At HERdacity, we believe that a woman’s path should be self-determined. Our platform connects women from all walks of life to empower each other through building bonds and sharing experiences. The stories and successes of our members serve to provide perspective and inspiration to our community, and encourage them to be their most authentic selves. HERdacity is affiliated with The Anywhere Woman Project, a 501(c)4 nonprofit.
Campfires are thought to have had a significant role in the development of human society. They served as a community space where early civilizations were able share meals, stories and the experiences of the day. By doing so, it is thought that early communities were able to relay their collective history, develop empathy and also to entertain. Ultimately, campfires were the catalyst for the development of cultural institutions. Our hope is that our campfire discussions will spur this same sense of community among women. By forging bonds and sharing our unique personal experiences, HERdacity aims to create a movement to address women’s issues and foster positive change, creating a better world for our daughters, granddaughters and following generations.
Sign up! We encourage every HERdacity member to get involved in the conversations that are important to her. Whether they involve social issues, workplace problems and successes, or just the hobbies and activities you enjoy, share them with other members and support the other women in the community. HERdacity is a platform all women can use to build each other up so we can tear barriers down.
The Hottest Topics from Our Campfire Discussions
Interests: Building It Your Way, Living Your Purpose, Women's Wisdom (Seeking or Giving Advice)
Interests: Exploration & Outdoors
Interests: Life's Work, Parenting
Interests: Exploration & Outdoors, Health & Wellness
Susan Combs has spent her adult life blazing trails previously little traveled by women. With a matter-of-fact nature shaped by time on her family’s Texas ranch, Susan tackled her time at the all-female Vassar College in a decidedly straightforward fashion. Upon graduation, she worked in several high-pressure environments in New York, specifically in international advertising, on Wall Street, and for a large federal agency, creating a record of success. In each case, she outworked her co-workers. In time, she followed her heart back to Texas and law school then embarked on a career as a prosecutor focused on securing justice for child victims of abuse.
At a friend’s urging, she ran for and won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives where she continued her advocacy for Texas children and mastering the budgeting process. She was also running a cow calf operation on her family’s century old ranch in the Big Bend. Heeding the call to higher office, she was elected the first woman Agriculture Commissioner in Texas history and won praise for her efforts to improve nutrition for Texas schoolchildren. She was then elected State Comptroller, applying her laser focus to keep Texas finances in line, meticulously collecting taxes and paying bills. She advocated tirelessly for greater transparency to ensure the most honest government possible for her fellow Texans.
Since leaving elected office, Susan has been working on Herdacity, an online empowerment community for women, designed to help them stay connected as they blaze their own trails in business, at home and in the fields of their choosing.
Beth Hallmark has over 20 years of experience in sharing information and inspiration that supports and champions the public good. She currently serves as the director of Career Development for the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to this position, she served as the director of Public Relations and Communications for a publicly traded healthcare company and deputy chief of Information Outreach, Data Services and Transparency at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
With additional experience in state, national and international marketing campaigns for Texas agriculture, as well as award-winning experience in print and broadcast journalism, Beth is a two-time past speaker at SXSW Interactive, facilitating discussions on motivating high-performing teams to succeed.
Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Information Studies, both from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a passionate advocate for children’s literacy and also serves on the Board of Directors for BookSpring, a central Texas non-profit that provides reading experiences, tools, and books to children and their families.
The proud mother of two amazing women, Beth believes in the power of all women to change the world for the better through their words, deeds, and presence. She is blessed with a wonderful husband of more than 25 years as well as an incredible network of family, friends, and colleagues. Beth loves reading, hiking, and traveling, and created a walking group, Sole 2 Soul Mindful Walks, to encourage others to make time for nature, sacred space, mindfulness, and contemplation.
Lisa has a lifelong passion for advocating for and working with women—starting with her badge-earning time with the Girl Scouts, to helping elect Texas’ first woman agriculture commissioner, to earning her degree in Law & Society (with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies) from the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver. She believes strongly in the power to do good—both through personal actions and women’s advocacy.
