On Feb. 13, 2024, we will honor our 2023 Volunteers of the Year at the 146th Annual Meeting. Volunteers are incredibly important to the Chamber and its mission. Without all of our outstanding volunteers, the Chamber would not be the trusted voice of the business community or able to conduct the important work it does. Each year we honor the volunteers who go above and beyond with their leadership, generosity of time and experience, and dedication to the Chamber, its members, and the Austin region’s business community.
This year we’re honoring the following individuals:
Christi Hester has developed marketing partnerships and branding campaigns for multiple clients across a broad spectrum of industries. She is also the founder of Stout Magazine—a thought-leadership platform that creates and produces content and experiences to grow and support purpose-driven leaders—. For the past 25 years, Christi has been involved with the Chamber on a variety of levels, most recently spearheading the 2023 Greater Austin Business Awards. With a shifting and ever-expanding local landscape and climate, Christi is an advocate for community and collaboration within the Chamber to ensure all are represented to help shape what's to come for the region. Christi shares her time volunteering at Austin High School as the chair for their GOING PLACES campaign, which supports student travel, as well as being a co-chair to help curate a speaker series for the school.
Since 2008, founder and CEO of Red Fan Communications Kathleen Lucente, has assisted B2B technology companies in establishing their own brand reputation through integrated public relations and marketing strategies. Kathleen has invested time and talent in the Chamber since 2006, serving as Chair of various Austin Gives committees for the last several years and helping shape the Austin Gives program to become the successful program of work within the Chamber that it is today. Kathleen encourages community members to become plugged into the engaging activities offered through the Chamber because she believes being involved locally can spark new ideas and add value to one’s life. She views her numerous volunteering efforts in a few different ways: her own variety of board roles, mentoring and judging opportunities within the community, as well as empowering the Red Fan team to serve on boards and volunteer their own time.
Gail Watson has been an account executive with Community Impact for nearly seven years. Gail quickly became involved in the Austin Chamber due to her interest in giving back to the community and desire to get involved. Since 2019, Gail has been a vital part of the Chamber’s ambassador program, including becoming co-chair of the communications committee. To future community members looking to get more involved with the Chamber, Gail recommends attending events and embracing available opportunities. Gail's other key community involvements include representing the Health Alliance For Austin Musicians as a HAAMbassador and participating in community cleanups and plantings for Austin Parks Foundation and Keep Austin Beautiful in her free time.
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