By MARY RAINWATER
Twenty local business and educational leaders will be representing Palestine to the state government this week, as they make the trek to the Texas Capitol for the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Palestine Days in Austin” trip.
“Every legislative session, we take a two-day trip to the state capital,” Palestine Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Meghan Hill said. “It is an opportunity for business people and residents to hear what is going on in each area of government during the 83rd legislative session.”
Today, the group is set to meet with Tourism & Economic Development’s Deputy Tourism Director Tim Fennell and Leader of Domestic Recruitment and Expansion Tad Curtis. They are then expected to hear a report on Economic Development and Analysis from Texas State Comptroller’s Office Director Robert Wood.
Also today they will meet with Commissioner Toby Baker of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Bill Hammon of the Texas Association of Business. The day will conclude with a visit with State Senator Robert Nichols and dinner with the senator.
Thursday’s plans include meeting with State Representative Byron Cook to review critical issues facing this session of the legislature. They also will meet with Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner (and Palestine native) Todd Staples.
“This will be a great opportunity to hear first-hand from our state representative and senator concerning the issues facing the state,” Hill said previously. “We also will meet with representatives from the Texas Education Agency.”
Attending the “Palestine Days in Austin” trip include: Susan Harris, UT Tyler; Sloan Shuffler, Sloan Shuffler CPA; Lisa Priest, Picket Fence Realty Inc.; Brenda Walker, ONCOR; Darwin Winfield, Atmos Energy; Jason Marshall, PISD Superintendent; Suzanne Eiben, PISD Assistant Superintendent; Janie Supulveda, PISD Board Secretary; Wade Hobbs, PISD Board President; Meghan Hill, Chamber of Commerce; Roderick Riley, Union Pacific Railroad; Harris Lohmeyer, Union Pacific; Therrell Thomas, City Council Palestine; Anne Billingsly, ONEOK; Carson Wages, Anderson County Appraisal District; Lucinda Presley, ICEE Success; Judith Mann, Anderson County Republican Club; Jeff Watson, TVCC Provost; Lysa Gonzales, PEDC Marketing; and Wendy Ellis, PEDC Executive Director.
Trip sponsors include: Oncor Electric Delivery, Atmos Energy and East Texas National Bank.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org