JOIN US TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP
Texas Women’s Foundation elevates and celebrates the impact of women leaders by presenting the Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards to exemplary trailblazers across Texas.
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN
Maura Women Helping Women Award Recipients uses their influence to help improve the lives of women and/or girls.
Young Leader Awarrd Recipients are under the age of 40 who is breaking barriers in their field or sector, and is creating a path for other women and/or girls to follow.
CLICK HERE to submit your nomination for the Maura Women Helping Women Award.
CLICK HERE to submit your nomination for the Young Leader Award.
2021 Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration
The Leadership Forum Virtual Event featured a conversation with keynote speaker, Adriana Gascoigne, and included forums with each award recipient to learn more about their remarkable contributions in advancing women and girls across Texas.
CLICK HERE to hear more about women’s leadership with the 2021 Leadership Award Recipients on the Gender Matters™ podcast, sponsored by Kimberly Clark Corp.
Toyota North America
Ana I. Hernandez
2022 Keynote Speaker To Be Announced
The Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration is a cornerstone of our Leadership Initiative – an initiative that seeks to increase the number of women in leadership positions in all sectors and at all levels. During this celebratory, uplifting evening, high profile corporate and community leaders gather together for engaging conversations.
2021 Maura Award Recipients
Trisha Cunningham | Fairview, TX
Servant Leader & Champion of Eliminating Hunger in North Texas
Trisha Cunningham is President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), a $200 million nonprofit focused on eradicating hunger in a diverse 13-county service area. It is estimated that almost 900,000 in this area do not know where they will find their next healthy meal. Through direct and feeding partner programs, Cunningham and the NTFB team of 180 employees and thousands of volunteers provided access to 97 million meals in their most current fiscal year. This was 20 million more than their prior year and it exceeded their 2025 goal of 92 million meals five years ahead of schedule.
Prior to North Texas Food Bank, Cunningham was a 30-year global marketing, communications, branding, and public affairs executive at Texas Instruments where she most recently served as Chief Citizenship Officer. While there, she founded the Dallas Fort Worth Corporate Citizenship Network creating a collaborative model for area corporations to strengthen social impact and sustainability.
Cunningham currently serves as a director for Feeding Texas (chair), Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, and International Women’s Forum (IWF) Dallas Chapter. She is a member of University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance where she is on the faculty for the Nonprofit Governance Certificate Program, Leadership Women, Rotary Club of Park Cities, Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) Executive Women’s Roundtable, DRC Leadership Dallas Alumni, United Way Women of Tocqueville, and The Dallas Assembly. She serves on national Feeding America committees where the North Texas Food Bank is a member.
Cunningham was named as a Dallas Business Journal’s 2020 Women in Business honoree and 2020 Most Inspiring Leader, DCEO’s Dallas 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in 2019 and 2020, Elite News 2020 Women of Wisdom honoree, Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas 2019 Distinguished Alumni, the Junior League of Collin County’s 2019 Nonprofit Executive of the Year, Plano Magazine’s 2019 Girl Boss and a Leadership Women Director Emeritus. Other honors include being named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Club of Park Cities, the Lana Garner Porter Women in Technology award from Murray State University, 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Executive of the Year by CNM Connect, and a 2013 Women Leading Greater Good honoree by Alliance for Greater Works. Cunningham earned an NACD Governance Fellow accreditation, UT Dallas Nonprofit Governance Certificate and is a graduate of the IWF Fellows program, Leadership Dallas, Leadership Texas and Leadership International.
Trisha has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in business from Murray State University. She and her husband, Greg, have two grown children and reside in Fairview (Collin County).
Jin-Ya Huang | Dallas, TX
Artist & Impact Innovator for Immigrant Women
Jin-Ya Huang is a social impact, community building, and creative innovator – with a focus on the intersection of social justice, gender equity, and human rights. She is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), a culinary training social enterprise, empowering refugee women economically through the storytelling of cooking, food and culture. Jin-Ya is an expert in sustainable global supply chain, and has over a decade of extensive background in marketing for the Fossil Group, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus.
