Texas Women’s Foundation Honors Women Helping Women

Texas Womens's Foundation 2021 award winners
Texas Womens's Foundation 2021 award winners

Each year, Texas Women’s Foundation honors women who impact the lives of other women and girls. The seven 2021 recipients will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration April 29. Event chairs are Jana Etheridge, Managing VP, Chief of Staff & Customer Office Financial Services at Capital One, and Hattie Hill, president and CEO of T.D. Jakes Foundation.

“We are excited to celebrate the remarkable achievements and inspiring stories of our Maura and Young Leader award recipients, who truly are agents of powerful and positive change for women and girls in Texas and beyond,” shared Texas Women’s Foundation President and CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson.

The keynote speaker for the event is Adriana Gascoigne, author of “Tech Boss Lady” and founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based nonprofit with 43 chapters in 32 countries. Girls in Tech empowers, educates and engages women in the tech industry.

Event attendees will be separated into groups to participate in a leadership forum. Each breakout room will include an award recipient who will lead a discussion about key issues and their pathways to leadership.

2021 Award Winners

This year, the five recipients of the Maura Women Helping Women Award are Trisha Cunningham, Jin-Ya Huang, Revati “Rani” Puranik, Judy Treviño and Cheryl Polote Williamson.

President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, based in Plano, Trisha Cunningham is helping lead the fight against hunger in North Texas. Last fiscal year, Trisha and her team of 200 employees and thousands of volunteers provided 97 million meals, with the help of more than 200 partners. Before working at North Texas Food bank, Trisha was Chief Citizenship Officer at Texas Instruments.

Jin-Ya Huang is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders. This organization is a culinary training social enterprise that empowers refugee women from war-torn countries through cooking, food and culture. Jin-Ya is also an artist, writer and public speaker.

Co-owner and Global CFO of Worldwide Oilfield Machine, Rani Puranik is a leader in innovation and empowerment. She is a motivational speaker as well as a certified master coach in leadership development. She is executive director for the Puranik Foundation, the social responsibility arm of Worldwide Oilfield Machine.

Executive director for CCVI Ministries, an international nonprofit sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate World, Judy Treviño is an advocate for women’s financial empowerment. She is on the Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board as well as the City of San Antonio’s Audit Committee. She was recently elected to the Texas Business and Professional Women’s Foundation board.

Cheryl Polote Williamson is a best-selling author as well as a filmmaker, executive producer, speaker and coach. She founded Soul Reborn, a nonprofit that has supported more than 4,500 previously incarcerated women through lectures, classes, summits, and conferences on leadership, entrepreneurship, money management, etiquette, storytelling and philanthropy.

This year, two young women were recognized for the Young Leader Award.

Diana Mao is fighting to eradicate human trafficking. Her work with Nomi Network has helped many women and girls to break the cycle of slavery in their families and communities. She is a New York Academy of Medicine Fellow and co-chaired the Nexus Human Trafficking Modern Day Slavery Work Group from 2013 to 2019.

Kim Roxie founded and is the CEO of LAMIK Beauty. Her beauty brand caters to women of all cultural backgrounds. She opened the shop at age 21 with a $500 investment and ran the store for 14 years. She’s the youngest African American woman to have her products carried in a major department store. That store evolved into LAMIK in 2019. She has received the Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service.

The virtual awards event will begin at 10 a.m. Tickets are $42 in honor of the 42nd anniversary of the Maura Awards.

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