Texas Women’s Foundation (formerly Dallas Women’s Foundation) has announced the recipients of its 2019 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards, which recognize leaders who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls. Award recipients will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T, on May 2, 2019, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a sponsor reception, followed by a general reception at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. there will be dinner and the presentation of the Maura Award to five outstanding women leaders and Young Leader Award to two remarkable women under the age of 40. The co-chairs are Retta Miller of Jackson Walker LLP and Thear Suzuki of EY.
The event’s keynote speaker is Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a mission-driven investment platform investing in women-led companies that are building stronger economies. She is also chair of Ellevate Network, and was named by Fast Company as one of “100 Most Creative People.” She is the author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work, a book empowering women to be successful leaders in their careers. Her appearance is sponsored in part by the Catherine M. Coughlin Endowment for Women’s Leadership at Texas Women’s Foundation.
“We are humbled to pay tribute to these incredible women who are contributing their passion, skill and time to blaze trails for women and girls to follow,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer. “We are also very pleased to welcome Sallie Krawcheck as our keynote speaker. She has made it her mission to help women unleash our financial power, so that we can build savings and wealth in order to invest in women to make powerful change in our communities and world.”
Maura Women Helping Women Award:
For 40 years, the Maura Women Helping Women Award has been presented to courageous individuals who have catalyzed change for women and girls. The 2019 Maura recipients will join the esteemed company of more than 200 previous honorees. The 2019 recipients:
Dee Dee Bates is a successful financial executive who became one of the first female partners at New York Life (Dallas General Office). She has provided career opportunities for many women by leading New York Life’s Women’s Market Unit (Dallas), an initiative focused on hiring and promoting women into leadership positions. She passionately promotes and advocates for women’s empowerment, economic literacy, diversity and inclusion. She founded and helped charter several women’s organizations such as Women’s E-initiative and Women’s Top of the Table – focused on empowering women in business and advancing women’s leadership. As president of the Collin County Black Chamber, she is collaborating with local branches to begin a new women’s program within that chamber. She and husband, Kerry, are proud and faithful parents of their three children, Ikeyia, Kiara and Keislyn.
Sally Dunning is an outstanding leader who has led the way in advancing equity and opportunities for women and girls in our community. She has worked tirelessly for equal access to quality healthcare, education, the arts and adoption to create forever families. As chair of Greenhill School Board of Trustees, she helped to expand student diversity and instituted scholarship programs to advance gender equality. She co-chaired Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas with a goal of $12.5 million, which was exceeded in order to ensure accessible healthcare for all women covered by the affiliate. She served on the board of Annie’s List as a strategic plan was created to help elect more women to local, as well as state offices. Also, she has served on numerous other boards and community initiatives. As an interior designer, she established The Design Studio and worked for many individuals, clients and companies for more than 50 years.
Ana I. Hernandez is senior vice president and senior loan officer at PlainsCapital Bank. As a first-generation college graduate born in Mexico, she believes in paying it forward by helping others. In her field, she provides financial solutions to businesses on gaining access to capital to help them achieve their business goals. She is a strong advocate for education and the importance of empowering women with financial literacy. She is an active mentor to young women attending Dallas-area middle and high schools and young Latina professional women. She volunteers her time equipping women who are victims of financial and physical abuse with the knowledge they need to be economically secure, both in English and in Spanish, at organizations such as The Family Place and Genesis Women’s Shelter. In addition, she serves on several committees and boards, and on weekends, she volunteers feeding the homeless or packaging meals that feed children in disadvantaged countries with Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit organization.
Ashlee Kleinert is an entrepreneur in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She and her husband, Chris, co-founded The Kleinert Foundation in 2017 to understand and address social issues with a focus on sex trafficking and vulnerable populations in our community. In 2011, she founded Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe´, a gourmet grilled cheese food truck with passion and purpose. The belief that an act of kindness is never wasted fuels the “Random Snacks of Kindness” program, feeding unsuspecting groups at various shelters, schools and businesses. In 2009, she co-founded Executives in Action (EIA), generating more than $5 million of human resource capital for North Texas not-for-profit organizations. EIA merged with Catchafire.org in 2016, expanding the platform to a national level. She has been honored to engage in partnership and service with Texas Women’s Foundation, New Friends New Life, Shelter Ministries of Dallas, St. Philip’s School, SMU Dedman College, SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Rebecca Bender Initiative. Her faith and family are her greatest treasures.
Nicole Small is chief executive officer of LH Holdings, Inc. and president of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. From her deep and long-standing involvement at The Hockaday School to her work at Lyda Hill Philanthropies, she has a passion for advancing women and girls. Most recently, she spearheaded Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ If/Then initiative, a platform aimed to elevate positive and successful female STEM professionals with a focus on funding their work and sharing their stories, developing and supporting programs for middle school girls to learn about STEM opportunities, and engaging media partners to help shift the perception of women in STEM. Prior to Lyda Hill Philanthropies, she was CEO of the Perot Museum of Nature & Science where she led the merger of three existing Dallas museums and the development of the $200 million new museum. While at the museum, she was a strong supporter of women in leadership roles, as well as advocate for programs focused on inspiring girls to pursue careers in science. She currently is a member of The Hockaday School Board of Trustees, Dallas Assembly, YPO, Charter 100 and International Women’s Forum. She serves on many boards and resides in Dallas with her husband, two daughters and a dog.
Young Leader Award:
The Young Leader Award recognizes breakthrough leadership exhibited by a trailblazer who is achieving success in a field, initiative or sector, and creating a path of opportunity for other women to follow. The honorees for 2019:
Dr. HaeSung Han is a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified art therapist. She co-founded POETIC, an intensive aftercare program for exploited and trafficked girls exiting the juvenile justice system. POETIC directly targets the vulnerabilities that perpetuate the cycle of re-victimization for girls through a four-systems model that includes an on-site school, 24/7 access to a therapist and case manager, art therapy and paid internships. She saw firsthand the need for POETIC while serving as the first clinical director at the Letot Residential Treatment Center. She is a member of the board of the North Texas Art Therapy Association. She provides training nationally on the assessment and evidence-based treatment of youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. She also consults with agencies on developing and implementing trauma-informed systems of care, programming and culture.
Ana I. Rodriguez is a non-profit executive, inspirational speaker and organizational strategist who works to create leadership opportunities for diverse groups. She serves as the director of the SMU Cox Latino Leadership Initiative, the country’s only business-school-based national center of excellence focused on expanding the diverse corporate leadership pipeline and accelerating top Latino talent into executive positions. She works with Fortune 500 companies to recruit, retain and develop top talent, providing access to a growing multi-cultural talent pipeline that creates key advantages for their global organizations. She also leads an initiative to increase diversity at SMU by hosting high school students from underrepresented and marginalized communities to tour and learn about continued education and opportunities at SMU throughout the year. She is a proud Dallas native and graduate of SMU.
To learn more about this event, visit https://www.txwf.org/events/leadership-forum-awards-dinner/.
Texas Women’s Foundation, formerly Dallas Women’s Foundation, is investing to Transform Texas for Women and Girls, empowering them to build stronger, more equitable communities throughout Texas. One of the world’s largest women’s funds, it is a trusted leader in advocating for and advancing economic security for Texas women, girls and families, and ensuring women and girls are enabled and supported in taking leadership roles in every sector in the state. With more than $35 million in assets, Texas Women’s Foundation raises approximately $8 million a year to underwrite groundbreaking statewide research on issues affecting women and girls – providing decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Funds also sustain the Foundation’s $5 million in annual grants, mission-focused gendered asset investments, and support for innovative programs and solutions to help Texas women and girls thrive. For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now.