Meet the New Generation of Community Leaders in North Texas

October 11, 2019

DALLAS (October 11, 2019) – Five Dallas changemakers were selected as finalists for The Dallas Foundation’s 10th annual Good Works Under 40 (GWU40) Award. The program highlights volunteers under the age of 40 who work tirelessly to give back to their community and inspire their peers to get involved.

“These individuals embody what it means to be bold and innovative in the pursuit of doing good,” said Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “They’ve made it their mission to fight for a brighter future by providing a constant support system for those who need it the most, inspiring their peers and impacting our community.” 

The finalists will be honored at a reception at The Joule Hotel on November 6, where each will receive a grant for the nonprofit of their choice; the 2019 Good Works Under 40 Award winner will receive a $10,000 grant.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is now open to the public. The People’s Choice Award winner will receive an additional $1,000 to donate to their charity of choice.

Here are 2019’s GWU40 finalists:

  • Katherine Anand, a board member with Rainbow Days, has volunteered with the Dallas-based social service organization for the last seven years. Rainbow Days empowers children and youth facing adversity to build coping skills that help them live a life filled with hope and promise. To date, the organization has served more than 150,000 children in the Dallas area. Katherine previously served a three-year term as president of the board of directors for Rainbow Days. Katherine is a practicing attorney and law partner at a women-owned law firm, Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC. 

  • Katie Wanserski Eska is a regional advisory board member of Teach for America DFW. Teach for America finds, trains and nurtures outstanding and diverse leaders to shape educational access and opportunity in Dallas. Katie has dedicated immense leadership as an alumni board member and a mentor and coach to Teach For America teachers. Katie is the principal of North Dallas High School, where, in addition to leading the campus every day, she is overseeing a $46.5 million renovation of an iconic and historic building that serves one of the largest homeless high school populations in the city. 

  • Teresa Fishman, an Equest board member, has been dedicated to Equest’s organizational mission since 2011 – to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs through therapy horseback riding. Equest’s hope and healing initiatives change the lives of 2,000 clients annually. Teresa’s volunteer work and guidance led to her induction into the Equest Hall of Fame, along with several other honors. Teresa also volunteers her time with the Junior League of Dallas, Special Olympics and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. 

  • Monica Johnson founded the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Dallas Young Professionals Board in 2017 and currently serves as president. Her own experience with Crohn’s disease ignited her partnership with the volunteer-fueled organization, which helps more than 70,000 patients in North Texas suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. She continues to volunteer 300 hours annually and works professionally as an analyst for American Airlines. 

  • Christie Myers focuses on community-building and providing a voice for neglected communities through her work with Imagine Dallas Inc. Christie has advocated for policy changes to provide equitable transportation options for the poor and also advocates for community health strategies to be deployed in disinvested neighborhoods. Christie also served as the general manager for Neighbor Up and is the co-founder and director for the Mayor’s Rising Star Council (MRSC). Christie is currently executive director of EdCor and focused on building an integrated healthcare clinic in southern Dallas. In 2019, Lake Highlands Advocate named her one of the community’s Fierce Females

Nominations were reviewed by the Good Works Under 40 Committee, currently led by John Dickey, vice president at Carlisle Interests Inc., who won the award in 2015 on behalf of his work with Hope Cottage.

About The Dallas Foundation
The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, brings together people, ideas, and investments in Greater Dallas so individuals and families can reach their full potential.