2022 Conference Agenda


Content is subject to change


Wednesday, June 8

8:00 AM–5:00 PM


8:30–11:30 AM

Preconference Session – Predictive Media Training with Russ Rhea

Media Trainer Russ Rhea will share a statistically-based media training model that helps spokespeople better anticipate questions and craft messages. Russ’ company commissioned extensive research on hundreds of media interviews to develop a message preparation model based on the common question types reporters ask. Attendees will leave the session with some new tools to stay in control and on message in media appearances. Those attending this presentation will learn a process to simplify and condense messages to better prepare their city’s spokespeople for media interviews and speaking appearances. This presentation will include live demonstrations featuring a handful of volunteers.  This session is limited to 50 people.


Russ RheaAnchor and Training Director, Predictive Media Network


Preconference Session – How to Nurture and Protect Your City’s Credibility

Governments across the board are facing a crisis of credibility. Large numbers of citizens do not believe the information coming from what were once a trusted source: us! In fact, many folks now believe that if the government says it, that’s reason enough to not trust it. While this cynical attitude is more pervasive at the federal and state levels, it is infecting local government, too. In this session you’ll learn what it takes to establish, maintain and build trust with your community. It’s not easy and requires political courage, but it is oh so worth it! Expect to be engaged in this session! Bring examples of difficult or controversial issues your community is dealing with. We’ll work through some questions you should be asking yourself that will prove helpful in developing effective, honest messaging.


Will Hampton, Senior Vice President, SGR

1:15–1:30 PM


TAMIO President Jay Warren and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, City of Houston

1:30–2:30 PM

Opening Keynote – Launching into Thin Air: Debuting a New Airline in the Midst of Chaos

Breeze, the newest and fastest growing low-cost carrier in the U.S., launched service in May 2021 – right in the middle of a global pandemic.

With zero brand awareness and a one-week window between sales launch and first flights, Breeze had to move at warp speed to connect to — and build trust with — audiences in its initial network of 16 cities. Hear from Breeze’s Vice President of Marketing, Angela Vargo, on how the start-up devised an “easy breezy” messaging strategy to cut through the clutter and create major brand awareness in order to fill flights and set the stage for future growth.


Angela Vargo, Vice President of Marketing, Breeze Airways

Sponsored by Citibot, LLC


Concurrent Sessions

2:45–3:45 PM

Mental Health – Tips and Tricks for Public Servants

Come in, relax, and listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean while Pearland Police Officer Health and Wellness Coordinator Dr. Zenaida Davis-Woods provides valuable insights to maintain your sanity as a public servant. Besides being a police officer, Officer “Z” is a licensed professional counselor with a Doctorate in Counseling. In her current role with the Police Department, she works with officers and office staff as an on-site therapist to help employees recognize when they need help and to improve the awareness of the importance of mental health care. Come listen to her speak about her observations and recommendations for all public servants.


Dr. Zenaida Davis-Woods, Ed.D, LPC, CCTSI, Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator, City of Pearland Police Department


City-Wide Editorial Planning: How to get Your Entire Organization on the Same Page

Whether you are part of a team or a one man shop, Communications professionals live in the trenches. Common complaints are that we do not have enough time, resources or stakeholder buy-in within our organizations to effectively manage the volume of communication & marketing work required. Too often, we react to these narratives rather than taking control of them, burning the candle at both ends rather than using these realities to lay the foundation for a much needed culture shift.

This session is about empowerment. We’ll look at how to create sustainable processes that support organization-wide editorial planning and streamline content production; and how to lobby internally for implementation. We’ll teach you how to identify and cultivate content creators outside of your department to support you and your team. Finally, we’ll teach you how to operationalize your plan using Microsoft TEAMS or similar collaborative software to develop action items, assign work across departments and demonstrate ROI on activities.


Julie Goodgame, Director of Marketing & Communications, City of Tyler
Presentation   Note: the City of Tyler uses TEAMS however Julie said to base it on the makeup of your team, the complexity of your plan(s), and software tools available to you.


