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2017 Board of Directors
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President, Clare Dyer

Clare Dyer worked in state government for 32 years, recently retiring from the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council as a Deputy Director and the Manager of the Mapping and Redistricting Section, where she worked on redistricting issues for the Texas Legislature.  Clare graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Affairs from the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs.  She has been an EWTG member since 2000 and served previously on the EWTG Board as President-Elect, Treasurer, Financial Officer, and Communications Director, as well as serving as a member of the Silent Auction, Educational Events, Development, and Community Service committees.  Clare is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Texas, and in 2016, she was honored to receive the Legislative Staff Achievement Award from the Research and Committee Staff Section of the National Conference of State Legislatures.


President-Elect, Deborah Shaw-Boatner

Deborah started her career as an Auditor at the State Comptroller’s Office. Over the next 37 years she has served in key positions for various state agencies in public accounting, auditing and management including: the former State Treasury, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Lottery Commission before returning once more to the State Comptroller’s Office from where she retired as a Training Coordinator and Requirements Analyst.  Since Deborah first joined EWTG in 1988, she has participated in a variety of committees fostering Education, Membership, Mini-Courses, Sponsorship Development, Scholarships, and the Annual Conferences. She has held board positions as Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Officer, and Membership Director. Outside of EWTG, Deborah is active on other boards for the Austin Delta Foundation, the Greater Austin YWCA, and the Black American Comptrollers Employees Association consistently demonstrating her support of advancing the personal and professional development of women.


Vice President, Karen Howard

Karen Howard has been employed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Office for over 34 years. She currently is a Supervisor and Training Coordinator in Tax Policy/Taxpayer Services Division. She manages over 30 employees in a call center environment. Prior to Karen moving to the Tax Policy division, she worked in the Revenue Administration division for more than 33 years. In addition, she serves on several panels and committees. A few of her accomplishments include; Special Events Coordinator for the Taxpayer Services and Revenue Processing Division and Vice President and Secretary of Black American Comptroller Employees (BACE). She earned the title of “Certified Trainer” for her diligent work in developing training manuals and facilitating training classes for Revenue Processing and Revenue Administration. Karen was also the Electronic Content Management System (ECMS) Transition Team Chair. In 2009, Karen started her tenure with EWTG as a volunteer on the Conference Program Committee. She enjoyed being a volunteer; and shortly thereafter became the Conference Program Committee Chair. She has currently held that position for 4 years. To further expand her knowledge and networking skills, Karen accepted the position on the 2015 EWTG Board of Director as the Mini Course Director. In addition, Karen was nominated to the 2016 EWTG Board of Director as the Program Director.

In 2016, Karen participated and graduated from the Leadership Women Program. This program provided educational and development opportunities for her. She visited San Antonio, Amarillo, Corpus Christi. She graduated from the program in November 2016 in Austin, Texas with women from throughout the state of Texas. The program was established to advance women as leaders and expanded throughout state government. Karen received educational training on diverse topics, issues, challenges and opportunities that impacted her work, personal life and community. Karen currently serves on the 2017 Board of Director as the Vice President of the Conference Committee.


Financial Officer, Terri Peirce

Terri currently serves the State of Texas as a Judicial Information Data Analyst at the Office of Court Administration. Her current duties include supporting the newly formed Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission studying cases involving individuals who were wrongfully convicted.  She previously worked at the Department of Information Resources where she served for a short time as their Customer Information Coordinator.  Additional state service includes: the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Licensing and Regulation.  She has 15 years’ experience working for law firms collecting defaulted student loans and court fees and fines.  She graduated from St Edwards University with a BA in Management.


Secretary-Treasurer, Patrice Toles

Patrice Toles supervises staff members in the Texas Comptroller's Tax Policy Division. Since joining the Comptroller's office in January 2008, Patrice has exemplified the ideals of public service through a tireless commitment to community values. In addition to her extensive volunteer work, Patrice finds time to serve as an active member of Executive Women in Texas Government, participating on the conference program committee each year since 2013. She also acted as interim financial secretary for the Black American Comptroller Employee Association, Inc. (BACE), before being sworn in as its financial secretary in January 2014. Patrice is also a graduate of the 2015 CPA Leadership Academy and of the 2016 Leadership Texas program.  Also in 2016, Patrice was nominated by Comptroller Hegar as an Outstanding Woman in Texas Government in the category of Outstanding Community Involvement.

In addition to her volunteer work with EWTG and BACE, Patrice founded Standing in Faith, a teen empowerment organization for girls, in November 2011. Her goal is to enrich the lives of teen girls in Austin and the surrounding community with educational and mentoring programs, community involvement exercises, workshops and leadership conferences. Standing in Faith participates in the yearly Texas Conference for Women's Young Women's Program; provides socks, gloves and hats for the homeless during winter months; participates in the Handbags for Hope Program; and is a sponsor of the Thanksgiving Feast initiative, which feeds several hundred families, as well as other activities throughout the year. 


Membership, Bobbe Walker

Bobbe Walker has been in state government for 24 years. She has worked in Family and Protective Services with foster care billing and children's income almost the entire length of her career.  Bobbe and her husband Cliff have four children between them. They have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, but all live outside the state of Texas.  Bobbe has been associated with EWTG for eight years. During that time she has been Program Chair, served on the Conference Registration Committee, chaired the Registration Committee two years, and served as Vice President, in charge of the conference, for two years.  She credits her last promotion from the confidence she has garnered while serving in the various EWTG volunteer positions.


