PAST EVENT

Nov 7, 2013

GOVERNING - Texas Leadership Forum 2013 Overview

Produced in partnership with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

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The GOVERNING Texas Leadership Forum brings thought leaders from GOVERNING's award-winning editorial team, Texas state and local government, and around the nation to you.

GOVERNING's Texas Leadership Forum will feature interactive discussions on the topics most important to Texas. Interact with your peers and hear from experts on best practices and innovative solutions on the issues that matter to you.

The day will focus on the important topics such as:

  • Energy (state energy portfolios, renewable energy, sustainability, smart grid systems)
  • Finance / Pensions / Budget
  • Health and Human Services
  • Infrastructure (water, transportation, buildings, etc.)
  • Government Operations
  • People / Human Capital / Workforce Strategy
  • Technology
  • Economic Development and Job Creation

Keynote Speakers

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 12:45PM

Plenary Session - The Mission Continues: The Value of Public Service in 21st Century Texas

Well over a million people work for state and local government in Texas. As the Baby Boomers retire, replenishing and strengthening that workforce is... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 12:45PM

Plenary Session - The Mission Continues: The Value of Public Service in 21st Century Texas

Well over a million people work for state and local government in Texas. As the Baby Boomers retire, replenishing and strengthening that workforce is... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 12:45PM

Plenary Session - The Mission Continues: The Value of Public Service in 21st Century Texas

Well over a million people work for state and local government in Texas. As the Baby Boomers retire, replenishing and strengthening that workforce is... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Managing for Today: The Challenge of Providing Quality Public Education

The ongoing battle over the appropriate level and allocation of state funding for Texas' public schools is not simply a budget challenge; it is an... more

Bech Bruun was appointed to the Texas Water Development Board by Governor Rick Perry on September 1, 2013. His term will expire February 1, 2015.
Bech Bruun most recently served as director of governmental appointments for the Office of the Governor. He previously served as the government and customer relations manager for the Brazos River Authority. He is a member of the Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group. A native of Corpus Christi, he was chief of staff to State Representative Todd Hunter (District 32). Bruun is former general counsel to the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, past executive director of Texas Victory 2008, and a member of the State Bar of Texas, Knights of the Austin Symphony, and the Onion Creek Club Board of Governors. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of Sufficient Water

With a population quickly outgrowing its now-antiquated water infrastructure, a water crisis looms in Texas' future. Emphasized by recent legal battles and drought, the... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of Sufficient Water

With a population quickly outgrowing its now-antiquated water infrastructure, a water crisis looms in Texas' future. Emphasized by recent legal battles and drought, the... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of an Adequate Transportation System

"Everybody knows..." that Texas needs to spend billions on transportation to keep up with its burgeoning population growth. Texas' population has increased by nearly... more

Susan has a long history of asking tough questions and fighting for a brighter, stronger future for Texas:

oAs Comptroller, opening state spending to unprecedented taxpayer scrutiny
oAs Agriculture Commissioner, creating new markets for Texas products and fighting for landowners against the federal government
oAs a State Representative, writing and passing landmark private property rights legislation
oAs an assistant district attorney, handling child abuse cases
oAnd as a wife, mother and fourth-generation West Texas rancher, raising three sons
As Texas Comptroller, Susan serves as the state's chief financial officer, treasurer and accountant, estimating how much revenue the state will collect and certifying that each state budget passed by the Legislature is within available revenue. Susan ensures state taxes are collected fairly and efficiently to fund essential programs for the people of Texas. She researches and analyzes trends and factors impacting jobs, economic development and the state's fiscal health. Susan is the state's chief tax administrator and serves as the purchasing officer for 221 state agencies and over 1,700 local entities - and she is committed to making state government work smarter.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 11:30AM

Town Hall Session: The Mission for Transparency, Truth and Accountability

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has turned her passion for civic service into a mission for truth and accountability in government. Traveling the state she hosted... more

Alan Cox is the Senior Vice President for the Center for Digital Education, a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. Alan has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University and is a frequent speaker for key government and education organizations. For over 20 years, he has worked with industry, education and government officials to help them better understand the importance and use of information technology.

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Sessions

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge More than one in four Texans is uninsured, the highest percentage of any state, and Medicaid and similar health-related programs... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge More than one in four Texans is uninsured, the highest percentage of any state, and Medicaid and similar health-related programs... more

Funkhouser began his career as a social worker and then went on to become an auditor, first in Tennessee state government and then for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, where he served from 1988 until 2006. Funkhouser was Mayor of Kansas City from 2007-2011. He is credited with stabilizing the city's finances during his term. He holds several degrees, including a PhD in public administration.

