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Featured Speakers

Wes Moore

Wes Moore
Wes Moore, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Social Entrepreneur & Motivational Leader

Acclaimed author Wes Moore is an Army combat veteran, Rhodes Scholar and the founder of BridgeEDU. His first book, The Other Wes Moore, became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller as a story that conveys the importance of individual decisions as well as community support. He is also the host of "Beyond Belief" on the Oprah Winfrey Network and Executive Producer and host of “Coming Back with Wes Moore” on PBS.

Wes graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He completed an MLitt in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. Upon graduation, Wes served as a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, participating in a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division.

While a student at Johns Hopkins he founded STAND!, which works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system and still exists today. He has been featured by USA Today, People Magazine, Meet the Press, The Colbert Report, The View, MSNBC, and NPR, among many others.

More recently, Wes is now the Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, an innovative college completion platform that addresses the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the Freshman Year in a way that engages students in real-world internships and service learning opportunities. He is also the author of The Work, to be released in January, which chronicles Wes’ journey to discover meaning in his work and how he found that meaning in service. Wes is committed to helping young people redirect their lives and supporting the parents, teachers, mentors and volunteers who care for, and work with, our nation’s youth. A portion of the proceeds from sales of The Other Wes Moore are being donated to the U.S. Dream Academy and City Year.

Mark L. Madrid

Mark Madrid
Mark Madrid, President and CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Mark L. Madrid is President and CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the voice of over 33,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.  

Madrid was recently named one of Texas’s Modern Hispanic Gentlemen by Texas Monthly and Ketel One®.  This celebratory campaign singles out men who embody an ideal: Hispanic leaders who pursue excellence in their professional lives and are empowering social change in their community.

Through this distinct Texas initiative, Madrid has created the Mark L. Madrid Scholarships, which will be awarded to deserving college students majoring in business from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Notre Dame.  In 2011, the Houston Business Journal recognized Madrid as one of Houston’s 40 Under 40. Madrid is part of the prestigious few selected as one of Houston’s most respected and innovative young leaders who showed dynamic leadership in Houston.  In 2013, Latino Leaders Magazine named Madrid one of the nation's top Latinos in the areas of finance, media, non-profits, law, education and entertainment and the arts. In December 2012, the U.S. Army Reserve 75th Training Command bestowed Madrid the title of Honorary Colonel.  Madrid holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated in 1995 with Honors and earned the designation as an Endowed Presidential Scholar.  In April 2012, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business announced Madrid as the inaugural recipient of a national fellowship for Notre Dame’s Master of Nonprofit. The Mendoza College is the only nationally-ranked business school to offer a graduate business degree designed to advance business leadership and executive skills while keeping nonprofit leaders in their jobs.

Leticia Van de Putte

Leticia Van de Putte
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, R.Ph., Co-founder and President of Andrade-Van de Putte & Associates

Leticia Van de Putte, a practicing pharmacist since 1980, served in the Texas Legislature for over two decades representing a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. She has been recognized and honored with over two hundred awards and citations for her work on behalf of small business, veterans, families, quality education, healthcare and economic development. Senator Van de Putte was named by Texas Monthly Magazine as one of the "Top Ten Legislators" and is the subject of a book, Latina Legislator: Leticia Van de Putte and the Road to Leadership by Dr. Sharon Navarro. Nationally, Leticia has held numerous important positions on Boards, Commissions, and Foundations and is in demand as a dynamic and inspiring speaker. She is especially recognized for her work battling Human Trafficking.

Currently, she and former Texas Secretary of State, Hope Andrade joined forces to form Andrade-Van de Putte, a full-service consulting firm.

Van de Putte, a life-long San Antonian, is a 1973 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, a 1979 honors graduate of the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, and was a Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Leticia and her husband of thirty-nine years, Pete, live in San Antonio and are blessed with six wonderful children - Nichole, Vanessa, Henry, Gregory, Isabella, and Paul, and seven nearly perfect grandchildren - Julian, Jove, Marlo, Elliot, Asher, twins Henry IV and Camila, and baby Rex, who is now an angel.



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