President & Chief Catalyst, Strategic Growth for People, Companies & Communities
Terri Adkisson sees things that aren't there yet, but should be. To deliver Strategic Sustainable Growth, she combines a deep knowledge of business strategy, operations, and market development to help clients become more profitable in less time.
Her clients have ranged from high-tech startups to a $2 Billion public agency that develops Arctic infrastructure. She assesses risks and opportunities and offers options where geographic, logistical, financial, and human capital constraints affect both public and private sectors.
Terri enjoys exploring the intersection of new technologies, economic development, and big infrastructure. Projects have included roads, ports, bridges, rail, telecom, security, brownfields, industrial centers, environmentally-sensitive areas, energy, water, and solid waste. Other areas of practice include emerging trends, governance, and knowledge management.
Ms. Adkisson holds an MBA from UT Austin. She has served on the Board of Directors for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Policy and Planning Committee of the American Public Transportation Association, and the advisory board of Vision North Texas.
Information Security Officer, Associate Director of Infrastructure, Texas A&M University - San Antonio
Brian Anderson is the Information Security Officer and Associate Director of Infrastructure at Texas A&M University – San Antonio. He designs and implements both technological and administrative information security measures to defend a wide variety of information classifications from a vast array of threats.
Prior to joining the Texas A&M System, Brian retired from a 20-year career in the United States Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard. During this time, he was responsible for developing cyber defense tactics and procedures that were implemented Air Force-wide to quickly respond to both foreign and domestic emerging threats. He is also an expert in cyber security test and evaluation techniques, and was called on to consult the Department of Energy and various Department of Defense agencies to guide them in designing effective cyber defense test environments. Brian also designed an innovative data sharing and collaboration mechanism to allow 6 independent cyber test laboratories share resources and data to maximize efficiency and cut operating costs by 30%.
Consulting Partner, Change & Innovation Agency
Bill started his career in public service volunteering at an Air Force Youth Center, but quickly found himself submersed in the world of government improvement initiatives. A survivor of TQM, Zero Defects, and Six Sigma, Bill has dedicated his professional life to helping make elements of these square pegs fit into the round holes that make up the work we do. In 1999, he left the federal government and went to work for the State of Missouri and in his time there worked with some amazing people who saved the state over half a billion dollars in real costs in less than 10 years. Bill was recognized as a GOVERNING Public Official of the Year in 2007, and one of Government Technology's 2008 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers. He also received accolades from the American Business Awards for his innovative approach to IT management. Bill joined the Change and Innovation Agency in 2009 and now works with public servants across the country.
Director of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute
Mark Friedman is the Director of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Senior Fellow with the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington DC and author of the book "Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities." Mark has over 30 years of experience in public administration and public policy, including 6 years as the Chief Financial Officer of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. His Results-Based Accountability™ framework has been used across the US and in countries around the world.
Sheriff, Harris County
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia heads the largest sheriff’s office in Texas and the third-largest in the United States. Sheriff Garcia is a native Houstonian; his five siblings were born in Mexico. He became an officer with the Houston Police Department in 1980. During his 23-year career with HPD, he patrolled neighborhoods, investigated violent crimes and developed community-policing initiatives. In 1994, Houston Mayor Bob Lanier appointed him as the Houston Police Department’s Liaison to the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office. In 1999, Mayor Lee P. Brown promoted him to director of the agency. In 2003, Sheriff Garcia was elected to the Houston City Council and chaired its Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. In 2007, he was appointed to serve as the Mayor Pro-Tempore by Mayor Bill White. Sheriff Garcia was elected sheriff in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, continuing to serve the community based on the guiding principles of hard work, honesty and public service.
Texas State Representative, District 52
State Representative Larry Gonzales represents District 52 in the Texas Legislature, which includes the cities of Round Rock, Hutto, Taylor and parts of Georgetown. He is serving his second term in office, having been first elected in November of 2010. He currently serves on the House Appropriations, Technology, Redistricting, Local & Consent Calendars Committees, and the Sunset Commission. Representative Gonzales is a 17-year resident of Round Rock, where his wife is an assistant principal at McNeil High School and his two children attend public school.
Manager, Workforce Development, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Betty Harvey began her career at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in the Economic Development Department in 2008. She collaborates with businesses and provides resources to navigate the ever-changing workforce landscape.
In an effort to help transition returning veterans to the workforce Betty has worked diligently the last two years developing collaborative partnerships with the Fort Worth Naval Air Base, National Guard and Reserve, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans and other Veteran Organizations. Current initiative centered on the hiring of engineers through a Department of Labor Engineering Grant.
