Conference Schedule

Schedule and speakers are subject to change. All events are at the hotel unless noted otherwise.

Wednesday, June 7

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

8:30-11:30 a.m.
Preconference Session 1 – Canva Brandcamp (Additional fee of $40)
As communicators, we’re always looking for ways to be more efficient. Whether you have a large or small staff, Canva continues to be a growing platform for making quick flyers, presentations, social media posts, logos, and even videos.

Even if you aren’t a skilled graphic designer, the templates make it easy to create and post professional material to your community. There are many tools that maximize your finished product, while cutting down on the production time and cost to your taxpaying citizens that even regular users of Canva may miss. Did you also know that Canva continues to add features from other separate online programs? So, instead of having several accounts, and spending money on several other online programs, you may just be able to use Canva for all of your online production work. Create a free Canva account beforehand (or have your current login information with you), bring your laptops and join us for this three hour preconference session as we dive into the enhanced features of Canva, and offer for some hands-on-experience in using this growing and popular platform!
Moderator: Jarrod Wise, CPC, Communications Director, City of Lakeway
Speaker: Anndrea Harris, Social Media & Marketing Specialist, City of Wichita Falls

9:30-11:00 a.m.
Preconference Session 2 – Tour of AT&T Stadium (Additional fee of $40)
In this guided tour, you will get a behind the scenes look at the stadium that hosts the Cowboys’ football games and other big events.  Some of the places you’ll get to see is the cheerleaders and players dressing rooms and Jerry Jones’ private box.  For TAMIO, we’re adding in the traffic control room with an explanation of how they keep the streets flowing the security control room.  The tour finishes with a photo of the group.  You’ll meet at the TAMIO registration at 9:00 a.m. and then walk to the stadium for this 1 ½ hour tour.

1:00-1:15 p.m.
Welcome – Jay Warren, CPC, Director of Communication & Legislative Affairs, City of Arlington | TAMIO President and Jim Ross, Mayor, City of Arlington

1:15-2:30 p.m.
Opening Keynote – Only Solve Problems That Matter
When you rise above the perspective of your tasks, your job, or even your department, and learn how to take a systems-level view, you quickly start to see a few, game-changing distinctions: 1) we could easily get overwhelmed if we try and tackle everything; and 2) solving some problems would have a systemic, organization-wide impact, while solving others might not even make a blip—the system wouldn’t know. The solution is to know where and how to focus. In this speech, we step our way into this unique perspective.  
Speaker: Kristen Cox, Founder & CEO, Epiphany Associates, LLC
Sponsor: Cooksey Communications

Concurrent Sessions

2:45-3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Session – Only Solve Problems That Matter – A Deeper Dive
If you’d like to do a deeper dive into more of the details and tools around how you can start to incorporate this new system-level thinking into your day-to-day work operating system, you will not want to miss Kristen’s follow-up session.  
Speaker: Kristen Cox, Founder & CEO, Epiphany Associates, LLC

Talking to Ourselves: Refocusing on Internal Communications
When you think of internal communications, what comes to mind? Branded swag? Teambuilding? Catchy taglines? Join us to explore where several Texas cities are in the journey of evolution, what they’re learning along the way, and where they plan to head in the future. Expect to walk away from this session with ideas you can apply right away – no matter the team or city size, answers to questions related to internal communications, and a handout with helpful tips to solve some common obstacles.
Moderator: Joshua Lee, Director of Communications, City of Pearland
Panelists: Shannah Hayley, CPSM, Director of Communications & Community Outreach, City of Plano and Frances La Rue, Communications Manager, City of Anna, Brent Taylor, Chief Communications Officer, Houston Office of Emergency Management

PIO 101
Whether you’re new to the profession or just new to your community and trying to figure out where to start, this one’s for you! Part of our organization’s ongoing Small Shop series, this session will offer insights into assessing your communication landscape, creating a strategic plan, managing social media, video and graphic design as a small team (or solo), building a support network, and finding your voice. 
Moderator: Rachel Reynolds, CPC, Communications & Public Engagement Manager, City of Keller
Panelists: Anndrea Harris, Social Media & Marketing Specialist, City of Wichita Falls; Victor Reta, Director of Communication & Historic Preservation, City of Socorro; and Chris Shadrock, Communications Director, City of Boerne

