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EWTG Star December 2017
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In This Issue

President's Corner EWTG Star Submissions Holiday Luncheon
2017 Woman of the Year Looking Back - EWTG 31st Annual Conference Four Ways to Deal with Stress During the Holidays
New and Renewing Members Scholarships EWTG Board Meetings
Volunteer Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors
President's Corner

As a teenager, I always longed to be on the stage, but I was too shy to seek or play a part. Instead, I actively participated behind the scenes, as stage manager and even assistant director. However, when the audience applauded, I always felt a little letdown, as if the clapping was only for the actors and actresses and not for the rest of us who had worked really hard to get everything ready. Yesterday at the conference though, when it was my turn to be on the stage, but I did not feel like the audience was applauding just for me or that when people told me how well the conference had gone, that it was because of me. I KNEW fully in my core that the conference was a success because a great team and their work of planning and attending to every detail and following through had made it all come together. I knew this because I had watched them work and participated alongside them to varying degrees all year long, becoming ever more impressed as the year progressed. Everyone played their part to the utmost and it just all came together beautifully. From Karen Howard to Beulah Foley-Matlock, Theresa McShan, Brazos Valley Affiliates Brenda Grays and Kim Everett, Kara Kelley, Robin Agnew, Audrey Selden and Kim Kizer, and Mercie Zapata, and their teams, and of course Kathy Wilson, Kersten Schofield, Lydia Rudy, and Debbie Peterson, our CMP team, and Cheryl Taylor, Communications Director, Shalyn Bridges, Public Relations/WOTY planner, and Houston Affiliates Denisha Ellis-Broussard and Deborah Clark (EWTG etched wine glasses). Without even one of these ladies and their teams, the conference would not have been the success it was. It is such a pleasure to work with a group of highly motivated and tuned-in women who are “in control” – and if that doesn’t ring a bell, then you weren’t at the conference! Ladies, every one of you Rocks and I stand in awe. Thank you for making this experience for all of the conference attendees and me personally a truly inspiring event.

The Year 2017 is coming to a close, and soon the 2017 Board of Directors turns over the reins to the 2018 Board of Directors to start the New Year. The consolidated board meeting this past Sunday afternoon was productive and fruitful, with in-depth knowledge transfer and good discussions about how to hit the ground running.

It’s been a wonderful experience for me and, even though retired, I have learned a lot that I hope to take forward in my next pursuits. To all of you and especially my team of advisors, my board, and Lydia, Kirby, and Debbie: thank you for putting your trust and faith in me and for giving me this opportunity to take EWTG forward another year as we complete a third of a century of developing women leaders.

I will leave you with a final thought: I once heard someone say that her motto was “A good day begins the night before.” I think this is true on many levels. When I was at the office, I would leave a note to myself every evening about what to tackle first the next day. When I was really on top of things, I would get all my clothes for the week ironed and ready by Sunday evening. Now I get the coffee maker set up and wake to freshly brewed hot coffee every day. There is something about making things easy at the beginning of the day that can leave you smiling throughout the day. You can leave for appointments on time or even early and arrive with less stress. It’s all good. If this is already how you live, I congratulate you, and if not, why not consider making your preparations the day before part of your New Year Resolutions?

Happy Holidays Everyone – And Many Many Thanks Again.

Clare Dyer
2017 EWTG President

EWTG STAR Submissions

email image EWTG STAR loves to celebrate the accomplishments of our members. If you know of any members who have achieved any accolades, promotions, acknowledgments, recognitions or other achievements, please let us know. We want to share with other members.

Please send the information to with the subject line– EWTG STAR. The submission deadline is December 27, 2017.

