November 2-3: Burlington, Vermont

The 2018 CFES Brilliant Pathways Conference is for K-16 educators, corporate leaders, and other dream-makers to network and hone strategies that prepare all students for college and 21st-century jobs.

Innovate, Implement, Impact:

  • STEM readiness
  • Essential Skills
  • K-12 business partnerships
  • Career readiness
  • College Pathways


Thursday, November 1

5:30 – 6:30 Welcome Reception (for early arrivals)

Friday, November 2

9:00 – 10:00 College, Corporate, Essential Skills Displays set up

9:00 – 12:00 Planning & Training Workshop (for select schools)

9:00 – 12:00 Create a High-Impact Corporate Education Partnership (pre-registration required)

10:00 – 12:00 Registration (light fare available throughout Registration)

1:00 Opening Session

  • Performance: Rock Creek Grant School
  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Opening Speaker: Rene Godefroy

2:45 – 4:00 Session 1: Concurrent Workshops, Panels & Roundtables

4:15 – 5:30 Session 2: Concurrent Workshops, Panels & Roundtables

5:45 – 6:15 Networking Reception

6:15 Dinner & School of Distinction Recognition

7:00 Featured Speaker: Mo Cowan

8:00 School of Distinction Team Photos

Saturday, November 3

7:308:30 Breakfast

8:459:45 Building the Workforce of Tomorrow Panel

10:0011:15 Session 3: Concurrent Workshops, Panels & Roundtables

11:3012:45 Session 4: Concurrent Workshops, Panels & Roundtables

12:45 Lunch

1:00 Awards & Closing Remarks

2:00 Conference Adjourns

Create a High-Impact Corporate Education Partnership

K-12 participants must be accompanied by a corporate partner to attend

This workshop will be led by Kelli Wells (GE Foundation Executive Director for Skills and Education), Greg Muccio (Senior Manager of the People Department at Southwest Airlines), Rick Dalton (President & CEO of CFES Brilliant Pathways) and other corporate and education leaders. Workshop components will include:

  • Defining the need
  • Marshaling volunteers and other support
  • Developing Essential Skills
  • Learning from highly effective models
  • Designing your own partnership
  • Defining what success looks like for both sides

Contact Andrea McDonald to register, or learn more about this pre-conference session.

Featured Speakers

The opening speaker at this year’s conference is Rene Godefroy.

Godefroy’s journey began in a tiny and impoverished village in Haiti. As an infant, he was afflicted by several deadly diseases. He arrived in the United States with $5, two shirts, one pair of pants and unable to speak any English.

Through the power of reframing, Godefroy chose to give new meanings to the changes he faces during his journey. Today, he combines insights from dismal poverty and years of study in the area of neuroplasticity to help others rewire their brain for success.

William “Mo” Cowan will be the keynote speaker at the CFES Brilliant Pathways Conference in Burlington, Vermont on Friday evening, November 2, 2018.

Cowan is one of eight African Americans to serve as a U.S. Senator. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was a top advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Cowan is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law, and holds honorary degrees from Georgetown University and Newbury College. Currently, he is President of Global Government Affairs & Policy at GE.

Saturday morning, a panel on Building the Workforce of Tomorrow will be led by EY Americas Vice Chair of Talent, Carolyn Slaski. The first woman to be named partner at EY in New Jersey, she was a member of the EY Gender Equity Task Force and a 2009 recipient of the EY Chairman’s Value Award. Slaski serves as a trustee for the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, as a member of the CFES Brilliant Pathways Board of Directors, and is the Executive Sponsor for EY’s College MAP (Mentoring for Access & Persistence) program.


This year’s conference will be held at the Burlington Hilton hotel. This waterfront location offers expansive views of scenic Lake Champlain and the picturesque Adirondack mountains, and is situated two blocks from the historic Church Street Marketplace and downtown Burlington.

The closest airport, 4 miles away, is Burlington International (BTV). A complimentary airport shuttle is offered by the Hilton.

Several CFES college partners call Burlington home, including The University of Vermont, Saint Michael’s College, and Champlain College.

How long until the CFES National Conference?