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Elizabeth “Liz” Campbell is the Social Media Specialist for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM). In 2015, Liz interned with the HCOHSEM communications team while completing her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetorical Communication from the University of Houston Downtown. She later rejoined the team in 2018 as a Communication Support Planner while completing her Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Graduate Certificate in Advanced Digital and Social Media from Texas Tech University. In 2019, she began her first full-time role as Community Liaison for HCOHSEM and then was promoted to Social Media Specialist in 2019.
Liz is responsible for the content production and social engagement for the over 119,000 combined followers on all ReadyHarris social platforms. She has responded to several regional emergencies in the Harris County Regional Joint Information Center such as the ITC Deer Park Fire, the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent 2021 Winter Storm where she served as the Communications Recovery Lead.
Angela Douglas is a Senior Police Officer and has been with the Houston Police Department for 23 years. She has been the social media coordinator for the department for the last 8 years and is assigned to the Office of Community Affairs.
Angela has worked in patrol, the Planning Division, and the Criminal Intelligence Division. She coordinates HPD’s social media presence including both information sharing and community outreach. In addition, she works with the department’s various youth groups including the Explorer Program. Angela speaks to community groups about HPD’s use of social media and social media safety for teens.
Angela is a born and raised Houstonian and has an undergraduate degree in Journalism – Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Literature with a professional writing certificate from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
Jesika Fisher is the Digital Content Specialist for the City of Carrollton, Texas, a diverse suburb located near North Dallas with a population of 139,248 people.
Her responsibilities include social media management for the City’s main accounts, webpage training, auditing, and content creation, graphic design, video production, working with her amazing team on an annual music festival that brings in 30,000-40,000 people, being project manager for the City’s website redesign, and everything in between.
In addition to being a huge comic book nerd, she also loves memes, tea, and her two cats, Winston and Luna. She looks forward to introducing her little slice of Texas to the rest of the Government Social Media community.
In 2021, Frances La Rue became the City of Anna’s first Communications Manager. She is responsible for creating and implementing a strategic integrated communications plan for the city and serves as the public information officer for all departments and public safety agencies. Before Anna, Frances worked in municipal communications for the City of McKinney and the City of Corona, CA.
Frances received a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication & Innovation and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Digital & Social Media from Texas Tech University. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from California Baptist University.
Frances lives in Anna with her husband, son, and two pitbull mutts.
Lacey Lively began her career with the City of College Station as a college intern. Thirteen years later, as the city’s marketing manager, Lacey leads marketing endeavors for all departments. Her responsibilities include marketing plan design and execution, managing the city’s social media accounts and website, overseeing graphic design and photography, coordinating advertising buys and print orders, assisting with video production and more.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Lacey earned her degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M University in 2009, and became a Certified Public Communicator (TCU/TAMIO) in 2015. She serves as Chief Information Officer for the all-volunteer Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board, and is a member of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO).
Rhonda Simpson works with the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management as the Communications Specialist and with the community team where she’s prepared for, responded to, and helped recover from a wide variety of events. She’s developed a wide range of materials and programs in her time in OEM from social media to renter's insurance community education programs. She has served on and was the chair regional Public Education Committee as well as the Downtown Security Directors Association.
Rhonda continues to serve on the board of North Texas PIO Group and is a member of TAMIO. She is an advocate for information accessibility and mental health in communicators and emergency managers, and is dedicated to whole community communication before, during, and after emergencies.
Sarah Torchin is a Public Information Specialist with the City of Austin’s Capital Contracting Office (CCO) part of the City of Austin's Financial Services Department. Sarah manages the Marketing and Outreach for CCO where she oversees a variety of programing such as the CIP Partners Academy – an educational series for City vendors and employees, Capital Conversations – a regular monthly informational session on doing business with the City, events and City initiatives like Austin Corp of Civic Engineers – a high school program for civically engaged students, marketing, graphic design, website development, social media, and of course, Public Information Requests!
Outside of her City job, Sarah is the communications chair for her neighborhood association, a member of her fundraising and communications committee for her Synagogue, and her 3-year-old son’s personal assistant.
Michael Vega serves as an Outreach Coordinator, a Public Relations position for the city of Fort Worth and oversees community, media relations and visual communication strategies for the city's Neighborhood Services Department.
"My peers call me a fearless communicator, an innovative thinker and a strong team player with a record of success in developing internal and external communications and, all-around good guy. Currently, I am responsible for marketing our programs and events including conceptualizing, planning, coordinating, and implementing printed and social media marketing and event planning our awesome events and services to our residents. I am responsible for our Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages.
I also volunteer in several non-profit board serving as the Social Media Manager of the Hispanic Communicators - DFW, the local National Association of Hispanic Journalists chapter, also assisting as a board member in the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research genealogy organization.
In my spare time, you can find me taking photographs and traveling with my wife Juliet and our dog Doty."
Valonia Walker, APR, is the Senior Communications Specialist for Aldine Independent School District located in Houston, Texas. As the Senior Communications Specialist, she provides strategic communications for K-12 schools and district leaders, including social media, media relations, crisis communications, event planning, and family and community outreach efforts, while overseeing the district Key Communicator Network. Since joining Aldine ISD in 2019, she has elevated the district's social media presence and increased engagement. She enjoys telling K-12 education stories of students and staff and can do it in 280 characters or less.
Before beginning her career in K-12 school public relations, Valonia worked as the social media and events manager for Theater District Houston. She helped create a collective voice for Houston’s performing arts scene via digital and print media, managed a bi-weekly Food Truck event, and orchestrated one of the largest free Theater District events, Theater District Open House.
Valonia holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Baylor University and from Texas Tech University a master’s degree in strategic communication and innovation and a certification in advanced and digital media. In December 2020, she received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). She is also an active member of the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA), Houston Area School Public Relations Association (HASPRA), and the Houston chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Richard Yeakley is the Multimedia Development Specialist for the City of Longview, where he manages the City's social media presence, maintains the City website, and much more. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation program at Texas Tech University.
When not at work, Richard serves at his local church, leads a community improvisational comedy team, plays hobby board games, and spends time with his family. This past year, Richard and his wife, Jenna, were excited to welcome three children into the world. Raising the now one-year-old triplets is every bit as challenging and joy-giving as you may expect.
Richard is excited to help bring GSMCON to the great state of Texas and looks forward to meeting all y'all!