Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Austin for 2023. Austin's economy is among one of the fastest growing in the country and its boom is far from over. With an influx of venture capital firms, tech companies, vibrant cultural offerings and a warm climate, the city is steadily growing. This year’s awardees are among some of the community's most influential individuals They have demonstrated strong leadership not only within the organizations they serve but within their respective communities. Their exemplary leadership and tireless devotion contribute to the city’s greatness.
Among this year’s awardees is Lisa Johnston, Chief Marketing Officer of Auctane who uses her decades of marketing experience to contribute to the growth of the company, enabling hundreds of thousands of merchants to annually deliver billions of products around the globe. Awardee Stephanie Murphy, Head of People Insights & Assessments for Dell Technologies, aided in the culture integration efforts as the company made history with one of the largest acquisitions in the tech industry. Also awarded is Génesis Longo, Head of Industry Marketing for Retail, eCommerce, & Consumer Goods at Talkdesk, who dedicates herself to pro-bono social marketing strategy consulting for minority-owned businesses and mentors students through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in her spare time.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Austin for 2023.
2. Stephanie Bray
Chief of Staff to Global Channel Chief, Dell Technologies
Stephanie Bray is an eleven-year channel veteran within Dell Technologies. She began her career in Dell corporate account sales in 2004 and eventually found her way to the channel operations organization where her passions met opportunity. Channel was just hitting its stride when the need for sales operations arose. Stephanie was one of the initial three founding members of Dell’s channel sales operations team. From there, she went on to lead a strategic project to enable B2B integration with the NSP partner community. After a successful launch, Stephanie led channel operations for Dell’s OEM division. Since 2014, she has established a global team supporting the OEM partners with all aspects of operational enablement and partner program support. Most recently, Stephanie has pursued her passion for learning and growth and was selected as Chief of Staff for Dell's Global Channel Chief, Rola Dagher.
3. Marlene Summers
Vice President of Global Technical Support, Salesforce
Marlene Summers is a software engineer turned technology executive. As a Vice President of Technical Support Engineering at Salesforce, she leads a global organization of over 300 product support professionals located in 20 cities in 5 countries, providing 24/7 product support. With over two decades of experience in the enterprise software industry, she is known for her ability to drive strategy and deliver measurable outcomes at scale. Throughout her career, Marlene has been involved in two successful exits - an IPO for Zuora and the acquisition of Vlocity by Salesforce. She is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and is passionate about mentoring and coaching others on their career paths.
Marlene is a well-rounded leader who brings technical expertise, business acumen and a passion for driving strategy and achieving results. She started her career as a database engineer at IBM and filed three patents in multidimensional database design. She then moved into program management, cloud software delivery, and people management at startups in Silicon Valley, delivering numerous products and services and has built technical customer-facing teams from the ground up. Her leadership style is described as enthusiastic, authentic, and empathetic.
5. Katie Kriete
Vice President of Sales - Emerging, NetSuite
Katie Kriete grew up in St. Louis Missouri and attended the University of Missouri. Upon completing her undergraduate degree in early childhood education, she went to work for a small woman owned business that ran NetSuite. After gaining NetSuite knowledge, Katie moved to Jacksonville, Florida where she implemented NetSuite for a family-owned software company. Upon going live, she moved into sales supporting the NetSuite sellers. Katie decided to join NetSuite almost 8 years ago and relocated to Austin, TX where she still resides. She began as a sales representative in the products space and moved into leadership before helping to form the emerging sales organization after the Oracle acquisition. Katie now runs all of emerging sales and exclusively works with startups and small businesses ranging from all industries.
6. Lisa Johnston
Chief Marketing Officer, Auctane
Lisa Johnston is the Chief Marketing Officer of Auctane, the global leader in shipping and logistics technologies. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Auctane’s software solutions power billions of shipments every year and enable businesses to manage complex logistic channels – optimizing their time, energy, and resources. Auctane’s portfolio of industry leading shipping brands includes ShipStation, Stamps.com, Packlink, ShippingEasy, ShipWorks, ShipEngine, Endicia, Shipsi, GlobalPost, and Metapack.
Prior to her role at Auctane, Lisa served as a chief marketing and sustainability officer at AVEVA, driving growth through brand leadership, global customer and prospect engagement, and go-to-market initiatives, as well as establishing an ESG strategy for the company. In 2015, Lisa was named managing director of marketing at Vista Consulting Group, leading marketing consulting for more than 50 companies within the Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio. With a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Lisa began her career at IBM, rising through technical and executive leadership roles.
7. Michelle Odajima
Head of Data, Analytics & Tools for Global Performance Services, Google
Michelle Odajima has over 20 years of experience as a results-driven data & analytics leader of extraordinary teams that drive digital transformations with measurable value. She currently serves as Head of Data, Analytics & Tools for Global Performance Services for Google. Her leadership philosophy is focused on delivering success with passion, purpose and soul. At all times, she strives to create collaboration, synergies and data driven decisions.
In her two decades of experience, Michelle has led teams acting as a force multiplier delivering data projects in high velocity environments that drive business growth. She is known for transforming the negative into positives, problem-solving efficiently and achieving operational excellence across industries and specializations.
In addition to her leadership role at Google, Michelle is grateful to have held 4 patents as well as leadership and research awards from the National Science Foundation and former employers such as BASF and Xcel Energy. She earned her master’s degree in science & technology from the University of Utah, an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, a certificate in business leadership from Stanford Graduate School, and multiple certificates in computer and data science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
8. Natasha Zike
Global Director of Modern Apps & Management Portfolio Enablement, VMware
Natasha Zike is a passionate global leader, speaker, advisor, and author whose whole-person, inclusive approach to business creates environments where individuals thrive, and business succeeds. She has spent the last 19 years of her career in the corporate technology space, and she currently holds many roles including Global Revenue Enablement Director, Global Employee Resource Group leader, Political Action Committee (PAC) board member, and nonprofit board advisor, specializing in developing and executing innovative global strategies in learning, diversity & inclusion, go-to-market, and sStrategy that drive double-digit growth as she has for VMware, Rackspace, Tableau Software, and Dell Technologies. Prior to that she was on-air and behind the scenes for both television and radio.
