Sessions by Day

Click on the links below to view a list of sessions by day. You can also view the sessions by track or agenda. Additionally, the conference app will have all the session information and will be available to download in the coming months.

All conference events will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center unless otherwise noted. Please verify session locations onsite.

As session descriptions and speakers are finalized, they will be added here.

Wednesday, October 10
Thursday, October 11
Friday, October 12

Wednesday, October 10 [Back to the Top]

10:30 a.m.-Noon
Opening General Session and Presentation of Awards
Your Ascent to Greatness
Major Rooney’s captivating stories from his personal journey demonstrate a path to achieving greatness in your life. He will inspire and challenge you to become your best self by identifying strategies that will help you climb to the highest levels in your life, professionally and personally. From fairways to supersonic fighter jets, his life lessons act as incredible force multipliers for his audience. Rooney’s high speed-low drag delivery pushes the envelope of human emotion. You will leave the conference a better person with a vector to achieve greatness.
Major Dan Rooney, Fighter Pilot, PGA Professional, and Philanthropist

 

2:00-3:15 p.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase –
Reinventing a South Texas City (presented courtesy of TCMA — Texas City Management Association)
A discussion about the transformation of a south Texas city with a troubled past into a shining example of ethical transparent government, including direct discussion about the many obstacles that were faced along the way.
Mary Moore,  Mayor; Ben Briscoe, Councilmember; Julian Hernandez, Councilmember; Brenda Trevino, Councilmember; Robert Villarreal, Councilmember; and Charles “Tink” Jackson, City Manager, City of Pearsall

Community Relations How to Advocate for Your City 
To successfully tell your city story, it’s important to create a culture of enhanced public engagement.  This requires a focused effort to educate state and federal legislators, the media, and your citizens about the services, solutions, and partnerships found in your city.  In this session, you’ll learn how to stay informed, educate while you advocate, continuously build relationships, and relentlessly defend your community.
Shanna Igo, Deputy Executive Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League; and Brandon Aghamalian, Partner, Focused Advocacy, LLC

Governance – San Antonio’s Smart City Strategy (presented courtesy of TAGITM — Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers) 
Becoming a “smart city” means enabling new business models and technology to help shape how a city is governed and how residents interact with each other and their elected leaders. This is done by understanding all resident’s needs, focusing on outside-in user experience design, collaborating across city agencies as one team, leveraging next generation technologies and data analytics, encouraging public/military/academic/private partnerships, and building new digital leadership talent in our business and IT teams. Hear about the City of San Antonio’s smart vision, SmartSA, is building a connected,  inclusive, and resilient community.
Craig Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, City of San Antonio

Infrastructure – Small Cell Node Technology: A Public Works Perspective (presented courtesy of TPWA — Texas Public Works Association) 
Senate Bill 1004, effective September 1, 2017, largely preempts a city’s ability to control where small cell nodes are placed. It also prohibits a city from getting reasonable compensation from the private companies that use them.  Join this discussion with representatives from public works agencies across Texas on their experiences with the new legislation, and gain legal insight on the issue from TML legal staff. 
Shawn Poe
, Director of Public Works, City of Rowlett; Caleb Thornhill, Director of Engineering, City of Plano; Christon Butler, Deputy Director of the Houston Permitting Center, City of Houston; Rick Galceran, Director of Public Works and Transportation, City of Dallas; Richard Martinez, Assistant Director of Transportation and Public Works, City of Fort Worth; and Scott Houston, Deputy Executive Director of Policy and General Counsel, Texas Municipal League

Planning – Finding Gold at the Intersection of Brands, Events, and Cities
Learn how the cities of Grapevine and McAllen are leveraging community partnerships to pay for and provide quality destination events in their community.  Hear how these cities are building, engaging, and monetizing community partnerships. You’ll learn about trends from sponsorship decision-makers; bundling content, assets, and programs; how to create value for your audience and partners; and what sponsors expect from recap reports.
Joe Vera, CFEE, Texas Festivals and Events Association Chair-Elect and Past Chair, and Assistant City Manager, City of McAllen;  Gayle Hall, CFEE, Texas Festivals and Events Association Past Chair, Director of Festivals and Events, Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau; Adrian Villarreal, President and CEO, International Bank of Commerce, McAllen; William Rosales, Vice President of Sales, Telemundo Rio Grande Valley