She is an acclaimed interdisciplinary artist who has shown in galleries in Dallas, Miami and New York. Her work examines her Asian identity and diasporic immigrant experience. Huang has produced innovative and interactive experience projects with museums in the DFW Metroplex. She focuses on social practice, food security and human-centered design solutions in K-12 and higher education programs. Jin-Ya is an accomplished, published writer and public speaker. Her work has been featured at the Bush Institute, Dallas Innovates, Amon Carter Art Museum, Texas Lyceum, Slow Food USA, Toyota of North
America TAASiA Corporate ERGs, Airbnb International, and TIME Magazine.
With an eye towards new approaches to entrepreneurship, empowering women and improving race relations, she serves on the Advisory board of the OpEd Project, Dallas Museum of Art Learning and Engagement Committee and the LiftFund. Jin-Ya is highly regarded for her ability to bring communities and people of all backgrounds together. Her reputation as a bridge builder won her an appointment as a social entrepreneur at SMU Hunt Institute Economic Inclusion Consortium and City of Dallas Task Force of The WCIA, Welcoming Communities of Immigrant Affairs. Jin-Ya is a proud member of the Orchid Giving Circle, a fund of The Texas Women’s Foundation. She is a current fellow of PLS,
the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program.
Rani Puranik | Houston, TX
Intrapreneur & Global Change Agent for Young Women
Co-Owner and Global CFO of Houston-based Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), Rani Puranik, thrives at leading innovation, empowering others and inspiring collaboration.
She directs financial controllership, strategy, investments and enterprise growth for WOM, a privately held, family-owned oil and gas equipment manufacturing firm with more than 3,000 employees operating in 11 locations around the world. Over the course of 15 years, she has developed and implemented the framework for communication, standardization, operations and business development at WOM. Puranik along with her father at have led WOM, the privately held corporation, to grow to more than $350 million in annual revenues
Puranik invests a significant amount of time in India as the Executive Director of the Puranik Foundation. The Puranik Foundation, founded by Puranik’s mother, serves as the corporate social responsibility arm of WOM and her daughter Bhakti serves as the Man, a nonprofit organization that operates a private residential school called the Vision International Learning Center in Pune, India for under-resourced children aging Director.
At no cost to the families it serves, K-12 students receive academic instruction, living quarters, meals, uniforms and enrichment training in mindfulness, critical thinking, and leadership. Encompassing 27-acres, the school is fully sustained by using solar, bio gas and water recycling systems to protect and preserve nature. Twice a year, high school and college students as well as teachers, professors and mindfulness practitioners from across the globe are invited to visit the campus to participate in week-long Global Service Leadership Programs. The Puranik Foundation recently collaborated with HISD and is a founding member of HISD Abroad, an initiative that will enable 10 Houston students to participate in the Global Service Leadership program in 2021.
Puranik received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Pune in India and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Rice University. As a seasoned motivational speaker and certified Master Coach in Leadership Development, Puranik is passionate about mentoring the next generation of leaders. In 2016, Puranik was named one of the Top Leading Women in Energy by the Houston Business Journal and Business Woman of the Year by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Top Workplaces Program recognized WOM as a Houston metro area Top Workplace of 2020. Outside of her work environment, Puranik is an Indian classical trained vocalist and dancer, and a certified yoga instructor.
As a leader, innovator and creative, Puranik has found the strength to reinvent herself in order to overcome challenges in her personal life and in her family’s business. Puranik’s debut book titled “Seven Letters to My Daughters” is slated to launch in 2021.
The businesswoman on a mission wears many hats on any given day but is most proud to be a mother of two grown daughters and two rescued dogs. Puranik enjoys scuba diving, traveling and spending time with family.
Judy Treviño | San Antonio, TX
Charity Leader & Advocate for Women’s Financial Empowerment
Judy Treviño serves as the Executive Director for CCVI Ministries, Inc., an international nonprofit organization sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. She has extensive management, governance, and board experience in nonprofit, governmental, and foundation institutions. Her experience includes managing the day-to-day activities of administration, accounting, operations, strategic planning, and board development.
The San Antonio native is currently pursuing her Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Incarnate Word and has earned her Master’s of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting from St. Mary’s University.
Mrs. Treviño was appointed by the Governor of Texas to the Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board. Mayor Ron Nirenberg appointed her to the City of San Antonio Audit Committee. She was just elected to the Texas Business and Professional Women’s Foundation board. Additionally, she serves as a board member for Texas A&M San Antonio Foundation, the University of the Incarnate Word, and St. Elizabeth Adult Day Care Center. She is a former president of the Institute of Internal Auditors San Antonio Chapter and the 2nd Vice-Chair of the CentroMed Board of Directors. She graduated from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latina Leadership Institute and participated in Leadership San Antonio Class 41.
