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November 2013 Newsletter
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EWTG Banner with Members
In This Issue
President's Corner
Conference Update

2014 EWTG Board of Directors

EWTG Mini-Course Announcement

EWTG Monthly Luncheon Announcement

Community Service Update

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."
Follow EWTG on Twitter
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Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people or organizations through the exchange of quick, short messages. Go to to sign up and start receiving EWTG's updates.



November 2013
President's Corner
Mary Castleberry, President 

Mary Castleberry

EWTG: A Community of Women Leaders

We are gearing up for a fabulous conference! The theme of this year’s EWTG Professional Development Conference is EWTG: A Community of Women Leaders.  The conference will provide a venue for expanding your professional network, elevating your ideas, embracing new solutions, and connecting with other women across the state.  There will be more than 30 individual workshops focusing on Leadership, Growth & Balance and providing participants with numerous opportunities for hands-on learning and development of leadership skills regardless of your current career level.
The conference will also feature a prominent keynote speaker, Major General Mary Saunders, who served her country for more than 34 years in the United States Air Force, including serving at the Pentagon as the highest-ranking African-American woman in the Air Force.  Ms. Saunders was born in Nacogdoches, grew up in Houston, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Texas Woman’s University before entering Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base.  Commissioned as a second lieutenant, Mary began rising through the ranks with command positions in transportation and logistical planning.  Later Ms. Saunders earned her master’s degree in guidance and counseling at Rider College in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
The upcoming Professional Development Conference is an opportunity to invest in your professional development, personal growth, and explore new career networking opportunities.  Consider arriving Sunday afternoon on November 24th and kick start the conference activities at the networking reception.
Mark your calendar and make your reservations now!  You will not want to miss this momentous occasion as we reflect on our accomplishments and set the stage for meeting the challenges ahead.  Join EWTG this November and reconnect with colleagues, meet new friends, and get ready for an awesome EWTG conference on November 25!

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Workshops are Filling Up Quickly
Reserve Your Seat NOW!
Contributed by: Jennifer Dormer, Vice President/Conference Chair
There are just a few weeks remaining before Conference Registration closes and the workshops are filling up fast this year!  Included in the Registration Fee is your FREE ticket to the Networking Reception scheduled on Sunday, November 24, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  If you would like to bring a guest to the Sunday night reception the cost is $20 or if you are unable to attend the conference on Monday and would like to join us Sunday night only, the cost would also be $20.  The Reception includes networking opportunities, door prizes and light snacks.  If you did not receive the RSVP email on October 24th regarding the EWTG Networking Reception, you can still register here.  We hope you can join us and request that you R.S.V.P. so that we can plan appropriately.
Remember, the deadline for taking advantage of the special room rates negotiated for the EWTG 2013 Annual Conference, ended on November 3, 2013.  After that date, the rates increase to the normal Embassy Suites rate.
If you are only planning to spend the day with us on Monday, for the full day of Professional Development, you are encouraged to arrive early to check out the Exhibit Hall and Silent Auction which will open at 7:00 a.m. this year!
Carpooling is encouraged – consider riding with a friend or co-workers!  We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

If you have any questions, please contact me at


The Nominations Committee is pleased to announce the election of the 2014 EWTG Board of Directors. The 2014 Board will be led by President Liza Willmore, President-Elect Laure McLaughlin, Vice President Denise Pittard, Financial Officer Deborah Shaw-Boatner, Treasurer Gena Minjares, Affiliates Director Cindy Hale, Mini-Course Director Teresa Cabral, Communications Director Tanya Skaarup, Program Director Joelyn Weeks, Public Relations Director Katharine Chambers and Membership Director Julia Schacherl. 


In accordance with EWTG by-laws the 2014 Board was elected by acclamation because there were no nominees submitted by petition.  The 2013 Nominations Committee was comprised of Susan Durso, as chair, and members Mary Castleberry, Liza Willmore, Gena Minjares, Joelyn Weeks and Carolyn Fry.  Together the committee looked for candidates representing the diverse membership of EWTG to lead the organization in 2014.  Included below is a brief bio of each of the new Board members. 