Natasha is known as a problem solver and critical connector, bringing together disparate parts of the business in order to meet key results and required business outcomes in novel and efficient ways. She is a strategic partner to her executive stakeholders. In her global leadership of teams of up to 100 employees, she builds high performing and loyal teams by creating a culture of inclusiveness and psychological safety.
Natasha's empowering messages guide others to find personal and professional confidence in the face of adversity. She enjoys public speaking, moderating, and emceeing of events, and she will become a published author this spring. She is passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and works to create safe spaces for employees to feel empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. She serves as VMware's Global ERG co-lead for PRIDE@VMware, supporting VMware's 40,000+ employees globally. For the last four years, she has also served as an advisory board member, and former VP, for the nonprofit Texas Women in Business, whose focus is on the personal and professional development of all women.
A life-long learner, Natasha earned a data science certificate from Harvard in 2021 and recently earned a certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship from both Stanford University's School of Engineering and School of Business in 2022. Prior to that she studied at Baylor University and earned her undergraduate degree from the International Academy of Design and Technology. She is a mother to two young, active children and lives with them and her husband in Austin, Texas.
View the complete list of awardees.
9. Stephanie Murphy
Head of People Insights & Assessments, Dell Technologies
Dr. Stephanie Murphy is currently Head of People Insights & Assessments at Dell Technologies where she leads global projects reaching over 130,000 team members. This includes leading Dell's employee engagement survey, conducting research and designing listening tools to inform Dell’s talent decisions, and developing and implementing assessments to enable Dell’s leaders and team members to do their best work. Stephanie aided in the culture integration efforts as Dell Technologies made history with one of the largest acquisitions in the tech industry. She serves on several boards and committees of organizations such as HR Exchange Network, IT Survey Group, and the Society of I-O Psychology.
Stephanie was recognized by OnCon Icon Awards as one of the Top 10 Data and Analytics Professionals and by DiversityMBA as one of the Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders. She teaches management courses to graduate students at McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Stephanie holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of New Orleans and a PhD and master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology from Louisiana Tech University.
10. Bhakti Patel
With more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, Bhakti serves as the Managing Principal of Office in CliftonLarsonAllen's (CLA) Austin, TX office and leads the state and local government assurance practice for Texas. CLA is a global professional services firm, delivering audit, tax, consulting, outsourcing, and wealth advisory services and digital solutions. They are a firm of over 120 offices and 8,000 people.
As a leader in her industry, Bhakti takes special interest in mentoring her staff to become the next generation of industry professionals. She delivers optimal management oversight and is respected for her broad industry knowledge, leadership, and her ability to clearly communicate complex information. Bhakti’s extensive experience covers audits, reviews, compilations, examinations, agreed-upon procedures, projections, and forecasts for a wide range of clients. In all efforts, she remains dedicated to ensuring that CLA consistently communicates and interacts with clients on a professional, understandable level so as to accomplish their tasks in concert with each client’s daily routine. She also proactively researches client industries and disseminates vital information to CLA colleagues, heightening awareness about unique aspects and associated financial reporting responsibilities.
Bhakti joined CLA in 2019. Prior to joining CLA, she worked at other public accounting firms, including KPMG. Bhakti completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and received a master’s degree from Virginia Tech University.
11. Shawndra Tobias
Vice President of Customer Experience, Etech Global Services
Shawndra Tobias has been with Etech Global Services since 2000 and has served in various roles including OSS reporting specialist, account leader, project manager, senior director of operations, and assistant VP. She currently serves as Vice President of Customer Experience where she develops and leads the Etech Insights division.
Shawndra has over 25 years of contact center experience, of which a third of that has been spent in reporting and analytics. She received her professional certification in data science from Johns Hopkins University and is a 3 Star IBM Recognized Data Expert. She also has extensive project management experience applying PMI philosophy. Shawndra enjoys volunteering with Keep Lago Vista Beautiful, Wee Rescue, Austin PRIDE, United Way, and Nacogdoches Boys & Girls Club. She spends most of her spare time outdoors on beautiful Lake Travis, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and trail running.
12. Amy Sharp
Principal, Leander ISD
Amy Sharp began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is a Principal in the Leander Independent School District (LISD), a place where care and concern for every student, parent and partnership is at the heart of everything they do. LISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state, educating more than 42,000 students at its 44 campuses. The district is just north of Austin, Texas and encompasses nearly 200 square miles.
Sharp first got her start in 2004 as an elementary teacher and later held positions such as a team lead teacher, writing coach, as well as an instructional coach at the middle school level, and a secondary district specialist. She also did contract work as an instructional materials quality evaluation team lead and reviewer at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). From there, she went on to the Lake Travis Independent School District to serve as an assistant principal, her most recent position prior to joining Leander ISD.
Sharp also served as a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) mentor and committee contributor for the National Education Association (NEA) and Austin ISD, and she is currently a founding member and secretary of the Texas National Board Coalition for Teaching (TXNBCT), a nonprofit that engages and supports high-quality teaching and learning through professional growth and leadership. In addition, she is the Region 13 Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) member on the executive board of the Texas Council of Women School Executives (TCWSE), an organization through the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) that is committed to creating and maintaining a united community of professional educational executives by promoting equity and quality in leadership through renewal, mentoring, and career advancement support.
Sharp graduated from Baylor University with an EdD in K-12 educational leadership and with an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on literacy, and from the University of Maryland with a master's degree in curriculum & instruction and urban education.
