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Event Recap | Leadership North Texas University

The inaugural class of Leadership North Texas University (LNT U) had an information-packed three days, working with nearly three dozen leaders from across North Texas to learn about the assets and challenges we face as a region.

LNT U, a three-day regional leadership bootcamp, covered topics such as education, transportation, North Texas demographics and even legislation, just as parent program Leadership North Texas does over a nine-month span. LNT U, however, targeted millennial-age leaders to, at the end of each day, discuss these topics and how to better face challenges, and utilize strengths, moving forwards as a region. Below is a list of LNT U participants and the organizations they were representing during the program:NameOrganizationCourtney AvilesDallas/Fort Worth International AirportKyle BottomFrost BankAnabel Castillo-SotoWorkforce Solutions for North Central TexasTamara CookNorth Central Texas Council of GovernmentsAshley CottoneBlue Cross Blue Shield of TexasBrent DailySlalom ConsultingBrittney FarrDARTChristopher FerroDallas/Fort Worth International AirportAlan GonzalezDallas/Fort Worth International AirportJustin HairstonMy PossibilitiesMatt JohnsCooksey CommunicationsGarlyn KempSlalom ConsultingJessica LimmerDFW International AirportAnthony LoeffelHuitt-ZollarsJulie McKinneyDallas County SchoolsCristina MedinaNorth Central Texas Council of GovernmentsAaron MedoffDFW International AirportCrystal MoraDFW International AirportPatricia NavaChildren’s HealthAbby OwensCity of PlanoPerla PaniaguaDFW International AirportAustin PanzinoAECOMPooja PatelHuitt-ZollarsCori ReaumeNorth Central Texas Council of GovernmentsShelby ReedWorld Class Automotive GroupStephanie RobertsWorkforce Solutions for North Central TexasShaylon ScottVolunteerNowKatharine SmithHuitt-ZollarsZach SteinkuhlerHuitt-ZollarsKim ThiemeFreese and NicholsAlora WachholzTown of Flower MoundClark WickliffeCentury 21 Judge Fite


A regional map activity led by NTC’s Kimberly Walton

Day 1 of the program focused on regionalism, allowing members of Class 1 to get to know each other with an elevator pitch activity before presentations by NTC President and CEO, Mabrie Jackson, and State Demographer Dr. Lloyd Potter. Participants then discussed voter apathy with the NTC’s Britton Cunningham, who also co-directed the program with LNT Director Kim Walton. Former State Representative Vickie Truitt also discussed the importance of voting. Day 1 culminated with presentations on leading up with David Woods, CEO of Giant Partners, and a group improv activity lead by Amy Rosellini of Pavlov’s Dogs Improv Comedy.


Visiting William P. Clements’ education center.

Day 2 of LNT U was a travel day. Class 1 visited UT Southwestern’s newest medical facility, the William P. Clements University Hospital, and met with Ruben Esquivel, Vice President for Community and Corporate Relations, as well as Dr. John Warner, CEO of UT Southwestern Hospitals. They were then able to tour the new hospital. Class 1 traveled from William P. Clements to Mockingbird Station in Dallas, where DART’s Jack Weirzenski discussed mass transit in North Texas, and then met with Phyllis Jarrell, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano, to talk about sustainability through redevelopment.

Billy George of Texas Municipal Water District met with Class 1 to discuss water in North Texas, followed by a presentation from Texas Central Partners’ Vice President of Government Relations, Travis Kelly, on the high speed rail project. The day wrapped up with Joy Weaver, author of “How to be Socially Savvy in All Situations,” and an etiquette dinner for Class 1.


Vision North Texas facilitates a housing and development activity.

Day 3 opened with two special presentations from the NTC’s Britton Cunningham – one on millennials (see Britton’s webinar on millennials here), and one on personal branding. Betsy Del Monte from Vision North Texas facilitated a housing and development activity, followed by a presentation from Chris Duke from Texans for Education Reform on education and legislation in North Texas.


Elected officials panel. From left: John Terrell, DFW International Airport, Former Mayor of Southlake; Hon. Kelly Hancock, Senator, Texas State Senate; Hon. Nancy Yingling, Councilmember, City of Coppell; Hon. Oscar Trevino, Mayor, City of North Richland Hills

State Senator Kelly Hancock, North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino and Coppell City Councilmember and LNT Class 7 member Nancy Yingling held a panel discussion on local and state government moderated by John Terrell, former mayor of Southlake and Vice President of Commercial Development at DFW International Airport. As a wrap up, TD Smyers, chairman of Leadership North Texas Alumni and COO of United Way Tarrant County, spoke on values of leadership and management as well as why both are necessary to be successful. Class 1 members graduated from the program at a reception held at the American Airlines Training Center, where the program was hosted, with alumni from all 6 previous Leadership North Texas classes.

For more information about Leadership North Texas University, you can visit the LNT U website here. Questions? Email Kim Walton, NTC Vice President of Communications at

View photos from LNT U here:

Leadership North Texas University Class 1
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