North Texas Leadership Day to Address Critical Issues Facing the Region

A consortium of North Texas leaders will host the seventh annual North Texas Regional Leadership Day (NTRLD) on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at Collin College Preston Ridge Campus Conference Center, 9700 Wade Blvd, Frisco, TX 75035 from 8:30 a.m. (registration) – 5:00 p.m. The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the theme “Growing Pains: Solutions Through Leadership.”  Collin College is the presenting sponsor for the event.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. is Dr. Lloyd Potter, Texas State Demographer. Serving as the State Demographer for Texas since 2010, Dr. Potter supports state and local policy makers by providing objective information about the composition, characteristics and distribution of the people of our state. His current work focuses upon examining patterns and characteristics associated with energy and water consumption, exploring patterns of educational attainment and working to describe mental health issues among Hispanics.

Participants will hear from an impressive array of speakers on topics relevant to the theme:

  • State of the Region by James Spaniolo, CEO, North Texas Commission
  • Navigating 9,286 Square Miles: The Future of Transportation in North Texas discussion by Peter Braster, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano.

Followed by a moderated discussion with:

  • Holly Reed, Managing Dir. Of External Affairs, TX Central
  • Gary Slagel, Board Secretary, DART
  • John Terrell, VP Commercial Development, DFW Airport
  • Lindsey Baker, Director Government Affairs, NTTA


  • Solutions for Serving the Underserved by John Siburt, President & COO, CitySquare. Followed by a moderated discussion with:
    • Daron Babcock, Executive Director, Bonton Farms
    • Bryan Kelly, Executive Relations Manager, Prison Entrepreneur Program
    • Mirjana Omeragic, Director of Refugee & Domestic Violence Services, Mosiac Family Services
    • Frank Santoni, Founder & Principal, HopeX Innovation Partners


  • Civics, Civility and the Conversation by Felicia Pulliam, J.D., CEO of Create Community LLC. Felicia brings 18 years of addressing complex issues related to community transformation including citizen engagement, capacity building, racial equity and economic mobility. Appointed to the Ferguson Commission by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Felicia co-chaired the Economic Inequity and Opportunity working group charged with designing a strategy to promote economic mobility.


Steve Stoler, Director of Media Relations for the City of Plano, and former award-winning broadcast journalist, will moderate the program.

The Regional Leadership Day will offer current leadership class members and alumni from nine North Texas leadership programs, an opportunity to learn about the issues that currently affect each of their communities. Furthermore, members will have numerous opportunities to interact, share ideas and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

In planning the topics for the session, planners realized how critical the issues of mobility/transportation, population growth, serving the underserved and civility are to our communities.

“North Texas Regional Leadership Day is an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of issues requiring collaboration among our community leaders,” said Shannon Kmak, Leadership Plano and 2018 NTRLD Chair.  “The participants of our leadership programs spend the better part of a year learning about the challenges facing their individual communities. Regional Day challenges them to look outside the borders of their city and think about how they might work together as business, civic and nonprofit leaders across North Texas.”

Participating programs include: Leadership Allen/Fairview, Leadership Fort Worth, Leadership Irving-Las Colinas, Leadership McKinney, Leadership Metrocrest (Addison, Carrollton and Farmers Branch), Leadership Plano, Leadership Richardson, Leadership Sherman, and MetroTex Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy.

The public is invited to attend the event. Tickets for the full day are $125; and tickets for lunch and the keynote speaker are $50. Table reservations are available for a full-day or lunch. Tickets are available for advance purchase online and at the door on the day of the event.