JUST IN: Dallas Women’s Foundation Maura Women Helping Women And Young Leader Awardees Announced

Word has just been received that the Dallas Women’s Foundation has finalized its plans for its annual Leadership Forum and Awards Dinner, where the 2016 Maura Women Helping Women Award and Young Leader Award are presented.

Presented by AT&T, the dinner will be held on Thursday, April 21, in the Trinity Ballroom at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Event Co-Chairs Margaret Jordan and Debbie Taylor have arranged for New America President/CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter to be the keynote speaker. Anne-Marie has just had her “Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family” published “outlining a new vision of work-life balance, and an action plan for achieving true equality between men and women.”

According to Foundation President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson, “The Leadership Forum recognizes outstanding leaders who blazed the trail for women in their industries and communities. These leaders have faced great challenges in their lives and careers, and yet dedicated themselves to creating more opportunities for women and girls to achieve and succeed. It takes courage and a commitment to advance change for women to get in and stay in the leadership pipeline. We are proud to elevate the striking examples our award winners represent, along with the critical insights Anne-Marie’s Slaughter offers, to illuminate ways to broaden pathways to opportunity and build new work cultures that strengthen women, families and communities.”

And now for the news about the awardees. Receiving the 37th annual Maura Women Helping Women Award will be

  • Diana C. Dutton
  • Rabbi Nancy Kasten
  • Vicki Meek
  • Katie Pedigo
  • Billie Bryant Schultz

Presented by Capital One, The Young Leader Awards are presented to women under the age of 40 who have “achieved success in a field, initiative or sector, and are creating a path of opportunity for other women to follow.” This year’s recipients are:

  • Brittany K. Byrd
  • Lacy L. Durham, Esq.

If you’re wondering what makes these ladies so outstanding, grab a cup of coffee, settle back and follow the jump.

Here is the rundown on the 1016 Maura Helping Women recipients:

  • Diana C. Dutton – In addition to being one of a relatively small group of women to obtain law degrees in the early 1970s, Dutton entered the field of environmental law. She was the first female attorney hired by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in our region and one of the few women at EPA nationally. She recognized early on the lack of support and guidance for women lawyers, primarily because there were few role models. Dutton helped found and lead a program at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to provide pragmatic mentoring, business development guidance and support to younger women lawyers, for whom such resources were limited or nonexistent. She also has focused her community activities on organizations that work to enhance opportunities for women and girls.
  • Rabbi Nancy Kasten – Ordained as a Reform Rabbi in 1990, Rabbi Kasten inspires women to fulfill the Jewish mandate to repair the world and to share their blessings with others who are less fortunate. She is a powerful voice for economic justice, women’s equality and support for women and families, including adequate, affordable and accessible health care; education; economic justice; and religious freedom.
  • Vicki Meek – Meek is a nationally recognized artist, curator and administrator, and some of her most meaningful work has been at the local level. She developed an award-winning education program when she assumed the role of manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) that focuses not only on children and youth, but also on the mothers of the young people served. Meek has spent her over 20 year tenure at South Dallas Cultural Center mentoring women artists, devoting no less than 50 percent of the exhibiting opportunities to women and introducing their work to potential collectors. Previously, she served as the Community Liaison for East Dallas Community School where she ran the “Parents As Teachers Program” and worked with women from low-income households, empowering them to become their children’s educational advocate and first teacher. Meek will retire as manager of the SDCC in March.
  • Katie Pedigo – Pedigo has helped unite the Dallas community by bringing awareness of trafficking and exploitation, and how this issue – and its portrayal in the media – affects women and children. As Chief Executive Officer of New Friends New Life, she advocates for changes to laws and increased investment in the women and girls affected by the horrors of trafficking and exploitation.
  • Billie Bryant Schultz – Schultz became an entrepreneur by necessity when illness came to the family, requiring her to take the leadership role of a very non-traditional business for women in a coin changer and office equipment repair company. Through the years, she has evolved CESCO into the successful business equipment sales and services company it is today. Schultz was at the forefront of the utilization and development of women-owned businesses, before supplier diversity initiatives included gender-specific goals to include women in supplier diversity initiatives. Over the years, she has served as a mentor to women business owners, and ensured CESCO supported women business enterprises in its own supply chain.

The 2016 Young Leader Awards recipients are:

  • Brittany K. Byrd – By experiencing the incarceration of her own mother, Byrd, corporate counsel for ORIX USA Corporation, saw first-hand the needs of children with parents in prison. Wanting to have a positive impact on this pressing societal problem, she created a much-needed resource for girls in our community with mothers in prison by founding Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM). GEM is dedicated to empowering girls with mothers in prison to break the cycle of incarceration and lead successful lives with vision and purpose.
  • Lacy L. Durham, Esq. – Widely respected by her colleagues at Deloitte, Durham works as a trusted business advisor specializing in employee benefits. She advocates for women in her spare time. She has helped advance causes from human trafficking to mentorship. Durham actively educates the public on the obligation to report child abuse through her work with “The Little Voice,” an award-winning project of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.