassman, Co-founder & CEO

Bryan Anthonys

Experienced entrepreneur, designer and writer empowering others to share their
own story

Martha Lynn Kale, Founder & Owner

Mirror Mirror Salon

Award-winning salon owner, hairstylist, mentor and industry innovator

Nina Means, Founder & Director

ACC Fashion Incubator, CADRE Innovation

Global fashion designer, creative director, fashion technology startup executive, mom

Raeka Morar, Founder & CEO

Raeka Beauty

Seasoned entrepreneur and creator, elevating beauty with passion and expertise

Chelle Neff, Founder

Urban Betty Salon

CEO and founder of the award-winning Urban Betty Salon

Asma Parvez, Founder

Styled by Asma LLC

Empowering Muslim women through personalized styling, fostering confidence, embracing visibility

Karen Helton Pawanda, Owner/Makeup Artist/Brow Specialist

Kiss N’ Makeup, LLC

Austin’s original brow-shaping and natural makeup artistry; 25 years of experience

Conni Reed, Founder & CEO


Austin-based artist whose design
philosophy is The Art of the Unmatched

Loreal Sarkisian, Wardrobe Stylist, Designer &

Loreal Luciana LLC, Styled by Loreal LLC, XOLO Foundation

Wardrobe stylist, designer of Loreal Luciana, CEO of XOLO

Kendra Scott, Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Kendra Scott

Continues to lead her billion-dollar company on the foundation of three core pillars:
Family, Fashion and Philanthropy

Courtney Shields, Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Dibs Beauty

Mom, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed pro at finding the silver lining

Camille Styles, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Camille Styles

Founder and editor-in-chief of leading lifestyle digital publication

Ruby Sulter, Co-Founder

B.D.F.O. Lifestyle

Championing women to lead their “Bold.Determined.Fierce.Outstanding” lifestyle

Tabria Williford, Founder

Tawa Threads Co.

Etsy Design Award finalist advocating for outdoor inclusivity through nature-inspired designs

Tiffany Wilson, Owner

29Eleven The Salon

Textured-hair specialist, salon success coach, owner of top five salon

Change Makers: Finance

It’s not just about money with these titans of finance. It’s about ensuring that every person gets the resources, support and, yes, financial backing they need to make their own dreams come true. In breaking boundaries in the finance sector, they’ve allowed others to do the same in their respective industries.

Dru Armstrong, CEO


Customer-focused CEO, with extensive experience in running high-growth software organizations

Sara T. Brand & Kerry Rupp, General Partners

True Wealth Ventures

Venture capital investors of women-led companies improving environmental or human health

Belem Davila-Rodriguez, IRS-registered tax preparer

Taxomatic-o LLC

Assists taxpayers and small businesses with taxes in Austin and the surrounding

Claire England, Investment Partner

GPG Ventures

Seasoned venture capital investor and executive, Kauffman Fellow, native Austinite

Pam Friedman, Managing Director & Principal

Robertson Stephens

Grows, protects and provides financial advice to women in divorce

Raquel Garcia, Marketing Director


Marketing executive. Brand ambassador. Community builder

Luisa Gavino-Martinez, Commercial Banking Market Leader

PNC Financial Services Group

Commercial banking executive. Stanford graduate. Latina. Mother. Wife. Community leader

Claire Harrison, Market President

Texas Capital Bank

Strategic advisor developing new client opportunities and Texas Capital Bank’s growth

Cheremma Lee, AVP Spend Life Wisely Ambassador/Executive Director

First United Bank/
Unabridged Academy

Champion for creating positive social impact and executing big dreams

Dr. Oksama Malysheva, Managing Partner/CEO

Sputnik ATX

VC Investor; bullish on Austin; lifetime learner; physicist in business; Forbes 50/50

Yvonne McGill, CFO


Founding member and current global sponsor of Women in Action, enabling women to grow and thrive at Dell

Allegra Moet Brantly, Founder & CEO

Factora Wealth

Teaching women how to build wealth and invest confidently

Carla Molina, Head of US External Communications and Austin Market Executive

Bank of America

Leads U.S. external communications and Austin community engagement

Ashley Phillips, VP of Development

JUST Community

20 years at the intersection of money and meaning

Malini Rajput, Market President

Capital One

Motivated leader that thrives on success, communication and collaboration

Paola Retes & Addie Olsen Rasche


Austin Women in VC

Angela Shaw, Senior Vice President of Talent

Amplify Credit Union

Award-winning senior vice president of Talent

Michelle Yeh Gillis, Managing Director & Market Executive

J.P. Morgan

Leads the Technology & Disruptive Commerce team for Texas in the commercial bank

Change Makers: Food & Beverage

If the way to one’s heart is through the stomach, then you should fall head-over-heels for the food and beverage rock stars on this list. Staples and upstarts alike, these women-identified connesieurs of all things delectible have changed the game in the food and beverage industries, making their marks in a city absolutely bursting with remarkable talent.