EWTG Star Submission

Holiday Luncheon
2018 Board Induction | Networking | Festive Menu
Holiday Sweaters | EWTG Ornaments | Teddy Bears

Holiday Luncheon tableAs we look forward to celebrating the close of an outstanding year of accomplishments in EWTG, we invite you to join us for our Annual Holiday Luncheon on December 12, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at the Austin Women’s Club. Grab your coziest Holiday sweater and join EWTG at the Holiday Luncheon for a festive twist on an EWTG Holiday Party classic. Holiday sweaters can be elegant, Christmas tacky, homemade, store bought, celebratory or Plain Jane colors. We are trying to convince Texas that it is time for some winter pizzazz! Fun Pictures & Prize for best sweater! ugly sweater - pic

This year’s holiday luncheon menu includes a mixed green salad with pears, roasted pork loin, and chocolate crème brulee. One of Austin’s finest pianists, Mattie B. Robinson, will provide the music as we dine at decorated tables. A sweater contest (participation optional) will be held, and all attendees will receive a special gift.

We will celebrate and recognize the work of the 2017 Board and committees, and our 2018 Board of Directors will be sworn in by our special guest, the Honorable Judge Brenda P. Kennedy. Judge Kennedy has served this community in a judicial capacity since 1987, and is the current Judge of the 403rd Judicial District Court and the Presiding Judge over all of the criminal courts in Travis County. Judge Kennedy will speak briefly and introduce the 2018 president and perform the oath of office for the new board.

teddy bear - pic Once again, Teddy Bears will be collected onsite to share with the children of Safe Alliance.

Free parking for the Austin Woman’s Club is located between 7th and 8th Streets on Nueces (view map). The cost of the luncheon is $30 per member. Remember to register early for the luncheon in anticipation of a “full house”.

Online registration will end at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 8, 2017. Please Note: In accordance with EWTG policy, the full cost of the luncheon will be billed for those who register but are not able to attend. The deadline to cancel your registration without penalty is Wednesday, December 6, 2017. If you would like to send someone as a substitute, please contact EWTG at by noon on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Register Today!

EWTG - 2017 Woman of the Year – Denice Bettencourt
The mission and vision of Executive Women in Texas Government embrace developing and encouraging women by offering opportunities for professional growth, education, and advancement. In 1993, EWTG began an annual tradition of honoring an accomplished member who has demonstrated excellence in her personal and professional life, as well as a commitment to the community. The Woman of the Year award recognizes an individual woman who epitomizes the values for which EWTG stands and represents the best of who we are as women and as leaders. Judges looked at nominees accomplishments in the following five categories: educational achievements; career accomplishments; participation in EWTG; community involvement; and overall leadership qualities to make their selection.

Our 2017 Woman of the Year was born and raised in central Texas. She held close relationships with extended family throughout her early years, and in those early years, she developed a dedication to education and learned the importance of giving back to the community.

She received a scholarship to attend Durham Business College where she earned a legal secretary certificate, thus beginning her public service career at the Texas Attorney General's Office. While working full time, she took night classes at The University of Texas and later Austin Community College to earn an associate's degree in business administration. In 1990, she joined the Texas Department of Transportation as an administrative assistant. She demonstrated a commitment to the department and community by her dedicated involvement in outreach programs such as TxDOT's adopt a highway and Capitol 10K teams. She chaired the department's Employee's Advisory Committee and served as the department's blood drive coordinator for several years, which earned recognition not only for her but an agency award as well.
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Looking Back - EWTG 31st Annual Conference

The Executive Women in Texas Government 31st Annual Professional Development Conference was once again hosted at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa, and Conference Center– with well over 800 conference attendees attending 36 Workshops filled with excitement, education, and inspiration. The Sunday evening networking reception featured fun, food, Kendra Scott Jewelry and music by the Cyndi Samford Trio.

The conference theme, Bold Leadership: Courage, Confidence, Compassion, was carried throughout conference activities, which encouraged participants to develop the leaders within themselves, within their organizations, and within their communities. Participants enjoyed three workshops each, choosing from a selection of 36 different workshops. Participants also enjoyedsilent auction - pic participating in networking opportunities and visiting with Exhibitors between general sessions and workshops. A highlight of the day included the Silent Auction, which raised funds for scholarships benefiting EWTG members pursuing professionalexhibitors - gts - pic development goals. Our Silent Auction received over 35 donated items for the Scholarship Fund. Also, 30 Exhibitors supported this year, including sponsors and state agencies. EWTG members are encouraged to support these exhibitors at their business locations during theannual conference - session year. We also have the EWTG Wine Glasses for sale at $15.00 a set, and proceeds will go to EWTG Scholarship Fund.

