Sessions are subject to change.

Thursday, November 17

7:30-8:00 a.m.
Registration and Light Breakfast

8:00-8:45 a.m.
Opening Keynote: 2023 Texas Economic Forecast and What It Means for Cities
Lisa Craven
, Deputy Comptroller and Chief of Staff, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

8:45-9:15 a.m.
Looking Ahead: 2023 Texas Legislative Session
The 88th session of the Texas Legislature begins on January 10, 2023. Learn what issues are likely to be priorities that may impact economic development in Texas cities.
Monty Wynn, Legislative and Grass Roots Director, Texas Municipal League

9:15-10:15 a.m.
Planning for Your City’s Economic Development
In this session, TML legal counsel 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.
Amber McKeon-Mueller,
Legal Counsel, Texas Municipal League

10:15-10:30 a.m.

10:30-11:30 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, processes 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
More Than Just Talk: Timeless Strategies for Attracting and Creating Quality Conversations and Connections

Research has been telling us for years that the quality of our daily interactions and relationships ─ at home, in our communities, and at work ─ really DOES matter.  Not just to our careers and success, but also to our happiness, health, and longevity.  In today’s world, this has never been a more important topic to consider.  Join us as Patti DeNucci, author of two books on the topic of conversation and connection, shares some of her proven philosophies, strategies, and tactics for enjoying more mutually rewarding conversations and connections. 
Patti DeNucci is a highly acclaimed corporate and conference speaker, workshop facilitator, consultant, and award-winning author of two books: The Intentional Networker: Attracting Powerful Relationships, Referrals & Results in  Business and More Than Just Talk: The Essential Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Enjoy Better Conversations

1:10-2:00 p.m. 
Creating Better Economic Opportunities by Expanding Broadband
Texans need reliable, high-speed connectivity for health, safety, education, and agriculture.  Yet according to United States Census Bureau data, almost 2.8 million Texas households and 7 million people lack broadband access statewide. Expanding broadband access will require collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and residents. In this important session, Jennifer Harris will discuss the roadmap for improving connectivity and economic advantage.
Jennifer Harris
, Federal Program Officer for Texas, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

2:00-3:00 p.m.
Aligning Development Policies to Cultivate Vibrant Communities
Creating walkable downtowns and mixed-use neighborhoods to retain and attract residents and businesses is a growing trend in Texas, but delivering this type of development in the current legislative and political environment can be an uphill battle. Land use, zoning, mobility, and housing policies and standards all have to be aligned, and concerns of elected officials and residents that have traditionally been opposed to density, incremental activation projects, and walkable development have to be addressed. This session will cover strategies that can be applied to strategic planning and budgeting, comp plans and zoning codes, economic development, and community engagement to bring people and perspectives together to support appropriately scaled versions of this development in your community.
Kevin Shepherd, P.E., Founder & CEO, Verdunity

3:00-3:15 p.m.

3:15-4:30 p.m.
Putting Taylor on the Map
The City of Taylor has experienced some unprecedented economic development accomplishments over the past year.  Learn about their Strong Towns approach to comprehensive planning and the events that led to Taylor being selected as the location for the multi-billion dollar Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC microchip processing plant. 
Brandt Rydell, Mayor, Brian LaBorde, City Manager, and Tom Yantis, Assistant City Manager and Director of Development Services, City of Taylor

Friday, November 18

7:30-8:00 a.m.
Light Breakfast

8:00-8:50 a.m.
The Future of Texas: Securing Economic Prosperity
A.J. Rodriguez, executive vice president of Texas 2036, will discuss the biggest trends facing our state and how Texas compares to other states across critical business-related performance indicators. With nearly 10 million more Texans living here by 2036, we need to ensure our people have the skills that employers seek; our health care, water, energy and digital infrastructure can support a thriving modern economy; and there is strong public confidence in our justice and safety systems. Learn how state leaders can leverage the unprecedented budget surplus and available federal funds during the upcoming legislative session and bring Texans together behind a plan that will ensure our cities and state are the best place to live and work for generations to come.
AJ Rodriguez, Executive Vice President, Texas 2036

Texas 2036 is a non-partisan, non-profit organization building long-term, data-driven strategies to secure Texas’ prosperity through our state’s bicentennial and beyond.

9:00-10:15 a.m.
The Future of Retail and What Goes into New Location Decisions
Join Aaron Farmer from The Retail Coach as he looks at what’s on tap for the retail industry in 2023. From store format changes, to new, emerging brands entering the market, this presentation will examine what city leaders need to know to be successful in developing a strong retail recruitment strategy. This session will also look at what retail site selectors look for in a community/site when making location decisions, and what you can be doing to help build a stronger retail base in your community. 
Aaron Farmer
, President, The Retail Coach

10:15-10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
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