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EWTG Star March 2018
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In This Issue

President's Corner Making the Most of Your EWTG Experience Membership News
Mini-Course Professional Development Luncheon Conference Update
Get Involved! Sponsor Appreciation Events & Announcements

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors
President's Corner - Living a Healthy Lifestyle as a Career Strategy

Deborah Shaw-Boatner - pic Spring is almost here! As we begin the month of March, the flowers start to bloom, the birds come out of hiding, and the trees start to bud. And people come out of winter hiding, glad to breathe a little fresh air in temperatures higher than 35 degrees! As the season for outdoor activities approaches, here’s a question for you. What are you doing to live a healthy lifestyle?

Last month, we celebrated American Heart Month, with several major outreach efforts including National Wear Red Day. This first Friday in February event was initially established to raise awareness about women and heart disease. It is a well-known fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. But there is good news. Heart disease can often be prevented when women make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. What choices are you making in diet and exercise to ensure you live a healthy lifestyle and reduce the chance of a heart attack or heart disease?

Our February mini-course speaker Carlena “CJ” Harris talked to us about finding a career strategy. One of the five steps she discussed was to “Meditate – Be still.” How often do you take 15 – 20 minutes of your work day to take a break and /or mediate? Investing this small portion of your eight hour day is critical to your physical and mental well- being. Former EWTG President Shannon Kelley raised the question: “Often we women spend our lives and careers looking after everyone but ourselves. How often do you find yourself wishing you could just have a couple of hours for you?” I often hear members and friends say I don’t have time to take 15-20 minutes for myself in the morning and afternoon. The truth is, you can’t afford not to.

Courtney Seiter, a Buffer writer on social media, diversity and workplace culture, gives us three scientific reasons to prioritize breaks at work. First, breaks keep us from getting bored and thus unfocused. Second, breaks help us retain information and make connections. Third, breaks help us reevaluate our goals.

Although we are entering the third month of the year, it is not too late to set a goal to begin living a healthier lifestyle, whether it is by eating better, exercising, meditating and taking breaks. It should be and must be a part of your career strategy.

Being a member of Executive Women in Texas Government allows us to experience speakers such as C. J. Harris who give us career strategies to enhance our productivity in the workplace. It also provides numerous opportunities to meet and network with other professionals in the public and private sector. There is tremendous value gained when you meet other women who can serve as mentors, provide training, or give you insights to assist you in securing that promotion or dream job.

If you haven’t renewed your EWTG membership yet for 2018, I highly encourage you to do so! Our membership dues are one of the least expensive among professional development and leadership organizations. The benefits received are well worth the investment: discounts for EWTG sponsored events, eligibility to receive scholarships to enhance your career, as well as targeted networking opportunities to share wisdom and work strategies with other professional women.

If your membership is current, please invite other professional women to become a member and consider increasing your own participation by volunteering on a committee or pursuing other leadership opportunities within EWTG. Volunteer service with EWTG is a great asset to include in your professional portfolio.

As we enter the month of “March Madness”, I encourage you to take care of your No. 1 priority – Yourself. Start today living a healthier lifestyle. Author Deborah Day states it well: “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go IS attainable, and you are worth the effort.”

Happy March to you!

Deborah Shaw-Boatner
EWTG President, 2018

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Guidance, Mentorship, Feedback, & Friendship

Many professional journals tout the value of mentoring and feedback, especially when talking about managing and retaining younger generations of employees. While it's easy to dismiss this trend as "a millennial thing," the truth is that we all benefit from mentoring and feedback, and getting guidance from a variety of sources is helpful. Although the manager-employee relationship may be front and center, there is valuable insight to be gleaned from peers, colleagues with seniority, and managers other than your own.

How does EWTG fill this need for its members? ESTs!
Being part of an Executive Success Team, or EST, is one of the most
valuable benefits of being a member of EWTG.

By some demographers' analysis, today's workforce is a mix of as many as five generations. Boomers (born 1946-64), Gen-X-ers (born 1965-1980), and Millennials (born 1981-1999) make up the bulk of the workforce, but there are still Traditionalists (born before 1945), and even some Generation 2020 (born since 2000) folks in the mix. The most wonderful part of that mix is that we all have a role to play! We all bring different perspectives and experiences to the table. Some of us have institutional knowledge that is beyond measure. Some of us live on the cutting edge of technology. Some of us have valuable insight into what has worked or not worked in the past. Some of us are great at developing fresh, new ideas. Most importantly, we're at our best together.

So, if you've been thinking about doing something -- whether you're looking for guidance or have guidance to give -- I encourage you to join an EST. Being on an EST is an excellent way to get to know other EWTG members in a small group setting while developing professional and personal skills. Just fill out this survey so we can know a little more about you and what you're hoping to get out of your EST experience, and we'll get you plugged in!

