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August 2012 Newsletter
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In This Issue
President's Corner

EWTG August Mini Course Announcement

EWTG Community Service Project
EWTG August Luncheon Announcement
Nominate the 2012 Woman of the Year
Summer Update from the Brazos Valley Affiliate
Preparing for the Future of EWTG
Thank You for a Successful Community Service Event in May and June
July Mini-Course  Recap
July Luncheon Recap
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 this quarter until 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2012. 
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.

Kathryn Harris, 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."
Follow EWTG on Twitter
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August 2012
President's Corner - August 2012   
Carolyn J. Fry, President 


Online Conference Registration Now Open!  ~Convenient and Easy~

26th Annual EWTG Professional Development Conference
Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa & Conference Center
November 4-5, 2012

EWTG ... Educating, Enlightening, and Empowering Women!

Your 2012 Conference Committee has been diligently working to make this year’s Professional Development Conference the best yet! Be sure to mark your calendar for November 4th-5th. The Conference Networking Reception will be Sunday afternoon, November 4th, with our full day of professional development on Monday, November 5th.
You may remember that in my May newsletter article I explained that our board found itself looking at a new location for our conference after the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines cancelled our contract due to the upcoming Formula 1™ event. Our conference host this year is the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa & Conference Center, which is located between Austin and San Antonio on Interstate 35, approximately 30 miles south of downtown Austin… and just north of the San Marcos outlet mall. EWTG has negotiated great room rates. Click here to reserve your room.
We are excited about our two dynamic conference keynote presenters - Michelle Ray and Dr. Gloria Burgess. Michelle Ray is the Founder of Lead Yourself First Institute and demonstrates a deep understanding of personal accountability and interpersonal communications. She speaks passionately about personal responsibility, the impact of attitude, the importance of outstanding leadership, and the value of positive communication and influence.

(Michelle Ray)
Dr. Gloria Burgess is Founder and Principal of Jazz, Inc. Gloria inspires others to create a bridge from what was, and what is, to what can be. . . and she’s dedicated her entire life to doing just that! Gloria is an author, speaker, executive coach, and consultant who engages individuals and organizations in the process of finding the vital core of their creative self.

(Dr. Gloria Burgess)
The Conference Programs Committee has selected 36 energizing, information-filled workshops for you to select from for your three workshop sessions! These workshops surround our conference theme: “EWTG … Educating, Enlightening, and Empowering Women!” Conference workshops provide opportunities for you to continue your professional and personal development. There will be workshops on: determining your success keys to executive management; leading successfully; succession planning; developing your leadership skills; time management; team building; developing your perspective; developing interview skills for both employers and applicants; mentoring; developing listening and communicating skills; staying healthy; looking into and at retirement; creating financial success; looking at the potential upcoming legislative changes; and so much more!
Don’t forget we will have a special presentation to announce our EWTG Woman of the Year, honoring one of our members who has demonstrated leadership skills, dedication to service, and commitment to community. 
Our EWTG Silent Auction and Exhibits Hall will open at 7:00 am on the day of conference, November 5th. Proceeds from the silent auction will fund our professional development scholarships that are available for EWTG member training and educational opportunities. Exhibitor fees and contributions help support the conference in its goal of providing professional development opportunities relevant to members’ roles in government.
Remember … online conference registration is convenient and easy so register now! Don’t wait, mark your calendar and plan to attend the 26th Annual EWTG Professional Development Conference. Just a note … Be sure you register no later than September 21st to take advantage of the early registration discount: Member $179 and Non-Member $209. After September 21st the fee goes up to: Member $209 and Non-Member $259.
You can learn more about the Keynote Speakers, Workshop Sessions, Exhibitors, and Silent Auction by visiting our conference webpage.  
On behalf of the 2012 Board of Directors and 2012 Conference Committee Chairs … we look forward to seeing you at Conference!