13. Rebecca Temple
Regional Vice President of Sales, Salesforce
Rebecca Temple has enjoyed a remarkable 28-year career in technology. She demonstrates precision business acumen and command of industry trends, opportunities and challenges grounded in her diverse professional experience. Ms. Temple joined Salesforce in 2013 and is currently the Regional Vice President Sales where she works closely with leaders of the largest global NGOs around the world to advance their missions through effective use of technology.
In addition to her technical expertise, Rebecca prides herself on being a compassionate and mindful leader who advocates for growth - for her team, for her customers and for her colleagues. She brings this high touch approach to her work every day which has helped her amass extensive experience working with CEO's and senior leaders in the private and nonprofit sectors’ most complex and dynamic organizations. Rebecca enjoys an excellent record of exceeding financial goals, is skilled at change management, creating information flows, and gaining access to key decision-makers.
Rebecca's passion for her family, her community and her work are matched only by her resilience. While her resume and accomplishments are impressive, she is also a 10-year cancer survivor and dedicates a portion of her volunteer time as a passionate Survivor Speaker for the American Cancer Society.
Rebecca holds an undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin University and an MBA from the University of Houston. She also holds multiple certifications in change management, consultative sales methodology and facilitation. Rebecca is originally from Houston, and now resides in the Austin hill country with her husband and children. She is very active in her community and currently serves as secretary of the Vandegrift Vipers Football Booster Club and is on the Mom’s Meeting Committee of the Young Men's Service League Viper Chapter.
17. Kellie Weir
Partner & Portfolio Manager, Brown Advisory
Kellie is a Partner and a Portfolio Manager with Brown Advisory, and she is also Head of the Austin Office. She provides individuals, families and institutions with strategic investment solutions and advice.
Prior to joining Brown Advisory in 2017, Kellie was a senior vice president and head of manager research at Chilton Trust Company in New York. Prior to this, she was a vice president at Birchwood Investments, a single-family office where she managed alternative assets. Kellie started her career at Cambridge Associates, where she provided investment advice to endowments and families. She serves on the board of directors of FGI Industries Ltd, where she chairs the nominating & governance committee. She also serves on the endowment board for The Contemporary Austin. Kellie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in business and is a CFA Charterholder.
View the complete list of awardees.
18. Chastity Davenport
Senior Vice President of Franchising, JPAR
Chastity Davenport is the Senior Vice President of Franchise Expansion for JPAR. She has a diverse background which includes founding startups, growing businesses, and providing consulting within the real estate and technology spaces. Her passion for industry-disrupting technologies and challenging the status quo can be seen in everything she does. She lives for innovation and implements new ideas to fine-tune all aspects of an organization.
Chastity’s diverse real estate experience expands from owning and selling a successful brokerage that doubled in production year over year to helping a lead generation tech company grow into a $200 million acquisition. She has built highly productive teams, worked in the ibuyer space, and coached brokers on how to start and grow a successful brokerage. Chastity is known for her positive, entrepreneurial energy. Her passion for industry-disrupting technologies and challenging the status quo can be seen in everything she does. She lives for innovation, implementing new ideas, and helping those around her succeed.
20. Brenda Contreras
VP of Engineering & Head of Architecture, Self Financial
Brenda Contreras is a true trailblazer and an unstoppable force when it comes to her career and family. Currently, as a Vice President of Engineering and Head of Architecture at Self Financial, she is responsible for the technical vision and strategy of the enterprise’s platform. Self Financial is a venture-backed fintech mature startup with a mission to help people build credit and savings.
As a woman in tech, Brenda is a strong advocate for promoting diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Most recently, assisting with various initiatives in hiring more women in engineering. She has participated as a speaker at several events promoting diversity and helping guide young women early in their tech careers.
Having graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in aerospace engineering, Brenda began her career writing software for flight simulators for the space shuttle at NASA. As a 20+ year technology veteran, Brenda has built a career creating business value and demonstrating strong leadership with her teams. Brenda has worked at notable companies like Whole Foods, Infor and Charles Schwab.
21. Jocelyn Sexton
Vice President of Marketing, Growth Acceleration Partners
With 20+ years of strategic marketing and communications experience, Jocelyn Sexton has become a respected leader for developing global, cross-functional, high-performing marketing teams. She earns trust as an authentic and enthusiastic connector between marketing and other business-critical functions, including sales, IT, technology and program management. Jocelyn has also built expertise in change management, as she’s often called upon to realign teams with new processes, marketing frameworks and KPIs.
As Vice President of Marketing at Growth Acceleration Partners (GAP), which was recently named one of the top 10 digital transformation solutions providers in the US, Jocelyn manages digital marketing, demand generation, brand awareness, PR, internal communications and recruitment marketing. She is hyper-focused on using data analytics to make informed decisions and quickly maximize marketing opportunities.
Jocelyn has nine years of corporate marketing experience in the technology and manufacturing industries, including roles at Fortune 500 companies Dover and Emerson, as well as National Instruments and SailPoint, which are both headquartered in Austin. She spent the earlier part of her career working in the Texas state government and the electric power industry. Jocelyn earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with honors earning a journalism degree from the University of North Texas.
22. Holly Priestner
Head of People, PLACE
For more than a decade, Holly has been building teams and developing talent in leading corporations, associations, and nonprofits. She believes that organizations are powered by empowered leaders and is passionate about providing people with the tools to unlock the potential and motivation of their employees. Holly currently is the Head of People for PLACE., a real estate and technology and business services platform that powers the top 20% of agents and teams by helping expand their profitability, value proposition to the consumer and grow their unique local brand. Holly is charged with building HR, employee engagement, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion and corporate responsibility for this new, $1 billion company. In addition to her formal role with PLACE, Holly leads a luxury real estate team that produces more than $100 million in annual residential real estate volume.
