The Honorable Curtistene S. McCowan Distinguished Leadership Award
This award is given to a Leadership Southwest Alumni who is a proven and accomplished leader that inspires and motivates people. Someone who plays a part in growing people and organizations, one who unifies others to achieve shared vision and establishes direction. Known for community/civic involvement who contributes consistently and voluntarily to Southwest Dallas County. This highly regarded leader promotes sustainable community development and demonstrates a spirit of involvement and inclusiveness.
This alumni has earned genuine, indisputable respect for consistent, superb leadership and inspires many as an obvious role model, worthy of emulation. This person embodies integrity, professionalism, the spirit of teamwork, cooperation and excellence.
This honor is named in memory of the Honorable Curtistene S. McCowan.
A salute to the legacy of …… a history maker as the first African American to be elected to a Desoto public office as a member of the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees in 1990. Mrs. McCowan’s significant contributions to the advancement of education at the local, state, and national levels, earned her the naming of a DeSoto middle school, Curtistene S. McCowan Middle School.
She was a LSW graduate of the “Best Class of 2015 and recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award. She was the first African American female to be elected as Mayor of the City of Desoto in 2016; and was re-elected in 2019. Prior to winning a seat on the City Council, she served five years on the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board with four years as President. Over 30 years as a public servant Mayor McCowan’s positions held included the Executive Board of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Best Southwest Partnership and the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition. In addition, she served as Chair-Elect of the Advisory Board for Methodist Charlton Medical Center and a member of the Planning Committee for Methodist Health System, and the Board of Directors for the African American Education Archives and History Program. She was a founder of Concerned DeSoto Citizens.
She was a woman of God, a devoted wife and mother. She was a trailblazer who embodied change and her love for the Desoto community was felt and appreciated by anyone who knew her.
Distinguished Leadership Alumni Honorees
Faith Bible Church
Class of 2004
Shelia Hood has served the Cedar Hill business, philanthropic and faith based community for over 20 years and is an integral part of the fabric of our community’s distinctive character. She has served as a member of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for over six years, as Chairman of the Board for 2 years in 2007 and 2009 and was honored Cedar Hill Woman of the Year 2004. Shelia has served on the Cedar Hill Food Pantry Advisory Board, and currently serves on the Transformation Vision Board of Directors, Inspire School Program, Love Your City Theater Team, Strategic Business Alliance Task Force, Executive Board of Hope Mansion, and served on the 2017 Cedar Hill Bond Committee. In 2004, Shelia was honored as Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year and is a Graduate of the 2004 Class of Leadership Southwest. She leaves a legacy of women leaders, as she is the matriarch of three generations to go through Leadership Southwest.
When she is not volunteering her time, Shelia serves on the Executive team at Trinity Church and has since 1995 where she is responsible for directing the vast business operations of both the church and the school. She believes all of her years of business training and experience was merely preparation to fulfil God’s plan for her to serve as a faithful servant of God’s people for this community, the City of Cedar Hill and Trinity Church. Shelia and her husband, Jim Hood, have been married for over 29 years; they have four children with an ever changing menagerie of animals. Her love for animals and the Tri-City Animal Shelter is proven by her advocacy of the Tri-City Animal Shelter, in which she has facilitated over 10 adoptions and has personally made continuous monetary donations to help save lives of animals.
Shelia has a gift of adding value to each person she speaks to by giving them her full, undivided attention as she listens and responds to them. She is well known for her “Collaboration” meetings in which she pulls people of like-minded servitude together in an effort to amplify the impact of those involved. Because of Shelia, many area wide women’s social service non-profit groups regularly get together to share information and collaborate on ways they can advocate for women’s rights and work against travesties in society today such as battered households, sex trafficking and homelessness. Her heart for service and the community exemplifies the distinctive character many strive to emulate.
Shelia - Thank you for your service to our community, our businesses, and our four legged friends. The impact of your works is felt in every aspect of community life, and your dedicated service to helping others see God’s work and Vision in their lives is awe inspiring. We are grateful to you for your commitment to making our Community better, and your unwavering love for Cedar Hill. Congratulations.
Bank of DeSoto
Class of 2005
Patricia Coleman personifies the heart and spirit of Leadership Southwest. A member of the “Best Class” of 2005, Patricia was invited to serve on this organization’s 2013-14 Board of Directors. The next year she was chosen to fill the position of Chair-Elect leading to her role of Chair the following year, and fulfilled her role as Immediate Past Chair to complete her full Board service to this exemplary organization.
Patricia has wholeheartedly, enthusiastically and historically supported Leadership Southwest fiscally, spiritually and physically. She specializes in building partnerships with the City of DeSoto, DeSoto ISD, DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, and our other LSW communities. She collaborates and shares her expertise in Public Speaking, Facilitating Financial Classes and preparing the fundamentals of banking to high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.