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Sessions

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Better, Faster, Cheaper: Managing Government Today, Redefining Government for Tomorrow

Nationally, six straight years of revenue declines have put enormous pressure on cities to do more with less and to do it better. Some cities... more

Houston City Controller Ronald C. Green is the second highest elected official in Houston city government and its chief financial officer. The Office of the Houston City Controller superintends the fiscal affairs of the City. This includes conducting audits, managing investments and debt, preparing financial statements and providing leadership on policy issues pertaining to the City's financial health. The Controller thus serves as an independently elected "financial watchdog" over City government's fiscal affairs.
Ronald Green was elected City Controller in December 2009 after serving three terms as a Member-At-Large on Houston City Council where he also chaired the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. Green holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law; he is also a licensed real estate broker. In his first year as Controller, Green has emphasized aggressive and focused audits of City departments and enterprises, refinancing of existing debt with more favorable interest rates and working with City departments to identify new and more efficient ways of running City government.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 10:30AM

Plenary Session - Managing for Today and Investing in Tomorrow: The Local Perspective

In the words of the State Budget Task Force's Texas Report, "Texas state government has a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with its local governments." The... more

Sherri Greenberg is the Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She also is a lecturer and Fellow of the Max Sherman Chair in State and Local Government. Her current teaching and research interests include: public finance and budgeting; public procurement and contracting; public pensions; online governance, transparency and civic engagement; campaigns and elections, state and local government; education and housing. Her recent publications are "Texas Financial Transparency: Open and Online", " Federal Lines of Business E-Government Initiatives: Progress and Effects", "State E-Government Strategies: Identifying Best Practices and Applications" and "Beyond the Bid: An Evaluation of State and Local Government Procurement Practices."

Greenberg served for 10 years as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, completing her final term in January 2001. In 1999, the Speaker of the House appointed her to chair the House Pensions and Investments Committee and to chair the Select Committee on Teacher Health Insurance. She served two terms on the House Appropriations Committee, and served on the Appropriations Committee's Education, and Major Information Systems Subcommittees. Other committee assignments included the House Economic Development Committee, Elections Committee, and Science and Technology Committee.

As a public finance professional, Greenberg served as the Manager of Capital Finance for the City of Austin from 1985 to 1989, overseeing the City's debt management, capital budgeting, and capital improvement programs. Prior to that she was a Public Finance Officer at Standard & Poor's Corporation in New York, where she analyzed and assigned bond ratings to public projects across the country.

Professor Greenberg received an M.Sc. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she serves on the national board for the American Society for Public Administration and is a board member for the Section on Women in Public Administration, as well as a CenTex Chapter board member. Also, Greenberg is a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Austin and an appointed member of the City of Austin General Obligation Housing Bond Review Committee.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Managing for Today: Meeting the Workforce Challenge

The high-minded things that government is supposed to do - keep our communities safe, educate our children, assure a safe and reliable water supply, develop... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 12:45PM

Plenary Session - The Mission Continues: The Value of Public Service in 21st Century Texas

Well over a million people work for state and local government in Texas. As the Baby Boomers retire, replenishing and strengthening that workforce is... more

In September 2013, Billy Hamilton became the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of the Texas A&M University System. In this role he is responsible for financial operations and budgeting for the System's institutions and agencies. Previously he served as a consultant on state tax and fiscal issues.
From 1991 - 2006, Hamilton was the Chief Deputy Comptroller for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, a position he held under Comptrollers John Sharp and Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
Before working in the Comptroller's office, Hamilton held positions with KPMG Peat Marwick in Washington, D.C.; the Texas Select Committee on Tax Equity; and the Texas Association of Taxpayers. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Hamilton was the first recipient of the LBJ School's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987. Hamilton is married and has three children.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Investing in the Future: Creating a Sustainable Financial System

With a strong and growing economy, revenues coming in far beyond forecasted amounts and a very healthy reserve fund, Texas is in far better financial... more


