Planning Committee

2020 Austin Under 40 Planning Committee

Click on the names below to contact team members directly.

2020 Co-Chairs

Lauren Kaufman

Originally from Atlanta, Lauren decided to brave the cold and attend the University of Colorado-Boulder where she majored in Communications and Mandarin. After years of shoveling snow, she quickly jumped at the opportunity to move to Austin 5 years ago when she was offered the role of Senior Event Manager at Dimensional Fund Advisors. This past year, Lauren decided to make a big career change and is now a registered representative at Dimensional and holds her Series 7 & 66 license. Lauren speaks German, Mandarin and Spanish and enjoys spending time with her partner, Aaron and their two French Bulldogs, Tater Tot and Queso (@theloadedtots).

Derek Steffen

Derek currently serves as a Property and Casualty Insurance Specialist with Austin based Whorton Insurance Services. Derek is from St. Charles, MO and earned his Bachelors degree from University of Louisville, with his masters from Stephen F. Austin State University. Derek is an active member of Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) and was named 2018 Member of the Year. He also led a successful peer to peer fundraising campaign as VP of Fundraising earning over $347,000 in 2019 as well as assisting with the Sunshine Run. He is in his 3rd year serving on the AU40 Committee and proudly wears the nickname Mr. Sunshine. In addition to YMBL, Derek is an active member with the Austin, Cedar Park and Leander communities. 

Patrick Sims

Patrick Sims Jr. holds a wealth of experience in event planning and management. Since 2015, he’s worked to bring a level of knowledge, insight, and creativity to the event space in Austin, TX. Patrick founded event production firm Party Peuple in 2018 and has since produced and hosted events such as the American Advertising Awards,  E4 Youth Showcase & Awards, and the Maxwell Labs SXSW Demi Party. 

Patrick holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with focus on Entrepreneurship and Marketing, from Texas Southern University. Patrick is an active member in the Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) and is known for his abilities to create innovative social and fundraising events that bring people together for a great cause and experience. 

2020 Austin Under 40 Committee Chairs:


Sarah Simmons

Helen Xu

Ashley Moran


Evan Atkinson

Chris Plummer

Katie O’Connor

Rakhi Agrawal

Sara Berry

Brittany Sharkey

Robin Jacobs

Event Management

Kaitlyn Doyle

Victor Celania


Luke Gosda

Andrew Cortes

Allyson Karnavas

Bre Brown

Genevieve McGreevy

A.J. Bingham

Josh Dent 

Silent Auction

Ryan Riolo

Amber Steffen


Amber Steffen

Tori Roberson

Michael Banta


Tyler Ray

Sarah Bode