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President’s Message

TMHRA Members and Sponsors,

As we approach the end of 2020, we can begin to reflect on the extraordinary events of this year and know that we are stronger as individuals and professionals for all we have done to help our cities, communities, and each other through these unprecedented times.

The world as we have been familiar and comfortable with has changed. We will be remembered for establishing the new normal for the human resources profession. One that recognizes the traditions of serving others while simultaneously establishing dynamic paths forward in diversity, equality, and inclusion. One that also acknowledges the need for flexibility in how local governments deliver services.

Your elected Board of Directors is a group of experienced leaders dedicated to human resources excellence and eager to accomplish great things for TMHRA. I want to take a moment to recognize our Board: Vice-President Shante Akafia (Plano); Secretary-Treasurer Andre Houser (Conroe); Past President Cheree Bontrager (University Park); Trustees Craig Barnes (Plano), Sandra Duran (Kyle), Christi Klyn (Wichita Falls), Larissa Rodriguez (Uvalde); Holly Guidry (Nederland), Kent Etienne (Galveston), Veronica Sanchez (San Angelo), and Cat Schlueter (Azle); TML Board Representative Lisa Norris (Grand Prairie); and TMRS Board Representative Lauren Safranek (Frisco).

I would also like to recognize our sponsors who continue to work diligently to assist us as we serve our employees and communities. Many of our sponsors are offering valuable information and resources, including free webinars, toolkits, and white papers to ensure continuing education opportunities are available given current economic and public health conditions, and the ever-changing legislative direction at the federal and state levels.

TML also continues to provide valuable resources and updates, including those related to the pandemic, on our TMHRA Coronavirus page.

We are not sure what to anticipate in 2021, but we are optimistic. Many committees are working hard on upcoming activities, like preparing for the 87th Texas legislative session, and programs for membership development, annual conference, and other learning events. We are also looking to re-envision our ListServe, where members can reach out to one another for valuable information, data, contacts, and the like. Social media is another front where virtual connections can be made and maintained – if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out and connect on TMHRA’s various platforms!

While we are still navigating these uncharted waters, we are hopeful that we will be able to stay the course and safely come together soon to greet old friends, make new connections, learn from one another’s experiences, and grow as professionals.

Paula J. Kutchka
President, TMHRA