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June 2012 Newsletter
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In This Issue
President's Corner

EWTG May Mini Course Announcement

EWTG June Luncheon Announcement
Executive Success Teams Kick-Off
Why Shoud I Maintain My EWTG Membership?
Legislative Committee Monitors Texas Legislature Actions
Community Service Project:  For the Children
Houston Affiiate Spearheads Successful Drive for Star of Hope Mission
How to Succeed in Your Careet - 13 Quick Tips
May 9th Mini-Course Recap:  "Fostering Emerging Senior-Level Leaders"
April 25th 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 June 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 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 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."
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June 2012
President's Corner - June 2012 
Carolyn J. Fry, President 

Carolyn J. Fry

As EWTG Moves Forward into 2012, Let's Take A Moment to Look Back on 2011 ... 
As you already know, Executive Women in Texas Government, as an organization, moves forward in January of each year with a “new beginning.” In January we have a new slate of officers, new committee chairs, and a host of new volunteers. Isn’t this exciting? However, it is good for us to take a moment to reflect on past accomplishments and activities of our organization. 
Did you know every year your Past President prepares an “annual report” of their year as President? In their annual report you’ll see accomplishments, goals, activities, and a number of EWTG memories compiled by that year’s President that also includes input from that year’s board of directors, committee chairs, and affiliate chairs. Let’s view a few highlights from Barrie Cogburn’s 2011 Annual Report.  
EWTG celebrated its 25th Annual Professional Development Conference on November 21, 2011 which drew over 900 participants. One highlight was hearing comments and inspiration from founding members Claudia Stravato and Karen Johnson.
Carol Lauder was selected as EWTG’s 2011 Woman of the Year. Carol has made a difference in EWTG, her profession, and her community through lifelong learning and her support of other women. Other 2011 Woman of the Year nominees included Mary Castleberry, Susan Durso, and Ginny Booton, who are all outstanding examples of leadership! 
There were a number of awesome membership events offering networking opportunities and welcoming new members. Several of those events were: a Cinco de Mayo celebration; a Luau at Hula Hut; and a reception with the Texas Women in Business (TWIB).
As you know, community service is an important part of EWTG and there were a number of worthy 2011 community service activities including: Capital Area Food Bank, Write to Me Foundation, and SafePlace.
2011 held a history-making Education Event as well! On August 31, 2011, over 100 members and guests toured the Moody Theater in the W Hotel, also known as the new Austin City Limits Live!
EWTG awarded a total of $14,600 in scholarships to13 recipients in 2011.
The 2011 Development Committee benchmarked their year by receiving sponsor donations in the amount of $19,000.
There is so much more about 2011 but I’m running out of room, so please be sure to view Barrie’s 2011 annual report for more information on luncheon and mini-course presenters, Executive Success Teams, affiliate chapters, financial status, communications, public relations, legislative issues, and the securing of a 2012 Board of Directors. Congratulations to Barrie and the 2011 Board on an outstanding job!
Let me encourage you to read through collections of past Annual Reports located on the “Members Only” page of the EWTG website. You’ll be amazed at our wonderful history.

June 13th Mini-Course:
Leadership Jeopardy!

