GALVESTON, TX – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce will honor outstanding Texas women at the 10th Annual Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit conference for women, Thursday, April 6, at Moody Gardens Convention Center.
Outstanding women that will be honored at the women’s conference are Francie Moody Dahlberg, Dancie Perugini Ware, Carol Greaney Wurst, Laura Elder, Amie Sykes, Jolie Sykes, Dr. Donna Lange, Lynda Guidry, Susan Peters, Brenda Weber and Dr. Joan Nichols.
Frances (Francie) Moody Dahlberg, a Galveston native, is the Chairman and Executive Director of the Moody Foundation, and currently serves on the board of directors of American National Insurance Company, National Western Life Insurance Company and Moody Endowment. A trustee of Southern Methodist University, she serves on the board of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and the executive boards of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Meadows School of the Arts, and the advisory boards of Crystal Charity Ball and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. In addition, Dahlberg serves on the Development Board for the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston and was recently honored with 2016 Texas Women’s University’s Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award. BOI (born on the island) and graduate of O’Connell High School and SMU, Francie and her husband, Kevin Dahlberg, reside in Dallas with their two children.
Dancie Perugini Ware, BOI (born on the island), attended Galveston public schools and is a graduate of Ball High and the University of Texas. She is the founder and principle of Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations, based in Houston, and provides marketing and public relations services to prestige companies including Landry’s, for whom she represents more than 400 properties in 50 markets coast to coast. Dancie was instrumental in the revival of Mardi Gras! Galveston on behalf of George Mitchell and continues as an active participant through the Krewe of Momus. She and her husband, James L. Ware, have twin sons and reside in Houston and Galveston.
Laura Elder, Managing Editor of the Galveston County Daily News, is a lifelong, award winning journalist, who began her career as a business reporter for the Houston Business Journal. Elder began her popular column, Biz Buzz, shortly after relocating to Galveston to join the staff at The Daily News, and is the creator of Coast Monthly which has grown to national distribution under her guidance. She and husband Michael Smith, Editor, Galveston Co. Daily News, reside on Galveston Island.
Carol Greaney Wurst, owner and operator of the Greaney Company, taught students at Ball High School for more than 23 years. An education advocate, she currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Independent School District and is active in a number of community organizations including the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Texas A & M University Mother’s Club, Girl Scouts of South Texas Council, Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary Teacher’s Society, Galveston Historical Foundation, State of Texas Text Book Selection Board, UTMB Auxiliary, Church Women United of Galveston, Galveston Republican Women and Children’s Center of Galveston. She resides in Galveston with husband Fred Wurst.
Texas sisters, Amie and Jolie Sikes, along with their mom, Janie, started the Junk Gypsy Company in 1998, designing everything from apparel to jewelry to custom furniture. Located in Round Top, the gypsies have created spaces for country music artists and Hollywood stars, including Miranda Lambert’s tour bus, wedding reception, and developing her signature logo; Dierks Bentley’s Airstream; Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day’s Airstream, Marcus Luttrell’s (Lone Survivor) office, Sadie Robertson’s Sweet Sixteen party and many other events ranging from backstage lounges to stage couture. Stars of the their own hit television series Great American Country & HGTV, they have been featured on several specials including: “Endless Yard Sale” and “Garage Sale Wars” on HGTV, and in numerous magazines including Country Living, Fortune Small Business, Where Women Create, HGTV magazine and Southern Living. Recent projects include exclusive lines for Pottery Barn Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, Junk Gypsy boot lines with Lane Boots, their own boutique hotel - The Wander Inn, and their first JUNK GYPSY book with Simon & Schuster that became a New York Times bestseller.
Lynda Guidry started her professional life in Beaumont Texas as a designer, specializing in commercial and institutional interiors before sequeing into adaptive re-use of urban properties and historic preservation. Moving to the Island in 1996 with husband Jim Guidry, she served as Director of Membership Services at the Galveston Chamber of Commerce. Recruited by husband Jim to bring her communication and marketing skills to Guidry News Service, a news service that delivered the news via fax, the couple were pioneers in the early adoption of the internet and computerized delivery of information as the foundation of their business. Lynda has continued the legacy left by husband Jim, and continues to document and report important events, news and initiatives through the continuation of Guidry News. She continues to foster support for the arts, education and social services through her journalistic talents.
Joan E. Nichols M.A., PhD. is passionate about teaching and about mentoring students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and is actively involved in outreach programs run by the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB. A recipient of the 2016 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for superior teaching at the college level, she is a Professor of Internal Medicine, and Microbiology & Immunology and the Associate Director of the Galveston National Laboratory and Dean for Student Affairs for the graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Her research focuses on emerging infectious diseases, development of vaccines and the human immune response to. She has expertise in the areas of immune response to pathogens, lung defense, engineering of human respiratory tissue for disease modeling and bioengineering of whole human lungs for clinical application.
Susan Peters is committed to putting an end to human trafficking. As Director of Unbound, an national organization with chapters in Waco, Bell County, College Station, Dallas, Seattle and three in Boston, she has worked diligently through education, rescue, aftercare, public policy and prayer, to call attention to the plight of victims of human slavery. In addition to Unbound’s educational training, her organization offers specific trainings for police departments, social workers and other areas in the Waco community — those working directly with victims. Peters collaborates with small support groups within poor areas where traffickers may prey and she has developed a curriculum for girls in juvenile centers and schools to educate them on the tactics of coercion.
Brenda Weber taught 4th grade students for 26 years before retiring to devote herself to community service in District 14. She is a founding member of Kindred Hearts of Galveston County, and is actively involved with the Republican Congressional Wives Club, Galveston County Children’s Services, Alvin Community College Foundation Board, and Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters. Her contributions, support and assistance to Congressman Randy Weber and District 14 has made a lasting impression.
Dr. Donna Lang, Vice President for Academic Operations, Texas A&M University at Galveston, is responsible for the general administration of all activities supporting the undergraduate programs and support services, including the areas of recruiting, admissions, financial aid, scholarships, registration, scheduling, classroom usage, students records maintenance, degree audit, computer programs, and institutional reporting. She provides guidance and oversight for university outreach to Sea Camp, Sea Campus Kids, Elderhostel, and community programs. She is married to David Lang and they have two children.
Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit offers a day of personal enrichment and education through outstanding presentations, health experiences, and networking. New this year is the Book Nook featuring 10 local authors. Tickets are $150 per person and includes light breakfast, refreshments, snacks, lunch, Happy Hour, Women’s Expo. Speakers, demonstrations, and commemorative bag, and may be purchased online at www.galvestonchamber.com/womensconference or call Christy Benson (409) 763-2356. Luxury Lounge pass may be added for $100.