The Texas Rural Leadership Program works to create and deliver engaging, effective leadership development opportunities for Rural Texas. TRLP feels that each community has something unique to its history and future. We find what works well for a community and share it across the state, as a way to provide examples for others. TRLP is more than consulting. We put power in the hands of local citizens through new knowledge, changed attitudes and dedicated skills. The future is yours with TRLP.
“City of New Fairview (Wise County)” (July 26, 2021)
On July 26, Craig Rotter presented the final workshop of five for the City of New Fairview. This workshop focused on branding and marketing a rural community, including a set of defined community core values.
“Refugio County Community Development Foundation” (June 24, 2021)
On June 24, Craig Rotter facilitated a fifth workshop in a series of six, for local leaders through the Refugio County Community Development Foundation. The workshop is a newly developed addition to Texas Rural Leadership Program’s set of educational modules and is focused on elements of effective communities and community building principles in a rural setting. A pre-event reflective worksheet was provided to participants, allowing for assessment of the local communities in the provided content areas.
“City of New Fairview (Wise County)” (June 14, 2021)
On June 14, Craig Rotter facilitated a Part II of the previous strategic planning workshop for the City of New Fairview, continuing the process of creating vision and mission statements, strategic intents (themes), initiatives, and key action items necessary to complete the decided upon prioritized initiatives.
“City of New Fairview (Wise County)” (June 7, 2021)
On June 7, Craig Rotter facilitated the second in a workshop series for officials in the City of New Fairview (Wise County) focused upon strategic planning. This session included the creation of mission and vision statements and core values for the City of New Fairview, then strategic intents (themes), initiatives, and key action items with completion dates (what we call key measures of success).
“City of New Fairview (Wise County)” (May 18, 2021)
On May 18, Craig Rotter facilitated the first workshop in a 3-module series for leaders of the City of New Fairview (Wise County), via Zoom, focused on Characteristics of Rural Change Leaders. The program was well received by city officials who participated. Participants shared that the conversation and content elevated a shift in attitudes about what is possible and increased knowledge about what it means to be a change leader. The next workshop will be held on June 7, via Zoom, and will focus upon developing a short-term strategic plan, mission and vision statements, and a set of named core values for the City of New Fairview.
“Rural Student Success Initiative (RSSI)” (May 13, 2021)
On May 13, Craig Rotter facilitated a workshop for county agents and local leaders engaged in the Rural Student Success Initiative (RSSI). The focus was on leadership and management, attributes of each, and contrasting between the two as part of the work in RSSI.
“Refugio County Community Development Foundation” (April 21, 2021)
On April 21, Craig Rotter met with members of the board of directors of the Refugio County Community Development Foundation to elevate participation in the remaining 3 of 6 workshops being facilitated by Texas Rural Leadership Program in their county.
“Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series” (April 15, 2021)
On April 15, Craig Rotter participated in the Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series sponsored by Office for Diversity, Texas A&M University. The speaker was Portia Owusu, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University. The topic was “Spectres from the Past: The Politics of History and Memory.
“Collegiate Edu-Nation” (April 13, 2021)
On April 13, Craig Rotter participated in the quarterly board meeting of Collegiate Edu-Nation (via Zoom) being updated by the CEO and CFO and reflecting on accomplishments over the three previous months. Craig Rotter has served on the board of directors since late 2020.
“Texas Rural Practitioners” (April 12, 2021)
On April 12, Craig Rotter participated in the monthly membership meeting (via Zoom) of Texas Rural Practitioners, focused upon increasing collective knowledge of unmet needs in rural Texas, collaborative next steps including a membership retreat and conference in 2022, and legislative session updates on bills impacting people in rural Texas.
“Texas Rural Leadership Program/Healthy Texas Initiative” (April 7, 2021)
Craig Rotter co-presented the final report of Texas Rural Leadership Program/Healthy Texas Initiative, via Zoom, as part of the 15-month Episcopal Health Foundation Rural Health Resource Center Leaning Cohort project. Co-presenter was Carissa Wilhelm, Program Coordinator, Healthy Texas Initiative.
“Refugio County Community Development Foundation” (March 11, 2021)
Craig Rotter and Texas Rural Leadership Program will host four additional facilitated workshops for leaders in Refugio County through the Refugio County Community Development Foundation in Spring 2021, via Zoom, focusing upon the similarities and differences of leadership and management as concepts and lived experiences in a rural setting.
