February 2014

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
2. Mini- Course Recap
3. Monthly Luncheon
4. Call to Volunteer
5. Community Service Project
6. Committees Forming
7. 2014 Class of Leadership America
8. National Women of Achievement 2014 Profile Honoree
9. 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
Liza C. Willmore

Opportunities are all around us and often come in small ways in our lives, but are you ready to receive your opportunity and reward yourself?  As leaders within your workplace, family, and community, you have all had the calling to guide others.  Along the way, you took on challenges and turned these pivotal moments into opportunities.  

Every month, EWTG offer opportunities for networking, learning, and growth, in the form of luncheon programs, mini-courses, and mentoring (Executive Success Teams).  In January, we had Erin Lawler present negotiation strategies.  She discussed the preparation for a successful strategy, plan of action, and the likely outcome by identifying your end goal. This presentation came at an opportune time for many of our members who attended the luncheon, because they were either in the midst of developing a project and negotiating resources or planning a major professional transition.   If you were unable to attend the luncheon, the full power point presentation is available here: http://goo.gl/RSlzGr.
This month, we will hear from Heather Way, J.D., Clinical Professor at the UT School of Law, on affordable housing concerns in Austin Metro. Some of you may be hoping to learn more about the policies and issues facing current Austin leadership, or you may actually be involved locally in your community on this topic and need more hard content. Either way, this enrichment series will add to your knowledge base.  Added bonus: others who are attending will probably have the same thoughts you have had, and it is worthy of a chance to meet them and start a discussion.  First, you must make that first step.

Four things I had learned when seeking opportunities or when opportunities arise:
  • Get yourself prepared, always keep your eyes open
  • Realize that you'll never be fully prepared, but gather your resources
  • Acknowledge the critical voice, but don't let fear take over
  • Strike out and take your chance!
Before each of our luncheons and mini-courses, there is  a networking component built in to help you reconnect with old colleagues and establishing new contacts.  Consider arriving at 11:30AM for the luncheon or mini-course and strike up a conversation with someone you have never met.  In the next 30 days, I challenge you to meet one new person at the luncheon or mini-course and write me and tell me about it!  I will feature some of these connections in our upcoming newsletter!  Opportunities are what you make of it, but you have to take the first step in your meeting with chance.  

Liza C. Willmore

Strategic Planning and LAR Presentation at February Mini-Course was a Success!!

Contributed by Joelyn Weeks, Program Director 
The February 12th Mini-Course about the State Strategic Plan and Legislative Appropriations Requests (LAR) process was a huge success. A capacity crowd met at noon at the Carver Library to hear Marva Scallion, Fiscal Projects Director, from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) present "Strategic Planning and LAR Processes:  What Does that Mean to Me?"

Marva provided an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the LBB regarding oversight of the strategic plan and LAR processes.  She clarified the LAR processes and explained the requirements and components of an LAR.  She also explained how the strategic planning process and LAR relate to the budget process.

For example, she explained strategic planning which is a long-term, iterative, and future-oriented process of assessment, goal setting, and decision-making. An agency’s strategic plan is a formal document that communicates its goals, directions, and outcomes to various audiences, including the Governor and the Legislature, client and constituency groups, the public, and the agency’s employees.

Marva also talked about the strategic plan's relevance to the appropriations process in that it:   

  • Establishes the budget structure that agencies must use to make their appropriations request (goats, objectives, strategies, performance measures).
  • Establishes strategies (line items) which is the level that appropriations are funded and vetoed; and
  • Provides a uniform process for submission and evaluation of performance measures.

Additionally, the LAR was explained as the following:

  • The LAR is an agency’s request for funding, personnel and capital needs for a two-year period. Funding is made at the Strategy level.
  • The LAR communicates several purposes:
  • - budgetary needs and priorities to the legislature, governor, other boards and commissions, and the general public;
    - policy issues related to funding; and
    - agency’s core mission to the legislature.

The LAR includes Baseline and Exceptional Items Requests.  A Baseline Request is equal or less than the General Revenue-related expended and budgeted amounts for the previous biennium as determined by the Base Reconciliation.  The Exceptional Items Request consists of amounts requested above the General Revenue-related Baseline.  Exceptional Items Requests need to be prioritized carefully with a solid explanation of the need and realistic consequences of not funding the requested item. The LAR submission is an agency's opportunity to publicly explain its priorities and need for funding.Agencies can expect to receive their Strategic Planning Instructions in March 2014 and their LAR Instructions in May 2014. 