Giving back is Holly's personal passion. She served as the 2019 Chair of CASAblanca, raising $1.4 million for children in the foster care system at CASA of Travis County’s annual gala; serves on the Partnerships for Children Advisory Board of Directors; and is a leader in numerous Austin philanthropic endeavors. Holly led a committee of 82 women to raise a record net $1 million for The Junior League of Austin and its community programs as the chair of the 2015 A Christmas Affair. She has been recognized as a Rising Luminaria, a distinguished young philanthropist, and community leader in Central Texas.
Holly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas Tech University and has an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed REALTOR, Career Visioning instructor and talent coach. Her writings on recruiting have appeared in business publications.
23. Allison Ellsworth
Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Poppi
Allison Ellsworth is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Poppi, a delicious, better-for-you soda made with clean ingredients. Struggling with a variety of health issues, Allison created Poppi after discovering the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and experimenting in her kitchen to make it taste great. From the farmers market to a shark tank deal and now in retailers nationwide, Poppi quickly became one of the fastest-growing non-alcoholic beverages in the US.
Ellsworth leads the Austin-based beverage company’s overall brand strategy and innovation. She pioneered the brand’s cultural cache and digital-first approach, attracting a loyal community of over 400K followers and celebrity brand fans including Noah Beck, Russell Westbook and Jennifer Lopez. Within 24 months, Poppi was awarded BevNet’s “campaign of the year”, went viral on Tiktok with 1B+ page views, and ranked #1 on Amazon search for “soda”.
25. Bonnie Clipper
Founder and CEO, Innovation Advantage
Bonnie Clipper is the Founder and CEO of Innovation Advantage, which was created after more than 20 years as a healthcare executive. Clipper leads organizations through strategic care transformation to mitigate workforce challenges and improve patient outcomes. Her understanding of operations, strategy, workforce, and technology make her a bridge-builder to create workflows and processes to ensure that technology improves care and experiences for everyone.
Clipper’s unique expertise was developed from her experience as a chief nurse executive and work in the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellowship and hard-wired as an ASU/AONL Executive Fellow in Innovative Health Leadership. She was the first VP of innovation at the American Nurses Association, where she created an innovation strategy to bring over 4M nurses into the innovation space.
As an internationally recognized nurse futurist, she was a co-author of the seminal work, The Innovation Roadmap: A Nurse Leader’s Guide and was the lead author of the international best-selling book, The Nurse’s Guide to Innovation. She publishes and blogs regularly on leveraging technologies to improve nursing practice and patient care.
Clipper holds an undergraduate degree in nursing degree from Winona State University, a master's degree in business administration from Lewis University, and a doctorate in nursing practice from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She serves on the Texas Tech Innovation & Research Park Board and the Winona State University Foundation Board.
26. Kimberly Olson
Chief Executive Officer, Goal Digger Girl Co
Kimberly Olson is a self-made multimillionaire and the creator of The Goal Digger Girl, where she serves female entrepreneurs by teaching them simple systems and online strategies in sales and marketing. She has been named as one of the Top 20 Life Coaches to Look Out for in 2022, Top 10 Most Ambitious Women in Business to Follow and is part of Forbes Coaches Council. She is a TEDx speaker and her recent speech was listed as one of the 10 Top TEDx Talks that You Don’t Want to Miss.
Kimberly is also the founder of the nonprofit, Elephant Sisters and has two PhDs in natural health and holistic nutrition. She is the author of five books including #1 international best-sellers, The Goal Digger, Why Balance is B.S. and BOSS It Up, Babe!, has a top 25 rated podcast in marketing and reached the top half percent globally when she was in network marketing. Most recently she has shared the stage with Rachel Hollis, Chalene Johnson, Marina Simone and Jessica Higdon.
View the complete list of awardees.
27. Manju Mude
Chief Information Security Officer, Oportun
Manju Mude is an information security, cyber-risk, and compliance leader with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, business leadership, investigations, compliance, and risk management, within the high-tech and financial services industries. She leads with metrics and education driven approaches, helping organizations reduce risk and increase resilience. She has built high performing technical teams, growing diversity & inclusion, strengthening culture and creating company wide positive global impact.
Manju Mude serves as Deputy CISO at Oportun. She has held impactful positions as CISO of Splunk, Security Leader at Apple, and Bank of America. In her career, Manju has helped secure some of the world's most used products, like bank ATM's, iTunes, Siri, iMessage and Yahoo, among others. She has led essential security teams defending against adversaries to protect billions of users. In her time at Yahoo, she helped the company recover after a massive consumer breach, learning valuable lessons on what organizations can do to protect against nation state adversaries, such as those continuing to impact global supply chains, world politics and media. In 2019, Manju was cited as a Woman of Impact in Cybersecurity Magazine. She is an advocate for security education in the workforce, strength through diversity and inclusion, boosting female representation in technology, and the intersection of cybersecurity with human rights.
28. Renée Damron
Vice President & Branch Manager, CLM Mortgage
Renée Damron has an unparalleled passion for her clients and coworkers. Over the years, she has built a rock-solid reputation as a professional who genuinely cares for her clients and demands the highest results. With many quoted as saying, “Renée is prompt, responsive and has effective communication.”
Renée has won several awards during her mortgage journey. Firstly, she received the prestigious award for The Nationals 2019 NHBA’s Mortgage Professional of the Year. Locally, she received the title of the Austin HBA’s 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 MAX Award of Mortgage Industry Professional of the Year. Within CLM Mortgage, she was named Loan Officer of the Year for three years in a row. In 2020, Renée was promoted from loan officer to CLM Mortgage’s Branch Manager for the Austin division.
Her relationship with her clients and exceptional communication skills have always been paramount to her success. Her goal is to meet with every one of her clients face-to-face. The unique bond with the client helps to set the proper expectations up front. Renée’s effective and proactive communication makes the process much smoother, and it helps to overcome the inevitable “wrinkles” that often arise in the buying process.
