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2016 Annual Conference - Workshop Abstracts
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Workshop Sessions
Session A (10:30 - 11:30 am)  |  Session B (1:15 - 2:15 pm)  |  Session C (2:45 - 3:45 pm)

Session A (10:30 - 11:30 am)

A1 - Finding Beauty in Change: Releasing Your Inner Butterfly
Larry Hawkins II - CEO, Co-Founder, Hawkins Development Group, LLC

Going through change can often feel uncertain and scary, but with the right mindset and tools, you can take control of your journey through any transition. In this session, you will learn how to maintain your character and maximize your contribution by understanding how you respond to change. Leveraging the tools and techniques provided will instill confidence that you have the right competencies to maximize productivity, enhance collaboration, and encourage creativity within yourself and others. With this session, comes the realization that the true beauty of change is in the opportunities to shine amidst the chaos.


A2 - Hire the Right Fit Employee Every Time
Amy Castro - President, Innovative Communication & Training Solutions

Hire the Right Fit Employee Every Time: Interview Skills In this fun, interactive, and information-packed session, Communication Expert, Speaker, and Author Amy Castro will share steps participants should take to find the “right fit” employee every time they interview. In “Hire the Right Fit Employee Every Time,” you will learn: • What organizations do wrong that causes them to attract “wrong fit” applicants • Common interview questions you should stop using because they are a waste of time! • How to develop “right fit” interview questions for every job • How to crack the “interviewee façade” to uncover the REAL person behind it, so you can hire the “right fit” employee every time • And more!


A3 - Passion With Purpose: A Tale of Entrepreneurship, Love, and Cheese
Kendall Antonelli - President, Antonelli's Cheese Shop

Whether you want to identify a deeper purpose in your job or have an outright career change, the goal is to create a meaningful life - where both your professional and personal lives intersect in a way that brings you success and joy. The key? Passion With Purpose. Our story of entrepreneurship, that is, quitting everything we trained for and knew for an unknown path, is a romantic one of deciding to quit our jobs on our honeymoon to work together for a life in cheese. But it was also a calculated step to identify our passion, our vision, and our core principles. Through doing so, we've now been named Local Heroes the last five consecutive years, had our events listed as one of the top experiences in Austin, and been named one of the best cheese shops in the country (in year 4 of our business). Come share in our story of love, cheese, family, success, and - yes - challenging failures to help inspire you to identify and embrace a life of passion with purpose.!


A4 - Creating A Brand Culture Based on Values & Mentorship Support
Katy Goshtasbi - CEO, Puris Personal Brand Solutions

People buy our uniqueness before they ever buy our service. You are a walking billboard for your career and you alone have the power to attract and grow if you have the right brand and plan. This brand and plan is not just about you, but about the culture you create within your organization. This culture must be based on values, not just your values, though. A successful brand culture is based on each employee's values and comes together in the framework of mentorship support to have the brand grow, sustain and thrive. We have conclusively determined that when women professionals have an intentional branding plan in place, they advance AND want to stay in their careers because their stress is lower, self-confidence higher and they are happier. This intentional branding plan includes the entire team brand culture of values AND a mentorship support program. You don’t have to necessarily “do” anything differently, just “think” differently and have self-awareness. Your brand is - a personal reflection of you and also sends signals to potential clientele and referrals - about the psychology behind your success based on what others see about your practice and, in turn, judge about your business competence and success.


A5 - Making Your Career Transition Dreams A Reality
Patricia Hayes - Owner/Consultant, PVH Consulting Group

Are there thoughts of sugar plum business fairies dancing in your head? Are you wishing for a new role in a new place, but stuck on how and when? Well fret no more! There's no need for shame, stress or random "what ifs?" when it comes to changing jobs/careers. In today's rapidly changing economy, employees changing jobs and careers occurs at a seemingly break neck speed-- for everyone but government workers that is! In this interactive session, you will learn from someone who popped in and out of state government for over 15 years how to address the fears, overcome overwhelm and how to create a strategic transition plan for yourself that will ease your career changing woes and give you the confidence to take that next bold career step.


