Texas Downtown Conference November 7-10, 2017

2017 Texas Downtown Conference Schedule

Tuesday, November 7

12:30 PM - 5:00 PM | Registration for Attendees and Exhibitors

Sheraton McKinney

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Historic Tax Credit Workshop

This 4-hour workshop will provide in-depth training on all major aspects of the Federal Historic Investment Tax Credits and the Texas Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Texas Historical Commission tax credit program staff will teach you about National Register listings and common issues related to historic designation; the Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation and what the THC looks for in a rehabilitation project; and how to properly complete and submit applications to speed your project along. An additional panel of successful tax credit users will share their experiences in coordinating with the THC and local property owners; planning appropriate rehabilitation work; and using or selling the credits. This workshop is designed for property owners and developers who are considering using the tax credits; Main Street Managers, historic preservation and economic development officers, or other local officials who would like to assist with tax credit projects in their communities; and architects, historians, and consultants who wish to better assist their clients.

Alyssa Gerszewski, Texas Historical Commission
Christine Huber, Texas Historical Commission
Valerie Magolan, Texas Historical Commission
Caroline Wright, Texas Historical Commission

Included with full conference registration. $50.00 fee for non-conference attendees.

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Anice Read Fund Silent Auction & Wine Pull donations accepted.

Drop off your donations for the Anice Read Fund Silent Auction & Wine Pull. Thank you for your support of Texas downtowns!

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Downtown 101

Overview of downtown and commercial district development and revitalization. Great information for new professionals and communities just getting started with downtown programs.

Debbie Charbonneau, City of Huntsville and 2017 TDA Board President

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM | Newcomers Reception McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC)

First time conference attendees and new TDA members are invited to attend this reception to meet other downtowners and the TDA Board of Directors. Included with full conference registration.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM | Opening Reception McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC)

All conference attendees are invited to join us for networking and heavy appetizers before exploring beautiful Downtown McKinney. Included with full conference registration.

Sponsored by MPAC and McKinney Main Street.

Wednesday, November 8

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM | Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by Pacheco Koch

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM | Registration

Sheraton McKinney

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Anice Read Fund Silent Auction & Wine Pull donations accepted

Drop off your donations for the Anice Read Fund Silent Auction & Wine Pull. Thank you for your support of Texas downtowns!

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM | Welcome and Keynote: Designing for Successful Downtowns in Cities of All Sizes

Ian has worked with communities across the country and is recognized as a national leader in sustainable transportation policy and urban design. As our opening keynote speaker he'll share strategies for turning vision into reality, designing for walkability and attracting people to your downtown, and measures of effectiveness.

Ian Lockwood, P.E., Toole Design Group

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Networking Break & Opening of Exhibition Hall

Connect with other TDA members and learn about products, services, and places from our exhibitors.

Sponsored by City of Bastrop

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM | TDA Member Services

Join us for a session on updates to programs and services we've made based on member feedback.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about what resources are available for your downtown.

Catherine Sak, Texas Downtown Association

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM | City Managers Panel: Supporting Downtown Development & Revitalization

A successful downtown program has to have strong city support.  In this session we'll hear from TDA city managers that believe in downtown development and have created effective partnerships with residents, businesses, and community organizations.  

Paul Grimes, City of McKinney
Marc Maxwell, City of Sulphur Springs
Robert Tamble, City of Smithville

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Lunch

Downtown McKinney has a number of restaurants and shops.  Go explore downtown like a local!

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM | The Downtown McKinney Story

Join the City of McKinney planners and development service team for an in-depth exploration of downtown McKinney's revitalization. From creation of the vision to the steps to bring the vision to life - learn all about the people, the process and the funding that transformed Historic Downtown McKinney into a nationally recognized destination. This session will feature a companion Field Session for an opportunity to discuss some of these elements on site.

Jennifer Arnold, City of McKinney
Don Day, DFA, Ltd.
Guy Giersch, City of McKinney
Gray Graham, City of McKinney
Matt Robinson, City of McKinney

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM | Planning for Place: Implementing Urban Design to Strengthen Community Brand & Place

This sessions covers best planning practices for design standards, wayfinding, landscaping, public plazas, pedestrian oriented design and public art to create a sense of place and strengthen a community's brand.

Sarah Korpita, Burditt Consultants
Lisa Lemons, Hicks-Co
Diana Wilson, Burditt Consultants

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM | Field Session: The Impact of the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC)**

In 1979, Collin County moved its court operations to a new facility and left a 100 year old courthouse vacant in the center of McKinney's downtown square. The abandoned courthouse sat empty for 25 years - a deteriorating black hole, draining the energy of a dusty downtown. Through the passionate support of community volunteers, the building was transformed to McKinney Performing Arts Center. MPAC's operations, with an emphasis on night and weekend activity, helped breathe new life to Historic Downtown McKinney and helped build sense of place. Tour the facility and learn about its users and programs.

Tracy Rath, City of McKinney
Amy Rosenthal, MPAC & McKinney Main Street

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM | Networking Break

Connect with other TDA members and learn about products, services, and places from our exhibitors.