Aberdeem, Baker/Pastry Chef

Street Sweets

Latina-owned dessert truck owner and pastry chef

Kendall Antonelli, Founder & Co-Owner

Antonelli’s Cheese

Award-winning small-business founder and speaker, on a mission to spread joy through cheese

Gabriela Bucio, Owner

Gabriela’s Group

One of the city’s most popular and fast-growing restaurant management groups

Krystal Craig, Co-Founder and Managing Chef

Intero and Poeta

Native Austinite, award-winning chocolatier, pastry chef and managing co-owner of Intero and Poeta

Iliana de la Vega, Chef

El Naranjo

2022 James Beard Award-winning owner of traditional Mexican restaurant El Naranjo in Austin

Tania DeGregorio, Co-Owner

St. Cecilia Soda Co.

Co-Owner of a local women-owned, small-batch, damn delicious sugar-free sparkling water company

Allison Ellsworth, Founder & Chief of Brand


Brand, creative and vision leader at Poppi; social strategist

Regina Estrada, General Manager

Joe’s Bakery &
Coffee Shop, Inc.

James Beard America’s Classic Winner and East Austin original community-focused small business

Kelly Gasink, Co-Founder

Austin Cocktails

Co-founder of four successful businesses, three sold to publicly traded companies

Stephanie Houston, CEO
Island Getaway Rum

CEO and co-founder of America’s first Latina-owned production distillery

Margaret Jabour, Owner & Executive VP

Twin Liquors

Texas Businesswoman of the Year, awarded by the Woman’s Chamber of Commerce Texas

Claudia Lee, Owner & Partner


Managing partner and owner of Underdog ATX

Camila McConaughey, Co-Founder


The woman behind premium organic tequila

Farrah Moussallati Sibai, Co-Founder & President

Afia Foods

Visionary brand founder bringing Mediterranean food to U.S. shoppers

Jen D. Rodriguez, Founder, Executive Chef & Owner

3 small plates LLC

Master flavorsmith of chef-curated culinary travel experiences around the world

Deepa Shridhar, Chef & Owner

Sicc Palette

South Indian Texan chef and media personality

Denise Silverman, Executive Director

Wine & Food Foundation

Invests in the wine and food community through education, appreciation and

Amanda Turner, Chef de Cuisine


Rising star chef Amanda Turner

Maritza & Reyna Vazquez, Founders

Veracruz All Natural

Award-winning Austin staple

Sharon Watkins, President

Chez Zee American Bistro

Founder and president of City of Austin Iconic Austin Legacy Restaurant, Award winner

Rania Zayyat, Founder & President

Lift Collective

Aka the Wine Director, managing partner of Bufalina Pizza and Palm Pizza

Change Makers: Health & Wellness

It’s no surprise there are so many incredible women-indentified professionals in the health and wellness industry. The natural urge to nurture takes on a transcendental nature in the gifted hands and hearts of those on this list. Each one here has dedicated their life to ensuring that everyone in Austin can live theirs to the fullest.

Dr. Sharita Ambrose & La’Toya Swan


Allure Alliance Inc.
We make Black women our business through holistic health education

Abena Asante, Senior Program Officer

St. David’s Foundation

Passionate advocate for community health improvement

Dr. Omerine Aseh, Board-certified Family Medicine Physician; Best Selling Author & Keynote Speaker on Anxiety and Corporate Wellness

You First Anxiety and Wellness

Board-certified family medicine physician

Krista Bergeron, Owner

Austin Simply Fit

Owner of Austin’s premier personal training studio

Denise Bradley, Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Affairs

St. David’s HealthCare

Marketing and corporate affairs strategist for nationally acclaimed health system

Maria Brown-Spence, CEO


Fosters inclusive grief support and mental health programs, eradicating stigma

Julia Cheek, Founder & CEO

Everly Health

Reached $1 billion-plus valuation four years from launch by building the future of diagnostic care in Austin

