George Kaiser, President and CEO of GBK Corporation
George B. Kaiser is a failed retiree who devotes about half of his 90-hour workweek to each of his business and charitable/civic interests. He is owner and CEO of GBK Corporation, parent of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which he has managed for more than 50 years. He is chairman of the board and majority shareholder of BOK Financial Corporation, the 23rd largest U.S. bank holding company, and is controlling shareholder of several oil and gas, manufacturing and technology companies. Excelerate Energy originated the floating LNG regasification business, has terminals around the world and has become an emergency source of natural gas following recent Russian supply interruptions. Through Argonaut Private Equity, Kaiser has significant interests in more than 50 companies in various industries in the U.S., India, Australia, Israel and elsewhere.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation, an operational charity, is focused on equal opportunity for children born into poverty, criminal justice reform, reduction of teen pregnancy, robust social safety net services, and a vibrant and inclusive Tulsa.
Kaiser attended Tulsa public schools and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Todd Williams, Chairman and CEO, The Commit Partnership
Highly committed to public education, Todd Williams is the founding chairman and CEO of The Commit Partnership. The Commit Partnership is the nation’s largest educational collective impact organization with more than 200 institutions (including 15 school districts and eight higher-ed institutions educating more than 790,000 students) supported by a dedicated backbone staff of around 60 employees. Together the partnership and its backbone staff are collectively focused on improving post-secondary completion and economic mobility levels across the North Texas region. Williams also served for eight years as the education policy advisor to former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Williams is a senior trustee and former board chair for Austin College, one of Texas’ leading liberal arts institutions. With his wife Abby, Williams was the founding chair for six years of the regional advisory board for Teach for America in Dallas/Fort Worth, and together in 2007 they also helped establish the Uplift Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates more than 1,500 primarily Hispanic children living in limited income homes in northwest Dallas.
Todd has been appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Permanent School Fund Corporation (responsible for overseeing the investment of a $48 billion fund supporting Texas’ K-12 public education system); the year-long 2018 Texas Commission on Public School Finance (where he chaired its Outcomes Committee, which ultimately produced 35 recommendations that served as the basis for Texas’ landmark HB3 legislation, which equitably invested $11.5 billion in the state’s public K-12 education system); and the 2021 Texas Commission on Community College Funding.
Williams currently serves as an advisory board member of Educate Texas, an educational initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas. He is the former chair of the Citizen Budget Review Commission for Dallas ISD ($1.7 billion budget educating ~155,000 students) and the former vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for Uplift Education, a public charter school management organization serving more than 20,000 students across North Texas. He is also the former chairman of both the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center (located at the University of Texas) and the Real Estate Council of Dallas, the city’s largest real estate organization.
Prior to dedicating his efforts full time as a volunteer to public education, Williams served as a partner and global co-head of Goldman Sachs’ real estate private equity investment area, retiring in 2010 following a 20-year career with the firm in their New York, Los Angeles and Dallas offices. Total assets under management purchased by GS-managed real estate funds exceeded $100 billion in cost, including $10 billion of equity invested by Goldman Sachs and its managing partners.
A public school graduate from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas ISD, Williams earned an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and graduated with a bachelor of arts in economics from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, in 1982.
Susan Hoff, Chief Strategy & Impact Officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas – Moderator
Susan Hoff serves as chief impact and strategy officer for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Before joining the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas team in 2009, Hoff was the CEO and president of ChildCareGroup and prior to that was the executive director of Educational First Steps.
In addition to senior leadership roles, Hoff’s professional experience includes the positions of teacher, child care center director and parent educator. She is a highly sought-after trainer and public speaker, has developed curricula and educational publications for children and adults, and is an accomplished fund developer. She is a well-known children’s advocate at the local, state and national levels.
Hoff serves on the boards of TexProtects, Texans Care for Children, City Year and TXPOST. She was appointed by Dallas Mayors Rawlings and Johnson to the board of Workforce Solutions Dallas County in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2021. She is also a past president of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children and past board chair of Social Venture Partners Dallas, First3Years and the Junior League of Richardson.