Celebrate Our ChangeMakers
It is a pleasure and honor to announce Katie Ford, Laura Maniccia, and Casey McPherson as the recipients of the 2018 AYC ChangeMaker Awards, to be presented at the 5th Annual ChangeMaker Luncheon on Friday, February 16, 2018 at the Westin Domain as part of our new day-long LEAD Summit.
The AYC ChangeMaker Award, presented by UFCU, pays tribute to those who are doing extraordinary things to make our community a better place. ChangeMakers are thought-leaders and do-ers who create innovative solutions to community or industry challenges. They identify the need for change, and through their inspiring efforts, proactively and successfully make that change happen.
Meet Our Winners
Click on their name to learn more!
Truth Be Told
For eight years as a volunteer for Austin nonprofit Truth Be Told, Katie Ford has helped women incarcerated at a prison in Lockhart write their stories. Specifically, she guides them through a process in which the women identify and write about the life experiences and personal choices they believe set them on a path to prison. After years of listening to repeated accounts of physical and sexual abuse and domestic violence in the women’s stories, Katie felt called to revise her own life story.
Read more about Katie here.
Laura is a Texas native, born in Corpus Christi and has lived in Austin for nearly 9 years when she and her husband relocated for his job. At the time, Laura stayed home with their newborn but quickly became interested in a flexible job that would allow the opportunity to work from home while utilizing her professional skills. She purchased a franchise of a Mom and Baby exercise program and within four years had grown from four to ten locations, expanded the Instructor team, and reached hundreds of Moms in Austin by creating a safe, fun and encouraging environment for a workout that moms could do with their babies.
Read more about Laura here.
Songwriter & Entrepreneur
Casey McPherson is a songwriter and entrepreneur from Austin, TX. He grew up in Lake Jackson, TX moving to Austin when he was 19 to start a band. His music career has been a path from obscurity to lasting success by way of hard work, learning, and self discovery. He has created multiple small business ventures throughout his career, from custom furniture design, to web applications such as Skaflash Llc. Due to his families battle with mental illness, he began serving as a board member to Mental Health America of Texas, and now serves on the board of Austin Child Guidance Center.
Read more about Casey here.
Thank You To Our Finalists
This year we received many incredible nominations from the community and the decision was not easy for our independent panel of judges. A special thanks to our ChangeMaker Finalists for being incredible role models:
- Caitlin Haney Johnston
- Bradley Gold
- Charley Scarborough
- Sarah Evans
- Raquel Valdez
- Jason Finkelman
Thank You To Our Judges
- Kristie Gonzales, KVUE
- Chelsea Elliott, half Helen Foundation
- Jim Pacey, YMCA of Austin
- Sterling Smith, SandBox Commerce
- Pete Gasper, Laurie Smith Design Associates / Smith + Morton Architecture