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NoCo Trade Mission

Your Austin Experience

Experience Spotlights

Entertainment: Cowboy Diplomacy

“Millennial southern gents who do modern cowboy rock right.” – ATX On Record

Meet the Austin-based band who is using their music to redefine what it means to be a cowboy. With a sound that lies somewhere in-between Rock n’ Roll and Southern Soul, Cowboy Diplomacy has captivated its audience with their unconventional style and raw lyrics. While frontman Ian Cochran’s unique growl-like vocals tend to draw the crowd in, it’s the energy and music that the band creates as a whole that keeps them around. Evident within their robust sound are traces of notable bands such as Rival Sons, Kaleo, Kings of Leon, and AC/DC—some of whom the band members also draw influence from.

Despite only being a few years old, Cowboy Diplomacy has garnered the attention of many and has earned recognition through various accolades. Within their first year of formation, the band was nominated for “Best New Band” by the Austin Chronicle and came out as the runner-up; in 2017 the band was named “Best Band of Austin” by Austin Monthly and was nominated to receive a grant from Black Fret. The band has also been fortunate enough to work with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Frenchie Smith on the singles “Bad Man” and “Burn Down The Road,” both of which have yet to be released.

Check out their new single “The Get Down” right here.

Experience Spotlights

Speaker: Mr. James Foster

James is an Architect & Partner in Cushing Terrell leading the firm’s Austin studio. Focusing primarily on creative, innovative work in commercial, institutional, retail & advanced technology domains, a significant part of James’ work is focused on technology clients from small start-ups to top Fortune 100 corporate clients. James is inspired by the amazing people in the firm and by the incredible clients they are fortunate to work with. Since helping to found the 16-year-old Austin office he continues to champion the firm’s 83-year legacy aspiring to pioneer new ways to imagine, create & improve holistic design solutions for built and natural environments.

Cushing Terrell is an integrated, multi-discipline design firm working in a wide range of markets from private to public including commercial/retail, institutional, retail/hospitality and multifamily/single family residential. With 13 offices the firm is licensed in and works in all 50-states as well as internationally.

James, originally from Colorado, has made Austin home since the age of 12. He later earned his degree from the University of Texas School of Architecture and continues to make Austin home with his wife, Kellye (a native Austinite). James’ adult children, Theresa and Andrew, along with his wife Bekah, also live nearby enabling them to enjoy close family ties.

Experience Spotlights

Speaker: Mayor Steve Adler

Steve Adler is Austin’s 52nd Mayor, having won re-election in 2018 by 40 points in a field of 8 candidates. His top priorities include mobility, affordability and equity for all Austinites. Adler is a Trustee of the United States Conference of Mayors, Past Chair of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) policy board, and Vice President of the National Council of Democratic Mayors.

While he’s been in office the City of Austin passed the largest mobility and affordable housing bonds in its history. The city raised its minimum city wage to $15/hr, passed city-wide sick leave and second chance hiring protections. Still working on the homelessness challenge, the city has become one of a limited number of cities to achieve effective net zero veteran homelessness. The city has become a world leader on climate change action.

Mayor Adler has received broad recognition for innovative leadership. Foreign Policy named him a Global reThinker and Living Cities included Mayor Adler on its list of 25 Disruptive Leaders (along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and author Ta-Nehisi Coates) to mark that organization’s 25th anniversary. Austin Monthly named Mayor Adler “Best Politician” for “fearlessly speaking up for Austinites [and] proving that a little snark goes a long way to support the morale of a community.”


South Congress Hotel

Hotel lobby

Hotel pool

Hotel bedroom

NoCo in ATX


Sunday, September 26

  • 5pm – Doors Open and the Austin Experience begins at Central Standard (South Congress Hotel)
  • 5:30pm – Welcome
  • 5:40pm – Why Austin Panel
  • 6:30pm – Live Music by Cowboy Diplomacy
  • 6:50pm – Arts & Hospitality Panel
  • 7:30pm – Live Music by Cowboy Diplomacy

Monday, September 27

  • 7am – Shuttle to Group Photo (Please meet at Front Lobby of Hotel)
  • 8am – Shuttle to South Congress Hotel
  • 8:15am – Mayoral Roundtable
  • 9:15am – Transportation Panel
  • 10:30am – Shuttle to Austin Proper Hotel
  • 10:45am – Google Experience
  • 12pm – Lunch at Austin Proper Hotel
  • 12:45pm – Recruitment & Retention Panel
  • 2:00pm – State of Healthcare Fireside Chat
  • 3:15pm – Shuttle to South Congress
  • 5:00pm – Cocktail Reception
  • 6:00pm – Shuttle to Private Dinner at Salt Lick

Tuesday, September 28

  • 6am – Restorative Yoga (optional, located at the Outside Lawn of South Congress Hotel)
  • 8am – Hotel Check Out (luggage storage option) & Coffee & Tea Reception (South Congress Hotel Event Space)
  • 8:30am – Outdoors & Trails Panel
  • 9:15am – Higher Ed Panel
  • 10:15am – Bike or Shuttle to University of Texas
  • 11:00am – UT Stadium Tour
  • 12:00pm – Shuttle to Aba
  • 12:15pm – Lunch at Aba
  • 1:00pm – Development Panel – Entertainment District Focus
  • 1:45pm – Tour of Music Lane
  • 2:15pm – Closing Remarks


Currently, Austin is in Stage 5, their highest level of risk guidelines due to COVID-19. Masks are recommended indoors and many of the places we will be visiting will be requiring them.

Read more about traveling safely through Austin here.

Weather, Dress Attire & Packing List

Weather Forecast:

Prep for highs in 90s.  Lows at night will be in the mid 60s.  There is always a possibility of rain, though it only happens 3-4 days out of the month.

Dress Attire:

Business Casual

Gentleman: Buttoned down or polo shirts, slacks, chinos, jeans, sandals, walking shoes, etc.

Ladies: Collared and/or buttoned blouses, long or short-sleeved tops & sweaters, skirts, dresses, dress slacks, chinos, jeans, flats, sandals, walking shoes etc.

Be ready for walking!

Packing List:

Don’t forget your swimsuit, sunscreen, walking shoes, notebook, pen, business cards, ect. You will need masks whenever in indoor spaces as well.

Finally, let’s get a stretch in while together in Austin. If you are interested, see details below and plan to include workout attire!

Restorative Yoga Experience

  • Interested in physical, mental, and emotional relaxation while in Austin? Appropriate for all levels, restorative yoga will be held on Tuesday the 28th from 6:00 - 6:45am. Submit your email address to sign up for class!


Local Austin Favorites

Feels Like Home

A few nationwide comforts, a quick walk or drive from the South Congress Hotel:

  • Starbucks – 1.5 mile walk or drive | 600 Congress Avenue
  • Walgreens – 15 minute drive | 6721 South Congress Avenue
  • Target – 8 minute drive | 901 E 5th St Ste 140 Austin, TX 78702

Travel Guidance

Tips and guidance to an easy travel experience from AUS to the South Congress Hotel:

  • Hotel Address: 1603 S Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704

Rideshare – Lyft | Uber | etc.

Rental Car – Advantage | Avis | Budget | Dollar | Enterprise | Hertz | National | Payless