By: Connie Williams, Mini-Course Director
And the answer is: The nation’s longest running women’s leadership program.
What is Leadership Texas? Audrey Selden, Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Women’s Resources, will provide information about Leadership Texas, a year-long, five-city Texas leadership journey. She will share strategies for a successful application, highlight scholarship opportunities, and provide an update about the 30th Leadership Texas Anniversary celebration. You’ll learn about several Women’s Resources leadership programs and the special connection to the EWTG founders and Leadership Texas. Join us for a round of Leadership Jeopardy. Don’t forget to provide your response in the form of a question.
Audrey Selden is the Deputy Commissioner for the Compliance Division at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). She oversees the Consumer Protection, Enforcement, and Fraud sections at TDI. She chairs the Texas State Disaster Coalition and leads the agency’s disaster response efforts. She served as Texas Assistant Secretary of State from 1991 to 1994. Audrey has more than 20 years of experience in the public sector.
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1986, Audrey clerked for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice. Her additional work experience includes private practice as a litigator, college instructor, and university administration. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University.
Audrey is a graduate of Leadership Texas and Leadership America, Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Women’s Resources, an Affiliates committee member of Executive Women in Texas Government, and a Board Development Committee member of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas Council.
Audrey received the 2010 YWCA Woman of the Year for Racial Justice. The Austin Ballet honored Audrey in 2001 with a “Women on Their Toes” award for outstanding volunteer service. She received the 1997 Ma Ferguson Award for Excellence in the Public Sector.
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 Branch Library, 1161 Angelina, eight blocks east of I-35 just off East 11th Street. EWTG will provide terrific 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.
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.                            

June 27th Monthly Luncheon
Wilhelmina Delco - Leader, Legislator, Educator

By: Denice Bettencourt, Program Director
A string of firsts usually comes after Wilhelmina Delco’s name: the first African-American elected to public office in Austin, the first African-American elected to the Texas House from Travis County, and quite possibly (although we’re not certain) the first African-American woman to appear in a swimsuit on a magazine cover at the age of 80. In the sunny living room of the home she and her husband, Dr. Exalton Alfonso Delco, Jr., have shared on Astor Place since moving to Austin in 1957, the former legislator and lifetime education activist trotted down memory lane, pausing from time to time to smile or frown or hammer home a point. It’s been an eventful journey of highs, lows, and passionate activism. “My husband says I have a built-in radar for non-paying jobs,” Delco said, perched near tables covered with awards, photos, and memorabilia from a life of public service and family dedication.
Education has been her life-long passion and one that has driven her political career. With strong encouragement from Ann Richards and others, Delco served one term on the School Board and then launched a successful campaign for the Texas House in District 50, making her the first African-American elected to the Legislature from Travis County. She served from 1974 to 1995 and chaired the House Higher Education Committee until she was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore in 1991.
A founding member of the Austin Community College Board (“I just love community colleges. They’re flexible and everyone can benefit.”), Delco remains a strong voice for education and has been awarded 10 honorary doctoral degrees. She chaired the Board of Trustees at Huston-Tillotson University and serves as an adjunct professor in the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas.

Ms. Delco is in her eighties. Although she learned to swim only a few years ago, she laps the YMCA’s East Communities Pool for an hour every day (hence the swimsuit photo of her on the cover of Austin Woman Magazine in 2009) for both fitness and fun. Ms. Delco and her husband love cruises and have traveled the world by boat and plane.
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.

Executive Success Teams Kick-Off

By: Mary Castleberry, President-Elect
We have had an exceptional response in members signing up to join an Executive Success Team (EST), and the Mentoring Committee has effectively coordinated our 2012 ESTs.
During our kick-off event, members of the Mentoring Committee ensured that: 1) existing ESTs are remaining as an intact team or adding to their team; and 2) EWTG members who requested a team were assigned a team that fits her needs.
The event was held on June 5 at Nuevo Leon Restaurant. EST members learned about the history of Executive Success Teams within EWTG and enjoyed delicious bites of Tex-Mex cuisine.
The Mentoring Committee thanks all who participated and looks forward to successful 2012 Executive Success Teams!


Why Should I Maintain My EWTG Membership?

By: Susan Durso, Membership Director
Recently I read an article explaining that women are still lagging behind men in career advancement and the playing field is not level. One of the things noted is that men are rewarded on potential, and women are rewarded for a proven track record. What a conundrum! If you never get a chance to prove yourself at work, how are you going to create a track record? Take a moment to evaluate the opportunities that are within your control to improve your chances for advancement in the workplace.

