May Webinar

Navigating Transportation Emergencies: Communicating During Air + Rail + Road Emergencies

May 17    11:00 a.m.



TxDot Handout     Union Pacific Handout


As PIOs, we’re set up to handle crisis communication duties in our municipalities, but what about emergencies in the air, on the rails, or on the highways?  Spend this hour with our planes, trains, and automobiles counterparts as we discuss ways we can all support one another when disaster strikes. 

Learning Objectives:

After attending this webinar, participants will:

  1. Understand the roles, responsibilities and constituencies of our counterparts in the transport (air, rail, road) sector during joint emergencies.
  2. Understand our roles, responsibilities and constituencies during joint emergencies.
  3. Understand how cities and transport sector PIOs can work more effectively together.


Thomas Reeves
Director of Public Affairs
City of Baytown

In his role as Director of Public Affairs for the City of Baytown, Thomas oversees communications and marketing, tourism, and legislative affairs.  Thomas is also a college professor of communication studies, and received his bachelors in communication from Simpson University and his masters in communication from Gonzaga University.


Augusto Bernal
Director of Communications
Houston Airport System

Augusto is the communications director for the Houston Airport System, which is comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, Ellington Airport, & Houston Spaceport. In his role, Augusto oversees the duties of the public information office for the Houston Airport System, one of North America’s largest public airport systems that positions Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the south-central United States and a primary gateway to Latin America. Augusto holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

Bambi Hall
Public Information Officer
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

Bambi is a master public information officer at TxDOT with over two decades of experience. She serves Southeast Houston, and North Harris and Montgomery counties. Bambi was previously public affairs director for the State Bar of Texas, and worked nearly 19 years in New Orleans, La.

Richard Zientek
Senior Director of Public Affairs – Northern and Eastern Texas  Regions
Union Pacific Railroad

Richard develops and implements Union Pacific’s strategy and policy for state government affairs, community relations, public partnerships, and philanthropic programs. Richard is a key driver for building the relationship between Union Pacific and government entities and elected/appointed officials at both the state and local levels. He works closely with the Corporate Communications organization to communicate consistent messages regarding the company, policy issues, and other local events. Prior to joining Union Pacific, Richard served as transportation policy advisor for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. Richard is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Richard and his wife, Leslie, have three children and reside in the Spring, Texas area.