Betty spent twenty years as an educator and administrator in private education. She was the District #12 Law Related Education Representative for the State Bar of Texas.
Betty served as the Director of Circulation and Promotions at Fort Worth, Texas magazine for a four-year period.
She is active in the Fort Worth Rotary and recently contributed to the planning of the Veteran Service Group.
Betty has a B.A. from Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts.
Executive Director, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, an independent government agency created in 2002 to design a modern, regional transportation network for Central Texas. The Mobility Authority's current and future projects are key elements in a carefully planned, multi-modal transportation system designed to meet the diverse mobility needs of this fast-growing region. Mike has been with the Mobility Authority since its inception and has overseen the development of their first project, 183A in Williamson County. 183A is one of the first projects in the country to transition to all-electronic, cashless toll collection.
Before taking the helm at the Mobility Authority, Mike served the citizens of Williamson County for 23 years as a public official. During his years of public service, Mike initiated and helped supervise $1.5 billion in capital improvement projects.
Mike serves as the 2014 President of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) and serves on the advisory Board of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute as well as several other committees and working groups dealing with transportation issues.
Councilmember District 6, City of Forth Worth
First elected to the City Council in June 2005, Jungus Jordan represents District 6 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was re-elected to his fifth term of office on May 14, 2013.
A Fort Worth native who was born at Carswell Air Force Base, and earned a bachelors degree in Economics from TCU, a masters degree in Management from Webster University and a graduate of the Management Executive Program at Cornell University.
Jordan enjoyed a distinguished career in the United States Air Force that included tours of duty in Vietnam, Germany and in force management and personnel for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. He is the recipient of more than 15 medals and commemorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Jordan represents Fort Worth as the president of the Texas Municipal League, the North Central Texas Clean Air Steering Committee, and is the vice chair of Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition, and the former Chair of the North Central Texas Regional Transportation.
Texas State Auditor
John Keel was appointed the Texas State Auditor on December 1, 2004. He directs a professional staff of approximately 200 in conducting financial/compliance audits, economy/efficiency audits, effectiveness audits, and classification projects for 300 state agencies and higher education institutions.
Mr. Keel was appointed Director of the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) in April 1994. As Director, he led the LBB in developing six state budgets and thousands of fiscal impact statements during his decade-long tenure. Mr. Keel’s service in state government began in 1973 at the Texas Water Quality Board as an accountant. He then served two stints at the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts: the first was from 1975 to 1981 in various positions, and the second was as Deputy Comptroller for Bob Bullock in 1990 before moving with Mr. Bullock to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Mr. Keel was an internal auditor and later a budget director for the Office of the Attorney General from 1988 until 1990. From 1981 until 1988, he ran his own private sector tax, accounting, and consulting practice.
The Texas State Agency Business Administrators’ Association named Mr. Keel 2013 Administrator of the Year. In May 2008, Mr. Keel received the Intergovernmental Audit Forum – David M. Walker Excellence in Government Performance and Accountability Award. He later received the 2005 Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship.
Mr. Keel graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Edward’s University, and a Master of Arts in History Degree with a concentration in American History from the American Military University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Government Auditing Professional, and Certified Fraud Examiner.
Director, Healthcare Transformation Waiver Operations, Medicaid CHIP Division, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Ardas Khalsa is the Director of Healthcare Transformation Waiver Operations with the Medicaid CHIP Division at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She began this role in June 2012. The team implements the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program that is part of the Texas Medicaid Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement 1115 Waiver.
Ardas has served in various state-level positions with Texas health and human services for over 10 years, including as the Director of Healthcare Delivery Redesign at the Texas Department of State Health Services.
She also has extensive experience at the local level, including behavioral health systems of care, literacy education, and social services.
Ardas holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and German from Berry College in Georgia and a Masters of Social Work Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mayor, City of Plano
Since moving from New York City to Plano in 1994, Mayor Harry LaRosiliere has been involved in community service. He has volunteered with many non-profit agencies and served on several boards and commissions, followed by two terms as a council member.
In May of 2013, Harry LaRosiliere was elected Mayor of Plano. He was sworn in as Plano’s 39th Mayor and is the first African American to be elected to this office. His area of focus is economic development, revitalization, quality of services and community engagement. His first year in office has been rewarding. Plano has been able to attract businesses like FedEx, loanDepot, USAA, and Toyota to our community, and two initiatives have been launched that inspire and help youth in Plano: the Mayor’s Intern Program and Food 4 Kids Plano, which helps provide weekend nutritional needs.
