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Austin Under 40 Names Austinite of the Year

Plus: Prestigious winners are announced in 16 categories

By Aaron Parsley

Congratulations are in order.

For more than two decades, the Young Women’s Alliance and Young Men’s Business League have partnered annually to host the Austin Under 40 Awards. With over 1,300 nominations this year, Tribeza announced the 80 finalists in March. After multiple rounds of deliberations with almost 200 judges weighing in on the finalist’s leadership achievements and community service efforts, the 16 winners have been chosen.

A gala in May to honor winners in each category and name the prestigious Austinite of the Year was canceled due to the pandemic. But it’s time these outstanding women and men receive their recognition.

“For 22 years, the Austin Under 40 Awards have honored the change-makers in our city,” 2020 Austin Under 40 Awards Co-Chairs Lauren Kaufman, Derek Steffen and Patrick Sims said in a statement given to Tribeza. “This year perhaps more than any other, the commitment to leadership and serving the community that these winners have demonstrated is of the utmost importance and value. It is with these individuals that we will continue to move forward as a city and pave a bright future for the next generation of Austin. Congratulations to our 2020 winners!”

And the winners are…

Austinite of the Year:

Ben Rubenstein

Rubenstein is the Chief Revenue Officer for He also does extensive work advocating for abused and displaced children in the court system with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), where he’s served as President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors. He also is a volunteer working with a 13-year-old boy.

“The judges picked Ben for Austinite of the Year because of his strong impact on the Austin community and workforce, his commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive company, and the considerable amount of time he has spent serving CASA and other local non-profits,” the Austin Under 40 co-chairs said in a statement. “Ben is clearly committed to being both a leader at work and in our community.”

Architecture, Engineering, Construction:

Gerardo Gandy, Architect

Arts and Entertainment:

Kristyn Ciani, Talent Buyer at C3 Presents

Civic, Government and Public Affairs:

Aurora Martinez Jones, Associate Judge in Travis County Civil Courts

Culinary Arts, Events and Hospitality:

John Antonelli, CEO of Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

Energy, Mobility and Transportation:

Dana Harmon, Executive Director at Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute


Financial and Insurance Services:

Malini Rajput, Captial One Austin Market President

Innovation and Startup:

Ben Rubenstein, Chief Revenue Officer at

Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations:

Jesse Stowell, Principal at Parker|Phoenix Public Relations


Lauren Schoenbaum, Managing Partner at Ruffner Schoenbaum PLLC

Medicine and Health Care:

Terrance Hines, Executive Director & Chief Medical Officer for University Health Services at The University of Texas at Austin

 Mentor of the Year:

Stuart Vick Smith, Partner at ML&R Wealth Management


Mimi Marziani, President of Texas Civil Rights Project

Real Estate:

John Berkowitz, CEO of OJO Labs

Sports, Wellness and Fitness:

Dr. April Owen, Psychologist and Gender Therapist


Sherrie Nguyen, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Indeed

 Youth and Education:

Dr. Jennifer Garcia-Edwardsen, Deputy Academic Officer for Hays CISD

The 2020 Austin Under 40 Awards are sponsored by Loewy Law Firm, H-E-B, 4Ward Land Surveying, Southside Bank, Texas Mutual, Tankmor, UFCU, Collins Technology Fund, DJNR Interactive, League of Rebels, Zilker Media and Tribeza.