OCT 28-30

Conference Schedule

The Texas Downtown Conference features keynote and breakout speakers, field sessions and tours of the host downtown, and events. Most sessions will be held at the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center - 200 N Fredonia St, Nacogdoches, TX 75961 - while our field sessions will allow attendees to explore downtown.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24


Exhibitor Load-in
8:00 AM
Location: Banita Ballroom/Exhibitor Hall
Registration Opens
10:00 AM
Location: Convention Lobby
Anice Read Fund Silent Auction Items Drop Off
8:00 - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Lobby/Rusk Room
Downtown 101
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Location: Convention A

For downtown beginners as well as downtown experts, TXDT staff and board members will guide participants through best practices for downtown revitalization. Discuss guiding principles, tips and tricks for activating revitalization projects, funding options, and more. Always a favorite for Texas downtowners, Downtown 101 is the perfect way to kick off conference!

Sponsored by Bleyl Engineering
Shelly Hargrove
Texas Downtown
Jorge Quirino
Texas Downtown, 2023 Board President
Let's Talk Trash: The Dollars and Cents of Downtown Blight Reduction
1:00 - 2:15 PM
Location: Convention B

This session will share research on the impacts of blight on downtown and explore its challenges. The presentation will examine case studies and strategies to address litter and blight issues. Participants will learn about creating an integrated approach to eliminate blight and leave with a checklist of ideas to reduce it.

Sponsored by Abilene Regional Growth Alliance
Dr. Cecile Carson
Carson Consulting
Your Main Street is also a State Highway: Best Practices from TXDOT Engineers
2:30pm - 3:30 PM
Location: Convention A

If your Main Street is a TxDOT roadway and you struggle to understand the language and processes, this session is for you! A panel of TxDOT engineers from the Lufkin region will discuss case studies and best practices for enhancing the pedestrian experience in downtowns while also meeting state roadway design requirements. The moderated panel will cover topics such as: Municipal Maintenance Agreements for downtown streets; speed study requests and context-sensitive design factors; caring for historic brick on TxDOT roadways; public art installation; and, grant funding opportunities including the Highway Safety Improvement Project and Transportation Alternatives grant program. Attendees should come prepared for an engaging panel discussion and QA.

Sponsored by City of Tyler Main Street
Seth Franks
Texas Department of Transportation, Lufkin District
Randal Cooper
Texas Department of Transportation, Lufkin District
Elizabeth Ortego
Texas Department of Transportation, Lufkin District
Shannon Ramos
Texas Department of Transportation, Lufkin District
Kelly Morris
Texas Department of Transportation, Lufkin District
Empowering Entrepreneurs: University-Based Business Accelerators and Community Engagement
2:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: Convention B

This session explores the dynamic role of university-based business accelerators in catalyzing entrepreneurial spirit within local communities. Attendees will gain insights into effective strategies for leveraging academic resources to inspire and support budding entrepreneurs, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth.

Sponsored by Bay City Main Street
Matt Smilor
SFASU Entrepreneurial Development Center
Larry Cain
SFASU Entrepreneurial Development Center
Anice Read Fund Silent Auction Items Drop Off
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Lobby/Rusk Room
Newcomers Reception
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Location: Fredonia Brewery
138 N. Mound St, Nacogdoches, TX 75961
(0.1 mile walk)

First time attendees and new members of Texas Downtown are invited to this special reception.

Sponsored by the City of Nacogdoches
Opening Reception
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Location: Fredonia Brewery
138 N. Mound St, Nacogdoches, TX 75961
(0.1 mile walk)

Open to all attendees. Join us for light appetizers and networking.

Sponsored by the City of Nacogdoches
Dinner on your own
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

Explore all the great food choices Downtown Nacogdoches has to offer.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25


Registration Open
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Lobby
Exhibitor Hall Open
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Banita Ballroom/Exhibitor Hall

Learn about services and products for your downtown and community.
Anice Read Fund Silent Auction Items Drop Off
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Lobby/Rusk Room
Welcome Breakfast
8:30 AM
Location: Convention Center

Enjoy breakfast while hearing welcoming remarks from Mayor Mize of Nacogdoches and Jorge Quirino, President of Texas Downtown.
Opening Keynote: The Art of Town Making
9:00 - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center

A transformative 12-step guide to real estate development and town-building. Monte's approach breaks down the process into practical, actionable steps, emphasizing the commitment to one's "farm" as a lifelong purpose. From getting to know your neighbors and forming a capable team to setting up construction management systems and ultimately creating thriving spaces, Monte's guide imparts invaluable wisdom to aspiring town makers, encouraging collaboration and community-driven development.

Sponsored by Opportunity Strategies, LLC
Monte Anderson
Neighborhood Evolution, LLC and Options Real Estate
Networking Break
10:00 - 10:30 AM
Location: Banita Ballroom/Exhibitor Hall

Grab a refreshing beverage, visit with exhibitors, and network with downtown professionals.