Lisa spent more than 15 years in executive management at several Texas state agencies and in the Texas Legislature, where she provided strategic counsel to elected officials on state and federal policy issues, and led key management and outreach efforts. Additionally, Lisa worked for two institutions of higher education—the University of Denver’s Colorado Women’s College and Texas A&M University—focusing on the advancement of women and the expansion of their educational opportunities, as well as the impact and reach of academic research in the U.S. and abroad. Having begun her professional career in politics, running political campaigns and grassroots efforts in Texas, Lisa brings fundraising, advocacy, and movement building expertise to her role as president of HERdacity.
In her personal time, Lisa enjoys traveling, hiking, antiquing, visiting museums, and spending time with family and friends. She also serves on two University of Denver boards, Colorado Women's College and the Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
Debbie Cartwright has not shied away from complex or intricate issues during a more than 20 year career marked by achievement and recognized public service in the areas of property tax law, litigation and policy matters related to appraisal districts and school district property values in the State of Texas. Debbie has received a number of awards from the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD), including their highest honor, the Earl Luna Award, in 2016. In addition, Debbie received the Wayne Peveto Award from the Texas Real Estate Center in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Texas property tax system in 2013.
Prior to completing a law degree at the University of Houston, Debbie earned her master's of public affairs from the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin, a bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University in secondary education in the areas of music and history, and a special education certification from The University of Texas at Austin. Debbie has navigated her way through contentious legal issues with skill, tact, and a whopping success rate.
A native of Elgin, Texas, Debbie is a member of the Elgin High School Alumni Association and the Elgin Historical Association. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Austin and serves as a trustee for her alma mater Howard Payne University. Debbie enjoys attending classical music concerts and traveling the world, and she is the proud aunt of three nieces and three nephews.
A former small business owner, nationally recognized executive, and leader in franchisee management, Mary Kennedy Thompson is the Chief Operating Officer of the Dwyer Group, a company of 11 service-based franchise organizations focused on repairing, maintaining, and enhancing homes and business properties. Prior to her promotion to COO, Mary was president of the Dwyer Group’s largest company, Mr. Rooter Plumbing.
A belief in facing as many fears as possible to live a bigger life has motivated Mary since her youth. From accomplishing her 1982 graduation from the Army Airborne Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia to becoming one of the only 1.5% of female licensed plumbers in the United States, Mary has never backed down from a new challenge.
Mary is the past chairman of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran Committee and continues to be a sitting member. While committee chair she launched Operation Enduring Opportunity in partnership with the White House Hiring Our Heroes program which led to more than 150,000 veterans being hired into franchise jobs and 5000 going into small business ownership. Veteran employment is more than just a passion to Mary, as she served eight years as a U.S. Marine Corps logistics officer, achieving the rank of captain.
Mary’s commitment to leadership and service was recognized in 2013 with the International Franchise Association’s Bonny Levine Award, the organization’s highest award for women who mentor other women. A graduate of the University of Texas, Mary is married to a fellow Longhorn, has two grown children, and is a dedicated runner with an annual goal to run at least one marathon.
Truly defining the ideal of practice what you preach, Pam Benson Owens is fully invested in challenging and motivating others. As President and CEO of Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Pam has spent the past two decades delivering customized training, strategic planning, keynote speaking and executive coaching for a wide array of clients across the U.S.
Known for her no-nonsense communication style, Pam holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in Journalism and Communications with a certification in Diversity Education and a Master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Mediation. She leverages the methodology from both degrees to create “teachable moments” and has been fortunate to be a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at some of the most prestigious schools in the nation. She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Divinity. Through her professional role as Director of Human Resources and Operations for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, she has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students, faculty and staff each day.
When Pam is not on the road, she works diligently as a leader in her faith community, advocates for her son who has autism, and prides herself on being a part of Team Owens. She is married to one of the last lone native Austinites and together they have two children.
Dr. Teresa Granillo is the Executive Director of Con Mi MADRE, a non-profit in Austin that helps young Latinas to pursue higher education. Dr. Granillo was a first-generation college graduate of The University of Arizona earning a BA in Psychology and graduating Magna Cum Laude. She then went on to earn a Master’s of Social Work, a Master’s of Science in Psychology, and a Dual Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Prior to Con Mi MADRE, Dr. Granillo was a professor at UT Austin in the School of Social Work teaching clinical skills to social work students and researching issues related to Latina/o mental health with a particular emphasis on Latina youth.
