Rep. Trent Ashby to Headline DETCOG Annual Meeting

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Representative Trent Ashby will be the keynote speaker for Annual Membership and Awards Luncheon of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development District (DETCOG) on Friday June 25 in Lufkin. The event will be held at Noon at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center.

Rep. Ashby has been a member of the Texas Legislature since 2013, representing House District 57. His district includes six East Texas counties, four of which are in the DETCOG region (Angelina, Houston, San Augustine and Trinity).

Another highlight of DETCOG’s annual meeting is the presentation of the prestigious Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Award. The Steen award was named in honor of the beloved past president of Stephen F. Austin State University. It honors an individual who has played a major role in leadership and service to Deep East Texas. The recipient is chosen by those who previously received the recognition. Several other awards will be presented to recognize DETCOG staff, board members and partners.

“After having to cancel last year’s annual meeting due to the pandemic, we are thrilled to be able to gather in person again this year to celebrate Deep East Texas and our regional collaboration through DETCOG,” said Sabine County Judge Daryl Melton who serves as DETCOG President. “We are looking forward to recognizing our award recipients and are especially happy to have Trent Ashby join us as our keynote speaker.”

A former Deep East Texas Legislator of the Year, Rep. Ashby is currently a member of the House Committees on Appropriations and Transportation. This is his fourth term on the Appropriations Committee, having twice served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee that oversees higher and public education funding. In prior sessions, he has served as a member of the House Committees on Administration, Calendars, Defense & Veterans’ Affairs, Natural Resources, and Public Education.

Among his accomplishments in the 87th Legislature was authorship and passage of House Bill 5, also known as the Texas Broadband Bill, one of the few pieces of legislation that passed this session with strong bipartisan support. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. While at A&M, he was elected to the Student Senate, Class Treasurer, and Senior Yell Leader.

DETCOG, organized in 1966, is a voluntary association of local governments in the 11-county region encompassing all of Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties.

DETCOG was established in November of 1966 as an Economic Development District under the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. In 1968 the organization also became a political subdivision of the State of Texas as a Regional Planning Commission under state law. Current membership includes 11 counties, 34 cities, 36 school districts, four river authorities, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, special purpose districts, and other sustaining members.

“Above all, DETCOG is an organization of, by, and for the local governments of Deep East Texas,” said Executive Director Lonnie Hunt. “We exist to support our member governments and serve their residents.”

Luncheon tickets are $20 and reserved tables are also available. RSVPs are appreciated. Anyone needing information may contact DaVina Morris at the DETCOG office in Lufkin at (936) 634-2247 extension 5254.

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