March 2014

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
2. Mini-Course
3. Monthly Luncheon
4. Save the Date
5. Community Service Project
7. New and Renewing Members


Quick Links

EWTG Web Site

Board of Directors

Thank you 2013 Sponsors!

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 ewtg.org. The Scholarship Committee will accept applications for the 2014 second quarter until 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2014.

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

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


President's Corner

"Own Your Wins"

Make a list of wins you've had over the years. Planned and transitioned a state-wide program at your agency? Single-handedly kick started a community service project for the shelter? Or away from work, was it providing a holiday party for your children's homeroom class?  What are your wins? Count all of them and relish them.

In our busy lives, we often forget to celebrate the past accomplishments, because these wins just become a task on the checklist, as we move on to the next item on the list. It is important to stop, take a breath, and understand each of your accomplishments. You never know who you might meet tomorrow and who will be watching all your wins.  When that time comes, be ready to share your story and acknowledge yourself and your abilities. 

Steps to acknowledging your accomplishments.
  • Identify – What challenge were you faced with?
  • Action – What action(s) did you take?
  • Results – What benefits resulted from your action(s)?

For example:

  • Identify: Assumed leadership position in a cross-functional team, which was experiencing low productivity and morale.
  • Action: Created two separate teams, based on individual skillsets and specialties, one focusing on software developments, the other on business production. Each team has project timelines to meet.  Teams also regroup weekly to discuss completed deliverables and develop strategies for following week. Teams gather monthly for a team celebration of the month's success. 
  • Results: Production increased 85% and attendance improved among staff and communication increased.
Now, for the 30-second elevator presentation.
  • Accomplishment story: Increased production by 85% in six months by implementing new product development process and introduced long term production strategies. 

What are your accomplishment stories? Implemented new processes to save time or increase productivity? Made significant budget improvements for the agency? Enhanced social media presence or built government relations presence?

Here are some strategies to developing your accomplishment story:
  • Use action verbs to start each accomplishment.
  • Describe your win in one sentence, be as concise as possible.
  • Share measurables: statistics, numbers, and products.
Develop your winning story! You may be called upon today to share your wins, so be ready!

"What you have accomplished in the past is a much stronger example than talking about what you are capable of doing in the future. Actions do speak louder than words!" Catherine Pulsifer, How Valuable Are You 

Own your wins!

Liza C. Willmore, 2014 EWTG President

March 12, 2014 Mini-Course
Rethinking the Leadership Crisis


David Biemer, PhD., Chief Learning Officer, HHSC

Contributed by Teresa Cabral, Program Director 
he Boomers are retiring. That massive tsunami of humanity born between 1946 and 1964 is coming of age. Ten thousand boomers a day turn 65 years old. Who will take their place when key leadership positions become vacant? Experts are now questioning conventional approaches to succession planning. Hear Dr. Biemer, HHSC Chief Learning Officer, share cutting edge ideas for dealing with the "brain drain”.

About the Speaker:

David Biemer has been a member of the public sector workforce for more than 30 years. He has held a wide variety of positions, primarily in the areas of organizational effectiveness, human resources, and professional development.

For over six years, David was responsible for leadership succession at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. In this capacity he provided professional career development and training designed to prepare the next generation of leaders at that large State agency.

He continued this focus on leadership development at the Texas Department of Health Services and designed a comprehensive program of professional development.

Following that assignment David joined the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative services. For five years he developed high potentials as the Coordinator of the Leadership Institute at the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.

In July of 2013, Dr. Biemer was named Chief Learning Officer at HHSC. In this capacity he advises senior staff on activities and processes that lead to a strong culture of learning across the enterprise.

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 Library, 1161 Angelina St., TX 78702.

EWTG will provide pizza, loads of fresh green salad, dessert and drinks for $10, or you can bring your own brown bag lunch.

RSVP HERE to ensure you get reserve a seat and lunch. Cancellations must be received twenty-four (24) hours prior to the event to receive a refund for pizza orders. 


