Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Alex Winkelman

Alex Winkelman
In 2009, Alex Winkelman started CharityBash—an innovative non-profit whose mission is to influence and inspire young professionals to be involved in the community.  Three years later she was named executive director of Citizen Generation incorporating CharityBash with several similar efforts —all focused on making philanthropy fun, accessible and affordable.  Alex, who has not yet celebrated her 25th birthday, comes from a family strongly invested in the value and practice of philanthropy-- her parents, Suzanne and Marc, and her siblings, Eli and Jacob, have all made distinguished themselves as community leaders.

Alex’s first major project was “Dining for Darfur,” for which she organized a night-out and convinced 40 local restaurants to donate a portion of their sales to Darfur humanitarian aid. She then joined the national team of “Tents of Hope,” a year-long campaign utilizing creatively designed tents set up across the country to serve as fundraising and educational centers on the plight of African refugees.  Alex holds a degree in social entrepreneurship from St. Edwards’s University, and is active on behalf of many charities including Austin Pets Alive, Emancipet, Ballet Austin, and the Candlelight Ranch and looks forward to participating in Dancing With the Stars/Austin for the Center for Child Protection in December.  In March 2012 the Winkelman family was recognized for outstanding leadership by the Anti-Defamation League.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Catherine Morse

Catherine Morse
Catherine “Cat” Morse was born in New Orleans but moved with her family to Chicago and later settled in Houston.  A tomboy who excelled at sports, she entered LSU and graduated from the University of Houston Law School where she met her husband, Kevin.  She began her practice in labor and employment law at Vinson & Elkins, moving to Austin to accept a position with Fulbright and Jaworski and later transitioning to corporate counsel positions with Applied Materials and Freescale.  She has served as both Corporate Counsel and Director of Public Affairs at Samsung since 2009.

Kat’s deep religious faith and social activism have been tempered by   personal tragedy—her younger son, Robbie, sustained a debilitating brain injury when he was four months old. Vowing to handle this misfortune with grace and dignity, Kat dedicated her time to public service. She recently organized an event with her sister, Mary, for Catholic Charities and is active on the boards of United Way, the Chamber of Commerce and Just Faith Ministries which examines the Biblical roots of social justice.  The Morses fly cross-country to cheer for their son Mitch, a star football player in his sophomore year at the University of Missouri, and enjoy running and the outdoors.  Kat is especially grateful for the many women friends with whom she enjoys her book clubs, vacations and other activities.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Wilhelmina Delco

Wilhelmina Delco
As a PTA officer and Girl Scout leader, Wilhelmina Delco found it disturbing that AISD would not allow school facilities to be used for student activities.  She consequently ran for a position on AISD Board of Trustees, inaugurating a political career that would span nearly three decades and include six years as an AISD Trustee and ten terms in the Texas Legislature.  The first African-American elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Travis County in modern times, Delco focused on education and issues of special concern to women, children and minorities. As Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, she spearheaded the effort to secure a share of the Permanent University Fund for Prairie View A&M, significantly enhancing its facilities.

Widely recognized as an expert on education legislation, the woman who says that the only thing she ever flunked is retirement continues to serve on state and national boards and is an adjunct professor at UT Austin. Additionally, she has head leadership positions with both the local and national Girl Scout Councils and continues to be active in the LINKS and her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. An AISD facility in northeast Austin, a Pflugerville Elementary School and a building at Prairie View A & M have all been named in her honor. She and her husband, retired Huston- Tillotson professor Exalton Delco, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in August. They have four grown children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Lisa Copeland

Lisa Copeland
Lisa Copeland is a visionary, entrepreneur and professional sales executive dedicated to breaking the glass ceiling for women and young people in business and politics.   Born in San Jose, California, Lisa was 22 when she went to work at Capital Chevrolet in Dallas, one of two women in a sales force with 98 men.  After moving to Round Rock with her husband, James, she joined the Nyle Maxwell Dealership, and later started Austin Mortgage Association.  But her passion was helping women, and in 2007 she co-founded Women Impacting the Nation, enabling her to take her message of equity to corporations nationwide.  She then teamed up with Robin Ford to develop Project 19, a non-partisan organization to empower women to become leaders in public and private sectors, and joined the White House Project, founded by Marie Wilson to inspire women of all political backgrounds to seek public office.

