Two Houston women, Rani Puranik and Kim Roxie, are the first Houstonians to receive Texas Women’s Foundation’s prestigious Maura Women Helping Women Award and Young Leader Award, respectively, which recognize leaders who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls. Puranik and Roxie will join four other Maura recipients and another Young Leader Award recipient at this year’s virtual celebration on April 29.
For 42 years, the Maura Women Helping Women Award has been presented to courageous individuals who have catalyzed change for women and girls. The 2021 Maura recipients join the esteemed company of more than 200 previous honorees. The Young Leader Award, introduced by the Foundation in 2013, has recognized 13 women under the age of 40 who are creating pathways for others to follow.
Rani Puranik is an intrapreneur and global change agent for young women. Co-Owner and Global CFO of Houston-based Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), Puranik thrives at leading innovation, empowering others and inspiring collaboration. A motivational speaker and a certified Master Coach in Leadership Development, she is passionate about mentoring the next generation of female leaders. She also serves as the executive director of the Puranik Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of WOM, representing three generations of women committed to education, wellness and sustainability. Founded by her mother and now managed by her eldest daughter, the Puranik Foundation operates a residential school in India called Vision International Learning Center. Puranik was named a “Top Leading Women in Energy” by the Houston Business Journal and Business Woman of the Year by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston. She is authoring her first book, Seven Letters to My Daughters, slated for release later this year.
Kim Roxie is an entrepreneur and catalyst for women of color founders. She is the founder and CEO of LAMIK Beauty, a clean beauty brand that caters to multicultural women. After opening her own shop at age 21 with a $500 investment, she ran that store for 14 years and was the youngest African-American woman to have her products carried in a major department store. In 2019, Roxie pivoted her business and launched LAMIK as an e-commerce beauty company. In 2020, she secured a partnership with an augmented reality company to launch a tech-enabled website that allows consumers to digitally try on cosmetics. She has received numerous awards, including the Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service, one of the Houston Business Journal’s “40 under 40,” one of the American Business Journal’s Most Influential Young Executives and one of the “30 Black Stars” by Face2Face Africa. The City of Houston formally named June 23rd as Kim Roxie day in her honor.
The recipients will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration, presented by AT&T, on April 29. The virtual event begins at 10:00 a.m., and tickets are $42 in honor of the 42 anniversary of the Maura Awards. Co-chairs are Jana Etheridge, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff & Customer Office, Financial Services, Capital One, and Hattie Hill, president and CEO of T.D. Jakes Foundation.
The event’s keynote speaker is Adriana Gascoigne, author of Tech Boss Lady, and founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based nonprofit with more than 60,000 members in 50+ worldwide devoted to empowering, educating and engaging women in the tech industry. In 2018, she was named one of the 20 most influential Latinos in technology by CNET, and also received the Pioneer Leadership Award at the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit. Her keynote is supported in part by the Catherine M. Coughlin Endowment for Women’s Leadership at Texas Women’s Foundation.
At 10:50 a.m., event attendees will select and join one of the breakout Leadership Forums, featuring a moderated discussion with the award recipients about key issues and their own pathways to leadership. There will be opportunities for event attendees to interact and participate. The Forums will be videotaped and available within 24 hours. In addition to the video recordings, Texas Women’s Foundation will also launch Gender Matters™, a podcast series sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corp. that will feature in-depth interviews with each award recipient.
“Rani and Kim have made significant impacts in their respective fields, while lifting up women and girls as they lead,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer. “We are very excited to honor them and the other remarkable award recipients. We are also eager to hear from Adriana Gascoigne, who has made it her mission to create a global network of support for women in technology and who totally lives up to her book’s title, Tech Boss Lady.”
In addition to Puranik and Roxie, the other Maura award recipients:
Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), a $200 million nonprofit leading the fight against hunger in North Texas. Last fiscal year, NTFB provided 97 million meals.
Jin-Ya Huang is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders, a culinary training social enterprise that economically empowers refugee women from war-torn countries through the storytelling of cooking, food and culture.
Judy Treviño serves as the executive director for San Antonio-based CCVI Ministries, Inc., an international nonprofit organization sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.
Cheryl Polote Williamson is founder and CEO of Soul Reborn, a non-profit organization that has supported more than 4,500 disenfranchised, under-served and previously incarcerated women.
The Young Leader Award recognizes breakthrough leadership exhibited by a trailblazer who is achieving success in a field, initiative or sector, and creating a path of opportunity for other women to follow. In addition to Roxie, the other recipient is Diana Mao, an abolitionist with a mission to eradicate human trafficking in her lifetime. She actively champions for change, and her visionary skillsets have urged Nomi Network forward into enormous growth and success.
About Texas Women’s Foundation:
Texas Women’s Foundation is Transforming Texas for Women and Girls, empowering them to build stronger, more equitable communities. One of the world’s largest women’s foundations, the Foundation raises funding from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources support more than $7 million in investments that advance economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls through groundbreaking research, advocacy, grants and programs. Since inception in 1985, the Foundation has invested $57 million in women and girls, including $43 million since 2011. The Foundation’s statewide research on issues affecting women and girls provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Its advocacy, grantmaking and innovative programs support solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive. In addition, Texas Women’s Foundation is an acknowledged leader and advocate in the gender lens investing movement and has deployed 100 percent of its assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – in a gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now.