LINCS 2019 Legislative Summit agenda

Aug. 5-8, 2019 | Nashville, Tenn.

2017 NCSL Legislative Summit LogoConnect with legislative communicators from across the country at the NCSL Legislative Summit, the largest gathering of state legislative staff and legislators in the country. See the schedule below for sessions and activities sponsored by LINCS, as well as other sessions geared to legislative staff, general sessions and social events. 

Time Sessions

7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Music City Center (MCC) Exhibit Hall Prefunction

Summit Registration  

11 a.m.-Noon

MCC 205 AB

New Attendee Orientation

Attend this interactive orientation and learn how to navigate your way through the meeting. Learn about the business meeting, sessions and tips to make the most of your time in Nashville.

1:30-3 p.m.

MCC Grand Ballroom

General SessionLiving Legend Dolly Parton

Imagination Library: Inspiring Children to Love to Read

Dolly launched her first Imagination library in her hometown county in East Tennessee. Inspired by her father’s inability to read or write she determined that there had to be a way to help children fall in love with books. Imagination Library is a gift giving book program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age 5, no matter their family’s income. Dolly’s Imagination Library partners with local communities and state governments to provide a book each month to 1.4 million children in 5 countries. To date, the program has gifted over 110 million books and it continues to grow in the U.S.A. and around the world. Hear Dolly’s captivating story and learn how you can start this program in your state and around the world.

3:15-5 p.m.

MCC 205 AB

Hurdling Adversity to Embrace Life's New Normal

How does one bounce back from being an Olympic track and field hopeful and Army officer candidate one day and becoming an amputee the next? John Register knows. He overcame his devastating setback to become a medal winner in the Paralympic Games. Learn how to overcome any obstacle by cultivating a resilient mindset in this highly interactive session.

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Walk of Fame Park


Opening Act—Music City Country Picnic

Join us in downtown Nashville, where decades of country music come to life! Experience authentic southern cuisine in a picnic-style affair at Walk of Fame Park and enjoy the musical stylings of singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele. Immerse yourself in country legends with a tour through the Country Music Hall of Fame, open exclusively to Summit Attendees! You must have your badge to enter.

7:30-9 p.m.

The Southern Steak & Oyster

150 3rd Ave. S. (between Demonbreun St. and Symphony Pl.)

LINCS Meetup

If you are a communications professional working in a legislature, you belong to the Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS) association. Meet a great group of your colleagues from across the country for a casual gathering after the Summit’s opening reception. For information, contact


7 a.m.-5 p.m.

MCC Exhibit Hall Prefunction

Summit Registration

8:45-10 a.m.

MCC Grand Ballroom

General Session and State Meetup

Find your table and connect with fellow Summit attendees from your state. 


Transformational Leadership – Social Entrepreneur Wes Moore 
Wes Moore, a combat veteran, Rhodes Scholar, White House Fellow, business leader and social entrepreneur, offers inspiration for how to be a transformational leader.

10:15 a.m.-Noon

MCC 201

What I Wish I Knew When I Started in the Legislature

The most valuable skills—and lessons—are usually learned on the job. In this lively discussion, legislative staff share their best and most challenging moments working in the legislature. Key takeaways include managing stressful and demanding session days, engaging in difficult conversations, managing up, maintaining confidentiality and ethics, a-ha! moments and more. 

10:15 a.m.-Noon

MCC 205 AB

Governing in a Cross-Generational World

Hear interesting insights on what it takes to appeal and connect with a cross-generational audience. As our population continues to age and evolve, how can legislators best stay in touch with and keep the attention of their constituents … and their multi-generational caucuses? How can legislative staff communicate effectively with their peers? Join us for this entertaining and eye-opening spin on demographics. 

Noon-1:45 p.m.

MCC Grand Ballroom

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon: Cultivating Credibility

These are tough times for the free press and public servants. At a time when public mistrust of journalism and government is at an all-time high, cultivating credibility in both institutions is crucial. Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune and former editor in chief of the Texas Monthly, shares lessons learned from more than 30 years of statehouse reporting, along with thoughts for moving forward.

  • Presiding: Jon Heining, Texas Legislature
  • Speaker: Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune

2-3:15 p.m.