“Coming Together for Racial Understanding workgroup” (March 5, 2021)
Craig Rotter was a guest on the Montgomery County Lone Star Radio show “The Extension Hour” hosted by Amy Ressler, Montgomery County Extension Agent – Family and Community Health, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Fellow guests are Dawn Burton, Health Coordinator, Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program, Sonja Davis-Stueart-Davis, Harris County Extension Agent – Family and Community Health, colleagues also involved in extension’s Coming Together for Racial Understanding workgroup. Our topic is “Dialogue or Debate? Tips for Productive Conversations about Race”.
“JCEP Extension Leadership Conference” (February 9, 2021)
Craig Rotter, TRLP, Dawn Burton, Program Coordinator, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Julie York, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Upshur County FCH agent will be facilitating a training workshop at the national JCEP Extension Leadership Conference via Zoom, focused on personal identity and bias, entitled, “Connecting More Deeply with Yourself and Others: Learn How Personal Identities Affect Bias”.
“Refugio County Community Development Foundation” (January 25, 2021)
TRLP’s Craig Rotter facilitated the first of five workshops through the Refugio County Community Development Foundation. This initial workshop was centered upon characteristics of rural change leaders, as a foundation for the rest of the series.
“2021 Blackland Income Growth Conference” (January 5, 2021)
TRLP presented a leadership workshop for youth at the 2021 Blackland Income Growth Conference, titled, “Being a Leader (through what I think, what I believe, and what I do)” focused on characteristics of leaders that create positive change.
“Collegiate Edu-Nation” (December 3, 2020)
TRLP participated in a virtual meeting among Collegiate Edu-Nation board members, focused on the widening of CEN’s efforts to increase the number of rural public schools utilizing a PTECH model of college readiness with the opportunity for 75%+ of high school graduates completing an associate degree or professional certification program by time of graduation.
“Changing Our View of Identity in a Time of Change – A Starter for Agency Diversity Education” (December 2, 2020)
TRLP presented a professional competency building workshop via Zoom entitled, “Changing Our View of Identity in a Time of Change – A Starter for Agency Diversity Education” at the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professions (NAEPSDP) virtual national conference
“Telling the Financial Story of Your Non-Profit Organization” (November 13, 2020)
TRLP participated in a workshop focused on “telling the financial story of your non-profit organization” as apart of a series of nonprofit financial workshops hosted by consulting firm, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) offered through Episcopal Health Foundation.
TRLP Hosted its 1st Zoom Workshop! (September 1, 2020)
Texas Rural Leadership Program hosted its first workshop, via Zoom, in a three-part series for rural community leaders in Childers, Clay, Henrietta and Jacks Counties through a partnership with America’s Small Business Development Center (Midwestern State University). This first workshop showcased 8 characteristics of rural change leaders, with a set of knowledge attitudes, and behaviors/skills affiliated with each characteristic.
America’s SBDC at Midwestern State University (September 1, 2020)
In partnership with America’s SBDC at Midwestern State University, our first of three facilitated workshops, was held on September 1 via Zoom for Chambers of Commerce stakeholders in Childress (Childress County), Henrietta (Clay County), and Jacksboro (Jacks County). Our topic was Characteristics of Rural Change Leaders: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills Needed for Positive Change.
SALE-LE XIV Cohort detailing the Texas Rural Leadership Program (August 14, 2020)
A 50-minute presentation was provided to the SALE-LE XIV Cohort detailing the Texas Rural Leadership Program and how it is focused upon creating positive change in rural communities through its products and services. The presentation was well received, with a referral being made to facilitate a leadership development workshop on January 5, 2021 for the 2021 Blackland Income Growth Conference Youth Workshop with 7th – 12th graders from 24 counties as the audience.
Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (July 2020)
Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce partnered with us to help them come up with a strategic plan. Together during the month of July, we collaborated and met our goals that focused on agency culture and climate and individual experiences as they relate to racial diversity and equity. This is a part of the Coming Together for Racial Understanding Initiative.
Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Service partnership (July 28 -30 2020)
Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Service peers present a concurrent session on at the state TEAFCS Conference in Amarillo July 28-30 on Conversations for Change as part of our work in inclusion/diversity education.
