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March 2012 Newsletter
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In This Issue
President's Corner

EWTG March  Mini Course Announcement

EWTG March Luncheon Announcement
Sign Up Now for a 2012 Executive Success Team
Help Make It Great!  
EWTG Stars
EWTG Members Receive Recognition
February  8th Mini-Course Recap

February 22nd 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 March 31, 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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March 2012
President's Corner - March 2012 
Carolyn J. Fry, President 

Carolyn J. Fry

I think...  I heard what you said? 

2007 President, Connie Williams, began her March newsletter article with: “Think of someone you know who is well connected in her relationships, information and resources: She probably appears to be confident with herself and is willing to help others advance personally and professionally. She listens to others, gains knowledge and moves comfortably among people with influence.”
Now, let me ask you, have you ever been in a situation where you were looking directly in the eyes of the person that was so intently talking to you and you were trying to convince yourself that you really were listening to every word? And then that moment came, they stopped talking and you realized that you must have that “dazed” look on your face that says, “I don’t have a clue as to what you just said?” Unfortunately, we all have been there and it is not a good place to be. Communication is important in both personal and professional settings. It has been said that you spend hours utilizing one or more of the four basic types of communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It is that last one… listening… that is so important. Communication is critical, not only as managers and leaders, but in our personal life as well.
Why do we not listen? For many of us we are too busy talking, preoccupied, distracted, tired, or perhaps we are just “waiting for our turn to talk”. Successful people understand the value of becoming a good listener.
Dr. John C. Maxwell, America’s leadership expert, published a book titled, “Relationships 101 What Every Leader Needs to Know”. He said, “Leadership is a relationship-intensive endeavor. If your people skills aren’t strong, neither will be your leadership.” He also noted, “The ability to listen is the foundation to building positive relationships”, and then listed the benefits of listening.
·         Shows respect;
·         Builds relationships;
·         Increases knowledge;
·         Generates ideas;
·         Builds loyalty; and
·         Helps others.
Let me encourage you to never take listening for granted … it can change your life.
EWTG has more than 400 members that can help you establish a network to help you “fine tune your listening skills”. You may want to consider joining an Executive Success Team, our small group mentoring program. EWTG Executive Success Teams are filled with good listeners and enrollment is now open.

Remember, a successful career is an investment and through your EWTG membership you will establish strong professional and personal networks, receive quality training, and position yourself for advancement.

March 14th Mini-Course  
Executive Level Leadership Series
Linda Kegerreis

By: Connie Williams, Mini Course Director
The March Mini-Course is an Executive-Level Leadership Series designed to equip emerging and senior-level directors for greater success in current assignments and to prepare them to gain new insights for senior roles with confidence. This is a professional development benefit for all EWTG members.
March’s topic is: “The Female Leadership Advantage – Navigating the Path to Leadership in Today’s World”.
Can gender be a success element in leadership?  What advantages do women really have and how can we maximize those?
As organizations have changed due to shifting demographics, web technologies, and changing expectations, the workplace now requires a new type of leader.  It seems that authoritarian, command and control style is becoming less and less popular lately.  Women are particularly well suited to the new paradigm of leadership - and yet why are there so few women represented at the top of organizations? This presentation will discuss the changing expectations of leadership, attributes of an effective leader, the unique qualities that women bring to leadership positions, and how you can get there.
We’ll talk about perceptions of women leaders and ways to overcome stereotypical or prejudicial beliefs.  Women face an historic opportunity to influence … if they will honor and develop their distinctive strengths.
Linda Kegerreis has more than 25 years of experience serving public entities in California, Nevada, and Arizona as a Human Resources Director. In her current position at CPS HR Consulting, Linda serves in a dual role of Internal Human Resources Director and Manager of Products and Services overseeing CPS HR’s complement of human resources consultants. CPS HR is a self-supporting public agency providing a full range of integrated HR solutions to government and nonprofit clients across the country. Linda has a broad background in human resources including responsibilities for recruiting and retention strategies, total rewards, compensation, pensions and benefits, as well as training and development.
For more information about Linda and CPS HR Consulting, see their website at
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 located at 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 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 count toward state employees’ annual training hours. When you register, click the specified box to receive a “certificate of attendance.” You can enjoy a nice, quiet, and catered meal with friends and colleagues while building a new portfolio for your enhanced skills.