Safety  – Realizations and Reflections Post-Hurricane Harvey (presented courtesy of SCAC — Small Cities Advisory Council)
Texas cities will continue to become denser population and economic centers which guarantees that storm-related and other disasters will get even costlier. Pre-disaster mitigation is always better informed by harvesting the wisdom of those who’ve been through significant disasters. As your city considers its own planning to most effectively use resources both pre- and post disaster, this panel discussion will share observations and reflect on how cities can better position themselves to promote public safety, respond to their citizens, and coordinate resources in times of widespread or local disaster.
Nim Kidd
, Chief of Texas Emergency Management Division and Assistant Director, Texas Department of Public Safety; Jeff Thompson, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool; David Nix, Property Claims Manager, Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool; and Patrick Rios, CMO, Mayor, City of Rockport

 

3:30-4:45 p.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase –
Small Cities Roundtable on Economic Development (presented courtesy of SCAC — Small Cities Advisory Council)
As a city leader, you are always looking for ways to foster job creation and enhance the quality of life for your residents.  Participate in this roundtable discussion on economic development in small cities, and walk away with inspiration, first-hand accounts, and new ideas on how to develop and expand your city’s economy.

Community Relations – Love Your Trolls: Embrace Your Social Media Detractors (presented courtesy of TAMIO — Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers)
Anyone who manages social media pages for a government entity knows that trolls are just part of the gig. They stalk your social media pages and channels looking for every opportunity to create drama, disruption, and discord. And since deleting and banning isn’t an option anymore – according to the courts – what do you do to create peace on your city’s social media landscape? Trolls don’t have to ruin your page or your day. In fact, they can become a valuable piece of your social media ecosystem. This session will help you prep for your inevitable detractors, handling them like a pro, and even using them for your own benefit. Gather your facts, get your mind right, and let’s do this!
Rachel Reynolds, Public Information Officer, City of Keller; Ryan Hunt, Communications Coordinator for Social Media and Broadcasting, City of Arlington; and David Marino, Public Information Officer, City of Buda

Governance –
 Your City’s Legal Counsel: Working with Your Lawyers (presented courtesy of TCAA – Texas City Attorneys Association)
Every city needs legal advice at some point.  Large cities usually have an in-house city attorney and sometimes many assistants.  Smaller cities usually can’t afford that and use outside counsel for legal advice.  In both cases, it’s not uncommon for your city to also seek specialized advice for litigation or Special Counsel.   Going further, a city should have liability and workers’ compensation coverage (frequently that coverage is provided by the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool), and the provider may appoint legal counsel to represent itself and the city in legal claims.  Finally, the Texas Municipal League has attorneys who provide general information and training.
Christy Drake-Adams, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Municipal League; Bo Joseph, Attorney, Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool; Paige Mims, City Attorney, City of Plano; Slater Elza, Attorney, Underwood Law Firm, P.C.; Art Pertile III, Partner, Olson and Olson, L.L.P.; Alfred Herrera, Managing Partner, Herrera Law & Associates, P.L.L.C.; and Dorothy Palumbo, Texas City Attorneys Association President and Of Counsel, Bojorquez Law Firm, P.C

Planning – Be a Game Changer (presented by TRAPS – Texas Recreation and Park Society)
The fundamental purpose of public parks and recreation is to facilitate exceptional experiences for people that make their lives better. This noble intention oftentimes collides with ever-changing community need, sweeping organizational changes when political winds shift, and frequent budget reductions and resource challenges.

Game changers imagine innovative and provocative ways to make an impact and transform how things are done given these realities. These efforts include thoughtful preparation, smart management, and courageous conversations. If not, what results is nothing more than a mediocre organization providing average services. And who wants that?
Jamie Sabbach, President and CEO, 110% Inc.

Safety – Understanding Harassment and Discrimination in the #Metoo Era (presented courtesy of AHMO – Association of Hispanic Municipal Officials)
In today’s #metoo era, practical and legal advice is necessary to create a workplace environment free of harassment and discrimination.   Keys to this include understanding legal issues, implications, reviewing policies, and training. Get back to basics, and learn strategies to ensure you foster a civil workplace and  best practices for building a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and respect.
Clarissa M. Rodriguez, Attorney, Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, & Zech, PC

 

 

Thursday, October 11 [Back to the Top]

9:00-10:15 a.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase – It’s Your Fort Worth and We Want to Hear from You
Thanks to today’s hectic and busy society, getting citizens — of all ages and sectors — involved in charting the course for their city requires more creative approaches.  This session will focus on innovative measures taken by Mayor Betsy Price to engage citizens who live in this extensive, growing community.  Mayor Price’s drive for transparent communication—free and open accessibility—is highlighted through town halls and the productive use of social media.

