Leadership Now Texas Chapter Events

The State of Our Democracy: The Role of Business in Texas

April 23 at 12 PM CT / 1 PM ET

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The January 6th insurrection and the challenges to voting across the country have demonstrated the threat our democracy is under. This is especially true in Texas, which was the most difficult state to vote in in 2020, and ranked 44th in voter turnout. How can business leaders champion democracy in Texas and nationwide? And how is a strong democracy good for business? What are the risks if we stay the course with business-as-usual? 

Please join us for a discussion of how the contentious 2020 Election and transition highlighted the risks, and created opportunities for reform, in Texas and across the United States. Speakers include: 

Jeronimo Cortina, a co-author of “Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do” and award-winning political science professor at the University of Houston; Dan Vallone, Director at More in Common, Daniella Ballou-Aares, CEO of The Leadership Now Project, and Bryan Sanchez, a Houston-based business leader and co-chair of Leadership Now in Houston. 

WHEN: 4/23 @ 12PM CT / 1 PM ET


Speaker bios:

Dan Vallone is a director at More in Common. Prior to joining More in Common, Dan worked on education policy and innovation at the state and national level. Previously, Dan served six years active duty as an Army infantry officer, with one tour in Afghanistan. Dan graduated from West Point and earned an MA in Contemporary China from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on a Fulbright Scholarship and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Dan lives in New York City.

Daniella Ballou-Aares is the Founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project, a national membership organization of business and thought leaders committed to fixing American democracy. Daniella began her career at Bain & Company, working across the firm’s offices in the US, South Africa and the UK. From there she became a founding Partner at Dalberg, where she led the Americas business. She spent five years in the Obama Administration as the Senior Advisor for Development to the Secretary of State, serving under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. Daniella’s perspectives have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, the World Economic Forum, and Morning Consult, among others. Daniella is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2014 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from the Kennedy School and a BS in Operations Research and Engineering from Cornell. 

Bryan Sanchez is the Chief Investment Officer at Lionstone Investments, where he serves as chair of the Investment committee and oversees the Acquisitions, Research and Analytics, and Investment Risk teams. Mr. Sanchez and his team use advanced analytic capabilities to pinpoint long-term demand, constrained supply, and attractive pricing. He has spent his entire career managing investments in the Real Assets space, including real estate and energy assets. Prior to joining Lionstone Investments in 2005, he worked for Verde Realty, a real estate investment firm focused on the U.S.–Mexico border, as well as for a publicly-traded oil exploration company with operations in Latin America. Mr. Sanchez is a graduate of Georgetown University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jeronimo Cortina is an award-winning Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Associate Director at the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston. He earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University where he previously earned a Master's degree in public Administration and Public Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs. Publications include (with Andrew Gelman, David Park, Boris Shor)“Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do” published by Princeton University Press and co-authored with Brandon Rottinhaus in 2019 "Vote Centers and Turnout by Election Type in Texas" in Research & Politics.