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Austin Under 40 Nominees Announced

The Young Women’s Alliance & Young Men’s Business League will honor leaders in 16 categories in September

Congratulations to the 2021 Austin Under 40 Nominees.

After a tumultuous year of challenges that forced innovation and inspired heroic efforts to help our community, this year’s list of outstanding young leaders was not easy to compile.

During a pandemic, one group especially has been called into action. Meet the five finalists in the Medicine and Healthcare field with their bios below, and then scroll down to see the full list of nominees in all categories.

The award winners will be announced at Fair Market on September 18.

The Austin Under 40 Awards are organized by the Young Women’s Alliance and the Young Men’s Business League, non-profit and social service organizations have recognized the outstanding career achievements and community contributions of local professionals in the Austin area.

The nominees are selected by a panel of judges, and winners in 16 categories will be announced at an event on September 18 at Fair Market.

Kathryn E. Hudson, M.D., is a hematologist and oncologist in Austin as well as the Director of Survivorship at Texas Oncology. In addition to sharing her expertise on cancer therapeutics and quality of life of cancer patients, Dr. Hudson serves on the Hospice Austin Board of Directors, the Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin Medical Executive Committee, St. David’s Committee on Cancer and volunteers for the Breast Cancer Resource Center. Hudson and her husband Parker have three children: Alida, Parker and Elizabeth.

Dr. Kasey Claborn is a Scientist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Dell Medical School who has received numerous awards for her work in addiction science. She is the principal investigator of two NIH-funded studies, including a study funded by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to develop an overdose tracking and prevention system. During the pandemic, Dr. Claborn established an online wellness studio which aims to provide free education and resources for mental health to the public.

Dr. Lucas Hill is a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, where he serves as director of the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. Dr. Hill’s research is focused on clinician-community collaborations to address substance use disorders through evidence-based treatment and harm reduction strategies. He is the principal investigator for a five-year, $25 million grant from the Texas Health & Human Services Commission to prevent opioid overdoses by distributing naloxone and educating health professionals regarding opioid use disorder.

Selena Xie is the President of the Austin EMS Association, a captain for Austin Travis County EMS and a nurse at Dell Seton Medical Center’s Surgical ICU. She attended Amherst College where she majored in Economics and Political Science. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Texas Tech.

Dr. Chad Whited, M.D. is an otolaryngologist with Austin Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic, and started The Austin Voice and Swallow Center.  He provides world class voice, swallowing and airway care to the Live Music Capital and to Austin’s musicians through HAAM. He serves as president of the Austin Society of Otolaryngology, Chief of Otolaryngology for Ascension Seton, and Quality Medical Director for Cornerstone Hospitals. He loves running with his Gazelle Family and volunteers on the Gazelle Foundation board of directors. Chad and his wife Amy have two children: Alla June and Wells.

Arts and Entertainment:

Cassandra King Polidori
Jane Claire Hervey
Matrex Kilgore
Matthew Bizer
Monica Ceniceros

Architecture, Engineering and Construction:

Ashley Wainscott
Christy Taylor
Kate Tomlinson, P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Nhat Ho
Sarah Johnson

Civics, Government and Public Affairs:

Amy Whited
Ashley Cheng
Ben Stratmann
Jo Cassandra Cuevas
Paige Ellis

Culinary Arts, Events, and Hospitality:

Cassie LaMere
Fallon Allison
Heather Emerson
Jack Zimmermann
Meghan Hughes

Energy, Mobility and Transportation:

Amy Proske Becker
Andies T Shepherd
Casey Johnson Burack
Kathleen Baireuther
Sam Sargent

Financial and Insurance Services:

Aaron Dominguez
Christina Ayer
Dennis Bielik
Rina Von Frisch
Rudy Mejia

Innovation and Start Up:

Albert Swantner
Ben Lamm
Billy Moyer
John Berkowitz
Rubén Cantú

Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations:

Brianna McKinney
Cara Caulkins
Deanna DeHaven
Julianne Hanckel
Kana LiVolsi


Andrea Villarreal
Caitlin Haney Johnston
Denise D. Hernandez
Rebecca Matsumura
Rick R. Flores

Medicine and Healthcare:

Chad Whited
Kasey R. Claborn, PhD
Kathryn E. Hudson
Lucas G. Hill, PharmD
Selena Xie

Mentor of the Year:

Debra Patt, MD PhD MBA FASCO
Hon. Larry Wallace Jr., Ph.D.
Rebecca Powers
Rebecca Taylor
Stacy Armijo

Non-Profit Service:

Alex Villa
Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez
Hailey Easley
Lucy Nguyen
Sara Jane Cantwell

Real Estate:

Alecia Burdick
Haley Berry Smith
J. Ryan Lang
Leslie Odom
Lezlie Tram Le

Sports, Wellness and Fitness:

Alex Earle
Andrea Turnipseed
Gloria Chan Packer
Melody Li
Robert White


Aaron Miri
Caitlin Hudon
Charlie Burgoyne
Crystal Paull
Ryan J. Collins

Youth and Education:

Alberto Chapa
Christina L. Bryant
Eboni Lunsford Calbow
Jon Bailey
Sharon Vigil