Emilee Dawn Whitehurst is the President and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center, a 41-year-old organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence for all. In her role, Emilee engages the greater Houston community in efforts to support survivors and their families in a trauma-informed culturally competent way. She holds a Master of Divinity and is an ordained Presbyterian Minister. She has over 25 years of experience leading community-based and social justice non-profits. She hails from Austin but considers herself a Houstonian. For the sake of her community and, especially her two daughters, she believes in a future free from domestic abuse and sexual assault and will work until it stops.
Sonia was worked in the field of domestic and sexual violence for 27 years and has 20 years of leadership experience. Specializing in anti-violence work, she has served on numerous local, state and national boards and/or committees including Houston Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Health and Human Services Commission-Task Force to Address the Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect, the SAFER Working Group, and the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence, the Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center (Tex-TRAC), and Harris County Public Defender Board. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, alumni of Leadership Houston Class XXVI, American Leadership Forum-Criminal Justice Class 4, and of the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program and Center for Houston’s Future. Sonia is the 2016 TAASA Advocate of the Year recipient as a 2018 honoree of the Houston Business Journal Women Who Mean Business award and the 2019 Houston Texans, Campeon de La Cumunidad.
A graduate of Texas State University, Pam has over twenty-five years of experience as a Human Resource professional in manufacturing, retail, insurance, and educational environments. She spent twenty years working in the corporate sector, most recently as a member the Human Resources Team at Houston Community College System, as the Senior Human Resource Generalist for the Southwest College campus. Her expertise includes employee relations, performance management, change management, organizational development and managing staffing needs, as well as development of diversity and inclusion initiatives, development and implementation of Human Resources policies & procedures. She is known as a coach and mentor for leaders with a focus on results. She is active in her profession, is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and HRHouston. Pam joined the Women’s Center in February 2014.
Chau Nguyen is the Chief Public Strategies Officer for the Houston Area Women’s Center, tasked with managing and expanding key partnerships while positioning HAWC as thought leaders in order to drive broad awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault, with a goal of reducing interpersonal violence and changing cultural norms about how survivors are understood. Prior to her leadership in the non-profit space, Chau spent 15 years as a television news journalist and last served as an anchor and reporter with KHOU TV. She is the first Vietnamese American journalist to receive an Emmy Award for her documentary series covering a medical mission in Vietnam, and the Houston Press has named her Reporter of the Year. A native Houstonian, Chau is passionate about staying connected to her community, serving on numerous Boards. She currently sits on the Boards of Catapult and The University of Houston Friends of Women’s Studies, and she is on the advisory board of Houston Achievement Place. Chau is a Licensed Master Social Worker and holds a Masters of Arts in Social Work from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of St. Thomas. She is frequently asked to emcee events, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Inauguration in 2016. Chau is the proud mother of two young girls, Ryan and Myles, a Yorkie named Peanut, and she is an active member of Unity of Houston.
Jennifer Yancey is the Chief Development Officer for the Houston Area Women’s Center, responsible for setting strategic direction and providing oversight and management of all fundraising operations. She has nearly 30 years of experience in the non-profit, finance, higher education and economic development sectors and is an active community volunteer. Prior to joining HAWC, Jennifer served in various leadership roles with the Victoria County Junior College District, with the last 11 years as its VP of College Advancement and External Affairs. She holds a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies and Bachelors of Business Administration degrees from University of Houston Victoria and an Associates of Science degree from Victoria College. Jennifer is the proud mom of two college aged children.
Driven by a passion for excellence, Pauline is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant), CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional), and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) who brought to HAWC over 20 years of professional accounting, finance, and organizational development experience from both nonprofit and for profit industries. In her role as HAWC’s Chief Financial Officer, Pauline leads the Business Excellence Division of HAWC that includes Accounting/Finance, IT, and Facilities, and is a strategic partner to several functional areas of the agency to ensure and support HAWC’s success behind the scene.
As an active member of the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) and the TXCPA (Texas Society of CPAs) Houston chapter for many years, Pauline is committed to giving back to her profession by volunteering with both organizations in various capacities, including her current role as the new Chair of the AICPA-CIMA Americas Regional Advisory Panel and most recently Chair of the TXCPA Houston CFO/Controllers Conference Planning Committee since 2019. She always looks for ways to help others grow and succeed, leads by example, and is a lifetime learner. A proud wife and mom, Pauline likes family time and enjoys “introverted” hobbies, including reading, meditation, yoga, flower arranging, and gardening when she is not working or studying.