Special Guest


In January 2015, Cecilia Abbott made history by becoming the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. She has been a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas, and she has also worked in senior health care services. But Cecilia hasn’t only devoted her professional life to helping others – she has done the same in her personal life. She serves on the board of several educational organizations and is a member of numerous philanthropic organizations. She recently announced the launch of her Texanthropy Initiative, which she will use to promote volunteerism and service to others as her primary focus as First Lady of Texas. Cecilia and her husband, Governor Greg Abbott, have been married for 35 years, and have one daughter, Audrey, and two dogs, Oreo and Pancake.


Keynote Speaker


Scott Sherman is the Executive Director of an award-winning social enterprise, the Transformative Action Institute (TAI). The mission of TAI is to train the next generation of social entrepreneurs, innovators, heroes, and heroines for the 21st century. Sherman is an expert on the most effective ways that people succeed in their attempts to change the world – whether working for public health, the environment, or economic prosperity. He is currently writing a book summarizing his research, How We Win: The Science of Making the World a Better Place.

Over the last decade, Sherman has taught courses on social entrepreneurship and social innovation at numerous universities, including Yale, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins.

In 2005, Sherman won the international Echoing Green competition, which recognized him as one of the world’s “best emerging social entrepreneurs.” Sherman has also won awards from Ashoka U for excellence and innovation in teaching social entrepreneurship. His curricula and workshops have been used at more than 50 campuses across the United States from Texas and Harvard to Stanford and UCLA. His programs have also been used in dozens of nations around the world from Europe to Latin America, and from Africa to Asia.