Paul Harpole, Mayor:
Paul was raised in Denver, Colorado. After high school he entered the Army in 1968, serving two tours in Vietnam as Crew Chief on a Medevac helicopter. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of New Mexico. He began a career in the automobile business in 1976. He moved to Amarillo in 1982 as General Manager of John Chandler Ford, where he later became a partner. Paul opened Paul Harpole Motors, LLC. after the sale of John Chandler Ford.
Paul has been married for 37 years to Jenny and has two grown children. Paul is President of Paul Harpole Motors, LLC.
Paul has been involved in civic activities including the Boy Scouts, United Way and Panhandle Twenty/20. Recently Paul was one of 300 people nationally named to the Boy Scouts of America's 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership.
Paul has served as an Amarillo City Commissioner from 2005-2007 He served as Vice-Chairman for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) since its inception. He has represented the TIRZ board at the Downtown Amarillo, Inc. meetings since their beginning.
He is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Church where he served as Board President, taught Sunday school, and served as Committee Chairman and Assistant Scoutmaster of St. Thomas Boy Scout Troop 87.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 10:30AM

Plenary Session - Managing for Today and Investing in Tomorrow: The Local Perspective

In the words of the State Budget Task Force's Texas Report, "Texas state government has a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with its local governments." The... more

Ryan covers the federal government, municipal distress and transportation issues. His favorite piece for the magazine took him to the oil fields of North Dakota to explore the effect that rapid population growth is having on the state's infrastructure. Holeywell's previous work has been published by the Washington Post and USA Today, and he has appeared on CNN and public radio to discuss his articles. Holeywell, a Houston native, graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In his spare time he enjoys playing the ukulele. Email rholeywell@governing.com | Twitter @RyanHoleywell

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Sessions

Susanna Holt Cutrone is an attorney, currently serving as TWC's Director of Human Resources Management and Staff Development. In this role she oversees Human Resources, Training and Development, HR Employee Relations and the HR Legal teams.

A 1997 graduate of Baylor University School of Law, Susanna first served Texas as an Assistant Attorney General, under the administration of John Cornyn. Susanna handled civil litigation for the Consumer Protection Division involving violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, representing the public's interest in charity, and litigating civil rights enforcement actions for violations of equal employment and fair housing statutes.

In March 2005, Susanna came to TWC and served as Assistant General Counsel until July 2011. As Assistant General Counsel, Susanna advised and recommended strategy to commissioners and staff on issues related to potential and active litigation. She participated in all pre-trial discovery and assisted in the trial of cases with the Office of the Attorney General in litigation affecting TWC. Susanna counseled staff on state and federal employment laws and routinely advised management on personnel matters and human resources policies.

As a mother of three active boys, ages 3, 5 and 8, Susanna is busy at home as well as work and spends a great deal of time at the ballpark.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Managing for Today: Meeting the Workforce Challenge

The high-minded things that government is supposed to do - keep our communities safe, educate our children, assure a safe and reliable water supply, develop... more

Before joining the LBJ School faculty, Lieutenant General Howell served as director of NASA's Johnson Space Center until 2005. In that post he was responsible for planning and directing all of the center's programs, including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He also held specific responsibility for such areas as spacecraft engineering and design, flight crew training, space and life sciences research, and mission operations. Prior to this, Howell served with distinction in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he flew more than 300 combat missions, eventually becoming Commander U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, responsible for over 80,000 personnel. He has held various staff positions at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Marine Corps Headquarters, the Pentagon and NATO. Howell is the recipient of numerous military decorations and awards, including the Department of Navy's Distinguished Service Medal. In 1980 he received the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership from the Navy League of the United States. Howell has a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in economics from the University of Texas.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 9:05AM

Keynote: Lessons in Leadership

The Johnson Space Center is NASA's center for spaceflight training, research and mission control. Its workforce of 15,000 includes a hundred astronauts, hundreds of scientists... more

Donna Klaeger was sworn into office as the Burnet County Judge on January 1, 2007. She is the first woman in history to serve on Burnet County Commissioner's Court. She served Burnet County as Treasurer for eight years, Executive Director of The Seriff Foundation and the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, Director of Development at Seton Highland Lakes Hospital and has owned and managed a ladies and children's clothing store in Marble Falls.
Klaeger moved to Burnet County in 1991 from San Antonio, Texas where her 15 year career focused on Business Administration and Management. She is married to Robert Klaeger, a local attorney, and has 3 children; Megan, Charlie and Bobi and 2 grandchildren. The family are members of the First Baptist Church in Marble Falls.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of Sufficient Water

With a population quickly outgrowing its now-antiquated water infrastructure, a water crisis looms in Texas' future. Emphasized by recent legal battles and drought, the... more

Bill Kuntz was appointed Executive Director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) in September 1999. The TDLR is the state's umbrella occupational licensing agency, regulating many diverse occupations and industries such as electricians, elevators, boxing, and property tax professionals. Currently there are 27 programs, with over 660,000 licensees being regulated by the department.

