Directors will examine issue of serving Texans with special needs.
Natives play big role in leadership group’s past and present
(Brenham, TX) The Texas Lyceum, the state’s 32 year-old non-profit, non-partisan leadership group focused on public policy issues facing Texas will convene here for two days later this month. Founded in 1980 by distinguished Washington County businessman, lawyer and philanthropist Tieman H. "Skipper" Dippel, Jr., the Texas Lyceum’s first quarterly conference of 2012 begins February 17th and will focus on the issue of serving Texans with special needs.
Three Texas Lyceum Directors native to Brenham have been tapped to play important roles in the group’s development including 2012 Lyceum Chairman and Freescale Semiconductor executive Dathan Voelter, Lyceum Director and Brenham conference co-coordinator Jane Cummins of Houston, and Lyceum Director Tieman “Tee” Dippel III, Vice President, Brenham National Bank.
“We are honored to return to the bluebonnet region, the home of some of the most dedicated public servants and politically influential Texans who have grown up to do great things for their communities, state and country,” said Voelter. “Our goal is to help Lyceum Directors, who are community leaders in cities across the state, better understand the difficult policy, funding and ethics issues which affect the day-to-day lives of Texans with special needs.”
About 100 Lyceum Directors and alumni from all over Texas will tour the Brookwood Community in Brookshire, Texas, a private facility for adults with special needs and the Brenham State Supported Living Center, widely recognized as one of the best publicly funded facilities in the country which also serves people with disability challenges such as Autism and Down Syndrome.
“This event comes at a critical time when our state leaders are forced to make difficult budget choices while demand for supportive services for the special needs community is increasing,” said Cummins, who heads the H.E.A.R.T. Program in Houston, a non-profit group which provides occupational skills training to low income developmentally disabled adults.
“Texans with special needs require a level of care that most families cannot afford and struggle to provide,” Cummins said. “This conference will look at the challenging issues of education and long-term care which comes at a substantial cost to Texas taxpayers.”
The weekend will include panel discussions featuring experts on science, special education, special needs funding, and long-term care. Bold and creative ideas to better serve persons with special needs will be showcased in a panel on recent innovations including representatives from Morgan’s Wonderland, Social Motion Skills, Inc., and The H.E.A.R.T. Program.
Other highlights include discussions with prominent Texans including former Texas A&M football coach Gene Stallings and singer/songwriter Kevin Black on the triumphs and challenges faced by persons with special needs and their families. Attendees will also hear from key leaders in medicine, including Dr. Gary Clark who is the Chief of Pediatric Neurology at Texas Children's Hospital and is conducting groundbreaking research in developmental and learning disorders.
About the Texas Lyceum
The Texas Lyceum, a non-profit, non-partisan group, is the premier statewide leadership organization focused on identifying the next generation of top Texas leaders. The Lyceum consists of 96 men and women from throughout the state who begin their six-year term while under the age of 46, and have demonstrated leadership in their community and profession, together with a deep commitment to Texas.
For more information, please visit www.texaslyceum.org.
Texas Lyceum is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/texaslyceum and on Twitter @TexasLyceum http://twitter.com/texaslyceum.