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Meet the 2019 Board of Directors
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President - Karen Howard

Karen Howard - pic
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Karen Howard had been employed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Office for over 35 years. She is the current Supervisor and Training Coordinator in Tax Policy division for Taxpayer Services. Karen currently serves as the Special Events Coordinator for the Taxpayer Services. Prior to Karen accepting the supervisor position in Tax Policy, she worked in the Revenue Administration division for more than 33 years. Previously Karen served as the Special Events Coordinator in Revenue Processing and held the offices of Vice President and Secretary for Black American Comptroller Employees (BACE). In addition, Karen 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 the Electronic Content Management System (ECMS) Transition Team chair and the Employee Relations and Training Coordinator in Revenue Processing.

In 2009, Karen began 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 held that position for 5 years. She further expand her knowledge and networking skills, she accepted the following positions 2015 EWTG Mini Course Director, 2016 Program Director and the 2017 Vice President - Conference Committee chair.

Karen is a proud graduate of the 2016 Leadership Women Program. This program was established to advance women as leaders locally and statewide. Karen trained on diverse topics, issues, and challenges that her community’s face that would assist her with future endeavors. Traveling to San Antonio, Amarillo, and Corpus Christi to meet elected and appointed officials, provided a better understanding how to serve her local community. The training sessions have influence Karen’s career, personal life and community.


President-Elect – Audrey Selden

Audrey Selden - pic

Audrey Selden is an attorney and distinguished public servant. She served as the Texas Assistant Secretary of State and later as Deputy Commissioner, Texas Department of Insurance, Compliance Division. During her tenure with the State of Texas, Selden led and was recognized for innovative projects ranging from organizational excellence, agency change management, disaster response and diversity and inclusion education. She currently consults with academic institutions and government agencies on leadership, equity and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Selden has a demonstrated commitment to women in government. She served on the 2018 Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG) Conference Committee, President’s Advisory Committee and Scholarship Committee. She is a former EWTG Board Member and is the immediate past president of Leadership Women, Inc. She is a graduate of the 1992 Leadership Texas class; a 2004 Leadership America graduate and completed five Leadership International programs. Selden continues to coach and mentor executives. Selden earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard University and an MPA and BA from Michigan State University.


Vice-President – Kim Kizer

Kim Kizer - pic

After more than 20 years with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, and working with 16 Secretaries of State, Kim joined the Texas County and District Retirement System (TCDRS) in September of 2009 as the Director of Employer Services.

Kim is responsible for ensuring the highest of quality service for our customers—more than 780 employers and serving 294,000 members and retirees. During Kim’s tenure at TCDRS, we have launched many new business processes, including a new employer website, a new member website, an online Plan Customizer, online enrollment of members and brand new, an online retirement for members.

In addition, Kim has developed and implemented employer outreach and education programs on an ongoing, annual basis, in addition to hosting the annual TCDRS Conference for our Decision Makers and Administrators of our system. 

Kim has served in various capacities, most recently as Immediate Past President on the Board of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP),  Texas Lone Star Capital Chapter. Kim is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.  


Financial Officer – Carol K. Harper

Carol Harper - pic
Office of Court Administration

Carol Harper is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Office of Court Administration. Carol earned her BBA in Radio, TV, and Film from the University of North Texas, is a 2014 graduate of the Texas Fiscal Officers Academy, and is working on her Certified Government Financial Manager certification. Since joining EWTG in 2014, Carol has served on the conference registration, membership, and finance committees and is a member of an EST.


Secretary-Treasurer – Deana Sanders

Deana Sanders - pic
Austin Water

Deana Sanders has held a variety of positions in the IT industry supporting the public sector either as a consultant or as an employee, where she enjoys the complexity of serving an agency’s constituents while bring a consultant’s mindset to that organization. She is currently a GIS Project Manager with the City of Austin working on projects related to mobile devices, data models, and workflow improvement. She has a BS in Geology from Millsaps College and an MS in Geology from the University of Memphis. She is a member of P.E.O., Executive Women in Texas Government, Austin Women in Technology, and the Leadership Texas Class of 2018.