Accessible Public Communications

As government communicators, we work hard to make sure our messaging reaches everyone in our community effectively. How do we make sure our communications are accessible to those with visual, hearing, or other challenges? This session will provide important information about how to make sure our social media and website content is accessible.


Dorothy White, CPC, Public and Media Relations Director, City of Garland


Nick Arcos, Senior Communications Specialist, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City of Houston and Kenneth W. Smith Jr., CGDSP, Web Communications Specialist, City of Bryan
Nick Arcos’ Presentation     Ken Smith’s Presentation

3:45–4:15 PM

Networking Break with Sponsors

Sponsored by Cablecast Community Media


Concurrent Sessions

4:20–5:20 PM

How to Find Communication Clarity in the Middle of the Culture Conflict

Book bans. Gay pride backlash. Public policy battles. Cities are on the front lines of today’s culture war and the battle for dominance over values, beliefs and practices. How do you clearly communicate even the most basic of messaging when your community is at war over just about everything? Hear from government professionals who are navigating these tense situations on how they are coping and continuing to serve their residents.


Belinda Willis, CPC, Strategic Communications Consultant/Content Specialist, DFW Strategic Communications


Mary Benton, Director of Communications, Office of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston; Jennifer Brown,  Manager of Public Information, Department of Communications, Outreach and Marketing, City of Dallas and Teresa Potter, City Librarian, City of League City


Engaging Your Communities on Facebook

Your opportunity to build an online community through Facebook has never been stronger. Come learn about some of the latest tools, tips, and best practices that can help foster community through conversation, curation, and creating seamless experiences. Whether you’re already using Facebook or considering it, you’ll leave this session with insights on how your agency can interact with your community, using Messenger, going Live, engaging with other Pages, exploring Groups, and more.


Carlin Daharsh, U.S. Politics and Government Outreach Team, Facebook


Internal Communications Practices and How It Can Be Used To Enhance Your Strategic Messaging

Employees can be some of your best ambassadors for programs, projects and services. Serving on this panel discussion is last year’s TAMI Award Winner for Internal Communications from McKinney, an HR specialist from Nassau Bay who has some tools of the trade, and the City of Corinth’s communications and marketing manager who will talk strategy for implementing a robust internal communications program.


Greg Sowell, MBA CPC, Communications Director, City of Richardson


Emily Beck, CPC, Communications and Marketing Manager, City of Corinth; CoCo Good, Communications and Marketing Director, City of McKinney; and Chani M. Honeycutt, aPHR, CPC, Human Resources and Special Events Manager, City of Nassau Bay

5:30–6:30 PM

Meet-Up Reception

Enjoy a complimentary drink from our sponsor and find your restaurant group.  At 6:30 p.m., the groups will walk to their restaurants.

Drink ticket sponsored by Digital Resources

7:00–9:30 PM

Restaurant Romp

Restaurant Romp is our popular dinner, networking event.  We will setup up 6-10 restaurants that you will sign up for a few weeks before the conference.  Everyone pays for their own dinner.  Our plan is to have all of the restaurants within walking distance so bring your walking shoes!

Thursday, June 9

7:30 AM–4:30 PM


8:00–9:00 AM

Breakfast and Welcome

9:00–10:00 AM

Morning Keynote – Out of This World Social Media

At our cities, we have our ups and downs with social media – trying to make it work to better inform our residents.  But what if you are one of the most recognized departments in the federal government?  Join us for this panel discussion with some of NASA’s social media team as they tell you their challenges, successes, tips, and more.



LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook and Jay Warren, CPC, Director of Communication & Legislative Affairs, City of Arlington


Chelsey Ballarte, Social Media Team Leader, Johnson Space Center Houston; Deepthi Cauligi, Communications Strategist, Johnson Space Center Houston; and Mohi Kumar, Communications Team Leader, Johnson Space Center Houston


Sponsored by Nelco Media, Inc.

10:00–10:45 AM

Networking Break with Sponsors

Sponsored by RUSHWORKS


Concurrent Sessions

10:45–11:45 AM

There is an “I” in City

Communications professionals spend their careers making others look good in the spotlight. It’s time to step out of the shadows and distinguish yourself as the brand behind the city’s brand.  Hilary Shine, a twenty-year veteran communicator shares insights on how to highlight your personal value and position yourself for professional growth.