Lisa’s talents came full circle when Nyle Maxwell appointed her Manager of the Fiat dealership in the Domain, where she went on to break national records by selling 600+ cars in her first year. An annual sponsor of the Stiletto Heel Run for the Cure, she works tirelessly on behalf of military veterans and has served on the Board of the Williamson County YMCA.  Lisa and James live on a ranch in Georgetown with their beloved horses and are in close contact with their young adult children, daughter Alix and son JT.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Jo Anne Christian

Jo Anne Christian
Jo Anne Martin Christian will go down in Austin’s history as one of the three Js—the other two being her spirited compadres Jare Smith and Jane Sibley—who stood firm in the face of innumerable obstacles and led the charge to make the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts a reality.  Born in Wichita Falls, Jo Anne moved with her family to Fort Worth, graduating as salutatorian from Our Lady of Victory High School and obtaining a degree in history from Texas Christian University.  Determined to practice law in an era when women attorneys were a rarity, she entered UT Law School in 1958, one of only four women in her graduating class.

She was a first year law student working for Price Daniels when she met her future husband, political strategist George Christian.  Forging a partnership that would span four decades, they raised a family including daughters Elizabeth (a 2009 Woman of Distinction) and Susan and sons George, Bruce, John and Brian.  In addition to balancing a career and family, Jo Anne volunteered for the Blanton Museum of Art and the Austin Symphony League, and serves on the Board of St. David’s Foundation.   A founder of the Austin Lyric Opera, she has served on the Board for over 25 years and will step down as ALO’s Chair next year.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Killeen Workplace for Women Spotlight - First Texas Bank

First Texas Bank
First Texas Bank takes great pride in providing complete, convenient financial coverage and service to our local community.  To ensure quality customer care, First Texas Bank has five locations in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Belton that provide uncompromising customer delight in our community that is delivered by a team of dedicated, friendly and caring professionals. Our company is committed to acknowledging and valuing employee differences and to creating an environment in which every individual’s unique strengths and abilities are developed and valued. Currently 90% of the bank’s workforce is women with 72% of the management positions being held by women.  First Texas Bank makes every effort to attempt to promote employees within the organization to fill vacant positions. Our company encourages employees to participate in various educational opportunities including bank seminars, workshops and classes offered at the company level or through outside training resources.  Bank officers are encouraged to be active within our local community through memberships in civic, professional and business organizations.  The philosophy of First Texas Bank requires the highest standards of honesty and integrity of our employees.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Cool Side of Girl Scouts

Marisa Webre Daisy Bridging Ceremony
Marisa's Daisy Bridging Ceremony
I joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy and consider it one of the best decisions of my life so far. Girl Scouts was a big part of my childhood and majority of my memories stem from experiences as a Girl Scout. I fondly remember all of the troop meetings with my fellow Girl Scouts, the exciting trips to new places and all of the fun camp outs. I also went on to earn my Silver and Gold Award, which are two of the highest honors in Girl Scouting. 

Never for a second did I doubt my decision to stay in Girl Scouts through my senior year of high school. I continued to enjoy activities like selling cookies and I got to travel to Europe with my troop and be a part of the National Convention one year in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a moment I will never forget and not one I could have experienced otherwise. Friends and classmates questioned my Girl Scout membership but that’s only because they were unaware of all the opportunities available to me.

Marisa Webre Gold Award
Marisa's Gold Award Ceremony
After I earned my Gold Award and graduated from high school, I decided to join Girl Scouts as a lifetime member. And I didn’t stop there. I am currently the Graphic Designer for the Central Texas council; the council I was once a part of as a girl. Being able to give back to the organization that helped shape who I am today and being able to do what I love is a dream come true.

I strongly encourage all girls to stick with Girl Scouts or whatever interests them. Sometimes it isn’t most popular choice but in the end, you will reap the benefits and be glad you stuck with it.

-Marisa Webre

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Jennifer Wiginton

Jennifer Wiginton
Jennifer Wiginton
Jennifer Wiginton was born in Denver, CO, but grew up in Bryan where she attended Bryan High School. She continued her education at Stanford University and Texas A&M University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Management and a Certificate in Homeland Security. Jennifer proudly serves as the Disaster Services Specialist at the American Red Cross in Bryan. Committed to helping those in need, she has served as a Red Cross volunteer for five years and is an active member of the Lions Club. She is also a trainer for children’s bilingual education. A clear example of overcoming a disability, Jennifer has utilized her leadership skills by supervising the American Red Cross disaster response for eight counties and lending her time to the Brazos Valley Emergency planning committee. Jennifer is the proud recipient of the American Red Cross 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award. Jennifer is a positive influence who inspires, motivates and helps all those around her.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - General Laura Richardson

