Honorary Chairs


Linda Mays McCaul

Linda lindamccaulMays McCaul is the daughter of Peggy and Lowry Mays. She is married to Congressman Michael McCaul, who is serving his 6th term in the U.S. Congress and is Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.   They have five children (Caroline, 19; Jewell, 18; and triplets Lauren, Avery, and Michael, 14).  Linda is on the Board of Visitors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where she chairs the Advisory Committee for the Children’s Cancer Hospital.   Linda also serves on the Austin Greater Crime Commission Board and the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation Board. Linda and her 4 daughters are active members of the National Charily League.  She is also a member of the U.S. Congressional Club.

Linda has a Masters degree in oceanography and geology.  She attended the University of Miami (B.S.) and Texas A&M University (M.S.). She worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and tracked Soviet submarines all over the world. She also worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on biological warfare issues.  She helped the Army obtain environmental permits to destroy the chemical weapons stockpiled in the U.S.  She met her husband, Michael, at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

The McCaul family resides in Austin, Texas where their children attend school.  They also have a home in Washington D.C.

“Our triples were born prematurely at 30 weeks. Lauren was breathing; Michael and Avery were not. The biggest fear any parent has in a situation like this is if their baby is going to survive. We support Hand to Hold because their organization provides vital support to parents that is so critical in navigating the emotional journey of a NICU stay.”


Venus Strawn

Venus is an Austin civic leader and retired nurse. Raised in New York, she received a nursing degree from the Roosevelt Hospital School of Nursing and moved to Austin in 1987. Venus has an incredible passion or philanthropy, and she tends to focus her work on organizativenus croppedons that benefit children and the elderly.

She currently serves on the board of St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Foundation as well as the steering committee for the Women’s Trust for Dell Children’s Hospital, Cure Duchenne and The Rise School of Austin. Venus was recognized as a “Women on Their Toes” honoree in 2009 and was appointed to the board of Humanities Texas, which administers grants to teachers & schools throughout the State of Texas. Venus served as Co-Chair and Co-Founder for the very first Dancing with the Stars Austin event 10 years ago.

Venus counts living in Austin & this community as one of her blessings. She thanks her husband and dancing partner, Bill and her children, Anita, Brian and Steve for their love and support. The twinkles of her heart are her grandchildren, Ashley and Eric.