2019 Accounting & Marketing/Customer Service Conference 

July 10-12, 2019 | Westin Riverwalk | San Antonio, Texas


Yes, we’re returning to the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio for our 2019 Accounting & Marketing/ Customer Service Conference. It has been a while since we’ve been to San Antonio – we’re ready to return and they will welcome us with open arms. As we return to a familiar setting, we will be bringing new and exciting information to and for the three disciplines that gather for this meeting – Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service. This conference is one of our best not only because of great industry attendance but also in the educational opportunities that are shared with our most valuable assets. The meeting is good and the location is fun and full of great opportunities.  

We are opening registration for this conference. In addition to the educational sessions, we will also be updating attendees on all the new legislative actions taken during the legislative session that will end May 27.    

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. This July conference is always a powerful program and offers significant and necessary CPE credits for our attendees. The CPE credits for this meetings program agenda will be 16 hours of Technical Credits.

We are in a time when the changes to our industry — technology, customer service and customer expectations, intersect with the changes in the ways we work and work together.  For the three days of this conference, we will focus on giving attendees more tools for doing their jobs, for working together in the work place, and for making decisions on their professional and personal lives. We are still working to finalize some of the agenda areas, but we have a good outline to begin and to open registration.  

On Wednesday afternoon, after a brief welcome by TSTCI President Steven Steele and TSTCI CEO Weldon R. Gray, we will delve into self-and-co-worker examination and understanding the psychological complexities of today’s work environment. Julie “Jaye” Williams, MA, LPC will dust off the details of each of our personality types with the Myers-Briggs Personality assessment. Even if you’ve taken the test before, you may find out new things about your work and personal life focuses, and how to work and live with people who have different personality types than you! 

The finale for the opening day will be our Welcome Reception from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m

Thursday morning begins with attendees enjoying a full breakfast from 7:00 - 8:00 am before the official kick-off of the conference from Steven Steele, TSTCI President/Peoples Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Then TSTCI CEO Weldon R. Gray will get us started and introduce our Opening General Session keynote speaker, Steven Shepard, Shepard Communications Group, who will share The Deliberate Storyteller.  “Storytelling is an important part of human life. It has a role to play in every country, every industry, every company, and every person. Good stories — well-told stories — lead to better personal and professional relationships, improved competitive advantage for businesses, diverse ways to see and understand the world around us, and richer, fuller lives.”  Steven is a gifted speaker who presented and was well-received during our 2018 Futures Retreat.  You will enjoy the “stories” he shares during his segment and long after the conference is over.  

Following our morning break, we will go into Concurrent Breakout Sessions with the Accounting side hearing an update from Blake LackeyCurtis Blakely & Co. & Brian Sullivan — JSI - John Staurulakis, Inc., on Selected New Accounting Pronouncements – Implementation and Cost Study Issues. Following Blake and Brian in the Accountant Breakouts will be Sharon Minor, Moss Adams, reinforcing Cost Allocations & Affiliate Transactions – Documentation is Key!    Weldon R. Gray - TSTCI will provide a Legislative and Regulatory Update.

On the Customer Service/Marketing side of the agenda, following a presentation planned for Social Media issues, Andy Johns, WordSouth, will present, “Building Buzz and Brand Loyalty through Events.”  

After lunch on your own, we will return for the afternoon in Breakout Sessions.  

On the Accounting-side, Wade Wilson, Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss,will update “Financial Reports and Data Presentation for Management and Boards.”  Unsa Chishti – NECA will provide a NECA Update regarding pooling and other issues.  There will also be a Telco Accounting Panel with Scott Thompson-Peoples Telephone Cooperative, Steve Alexander – Eastex Telephone Cooperative, and Amanda Hofner-Taylor Telephone Cooperative who will be talking about “Cost Cutting Strategies and Other Efficiencies.”  The Accounting Breakouts will conclude with Gary Smith, JSI - John Staurulakis, Inc. and Brian Sullivan - JSI, guiding us through “Upon Further Review — Findings and Issues from Reports and Audits - Lessons Learned” with a focus on the next round of SB 586 Earnings Monitoring Reports. 

