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July 2013 Newsletter
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EWTG Banner with Members
In This Issue
President's Corner
EST Summer Kickoff
Call for Presenters

EWTG Mini-Course Announcement

EWTG Monthly Luncheon Announcement

Conference Volunteers

Shout Out
EWTG Graduates
New and Renewing Members
Quick Links
Quarterly Scholarships
EWTG scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis to those wanting an opportunity for professional advancement or personal growth. All interested members are encouraged to apply; financial need is not a factor. Take a moment to treat yourself to a course you have been putting off or a conference you would love to attend.
Guidelines for qualifying for a scholarship and applications are available on the EWTG website at The Scholarship Committee will accept applications for the 2013 second quarter until 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2013.

EWTG Board Meetings

The EWTG Board holds its monthly meetings at the Carver Library in Austin on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The agenda for each meeting will be posted on EWTG's website by noon on the Monday before the meeting.

A summary of the board meeting minutes is also posted on the website.

Tanya Skaarup, Editor
Communications Director

Committee Volunteers Needed 
Please look over the Committee Descriptions on the EWTG website and consider becoming more active in the organization.
Participating on a committee is a great way to support EWTG, learn new skills and to meet other interesting executive women. As with so many things, "the more you give, the more you get."
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July 2013
President's Corner - July 2013
Mary Castleberry, President 

Mary Castleberry

Our June mini-course instructor, Audrey Selden, brought a wealth of information to us re: Leadership Texas (LT) and the Leadership Women brand. In light of this, I sent the questions below to EWTG members who were participants in a recent Leadership Texas class to share a little about their experience.  I would like to share their insights with you. Their comments are listed below: 



Questions Stephanie Nestlerode Jennifer Buaas Shannon Kelley Liza Willmore
1.  What was the best part of your experience? Meeting amazing women of all ages, from all walks of life, from throughout Texas Traveling the great state of Texas and meeting amazing women from everywhere My fellow LT sisters.  I met so many wonderful people and made some life-long friendships. Learning what policies and ideas worked for each city
2. In which city did you learn the most and what did you learn? El Paso and Amarillo... wonderful illustrations of how a community can come together to create innovative models

El Paso – so much culture and a great sense of community involvement

Amarillo – there was a lot of interesting and fun activities to explore

Amarillo - It was a city I'd only been to once, so I learned a lot.  We went to the prison, which was very eye opening, and we visited the community college and learned about their initiatives to attract high achieving students. Houston - economic and global development opportunities for Texas
3. How would you describe how you were treated by LT staff? They were always gracious and working to make things work out for you ... their friendship is a true asset The LT staff is amazing and fantastic. The extensive planning involved is evidenced by the organization of every event in every town. The staff was outstanding, professional and accommodating.  They are lovely people and made me feel part of a family. Very professional and friendly
4. How would you describe being welcomed by former LT participants? They were always instrumental in getting us amazing speakers... people you'd never hear otherwise, like the mayor of Houston Every host city was proud to welcome the new LT class and was proud to call them their new sisters. The LT alum wanted to show off their town and offerings. They were lovely and went out of their way to make us feel part of the LT family. As if we have been life-long friends!
5. What was your least favorite part of the experience?

The long, long, long, long days.... tough for an introvert ... having said that, much of the time at night was social.... and you had wonderful conversations that you would have missed up in your room.... but the days begin way early and end way late... be forewarned!

More time to process what we were hearing so that we could have deepened the impact

The travel required 3 days of work to be missed and it’s always hard to catch up at work, but the experience is well worth it. It was difficult to take that much time from work.  N/A
6. Would you recommend this experience to others? Why or why not? Yes, there is nothing to compare it to.  It's a tradition that goes back 30 years... a wealth of learning and resources.... I believe it's a resource that is poised to help Texas transition more smoothly into the challenges we are currently facing.... education for instance Yes, I would recommend the program to others. If you have a desire for continuous learning, this is a great experience. Understanding and learning about issues and solutions that communities are facing and addressing provides unique insight into our own communities. Would you recommend this experience to others? Why or why not?  I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about the opportunities going on in the state and interested in meeting amazing women. Yes, learning enrichment and also the professional advice you'd gain from talking to other women leaders across the state
7. Please add anything that stands out about your experience that was not addressed above. I'm curious about how we can expand the influence of Leadership Texas - leverage it for the common good even more effectively ... make it more accessible to more women .... for instance, I believe ALL sessions should be videotaped and available .... I'd love to hear them again and it would be a way for local communities to jump start conversations ... It is also an amazing networking experience. Life has a way of making a full circle and I know that even though I won’t see or chat with these ladies on a regular basis, we will always share a common connection and will be there for each other if needed. None that I can think of.  


The Executive Success Team (EST) Summer Kickoff will be July 9th at J. Black's located at 710-B W. 6th Street; from 5:30PM - 8:00 PM.  

All current EST members are welcome to attend and anyone who is looking to join an EST, please consider attending to meet members who have already found the benefits of mentoring, friendships, and networking through EST!