I encourage you to get involved in Executive Women in Texas Government. EWTG continues to provide quality development opportunities for women who want to take a leadership role in state government and EWTG’s volunteer opportunities help you create a proven track record. EWTG volunteers plan a conference attended by more than 900 people through the Conference Committee. They contact businesses for support through the Development Committee. They negotiate contracts with host facilities and CMP Management Company. They lead others as Committee Chairs. They design newsletters and websites. They mentor one another on how to ask for a raise. They speak in front of groups of people. They organize events.
Is your boss looking for someone who has successfully led a team? Just ask Mercie Zapata, who by serving as Vice-President and Chair of the 2011 Conference Committee led a team of conference committee chairs, who, together, developed and executed a successful conference. Is your boss looking for someone who can manage a large project? Just ask Mindy Eppler Wilkins, who, as chair of the 2011 Registration Committee, led a team that procured a gift for each conference attendee, obtained conference bags, orchestrated the design and production of conference programs, and then ensured that each attendee received a bag and a badge and the information needed to navigate conference day.
Can you afford not to spend $50 or $100 a year - less than $1 or $2 a week - to develop and use the skills that will give you the track record to secure the next big opportunity at your agency? That’s the financial investment it takes to be a member of EWTG and to access the benefits of membership, which is access to reasonably priced or free professional development and networking opportunities, scholarships, mentors, and educational and community service opportunities. Renew your membership and invite a friend or co-worker to join and reap the fruits of membership, too.
Legislative Committee Monitors Texas Legislature Actions

The EWTG Legislative Committee has identified the following House and Senate Interim Charges to monitor this year. Updates will be provided as legislative hearings are held and significant actions are taken.  
House Committee on Appropriations
- Monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operation budgets, plans to carry out legislative initiatives and planned budget reductions, caseload projections, performance measure attainment, implementation of all rider provisions, and any other matter affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state.
House Committee on Government Efficiency & Reform
- Examine areas of potential privatization of state services in an effort to achieve a higher level of service and greater efficiency for Texas taxpayers. (Joint task with the House Committee on State Affairs.)
- Examine state agency rulemaking and consider ways to improve procedural efficiencies and public transparency, and to better inform policymakers as to their use, purpose, and cost effectiveness, including an examination of financial and other impacts such regulations have on both the license holder and the public. (Joint task with the House Committee on State Affairs.)
House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services
- Monitor all agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, monitor the study by the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas of the viability of the current defined benefit plans as well as the implications and feasibility of creating a defined contribution or hybrid plan.
House Committee on State Affairs
- Study how businesses seeking to provide goods or services to the state interact with state agencies. Consider whether additional procedures are needed to ensure that goods and services obtained by the state are the best value. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure transparency, accountability, and to promote ethical business practices.
- Examine methods of cloud computing technology to streamline agency operations and generate greater efficiencies for more cost-effective operations. (Joint task with the House Committee on Technology.)
- Additional joint tasks with the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform.
House Committee on Technology
- Examine human resource policies of state agencies that would integrate the implementation of social media to strengthen the state’s workforce.
Employee’s Retirement System – Interim Studies
- State Employee/Retiree – Health Insurance
- State Employee/Retiree – Retirement System
Senate Government Organization Committee
- Investigate the costs and benefits of cost-effectiveness analysis in state agency rulemaking and consider the development of cost-effectiveness standards for all agencies.
Senate Select Committee on Open Government
- Examine the effectiveness of security measures used to protect electronic information held by state agencies and make recommendations for enhancing security, if needed.
- Review record retention policies for state and local governments and make recommendations for improvements to record retention schedules and policies, including email retention and archiving requirements. Consider the benefits and disadvantages of creating a uniform record retention policy.
- Study ways to define and address frivolous and/or overly-burdensome open records requests. Include an analysis of appropriate cost recovery by governmental entities for expense and time related to responding to request, while ensuring the public has adequate access to public information.