The 2014 President will be Liza Chen Willmore, following her service as the President-Elect in 2013.  Liza is the Section Coordinator for the Legislative Processing/Review at the Texas Legislative Council.  Since 2006, Liza has been a dedicated member of EWTG.  In 2007, Liza served on the Conference Program Committee.  Liza served on the board in 2008 and 2010 as Public Relations Director and in 2012 as the Communications Director.  In 2006 Liza was awarded the Outstanding Woman in Texas Government Award for helping other women in state government pursue education, professional development and career advancement.  Liza has a degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.


Laure McLaughlin, the 2014 President-Elect, is a 23-year veteran of state government, most recently as a senior analyst in the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  In addition, Laure has served as personal staff to members of the Texas Senate, the Texas House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House and was a registered Washington lobbyist for a Texas energy company.  She is a proud Longhorn and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and history, and a Masters in Public Affairs.  Laure has served twice as the EWTG Program Director, was a member of an Executive Success Team and chaired the Exhibits Committee for the 2012 EWTG Conference.


Vice President and Conference Chair, Denise Pittard retired in 2013 from the Department of Motor Vehicles with 30 years of state service.  Denise is a long time member of EWTG where she has served on numerous committees and twice as the Communications Director (1998 and 2000) before serving as President-Elect and President in 2001 and 2002.  Denise was also named EWTG Woman of the Year in 2000.  Denise has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Texas in Austin.


Deborah Shaw-Boatner will serve as the Financial Officer in 2014 after having served as Treasurer in 2013.  Deborah retired with more than 30 years of state service from her position as a Business Systems Analyst with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  Deborah has been a member of EWTG since 2005.  She has served as a Conference workshop moderator for several conferences and is active in her Executive Success Team, Women in Search of Excellence (WISE).  In 2008, Deborah chaired the Scholarship Committee, and in other years she has served on the Development Committee, the Finance Committee, the Community Service Committee and the Mini Course Committee.  Deborah is a 2006 Leadership Texas alumnus and is one of the founding members of the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants.  Deborah received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at the University of Texas at Austin and earned her Certified Public Accountant license in 1983.


Gena Minjares will serve EWTG as Treasurer in 2014.  Gena is a Certified Public Accountant and works for the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company as the Director of General Ledger Accounting. Gena joined EWTG in 2008. She has served multiple years as a committee member and Chair of the Scholarship Committee and was the Affiliates Director in 2012. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and was appointed to the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee in 2013. Gena earned a BBA with an Accounting concentration from St. Edward’s University and later returned to St. Edward’s to complete a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics.


Cindy Hale, the 2014 Affiliates Director, retired from state service in 2005.  An active member of EWTG since 1993, Cindy’s past service to the organization includes membership on the Conference Evaluation committees in 2006 and 2007 and the Scholarship Committee in 2011, and board membership as Communications Director in 2006.  Cindy’s work experience included ten months at the Department of Aging and Disability Services and 29 years at the Department of Human Services.  Since retirement, Cindy has worked as a consultant to several private companies, developing proposals and website content, and has recently completed a two-year contract with the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division, as a business process analyst.


Teresa Cabral, the 2014 Mini Course Director, works for the Office of the Attorney General and has worked for the state for 14 years. Teresa became a member of EWTG in 2010 and immediately joined the Development Committee, the Exhibits Committee and also an Executive Success Team.  In 2011, Teresa joined the Development Committee and the Affiliates Committee.  During the 2012, she served on the Membership Committee and as a moderator for two different class sessions at the annual conference.  Teresa is a 2012 Leadership Texas alumnus and she served on the 2013 EWTG Board as the Membership Director. Teresa has a B.S in Psychology from Morgan State University and has studied in the Masters of Applied Behavioral Science Program at Johns Hopkins University.

Tanya Skaarup will serve as the 2014 Communications Director.  Tanya is a Senior Project Manager at the Texas Department of Information Resources.  She joined EWTG in 2009 and quickly became an active member, serving on the Conference Exhibits Committee in 2011 and the Silent Auction Committee in 2012.  Tanya’s prior board service includes 2012 Vice-President and Conference Chair and 2013 Communications Director.  Tanya has worked in the private sector and for both the state and federal governments.  In addition, Tanya is an active community volunteer.  She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute since 2000.