Bill was a speaker at the 2012 Public Sector and Education Shared Services Summit, hosted by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University. The case study presented TDLR's successful shared services enterprise based on the agency's functional alignment, fostering a customer service culture, and leveraging of enabling technologies.

TDLR has been the recipient of The Quality Texas Foundation's Progress Level Award for the agency's sound, balanced approach to organizational management and performance improvement. In 2010 and again in 2011, the employee engagement survey conducted by the Austin American Statesman identified TDLR as one of the Top 25 Best Midsized Work Places in Austin

Bill has over 38 years of public service experience. He previously served as the Deputy Securities Commissioner of the State Securities Board and the Executive Director of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Dr. Michael Lauderdale of the School of Social Work, the University of Texas, studied his successful management of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Dr. Lauderdale's findings are published in his book Reinventing Texas Government, and as a "Best Practices Case Study" on the School of Social Work web site at http://www.utexas.edu/research/cswr/survey/bestpractices/index.html.

Bill holds Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans with a major in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of New Orleans.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Better, Faster, Cheaper: Managing Government Today, Redefining Government for Tomorrow

Nationally, six straight years of revenue declines have put enormous pressure on cities to do more with less and to do it better. Some cities... more

Levine has been the Sunset director since 2009, and previously served eight years as Sunset deputy director, six years as assistant director and 14 years as policy/senior analyst. He has more than three decades of experience covering 16 Texas legislative sessions in developing proposals to improve government operations and programs through Sunset recommendations.


Levine studied political science at Rider University. He holds a bachelor's degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and a master's from The University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. He is also a Fellow of the Public Policy Dispute Resolution Center of The University of Texas School of Law, served three terms on the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society Executive Committee with one term as chair and presently serves the National Conference of State Legislatures as a member of its Executive Committee, and as staff chair of the standing committee on Budget and Revenue.

Levine has been the Sunset director since 2009, and previously served eight years as Sunset deputy director, six years as assistant director and 14 years as policy/senior analyst. He has more than three decades of experience covering 16 Texas legislative sessions in developing proposals to improve government operations and programs through Sunset recommendations.


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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Managing for Today: Meeting the Workforce Challenge

The high-minded things that government is supposed to do - keep our communities safe, educate our children, assure a safe and reliable water supply, develop... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of Sufficient Water

With a population quickly outgrowing its now-antiquated water infrastructure, a water crisis looms in Texas' future. Emphasized by recent legal battles and drought, the... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Better, Faster, Cheaper: Managing Government Today, Redefining Government for Tomorrow

Nationally, six straight years of revenue declines have put enormous pressure on cities to do more with less and to do it better. Some cities... more

Steve H. Murdock is the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University. He previously served as Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census having been nominated for the position by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2007 and serving until the change in administration in January of 2009. Prior to his appointment at Rice, he was the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research. Before UTSA, Murdock was a Regents Professor and Head of the Department of Rural Sociology at Texas A&M University. He was also the official State Demographer of Texas. He was appointed to this position by Governor Rick Perry and was the first person to occupy this position. Dr. Murdock earned his Ph.D. in demography and sociology from the University of Kentucky and is the author or editor of 13 books and more than 150 articles and technical reports on the implications of current and future demographic and socioeconomic change. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. These include the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research from Texas A&M University, the Excellence in Research Award and the Outstanding Rural Sociologist Award from the Rural Sociological Society, The Distinguished Alumni Award from North Dakota State University and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky. He was named one of the fifty most influential Texans by Texas Business in 1997 and as one of the twenty-five most influential persons in Texas by Texas Monthly in 2005. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Epsilon national honor societies.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Managing for Today: The Challenge of Providing Quality Public Education

The ongoing battle over the appropriate level and allocation of state funding for Texas' public schools is not simply a budget challenge; it is an... more

Ursula Parks is the Director of the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB). Ms. Parks has been on the staff of the LBB since 1993.
During her tenure at the LBB, Ms. Parks has worked in various capacities including as a budget analyst, a budget team manager, an assistant director, and as the agency's deputy director.
Ms. Parks has been directly involved in the development of budget and policy recommendations for numerous state agencies and institutions within all state government functions; for much of her tenure she was involved specifically in the area of public education finance. She is an expert not only in big-picture state fiscal policy but also in the minutiae of developing state appropriations.
Ms. Parks is a life-long Austinite, and holds a bachelor's degree from American University.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Investing in the Future: Creating a Sustainable Financial System