Laura Richardson
General Laura Richardson
Brigadier General Laura Richardson grew up in a suburb of Denver, CO where she attended Northglenn High School. She earned her civilian pilot’s license at 16 and excelled in the ROTC program at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She now proudly serves as the Brigadier General of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command in Fort Hood. She previously served as the military aide to Vice President Al Gore and as garrison commander of Fort Meyer, Virginia and Fort McNair in Washington, DC. Before taking command of the OTC, she was the Army liaison officer to the United States Senate. BG Richardson’s service as an air assault battalion commander in the 101st Airborne Division landed her on the cover of Time magazine in 2003 that brought the reality of a dual-military couple to life for American readers. Her awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Lead Clusters, seven Air Medals and Joint Service Commendation Medal. For her advancement of the role of women in combat aviation, she was awarded the 2011 Women in Aerospace leadership award.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Mary Kliewer

Mary Kliewer
Mary Kliewer
Mary Kliewer was born and raised in Killeen. She graduated from Killeen High School and attended the University of Texas earning her Bachelor of Business Administration. Mary continued her education at the University of Central Texas where she earned her Master of Business Administration. She is currently a partner of Bigham, Kliewer, Chapman and Watts Insurance Agency and owner of Patriot Pontiac-GMC-Buick in Killeen. Mary previously served as president of the Junior Review Club and as vice president of the Central Texas College Board of Trustee and Junior Service League. Today, she serves as a member of the Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Killeen and Salado Chamber of Commerce. The current chairman of the Central Texas Workforce Board, she is also currently serving on the Metroplex Hospital Operating Board, the Texas A&M – Central Texas Foundation and Congressman John Carter’s Small Business Council. Mary’s record of accomplishments ranges from receiving the 2001-2002 Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Roy J. Smith Award to being ranked in the top 5 percent of Pontiac-GMC dealers in the United States. Dedicated and passionate, kind and compassionate, Mary’s personifies the idea of giving back.

Out & About - May


Give Kids a Smile: Girl Scout Junior Katy H. from Buda, TX dreams of becoming a dentist when she grows up and knew she wanted to start getting experience with the field at an early age. She decided to use her passion in conjunction with earning her Bronze Award. Katy and fellow Girl Scout Sadie P. discovered ‘Give Kids a Smile,’ a national event that helps kids who can’t afford regular dental care. The girls convinced their local dentist, Ashley Strickland, to host the event and handled everything from promotion to hands-on lab demonstrations at the event. Strickland says of the girls, “They are amazing young women.”

For the full article in the Hays Free Press, click here. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Dr. Rose Cameron

Rose Cameron
Rose Cameron
Dr. Rose Cameron grew up in Maryland and attended two high schools before she graduated and joined the United States Air Force. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth; a master’s degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville; and her doctorate from a joint program between Texas A&M University in Commerce and Tarleton State University. Today, Dr. Rose Cameron serves as Superintendent of Schools in the Copperas Cove Independent School District. A former professor and principal, Dr. Rose Cameron is an avid advocate for school, community and military affairs. She proudly serves on several boards including ESC 12 Regional Advisory board, Copperas Cove Education Foundation, National Council of Impacted Schools, Crime Stoppers and Boys &Girls Clubs. She is the proud recipient of the 2009 ESC Region 12 Superintendent of the Year award and the 2011 Mount Hiram Lodge No. 595 Community Builder Award. Her strong faith in God, family and friends are evident in everything she does.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Nancy Birdwell

Nancy Birdwell
Nancy Birdwell
Nancy Birdwell was born in Abilene, but grew up on a ranch in Albany, TX. After graduating Albany High School, Nancy attended Texas Tech University. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer for the Scott & White Healthcare Foundation and the Chief Development Officer for Scott & White Healthcare. Nancy previously served as vice president for Development at Alliant International University in San Diego, California; assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement at Texas Tech University and Health Science Center in Lubbock, Texas; and director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the University of Texas at Austin. Active in many professional fundraising organizations, Nancy served as chair for CASE and the Association of Fundraising Professional, and served as board and faculty member for the UT Thompson Center for Fundraising Management program. Nancy was honored by Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women. Nancy’s dedication to her faith, family and community are apparent in all her endeavors.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Heather Beck

Heather 2012
Heather Beck
Heather Beck was born in Tucson, AZ, but grew up in Waco where she attended Midway High School. She continued her education at McLennan Community College, University of North Texas and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Baylor University. Today, Heather serves as a Development Officer for the Providence Health Network. Lending her fundraising expertise to the Providence Foundations and the Providence Forum Affinity Group, Heather has played a vital role in the increase of net revenue and event attendance for both organizations. Heather’s board appointments include Campfire Girls, Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, and The Arc. She currently serves on the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Waco, The Business Awards Planning and Young Professionals committees. Heather is the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and The Central Texas Chapter Board of Directors. She is a 2010 Waco Leadership graduate. Heather believes selflessness, hard work, self-reliance and education are the most important factors in being a well-rounded person.