Sunday, December 3, 2023

Minute with the Mayor Sweeps the Interview Category in TATOA 2023

For Southlake residents, hearing from the Mayor is as simple as logging into Facebook on Monday mornings as they drink their coffee and begin their day. Each week for over two years, Mayor John Huffman has visited different corners of the City talking about Southlake news and happenings – from hidden gems to well-known events – and at the 2023 Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (TATOA) Conference in Dallas, Texas, the Minute with the Mayor series made a splash.

The successful web series aims to provide residents with helpful information about where they live with some episodes about serious topics and others – just plain fun! From rolling sushi burritos at one of our local businesses to arranging flowers with our senior volunteers, Mayor Huffman is hands-on in the Southlake community to give new meaning to “meeting people where they’re at.”

The three episodes that swept the “Interview/Talk Show” category at TATOA do just that.

“Minute with the Mayor has been an incredible project to be a part of,” said Mayor Huffman. “We decided early in my term that we wanted to communicate with people in ways they are consuming information, and for most of us, that is video.”

Each episode is carefully planned and executed by the members of the Office of Communications and Customer Experience as they meet with City Staff, community members, and, of course, the Mayor to deliver news throughout the City.

A list of the episodes that won this year are as follows:

First Place

Mayor John Huffman and Chef Jose SotoIn this episode, viewers can take a step inside Sky Creek Kitchen + Bar with Mayor with Mayor John Huffman and Executive Chef Jose Soto. Located in the Delta Hotel, the award-winning chef and restaurant combine styles and flavor profiles to put Southlake eats on the map. Watch this episode here!


Third Place

Sushi Dojo Team with Championship BeltGet your tastebuds ready! Mayor John Huffman chats with Ryan Nguyen of Sushi Dojo about their victory as the 2022 Food Truck Champion of Texas. Stay tuned to watch the Mayor try his hand at making their famous Shredder Burrito, filled with fried shrimp, hot Cheetos, and more! Watch this episode here!



Award of Merit – Honorable Mention

Mayor John Huffman and Councilmember Ronell Smith with Coach Cassie Hopkins The CISD Varsity Cheer Team won the National Championship Title for Large Varsity Game Day Division at the NCA Nationals. Mayor John Huffman and Councilmember Ronell Smith met up with CISD Coach Cassie Hopkins to check out more about the team! Watch this episode here!


The Voice Behind “Action!”

Mikaela Hall with awards from the TATOA conferenceCorporate Videographer Mikaela Hall recently passed the second-year mark with the City of Southlake and is ecstatic to take home more than one trophy for Minute with the Mayor this year. During her tenure with the City, she has produced over 100 weekly segments of Minute with the Mayor from start to finish as she touches on each piece of the process — from its initial brainstorming, scripting and coordination to production and editing.

“Although the series began before my initial hire at the City, it has been a great experience to mold Minute with the Mayor into such a success,” said Hall. “When I tell people what I do for work, the best compliment I can receive is hearing that they love tuning into Minute with the Mayor.”


Southlake Feature Stories

Lori Cerami sitting in her kitchenThe City also received an Award of Merit for its feature on the Cerami family in the Southlake Stories series. The story of the Cerami family is one of joy, loss, hope, and belief. After 13-year-old Elise Cerami accidentally drowned during swim practice in 2016, her parents, Lori and David, and her brother Bryce channeled their personal grief to teach and unite the Southlake community around drowning prevention. Click here to watch their story.

The 27th annual conference for the TATOA organization was held on November 1-3, 2023. It included programming sessions geared toward the creation of videography and communications, with an emphasis on storytelling from Joe Little, the Director of Storytelling at NBC 7 San Diego.

Although the program’s earnings were recognized with trophies and cheers at the conference, the biggest win of the year was the engagement of Southlake residents. “I love knowing that what I do makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Hall. As the production of the series continues, the OCCE team hopes to take the lessons from the TATOA conference and create more content that inspires viewers to take pride in the Southlake community, one week at a time.