Photo caption - Scarlett Sloane, chair of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, and Rep. Travis Clardy, stand at the entrance of the Sterne-Hoya House Museum and Library. Sloane and Clardy are among many planning the upcoming Lone Star Legislative Summit presented by Texas Health Care Association.
Photo by Rebecca Hoffman, Chamber Intern)
The sixth biennial Lone Star Legislative Summit presented by Texas Health Care Association will be held March 2-3 in Nacogdoches.
"The Nacogdoches County Chamber's Government Affairs Committee works with the event co-hosts Senator Robert Nichols and Representative Travis Clardy to put together an event that will address important issues that affect our region," said Government Affairs Committee Chair Scarlett Sloane.
State legislators and other industry experts will serve as panelists with locals moderating the discussions.
"Also invited as keynote speakers are Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar and the newly appointed Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency Mike Morath," Clardy said.
According to Sloane, the decision to move the event from its usual mid-February date to the first week of March was made early in the planning stages. "The committee recognized that the community could come together to attend the summit, celebrate Texas Independence Day and the City's 300-year anniversary," Sloane said. "As the summit winds down on Thursday afternoon, the Nacogdoches Music Festival will start up, giving out-of-town summit attendees a reason to stay in Nacogdoches for the weekend. All together, that should add an economic impact and entertainment bonus."
The Lone Star Legislative Summit begins with the Lone Star Reception from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 at Austin Hall, 4603 North St., and will continue on March 3 at Stephen F. Austin State University.
"We have all often heard it said, 'It's hard to know where you are going if you don't know where you've been,'" Clardy said. "I believe this is true in life, as well as in history and politics, which makes this Lone Star Legislative Summit commemorating the Tricentennial of Nacogdoches even more unique and symbolically important. I hope the focus, as we delve into a range of issues from education to diversity to economic development to music and culture, combines an appreciation for the rich history and heritage of Texas and an excitement for the opportunity which is the future of Texas."
Thursday's events begin early in the day at SFA's Baker Pattillo Student Center. A Kick-off Breakfast will take place in the Twilight Ballroom with keynote speaker Mike Morath, the newly appointed Texas Commissioner of Education.
The first panel session is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the student center theater. "Diversity and Race in Texas: Who were we, who are we, and who do we want to be?" is the topic to be discussed with moderator Dr. Scott Sosebee, Associate Professor of History at SFASU and Executive Director, East Texas Historical Association.
Panel discussion "Educating 21st Century Texans: Remember the Alamo and Shoot for the Stars" begins at 9:45 a.m. SFA Interim Provost Dr. Steven Bullard will serve as the panel moderator.
At 11 a.m. session three begins with panel guests and moderator Tracye McDaniel, President & CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation discussing "300 years later - Where is Texas' economy headed?"
Around noon in the Grand Ballroom, the summit luncheon will take place with keynote speaker Comptroller Hegar. The primary focus of his presentation is expected to be the effect of the decline of oil and gas industry activity, and the short and long-term impact on the state's economy.
Continuing at 1:45 p.m. in the student center theater is session four "Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise - The Future of Healthcare in Texas Legislative Council" Invited panelists include Chris Traylor, Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The panel moderator will be Scott Street, CEO of Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.
The final session "Roots, Boots, Blues and Rock: How Music Shapes Us as Texans" begins at 3 p.m. Invited panelists for this session are Brendon Anthony, Director of the Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor, and invited state legislators and moderator Brad Maule , SFA lecturer in the film program for art and theatre and a professional actor.
Attendees need to register and purchase tickets for the Wednesday reception and Thursday's breakfast and lunch events. The reception, breakfast, and lunch will include fees; however, all panel discussions are free of charge.
"I'm proud to serve the oldest town in Texas and call Nacogdoches my home," Clardy said. "Throughout 2016 we'll be celebrating the Tricentennial of Nacogdoches in many events including LSLS. I look forward to seeing and being a part of history coming to life."
Click here for event agenda and click here for the registration form. Contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 936-560-5533. Updates will be posted on the Chamber's social media sites, too, using #LSLS2016.