A6 - Leadership for women: 5 steps for women to lead authentically. - SOLD OUT!
Karen Mooney, MBA, ACC - Executive Director, Administrative Facilities and Campus Operations, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

We know that women bring unique skill sets and perspectives to the business world but often for new leaders it is hard to navigate our way. How do we blend in to the culture but also stand out? In this session you will learn 5 steps to hone in your unique leadership voice so that you are leading authentically.


A7 - Adding Value in Times of Change
Joelyn Weeks - Project Management Office, DFPS

Are changes in the work place affecting your ability to work or concentrate? This interactive workshop will address those inevitable changes in the workplace and how you can personally manage those changes to ensure success in the organization. Participants will learn how to stay relevant in their contributions to the ever changing workplace.


A8 - Fear: It's Not a Character Flaw
Dena Jansen - CPA, Lead Client Service Partner - Nonprofit Niche, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP

This is not a session for the weak of heart. We’ll cover one of the scariest things out there that most people do not want to talk about — that four letter “f” word that really is the most damaging of all the four letter words — fear. Rest assured, fear is a not a character flaw, it’s a normal part of the human experience, but it can impact growth in our personal and professional lives. We’ll talk though about how we can rethink and maybe even retool fear to find motivation for action rather than giving us an excuse for surrender.


A9 - How To Stand Tall in a Man's World: The Five E's to Increasing Your Income and Influence
Dalonika L. McDonald - Former Lieutenant and Program Supervisor for Austin Texas, Unchained Coaching

"You will learn how to position yourself as an invaluable magnet to your company's leaders for THE LARGE RAISE."-Dalonika McDonald In this presentation, Dalonika L. McDonald takes the audience on an intellectual journey through the world of "women leaders" - the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. She answer the questions women want to know: What makes a "lady-general and high-achiever" increase their income and influence? Her answer is in the Five E's, which is broken down for a five-year-old in kindergarten to adapt. McDonald is the lady you have been searching for, to enlighten on how successful women operate, and what methods they used to increase on every side of their life. McDonald shows you how to dodge the bullet, which kills many women climbing up the ladder of success. Here are a few promotion killers: • CONFLICT • Knowing how and when to accentuate your female qualities • JEALOUSY • How to avoid becoming the office "snack" • CHANGE McDonald consults the participants on how and when to go above and beyond the call of duty!


A10 - 85th Legislature: The Legislative Outlook and Testifying Before the Legislature
Susan Biles - Legislative Affairs & Program Strategy Manager, Accenture

The 85th Legislature is only a few months away and is something that impacts all of state government. This workshop will touch on the budget outlook, hot topics and the legislative process to help you prepare for and navigate the session. We will also discuss testifying before the legislature and how to be more effective in presenting your message.


A11 - "Leadership Women: Globetrotting, Community Building and Redefining the Leadership Landscape"
Linda Crompton - Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Women, Inc.

Leadership Women is a community of diverse emerging and established leaders from private, public and social enterprise who seek to learn more about the world, lead well and leave a positive legacy. For more than 35 years, LW has offered transformational experiences to help women achieve their full leadership potential through developing their unique perspectives - collaboration rather than hierarchy, and cooperation instead of competition and self-interest. This workshop will explore how to best develop these perspectives and apply them to redefine leadership in today's world.


A12 - Enhancing Your Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence
Diana Garza-Louis - Training Specialist, Texas Workforce Commission

Emotional Intelligence (EI) can enhance our leadership skills through increased self- awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship-management. In this session we will review the four domains of Emotional Intelligence developed by Daniel Goleman and discuss strategies to increase our EI to achieve higher motivation, more focus, improved communication and greater personal and professional satisfaction and success.

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Session B (1:15 - 2:15 pm)


B1 - Live to Win- 7 weeks to balanced life
Manu Shahi - 7 weeks to Balanced Life, JS Learning Quest

We all look for balance. We all look for a smooth, quiet ride. We also know that it is not always possible. Stuff happens, our wheel of life goes flat, something beyond our control doesn't work out the way we hoped. How do we keep it together? How do we continue to strive for success, happiness, health, continuous improvement? This is it ... LIVE TO WIN ... is the latest Ziglar Corporation training program for personal or professional development. As a certified Ziglar Trainer, I can offer you this program 1:1, to your team at the office, your non-profit, or any other group you may be associated with. In addition to having me deliver this in person, the option to do this online, at your own pace, with over 50-weeks of access is possible.


