Alumna Julie Fisher recognized as Austin Under 40 Finalist
At age 32, Julie Fisher (B.S. ’10) has been named an Austin Under 40 finalist for the second time in her career. “It’s a huge honor,” Fisher says of seeing herself named alongside the list of young professionals who have had such an impressive collective impact on the Austin community.
Fisher graduated from Texas State University with a degree in recreation administration, entering the workforce in the middle of an economic recession. She had been working a desk job at a sports therapy clinic when an opportunity at Samsung Austin Semiconductor came about in an area she had never heard of before – Community Affairs.
Fisher joined Samsung in 2011 as their Community Affairs and Public Relations Specialist, managing their nonprofit partnerships, volunteerism, and employee engagement initiatives. At the time, Samsung had not yet developed a local philanthropic strategy, allowing her boss and Fisher the opportunity to create a strategy from scratch that aligned the business’ needs with those of the Austin community.
During her time at Samsung, Fisher learned more about Austin's nonprofit community and explored her passions. She began serving on the boards of local nonprofits, such as Keep Austin Beautiful, Leadership Austin, and Breakthrough Central Texas. She also frequently worked in tandem with other large technology companies in Austin and established relationships with their teams, which eventually brought her to National Instruments (NI), where she currently serves as the Global Community Impact Senior Manager.
At NI, Fisher leads a global team in overseeing corporate strategic philanthropic partnerships that align with the company’s values of STEM education, serving underserved populations, and economic equity. In accordance with NI’s brand tagline, “Engineer Ambitiously,” Fisher forges innovative partnerships and ensures that the company’s philanthropic efforts represent the needs and interests of their global employees and the communities in which they live and work.
Specifically, Fisher’s team is helping to launch a skills-based volunteering initiative that will connect NI’s 7,000+ global employees with opportunities that allow them to use their specialized skills to make a difference in their local communities. Through this initiative, as well as NI’s commitment to matching employee contributions to global 501(c)(3) organizations up to $1,000, Fisher says the company is prioritizing employee’s passions, not only their own strategic goals. Fisher is especially excited to be working with the Community Impact team in 2020 as NI employees look to them for opportunities to engage around important issues such as COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
When looking back on her time at Texas State, Fisher places immense value on the internships that allowed her to explore and discover her passions. What she learned as a Bobcat, she says, is the importance of creating your own path. During her internships, as well as her experience as an orientation leader, she discovered her love of leading, connecting people, and guiding them to opportunities that could change the trajectory of their lives. These passions persist in her day-to-day work and have been key to the success that earned her two Austin Under 40 recognitions.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Under 40 has cancelled their annual philanthropic gala, in which they would typically name the winners in each of their categories. Instead, the winners will be announced September 10 and will be featured in a Tribeza magazine spread.