March 28 Luncheon:
Dee Porter, Chief People Officer
Texas Department of Transportation

By: Denice Bettencourt, Program Director

Dee Porter came to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as the Chief Human Resources and Administrative Services Officer in April 2011. After a recent reorganization within TxDOT, her new title is Chief People Officer. Her primary responsibilities include human resources, civil rights, and performance excellence.
Before joining TxDOT, Porter served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) since 2007. At DSHS she managed information technology, the Office of General Counsel, executive and staff operations, health information and vital statistics, contract oversight and support, operations management, and business continuity. Prior to her COO position at DSHS, she was appointed to be the first female General Administrator of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state’s regulatory authority over public utilities, intrastate transportation, oil and gas, telecommunications, petroleum storage tanks and pipelines, as well as consumer services.
Porter also served as Deputy Director/COO of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services between 1997 and 2003. Her department attained the only “excellent” rating given by the Office of State Finance and Legislative Fiscal Staff on the Strategic Plan Report Card for FY 2004 – FY 2008.
In addition, Porter has served on many not-for-profit boards such as Very Special Arts, the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Susan B. Komen Foundation, and Project Women. Some of her accomplishments include receiving the American Society for Public Administration’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 2004, and in 2006 she was a finalist for the Journal Record’s “Woman of the Year” and named one of “Fifty Making a Difference” in Oklahoma. Porter earned a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma.
If you would like to join EWTG members and friends for this insightful and dynamic program, register here. The luncheon is held at the Austin Woman’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street (ample, free parking off Nueces). Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and a delicious, hot 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.                            

Sign Up Now...
For a 2012 Executive Success Team!
Enrollment Open Now Through May 4

By: Mary Castleberry, President Elect
Executive Success Teams are the major component of EWTG’s group mentoring program.  Teams are groups of five to seven women who meet regularly to learn with and from each other in an open, relaxed, and confidential environment while developing and expanding their EWTG network.  Team members commit to meeting throughout the year to support each other in personal and professional development.

New team members and current team members wishing to broaden their EWTG network by moving to a new team must complete a profile form.  Teams will be created using responses in your profile for:   1) Geographical Preference for Meeting Location; 2) Professional Development vs. Social Support Activity; and, 3) Special Interest Teams.
Please contact the Mentorship Committee at if you have any questions regarding Executive Success Teams.  Mentorship Committee members are: Mary Castleberry, Susan Johnson, Kenya Johnson, Abbie Hinesly, and Susan Raney.

Help Make It Great - The EWTG Annual Professional Development Conference   

By: Tanya Skaarup, Vice President and Conference Committee Chair
Do you want to learn a new skill or practice a talent you haven’t used in a while? Perhaps you have always wanted to learn how to set up and plan the facilities for a large professional organization? Or maybe you are interested in becoming a professional meeting planner, a project manager, or developing in an area you’ve never explored previously? 
Did you know that EWTG can help you accomplish your goals simultaneously as you help us bring to life the 2012 EWTG grand finale --- our annual Professional Development Conference for 2012! All you have to do is contact any one of the Conference Committee Chairs (listed below) at a Mini-Course, Monthly Luncheon, or via EWTG email address provided and we will be happy to match your interest(s) and skills to our Conference Activities/Tasks.
Please know your Conference Committee Chairs are working tenaciously to build their Conference Committees and welcome your contact indicating interest in helping with the Conference. 
Your 2012 Conference Committee contact information follows:
Conference Exhibits Committee - Laure McLaughlin, Chair
Conference Evaluation Committee - Ardra Alexander, Chair
Conference Facilities Committee - Kenya Johnson, Chair
Conference Programs Committee - Karen Howard, Chair
Conference Registration Committee - Mercie Zapata, Chair
Conference Resolutions Committee - Jennifer Dormer, Chair
Conference Silent Auction Committee - Katrina Burch, Chair
Vice President and Conference Chair - Tanya Skaarup
EWTG Stars
By: Kathryn Harris, Communications Director

