Women of Distinction

Thank you to everyone who participated in WDL 2017! Check out our blog article with event highlights.


Women of Distinction

Sara Martineau

Sara Martineau is a servant leader, consummate volunteer and model citizen in a class all her own. She has given decades of service in Dallas beginning with her involvement in the Junior League of Dallas and The Crystal Charity Ball where she has supported missions of many organizations throughout the city. Sara's love of the arts is exemplified through her involvement on the Dallas Summer Musicals Board, SMU Meadows School of Arts Executive Board and The Dallas Opera's Women's Board. 

She is the founding member of the March of Dimes, Texas Society-Dallas Division. She also serves on UT Southwestern Medical Center's President Research Council. At The University of Texas Dallas, Sara is a member of the University Campaign Council and a Life Member of the Development Board.

For her leadership, time and talent, Sara has received numerous honors and awards. In 2013, she was the "Meadows at the Winspear" Honoree presented by SMU Meadows School of the Arts. She received the Dallas Historical Society's Volunteer Leadership Award in 2011. That same year, the Women's Board of the Dallas Opera presented Sara and her husband, David, with the Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. Founders Award. In 2010, she received the Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award from UT Dallas.


Nina Vaca

Nina Vaca is Pinnacle Group’s Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Her dynamic leadership over the past 20 years has propelled the company from a niche IT services firm to the workforce solutions powerhouse it is today, with a suite of business lines to address the range of IT human capital challenges companies in the Fortune 500 face. Pinnacle’s evolution and astronomical growth is the result of Vaca's fearless approach to overcoming challenges and her intense focus on two core values: delivering impeccable service to clients and putting people at the heart of everything Pinnacle does. Pinnacle has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies for over a decade and in 2015 was named the Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Company in the U.S. by the Women Presidents’ Organization.

Vaca is a committed civic leader and philanthropist. She advocates passionately for women and entrepreneurs and works to advance girls and women in STEM fields. In 2014, the White House appointed Vaca as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. She also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, she was named one of "The 50 Most Powerful Latinas" by Fortune Magazine.

Vaca has appeared on CNBC Squawk Box, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. CNN Money featured her story, as have numerous publications including Forbes, Kiplinger, and The Wall Street Journal. She is a frequent speaker throughout the U.S. and abroad, and recently served as a panelist at the world-renowned Milken Institute and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit alongside Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Young Women of Distinction

Shelly Goel

Shelly has been a Girl Scout for five years and is currently a junior at the Science and Engineering Magnet at Townview High School in Dallas. Goel often spends her time giving back to the community. Based her Gold Award project, titled “Foster Interest in STEM for Girls,” Goel aims to introduce girls to various STEM fields and spark an interest in studying their passions in STEM further. Through her project, Goel ran courses for middle school students about basic science and engineering concepts, and designed a website complete with self-made materials for the program to be replicated for years to come. She will graduate from Science and Engineering Magnet at Townview High School in 2019.

"As a recipient of this award, I will continue to motivate and inspire girls to dispel gender stereotypes and have the confidence and support system to pursue their passions for STEM."


Emma Rose Shore

Emma is a senior at The Hockaday School where she is president of the JETS, a competitive robotics engineering team, Model UN, Science Olympiad and Latin Club. A lover of the sciences, Emma centered her Gold Award project around robotics where she founded the Cabell Elementary Robotics Club. Designed to address gender inequality and economic disparity in STEM, the club introduces girls to STEM at an early age where they learn to code basic robot movements, understand the engineering process, and solve problems as a team. Shore is also the recipient of the US Presidential Volunteer Service Award and Visionary Award, given by Girl Scouts, for her work in advancing women’s equality. She will graduate from The Hockaday School in 2018.

'As I grow into a woman in the larger world, I will never forget the values instilled in me by being a Girl Scout: belief in myself, respect for others, and dedication to leaving my community and the world a better place than I found it.'

Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

Todd Williams

Highly committed to public education, Todd is the founding Chairman and Executive Director of The Commit! Partnership, the nation’s largest collective impact organization with over 190 institutions (including 15 school districts and eight higher education institutions educating over 790,000 students) focused together on meaningfully improving post-secondary completion levels across the DFW area. He also serves as the Education Policy Advisor to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Todd is a current trustee and former board chair for Austin College, one of the region’s leading liberal arts institutions located in Sherman, Texas. With his wife Abby, Todd also serves on the board and was the founding chair of the regional advisory board for Teach for America in DFW, and  helped establish in 2007 the Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates over 1,500 primarily low-income children in northwest Dallas. 100% of its graduates since its first senior class in 2011 have been accepted to a four-year college or university.

Todd is the former Chair of the Citizen Budget Review Commission for Dallas ISD ($1.7 billion budget educating 160,000 students) and the former Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uplift Education, a public charter school management organization serving almost 15,000 students across the DFW area.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mae C. Jemison

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992 and was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Dr. Jemison is currently leading 100 Year Starship (100YSS) an initiative seed funded by DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency ( DARPA) to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. She also is founder of the technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group, Inc. that integrates the critical impact of socio-cultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as their projects on using satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.

Prior to NASA, Jemison was Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia for two and a half years overseeing the healthcare system for Peace Corps (and State Department in Sierra Leone). Throughout Jemison has worked internationally including in a Cambodian refugee camp and with the Flying Doctors of East Africa. A general practice doctor in Los Angeles, Jemison earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and the requirements for an B.A. degree in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University and her M.D. from Cornell University.

She appeared on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted the Discovery Channel’s series World of Wonder and was chosen one of People magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People” in 1993. Dr. Jemison resides in Houston and loves cats.

Event Chairs

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing are excited to serve as co-chairs of the 2017 Women of Distinction Luncheon. Working moms of daughters, Laura and Susan are both active members of the Crystal Charity Ball and volunteer their time and talents at Highland Park ISD schools, CitySquare, and the Park Cities Chapter of the National Charity League.

Laura, a proud mother of three girls, is Managing Director of Talent at RGP and a CPA. She is involved with the United Way Women of Tocqueville, Park Cities Baptist Church, Genesis Women’s Shelter, and chaired the 2016 Ally’s Wish Boots and Blessings Gala.

Susan, a proud mother of two daughters, teaches yoga, leads the Confirmation Class at Highland Park United Methodist Church and volunteers with her daughter's Girl Scout Troop.  She serves on the Boards of the SMU Kappa Kappa Gamma Advisory Council, Hope Supply Co, Hunger Busters and New Friends New Life.  


In November 2016, Clarice Tinsley marked her 38th year as the 10 p.m. anchor on KDFW Fox 4. With major investigative reporting awards to her credit, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, Clarice is recognized as one of Texas' more knowledgeable reporters.

Clarice has earned a DuPont-Columbia Citation, an Emmy, three Dallas Press Club Katie Awards, two Awards of Excellence from American Women in Radio and Television, Best Investigative Reporting from Texas Associated Press, the Texas Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting, the Journalistic Award for Excellence from the American College of Emergency Physicians and First Place from the Texas Public Health Association.

Clarice is an active member of the Dallas community. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas, an Advisory Board Member of St. Philip's School in South Dallas as well as an Advisory Board member for the School of Journalism at SMU. She is a member of the YET Board of Directors and Chairs the YET Communications and Public Relations Committee.  In May 2016, Clarice received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.