2016 LSS LINCS Agenda



Sept. 26-28 | Austin

The 2016 professional development seminar for the Leadership Staff Section (LSS) and the Legislative Information and Communications Staff Section (LINCS) will take place Sept. 26-28, 2016, in Austin.

Below is the agenda for both staff sections.



Sunday, Sept. 25
Time Sessions

6-8 p.m.


1110 W. 6th St.

LINCS Dutch Treat Dinner

Monday, Sept. 26
Time Sessions

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

AT&T Conference Center

Outside Classroom 107


8:45-9:30 a.m.



LINCS Executive Committee Meeting 

9-9:45 a.m.



LSS 2015-2016 Executive Committee Meeting

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Classroom 104

PDS Kick-off and Welcome to Austin

 You'll get to know everyone at the PDS, plus receive a big Texas welcome from Speaker Joe Straus and the Texas General Land Office.

10:45 a.m.-Noon

Classroom 108

LSS Session

Hi, My Name is (gasp!) . . . Networking for Introverts

If you’re an introvert, trying to network and make connections with new people can be very challenging. Come discuss strategies and tips for those with more reserved demeanors to successfully navigate networking opportunities.


  • Spencer Stokes, Lobbyist, Utah

10:45 a.m.-Noon

Classroom 107

LINCS Session

News Consumption: Meeting People Where They Are

Learn where people get their news and how you can use this information to benefit your members and legislatures. This session will be informed by the Texas Media & Society Survey, a nationwide study that provides insight into media use and civic engagement.


Speakers: Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life Director Susan Nold and Assistant Director Talia Stroud

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Classroom 104

LSS & LINCS Joint General Session and Luncheon

Media & Politics

We'll hear from respected journalist Evan Smith about the evolution of the intersection of media and politics—with a Texas twist—always an interesting subject but especially so during election season.


Speaker: Evan Smith, cofounder and CEO of the Texas Tribune

1:45-3 p.m.

Classroom 104

LSS & LINCS Joint Session

Managing Difficult Legislators

Having a healthy relationship with legislators (and your boss) will make life easier for a legislative staffer! But how do you handle difficult people with finesse in the crazy world of the legislature? Discuss best practices for maintaining an effective, productive working relationship with your boss and your boss’s colleagues, so they don’t drive you insane!


Facilitator: Lore Christopher, Oregon Legislative Assembly

3 p.m.

3:15 p.m.

Meet in hotel lobby

Bus departs for LBJ Presidential Library

3:30-5:00 p.m

LBJ Presidential Library

2313 Red River St. on UT campus

LBJ Presidential Library Tour

5 p.m. Bus back to AT&T Conference Center

6-7 p.m.

AT&T Conference Center


Opening Reception


Tuesday, Sept. 27

8-8:45 a.m.

Classroom 104


8-8:45 a.m.

Room TBD

LSS Nominating Committee

8:45-9 a.m.

Texas State Capitol

1100 Congress Ave.

Walk to Texas State Capitol

10-minute walk

LINCS walk to Charter Communications/Time Warner

9-10 a.m.




LSS Session

Generations in the Office: New and Seasoned Issues

Dealing with the generations goes beyond the usual Millennials versus Generation X. How do you keep those interns motivated beyond the first month? How do you keep the office working when you have a new leader who brings in new staff to join with staff from the previous leader? Come discuss tricks and techniques to ensure that we all get along and get the work done.


  • Lore Christopher, Oregon Legislative Assembly 

9-9:50 a.m.

Time Warner Cable

1708 Colorado St.

LINCS Tour of Charter Communications/Time Warner 

Tour the studio and hear from the professionals who cover the state capitol.

10:15-11:45 a.m.


LSS Session

How to Vet Lobbyists’ Information on the Fly and Say No When You Need to

Lobbyists regularly provide information to legislators and staff, but the information should be verified and vetted before using the information. What are strategies you use to test and confirm the information you receive from lobbyists? And, come discuss effective ways to say “no” if you have to say “no” to a lobbyist.