With a strong and growing economy, revenues coming in far beyond forecasted amounts and a very healthy reserve fund, Texas is in far better financial... more

Patton writes about a range of topics, including education, social policy issues, and urban planning and design. Patton is also the editor of GOVERNING's Management e-newsletter. Originally from Tennessee, he received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism for his GOVERNING story on economic cutbacks in Colorado Springs.

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Sessions

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 2:55PM

Investing in the Future: Creating a Sustainable Financial System

With a strong and growing economy, revenues coming in far beyond forecasted amounts and a very healthy reserve fund, Texas is in far better financial... more

Gary C. Thomas is president/executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). DART's Board of Directors named him to that position August 3, 2001. As president/executive director, Thomas is responsible for a 13-city transit system over a 700-square mile area with bus, light rail, commuter rail, paratransit and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane services. He administers the goals and policies of the DART Board of Directors, including the largest public transit expansion in North America. He also directs the agency's top managers and approximately 3,300 employees, emphasizing a strong customer focus to ensure that transit riders and taxpayers receive the best transit service available. He works closely with member city governments and the public in developing short- and long-term transportation and mobility goals.

Prior to his selection as president/executive director, Thomas was senior vice president of Project Management for DART, overseeing the design and construction of all of DART's major capital projects, including DART's light rail system. His responsibilities in that position included real estate right-of-way acquisition; oversight of the design and construction management performed by DART's General Engineering Consultant; design and installation of systems for communication and signals for the light rail; construction of the light rail system and bus facilities; and manufacture of the light rail cars.

Thomas joined DART in November 1998. Previously, he had led DART's General Engineering Consultant's design of the original light rail system as LAN Program Manager from 1996 until 1998. He was a consulting engineer for 19 years prior to joining DART. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Architecture from Texas Tech University.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of an Adequate Transportation System

"Everybody knows..." that Texas needs to spend billions on transportation to keep up with its burgeoning population growth. Texas' population has increased by nearly... more

Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a practicing pharmacist since 1980, represents a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. A former-five term state representative, she has represented Texas Senate District 26 since 1999. From 2003 to 2011 she served as the Chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus.
On January 8, 2013, she was unanimously elected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate's 83rd Regular Session. On May 4, 2013, she was sworn in as Governor for a Day. After the 2013 Legislative Session, she was named to Texas Monthly's 10 Best Legislators List.
Prior to serving in the Texas Legislature, Leticia Van de Putte worked as a pharmacist in mental health clinics, a hospital, and her grandfather's pharmacy, The Botica Guadalupana, before purchasing her own business, the Loma Park Pharmacy and Medical Clinic.
Nationally, Senator Van de Putte served as Co-Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, joining the ranks of Texas women Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards, who also served in that position. She has been actively involved in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), serving as President 2006-07. She is an active member of the National Assessment Governing Board, the American Legacy Foundation Board, and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators where she served as President 2003-05. In October 2008, Senator Van de Putte was the subject of a book published by Texas A&M University Press titled Latina Legislator: Leticia Van de Putte and the Road to Leadership, by Dr. Sharon A. Navarro, a professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Over the past two decades, Senator Van de Putte has been recognized and honored with numerous awards such as the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute's Outstanding Texas State Leader Award, the Edward R. Roybal Award by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Vietnam Veterans of America Texas State Council's Legislator of the Year Award (the only person to win it twice), the Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce's Distinguished Leadership Award for her inspiration to the Hispanic community through advocacy efforts in Texas and across the United States, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill's Texas Legislative Champion Award, the United Way of San Antonio's Children's Championship Award, the League of United Latin American Citizens' Legislative Recognition Award, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's Seven Seals Award, the Department of Defense Exceptional Support Award, the Texas Classroom Teachers Association's Legislative Star Award, the Texas Pharmacy Association's Pharmacist of the Year, the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award, and American Pharmacists Association's Hubert H. Humphrey Award, named for the noted pharmacist and public servant. The Center for Policy Alternatives honored Senator Van de Putte with the Arthur S. Fleming Leadership Award, a national award presented to a leader who exemplifies the ideals of public service through the highest standards of performance. She received the Charles M. West Distinguished American Award, which recognizes leaders whose contributions have had a lasting impact on pharmacy and the health and welfare of the American public. Following the 81st Legislative Session, she was named as one of Texas Insider's Top Ten Legislators for her work on behalf of veterans and their families and was selected to Texas Watch's Legislative Honor Roll for her work on behalf of Texas consumers and homeowners.
Senator Van de Putte is a strong advocate for children, veterans, quality education, and the economic development of San Antonio. She has consistently authored and sponsored bills to assist small businesses in securing opportunities. Multiple civic organizations and community groups have recognized Senator Van de Putte as one of the most effective and influential legislators in Texas.
Senator Van de Putte currently serves as Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, and is also a member of the Senate Committees on Business and Commerce, State Affairs, and Education.
Senator Van de Putte was a Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1993. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin, College of Pharmacy, and is a 1973 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. Senator Van de Putte currently lives in San Antonio with her husband Pete. She and Pete are blessed with six wonderful children: Nichole, Vanessa, Henry, Gregory, Isabella, and Paul. They are also the proud grandparents of six nearly perfect grandchildren: Julian, Jove, Marlo, Elliot, Asher, and Rex, who became an angel on May 7, 2013.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 12:45PM

