Community Leaders Under 40 Honored for Making Impact

October 10, 2017

DALLAS (Oct. 11) – Five outstanding civic and business leaders under age 40 have been selected as finalists for the annual Good Works Under 40 (GWU40) awards program presented by The Dallas Foundation andThe Dallas Morning News. The program shines a spotlight on up-and-coming leaders working to improve the future of Dallas and who inspire their peers to make a difference. The winner will receive a $10,000 check to donate to his or her charity of choice. 

For the first time in the award’s eight-year history, the public will be allowed to honor a finalist with the People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award has started at (voting is now closed) and that winner will also receive a check to donate to his or her charity of choice. 

“Each of this year’s five finalists is truly making a difference in the lives of our community,” said Mary Jalonick, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “Dallas is very fortunate to have committed, skilled and passionate volunteers invested in our future well-being.” 

In alphabetical order, the 2017 finalists are:

  • Stephanie Giddens, president and founder of Vickery Trading Company, takes on the current global refugee crisis by renewing hope for refugee women in Dallas. Vickery Trading Company is a nonprofit social business that produces high-quality products handmade by refugee women. The company’s unique business model focuses on empowering women through job and life-skills training that equips them for further employment or education.
  • Lana Harder, Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Children’s Medical Center and Associate Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; has been a volunteer for Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) since 2009 and serves as a CASA in her current Junior League of Dallas community placement.  In her volunteer role, Harder visits abused and neglected children and helps children reach a safe, permanent home. Harder also serves on the Dallas CASA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
  • Dominic Lacy, senior manager at Accenture Strategy, is the first-ever deaf board president of Deaf Action Center. A board member for over 10 years, Lacy has guided the board of directors and staff through a complete redevelopment of facilities. The redevelopment has enabled Deaf Action Center to offer low-income housing and a modern center to serve its clients. 
  • Robert Taylor, asset manager at Thackeray Partners, is the founder and director of The Educator Collective, a nonprofit that exists to empower early-career teachers in Dallas ISD to build lasting and accomplished careers in public education. Taylor also serves on the board of directors for the Trinity Christian Academy Alumni Association and the West Dallas Community School Young Professionals.
  • Elizabeth Viney, an attorney, uses her legal talents and faith to help her community as a volunteer with Advocates for Community Transformation, a revolutionary model of ministry that deploys pro bono attorneys to empower inner-city residents to fight crime in their communities. Since 2013, Viney has dedicated over 400 hours to help shut down drug houses and encouraged many other lawyers to volunteer.

The GWU40 winner will be announced at a reception at Café Momentum on Nov. 8, 2017. In addition to the winner’s prize, the four remaining finalists will receive $3,500 each for their respective charity. 

GWU40 nomination applications were reviewed by a volunteer selection committee comprising emerging civic leaders and led by Meg Boyd of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

About The Dallas Foundation
The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, serves as a leader, catalyst and resource for philanthropy by providing donors with flexible means of making gifts and bequests, the income from which primarily supports the charitable causes of the city and county of Dallas. For more information, visit