Dara Chike-Obi, CSO & Dr. Lydia Contreras, CEO


Co-Founders of the award-winning Griö baby bottles

Dr. Nicole Cross, News Anchor/National Mental Health Correspondent

Spectrum News

Multiple Emmy Award-winning journalist and Ph.D.-level psychotherapist

Ally Davidson, Founder & CEO

Camp Gladiator

Wife and mom to three kids, 2020 Inc. Top 100 Female Founder, American Gladiator champion

Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO


CEO of Found, transforming how our society treats, manages and talks about weight

Blanca Lesmes, Co-Founder & CEO

BB Imaging l TeleScan

CEO addressing maternal-fetal outcomes utilizing ultrasound technology

Dr. Claudia F. Lucchinetti, Dean

Dell Medical School

Heading up Dell Medical school’s work in education, research and clinical care

Cherie Mathews, Founder & CEO


Award-winning inventor, helping 40,000-plus patients throughout the U.S., Canada and U.K. heal after mastectomy surgery

An Pham, Founder & Managing Director

One of the Kids

Autism mom, founder, mentor, fostering positive change for autism therapy

Natalie Sanders, CEO


Barre instructor focusing on joyful movement and fat liberation

Elaine Shi, Co-Founder & Co-CEO


Making preventative health easy and pleasant for everyone

Amy Sweet, CEO

Halcyon Home

Award-winning health care CEO with a passion for helping people

Change Makers: Housing

It’s no secret that housing insecurity is a major cause for concern in this great city. The women-identified professionals on this list have taken the issue to heart, and in thier capable hands have given hope to those who want, need and deserve a safe place to lay their heads at night or to securely conduct their own businesses.

Michele Anderson, CEO

Habitat for Humanity

Helping further Austin Habitat’s mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope

Ellen Beaman, CEO

CasaBella Architects, Inc.

Chief of hustlin’ and keeping people happy at the family firm

Emily Chenevert, CEO

Austin Board of Realtors

CEO for a 20,000-plus member

Iris Davis-Quick, Marketing Manager & Dolores Guerrero Davis, Owner & General Manager

CG&S Design-Build

CG&S Design-Build does more than fix houses; they make houses whole

Kenda Dawwami, Co-founder & Co-President


Austin-based entrepreneur and real estate expert

Yvette Flores, Co-Founder/Board Chair

Realty Austin/Habitat for Humanity Austin

The brains and heart of Realty Austin

Briana Lacey-King, Mortgage Loan Officer

AMP Lending

Top producing loan officer, funding homeowners and first-time investors

Megan Lasch, Owner & President

O-SDA Industries

Austin 40 Under 40 Finalist for three consecutive years

Meagan McCoy Jones, President & CEO

McCoy’s Building Supply

Austin-based entrepreneur and real estate expert

Diane Skellenger, Founder & CEO

Skelly Build

Award-winning woman-owned
Austin-based construction company

Jolsna John Thomas, Esq., President

The Rosendin Foundation

Rosendin Foundation president inspiring construction of the future

Lezlie Tram Le, Founder, Commercial Broker
& Developer

LT Commercial Group

Entrepreneur turned CEO supporting business owners in commercial real estate

Change Makers: Nonprofit

Austin’s resiliency, drive and sense of community shines through brightest with the woman-identified leaders of its nonprofit organizations. These beacons of community impact are digging in with their hands and feet to ensure the city continues to foster real equity, generosity and hope for those Austinites who are underrepresented and deserve their voices to be heard.

Stephanie Bazan, Executive Director

Generation SERVE

Award-winning leader, mom, community advocate, philanthropist and public speaker

Paula Bookidis, CEO

Girl Scouts of Central Texas

Preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership

Destiny Brown, President

Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals

Leads community empowerment, advocacy in Austin focusing on equity, development

Chelsea Elliott, Founder & Executive Director

half Helen

Resilient and tenacious leader helping people see their world clearly

Phyllis Everette, Founder & CEO

Saffron Trust Women

Nonprofit executive, community leader, women’s health care advocate

Demetria George Caston, Executive Director

Impact Austin

Leads nonprofit strategy and fosters impactful partnerships to empower communities

