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The Val Kirk Above and Beyond Award (or "Not All Superheroes Wear Capes")

At last week's Town Hall Meeting, Executive Director Christina Gorczynski highlighted and thanked several members for outstanding service in 2019. This blog is written in their honor.

We’ll lead with the 2007 member singled out to receive a specially-named Above and Beyond Award. This new recognition will become “the highest honor Impact Austin bestows annually on one volunteer whose contribution of time and talent fundamentally and substantially strengthens and improves the organization.” Val Kirk was lauded for financial management extraordinaire; as our membership database guru; and as hero to all!

In 2018, then- President Lauren Paver wrote, “Those who work closely with Val know her value to Impact Austin! Val is also an amazing IA historian who can - at a moment’s notice - recall facts and data, or point you in the right direction.”

Last week Christina told the audience, “I could have bought a trophy or plaque (to honor her), but Val wouldn’t have liked it.” Citing Val’s caretaking of our budget and numbers, Christina continued, “instead we decided to name the award for her.” Congratulations to Val!

Christina also celebrated six women for New Member Leadership. These are “first year members whose energy and leadership catalyze growth and positive change for the organization and their fellow members.” Thanks and applause to:

Lav Chintapalli Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Founding Committee Member

Joanna Nolte Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Founding Committee Chair

Jessica Odeyemi Social Innovation Grant Founding Committee Chair

Anju Mahendroo Social Innovation Grant Founding Committee Member

Melissa Patel Member Journey Committee Member (Recruitment),

Dell Community Engagement Project Mastermind

Linda Yang Marketing Committee Co-Chair,

Advancement Committee Member, 2019 Discovery Day Co-Chair

Just as our community impact is greater because we give collectively, our organization is stronger because so many members give their time to it.

Thank you to all Impact Austin volunteers – you’re superheroes without capes – and congratulations to our 2019 honorees.


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