For the Texas Women’s Foundation, 2019 has provided excellent opportunities to build on the groundwork laid by their 2018 transformation.
On May 2nd, the Texas Women’s Foundation held its annual Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Like previous years, the LFAD event was an opportunity for the Foundation to look back on its achievements and work from the past year, but 2019 marked the first such event for the organization since its rebranding in 2018.
Previously known as the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Texas Women’s Foundation has built on its commitment to “Transform Texas for Women and Girls” with its impressive fundraising efforts. Drawing on more than $35 million worth of assets, the Foundation raises approximately $9 million each year that is allocated to research and campaigns centered on issues that affect women and girls. The Foundation also contributes a collective $5 million in annual grants, investments into assets that directly support women’s rights initiatives, and programs that empower women and girls across the state of Texas.
In 2018, the Foundation broke its personal record for investments, contributing $4.6 million to women’s programs in Texas, and reached its fundraising milestone of $50 million through the extensive “Unlocking Leadership Campaign.” The commemorative occasion was also the organization’s opportunity to announce its transformation from the Dallas Women’s Foundation to the Texas Women’s Foundation.
“As an organization committed to advancing economic security and leadership opportunities for women, girls and families, we are proud of our accomplishments in 2018,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, the organization’s President and CEO. “We saw progress across every measure of change – from investing in our mission at unsurpassed levels during a single year, to changing our name and launching innovative solutions that empower women and families to make a better world.”
2019 continues to provide opportunities for the Foundation to build on its mission.
The Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner (LFAD) is the Foundation’s annual event, connecting notable leaders from around the state, promoting new conversations, campaigns, and trailblazing efforts from the past year. Held on May 2nd this year, the event also included the presentation of two of the Foundation’s most prestigious awards: the Maura Women Helping Women Award, and the Young Leader Award, given to remarkable pioneers who are making waves in the Texas community.
This year’s LFAD brought together an impressive team of female pioneers working to transform Texas for women and girls.
Co-chaired by Thear Suzuki (EY) and Retta Miller (Jackson Walker LLP), the event featured a presentation from keynote speaker Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest and the Chair of the Ellevate Network, a community designed to connect women with career opportunities, professional development, mentorships, and more through networking. Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck is an active thought leader in gender lens investing, and an important figure in the mission for women to empower themselves financially.
The awards highlighted the work of women across a wide range of philanthropic sectors, from female empowerment through financial literacy to a food truck that surprises shelters, schools, and businesses with gourmet grilled cheese.
2019’s winners for the Maura Women Helping Women Award included Dee Dee Bates (New York Life, Dallas General Office), Sally Dunning (Greenhill School Board of Trustees), Ana I. Hernandez (PlainsCapital Bank), Ashlee Kleinert (The Kleinert Foundation/Executives in Action/Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe), and Nicole Small (LH Holdings, Inc./Lyda Hill Philanthropies).
The 2019 Young Leader Award recipients were Dr. HaeSung Han, licensed clinical psychologist, art therapist, and co-founder of POETIC, an aftercare program for girls exiting the juvenile justice system; and Ana I. Rodriguez, director of the SMU Cox Latino Leadership Initiative, a business-school-based center of excellence focused on improving the diversity pipeline for corporate leadership and Latino executives.
This year’s event drew more than 800 attendees and $600,000 in fundraising dollars, marking another impressive milestone in the Foundation’s history. The funds gathered at the LFAD event will be distributed as part of the organization’s plans for 2019, which include plans to extend its initiatives for women’s economic security and leadership.
CEO Dawson Thompson has set her sights on 2019 as a year of improvement and investment, planning for the Foundation to invest another $5 million in programs that directly benefit women and girls in Texas. The LFAD event marks a fundraising milestone that will contribute to the Foundation’s 2019 goals, and the record turnout shows that the Foundation is well on its way to hitting its objectives for this fiscal year.
“We are grateful for our many donors who so generously invest in the power of women and girls to build stronger, more equitable communities across Texas,” said Dawson Thompson. “When Texas women, girls and families thrive and when our leadership fully reflects our population, our state’s economy and our futures are stronger.”
To learn more about organizations that are transforming their commitments to empower women and girls, read about one company’s new mission to close the gender gap through technology solutions, or the ways that giving circles are amplifying feminist campaigns through collective philanthropy.