She has volunteered with multiple women organizations and is always eager to assist other women. For the past three years, she has presented to the Latina Leadership Institute, How to Read Financial Statements and enhance their Personal Wealth. This yearly program has over thirty women from San Antonio and surrounding areas that are interested in running for public office or serving on a board. She has also assisted several of the participants in their salary negotiations. This past year she presented Financial Reports 101 to over twenty young ladies currently in the 10th to 12th grade with the Boardroom Project.
Cheryl Polote Williamson | Flower Mound, TX
Filmmaker, Author, Speaker & Entrepreneurial Activator
Nationally acclaimed multi best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker and executive producer, transformational speaker, and success coach Cheryl Polote Williamson is a global leader who has successfully ushered 435 individuals into entrepreneurships. Williamson is the CEO and Founder of Williamson Media Group, LLC, and Cheryl Polote Williamson, LLC, where her knowledge, expertise, and resources connect others to their purpose.
She has received multiple national and international media features and several leadership awards including: one of Dallas Top 25 women and one of the Female Success Factor Award recipients for 2016, the 2017 and 2018 Indie Author Literary Trailblazer Award, Global Smashers Award, Who’s Who in Black Dallas Publishing, and Indie Author Legacy Award in 2017 and 2018, a 2018 African American Literary Award, and the 2020 African American Literary Award for Self-Published Author of the Year.
Williamson is also the Founder and CEO of Soul Reborn, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that has supported more than 4500 disenfranchised, under-served, and previously incarcerated women through lectures and conferences. Through a widely supported Housing Development Initiative, Soul Reborn also educates individuals and communities on crime statistics, employment opportunities, business creation and a variety of resources.
Williamson tours nationally, motivating varied audiences to release negative strongholds, walk in power, and thrive in purpose. She’s been a featured author at the 108th NAACP National Convention and the Congressional Black Caucus. She has published multiple bestselling titles including, Soul Reborn, Affirmed, The Success Factor, Soulful Prayers Vol 1 and 2, and with Soulful Affirmations releasing in 2021. She also has online communities where others have been inspired to author or co-authorship, volunteerism, entrepreneurial ventures, and philanthropic gestures under her mentorship.
Williamson’s memberships and affiliations include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, The Links Incorporated (Mid-Cities Chapter), The Walker’s Legacy Group Ambassador, Non-Fiction Author’s Association, Odyssey Media Group and is a 2020 PayPal Empowerment Grant awardee.
Serving is Cheryl Polote Williamson’s passion, but nothing comes before the love and care she gives to her husband Russ Williamson of 30 years, her three amazing children, Russ, Jr., Courtney, and Lauren, and two adorable grandbabies, Leah and Russ III.
2021 Young Leader Award Recipients
Diana Mao | Dallas, TX
Global Crusader & Protector Against Human Trafficking
Diana Mao, President of Nomi Network, is an abolitionist whose mission is to eradicate human trafficking in her lifetime. A leader in the global movement to abolish slavery, she co-founded Nomi Network, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about human-trafficking and creates economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk. Diana recruited the Nomi Network Board of Directors and Advisory Board. She also established strategic relationships with large corporations while developing Nomi Network into a prominent international organization.
Many organizations have recognized the work that Diana and Nomi Network have been doing. In 2015, the Presidential Leadership Scholars program selected her for its inaugural class. From April of 2013 through 2019, Diana has Co-Chaired the Nexus Human Trafficking Modern Day Slavery Work Group, an organization that has rallied millions of people to combat modern slavery. Diana currently serves on the White House Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking. And she recently received the Pioneer Award from Asian Americans for Equality and the Alumni Impact Award from New York University.
Diana’s faith fuels her drive for justice. Her conviction stems from a research trip to Cambodia, where she witnessed young children trafficked and sold. Convinced of the urgency and necessity for action, she desired to restore women and families to have self-agency and be catalysts in their communities. In response to this trip, Diana left her position as Senior Consultant at Maximus, Inc., where she had been instrumental in providing a business perspective to government health and human services agencies. While at Maximus, Inc., she also helped to increase efficiency and revenue, as well as strengthen businesses and workforce development programs. Her tenure as a senior consultant gave her the creative insight to see the potential in using business methods to address human-trafficking, minimize costs, and maximize the use of resources while working for social change.