Plenary Session - The Mission Continues: The Value of Public Service in 21st Century Texas

Well over a million people work for state and local government in Texas. As the Baby Boomers retire, replenishing and strengthening that workforce is... more

Erin Waters is publisher of GOVERNING, a division of e.Republic, where she oversees GOVERNING's editorial content and production teams as well as the GOVERNING Institute, the magazine's in-house research team, business development and sales across key market segments in the state and local government space; including finance, management, technology, workforce, health and human services, infrastructure and transportation.

Prior to being named publisher, Waters served two years as associate publisher during which time she focused on business development and expansion across the GOVERNING platform. Prior to joining GOVERNING, Waters worked for National Journal and Congressional Quarterly, where she first managed the digital media platform and later handled advocacy advertising sales across print, online and event properties. A graduate of Rice University, Waters lives in Washington, D.C.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 9:50AM

Keeping Texas Strong: Managing for Today and Investing in Tomorrow

According to a recent Forbes list of the top 10 U.S. cities for business, Texas boasts 5 of the top 6. As many states... more

Michael L. Williams was appointed Texas Commissioner of Education by Gov. Rick Perry on Sept. 1, 2012. As Commissioner, Williams heads the Texas Education Agency, which oversees pre-kindergarten through high school education for approximately five million students enrolled in both traditional public schools and charter schools. The agency also oversees basic adult education throughout the state.

Williams' appointment as Commissioner is the latest in what has been a lifetime of public service. After earning a Bachelor's, Master's and law degree from the University of Southern California, Williams returned to his hometown of Midland where he served as an assistant district attorney. He went on to become a federal prosecutor in the Reagan Justice Department, earning the attorney general's Special Achievement Award for the conviction of six Ku Klux Klan members. Williams prosecuted the KKK cases under heavy armed guard after receiving death threats.

President George Herbert Walker Bush appointed Williams as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Williams had policy oversight responsibility for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

In 1990, President Bush named Williams the Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. In that job, he acted as the principal advisor to the President and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander on civil rights matters. He led the charge to establish much of the DOE policy still in effect today regarding increased investigative resources to issues such as the overrepresentation of minority males in special education, the underrepresentation of females in advanced placement curriculums, racial harassment on college campuses, and the treatment of limited-English proficiency students.

In 1998, Gov. George W. Bush appointed Williams to an unexpired term on the Railroad Commission of Texas, the oldest regulatory body in this state. The three-member commission oversees oil and gas regulation. Texans subsequently elected him to this position in 2000, 2002 and 2008.

Known as a calm leader during a crisis, Gov. Perry selected Williams as his designee in 2005 to lead the state's long-term relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Williams also initiated the Texas response to the tragedy in Darfur.

As Commissioner of Education, Williams serves as the Governor's appointee to the Southern Regional Education Board, the OneStar National Service Commission, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and the Education Commission of the States.

He is a past Honorary State Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas. He chaired the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and has served on the board of directors of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

He previously served as an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University in the School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and the Texas Wesleyan School of Law. He also serves as Chairman of the UTPB Business Advisory Council.