Patricia is Vice President of the Bank of DeSoto, one of the premier sponsors in the Best Southwest. As such she has used her influence and position as Director of Marketing to benefit the entire Leadership Southwest community. Their frequent VIP and Platinum Sponsorships include the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, Oak Cliff Chamber, Duncanville ISD-Education Foundation 5K Run, DeSoto ISD, Focus Newspaper, N.I.A. Center for the Performing Arts, Church’s, DeSoto Parks & Recreation, DeSoto Back to School Fair, DeSoto FFA, Leadership Jingle Mingle Door Prizes, Legislative Breakfast Sponsor, Cummings Recreation Soulful Christmas, Canterbury Episcopal School, Community Outreach Gold Tournament, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Gala and Duffers Derby Golf Tournament, DeSoto ISD Education Foundation Title Golf Sponsor and Endowment Sponsor, DeSoto Parks & Recreation Music in the Parks Sponsor, Tri-City Animal Shelter-Mayor’s Basket, and the DeSoto Fire Fighter’s Association.
A few of Patricia’s formal recognitions are 2016 Woman of The Year by the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. Her extraordinary interpersonal skills and genuine desire to provide assistant to others were a major factor in Bank of DeSoto being named Best Place to Work by the Dallas Business Journal in 2015, 2016. Leadership positions have included DeSoto ISD Education Foundation President (2), Leadership Southwest Chair (2014) DeSoto Chamber of Commerce Chair (2014) DeSoto ISD Education Foundation Golf Tournament Chair from 2010-2016, DeSoto Chamber of Commerce-Gala Chair and Committee Member, DeSoto Living Committee, CEO-Girlfriends United Ministries. Other involvements include Non-Profit Awardee for Girlfriends Ministries.
Additional humanitarian projects include Feeding the Hungry on Thanksgiving, providing clothes, toiletries and snacks for Hope Mansion, Valentines Celebration for Widowers, Genesis Shelters, Brighter Tomorrows and the Viola House. Her motto is “We Are Our Sister’s Keeper”. Her favorite scripture: “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great Men.” Proverbs 18:16
Patricia attended Indiana University- Business Administration, and graduated from Barbizon School of Modeling. She is a Certified Public Speaker and CEO of Girlfriends Ministries. Originally from St. Louis Missouri and the third of seven children, Patricia has been married to Oswald Coleman, Sr. for 34 years. They have one daughter, Oschuwa Coleman.
Patricia Coleman is a perfect example of a servant leader and is a woman whose word is her bond.
Class of 2011
Maranda Auzenne is the Senior Asset Director for Trademark Property Company. In her role, Maranda manages Hillside Village Shopping Center in Cedar Hill, TX and Victory Park in Dallas, TX. Maranda leads the transition/onboarding of new shopping centers into Trademarks growing portfolio of shopping centers around the country, including Galleria Dallas, Victory Park, Zona Rosa in Kansas City and Annapolis Town Centre in Maryland. As the current the General Manager at Hillside Village, Maranda is responsible for all areas of the 75 acre upscale Shopping Center including finance, marketing, guest services, leasing, operations and additional developments. As the Transitions Team leader, Maranda is responsible for ensuring that new properties are properly staffed, managed, and branded. Maranda is known as a strategic leader who is resourceful in getting things done through creative partnerships.
Prior to joining Hillside Village, Maranda was the National Director of Operations for Ryan Company, an international tax consulting firm. At Ryan, Maranda was responsible for the construction, office services, facilities and security for 26 office locations across the country and in Canada.
Having a special passion for young women and women in crises situations, Maranda is committed to creating environments where people and families are given the opportunity to flourish. Maranda serves on the Board of Directors for Transformation Vision, Hope Mansion, Bridges Safe House and Lullaby House and other non-profits. Maranda has committed many years to serving her community, especially in areas of strategy and organizational leadership. She insists on and inspires the pursuit of excellence in all with whom she comes in contact. At her core, though, she is a servant leader within her community.
Previous service includes Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce (Chair), Cedar Valley College Management and Marketing Advisory Committee, Cedar Hill Tourism Advisory Board, WISE Academy, Transit Oriented District Advisory Committee, the Best Southwest Partnership Executive Board (Chair). Highlights of her community service include being named receiving the Debra Award from Concord Church for church and community partnerships, being honored with the Minority Business Leader Award and receiving Connect Medias Top Women in Real Estate Award in 2017.
She is a member of several professional organizations including the International Council of Shopping Centers, from which she received her CSM designation, identifying her as being among the best in her field. Maranda holds a BS in Human Relations & Business from Amberton University. She is a proud member of Concord Church, has one adult son, Trey and is married to Jay Auzenne.