August 8th Mini-Course: "FOCUS - Finding the Right Balance Between Work and Home" Featuring
Susan Tolles, Expert in Midlife Reinventions

By: Connie Williams, Mini-Course Director
Many women live their lives trying to be “superwoman,” juggling work, home, and family, while trying to “manage the universe.” Instead of living in alignment with what brings them joy and self-fulfillment, they live to serve everyone else, often sacrificing their own happiness along the way. In this interactive presentation, each participant will be given tools to help her:

 - Fill her own cup first, engaging in extreme self-care daily;
Optimize her life around what brings her joy and satisfaction;
Control her calendar and inbox to maximize productivity;
Unleash the power of saying “No” with the freedom to make choices; and
Separate work and home life with clear boundaries.
Susan Tolles is an Expert in Midlife Reinventions who inspires and equips women around the world to flourish inside and out. As a website creator, published author, speaker, and life coach, Susan helps women celebrate and enrich their true inner and outer beauty as they age with grace and vitality. Susan’s website, viewed by thousands of women globally each month, provides resources to make the second half of their lives their best, including articles and videos on style, health and fitness, and life balance.
Susan’s Powerful Me™ and individual coaching programs help women flourish from the inside-out for more meaningful and magnificent lives. Based on her own reinvention when she was an empty-nester over 50, Susan created her Powerful Me™ Program to help other women live in tune with their core passions and unique gifts, creating a future filled with joy and enthusiasm doing the things they love.
The Mini-Course begins at 11:30 AM and the program begins at noon, ending promptly at 1:00 PM. The Mini-Course will be held at the Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina, eight blocks east of I-35 just off East 11th Street. EWTG will provide delicious pizza, loads of fresh green salad, dessert, and drinks for $10, or you can bring your own lunch. RSVP here to ensure you get both a chair and lunch. Cancellations must be received 24 hours prior to the event to receive a refund for pizza orders.
Make a commitment to increase your executive skills by attending every EWTG mini-course! They are held on the second Wednesday of each month through October. The mini-courses provide benefits to your organization including better trained leaders, teams, and a commitment to organizational excellence. EWTG mini-courses and luncheons may also count toward state employees’ annual training hours. When you register, click the specified box to receive a certificate of attendance. You will enjoy a catered meal with friends and colleagues while building a new portfolio of enhanced skills

Community Service Project:  Help Distribute School Supplies to Austin Children

By: Del Randall, Community Service Committee Chair
Join the EWTG Community Service Committee and “For the Children” organization in distributing school supplies to Austin area children who qualify for the federally funded free and reduced-price lunch program, and help these children start the school year on the right track.
EWTG members will meet on Saturday, August 18th at Sanchez Elementary School, 73 San Marcos, Austin, TX 78702. (map)
We will take the list of school supplies from the school truck driver to the “For the Children” volunteer at the counter. EWTG members will gather the supplies from the list, load the supplies on a cart, and push the cart back to the school truck driver. There are two shifts: 7:00 am - 9:30 am and 9:00 am - 11:30 am. Sign up for a shift on the EWTG website.
For the Children is a volunteer-run organization in which 100% of the donations go to purchase school supplies to place in the hands of Austin area elementary school children. The organization’s mission is to supply children from challenging home environments with basic school supplies to help make their school careers successful. This year, For the Children will provide supplies to over 51,000 children.For more information about For the Children, please visit their website at:            

August 22nd Monthly Luncheon:  
Dr. Vicki Vernon Lott, Provost and Vice President for

 Academic and Student Affairs
Huston-Tillotson University


By: Denice Bettencourt, Program Director
EWTG welcomes Dr. Vicki Vernon Lott, Huston-Tillotson University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, as the August 22nd Luncheon Keynote Speaker. Since January 2011, Dr. Lott has served as the chief academic officer providing leadership for nearly 100 faculty and staff and 900 students throughout the Business Administration, Computer Science, Education and Kinesiology, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics academic units, as well as student support services, residence life, and student activities.
She previously served in a similar capacity at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee; was the executive assistant to the president at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia; and served as program director, assistant to the Chancellor, and associate professor of music at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Lott also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as well as the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Tennessee Advisory Committee. She is currently a member of the Corps of Committee Chairs for SACS.
Dr. Lott is the co-author of several textbooks and articles and has presented on numerous occasions on topics such as A Critical Thinking Approach to Reading Comprehension for Underprepared Students and Keeping It Real: A Critical Thinking Approach to Racial Harmony. She holds a membership in Toastmasters International, Inc. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin, and a Master’s and Doctorate in Music Education from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Register here to join EWTG member and friends for this insightful and dynamic program. The luncheon is held at the Austin Woman’s Club at 708 San Antonio Street (ample, free parking is available off of Nueces). Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch – a delicious entrée, salad, vegetables, rolls, dessert, tea, and coffee - 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.

