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Dallas Women's Foundation Cynthia Mickens Ross (Maura Awardee), Gail Turner (Maura Awardee), Jocelyn Kidd, DDS (Maura Awardee), Roslyn Dawson Thompson (Dallas Women’s Foundation president & CEO)

On March 13, Dallas Women’s Foundation held a patron party for the donors, supporters and honorees of its 2018 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards. Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner Selection Committee Co-Chair Brenda Jackson hosted the illustrious group at Lakewood Country Club. The six recipients will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T, on April 19, 2018, at the Dallas Omni Hotel.


Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Foundation president and CEO, welcomed everyone. “This year’s keynote speaker, Nina Tassler, is the former CBS Entertainment chairwoman and author of What I Told My Daughter – a thoughtful collection of advice and counsel from powerful and diverse women. Tassler will not only share what she told her daughter, but also her experiences leading CBS entertainment as the most watched network for 12 years, while bringing women as the main focal point of many shows she helped develop.”


Then, she introduced the co-chairs, Effie Dennison of Texas Capital Bank, and former Maura awardee, and Jan Sharry of Haynes and Boone.  


Sharry thanked the top sponsors. “Because of you, Dallas Women’s Foundation is able to invest in leadership opportunities for women and girls in North Texas:

Presenting Sponsor: AT&T     
Speaker Sponsor: Catherine M. Coughlin Endowment for Women’s Leadership

Young Leader Award Sponsor: Capital One

Crystal Sponsor: Haynes and Boone, Texas Capital Bank

Diamond Sponsor: AXXESS

Media Sponsors: Dallas Business Journal, DCEO

Emerald Sponsors:  Ellenore Baker & Julie England; Ernst & Young; Nancy Ann Hunt; Jones Day.”


Dennison introduced the exceptional women receiving the 2018 awards. She said, “The Maura Women Helping Women Award is considered one of the most prestigious, and this year’s recipients are deeply deserving of this honor.” The Maura Awardees are:


Arcilia C. Acosta, first in her family to graduate college, today is CEO of Carcon Industries and founder and CEO of STL Engineers. She has transformed the male-dominated field of construction, while serving as a mentor to many women.


Dr. Jocelyn D. Kidd, an outstanding dentist who has served as a mentor to women dentists, led The Links Dallas Chapter’s STEAM Academy for girls and continues to be a leader in the dental industry for mentorship of women and community service.


Cynthia Mickens Ross, communication and outreach director for Methodist Charlton Medical Center, is also the founder of a 12-week spiritual and personal development course entitled Path-Way to Purpose. She is the senior pastor of Path-Way to Life Center of Hope Church in Hutchins, Texas, and also founded the Path-Way to Purpose Residential Housing program that provides free, safe and supportive housing for women and children.


Gail Turner, the “First Lady of SMU” and a dedicated civic-minded leader in our community, volunteers with several nonprofits that serve the needs of women. She is a founding member of New Friends New Life, an organization that serves women and children who have been victimized by trafficking. She continues to be a role model for young women and helps shape education for women through her work with SMU.


Sharry concluded, “We are also delighted to honor two Young Leader Awardees, and are grateful to Capital One for sponsoring these awards.” The Young Leader Awardees are:


Dr. Vanessa Bouché, an assistant professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University, who not only teaches classes on human trafficking but inspires others to pursue empathy, understanding and justice for those who have been trafficked. She has developed extensive databases on human trafficking prosecutions in the U.S. and India and even spent a significant amount of time interviewing traffickers in federal prisons.


Brooke López has an impressive background. At age 16, Lopez proposed a state bill and founded her nonprofit “Students of Change.” By 18, she was the youngest person ever to run for Wylie City Council. And now at 21, Lopez serves on the advisory council of IGNITE, an organization that helps women become civically engaged and eventually step into public office.


For those interested in purchasing tickets to the dinner, which start at $350, or a sponsorship, visit


Dallas Women’s Foundation is the largest regional women’s fund in the world. It is a trusted leader in advancing positive social and economic change for women and girls. The Foundation was built on the belief that when you invest in a woman, there is a ripple effect that benefits her family, her community and her world. Dallas Women’s Foundation has researched, funded and demonstrated the ripple effect since 1985 in North Texas, granting more than $37.6 million since inception and over $4.5 million annually to help create opportunities and solve issues for women and girls. With the support of its donors, the Foundation unlocks resources to improve education and quality of life, give voice to issues affecting women and girls, and cultivate women leaders for the future. For more information, visit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

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