County Officials Graduate from Prestigious Leadership Program

2012-2013 Leadership Class Graduates

Twenty-two county officials from across the state graduated from the 2012-2013 Texas Association of Counties Executive Leadership Class during a ceremony on April 18 in Austin.

The TAC Leadership Class is designed specifically for county officials and is geared toward helping leaders explore county issues, develop innovative approaches to problems affecting their county or community and build key alliances within the courthouse and community. Throughout three sessions and 50 hours of curriculum, county officials discuss teambuilding, communication and ethics, among other topics.

"The Executive Leadership Class is for county officials who truly want to lead by example and be agents of positive change for their communities and for county government,” said TAC Leadership Program Manager Mark Warren. “Officials who sign up for the class are visionary, dedicated public servants working to improve cross-courthouse communication and teamwork to continue making Texas county government as efficient and effective as possible."

State Rep. James White (R-Tyler) attended the graduation reception and spoke about the relationship between state and county officials and his previous sessions in the Legislature.

“I do have an affinity for county government,” said White, whose first legislative session was in 2011. “I really enjoyed my term of duty with Chairman (Garnet) Coleman on County Affairs, not only because I had the opportunity to really do a lot for my folks back home, because when you get into rural East Texas, you don’t have a lot of incorporated cities so your services are delivered through county governments, and county affairs, you just get into everything. You get into the environment, you get into transportation, you get into Medicare, you get into mental health, and it was just a great way, as a freshman, to learn about a lot of things, about how government works.”

Graduates of the program said they felt they had benefited personally and professionally from the program.

 “To have an opportunity to look at yourself and figure out who you are again is an absolute blessing,” said Tyler County Commissioner Martin Nash. “I think a program like this is a blessing, it’s an outstanding deal. I got the opportunity 35 years ago to go to a program similar to this that helped me throughout my entire career.”

“County officials are all pulling together to be leaders,” said Navarro County Justice of the Peace Vicki Gray. “I’m going to go back to my county and lead.”

The 2012-2013 TAC Leadership Class graduates are:

-        Bobby Biscamp, Jasper County Tax Assessor-Collector;

-        Chris Brown, Hopkins County Judge;

-        Becky Burford, Wood County Treasurer;

-        Katie Conner, Brazos County Auditor;

-        Nathan Cradduck, Tom Green County Auditor;

-        Christina Dodrill, Eastland County Treasurer;

-        Donald Engleking, Bell County Justice of the Peace;

-        Lawrence Francell, Jeff Davis County Commissioner;

-        Vicki Gray, Navarro County Justice of the Peace;

-        Scott Haag, Comal County Commissioner;

-        Jan Hartl, Wilson County Treasurer;

-        Kim Joyce, Texas Association of Counties County Relations Officer

-        Ronnie Keister, Lubbock County Tax Assessor-Collector;

-        Teresa Kiel, Guadalupe County Clerk;

-        A.J. Louderback, Jackson County Sheriff;

-        Phyllis Martin, Montgomery County Auditor;

-        Melissa Mosley, Houston County Auditor;

-        Mercy Murguia, Potter County Commissioner;

-        Martin Nash, Tyler County Commissioner;

-        R. Wayne Pierce, Hunt County Constable;

-        Michael Rhoten, Parker County Auditor;

-        Cathy Talcott, Comal County Tax Assessor-Collector; and