Affiliates Director – Shalyn Bridges

Shalyn Bridges - pic
Texas Legislative Council

Shalyn K. Bridges was born in Galveston County, Texas and grew up in La Marque Texas. She currently serves in the position as a Senior Paralegal & Law Librarian working for the Texas Legislative Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History & Politics from Cornell College and a Master of Library and Information Science from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Paralegal and is also a certified etiquette consultant. She has been a member of EWTG since 2009 serving on the Affiliates, Programs, Public relations, Communications and Community Service Committees to. She also served on the EWTG Board of Directors as the Public Relations Director in 2017. In addition to her membership with EWTG, she serves the community through the Austin Junior Forum, The State Agency Libraries of Texas and is the Owner & Instructor of the Bridges Etiquette & Academics, LLC.


Communications Director – Marie Cohan

Marie Cohan- pic
Texas Department of Information Resources, CFO Division

Marie Cohan is a Program Manager for the Texas Department of Information Resources, CFO division. She started her career as an Accountant with the Travis County Auditor's office and quickly moved into an IT role as a Business Analyst for Travis County's ITS department. Over the next 20 years she served in Financial Accounting and IT consulting roles for both the private and public sectors and is a founding partner in two ERP consulting firms. Marie has volunteered in the Austin community for over 20 years mentoring girls, providing free Accounting services, and serving on various boards. She is an active member of EWTG serving as: Communications Director (2018), Educational Committee Chair (2017), and conference speaker (2017 & 2018). Marie is a member of PMI, Austin Women in Technology, Leadership Texas (class of 2017), Ellevate Network, and an Austin Lean In circle. Marie is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has earned several leadership awards from Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Marie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting with a concentration in Information Systems from the University of Texas at San Antonio, holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate, and an Executive Certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University.


Membership Director



Mini-Course Director – Mary Sampson

Mary Sampson - pic
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

With her combined passions for professional development and life-long learning, Mary Sampson’s focus is always on developing, implementing, and facilitating training courses that create a compelling learning environment for each learner. She achieves this, in part, with engaging and interactive learning that is purpose-driven, story-based, and applicable to state organizational culture.

As a senior instructor in Organizational Development and Training division, Mary facilitates Team Lead, Management Development, Customer Service, Time Management, Managing Change Initiatives and Positive Conflict Resolutions courses.

Mary holds a Masters of Arts degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership from the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado and is currently a doctoral candidate in Organizational Leadership and Development with Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Her tenure in state government has included increasingly responsible positions with Texas State University, Texas Department for Aging and Disabilities, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulatory, Texas Department of Insurance, and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. She served successfully in managerial roles for Travis County Juvenile Probation and Denver Human Services.


Program Director - Patrice Toles

Patrice Toles - pic
Comptroller of Public Accounts

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. In 2018, Patrice was nominated again by Comptroller Hegar as an Outstanding Woman in Texas Government in the category of Outstanding Community Involvement. April 2018, Patrice received certification for completing a course in mental health first aid for youths offered by Mental Health First Aid USA. The course prepared her to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental distress and to support youths living with a mental health or substance abuse disorder as well as their families. In January 2017, Patrice was elected to the Executive Women in Texas Government board of directors as financial secretary. In 2016, Patrice was nominated by Comptroller Hegar as an Outstanding Woman in Texas Government in the category of Outstanding Community Involvement and was a graduate of the 2016 Leadership Texas program. 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. 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.


Public Relations Director – Jori Mundy

Jori Mundy - pic
Health and Human Services Commission

Jori Mundy is Associate Director of Health Services Systems at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and is a recent graduate of a leadership academy program with HHSC. Since joining EWTG in 2016, Jori has served on both the Public Relations and Communications committees and is a member of an EST.


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