3:45-4:15 p.m.
Networking Break with Sponsors
Sponsor: Castus

Concurrent Sessions

4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
How to Win Followers and Influence People: Creating Engaging Short-Form Videos
Is your creativity running low when it comes to creating short form videos for your organization? Learn practical tips and tricks to maximize impact with concise storytelling, engaging visuals, and strategic distribution across social media platforms.
Moderator: Molly Fox, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Bedford
Panelists: Meredith Haynes, Digital Communications Manager, City of McKinney and Rell Rugely, Public Information Specialist, City of Round Rock

We’re hiring!  Now what?
Hiring is one of the most important processes for any business; hire well, and you’ll have a great team behind you.  But hire poorly and you’ll waste time, resources, and productivity. Gone are the days of simply posting a job listing and interviewing applicants. In today’s market, successful hiring requires thoughtful recruitment strategies coupled with a positive company culture and out-of-this-world benefits. Join this session and hear what some cities are doing to recruit new staff and create a brand and culture that attracts the best talent, even before the job opening hits the website.
Moderator: Linda Klepper, Director of Public Affairs, City of Schertz
Panelists: Anna Sabana, Strategic Communications Consultant, City of Austin and Rachel Reynolds, CPC, Communications & Public Engagement Manager, City of Keller
Anna Sabana’s presentation

Hot off the Presses: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence in Communications
The evolution of Chat GPT and other recently created AI products including image generators and voice altering software are changing the game in many sectors, including for communicators. We’ll dive into how you can use some of these features on various platforms to improve efficiency, cautionary notes on what you should also watch out for and what the future could hold for communicators as this technology continues to evolve.
Moderator: Jarrod Wise, CPC, Communications Director, City of Lakeway
Panelists: Aaron Hutton, Solutions Architect, City of Plano; Tate Noster, Head of Government Services, KUNGFU.AI; and Richard Yeakley, Public Information Officer, City of Longview

6:00-6:15 p.m.
Meet up to walk to Globe Life Field
Meet in front of TAMIO’s ballrooms on the 2nd floor and then we’ll walk as a group to Globe Life Field and TAMIO’s private sky box.

6:30-9:30 p.m.
Dinner and Ranger Baseball Game at Globe Life Field
Instead of Restaurant Romp this year, we are walking from the hotel to Globe Life Field for dinner and a night of baseball. We have our own private section so we can sit together and enjoy a private buffet of hamburgers and hotdogs. No more shuttles or restaurants that lose our reservations (or won’t give us one to begin with)! There is an additional fee of $50 and that covers your dinner and the game.
Ticket sponsor: 3CMA
Dinner sponsor: Nelco Media, Inc.

9:00-10:00 p.m.
TAMIO After Hours
Maybe you’re not into baseball. Maybe the game is over. Maybe you have lost interest in the game. Then grab a drink at hotel bar and join us in the adjoining room – The Overlook – for more networking and a fast game of trivia.

Thursday, June 8

7:30-4:30 a.m.

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Breakfast and Legislative Update
Speaker: Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League

9:00-10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote – Building Inclusive Public Organizations: Moving Beyond Diversity
Creating an inclusive workplace culture goes beyond building a diverse organizational culture. It involves eliminating unconscious bias and fostering a sense of inclusion among employees, regardless of their backgrounds. In an inclusive organization, employees feel accepted and can be their authentic selves at work. However, many organizations face obstacles in achieving inclusivity. This keynote will explore the concept of inclusivity in the workplace and discuss the challenges that prevent organizations from creating an inclusive culture. This talk will provide a platform to explore practical strategies for building inclusive work environments.
Speaker: Dr. Meghna Sabharwal, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas
Sponsor: FlashVote

10:00-10:45 a.m.
Networking Break with Sponsors
Sponsor: Granite Sky Creative Group, Inc.

