Young Women Run Texas 2020 Electeds



Women in Politics Lunch

Guests announced on a rolling basis. 


Devan Allen, Commissioner Precinct 2, Running for office was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my personal and professional journey. I was totally committed and gave everything I had to the process. I decided to run only after I could answer four important questions - Is this the right time? Am I the right person for the job? Am I doing it for the right reason(s)? Am I qualified and ready to do the work? I was able to answer those questions for myself with satisfaction and also with the input of others and it was then that I decided was I prepared to run and just as importantly prepared to win and to serve!


Michelle Beckley, State Representative Representative Beckley was elected to serve House District 65 in the Texas House of Representatives on November 8, 2018. She was inspired to run for office after attending the Dallas Women's March in 2017. Representative Beckley has lived in her district for her entire life. The daughter of Jim and Terrie Beckley, she attended public school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. After graduating from Newman Smith High School, Representative Beckley attended Texas A&M University, receiving a degree in Biomedical Sciences in 1992. Representative Beckley worked in sales immediately following college, but returned to Carrollton to manage the family business, Kookaburra Bird Shop. In 2003, she purchased shop and continues to manage it today. Representative Beckley is married to Martin Mikes. They reside in Carrollton with their two Standard Poodles, Mischief and Mayhem and cats, Max and Mika. She is an avid bicyclist and has completed two Ironman Triathlons. Her priorities for the 86th Legislative Session are providing healthcare for all Texans, medical marijuana and hemp research. She has been appointed to serve on the Agriculture and Livestock and the Business and Industry Committees. Representative Beckley represents House District 65, which is comprised of the major parts of Carrollton and Lewisville, in Denton County.


Jennifer Berthiaume, Mayor Pro Tem  Jennifer was elected to the Murphy City Council in May 2016 and re-elected in May 2019. She previously served on the Murphy Community Development Corporation and the Planning & Zoning Commission. Ms. Berthiaume is a member of the Murphy Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is a natural extension of her skills gained from her degrees in Geography and Disaster Management. As a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consultant and certified professional, Ms. Berthiaume works closely with municipalities, utilities, counties, and state agencies across the United States. She has leveraged that experience with her leadership skills and has been appointed to the Mayor Pro Tem position four years in a row by her fellow councilmembers. In her spare time, she actively pursues learning self-defense techniques using Krav Maga. She and her fiance, Ryan, live with their two dogs.


Keely Briggs, Council Member District 2 - Mayoral Candidate, Keely Briggs was elected to DentonCity Council as District 2 representative in May 2015 and is currently serving her 3rd term. She is a Mayoral candidate in the upcoming May 2020 election. A Texas native born in Tyler, Keely first came to Denton to attend UNT in 1995 where she graduated with a BA in Sociology. 
Natasha Bulter, Alief ISD Board Member, Natasha Butler was elected to serve as an Alief ISD School Board Trustee in 2017. Since being elected, she completed Texas Education Agency’s Lone Star Governance training for School Board Trustees. She has been an active volunteer and mentor for the Alief Community for over 15 years. She serves as a member of various organizations including Alief Super Neighborhood Council, Citgo Innovation Academy at Olle STEM Advisory Board, Community Centered Health Advisory Council, Maternal Upstream Project Advisory Group, and Harris County Houston Sports Authority. She is an alumni of Harris County Leadership ISD. She also currently serves as a City of Houston Ambassador for Fair Housing and Community Development and Complete Communities Initiative. She also is the owner of Spice Lane Community Investment Group which provides access to educational, housing and employment opportunities to low income families. She currently has 2 daughters attending Alief ISD schools. 