Community Service Project:  For the Children

By: Del Randall, Community Service Committee Chair
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.
Join the EWTG Community Service Committee 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 more information about For the Children, please visit their website at

Houston Affiliate Spearheads Successful Drive for Star of Hope Mission   


By: Glenda E. Wall, Houston Affiliate Member
With the participation of state employees at the Elias Ramirez State Office Building, the Houston Affiliate was able to collect 12 large moving boxes of clothing, toiletries, household items, and other necessities for Star of Hope Mission. For two weeks, collection boxes were placed on all five floors of the building. The response was so overwhelming that the boxes had to be emptied several times each week!
Star of Hope Mission was established in 1907 in Houston by Rev. Dennis Pevoto, a Baptist minister originally from New York, and other clergy. Rev. Pevoto’s original vision was to minister to homeless men. However, as a greater number of women and children entered the homeless scene, the vision was extended and a Women and Children shelter was established in 1986. Over the years, the Mission has continued to expand services and now includes a Day Care Center for childcare and after-school programs, apartments, and a Transitional Living Center for homeless women and families.

How to Succeed in Your Career - 13 Quick Tips     

“The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts the sails.”
~John Maxwell
By: Dr. Susan Johnson, EWTG Member and May Mini-Course Panelist
These 13 tips represent effective strategies and life management skills for professional success. Try these, modify them to fit your own style, and add new ones as your leadership experience grows.
1.     Develop Yourself Into an Expert
Build on these strengths no matter what your job description is and you’ll find people turning to you. You’ll create the job to which you’re best suited. Note: If you want to take action, but you feel nervous, PRETEND that you are the most successful and courageous person you admire and do what he/she would do. Or, do what most of us do: FAKE feeling confident, and self-confidence will become yours. DO IT ANYWAY.
2.     Study Leaders on Whom Your Company/Field Rely
Read biographies of great achievers, paying attention to how they learned to recognize opportunities. Learn from them. Make them your mentors by trying out their advice.
3.     Join a Professional Association and Do More Than Just Go to Monthly Meetings
Volunteer for a committee. Find out whose working style you admire and imitate them. Experiment with your own transactional style and/or subject interests. Take time to meet not only the invited speakers but also those at your table. Use them in the best sense: ask their opinions and advice; report back and thank them. Practice your leadership skills in organizations where you can’t be fired.
4.     Make Yourself Visible on the Job
Build relationships not just with your peers, but your bosses, too. Write memos that demonstrate your knowledge. Volunteer for task forces or special committees. Speak up at meetings in a positive way.
5.     Start Small
At the next question/answer period of a conference, stand up, introduce yourself, compliment the speaker, then ask a question or make a comment. Instigate informal conversation with your boss, even your boss’ boss whom you meet casually (elevator, parking lot); ask a question, make a comment. Be visible.
6.     Make Your Boss Look Good
Provide your boss with what he/she needs to thrive – marketing info? Strategic planning? Number crunching? Find out what he/she needs to be successful and give it all you can. Let your ideas flow. You won’t be disappointed.
7.     Think Lifelong Learning
You’re not done if you’re still alive. So send for graduate school catalogs. Apply to a variety of programs; keep your options open. Apply and then ask about fellowships, etc. Think of night or weekend programs for pursuing your graduate studies as well as daytime programs.
8.     Be Loyal
Success in business (and in personal life) requires other people wanting you to be successful. And one way to do that is to convey through word and deed to others that you are working towards their success and that you will be loyal to them. Truly see yourself as an agent to help other people succeed. Your friends and co-workers aren’t your competitors, they’re your partners. Help them succeed and you will find success follows you.
9.     Control Your Anger
Never let someone get your goat. Anger and frustration always give off the impression of weakness and inconsistency to others. Hold off on sending that email or biting back at that co-worker. Angry, mean, nasty people will sabotage themselves; they don’t need your help – especially if it comes at your expense.
10. Create Team Spirit
View your employees as being professionals on a team mission. Never refer to employees as “my employees” or “my staff.” They want to feel important and significant, not just a hired hand. The most successful managers refer to employees as “our team.” This helps increase the team spirit. This also lets the employees feel better about their work. A team works together and not as independent workers doing a certain mundane job, but having a sense of pride in the joint effort of the final product or service.
11. Treat Team Members as Professionals
Think and refer to your employees as professionals. Even the janitor or custodial staff who keep our work places clean and safe to work in are professionals.
12. Give 5 Compliments a Day
Each day give five sincere compliments to various workers in your section. Be on the look out for something they did well and give them a bit of praise. This will boost morale faster than anything you can do! All individuals need to feel sincerely appreciated. This also works miracles at the home front! When you are critical of a worker, it can devastate their ability to be creative and productive. When there is a need to correct, try to correct the action and not the person. This lets them know you want them to improve and be successful.
13. Talk Less, Listen More
Some people talk as if they simply like hearing their own voices. And when they aren’t talking, they give off the impression that they’re merely thinking of what they want to say next. You are almost always better off being a listener. Speak enough to keep the conversation going (i.e. don’t give the impression you’re quiet because you’re shy but rather because you’re interested in what they’re saying). Be observant and listen between the lines of the words the coworkers or employees are saying. Even if you know the answer to a question that is about to be asked, listen respectfully and hear out their question, thus opening up communications between you and your team.
May 9th Mini-Course Recap: "Fostering Emerging Senior-Level Leaders"

