Celebrating the 2017 Mark A. Wallace Catalyst Leadership Award Winners

In honor of Mark A. Wallace's 20th anniversary as president and CEO, members of Texas Children's Board of Trustees made personal donations to an endowed fund that led to the establishment of the Mark A. Wallace Catalyst Leadership Award.

Every year, the program honors outstanding individuals who lead by example, make the biggest possible difference, ensure the best possible outcomes and uphold Texas Children's mission and Core Values.

Amanda Austin Ward

Manager, Surgical Services

Every single day, Amanda approaches her work with passion and enthusiastically embodies the Texas Children’s mission and core values. She is a true leader that encourages and coaches her staff to develop in their own roles while enhancing their knowledge of other perioperative areas to meet the needs of patients in emergent situations. Amanda has also been key in creating and implementing new innovative processes to create improved patient care and has been influential in the process of creating the optimal environment to benefit both our patients and staff in the new pediatric tower.

My Definition of Leadership

Leadership is the ability to influence and guide others through encouragement and motivation to inspire willingness to achieve an ultimate goal.

2017 Catalyst Leaders

Mari Trace

Assistant Director

Texas Children's Pediatrics Regional Operations

Dan Christopher

Quality Improvement Specialist

Emergency Center

Judith Campbell, M.D.

Medical Director

Infection Control and Prevention

Ashley Simms


Clinical Support Operations

Please join me in congratulating these deserving individuals for their proven ability to lead by example and for their passion to uphold Texas Children's mission.

mark a. wallace
president & ceo
Mark A. Wallace Leadership Maxims


We work side by side to care for our patients and each other. Driven by our shared values, we apply our infinite passion every day to accelerate health care.


With freedom comes opportunity. Bounless, wide open and unknown, it can be daunting to some, but we recognize the potential in the unexplored and venture forward blazing our own trail in the name of care.


What defines us is seizing the opportunity to be first in line. At every level, we inspire each other, bettering ourselves, bettering our teammates, bettering our organization, and ultimately, bettering the world. A single, small act of leadership creates a tidal wave of progress and momentum that grows immensely, improving exponentially, and advancing the care of our patients in a mighty way. We are courageous, forward-thinking, and responsible.


Here, service comes before self. We care and sacrifice, celebrate, and - sometimes - grieve for our patients. Beyond them, our team becomes an extension of our own family. We work with and for each other to create a collective atmosphere of warmth. And while it may seem difficult, somehow it comes effortlessly and naturally - awakened and enhanced in the moments of greatest need. We are warm, authentic, and selfless.


Our compassion starts with an individual spark and ignites in unison. We depend on our team having arm-in-arm devotion to a mission bigger than any one of us. Up and down, side to side, outward and inward, we move collectively to share in all we do. As individuals, we're among the brightest, but as a team, we illuminate unimagined possibilities for ourselves,our patients, and health care as a whole. We are unified, inspirational, and inviting.

Catalyst Leader Alumni


Mark Farrior, M.D.

Catalyst Leader of the Year

Jamie Kim

Preanka Desai

Shannon Holland

Melissa Murrah


Trent Johnson

Catalyst Leader of the Year

Jeanine Graf, M.D.

Jenn Jacome

Wayne Toote

Ketrese White


Oluyinka Olutoye, M.D.

Catalyst Leader of the Year

Sarah Maytum

Sara Montenegro

alma sanchez

Betty Sapinsky


Gail Parazynski

Catalyst Leader of the Year

Laura Hardy

Chanti Jackson

Leslie Rossler

Mark A. Ward, M.D.


Tracey Cotton

Catalyst Leader of the Year

Ryan Breaux

Tangula Taylor