Outstanding Alumnae of Texas A&M University Receive 2014 Women’s Legacy Award 

The Women Former Students’ Network established the Women’s Legacy Award to recognize the extraordinary contribution that women make to the life of Texas A&M University and the world around us.  This award is presented annually to women who exemplify the core values of the university: Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, and Selfless Service and who serve as an inspiration to future generations of Aggie women.

Join the WFSN as we present these awards at our annual event and conference on October 3, 2014 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.  To learn more about this event and to register visit http://aggiewomen.org/members/signup/2014-conference.

Congratulations to the 2014 Legacy Award Recipients:

MerrillMerrill Bonarrigo ‘75 is a wife, mother, grandmother and co-founder of Messina Hof Wine Cellars, Inc.; Messina Hof Hospitality Management LLC, and founder of Designer Events Company. She has continued her service to Texas A&M through the development of an internship program with the TAMU Parks and Recreation department that continues today to mentor students in the hospitality industry. As a guest lecturer Merrill teaches about the Texas wine industry and success in business. At Messina Hof she hosts a monthly 1st Thursday gathering for Aggie Women to connect and provide support, encouragement and mentoring for Aggie Women of all ages.  She believes strongly in giving back to the communities that have supported and encouraged her.  She has served on boards of Women Former Students’ Network and many other charitable and professional organizations.


KGibson2Kathleen Gibson ’81 joined Southwestern Medical Foundation as President and CEO, after serving in numerous leadership positions at both Citibank and Bank of America.  Kathleen has remained active at Texas A&M, currently serving as Chair of the Board of The Association of Former Students.  A recipient of the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry Award, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Center for International Business Studies and the Mays Business School Development Council.  She is a member of Charter 100 and International Women’s Forum–Dallas and has been recognized as a ‘Top 25 Industry Leader in Women in Business’ by the Dallas Business Journal and by the Profiles in Diversity Journal in the 10th Annual Women Worth Watching edition.




© Clem Spalding 210-862-0843  clem@clemphoto.com

Elaine Mendoza ‘87 is founder, President, and CEO of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. (CMI), a biotechnology and medical informatics company located in San Antonio, Texas.  Elaine has demonstrated her commitment to Texas A&M and higher education by continued service on the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System, appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2011, where she is Chair of the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs.  She has received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M and the ATHENA Leadership Award from the North San Antonio Chamber.  Elaine has been involved in community initiatives and has served on many task forces and committees revolving around the expansion of educational opportunities, health care, and economic growth both locally and nationally.


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Defining Success by the Choices I Make

Success is defined differently by each person & we redefine success throughout life.   The achievement of success is the result of the choices we make. Choices are minute by minute and are the result of our core values. In order to achieve success we must define our core values – what is essential versus non-essential in our lives. These core values become the filters through which we make our choices. The younger we begin defining and applying these filters, the easier it is to make decisions and the more successful you will be.

There are many authorities in life and some of them can demand conflicting actions. It is important to prioritize those authorities in order to know which demand is of higher priority. For example, my faith taught me that everything is possible, nothing is impossible. This filter in my life has caused me to avoid the word “can’t” and has been an essential in my success at Texas A&M University as well as in business. Because of this belief, a key core value that it instilled in me is perseverance. When I need to make choices in regard to my business, perseverance is always one of the filters that I apply.

This is a tool to help you identify what your target successes are and what core values you need in order to achieve that success.   This is a quick and easy template that I have used to help me define my priorities as well as my core values.

Know your authority priorities – choose 3 to start

Know how you define success in your relationship with each of these authorities

Know the core values you need in order to achieve that success


  1. Who are your authorities? List 3




  1. Define what success looks like for you under each authority ( Keep it clean, keep it lean)

Example: In the beginning Successful Business meant for me being profitable; now it is making budget, fulfillment of the mission statement and the CEO vision statement.

      Authority                                What does this success look like?

3. My essentials for success/ core values needed

Example: Essentials for success in Work: Profitable & good neighbor     Core values needed: Perseverance (continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence), Integrity (adherence to moral principles/honesty), Just (merciful/fair)

Authority        Essentials for Success          Core Values                 Definition of Value

This is just one tool in making choices. Join Aggie Women at the Women’s Former Student Network Leadership Conference on October 3, 2014, to learn more about Defining Success by the Choices We Make. For more information, http://aggiewomen.org/members/signup/2014-conference

See you there!



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Congratulations to Cindy Taylor ’84

Congratulations to Cindy Taylor ’84, recipient of the 2014 McLane Leadership in Business Award.


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Speakers Announced for Women Former Students’ Network (WFSN) Leadership Conference

WFSN Leadership Conference Speakers

You don’t want to miss this year’s WFSN Conference and Awards Luncheon on October 3rd! We have two great speakers lined up to encourage you to think about your own definition of success and what choices you have made or need to make to achieve it.

We are honored to have Marsha Clark, Consultant, Executive Coach, and Author of Choose! The Role That Choice Plays in Shaping Women’s Lives join our conference. Ms. Clark has led efforts in the areas of management, leadership development, performance management, executive coaching and meeting facilitation. Currently she has been delivering a series designed to enable women to explore and optimize their own potential. Through coaching and experiential learning, Clark strives to offer women the chance to gain personal clarity and form a strategic framework for the choices they make in all areas of life.

We are also honored to introduce Ceslie Armstrong, Award-Winning Editor, Writer, Interviewer, and On-Camera Talent. Ms. Armstrong has more than 25 years’ experience in corporate and entrepreneurial management. She is a strong asset to start ups and turnarounds and serves as a consultant for increasing growth among established companies and brands. In addition to being a writer for both TV, web and print, she has also been on-air in both television and radio, interviewing countless celebrities, authors and other professional experts.

Take the time now to register for this great conference and awards luncheon! It is scheduled to be held at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the George Bush Presidential Library. October 3rd, 2014,

Here’s how to sign up: http://aggiewomen.org/members/signup/2014-conference

See you there!

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