Presenters: Susan M. Johnson, Ph.D.        Ginny Booton, M.B.A.
                    Susan Durso, J.D., M.P.A.       Diane Muzuca, M.P.A.

By: Connie Williams, Mini-Course Director
Thank you to our 50 attendees for coming to support this extremely successful Panel Discussion about “Fostering Emerging Senior-Level Leaders.” EWTG would also like to extend a huge thank you to our very impressive set of panelists: Dr. Susan Johnson, Susan Durso, Ginny Booton, and Diane Mazuca. Hearing career/life wisdom, their unique perspectives, and savvy strategies from our experienced senior-level leadership panelists created a dynamic and rich dialogue. We sincerely hope that this mini-course was educational and empowering to everyone, and that you will continue to learn and emerge as future senior-level leaders in state government.
This Mini-Course Recap summarizes the panelists’ responses to the following four (4) questions below:
1.     How did you develop a career pathway into Senior Management?
Susan Durso: 
  • Look for opportunities. Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
  • Even though you may not get what you want, make the most of what’s out there.
Diane Mazuca: 
  • When you have a job, come to the office and do that job.
  • Continue to learn new skills.
  • Work hard and keep up your skills.
  • Be open to new projects and new assignments.
Ginny Booton:
  • Starting out by getting my education gave me a foundation. That gave me opportunities.
  • One of the things I learned early on from my mom as a little kid was to “Try.” That was a valuable and important lesson for me as an adult. 
  • Working hard is so important. You have to be present. You have to show up.
  • Volunteering for projects at work gets you out of your comfort zone.
  • “If you are in the ME and not in the WE, you are standing alone.”
  • Customer service…these are skills sets that I learned that allowed me to do something different today.
Susan Johnson:  
  • The opportunities and blessings that came to me career-wise were from people who knew me, who I had relationships with, or who I served on boards and commissions with me.
  • I became a risk taker. A 360 personal assessment of things I did well helped me identify gaps.
  • In order to move up in state government, I needed more education. I made the decision to get a Master’s Degree and to work. I also identified and attained other skill sets like mediation and facilitation.
  • Once skill sets were developed, I was better able to market and brand myself and build a foundation for interviews.
  • You also have to know yourself. Once I figured out who I am and what I could do, opportunities started opening up for me and I started to move up.
2.     What skills do you find that you use most often in Senior Management?
Ginny Booton:
  • Three communication skills that build a foundation are written, oral, and interpersonal communication.
  • You also must have really strong strategic thinking skills, critical thinking skills, budget and finance skills, and be able to negotiate, facilitate, and train.
  • When you are in leadership, you have to be a diplomat; especially in executive-level leadership. You are a leader among your peers. So there are times when you have to take the lead among your peer team, and there are times that you follow.
  • In everything we do, we have to be able to collaborate and negotiate.
  • Every thing I say, every action I take, I’m role-modeling behavior I want others to emulate.
  • Go to workshops. Build your network of friends, peers, and others. Welcome it, listen to it, and build upon it because that is where you will find your opportunities to improve and your strengths.
  • Important skills: decision making, problem solving, project management. You are going to have strengths in everything, but you don’t need to be perfect or the person with all the answers in every aspect.
Susan Johnson:
  • Soft skills are very important. I’ve seen people with excellent technical skills, but they cannot get along well with people or work in groups.
  • The other skill that we don’t like to talk about is professional image. You have to look the part. If you call yourself a professional, you need to look like a professional, and be consistent.