Angie Chen Button, Representative, Texas Angie Chen Button is currently serving as State Representative for House District 112 which includes portions of Garland, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Wylie, and Dallas in Dallas County. She currently serves as Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee and as a member of the Higher Education Committee. In previous sessions, Representative Button has served on the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Calendars, Technology, Rules and Resolutions, and Economic Development committees. Representative Button worked for Texas Instruments (TI) where she promoted American products internationally as an International Marketing Manager. She is also a CPA with Masters’ degrees in Public Finance and Management Sciences. Before her election to the Texas House in 2008, Rep. Button had a long record of public service and community involvement in the Metroplex. She was a member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board and an Executive Committee Member of the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition (DRMC). She served in leadership positions with chambers of commerce, citizen coalitions, and for other civic and non-profit organizations. She has also been part of the Dallas Assembly, the Dallas Summit, and the Women’s Museum Advisory Board. Representative Button was born in Taipei, Taiwan. As a child, her seven person family lived in a 300 square foot, one-room hut without a kitchen or running water. She credits education with bringing her a better life. 


Karolyne Carloss, Alderwoman, Van Horn City Council Karolyne is a native Texan and proud Van Horn community member. A non-profit professional, Karolyne has dedicated herself to initiatives ranging from women’s homelessness to international microfinance to global primary healthcare. Prior to moving to Van Horn, Karolyne was a Senior Portfolio Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA.


Genevieve Collins, Candidate for CD 32, A 7th Generation Texan and lifelong Republican; Genevieve Collins is a next generation leader who can bridge our past with our present and lead us into a bright and prosperous future. Hard work, determination, and grit are literally in Genevieve’s DNA. Her grandmother, Calvert Collins, was a trailblazer; the first woman elected to the Dallas City Council. Genevieve has built upon that legacy of service with her own good work. A graduate of SMU’s Cox School of Business and renowned local businesswoman, Genevieve was named one of 2018’s local 20 Under 40 for her remarkable work helping to turn around low-performing school districts and change students’ lives. The Head of Corporate Strategy at Istation, a leading education technology firm that helps students and teachers reach their academic goals using personalized learning to pinpoint every student's exact reading and math ability, Genevieve has worked with school districts large and small across the country to bring a world-class education to all students regardless of where they live. As a public education advocate, Genevieve’s success even brought her to Washington DC, where she proposed landmark education reforms directly to Vice President Pence. Genevieve is one of the most driven, competitive people you will ever meet. 


Luisa del Rosal, Candidate for DC 114, Luisa del Rosal is running for Texas House District 114 to keep Texas exceptional. Luisa knows what we have here is special because she has seen the alternative to a free and fair society. Born and raised in Mexico, Luisa always wanted to make a difference, but Mexico is a country where there was no rule of law and where individual ambition and talent are not given free reign. That is why she came to Texas and followed the rules to become a United States citizen. Luisa enrolled at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she earned dual bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s in Higher Education Policy and Leadership. After graduating, Luisa ran a program at Education is Freedom where she worked with local businesses and Mayor Tom Leppert’s office to provide underprivileged students with internship opportunities to better prepare them for the workforce and college. Driven by her passion for education and a love for her University, Luisa returned to SMU and currently serves as the executive director of the John G. Tower Center and is the founding executive director of the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center. A national leader on Texas-Mexico relations, she is the youngest executive director at the University, as well as the only Hispanic to head up two Centers. 


Janet DePuy, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Richardson Janet DePuy has called Richardson home for more than 30 years. She served as a board member for the Heights Park Neighborhood Association (1050 homes) including 10 years as president. Through her dedication and leadership, Heights Park N.A. is recognized as one of the most active and productive neighborhood associations in Richardson, making significant contributions to the City of Richardson’s economic growth and development. Ms. DePuy also served on the City of Richardson Planning Commission for more than ten years, presiding as vice chair in 2018. Through this appointment, she gained extensive knowledge on proper land use, development and redevelopment within the city. Her time on the commission included major initiatives such as the State Farm campus at CityLine, the relocations of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Fossil, the West Spring Valley redevelopment project, the renovation and redevelopment of the Richardson Heights Shopping Center, the Main Street redevelopment project and many more. She is an alumna of Leadership Richardson Class XXXIII. She was named a Richardson Real Hero in 2018 in recognition of her volunteer work. A graduate of Cheyenne Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, she attended the University of Wyoming and completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Dallas.