Sponsored by the City of Burleson, City of Garland, and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance
Learning Lab & Hotel Tour - How to Navigate a State and Federal Tax Credit Project
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: Convention Center

Hotel Fredonia opened its doors to Nacogdoches for the first time on April 1, 1955. The brainchild of Jack McKinney, the Fredonia was a hotel built and paid for by the citizens of Nacogdoches for the “convenience of guests and travelers to the city.” The Fredonia has undergone several management and name changes in its lifetime. The Fredonia closed its doors in 2013, but it was not long before the town realized the hotel was a necessity to the community. Barbara and Richard DeWitt purchased the property in September of 2015 and lovingly restored the property to its original beauty. This enormous task was supported by a financial plan including a hotel occupancy tax sharing agreement, grants, and state and federal tax credits. This session will explore the process of executing this complex capital stack.

Sponsored by Discover Buda
Valerie Magolan
Texas Historical Commission
Army Curtis
Architect
Larissa Philpot-Brown
Nacogdoches EDC
Lunch on your own
12:15 - 1:30 PM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

Explore all the great food choices Downtown Nacogdoches has to offer.
Field Session: The Best of Downtown Nacogdoches Walking Tour
1:30 - 4:00 PM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

Experience the best downtown Nacogdoches has to offer. From public art to downtown housing, retail super-stars to P3's and downtown partnerships, this guided walking tour is your chance to explore, play, and learn.

Please check your badge to determine your color group. Tours leave from the convention lobby at 1:30 PM.

Tour locations include:
- Texas Size Bling - 309 Commerce St
- Roma’s Italian Restaurant / 2nd Floor Apartments - 124 E Main
- Texas Blueberry Festival - 200 E Main
- Luxury Airbnb’s in Downtown Nacogdoches - 105 N Pecan
- Making Wine Swirl Happen - 215 E Main
- CVB & Main Street Partnerships - 200 E Main

Sponsored by Destination Bryan
Anice Read Happy Hour & Silent Auction
5:45 - 7:00 PM
Location: Convention Center

Show your support for the Anice Read Fund! Enjoy a refreshing beverage while bidding on amazing auction items.

All proceeds from the silent auction benefit downtown projects and programs across Texas. Since 1999, the Fund has awarded over $180,000 in grants to Texas downtowns, allowing communities to leverage over $7 million in funding from other sources.
President's Awards Gala
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Location: Convention Center

Join us in recognizing the BEST of Texas downtowns.

Not included with registration. Separate ticket required. Plated dinner included. Business attire.
Cocktails & Desserts After Party
8:30 - 10:00 PM
Location: Convention Center

Pay for and pickup your action items while celebrating our award winners! Enjoy fresh beverages, tasty desserts, and live music.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26


Registration Open
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Lobby
Exhibitor Hall Open
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Location: Banita Ballroom/Exhibitor Hall

Learn about services and products for your downtown and community.
Breakfast
8:30 AM
Location: Convention Center
2023 Texas Downtown Annual Members Meeting
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center

All members are invited to attend this important business meeting of Texas Downtown. Items on the agenda include a review of 2022 annual meeting minutes, financial report, and recognition of outgoing board members. Please make every effort to attend and participate.
Incentives that Work For You (Not Against You)
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Location: Convention A

Picking the best incentives for your community depends entirely on what you want to accomplish. This seminar provides an overview of important things to consider when setting up an incentive program that will work and discuss various funding tools, then provide a case study of how incentives were used in Nacogdoches.

Sponsored by City of Mesquite
Larissa Philpot-Brown
Nacogdoches EDC
Karl A. Stundins
City of Lancaster
Saving Your Stories and Structures: Preservation in the Midst of Economic Development
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Location: Convention B

With strong market demand for new mixed-use in Downtown Arlington, a local developer assembled several old properties near the original town center with every intention of tearing them down. Learn about the innovative and entrepreneurial approach taken by the downtown Arlington organization to step into a role of stewardship, planning and protection for these two historic houses while the development process for this new project evolves. Learn how you can work with developers to explore the preservation and re-use of historic structures, while still supporting the needed new development in the area. In a community that has not done a great job of preserving its historic housing stock, certain approaches are needed to make the case for the community’s support for preservation, even potential re-location. While this whole project is still in the early planning stages, there are lessons to learn about how historic preservation can happen in the context of economic development.

Sponsored by Authentic Texas
Maggie Campbell
Downtown Arlington Management Corporation
Field Session: Imagining and Creating Murals and Statues Walking Tour
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

This walking tour of downtown Nacogdoches will highlight the development and creation of public murals and statues. The co-leaders will explain how their respective organizations develop project ideas and creation including the backside organizational support, permissions, and financial support. Join this session to learn more about historic themed public art projects.