Woman of the Year Nominations Due 

By: Liza Chen Willmore, Public Relations Director
The EWTG Woman of the Year Award nomination deadline is fast approaching on September 1! Get your nomination in for a worthy colleague in EWTG. Go to to download the nomination form.
(2011 Woman of the Year, Carol Lauder)
These are the areas in which the nominees will be evaluated:
I. EWTG Participation
II. Career Accomplishments
III. Community Involvement
IV. Educational Accomplishments
V. Overall Leadership Characteristics
For a full description of these criteria, please look online and then nominate an EWTG woman to be recognized at our November conference. Questions and forms can be sent to the Public Relations Director, Liza Chen Willmore, at


Summer Update from the Brazos Valley Affiliate

Members of the EWTG Brazos Valley
By:  Aimee Smith, EWTG Brazos Valley Chair 

The EWTG-Brazos Valley Affiliate has been staying active this summer! Our June meeting was held on June 27th at the office of the Junior League of Bryan-College Station. Our speaker was Ms. Stephanie Coomes, current president of our local Junior League. Stephanie shared information about the Association of Junior Leagues International, the projects of our local League, and ways we could get involved. For our summer service project, we collected school supplies to support the Junior League's "Stuff the Bus" project, which provides supplies to over 16,000 area children.
Our next meeting and summer social will be held at the end of August in the LaSalle Hotel in historic Downtown Bryan. Our guest speaker will be Debra Castellani from Akros Investments in Austin. Debra has previously presented at the EWTG annual conference, and will be sharing a presentation called "Financial Control – Take it and Keep it" giving women the confidence, skills and tools to take control of their financial future.  We will look forward to hosting current EWTG President, Carolyn Fry, at the meeting as well.
Preparing for the Future of EWTG

By: Lynn Whitten, Nominating Committee Chair 
As a former EWTG President, I was honored to be asked by our current President, Carolyn Fry, to chair the 2012 EWTG Nominating Committee. This group conducts the search for outstanding women to serve EWTG as 2013 Board Members. The committee is charged with assembling a group of candidates that represents diversity of ethnicity, EWTG experience, job titles, and agency representation when developing its slate. The Nominating Committee reaches consensus about who should be approached for each position. Each nominee is personally contacted by a committee member and asked to serve on the Board.
Nominations from members are welcome. If you would like to be considered for a board position or want to suggest a qualified candidate, please let the committee know by visiting the EWTG Board webpage to find information and fill out the nomination form. The deadline is October 1, 2012. The Board webpage makes available a description of the board officers’ duties and information on the current board members.
The corporate bylaws provide that the Nominating Committee will present a recommended slate of candidates to the Board at its October meeting. In addition to the Nominating Committee’s list, other nominations, if supported by a petition of at least 15 voting members and received by October 1, 2012, are also allowed.
The Board will consider the candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee, as well as any who are nominated by petition. If no candidates are nominated by petition, the slate offered by the Nominating Committee is elected by acclamation. If there are petition-recommended candidates, then a vote of the membership will be taken. Should that occur, voting instructions and eligibility information will be published in the November newsletter.
If you or someone you know has been active in EWTG and is ready to develop new knowledge and skills, board participation is a significant way to serve the organization. The 2012 Nominating Committee members are Carolyn J. Fry, President; Mary Castleberry, President-Elect; Barrie Cogburn and Susan M. Johnson, both past Presidents; and Liza Chen Willmore, Communications Director.


Thank You for a Successful Community Service Event in May and June

By: Del Randall, Community Service Committee Chair 
In May and June, the EWTG Community Service Committee collected 102 pounds of healthy, non-perishable food for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) from EWTG members. This created a total of 81 meals. 
CAFB is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas, providing food and grocery products, nutrition education, and social services outreach to 300,000 clients each year through a network of 300 Partner Agencies. 
The Community Service Committee would like to extend a heart-felt thank-you to all of the members who supported the CAFB with a donation.