  • You can have the skills sets, but you also have to have that image that says, “I’m confident, I know what I am doing. I’m in charge and I’m powerful.”
  • I like wearing a jacket all the time. Men who are in powerful positions, no matter how hot it is, never take their jacket off. A jacket can give an image of authority. If you want to move up in the organization, you can brand yourself by having a professional image.
Susan Durso:
  • How you present yourself is not only in your dress, but also in your speaking and writing. You need to remember that in government when a document goes out, whether it is an email or a scribbled note, your grammar and punctuation matter.
  • Adapt your writing to your audience. Writing a newsletter is different from writing a legal brief. There are certain rules of grammar and format that you utilize to present yourself.
  • Email that comes across with emoticons are all over the place. Emoticons are fine for a personal exchange, but not for any business exchange.
  • If you need someone to help you in a big meeting, are you going to select the person that is sloppily dressed and not pulled together? My mother said that if you are clean, pressed, and mended and you are dressed the best you can be, then just be proud of that.
  • Have these three pieces: a scarf, a jacket, and a sweater. Have clothes that put you in a suit-type mode. You do have to invest in yourself.
  • If you don’t know how to write well, take the time to take a continuing education class. You can budget that. There are continuing education classes at Austin Community College and the University of Texas.
Diane Mazuca:
  • Learn to listen and get to know who you are meeting with.
  • Get to know your team so that you’ll know who you can go to for different aspects of what you need.
  • Sometimes you may have “Cocktail Chatter,” i.e.…knowing about lots of little things. In working with the Legislature, it’s really important to understand some of their interests. Know their districts and what things matters in their districts. This will help you to make a connection.
  • Another aspect is asking questions. Never be afraid to ask questions…no matter what position you are in. It’s a sign of confidence when you ask questions. In order to ask questions, you have to be listening and be prepared.
  • Allow your staff to do their job. When you are promoted to another level, trust your staff and have confidence in them. Step back sometimes and allow them to do what they need to do.
3.     Tell us about a challenge you experienced in your career and how you mastered it.
Diane Mazuca:
  • The thing I learned most is that you can’t do everything yourself. Delegate and give deadlines to people.
  • The other challenge was communication. Sometimes people like to hoard information because they think it makes them more powerful. You need to be really careful with that.
  • Certainly, there are confidences that you need to keep, especially if you move up the chain of command.
  • Make time to sit down for 30 minutes to reflect on the day, the week, and reassess. Am I doing the right thing? Is this the way to go?
  • Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes when something is not going the right way. Get your executives involved because you need their support.
Ginny Booton:
  • When people see something in you, listen and pay attention. Keep the doors open.
  • When you are on the mountain and everything is going well, you are going to be happy. It’s when you are in the valley when things are really going bad. It’s your reaction, your integrity, and your character. It’s your reputation. It’s how you handle the tough times.
  • Treat people with respect. Keep moving. True leaders are the ones leading the charge.
  • I had pictures posted in social services offices so staff could see the vision of why we’re here. Every decision we made was so critical and important.
Susan Johnson:
  • Tell a story. No matter what project you are working on, it should be able to fit on a magnet that you can put on your refrigerator and people will understand that message.