Field Sessions leave from the convention lobby.

Sponsored by Destination Bryan
Lynn Myers
Nacogdoches Main Street Advisory Board
Perky Beisel, D.A.
Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc.
Lunch on your own
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

Explore all the great food choices Downtown Nacogdoches has to offer.
Breaking Down Regulatory Barriers to Small Business: A Fort Worth Case Study
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Location: Convention A

All cities want to support entrepreneurship and see small businesses thrive, but too often, regulatory barriers stand in the way of residents’ ability to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. This session will explore the regulatory costs, delays, and complexity that make small business ownership out of reach for so many individuals. Using the recent example of Fort Worth, this session will provide a roadmap for how to identify and rectify regulatory barriers to business in your town.

Sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission
Jennifer McDonald
Cities Work
Michael Crain
City of Fort Worth, Councilman
A Strategic Plan Blueprint That Works
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Location: Convention B

If your organization has struggled with creating a successful Strategic Plan or Program of Work, or if you have had difficulties executing the one you have, this session is for you. In this session, Alysia uncovers the keys to an effective planning process through board and staff engagement, mission & vision development, and realistic implementation. This session will teach you how to build a blueprint for success to achieve your organization’s goals and create more value for those you serve.

Sponsored by Visit Conroe
Alysia A. Cook, PCED, IOM
Opportunity Strategies LLC
Field Session: Tour of Zion Hill Baptist Church Historic Site
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Location: Downtown Nacogdoches

We cordially invite you to explore the timeless beauty and rich history of the Zion Hill Baptist Church Historic Site. Nestled within the heart of the Zion Hill Historic District, this remarkable church, constructed in 1914, stands as a testament to Victorian and Gothic architectural styles. During the tour, our knowledgeable staff will guide you through the site, providing historical insights about the church and exclusive details regarding the 20+ year restoration.

Field Sessions leave from the convention lobby.

Sponsored by Destination Bryan
Networking Break
2:00 - 2:30 PM
Location: Banita Ballroom/Exhibitor Hall

Grab a snack, visit with exhibitors, and network with downtown professionals.

Sponsored by the City of Burleson, City of Garland, and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance
When Burnout Hits: Practical Strategies for Burnout Recovery
2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location: Convention A

Downtown revitalization isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes passion, determination, and creativity to nurture economically vibrant destinations. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to find balance in this dynamic profession you’re not alone. Join us for an open dialogue with a robust panel of Downtown Rockstars who have been there and done that.

Sponsored by YOLO TV
Jane Jenkins
Charleston Downtown Alliance
Beverly Abell
City of Mesquite
Kate Singleton
City of Dallas
Sarah "Main Street" O'Brien
Consultant
Kyle Kramm
City of Seguin
Banking in Art: Making a smART Investment!
2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location: Convention B

The cultural arts are an important economic driver for many Texas cities. The downtown area is oftentimes the cultural center for communities of all sizes. This session will focus on the economic importance of arts and culture, strategies to fund downtown arts initiatives, and best practices from across Texas. Learn from leading practitioners in the field.
Travis D. James
TXP, Inc.
Chance Sparks, AICP, CNU-A
Freese and Nichols
Ann S. Graham
Texans for the Arts
Ann Arnold-Ogden
Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture
Meet Your Board Happy Hour
4:30 - 5:30 PM
Location: Nine Flags Bar inside the Hotel Fredonia

Visit with your 2024 Board of Directors during this casual happy hour.

Sponsored by YOLO TV
Evening Out in Downtown
6:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Banita Creek Dance Hall
401 W. Main Street
(0.3 mile walk)

Enjoy an evening of line dancing, Texas BBQ, cool drinks, and evening entertainment at this historic Texas dance hall in downtown Nacogdoches.

Sponsored by the City of Nacogdoches

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27


Closing Breakfast
8:30 AM
Location: Convention Center
Closing Keynote: WWAD? (What Would Anice Do: Lessons from Our Founder)
9:00 - 10:15 AM
Location: Convention Center

Ever wondered how the Texas Downtown Association and Texas Main Street Program came into being? This session will discuss how Anice Read set both into motion many years ago and what it means for you today. You’ll hear her advice and counsel to those first Main Street Managers, as well as the many “techniques” she used to bring downtown revitalization to the forefront in Texas. Anice Read Fund grant recipients, Navasota and Pittsburgh will share projects and impact on downtown revitalization in their communities. This year’s Anice Read Fund grant recipients will be announced at the end of this session!

Sponsored by Premier Commercial Group
Terry Colley
Consultant with Colley Consulting
2024 Conference Location Reveal
10:15 - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center

Before heading home, hear from our 2024 host city. Our member city cannot wait to welcome you to their downtown next year!