Renée is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband, John, have two boys who make them proud every day. Outside of spending time with her family, Renée also has a passion for volunteering in the community. She loves to take on each day with enthusiasm and a positive outlook.
29. Kara Hartl
Founder & CEO, Troy Medical
Dr. Kara Hartl is a physician, philanthropist, Harvard graduate and the Founder and CEO of Troy Medical, an innovative approach to telemedicine that uses technology to bring high-quality medical specialists to remote and medically underserved communities. After 14 years of living in rural Alaska, Dr. Hartl has seen firsthand the limitations geography can have on access to medical care. She is passionate about creating a new gold standard for telemedicine in underserved America via their groundbreaking hybrid model.
Dr. Hartl was inspired to start Troy Medical after witnessing one of her own patients become overwhelmed by a debilitating medical condition. Unable to find a medical specialist in his region, his condition had progressed to the point where even walking was a challenge. Dr. Hartl recognized the potential of telemedicine to bring life-changing care to remote areas, so she reached out to specialists across the country to organize a team of doctors who can provide world-class, personalized medical care to patients anywhere. She chose to name this project after her patient, Troy.
Prior to founding Troy Medical, Dr. Hartl created a world-class medical center in Alaska. Using her entrepreneurial spirit, she grew a multi-specialty health center from the ground up and created the most technologically advanced medical and surgical center in the state. Dr. Hartl developed high-level systems for virtually every aspect of her business, from designing an ophthalmic technician training program to defining hospital protocols. Through her work at this facility, she raised the standards of ophthalmic medicine in Alaska to the highest levels in the country.
It was Dr. Hartl’s desire to improve the world that first led her into medicine. She has worked internationally curing blindness in underserved countries, started the nonprofit Gift of Sight to expand her reach, and founded the Prevention of Global Blindness fellowship to inspire the next generation of doctors. With the same spirit, Dr. Hartl recently expanded her focus into the world of medical technology, an exponential field that is changing the way we will practice medicine. She is passionate about incorporating technology into the future of medicine and expanding access to the highest quality medical care across the country and beyond. Dr. Hartl graduated from Harvard University and the University of California-San Diego Medical School. She also trained at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
30. Lisa Hooker
Managing Director & Technology Practice Leader, ZRG
Lisa Hooker is located in the Austin office of ZRG Partners and is the Global Technology Practice Leader and a member of the Board practice. She is also an active member of the firm’s Private Equity Practice and the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Practice. She brings a career spanning more than 20 years of executive search consulting and has delivered board and leadership projects for Fortune 500, mid-cap, and SMEs as well as private equity, pre-IPO, and venture-backed clients in the technology sector. Lisa serves as a trusted advisor to the C-suite and boards of directors on topics including CEO succession, board efficiency, director onboarding, and leadership assessment and development.
Prior to joining ZRG Partners, Lisa was a partner at Odgers Berndtson and was a founding partner of BridgeStreet Partners executive search. She also served as the VP and North American technology practice leader for A.T. Kearney Executive Search and managing partner, technology practice leader, and member of the board of directors for Ray & Berndtson. Lisa began her career at MCI Telecommunications, where she held numerous sales and marketing roles. She lived in Los Angeles for nearly a decade and New York for 20 years prior to moving to Austin.
Passionate about diversity as well as connecting businesses with exceptional talent, Lisa brings dedicated expertise in communications, AI/machine learning, MarTech, cloud, cybersecurity, IoT, and SaaS. A strategic and collaborative business leader with extensive, broad-based experience aligning talent to achieve organizational goals, Lisa is focused on delivering superior business results to her clients. She earned an undergraduate degree in advertising and marketing from Pepperdine University, where she graduated cum laude.
31. Lisa Alexander
Vice President, Lee Properties
With over 30 years of property and general management experience, Lisa Alexander has been a driving force in helping the Lee Properties brand grow. Lisa has overseen the operations for the entire Lee Properties portfolio since she joined the team in 2007. Before joining Lee Properties, she worked in a wide range of management roles including retail, construction and the real estate industry, giving her a broad scope of management skills.
Lisa’s career began in 1990 in retail management until she transitioned to construction management projects in 1997. Her time in construction management included remodeling, re-roofing, siding, and water extraction and remediation. During this time, she also developed knowledge in repairing historic homes. Lisa began training in database development for a nationwide property management software company that is recognized by IREM. In 2005 Lisa was managing multi-family complexes ranging from 90-150 units for companies such as Tramor and Dennis O’Conner Properties before finding her home with Lee Properties.
Lisa is a licensed realtor, Certified Property Manager and a member of several boards including the Austin Board of Realtors®, Texas Board of Realtors®, National Board of Realtors®, the MLS and the NAA in addition to being an NCHM and NARPM member.
34. Kim Lasseter
Global Director Partner Advantage Program Design & Strategy, Google Cloud
Kim Lasseter is the Global Director, Partner Advantage Program Strategy and leads a team focused on accelerating adoption of Google Cloud by delivering global programs and communications that create value for partners, and extend the value of Google for customers.
Kim is an accomplished sales and marketing executive with a record of building and leading top-producing partnerships within technology-based selling environments. She is known as an enthusiastic and collaborative leader, who is a five-time honoree of CRN’s Women of The Channel awards (2016-2021). Kim has also been recognized as one of the CRN Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders. She joined Google from Dell where she led a global team to enable partners in their marketing efforts. Before Dell, she was with Oracle where she led the Worldwide Alliances & Channels team responsible for program and portal strategy. Kim has also served as a director of global sales and services marketing at Sun Microsystems and held various sales and marketing strategic roles during her tenure. Kim holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and an MBA from Baylor University.