Teams of five to seven members who are of diverse ages and serving at different professional levels at various agencies meet regularly to discuss topics of mutual interest and concern in a supportive and confidential setting. Each team decides when and where to meet, what its focus will be (personal, professional, or both), and the nature of its gatherings. For example, some groups like to read and discuss books, others like to meet for drinks or a meal, and some like to incorporate a social aspect like trivia night into their gatherings. Some members develop life-long friendships within their EST.

After you've filled out your survey, mark your calendar and attend our EST Kickoff Event on Thursday, March 22nd from 5-7 p.m. at El Mercado, downtown at 1702 Lavaca Street. We have the private room reserved for a fun night of food and fellowship. Meet us there, and meet your EST!

Submitted by Tanya Skaarup
EWTG President-Elect, 2018

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How to Have the Benefits of EWTG Membership in Your Hometown

If you have been a member of EWTG or attended our annual conference, you already know a lot about the benefits of being a member, like leadership training, networking, mentorship, and of course, scholarships. These opportunities are available for those located outside of the Austin area as well.

EWTG currently has two very active affiliate chapters – one in Houston, the other in the Brazos Valley area – and if you live or work there, they would love to welcome you. If you don’t, we can help you begin a new EWTG affiliate chapter in your area. In fact, some of you may have already heard from me. As EWTG's affiliates director, I have been working on a project to analyze the list of our 2017 conference attendees, identifying areas that have great potential to establish EWTG chapters of their own, and contacting these attendees via email.

Starting a new EWTG affiliate chapter is easy! Here’s how you begin:

Brazos Affiliation Meeting, 2017
  • Identify 10 or more current or potential EWTG members in a particular area. New members can sign up and pay their dues online at
  • Elect prospective officers, including at least a chair and chair-elect.
  • Send a letter to "ATTN: EWTG Affiliates Director" that includes a list of your members, the names of your proposed officers, a statement of purpose, and your plans for the first year, including a budget. We have samples of letters and budgets and can provide them if you like. (Your annual affiliate budget will be 60% of the total dues paid by the members you have in your chapter.)

Once we receive your letter, this is what happens next:

  • The EWTG board will announce the new affiliate request in the EWTG newsletter.
  • At the next board meeting after the announcement, the board will vote to recognize the new affiliate chapter officially.
  • The affiliate chapter and its proposed officers will then be confirmed and appointed by the EWTG president for a period to end on December 31 after a minimum of 12 months has elapsed.

After officially establishing an affiliate chapter, all you have to do to remain active is:

  • Hold a business meeting at least two times each year as required by the EWTG Bylaws. (Of course, you can meet more often if you like! And don’t worry about programs for your meetings. We record our Austin professional development luncheon and mini-course educational programs, and those presentations are always available when a speaker is unavailable for your meeting.)
  • Before each new calendar year, elect your officers and submit an annual budget to the EWTG affiliates director.
  • Provide the EWTG affiliates director with quarterly budgets and bank statements, and the end-of-year bank statement required for EWTG’s annual audit.

If you are interested in starting a new affiliate chapter, need help with ideas for your initial meeting, or would like more information, please contact me, EWTG Affiliates Director Cindy Hale, by email at I’ll be happy to talk about how to get started or even to meet with you. I can also arrange for speakers from our organization to attend any startup gatherings you have scheduled. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Submitted by Cindy Hale
EWTG Affiliates Director, 2018


In Other News...

Former Community Service Chair Tamala Fletcher, along with her friend Charity Denning, has founded Easter Baskets of Love. The passion project began to assist children and give back to the local Austin community. Easter Baskets of Love is entering its seventh year of basket building and will again partner with Huston-Tillotson University to assist with its community Easter egg hunt and to give away baskets.

Easter - Tamala and Charity Last year, cash donations received were reserved for after season sales to maximize the purchases of non-perishable staples such as plastic eggs, baskets, and grass. This year the goal will focus on candy for stuffing eggs, bubbles, stuffed toys, and Nerf balls.

Tamala and Charity would love to see a few EWTG members at this year's Easter egg hunt to help distribute baskets and take photos and video. This event is scheduled for Saturday, March 31st, at 10:00 a.m., at Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., in Austin. In case of rain, the event will be held Monday, April 2nd, at 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested in assisting with the Easter Baskets of Love project, please reach out to Tamala Fletcher through the EWTG Membership Directory or send an email to, with the subject line 'ATTN: Tamala Fletcher'.