B2 - No Power & No Point: Why Your Slides Are Boring & How To Send 'em Soaring
Mike Robertson - Principal, Is This Mike On?, LLC

Blaming PowerPoint for boring slides is like blaming the paintbrush for a lousy painting. But at their full potential, slides can become works of art, causing audiences to come to life, pay closer attention and retain content longer. This idea-packed session will give you numerous tips, tricks and cutting-edge techniques you haven't seen before, which can be used in your own presentations. The final section will show actual before & after examples of typical slides and how they can become powerful enhancements for communicating with your audience on a higher level.


B3 - You Can Have It: A Life of Balance
Dr. Charlotte Sullivan - Texas Department of State Health Services

Most of our lives are driven by schedules, commitments, and deadlines making a life of balance feel unattainable. However, the hand of personal choice is available and the achievement of life balance is possible. In this workshop, you will explore your level of satisfaction in various areas of your life and receive practical ways to exercise your right of choice. This will be accomplished through an exercise of personal reflection, a presentation of step-by-step choice making approaches that participants can use to achieve life balance, and active participation. Join us for a lively session that will influence your entire life!


B4 - Leaders, are you ready to level up? Discover how to ditch the routine and create a new standard
Chris Makell - Founder & CEO, Spark Of Brilliance Consulting

Leaders, are you ready to level up? Discover how to ditch the routine and create a new standard You’ve read the books, taken the classes and know what to “do” as a leader. But what happens when you begin to… ➢ Fade out, check out or burnout… ➢ Find employees opting out…(physically or emotionally) ➢ Want out (physically or emotionally too!) That’s your “call” to create a new standard. - It’s consciously deciding to do it differently. - To lead in a way that energizes you and your team. And it’s the next level in your leadership. In this highly interactive session, you’ll design your next level of leadership so that you are refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to lead, masterfully.


B5 - How to Unleash Your "Super Hero" Leadership Powers
Darlene Templeton - CEO and Founder, Templeton & Associates

"Who doesn’t remember their favorite super heros?” Mine was of course, Wonder Woman! They all were “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall building in a single bound.” They were SUPER HEROS and LEADERS in everything they did and were in service to others! They believed in utilizing all their “super powers” to help and support others, they believed in inspiring and motivating their teams and help them build their “super powers” and they achieved not only their goals, but the goals and results of their team and so many others! This sounds like an AMAZING and SUPER HERO leader in today’s challenging world of Government and Business! Whether you are the CEO, a seasoned professional or new to the area, leading in your organization and supporting your team can be very challenging. With Darlene’s business and corporate experience, 36 years at IBM, she is a master at understanding and navigating these challenges. During this session, she will share with you the “super hero” secrets to unleashing your own super hero leadership powers, finding those super hero powers of your team, inspiring and motivating your team and achieving “super hero” results! This workshop is highly interactive, high energy, fun and fast paced. The takeaways for this workshop are: • Learn tools that will help you to more fully engage in your own career • Develop your “super hero powers”, including character, competence, collaboration and creativity • Develop strategies and techniques to grow and enhance your leadership skills • Learn tools and tips to develop your team’s leadership skills and build a stronger team and organization • Achieve “super hero” results for you and your team, both personally and professionally"


B6 - Living Intentionally
Elia Moreno - Community Engagement Manager, Cal Farley's

Living Intentionally: Mastering the art of impacting others in just 90 seconds If we can commit to the briefest of moments to use all of our senses in an effort to serve others, we not only help others find hope, we inevitably find our own purpose in life. Learn how 9 principles in just 90 seconds can allow you a way to add value to all you encounter. These simple principles are not groundbreaking in isolation, but this method of incorporating them within a 90 second encounter offers a roadmap to a destination that few have been able to find. Because Texas ranks near the bottom in educational attainment levels and near the top in poverty levels our community’s must become more proactive and systemic in responding to this devastating plague. This session will include insight on the diverse types of poverty. This understanding will allow you to serve more effectively across race, poverty, gender, and generational barriers. It will also provide a different filter for audience members to address poverty; a filter without blame or judgment that allows professionals to better connect with people living in poverty.