Communications Director, Cheryl Taylor

Cheryl Taylor is employed by the Department of State Health Services, in the Information Technology (IT) section. She has been with the agency for over 20 years where she has worked in several IT positions. Cheryl enjoys assisting her customers and offering IT solutions that makes a difference in the life of Texans.

Cheryl has been a member of EWTG for seven years. She has served on varies committees during this time. Cheryl feels she has learned something from each committee that could be applied to other areas of her life in general. She enjoys learning new techniques and concepts. She welcomes the challenges of working as the Communication Chair and the learning opportunities that comes with the position. In her spare time Cheryl volunteers at her church in the Media Department. She also love working with the elders. She has a passion for poetry. She likes writing poetry and plays in her free time.


Public Relations Director, Shalyn Bridges

Shalyn Bridges is an experienced law librarian specializing in legal and legislative research and government documents, and a certified paralegal certified by the National Association of Legal Assistants.  She is currently the Senior Paralegal in the legal division of the Texas Legislative Council where she has served the State of Texas since 1998.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and history from Cornell College in Iowa, and a Master of Library and Information Science from The University of Texas at Austin.  She is also an experienced etiquette instructor certified by the American School of Protocol and owner of Bridges Etiquette & Academics, LLC, which offers private instruction on the social and dining skills students need at various stages of development; academic tutoring for students in junior high through college in math, English, reading comprehension, and study skills; and consultation for those applying to college or to enter the job market on developing a resume, writing samples, and interviewing skills.  She is a graduate of Leadership Pipeline 2016.  In her free time, she enjoys travelling, photography, writing, literature, tennis, and community volunteerism.


Affiliates Director, Cindy Hale

Cindy Hale retired from state service in 2005. Her work experience concluded with ten months at the Department of Aging and Disability Services, following 29 years at the Department of Human Services/Health and Human Services Commission. Since retirement, she has served as a consultant to several private companies, providing her expertise to the Office of the Attorney General (Child Support Division), and HHSC’s Texas Home Visiting Program, as a business process analyst. An active member of EWTG since 1993, Cindy’s past service to the organization includes membership on the Conference Evaluation committees in 2006 and 2007, the Scholarship Committee in 2011, and the Affiliates Committee in 2016, as well as board membership as Communications Director in 2006 and Affiliates Director in 2014 and 2015. 


Programs Director, Barbara Chavis

Barbara Chavis is a results-oriented, high-energy, hands-on professional, with a successful record of accomplishments in directing the operations of organizations in public and private sector. She has been employed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for over 23 years. She is currently an Area Manager over Taxpayer Services, Tax Policy Division, and oversees the tax information call center.  During her 23 years, she has also worked in the Tax Policy, Enforcement, and Revenue Administration Divisions. Barbara has a versatile career which includes Assistant Director of Customer Service and Quality Assurance with Capital Transit Authority, Director of Franchise Communications with Schlotzsky’s, Inc., and Director of Operations for Executive Office Centers, Inc. She is a professional trainer and speaker and has received numerous leadership and customer service awards: “Waterford Crystal Award” for Outstanding EOC Annual Managers Meeting, Capital Metro Outstanding Performance Award, Excellence in Leadership Award, and Excellence in Customer Service Award. She has also served as the Treasurer of Black American Comptroller Employees (BACE), Vice President of the local Chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG), and Treasurer of the Order of the Easter Star (OES).

Barbara has been a member of EWTG since 1999 and an active volunteer serving on the EWTG Program Committee for seven years and the Mini-Course Committee for four years.


Mini-Course Director, Patricia Hayes

Patricia V. Hayes, J.D., is the Principal/Owner of PVH Consulting Group, LLC, a public affairs, management consulting and leadership development firm in Austin, Texas, where she supports executive-level leaders to achieve their personal, business and programmatic goals.
A licensed attorney, Patricia has been involved in the legislative and public policy arena in Texas for over 25 years and has served as a respected policy confidante, advisor and strategist to executive leadership at the state and national level in governmental, private and non-profit organizations, including a Lieutenant Governor, State Senator, Commissioner of Education and University System Chancellor. She served as the first African-American and female Vice Chancellor in the Texas State University System.

Patricia has taken her vast legislative and leadership experiences to create and expand her leadership development and public speaking offerings, creating a diverse set of online courses and trainings focused on advocacy and women’s empowerment issues.

Patricia first became a member of EWTG in 2006 and has been involved in all aspects of the organization, serving on committees and speaking at EWTG luncheons, mini-courses, and annual conferences. Her leadership experiences earned her a spot in the 2012 class of Leadership Texas and 2017 class of Leadership Austin. Previous leadership experiences include service as President of the Austin Young Lawyers Association and on the boards of the Texas Lyceum, Texas Young Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Association, Center for Child Protection and Texas Legal. Her current community engagements include serving as Board Chair of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, Community Advancement Network Board member, a Community Champion on the Central Health Equity Policy Council and as an E3 Alliance Blueprint for Educational Change Goal 3 Leader.


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