Woman To Watch Roll Call featuring the inspiring women leading the charge for social good in local nonprofits.

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Austin Threads, (a division of San Antonio Threads)

Cathy Hamilton | Founder & CEO

Cathy Hamilton’s experience as a court-appointed special advocate, where she witnessed the indignity of teen girls selecting used bleached underwear from a barrel, inspired her to work tirelessly to bring her concept San Antonio (and Austin) Threads to life. Her goal was to create a retail-like environment where our community’s often forgotten teens in foster care could shop for new clothes, shoes and personal items for free. Hamilton has kept her promise to herself to make a difference in the lives of those who have suffered at the hands of others.

austinthreads.org

Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society

Jennifer Williams, Ph.D. | Executive Director and Co-founder

Jennifer Williams, Ph.D. is a lifelong horsewoman, author and one of the co-founders of Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. Through her work with Bluebonnet, she helps rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome neglected, abused and abandoned horses throughout Texas.

bluebonnetequine.org

Center for Child Protection

Debbie Tate, CFRE, CFRM | Chief Development Officer

As chief development officer, Debbie Tate oversees fundraising for the Center for Child Protection. The Center is a child-friendly facility where children and their protective caregivers go for evidence gathering, forensic medical exams, counseling and intervention during the investigation and prosecution of their cases. In her 17 years at the Center, she has helped raise more than $30 million to support more than 20,000 child abuse victims.

centerforchildprotection.org

Change 1 Mind Change 1 Life

Cortney Jones | Executive Director

Cortney Jones elevates the voice of youth in foster care. She is a tireless advocate for change within the system and within the youth themselves. Jones has worked in policy development, advocacy, public education and individual case management for over 18 years. She serves as an appointed council member on the Family and Protective Services Council. She is the founder and executive director of Change 1, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of youth in foster care.

change1.org

Foster Angels of Central Texas

Tania Leskovar-Owens, Executive Director

Tania Leskovar-Owens is the executive director of Foster Angels of Central Texas, an organization that aids children in foster care and provides a sense of normalcy. Under Leskovar-Owens’ leadership, Foster Angels has implemented additional programming called “Guide to Thrive” that specifically serves the needs of youth aging out of care.

fosterangelsctx.org/tania

Halcyon Foundation

Amy Sweet | Executive Director and Founder

Founder of Halcyon Home and Halcyon Foundation Amy Sweet is a physician assistant whose company has been providing exceptional care to thousands of Central Texas patients each year. HalcyonFoundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps underfunded hospice patients pay for services and additional needs not covered by the Medicare benefit. In addition to providing assistance to those who find themselves in need toward the end of their lives, HalcyonFoundation also supports hospice employees in their higher education pursuits. Those who have been touched by hospice know the importance of quality end-of-life care. It is Halcyon Foundation’s mission to ease the financial burden for patients, family members and care providers.

halcyonhome.com/halcyon-foundation

Hope 4 Austin

Monica von Waaden | Founder and Executive Director

Monica von Waaden is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Austin, a local nonprofit endeavoring to “create opportunity through food security.” HopeAustin ensures food security, hope, dignity and respect to over 2,700 students in 84 schools across seven school districts. Prior to HopeAustin, von Waaden raised two sons with her husband Mark, was a domestic violence attorney and a special education teacher.

hope4austin.org

Leander Educational Excellence Foundation

Kristen Huguley | Executive Director

Kristen Huguley’s executive leadership and systems thinking ensure the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation is a critical support system for Leander ISD. The organization’s annual impact helps thousands of students and teachers create their own success. Huguley serves as the Leander Chamber of Commerce board chair and the Professional Women of Williamson County VP, scholarships.

leeftx.org

Ronald McDonald House Charity

Carolyn Schwarz | CEO

Carolyn Schwarz has served as CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas since 2013 and is passionate about the organization’s mission to keep families with sick children together and near the care and resources they need. Her recognitions include Austinite of Year at the Austin Under 40 Awards, {Austin Business Journal} Profiles in Power Award and 2021 Best CEO Nomination from the {Austin Business Journal}.

rmhc-ctx.org

Senior Access

Serita Lacasse | Executive Director

Serita Lacasse is the executive director of Senior Access and has worked for the past 30 years with senior adults. She holds a Masters of Social Work with a specialty in gerontology. Lacasse is passionate about the rights of older adults and advocates for services to allow them to age in place independently. She has developed meaningful relationships with the senior clients and loves them as family. Whenever it is necessary, Serita drives one of the senior access vans herself to take the clients to the grocery store. “Every time I do a ride for one of my clients, I feel better. My secret to staying happy and reducing stress is giving back to others through volunteering.”

senioraccesstx.org

Society For Animal Rescue & Adoption

Tracy Frank | Director/Founder

Society For Animal Rescue & AdoptionTracy Frank is the founder of Society For Animal Rescue & Adoption(SARA), one of the largest sanctuaries in the world. For over a quarter of a century, SARA has organically grown into what it is today, a safe haven for unwanted and forgotten animals of all kinds.

sarasanctuary.org

The Sandbox at Madeline’s Place

Billie Logiudice | Executive Director

The Sandbox Executive Director Billie Logiudice helped pioneer this nonprofit as a founding board member. As the organization’s first full-time employee, her role allows her to make her passion and desire to reach young people and create safe places for them physically, mentally and emotionally as they navigate adolescence a reality.

thesandboxatmadelinesplace.org

Women’s Storybook Project of Texas

Jill Gonzalez | Executive Director

A lifelong reader, Jill Gonzalez has served as executive director of Women’s Storybook Project of Texas (WSP) for three years. She deeply loves WSP’s mission of connecting children to their incarcerated mothers through the joy of literature. Building hope, connections and home libraries for this often-forgotten population is joyful!

storybookproject.org


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