Sally Derrick, School Board Member, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD Board of Trustees, Sally Derrick is serving in her 2nd year as a school board trustee for the Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District. Sally brings her unique experience as a pediatric nurse and mother of 2 daughters to her school board role. As a life long resident of CFB and long time community advocate, she enjoys bringing her passion for serving her community to the board. She feels strongly that all students should be represented and have a voice. She believes our schools are stronger when our students have a voice in the decision making process.


Natalie Hebert, Frisco ISD Board Trustee Hebert earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Austin College in Sherman, going on to the University of North Texas to study Special Education and Educational Leadership. Professionally, Hebert began her teaching career in the Fall of 2002.  Hebert’s experience includes working in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education.  She brings experience from three outstanding Texas school districts: Birdville ISD, McKinney ISD, and Frisco ISD.  Her professional contributions while in McKinney ISD included facilitating professional development and curriculum writing for 1st Grade English, Language Arts, and Reading. While serving Frisco ISD, Hebert’s contributions included serving as the 6th grade Team Leader and the 8th Grade Cheer Coach at Vandeventer Middle School.  She co-chaired the family and community involvement committees for Vandeventer’s  Campus Improvement Team.  Following the Frisco ISD Tax Ratification Election in 2016, Hebert served as a member of the district’s Priorities-Based Budget Committee, tasked with analysis of district spending relative to available resources.  Natalie also served on the Frisco ISD District Improvement Team with an emphasis on student achievement.   

Nell Anne Hunt, Vice-President, Board of Trustees, District 2, Irving ISD Nell Anne has been an Irving resident for more than 40 years.  She was an honor graduate of Texas Tech University with a major in speech pathology and a minor in English.  She holds a Texas teaching certificate and has taught in four different school districts. In addition, she has taught 12 different courses at Northlake Community College. Hunt has been a teacher of Reading is FUNdamental and also taught English as a Second Language.  Currently she is a realtor with Ebby Halliday Realtors. As an enthusiastic community volunteer, she has served in numerous ways.  She is the Founder of the Great Flag Caper which places over 40,000 American flags in Irving on the 4th of July.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Irving Schools Foundation, Dallas Museum of Art, The Science Place, Irving Symphony Orchestra, City of Irving Arts Center, Irving Cultural Affairs Council, University Hills Association of Homeowners, DFW Humane Society and the City of Irving Parks and Recreation. As a volunteer with the Irving Schools Foundation (ISF), she served as chairperson for the Breakfast with the Stars fundraiser and was named a Fellow by the ISF.  She has been active in the PTA at T.J. Lee and Farine Elementary Schools, Travis Middle School and MacArthur High School. She served as board president of the YWCA and was honored as a Volunteer with a Heart.  She has been honored as a City of Irving High Spirited Citizen and received patriotism awards from the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Legion and the Irving Elks Club.

Julie Johnson, Representative, District 115, Texas Representative Julie Johnson was elected to the Texas House of Representative in November of 2018. She represents House District 115 in Dallas County, which includes the cities of Coppell, Farmers Branch, Irving, Carrollton, Dallas and Addison. During the 86th Legislative Session, Rep. Johnson was appointed to the House Committee on Insurance and Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence. Rep. Johnson serves as the Vice Chair of the Women's Health Caucus and Treasurer of the LGBTQ Caucus. She is a member of the House Democratic Caucus, the Legislative Study group, and the Sportsmen's Caucus. In her first legislative session, Rep. Johnson pushed for legislation that focused on consumer protection and access within our healthcare system. For her hardworking efforts during the 86th Legislative session, Rep. Johnson was named 'Freshman of the Year' by Texas Monthly. When Rep. Johnson is back home in the district, she is an attorney that specializes in personal injury cases, family law, and mediation. She has represented thousands of clients in the DFW area and has been in practice since 1991. Rep. Johnson grew up between Houston, Texas and Auburn, Alabama, but she settled in Texas as soon as she could. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston Law School. She is a mother to two teenage boys and her wife, Dr. Susan Moster, is a gastroenterologist practicing in Ft. Worth, Texas.