Financially Fit:
Follow-up to the February Professional Development Luncheon

I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit: How to Protect Your Money in Marriage and Divorce image On February 28, the speaker for our professional development luncheon, Pam Friedman, used stories from her practice to explain how to plan for the financial risks of divorce and what can go wrong when you don’t, and she educated those present on financial issues and investing. Her book I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit: How to Protect Your Money in Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

Ms. Friedman has over 20 years of financial planning and investment experience. Prior to partnering with Silicon Hills Wealth Management, LLC, Ms. Friedman was on Wall Street in both New York and London structuring and raising capital for both public and private companies. Upon her return to Texas, she spent six years on the faculty of the Finance Department in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Friedman started teaching in the MBA program at St. Edwards University in 2017. She earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) in 2006 and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) in 2011, and holds an MBA, BBA, and BA in finance and economics from The University of Texas at Austin. She can be reached at Silicon Hills Wealth Management, 512-774-5340.

EWTG Members-Only Group on Facebook

We have created a private space on Facebook called "EWTG Members Group." This group is for all EWTG members statewide — Austin & affiliate chapters. Please use this space to share your photos of EWTG events, share links to job postings at your agency, or ask questions of EWTG members. It is a closed group, so anything shared within the group will be seen only by members of the group. If you have not received an invitation to join the group, please contact EWTG Communications Director Shalyn Bridges at, and get connected!

If you have news to share, we'd love to hear from you!
Send your news to

See who joined & renewed membership last month!

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Mini-Course - March 14th

Tanya Skaarup - photoLooking for that one distinguishing factor
that will help you get to the next level?
EWTG Members, Look No Further!


Tanya Skaarup, PMP

Manager, TSO Projects & Business Analytics
Texas Department of Information Resources

One of the most valuable benefits of being a member of Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG) is the opportunity to join an Executive Success Team, also frequently referred to as an EST. An EST is a small group of EWTG members who are of diverse ages and serving at different professional levels at various agencies, ideally with similar interests. Being on an Executive Success Team is an exceptional way to get to know other EWTG members in small group settings while developing professional and personal skills. This presentation will focus on how EST's are formed and operate, providing you a valuable stepping stone to get to the next level of your career.

Tanya Skaarup is a tenured Project Management Professional (PMP) with private, public, and federal experience, and has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for large technology companies with locations throughout the United States. Prior to 9/11, Ms. Skaarup moved to Germany and indirectly served her country working for the Department of Defense (DOD) Army Europe as a civilian contractor responsible for managing two DOD contracts specifically structured to improve the environment for families stationed abroad. Her personal and professional efforts were recognized when she was presented the Civilian Patriotic Service Award under the leadership of Lt. Col. H.R. McMaster.

Submitted by Barbara Chavis
EWTG Mini-Course Director, 2018

Read More & Register Today!
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Professional Development Luncheon — March 28th

Pam Friedman - photoCarried by Profound Fear and Extraordinary Hope:
Ethical Decision-making, Leadership, and Consequences


Shalla Santos Sluyter

Deputy Parliamentarian and Special Counsel,
Texas House of Representatives

Ethics is supposed to be simple: there's a line between right and wrong that is delineated in laws and religious texts, and there are plenty of guidelines around and in between. But open a newspaper or website and you'll find myriad reports of ethical breaches in government and elsewhere, and the violations keep mounting. What if our underlying assumption is all wrong? What if "clear" ethical rules are, in fact, subject to be pulled in a variety of directions, leading to a series of less than desirable outcomes — not just by people who are rogue outliers, but rather by "good" people like us.

Using scientific research papers and examples ripped from the headlines, we'll look at frameworks for examining ethical decision-making and identify a few strategies for moving forward despite obstacles.

Shalla Santos Sluyter has served as Deputy Parliamentarian and Special Counsel for the Texas House of Representatives since 2012. In that role, she advises the 150 House members on parliamentary procedure and other legal matters; provides nonpartisan assistance to the members, House officers, and staff; and drafts written rulings on points of order pursuant to the House Rules.

Submitted by Mary Castleberry
EWTG Program Director, 2018

Read More & Register Today!
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conference update

The End of a Conference is the Beginning of a Better Conference

What is an evaluation? An evaluation is the making of a judgment about the amount, number, or value of something - an assessment. What is a resolution? A resolution is the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. What is a goal? A goal is the object of a person's ambition or effort, an aim, or desired result.

Checklist - graphic Each year we look forward to having a great conference filled with thought-provoking workshops, interesting speakers, leisure entertainment, and sufficient time for networking. The evaluation of the conference allows the conference chair, conference committee chairs, and the EWTG board to reflect on the positive and negative outcomes of the conference. This reflection is accomplished through the Evaluation and Resolution Committee. This committee designs the conference evaluation form, establishes procedures for collection of the forms at the conference, analyzes the data obtained, shares data with the speakers and workshop presenters, and provides a written report to the board. Each year, there is a $25 gift card drawing for those who complete an evaluation survey.