"Why women vanish as they move up the career ladder 
Business Insider

The answer to why women vanish in such large numbers as they move up the corporate ladder — and why this does not seem to change over time — is obviously complex. There are many forces at work that cause this to happen. They can be put into several categories for conceptual clarity, though they are highly interrelated. We think the categories are well summarized by the statements women themselves would make about why they're vanishing from the corporate ladder.”
* An excerpt from Ladies America.  Find more at: http://goo.gl/5gwxpo

Ladies America is a national network of professional women connecting to advance one another personally & professionally, following the motto "Women Helping Women."


EWTG Monthly Luncheon
February 26th

Key Note Speaker: Heather Way, J.D.
Clinical Professor
School of Law, University of Texas at Austin

"Austin's Affordable Housing Shortage and The Impact on State Employees"

Contributed by: Joelyn Weeks, EWTG Program Director 

The February 26, 2014 EWTG Monthly Luncheon meeting will feature, Heather K. Way, Clinical Professor, at the UT Law School.  Heather will discuss the affordable housing issues in Austin and how it affects us. 

Affordable housing issues have been discussed by concerned citizen committees, the local press, and Austin's leadership, in the recent months.  Heather will talk about these issues with more details about the various impacts on our state staff.

This will be an informative session that you will not want to miss.

Our speaker, Heather K. Way, directs the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic. She has been a practitioner in the field of community development and affordable housing law since 1997. Prior to joining the faculty in 2006, she was the founder and Director of Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources, which provides legal education and pro bono legal assistance to nonprofit organizations. Prior to that, Way was a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at Legal Aid of Central Texas working in the field of affordable housing and community development.

Way frequently lectures on topics in the fields of affordable housing, nonprofit organizations, and community development. Her work focuses on analyzing and developing laws and public policies that promote the creation of equitable and sustainable communities, including: problem properties, land title issues in low-income communities, land banks, housing preservation, transit-oriented development, and inclusionary housing.

Way is a recipient of the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas award from the State Bar of Texas and has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Lawyers under 40 by the Texas Lawyer. She was recently recognized as an Austin Affordable Housing Hero by Interfaith Action of Central Texas. She is also the recipient of the outstanding "Houser" award by the Texas Low Income Housing Information Services and the Community Champion Award by the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations. Articles include: "Informal Homeownership in the United States and the Law,” St. Louis University Public Law Review (2010).

For information about Way's publications and activities, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/wayhk/

Please join EWTG members and friends on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 as follows:

  • WHERE: Austin Woman’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street
  • WHEN: Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. The program starts at 12:00pm *noon” and concludes at 1:00 p.m.
  • On-site Registration COST: $25 for EWTG members and $30 for guests.
  • PARKING: There is plenty of FREE parking behind the AWC facility.  Note, if you park on 8th or San Antonio, there are meters that require payment. 

Call to Volunteer

Contributed by: Denise Pittard, Vice President/Conference Chair

It's a new year and that means new planning for the 2014 Annual EWTG Conference.  Planning for a conference as large as ours requires a lot of outstanding volunteers.

Volunteering on a conference committee gives you the opportunity to develop organizational, leadership, and networking skills.

If you are looking for an exciting way to contribute to our organization, join a conference committee.  Each one has a unique purpose and importance that, combined, make for a successful conference. 

The committee functions are described below:

The CONFERENCE PROGRAM COMMITTEE secures workshop presenters for the conference and ensures that their presentation requirements are met.

The FACILITIES COMMITTEE coordinates the logistical requirements for the conference, including coordination with the conference site hotel to ensure appropriate facility support for all aspects of the conference.

The SILENT AUCTION COMMITTEE coordinates donations and collects the items sold at the conference's silent auction.  This team also solicits contributions throughout the year from a wide variety of sources.

The EXHIBITS COMMITTEE finds exhibitors for the conference that match the EWTG goals and vision.  At the same time, this team ensures that each exhibitor is satisfied with their experience at our conference.

The REGISTRATION COMMITTEE handles the registration on the day of the conference.  Other responsibilities of this committee include conference brochure development, printing, and soliciting items for the gift bag.