Andrea Herrera Moreno, Executive Director

Texas Alliance for
Minorities in Engineering

Connector who believes in our collective power and mutual responsibility

Jane Hervey, Founding Director, Creative Producer

Future Front Texas

Award-winning creative producer and accidental nonprofit founder

Gabriela Kane Guardia, Executive Director


Nonprofit executive, STEAM advocate, Texans for the Arts board member

Andra Liemandt, Founder & CEO

The Kindness Campaign

CEO of The Kindness Campaign, creator of KindGym, emotional health speaker and author

Bessy Martinez, Founder & CEO

Austin Latinas Unidas,
The Latina Foundation

Creative CEO and founder empowering Latina women through leadership, advocacy and community initiatives

Julie McElrath, President & Chief Cause Officer

Clean Cause Foundation

Envisions a world where everyone with a substance-use disorder has what they need on their recovery journey

Raasin McIntosh, Founder/Vice President

Raasin in the Sun/
Downtown Austin Alliance

Visionary, philanthropist and curator of all things public art and creative placemaking

Dr. Johanna Moya
Fábregas, Executive Director


Passionate nonprofit community leader and education warrior

Susan Ramirez, Founder & CEO

National Angels

Speaker, wife, boy mom, full-time advocate, believer, achiever, blessed

Lindsey Sanders, Director of Development

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas

On a mission to make the world a better place through helping others

Debbie Tate, Chief Development Officer

Center for Child Protection

Children’s advocacy center and sole nonprofit in Travis County involved in the investigation of crimes against children

LisaBeth Thomas, Founder

Not on Our Watch TX

Award-winning producer and speaker determined to protect our kids

Mikaila Ulmer, Founder & Head of Outreach

Healthy Hive Foundation

Student, published author, social entrepreneur, 2023 AfroTech Future of Tech honoree

Cherelle VanBrakle, Community Advocate & Director of Model Community

United Way for Greater Austin

Equity-focused leader driving social change through community engagement and
strategic partnerships

Lourdes G. Zuniga, Founder & Executive Director

Financial Health

Award-winning humanitarian leader, Presidential Leadership Scholar and UNICEF Ambassador

Change Makers: Personal & Professional Development

If you’re looking for an opportunity to better yourself personally or to elevate professionally, look no further than the women-identified professionals on this list. Each one will most certainly guide you on your journey to personal and/or professional evolution.

Kim Anthony, Founder & CEO

Single Moms Society

Trailblazing CEO founding Single Moms Society, empowering nationwide single parents

Dr. Seema Desai, Founder & CEO

Seema Desai Coaching and Consulting

Helps ambitious leaders go from busy and overwhelmed to productive and fulfilled

Laura Donnelly, Nonprofit Founder & Consultant

The Radical Consultant

Uses 20-plus years of experience to develop more avenues toward media and tech equity through collaboration and

Vaishali Jadhav, Founder

Mandalight Learning

Executive leadership facilitator leveraging experience at Gallup and Whole Foods

Vasavi Kumar, Founder

Say It Out Loud


Emlyn Lee, Founder & Community Collaborator

BRAVE Communities

Community-builder. Social entrepreneur. Travel enthusiast. Justice, equity and
inclusion co-conspirator.

Venus Piñeyro De Hoyos, Founder & CEO

SafeSpace Plus & The
Inclusion Plus Institute

Latina equity strategist creating safe spaces for innovation and progress

Jenny Remington, Career Growth & Self-Care Coach

Jenny Remington Coaching

Rediscover your path, reignite your career and reconnect with you

Krizel Rodriguez, Founder & CEO

Leading Lady Network & Hola Sis

Visionary leader, entrepreneur and TEDx speaker championing women’s leadership

Julie Shannan, Founder

Big Mission Consulting

Innovator dedicated to building strong nonprofits that make a measurable impact

Rose Smith, Founder & CEO

Black Women In Business

Award-winning CEO of Black Women In Business, coach and community champion

Dr. Shauna T. Sobers, CEO & Leadership Educator

shaunatsobers Leadership Consulting

Author, TEDx speaker, strengths-based coach, intercultural communication specialist

Tanya Tarr, Behavioral Scientist

Cultivated Insights

Workplace well-being expert and master trainer helping build burnout-proof lives

Dr. Teri Varner, Professor of Communications

St. Edward’s University

Academic visionary with garnered experience in teaching and mentorship

Christi Wells, Owner & CEO

All the Small Things TX

Latina entrepreneur helping families reclaim time through personalized home assistance

Change Makers: PR, Marketing & Events

If there’s one thing the people of Austin know how to do it’s show out for its creatives! These leaders of PR, marketing and eventing have raised the bar on what it means to truly represent the creative minds, movers and shakers of the city. They keep it local, keep it fresh and, most importantly, they keep it fun.