Joelyn Weeks, 2014 Program Director, is currently with the Department of Family and Protective Services.  Joelyn is an active EWTG member who has served on a variety of committees and on the board.  Her board service includes 1995, 2007 and 2008 Program Director, 1998 President-Elect and 1999 President.  Joelyn has been honored by the organization as the 2001 EWTG Volunteer of the Year and the 2005 EWTG Woman of the Year.  Joelyn has worked in professional positions in both state government and the private sector.  She holds a bachelor's degree from St. Edward's University and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas.


Katharine Chambers will use her background in public relations to serve EWTG as the 2014 Public Relations Director.  Katharine is a governmental relations specialist with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, where she has been for four years of her 21 years with the state.  Katharine has been a member of EWTG for four years and is currently serving as the Educational Events chair.  Her prior EWTG service includes work on the public relations committee.  Katharine holds a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin in Organizational Communication with Business.


Julia Schacherl, the 2013 Public Relations Director, will serve as the 2014 Membership Director.  Julia is employed by the Texas Education Agency, where she is a Business Operations Specialist in the Information Technology Services Division.  Julia has been a member of EWTG since 2009.  During this time she has served as a member of the Conference Evaluations Committee, the Conference Facilities Committee and is an active participant on her EWTG Success Team, VITALITY.  Julia attended Texas State University where she received her undergraduate degree and her graduate degree in Public Administration.

EWTG Mini-Course

By: Grace Nobles, EWTG Mini-Course Director

Please know the EWTG Mini-Courses have concluded for 2013; thank you for a successful year and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference. 

EWTG Monthly Luncheon
By Dokpe Ogunsanya, EWTG Program Director
CONGRATULATIONS to Jenell Paul, the winner of the drawing for the FREE 2013 EWTG Conference Registration!  Ms. Paul is employed at the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and her lucky ticket was drawn at the October 23rd Monthly Luncheon.  Please congratulate Jenell when you see her at the conference later this month!  (Just maybe some of her good luck will rub off on you!)
Please know there will be no Monthly EWTG Luncheon scheduled for November, we hope you enjoyed the powerful speakers that presented during the 2013 Membership Luncheons and look forward to your attending the Conference November 24-25th.


Community Service Update

Contributed by Dr. Susan Johnson, EWTG Community Services Coordinator
As we prepare for the November Conference, EWTG is collecting Christmas Cards for our conference Community Service Project.  We need at least 800 cards.  Each conference attendee will have an opportunity to write a special message to a member of our Armed Forces.  Let’s end our year with a bang!
New and Renewing Members October 2013 
New Members
Janet Appleby, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Cynthia Collins, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Jennie Costilow, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Becky Garza, DADS
Carmen Grasoi, TXDOT
Ramona Gray, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
Laurie Hughes, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Kim Kizer, Texas County & District Retirement System
Rose Marie Klee, TxDOT
Pam Maercklein, Texas Veterans Commission
Carisa Magee, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Katharine McAden, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
Phylis A. Redmon, State of Texas
Janet Serna, Retired
Mendy Shugart, BLX Group
Rebecca Tucker, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Letty Valdez, DARS
Mary Winston, TX Dept of Licensing and Regulation
Chessie Zimmerman, City of Lakeway
Renewing Members
Beverly Bavousett, Retired
Carol Campa, Texas Department of Transportation
Patricia Clark, State of Texas
Elizabeth (Betsy) Ford, Retired
Alison Gilliam, Legislative Budget Board
Kathryn Harris, Office of Injured Employee Counsel
Gina McCauley, Office of Injured Employee Counsel
Sherbert Mims, Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services
Penny Mudgett, Texas State University System
Meghan Patronella, Texas Department of Public Safety
Wanda Polk, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Karen Robinson, Department of Information Resources
Dawn Scheel, TxDOT
Bobbe Walker, Department of Family & Protective Services
Liza Willmore, Texas Legislative Council

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