The Mayor is employed as a financial advisor, and is most proud of his family. He enjoys spending time with wife, Tracy, and their daughters, Brianna and Maya.
Assistant Vice Chancellor-Human Resources, University of Wisconsin
Bob Lavigna is Assistant Vice Chancellor-Human Resources for the U. of Wisconsin. Before that, he was Vice President of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving HR effectiveness in the federal government.
Before he joined the Partnership, Bob was Senior Manager of Consulting for CPS HR Consulting, and Administrator of the state of Wisconsin merit system. Bob began his career in the federal government, by serving with the U.S. Government Accountability Office for 17 years.
Bob’s awards include selection as a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine. He is also an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. His other awards include the highest individual achievement awards from the International Public Management Association for HR and the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Bob has a B.A. in public affairs from George Washington University and an M.S. in HR from Cornell University.
former Texas State Representative
Jerry Madden and his wife Barbara, a retired nurse, have been married 49 years. They are the proud parents of three adult children - Jerry, Stephanie and Kristina - and have six grandchildren. Upon graduation from West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Jerry spent six years in the Army, including one year in Vietnam and two years in Germany, before bringing his family to Richardson, Texas, in 1971.
Madden worked 11 years for Texas Instruments, 8 years for Teledyne Geotech, and in 2000 formed Jerry Madden Insurance to offer group health plan coverage options to small businesses out of his independent agency's Plano offices. In July of 2008, he sold his company and retired from the insurance business. He obtained a Master of Science in Management and Administration Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1979.
Executive Director, Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board
Alan is the Executive Director for the Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board, the governing and leadership body for the Austin/Travis County workforce development area. He has held this position since August of 2007.
Alan has over 35 years of experience in workforce development at the state and local levels. Prior to joining the Capital Area Workforce Board, he served as the Executive Director for the Alamo Workforce Board. Other employment includes Division Director, Workforce Development, Texas Workforce Commission; Executive Director, Business Employment Skills Team (Ottawa, Illinois), and DeKalb County Employment and Training (DeKalb, Illinois).
Alan earned a Bachelor’s degree and Masters in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. He also attended the Executive Development Program through the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
He is past-president of the Texas Association of Workforce Boards Executive Directors Council, and is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council. Alan is currently serving as a member of the Adult Education and Literacy Advisory Committee to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Texas State Representative, District 18
State Representative John Otto is a businessman, community leader and native of Dayton, Texas. He was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November 2004.
During his tenure in the Texas House, John has consistently been a leader on tax and fiscal policy. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Education. He also serves as vice-chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
In 2008, John chaired the House Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform. As a result of the efforts of the committee, he passed a series of reforms designed to improve the property tax system. His work on the property tax system earned him a “Legislative Achievement” award from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association and he was named “One of the Ten Best Legislators in Texas” by Texas Monthly.
Mayor, City of Houston
Mayor Annise D. Parker serves as the Executive Officer of the City of Houston. As the City's chief administrator and official representative, the Mayor is responsible for the general management of the City and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. Administrative duties include the appointments, with Council approval, of department heads and persons serving on advisory boards.
As Executive Officer, the Mayor administers oaths and signs all motions, resolutions and ordinances passed by City Council. The Mayor also serves a legislative function, presiding over City Council with voting privileges. The Mayor is responsible for advising Council of the City's financial condition and presents to Council an annual budget for approval.
Attorney at Law, Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC and former Mayor, City of Nashville
Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in law, public service, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (1999-2007) the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent, and the development and preservation of more than 26,000 affordable housing units. He was elected to his second term as mayor by a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote. Purcell's accomplishments as a civic leader earned him Public Official of the Year honors in 2006 by Governing Magazine. During his tenure Nashville was ranked as the number one city for corporate headquarters and twice ranked as the hottest city in America for expansion and relocation of business.
Chancellor, Texas A&M System
As chancellor, John Sharp serves as chief executive officer of the A&M System under the direction of the Board of Regents. The A&M System is a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center that educates more than 131,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $820 million and help drive the state’s economy.
Senior Advisor, Code Red Texas; former Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, University of Texas and current Special Advisor to the Chancellor
On November 24, 2003, Kenneth I. Shine, MD, joined The University of Texas System as Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. In that capacity he is responsible for the six UT System health initiatives and their aggregate operating budget of almost $8.4 billion. He has led system wide initiations in clinical effectiveness, patient safety, and public health, as well as efforts to transform medical education. He was President of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), from 1992-2002. Under Dr. Shine's leadership, the IOM played an important and visible role in addressing key issues in medicine and healthcare. IOM reports on quality of care and patient safety, heightened national awareness of these issues. Dr. Shine also was the founding Director of the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security. He led the Center’s efforts to make health a central component of U.S. foreign policy and guide the Center’s evolving research agenda. Dr. Shine brought to this new role decades-long experience working with international health experts on global issues such as emerging infectious illnesses, bioethics, and access to care.