Lynna Bartosh, Partner & Executive Creative Director

Hunt, Gather

Award-winning creative leader, designer and entrepreneur

Jessica Campos, Attorney-turned-marketer

Marketing for Greatness

Marketing expert and award-winning SEO agency owner

Barbara Cavness, CEO

(un)Common Logic

CEO whose goal is maximum effort everyday while striving for excellence

Mónica Ceniceros, Founder & CEO

atxGALS & The Cathedral

Artist, founder and CEO of atxGALS and
The Cathedral

Elizabeth “Zizi” Conde


Here to show that sapphic experiences are best when all senses are used

Charlie Faye & Adrienne Lake, Co-Founders

Daydream Believer Creative

Consulting services for musicians, music businesses and nonprofits

Alyse Gamble, Fashion Model & Content Specialist


Influential trailblazer with Haitian roots, focusing on DEIB, fashion and community impact

Elaine Garza, Founder & CEO

Giant Noise

Founder and CEO of Giant Noise, named one of America’s Best PR Companies by Forbes

Kim Hanks, Co-Owner & CEO

Whim Hospitality

Austin’s hospitality icon, pioneer of transformative experiences driving economic growth

Michelle Lapides & Katherine Lees, Co-Founders & Co-Owners

dozanü innovations

Transforming brands through inclusive marketing and strategic accessibility solutions worldwide

Cindy Lo, CEO & Chief Event Strategist

RED VELVET | Strong Events

Internationally awarded event creative who loves a challenge; no boring events allowed!

Kathleen Lucente, Founder & CEO

Red Fan Communications

CEO, trusted advisor, expert in elevating B2B brands

Kristin Marcum, CEO & Owner


CEO of Austin’s leading public relations firm

Fabiana Meléndez Ruiz, Founder & CEO

Refuerzo Collaborative

Award-winning storyteller nurturing stories that reinforce community

Linda Poole

JW Mariott Austin & Austin Mariott Downtown

Hospitality professional and renowned industry hotelier with more than 30 years of experience

Ali Slutsky, Founder & CEO

Resplendent Agency

Innovation-focused founder whose goal is to have the best client list rather than the largest client list

Sandra Spalding, Director of Marketing

Twin Liquors

Spirited cheerleader, spreading hospitality for Twin Liquors

Nichole Valdez, Sr. Regional Marketing & Sales

Account Manager – Central Texas

Cultivates relationships within the Central Texas community and H-E-B

Heather Wagner-Reed, Founder & CEO

Juice Consulting

Award-winning PR and marketing veteran

Leslie Wingo, President


DEIB expert and strategist, keynote and TEDx speaker, advertising badass, mom

Emily Wright, VP, Global Communications


Communications leader listed as one of The PR Net’s Marcomms’ Most Influential, 2023

Change Makers: Social Justice

Let’s get real: No city ever elevates without the tireless (and oftentimes thankless) efforts of those who stand for justice. Let’s get even realer: Women-identified activsts and advocates are the backbone of real change in any city, and especially Austin. These women-identified warriors work intentionally and without cease to ensure that Austin, the world, is truly a better place for everyone.

Susana Almanza, Director


Environmental justice activist appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Pamela Benson-Owens, President & CEO/Executive Director

Edge of Your Seat
Consulting/Six Square

Insightful and energizing speaker on leadership, embracing change and all things inspirational

María Amelia Calaf, Partner

Botkin Chiarello Calaf

Skillful litigator and counselor solving intellectual property and business disputes

BiNi Coleman, CEO

212 Catalysts

Catalyst for transformative action

Brooke Crowder, Founder & CEO

The Refuge for DMST

Privileged to work with brave and courageous young women

Virginia Cumberbatch, Co-Founder & CEO

Rosa Rebellion & Virginia Cumberbatch Racial Justice Consulting

Racial justice educator disrupting unjust systems through creative activism by and for WOC

