Game Changers Annual Luncheon

October 18, 2017

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

JW Marriott Austin

Women in STEM Awards

Honoring Outstanding Women in STEM

 About the Event

The Game Changers Annual Luncheon is a special celebration honoring women who have made a significant impact locally or nationally utilizing their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, with all proceeds benefiting Girlstart.


The event's mission is to support STEM education and raises critical funds to support Girlstart's core initiatives including free after school STEM programs. Learn more about Girlstart After School.


Sponsorship & Ticket Information

Click here to download the Sponsorship Packet.


 2016 Keynote Speaker

Candice Morgan
Head of Diversity at Pinterest

Candice Morgan leads strategy and programs to enhance a diverse and inclusive Pinterest, the world's catalog of ideas. Prior, Candice spent nearly 10 years at Catalyst, the leading nonprofit for research, advisory, and practices on women in business, where she was a recognized expert in change management/organizational transformation in the areas of inclusion, diversity, and talent management. Candice holds an MS in cross-cultural psychology from Brunel University in the UK and a BS in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.


Event Emcee 
Chikage Windler
Chief Meteorologist CBS Austin

Chikage Windler is the Chief Meteorologist at CBS Austin. She has worked as a broadcast meteorologist for 16 years at stations in Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Washington, DC, Dallas, Indianapolis and Norfolk, Virginia, and served as a fill-in meteorologist at ABC's Good Morning America and ABC World News. Chikage caught the "weather bug" growing up in Oklahoma, the heart of Tornado Alley and loves sharing her passion for weather with everyone she meets.


 2016 Women in STEM Awards

Jennifer Chayes, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Microsoft Research

Jennifer Chayes is a Distinguished Scientist, and the Managing Director and Cofounder of Microsoft Research New England and Microsoft Research New York City. She is one of the inventors of the theory of graph limits, which is widely used for machine learning of massive networks.  Jennifer is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Fields Institute, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Mathematical Society, and an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the winner of the 2015 John von Neumann Lecture Award from the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Chayes holds a BA in biology and physics from Wesleyan, a Ph.D in mathematical physics from Princeton, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Leiden University in 2016.

Katharine Forth, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, iShoe

Katharine is a neuroscientist and founder and CEO of iShoe, an empowering health device that monitors balance and helps reduce fall-related accidents. Forth completed post-doctoral work at NASA and during that time invented technology, originally invented for the moon, to start her company. iShoe was selected to the inaugural classes for the Texas Medical Center’s TMCx program. Forth holds a degree in Biology from the University of Bristol in the UK, a masters in Applied Human Sciences from St. Mary’s College, and a doctorate in Motor Control from the University of Houston where she is also an Adjunct Professor.

Hope Shimabuku
Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Texas Regional Office

As Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Texas Regional Office Hope Shimabuku ensures the directives of the Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the unique ecosystem of Texas. She has served as Counsel for Xerox Business Services, LLC and Blackberry Corporation, and worked as an engineer for Procter & Gamble and Dell Computer Corporation.  Hope is a leader in the Texas region and currently serves as the Director for the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section and sits on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Texas Law School. She was honored by the Association of Corporate Counsel for her efforts championing diversity with the DCEO Champion of Diversity Award.

Ellen Barker
Vice President and CIO, Texas Instruments Inc.

Ellen Barker is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Texas Instruments.  She leads TI’s Information Technology Services organization where she is responsible for IT strategies and operational management of IT applications and infrastructure worldwide.  Ellen believes in giving back and helping inspire the next generation of technology professionals through her volunteer activities. Ellen is a member of the Business Alliance Council for the National Alliance for Partnership in Equity and serves on the board of High Tech High Heels, a non-profit organization focused on increasing the number of girls entering a college program in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Christa Cook
Epidemiology Investigator
Texas Department of State Health Services
Alumna Award

Christa Cook is an Epidemiology Investigator at the Texas Department of State Health Services. She oversees food borne diseases for Region 7 of Texas in the Epidemiology and Preparedness Program and works to educate the community about food borne illnesses and enact public health measures to curb and prevent outbreaks. Cook holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology and a masters in Public Health from The University of Texas at Austin. Christa participated in Girlstart in 7th and 8th grade and returned as a program leader during college.


Mystery Boxes

We are now accepting in-kind donations for our Mystery Boxes, which will be sold to attendees during the luncheon.

Click HERE to download the Mystery Box donation form.

Mystery Boxes are filled with great prizes valued from $30 (and more). Last year's donors included Kendra Scott, Tito's Vodka, Formula One tickets, Rae Cosmetics, Zach Scott Theater, Eliza Page, Kung Fu Saloon, Trace and MORE!



 2017 Sponsors

Becky Austen


Host Committee

Honorary Co-Chairs
Alissa Bayer and Shon Bayer

Junior Co-Chairs
Kiki Schwarz and Leila Patterson  

Tricia Berry
Silvia Brunet-Jones
Valerie Cason
Cassie Crist
Runi Duvall
Virginia Fleck
Katelena Hernandez Cowles
Dena Holliday
Becky Jeanes

Katy Lindsay
Kimberly Mansour
Erin Morales
Lindsey Strobel
Suzanne Tobleman
Marisa Tom