Diana earned a master’s degree in Public Administration, with a specialization in International Management from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Prior to that, Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Chinese from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kim Roxie | Houston, TX
Entrepreneur & Catalyst for WOC Founders
Kim Roxie is the Founder & CEO of LAMIK Beauty, a clean beauty brand that caters to multicultural women. After opening her own brick and mortar makeup shop at age 21, in Houston, TX on a $500 investment, Kim ran that store for 14 years and was the youngest African-American woman to have her products carried in a major department store. In 2019, Roxie pivoted her business and launched LAMIK as an e-commerce beauty company. In 2020, Roxie secured a partnership with an augmented reality company to launch an innovative tech-enabled website that allows consumers to digitally try on cosmetics.
Kim has become a community leader, with the City of Houston formally naming June 23rd as Kim Roxie day in 2019. She holds an Executive Certification from the Tuck School of Business, a Bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University, and an Esthetician’s license from Houston Community College. She is a scholar in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, has served on the board of Career & Recovery Services, and currently serves on the City of Houston Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Board.
In 2017 Kim received the Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service. In 2019, Kim was honored as one of the Houston Business Journal’s 40 under 40, and was named one of the American Business Journal’s Most Influential Young Executives in 2019. Face2Face Africa has named her one of the 30 Black Stars among corporate executives and entrepreneurs. Her company, LAMIK, has been featured in Essence, Allure, Cosmopolitan, and MarthaStewart.com.
Past Award Recipients
MAURA WOMEN HELPING WOMEN AWARD
|Vivian A. Castleberry*||1978|
|The Honorable Sarah T. Hughes*||1978|
|The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson||1978|
|Johnnie Marie Grimes*||1979|
|Louise H. Raggio*||1979|
|Hermine D. Tobolowsky*||1979|
|Virginia B. Whitehill*||1979|
|Beverly A. Gandy||1980|
|Dr. Ellenore Ott||1980|
|Barbara B. Reagan*||1980|
|Judge Joan R. Winn Tarpley||1980|
|Judge Theo L. Bedard*||1981|
|Dr. Carolyn Galerstein*||1981|
|Gail B. Smith||1981|
|Charlotte W. Taft||1981|
|Suzanne Ahn, M.D.*||1982|
|Rev. Dr. Mary Louise Rowand*||1982|
|Mary Esther Gaulden, M.D.*||1983|
|Sally Sharp Jacobson||1983|
|Marjorie W. Schuchat*||1983|
|Harryette B. Ehrhardt||1984|
|Betty Jo Hay*||1985|
|Joy S. Mankoff||1985|
|Beverly Brooks Miller||1985|
|Nancy Goodman Brinker||1986|
|Catalina E. Garcia, M.D.||1986|
|Irene T. Ramirez||1986|
|Eleanor Tufts, Ph.D.*||1986|
|Barbara L. Watkins||1986|
|Reverend Ruth T. Barnhouse, M. D.*||1987|
|Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D.||1987|
|The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison||1987|
|Sandra C. Tinkham||1987|
|Monica Yates Fried*||1988|
|Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D.||1988|
|Gloria de la Cruz*||1989|
|Sharon S. King||1989|
|Mamie McKnight, Ph.D.*||1989|
|Caren H. Prothro||1989|
|Barbara S. Cambridge, Ph.D.||1990|
|Barbara L. Sinak||1990|
|Brenda L. Jackson||1991|
