Leadership Award Recipients

Maura Award Recipients


Arcilia C. Acosta 

A first-generation college student, Acosta graduated from Texas Tech University and took over her father’s small business, CARCON Industries and Construction, with a vision of transforming it to meet the growth in Texas. She serves as president and CEO of CARCON Industries, a full-service construction firm based in Dallas with offices in Houston, Corpus Christi and Midland. She is also founder and CEO of STL Engineers, a geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm in Dallas. Acosta has more than 20 years of experience providing construction and program management for industrial, transportation, civil, educational and highway construction projects. Through her active involvement with the National and Regional Hispanic Contractors Association, the Dallas Citizens Council, bank and energy company boards, her work as Governor Greg Abbott’s appointee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Acosta has transformed the construction industry, a mainly male-dominated industry. She also serves as a mentor to many women, and is helping build a college to career pipeline with industry leaders and universities that will serve as a national model.




Jocelyn D. Kidd, DDS

Following in her father’s footsteps, Dr. Kidd is an outstanding dentist who provides dental care to countless individuals in the Dallas community. She has held key positions with the National Dental Association, Texas Dental Association and Dallas County Dental Society, and served as a mentor in the American Association of Women Dentists Mentoring Program-Baylor College of Dentistry and in the Student National Dental Association. When she was president of The Links, Incorporated Dallas (TX) Chapter, she led efforts to establish the chapter’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy for girls to learn more about these career paths, along with healthy lifestyles and community service. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she has provided leadership, mentorship, dental screenings and oral health education at the Delta Sigma Theta World Family Days. As Dr. Kidd is a STEAM professional herself; she speaks to many young women who find it inspiring to see a mentor who resembles them. 


Cynthia Mickens Ross

Mickens Ross is a captivating speaker, teacher, coach and author. She offers words of wisdom that are thought-provoking and life-changing. She has authored and teaches a 12-week spiritual and personal development course entitled, Path~Way to Purpose®. Her program helps individuals discover their natural gifts, talents and abilities. Since its inception in 2002, she has led hundreds of young and mature women through the course, as her purpose is to help them discover and activate the greatness within themselves. Last year, she released her first book, Path~Way to Purpose Stories of Victory. She serves as director of community relations and external affairs at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, and is the senior pastor of Path~Way to Life Center of Hope Church in Hutchins, Texas. She is also founder and CEO of Cynthia Mickens Ministries, Inc. and the Path~Way to Purpose® Residential Housing program that provides free, safe and supportive housing for women and children along with other services.


Gail Turner

Gail Turner is a civic-minded leader and a member of several nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of women. She is a founding member of New Friends New Life (NFNL) that serves women and children who have been victimized by trafficking. She served as board chair for two critically defining years, and she has met with and counseled many women to leave that lifestyle. She has worked with NFNL successfully to lobby the Texas Legislature on laws that help victims of human trafficking. Turner also serves on the board of Shelter Ministries, which is comprised of Austin Street Shelter, which assists 400 homeless each night, and Genesis Women’s Shelter and Outreach. This position is demanding and challenging as the board serves two robust and complicated nonprofits together. As “First Lady of SMU,” married to SMU President Dr. Gerald Turner, she serves on the boards of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development. She is a role model for young women and helps shape education for women through her Simmons role and through her background as an educator.

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