MCC 103 AB

Disrupting Incivility

Today’s lawmakers deal with a barrage of negativity, including sometimes poisonous personal attacks. The speed and reach of social media mean attacks come fast and furiously, with little warning, and frequently in organized ways. Hear how colleagues across the country are fighting off the rising tide of incivility and using safeguards to protect themselves and the legislative institution.

  • Panelists: Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, Joan Mooney, The Faith & Politics Institute

3:30-5 p.m.

MCC Davidson A

Legislative Staff University: Becoming a Multiplier

We’ve all experienced two types of leaders. “Diminishers” drain intelligence, energy and capability from others and need to be the smartest person in the room. “Multipliers,” on the other hand, use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. Delve into the research behind the best-selling book, “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.” Learn the five disciplines that distinguish multipliers from diminishers and practical tips for leading like a multiplier.

Speaker: Rob Delange, The Wiseman Group, Colorado


7 a.m.-5 p.m.

MCC Exhibit Hall Prefunction

Summit Registration   

7:30-8:45 a.m.

Omni Mocking Bird 2

Constituent Communications: Beyond the Newsletter

Continental Breakfast

Legislators and staff are continually seeking new and effective ways to communicate with constituents that are low cost but big impact. Join us for a bite and roundtable discussion about emerging communication tools—from podcasts to videos—that help legislators, and legislatures, share their messages without a lot of effort.


  • Facilitators: Betsy Theroux, Georgia General Assembly; Erica Shorkey, Iowa General Assembly; Kit Beyer, Wisconsin Legislature 
  • Sponsor: NCSL gratefully acknowledges NCTA – The Internet & Television Association for its support of this breakfast.

10:30-11:45 a.m.

MCC 201

Every Presentation Must Tell a Story

A good story paves the way for a successful presentation, whether you’re explaining why people should support your bill or presenting your data and research to policymakers. You are more effective if you develop that story before uttering your first word. Learn how to craft your narrative and super-charge your presentation powers from experienced storytellers with diverse backgrounds.

  • Panelists: Bob Crawford, Co-Executive Director, Press On Fund and Cohost, The Road to Now and Bassist, the Avett Brothers, North Carolina; Benjamin Sawyer, The Road To Now Podcast, Tennessee; Donna Washington, DWL Storytellers, Inc., North Carolina

3:30-5 p.m.


Sharpen Your Social Media Savvy

Social media is a great tool for connecting with constituents but can be fraught with challenges. Examine the technology almost everyone uses in their personal and professional lives, from the latest apps and tips for professional posting, to archiving and legal ramifications.

  • Speakers: Kylee Zabel, Washington Legislature, and Jon Heining, Texas Legislature

6:30-9:30 p.m.

MCC Marty Dickens Terrace


Social Event: Boot Scootin' Block Party

Dust off your boots and join us for line dance lessons and live music featuring some of Nashville’s best songwriters—all leading up to country music legend Trace Adkins! Adkins is a music industry trailblazer with more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts and over 11 million albums sold. Enjoy local eats and this headlining concert held exclusively for Legislative Summit attendees! You must have your badge to enter.


7:30-10 a.m.

MCC Exhibit Hall Prefunction

Summit Registration

8:45-9:45 a.m.

MCC Davidson A

Legislative Staff Breakfast

Deliberate Creativity: Three Elements of Innovation


Creativity is not a special talent only some of us are born with. We all have the capacity to be creative. “Deliberate creatives” know that being creative is an active practice that develops over time. Learn the three elements of innovation: your mindset, skillset and toolset. Through engaging stories, research and examples, Dr. Amy Climer reveals how individuals and organizations can reach new levels of innovation by becoming deliberately creative.

  • Speaker: Amy Climer, Climer Consulting, North Carolina

12:30-2 p.m.

MCC Grand Ballroom

General Session and 2020 Summit Kickoff Lunch

Perspectives on American Leadership

To get revved up for next year’s Summit in Indianapolis, we’ll kick off this session with a delicious lunch hosted by the state of Indiana. After finishing off sugar pies as only the Hoosier State can make them, Jon Meacham will take the stage. A presidential biographer, Pulitzer Prize winner and one of America’s most prominent historians, Meacham is a prolific author of numerous bestsellers including, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” and his recent book with country singer Tim McGraw, "Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation." This session is all about looking back with an eye to the future, including next year’s Summit in Indianapolis!

  • Speaker: Presidential historian and author Jon Meacham