Sponsored by City of Clifton

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM | Funding Downtown Development & Revitalization: TIRZ, TIFs, 380 Agreements and More

Ideas for downtown development can only get you so far unless you have funding sources. This session will offer ideas about encouraging and financing your downtown vision.

Megan Henderson, City Center Waco
William Myers, Denison EDC
Tony Rutigliano, Urban Alchemy

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM | Simple Solutions for Irritating Issues: 25 Tips for Downtown Professionals

Longtime downtown directors share their BEST low effort/high impact tools and solutions for issues that impact every downtown.

Anita Brown, City of Waxahachie
Sarah O'Brien, City of Bastrop

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM | Field Session: The Downtown McKinney Story**

Join the City of McKinney development service and planning team for an on-site exploration of elements discussed at the Educational Session. Examine in person the concepts and plans behind McKinney's Town Center Study with reference to signs, sidewalk leases and traffic improvements.

Jennifer Arnold, City of McKinney
Don Day, DFA, Ltd.
Guy Giersch, City of McKinney
Gray Graham, City of McKinney
Matt Robinson, City of McKinney

5:30 PM - 6:45 PM | Anice Read Fund Fundraiser

The Anice Read Fund, founded in 1999, is a grant program of the Texas Downtown Association that has awarded over $100,000 in funding to Texas communities and organizations. During this event we will honor the legacy of Anice Read, announce 2016 grant recipients, and host a silent auction benefitting the Fund.

Included with full conference registration.

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM | President's Awards Gala

Join us for dinner and help us recognize winners of the President's Awards Program and the People's Choice Awards.

Included with full conference registration.

Thursday, November 9

7:30 AM - 12:00 PM | Registration

Sheraton McKinney

8:00 AM - 8:00 AM | Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by City of Denison

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Exhibition Hall Open

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM | The Importance of Parking Planning and How to Incorporate it Into Your Downtown

Parking challenges plague most of our downtown areas, either there is too much parking or, most commonly, there is not enough. When planning for future growth and development parking is often overlooked and an afterthought. Join us in learning why planning for parking is important and the common challenges experienced in downtown areas. We will explore three Texas downtowns case studies, all with different challenges and outcomes. You will leave this session with an understanding of the parking planning process and why it is important to your downtown.

Jaime Snyder, CAPP, Walker Parking

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM | Downtown Turnaround: Making a Master Plan Matter

This case study will focus on the past 10 years of downtown revitalization in Tyler. The heart of this community of 100,000 was center stage in Tyler's comprehensive plan, created in 2007. Come to this session and learn how Tyler made those plans happen, how the plans have evolved over time, and how the city tracks progress. Since adoption of Tyler 1st, the downtown has seen major public improvements and more than $200 million in private reinvestment, many awards and gains in businesses and residents.

Beverly Abell, City of Tyler

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM | Field Session: Downtown Renovations**

This field session will feature Spoons Cafe and Spoons Garage with business owner Karen Klassen.  Spoons Cafe, located in Historic Downtown McKinney, is housed in a converted 1920's building that was originally the Texas Power and Light Company.  Fun, hip, and casual the cafe is designed with an open kitchen that allows you to watch the cooking crew create your meal.  Spoons has been featured in Money Magazine, D Magazine, and The Dallas Morning News.

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM | Networking Break

Connect with other TDA members and learn about products, services, and places from our exhibitors.

Sponsored by City of Canyon

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM | Great Main Street Adventures

Every Main Street has a story. Travel with Shanta and Shelly while they rediscover the traditional downtowns of America and the memorable spots in between through a travel show, Great Main Street Adventures. Come along as they share their personal experiences in irreplaceable Main Street districts and one-of-a-kind destinations while uncovering local personalities, hometown events, small businesses and downtown attractions that showcase the heart of America. The show aims to encourage more local engagement, increase tourism and spur economic reinvestment in Main Street districts by telling authentic downtown stories through local voices. Attendees will get a sneak peek at the series and learn how they can get their Main Street involved.

Shelly Hargrove, Great Main Street Adventures
Shanta Kuhl, Great Main Street Adventures

Sponsored by City of Canyon

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM | Corsicana: How Pop Up Retail Helped Revitalize a Small Texas Town

Corsicana is a quintessentially-Texan small town with a rich architectural and cultural heritage. As the Downtown revitalized, stakeholders realized that it needed more gathering spaces and active storefronts to reach its full potential. Amanda Popken Development led a comprehensive approach to add new energy to Downtown. It included a dozen popup retail stores, two temporary public spaces, events throughout the weekend, and a marketing program for for-sale and for-lease properties. Within months, nearly a dozen new businesses, new public spaces, and strong stakeholder collaboration demonstrated the effectiveness of this strategy. The team will discuss how this cost-effective approach can be tailored to any town.

