Tentative Agenda

(Speakers and sessions are subject to change)


7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Breakfast and Sponsor Visits

8:30–8:45 a.m.
President’s Welcome and State of the Association
Come hear from your president the state of the association, goals and plans for the future.
TMHRA President, Paula Kutchka, Director of Human Resources, City of Sugar Land     

Keynote Address 

9:00–10:15 a.m.
Implicit Bias
When we are aware of these attitudes and stereotypes, we call them explicit. But we also have implicit attitudes and stereotypes—these are known as implicit biases. Implicit biases may influence our thinking in ways you’re not even aware of and can’t totally control.
Dr. Summer Allen, Consultant, and Executive Coach, Premier Performance Consulting Group

10:15–10:55 a.m.
Networking Break and Sponsor Visits


11:00 a.m.–Noon
Consequences of Failure to Discipline
The questions surrounding discipline are endless and it’s not always as easy as it seems.
This presentation will provide participants insight about the consequences of discipline, failing to discipline, and failing to discipline properly. Attendees will receive guidance on how and when to discipline effectively.
Dustin A. Paschal, Partner,  Simon | Paschal,  PLLC

Noon–1:00 p.m.
Lunch Provided

1:15–2:30 p.m.
Round Table Discussion – Propelling Post Pandemic
James R. Earp
, Assistant City Manager ,City of Kyle and Kathleen Shields, Director of Human Resources, City of DeSoto

2:30–3:00 p.m.
Networking Break and Sponsor Visits

3:00–4:00 p.m.
Identity Theft claims during 2020-21 Pandemic

Mr. Carmona’s division is responsible for detecting, deterring, and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in the various state and federal programs administered by Texas Workforce Commission.
Paul Carmona, Director of the Regulatory Integrity Division, Texas Workforce Commission

4:00-4:15 p.m.
Program Chair Comments

4:15-5:15 p.m.
Meet and Mingle Welcome Reception

6:00 p.m.
New Member Dinner
Longhorn Tavern Steakhouse
201 E 24th Street, Bryan, TX 77803
Sponsored by HUB International

New TMHRA members over the past year are encouraged to attend, meet our board members, and network with other human resources professionals.

7:00 p.m.
Past Presidents Dinner
Paolo’s Italian Kitchen
809 University Dr. E. #100 A
Sponsored by McGriff and TMRS
TMHRA past presidents reunite for dinner and to mingle.


7:15-8:15 a.m.
Breakfast and Sponsor Visits

8:15-8:30 a.m.
Opening Statement
 Kent Etienne, Human Resources Director, City of Galveston


8:30–9:45 a.m.
FMLA 101
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be overwhelming. This session will break the FMLA down to basics for those who are ready (if not quite willing!) to dip their toes into the FMLA waters. Julie’s fundamentals of FMLA presentation will cover the who, what, where, and why of FMLA, including FMLA eligibility, required notices & deadlines, certifications, intermittent leave & reduced schedules, return to work, and more. If you are new to FMLA, you will not want to miss this beneficial and practical overview of the FMLA.
Julie Ross, Partner, Ross|Gannaway, PLLC

FMLA 102
Do you have a basic understanding of FMLA and ready for more in-depth training? This session will explore in-depth training, practical application, and administration and management of the Family and Medical Leave Act as it pertains to cities in the public sector. Julia Gannaway of Ross Gannaway PLLC will educate participants on the complexities of administration, confidentiality and paperwork. It will also provide tools to navigate the interaction between intermittent leave & reduced schedules, tips to watch for abuse & fraud, and outline best practices.
Julia Gannaway
, Partner, Ross|Gannaway, PLLC

9:45–10:15 a.m.
Networking Break and Sponsor Visits


10:15–11:15 a.m.
 Social Media in the Workplace
A discussion about Social Media and its relationship to the First Amendment, and relevant laws related to open government. Discussion points include analysis of when public employees may be disciplined for their conduct on social media, when and whether an entity or employee may block followers or delete comments, and the interplay of social media with the Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act.
Cara White, Attorney, Taylor, Olson, Adkins, Sralla, & Elam, LLP

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Lunch and TMHRA Awards Presentation
Elliot Harper
, Talent Services Manager, City of Irving

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
It’s All HR’s Fault

Melissa Cranford,  Senior Attorney, Messer Fort McDonald PLLC

2:30–3:00 p.m.
Networking Break and Sponsor Visits

3:00 –4:15 p.m.
Practical Ideas to Address Mental and Emotional Stress
The Pandemic created a multitude of challenges to business operations at our cities and for our staff and their families then and now. In-person engagement in our business, schools, community and amongst our employees and their families became almost non-existent for extended periods of time causing emotional strain, stress and crisis. The ability to gather and emotionally connect to support family, friends and co-workers became further complicated due to quarantines, hospitalizations, death, exposures and virtual learning. This substantially impacted the well-being of your staff, their families and our communities. This session is not a catch all or a one-size-fits all solution. Instead, it offers practical insight for ideas our HR team implemented using existing resources to bring mental and emotional support, camaraderie, unity and joy to our workforce during and following this crisis to lighten emotional stress.
Lisa Norris, Human Resources Director, City of Grand Prairie and  TML Board Representative

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Holmes Murphy Social Event


8:30–9:00 a.m.

9:00 -9:30 a.m.
Business Meeting

9:30-11:00 a.m.
The Anything and Everything – HR Legal Update
Bettye will bring you significant employment law developments , and looking forward to 2022.
Bettye Lynn, Owner & Attorney, Lynn Law, PLLC