July 11th Mini-Course Recap:  "Investment Basics" by Grenata Vessel, Education Counselor, Texa$aver Program and Great-West Retirement Services
By: Connie Williams, Mini-Course Director
Grenata Vessel used a Cleaver Ice Cream analogy to educate us on investment options in the Texa$aver Program. She described the following three Asset Classes: Money Markets (Vanilla), Bonds (Chocolate), and Stocks/Equities (Neopolitan). 
Money Markets - Conservative
· Preserves your account balance from market ups and downs.
· Balances stock portion of portfolio.
· Receives a larger percentage of portfolio closer to retirement.
Bonds – Less aggressive
· Lends money to a bond issuer.
· Repays on a certain date with interest.
· Receives regular interest payments.
· Helps to diversify portfolio.
· Offers lower potential returns.
· The federal government is the largest bond issuer.
Stocks/Equities – Higher risk
· Becomes part owner in a company.
· Highest potential returns.
· Part of a long-term portfolio.
· Dividend payment represents share of earnings.
Other Investment Options:
International Stocks:
· These are companies that are outside of the United States.
· Both high risk and return potential.
Mutual Funds:
· Money pooled with other investors.
· Professionally managed.
· Can offer a diversified portfolio.
Collective Trusts:
· Operates like a mutual fund.
· Typically lower fees and expenses.
Investment Risks:
- Not Investing
- Inflation
- International
- Interest Rate
- Business
- Market
Manage Risk:
- Diversify through asset allocation.
- Invest consistently.
- Invest for the long term.
Tools You Can Use:
Texa$aver Information Line: (800) 634-5091
As always, thank you for attending and supporting the EWTG Mini-Courses!

July 25th Luncheon Recap: 
Karen Kennard, City Attorney, City of Austin


By: Alta Alexander, Program Committee Member
With that winning smile – she had us at ‘hello.’ Karen Kennard, City Attorney with the City of Austin, imparted to the July Luncheon attendees her leadership style and the challenges in her career and in her current position that she has overcome as a leader. She began by remarking that it was difficult to encapsulate on qualities of a leader because she believes we are all leaders – some formal and some informal. She shared that she views her role as one to help nurture, guide, and support others and be a resource for them as they stretch into their respective leadership endeavors. She leads by helping to ready others in professional development and by identifying the different opportunities there are to assist people in stretching to the next level – within the City of Austin Attorney Office and the broader City environment, as well. Kennard has found the best way to learn is by doing; by knowing your strong suits and the talents and strengths of others, you can get the best out of everyone and the best out of yourself. She encouraged the EWTG attendees in leadership capacities not to second-guess those chosen to head projects, but rather to give feedback without changing the overall direction of the projects, and to play to peoples strengths. By doing so, the resulting action will be positive.
Kennard also declared that challenges help people recognize their real strong point. She explained that embracing ones’ business culture contributes to the maintenance and growth of an organization. Another vital element Kennard stands firm on is dealing with issues of tough communications with all key staffers. She says this is paramount in order to have everyone on one accord and speaking “one voice.”
One of her big challenges is achieving balance, but she preaches that people, especially women, should not neglect themselves, and that they should stay in the moment and enjoy successes - both big and small. Kennard explains that good times can help get us through some particularly difficult challenges. “Staying in the moment and touching base with folks about their lives makes for a more pleasant long-term environment,” said Kennard. She was adamant about celebrating one another and sharing in the success of others. Kennard praised those people who have supported her in her career and tries to do the same for others. She expressed the importance of surrounding yourself with folks who are not only supportive, but who also “keep it real” and are honest with you.
Reflecting over her past 25 years, she noted her biggest accomplishment was succeeding her much-admired mentor, Susan Horton at the Texas Municipal League. Kennard explained the exposure and networking opportunities of that job facilitated in catapulting her career. She conveyed her gratefulness to the mentorship Horton provided over the years, as Horton’s leadership and direction was a principal factor in her vocation.


New and Renewing Members 
July 2012
New Members
Colette Beckett, Office of the Attorney General
Paula Bishir-Jensen, CapMetro       
Rina Hartline, CenterPoint Energy
Suzannah Jones, Texas Department of Public Safety
Merry Klonower, Texas Water Development Board
Jena Randall, University of Texas at Austin
Gayle Stewart, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Renewing Members
Joy Hall Bryant, Texas Department of Information Resources
Mary Campbell, Health and Human Services Commission
N. Jane Ireland, Department of State Health Services
Elizabeth Jamison, Lower Colorado River Authority
Valvree Kerr, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Carolyn Kirkwood, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Regina Martin, Legislative Budget Board
Jebron McCue, TDOA-Retired
Dee McIlroy, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Elizabeth Perry, Texas Department of Information Resources
Charlene Rendon, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Tanya Skaarup, Office of the Attorney General
Patricia Thickstun, Texas Department of State Health Services
Glenda Wall, Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services
Joelyn Weeks, Texas Department of Information Resources
Erika Whitt, Texas NICUSA




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