B7 - News Reporters: A Tribute to Those Who Keep Government in Check
Ann Hatchitt - Communications Manager, Texas Department of Transportation Traffic Operations Division
Lona Chastain, Assistant General Counsel and Open Records Coordinator, Texas Workforce Commission

News Reporters: A Tribute to Those Who Keep Government in Check (Character, Competence - Communications) As professional women in Texas government, many of us provide information to our agency Media Relations offices that they use to respond to the media. Because of the influence reporters wield, media inquiries often add a higher level of caution from agency executives. As a former broadcast and print journalist and a state agency communications director, Ann will discuss the importance of timely and accurate responses to the media, in order to display character, competence, accountability, and transparency to the citizens of Texas we serve.


B8 - Executive Decisions: Improving Choices in a Speedy World
Andre Piazza - Marketing Senior Manager, Dell Software

Decisions are everywhere. The trademark of these days is that every person is burdened by choices and pressed to make decisions that satisfy an increasing number of other people at a pace that is hard to keep up. This presentation will give you five pointers based on scientific findings to take your decisions (personal, financial, professional) to new heights increasing your ability to lead others, reduce stress and ultimately reclaim life. These five pointers are aligned with the four C's of Leadership of the 2016 Conference: Character, Competence, Collaboration, and Creativity.


B9 -Having "The Conversation"
Amy Praskac - Owner/End-of-Life Planner, On the Record Advance Planning and Mary Koffend Accountable Aging Care Management

No, we’re not talking about discussing sex with your teenager. We’re talking about discussing aging and end-of-life concerns with your parents. When is the right time to discuss aging and end-of-life concerns with your parents? How do you bring up issues such as finances and long-term care? What about burial versus cremation? Who should be included in the conversation? Just family members or do you bring in a professional? Join Amy Praskac and Mary Koffend as they share tips on Having “The Conversation.” You will have an opportunity to develop a plan and practice your “lines.” Resource sheets provided.


B10 - Top 10 Tips for Drafting and Implementing a New Ethics Policy
Toya Bell - Deputy Chief Ethics Officer, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Top 10 Tips for Drafting and Implementing a New Ethics Policy In 2015, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission established the HHS Ethics Office. One of the first objectives of the office was to draft and implement a new agency ethics policy. This presentation will reflect on that experience by highlighting the top 10 tips for successfully re-thinking your current policy, as well as drafting and implementing a new ethics policy. Discussion topics will include strategic decision making, identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders, developing and implementing a creative communications plan, and managing for success.


B11 - Attitude is Everything: Learn the 10 Positive Attitude Principles and What Happy People Do Differently. - SOLD OUT!
Brenda Grays - Sr. Customer Service Representative, Texas A&M Extension Service

I propose to present an overview of Service Attitude, understanding attitudes and how important a person's attitude greatly affects their behavior and, in, turn service excellence. Before we can hope to alter our attitudes, we must first understand how the term is being define, how different attitudes are created, and how they can be identified. Attitude greatly affects people's physiology and psychology, which significantly influences their behavior and the level of service excellence they provide. Along with this overview I will also share how many external factors can impact attitude, ultimately, attitude is a conscious choice that can be constructed by the individual. A negative attitude can adversely affect service excellence just as a positive one can favorably affect it. We will take a look at What Happy People Do Differently and Ten Positive Attitude Principles.


B12 - Tap into your true character to transform your competence, collaboration and creativity
Stacy Duhon - Principle, Stacy Duhon Coaching

This workshop is designed to inspire, empower and energize the participants in their leadership. The conversation will support participants to identify their true character. Their true character refers to those gifts & strengths they already have. The intent is for them to be clear they don’t need ‘one more class’ or ‘to read one more book’–the gifts are already within. The inquiry is done through light, playful self-reflection and group-interaction. We explore how these gifts can bring competence and inspired action to their leadership. Inspired leadership will have them be confident in their collaborations and creative in their solutions.

