February 12, 2022 was an evening to remember! We gathered at the JW Marriott to host Moontower Ball, Notley’s inaugural gala event to celebrate social impact in Austin. The time had finally arrived to connect, to celebrate, and to award notable changemakers from across the city.
The toasts began during a lively cocktail reception featuring live paintings from Franco Mondini-Ruiz, roving violinist Bridgid Bibbens, mini photo sessions by Obsidian + Blush, and signature drinks from Dulce Vida Tequila, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, MFW Wine Co., and others.
Being ushered into the ballroom and greeted by tunes from DJ Mel, notoriously recognized as “Obama’s DJ”, guests mingled until summoned to take a seat and direct their attention to the stage where the program was beginning.
Handing the podium to Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown, both men shared a storied history of our city and how changemakers have helped to shape its past, present, and future. And without further ado, we were incredibly honored and humbled to present the inaugural 2022 Changemaker Awards to the following recipients:
Innovative Startup: ClosedLoop.ai
Easy and affordable software that allows healthcare organizations to use data science to improve outcomes and reduce costs. ClosedLoop.ai recently raised $34 million in Series B funding in Q3 2021.
Affordability Champion: Walter Moreau
Nearly 20-year tenure as Executive Director at Foundation Communities, a homegrown, local non-profit providing affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families with kids, veterans, seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Rising Changemaker: Janice Omadeke
Founder and Executive Director of The Mentor Method, a software platform providing tools that increase opportunity, improve culture, and welcome diverse ideas to companies across the nation. Janice also became one of fewer than 100 Black women to have raised $1 million or more in venture capital in Q2 2021.
Innovative Nonprofit: DivInc
Providing programming and funding to BIPOC founders in a mission to generate socioeconomic equity through entrepreneurship. Founded in 2016, DivInc has supported 73 companies and is headquartered in Austin, TX, with a second location in Houston, TX, opened in Spring 2021. DivInc also recently received a $480,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase in Q1 2022.
Racial Justice Champion: Chas Moore
Founder and Executive Director of Austin Justice Coalition, a community organization improving the quality of life for people of color by helping them be the driving force behind their own liberation. Chas was recently featured on the KUT podcast “Black Austin Matters”, discussing his passion for advocating for racial justice and police reform in Austin.
Innovative For Profit: ICON
Advancing the state of home construction with 3D printing technology that enables more shelter for more people in a time when we need it most. ICON recently raised $185 million in Series C funding in Q1 2022, shortly following $200 million Series B funding in Q3 2021.
Community Champion: Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette
President and Chief Executive Officer of Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s oldest institute of higher learning and the city’s only historically black college and university. She has been a powerhouse in community engagement – opening the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation right in our backyard at Springdale General, nurturing partnerships with Tesla & Apple, and serving as co-chair for the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities, among many other accomplishments during her time in Austin. Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette was also recently named 2021 Austinite of the Year by the Austin Chamber.
Philanthropic Champion: Philip and Donna Berber
Co-Founders of A Glimmer of Hope, investing $110 million and completing more than 10,000 projects impacting the lives of more than 5 million people in rural Ethiopia. Also, Glimmer | Austin has distributed over $8.8 million in grants to 210 different organizations in central Texas. As active board members, Philip and Donna’s vision continues to guide Glimmer to lift communities out of extreme poverty and offer the most vulnerable populations the resources they need to build a better future.
The night continued with a live auction hosted by the energetic TiWanna A. Kenney (“TK”) who sold eight packages and raised over $50,000 in support of Notley initiatives.
And to cap off an incredible evening, the Dazed and Confused themed after party, complete with a live band and retro roller skaters, was enough to keep the good vibes going all night long!
We thank each of our award recipients for their contributions to our community and we’re glad to play a small part in recognizing their efforts. And thank you to all who attended the Moontower Ball and helped us uplift these community leaders. With an event of this caliber, we’ve got a lot of people to thank for its success.
First, thank you to our sponsors for their invaluable support:
Presenting Sponsor: Regions Bank
Auction Sponsor: Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Valet Sponsor: Capital Factory
Awards Sponsors: Lanham & Dacia Napier, Everly Health, WP Engine, Centex Technologies, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, Traverse Legal, Sailpoint, Ahlquist Private Wealth Management of Raymond James
Gleam Sponsors: Marjorie Clifton & David Lack, JPMorgan Chase, Scott + Cooner, East West & Dirty, DKR Strategies, Fair Trade Safaris, Simmer Family
Glimmer Sponsors: Dana Tomlin, Jerry & Chelsea Sun, Andra Liemandt, Kip & Cece Lewis, Betts Recruiting, Build A Sign, Geyser Group, Moonshots Capital, Elevate Growth Partners, Ironclad Consulting Services, Valkyrie, MFI Foundation, SKG, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Purposeful Capital, Surfboard Ventures, Industry Affordable – Jordan and Laila Scott, White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery
Glisten Sponsors: Amber Allen, Holly Tachovsky, Brett & Debra Hurt, Bob & Laura Campbell, Beatbox Beverages, Cushman & Wakefield, BaylorScott&White, Stealth Power, Austin Woman Magazine, Hughes Vanderburg Williams Booth, PLLC, Shari & Richard Ressler
Bar Sponsors: Dulce Vida Tequila, MFW Wine Co.
Thank you to Host Committee Chair Lawton Cummings and Awards Committee Chair Lisa Graham for spearheading the event.
Special thanks to other coordinating members, the host and awards committees, event staff, and Mueller Scott.
We’re excited to host again in 2023!