About AW Media
AW Media, Inc. was founded in 2002, with the launch of our flagship monthly publication, Austin Woman magazine. With instant popularity, Austin Woman grew quickly and has become the premier magazine for women in Austin. To meet the needs of AW’s readers, we launched the annual Pink Pages directory of women-owned business in 2005, followed by the annual Guide to Good Health. In 2011, ATX Man magazine (published quarterly) was launched to meet the demands of the Austin male demographic. Each publication is devoted to providing national quality editorial and design that offers true value to its readers.
As the ONLY women-centric medium in the market, Austin Woman magazine is the preferred and most targeted channel to reach professional, influential women, ages 25-54. In our pages, women are learning about, and then discussing, what enriches their lives and empowers them to be more successful. Each issue delivers useful and engaging content that matters most to Austin women. Reflecting readers’ unique and diverse personalities, Austin Woman gives women a voice in the conversation of living a good and more fulfilling life in Austin, Texas.
To connect more closely with our readers, we launched our signature events division, which now boasts three annual events—the AW Anniversary Luncheon, ATX Man Golf Classic—18 Holes for 18 Charities and Woman’s Way Business Awards.
AW Media is also committed to maintaining a digital presence by offering free apps for AW, ATX Man and Pink Pages, separate yet integrated websites for AW Media’s brands with digital editions for each print publication.
Philanthropy & Community
Philanthropy is a core value of AW Media and we love to give back in a variety of ways. In the last year alone, AW Media has sponsored more than 100 nonprofit fundraising events. Our ATX Man Golf Classic raised over $55,000 for 18 different charities. AW has given a small business grant at our Anniversary event for the past seven years. AW Media also partners with local nonprofits for each magazine launch party, in which all proceeds benefit them, donating more than $100,000 over the past 12 years. We are proud sponsors and work yearly with the following organizations: American Heart Association, Children’s Center of Austin, Center for Child Protection, Genaustin, Girls Scouts of Central Texas, The Junior League of Austin, Komen Austin, Texas Mamma Jamma Ride, NOCC Austin, Texas Women in Business and Wonders and Worries, to name a few.
Group photo by Bold Photography.
Headshots by Korey Howell.
Co-founder and Publisher
As founder and publisher of AW Media, Inc., which publishes Austin Woman magazine, now in its 13th year of publication, Melinda is responsible for leading the fastest-growing niche publication in Central Texas. As a community leader, she is a powerful contributor to many Austin organizations and serves as a mentor for young organizations and businesses. Melinda also served as Entrepreneur In Residence for The McCombs Business School at The University of Texas for the 2011-2012 school year.
In 2006, Melinda was one of nine women nationwide selected to receive Office Depot’s Businesswoman of the Year award. She also is the 2006 winner of BIG Austin’s Most Creative Company Award and the Greater Austin Business Community Advocate Award. Austin Woman also won the Hispanic Chamber's Best Media award and BIG Austin’s award for Best Business Practices.
In 2013, Melinda was awarded the prestigious Women of Distinction award from the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and was named a Profile in Power winner by the Austin Business Journal. She is a graduate of DePauw University and holds a masters in international management from the University of Maryland University College. Melinda is married to her business partner and New Zealander husband, Christopher and they have an 8-year-old son named Beckom.
Cynthia Guajardo Shafer
Cynthia is a third generation Austinite. She attended the University of Texas at Austin before launching her career in sales, marketing, public relations and publishing. She previously owned and operated a public relations and marketing firm representing clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi. Her extensive marketing and media background includes print, radio, promotions and event planning. She was also the owner and publisher of the Brevard County’s Space Coast Chronicle. Cynthia is passionate about helping businesses with effective marketing campaigns and strives to exceed their expectations. During her free time, she enjoys tennis, wine collecting, reading and hanging out with her dog Bella, which she adopted from the Humane Society, and is a long- time volunteer with the Austin Junior League.
Originally from New York City, Austin Woman's Creative Director Niki Jones has been calling Austin home since 2005. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Niki has an extensive background that includes branding, advertising and editorial design. After running her own graphic design company, Polywog Design, for more than 10 years, she decided it was time to get back in to the magazine industry. She’s very happy to be a part of the AW family.
Emily C. Laskowski
Emily C. Laskowski is a proud and native Austinite. Before joining Austin Woman, she worked as an editor, as a freelance writer and in a variety of communications roles. Her background spans publishing, consulting, politics, nonprofits and magazines. When she’s not writing and editing, Emily can be found running the trail, rooting for her Texas Longhorns, or taking neighborhood walks with her husband Scott and their dog, Dobby.
Born and raised in Austin, Associate Editor April Cumming is proud to have made her way home to the Austin Woman family. April holds a degree in journalism from The University of Texas and has previously written for Backpacker magazine, Austin Fit magazine, and TV-news website KXAN.com. Outside of writing and editing, she can be found running along the Greenbelt, paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, practicing hot yoga, and playing tug-of-war with her corgi, Moe. An avid curator of quotes, her favorite one is easy to remember: "Dream it. Plan it. Do it.”
Marketing & Design Associate
Originally from the windy city of Chicago, Austin Woman’s Art Assistant Megan Bedford graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Magazine Journalism with an emphasis in design. After interning with AW in 2015, she fell in love with the laid back feel of the city and was thrilled to return to Austin (and its warmer weather) after graduation. When not designing for the magazine, Megan enjoys going to concerts with friends, running around the lake and hunting for her next favorite food truck.
Austin Woman’s Account Executive Katie Paschall is a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where she received her degree in journalism. Her innate love for storytelling and creativity effortlessly came together when she found sales. Katie has worked with Fox News, the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE News. A self-described “millennial on a mission,” she optimizes her expertise in journalism, social media and marketing by creating custom action plans that help entrepreneurs and business owners build their community (and their bank accounts). Katie considers her clients among her closest partners and friends. In her spare time, she enjoys running around Lady Bird Lake, practicing hot yoga, listening to live music, traveling and meeting new people. She loves to unwind with a cold glass of Chardonnay and thanks her lucky stars she gets to live and play in her hometown of Austin.
Publisher and Vice President
Christopher was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and grew up in Auckland where he studied business management and finance. He moved to the USA in 1996, living in Houston and California before landing permanently in Austin. He met his wife Melinda when he advertised during the first year of the magazine. After running restaurants and working in Real Estate, he decided to join AW Media full time in January 2011.