Dr. Shine is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine. Before becoming president of the IOM, he was Dean and Provost for Medical Sciences at UCLA.
Council Member, City of Austin
Bill Spelman tries to bridge the gap between theory and practice. In his day job, he is a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where he teaches courses in applied math and statistics, urban policy, and public management. Between 1997 and 2005, he was also executive director of the Texas Institute for Public Problem Solving. Before coming to UT in 1988, he spent seven years with the Police Executive Research Forum, working with local police departments nationwide to develop the concepts of community policing and the epidemiology of crime.
Spelman has won awards for teaching, research, and community service. He has written a half-dozen books and numerous scholarly articles, mostly on police work, prisons, and urban economic development. He holds a B.A. in political science and economics from UCLA, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard.
Spelman served on the Austin City Council between 1997 and 2000, and was reelected in 2009.
President/Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Gary C. Thomas is president/executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and is responsible for a 13-city transit system covering 700-square mile service area with bus, light rail, commuter rail, and paratransit services. Under his leadership DART has doubled its light rail system – twice – to become the nation’s longest at 85 miles. The agency has been recognized for innovation in developing a progressive clean fuels program for its bus fleet, advancing new models for local bus and paratransit service and customer-facing communication technology and service. DART’s commitment to creative problem solving extends to capital project delivery approaches that bolster its record for completing some of the nation’s biggest construction projects on-time and on-budget.
He is a past chair of the American Public Transportation Association and presently is vice chair of RailVolution.
President/CEO, Texas Health Care Association
Kevin Warren is the President/CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. Founded in 1950 and serving as the state’s largest long term care association, THCA membership is comprised of for profit and non-profit entities, including nursing facilities, specialized rehabilitation and assisted living facilities. Prior to his arrival at THCA this past March, Mr. Warren served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries Program with the Texas Veterans Land Board of the General Land Office.
Former Senior Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer for TMF Health Quality Institute, the Texas Quality Improvement Organization, Mr. Warren has a master's degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and is a Certified Professional in Health Care Quality. He serves on the Journal for Healthcare Quality Editorial Board and is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives. He has belonged to several professional organizations including the Texas Association for Healthcare Quality, where he has served as a member of the board. Mr. Warren is a licensed nursing home administrator and serves as a Senior Examiner for the American Health Care Association National Quality Award.
Texas State Senator, District 15
Senator John Whitmire represents the 15th Senatorial District comprised of north Houston and parts of Harris County. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives. With over 30 years of service in the Texas Senate, Senator Whitmire ranks first in seniority and is the "Dean of the Texas Senate."
Senator Whitmire serves as Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and works to bring about needed changes to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. He is also a member of the Senate Administration Committee and the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. In addition, he serves as a member of the Senate Finance Committee where he is committed to finding appropriate solutions for funding the state's many agencies and programs.
Senator Whitmire chairs the School Discipline Consensus Project, a nonpartisan effort led by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which brings together leaders from across the United States to develop strategies to minimize the over-use of suspension and expulsion in public schools, improve students' academic outcomes, reduce the referral to the juvenile justice system, and promote safe and productive learning environments.
In addition to his leadership in criminal justice and public safety, Senator Whitmire is a passionate advocate for quality public education, affordable higher education, minority and women's rights, and access to quality affordable health care and mental health services, and sound business and economic development.
Originally from Hillsboro, Texas, Senator Whitmire moved to Houston where he graduated from Waltrip High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston and attended the Bates College of Law. He was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1981 and is attorney of counsel to the law firm Locke Lord LLP. Senator Whitmire has two daughters, Whitney and Sarah Whitmire.
Interim CEO, Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande
Joyce Wilson recently retired as City Manager after nearly 30 years of city management service; most recently serving 10 years at El Paso's first city manager. Prior to that she worked in Arlington and Richmond, Virginia, and Yuma, AZ. Wilson has been nationally recognized by the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, Texas City Management Association (TCMA), International City Management Association (ICMA), and Association of Public Administration.
She has an undergraduate degree in Business and Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MPA from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is an alumni of the Kellogg Foundation's National Fellowship Program and a fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).
She is active in community organizations focusing on women and children, including the Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Club.
Joyce was recently appointed Interim CEO of the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Board, a public non-profit agency of the Texas Workforce Commission, serving a 6 county region in SW Texas.