During the General and Lunchsteve murdock - pic Sessions, EWTG was honored to have two well-known Keynote Speakers – Pamela Benson Owens speaking on taking control and Steve Murdock speaking on future demographic trends that are important to the work that all state employees do. These sessions inspired and empowered the attendees.

The conference was a huge success due to the many volunteers who made the conference possible. The Conference Committee Chairs and their committees, workshop presenters, and session moderators donated countless hours of planning, development, and coordination to guarantee that the conference would be a memorable experience for attendees. Please watch for an email notification about the conference evaluation.

The Evaluation Committee will send out conference evaluations in early December via email. Your feedback is important to measure success and learn improvement opportunities for next year's conference. If you include your name and email address with your evaluation, you will be entered into a drawing for a $25.00 gift card - just in time for the holidays.

Working behind the scenes and non-stop to make this year’s conference a success were the incredibly dedicated 2017 Conference Chairs. These ladies worked tirelessly to bring to life the 2017 Conference. Please join me in congratulating and thanking the EWTG Conference Chairs for 2017:

Mercie Zapata, Facilities Chair
Theresa McShan, Exhibits Chair
Brenda Grays & Kim Everett, Silent Auction Co-Chairs
Beulah Foley-Matlock, Program Chair
Robin Agnew, Registration Chair
Kara Kelly, Resolutions and Evaluations Chair
Audrey Selden & Kim Kizer, Reception Co-Chairs

On behalf of the Conference Chairs, we also want to express our sincere appreciation to the 2017 EWTG Board for their support, with special acknowledgment to Clare Dyer, President, for sharing her vision for the Conference. I have sincerely enjoyed serving as the 2017 Vice President and Conference Chair and appreciate the opportunities for growth this position has presented.

Submitted By Karen E. Howard
2017 Vice President and Conference Chair

Four Ways to Deal with Stress During the Holidays

The American Heart Association had some positive techniques for dealing with STRESS, yes STRESS. In her article “Four Ways to Deal with Stress”, the author offers some simple things we can do to help manage our stress levels.

It is that time of year again – the holiday season - where our stress levels can rise to that red zone. In the red zone, our physical and mental health are tested. When it comes to good health, we all want to pass the test with positive outcomes.

Last minute gifts, last minute guests, and last minute shopping can push any “normal” person close to the edge, if not over. You may get to the point where one more “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” may be the straw that breaks the reindeer’s back. They just ran out the toy your child or grandchild wanted after waiting in line for over an hour. The shopping network ticker said 50 left as you tried to make that order, only to submit the order and have a sold out message displayed.

Below are some simple techniques to help us stay in the green zone and have a pleasant holiday with family and friends.

  1. Positive Self-Talk
    Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud, but usually, we keep self-talk in our heads. Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
  2. Emergency Stress Stoppers
    There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road, and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line. Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.
  3. Finding Pleasure
    When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things that you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.
  4. Daily Relaxation
    Relaxation is more than sitting in your favorite chair watching TV. Relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi (a series of slow, graceful movements), and meditation.
Check out the article “Four Ways to Deal with Stress”, where you will find more methods to apply these four techniques to your holiday routine. Enjoy the holidays...

Submitted By Communications Team


New and Renewing Members

See Who Joined and Renewed in November 2017!

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 Email your 2017 fourth quarter application to the Scholarship Committee by 5:00 p.m. on December 29, 2017.

EWTG Scholarships

EWTG Board Meetings

The EWTG Board holds its monthly meetings at the Mitte Carriage House 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.

EWTG Board

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."

Get Involved

Board of Directors

Cheryl Taylor, Editor
Communications Director

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