Livestream Conversation: Rural Housing in the Time of COVID-19, hosted by Rural Assembly (June 16)
United Nations Global Compact 20th Anniversary Leaders Summit, Ezra Joel Foundation (June 15 – 16)
One of our TRLP international partners (TRLP is assisting EJ Foundation in their 2021 conference planning logistics and relationship building with the Borlaug Institute and presented a leadership workshop at EJ Foundation’s 2019 international agricultural production conference in Katy, Texas).
TRLP Engaging Rural Communities Conference, (April 2-3, 2020) – We our saddened to announce that the Conference has been Cancelled Due to COVID-19 as of 3-16-2020!
We are excited about this year’s theme: Health, Wealth, and Wisdom: Greater Prosperity in Rural Texas and the engaging speakers/panelist we are lining up to deliver an impactful experience. We want you to return to your community, county, or organization with greater ideas and a renewed commitment for what is possible across rural Texas. We will be sharing details on our conference agenda and speakers/panelists soon. Our conference schedule is fast-paced and will be highly engaging.
Texoma Council of Governments – Food Desert Mapping – Connected TCOG with resource providers for mapping tools for counties in their service area (March 30, 2020)
Episcopal Health Foundation – Health Resource Center Community of Learners Project – Bastrop, Robertson, and Trinity Counties (2020)
ETHNN Conference (January 30-31, 2020)
TRLP Leaders in Action Workshop Series, (2017-2019)
Since 2017, in Robertson County, two groups have completed the series and their demonstration projects, with a third group currently in process
Texoma Council of Governments, Sherman, Texas (November 13-14, 2019)
Texoma Council of Governments, Sherman, Texas (November 14) Facilitated a half-day Branding Your Community workshop for leaders in local communities, mostly in Grayson County.
Fort Bend County Recovers, Stafford, Texas (November 5, 2019)
Fort Bend County Recovers, Stafford, Texas (November 5) Half-day strategic planning retreat facilitation resulting in a list of strategies to be utilized toward implementing a COAD model as the organization transitions into a blue skies period within the county, post-Hurricane Harvey.
Power of Collaboration 2019 Conference (October 27-29, 2019)
Coastal Bend LTRG Strategic Planning Retreat (October 1-4, 2019)
Ezra Joel Foundation International Agricultural Promotion Conference, Katy, Texas (October 8, 2019)
Ezra Joel Foundation International Agricultural Promotion Conference, Katy, Texas (October 8, 2019) Provided a workshop on visioning processes for products/services with an emphasis on marginalized populations vs those who historically matter.
Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, Portland, Texas (October 2, 2019)
Full-day strategic planning retreat facilitation resulting in a two-year strategy-on-a-page for the organization in its service to 11 counties.
LTRG Workshop (September 26, 2019)
Association of Rural Communities in Texas Conference (September 23-25, 2019)
Resilience Rising (September 5-6, 2019)
Texas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference (July 23, 2019)
Citizen Planner Program hosted by Texas Community Watershed Partners (June 27, 2019)
On June 27, Texas Rural Leadership Program staffed a resource table and presented at a Citizen Planner program hosted by Texas Community Watershed Partners, a service provider within Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Participants included representatives from El Paso County as well as community stakeholders from the Texas Coastal Bend and the Rio Grande Valley. El Paso County representatives connected TRLP with Celeste Varela, Public Policy Analyst in the Office of the El Paso County Judge, who expressed interest in El Paso County contracting with TRLP for leadership development workshops in up to 6 sites within the county. TRLP is in continued conversation with Varela about budgeting for the program, with the possibility of facilitation in 2020.
Texas Rural Challenge, hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio, in New Braunfels, TX (June 17-18, 2019)
Dr. Craig Rotter participated in the Texas Rural Challenge, hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio, in New Braunfels. The theme was Cultivate. Innovate. Collaborate. This event provided time to meet with fellow rural service providers and introduce TRLP to potential community partners and sponsors for TRLP’s 2020 conference.
American Red Cross and OneStar Foundation to host a Mini-Summit (May 30, 2019)
On May 30, Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) partnered with American Red Cross and OneStar Foundation to host a Mini-Summit for four Texas Counties (Liberty, Polk, San Jacinto, and Walker) focused on structuring long-term disaster recovery groups. TRLP facilitated a session on inclusion, marginalization versus mattering in community populations, and community development as it applies to long-term recovery. The audience included case managers, emergency disaster relief personnel, and municipal/county officials.
