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As I begin my term as president of YOUR association, I am both excited and humbled. I am humbled that you have placed your trust in me to lead this outstanding organization for the coming year. A wise man once told me years ago that he never saw challenges – only opportunities. With all that is going on in our human resources world today, we will have plenty of opportunities to showcase our expertise and our abilities as human resources professionals. My desire is that our association will serve as a valuable partner for you when you are faced with those opportunities.

I am excited for the changes that we are making in our association! We recently created a vibrant new logo and are in the process of rebranding ourselves in order to be of more service to you. Soon, you will see a new web presence that will be more informative and easier to use. Recently, we launched TMHRA QC, in order for you to ask your human resources related questions and have both the questions and answers saved in a searchable format so that others can have access to the same information.

We have an outstanding board of directors for this coming year, and I would like to take just minute to give a shout out to all of them:

Past President Paula Kutchka, Human Resources Director, City of Sugar Land

Vice-President Lauren Safranek, Human Resources Director, City of Frisco

Secretary/Treasurer Tadd Phillips, Human Resources Director, City of Georgetown

Trustee Lashon Gros, Human Resources Director, City of Taylor

Trustee Holly Guidry, Human Resources Director, City of Nederland

Trustee Christi Klyn, Human Resources Director, City of Wichita Falls

Trustee Veronica Sanchez, Assistant Human Resources Director, City of San Angelo

Trustee Cat Schlueter, Human Resources Director, City of Azle

Trustee Elliot Harper, Talent Services Manager, City of Irving

Trustee Jeriana Staton, Human Resources Director, City of Sanger

Trustee Kelly Rodriguez, Human Resources Manager, City of Killeen

TMRS Representative Cheree Bontrager, Human Resources Director, City of University Park

TML Representative Lisa Norris, Human Resources Director, City of Grand Prairie

We are looking forward to a great year of conferences, both our Civil and Service and Labor Relations Conference, scheduled for early February in Sugar Land, and our Annual Conference, scheduled for mid-May in Galveston. I hope to see all of you there!

Andre Houser
President, TMHRA
Human Resources Director, City of Conroe


President’s Message

January 26, 2022

I am so excited for what this year will bring for TMHRA members as we continue to share information and experiences and connect on both professional and personal levels. Below you will find initiatives I have established for the TMHRA Board this coming year. Expect to receive updates on these matters via our website and TMHRA QC Mail. Please also allow me to take the time to encourage you to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn if you haven’t already done so.


Initiative 1 – Value Proposition and Visual Re-Branding of TMHRA

  • Value Proposition – We will work to actively share what you will receive back as a benefit from the investment (of yourself) into TMHRA.
  • Visual Re-Branding of TMHRA – To be the first resource for Texas municipal human resources professionals, we want to ensure that we present ourselves as an attractive and informative association that actively and openly shares and connects.

Initiative 2 – Mentoring

  • Because we continue to add new members to TMHRA and those who are new to municipal human resources, we will strive to foster connections between those who have years of relevant municipal human resources experience and those who may just be starting. Also, there will be opportunities for others with municipal experience in a smaller or larger city environment who need guidance and advice from those who have been there.

Initiative 3 – Board Development

  • As your TMHRA Board, we want to ensure that we stay at the forefront of information, opportunities, and issues impacting our profession so we can better and more effectively share with you. In addition, we are building a leadership pipeline for future board members. To this end, if you are interested in serving on a committee, get in touch with me at sakafia@cityoflewisville.com.

Initiative 4 – Historical Data/Consistency

  • TMHRA has been around for a few decades now, and we want to make sure while we strive to lead and excel in the 21stcentury, we can recall and reconnect with where we came from by maintaining pertinent historical policy, procedural, and legislative information.

Continued Resiliency of Human Resources

As we continue navigating through daily opportunities presented in our organizations, we need to remember that what we offer goes beyond our professional experience and includes personal investments of self. So, as you invest yourself, please remember that you are not alone. We should not forget that we can reach out to each other when we need help and advice, but we can also be proactive in connecting with others to see how we can share our experiences to strengthen them.

Resiliency is a word used to describe something strong, hearty, and irrepressible. Together, this is who we have been, are, and will continue to be.

Thank you for serving beyond self and investing with others who share a passion for our chosen profession as our Texas Municipal Human Resources Association members.

Shanté R. Akafia
TMHRA President