Austin College to Hold Nonprofit Symposium for Area Professionals, Volunteers

SHERMAN, Texas— May 6, 2018

Austin College welcomes nonprofit professionals and volunteers to the 2018 Nonprofit Symposium to learn about grant writing, public policy, and fiduciary responsibility. The event is Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to noon in Wright Campus Center, Room 254. The morning sessions are free and open to the public but registration is required at by Wednesday, April 25. 

The theme of the morning continues at the ATHENA Awards luncheon that follows, with a keynote address by Kate Murphy, senior child welfare policy associate at Texas Care for Children in Austin and a 2009 graduate of Austin College. Symposium attendees may sign up, $25 per person, at the symposium registration site for the luncheon where the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award will be announced. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Wright Campus Center’s Mabee Hall.

Symposium Schedule:

At 8:30 a.m. following registration and a light breakfast, Dr. Randy McBroom of the Texoma Council of Governments will moderate the “Grantmakers Panel,” of Brianna Adams of Independent Bank of Texas; Kaitlyn Guthrow of Communities Foundation of Texas; Terri Davis of Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation; and  Kris McKinney of Texoma Health Foundation.

The “Public Policy and Nonprofits” session begins at 10 a.m. and features Jamie Baker, director of public policy with the Office of Representative John Ratcliffe, and Nate Strauch, community and support services manager for the City of Sherman.

The final session of the symposium at 10:45 a.m. addresses “Nonprofit Fiduciary Responsibility” with comments from Chris Emerson, CPA, auditor, and manager of outsourced finance and accounting at Armanino in Dallas; and Ben Walker, senior policy advisor for the Center for Health Empowerment and executive director of Texas Health Action in Austin.

The day’s events are organized by Austin College’s Center for Community and Regional Development, with input from the Texoma Women Get Connected program. United Way of Grayson County is a continuing sponsor of the event. Other ATHENA Luncheon sponsors are Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center and Texoma Health Foundation, along with individual gifts honoring or memorializing individuals: Austin College Institutional Advancement staff in honor of Jill Joiner Roberts; Kristine McKinney in memory of Clara Blackford Smith; and Gary and Marilyn Murphy in honor of Kate Murphy, luncheon speaker. Other sponsors are pending.

ATHENA Awards:

The ATHENA Leadership Awards presented by Austin College are open to outstanding women in Grayson, Fannin, and Cooke counties.

This year’s ATHENA Leadership Award nominees are Stephanie Chandler, director of community investment for United Way of Grayson County, Inc.; LuAnn Daniel, founder and chief executive officer for Women Rock Inc.; Deborah Estes, education consultant; and Tonya Price, chief nurse officer for Wilson N. Jones Regional

Medical Center.

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are Amber Pilcher, banking services manager and regional retail manager for Landmark Bank Denison;  Kristina Quinlan, member services and events director for Sherman Chamber of Commerce; and Melanie Truxal, Main Street coordinator for the City of Denison.

The recipients will be announced at the luncheon. Nomination forms for the 2019 awards can be found at

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change LivesAustin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and