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KEYNOTES



Monday, June 19


EVAN SMITH

CEO & Co-founder
The Texas Tribune

Evan Smith is CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization recently called “one of the nonprofit news sector’s runaway success stories.” The Tribune's deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including nine national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and six awards from the Online News Association. Previously Evan spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as Editor and a year as President and Editor-in-Chief.



Tuesday, June 20


MIKE IHNAT

Co-founder
Tilted Chair Creative

Since graduating from the University of Texas, Mike has lived and breathed Tilted Chair. Through ups and downs, lefts and rights, Mike has proven to be a resilient, reliable, and insanely hard-working partner who will do anything to help Tilted Chair succeed. Legend has it that for the first five years of Tilted Chair’s life, he didn’t take a single day off. Not one. Okay, maybe that’s not true. But he’s one dedicated son of a gun.

Mike heads up the account services department, making him one of the main contact points for clients. Although he sticks with mostly client-facing work, Mike is always eager to lend a hand anywhere else he is needed. Sometimes that’s writing copy, sometime’s it’s composing original music for a video, and sometimes it’s referencing a really good episode of South Park to get everyone inspired.

When Mike’s not working his butt off for Tilted Chair, you can find him shooting in the mid-80’s on a golf course somewhere or making sushi from scratch. You know, the usual. Oh, and his last name? It’s pronounced “eye-gnat”.



Wednesday, June 21


DR. STEVE JOHNSON

Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Texas Association of Community Colleges

Dr. Steven Johnson serves as a key advisor for the 50 community college Chancellors & Presidents in Texas. Dr. Johnson is an innovator and leader in developing strategies that advance the mission of the largest sector of higher education in the state. He is widely recognized as an expert on community colleges, higher education advocacy and policy, and student success. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Statewide Dual Credit Taskforce.

In his role as Chief Operating Officer he directs the budget and operational management of TACC and affiliated organizations including the Texas Community College Educational Initiative (TCCEI).

Previously he served as Special Assistant for Governmental Relations at the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board, as Chief-of-Staff for a leading member of the Texas House of Representatives, and as the Director of Student Financial Services at Concordia University Texas.

Steven received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His doctoral research focused on the structure and unique characteristics of public advocacy at institutions of higher education. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and received his B.A. in History from Concordia University Texas.