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Year-end Message from Mandy Austin, Women of Tocqueville Chair

June 20, 2023

To our Mighty, Mighty Women of Tocqueville,

If they say that time flies when you’re having fun, well then it moves at light speed when you’re having fun and making an impact– making an impact is what this incredible group of change-makers is all about. It has truly been an honor to lead the efforts of the mighty, mighty Women of Tocqueville and to serve alongside the most passionate, philanthropic, mission-driven women in North Texas. While it is hard to believe that my time as Chair is coming to a close, it is with immense pride and gratitude that I reflect on the accomplishments and impact of this remarkable group over the last 12 months. Oh, how we have shined! Our theme this year was “Together we SHINE!” With Servant Hearts we Inspire our Neighbors to Engage in our community.

Together, we took “engagement” to new heights thanks to the leadership of our 22 fabulous Steering Committee members and the partnership with our UWMD liaisons Deborah Arango, Susan Hutcheson, and Jamie Winholtz. I am thrilled to report that the 2022-2023 UWMD campaign year has been a tremendous success for the mighty, mighty Women of Tocqueville. With your support, we increased the frequency and expanded the geographic scope of our “Connections” networking events, we demonstrated the strength and reach of our collective network through in-person advocacy efforts, and we invested in the future of social impact innovation through the Women of Tocqueville Fund for Women and Children. All these efforts advance UWMD’s efforts toward ensuring that all North Texans have access to the building blocks of opportunity—education, income, and health. The awareness that this incredibly talented group of professional, philanthropic, mission-focused women brings to these critical issues is truly unmatched. I am continually inspired by the leadership, drive, and passion of our dynamic members.

Caterpillar themed counting boxes

Women of Tocqueville Steering Committee Retreat

Teacher appreciation ‘Cups of Cheer’

Many of our engagement efforts this year were centered in early childhood education–the foundation for a lifetime of success. Whether we were building caterpillar-themed counting boxes for the ChildCareGroup, compiling “Cups of Cheer” teacher appreciation gifts, reading to the young scholars at Hotchkiss Elementary School, mentoring students at Lincoln High School, or nurturing the next generation of students through our virtual baby shower for new and expectant mothers—we helped to provide a solid foundation of learning and growth for North Texas’ next generation. Before we know it, this next generation will be the “now” generation.

Each of nearly 500 WOT members serves as inspiration for this next generation of philanthropic leaders, many of whom were present at this year’s Most Generous Next Generation networking and professional development event, presented by PwC and supported by Vistra, which highlighted the great importance of community engagement and the impact of United Way’s Southern Dallas Thrives initiative. We learned from these young professionals and community leaders that they are not the “Most Generous Next Generation” … they are the “Most Generous Now Generation.” It was such an inspiration to hear the passion that this generation of young leaders has toward driving positive change in our community in their daily lives.

We also celebrated the first all-woman cohort of UWMD’s Social Innovation Incubator during the Incubator Debut Night in which 18 impressive social entrepreneurs showcased their ventures that will help to close opportunity and resource gaps and inequities across North Texas. Our commitment to these entrepreneurs and to future social innovation was made clear with our investment from the Women of Tocqueville Fund for Women and Children—the first ever Women of Tocqueville led fund.

When a group of inspired women coalesce around a cause, there is nothing that can stop us—which is exactly why we headed to the Texas Capitol in Austin under the guidance and direction of United Way’s own, Stephanie Mace. In March, 24 of our dynamic advocates met with 30 legislative offices to advocate for UWMD’s legislative priorities, including housing stability for low-income workers, expanding child abuse prevention programs, increasing access to school-based mental health services, and modernizing the 211 Texas information referral network. We advocate because we know that systemic change can be achieved through the actions of state lawmakers.

With such impactful events and engagement opportunities, it is easy to see how we are accelerating the growth of Women of Tocqueville here in North Texas. When good work is being done, others want to be a part of it. In 2022-2023, we added 71 new members, and counting, to our Women of Tocqueville ranks. Thanks to the tremendous outreach efforts and network of this incredible group, the momentum is strong.

On this wave of positive momentum, I am proud to pass the torch of leadership on to the powerhouse leader with a servant heart, my partner-in-purpose and Chair-Elect, Michelle Horton. Michelle has served brilliantly by my side throughout the last year. Michelle – Cyber, Risk & Regulatory Partner / PwC Lead Client Partner – is a highly respected business leader whose positivity radiates through all that she does, and I know that she will lead us to new heights in the year ahead!

With gratitude,

Mandy J. Austin
2022-2023 Women of Tocqueville Chair
Dallas Market President, Bank of Texas