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Austin Under 40 Awards 2020: Meet the Finalists

Leaders across 16 categories will be recognized at a gala on May 16

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Big congratulations are in order for an impressive group of young Austinites.

The Young Women’s Alliance and the Young Men’s Business League are set to honor 80 local leaders at the Austin Under 40 Awards on May 16. For more than two decades these non-profit and social service organizations have recognized the outstanding career achievements and community contributions of local professionals in the Austin area.

Among the finalists – selected by a panel of 140 judges in five rounds of judging – are Rubén Cantú, the executive director of the office of inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin, Associate Travis County Judge Aurora Martinez, Aspire Fertility reproductive endocrinologist Natalie Crawford, MD, and Jesse Stowell, principal of Parker | Phoenix Public Relations. Gabe Erales and Nathan Ryan, who were included in Tribeza’s 2019 People Issue for their contributions to the Austin community, are also Austin Under 40 finalists.

All the honorees are under the age of 40 and will be up for the Austinite of the Year award at the black-tie gala on May 16 at the JW Marriot. The winner will join the ranks of Kendra Scott (a winner in 2013) and Andy Roddick (who won in 2012).

The mission of the YWA, which began in 1997, is to empower and support the next generation of our community’s female leaders through scholarships, mentorship and professional development. The YMBL began its philanthropic endeavor, the Austin Sunshine Camps, in 1928. Since then, the organization has helped 50,000 young people from low-income households who show great promise.

See the full list of honorees in 16 categories below, and visit the Austin Under 40 website to learn more about the awards, the YWA and the YMBL.

Arts and Entertainment:
Danielle Benson
Kristyn Ciani
Anna Gallagher-Ross
Chet Garner
Cassie Shankman

Architecture, Engineering and Construction:
Gerardo Gandy
David Goujon
Nhat Ho
Megan Lasch
Ashley Wainscott

Civics, Government and Public Affairs:
Bino Cadenas
Julie Fisher
Bianca Garcia
Denise Hernandez
Aurora Martinez Jones

Culinary Arts, Events, and Hospitality:
John Antonelli
Heather Emerson
Gabe Erales
Lindsey Sokol
Turgay Yuksel

Energy, Mobility and Transportation:
Dana Harmon
Mandy McClendon
Marissa Monroy
Leslie Pollack
Sam Sargent

Financial and Insurance Services:
Vanessa McElwrath
Chris Palmisano
Chris Ragland
Malini Rajput
Rina VonFrisch

Innovation and Start Up:
TiWanna Kenney
Janice Omadeke
Ben Rubenstein
Nathan Ryan
Brooke Waupsh

Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations:
Brianna McKinney
Levente McCrary
Hema Mullur
Rusty Shelton
Jesse Stowell

Rick Flores
Noah Galton
Megan G. Holloway
Caitlin Haney Johnston
Lauren Schoenbaum

Medicine and Healthcare:
Natalie Crawford
Lucas G. Hill
Terrance Hines
Rebekkah Schear
Jason Bradley Terrel

Mentor of the Year:
Paula Bookidis
James Butler
Holly Christine Hayes
Emily LeBlanc
Stuart Vick Smith

Shaleiah Fox
Lindsey Linder
Mimi Marziani
Chas Moore
Alex Villa

Real Estate:
John Berkowitz
Lezlie Tram Le
Paul Smith
Kristen Williams
Schuyler Williamson

Sports, Wellness and Fitness:
Melody Afkami
Gloria Chan
Emilia Edmonson
CJ Finley
April Owen

Estevan Aviles
Ryan Collins
John Gunter, Jr.
Sherrie Nguyen
Jessica Tremblay

Youth and Education:
Jon Bailey
Rubén Cantú
Dr. Christopher Coy
Dr. Jennifer Garcia-Edwardsen
Sharon Vigil