Hilary Shine, Senior Vice President, SGR


Beyond Facebook – How to Create Quick and Effective Vertical Videos for Instagram and Tik Tok

Social media is continually changing the way that we communicate with our residents and the most successful content creators are delivering content consistently through multiple social media channels. It should come as no surprise that video content is far more likely to engage your audience, so the question is – are you keeping up with vertical videos across social media? Join this visually talented group for some tips and how-tos on keeping up with the latest and greatest in social media video.


Linda Klepper, Director of Public Affairs, City of Schertz


Meredith Haynes, Senior Communications & Media Specialist, City of McKinney; Rell Rugely, Communications Specialist, City of Round Rock; Glissette Santana, Content Strategist, City of Sugar Land; and Abigail Yaney, Communications Specialist, City of Plano
Meredith Haynes Presentation    Rell Rugely Presentation     Glissette Santana Presentation     Abigail Yaney Presentation


How to Communicate Like a Newsroom

Government public affairs teams can incorporate media tactics into their strategies to effectively educate, engage, and empower residents through their messaging. In this session, municipalities will learn how professional newsrooms optimize their messaging online, foster a loyal audience, and translate complicated topics into formats that resonate with readers. Jessica draws from her experience as a reporter, editor, and digital strategist to give participants a crash course in topics ranging from storytelling techniques, data analysis, social media strategy, newsletter campaigns, SEO and more.


Jessica Young, Public Affairs Strategist, City of Sugar Land


Small Shops Track: PIO 101

Whether you are establishing a communications department from scratch, trying to grow your bandwidth, or are simply new to the job or your community, the PIO role is a lot to take on! Learn how to assess your community’s communication needs, build relationships with department heads and politicians, gather and organize your assets, streamline your processes, and develop a strategic plan to move forward.


Rachel Reynolds, CPC, Public Information Officer, City of Keller


Kristin EdwardsDirector of Communications and Tourism, City of Nassau Bay; Rosealee Hoffman, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Willow Park; and Joshua Lee, Director of Communications, City of Pearland

Noon–12:45 PM

Lunch and Business Meeting

12:45–2:00 PM

Film Fest

Sit back and enjoy the best videos created by you and your peers in this favorite, annual TAMIO session.


Molly Fox, CPCDirector of Communications, City of Bedford

Sponsored by Cooksey Communications

Concurrent Sessions

2:15–3:15 PM

Marketing and Communications – Different Approaches to Being Successful in Government Communications

In this session you will hear from Executive Director of Marketing Kathleen Clark from the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business and Public Information Specialist Nicholas Olivier for the City of Round Rock Police Department about the differences between approaching communications from a marketing background versus a journalism background. You will learn tips and tricks that will enhance your communication skills and help you find a style that works. The session will also include a Q&A with the panelists.


Joshua Lee, Director of Communications, City of Pearland


Kathleen Harrington Clark, Executive Director of Marketing, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business and Nick Olivier, Public Information Specialist, City of Round Rock Police Department


Crisis Communications: What to Focus on During an Out-of-the-Box Incident

Whether it be an infrequent weather phenomena, an industrial spill with unknown chemicals, or an active shooter incident, your team must be prepared to handle any type of crisis. Join our panel of communicators who will discuss their strategies during these types of incidents and tips on how to plan ahead for the next unexpected crisis.


LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook


TJ Aulds, President, Aulds Media Holdings, LLC; Sara Bustilloz, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Round Rock; and Kristin Edwards, Director of Communications & Tourism, City of Nassau Bay



Creatively Communicating Your Run-of-the-Mill, Routine Topics, and Events

Looking for fun and fresh new ways of delivering the same ol’ information to your audience? It might be the annual report that management asks for every year or maybe it’s getting the word out about a new city ordinance, either way you don’t want to miss this session. Join this engaging and creative panel for some lively discussion as they share some new ideas on how you can make everyday topics and events exciting for your residents!


