Zonta Club of Fredericksburg, TX presents 2022 Women of Achievement award

This year, the Zonta Club of Fredericksburg, TX, USA, recognizes Zontian and club member Estela Avery as its 2022 Women of Achievement award recipient for all her endeavors. She is a retired registered nurse, former San Antonio River Foundation executive director, volunteer and fundraiser. Estela was also a Bacon Lee and Associates consultant and owned The Gypsy Wagon Gift Store.

For more than 30 years, Estela has dedicated her time, board service and non-profit skills to empowering several communities, including the Fredericksburg area. She has exemplified the true meaning of being a visionary, leader, worker and philanthropist. 

After graduating from the San Antonio College of Nursing, Estela began her career as a registered nurse, worked as a Critical Care Unit (ICU) nurse at Nix Hospital in San Antonio and then became a nurse in the surgical unit at Kerrville VA Hospital.

Outside of her professional career, Estela served her community as the president of the Nursing Advisory Council at the University of Texas School of Nursing. She was a member of Impact San Antonio, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Rotary Club of San Antonio and National Parks Conservation Association. In addition, Estela has also previously served as a board member for the San Antonio YMCA and KLRN and attended the Institute for Charitable Giving for non-profit training.

Governor Greg Abbott appointed Estela to the Texas Governor's Commission for Women for her services in 2016.

Estela and her husband, James, a jewelry designer, contributed US$1 million to the River Foundation's education program in 2015. In 2017, they gave an additional boost of US$75,000 to fund a multipurpose event room at the Learning and Nature Education Center, which aims to teach visitors about sustainability and conservation at Confluence Park.

The club wants to recognize Estela for her services and her latest project: chairing the Capital Campaign for the Fredericksburg Grace Center. Due to the successful fundraising efforts, construction has begun to fulfill the need for a local shelter for women survivors of abuse. The center is also an advocacy project that the club has taken under its wing.