The survey is open to all conference attendees as a tool to provide feedback on their experience. As we are aware of the positive and negative feedback, the evaluation survey is an attempt to identify and to resolve concerns. Will every single survey be addressed? Probably not, but the survey is an avenue that allows EWTG to establish goals based on the survey responses received. The end of the conference brings about the survey evaluation, with the thought of making the next conference better by focusing on the issues that are important or critical to members of the organization. It is important that you complete an evaluation survey of your conference experience.

The winner of this year’s $25 gift card for completing the survey evaluation is Clarice Rogers! We congratulate Clarice on completing the survey and being the recipient of the gift card! EWTG thanks each attendee for completing a survey.

If you are looking for a way to get involved in a conference committee, you can sign up online or contact Shawana Abrams, EWTG Vice-President & Conference Chair 2018, at

Submitted by Shawana Abrams
EWTG Vice-President & Conference Chair, 2018

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get involved!

Educational Events Committee

I am honored and motivated to serve as your 2018 educational events committee chair. This is an exciting year to explore opportunities that will enlighten all members as a whole. Books - graphic

In the past, the committee has hosted a wine and cheese social with the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs. This bonding event allowed members to discover the opportunities the LBJ School of Public Affairs had to offer while learning more about each other. The educational events committee is currently seeking volunteers to serve. If you are interested in participating this year, please sign-up online.

Submitted by Nora Jones
EWTG Educational Events Chair, 2018

It's easy to get plugged in with EWTG committees — just fill out
this quick, online form and let us know what committees interest you!

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Sponsor Appreciation

What We LUV About Southwest Airlines

In 1967, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher founded Air Southwest Co. with a plan to offer low-cost air travel in the Texas triangle of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Their plan was based on a simple idea: if you get people where they want to go in a timely manner at low cost and make sure they have a good time doing it, those people will become loyal customers. From the beginning, this little start-up faced opposition from others in the industry who were determined to keep them grounded, but on June 18, 1971, Capitan Emilio Salazar flew the inaugural flight of the renamed Southwest Airlines, and one of the airline industry's stars took to the skies.Southwest - logo

Based out of Dallas' Love Field this up-and-comer soon garnered a reputation as the "love airline." Ticketing agents issued tickets from "love machines," and flight attendants served "love bites." With 12 hourly flights to Houston and seven bi-hourly flights to San Antonio each day at just $20 for a one-way ticket and night-fares for $10, customers found it hard not to love Southwest. In the late 1970s, when the company became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, its ticker symbol was listed as "LUV," making the company's nickname official. As its service area grew to include several cities across the state, Southwest Airlines was "spreading the LUV all over Texas."

Today, Southwest Airlines flies all over the country and even internationally. Its success is due in part to customer-centered service and a commitment to innovation. It was the first major airline to offer ticketless travel, post a website, and offer gate-to-gate WiFi connectivity, and it was the first in the industry to offer a profit-sharing plan for its employees. Southwest is also distinguished as holding the #1 spot on the U.S. Department of Transportation's customer satisfaction ranking for 22 of the past 26 years. And as anyone who has flown Southwest can attest, their flight attendants are probably the funniest in the industry as well! It's no wonder Southwest Airlines has made FORTUNE Magazine's "Most Admired Companies" list for the past 23 years.

Southwest Airlines has a demonstrated history of honoring the value women bring to the workforce. Women hold more than one-third of the company's total leadership positions, and approximately 40% of its workforce are women. Southwest also has a history of partnering with organizations like EWTG that invest in women's leadership development. For several years, the company has sponsored EWTG's Annual Professional Development Conference and donated airline tickets as a prize for one lucky conference attendee. Southwest is also a founding sponsor and participant in the Leadership Women's programs: Leadership Texas and Leadership Pipeline.

To learn more about the history and company culture of this sponsor, and review a complete listing of the women's organizations this sponsor supports, check out these resources:

Submitted on behalf of the Development Committee

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Events & Announcements

March 14th, 11:30 a.m. — Mini-course — See details above about this event.

Calendar - graphic March 21st, 5:30 p.m. — EWTG Board Meeting — The agenda will be posted on EWTG's website by noon on Monday before the meeting. A summary of the board meeting minutes located on the website.

March 22nd, 7:30 p.m. — Executive Success Team Kick-Off Event! — El Mercado Restaurant on Lavaca Street, Austin. See details above about this event.

March 28th, 11:30 a.m. — Professional Development Luncheon — See details above about this event.

March 31st, 10:00 a.m. — 13th Annual Easter Baskets of Love — See details under Membership News about this event. To volunteer at this event, please contact Tamala Fletcher through the EWTG Membership Directory or send an e-mail to, with the subject line 'ATTN: Tamala Fletcher'.

March 31st — EWTG Scholarship Application Deadline — 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. [learn more]

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Board of Directors

Shalyn Bridges, 2018 Editor
Communications Director

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