  • My greatest challenge was to take early retirement. Like so many people, I wanted to go back to school. The research says we are going to live to 90 so I plan to work until I’m 85. It’s helping people understand that just because I retired, I want to continue to move up because of my knowledge, skills, and abilities. I also need to prepare the next generation of leaders.
  • One thing we’re doing at our agency that I’m excited about is succession planning. How are you going to prepare for the next generation? There is not a clear strategic plan as to how we can tap into people who have retired so that there can be a knowledge transfer.
Susan Durso:
  • Y2K was a huge fear across the state. I was given the job of making sure every electrical utility company in the state knew how to be prepared for December 31, 1999. This was one of those opportunities that was given to me because I can write and communicate well.
  • The challenge I’ve encountered in my career that I really had to work on, and it continues until this day, is twofold: “I don’t suffer fools gladly.” I’ve had to learn to exhibit patience when I had none. I had to figure out what I was doing that gave out that impression. So I took it upon myself to take classes about customer service…and that is what the EWTG Scholarships are for. As public sector employees, we are in public service everyday. If you are not in customer service with the public, you are in customer service with whoever your boss is.
  • Keeping a little mirror by your telephone to make sure you’re smiling while talking…causes you to sound nicer.
  • Learning to keep my mouth shut and knowing when to open my mouth, when to ask questions, and when to keep it to myself. My mom always said I always have to have the last word. It serves me well as a lawyer, but it doesn’t always serve you well with people who are frustrated.
  • One of the skills I didn’t talk about as a leader and as an executive is, “You praise in public, you criticize in private.”
4.     What advice can you give EWTG members and this audience if they have an interest in pursuing a Senior Management Role?
Susan Johnson:
  • Get a support system. Have your own Board of Directors. Keep learning and be actively involved in EWTG. Develop friendships, support systems, and participate in leadership programs such as Leadership Texas, Leadership America, and Leadership Austin. That’s how you build your network, and that’s how you meet people.
  • I created a 13 tips handout that will go into the newsletter so everybody can see it.
  • It’s important for women to support each other and build each other up, rather than tear each other down.
Ginny Booton:
  • Building each other up is so important. Remember to keep your integrity intact, have good character, and help others. Your network is so important. Being dependable and always following through is super valuable, and will serve you well in anything you do.
  • If you volunteer, whether it’s at work, EWTG committees, at church, or school, you learn skills. Just think…everything you are doing outside of work is also building your skill sets and network.
  •  Think big, have your vision. Don’t make limitations on yourself. If you feel like that is just your personality and style, get your friends who can help you break those habits.
Diane Mazuca:
  • Embrace change. I think we always need to be open to change because sometimes the unexpected happens and you need to be ready for that.
  • Speak in a strong voice. Integrity is very important, especially as you move up. You are going to have to make some tough decisions. Know what you believe, what you are willing to do, and what you are not willing to do, and keep that in mind as you go through your decision making process. People will know what to expect from you and they know what they can depend on you for.
  • Be direct with people. I think it’s really important because people are in a hurry.
  • It’s really important to volunteer at work, your church, and other organizations. It’s so important…the people you meet, the connections you make, and the skills.
Susan Durso:
  • There’s not much I can add to what they’ve said so I’m going to keep my mouth shut!
April 25th Luncheon Recap
Melinda Garvey, Founder and Publisher
Austin Woman Magazine and Atxman Magazine