  • Naomi Miller, House of Representatives, Texas

10:15-11 a.m.


LINCS Session

The Importance of Digital Archiving

Documenting legislative activities in the digital age results in mountains of material. Discuss best practices for saving, organizing and accessing public records, from audio and video files to photos and documents.


Speaker: Mark Myers, Senior Electronic Records Specialist, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

11-11:45 a.m.


LINCS Roundtable and Tour of Senate Media Services

Discuss common communications issues with your colleagues from around the country and see where your Texas counterparts work their magic.

Noon-1:15 p.m.

Legislative Conference Center (LCC) Room E2.002

LSS & LINCS Joint General Session Luncheon (BBQ)

Coping in a Complex World

Everyone is being asked to do way too much—with too little time and not enough thanks. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but there is hope! Thanks to the brain experts from the popular “Two Guys on Your Head” public radio podcast, you’ll gain insight not only into how to cope, but thrive.


Speakers: University of Texas at Austin professors Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, with KUT senior producer and host Rebecca McInroy

1:30-2:45 p.m.



LSS & LINCS Joint Session

Five Minutes of Fame!

You are the star in this participatory session in which attendees and/or state delegations (who sign up in advance) have exactly five minutes to share a work-related story. Tell us about a unique project, daunting challenge, creative solution or anything else you'd like to communicate about your job. It's a fast, friendly and fun way to share and learn from your colleagues around the country. 


Moderator: Mick Bullock, director of Public Affairs, NCSL

Speakers: You! Members of LSS and LINCS will have five minutes to share what’s up in their office. Share a conundrum, innovative project, question or solution with your colleagues!

3-4 p.m.


LSS Business Meeting

3-4 p.m.


LINCS Business Meeting
4-5:30 p.m.

Tour of Texas State Capitol

Please join us for a VIP Texas Capitol tour that will showcase not only the public areas of the building including the rotunda, the Legislative Reference Library and the Senate and House Chambers, but also the behind-the-scenes areas including the Speaker's Residence, the Lieutenant Governor's Reception Room and the subterranean vault. Note that the House Chamber is currently closed and under renovation but attendees will have the unique opportunity to sit in the room for remarks by House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel.

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Lieutenant Governor's Reception Room, 2E.16

Reception hosted by Secretary of the Senate Patsy Spaw

Presentation of Legislative Staff Achievement Awards

Evening Free evening to enjoy Austin!

8:30 a.m.-Noon

Classroom 107

Information Desk

8:30-9 a.m.

Classroom 107


9-10:15 a.m.

Classroom 108

LSS Session

Wrecking Ball: The Day-to-Day Small Crises

You have your day scheduled; you have your five items on your must-accomplish list; plus, the other items on the to-do list, but then a small crisis comes along and throws the whole schedule and plan out the window. Come share your techniques for dealing with those crazy days when the small crises—or the one big crisis—take over.

9-10:15 a.m.

Classroom 104

LINCS Session

Clicking with Constituents: Communications Strategies in a Changing World

Legislative communicators work hard to connect their legislatures and legislators with constituents, directly and indirectly. How do we know they're hearing us ... and we are hearing them? We'll look at how to leverage existing and emerging tools to create stronger ties with constituents through creative uses of technology, media and face-to-face communications.


Facilitator: Larry Schooler, public engagement expert, City of Austin and Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life

10:30 a.m.-Noon

Classroom 104

LINCS & LSS Joint General Closing Session

From Chaos to Collaboration: Bridging the Gap Between Constituents and Legislatures

Obtaining timely and meaningful feedback from constituents about public policies remains a daunting challenge in state capitals across the country. What systemic changes can legislators and their staffs implement to make their relationship with the public more productive for both sides? We'll explore how to change the paradigm for public engagement in this interactive session.


Facilitator: Larry Schooler, public engagement expert, City of Austin and Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life