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28th Annual Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner
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28th Annual Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner Export to Your Calendar


When: March 21, 2018
Where: Austin Convention Center
500 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, Texas  78701
United States
Jennifer Roush


Unity Dinner 2018



Unity 2018

Join Us for the 2018 Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner
March 21, 2018 | Austin

Unity in our country, state and industry has never been more important, making the Texas Travel Industry Association's 2018 Unity Dinner a pivotal event. We look forward to you joining us as we share, celebrate and reinforce our unity as a decisive strength of our industry and with our state and local policy makers. Register now to show your support for unity in Texas!

George P. Bush, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office,
Featured Speaker at Unity Dinner

George P. Bush

Hurricane Harvey relief through the Texas General Land Office is locally-led, state-supported and federally-funded. Commissioner Bush will speak at Unity Dinner about the relief efforts and how the more than $5 billion HUD award for Texas long-term recovery will be distributed and used in the affected counties. He will also speak to the impact on travel and tourism to these areas.

Born in Houston, Texas, April 24, 1976. Commissioner Bush has dedicated his life to public service, working as a public school teacher after graduating from Rice University and serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Prior to serving as Texas Land Commissioner, Bush was a successful businessman. He joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP after earning his Juris Doctorate at the University of Texas School of Law. He subsequently co-founded Pennybacker Capital LLC, a real estate private equity firm, in 2007, and St. Augustine Partners LLC, a Fort Worth-based investment firm focused on oil and gas transactions and consulting for private businesses. Commissioner Bush is the grandson of President George H.W. Bush, the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the nephew of President George W. Bush. He lives in Austin with his wife, Amanda, and their two sons, Prescott and Jack. Serves as Texas Land Commissioner, January 2, 2015 to present.

Honoring Silver Spur Award Recipient John L. Nau, III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P.

John NauNau’s commitment to service is apparent through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Houston and throughout the country. His current involvement includes Chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, National Park Foundation Board of Directors, Civil War Trust Board of Directors,The Texas State Historical Association Board of Directors, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Board of Directors, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, University of Houston Board of Visitors, Honorary Trustee of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute, Honorary State Trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies. He also serves as a Board Member for Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation and The Admiral Nimitz Foundation. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Steering Committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.

Chairman and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products, John L. Nau, III is also chairman of the Texas Historical Commission (THC). He serves on the boards of many civic, community, and philanthropic organizations across the country, including the National Park Foundation, Civil War Trust, Texas State Historical Association, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine, and Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He is founder and president of The Nau Foundation. Under his leadership, the THC’s many historic preservation programs have directly impacted travel and tourism in the Lone Star State.

John Nau has been instrumental in the development of the THC's Texas Heritage Trails Program, an award-winning partnership among communities, businesses, and the state, currently celebrating its fiftieth year of promoting heritage travel. This program helps heritage travelers make decisions about their $7.3 billion in annual spending. For participating sites, businesses, and organizations, the Texas heritage Trails Program increases revenue and visitation by 13.9%, roughly $310 million statewide in heritage-attributed travel spending.

Another flagship of the THC, the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program has attracted more than 131 participants and awarded more than $270 million to counties to fully restore 67 courthouses and provide smaller grants to assist with emergency and planning projects. Courthouse preservation projects have created more than 10,650 jobs in Texas and generated more than $555 million in revenue. These restored courthouses reinvigorate historic downtowns and promote heritage tourism.

The Texas Main Street Program aims to reinvigorate historic downtowns—which sustain communities. There are currently 89 cities participating in the statewide program. Since the program’s inception in 1981, participating Main Streets have produced an average of $310 million annually in state GDP. Cumulative reinvestment in Main Street areas has totaled over $5.2 billion since 1981. These revitalized downtowns are major influencers in Texas tourism and travel industry.

John Nau's contributions to tourism and travel through historic rehabilitation, historic preservation, heritage travel efforts, and more continue to play a vital role in Texas' economy.

Uniting Two Distinctly Different Texas Music Styles and Voices
Special Entertainment by Gary P. Nunn and Kam Franklin

Gary P. NunnGary P. Nunn is an iconic Texas country music legend who's made a big impact on the Lone Star music scene for more than four decades. He has been named an "Official Ambassador to the World" by Texas Governor Mark White and the "Music Ambassador of Texas" by Governor Rick Perry. In 2004, Nunn was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame, and has joined the likes of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings and Bob Wills in the West Texas Walk of Fame. Gary P. Nunn's classic song "What I Like About Texas" inspired TTIA's #WhatILikeAboutTexas campaign.

Kam FranklinKam Franklin is the lead vocalist for the gulf coast soul band, The Suffers. She has been publicly singing since age 5, and she is a 3-time recipient of the Houston Press Music Award for Best Female Vocalist. She has performed with The Houston Symphony, and she has been featured in Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, and Nylon for her unique sense of style. With The Suffers, she has performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She is also a very active participant in the Houston music scene. She has put on multiple events that have featured up and coming acts from around the Houston area, and she is always coming up with new and creative ways to represent the city while performing with The Suffers around the world.

Gary and Kam are both ambassadors of TTIA's What I Like About Texas campaign and performed at the What I Like About Texas media event in New York City last October. When the duo shared the stage, the blending of their voices was an instant hit. Their collaboration is a great example of the diversity and unity found in Texas. Join us at the Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner when Gary and Kam will harmonize once again.  