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Session C (2:45 - 3:45 pm)


C1 - A Roll of the Dice: Ethical Decision Making
Lilly Cisneros - Program Specialist III on Certification and Leadership Team, Department of Family and Protective Services

Ethical decision making involves personal values and is integral to leadership and the development of trust. Decisions may be based on our history, religious beliefs or what we think others would want us to do like a parent, teacher, or supervisor. Most ethical decision making is done internally. This leads us to make decisions based on our feelings and emotions in a subjective process. We rarely expose the dilemma to the light of day where we can see it, talk about it, write about it and become more objective about the decision. This workshop will focus on decision making strategies.


C2 - The Art of Collaboration
Shahara Wright - CEO, The CEO Effect, LLC

Collaboration is the new it word of 2016. Many people use the term as a synonym for referrals. If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. But that is not what collaboration is. Collaboration is a state of mind, a mode of doing business, and a set of principles that lead to the betterment of all. In this presentation you will learn the five strategies to effectively collaborate and how to implement those strategies into your business or work environment. You will leave with practical steps that you can apply immediately and create a true collaborative atmosphere for your team.


C3 - Ready, Set, Liftoff: Overcome the Barriers to Your Professional Development - SOLD OUT!
Reginald Walker - President, RM Walker Training & Facilitation

Criteria: Professional Growth Have you ever felt like you were in a rut in your career? Have you ever felt like everyone was passing you by and up the ladder of success? In Ready, Set, Liftoff you will gain insight on how their behavior can either hold them back in their career but most notably how they can "change" course with better results. You will learn the importance of personal empowerment and gain a better understanding of how to succeed in organizations. Objectives Provide at least 3 expected goals and/or outcomes for participants. • Clearly identify what’s been holding you back in your career • Explore a different path with better results • Enhance your leadership and follow-ship skills • Identify a strategy that would enhance your professional development Marketing Strategy Course is fast paced and fun Opportunity to engage new relationships Can spend time focusing on the most important person in your life - yourself! Provides an opportunity to develop a draft plan for professional growth Gain good source reference and suggested reading material.


C4 - Fairy Tales, Glass Slippers & Big Foot Women
Sylvia Dickey Smith - Ms., Retired, Human Services Field, Sole Proprietor, Sylvia Dickey Smith, Author/Speaker/Writng Teacher

Women often grow weary of society’s misguided expectations of the strong woman. As a result, such women long to embrace the shadow that lurks behind them when they look in the mirror, or trots behind them down the long lonely halls of government. Healthy instincts, passion, creativity, authenticity and ageless knowing linger in those shadows, awaiting re-discovery. Three re-imagined fairy tales, along with the power and use of color and sensory detail provide breadcrumbs to such rediscovery and development of that deep, most powerful part of being strong women.


C5 - Agency Growth When an Internal Investigation is Triggered
Natalie Lynch - Senior Investigator, Lynch Service Company

This presentation will first, and briefly, discuss an employer's duty to investigate claims of harassment, discrimination, and workplace hostilities. From there, I will discuss how that duty often plays out within government agencies and the roll of external investigators. The majority of the discussion will focus on the benefits an agency or workgroup should receive from the investigation. Part of this topic will examine the quality and ethical standards of a workplace investigation that employers should demand of all investigations. An equal part of this topic will discuss growing the group after a workplace investigation is concluded. Subtopics will include timing of investigations, workplace cohesiveness, growth after bad or shocking findings, and a culture of transparency.


C6 - How to Future-Proof Your Career in a Globally Shifting World
Sharon Schweitzer - Global Etiquette Expert & Best-Selling, Internationally Award Winning Author of Access to Asia, Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, LLC

Five of the 11 fastest growing cities and towns in the nation are in Texas. Ethnicities categorized as “Other” account for 13.3% of the Texas population - twice that of the U.S. as a whole. Which means if you choose to stay in Texas, relocate, or even work overseas - your ability to communicate and collaborate with people from a different cultural background is an increasingly important career skill. Join award-winning author Sharon Schweitzer as she shares the creative secrets to cross-cultural communication and competence essential to future-smart leaders.