Space is limited, so please RSVP through by July 7th!
Annual Conference Call for Presenters
Deadline Extended!

Contributed by Karen Howard, Chair – Conference Programs
The EWTG Conference Committee has been in full swing and has received several great presentations to be reviewed for the Conference Workshops this year.  However, to ensure our members’ needs are adequately covered, this Committee has elected to extend the deadline from June 28 to July 12, 2013, to give Presenters additional time to submit in light of the Independence Day holidays and summer activities.
If you have someone in mind, that you think would bring a great value to the Conference this year, please be sure to reach out to that person and send them the Presenter Call Form and encourage them to submit their ideas no later than July 12th.

  July 10th Mini-Course

"Living Debt Free and Planning for Retirement"

When: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
12:00 - 1:00 P.M.
(Doors Open @ 11:30)
Where: Carver Library

Presenters: Juanita Stephens and Darlene Gilmore

By: Grace Nobles, EWTG Mini-Course Director

This will be Part 1 of a two Part seminar teaching women how to pay off all their debts in 7 years or less.  It also addresses having a long-term strategic plan to get you to retirement.  (Part 2 is planned for August with the same Presenters, different but related topic – “How Men and Women Differ About Money.”

Juanita Stephens began her career at IBM. As a Programmer and Manager she served IBM for 18 years. She successfully made the transition from corporate America to entrepreneur in 1995 when she opened a book store with her husband. Later they converted that business in to an e-commerce gifts and collectibles store. In 2004 she became an Agent/Owner with Farmers Insurance and Financial Services, proudly serving all of Texas.

Darleen M. Gilmore, a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, has been in the financial planning business for over two decades.  She began her career in Houston, Texas as an entry level manager trainee with a major Wall Street investment firm.  She was soon promoted to Vice President with affiliated offices in Dallas, Albuquerque, St. Louis and Austin.

In 1992 Darleen formed her own firm which is now the Austin Wealth Specialists.  Darleen conducts educational seminars and speaks at conferences such as the Executive Women in Texas Government.

The mini-course begins at 11:30 AM and the program begins at noon, ending promptly at 1 PM. The mini-course will be at the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina St., TX 78701.  EWTG will provide terrific pizza, loads of fresh green salad, dessert and drinks for $10, or you can bring your own. RSVP here to ensure you get both a chair and lunch.  Cancellations must be received twenty-four (24) hours prior to the event to receive a refund for pizza orders.

*Remember to bring your contributions for the "Ann Richards School for Girls" in support of our EWTG - Community Service Projects!

EWTG Monthly Luncheon
"Legislative Update" 
William T. Simmons
Legal Counsel to Commissioner Hope Andrade Commissioner Representing Employers
By Dokpe Ogunsanya, EWTG Program Director
Our featured luncheon speaker for July is Mr. William T. Simmons. As a private-sector employment law attorney from 1998 to 2004, Tommy Simmons practiced employment law on the side of management, and operated an Internet-based employment law information site focused on the needs of employers. In the public sector, Mr. Simmons is the senior legal counsel for Commissioner Hope Andrade, the employer representative on the Texas Workforce Commission, and served in the same capacity for the prior employer representatives on the Texas Employment Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission, Commissioners Mary Scott Nabers, James J. Kaster, Chairman Bill Hammond, Commissioner Ron Lehman, and Chairman Tom Pauken from 1987 through 1998, and 2004 through the present. From 1984 until early 1987, Mr. Simmons served on the legal staff of the Office of Commission Appeals in TEC.

Tommy Simmons received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and German from Texas Tech University, a Master of Arts degree in German from Texas Tech University, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. He is a member of the state bar association and has presented more than 1800 talks before employer groups on issues arising under state and federal labor and employment laws. He has authored dozens of employment law articles published in business and trade journals.

Mr. Simmons also designed, wrote, and programmed the first employment law software programs designed specifically for Texas employers: Unemployment Insurance: A Survival Guide for Employers, Wage and Hour Law Guide, Family and Medical Leave Act Guide, Employment Law Basics for Employers, The Texas Payday Law, and Alternative Staffing: Basics for Employers. He is the editor of the Employment Law Handbook of the Texas Association of Business and also the creator of the software edition of that book. He wrote the “Especially for Texas Employers” book of the Texas Workforce Commission and created the online edition of that book as well. In 2012, the Texas Association of Business presented Mr. Simmons with its Lifetime Friend of Employers award.

Mr. Simmons will present an overview of the most significant new Texas and federal employment-related laws that have been enacted during 2013. He will also cover recent regulatory changes at the Texas Workforce Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the EEOC, and other Texas and federal agencies that enforce labor laws. The discussion will focus on how employers can best comply with the new laws and minimize the risks of claims and litigation.
Please join EWTG members and friends for this insightful and dynamic program.  The luncheon is held at the Austin Woman’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street (ample free parking).  Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m.  The program starts at noon and concludes at 1:00 p.m.  The cost is $20 for EWTG members and $25 for guests. 
Click here to register.
* Please remember to bring School Supplies to the Summer Luncheons in support of the EWTG Community Service Project for students at the Ann Richards School for Girls!