Community Prosperity Summit, hosted by the USDA in Houston, TX (May 22-23, 2019)
Dr. Craig Rotter represented TRLP at one of four national Community Prosperity Summits, hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Houston. The purpose of the event was to roll out USDA’s new rural community prosperity initiative with the hope of having participants agree to create rural community prosperity councils and take advantage of USDA grants and loans available for improvement projects. This event proved to be a strong networking opportunity with representatives from USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the larger Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement as well as other participating organizations. It was noted that four invited participants had attended TRLP’s conference in April.
CHARM Workshop for Refugio County (April 30, 2019)
Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) partnered with Texas Community Watershed Partners (TCWP) in a Community Health and Resource Management (CHARM) workshop for Refugio County, a county impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Texas Coastal Bend. TRLP facilitated the opening session, focused on mindfulness and strategies for creating positive change. This session set the tone for the day’s agenda, with an emphasis on collaboration and a need for collective human capital/leadership. The audience included municipal and county officials.
Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Washington, DC (April 15, 2019)
A professional conference concurrent session was presented in Washington, DC, by Dr. Craig Rotter at the national Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference. This presentation, entitled, “Beyond Agreeing to Disagree: Partnering with Leadership Development Organizations to Promote Rural Community Civility Through Customized, Local Workshop Series” outlined the TRLP Leaders-In-Action workshop process and associated outcomes, namely how to bring community members together, beyond difference, and toward creating common goals.
These professional conference activities, including the competitiveness of acceptance of professional conference posters and presentations, associated with TRLP’s work, demonstrate a commitment to measure and analysis of the impact made through the program.
TRLP Engaging Rural Communities Conference, (April 4-5, 2019)
TRLP hosted its annual conference in Austin, Texas, April 4-5. Our audience included engaged citizens, municipal/county officials, rural service providers, hospital administrators, rural educators, and disaster recovery case managers/volunteers. The conference provided panel sessions in the areas of rural water, health and well-being, and technical education, community development success stories, and the importance of rural Texas in state/national policy making.
Texas Rural Funders Collaborative Retreat
TRLP participated in a retreat hosted by the newly created Texas Rural Funders Collaborative (TRFC), an entity of 15+ charitable foundations with an emphasis on measurable positive impact through project funding and influence in rural Texas populations. A list of initiative priorities was established, with statewide broadband access and leadership development rising to top-two status. TRLP was one of twelve invited practitioner participants, with the establishment of a Texas Rural Practitioners Collaborative as an outcome. Monthly conference calls have been implemented among practitioners.
Joint Council of Extension Professionals Conference, (February 7, 2019)
On February 7, two professional research posters were presented at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Conference in San Antonio. One, entitled “Sittin’ a Spell, Creating Time in Your Day to Build Purposeful Relationships”, was presented by Dr. Craig Rotter and Upshur County extension agent and local TRLP – Upshur County facilitator, Julie York. This poster focused on county agents intentionally and regularly reaching out to members of the communities in their county with whom they seldom engage, marginalized populations, and having purposeful conversations with these parties, building a greater sense of community in the process. The second, entitled, “Crossroads Hometown Festival: Energizing a Rural Community through Developing Leaders in Action”, was presented by the TRLP Research Team. This poster showcased how attitudes, knowledge, and skills gained through the TRLP Leaders-In-Action workshop processes enabled participants to identify assets and create the festival as a demonstration project, built upon newly established positive relationships within the community.
TRANSFORM project for Houston Public Works Resilience panelist (February 5-6, 2019)
Dr. Craig Rotter represented TRLP and participated as an invited RESILIENCE panelist for the kickoff of a greater project called TRANSFORM for Houston Public Works, held at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. The event was hosted by Alliance for Organizational Excellence. Sandy Asch, CEO of the host organization and her team, facilitated a larger program in Spring 2019 for 400 employees of Houston Public Works, with the expectation and goal of creating a healthier and positive work/life environment within Houston Public Works. This panel also included Carol Haddock, Director of Houston Public Works and Claudia Aguirre, President and CEO of BakerRipley.
On February 6, Dr. Craig Rotter participated in a full-day workshop on resilience, facilitated by Sandy Asch at the Houston Zoo Gorilla Enclosure. The event was centered in exploring creative ideas and making new commitments to increase focus, the ability to influence others positively, to make better use of time and energy, be more purposeful, and develop the grit needed to thrive in a disruptive world.