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2019 Annual Conference - Workshop Abstracts
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2019 EWTG Annual Professional Development Conference
Women Empowered: Charging Up!


November 24-25, 2019
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center & Spa, 1001 E McCarty Ln., San Marcos, TX 78666

Click on each session below to reveal the list of workshops and speakers.

A1 - Adding Connection, Networking and Mentoring to an "Abundant Life" Download Presentation
Jo Dale Guzman - Professional Development Manager, Texas State Auditor's Office
Location: San Marcos A


We all have full plates, aka abundant lives. We know that connection, networking and mentoring are great for our careers and our mental health. We know what we prioritize, we make happen. In this session, we'll talk tips for finding a networking group or community and finding room for that on your busy calendar. Learning Objectives: - Maximizing your calendar tools to prioritize connecting, networking and mentoring - Defining our values and goals to be intentional about our connecting, networking and mentoring - Tools for staying consistent

A2 - Being Financially FIT Understanding your Buckets of Savings and Retirement
Carol Bigley - Field Vice President, Appreciation Financial
Lynn Riley - Area Vice President, Appreciation Financial
Location: Veramendi A


  1. Understanding Basics of Money Management including Financial Workout Routine
  2. Having a Why to being financially FIT
  3. Understanding types of financial buckets for Saving, Risk Management and Retirement planning/goals

A3 - Doing Good, Well: Developing Public and Nonprofit Leaders Download Presentation
Craig Pedersen - Instructor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Location: Veramendi B


Doing Good, Well: Developing Public and Nonprofit Leaders Abstract For over a year the presenter has been involved in a focused exploration of what defines effective public and nonprofit leadership. They view leadership in the context of organizational excellence. He is writing the book he wished he had when he was a new leader. It is a book that describes the essential qualities of effective leadership with stories of leaders in action. This project builds on interviews with quite a few successful leaders – interestingly, most of whom are women. Because he is now involved in the training and education of leaders, he wanted to understand successful leadership in practice and how to assist others to achieve that goal. What he found showed a wide gap between the popular perception of effective leaders and the reality of what works. This presentation focuses on three key learning objectives:

  1. The best leaders create high performing organizations. What are the attributes of the best public organizations?
  2. What are the attributes and competencies of the leaders of those organizations?
  3. How do we develop such leaders both at the top and throughout all organizations?

The presenter will provide practical, implementable examples of doing this. What the best leaders know is that helping others become better leaders is part of their job. Each of the leaders highlighted focuses on bettering themselves and developing others. While these leaders all do a good job developing other leaders, none would be entirely satisfied with the resources available to their organizations to do so. One of the biggest conclusions he reached after my research is that we grossly underfund leadership development. Simply, if we want better leaders in Texas Government (and really everywhere) we need better leadership models -- the “what” and “how” of leadership. Then we need to study the best models and take that understanding and practice it as leaders. Leadership is learned best by thinking and doing, done together. The practical examples of effective leaders in action working at the state and local levels can be an important part of that educational effort.

A4 - Everything You Wanted to Know About Interviewing But Were Afraid To Ask Download Presentation
Mary Castleberry - Training Consultant, Train Mark Training and Facilitation Services
Location: Veramendi C


Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the key skills employers look for during job interviews
  2. Discuss what each interviewee should discuss during job interviews and
  3. Practice answering tough interview questions.

A5 - You've Received a Media Request- What Next?
Veronica Trevino - Media Manager
Location: San Marcos B


Social media is only as powerful as its users – the people who are watching, reading, sharing and taking action. The more people interact with your messages, the more people you reach, the more you can influence change. And while the external audience may be your primary target, your internal audience – your organization’s team – should not fall to the wayside. Through social media, you can engage and highlight the people who are directly impacted by your organization’s mission and culture and who care about the services it provides. Giving them the opportunity to share their stories not only showcases their work and the work of your organization, but it allows you to build relationships that can contribute to increased workplace loyalty and pride. Objectives:

  1. Learn how to create social media goals and processes to guide your team’s social media participation.
  2. Learn best practices for raising awareness about your social media presence and strategy within your team.
  3. Learn ways to empower and engage your team.

