Mission Capital Awards celebrate the people and organizations at the heart of solving complex community problems. Finalists were celebrated at the Mission Capital Awards reception on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.




Community Leader of the Year
2018 Community Leader of the Year Award Winner, Toya Cirica Bell

Mission Capital is proud to celebrate Toya Cirica Bell for her extraordinary service in support of this community we all love! As a longtime public servant and career attorney with a legacy of professional and community engagement, Toya has truly made community service and trusteeship a central part of her life.

Toya has served on numerous boards and held leadership positions with local mission-driven organizations including Austin Young Lawyers Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Austin Black Lawyers Association, Travis County Women Lawyers Association, Junior League of Austin, Lone Star Girl Scouts Council, Long Center for the Performing Arts, Mission Capital , Executive Women in Texas Government, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and many more. She is the immediate past board chair of Leadership Austin. In 2016, Toya received an Attorney Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and Foundation and in 2017, was featured in the inaugural edition of Achievements in Black Austin.

As the Board Chair for Leadership Austin, she led a collaborative initiative to convene Courageous Conversation—Beyond Diversity training for the greater Austin community. Thus far, nine sessions are at capacity for this transformative training experience. She began her board service in 2011, after being selected as the 2011 Essential Class Representative to the Board.

On why she serves, Toya shared, “I believe in community service and community trusteeship as a central part of my life.  I’ve always enjoyed helping others and thinking about the big picture.  I grew up in a family where giving back was encouraged at an early age.  I recall collecting donations with my grandmother for various causes including a charitable organization that she and her friends founded — and all the things I learned from her about empathy and having a charitable heart.”

Named in recognition of its inaugural recipient, this award honors an individual who passionately champions transformational community impact. Through extraordinary volunteer service to our community and inspiring philanthropic investment in social change, this individual’s efforts have personally resulted in a more prosperous Central Texas. In addition to Libby Malone (2013), recipients include Earl Maxwell (2014), Jeff and Deanna Serra (2015) and Senator Kirk Watson (2016-2017).



Nonprofit LeadershipCatalyst for ChangeOutstanding NonprofitAligned ImpactNonprofit Community

Ann Beeson
Center for Public Policy Priorities


Shilpa Shamapant
Austin Speech Labs


Larry Elsner
Open Door Preschool


Mia Johns
Dress for Success


Kyndel Bennett
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas


Christina Collazo
Todos Juntos Learning Center


Austin Creative Reuse


Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas


Mothers’ Milk Bank


School Readiness Action Plan


Best Single Source Plus (BSS+)




Health Alliance for Austin Musicians


Moody Foundation



Nonprofit Leadership Award

The Nonprofit Leadership Award is presented to a current nonprofit CEO/Executive Director whose notable achievements over the course of his or her career have resulted in lasting community impact.

Criteria for award:

  • Has made a substantial impact in one or more organizations across the span of their career.
  • Inspires and empowers their staff, supporters and the community to achieve results addressing critical community challenges.
  • Has led an organization towards measurable outcomes on a specific social issue.

Outstanding Nonprofit Award

The Outstanding Nonprofit Award is presented to a stand-out organization whose relentless focus on results has created powerful progress for the Central Texas community.

Criteria for award:

  • Demonstrates significant, measurable community impact, especially within the past year. Impact can be from a specific program or project.
  • Has a clearly defined vision, tested program delivery and strategic operations.
  • Addresses the challenges of today with long-term sustainability.

Aligned Impact Award

The Aligned Impact Award is presented to a cross-sector, mission-driven collaborative working to create deep, system-wide change in Central Texas.

Criteria for award:

  • Consists of at least three nonprofit organizations and/or government agencies, businesses, and funders.
  • Shares ownership and decision-making authority and guided by shared leadership.
  • Makes progress around clearly aligned, collective goals with shared metrics and tracked, solution-based outcomes.
  • Includes, but is not limited to, task forces, ongoing collaboratives, or working groups around a specific societal problem or special project.

Catalyst for Change Award

The Catalyst for Change Award is presented to an inspiring individual in the nonprofit, corporate, or government sectors who is making significant change in their approach to addressing a social issue or cause.

Criteria for award:

  • Demonstrates a creative approach to problem-solving to make promising headway in an area of pressing community need.
  • Contributes to the social good through exciting and innovative initiatives – program creation/delivery, alternative philanthropy, financial support, systems change, thought leadership, legislation, advocacy and/or cause campaign.

Nonprofit Community Award

The Nonprofit Community Award is presented to an inspiring organization that has been voted on by their peers.

Criteria for award:

  • Inspires you to do more within your organization, a nonprofit you admire in the community and/or those that have worked beside you on a specific cause.
  • Supports the work you do directly, through advocacy on a particular issue or by partnering on projects and/or events.
  • Must be nominated by staff of a current 501c3 organization. Email address of nominator must be from a nonprofit organization.


Brown Advisory
Davis Kaufman
Garcia and Garcia
Maxwell Locke & Ritter
Impact Hub Austin
Wortham Insurance
Tito's Handmade Vodka