Location: 2023 Event Location TBD


Presented by


On April 26th at the Omni Dallas Hotel, Texas Women’s Foundation brought together nearly 600 people to elevate and celebrate the impact of women leaders by presenting the Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards to exemplary trailblazers across Texas.

Pictured are the 2022 Maura and Young Leader Award Recipients.

  • Maura Women Helping Women Award Recipients use their influence to help improve the lives of women and/or girls.
  • Young Leader Award 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.

2022 Co-chairs

Bonnie Clinton
Toyota North America

Ana I. Hernandez
PlainsCapital Bank

Keynote Speaker

Radha Agrawal

Social Entrepreneur • Community Architect • Author • Co-Founder, THINX & Daybreaker

Radha is a is a community force. She is the co-Founder, CEO and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker ,the early morning dance and wellness move-ment that currently holds events in 25 cities and over a dozen college campuses around the world with a community of almost half a million people. She is asuccessful entrepreneur (Co-Founder THINX , LiveItUp), author, globe trotting speaker, DJ, inventor, and investor.
Her new book BELONG answers the questions, “how the heck do I find my people?” and “How do I create large and meaningful communities in the real world?”. She spent 18 months synthesizing her key methods for community building, peeling back the curtain on exactly what she and her team did (and continues to do) at Daybreaker so that anyone interested in creating their own community could have a
blueprint for how to do it.

2022 Maura Award Recipients

Arlene J. Ford, Ph.D. (Dallas, TX)
Equity Inquiry Project Inc.

Dr. Ford is the founder of the Equity Inquiry Project Inc. where she consults with organizations—educational institutions, nonprofits, corporations and their leaders—to build capacity around equity, inclusion and organizational change. She speaks nationally on issues of equity and inclusion, and has taught a graduate level course on equity to education leaders at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Ford is a trustee for the Dallas Museum of Art and is a director of Leadership ISD, a nonprofit organization that works to equip civic leaders to advocate for education equity and excellence for all students, particularly the most underserved. She also sits on the national board of LIFT Communities, an organization aimed at racial equity and economic stability. She received her Ph.D. in urban schooling from UCLA, her master’s degree in sociology and education from Teacher’s College Columbia University, her law degree from Harvard Law School, and bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University.

Thana Hickman-Simmons (Dallas, TX)
Viola’s House

Hickman-Simmons is the founder and executive director of Viola’s House, an emergency placement shelter for teen mothers who have an unplanned pregnancy. Raised in a middle-class home on the south side of Chicago, she faced an unexpected pregnancy at 17 and made the decision to keep her unborn child because of her support system. Hickman-Simmons moved to Dallas in 2007 and opened Viola’s House in 2008 after seeing that teen mothers often became homeless and didn’t have resources. Through a partnership with Cornerstone Baptist Church, Viola’s House opened one apartment with two beds in 2015. Now, it has helped more than 240 homeless teen mothers in South Dallas through housing, licensed counselors, mentors and educators. In addition to helping these teen moms, she has also created jobs for women including her three daughters. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, is a certified life coach and holds a license of ordination in ministry.

Patricia “Pat” Jasso (San Antonio, TX)
Senior Planet/Retired AT&T Manager

Jasso is a community outreach coordinator and trainer for Senior Planet, a national nonprofit of OATS (Older Adults Technology) targeting seniors 60+. She also taught for OASIS organization for those 50+. Previously, she worked for AT&T until 2011 and served in the Air Force Reserves for 15 years. Jasso is a board member of Brooks Development Authority, board chair for the Texas Business & Professional Women Foundation, director-at-large of Texas Business Women San Antonio and board chair for the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center Advisory Board. She serves as coordinator for Can We Talk, a coalition 65+ organizations that plan Women’s History Month (March) and Women’s Equality Day (August). One of her passions is politics, and she serves on the board of Annie’s List. She has received several awards including being inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for her volunteerism.

Lynn McBee (Dallas, TX)
Young Women’s Preparatory Network

As a volunteer leader for more than 27 years, McBee has worked more than 45,000 hours of service for 30+ nonprofit groups. Her work has made a difference on issues like improving education, serving homeless, protecting children, fighting domestic violence and helping underserved students succeed in college. McBee has served more than eight years as CEO of Young Women’s Preparatory Network, a public-private partnership that creates STEM-focused schools of choice in an all-girls setting. To date, YWPN grads have a 100% college acceptance rate – many of them first generation college goers. She has grown revenues 300% and has partnered with ISDs to improve student achievement. As a biochemistry graduate from the University of Texas, she has worked for 30 years with New England Biolabs as a research scientist, manager and employee owner. She has won numerous awards for her work, most recently the 2021 Juanita Craft Humanitarian Visionary Award. She was recently appointed the Workforce Development Czar for the City of Dallas by Mayor Eric Johnson.

Patricia Rodriguez Christian (Irving, TX)
CRC Group Inc.