A6 - Intergenerational Co-working – Telling Truths Download Presentation
Amy Greene - Project Manager, Health and Human Services
Joelyn Weeks - Business Process Consultant, Marked Change Consulting
Location: Veramendi G


As of 2019 Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States. A birds-eye-view of our workforce would show Baby Boomers nearing retirement, Gen Xers leading organizations, Millennials flooding positions that affect important decisions, and Gen Zers cutting their teeth on the ground floor. It would also show the common goal of quality public service present in all generations. In this interactive workshop, we will announce a ‘Call to Action’ for successful work habits in an intergenerational work team. This workshop will focus on the successful habits of each generation, demonstrate successful projects completed as a result of intergenerational harmony, and announce a ‘Call to Action’ for each participant based on the stage of their career.

A7 - Leading With Heart: Building and Empowering a Winning Team Download Presentation
Scott Abel - Leadership and Innovation Manager, Texas Health and Human Services
Location: Veramendi H


  1. How to hire people with heart instead of just technical skills;
  2. How to forge deep connections with and among team members;
  3. How to empower team members for professional growth
  4. How to continually inspire - not motivate - your team for maximum performance

A8 - Quick and Easy Food Prep, With a Live Demo! Download Presentation
Alexis Schminke - Training Specialist VI, Texas Department of Public Safety
Location: Veramendi I


Participants will be able to state three key reasons why food preparation can be beneficial. Participants will leave with tips and tricks to easily food prep for the week. Participants will watch a live demonstration to see for themselves how easy and delicious seasonal cooking can be and they will take home the recipe so they can try for themselves! Work, family activities, long commutes among other things can make it seem like working women do not have time for food preparation. In this energetic and interactive presentation, you will see how food preparation can actually save time, money, and improve health for you and your family. If you think food preparation requires an entire day in the kitchen, get ready to be amazed! Alexis will give you tips and tricks that will help you to get healthy food on the table in as little time as possible. This session will be filled with different ways to food prep, resources that help with planning meals as well as a live demo of her favorite go-to weeknight meal, which Alexis will put together in about 10 minutes.

A9 - Speak Your Vision: How to Craft Your Presentation Message Download Presentation
Porscha Roney - Statewide Intake Community Engagement Specialist, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Location: Veramendi J


As a leader, communicating to audiences, big and small, is an integral part of what you do every day. There are many different bells and whistles that can be used. How do you decide what’s the best way to present your information? With all the options available, you don’t want your message to be lost in the process. During this presentation you will learn how to use slides, videos, pictures and handouts to enhance your message and make sure your audience walks away with the tools to remember what that message was. The presentation will be interactive and use videos and other examples to enhance learning. By the end the presentation you will be able to: plan your presentation to effectively convey your message; use visual aids, like PowerPoint, to enhance your presentation; and craft a handout so your audience leaves with what you want them to.

A10 - The Buying Strategy: How to get What you Need
Regina Durden - Consultant/Trainer, Bradshaw Solutions Group
Location: Chautauqua A


This workshop will provide participants with a clear understanding of how to get what they need to do their job. The information provided can be used as tools to recognize the buying process and to ensure that you get what you ask for when requesting equipment, goods or services. The workshop will look at the cost considerations, timeframes involved and the importance of effective communication. In addition, the workshop will provide strategies and tools to:

  1. Understand the requirements for buying;
  2. Distinguish between want and need;
  3. Recognize who’s involved in approving, buying and managing a contract; and
  4. Know how to engage and get involved in the process

A11 - What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube: Designing Your Online Reputation for Promotion Download Presentation
Grace Lanni - Branding Influencer, All About That Brand
Location: Chautauqua B


Gone are the days of wearing a lampshade at a party and simply confiscating the Polaroids. When something exciting happens, the entire party elevates their phones - some with selfie lighting to ensure the video is crystal clear. Whether or not you want to be transparent is often directly related to the success you can have at your current job, or in line for a promotion. Join Grace Lanni as she provides manual and tool-based solutions to monitor and manage your online reputation. Key takeaways include:

