According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, the United States will not have a clear racial or ethnic majority by 2043. The country's shifting demographics have had huge implications for the nation's economy, and the ripple effects of these changes are already being felt in many areas across the U.S..
No city better embodies these trends than Houston, Texas. Houston recently surpassed New York City as one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the country, has one of the nation's highest immigration rates and is one of the top metropolitan areas for job growth and minority entrepreneurship. However, the recession has had a disproportionate effect on the city's minority finances. Experts say that increased minority wealth building, financial literacy and access to credit and capital are fundamental to growing the region's economy.
Join National Journal in Houston, Texas for a Next America summit, underwritten by MasterCard, as we convene local opinion leaders for a robust discussion about minority financial inclusion, wealth building and business ownership. We will explore questions such as: How can the country close its widening wealth gap? What investments need to be made to improve minority access to key monetary services? How does minority business ownership impact community growth? And what lessons can be learned from recent demographic developments in Houston?
Tommy Brooks serves as Executive Vice President of Unity National Bank and served as its Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Brooks served as the Chairman of the Board and a Director of Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. He serves as a Director of Unity National Bank.
Nancy Castillo is the Manager for the U.S. Financial Diaries, a joint project of the Financial Access Initiative of New York University, Bankable Frontier Associates, and the Center for Financial Services Innovation. In this position, Ms. Castillo leads the development and implementation of a nationwide study into the financial lives of low and moderate income families.
Prior to this position, Ms. Castillo was an Associate for the Remittances and Development program at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC. In this role, she served as a project manager, conducted market research, and provided technical assistance to financial institutions and international organizations. Her work focused on migrant transnational economic activities across the United States and various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Based on this research, Ms. Castillo led the development of a financial capability model, which was implemented in the same regions worldwide.
Ms. Castillo was also a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, PA, and a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador, where her research focused on the financial intermediation of remittances from Ecuadorian emigrants. She received her B.A. in political studies and Latin American studies from Pitzer College, a member of The Claremont Colleges.
Donna Cole began her career in the chemical industry working for Del Ray Chemical. She worked her way up to VP and became a 26 percent owner of Del Ray as well as a 3 percent owner of its parent company, Gold King Chemicals. Donna later started her own business at the request of clients such as Shell, DuPont, Monsanto and Exxon who valued her passion for customer service. Today, under Cole’s leadership, Cole Chemical still does business with those clients plus many more. She now has multiple clients in all 50 states plus many foreign countries. In 2009, Houston Woman Magazine named Donna one of Houston's 50 most influential women.
Steve Murdock, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Dr. Murdock holds the Allyn and Gladys Cline Chair in Sociology at Rice University. He is the former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, The State Demographer of Texas, holder of a Regents Chair at Texas A&M University, The Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a noted scholar with 13 books and more than 150 articles and analytical reports. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from North Dakota State University, the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award from the Rural, Sociological Society, a recipient of the Excellence in Research Awards from the Rural Sociological Society, Faculty Distinguished Research Award from Texas A&M University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and the Phi Eta Sigma national honorary societies. He is also noted in applied and Texas governmental circles having been named as one of the 50 most influential Texans by Texas Business in 1997 and one of the 25 most influential Texans by Texas Monthly in 2005. He has extensive experience in research on a wide variety of issues impacting Texas and is widely known as a national expert in the areas of Demography, Rural Sociology and Socioeconomic Impact Assessment.
Dr. Laura Murillo is President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. With the support of the Chamber Board and Staff, she has set unprecedented records, including becoming the largest Hispanic Chamber in the country.
She also serves as the Founding President & CEO of the Chamber’s Foundation and The Emerging Leaders Institute. Dr. Murillo is the Founding Host/Producer for the Chamber’s Television Program on CBS Channel 11 and for the Chamber’s Spanish Radio Program on Univision America. Additionally, she is Founding Host/Producer for the Chamber’s Radio Program on (6) CBS Radio Stations.
She served as an Executive at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. She holds a B.A., a Masters Degree, and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston, where she served as an Executive. The University of Houston most recently bestowed its highest honor, the President’s Medallion, to the Chamber and Dr. Murillo.
She has received several state, national and international honors including being named among the “Most Powerful & Influential Women in Texas” by both the National Diversity Council and the Texas Hispanic Magazine, “Woman of the Year” by Success Magazine and the International Leadership Award by Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation.
Dr. Murillo was also named among the Top 10 Who’s Who by the Houston Business Journal, Houston’s Top 25 People of 2013 by First Class Magazine, and the National Football League (NFL) recently honored Dr. Murillo with the Hispanic Leadership Award.
Dr. Murillo serves on the Houston BBVA Compass Board of Directors, the University of Houston’s Board of Visitors, Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board, The Nau Cultural Heritage Center Board, The National Museum of American Latinos Host Committee and the Houston Symphony’s Hispanic Leadership Council. Born and raised in Houston’s East End, she and her husband, Jose Luis, have two daughters, Marisa and Mia.
