Great Conversations


Great Conversations

Save the date!

Monday, February 24, 2025

Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom, Texas Union
The University of Texas at Austin campus
2308 Whitis Avenue, Austin, Texas 78712

2024 Honorees


Presenting the Shirley Bird Perry Longhorn Citizenship Award to

Senator Judith Zaffirini

Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini is not only the Senate’s longest-tenured member, she has never missed a vote. During the 2023 legislative session she marked her 70,000th consecutive vote, a total that now stands at 72,132. She has passed 1,388 bills, more than anyone else in the history of the Texas Legislature. Elected to the Senate in 1986, Senator Zaffirini is now Dean of the Senate, a role in which she hopes to “reinforce bipartisanship, to reinforce friendship, to reinforce the decorum and the protocol and the efficiency of the Texas Senate.” She is a proud graduate of the University of Texas, receiving her BS, MA, and PhD from the Moody College of Communication, and began her career in communication as a reporter and editor at the Daily Texan. Throughout her time as a leader in our state, Senator Zaffirini has been a champion of higher education generally and of the University of Texas specifically. She has previously received many honors from the University of Texas, including the 2016 Outstanding Communication Alumna, 2013 Presidential Citation recipient, 2009 Distinguished Hispanic Alumna and 2003 UT Distinguished Alumna.  


Presenting the inaugural Corporate Citizenship Award to 


The Annette Strauss Institute is excited to announce that H-E-B will receive its inaugural corporate citizenship award. A bedrock pillar of every community they serve, H-E-B sets the standard for how companies can contribute to the health of their community as an employer, neighbor, and community partner. Known for their community philanthropy, including critical disaster relief efforts and hunger relief programs like the Feast of Sharing holiday dinners, it is the everyday shopping experience at H-E-B that makes it one of the most beloved brands in the state of Texas. H-E-B’s commitment to its Partners creates an in-store environment that makes one of Texas’s largest employers feel like a family-owned neighborhood store. H-E-B exemplifies the principle that good citizenship is good business, as consumer research firm dunnhumby last year ranked it the top grocery retailer in the nation, citing “a strong emotional connection with more of their shoppers.” As we all learned during a global pandemic, grocery stores and the people who work there are a foundational building block of civilization – which makes H-E-B such a deserving recipient of the Annette Strauss Institute’s inaugural corporate citizenship award.

2024 Sponsors


Carlos Zaffirini




CPS Energy

Janie and Cappy McGarr

Linda Moore

Lower Colorado River Authority

Rodney and Cristie Schlosser



Texans for Lawsuit Reform





Davis Kaufman, PLLC

Dell Technologies

Dennis Bonnen

Edward S. Knight


Hunt Companies



Offices of Marc A. Rodriguez & Texas Lobby Partners



Sarver Strategies & Clifton Consulting

Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Texas Chemistry council

Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

The Honorable Jim and Ginny Turner


Cheniere Energy

Dubois Bryant & Campbell LLP

E. Lee Walker and Jennifer Vickers

June Deadrick

League of Women Voters of Texas

Raise Your Hand Texas

RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service

Russell T. Keene

Sam L. Susser