HER 2021 - The Bend Magazine

HER 2021

Honoring, empowering, and raising up women in the Coastal Bend

By: Kirby Conda  Photography by: Duex Bohéme

Production Team: 

Hair by: Evana Reyna & Amber GarciaRiptide Salon  • Makeup by: Ashle Riff AlignoTease Salon • Wardrobe Styled by: Alexa GignacJulian Gold • Location: Elizabeth’s at the Art Museum


The October Issue presents us with a unique opportunity to peer into the lives, hearts, and minds of some of the most dynamic women in the Coastal Bend. Each year, we sift through countless nominations—it is arguably the toughest editorial decision The Bend Magazine team is faced with, and we don’t take this responsibility lightly. In a year when we thought we would be looking at the pandemic in the rearview mirror, each of the seven women chosen as honorees for this feature is up against incredible odds, and still forging on and making waves in her respective position or industry. Believe it or not, the pandemic has uncovered different types of purpose for so many, and our 2021 HER honorees are no exception.

It might seem natural that these power players would already know each other, but being agents for change was no guarantee that their paths had already crossed. With nothing more than an email invitation to the HER honorees kick-off happy hour, seven perfect strangers cultivated a life-long bond at the height of a south Texas July in the courtyard of The Goldfish. 

Kiwana Denson, Humanitarian

Samantha Gates, Community Visionary

Carra Miller, Industry Leader

Dr. Nelly Garcia-Blow, Medical Hero

Leslie Adami, Rising Star

Iuliia Prokhorova, Entrepreneur

Paulette Guajardo, Woman of the Year

Each of these women differ from one another in a multitude of ways, yet they are all integral in meaningful contributions to our community. Be it leading the city as only the fourth female mayor or carving out a space in an industry for themselves that might not have existed prior, this year’s HER honorees are exceptional examples of what hard work, determination, and a fervent passion for community can do.

Read this year’s HER honorees’ respective stories by clicking on their names above!