March 26th
EWTG Monthly Luncheon

A Day in the Life of Austin's Police Monitor

Key Note Speaker: Margo Fraiser
Police Monitor, City of Austin

Contributed by: Joelyn Weeks, EWTG Program Director 

The March 26, 2014 EWTG Monthly Luncheon meeting will feature Margo Frasier, Police Monitor, City of Austin. She will talk about the roles and responsibility as head of the Office of the Police Monitor.

Are you familiar with the important role of the Police Monitor and why the office exists? Are you curious about how that office gets their "work"? Please make plans to attend the March 26th luncheon to hear about this office's roles and responsibilities.

The Office of the Police Monitor (OPM) is an independent City of Austin administrative office that works exclusively with the Austin Police Department (APD). The OPM is not part of the APD. The office provides information to promote the highest of mutual respect between police officers and the public.

Margo Frasier, Austin Police Monitor, brings over 35 years of experience in criminal justice to the City of Austin’s Office of the Police Monitor. Prior to being appointed Police Monitor, Ms. Frasier consulted with law enforcement and corrections agencies and provided litigation support.

From 1997 through 2004, Ms. Frasier served as the Sheriff of Travis County, Texas. She started as a deputy more than two decades earlier and is the only woman to hold the office. As Sheriff, she oversaw more than 1,400 deputies, corrections officers, and other employees with a budget of more than $90 million.

Ms. Frasier earned praise for her leadership in implementing community policing and improving the jail system.

Ms. Frasier has been on the faculty of Sam Houston State University, St. Edward’s University, and Austin Community College. Over the years, as a consultant and an attorney, she has provided representation and expert testimony in matters involving criminal justice including civil rights, employment law, law enforcement practices, and corrections practices.

Ms. Frasier served as treasurer, vice-president, and president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association. She also served on the boards of the National Sheriffs’ Association, National Center for Women and Policing, Texas Institute for Public Problem Solving, SafePlace, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas. In addition, she was recognized twice by the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas as “Administrator of the Year.” Ms. Frasier holds a Juris Doctor with high honors from Florida State University College of Law and a Bachelors of Science with honors from Sam Houston State University.

Please join EWTG members and friends on March 26, 2014 as follows:
  • The luncheon is held at the Austin Woman’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street
  • Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and 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.
Please note there is plenty of free parking.  While there is signage around the building about parking fees, the parking is free to EWTG during the luncheon time frame.

To register for the Luncheon, click here!

Save the Date - November 24, 2014

Contributed by: Denise Pittard, Vice President

Mark your calendars and make plans to attend EWTG’s 28th Annual Professional Development Conference on Monday, November 24, 2014, at the Embassy Suites – Hotel, Spa and Conference Center in San Marcos.

The conference committee is working diligently to plan and host another great event that will include educational workshops, keynote speakers and opportunities for networking with other conference participants.

As the plans and details of the conference activities are solidified, additional announcements and newsletter articles are planned to keep you informed. In the meantime, ensure your calendar is marked for this event. You will not want to miss another terrific conference.

We are also pleased to announce the EWTG Conference Committee Chairs for this year! These incredible ladies have exhibited their commitment and selflessness in volunteering for our organization by accepting a critical Conference Committee Chair position this year.

Please join me in congratulating each of these leaders for reaching outside of their norms since becoming a member of EWTG and getting involving. Our organization is incredibly fortunate that each has agreed to accept a crucial role in planning, facilitating, and successfully bringing to fruition a stellar 2014 EWTG Annual Professional Development Conference!

