Engage Dallas: Mayor’s Star Council to Host Fourth Annual Leadership Summit

The one-day event is expected to include panels, TED talks, and special keynote speakers at the Bomb Factory.

With “Activating Upstanders: A New Day For Dallas” as this year’s theme, Engage Dallas 2020 plans to provide a day full of networking and education on city issues for professionals to learn from local and state government officials and business leaders.

The Mayor’s Star Council (MSC) plans to host its fourth annual Engage Dallas event on March 27. This year’s event is expected to include panels, TED talks, and special keynote speakers at the Bomb Factory. State Senator John Cornyn, City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, and City of Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax are this year’s featured speakers. 

Engage Dallas launched in 2017 with Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and The Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s chairman of the board Trey Bowles—who will also be giving this year’s closing remarks—among its speakers. At the time, almost 300 professionals showed up to the summit. Last year, the number of attendees was more than double that of the inaugural event.

Here are some of Engage Dallas 2020’s scheduled events:

Opening remarks from Byron Sanders, Mayor’s Star Council alumni and president of Big Thought, will be kicking off the event by speaking on the importance of Dallas.

Two leaders in the Oak Cliff area will be giving TED Talks: Jorge Baldor, founder of Mercado369, and Taylor Toynes, founder and executive director of the non-profit For Oak Cliff. Baldor was named by D CEO as an Outstanding Latino Advocate in 2016 and was nominated by The Dallas Morning News for Texan of the Year. He currently serves as Commissioner for the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. Toynes is a former Bushman Elementary teacher who had rapper J. Cole show up unannounced during his 2018 festival event at Glendale Park to deliver a truckload of school supplies.

There will also be a panel discussion titled “Disruptive Innovators” featuring a group of city leaders including Broadnax; Julie Hall Barrow, Chief Innovation for Children’s Health; Angie Gaylord, Deputy Chief of Transformation and Innovation, Children’s Health; Chris Miller, Senior Manager of Public Affairs, Uber; as well as Crayton Webb, Owner and CEO, Sunwest Communication, as the panel’s moderator.

Rudy Bush, Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Dallas Morning News, and Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune, will be on an editorial panel called “Blue City, Red State.”

Mayor Johnson will be hosting a fireside chat, which will be followed by two panels about policy and legislation. Cristal Retana, Children’s Health System of Texas, City Council Member, Farmers Branch, and Enisha Williams, Director of Board and External Affairs, Texas 2036, will be speaking on the panel titled “Policy Primer.”

Margaret Spellings, President and CEO, Texas 2036; Ann Beeson, CEO, Center for Public Priorities; and Stephanie Matthews, VP of Legislative Affairs, Texas Public Policy Foundation, will be speaking on the panel titled “Let’s Talk Legislation” with Christopher Connelly, One Crisis Away Reporter, KERA, moderating.

Senator John Cornyn will be hosting an interactive conversation. Currently, the senator, who served as the majority whip to the U.S. Senate from 2013 through 2019, is in his re-election campaign. He is also a member of the Judiciary, Finance, and Intelligence Committees.

The Mayor’s Star Council is a group of 24- to 40-year-old leaders in the arts and entertainment, business, education, government, hospitality and tourism, media, religion, and social sectors who work alongside Mayor Johnson. MSC says it’s Dallas’ first civically-minded organization created to focus on recognizing, growing, and supporting the region’s next emerging leaders that help with initiatives from the Mayor’s office and other key leaders and organizations in the community.

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