Community Relations – Legislative Messaging: Our Home, Our Decisions
The words “local control” have lost their meaning and their power in the halls of the State Capitol.  But the governing principle embodied in those words has built Texas into the state it is today and remains vital to our future success.  We must find new and more effective ways to talk about the ability of Texans to have a voice in the decisions that affect their neighborhoods and their communities.  Texans are proud of their hometowns and they are capable of finding local solutions to local problems.  Learn about the TML initiative “Our Home, Our Decisions” which will help city officials highlight the successes of local decision-making and the importance of protecting it.
Holly Gray-Moore, CMO, TML President and Mayor Pro Tem, City of Roanoke; Karen Hunt, Mayor, City of Coppell; and John Bender, Communications Consultant

Governance – Race, Equity, and Leadership (presented courtesy of TABCCM – Texas Association of Black City Council Members)
The Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) initiative serves to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions and build more equitable communities.  This session is dedicated to helping local leaders understand and gain tools necessary to combat racial disparities in their communities.
Leon Andrews, Director of Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL), National League of Cities

Infrastructure – Digital Connectivity and Your City (presented courtesy of TMLDA — Texas Municipal Library Directors Association) 
Broadband has gone from being an optional amenity to a core need for households and businesses. This session will present the positive economic impact of digital connectivity and give you options you may not be aware of for getting your citizens connected. Improve civic engagement and labor market outcomes, help your community get healthy, and minimize the digital divide with connectivity.

Planning – Strategic Facility Planning for Small Cities (presented courtesy of SCAC — Small Cities Advisory Council)
Many small cities face overwhelming infrastructure and facilities problems that outpace funding.  Because of that, they often struggle to consider priorities across infrastructure platforms. Should we build that park or fix that street? Should we focus on the police station or fire hydrants? How much money will we need and when? A strategic facilities plan can help you inventory your needs, set goals based on your vision, and create an affordable work plan for projects. Find out how this breakthrough process can prepare your city for the future.
Casey Sledge, P.E., President and CEO, and Stephen Dorman, P.E., Executive Vice President, Sledge Engineering, LLC

Safety – Public Safety is a Community-Wide Goal (presented courtesy of TPCA — Texas Police Chiefs Association)
Join our panel of police chiefs for an insightful conversation on developing police-community trust and building stronger and safer communities. We’ll discuss engaging community organizations, promoting youth development, connecting residents to resources, building personal relationships between police officers and residents, and more.
Brian Frieda, Chief of Police, City of Sweetwater; Stan Standridge, Chief of Police, City of Abilene; and Steve Dye, Deputy City Manager and Chief of Police, City of Grand Prairie

 

10:30-11:45 a.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase – Stay on Target: Cities and Firearms
Gun rights remain at the forefront of the news.  In addition to being a constant challenge for law enforcement, gun law even seep over into city authority. This session won’t be a political one related to the debate about gun rights.  Rather, it will cover the basics of city authority over firearms and those who carry them.
Scott Houston, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, Texas Municipal League

Community Relations – Neighborhoods First 
Risky, low returning projects too often become expensive boondoggles that haunt a community for decades. Public officials everywhere are desperately seeking an alternative. This talk will cover the “Neighborhoods First” approach to show how a community can grow stronger by making small, incremental investments over time. By observing how neighbors live their lives, by asking them where their daily struggles are, by getting out on the street and discovering what is actually going on, city leaders can discern what their community’s pressing needs are.
Chuck Marohn, Founder and President, Strong Towns

Governance – Ethics in a World of Social Media (presented courtesy of TMCA — Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc)
Speaking directly to residents and constituents in real time has proven crucial to cities as they continue to experiment with how to increase social media metrics and effectiveness. What they overlook many times, however, is the legal, governance, and ethical considerations of instant communication platforms. In this session, learn why open records laws, council leadership, government transparency, and ethics need to be part of a daily conversation in your social media plan.
Dan Johnson, City Manager, City of Richardson; Lee Woodward, City Secretary and Public Information Officer, City of Huntsville; Lora-Marie Bernard, MuniMedia; and Alan Bojorquez, Managing Attorney, Bojorquez Law Firm, P.C.

