Professional Development

News: Congratulations to 2016 TELP graduate Joyce Miller

Dr. Joyce Miller is Director for Texas Association of Fairs & Events and Director of the Permian Basin Fair & Exposition. Joyce has been active with the Permian Basin Fair & Expo for the last 12 years serving as Director, Executive Director of Creative Arts Division, President and Past President. The PBF & E has one part-time fair manager, and one part-time secretary, with the remaining organization being organized, staffed, and run with the use of volunteers. In her non-fair and event role, she has been teaching in the graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Program with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – School of Nursing for over 13 years. Recently she received her 20 year award with TTUHSC for serving as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).

Joyce consistently talks about the TELP experience and importance of learning the industry not only by those employed full-time, but equally for individuals volunteering in the event industry. She believes today it is more critical than ever for learning about topics offered through TELP, from activity planning to board/committee relations, community relations to emergency management, from vendors to volunteer management and more. She says “this is the best kept/inexpensive Texas Event Educational Program” secret. The development of a business plan for a new community event is challenging, thought provoking, and necessary to bring new and vital events to keep the industry growing. The TELP Program consistently brings in top experts in Texas to teach modules that blend the academic course with real life experiences to facilitate student learning and growth.

TELP 2015:

Mary Clarke is Assistant Treasurer and Murline Staley is 1st Vice President for San Jacinto Day Foundation, Inc., an organization producing one of the largest fund raising events in the state of Texas, the Pasadena Strawberry Festival. Mary and Murline are long-time volunteer board members for Pasadena Strawberry Festival and are part of a dynamic team that continue to make Pasadena Strawberry Festival an annual success. The festival has been held for 42 years, each year growing in attendance and providing more culture and entertainment for the festival attendees to enjoy.  The success of the festival lays in the sponsorship, grants and the hard work of over 1500 volunteers. Proceeds from the festival are used for the daily operations, to fund projects to promote and preserve Texas History in the region and to provide scholarships for the area graduating students and students returning to San Jacinto College. Mary and Murline were awarded a TELP certificate at the 2015 TFEA Annual Convention and Trade Show. Congratulations on a job well done!

TELP 2014:

Melanie Linnear is Director of Concessions for the State Fair of Texas. Melanie provides outstanding service to the State Fair for over 20 years. Melanie has helped build the concessions for the State Fair as a nationally known culinary event and featuring The Big Tex Choice Awards, a food competition known for deep-fried delights and creative concoctions that help increase event marketability and recognition. Melanie was awarded a TELP certificate at the 2014 TAF&E Annual Convention and Trade Show.

Melanie has this to say of her TELP experience: “The TELP is a great program that has forced me to think outside my Food and Beverage Bubble when it comes to the idea of my Fair as a ‘WHOLE CONCEPT”. Before taking the course, I never stopped to think about all the pieces of the puzzle that involved all the different departments and the details that came together to make the fair a complete project.  I have a new found respect for all the employees at the State Fair of Texas that work together to make our Fair the great Fair that is has become.  Thank you TELP for your guidance and this eye opening experience!”

Lacey Stole is a Recreation Specialist for the City of Deer Park Parks and Recreation Department. Lacey and city staff successfully manage events and festivals for Deer Park and surrounding communities throughout the year. One signature event that is the pride of the community is Reindeer Park, a Winter seasonal two-day celebration featuring a lighted Christmas parade, 5K walk/run, performances and recreational snow areas (quite a feat for Texas weather.) The event draws over 1,000 people with increase in visitation anticipated with a growing city. Lacey was awarded a TELP certificate at the 2014 TFEA Annual Convention and Trade Show. Congratulations on a job well done!


There are a variety of professional development opportunities related to the Texas Event Leadership Program. A certificate of completion from the program can be applied towards professional certification with Texas Association of Fairs and Events and/or Texas Festivals and Events Association.

Certified Fair Executive (CFE)
Texas Association of Fairs and Events (TAF&E)
TAF&E requirements for this professional designation include:

  • TAF&E membership; Completion of TELP; Seminars, curriculum, and professional credit. For more information, visit the TAF&E website.

Certified Festival Professional (CFP)

Texas Festivals and Events Association (TFEA)
TFEA requirements for this professional designation include:

  • TFEA membership; Completion of TELP; Seminars, curriculum and interview. For more information, vist the TFEA website.
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