The EVALUATIONS COMMITTEE develops the evaluation criteria, collects the evaluation information from the conference and tabulates it for delivery to the conference stakeholders (speakers, workshop presenters, exhibitors, etc.)

The RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE develops the certificates of appreciation for the conference stakeholders (speakers, workshop presenters, exhibitors, silent auction donors, etc.)

To volunteer to be on a committee, please contact EWTG at vicepres@ewtg.org.

A successful Conference is the product of many committed and hard-working volunteers.  My hope this month is that you will choose to join us by signing up to participate on a conference committee.

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 February Luncheon (02/26/2014), 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.


Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG)
Now Is Your Chance To Get Involved; Committees are Forming

Contributed by: Various Board Directors

The Executive Women in Texas Government organization is run almost entirely on volunteer efforts, skills and abilities.  With this in mind, it is critical the Board and Committees begin to recruit Committee Members as quickly as possible so that Committee can accomplish all the goals established for that year ahead.

Now is the time to let the Board know if you are interested in being part of one or more Committees.  This volunteer relationship is intended to be mutually beneficial to the EWTG Organization as well as to the Volunteers.  Think about what talents and skills you can give to EWTG and what EWTG can do for you in return – then, reach out and let us know.

Some Committees are already making progress with recruiting and building their team of resources and we want to acknowledge these folks and applaud their ‘can do attitude’. Read on for the Communications Committee and Finance Committee Members; Committees will also be published on the EWTG website for 2014:

Communications Committee Members:

Chair - Tanya Skaarup, DIR -- Communications Chair
Kimberly Carella, ESI, Inc.
Tamala Fletcher, TDLR
Elizabeth Lopez, CPA
Terri Peirce, TxDOT
Cheryl Taylor, DSHS

Finance Committee Members:

Chair, Deborah Shaw-Boatner, CPA (CFO)
Liza Wilmore, President
Laure McLaughlin, President-Elect
Gena Minjares, CPA, Secretary-Treasurer
Connie Williams, Member
Jennifer Dormer, Member



 Denice Bettencourt
Accepted into 2014 Class of Leadership America

Denice Bettencourt, Information Specialist at the Texas Department of Transportation, and Executive Women in Texas Government’s 2011Mini-Course Chair, 2012 Program Chair and 2013 Program Committee member, was recently notified of her acceptance into the 2014 Leadership America class.  Launched in 1988, Leadership America is the preeminent national women’s development program and the longest running of its kind in the United States.  Leadership America is continuously offering unique learning environments, professional and personal relationship expansion, and leadership enhancement opportunities.  The theme for 2014 is "Leading with a Global Vision: Considering the Issues – Confronting the Challenges – Creating the Solutions.”

Denice, a graduate of the 2013 Class of Leadership Texas ("best class ever”), is excited to expand her leadership development on a national level.  She will engage with leading innovators and subject-matter leaders across a broad spectrum of industry and geography in her visits to selected cities in the three session workshops to be held in Dallas TX (March 30-April 1), San Francisco CA (June 8-10), and Washington DC (September 28-30). Women’s Resources Leadership America is a program of Women’s Resources, whose goal is to promote the power of leadership and legacy through programs that connect, inspire, empower and honor women.  

Mary Castleberry
National Women of Achievement 2014 Profile Honoree!

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, the Austin Metroplex Chapter of the National Women of Achievement, Inc. (NWOA), will present the Thirteenth Biennial African-American Women’s Profiles of Prominence Ceremony at the AT& T Conference Center. Mary Castleberry, 2013 EWTG President, will be honored in the area of Professional Leadership! This ceremony honors African-American women who have made outstanding professional achievements, as well as unique contributions to the Austin community. Please congratulate Mary on her latest achievement!

New and Renewing Members January 2014

Aelia Akhtar, Health and Human Services Commission
Peggy Aschenbeck, Retired
Emilie Becker, HHSC
Ann Bishop, Employees Retirement System of Texas
Mary Castleberry, Department of Family and Protective Services
Cathryn Cox, Retired
Brittany Eck, Texas House of Representatives
Lovdy Grossman, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Melinda Metteauer, MAXIMUS, Inc.
Laurie Najjar, City of Austin
Jennifer Schrier, TxDMV
Donna Swan, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Jamie Wedell, Texas Legislative Council
Shirley Zwinggi, UT Southwestern Medical Center