'Inside the TCMA' featured Article
TCMA Members Gather at the Texas Capitol
   Clifford Smith  |  April 19, 2013

On March 5th, TCMA members met at the Omni Hotel in Austin for a day full of programs and a visit to their representatives at the capitol. The morning program was “kicked off” by our own Jim Keffer of EBAA Iron. Jim is a state representative from District 60. Jim presented a preview of what is going on in the legislature this session.

We then heard from three very informative speakers. Dois Webb of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Regional Director Pedro Garza of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and Stephen Minick, V-P of Government Affairs for the Texas Association of Business provided new insight for the morning program. Representative Jim Murphy of Houston was our luncheon speaker. Representative Murphy chairs the Committee on Manufacturing. He shared with us the work his committee is doing to promote and sustain manufacturing in Texas.

From left to right: Texas House Speaker Joe Straus with TCMA members
Chris Norch, Chris Elliott, Johnny Hill, Dan Yrigoyen, and Jerry Nagel

Armed with the information from the morning session and the luncheon, the members headed to the capitol to tell their story. Upon arriving at the capitol, we were greeted by Representative Keffer with news that we would have the opportunity to meet with the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus. Speaker Straus took time out of his hectic schedule to listen to our concerns for the industry. It was a great experience.

Following our visit with the Speaker, members went their separate ways to meet with their elected representatives and talk about the state of manufacturing, especially metal casting in Texas. Air permitting revisions, greenhouse gas regulation, and “Buy Texas” emphasis from state agencies were some of the priority topics of the day. Competing with a variety of other concerned citizens for our representatives’ attention is an enormous task during the 140 day legislative session!

The day ended with our members sharing stories of their capitol experiences at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Representative Keffer joined us in celebrating the successful conclusion of the 21st annual meeting.

The Board of Directors met to conduct their semi-annual business. Chairman Chris Norch emphasized to the board our need to meet with our elected officials on a continuing basis to maintain an awareness of our industry. Chris also made several committee appointments to bolster our visibility with the TCEQ and keep the membership apprised of issues affecting them.