Andrea Elizondo, Co-Founder

Texas Menstrual Equity

Movement leader that took down the tampon tax in Texas

Kendra Garrett, Affordable Housing Development Consultant/Co-Founder

BETCO Housing Lab/
The Black Fund

People-centered houser with a focus on development and policy

Mindy Henderson, Disability Rights Advocate, Speaker, Author, Editor-in-Chief

Muscular Dystrophy
Association, Quest Media adaptive, lifestyle platform for the Muscular Dystrophy Association

A leader in disability rights, working to empower and create progress for the disability community

Hon. Denise Hernandez

Judge of County Court at Law #6
Travis County

Presiding Judge of County Court at Law #6 and the Transformative Youth Justice Program

Skye Howell, Partner & Grant Writer

Full Humanity Consulting

Together we can create the future our ancestors dreamed of

Joyce James, President & CEO

Joyce James Consulting

Nationally recognized racial equity expert, transforming systems toward an antiracism culture

Susanna Ledesma-Woody, President

Del Valle Community

Coalition NonProfit (DVCC)
Working mother, advocate, founding member and current president of DVCC

Madelyn Morneault, Event Manager


Event manager for Unified’s annual celebration of activism culture

Laura Ramos James, Founder & Owner

Ramos James Law, PLLC

Award-winning injury attorney breaking barriers for equal justice in Texas

Alicia Roth Weigel, Founder

Intrepida Strategy

Star of Every Body, author of Inverse Cowgirl, and health care consultant

Natalie Sanders, Founder & House Mother

The Orisha Mere project & House of LEPORE

2023 DivInc. Spacemaker of the Year and 2023 Mother of the Year

Lily Trieu, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Asian Texans for Justice

Co-Founder and executive director of a statement nonprofit serving AAPIs

Susie Vybiral, Founder & CEO

Room Redux

Doctoral candidate, L’Oreal Paris WoW national honoree

Nakeenya Wilson, Founder, CEO & Co-Owner

Black Mamas Village, Adroit Consultancy, The Village Place

Social justice advocate, community servant and equity thought leader

Salwa Yordi Echtay, Reporter, Influencer, Nonprofit Professional

FarandulaTexas, Telemundo Austin, Latinitas

Founder, reporter and director weaving narratives, bridging cultures and celebrating diversity

Change Makers: Startup

The women-identified entrepreneurs on this list know fully well what it means to build something from scratch and see it thrive. These business owners represent a fraction of the ingenuity, ambition and tenacity it takes to lead a company into greatness. They truly epitomize why Austin has been one of the best cities for startups for the past decade.

Katherine Allen, Co-Founder & CEO

Flo Recruit

2024 Forbes 30 Under 30 for Enterprise Technology

Adelle Archer, Co-Founder & Co-CEO


Inc. and Forbes 30 under 30

Amy Arnold & Jessica Walker, Co-Founders

Card My Yard

Two moms with simple goals: to serve families and make positive community impact

Jean Anne Booth, CEO

UnaliWear, Inc.

Serial entrepreneur extending independence with dignity for vulnerable people

Sidney Collins, Co-Founder & CEO

De Oro Devices

Startup founder and brain research nerd, Pacific Coast Business Times‘ 40 under 40

Michelle Davey, Co-Founder & CEO

Wheel Health

Powering virtual care to put great health care in everyone’s reach

Jessica Ewing, Founder & CEO


Passionate founder and CEO whose mission is to ignite a love of learning and a love of life

Katie Fang, Founder & CEO


Award-winning CEO and founder of SchooLinks, building the future talent pipeline

Beth Goff-McMillan, CEO


Henry Crown Fellow, CEO, passionate advocate

Taylor Harrell, Founder & CEO

Lively Foundation

Millennial multigenerational Austinite and 14-time award-winning business owner

Shanaz Hemmati, Co-Founder & COO

ZenBusiness Inc.

Loves solving problems and enjoys constant learning

Joy Miller, Program Manager Small Business Division

City of Austin Economic
Development Department

Supports small business start-up and growth at low or no cost

Sarah Puil, Founder & CEO


Award-winning winery on a mission to change the way we all enjoy a glass of wine at home; your house wine has arrived

Jacqueline Samira, CEO


Founder and CEO of the fourth-fastest growing Austin company, 238th in U.S.