C7 - The PQ Factor - Stop Resisting and Start Persisting!
Byron Van Arsdale - CEO, LeadGreatMeetings.Com, Lead Great Meetings

Coping with change is bitter sweet. On one hand, you feel amazing when you DO negotiate the change smoothly. Yet on the other hand, the memory of procrastination and the emotional roller coaster from past unsuccessful attempts always seems to haunt us. What if you could consciously tap into your best self each time you dealt with changes? Join us for an engaging discussion on how your strengths and optimism give you the persistence to eliminate procrastination and successfully navigate changes!


C8 - Being Powerful in the Face of Anything - SOLD OUT!
Janet Zaretsky - Business Success Coach, Owner The Zenith Business, The Zenith Business

A common issue leaders deal with is reacting. You might have had experiences where someone said or did something, and you took it personally or got upset. Sometimes you even discover later that you misinterpreted what was said or what was done. When this happens, you have no power. It is frustrating and costly. In this interactive presentation, you will discover why you react and learn practical ways to harness your reaction. When you can stop reacting, you reclaim your power. When you have power you create powerful responses and engage in meaningful dialogue.


C9 - I Like it Like That: Social Media In the Workplace
Jamie Richards Whitney - Contract Law and Employment Law Attorney, Richards Whitney, P.C.

I Like It Like That: Social Media In the Workplace In 2016, every business and government entity has not only a website, but a social media presence. I follow the Austin Police Department on Twitter, the City of Austin on Instagram, and the CDC on Facebook. But an organization's official social media presence is only the tip of the iceberg. The individuals who make up an organization also contribute to its internet persona by posting, sharing, and "liking" content online. That can be a great thing-- every employee can potentially boost the signal on a critical message. But it can also backfire. What happens if an employee posts-- or just "likes"-- something embarrassing or even illegal? Setting intelligent policies for employee conduct online is crucial. When do employees speak for the organization? When are employees entitled to free, individual speech on issues that affect the organization? What responsibility does an organization have to police hate speech or violent speech on its employees' individual social media accounts? How can employees boost the signal on an organization's key messages? This presentation explores these questions using real-world examples of what works (and what hurts) in the world of social media.


C10 - Positive First Impressions - SOLD OUT!
Shalyn Bridges - Owner & Etiquette Instructor (as a state employee: Law Librarian & Certified Legal Assistant), Bridges Etiquette & Academics (as a state employee: Texas Legislative Council)

Studies of human behavior reveal that most people know within only seven seconds how they feel about someone they've just met - seven seconds! - and as the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression," so it is important that we make every second count. This interactive session will cover a variety of professional etiquette skills including introductions and conversation, posture and body language, personal presentation, and if time allows cocktail party etiquette. Together, we'll discuss and practice key skills for making a positive first impression.


C11 - Paths to Innovation
Chan McDermott - Leadership Development Program Manager, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

Innovation has become a bit of a buzzword lately. We think of it as critical for high-tech and other cutting edge industries. But what does innovation mean to the those of us who aren’t in those fields? Who are in the public sector? What does it take to be innovative? The truth is, innovation matters to all of us - and all of us have the ability to be innovative. This presentation will help you better understand the concept of innovation and give you some tools for being more innovative in your work - and maybe in your life!


C12 - Love Family Money
Darleen Gilmore - Certified Financal Planner, Austin Wealth Specialists

Over the past 40 years, shifting demographics and profound attitudinal changes, have helped redefine the concept of "family" for many Americans. For many people, talking about money can be uncomfortable. But discussing today's families' financial challenges and opportunities, can be eye-opening and valuable. In addition to the traditional families, six unique family types have been identified and their financial concerns will be explored - multi-generational, single parent, same sex, blended families, older parents w/younger children, and boomerang families. Understanding the the dynamics of the six unique family types and how money impacts them differently, will help managers understand the needs of their staff.

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