Archive for Profiles

Cookie Ruiz To Be Presented Polly Scallorn Community Trustee Award

Cookie Ruiz To Be Presented Polly Scallorn Community Trustee Award

By: Elizabeth McGuire Cookie Ruiz grew up a child of the world. The daughter of a U-2 pilot who flew high-altitude reconnaissance, she lived in remote locations all over the globe. That childhood gave Ruiz a sense of worldliness and connection that she still carries…

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Rich DePalma: No Time to Waste

Rich DePalma: No Time to Waste

By: Elizabeth McGuire Rich DePalma has a newsflash for you: life is too short. Too short to chase a law degree when you know it’s not the field for you, too short to live in a town that doesn’t feed your soul, too short to…

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Impact Profile: Board Chair Debbie Johnson

Impact Profile: Board Chair Debbie Johnson

By: Elizabeth McGuire Leadership Austin’s incoming board chair, Debbie Johnson, wasn’t born in Texas, but as the popular bumper sticker says, she got here as fast as she could. Turns out it was a quick 20 years. When the native Nebraskan first met her husband…

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Community Trustee Award: Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell

Community Trustee Award: Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell

By Elizabeth McGuire Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell is the rare breed of native Austinite who doesn’t pine for the good old days. Instead he embraces the growth and changes of his hometown and seems to keep the big (and increasingly bigger) picture in mind. Born…

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Ascendant Award Honoree: Emily Ramshaw

Ascendant Award Honoree: Emily Ramshaw

By Elizabeth McGuire Emily Ramshaw admits she is more comfortable on the other side of the interview. As a seasoned reporter and current editor of The Texas Tribune, she is typically the one asking questions. But she made an exception for Leadership Austin and gave…

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Impact Profile: John-Michael Cortez

Impact Profile: John-Michael Cortez

By Elizabeth McGuire Two weeks into his new job as Chief of Staff for Mayor Steve Adler, John-Michael Cortez‘s office showed clear signs of a recent occupant. The walls and bookshelves were bare except for a few colorful drawings from his young daughter. Cortez explained…

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Impact Profile: Alan Graham

Impact Profile: Alan Graham

By Elizabeth McGuire Alan Graham is a fan of saying Yes. That single word plays into his entire approach to life and has become a driving factor in the development of what is now considered a revolutionary approach to addressing homelessness in Austin. Graham spent…

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Impact Profile: Chelsea McCullough

Impact Profile: Chelsea McCullough

Chelsea McCullough has made a career out of bringing people together for the social good. So it seemed perfectly fitting that we met at Center 61, a collaborative workspace dedicated to social entrepreneurs. There she is among her tribe. Charming and eloquent, Chelsea carries a…

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