EWTG Conference Volunteers / Skills Needed

Contributed by: Jennifer Dormer, Vice-President and Conference Chair

With Conference only five months away, the Conference Committee is looking for volunteers in several of its committees.  It takes a team to put on a successful, professional development conference. Our Chairs work with Committees of volunteers to assist with finding presenters, exhibitors, silent auction items, etc.
Volunteering on any one of the EWTG Committees is rewarding and fulfilling in many ways. However, when you are a part of the Annual Conference Committee - it takes volunteering to an entirely different level. As a volunteer on the Conference Committee, you will have the opportunity to understand all of the behind-the-scenes activities and responsibilities that are required to bring the conference to fruition.  Being a part of the Conference Committee will give you the opportunity to work closely with professionals from other state agencies that you might not have worked with otherwise and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the Conference. Not to mention the lasting relationships you will no doubt build over the year; are the most rewarding of all.
Here are some of the Committees that are looking to grow their volunteer committee and need members:
  • The Exhibits Committee finds exhibitors for the conference that match the EWTG goals and vision. At the same time, this team ensures that each exhibitor is satisfied with their experience at our conference.
  • The Silent Auction Committee coordinates donations and collects the items sold at the EWTG Silent Auction. This team also solicits contributions throughout the year from a wide variety of sources.
To volunteer to be on a Conference Committee, please contact me directly at
A successful Conference is the product of many committed and hard-working volunteers. I look forward to your contact!

Durden Named DARS Commissioner

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek has selected Veronda Durden as the next DARS Commissioner – effective July 1, 2013. Ms. Durden was most recently an Assistant Commissioner at DADS.  CONGRATULATIONS!


EWTG Members and their Proud Graduates!

  • Deborah Shaw-Boatner's grandson Jared. L. Tinsley graduated from McNeil High School on May 31, 2013.  During his senior year he was enrolled and will continue pursuing a degree in Game Design or Psychology from Austin Community College.   Our family is very proud of Jared reaching this milestone in his life.
  • Rhonda Miller’s son, Brandon Miller, was a 2013 graduate of Mesquite Academy in the Mesquite Independent School District.
  • Deborah Mitchell’s daughter, Ashley Mitchell, graduated from UT Austin with a degree in Psychology on May 18, 2013. She will be attending Columbia University in the Fall.
  • Cindy Bordovsky-Stone would like to honor Stefan Sean Bordovsky who gave a wonderful valedictorian speech at the Round Rock High School graduation on June 1, 2013.
  • Rena Jones’ daughter, Elizabeth R. Jones, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin on May 18, 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. Elizabeth started her new job  with Aptitude, a subsidiary of Novations as a Marketing Communications Specialist. She received two other offers of employment. Her family is very proud of Elizabeth.
  • Christy Bearden’s son, Tommy Bearden, graduated June 8, 2013 from James Bowie High School. He plans to enter the Coast Guard and later study to become a special education teacher.
  • Jennifer Dormer would like to honor Kevin Dormer as a 2013 graduate from Hays High School, as well as herself as a 2013 graduate of St. Edward’s University.
  • Sonja Warren would like to honor Troy Roosevelt Warren, Jr. for graduating from Desoto High School on June 7, 2013. Troy will attend University of North Texas in the Fall 2013 semester, majoring in Psychology.
  • Betsy Ford and her husband, Mike Ford, are proud to have attended the graduation of their daughter Alysia Bedgood. M.D. from her Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program with Methodist Hospital Houston.  Dr. Bedgood will be practicing at Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, TX beginning Aug. 1 as a specialist in Sports Medicine.
  • Esteria T. Miller would like to congratulate Honoria C. Bush who graduated with Honors from Hampton University in Hampton, VA and was inducted in the Beta Kappa Chi National Honor Society for Biological Sciences on May 12, 2013. Honoria is preparing to enter Physician Assistant School in Virginia in Spring 2014.
  • Keniesha Trimble’s son, William Clem-Trimble, graduated twice this year.  He was a student of Cedar Hill Collegiate High School in Cedar Hill where he was able to earn an Associate’s Degree from Cedar Valley Community College as well as his high school diploma.  He will be attending Texas State University in San Marcos in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering.
New and Renewing Members 
July 2013 
New Members
Linda Baker, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Adrienne Blanton, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Debra Browne, DARS
Teresa Bush, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Barbara Chavis, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Esther Marie Colvin, Texas Department of Transportation
Jennifer Edwards, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Susan Fredrickson, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Misti Hair, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Kay Hart, Office of the Governor
Victoria Hawthorne, HHSC
Heidi Lindsey, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Kelly McBride, Office of the Governor
Rhonda Miller, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Yalonda Mitchell, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Angela Wishon, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Renewing Members
Jennifer Buaas, Texas Department of Information Resources
Katrina Burch, Comptroller's Office
Teresa Cabral, Office of the Attorney General of Texas
Veronica Inchauste, University of Texas at Austin
Krista Julian, Texas Workforce Commission
Carolyn Kirkwood, DADS
Jamie Wedell, Texas Legislative Council

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