Learn, celebrate at Summer Leadership Retreat

Learning, celebrating, commemorating and winning are all on the agenda for Texas Press Association’s final Summer Leadership Retreat June 21-23 at La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa on Lake Conroe in Montgomery.
The event features speakers, member-led group discussions, a legislative update, the annual Golden 50 Award and the Texas Better Newspaper Contest awards brunch. 
Registration forms are available online at www.texaspress.com
Deadline is 5 p.m. June 6 for room reservations at the TPA special room rate of $129, single or double, each per night. Call 936-448-3024 for reservations.
Activities kick off at 8 a.m. Thursday, June 21, with the 19th annual Robert Burns Classic Golf Tournament benefiting the Texas Newspaper Foundation. 
CenturyLink is sponsor for the event. 
On Thursday afternoon, the TPA board of directors will meet and a session is planned for publishers of daily newspapers.
Keynote speaker for the Thursday night opening banquet is Barry Smith, a retired Secret Service agent who worked during the era of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. 
While working with the Secret Service, he managed the construction of the White House Joint Operations Center (JOC) and supervised other security enhancements related to the White House Complex. Once the JOC’s construction phase was completed, he managed the center’s 24-hour operations for more than a year. In October 2000, he retired as a Special Agent in Charge at United States Secret Service Headquarters and later served as director of Security Operations for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Rockville, Maryland. 
A hospitality event from 9 p.m. until midnight closes the first day’s activities. 
On Friday, June 22, Julie Austin, writer, inventor and business owner, will be featured speaker at the 8 a.m. breakfast. Her topic is “Innovating Within Your Competitive Advantage.”
During the general session from 9:30 to 11 a.m., discussion topics include a legislative update led by Legislative Advisory Committee Chairman Bill Patterson, Denton Record-Chronicle; social media/advertisers postings led by Chairman Randy Keck, The Community News, Aledo; and what to do about businesses that advertise on Facebook but not in the newspaper led by Russel Skiles, Lamesa Press-Reporter. 
Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, chair of the Texas House Calendars Committee, will speak on open government at the Friday luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m., when the Golden 50 awards will be presented.
Following an afternoon and evening of free time, the president’s hospitality reception is scheduled from 9 p.m. until midnight.
On Saturday, June 23, events begin with a general session, during which members will vote on whether to amend the TPA bylaws so that (1) there would only be one board meeting per year, and (2) that the vice president will be in charge of planning the annual convention.
Also during the general session, Suzanne Bardwell, Gladewater Mirror, will lead a discussion session called “High Time for Full Immersion.” Attacks on the print industry should be countered, Bardwell said, because community newspapers have become more, not less, relevant in the era of fake news and the rush to “get it first” in the 24-hour news cycle.
New officers and directors will be installed at the Saturday brunch, featuring the traditional passing of the gavel by past presidents. 
In addition, the 2018 Texas Better Newspaper Contest Awards will be presented at the closing of the convention.