Rik Adamski, Ash+Lime Strategies
Karie Denny, City of Corsicana
Amanda Popken, Amanda Popken Development

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM | Field Session: Heritage Tourism  Stronger Together**

Join McKinney CVB and three downtown McKinney museums to learn about how partnerships helps strengthen reach and promotion to the Heritage Tourist. The McKinney Heritage Alliance Membership is a joint membership providing free membership, tours and discounts. Discuss the benefits of collaboration and technology for heritage tourism.

Jaymie Pedigo, Chestnut Square Historic Village
Beth Shumate, McKinney CVB
MaryCarole Strother, Collin County Historical Society and Museum
Karen Zupanic, Heard-Craig Center for the Arts

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM | Lunch & TDA Annual Meeting

The TDA Annual Meeting is the one time each year we come together to take care of organizational business and share updates. The agenda includes election of board members for terms beginning in 2018, along with general organizational business. Included with registration.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM | Roundtable Discussions

Roundtables are back! Join in discussions with your downtown peers on a variety of topics and issues.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM | Field Session: Sense of Time & Place: Walking Tour with McKinney's Historic Preservation Officer**

Join Guy Giersch, the City of McKinney's Historic Preservation Officer, for a glimpse into the history that shaped McKinney. Learn about parts of the square that visitors typically don't experience. Learn about the downtown's rich past, and how it continues to influence McKinney continued development.

Guy Giersch, City of McKinney

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Networking Break

Connect with other TDA members and learn about products, services, and places from our exhibitors.

Sponsored by Another Time Soda Fountain & Café

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Closing Keynote Session: Leadership is a Contact Sport

Our closing session is an inspirational speaker with a powerful message. In this riveting talk, Daron will share the leadership lessons that he has learned as a fifth generation Texan, NFL coach and university professor. Daron is a former NFL coach and author of, "Call an Audible: Let My Pivot from Harvard Law to NFL Coach Inspire Your Transition" (Greenleaf 2017). He serves as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas, created in the fall of 2014. After graduating from Harvard Law School (2007), Roberts served coaching stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers and Cleveland Browns. He holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government from the University of Texas (2001) and an M.P.P. from Harvard's Kennedy School (2004).

Daron K. Roberts

5:30 PM - 9:00 PM | A Night in McKinney

The event will begin with a tour of The Cotton Mill, an impressive adaptive reuse project that houses event space and offices for local small business, and is an amazing backdrop for photo shoots. Next we'll head to Tupp's Brewery, founded by two friends six years ago who decided they wanted to learn how to brew beer and now have a presence across the DFW region, including big box chains. Join us to learn more about these local landmarks and their links to downtown. Dinner included. Ticketed event. Transportation provided.

Friday, November 10

8:30 AM - 1:00 PM | Downtown Eventzee Scavenger Hunt

Gather your team of 2-4 players and get ready to put the information you learned during conference to use! Use your teambuilding and problem solving skills to complete missions and score points while exploring downtown McKinney.

ONE lucky team will win the GRAND prize of $1000! Other non-cash prizes will be awarded in various categories. To play, download the Eventzee app (links to iTunes & Google Play stores can be found in the navigation bar on the right) and create a team account, and you will also need a QR code reader app on your phone to participate. The event code will be released at 8:50 am on game day. Game starts at 9 am. Prize ceremony at 12:30 pm at MPAC.

**Field sessions are included with registration and do not require ticket purchase and are filled first come first served. Transportation is provided. Space is limited.

Eventzee Conference Game

Are you a gamer?  Enhance your conference experience by playing our Eventzee game.  Complete missions to score points and add fun!  One lucky winner will receive an all inclusive registration to the 2018 TDA conference in Corpus Christi. To play the game, download the Eventzee app* and create an account, and you will need a QR code reader app on your phone.

The event code will be released at NOON on Tuesday, November 7th.  Start earning points now: 100 points for full conference registration (to be awarded at check-in); 100 points if you bring 5 dozen homemade cookies (or 60 pieces of treat) to add to the Texas Treats Table at the Awards Gala (to be awarded at delivery of cookies); 50 points when you donate an item to the Anice Read silent auction (to be awarded when item is delivered to auction); 25 points when you donate a bottle of wine (at least $10 value) to the Anice Read wine pull (to be awarded when item is delivered to auction).

* Download Eventzee on Apple's App Store or on Google Play

Conference Hosts

City of McKinney, McKinney Main Street, and McKinney CVB.


City of McKinney

First United Bank
Mobile Town Guide

City of Mansfield
Corpus Christi DMD

Burditt Land Place Consultants
City of Canyon
City of Denison
City of Georgetown
City of Paris
City of Waxahachie/Waxahachie CVB
Pacheco Koch

Another Time Soda Fountain & Cafe
City of Bastrop
City of Clifton
City of Huntsville
City of Seguin/Seguin CVB

City of Southside Place


BEDCO/City of Bonham
CDS Market Research
City of Denison
Corpus Christi DMD
Décor IQ
Discover Historic Mansfield
Downtown Decorations
Inception Lighting
Komatsu Architecture
McKinney CVB
Mundo and Associates
Pacheco Koch