Welcome to TEHA!
President Message by Russell O'Brien


                                                Hello TEHA members!

Where has time gone? I can't believe it's already the end of January. I hope everyone had a great holiday season!

Let me start out by saying that, even though attendance was down slightly, last October's AEC was a remarkable success. Most, if not all of this drop in attendance was due to Hurricane Harvey. We had several members from Gulf Coast Chapter jurisdictions that had registered but had to cancel due to circumstances resulting from the weather or couldn’t allow staff off due to the need of man power. We continue to hear stories of the devastation and the lasting effects of Harvey.

Ben Stobnicki and his AEC planning committee have been diligently planning and working on this year's AEC and from all appearances this will be the greatest AEC TEHA has ever produced, so put October 22-26, 2018 on your calendars. I don't want to steal Ben's thunder, but there will be some changes in the format this year. One major change I want to bring up has to do with the OSSF section. In previous years we have gotten some complaints that people in the OSSF section on Wednesday were not able to attend the general opening session, so we have moved the OSSF section to Tuesday. I bring this up so that everyone relying on getting their On-site hours can start budgeting for the extra day at the conference. The other big news is that we have moved the conference to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Austin, and the nightly room rate is less and there is “FREE” parking!

There have been some unfortunate changes to the Governing Council.  At the January quarterly meeting it was announced that our President-elect, Art Rodriguez, was resigning due to work conflicts. Art brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the council and will be missed. Your new President-elect is Ben Stobnicki. Ben also brings his tireless enthusiastic attitude and knowledge to the council. I have thus far really enjoyed working with Ben, as well as, all the other council members.

Your Governing Council has been busy working, behind the scenes, on several things. In the January meeting during his Legislative Report, Duane Galligher with Texas Strategy Group, updated us to all the changes taking place on Capitol Hill. Duane also said that now that TEHA is a force to be reckoned with that we need to start thinking about any changes or new regulations that we would like to see implemented and have a congressman sponsor a bill for us. Shaun May oversees the Legislative Committee and would welcome any recommendations from our membership.

In wrapping up, in the past few years there hasn't been many people nominated for any of the awards. I realize that we are all busy and time is precious, however, there are deserving people in every chapter that would be truly honored to receive any of these awards. I am personally challenging all the chapters to at least submit one candidate for a deserved award. Here is a list of the awards: (please go to the Awards and Scholarship section on this web-site to see the qualifications and print out an application)(1) I.E. Scott Award, (2) Thomas E. Edmonson Meritorious Award, (3) Ruth Hendy Award of Excellence, (4) chapter Meritorious Service Awards. All nominations must be completed and turned in to the Awards Committee no later than June 1st.

That about wraps up this report, until next time God Bless and stay safe out there! I thank every one of you for being a member of this great organization!
Russell O'Brien RS