  1. Receive solutions to discover your online (and offline) reputation
  2. Understand how personal branding can shield you from negative comments
  3. Gain clarity on the topic of social transparency and what it means for you, your department & your career

A12 - Why Yes...I AM a Celebrity Supermodel (and so are you!) Download Presentation
Cindy Villanueva - Founder and Principal, Knockout Marketing Strategies
Location: Veramendi D


Join Cindy Villanueva, founder and principal of Knockout Marketing Strategies, as we explore the notion of personal branding. Learn how to become your own celebrity spokesmodel and bolster your career trajectory. You’ll have the opportunity to explore and identify your brand promise and the way you express it across the constellation of touchpoints. No matter what your role, level, or region, this workshop will empower you define, refine, and celebrate the uniqueness of you! Learn how to

  1. Identify your brand promise
  2. Professionally communicate your brand promise
  3. Become the best spokesperson to own your career trajectory

B1 - 3 Secrets to Get Out of the Alligator Pit – and Move On! Download Presentation
Carrie Vanston - The Alligator Wrangler
Location: San Marcos A


Running a business can be truly overwhelming. There are a multitude of frustrations, expectations, and personalities that can leave you feeling like you are in a proverbial alligator pit of too little time and way too much stress snapping at you. And it’s not your fault! We are often so stuck in the pit, we can’t see a way out. But there is a way out! By consciously shifting to an energizing mindset through proven techniques, you can get out, stay out and move on from the dreaded pit! This presentation will show you how to do that with 3 secrets: Secret #1: Getting Out of the Pit: How to Significantly Raise Your Energy and Decrease Stress Quickly and Effectively. Secret #2: Staying Out of the Pit: How to Easily Shift the Other Person’s Energy to Match Yours for True Win-Win Outcomes. Secret #3: Moving On From the Pit: How to Inspire Others to Follow You by Turbo-Charging Your ‘Whys.” Learn these three secrets and dramatically increase engagement, improve productivity, and drive growth in your organization. And just as importantly, increase your own and others’ happiness, fulfillment, and peace of mind. Join us for this interactive session and let’s GET OUT OF THE PIT AND MOVE ON!

B2 - Communicating in the Hot Seat: An Insider's Guide for Tackling Tough Topics Download Presentation
Carrie Williams - Chief Press Office, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Location: Veramendi I


How do you deliver hard or sensitive messages during a crisis? What you say and how you say drives how people view you, your organization and your values. And the right message at the right time can save lives. Whether it's talking to the news media, your stakeholders or even your family, some topics are hard to discuss because of their complexities and the emotions that may be involved. This is amplified during a crisis. This presentation will explore the best ways to communicate when you’re in the hot seat, how to get ready now for a communications challenge, and how to avoid common communications pitfalls. Objectives:

  1. Learn how to communicate during crisis situations.
  2. Learn how the modern news cycle and social media have changed how we communicate during an emergency.
  3. Learn how to maintain your core values, mission and messages when there is uncertainty or when faced with an emergency.

B3 - Dare to be Happy: Simple Mindfulness Tips for Busy People Download Presentation
Maribel Garcia Valls - Founder and Principal, Bee Happi Press, The Culture Coach
Location: Veramendi A


Mindfulness has become a trending buzzword in the last few years. Schools, businesses, and communities are practicing the tools of mindfulness to reduce stress and experience longer lasting moments of happiness. Just a few minutes a day can help improve our emotional and physical well-being. So, what is mindfulness? It is a practice of being present in the moment without judgement. There are so many ways to practice mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, journaling, adult coloring, and much more.

