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Austin Under 40 Awards Names Austinite of the Year

Plus: prestigious winners are announced in 16 categories

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For 23 years, the Young Men’s Business League of Austin and the Young Women’s Alliance have partnered annually to host the Austin Under 40 Awards benefiting the Austin Sunshine Camps and the YWA Future Women Leaders Fund. Each year since its inception, the pool of nominees has grown to an unmatched caliber.

After multiple rounds of thoughtful deliberations with nearly 200 judges contributing to the process, the 2021 Finalists were announced in May 2021, with Tribeza’s help.

After two-and-a-half years, the Austin Under 40 Awards returned in person on Saturday, Feb.  26, at the Fair Market. Despite the hiatus, it was clear the Austin Under 40 Award team had not missed a beat. With Bounce Austin’s help, they created a special evening designed to focus on recognizing Austin’s premier stars who excel in their profession and set an example for others through their community efforts.

Photo by Weston Carls

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“In March 2020, it seemed as though the world had stopped, but in reality, it propelled strong contributors who were flexible, adaptable and rose to the challenge. Fast forward to February 2022, those same individuals continued to excel in the workplace and within their communities,” said Co-Chairs Derek Steffen and Brittany Sharkey. “It is the Austin Under 40 Awards’ pleasure to create a platform where local contributors can be recognized. We celebrate the 2021 winners because we understand their lasting impact and know our next generation will benefit from the great work and dedication they show today. We are honored and privileged to share this experience with them and are thankful for their hard work and commitment to the city of Austin.”

Please join us in congratulating the 2021 Austin Under 40 Award Winners!

And the winners are…

Austinite of the Year

Ryan J. Collins

Architecture, Engineering and Construction:

Kate Tomlinson, P.E., LEED AP BD+C

Arts and Entertainment:

Cassandra King Polidori

Culinary Arts, Events and Hospitality:

Heather Emerson

Energy, Mobility and Transportation:

Andies T. Shepherd

Medicine and Healthcare:

Chad Whited


Ryan J. Collins

Sports, Wellness and Fitness:

Gloria Chan Packer

Financial and Insurance Services:


Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations:

Cara Caulkins


Caitlin Haney Johnston

Civics, Government and Public Affairs:

Ashley Cheng

Youth and Education:

Sharon Vigil


Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez

Mentor of the Year:

Rebecca Powers

Real Estate:

Lezlie Tram Le

Innovation and Start Up:

Ben Lamm

The 2021 Austin Under 40 Awards were sponsored by H-E-B, Nordstrom, Tribeza, 4Ward Land Surveying, Texas Mutual, Studio X, Vera Bank, Sandoval | James, The Bingham Group, LLC, The Beck Group, CL, The Brand, Custom Tailors, MirMir, Twin Liquors, Chippy’s Chips, Tito’s Vodka, Dolce Vida Spirits, Capitol Wright Distribution, Still Austin Whiskey Co. and DJNR Interactive.