Every July, we profile “5 Fierce Females” in an all women’s issue. In honor of International’s Women’s Day Sunday, March 8, let us reintroduce you to these amazing women:

  1. Linda Kao. The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Linda Kao propelled herself from W.T. White High School and a part-time job in a flower shop to Southern Methodist University as the assistant dean for global programs. She’s been in that role for 20 years. In between, she was a successful model and in charge of logistics for the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Mr. USA pageants. Kao is on the board of directors for the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Dallas Assembly. Mother to a son and daughter, who attends Hockaday, Kao is a cancer survivor who seizes the day. Read the full story here.

    Photo by Danny Fulgencio

  2. Sarah Jackson. The George H. W. Bush documentary “41 on 41” features George W. Bush,  Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice — and Sarah Jackson, a 2011 graduate of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Jackson, 37, calls it the greatest honor of her life. “As a daughter of immigrants from Sierra Leone, you just never grow up thinking, ‘One day I’m going to be in a film about a former U.S. President.’” The Preston Hollow resident was born in Dallas, graduated from Mesquite High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism before receiving her master’s degree from Texas A&M. After stints as a press secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives and a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of State, Jackson became vice president for strategy and public affairs for the nonprofit Dallas Citizens Council in 2014. She calls herself an anomaly — the rare African-American Republican who is also Catholic. Jackson is a member of and eucharistic minister at Christ the King Catholic Church. Read the full story here.

    Photo by Danny Fulgencio

  3. Shonn Evans Brown left her 20-year career as a private practice firm lawyer for a position with the longest title ever: Vice President and Deputy Council for Litigation, Regulatory and Preventive Law at Kimberly-Clark. A graduate of Southern Methodist University Law School, she is chair-elect of the Texas Women’s Foundation. Brown’s husband is a lawyer, and she is the mother of a boy and two girls. The family lives at Preston and Walnut Hill. “I love the area because it’s close to the kids’ schools. I am a community junky. I love trying to make an impact.” Read the full story here.

    Photo by Danny Fulgencio

  4. When Ana Hernandez migrated to El Paso from Mexico at the age of 10, her father insisted that she and her two brothers value education, even though he had only finished sixth grade. “You’re standing on my shoulders,” he told them. “Don’t disappoint me.” As the oldest, Hernandez felt the pressure. She skipped fifth grade and finished high school in three years. Then she put herself through college at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she majored in journalism and minored in finance and accounting. Today, Hernandez is senior vice president and senior commercial loan officer for PlainsCapital Bank. She says her journalism background taught her how to ask questions, how to tell a story when it comes to underwriting and how to be mindful of readers, even when they are loan committee members. Passionate about volunteering, Hernandez received the Texas Women’s Foundation Maura Women Helping Women Award in May. She and her husband live with a dog that thinks he is their child. Their 25-year-old daughter graduated from W.T. White High School. Read the full story here.

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

5. Preston Hollow neighbor Eve Wiley found out that a fertility doctor inseminated her mother with his own sperm rather than the sperm of the donor her mother selected. She thought the act should be a crime so she set about visiting Austin every week to press for legislation that would make it a sexual assault offense if a health care provider implants human sperm, eggs or embryos from an unauthorized donor. “It’s really important to protect vulnerable people,” she says. “You spend a lot of time with those doctors. There’s a lot of trust. You are trusting them, and you are vulnerable.” Wiley is the mother of two young children who spent her weeks traveling by bus to Austin to lobby her cause. Her case recently appeared on ABC’s “20/20”. The result? In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill making fertility fraud a crime in Texas. Read the full story here.

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

 


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