In this session, participants will learn some simple tips for practicing mindfulness every day, even when life gets busy. They will also learn the long-term benefits of maintaining a daily mindfulness practice that include:

  1. Poosting immune system
  2. Promoting self-healing
  3. Increasing concentration
  4. Reducing stress and anxiety
  5. Reducing blood pressure and heart rate
  6. Improving the cardiovascular system
  7. Increasing energy levels

B4 - Don’t Throw Away Your Shot! Leadership Lessons from Broadway’s Hamilton
Chan McDermott - Leadership Development Facilitator, Texas Health & Human Services Commission
Location: Veramendi B


Leadership lessons can come from anywhere, including the hottest show on Broadway today, Hamilton. The story of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Angelica Schuyler and Eliza Schuyler Hamilton – founding fathers and mothers of our country – is packed with leadership lessons that resonate today. Throughout the musical, we see characters making decisions around family, job and community that feel familiar today. We can enjoy the production while at the same time absorbing these lessons. This session will look at the history around these individuals and dive into the show’s lyrics to identify messages that can be applied to work and life and the critical decisions we face. Session objectives include:

  1. Identifying leadership lessons in Hamilton that are relevant today.
  2. Understanding the role of women on the founding of the United States.
  3. Exploring how leadership lessons can be derived from a variety of unlikely sources, including pop culture.
  4. Having a lot of fun discovering the wisdom found in Hamilton!

B5 - Imposter Syndrome Workshop
Darlene Templeton - CEO and Founder, Templeton & Associates
Location: Veramendi C


“She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can't seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are - impostors with limited skills or abilities.” - Sheryl Sandberg

The Impostor Syndrome is NOT about being successful, it’s about owning your own success! That’s a very different topic! This is a totally normal part of experiencing success, especially for women! You are already a "VERY HIGH ACHIEVING and VERY SUCCESSFUL woman” in all areas of your life. You are doing such AMAZING and GREAT things in your personal and professional life! So, please take the “quiz” below and if you answer “YES”, to any of the questions, then this workshop is a MUST for you!

  1. Do you still wake up in the middle the night anxious, concerned and worried that you don’t deserve your success?
  2. Do you always feel that you could have done better and are you critical of yourself?
  3. Do you feel like that your success is based on luck, timing or just “plain hard work”?
  4. Do you feel that everything you do must be “perfect”?
  5. Do you not take credit for your accomplishments/success?
  6. Do you feel like you fake it until you make it?
  7. Do you feel like you don't deserve your success?
  8. Do you feel like “they” will know that you are a fraud?

Everyone experiences The Impostor Syndrome, but we see it more dramatically in women. We will discuss The Impostor Syndrome in detail.

In this fast paced, interactive workshop you will learn how to own your own success, how to talk about your accomplishments and self promote, you will be more confident in your own skin, and create an action plan to go from “The Impostor Syndrome” to truly stepping into your own AMAZING self and your brilliance and be seen!!!

Please join us at this workshop, so that we can help and support each other as we continue be grow, both personally and professionally and be successful in our lives!

B6 - Level Up!: Low Tech Ways to Charge up Your Training and Outreach Presentations
Gina McCauley - General Counsel, Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC)
Location: Chautauqua A


Employee development and public education are essential goals of most state agencies. Texas government professionals face unique challenges when attempting to deploy the latest web and app-based training tools. Tools may be inaccessible on agency devices in order to preserve data security or require expensive licenses that bust budgets. The latest developments in brain science and adult learning can be leveraged without expensive audience response devices, apps or the internet. In this instructor-led, participant-centered session, attendees will experience low-cost interactive learning elements that do not require a software license, internet access or electricity. Say goodbye to “Death by PowerPoint!” You can accomplish great learning outcomes with an index card and a marker. Learning Objectives: Recognize existing agency resources that could be used to inject relevant interactive elements into any training or outreach presentation. Given a list of motivations for adult learners, attendees will rapidly design a simple interactive element that can be inserted into an existing training or public outreach presentation. Attendees will evaluate existing training or public outreach presentations and identify elements which are contrary to recent developments in brain science and target for elimination.

B7 - Living a Vision Driven Life
Laura Cole - CEO, Inspirational Outcomes
Location: Veramendi D


Learning Objective

  1. Create a three year vision by getting specific about what we would love to accomplish. This is not about what you think you can do, but what you would love to do. We will be doing an exercise that pushes us out of our comfort zone to expands our horizons on what we currently think is possible.
  2. Overcoming fear, doubt and worry. The presenter will talk about befriending our fear instead of running from it. We will use it as a tool to project us forward instead of stopping us in our tracks.
  3. Changing our thoughts of negativity into thoughts of gratitude. Gratitude is on the same energetic vibrations as abundance. We will learn to notice our negative thought patterns and words that we use, so they can be stopped and be transformed to something that better serves us. Focusing on gratitude and the abundance that is currently in our lives will be able to bring more into our lives.

