Edited by AZI Staff
This summer, Arizona resident, Lynn F. Austin was named a 2017 humanitarian award recipient for efforts battling domestic violence and uplifting at-risk youth. Austin is an author, business owner and adjunct professor in the Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University, where she is also a peer classroom reviewer and member of the Faculty Advisory Board. The 2017 Humanitarian award was presented by the legendary R&B and Hip Hop group, the Force MDs, during their “Family and Friends 2” event earlier this summer.
The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the courage to take decisive action, the wisdom to face aggressive challenges and the willingness to sacrifice to affect causes that impact the betterment of the community.
Austin developed an affinity for causes impacting women, youth and teen girls as a result of her own life journey, which included growing up in an abusive household, being told by a high school counselor “why go to college, all you can expect to be in life is a wife, maid or secretary,” surviving date rape, and marrying into an abusive marriage.
She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree, earn a Master of Business Administration, and hold executive leadership roles throughout the US. Austin’s professional portfolio includes leadership roles at Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, where she was the first African-American director of marketing.
Through her volunteer, board and special committee work, Austin has maintained a deep and personal connection to the causes she cares about. These have included Reach One Teach One in Michigan; the Byte Back adult computer program; Friends of Orange County Read in California; and Arizona non-profits, like the Greater Phoenix Urban League, the Checkered Flag Run Foundation; the Florence Crittenton INSPIRE program; the Journey Home program; and Linking Sports & Communities.
Through her story, Austin seeks to help others working to find their path in life. Her lifestyle brand “Betting On Me,” which evolved as a means to coach, motive and inspire people to live their purpose, includes a website, newsletter and an upcoming book The B.O.M: Betting on Me.