Representative Chris Paddie of Marshall was recognized as the Legislator of the Year at the event. Judge Hugh Taylor of Harrison County introduced the Representative and shared his appreciation of his service. The Judge stated, "Chris was elected to the Texas State House, District 9, in November 2012. He earned the support of a wide range of groups including Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Medical Association, Texas Association of Manufacturers, Association of Texas Professional Educators, Texas Association of Realtors and Texas Parent PAC, amongst others. During the current session, Chris has been appointed to serve as the Vice Chair on the House Energy Resources Committee and also serves on the House Administration and Transportation Committees. On these committees, Chris works hard to maintain Texas' business friendly environment and our fair, predictable regulatory system in order to keep the Texas economy leading the nation and to protect private property rights." The legislator of the year was nominated by electronic survey of the general public and selected by the ETCOG Chief Elected Officials Board.
In preparation for this reception every other year, a Regional Priorities Survey is conducted in an attempt to get an idea of the common concerns of the East Texas Region's elected officials. Thirteen priorities were ranked and ETCOG's Executive Committee Chairman, Commissioner Wade McKinney of Henderson County highlighted the top priorities at the event. "In view of the current economic climate, it is no surprise that the top three regional priorities are Community and Economic Development, Health and Human Services with particular emphasis on mental health, and Workforce Training and Education," said Commissioner McKinney. Other high ranking priorities included Water Supply and Policy, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, and Broadband Service.
The reception was paid for by admission fees and sponsorships of the event. The 2015 Reception sponsors included: Platinum Sponsors ($5,000): East Texas Economic Development District, Luminant; Gold Sponsor ($2,500): Gary Traylor & Associates; Silver Sponsors ($1,000): Brinson Benefits, Capshaw & DeRieux, LLP, The City of Carthage & Carthage Improvement Corporation, Dynamic Workforce Solutions, McGuire Woods Consulting, and TH Enterprises; and Bronze Sponsors ($500): Judge Richard & Christina Anderson, Centurylink, High Plaza Center Inc., Kilgore SBDC, Neighborhood Centers Inc., Network Communications, Progressive Waste Services, Regions Bank, Republic Waste Services, R.R.H. Properties, and Southside Bank.
Photos of the event are available here and may be used with photography attribution to Michelle Cahal. For more information, contact ETCOG's Executive Director, David Cleveland, at 903.218.6423
For more information about ETCOG click here.
The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly, or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers. ETCOG and its contractors also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, and environmental grant funding for the region.