Dr. Granillo serves as the Education Chair on the Board of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas and is part of the Education Committee of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is the female Texas Affiliate representative for the National Council of La Raza. She has received several awards and recognitions including The Lora Lee Peterson Teaching Excellence Award, the Women of Distinction Award from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, the Austin Under 40 Award in Non-profit/Community Service, and the Confidence Award from the 1st Tee of Greater Austin.
Few women in Texas could say that they have hosted more movers and shakers than Sue Meller has over the last 35 years. As Managing Director of the Headliners Club, Austin's premier downtown private meeting and dining venue, Sue oversees the staff and business operations necessary to maintain the comfortable and professional environment that has allowed the Club to thrive as the place for “those that make the Headlines and those that write the Headlines.”
Sue is a certified human resources professional and protocol officer with a Bachelors degree in Physiology from UT Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s University, of which she is a distinguished Alumnus.
Beyond her noteworthy role at the Headliners Club, Sue is and has been involved with several non-profit organizations. She served as a board member of the United Way of Austin, The Austin Project, American Institute for Learning and The Center for Public Policy and Political Science. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of The Festival Institute at Round Top and the University of Texas’ School of Human Ecology. She is also one the founders and current board member of the Austin Council on Foreign Affairs, which hosts a global array of speakers who focus on world events.
Sue’s passion for working with people stems from her non-profit theory of "Hard Heads - fiscally responsible - and Soft Hearts - reach out, help, and participate."
Breaking the mold in education through leadership, Yvonne Realivasquez is the Director of Administration for Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Yvonne’s relationship with the University spans over 20 years: a first generation college student, completing a bachelor's degree in Political Science and master of arts degree in Public Administration, to serving as a multi-disciplinary lecturer, and now to her current role working directly with the President to serve as a liaison for the university to the Texas State University System.
Yvonne also worked in the university’s Gear Up grant program, where she introduced underrepresented students from area schools to college preparation. She was nominated for Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2005 and received the Outstanding Staff Award from the Student Government Association in 2012.
In 2015, Yvonne was awarded the Texas State University System Foundation’s Grow Your Own Scholarship to work toward a doctoral degree in leadership at Hardin- Simmons University, Abilene. The Doctorate of Leadership (Ed.D.) program merges an academy of scholars with community practitioners to develop enlightened, ethical leaders.
Yvonne is married to Rafael, her best friend and fellow Sul Ross alumnus. The Realivasquez family is keeping the Sul Ross tradition alive - Yvonne's nephew graduated in May 2016 from Sul Ross and her niece was recently accepted into Sul Ross for the fall semester.
Active in community affairs, Yvonne is a member of the Community Leaders Group of Alpine and has served as a 4-H Program volunteer, a member of the New Mexico Cowbelles Association, a judge for History Day at UTEP, and a volunteer for the Kiwanis International Club. In her spare time, Yvonne enjoys pleasure reading, traveling, and dreaming up DIY home decor projects.
Contact and User Information. At our site, we do collect a limited number of information types that are commonly considered “personally identifiable information.” You do not need to register or provide information to view our site. HERdacity only gathers a registered user’s email address when voluntarily submitted by a visitor.
The personal information (email address) you provide is used by HERdacity for general business purposes and for the purposes for which you provided the information. We may also use this information for the purpose of sending marketing communications to you, and to otherwise communicate with you. HERdacity may use this data for online feedback and promotions.
We do not sell information you provide to us online to third parties. We may share personally identifiable information with third parties including: (i) when sharing the information is with a service provider in furtherance of our operations or the operation of the site (including sharing with vendors or service provider engaged to assist us with marketing communications), (ii) to comply with legal processes such as a subpoena or court order or to otherwise protect your or our legal rights; or (iii) to protect the safety of our visitors or others.
We may, at times, produce reports containing collected information about our users such as online usage information. This allows us to improve the content and functionality of our site, to gauge which features are most relevant to our users and how to make them stronger. We do not include data types commonly considered to be personally identifiable in these reports.