35. Azra Siddiqi
Director of Tax Policy, AT&T
Azra Siddiqi is responsible for AT&T’s tax legislative advocacy and policy for the Central Region of the United States. She researches and works on multiple tax issues and policies impacting the telecommunications industry; drafts legislation for multiple states; and works closely with the External Affairs team to ensure the legislation's passage. Previously, Azra worked in Congress as a Legislative Fellow, in the Texas Legislature as Legislative Director/General Counsel, and in the Texas Comptroller’s office in the Tax Policy division. She attained a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston.
On the state level she helped write and worked on the passage of multiple bills into law. Some of her proudest accomplishments include helping pass legislation ensuring Texas public schools carry epi-pens to be used as emergency treatment in the event a child suffers an allergic reaction while on school grounds; helping to implement marketplace legislation in Texas after the Wayfair v. South Dakota SCOTUS ruling; and working to increase broadband accessibility throughout the central region of the United States.
Azra is also the Founder and President of WiseUp TX, the largest Texas South Asian nonpartisan nonprofit whose focus is to inform the South Asian community about National and Texas politics. Not only did the organization want to inform the Texas South Asian community about politics but for politicians to get to know the Texas South Asian community and the issues they care about. WiseUp TX started in 2015 as a one woman show and then in 2019 expanded to a board showcasing the diversity of the Texas South Asian community.
WiseUp TX's work includes a podcast which airs on the Dallas South Asian radio station (Radio Azad); a robust social media presence across all popular social media platforms, creating infographics, monthly newsletter, and website; Get Out the Vote videos in multiple South Asian languages; collect and aggregate data on important issues to the Texas South Asian community by creating a survey; hosting Civics & Chai events; and creating South Asian based voter merchandise in collaboration with other South Asian American small businesses. In 2016, WiseUp TX won an award from the Austin Chronicle for Best New Voice.
Azra is also a Commissioner for the City of Austin—Asian American Quality of Life Advisory Commission, contributes to various South Asian American media outlets, and previously worked on asylum cases. She resides in Austin, TX with her husband, two adorable daughters, and three pet birds.
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36. Priya Raghunath
IT Director of Manufacturing Engineering, General Motors
Priya Raghunath is the IT Director of Manufacturing Engineering responsible for overseeing the development of General Motors’ key systems that play a role in taking innovative product designs all the way into mass production at factories worldwide. Priya, in collaboration with business and technology leaders, has been instrumental in rationalizing and transforming a large portfolio of manufacturing applications to better align with GM’s vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, and Zero Congestion and an all-electric future. She has been the driving force behind application modernization with a vision that leverages cutting edge technology stack and modern software development standards and practices. Under her leadership, GM was able to develop the next generation of manufacturing systems with a strong emphasis on design, quality, performance, and customer satisfaction.
Priya’s career in technology spans both academia and practice as researcher, engineer, and leader. Her experience ranges from small startup operations to some of the largest Fortune 100 companies, such as Dell, Microsoft, and Morningstar. She has also authored several publications on grid and parallel computing. Priya is an advocate for strength through diversity and inclusion and boosting female representation in technology. She earned her master’s degree in computer science from University of Illinois and an undergraduate degree from University of Madras.
37. Susan Engelking
Executive Director & Founder, Institute for Community MicroMobility
Susan Engelking is the Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Community MicroMobility, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) created to help cities become more livable and resilient by creating safe, pedestrian-friendly networks for low cost micromobility—like electric bikes, scooters, golf carts, and other low speed vehicles. She is the author of Tiny Transit: Cut Carbon Emissions In Your City Before It’s Too Late.
Susan envisions an Austin where people can go places safely and inexpensively in innovative, low emission, low speed modes on a protected infrastructure that become an ideal platform for new autonomous technologies. Or as a retired nurse says, “My children can never take away the keys to my self-driving tiny car!”
Tiny Transit reflects Susan’s passion to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Austin roads. Ironically, in 2018 her son Tyler survived being struck by a car while he was walking his bicycle in a crosswalk across Barton Springs Road.
Susan is happiest as a change agent. Early in her career, she was project manager for the landmark long-range range economic development plan developed by the Austin Chamber. This blueprint broke through the common practice among cities of recruiting companies, to focus instead on creating a livable environment to attract companies, technology innovators, and entrepreneurial talent. Susan was senior editor for successive plans spanning twenty years. She organized a panel selected for SXSW 2020, Six Ways Micromobility Revolutionizes Design.
38. Lynna Bartosh
Partner & Executive Creative Director, Hunt, Gather
Lynna Bartosh is Partner and Executive Creative Director at Hunt, Gather, a creative agency in Austin since 2015. Last year, she led the team to explosive year-over-year growth of 160% while running accounts like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Hopdoddy, Lone Star Brewing, and Restore Hyper Wellness. As a hard-working mom, she’s very proud that Hunt, Gather has earned the designation of Best Place for Working Parents two years in a row.
For Lynna, her restless creativity has helped global, national, and local brands grow their businesses with award-winning creative that has become part of pop culture, from Doritos Crash the Super Bowl and Wallet Stories for Capital One, to Chipotle’s A Future Begins. Past clients include Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, 7-Eleven, Planned Parenthood, and Allstate, among others. Lynna was featured in Generation No-Code, Webflow TV’s debut docuseries about creating interactive, impactful web experiences. She is a member of Women Who Code and has judged Addy’s annual awards show as well as student portfolios from Texas State University’s advertising program. Lynna kicked off her career with an undergraduate degree from the Art Institute of Dallas and has been a designer since she could hold a crayon.
39. Christie Feyen
HR Director & General Counsel, Circle C Child Development Center
Christie is the HR Director and General Counsel at the Circle C Child Development Center (CDC), a NAEYC accredited preschool located in Southwest Austin. Founded in 1994, over the years the CDC has developed partnerships with AISD including unique inclusion classrooms, after school programs and summer camps for school-age children. The CDC is a private, not-for-profit company with a volunteer board of directors. With a wonderfully diverse staff of teachers and administrative professionals, the CDC employs over 150 people in the Austin area.