Carolyn King-Arnold, Councilmember, Dallas City Council Carolyn King Arnold was elected once again to the Dallas City Council in May 2019 to represent District 4.Elected in the Special run-off election in December 2018.Won her first election in May 2015 with 51% of the vote over seven (7) candidates.


Anne McCausland, Trustee, Frisco ISD Bio coming soon. 


Cara Mendelsohn, Council Member, City Council District 12 Bio coming soon. 


Dr. Gwendolyn Caldwell Morrison, Trustee, Tarrant County College District Educator, policymaker, Community advocate, independent business woman 

Margaret O'Brien, Judge Judge Margaret O’Brien was elected to serve in 2018. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University earning her BS in Chemistry.  She later obtained her MS in Environmental Science from the University of Texas Health Science Center. For nearly a decade, she worked as an Industrial Hygienist for Amoco, Motorola and Texas Instruments. In 2004, she became a small business owner.  She is a licensed real estate broker, Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and has a Graduate Certificate from Southern Methodist University in Dispute Resolution/Mediation. Judge O’Brien was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and has lived in Texas since 1976.  She hears criminal and civil cases under $10,000 which include small claims, repair and remedy, evictions, debt claims, traffic tickets, fraudulent checks and fine-only misdemeanors. Judge O’Brien understands the struggles of everyday life and is honored to serve the people of Precinct 2 (Garland, Mesquite, Sachse, Sunnyvale, Wiley, East Dallas and part of Balch Springs).  She pledges to listen carefully, treat everyone with respect and fairness, and make sure all have access to affordable justice.


Kim Olson, Colonel, USAF, ret., Candidate for TX-24 Kim is running for Congress to represent Texas's 24th District. She was a member of the first generation of female pilots in the Air Force and rose to the rank of Colonel. After 25 years of service, she retired from the Air Force and led a non-profit called Grace After Fire dedicated to reclaiming female veterans to citizen life. She was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 2014 for her work in empowering women and in recognition of her trailblazing military career. Kim is now hoping to continue her service to this nation as a member of Congres


Dolores Ortega Carter, Treasurer, Travis County Dolores Ortega Carter was elected Travis County Treasurer in 1987 and has served this capacity to the present.  She was the first woman elected to the position. Also, she was the first Hispanic woman elected to a countywide office in Travis County.  She is a Certified County Treasurer and a Certified Investment Officer. Ms. Ortega Carter is a graduate of the Leadership Austin class of 1996-97 and the Texas Association Leadership Foundation Class of 2008. She is a Past President for the County Treasurers Association of Texas.  She is also on the Legislative Committee and actively works on bills during the legislative session that are pertinent to counties and especially, county treasurers. She serves as Vice Chair on the Bail Bond Board and is President-Elect for the National Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers (NACCTFO), an affiliate of the National Association of Counties (NACO).  She is on the Large Urban Counties Committee for the National Association of Counties, is a member of the Financial Services Advisory Committee for the National Association of Counties and the Immigration Reform Committee. Dolores Ortega Carter is a graduate of Texas A&M University. She has a Bachelors Degree in Spanish and English (1976) and a Masters degree in Education Administration (1980).


Cristal Retana, Farmers Branch City Councilmember & Manager, Government and Community Relations for Children's Health Cristal was elected to the Farmers Branch City Council May 2019. She has been involved in government/community affairs professionally for over a decade. She joined Children’s Health in January 2018 as Manager of Government/Community Relations overseeing community relations efforts with a focus on city and county public policy. Most recently, she was chief of staff to Dallas Councilmember Adam McGough. Her key roles included policy research and project management with a focus in public safety, transportation, planning/zoning, and quality of life issues.


