Florencia Velasco Fortner, president and CEO of The Concilio has been honored with the George W. Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation award for her passion and dedication to providing equitable resources to Latinos in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Concilio is a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to building stronger communities by unlocking opportunities for Latino and other diverse families.

The institute said the citation is awarded to an innovator who has inspired change in North Texas or has otherwise enriched the quality of life in the region.

Velasco Fortner was presented with the award in April at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s sixth annual Forum on Leadership Gala. The Forum on Leadership is a landmark gathering that develops, recognizes, and celebrates leadership. It includes in-depth discussions on current issues with leaders in the United States and across the globe.

Velasco Fortner was overjoyed as she received the Trailblazer Citation Award, an esteemed recognition of The Concilio’s efforts to positively impact the families they serve. In a statement, Fortner expressed her honor in representing the nonprofit alongside local and global leaders in their shared goal to bring about change.

Fortner acknowledged the significant role of the Latino population in Texas—the second-highest in the country—and the importance of ensuring their success for the greater good of the community.

“Here in North Texas, we know that the success of each Latino family leads to greater success of our entire community,” she said.

The CEO also highlighted the hard work of the nonprofit’s team, adding that the award is “a testament to the hard work of the entire team at The Concilio to build stronger communities now and into the future.”

Helping Latino families fulfill their potential

The Concilio is a North Texas nonprofit that has helped Latino families fulfill their potential since 1981.

It was founded to advance Latino equity and address the needs of the growing Latino population in Dallas-Fort Worth, and helps unlock education, wellness, and economic opportunities for Latino and other diverse families through grassroots outreach.

According to the nonprofit organization, they have successfully implemented culturally responsive parent engagement programs in 24 regional school districts. These programs have helped 22,000 adults and children annually in creating a pathway to better academic performance, health, and overall potential.

The organization has expanded its services, now including financial coaching, crisis intervention, and cultural competency training and education. The goal is to provide comprehensive support to families to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

Most recently, The Concilio said it has addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community.

The Forum on Leadership

The George W. Bush Presidential Center’s annual Forum on Leadership is an invitation-only gathering that recognizes and celebrates leadership by bringing together notable voices to discuss pressing issues. The event explores how the nation empowers the next generation and features discussions on job opportunities, readiness to work, and regional strength in America.

This year, Rob Portman, former United States Senator, and Nick Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, discussed how these factors connect in a post-COVID world. Additionally, the event included conversations on the future of American capitalism with Bill Haslam, former Governor of Tennessee, Larry Summers, former Secretary of Treasury, and Brian Tyler, CEO of the McKesson Corporation.

Mandy Ginsberg, director at Uber and ThredUp and former CEO of Match Group, and Nikki Krishnamurthy, chief people officer at Uber, also discussed how human connection has changed and is driven by apps on our phones. Dave Copps, CEO and co-founder of Worlds. Inc., and John Donovan, CEO of Qudit investments and former CEO of AT&T Communications, spotlighted the implications of artificial intelligence in our economy and political and geopolitical environments.

“Our annual Forum on Leadership is an opportunity to bring the world to the Bush Center and to bring the Bush Center to the world,” said Ken Hersh, president and CEO of the Bush Center, in a statement. “Our goal is to dive into some of the most pressing issues of the day and to highlight leaders making a difference.”