The son of public school teachers (who earned degrees in math) and the husband of a mechanical engineer, Williams is the creator and co-sponsor of "Winnovators," a summer camp for 6th through 12th graders to help inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Williams also narrates short stories for children of all ages, including the visually impaired and those with special needs.

He and his best friend, Donna, celebrate 27 years of marriage.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 9:50AM

Keeping Texas Strong: Managing for Today and Investing in Tomorrow

According to a recent Forbes list of the top 10 U.S. cities for business, Texas boasts 5 of the top 6. As many states... more

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 10:30AM

Plenary Session - Managing for Today and Investing in Tomorrow: The Local Perspective

In the words of the State Budget Task Force's Texas Report, "Texas state government has a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with its local governments." The... more

Phil Wilson serves as executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Under the direction of the Texas Transportation Commission, he manages, directs and implements TxDOT policies, programs and operating strategies. He also represents TxDOT before the Texas Legislature and other entities.
Before joining TxDOT in October 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, Texas' largest electric generation company. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Secretary of State. In that position, he was the chief elections officer and the chief international protocol officer for Texas. His responsibilities also included maintaining business and public filings and acting as the governor's chief liaison on border and Mexico affairs. Wilson also served as the chair of the Governor's Competitiveness Council and on the Texas Border Security Council.
His public service includes more than 10 years as a key aide to U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm. Wilson also served Governor Perry in several senior roles finishing as his deputy chief of staff. Wilson oversaw the governor's initiatives on economic development and job creation in this role.
Wilson grew up in Brownwood, Texas. In 1990, he graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene with a bachelor's degree in political science and history where he was named the outstanding graduating man. Wilson also earned a master's degree in business administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Investing in the Future: The Challenge of an Adequate Transportation System

"Everybody knows..." that Texas needs to spend billions on transportation to keep up with its burgeoning population growth. Texas' population has increased by nearly... more

Ms. Patricia "Trish" Young Brown is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Central Health. Previously, she served for five years as the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Austin's Community Care Services Department responsible for the Austin/Travis County Community Health Centers (FQHC), City of Austin/Travis County Rural Medical Assistance Programs and the Austin Women's Hospital. In addition, Young Brown served a four year term as President of the Integrated Care Collaboration (ICC), a regional collaboration of healthcare providers that serve the uninsured and underinsured in the Central Texas Region. She now serves on the ICC in the role of Past President.
Prior to her public service, Ms. Young Brown worked for Seton Healthcare Family, in a variety of managerial capacities as Chief Operating Officer of Seton Health Partners physician group, Executive Director of Medical Management Resources and Director of Seton Healthcare Network Planning and Network Development. In addition, she served as Director of Consulting for Research and Planning Consultants; preparing healthcare service demand projections, Certificate of Need Applications and expert witness services. Her early career began with Arthur Andersen and Co. where she developed areas of expertise including oil and gas and real estate industries, international taxation and healthcare related taxation of for-profit and not-for-profit entities, joint ventures, financial forecasts and projections and alternative delivery systems.
Ms. Young Brown is a senior executive with a record of success in strategic planning, policy development and results oriented business execution. She is a skilled leader, team builder, operations manager and demonstrated community collaborator with the ability to solve difficult problems and implement and manage change to improve organizational effectiveness and outcomes. She possesses in-depth knowledge and experience of both private and public sector healthcare service delivery including ambulatory physician practice operations, Federally Qualified Health Centers, hospital delivery system development and healthcare financing mechanisms.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 1:45PM

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge

Managing for Today: The Healthcare Challenge More than one in four Texans is uninsured, the highest percentage of any state, and Medicaid and similar health-related programs... more

Mr. Zanoni was appointed Deputy City Manager in November 2012. Mr. Zanoni currently has oversight of the Pre-K 4 SA program, the Office of Management & Budget, the Solid Waste Management Department, Capital Improvement Management Services, and Public Works. He has spent over seventeen years in municipal government including the last fifteen years with the City of San Antonio. Prior to his recent appointment as Deputy City Manager, his role with the City included holding the positions of Assistant City Manager and Director of the Office of Management & Budget. Mr. Zanoni has had oversight over important community-wide efforts such as the 2012-2017 Bond Program and the Pre-K 4 SA Initiative.

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Sessions

Thursday Nov. 7 4:00PM

Managing for Today: The Challenge of Providing Quality Public Education

The ongoing battle over the appropriate level and allocation of state funding for Texas' public schools is not simply a budget challenge; it is an... more

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