Since 2009, the Mission Capital Awards (then, Nonprofit Excellence Awards) have recognized exemplary achievement in our social sector. The winners were announced and honored at Mission Driven on September 27.

Nonprofit Leadership Award

The Nonprofit Leadership Award is presented to a current nonprofit CEO/Executive Director whose notable achievements over the course of his or her career have resulted in lasting community impact. Recognized by peers as a longstanding sector leader, this individual has served one or more organizations with a track record of effective leadership and lasting outcomes. A model of excellence, this leader inspires and empowers others to achieve meaningful, measurable and sustainable solutions to critical community challenges.

  • Rodney Ahart | Keep Austin Beautiful
  • Regina Rogoff | People’s Community Clinic – 2017 WINNER
  • Carolyn Schwartz | Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas

Outstanding Nonprofit Award

This award is presented to a stand-out organization whose relentless focus on results has created powerful progress for the Central Texas community. Regardless of size, this nonprofit has demonstrated significant, measurable community impact, especially within the past year. Through a clearly defined vision, creative program delivery and smart operations, this nonprofit balances innovation that addresses the challenges of today with long-term sustainability.

  • Any Baby Can
  • Breakthrough Central Texas – 2017 WINNER
  • Children’s Optimal Health

Social Entrepreneurship Award

The Social Entrepreneurship Award is presented to a pioneering individual driving social innovation through a nonprofit or for-profit social enterprise. Through inventive, market-oriented approaches and risk-taking, his or her creative approach to problem-solving disrupts the status quo and is making promising headway in an area of pressing community need. By contributing to the social good and resourcefully optimizing financial value as well, this individual’s work demonstrates that the success of both social and business entrepreneurship is essential to the creation of vibrant communities.

  • Kelli Kelley | Hand to Hold
  • Amy Mills | Emancipet – 2017 WINNER
  • Nirav Shah | Social Finance, Inc.

Aligned Impact Award

This award is presented to a cross-sector, mission-driven collaborative working to create deep, system-wide change in Central Texas. It recognizes that some of our community challenges are so complex that only a strategically collaborative approach can bring about meaningful transformation. Ownership and decision-making authority in this collaborative reach beyond a single partner, and the collective work is guided by shared leadership. The activities of each partner contribute to the collaborative’s clearly aligned, collective goals. The collaborative has established shared metrics, tracks progress and can demonstrate real impact in an area of clear community need.

  • Austin Homeless Veterans Initiative
  • Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative
  • GO! Austin / VAMOS! Austin – 2017 WINNER

2017 Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year Award

In addition to the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, Mission Capital announced its fourth Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year Award. The Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year award, named in recognition of its inaugural recipient, honors an individual who has made significant contributions to lead transformational change in our community.

Through passionate leadership and inspiring investment in our community, this individual is a champion for social change. He/she works across traditional boundaries to address our community’s greatest challenges. Past winners of this award include Libby Malone (2013), Earl Maxwell (2014), and Jeff and Deanna Serra (2015).

Watson Community Leader

2017 Community Leader of the Year Award Winner, Senator Kirk Watson

Mission Capital is proud to celebrate Senator Kirk Watson for his extraordinary service in support of this community we all love! A longtime public servant and a former Mayor of Austin, Senator Watson was first elected to the Texas Senate (District 14) in 2006.

Repeatedly recognized for his legislative and coalition-building work, in 2011, Senator Watson proposed “10 Goals in 10 Years” to transform the health and economy of Central Texas. Through this vision, Central Texas welcomed the first class of students to the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas in 2016, will open Seton Healthcare Family’s new teaching hospital in 2017, made Austin a center of comprehensive care through the LIVESTRONG Institutes, and established high-quality, neighborhood-based health clinics for uninsured, low-income residents of Travis County.

Senator Watson has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Austin’s American Cancer Society, Ballet Austin, Community Partnership for the Homeless, El Buen Samaritano and KLRU. He is the former Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Advisory Board for Environmental Defense and CAMPO, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas


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