Sanjay Ramabhadran, PE serves as Vice President at CP&Y, an infrastructure / environmental consulting company. He oversees a Corporate Division that focuses on water infrastructure, energy and the environment and also manages the firm’s Houston Operations across sectors. Previously, he was Principal-In-Charge of a $1 billion global consulting firm managing the Water Business Practice for Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
His civic involvement has included serving as Chairman – Leadership Houston, Director – Texas Lyceum, Fellow – American Leadership Forum, President – HESS Club, Chairperson – Houston Mayor’s International Trade & Development Council (South Asia), City of Houston – Building & Standards Commission, host of a public policy radio talk show – “Insights”, HCEC – Governmental Affairs Committee, Past President – Indo-American Political Action Committee, and Board of Directors -Indo-American Charity Foundation.
He was recognized as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans – 2012 by the US Jaycees and was previously selected as one of Five Outstanding Young Texans – 2011 and Five Outstanding Young Houstonians – 2010. Selected as an ASIA 21 Young Leader, he was a delegate to Asia Society’s 2010 Global Asia 21 Leadership Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Juliet K. Stipeche was elected to the Board of Education in November 2010 to complete an unfinished term. She was re-elected in 2011 and currently serves as board president. She believes that public education is a human right, is the great social equalizer, and is the foundation for a prosperous community.
Ms. Stipeche was born and raised in Houston and is the daughter of immigrant parents from Argentina and Mexico. She grew up in the diverse East End neighborhood of Houston where she continues to reside today. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class at HISD’s High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. She received an academic scholarship to Rice University, earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science, policy studies, and religious studies, graduating magna cum laude, and was awarded the Joseph Cooper Prize as the most outstanding policy studies student in her graduating class. Ms. Stipeche received her law degree from The University ofTexas School of Law and is a civil litigation attorney and a certified mediator.
In 2013, Ms. Stipeche joined Rice University as Associate Director for the Richard Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity where she serves as project manager for various programs including the XSEDE Scholars Program, iAAMCS, and Empowering Leadership Alliance – Rice. She remains of counsel at the law firm of Nagorny & Stipeche, P.C.
Ms. Stipeche is a member of various professional organizations including the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Hispanic Professional Organization, and Houston Hispanic Bar Association. Over the years, Ms. Stipeche has also mentored, tutored, and volunteered at HISD schools. She has been active in her community, serving on the IdylwoodCivic Club, volunteering for organizations such as YaEsHora, the Human Rights Campaign, the American Heart Association, Barbara Jordan Ambassadors’ Program for Disabled Youth, the American Red Cross, TalentoBilingüe de Houston, and the Urban Souls Dance Company. In 2013, she was nominated and admitted as a Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation -- an honor reserved only for the top 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys – based on her dedication to the administration of justice and her high professional standing among her peers. Ms. Stipeche is also a Fellow for the American Leadership Forum – Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter’s Core Class XXXI.
Troi Taylor is the President of Taylor Construction Management, a City of Houston certified firm.
With 16 years of construction project management experience, Mr. Taylor is a certified Project Management Professional, specializing in management of capital projects and has extensive experience in protocol and SOP generation. He has worked as a Sr. Project Manager for companies such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and JRH Biosciences.
Representative Scott Turner, a businessman, national motivational speaker and former NFL player, was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November 2012. He represents House District 33 which encompasses all of Rockwall County and portions of Collin County in North Texas.
A fourth generation Texan, growing up in Richardson, Rep. Turner attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a degree in speech communications. In 1995, he began his 9-year professional football career as a defensive back when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins. He went on to play for the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. During his stint in Washington, D.C., Rep. Turner spent a great deal of time alongside then-Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, Duncan Hunter, assisting with military affairs. After retiring from the NFL, Rep. Turner returned to the Dallas area to pursue his business career. He is now the Director of Business Development and Corporate Chaplain at Systemware, Inc.
Rep. Turner serves on several community boards including Presbyterian Hospital’s Presidents Leadership Council, Dallas Metropolitan YMCA Board of Directors, Prestonwood Christian Academy Board of Trustees and GuideStone Financial Board of Directors. He is an active member of Prestonwood Baptist Church where he serves as a Bible fellowship class leader and occasional guest pastor.
Rep. Turner, his wife of 18 years, Robin, and nephew Solomon reside in Frisco.
Bill White is senior advisor at Lazard, a firm advising corporate leaders and governments worldwide. He served as Houston’s Mayor and was twice re-elected with an average vote of 88 percent. He also served as the Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States in the Clinton administration. He received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award for his leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina and the Governing Official of the Year Award by Governing magazine. He has worked as the CEO of a successful business and as a member of numerous corporate boards. In 2010 he received more votes for governor of Texas than any Democratic candidate in the state’s history.