*Nominations and Applications for the 2020 gala will close January 5, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Finalists will be announced in early March.
Since 1998, the Young Women’s Alliance (YWA) and Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) have partnered to host Austin’s premier charity gala honoring young professionals, the Austin Under 40 Awards. During an evening of prestige and celebration, Austinites are recognized for leadership in their respective industries and strong commitments to serving the Austin community.
All proceeds from the event benefit the YWA Foundation and the YMBL Austin Sunshine Camps. The YWA Foundation provides scholarships to young women and an annual grant to the Girls Empowerment Network (GEN)—an organization with the mission of supporting and guiding young girls through their journey to adulthood. The YMBL Austin Sunshine Camps work to engage and empower children through education and outdoor experiences.
Mentor of the Year – (Over 40) Behind every successful young leader is a mentor. Whether it is a former employer, a senior colleague, a parent’s friend, or a formal mentor, we have all been blessed with knowing those people who take the time to help open doors and guide and direct us through the challenges we face. Mentor of the Year will be awarded to an established Austin business and/or community leader over the age of 40 who has dedicated their time to mentoring the emerging young leaders that we celebrate through the Austin Under 40 Awards.
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction –These ‘foundational’ members of the Austin community are doing more than building infrastructure, they are serving as pillars of support for our city’s diverse and vibrant population. This category honors the professionals, associates, and private business owners contributing to Austin’s growing commercial, residential, public, multifamily, and private developments. Roles include, but are not limited to architects, interior designers, general contractors, engineers, and landscape architects.
Arts and Entertainment – Each member of this distinguished cast of characters brings beauty, knowledge, and laughter into our community through his or her work in the arts and entertainment. This category honors those professionals working in digital media, film, television, and entertainment, as well as fashion and the arts. Roles include, but are not limited to, artists, fashion designers, filmographers, YouTube personalities, musicians, and festival coordinators.
Civics, Government, and Public Affairs – These nominees have demonstrated excellence and commitment to their field at the local, state and federal level, implementing actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Their commitment and dedication to community service and positive change are prominent through their private and/or public sector careers. Roles include, but are not limited to, community relations, foundation representatives, corporate social responsibility leaders, community/public affairs managers, endowment representatives, and community engagement practitioners, elected officials (non-judicial), department and agency staff, campaign managers, lobbyists, and coalition builders.
Culinary Arts, Events, and Hospitality – Rendering Austin a paragon among the world’s preeminent destination and food cities, these individuals have added the dash of originality and authenticity which has proven a main ingredient in Austin’s meteoric rise to the very peak of the globally-oriented hubs of culture. This category honors the professionals, associates, and private business owners serving in Austin’s fast-growing restaurant and hospitality scene. Roles include, but are not limited to, chefs, farmers, event planners, hotel owners and managers, restaurant critics, food journalists and bloggers.
Energy, Mobility, and Transportation – Consisting of preeminent members of the energy, mobility, and transportation community, these Austinites serve as the driving force in the way we interact with the world on a daily basis. This category honors nominees who are advancing the technologies we will need for a prosperous tomorrow, and finding solutions to social, cultural, and/or environmental problems. Roles include, but are not limited to, engineers, city planners, transportation professionals, scientists, analysts, researchers, and professionals specializing in cleantech and environmental sciences.
Financial and Insurance Services – The captains of Austin’s mighty economy, these titans dedicate their lives to enriching the lives of Austinites of all stripes, both in terms of cultural capital and bottom-line assets. Roles include, but are not limited to, accountants, financial consultants, insurance brokers and agents, actuaries, CFOs and others with financial roles within their company.
Innovation and Start-up – Home to dozens of incubators, accelerators, and successful start-ups, Austin is a global leader in supporting entrepreneurship. This category honors individuals who have developed their own concept or company, or played a major role in supporting the development of an entrepreneurial venture. Roles include, but are not limited to, any industry professional who has started a business, executives of incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, angel investors and social entrepreneurs.
Journalism, Marketing, and Public Relations – These wordsmiths don’t stop until they know the entire story, and they’re guiding the narrative. This category honors those professionals that go above and beyond to provide quality news, current events, publicity, and messaging. Roles include, but are not limited to, broadcast journalists, print journalists, investigative journalists, writers, editors, producers, news reporters, radio and television personalities, directors, advertising, marketing, public relations, media relations, crisis communications, speech writing, blogging, and presentation skills training.
Legal – These guardians of justice are balancing their time serving the community with serving the legal industry through traditional and nontraditional legal services. These individuals fulfill both the private sector and government agencies. Roles include, but are not limited to, attorneys, legal assistants, and legal support services (i.e. legal research, software, supplies sales agents and developers).
Medicine and Healthcare – Forming one of the healthiest cities is America, nominees in this category are keeping a finger on the pulse Austin’s health. These individuals represent the healthcare industry, as well as those deeply committed to advancing the research of life sciences. Roles include, but are not limited to, doctors, nurses, assistants, and administrative leaders in all fields of medicine and healthcare, scientists, biologists, chemists, lab technicians, and research professionals.
Nonprofit Service – These philanthropists work tirelessly to advance, preserve, and enhance the Austin community through their careers as nonprofit and/or social service organization professionals. This category honors those leading and serving such entities, realizing diverse missions that aim to meet the needs of Austin’s most vulnerable populations. Roles include, but are not limited to, nonprofit executive directors, directors of development, religious leaders, outreach coordinators, case management, social workers, and advocacy professionals.
Real Estate – Austin is exploding and these individuals are agents in attracting companies and people. This category recognizes individuals in the commercial and residential real estate industry that are busy keeping Austin’s real estate boom alive and well. Roles include, but are not limited to real estate agents, brokers, professionals at title companies, and individuals working in investment sales, capital markets, and multifamily representation.
Sports, Wellness, and Fitness – This category recognizes individuals who making strides in promoting healthy communities in body, mind and spirit. Roles include, but are not limited to, trainers, athletes, business owners, counselors, spiritual advisors, yoga instructors, and coaches.
Technology – From the early days of MCC and SemaTech, to the growth of Apple and Google in Central Texas, Austin is a tech town. This category honors nominees who are advancing the technologies we will need for a prosperous tomorrow, and finding solutions to social, cultural, economic, and environmental problems. Roles include, but are not limited to, scientists, engineers, coders, analysts, researchers, software developers, sharing economy advocates and representatives.
Youth and Education – Sharpening the minds of our future leaders, this category recognizes individuals in a public, private, or nonprofit educational vocation who positively impact the education system and opportunities in our community. Roles include, but are not limited to, teachers, administrators, education advocates, volunteers, school counselors, and tutors.