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2024 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees

Dr. Lisa Graham-Garza
2024 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award


Awards Presentation

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Dr. Lisa Graham-Garza is an accomplished professional, visionary leader, champion for all those with autism, and a devoted mother to her two young adult sons.

Dr. Graham-Garza is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating, she trained at the UT Health Houston School of Dentistry. Here, she received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Graham-Garza practiced general dentistry in the Houston area for a number of years before retiring a few years ago to pursue other interests. One of these included beginning a career in real estate with Beth Wolff Realtors.

To enhance her service to the nonprofit community, with which she works tirelessly, Dr. Graham-Garza also attended Rice University, Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership.

In 2014, after her many years of serving the Houston and Katy areas in the field of dentistry, both in private practice and teaching at the dental school, Dr. Graham-Garza cofounded Autism Rescue Angels 501(c)3. The organization’s mission is to provide assistance to people with autism, ages 15 and older, throughout their adult years. For over nine years, she has served the autism nonprofit, as a cofounder, on a 100 percent pro bono basis, with joy. Serving the autism community is a deeply personal passion for Dr. Graham-Garza. Her own family is familiar with the challenges a child with special needs presents, as her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with the condition at the age of two in 2004.

Dr. Graham-Garza is also passionate about promoting literacy. The trajectory of a child’s life greatly changes when literacy is valued in the home and by the entire family. Helping mothers of special needs children achieve functional literacy is a huge piece of successfully advocating for special needs families.

To promote her message of autism awareness and the great need for more education and services, Dr. Graham-Garza and her older son, Ryan, have written a collection of children’s stories on being a sibling to a child with autism and how that affects the whole family. The stories feature two bunny brothers. The younger bunny brother has autism. Each story focuses on a situation from everyday life and the interaction between the two bunny brothers.

As a professional, Dr. Graham-Garza has been a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Greater Houston Dental Society, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry. Currently, in service to her community, she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Houston 20, the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Symphony League, and TUTS Leading Ladies. She is also on the executive committee of the Ladies for Literacy Guild and a past board member of F.E.A.T. (families for effective autism treatment) and the World Autism Organisation. In 2022, Dr. Graham-Garza was invited to speak at the University of Houston’s Women’s Table Talks about the work she does with Autism Rescue Angels.

As gratitude for her devotion to the community and in recognition of her stellar professional career, Dr. Graham-Garza, was named one of Houston's 50 Most Influential Women 2020-21 by Houston Woman Magazine. The honor was a highlight of her personal life as well as her professional life, and it reflected her love of community, helping others, and making positive things happen.

Dr. Graham-Garza resides in Katy with her husband, Dr. Rick Garza, an endodontist. Together, they have two amazing young adult sons, ages 20 and 22.

It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Dr. Lisa Graham-Garza has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2024. 

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