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Featured Speaker

Ms. Catherine Cuellar

Catherine Cuellar has two decades of strategic communications, advocacy, and advancement experience — stewarding global public, private, and nonprofit relationships to develop leaders, strengthen communities, and grow businesses. She currently serves as the director of partnerships for the social enterprise RefillWise, a free pharmacy discount and cash rewards program helping people afford needed prescription medicines.
 
Cuellar previously helmed the Dallas Arts District, the nation’s largest contiguous urban cultural district. As CEO, she balanced their budget, doubled annual revenues, secured new municipal and state funding, co-founded the Global Cultural Districts Network headquartered in Dallas, and hosted the 82nd U.S. Conference of Mayors and North American debut of the international New Cities Summit. Prior to that, she managed communications at Oncor, the sixth largest electric power grid in the U.S. While there she supported advocacy during three state legislative sessions and in hundreds of cities during the construction of 1,000 miles of new transmission lines and the installation of millions of advanced digital “smart” meters.
 
Cuellar is an award-winning multimedia journalist who co-founded GuideLive.com and has reported for National Public Radio stations KERA & KCRW, Sojourners magazine, and The Dallas Morning News — among others. She is a two-time TEDxWomen speaker. In 2013 Cuellar made her fiction debut in the anthology Dallas Noir from Akashic Books.
 
She currently serves on the board of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, The Texas Lyceum, Austin College Global Outreach Forum, SMU Tate Lectures, Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, and Tower Club Dallas. She also serves on the community advisory board for Aberg Center for Literacy, Junior League of Dallas, the Creative Arts Center of Dallas, and the Center for a New Generation at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. She is a member of the Dallas Assembly and NALEO. Cuellar was a 2014 Next Generation Project Texas Fellow at The Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT-Austin. She has been recognized among the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” (2013) and was a White House Fellows regional finalist (2011), a Leadership Women graduate (2008), one of the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce's “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” (2007), and founding board president of  La Reunion TX  (2006). She is a graduate of Rhodes College who lives in downtown Dallas with her husband Paul Williams — a music producer, recording engineer, and partner in State Fair Records.