Legislative Affairs Conference

legislative affairs


Mar 4 - Mar 5, 2019


Hyatt Regency Austin
208 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas, 78704



Every two years, the Texas Restaurant Association hosts the Legislative Affairs Conference as an opportunity to get members involved directly with our Texas lawmakers. The first day is spent networking with and hearing from distinguished speakers relevant to our industry. On day two, we head to the Texas Capitol with talking points in hand to meet face-to-face with legislators and their staff to help educate them about the restaurant business. We hope you can join us!


$175 per person

Agenda Outline

Monday, March 4, 2019

2:30 -5:00 PM – Registration

2:30 -3:00 PM – Representative Craig Goldman, House District 97

3:00 -3:30 PM –  Ruth Ruggero Hughs, Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers of the Texas Workforce Commission                                                                                                                                                                                                

3:30 - 4:00 PM - Mike Whatley, Vice President, State and Local Affairs, National Restaurant Association

4:30 - 5:30 PM - TRA Session Update                                                                                                                                            

5:30 - 7:00 PM – Legislative Reception

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

7:30 - 8:30 AM – Light Breakfast

9:00 AM -2:00 PM – Texas State Capitol Visits

Featured Speakers

Ruth Ruggero Hughs is the Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers of the Texas Workforce Commission. Governor Greg Abbott appointed her to the three-member commission in July 2015. Chair Hughs is dedicated to supporting a workforce system that creates value and offers employers, individuals, and communities the opportunity to achieve and sustain economic prosperity. In her role as the Commissioner Representing Employers, Commissioner Hughs serves as an advocate for the over 550,000 Texas employers. Her office provides a variety of resources including training and assistance with workplace hiring, managing and recruiting matters.

Craig Goldman is currently serving his fourth term as Texas State Representative for House District 97, which encompasses southwest Tarrant County. He was first elected in November of 2012.

Before taking office, Representative Goldman experienced a career in both business and political fields. For nearly a decade, he and his father ran a retail gourmet food and fine wine store in Fort Worth, and he worked on campaigns helping to elect Republican office holders at the local, state and national level.

Representative Goldman is extremely proud of his Texas roots as a 5th generation Texan and a 4th generation native of Fort Worth. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a partner in several real estate investment companies. Craig and his wife, Auryn, reside in Fort Worth, Texas.


Mike Whatley is currently the Vice President of State and Local Affairs at the National Restaurant Association where he advocates on behalf of the restaurant industry in all 50 states across the country.  Prior to working at the Association, he worked in Congress for the House Oversight Committee in the United States House of Representatives. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with honors in Government and recently received his MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. 

An avid foodie, Mike was his college newspaper’s food critic and runs a local food blog focusing on the H Street Corridor of Washington, D.C. Mike and his wife Jess live in downtown D.C. with their dog Beanie and are currently expecting their first child.



Register Here