Saturday, 8:30 AM – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
State Representative, R-San Angelo; Vice Chairman, House Transportation Committee
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, has served District 72 in the Texas House since 2006. Darby is serving his third term on the House Appropriations Committee, chairing the subcommittee on Natural Resources, Business and Economic Development and Regulatory. Darby also serves as vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
State Senator, R-Jacksonville; Vice-Chair, Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee
Elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Robert Nichols represents 19 counties in East Texas. Nichols serves as vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and sits on the Transportation and Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Nominations and Natural Resources committees. In 2010 he was selected by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus.
State Representative, R-Sherman; Chairman, House Transportation Committee
State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, was elected to represent Fannin and Grayson Counties in House District 62 in 2003. Phillips is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and serves on the House committees on Redistricting, General Investigating and Ethics, and Border and International Affairs. He has previously served as vice chairman of the Transportation Committee and has served on the Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee.
State Senator, D-Austin; Vice-Chair, Senate Transportation & Homeland Security Committee
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, represents District 14. He is a partner with the law firm Brown McCarroll, L.L.P and a former mayor of Austin. He is also a former chairman of both the Texas Advisory Board for Environmental Defense and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday, 9:45 AM – One on One with Gordon Bethune
Former CEO, Continental Airlines
Gordon Bethune earned worldwide acclaim at Continental Airlines for leading one of the most dramatic corporate turnarounds in United States history. Bethune began his career with Boeing in 1988, where he served as vice president and general manager of the customer services division. He retired from his post at Continental Airlines in 2004.
Saturday, 11:00 AM – The Future of Trade
Secretary of State
Esperanza “Hope” Andrade is Texas’ 107th secretary of state and one of six state officials who form the executive department of the state of Texas. Andrade, an entrepreneur and leader in the San Antonio business community for more than three decades, serves as Texas’ chief elections officer, chief international protocol officer and border commerce coordinator for Gov. Rick Perry.
President, Border Trade Alliance; Commissioner, Texas Commission on the Arts
Nelson Balido was named Border Trade Alliance president in 2010. Balido previously served in the private sector division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he earned the Secretary’s Award for Excellence. Balido also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, where he earned the department’s Outstanding Public Service Medal.
Director of Field Operations, Department Of Homeland Security/ U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laredo
Gene Garza is the director of field operations for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office of Laredo. Previously in his role as port director of the Laredo port of entry, Garza oversaw the largest inland port in the United States, managing more than 800 employees, four international bridges, one airport and a railroad bridge.
Esther Rodriguez Silva
Project Manager, Latin American Initiatives, Global Supply Chain Laboratory, Texas A&M University
Dr. Rodriguez Silva collaborates with the Global Supply Chain Laboratory in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University, where she conducts applied research and industry projects in the area of regional development, including the T-MEX Consortium and the Bringing Manufacturing Home initiative.
Saturday, 2:30 PM – Is Light Rail the Answer?
Austin City Councilman; Capital Metro Board Member
Before taking office in 2006, Austin City Councilman Mike Martinez served as a firefighter for 13 years. In 2003 he was elected president of the Austin Firefighters Association, where he led a successful public campaign to secure collective bargaining rights for Austin firefighters. Martinez also serves on the board of Capital Metro as chairman.
Jesse D. Oliver
Deputy Executive Director, DART; Former State Representative, D-Dallas
Jesse Oliver is the deputy executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). A former Texas legislator and judge, Oliver co-sponsored the legislation that created DART. He was later appointed by the city of Dallas to the DART board and served for 10 years as a member and chairman.
Manager of Rail Passenger Research, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
John Sedlak is the manager of Rail Passenger Research at Texas Transportation Institute and is currently working on a Texas Department of Transportation project to help determine the role, development and implementation of high speed and intercity passenger rail in Texas. John served at METRO for 29 years, where he was responsible for the development of METRO’s first light rail line, 100+ mile High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane system and an expansive system of Park & Ride lots and Transit Centers.
Additional panelist to be announced soon.
Saturday, 3:45 PM – One on One with Phil Wilson
Executive Director, Texas Department of Transportation
Phil Wilson is executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. Before joining TxDOT in 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Texas’ 106th secretary of state. In that position, he served as the chief elections officer and chief international protocol officer for Texas.