Prior to joining the CDC, Christie was the chief of staff at Zinda Law Group, PLLC, a nationwide personal injury law firm based in Austin, Texas. As chief of staff, Christie played a key role in the firm's growth strategy, helping the firm grow from 50 to 100 employees across a dozen states. She joined Zinda Law Group in early 2016, starting as assistant director and then director of HR, successfully transitioning her career from practicing law full time to a certified HR professional and in house counsel.
From 2011 to 2016, Christie was the labor and employment practice leader for a boutique construction law firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During her practice, she successfully represented and counseled employers through all aspects of a labor or employment issue, including state and federal litigation and state and federal investigations.
Christie is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida and is a nationally certified HR professional (SHRM-CP). She is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law (2011), where she was a member of the Business Review Journal and the American Inns of Court. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Portland in 2008, attending on a full ride Division I tennis scholarship (Go Pilots!).
41. Chantel Seymore
Director of Learning & Development, Quality & Knowledge, SunPower Corporation
Chantel Seymore is an influential force at SunPower Corporation, a company considered number one in solar renewable energy. Chantel has 20+ years of experience in leadership development, adult learning, and recruiting; she is fueled by her passion for people and organizational culture. Chantel leads a global team that supports staff development, the front-line experience for both employees and customers, and the quality of customer service interactions while driving the organization's mission to change how the world is powered.
Throughout her extensive career, Chantel has established meaningful partnerships and developed innovative learning and leadership development solutions to drive business and align people with their roles and responsibilities. She is certified as a Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Facilitator and Leader, 360- Executive Coach, Development Dimensions Incorporated Master Trainer, and DISC Trainer.
Amongst her many outreach programs, Chantel sits on Arizona's Gateway Community College's President's Advisory Board, co-leads EmPowher, a Women's Employee Resource Group, and is a lead advisor for The McMillion Group, an organization dedicated to strengthening leaders' skillsets and empowering employees. She is the recipient of the Time Warner Rising Star award and the American Federation of Government Employees Shining Star award. Chantel is also active in her community and works with the Susan G. KOMEN foundation to provide continued education and awareness of breast cancer and Moja Tu, who provides education scholarships to children in need in developing countries.
42. Joie Chung
Senior Director of Product Design, Realtor.com
Joie Chung is a UX and product design leader with over 17 years of experience in the tech industry and a proven track record of success in building healthy and effective teams. As a Senior Director of Product Design at Realtor.com, she currently leads a talented team of designers who are helping build products that improve the home buying and selling experience for both consumers and real estate agents. Prior to her current role, she led UX teams at Expedia Group to design software for property owners to easily manage their vacation rentals. Passionate about how design and tech can improve people's lives, Joie has worked on web & mobile apps across a variety of industries throughout her career, including sports, health, finance, logistics, energy, real estate, and travel.
Though she is known for her ability to empower and guide designers to develop impactful product solutions and grow in their careers, Joie is also dedicated to mentoring managers to be effective, compassionate, and strategic leaders. Outside of work, she serves as an advisory board member and mentor at several tech organizations, speaks at conferences and events such as SXSW and Austin Design Week, and enjoys spending time outdoors on the trails. Joie graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Houston.
43. Erica Nelson-Flowers
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, United States Tennis Association
A veteran of the sports industry, Erica Nelson-Flowers has amassed a career working on the grassroots, collegiate, Olympic and professional levels of sports. She currently serves the state of Texas as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). In this role she is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies to grow the sport of tennis amongst underrepresented communities. Since joining the USTA in March of 2021, Erica has utilized 20+ years of extensive expertise to engage and unite diverse missions, people, and organizations to ultimately spark change statewide.
Prior to the USTA, Erica worked for 11.5 years in Student-Athlete Development at the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina where she assisted student-athletes from all sports teams with their personal and career development and preparation for life after graduation. Her foundation for supporting athletes off the playing field began early in her career when she worked in the Player Development department for the National Basketball Association (NBA). In that role she coordinated programs and initiatives to support the off-the-court growth of players and preparation for life after retirement. Erica’s first professional job in sports came as the sports manager for NYC2012, an international finalist to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In this role she managed the involvement of Olympians and Paralympians from around the world, amongst many other duties.
Erica holds the rare distinction of having worked in athlete relations with collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes during her career. She holds an undergraduate degree in physical education with a minor in communications from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a master’s degree in sports management from Slippery Rock University.
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44. Rebecca Seguin-Fowler
Associate Director for the Institute for Advancing Health, Texas A&M AgriLife
Dr. Rebecca Seguin-Fowler is Associate Director for the Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture at Texas A&M AgriLife, where she leads the Healthy Living program of social and behavioral science research. She is also Chief Scientific Officer for the Healthy Texas Institute, Full Professor in the Department of Nutrition in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and graduate faculty in the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health.
As a public health scientist with expertise in community-based nutrition and physical activity intervention research, improving community health for underserved populations has been at the core of Dr. Seguin-Fowler’s work for more than two decades. The scope of her work includes widely disseminated dietary and physical activity behavior interventions, innovative food systems projects, and a variety of adapted evidence-based programs for at-risk populations. Her internationally recognized research expertise focuses on understanding how people’s social, food, and physical activity environments influence behavior change and maintenance, within at-risk populations and settings such as low-income families and rural communities, and in designing programing to help individuals gain the skills to lead healthier lives. Her programs have reached nearly every state in the US, as well as several other countries, helping hundreds of thousands of individuals improve their health and supporting health educators in serving their communities.
Dr. Seguin-Fowler received her undergraduate degree in clinical exercise physiology from Boston University, and a master’s degree in nutrition communication and her PhD in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University.