B8 - Naked Networking
Kari Mirabal - Keynote Speaker, Kari Mirabal
Location: San Marcos B


Today's competitive business market demands results, and a powerful circle of influence can help you get there. Naked Networking, a high energy presentation that explores five networking mistakes and their solutions, challenges you to evolve while building and sustaining powerful connections. Learn a proven 3-step networking strategy, discover best practices for leveraging LinkedIn, and explore innovative ways to "network smarter". TOP AUDIENCE TAKEAWAYS Discover 5 networking mistakes (and solutions) to build powerful connections Learn a 3-step networking strategy Explore ways to overcome fear to network with confidence

For more information, please visit

B9 - One Degree of Difference: How Changing One Habit Can Change Your Life
Lacy Wolff - Health Promotion Administrator, Employees Retirement System
Location: Veramendi G


If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit or create a new one, you know that it is extremely challenging. This one-hour course dives deep into human psychology in a fun and interactive way to break down the science of our subconscious behavior (habits). Through an understanding of the human brain and what drives our behaviors, we have a better chance of successful change. Based on the most current research in neuroscience and behavior change, this workshop is intended to help participants discover how one degree of change can make a huge difference over time. Objectives- In this presentation, participants will:

  1. See how even one degree of change can make a huge difference over time.
  2. Consider how habits are formed: cue, craving, response and reward.
  3. Identify habits they would like to work on changing.
  4. Review strategies to integrate environmental triggers to make new habits stick and drive real change.

B10 - The Future of the Government Workforce is NOW! Download Presentation
Yesenia Reyes - Managing Director, North America Health and Public Service, Accenture
Liza Willmore - Manager, Health and Public Service, Accenture
Location: Veramendi H


Help state agencies develop the strategy to face the digital transformation while providing increased volume of quality service, training its staff, and doing it all within budget. The evolution of public sector service is changing rapidly. As digital becomes the driving force of businesses, there are increasing demands and growing number of stakeholders. What could state agencies do about bringing quality service at increased speeds and volumes while doing it on a budget? This session will guide you through the planning, development, and deployment of your digital citizens. Digital does not have to be done without people, it starts with the citizens – inside and outside.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: - Understanding the Top Digital Trends in Government - Planning for the Digital Transformation [Understanding Your Clients (Inside Staff and External Service Recipients)] - Preparing and Training Your Workforce

B11 - Why is it important to negotiate as a Woman and how? Download Presentation
Manu Shahi - Educator/Coach/Author, JS Learning Quest
Location: Chautauqua B


Why is it important for Women to Negotiate. Make the First offer; Use Positive Emotions to get to a "Yes" and work together as a team.

B12 - You Make Me So Mad! Emotional Intelligence for Women
Julie Burch - Professional Speaker and Author, Julie Burch Speaks!
Location: Veramendi J


Have you ever had a conversation with someone that made you so mad? You just wanted to scream, throw something or just burst in to tears? Well, you are not alone! And this is the program for you! In this dynamic, high energy, and highly interactive program the audience will learn what emotional intelligence is really all about. Where do those pesky emotions come from? What is the process to manage them effectively? And how do you deal with all those other people that just drive you crazy? Researchers and business experts agree that people with high emotional intelligence are consistently the top performers in their organizations. They’re more resilient and flexible when things get tough, and are held in the highest regard by their bosses, peers, co-workers, and others. Julie will share why emotional intelligence is far more than just a handy set of “people skills,” and why many executives feel it’s the one skill you must have to be successful in today’s workplace! Learn real world skills to manage your emotions, deal with other people’s emotions and never lose your cool again! The audience will learn a clear understanding of what the emotional process is and how to manage it. The skills to handle others’ emotions so they can resolve issues rather than escalate them. A new understanding of what emotional intelligence is, the 4 key components involved, where they have the power to make changes, and how to let it go!

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