Infrastructure – Be Green to Save GreenPowering Communities with Renewable Energy
In prior years, renewable energy was cost-prohibitive, and those who bought in paid a significant premium. Times have changed, and Texas is now the nation’s leader in wind energy production, as well as being one of the top solar-electricity-producing states. With advancements in technology, renewable energy now empowers cities to meet their environmental AND financial objectives. Cities can lower their carbon footprint, show their commitment to sustainability, and meet budgetary demands all at the same time. This session will include a panel of city and energy representatives, and they will help decision makers understand the benefits and economics of renewable energy.
Gabe Castro, Vice President of Business Markets, TXU Energy

Planning – TX-PACE Stimulates Millions in Building Retrofits at No Cost to Cities
Learn from a panel of local officials how their businesses are using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) economic development programs to update offices, factories, hotels, malls, mixed use properties and more.  Learn about the ease of establishing the uniform Texas plug and play Texas model program called “PACE in a Box,” understand the wide range of economic and environmental benefits, and hear about successful PACE projects in rural and urban Texas.
Charlene Heydinger, Executive Director, Keeping PACE in Texas; Robert Dye, Mayor, City of Farmers Branch; Connie Standridge, City Manager, City of Corsicana; and Kevin Spath, Manager of Business Services, Office of Economic Development, City of Dallas

Safety – Hurricane Harvey and Why the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System Worked (presented courtesy of TFCA — Texas Fire Chiefs Association)
Attend this session to hear Red Oak Fire Department Chief and Assistant City Manager Eric Thompson discuss leadership and deployment in diverse situations, particularly the mutual aid environment and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System and Hurricane Harvey.
Eric Thompson, Fire Chief and Assistant City Manager, City of Red Oak

 

Noon-1:45 p.m.
Luncheon and Keynote Speaker (separate ticketed event)
Touching Elbows, Changing Lives
“Your Purpose is not your job, it’s your calling.” In this presentation,  sociologist,  best-selling author,  lecturer, and humorist,  Bertice Berry, Ph.D, will inspire and uplift our league of motivated, purpose-led servant-leaders. In a time of limited resources and division, she will remind us of our calling to touch elbows and bring positive change to our communities and the lives of the people we serve.  You will laugh, feel, and be inspired to continue on your path of purpose.
Bertice Berry, Ph.D., Sociologist, Author, and Humorist

 

2:00-3:15 p.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase – Neighborhood Revitalization
This session will address strategic ways to garner new, and reallocate existing, resources to shine a light on targeted neighborhoods in an unprecedented effort to foster economic development to historically underserved communities. By intentionally addressing the specific needs of each area, the City of Fort Worth is delegating priorities among existing service providers to ensure consistent and sustainable progress.

Community Relations – 2019 Legislative Outlook
The 86th session of the Texas Legislature begins on January 8, 2019.  This is an important legislative session for Texas cities given the state legislature’s increasing attacks on cities and your ability to make decisions for your community. Learn what issues are likely to be priorities, and how the League and cities will work together to protect your ability to serve your residents.
TML Staff 

Infrastructure – Infrastructure Crisis
For more than six decades, cities have been building infrastructure and expanding existing systems. While liabilities have grown, transportation funding has not kept up. Now there is a need to shift our strategy from continuous expansion to a more mature focus on the maintenance and maximization of existing infrastructure. Learn about a four-point plan that involves prioritizing maintenance over new projects, below-ground over above-ground projects, work in older neighborhoods over newer neighborhoods, and small-scale projects over megaprojects.
Chuck Marohn, Founder and President, Strong Towns

Planning – Transportation Projects 

Safety – Promote Safety and Confidence in the Legal System (presented courtesy of TCCA — Texas Court Clerks Association
Public safety and quality of life are enhanced through the enforcement of traffic laws and local ordinances. The public increasingly depends on city officials and employees to understand underlying key issues. Join us for a discussion about how public safety, community policing, and the fair administration of justice can be better promoted, not just on our streets or in the courtroom, but by the people who work at city hall.  This session will introduce city officials and employees to the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center’s new public information and education campaign, C3: Councils, Courts, and Cities. C3’s purpose is to highlight issues and increase awareness and understanding of municipal courts in Texas for mayors, city council members, and other local officials.
Ryan Turner, General Counsel and Director of Education, Texas Municipal Courts Education Center



3:30-4:45 p.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase – Brick and Mortar Retail is Not Dead, Just Evolving
During this presentation, we will explore the current retail environment, what to expect over the next few years, and how your community can be successful in navigating this new and constantly evolving retail environment.  This session will focus on retail development strategies for communities, both large and small.
Aaron Farmer, Senior Vice President, The Retail Coach, LLC; Sam Satterwhite, Executive Director, Wylie Economic Development Corporation; and Christian Fletcher, Executive Director, Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation

Community Relations – Fort Worth’s Education Initiative
The City of Fort Worth has set an ambitious goal for improving the academic performance of its youngest residents.  This session will highlight the City’s education initiative – a collaborative effort, emphasizing actionable measures, to promote awareness and programs that enhance the educational system.  You’ll also learn how the mobilization of school districts, the business community, and the City are aligning resources to achieve the common goal of improving literacy.

