Thursday, November 11

Sessions are subject to change.

7:45-8:30 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30-8:45 a.m.
Welcome and Overview
Bill Longley, General Counsel, Texas Municipal League

8:45-9:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote: 2022 Texas Economic Forecast and What It Means for Cities
Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Planning for Your City’s Economic Development
In this session, TML Legal Counsel Tad Cleaves will provide an overview of the basic legal requirements relating to the economic development tools that are available to Texas cities, and how those tools may be used to strengthen local economies.
Tad Cleaves, Legal Counsel, Texas Municipal League

10:30-10:45 a.m.

10:45-11:30 a.m.
Type A and Type B Economic Development Corporations and City Councils
A discussion of Type A and Type B economic development corporations, permissible expenditures and the relationship between city councils and the corporations.   This will include a discussion of permissible projects, process and procedures of EDCs, general authority EDCs, and the legal and practical relationship between EDCs and city councils.
Charles E. Zech, Partner, Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal & Zech, P.C.

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Luncheon and Keynote Speaker
Placemaking for Community Change

It gets a lot of hype, but what exactly is placemaking? And what can it do for your city? Melody Warnick, author of This Is Where You Belong and the forthcoming If You Could Live Anywhere, sifts through the jargon to get to the heart of how placemaking can boost talent attraction, promote economic growth, and help people connect with their community. Using stories and examples from around the country, she’ll offer some simple strategies for integrating placemaking tactics into a town of any size.
Melody Warnick
, Journalist and Author

1:00-1:45 a.m.
Chapter 380 Economic Development Agreements, the Right Stuff?
Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code authorizes both home-rule and general law municipalities to provide incentives consisting of loans and grants of city funds, use of city personnel, facilities, and services for economic development. In this session, we will discuss the legislative intent behind the adoption of the statute, establishment of programs to incentivize economic development, drafting 380 agreements, and creative ways to use 380 agreements for economic development projects.
Christopher L. Nichols, Managing Attorney, The Nichols Firm, LLC

1:50-3:00 p.m.
Finding Fate: A Downtown Revitalization Effort
Once home to a train depot, a rural post office, several businesses, and a small number of original homesteads, downtown Fate was the heartbeat of the community. Sadly, after many years of neglect, the streets declined, overhead power lines sagged, and the few remaining businesses slowly departed as there just wasn’t enough support for them to survive.  Over the last decade the City added thousands of new residents, many seeking to connect with the place they call home. In response to this massive growth in population, the community adopted a new comprehensive plan in 2015 which included high aspirations for establishing a downtown area. With a renewed energy and an eye to the future, the community was faced with a difficult decision: based on the limited resources available, should they mothball the old downtown and move to a new area closer to the highway? Or, should they embrace their history and rebuild where it all started?

They chose the latter and, in just a few short years, downtown Fate has experienced a resurgence of activity with upgraded streetscape, landscape, underground utilities, new mixed-use buildings, full-service sit down restaurants, dedicated parking for food trucks, an expanded public park, and more!

In this presentation you’ll learn about Fate’s Downtown revitalization efforts from concept to completion and walk away equipped with skills to: make the financial case for downtown, build consensus, acquire funding, attract and recruit businesses, and manage gnarly projects.
Michael Kovacs, City Manager, and Justin Weiss, Assistant City Manager, City of Fate

3:00-3:15 p.m.

3:15-4:15 p.m.
Economic Development in Texas: Big Trends Shaping the Future
The pandemic has sharpened the impact of changes that already were occurring in the economic development landscape of Texas, as market trends, community needs/desires, shifting patterns within industries, and political pressures are altering Texas competitive position overall and the role of local government in economic development.  Jon Hockenyos of TXP will offer a translation of all of these factors into expected outcomes and possible path(s) forward.
Jon Hockenyos, President, TXP

Friday, November 12

7:15-8:00 a.m.
Coffee and Breakfast Tacos

7:45-8:45 a.m.
Speed Networking
Think of this as speed dating with a twist!  In this session, you will connect with everyone you meet because you all share common interests. Here’s how it works: join a roundtable (organized by topic), trade business cards, give a one minute table presentation about a key issue your city is facing, then discuss possible solutions at your table until the bell rings and it’s time to move to another table. It’s a fun and effective way to network with other city leaders who are dealing with similar economic development issues.

9:00-10:15 a.m.
What’s Next for Retail?
Join us as we examine what’s next for the retail industry in Texas. Due to Covid-19 and other factors, the retail industry is changing faster than ever. Our session will explore new trends in retail and what municipal leaders can do to help foster a strong retail environment in their community. 

This session will also take a deep dive into what retailers and developers look for in a community when they are making site selection decisions. 
Aaron Farmer
, President, The Retail Coach

10:15-10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.-Noon
Economic Development and Tourism 
Scott Joslove, President and CEO of the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association and former chief of municipal affairs for the Texas Attorney General, is considered the statewide expert on the allowable uses of local hotel tax by cities.  Scott will discuss how cities can legally use hotel tax and create Tourism Public Improvement Districts to promote tourism and strategically grow your local property tax, sales tax, and other city revenues.
Scott Joslove, President and CEO, Texas Hotel & Lodging Association