Linda Klepper, Director of Public Affairs, City of Shertz


Brian Ligon, CPC, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Mont Belvieu; Jenna Vinson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement, City of New Braunfels; and Dorothy White, CPC, Public and Media Relations Director, City of Garland
Brian Ligon Presentation      Jenna Vinson Presentation     Dorothy White Presentation


Small Shop Track – Social Media Management

How do you effectively manage your social media accounts and engage with your online community when you have a to-do list a mile long? This session is focused on establishing a social media policy, creating and managing a content calendar, deciding which platforms to tackle, wrangling errant accounts, moderating comments, and managing your trolls – all as a small shop.


Rachel Reynolds, CPC, Public Information Officer, City of Keller


Abby Aldrich, Content Manager, City of Bedford and Amber Patterson, Marketing and Public Communications Specialist, Town of Addison


3:15–3:45 PM

Networking Break with Sponsors

Sponsored by 3CMA


Concurrent Sessions

3:45–4:45 PM

All Things PEG

The City of Houston manages one of the largest PEG budgets across the nation and has a state-of-the-art studio right here in downtown Houston. This session will highlight some of the fun tools and programs Houston uses to create captivating programing for not only PEG stations but also for social media.


LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook


Gabriela Finney, Administrative Associate, Production, City of Houston; Ted Irving, Director of Houston Television, City of Houston; and Keith Jackson, Senior Communications Technician-Producer, Internal Clients, City of Houston


Everything You Need to Know About Your TMRS Retirement Benefit

In this session, you will learn everything you need to know about your Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) retirement benefit. Michelle will moderate an interactive discussion about how the TMRS retirement plan works and what benefit options are available to you when you retire.    This session will be helpful to you whether you’re just starting out and learning about the retirement system, or are nearing retirement.


Michelle Mellon-Werch, Director of Communications, TMRS


Build a Better Community-Online

Connecting with citizens online has never been more important, and today there are a wide variety of ways for cities to do this, including social media platforms, websites, and custom  online engagement tools. An online community allows your community to get involved where and when they choose. Through the experience of TAMIO peers with strong online communities, this interactive session will help you understand how to get started, considerations and challenges you’ll face, and best practices for building a thriving engaging online environment.


Shannah Hayley, CPC, Director of Communications and Community Outreach, City of Plano


Mari Cockrell, Communications Director, City of Abilene; Richard Yeakley, Public Information Officer, City of Longview; and Jessica Young, Public Affairs Strategist, City of Sugar Land


Small Shop Track – Graphic Design and Video Hacks

A small staff and tight budget do not have to keep you from creating rich content! Learn about the software, devices, image and music libraries, and more that can help you produce quality graphics and videos quickly and easily as well as options for inexpensive (and free) training to hone your skills.


Rachel Reynolds, CPC, Public Information Officer, City of Keller


Collin Gregory, Video Production Specialist, City of Burleson; Brian Ligon, CPC, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Mont Belvieu; and Marshal McIntosh MBA, CPC, Deputy City Manager, City of Brownwood

6:00–7:00 PM

TAMI Awards Happy Hour

Sponsored by Optimere

7:00–9:00 PM

TAMI Awards Banquet

Friday, June 10

7:30–10:00 AM


8:00–9:35 AM

Breakfast and Keynote – Improving Your Department’s Performance and Possibly Changing the World

What are your organization’s pain points? Problems don’t always have to be solved by adding staff or purchasing software. Find out how innovation and thinking outside the box can help your team put away the band-aids and start finding real solutions to longtime problems.


Brian Elms, CEO and Founder, Change Agents Training

Sponsored by JPW Communications, LLC

9:40–10:40 AM

Closing Keynote – Keeping it Legal on Social Media

Julie Tappendorf, a local government attorney and author of the book “Social Media & Local Governments: Navigating the New Public Square,” will discuss how to identify and navigate the legal issues that arise in government use of social media. She will discuss comment moderation and the First Amendment as well as the potential legal issues when employees and elected officials are on social media. Julie will also provide tips for drafting and enforcing a social media policy.

Julie TappendorfPartner, Ancel Glink, PC

Sponsored by Tripepi Smith

10:45 AM