Kay Sheils Kingsbury, CFO

Apptronik, Inc

CFO to high-growth disruptive technologies

Monica Talan, Founder


Technology translator who helps you stay ahead of the curve in Web3 and AI

Dr. Andrea Thomaz & Dr. Vivian Chu, Co-Founders

Diligent Robotics

Groundbreaking female founders and social robotics experts

Brooke Waupsh, Founding CEO


Accomplished entrepreneur, named “female disruptor,” social impact advocate

Cherie Werner, Executive Director

FIESTA Community

Ambassador of connections, community builder, life coach and encourager, servant leader

Shari Wynne Ressler, Founder & CEO

KASAMA Retreat Hotels

Ecosystem builder, innovator and

Wen Zhang, Founder & CEO

INNW Institute

Self-made female entrepreneur and CEO of INNW Institute

Change Makers: Sustainability & ESG

This list showcases warriors of environmental justice and leaders who are investing in intentional advancements in environmental, social and governance. These giants of environmental advocacy and ESG are beacons of hope for a planet that needs dedicated protectors.

Tamara Atkinson, CEO

Workforce Solutions

Capital Area CEO cultivating Austin’s local workforce

Crista Bailey, Chief Business Development Officer

Him For Her

Operator with a natural lean toward strategy, business development and designing
impactful partnerships

Lisa Barden, Executive Director

Keep Austin Fed

Champion for food justice in Austin and surrounding areas

Sanika Bhave, Senior Venture Associate

Capital Factory

Investor utilizing finance to benefit the planet and future generations

Deighan Cherry, Co-Founder

Fly Girl Global

The future of women fly-fishing starts with us

Brandi Clark Burton, Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer

EcoNetworking, The Austin Common, and Leading Here initiative

Championing award-winning sustainable business leadership and green business resources

Katie Coyne, Environmental Officer, Assistant Director – Watershed Protection Department512

City of Austin

Award-winning queer ecological planner and chief steward of Austin’s environment

Reza Cristián, Founder

Sustain the Mag

Helping to make Austin Net-Zero through inclusive storytelling, sustainable fashion and community organizing

Alyson Freeman, Customer & Innovation Leader, Corporate Sustainability & ESG

Dell Technologies

Award-winning sustainable IT innovator and women in tech advocate

Muna Hussaini, Co-Founder

Recode the Quo

Creating a more equitable, inclusive and diverse startup tech community in Austin

Stacey Ingram Kaleh, Co-Founder, Director of
Communications & Community

Kaleh Media, LLC.

Writer, strategist and advocate advancing ethical AI, education and philanthropy

Alexia Leclercq, Co-Founder


Environmental justice organizer and nonprofit leader

Shelby Orme, Sustainability Expert & Speaker


Environmental activist, educator, community organizer, Parks board member for Austin District 1

LaRessa Quintana, Governmental Affairs Consultant

Jackson Walker

Passionate Austinite leveraging influence for positive policy advancements

Anissa Rodriguez
Dickerman, Ph.D.. CEO

Pecan Street Inc.

Latina CEO advancing climate justice and innovation

Robin Schneider, Executive Director

Texas Campaign for the

Environmental activist and executive director of Texas Campaign for the Environment

Lauren Taylor, Vice President & Texas District Planning Lead


Engineering News-Record National 2024 Top 20 Under 40

Chelsea Toler, Co-Founder & Chief Impact Officer


U.N. World Logic Day host providing better access to resources for communities

Change Makers: Tech

It’s no secret that Austin has blasted up the rankings of booming tech cities in the past five years. The women-identified leaders on this list have shaken up the industry, demanding space and respect in an industry saturated with male-identified gatekeepers. These pioneers prove that tech is no longer an All Boys Club.

Oyindamola Adesina, Co-Founder & COO

Simbi Interactives

Award-winning educator and product lead driving STEAM education in underserved communities

Esther Alexande,
Security Engineering & Governance Lead

Silicon Labs

Experienced engineer, musician, mentor, mother and STEAM enthusiast

Amber Allen, CEO

Double A Labs

Revolutionizing business communications with an innovative video chat platform

Gracie Arenas
Strittmatter, Supervising Director Tiburon Technical Operations

EA Sports

Accomplished technical artist and organizational leader, with more than a decade of video games experience

Mariely Bandas-Franzetti, VP, Product IT

Thought leader, status quo challenger, passionate collaborator, expert at designing sustainable growth models and a turnaround strategist

