Engage Breakfast panelists to talk leadership at January event

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With the city of Austin’s governance change coming this year and the city’s complex issues including growth, development and congestion, the first Engage Breakfast of 2014 will look into the skills it takes to be a good leader in a complicated environment.

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe, one of the panelists for the breakfast, said from his perspective, leadership allows collaboration with elected officials and departments so the “public’s business” is done.

“If you have a good working relationship, you have an opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with them and do what’s good for the public,” Biscoe said.

The breakfast is Jan. 8, and the other panelist for the event is Jeremi Suri, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. The breakfast is hosted by Leadership Austin, a nonprofit organization that seeks to develop community leaders.

Biscoe has been county judge since 1998 and announced in 2013 that he would not be seeking re-election. He said he’d like to see new and different leadership in Travis County.

“After 16 years as county judge and nine years as Precinct 1 commissioner, I have decided it’s time to move on, chiefly because I think somebody else should be given the opportunity,” Biscoe said. “I think you spend your first eight to 10 years tearing down someone else’s work and putting yours in place. It’s hard to tear down your own work and improve it. It’s better for someone else to do it.”

Tickets for the breakfast are $25. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Kodosky Lounge at The Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. For more information on the event, visit www.leadershipaustin.org/ programs/engage/upcoming.

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