Concurrent Sessions

10:45-11:45 a.m.
Breaking Down Barriers: The Critical Role of Accessibility in Communication
Accessibility – it’s the right thing to do AND it’s the law. Join journalist Liz Campbell and accessibility consultant Donna Mack for this value-packed breakout session where you’ll learn the three most helpful features to include on your website, the five most common website accessibility barriers and how to fix them, along with your No. 1 accessibility defense against litigation.
Moderator: Molly Fox, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Bedford
Panelists: Elizabeth Campbell, Reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Donna Mack, M. Ed., Speaker & Consultant, Disability Diplomat
Presentation and Resources Handout

How to Keep Your Organization Brand Working for You Year-After-Year
This session is geared to assist organizations on how best to capitalize on their brand three-five years after its launch. The session will cover such topics as brand sustainability, brand use to create community partnerships, the brand and crisis management, brand authenticity for your organization, and best brand uses for community events and promotional items.
Moderator: Melinda Brown, CPM, Communications and Main Street Manager, City of Plainview
Panelists: DeAnna Phillips, Community Services Director, City of Burleson; Jeff Miraglia, Executive Creative Director, JSN Next Creative & Media Hub; Mary Rosenbleeth, Director of Public Communications, Town of Addison; and Mike Secrest, Digital Media Editor, City of Arlington

Staying Alive…Take Time Off
Do you dream of taking a break but can’t fathom how it would be possible to step away from your job without everything falling apart in your absence? Whether you’re a one-person shop or have a large team, signing off can feel impossible, but it doesn’t have to. In this session, learn how to prepare to step away from your devices for a day, a week or even three months. You’ll also walk away with sample calendars and worksheets. Your organization will thank you for being prepared, and you’ll thank yourself. You deserve this.
Moderator: LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook
Speaker: Frances La Rue, Communications Manager, City of Anna

12:00-1:15 p.m.
Lunch and Business Meeting

1:15-2:15 p.m.
Lunch Keynote – Be an Inspired Leader
In this high-energy, interactive presentation, Dr. Joe Serio provides a thought-provoking perspective, driving home the secret of impactful, influential, and inspiring leadership.
Speaker: Joe Serio, Ph.D., President, Government Leadership Training
Sponsor: Citibot

Concurrent Sessions

2:30-3:30 p.m.
Positive Interaction with Difficult People
You interact with difficult people all the time. Sometimes it’s an impatient citizen. It can often be your colleagues or managers. You need proven tools and techniques for handling difficult people: understanding where they’re coming from and giving the right response at the right time and in the right way. This session provides powerful insight and easy-to-use strategies for dealing with difficult people.
Speaker: Joe Serio, Ph.D., President, Government Leadership Training

Vertical Video: There’s a New Star in Town
With vertical video taking over social media, how do we make the shift from horizontal video and work with both styles in a seamless way. For this session our panel will be discussing their workflow for vertical video from the pre-production planning stages to posting. What are you looking for during the production as you shoot your stories and what tools and equipment are you using? With many cities producing a lengthy bond or budget video, how will you break this down to a one-minute Instagram Reel? What are your shooting techniques and consideration of graphics as you are completing the horizontal video? These questions and more will be answered by our panel, followed by an open discussion on what you are doing in your shop.
Moderator: Mike Secrest,
Digital Media Editor, City of Arlington
Panelists: Austin Ellington,
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, City of Round Rock and Brian Ligon, CPC, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Mount Belvieu

Building Your Career
Have you ever wondered how to get a promotion? Maybe thought about City Management or moving to a different department? Wondered how to advocate for yourself and obtain a tile change? Or maybe you would like to move to a different city? We have put together a rock star panel who have been in your seat. Join us for a discussion on building your career.
Moderator: LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook
Panelists: Will Hampton, Senior Vice President, Strategic Government Resources; Marshal McIntosh, CPC, Deputy City Manager, City of Brownwood; and Terri Toledo, CPC, Director of Management Services, City of Pflugerville

