AUSTIN (March 5, 2019)—A sold out crowd gathered at the beautiful Austin Country Club to honor four outstanding female leaders in the conservation field with the Terry Hershey Award. The fifth annual Audubon Texas Women in Conservation Luncheon was both a celebration of significant career contributions to conservation and a look toward the future of young women in conservation. Jennifer Bristol and Nona Sansom co-chaired the Host Committee and the Honorable Karen Sonleitner served as emcee.
The 2019 honorees included the Honorable Valarie Bristol, Carolyn Chipman Evans, Susan Kaderka, and Dianne Wassenich. As shown through moving videos and heartfelt remarks, their achievements in shaping policy and conservation successes brought enthusiastic applause as they received the award front of an audience that included previous winners. Following in their footsteps, figuratively and literally, were high school seniors Triniti West and Janelle Arnold, participants in the Audubon Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women in Houston and San Antonio respectively. Triniti, a first year participant, shared her story at the VIP reception while Janelle reflected on her four years in the program at the luncheon podium. Their descriptions of their experiences in the program and its impact on their future goals left attendees inspired about the next generation of women in conservation.
“We are happy our honorees' commitment had in mind our children, the quality and availability of water and land, and our ability to share these precious gifts with future generations ” said Suzanne Langley, Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Texas.
“How can we not be inspired by these women who are each full measures of themselves?” Langley added.
Proceeds from the event support both Audubon’s Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women, which provides opportunities for girls to become more involved in environmental science, and Travis Audubon's education and conservation initiatives. Special thanks to our sponsors for making this luncheon and these programs possible. Our Golden-cheeked Warbler level sponsors include Karen J. Hixon, Mitchell Foundation, Pam and Mike Reese, Shield Ranch, and the Winkler Family Foundation. Special thanks to our Great Horned Owl sponsors, including Cullen Geiselman, NextEra, and Andrew & Nona Sansom and Judy Boyce.
The Terry Hershey Award is named after a longtime champion of wildlife conservation in Texas. Terry Hershey was a former member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and a founding board member of Buffalo Bayou Preservation Association, Houston Audubon Society, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center, The Park People, and Urban Harvest. She was also a past board member for Audubon Texas, the National Audubon Society, National Recreation and Park Association, and The Trust for Public Land. She passed away in 2017 on her 94th birthday.
To learn more about the 2019 recipients of the Terry Hershey Award, please CLICK HERE to read bios and view their recognition videos. For more information on supporting the Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women, contact Ashley Kjos at firstname.lastname@example.org.