Rodriguez Christian is an entrepreneurial executive with more than 20 years of C-level experience at privately held CRC Group Inc., a group of family-owned companies. As CEO, she has provided leadership and direction at B2B/B2C companies in retail, restaurant, business processing outsourcing, real estate, and construction, from start-up through maturity. She is passionate about making diversity and inclusion a priority in all endeavors. Rodriguez Christian serves on corporate and nonprofit boards including co-president of Women Execs on Boards, Women’s Business Council Southwest, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and past president of DFW Hispanic 100 where she helped establish the Latina Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation. She serves as an independent board director at Actuated Medical Inc. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from University of Phoenix, a Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico, and is an alumna of the Harvard Business School with a Corporate Director Certificate.

2022 Young Leader Award Recipients

Stacy Johnson (Round Rock, TX)
Central Texas Table of Grace

After leaving an alcoholic and neglectful mother and entering the foster care system at the age of two, Johnson spent the next 14 years moving from foster home to foster home, dreaming that she would open a children’s shelter to help kids like herself. In 2014, she opened Central Texas Table of Grace, an emergency shelter for children ages 6 to 17 in the foster care system who have nowhere else to go. Its mission is to create a loving, nurturing, homelike environment for displaced youth in the Central Texas area. Today, nearly 500 children have experienced the life-changing, loving, nurturing care offered there. In 2021, with 20% of foster kids becoming instantly homeless after turning 18, she launched the Grace365 program, a Supervised Independent Living Program for kids 18-22 who have aged out of foster care. In 2021, NBC’s KXAN recognized Stacy as the “Most Remarkable Woman of the Year” in Central Texas.

Sharareh (Sherri) Kermanshachi, Ph.D. (Arlington, TX)
University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Kermanshachi is associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and director of the Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environment (RISE) Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington where she leads post-doctorates, and Ph.D. and masters students. She has published more than 200 books, scholarly articles, conference proceedings and research reports and has conducted several research projects. Dr. Kermanshachi has received many prestigious national and regional awards including the 2022 Diversity Leadership Award, 2021 Rosa Parks Leadership Diversity Award, 2020 Women in Technology, 2020 Mark Hasso Educator of the Year, 2018 DBIA Distinguished Leadership Award, and 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Kermanshachi serves as a board member of the CMAA-North Texas and editorial board member of three journals. She received her Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. She also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering, MBA and bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering.