By: Alta Alexander, Program Committee Member
After moving from Washington, DC to Texas with her entrepreneurial spirit, Melinda Garvey knew one thing – she was good at turning ideas into reality. In 2001, she noted an opening in the market for a magazine in Austin to highlight successful women. With the help of a strong network of family and friends, her background in marketing, the right environment in Austin for entrepreneurs, and a healthy sense of self, Garvey set out to establish Austin Woman Magazine, now the fastest-growing niche publication in Central Texas. Initially, there were some naysayers, but now approaching the magazine’s 10-year anniversary, she can look back and realize that those who tried to derail her path only motivated her to work harder and faster.
Over the years Garvey has used several motivational tools to stay strong and focused. She shared those motivators with the EWTG April Luncheon attendees.
·         Have passion and purpose for what you do - personal power and courage will drive through tough times; aspire to help engage others; make a difference and change lives.
·         Have inspiration you can easily tap into - whether it’s a special song, meditating, praying, or working out, have something to source back to a positive and motivating space.
·         Have a support network - a mentor, friend, or spouse who ‘keeps it real’ and keeps you grounded.
·         Fake it until you make it - push through negativity and people will respond in a positive way; everyone doesn’t need to know every bad thing that happened to you, so don’t share too much! 
·         Be curious and be interested in others - the more you know about others and are interested in them, the more interesting YOU become.
·         Have a plan and write it down - a written business plan allows you to keep on path, outlines and reinforces plans and goals.
·         Set BHAGS: Big Hairy Audacious Goals - setting lofty goals keeps you motivated and makes you look for the “what-ifs,” attracts super motivated people who can visualize the end result, and helps you obtain your goals.
·         Have fear - we’re given fear for a reason; it’s a powerful tool that gives you that extra push and motivates you to obtain big goals.
·         Keep an eye out for negativity - a well can get poisoned quickly; YOU can poison the well faster than anyone; control pot-stirrers and deflect negativity.
·         Remember successes - reflection on achievements pushes you through to the next journey, gives you a great feeling, and drives you toward more success; create sticky-note trophies.
·         Give back to your community - pay it forward and it will come back to you; have a sense of social entrepreneurship.
·         Remind yourself and others to be grateful - it’s important to stop and remember the things that you have going for you not only in the workplace but also in your personal life.
·         Enjoy the ride - you control your own happiness; enjoy and embrace whatever comes, and know that it happens for a reason.
Garvey left the luncheon attendees with two of her favorite and powerful quotes:
From the great Katharine Hepburn: If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.
From Constantine Peter Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka”:
As you set out in search of Ithaka
Pray that your journey be long,
Full of adventures, full of awakenings.
Do not fear the monsters of old.
You will not meet them in your travels
If your thoughts are exalted and remain high,
If authentic passions stir your mind, body and spirit.
You will not encounter fearful monsters
If you do not carry them within your soul,
If your soul does not set them up in front of you.
New and Renewing Members 
May 2012
New Members
Serena Boaz, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Melissa Burkhart, Texas Department of Insurance
Paula Cooke, Texas Workforce Commission
Athena Reynolds, University of Texas at Austin
Stacy Steenken, Texas Deptartment of Motor Vehicles
Renewing Members
Anna Benefiel, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Ginny Booton, Department of Motor Vehicles
Melody Chatelle, Chatelle and Associates
Joanne D. Edge, State of Texas
Sam Gotsdiner, Department of Aging and Disability Services
N.J. (Jodie) Harrison, UT Health Science Center
KaLyn Laney, State Bar of Texas
Joeanna Mastracchio, Texas Department of Public Safety
Diane Mazuca, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Amy L. Morgan, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Grace Nobles, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Ann O'Connell, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Yvonne Ortiz, DARS
Joanne Severn, Texas Department of Information Resources
Ita Ufot, Texas General Land Office
Darla Walton, Texas Department of Transportation
Melanie A. Williams, Texas Department of State Health Services
E. Carol Willis, Region XIII Education Service Center
Liza Willmore, Texas Legislative Council
Grace Windbigler, Texas Department of Information Resources
Jennifer Wright, Texas Department of Transportation




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