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Networking Break with Sponsors
Sponsor: Social Pinpoint

Concurrent Sessions

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Communicating Through the Storm
When an emergency occurs, the need to get information out to the community is immediate. In recent years, our panel of crisis experts have communicated through a city facility fire, cyber-attack, boil water notice, and fallen police officer in the line of duty. Join our panelists as we discuss what resources and strategies helped navigate them through the storm, lessons learned, and tips for improving communications moving forward.
Moderator: Abby Aldrich, CPC, Content Manager, City of Bedford
Panelists: Karisa Danley, Manager of Communications & Marketing, City of Midland; Kelli Lewis, Marketing Director, City of Carrollton; Xochitl Mora, Director of Communications, City of McAllen; and Greg Sowell, MBA, CPC, Director of Communications and Engagement, City of Richardson

The Pulse of Website Design / Redesign
Web design continues to evolve, with new best practices and a transition beginning to emerge with City’s hosting their own sites again – just like in the early days. Hear from peers representing small, medium, and large cities across the state on how they approach design, manage content, create tools for engagement, and determine if a CMS or WordPress host is the way to go. If you’re a city communicator who doesn’t know what CMS means, then this session is for you.
Moderator: Isaac Vasquez, Communications Manager, City of Irving
Panelists: CoCo Good, Communications and Marketing Director, City of McKinney; Todd Rice, Communications Manager, Town of Prosper; and Ken Smith, Web Communications Specialist, City of Bryan
CoCo Good’s Presentation and Todd Rice’s Presentation and Ken Smith’s Presentation

Auditing your audit: what a communication audit will get you and why you should be conducting one.
The development of an effective communication plan begins with a communication audit. Insights gained from this comprehensive review of your organization’s communication efforts will identify what is working and help you identify potential opportunities for efficiency and improvement in the future. Former PIOs turned consultants will share their expertise on the audit process; how to conduct an audit either internally by staff or externally by consultants and the kinds of valuable information gleaned from the effort. Municipal communication professionals will also discuss what their audit revealed and how they used the results to make information improvements for their communities.
Moderator: Belinda Willis, CPC, Strategic Communications Consultant, DFW Strategic Communications
Speakers: Betsy Deck, Strategic Communications Consultant, DFW Strategic Communications and Kara McKinney, Public Information Officer, City of Hurst.

6:00-7:00 p.m.
TAMI Awards Happy Hour
Before the fabulous dinner and awards, join us for a short happy hour near the ballroom.  Enjoy two drink tickets compliments of our sponsor.
Sponsor: CivicPlus

7:00-9:00 p.m.
TAMI Awards Banquet
This is TAMIO’s premier event where the winners of the 2023 TAMI Awards are announced. It has been a record year with over 500 entries. Don’t miss seeing who the winners are!

Friday, June 9

7:30-10:00 a.m.

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Breakfast and TAMIO Family Feud

9:00-10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote – A Conversation with Ms. Opal Lee
Description TBA
Moderator: Jay Warren, CPC, Director of Communication & Legislative Affairs, City of Arlington | TAMIO President
Speaker: Ms. Opal Lee
Sponsor: GHD Digital

10:10-11:15 a.m.
Closing Keynote – Leadership and Listening: Exploring the Partnership between City Managers and Public Information Officers
While many professionals in the public sector can agree philosophically that listening is important to authentic community engagement, the strategic implementation of listening systems is not as consistent. Using preliminary research on the perceptions of listening and its importance from city managers and public information officers in the state of Texas, Dr. English shares practical strategies and examples for creating systems for listening that build trust and relationships with residents and other relevant stakeholders. This keynote session aims to inspire city leadership to collaborate with communicators in ways that use listening to transform communities.
Speaker: Dr. Ashley English, Assistant Professor, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University
Sponsor: Slate Communications