Dr. Michael J. Sorrell Keynote Speaker at Plano Chamber Annual Meeting

PLANO, TX – February 3, 2023 – The Plano Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College as our keynote speaker at our annual meeting, held this year on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at Marriott at Legacy Town Center, 7121 Bishop Rd, Plano, TX 75024.
Dr. Michael J. Sorrell is the longest-serving President in the 149-year history of Paul Quinn College. During his 14 years of leadership, Paul Quinn has become a national movement for its efforts to remake higher education in order to serve the needs of under-resourced students and communities. Paul Quinn College opened the inaugural site of its Urban Work College Network in Plano in 2018, bringing the college’s innovative work-study program to a second campus in the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Dr. Sorrell is one of the most celebrated college presidents in America. Recently, President George W. Bush and the George W. Bush Presidential Center awarded him the Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation. He has been named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine; is the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year Award (2018, 2016 and 2012); won Education Dive’s Higher Education’s President of the Year award; and Time Magazine listed him as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” Washington Monthly Magazine identified him as one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and PUSH/Excel honored him with its Education Leadership Award. Michael is the recipient of both the Dallas Bar Association’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award and the City of Dallas’ Father of the Year Award. Additionally, he has received: the Distinguished Alumni Award from Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; and the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from Duke University’s School of Law Alumni Association. Dr. Sorrell is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and both the President’s and C.B. Bunkley Awards from J.L. Turner for his outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community. Michael has also received honorary degrees from Austin College and his alma mater, Oberlin College.
Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and his Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. While in law school, he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and served as the Vice President of the Duke Bar Association. Michael was a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University. He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government.
In addition to hearing from Dr. Sorrell, the event will feature remarks from Plano Independent School District’s Superintendent, Dr. Theresa Williams and updates on the local business community and Chamber operations and programming from Plano Chamber of Commerce leadership.
Outgoing Chair of the Board, Emily Zoog with Veritex Community Bank, will highlight the Chamber’s progress and accomplishments from the previous year. Zoog joined the Plano Chamber Board of Directors in 2019 and has previously served as Board Chair-Elect. She also sat on the board in 2016 as the Chair of the Plano Chamber’s Women’s Division.
"Serving as the board chair for the Plano Chamber of Commerce has been a true honor. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served our business community,” said Zoog. “I am confident that Michael will bring great vision and leadership to the role and continue to drive the chamber forward."
Zoog will pass the gavel to Incoming Chair of the Board, Michael Lawson with Boeing, officially marking the beginning of Lawson’s year at the helm of the Plano Chamber Board of Directors.
"I am excited and humbled to take on the role of incoming board chair for the Plano Chamber of Commerce,” said Lawson. “I look forward to working with our members and board to create new opportunities for business growth and success in our community. Together, I am confident we can continue to make Plano a vibrant and thriving place to do business."

As his first act in office, Lawson will share with the audience a preview of what’s to come for the Plano Chamber in the coming year and introduce the Chamber’s newest board members.
NexPoint is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Plano Chamber Annual Meeting. For additional details or to register, please visit www.planochamber.org.
About the Plano Chamber of Commerce: Established in 1946, the Plano Chamber represents over 800 businesses and community organizations in Plano and the surrounding area. Accredited as a 5-Star Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and awarded 2018 Chamber of the Year, the Plano Chamber of Commerce is committed to maximizing business development and economic growth of the community through advocacy, education, innovation, and collaboration.

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