In the Marketing and Customer Service Breakouts, we’ll begin with a tailored Marketing presentation and move into a panel discussion with frontline experience from telco customer service representatives on “Escalating Customer Call Problems — Billing/Service/Accounting and do we or don’t we use scripts!”The panel will be: Anna Fuentez — Big Bend Telephone Company, Denise Reyna-Barrientes — VTX1 Companies, and Jan Hobson - Brazos Telephone Cooperative.   To round out this full day, the Marketing/ Customer Service side will have an extended period for Round table Discussions led by Kevan Burroughs — Peoples Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Cory Strange — EdgeTeam Technology and Andy Johns — WordSouth

After an evening enjoying San Antonio, we will begin Friday morning with a breakfast before our closing general sessions. Todd McElmurry, Curtis Blakley & Co., will transform “Project Management Tools — and other Tips & Tricks.”  Following Todd we will hear from Tanya Sullivan — Plus One on how to Turn Happier Customers Into Revenue.  

Following our morning break, Clay Moreland — Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss will update us all on cyber security issues with “Cyber Security — A New War Every Day.” Douglas Meridith — JSI - John Staurulakis, Inc., will be our closing speaker on Friday and will address “Technologies that will change us — What’s In Your Bag?”  

Then, before we adjourn, we will draw for the Grand Prize Drawing donated by Texas Communication Expo and draw for the winner of the TSTCI PAC Raffle. 

It is our hope that you will enjoy the meeting, the materials presented and the networking with your peers in our industry. TSTCI and the Program Planning Committee work hard to provide programs that help you learn something new or a new way of doing or viewing things.  Soak it up and take something back to share with others in your offices.  

We hope you know how much each of you matter to TSTCI. We will adjourn this meeting for another year and look forward to seeing each and every one of you throughout the days ahead. 

Special thanks to those Members and Associate Members who give their time, energy and talents to share their expertise with us through their participation as speakers, presenters and facilitators in our programs.     


The TSTCI online registration process allows and helps participants register online and pay by check or credit card.  Just go to www.tstci.org and follow the link. It’s easy, fast and a little fun. The conference preliminary agenda will be posted to the website soon.  We are still in the process of confirming speakers.    

Hotel Information

The Westin Riverwalk located at 420 W. Market Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205.  Reservations can be made on the link on the website, or CLICK HERE. It is very important that you let them know that you are with the TSTCI Conference when making your hotel arrangements. The TSTCI Conference room rate is $189.00 (City Side) single/double and $209.00 single/double (River Side). Reservation cut-off date is June 18, 2019.  Check in is 3pm and checkout is 12 noon. Valet Hotel Parking is $39.00/day for guests — no self-parking is available at this hotel. Offsite parking rates are approximately $25.00/day.   

Sponsorship/Door Prizes

We are always looking and always grateful to those that help support these meetings by their generous sponsorship. We appreciate all the extra support and include recognition of your company in the printed program, the displayed meeting signs and from the podium. Sponsorships can be designated using the online form. In addition, there are door prizes during the meeting. If you would like to donate a door prize, please let us know that you’ll be bringing a door prize with you. We encourage you to put a business card or sign designation of your door prize to show the attendees and especially the winners who donated what. 


We are also looking for an item for the PAC Raffle. If you are interested in sponsoring the PAC Raffle item, please contact the office. 

Discretionary Fund

The TSTCI Board established the Discretionary Fund, which is used for important off-budget expenditures. This fund is used for speaker expenses, when applicable, as donations to memorials, assists with PAC administrative expenses, and more. The Discretionary Fund is included in the annual independent audit of TSTCI.  Since this fund is not used to provide campaign funds to candidates or office holders, corporate contributions are acceptable. Contributions to this fund can be made online when you register or you may send corporate or personal checks made payable to the TSTCI Discretionary Fund to the TSTCI Austin Office at 505 W. 12th Street, Suite 206, Austin, Texas 78701.  


Have questions about the Conference? 

If you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please contact Weldon Gray at 903-658-0055 or [email protected]  , Kari Rouse at the Austin office 512- 343-2587 or [email protected]  or Pat Holder, Event Planner at 512-496-0580 or [email protected]