Kudos to Jan Thomas, who was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the University of Mary Hardin Baylor!  Jan will work to ensure a bright path lies ahead for the University.
Congratulations are also in order for Jennifer Dormer, who recently began a new job as a Business Analyst to begin focusing on Business Analysis and a future in Project Management.  Jennifer acknowledged that she has grown professionally through the exposure she has received through EWTG professional development opportunities. Several of those opportunities were holding a Conference Committee Chair position in 2009 and two Board positions - Secretary-Treasurer in 2010 and Chief Financial Officer in 2011.
Great job, ladies! You inspire us all.
EWTG Members Recognized in the Texas Government Insider
By:  Liza Willmore, Public Relations Director

Eight members of Executive Women in Texas Government have been chosen for the 2012 Leadership Texas Class. This huge accomplishment was mentioned in a recent Texas Government Insider publication. The women were competitively chosen from across the state to participate in what has become the longest-running women’s leadership development program in the country. The eight include: Jennifer Buaas, business analyst of at the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR); Teresa I. Cabral, manager at the Office of Attorney General of Texas; Lucinda D. Edwards, vocational rehabilitation counselor of the Rehabilitation Services Division at the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services; Laura P. Johannsen, team leader of management and staff development at the Texas Department of Transportation; Shannon L. Kelly, contract manager at DIR; Stephanie Nestlerode, founding partner of Omega International, Inc.; Tiffany White, legislative professional, Texas Senate; and Liza C. Willmore, legislative administrator and project manager of the Document Production Division at Texas Legislative Council.
This year-long program allows participants to explore five Texas cities and receive cutting-edge information from renowned experts, government officials, and other leaders to broaden their perspective on the state. This year marks the 30th year for the Leadership Texas class. It is the first statewide program aimed at developing leadership among women to help them impact the State’s future.
February 8th Mini-Course ReCap
Grow Your Leadership Skills:  Leadership - It's All About You!
Presenter:  Darlene Templeton

By: Connie Williams, Mini Course Director
Darlene Templeton, Owner and Executive Coach of Templeton and Associates, engaged and inspired 48 attendees to learn about five (5) strategies to find the leader in you!
Darlene shared, “I spent almost 36 years in the corporate world and have seen all types of leaders, the good, the bad and the ugly.” She began her presentation by giving the Webster Dictionary’s definition of leadership, “the action to lead a group or an organization”.
Participants were asked to reflect on the following questions:
-       What are some areas in your life that you could be a leader in or you are currently a leader in?
-       What activities would you like to put back into your life?
-       What are some things that you will say “no” to in your life?
She explained that the five strategies are for you if:
-       You feel like your life is leading you;
-       You are overwhelmed and overworked;
-       You would like to achieve greater success in your life; and
-       You want to make a greater impact on others.
Listed below is a summary of the five strategies that Darlene discussed:
1. Rekindle your passions: With so many competing priorities, “life happens.” Think about an activity that gives you energy and that you are passionate about but don’t have time to enjoy anymore. Put that activity back into your daily routine.
2. Focus on the 80/20 Rule: How many of us want to be perfect? “Perfect is the enemy of great.” Instead, focus on doing your best 80% of the time and the 20% will take care of itself. Think about and practice letting go. Set goals to be great, not perfect.
3. Learn from others: “Listening has become a lost art.” A strategy to use in a conversation where you are doing all of the talking is to W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?). Observe what happens when you use this strategy and expect some magic!
4. Find your balance: You can’t lead unless you are taking care of you. Schedule 15 minutes of daily “ME time” on your calendar.
5. Choose carefully: When we say “yes” to something, we are automatically saying “no” to something else in our life. We need to weigh our decisions carefully because they may have a significant impact on our lives.
Darlene ended her presentation by having everyone pair up with an accountability partner to commit to completing an action plan for one strategy that we want more of in our lives. Participants agreed to follow-up with their partner within one week to discuss the results.
For more information about the services that Darlene Templeton offers, see her website at
 February 22 Monthly Luncheon Speaker Recap
Marjorie McColl Petty, J.D., M.S.
Regional Director, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services