|Patricia B. Meadows||1991|
|Regina T. Montoya||1991|
|Ruth P. Morgan, Ph.D.||1991|
|Julie Scott Reed*||1991|
|Susybelle L. Gosslee||1992|
|Suzanne F. Greenman||1992|
|Cynthia Salzman Mondell||1992|
|Laura V. Estrada||1993|
|Lyda H. Hill||1993|
|Barbara E. Rosenberg||1993|
|Rita A. Cox||1994|
|Pearl Garza Fracchia||1994|
|The Honorable Helen Giddings||1994|
|Scherry F. Johnson, Ed. D.||1994|
|Barbara J. Middleton||1994|
|Gloria Campos Brown||1995|
|Lois G. Finkelman||1995|
|Ella Goode Johnson||1995|
|Sally M. Knox, M.D.||1996|
|Ann E. Margolin||1996|
|Kay W. Cole*||1997|
|Dr. Mona Hersh-Cochran||1997|
|Rosanne M. Ortega||1997|
|Julie G. Lowenberg||1998|
|Sandra D. Malone||1998|
|Thalia C. Oliphant||1998|
|Phyllis Fishman Bernstein||1999|
|Barbara F. Materka||1999|
|Bernice J. Washington||1999|
|Sylvia L. Benenson||2000|
|Gail A. Griswold||2000|
|Dr. Sheron C. Patterson||2000|
|Becky R. Sykes||2000|
|Brenda F. Brand||2001|
|Marion G. Sobol||2001|
|Elaine B. Agather||2002|
|Dianne and Levy Curry||2002|
|Cynthia A. Gonzalez||2002|
|Martha R. Tiller||2002|
|The Honorable Kathryn W. Hall||2003|
|Elizabeth F. (Liza) Lee||2003|
|Anita N. Martinez||2003|
|Thalia F. Matherson, Ed. D.||2003|
|Julie Spicer England||2004|
|Nancy Ann Hunt||2004|
|Margaret H. Jordan||2004|
|Wendy A. Lopez||2004|
|Linda P. Custard||2005|
|Norma L. Beasley*||2006|
|The Honorable Angie Chen Button, CPA, CFP||2006|
|Gene and Jerry Jones||2006|
|Jan E. Langbein||2006|
|Cindy D. Ankele||2007|
|Cecilia G. Boone||2007|
|Carol C. Donovan, PC||2007|
|Ebby A. Halliday*||2007|
|Cynthia B. Nunn||2007|
|Alice L. Rodriguez||2007|
|Naomi D. Aberly||2008|
|Lottye S. Brodsky, Ph.D.||2008|
|Patricia A. Porter||2008|
|Shaunna F. Black||2009|
|Former First Lady Laura Bush||2009|
|Betty S. Regard||2009|
|Roslyn Dawson Thompson||2009|
|Rebel B. Calhoun||2010|
|Paige H. Flink||2010|
|Wanda R. Brice||2011|
|Cathy Wilkins Moffitt||2011|
|Patricia A. Vaughan*||2011|
|Alinda H. Wikert||2011|
|Clare Buie Chaney, Ph.D.||2013|
|Debbie Dudley Branson||2014|
|Julie Mamolen Bleicher||2015|
|Major General Mary Saunders, USAF, Retired||2015|
|Diana C. Dutton||2016|
|Rabbi Nancy Kasten||2016|
|Billie Bryant Schultz||2016|
|Hind El Saadi El Jarrah, Ph.D.||2017|
|Madeline McClure, LCSW||2017|
|The Honorable Judge Tonya Parker||2017|
|Arcilia C. Acosta||2018|
|Jocelyn D. Kidd, DDS||2018|
|Cynthia Mickens Ross||2018|
|Dee Dee Bates||2019|
|Ana I. Hernandez||2019|
|Cheryl Polote Williamson||2021|
YOUNG LEADER AWARD
|Myiesha Taylor, M.D.||2014|
|Brittany Merrill Underwood||2014|
|Marissa E. Horne||2015|
|Lacy L. Durham, Esq.||2016|
|Brittany K. Byrd||2016|
|Cynthia Nwaubani, CPA||2017|
|Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D.||2018|
|Dr. HaeSung Han||2019|
|Ana I. Rodriguez||2019|
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
|Attitudes & Attire||2003|
|Dallas Chapter – The LINKS||1997|
|Dallas Women’s Foundation||1996|
|Family Place, The||1979, 1988|
|Junior League of Dallas||2000|
|League of Women Voters of Dallas||1993|
|Media Projects, Inc.||1992|
|National Council of Jewish Women||1998|
|North Texas United Nations Conference on Women||2002|
|SMU DeGolyer Library||2001|
|SMU Women’s Symposium||1990|
|Texas Instruments, Inc.||1996|
|Texas Woman’s News||1987|
|Women’s Issues Network||2002|
|Women’s Southwest Federal Credit Union||1984|
|YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas||1995|