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Women's Symposium

Keynote Speaker: Susan Denmon Banowsky

photo of Susan Denmon Banowsky


Susan Denmon Banowsky grew up in northeast Louisiana in the town of Forest, and like most of her family is a proud graduate of the University of Louisiana Monroe, formerly known as Northeast Louisiana University.

She attended ULM from 1982 to 1986, participating in Indian Scouts and working for the Dean of Student Affairs. After receiving her degree in Radio/TV Management in 1986, she worked as a television news producer for four years, first in Monroe, then in Mobile, Alabama and Shreveport, Louisiana.

In 1990, Banowsky enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law, where she was Chief Notes Editor for the Review of Litigation, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a Chancellor, graduating in 1993 with highest honors.

She began her legal career in Austin, Texas at Baker & Botts, practicing civil litigation. In 2000, Banowsky was hired by then Texas Attorney General John Cornyn to serve as the Chair of the Opinion Committee for the Office of the Attorney General.

When Cornyn was elected to the United States Senate in 2002, Banowsky went back to private practice, first at a small litigation firm and then at Vinson & Elkins, where she built a practice focused on open government law.

After nearly 20 years practicing law, Banowsky turned to helping her husband Bill with the businesses he created, including Violet Crown Cinemas, a movie theater company with locations in Austin, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Charlottesville, Virginia, and Carolina Cinemas, a cinema chain with theaters in Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, which the Banowskys sold to Cinemark last year.

The couple is also involved in film production and commercial real estate development. They split their time between Austin and Santa Fe.

Banowsky counts as her greatest accomplished her role as a mom to daughter, Meredith Gusky, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Oregon.