45. Yulanda McCarty-Harris
Director of Culture, Employee Engagement and DEIB, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Yulanda L. McCarty-Harris, JD, is an accomplished and dedicated senior leader and attorney who has 21 years in the public and private sectors, including 15 years in higher education.
McCarty-Harris was recently appointed as the Director of Culture, Employee Engagement and DEIB in the Texas Development Office working in talent development. She has served as a senior leader on three different college campuses, including her service at the University of Texas at Austin as director of missional critical initiatives in the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault; executive director for organizational culture and inclusion and executive director for the Office of Inclusion and Equity within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
McCarty-Harris recently received her Doctor of Education at UT-Austin and is the first African American to graduate from the Executive EdD in Higher Education Leadership Program. She is also a licensed attorney in Texas and Ohio and received her undergraduate degree from UT-Austin and her JD from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas.
Prior to coming to UT, she spent 18 years in Ohio serving in various leadership positions at universities and was a director and senior employment lawyer for the City of Toledo. She is an affiliate practitioner for the nationally acclaimed program, Courageous Conversations about Race, an award-winning protocol for effectively engaging, sustaining, and deepening interracial dialogue, and has a Diversity and Inclusion for HR Certification. She also served as the first vice president for the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, the oldest operating association of professionals in the equal opportunity/affirmative action profession.
46. Kate Mraw
Director of K-12, LPA
Kate Mraw is a national leader in educational research, sustainable school design and the development of learning environments to support the whole student. She has led the programming and interior design efforts on many of LPA’s most innovative and award-winning projects, including the e3 Civic High School in downtown San Diego, the first high school in the country co-located in a public library; the historic preservation and renovation of Lanier High School in San Antonio, Texas; and the all-in-one K-12 Agnews campus on a 55-acre historic site in San Jose, California, one of the largest K-12 projects in the state.
Since joining LPA in 2004, Kate has formed relationships with educators, students and communities around the country, exploring the complexities of master planning and designing more effective and efficient campuses. She emphasizes a research-driven approach to school design, finding new ways to integrate behavioral science and sustainability with educators’ goals. In 2017, Mraw launched LPAred, the firm’s in-house research group, which works with design teams and clients to enable evidence-based design options.
Mraw is a frequent speaker at industry events and published author, often focusing on community engagement, the latest educational research and designing around learners’ social, cultural and academic needs. She is an active member of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE); she is an A4LE Accredited Learning Environment Planner. She is also a board member of the A4LE Central Texas Chapter and serves on the University of Texas School of Architecture Advisory Council.
47. Lauren Hughs
Director of Foundation Relations, Upbring
Lauren is the Director of Foundation Relations for Upbring, one of Texas' leading child well-being agencies. In her role, Lauren works to provide meaningful financial and community support for 70 Upbring locations across Texas, ranging from foster care, Head Start programs, and health and community programs. This support provides important assistance to children and families Upbring serves. Lauren is honored daily to serve the amazing staff of Upbring who are bringing safety and hope to children experiencing trauma from abuse or neglect; or providing a meaningful educational foundation that will make a lifetime of impact.
Lauren's core focus is to build things. From building out important research in human trafficking while obtaining her master’s degree at Texas Tech University to building tables that bring people together over a cup of coffee, Lauren loves creating something new from nothing or crafting new solutions to age-old problems. Passionate about serving others, Lauren is dedicated to supporting people where they are, and helping them achieve the goals they set for themselves.
Lauren is a proud two-time graduate of Texas Tech University and walk-on Division 1 golfer. Graduating with an undergraduate degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management, Lauren's time at Texas Tech was formative in developing the passions and justice-centered mindset that she has still, including her dedication to make meaningful impact in the lives of children and youth around the world.
48. Eliza Cohen Belbeck
Director of Account Management, Limble CMMS
Eliza Cohen Belbeck is the Director of Account Management at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern maintenance SaaS solution, engineered to streamline all maintenance management activities across operational and asset life cycles. In her role, she oversees go-to-market strategy, revenue growth and the driving of business value across the company’s most strategic customers.
Prior to Limble, Eliza held leadership and enterprise sales roles within SaaS organizations particularly focused on B2B marketing and communications, including Dynamic Signal (acquired by Sumeru Partners, now Firstup), TrendKite (acquired by Cision) and Spredfast (acquired by Vista Equity, now Khoros).
Eliza is passionate about coaching and bidirectional mentorship, especially pertaining to women across their career paths. She has been a speaker and panelist on subjects such as The Return on Inclusion. Outside of technology, Eliza is deeply interested in retail and consumer behavior and has been featured in Business Insider, Women's Wear Daily, and NYMag on these subjects. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
49. Megan Oertel
Director of Customer Experience Data and Analytics, Sysco LABS
Megan Oertel is the Director of Customer Experience Data and Analytics for Sysco LABS, the innovation office of Sysco, the No. 1 food service provider in the world. Megan first joined Sysco LABS in 2018. Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing, and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments, and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Sysco serves more than 650,000 locations and reported over $68 Billion in sales in the last fiscal year. Sysco LABS launched the ecommerce solution, Sysco Shop, in 2019. Since then, self-service orders have doubled to 70% of local restaurant orders. For the last four years, Megan has led the formation and growth of the digital customer behavior data platform that shares insights with the business for decision-making. Through this holistic model of combining data and insights in an accessible way, Sysco is able to improve the customer digital experience from guest browsing to new customer shopping, to personalized experiences, to order and delivery management.
Megan started her career as a musician and music therapist prior to getting a graduate degree in systems and information engineering from the University of Virginia. She has worked on Army Intelligence tools, music notation software, holographic imaging, online ratings and reviews, and an online aggregator. Megan is a co-founder of the Austin Diversity & Inclusion Project, a group dedicated to creating long-lasting culture changes. She also dedicates her time supporting mothers in the workplace and the neurodiverse community.
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