It is my privilege to introduce you to the 2014 Conference Committee Team:
  • Conference Exhibits Committee – Trina Edwards, Chair
  • Conference Evaluations Committee – Grace Nobles, Chair
  • Conference Facilities Committee – Jennifer Dormer, Chair
  • Conference Programs Committee – Karen Howard, Chair
  • Conference Registration Committee – Bobbe Walker, Chair
  • Conference Resolutions Committee - Grace Nobles, Chair
  • Conference Silent Auction Committee – Debbie Peterson and Ruth Doss, Co-Chairs
  • Vice President and Conference Chair – Denise Pittard

Each one of these ladies has already begun contacting volunteers. If you would like to be added as a volunteer on one of these committees, please email me at vicepres@ewtg.org.

Below are a few of our photos from the 2013 Annual Conference.


Easter Baskets of Love
Tamala Fletcher and Houston-Tillotson University
EWTG 2014 Community Service Project

Contributed by: Shawana Ellison, Community Service Committee Chair

The EWTG Community Service Committee is partnering with Tamala Fletcher (Communication Committee member) and Huston-Tillotson University for their Community Easter Egg Hunt.  Tamala and her longtime friend, Charity Denning, provided nearly 150 baskets to the children of SafePlace and Ronald McDonald House last year.  This year, Tamala is working to donate 150 baskets and more for the children attending the Huston-Tillotson University Community Egg Hunt.

The average cost of each basket is $13. This effort will use the support of EWTG members with the donation of the following items – small stuffed animals, small balls, decorative pencils, ring pops/blow pops, small bubbles, jump ropes, small toys, paddle balls, Silly Putty, toy cars, Easter grass, clear wrapping paper, plastic eggs, and small candy.

Huston-Tillotson University Easter Egg Hunt will be held on April 17, 2014 at 4pm.  Some of the activities include: the meaning of Easter story time, prize eggs, candy, scholarship prize egg, and more. This event is fun for the whole family and is free to the public. Huston-Tillotson is located at 900 Chicon Street, Austin TX 78702.  More information on the event can be found at www.htu.edu. The Community Egg Hunt has roughly 150 kids who attend, and the goal is to provide a basket to all the kids present. Donations are being collected now through April 10, 2014.  The Community Service Committee would like to help Tamala reach this goal. You may deliver items to the March EWTG Mini Course (03/12/2014), the March EWTG Luncheon (03/26/2014), the April Mini Course (04/09/2014) or contact Shawana Ellison.  There will also be an opportunity for volunteers to help build and distribute baskets during the month of April.

If you are interested in helping with this community service project, please email Shawana Ellison at slellison2005@hotmail.com.  Look for a Facebook post, Twitter tweet and a EWTG email blast requesting volunteers to assist with stuffing eggs, building baskets and final distribution of the baskets at the Huston-Tillotson campus.


Contributed by: Laure McLaughlin, President-Elect

If you speak in the shorthand of today (LOL), you might have been able to decipher the headline. If you’re more like me (IMHO), you might have been baffled. But if you’re a veteran member of Executive Women in Texas Government (that is, BTW, EWTG), you would know that it’s time to be thinking about Executive Success Teams (ESTs).

ESTs are small groups of EWTG members – state government and private sector veterans, retirees and newbies – who share a common desire to find – or be – the mentor who can make a difference. EST members decide for themselves when and where to meet and what they’re going to discuss. So, in a way, ESTs are more like a book club, minus the book (but the wine is up to you)!

In the coming month, EWTG will be sending out a survey to discover who would like to be on an EST, where and how often you would like to meet, and other personal preferences. Fill out the survey, get it in, and be ready to meet your new best friends.

Invest in yourself, invest in others…the EST way!


New and Renewing Members February 2014

Patricia Bordie, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Juanita Dowell, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Barvette Garrett, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Kenya Johnson, Department of Family and Protective Services
Shannon L. Kelley, Texas Department of Information Resources
Siena Lindemann, Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Brenda McCoy, Retired
Sylvia McPherson, Texas Workforce Commission
Michelle Nall, Texas Veterans Commission
Lillian Niwagaba, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dorothy Nowlin, TxDot
Brenda Pollard, JPMorgan
Patricia Speed, The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Monique Young, UT Southwestern Medical Center