Governance – A Primer for Non-Finance Officials and Managers (presented courtesy of GFOAT — Government Finance Officers Association of Texas)
Gain a primer on public finance in this session presented by the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas.  Learn from the experts about the basics of fund structure and budgeting, an introduction to key fiscal policies and why they are important, and what the role of a city officer is regarding financial accountability.
Karen Rhodes-Whitley, CPM, Budget Director, City of Plano; and Martie Simpson, CPA, Consultant and Former GFOAT President

Planning – More Than a Place on a Map: Shaping Your City’s Identity
Does your city have a distinctive personality?  If visitors can’t tell yours from any other – if the chain stores, building materials, outdoor advertising, and architectural style make it look like Anywhere USA – then your city is working against itself.   City managers and planning directors from several cities with populations of less than 15,000 will share their experience in fostering a distinctive sense of place to boost their success attracting economic development and visitors. 
Anne Culver, Executive Vice President, Scenic Texas; Lynda Humble, City Manager, City of Bastrop; Caleb Kraenzel, Assistant City Manager; City of Marble Falls; Alan Guard, City Manager, City of Pilot Point; and Sandra Osman, Main Street Manager, City of Cuero

Safety – Flood Mitigation (presented courtesy of TXAPA — Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association)
After several years of overwhelming flood events in several areas of Texas, NOAA is revising the rainfall intensity maps. The maps illustrate the expected rainfall amounts that comprise the 100 year storm event, and will add new areas in most cities to the one-percent annual chance flood zone that were not included before. This session will look at what cities should be doing to prepare, prevent, mitigate and plan for resiliency as these more severe storms are expected to increase in number. Join the panel as they discuss first hand experiences and strategies to keep your citizens safe and protect private and public property from floodwater devastation.
Kimberly Miller, Director of Texas Operations, Allen ES; Daniel McGinn, AICP, CFM, Director of Planning/ESI, City of Corpus Christi; Amanda Torres, Community Planner, City of Rockport; and Kim Mickelson, Attorney, City of Houston

 

Friday, October 12 [Back to the Top]

9:00-10:15 a.m. [Concurrent Sessions]
City Showcase – Small Cities Roundtable on Regional Cooperation (presented courtesy of SCAC — Small Cities Advisory Council)
Regional cooperation can take many forms.  It can save money, improve existing services, boost the economy, and even save lives.  Participate in this small cities roundtable on regional cooperation, and discover ways that you can improve the quality of life for your residents with a little help from your friends (cities, counties, and other regional partners).

Community RelationsInfrastructure: Passing the Buck or Partnership Opportunity
This session will explore the burden or opportunity of the shifting federal role in infrastructure funding, and how local governments can partner with developers, non-profit organizations and the State to leverage the new federal focus on innovation and partnerships as towns and cities in Texas continue to grow and invest in key infrastructure.
Scott Polikov, President, Gateway Planning   

InfrastructureThe State of Water in Texas
In this session, Texas Water Development Board Chairman Peter Lake will explore the value of water, how that value changes over time, and various strategies to best plan for your future water needs.
Peter Lake, Chairman, Texas Water Development Board

Planning – Risk Management of Parks and Recreational Facilities
The management of risk in your parks and recreational facilities is essential to your city’s sustainability and viability.  Come to this session to learn what risk management steps are necessary to protect the safety of your residents, visitors, and employees.  This session will cover standard of care, contracts, laws that apply to playgrounds, playing fields, and outdoor fitness equipment, as well as national organization requirements such as Little League lighting.
Samuel “Butch” DeFillippo III, Managing Partner, PlaySafe, LLC

 

10:30-11:45 a.m.
Closing Brunch and Keynote Speaker (separate ticketed event)
What We Love About Texas Towns
Chet Garner, host and creator of PBS’s “The Daytripper,” shares his experiences from the road and what makes a town special.  He’ll share his discoveries and give insight into how visitors and locals alike can see every town as unique. Texans love a good story, and every Texas town has one.
Chet Garner, Host and Creator, The Daytripper