By:  Denice Bettencourt, Progam Director

Marjorie McColl Petty’s interests in solving problems and investigating issues compelled her to public service. Her health care experience and public service include both the public and private sectors. Ms. Petty has most recently served as Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection for the Kansas Corporation Commission. She was chair of the board of directors of the Delta Dental of Kansas, president of the board of directors of the Delta Dental Foundation, was a public policy manager of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was on staff of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She also served as a State Senator in Kansas and a member of the Topeka City Council. She grew up in Midland so has now come full circle, as she is currently back home in Texas as the Regional Director for Region VI of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing 15 major divisions and 300 programs from her Dallas headquarters. 
During the February luncheon, Ms. Petty talked about her four M’s: Mission, Moment, Mentor, and Mom.
The mission you set out with includes your ideas and passion. Ms. Petty’s experiences of teaching individuals, managing objectives, and directing programs have all contributed to her mission of being a successful public servant. 
Don’t minimize your opportunities, seize the moment. Be prepared to continue your education, to rise to challenges, and to share what you know.  Ms. Petty encouraged us to have gratitude for all opportunities.
Be open to many avenues of being mentored. You may learn from your peers, your family (including your children), and people you meet through volunteer programs. Ms. Petty advised to never minimize who you can learn from and who can learn from you.
Ms. Petty’s mom was a great role model. She said her mom realized her dream of becoming a nurse by attending nursing school at age 60. Ms. Petty’s mom didn’t allow the age limit to limit her. Don’t allow others to limit your present or your future.
Ms. Petty’s life has been intertwined with health care.  She supported and acted on the healthcare law to change things and bring about better accountability, accessibility, and affordability to the health system.   Ms. Petty answered questions from the audience and reviewed the consumer part of the Healthcare Law.
How Does the Healthcare Law Help Me? 
·         No more lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, and insurers cannot drop your coverage if you become sick. In 2014, competitive state health insurance markets will offer coverage to people who do not have access to affordable or adequate coverage. Tax credits for these plans will be available to families of four making up to $89,000 a year. 
·         Insurers cannot deny coverage to children under age 18 due to pre-existing conditions and in 2014 adults will be protected. People with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months may be eligible for a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (contact:; 866-717-5826).
·         Medicare offers free annual wellness visits and preventive care for older adults.
·         Efforts to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare will strengthen the programs for years to come.
·         Medicare’s prescription drug coverage “donut hole” will be closed by 2020. In 2011, people will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs once they reach the “donut hole.”
·         Young adults can join or stay on their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday whether or not they live with parents, are married, in school, or are claimed as a dependent on their parents’ taxes. In 2014, young adults can join or stay on their parents’ plan even if they’re eligible for coverage from their own employer.
·         In 2014, many more people will be eligible for healthcare coverage through Medicaid including single adults. For instance, a family of four with an income of $30,000 would be eligible.
Where Can I Find More Information? 800-633-4227 877-543-7669
New and Renewing Members 
February  2012
New Members
Linda Adams, Texas Education Agency
Lindsey Baker, City of Denton
Patricia Bordie, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Rebecca Donnelly, Texas Engineering Extension Service
Bridget Hunter-Robinson, Texas Department of State Health Services
Etta Moore, Girl Scouts of Central Texas
Dianna Sosa, Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services
Rebecca Tate, Texas Engineering Extension Service
Elizabeth Winn, Texas Secretary of State
Renewing Members
Gigi Edwards Bryant, GMSA Management Services
Kate Canby, Texas Department of Transportation
Mary Cheryl Dorwart, Texas Department of Information Resources
Mary Gerdes, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Sheri Givens, Office of Public Utility Counsel
Annette Lara, Texas Department of State Health Services
Debbie Munoz, Texas Municipal Retirement System
Brigitti Perry, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Audrey Selden, Texas Department of Insurance
Amanda Worden, Texas Department of Transportation




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