HERdacity uses "cookie" technology only to improve visitors' online experience and facilitate their visit within our site. HERdacity uses web beacons to improve website services, conduct website analytics, first-party advertising relating to us and our sponsors, and to optimize the browsing experience.
This site may provide links to other sites and services that are not maintained by HERdacity. These websites have their own privacy policies, which you should review prior to visiting them. We have no responsibility for linked websites and provide these links solely for the convenience and information of our visitors.
We take measures to implement reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online.
To make sure you are accessing our secure server before you submit sensitive information, check the document for your browser for indication of an SSL connection (most browsers utilize an unbroken or closed padlock). Verify that SSL is active before submitting sensitive information to our server. To double-check, verify that the URL or Address line of your browser for our site begins with "https."
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Please note that no communication over the Internet is 100% secure, and you should take care before submitting any personal or sensitive information on any site.
We have implemented the following:
Google's advertising requirements can be summed up by Google's Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. Additional information is available at https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en.
We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website.
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The collection and use of information on social media websites and applications is governed by their own privacy policies. Please remember that any information posted on or through our pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or on other social media pages or channels, is subject to the policies and practices of the applicable social media channel.
We may receive personal information from a social media site platform or application when you connect through a social media feed, post content, or otherwise interact with us using social media tools. For example, we may receive basic Facebook account information (name, e‑mail, gender, birthday, current city, and profile picture URL) through Facebook. Also, when you “like,” or send a “Tweet” to us through a social media channel, we may receive your username, handle, and any other available personal information from the social media site or application. All information received from social media sites and applications is treated and used in the same manner and for the same purposes as described in this Policy with respect to similar information we obtain through the Site.
Currently, various Internet browsers offer a “do not track” or “DNT” option that uses a DNT header to indicate the DNT preference setting on the browser. We do not track your activity over time and across different websites or online services other than as set forth herein, and thus we do not currently respond to browsers’ DNT signals with respect to the site. When you load one of our pages that includes certain social media functionalities, such as a Facebook or Twitter share function, the applicable social media service may collect information that will allow that service to track your online activities. We do not permit our third-party service providers to collect information from the Site for other websites or for their own purposes other than as described in this paragraph or elsewhere in this Policy.
P.O. Box 160956
Austin, Texas 78716
Or via the online contact form on our Home Page: www.herdacity.org
Last updated: May 5, 2017
The Service seeks to provide you with a place online that encourages women to be Positive, Perky, Feisty, and Edgy in their own lives! Our focus is on connections that move women forward and build each other up. Keeping it fun and forward thinking in a manner that allows women to speak their minds, to not accept the status quo, and to practice supporting other women.
Most site content is viewable to all visitors. Only registered Users can post comments, join campfires, and engage with other Users. Remember, it is free to register.
You need to be at least 18 years of age and a female to register for and use the Service.
If you are a User who signs up for the Service, you agree to create a personalized account which includes a unique username and password to access the Service and to receive messages from HERdacity. You agree to notify us immediately by email at email@example.com of any unauthorized use of your account. HERdacity is not responsible for any liabilities, losses, or damages arising out of the unauthorized use of your account.
Permission to use the Service is conditioned upon your compliance with the HERdacity Values at all times. HERdacity reserves the right to remove any User Content from the Service at any time and in its sole discretion.
We want to keep the posts and comments constructive, not argumentative or judgmental. Supporting and building up others adds value to us all. HERdacity is a place for encouragement and for kindred spirits to connect.
HERdacity is not a platform for polarizing and divisive topics such as political issues—so please do not post these. Building each other up is what we need to practice—separate and apart from our political beliefs or affiliations. Plus, there are plenty of other platforms to engage in those types of conversations.
Words have impact. Let’s use ours to create a community where we support one another’s daring and dreams.
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Maintain the Community in Support of Women.
This is a shared space for important discourse to inspire and empower women. Please use the “Flag” link on comments to let us know of any abusive posts or questionable accounts.
If you have any questions, please contact our Community Manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you.
Your voice matters, share it!
The guidelines above are posted to help you understand the conduct that is expected of HERdacity Users who post and participate in discussions, as well as submit User Content to the site.
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