Past Award Recipients



Location: 2023 Event Location TBD


Adelfa Callejo* 1978
Vivian A. Castleberry* 1978
Betty Graham* 1978
Adlene Harrison 1978
The Honorable Sarah T. Hughes* 1978
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson 1978
Maura McNiel 1978
Emmie Baine* 1979
Gerry Beer* 1979
Johnnie Marie Grimes* 1979
Lucy Patterson* 1979
Louise H. Raggio* 1979
Hermine D. Tobolowsky* 1979
Virginia B. Whitehill* 1979
Beverly A. Gandy 1980
Chester Maxwell 1980
Martina Navratilova 1980
Dr. Ellenore Ott 1980
Dianne Pingree 1980
Barbara B. Reagan* 1980
Judge Joan R. Winn Tarpley 1980
Barbara Woodard* 1980
Judge Theo L. Bedard* 1981
Dr. Carolyn Galerstein* 1981
Florence Lewis* 1981
Shirley Miller 1981
Gail B. Smith 1981
Charlotte W. Taft 1981
Suzanne Ahn, M.D.* 1982
Susan Caudill 1982
Margaret Estes* 1982
Madeline Mandell 1982
Rev. Dr. Mary Louise Rowand* 1982
Charlotte Stewart 1982
Myrtle Bulkley* 1983
Donna Clack 1983
Mary Esther Gaulden, M.D.* 1983
Sally Sharp Jacobson 1983
Marjorie W. Schuchat* 1983
Sonya Bemporad* 1984
Theresa Canales-Jud 1984
Harryette B. Ehrhardt 1984
Patricia Greenwald 1984
Carol Madison* 1984
Ella Bailey* 1985
Betty Jo Hay* 1985
Joy S. Mankoff 1985
Beverly Brooks Miller 1985
Tegwin Pulley 1985
Dan Weiser* 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
Barbara James 1987
Sandra C. Tinkham 1987
Monica Yates Fried* 1988
Gertrude Miller* 1988
Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D. 1988
Annette Strauss* 1988
Nellie Taffalla 1988
Gloria de la Cruz* 1989
Sharon S. King 1989
Mamie McKnight, Ph.D.* 1989
Caren H. Prothro 1989
Dolores Barzune 1990
Barbara S. Cambridge, Ph.D. 1990
Dorothy Masterson 1990
Lori Palmer 1990
Barbara L. Sinak 1990
Barbara Cottrell 1991
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
Allen Mondell 1992
Cynthia Salzman Mondell 1992
Diane Pitts 1992
Frances Rizo 1992
DeMetris Sampson 1992
Laura V. Estrada 1993
Lyda H. Hill 1993
Camille Keith 1993
Mavis Knight 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
Elizabeth Cowles* 1995
Lois G. Finkelman 1995
Ella Goode Johnson 1995
Ruby Morris* 1995
Gale Duff-Bloom 1996
Sally M. Knox, M.D. 1996
Ann E. Margolin 1996
Kathleen To 1996
Kay W. Cole* 1997
Dr. Mona Hersh-Cochran 1997
Rosanne M. Ortega 1997
Cynthia Reavis 1997
Susan Stahl* 1997
Susan Abrahamson* 1998
Julie G. Lowenberg 1998
Sandra D. Malone 1998
Ann Minnis* 1998
Thalia C. Oliphant 1998
Phyllis Fishman Bernstein 1999
Cora Cardona 1999
Barbara F. Materka 1999
Vicki Price-Smith 1999
Bernice J. Washington 1999
Sylvia L. Benenson 2000
Brent Berryman 2000
Cathy Bonner 2000
Gail A. Griswold 2000
Dr. Sheron C. Patterson 2000
Becky R. Sykes 2000
Brenda F. Brand 2001
David Farmer 2001
Cecilia McKay 2001
Marion G. Sobol 2001
Linda Walker-Bender 2001
Elaine B. Agather 2002
Sharlene Block* 2002
Dianne Curry 2002
Victoria Downing 2002
Cynthia A. Gonzalez 2002
Lekha Singh 2002
Martha R. Tiller 2002
Lyn Berman 2003
The Honorable Kathryn W. Hall 2003
Elizabeth F. (Liza) Lee 2003
Suzane Marshall 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
Ellen Terry 2004
Linda Thomas* 2004
Michele Bobadilla 2005
Linda P. Custard 2005
Kathy LaTour 2005
Karen Shuford 2005
Ruth Thomas 2005
Norma L. Beasley* 2006
The Honorable Angie Chen Button, CPA, CFP 2006
Lisa Hembry 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
Vicky Teherani 2007
Naomi D. Aberly 2008
Lottye S. Brodsky, Ph.D. 2008
Hattie Hill 2008
Patricia A. Porter 2008
Shaunna F. Black 2009
Former First Lady Laura Bush 2009
Patricia Peiser 2009
Betty S. Regard 2009
Roslyn Dawson Thompson 2009
Nina Vaca 2009
Rebel B. Calhoun 2010
Effie Dennison 2010
Paige H. Flink 2010
Anita Marcos 2010
Wanda R. Brice 2011
Phyllis Farragut 2011
Delia Jasso 2011
Cathy Wilkins Moffitt 2011
Jan Pruitt* 2011
Patricia A. Vaughan* 2011
Alinda H. Wikert 2011
Clare Buie Chaney, Ph.D. 2013
Melendy Lovett 2013
Beverly Tobian 2013
Debbie Dudley Branson 2014
Lauren Embrey 2014
Helen Holman 2014
Retta Miller 2014
Gauthami Vemula 2014
Kim Askew 2015
Julie Mamolen Bleicher 2015
Liz Cedillo-Pereira 2015
Valerie Freeman 2015
Major General Mary Saunders, USAF, Retired 2015
Diana C. Dutton 2016
Rabbi Nancy Kasten 2016
Vicki Meek 2016
Katie Pedigo 2016
Billie Bryant Schultz 2016
Hind El Saadi El Jarrah, Ph.D. 2017
Madeline McClure, LCSW 2017
The Honorable Judge Tonya Parker 2017
Lupe Valdez 2017
Arcilia C. Acosta 2018
Jocelyn D. Kidd, DDS 2018
Cynthia Mickens Ross 2018
Gail Turner 2018
Dee Dee Bates 2019
Sally Dunning 2019
Ana I. Hernandez 2019
Ashlee Kleinert 2019
Nicole Small 2019
Dana Blankenship 2020
Tracey Doi 2020
Kathleen LaValle 2020
Jennifer Stimpson 2020
Trisha Cunningham 2021
Jin-Ya Huang 2021
Rani Puranik 2021
Judy Treviño 2021
Cheryl Polote Williamson 2021
Patricia Rodriguez Christian 2022
Arlene Ford 202s
Pat Jasso 2022
Lynn McBee 2022
Thana Simmons 2022



Location: 2023 Event Location TBD


Veronica Torres 2013
Myiesha Taylor, M.D. 2014
Brittany Merrill Underwood 2014
Marissa E. Horne 2015
Christa Sanford 2015
Lacy L. Durham, Esq. 2016
Brittany K. Byrd 2016
Cynthia Nwaubani, CPA 2017
Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D. 2018
Brooke López 2018
Dr. HaeSung Han 2019
Ana I. Rodriguez 2019
Karla Garcia 2020
Diana Mao 2021
Kim Roxie 2021



Location: 2023 Event Location TBD


Attitudes & Attire 2003
Dallas Chapter – The LINKS 1997
Dallas Women’s Foundation 1996
Explore, Inc. 1989
Family Place, The 1979, 1988
Junior League of Dallas 2000
KBOX 1980
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