Karen Bantuveris, Founder & CEO


Business innovation expert, founder and CEO

Carolina Barcenas, Head of Platform Data Science


Data and AI senior technology executive

Usha Boddapu, CEO & Founder/Co-Founder, President & Chief AI scientist

Esolvit Inc./Arutic, Inc

AI and IT expert leading national award-winning companies

Liz Coufal, Co-Founder & Vice President

Valkyrie Intelligence

Co-Founder passionate about tearing down barriers to exclusive spaces, from politics to AI

Lety Duran Nettles, Chief Product Officer

Novant Health

Operationalizes business strategies and drives large enterprises to globalize, modernize, commercialize and scale their technology

Karyl Fowler, Co-Founder & CEO


CEO at Transmute, verifiable data for fast, secure cross-border trade

Monica Landers, Founder & CEO


AI pioneer and strategist, transforming the entertainment and media industry

Alley Lyles-Jenkins, Principal Consultant, Product Strategy & Experience Design

Slalom Consulting

Creator of products changing how people interact and experience technology

Rachel Martinez, Head of Channel & Alliances


Elevating partnerships and alliances to new levels

Angelia McFarland, Founder & CEO

EOP Media, LLC

Serial entrepreneur helping to bring individual agency to identity and data

Marisela Rylander, VP, Global People

The Knot Worldwide

Accelerator of talent and business outcomes, with a focus on bringing the best to an organization and its people

Ronnie Sheth, CEO


Founder and CEO of SENEN GROUP, global strategic advisory firm for data and AI

Meme Styles, Founder


Award-winning data activist and
Afro-Futuristic time traveler

Change Makers: UN World Logic Day

These women leverage logic to make the best decisions for their organization, community, foundation or business. Often celebrated as champions for collaboration, innovation and impact, they value knowledge and strive to use logic to encourage success. They are driven to create a better future for all and work to elevate their local and global networks.

Morgan Alexander, Director of Partnerships

DCX Community

Business advocate focusing on building and maintaining strategic long-term partner relationships

Melissa Andrews, Founder & CEO


Wielding the powers of data and enterprise for social impact

Jaclynn Brennan, CEO

Creative Duality & Fyli

Creative entrepreneur focused on community building, uplifting women founders and fostering diversity

Anika ChoKhavatia, President of Freshman Launch

Texas McCombs School of Business

U.N. World Logic Day co-chair, founder: anti-polarization news software

Carley Deardorff, Strategist for Backstage Capital & Divinc Consultant

Backstage Capital

On a mission to drive meaningful change and amplify the voices that often go

Olivia Dell, Partner & Co-Founding Partner

Regeneration.VC, NOVA
Impact, The Cometa

Venture capital investor, solutionist and network leader

Kate Grehl, Partner

First Chair Investments

Partner at First Chair Advisory, fostering renewable, impact-first businesses

Emily Gupton, COO

Folio & Austin Women in Technology

COO passionate about community, people and equity

Wendy Howell, CEO

Executive Council Network

Connector for good, passionate advocate for women and girls, angel investor, speaker

Ashley J. Jennings, Managing Director, Technology Commercialization

UT Austin Texas Innovation Center

Award-winning technologist for more than a decade, helping hundreds of founders, raising millions

Bethany Leffingwell, Senior Advisor, Social Impact

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce

Mission-driven philanthropy and communications executive

Abby Pesek, COO

Charity Charge

COO of the Austin-based social enterprise Charity Charge

Natalie Poindexter, Founder & CEO

NPI Consulting House

Master grant developer and international community builder

Ari Salafia, Founder & CEO


Green Tax Visionary CEO unlocking billions in sustainable incentives nationwide

Nicole Schilling, Lawyer

Gunderson Dettmer

Advisor to founders and investors in the startup ecosystem

Michele Skelding, Principal/Co-Chair

Capital Sage Ventures/50/50 Women on Boards

Bringing deep industry knowledge to Capital Sage Ventures and 50/50 Women on Boards

Sofia Sunaga, Co-Founder


Supporting human flourishing to make wealth work for all life

Paris Tingley, Enterprise Sales


Championing Logic AI tools and solutions for communities, nonprofits and businesses

Lily Turner, Manager, Global Technology & Innovation

Opportunity Austin

Recruiting capital to Austin, supporting Austin’s entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem

Paige Velasquez Budde, Partner & CEO

Zilker Media

Veteran marketer, keynote speaker, partner and CEO of award-winning PR and marketing agency

Alicyn Yarbrough, CEO

A Glimmer of Hope

Leading women-centered solutions in the fight to end poverty



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