Amanda Sargent, School Board Trustee, Desoto ISD Amanda Sargent was elected to the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees Place 7 seat in May 2018. Sargent, a 2008 DeSoto High School alumna, has acquired a wide range of academic and professional experiences including a Bachelor of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies and a Master of Science degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Administrative Practice. Sargent has dedicated herself to empowering students and communities to realize their potential through education as is evidenced in her most recent professional experience as the Director of UT Outreach Dallas with the University of Texas at Austin’ Division of Diversity and Community Engagement where she served the students of DeSoto High School and 22 neighboring high schools. Through her role as a DeSoto ISD Trustee, Sargent started the DeSoto Board Fellows program which aims to extend her passion for student and youth development as an advocate for high-quality education and accountability in DeSoto ISD.


Lakesha Smith, Candidate for 213th Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Lakesha Smith is a judicial candidate for the 213th Judicial District Court in Tarrant County, Texas. She is from Seattle, Wa. She is a mother of 4 and a wife. She graduated from the Tulane University School of Law where she focused much of her curriculum on criminal law. After graduating from law school she moved to Texas. She went on to work for the Public Defenders Office and then the District Attorney's Office. She has been the lead trial attorney on cases ranging from capital murder to low level misdemeanors. She has handled thousands of cases and believes this experience will be essential once she is elected.

Maria Tu, Plano City Council Maria was born in Taiwan and grew up in Washington State. She made Plano, Texas her permanent home in 1994. She has a law license in Washington State and a law license in Texas. In 2019, Maria ran for Plano City Council, Place One, and was elected on May 4, 2019. Maria Tu has practice law, started a wholesale business from the ground up, worked in the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, opened her own Law Offices of Maria Tu, and now, her passion is to maintain Plano’s excellence for our children, our families and our businesses.
Candace Valenzuela, Trustee Candace grew up bouncing around from place to place, but through the help of key government programs: HUD, food stamps, and public schools Candace found her way. Candace's mom Mary kept her in the same cohort of schools even when the homes changed, and that's how she became the first in her family to go to college. She got a full ride to Claremont McKenna College, and felt the trajectory of her life was transformed by the experience. Charged with the importance of education as an adult, Candace ran for school board in Carrollton-Farmers Branch. She defeated an 18-year incumbent, and was able to work for hard for children and families. When she noticed that kids were bouncing around from place to place in her district the way she did, and that wages weren't keeping up with the cost of living, Candace entered the race for Congress in Texas' 24th district. Among other issues, Candace is fighting for our planet, healthcare, housing and food security, and of course public education.


Lori Ward, Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore, Town of Addison, Lori Ward is a Texas transplant and resident of Addison, TX. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma, with a BA in Spanish. She taught Spanish for several semesters at OU while working toward a graduate degree, in preparation for her transition into the corporate world. For most of the past 24 years, Lori has worked in Commercial Business Development and Sales Management. Lori is the Director of Sales & Marketing for a Dallas-based manufacturing services company that specializes in complex cable assembly, precision metal fabrication, and industrial compression.

Ann Zadeh, Councilmember, City of Fort Worth, District 9 Elected in June 2014, District 9 representative Ann Zadeh joined the Fort Worth City Council ranks already a seasoned veteran at navigating the important decisions city leaders must make. Zadeh – a Fort Worth resident of more than 25 years – came to Texas after obtaining a bachelors degree in environmental studies from the University of California–Santa Cruz. She enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington and obtained a masters in city and regional planning in 1992. After being credentialed by the American Institute of Certified Planners, Zadeh spent five years as a city planning consultant, advising municipalities throughout the Metroplex. Zadeh made her first appearance behind the Fort Worth City Council dais in 2008 when Mayor Mike Moncrief appointed her to the Zoning Commission. She served three terms on the commission – two under Mayor Moncrief and a third as chair of the commission following reappointment by Mayor Betsy Price - before her run for the District 9 seat.


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