Keynotes

Monday

Abigail Williams - Founder and CEO of United to Learn

An unwavering education advocate, Abby has been dedicated to eliminating inequities in the educational system for the past two decades. Growing up, Abby and her two siblings were raised by their mother, a single parent, who worked as many as three jobs to make a better life for her children. Her mother’s steadfast determination left an impression on Abby about the value of education. Abby went on to earn a full academic scholarship at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and graduate summa cum laude.

Leaning on her proud Hispanic roots, her mother’s invaluable resilience and personal lived experiences, Abby believes that a strong public education is the key to lifting up today’s children and tomorrow’s communities. As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of United to Learn, she works to live out the mission of transforming relationships between school and community in pursuit of her vision of accelerating student achievement and developing purposeful leaders.

Before launching United to Learn, Abby served as Vice President and Director of Charitable Services for Goldman Sachs & Co. where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s annual giving efforts totaling $25 million worldwide. To bridge her for-profit experience with the needs in the nonprofit sector, she worked as a community development consultant after leaving Goldman Sachs.

Among her community activities, in 2007, Abby and her husband, Todd, helped found the Uplift Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates 1,500 primarily low-income children in northwest Dallas. Abby served as the founding chair of the school’s Advisory Council and remained actively involved with the school as a member of the Uplift Education Board of Trustees. Together the couple also served as the founding chairs of Teach for America DFW’s Regional Advisory Board.

Abby has also participated in Leadership Dallas and the Fellows Program of Leadership ISD where she also served on its Board of Directors.

Abby currently serves on the Board of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, National Network of Schools in Partnership as well as SMU’s Cox School of Business Executive Council. She and her husband, Todd, are lead sponsors of the Commit! Partnership. She has also served as a board member for Dallas

CASA, Texas Women’s Foundation and the North Dallas High School Community Board, as well as an Advisory Council member for the Austin College GO! Forum.

Learn more about Abby and United to Learn HERE

Tuesday

Mahalia Baldini - TWC State Director of Adult Education & Literacy

Mahalia Baldini was named the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) State Director in September 2020 after serving as the programs supervisor for over six years. She earned her B.A in Journalism from the University of Kentucky and her Master’s in Education from Texas State University.

 Mrs. Baldini has spent the last fifteen years integrating workforce and economic development with educational solutions that center on outcomes for low and middle skill workers. She believes in and values a system that supports equitable education and learning opportunities that focus on an individual’s academic preparedness and advancement as well as the social and emotional intelligence needed to contribute to a positive work culture aligned to employer needs.

Learn more about Mahalia and TWC HERE

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