Session topics and times are subject to change without notice.

Thursday, March 14


Embassy Suites Breakfast Buffet
6:00–9:30 a.m. – Complimentary for overnight hotel guests

7:45 a.m. Registration
8:45–9:45 a.m. Welcome and Keynote
Creating Inspired Communities Where People Love to Live

Whether you are looking to build capacity, overcome negativity, or position your community for short- and long-term success, you’ll find tremendous value in this visionary and insightful keynote presentation. Best-Selling Author and Community Enthusiast Doug Griffiths focuses on ideas and proven methods that are realistic and attainable, supporting them with real-life examples of success that will leave you imagining all that your community can be.
Doug Griffiths, President and CEO, 13 Ways Inc.
9:50–10:50 a.m. Expanding Economic Prosperity in Texas Communities
In this data-packed presentation, Adriana Cruz, Executive Director of Economic Development & Tourism in the Governor’s Office will discuss the state of the Texas economy and how her office works with local leaders to expand economic growth and job creation in rural, suburban, and metro communities across Texas.
Adriana Cruz, Executive Director, Texas Economic Development and Tourism, Office of the Governor
10:50–11:10 a.m. Stretch Break
11:10 a.m.–Noon The State of Water in Texas
As the Texas population and economy continue to grow, it is increasingly critical to expand infrastructure to help manage and improve our water supply statewide. Texas Water Development Board Member L’Oreal Stepney, P.E. will discuss Texas’ plan to provide water for a growing population and tools to support better planning and create tangible benefits for our communities and residents.
L’Oreal Stepney P.E., Board Member, Texas Water Development Board
Noon–1:00 p.m. Networking Lunch (provided)
1:00–2:15 p.m. Disaster and Emergency Management in Texas
Over the past decade, Texas has experienced some of the worst disasters the state has ever faced.  In this session, executive staff from the Texas Division of Emergency Management will discuss how Texas prepares for, responds to, recovers from, and mitigates against disasters, and provides resources to serve local leaders in emergency management.
W. Nim Kidd, MPA, CEM, Chief, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Vice Chancellor for Disaster and Emergency Services, The Texas A&M University System
2:20–3:20 p.m. The Future of Transportation
The growing Texas population underscores the need to build and strengthen transportation in our state so it’s safe, reliable, and intelligent.  In this eye-opening session, Texas A&M Transportation Institute Director Gregory Winfree will discuss the impact of growth on the future of transportation in Texas, including technology, traffic, and funding.
Gregory D. Winfree Esq., Agency Director, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3:20–3:30 p.m. Stretch Break
3:30–4:30p.m. Understanding Reliability and Challenges of the Texas Power Grid
Since Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, the Public Utility Commission of Texas has taken historic action to increase reliability of the ERCOT power grid, including mandatory winter weatherization of electric generation infrastructure, requirements that generation plants have access to back up fuel and adjusting market triggers to incentivize more power on the grid when tight conditions are forecast. Today, the biggest challenge facing the grid is demand for power in our fast-growing state outpacing the growth in dispatchable generation resources. Interim Public Utility Commission of Texas Chair Kathleen Jackson will explain what the PUCT is doing to meet these challenges to ensure grid reliability, accountability, and affordability for Texans.
Kathleen Jackson P.E., Commissioner, Public Utility Commission of Texas


Embassy Suites Evening Reception

5:30–7:00 p.m. – Complimentary for overnight hotel guests