Photo of Kam Franklin: Credit Daniel Jackson

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

3:30pm – 4:30pm TTIA Legislative Affairs Committee Meeting – Salon AB, 4th Floor, Hilton Austin
4:00pm – 7:00pm Unity Dinner Registration – Ballroom D Prefunction Area
5:15pm – 7:15pm Legislator Registration – Ballroom D Prefunction Area
Registration sponsored by Visit Plano
5:30pm – 7:00pm  Reception – Ballroom G
5:30pm – 8:30pm Silent Auction Fundraiser – Ballroom G
Presenting Sponsor of Silent Auction and Reception: Dallas Cowboys Football Club/AT&T Stadium
7:00pm – 8:30pm Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner – Ballroom D
Presenting Dinner Sponsor: United Airlines
8:30pm – 9:30pm Afterglow – Ballroom G
8:30pm – 9:30pm Silent Auction Checkout/Pickup – Ballroom G Prefunction Area

Attire for the Silent Auction Fundraiser and Unity Dinner is business or business evening attire. 

The Unity Dinner Silent Auction Fundraiser has been reimagined!
This is one auction you don't want to miss!

TTIA has partnered with Give Back Auctions to make this year's Unity Dinner Silent Auction and Live Auction a major success. With over 200 items to choose from and limited time to shop and bid during this excitement-packed night, Give Back Auctions is offering you the fantastic opportunity to take advantage of their unique Buy Now Option package. By choosing the Buy Now Option you not only get the auction item, but also a package worth $3,900.

The Buy Now Option Package worth $3,900 includes: 5-Day/4-Night Stay at a Cancun Resort, Dinner & a Movie, Austin Dominion Golf Group "Member for a Day," Victory Cup Derby Day Party for 4 in Austin, Hog Hunt in Gonzales, Texas.

The Silent Auction will include: Music Memorabilia, Autographed Guitars, Hotel Stays, Airline Transportation, Anheuser Busch & Budweiser Collectible, Country Club Golf Outings, Rare Spurs Memorabilia, Liquor Baskets, Men's & Women's Jewelry, Men's Gifts, Knife Sets, African Safari Shoots, Private Villas, Local Art, Media Ads and More.

Live Auction Preview: Houston Texans Signed Helmet, Dallas Cowboys Signed Helmet, Brooks & Dunn Autographed Guitar, Private Wine & Chocolate Tasting experience for 12 People at Delysia Chocolatier in Austin, 4 Days 3 Night Orlando Disney & SeaWorld Getaway for 2 Adults & 2 Children, Newport Rhode Island 3 Days 2 Night Americas Cup Yacht Experience for 2, Private Island Resort in Belize for 2 People, 5 Days 4 Nights, South African Luxury Photo Safari for 2 People.

Funds raised through the Silent Auction are used to support TTIA's advocacy efforts, public policy initiatives, programs and education projects. Support a great cause and return home with some new treasures and experiences!

Here's a template of an invite letter to edit and send to your elected officials, board members, stakeholders and others:

Word Document  |  PDF

Tables (seats 10 people):

NEW – Preferred Table (For Members): $2,000/table (limited number of tables that are in prime locations)
Member Tables: $1,295/table
Non-Member Tables: $1,595/table


Note: All Guest Names must be submitted to TTIA by Noon March 9. To send in guest names only, please complete the TABLE GUEST FORM.

Individual seats:

Member - $159/seat 
Non-member - $189/seat 


Cancellation Policy:
Full refund until 5 p.m. on February 21, 2018. No refunds after this date. This cancellation policy helps us ensure the most accurate counts possible for the event. For questions regarding the cancellation policy, please contact the TTIA office at 512-328-8842.

Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner Raffle
A random drawing will be held on March 21, 2018 at the Texas Travel Industry Unity Dinner in Austin, Texas. Raffle tickets are $20 each and you need not be present to win. 

Raffle items include:

• 10 suite tickets to a 2018 Houston Rockets home game at the Toyota Center (based on availability)
• 2 Roundtrip Southwest Airlines E-Passes Valid to a Destination within the Continental United States
• 16 seats in a suite and 4 parking passes for a 2018 San Antonio Spurs home game (based on availability)
• 10 seats in a suite at either the 2018 April or November NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (based on availability)
•  Two-night stay at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California 


Hotel Information:

Host Hotel:
Hilton Austin Hotel
500 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701
TTIA Rate: $249/night (single/double)
Cut-off Deadline: February 27, 2018 (unless sold out prior)
Note: 1st night’s deposit charged upon booking hotel reservation. Guests staying at Hilton Austin will receive a 35% discount on self parking and valet parking.

We Thank Our Sponsors

Presenting Dinner Sponsor

United Airlines

Platinum Sponsors

Austin Convention Center Cowboys

Gold Sponsors

SeaWorld San Antonio   Amarillo CVC

Traders Village    Grapevine CVB

American Airlines

Silver Sponsors

Arlington CVB     Visit Lubbock

South Padre Island     Freeman

Visit Plano

Bronze Sponsor

Phillips Entertainment  Landry's Inc.   Visit Houston

General Sponsor

 Beaumont CVB    First Class Tours

Abilene CVB   Natural Bridge Caverns

Port Royal  Visit Baytown

Fredericksburg CVB Ripley's Entertainment

Hyatt Lost Pines  The Woodlands

El Paso     Fort Worth   Elegant Limo

The Atkins Group  Schlitterbahn  Visit San Antonio


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