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EWTG Star June 2016
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In This Issue

President's Corner EWTG Founder EWTG Sponsorship
Monthly Luncheon The Affiliates - Brazos Valley From the Director's Chair
The Power of Collaboration Annual Conference Update Executive Success Teams
New and Renewing Members Scholarships Volunteer
Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors
President's Corner

Jennifer Dormer


What does TRUST mean to you?

There are two dictionary definitions of trust and they both apply to our membership and the organization as a whole.

1. Believe that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.
2. An organization that results from the creation of trust.

Many parts of our organization depend heavily on trust. One good example would be our Executive Success Teams. If you were able to attend our Kickoff in May you would have heard Clare Dyer talk about the importance of trust in your teams… “What’s said in your team stays in your team”. The EST teams get together monthly to have professional or social discussions. There might be a time where a team member would like to discuss something about work that they would not want to get out to other people. That team member would have to know that her team would not pass on that information and that they supported her fully. That is trust.

I attended a team building class recently and the course stressed the importance of trust in the team and organization. While in the class I thought about the different teams I am part of…not just my team at work. EWTG is a big team we are members of and we all need to trust each other to do our part to keep the organization sound and beneficial to its members. Trust flows not only through the board but the conference committees and membership.

I wanted to share the behaviors discussed in the class to see if they speak to you like they did to me. These 13 behaviors of trust come from Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust book.

The 13 Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders

  1. Talk Straight: Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.
  2. Demonstrate Respect: Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can’t do anything for you. Show kindness in the little things. Don’t fake caring.
  3. Create Transparency: Be open and authentic. Declare your intent. Let down your guard. Admit mistakes publicly. Be transparent in your communication. Live by the principle, “What you see is what you get.”
  4. Right Wrongs: Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution as needed.
  5. Show Loyalty: Give credit to others. Routinely recognize the contributions others make to your success. Don’t gossip.
  6. Deliver Results: Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Accomplish what you’re hired to do. Be on time and within budget. Don’t make excuses.
  7. Get Better: Continuously and meaningfully improve your systems and processes. Increase your capabilities.
  8. Confront Reality: Take the tough issues head on, including the “elephants in the room.” Address the tough stuff courageously and get it out in the open.
  9. Clarify Expectations: Disclose your expectations. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared. Discuss them. Validate them. Don’t violate expectations of others.
  10. Practice Accountability: Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results – good or bad – without blaming or finger-pointing.
  11. Listen First: Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Don’t presume you know what someone is going to say.
  12. Keep Commitments: Say what you’re going to do, then do what you say, keeping commitments at all costs.
  13. Extend Trust: Trust abundantly those who have earned it; extend trust conditionally to those who are earning it. Take stock of the situation; consider the risk and credibility of the people involved and then lean toward trusting rather than withholding trust.

The connection between members and their trust of each other is vital to accomplish the organization’s goals. Whether you are a board member, committee chair, committee member or a participating member, EWTG’s success depends on trust.

When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.
– Blaine Lee

Jennifer Dormer
2016 EWTG President

ewtg founder karen johnson has died

Karen R. Johnson, who helped found EWTG in 1984, an EWTG Woman of the Year and was featured at the 2015 EWTG Conference, passed away Sunday evening. Details of her services are unknown at this time.

Karen was the best kind of leader — knowledgeable, hard-working, dedicated, with a wonderful sense of fun and humility. A graduate of the University of Texas and a Distinguished Law Graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, Karen served as Assistant Comptroller for Legal Services to Comptroller Bob Bullock, was an Assistant Attorney General, and a special assistant for the Governor. She was a “go to” person for her talent for managing policy and people, as she was the first woman president of the Travis County Bar Association, a member of the State Bar Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and the first woman Executive Director of the State Bar.

Earlier this year, Karen was featured as the Leadership Texas / Leadership America Woman of the Month. At the same time, she received the Distinctive Lawyer Award by the Austin Bar Association.

Karen’s interests reached beyond law and government. She was president of Entergy, Texas, an investor owned electric power company, and was a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Advisory Board.

In addition to EWTG, Karen volunteered her time in many charitable endeavors. She was named Volunteer Extraordinaire by the Junior League of Austin. For almost 13 years, she was the president and CEO of United Ways of Texas. She also served on the boards of the Texas State Museum Foundation, Global Impact, and Power Across Texas.

EWTG sends her family and numerous friends both our condolences for her passing and our cheers of congratulations for a life so well lived.

- Laure McLaughlin, former president (2015)


What is sponsorship? Webster defines sponsorship as the position of being a sponsor or financial support received from a sponsor. We may define it with our logo, banners, streaming our monthly luncheons, with specifics outlined in articles in our newsletter or with our annual conference. Sponsorship cannot be defined with a single label. Sponsorships have become an integral component of EWTG. It is advertising that seeks to establish a deeper relationship between us and a company or organization which normally involves more than a coordinated effort beyond signage. It means making contact by phone, email and regular mail.

This year, the Development Committee has reached out to many possible sponsors, but the response has been minimal. Sponsorship is necessary in order to sustain the vital benefits that are representative of EWTG. Those benefits include a monthly Luncheon that is held the fourth Wednesday of each month which allow EWTG members and guests to take advantage of a lunch networking opportunity while learning from a distinguished guest speaker. We invite our Sponsors to the luncheons to highlight their support and as an opportunity to meet some of our EWTG members. A monthly Mini-Course that is held the second Wednesday of each month which are educational events to provide training to the EWTG membership. Also, we offer EWTG Scholarships that are awarded to members to support professional and personal development and to enhance their skills. Lastly, there is our Annual Conference which is a culmination of several groups including the Board, the Conference Committees, the EWTG Committees and the membership to showcase the efforts and hard work these groups provided throughout the year. This event is also where we promote and recognize our generous sponsors for their support.

With all of this being said, the Development Committee is reaching out to the EWTG membership for support in building our sponsorship for this year. While the economy has been battered, sponsorship has somewhat slowed down, but we are still moving forward in spite of this trend. If you know of a company or an organization that would be interested in sponsoring EWTG, please submit the name of the company/organization, a contact name and a contact number along with your contact information to We look forward to hearing from our membership, and we thank you for your support!


The Development Committee
Shawana Abrams & Robin Smith, EWTG Co-Chairs

monthly luncheon
Designing Your Ideal Life – One Minute at a Time
June 22, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Betty Lynn Smith, MBA, PMP
CEO of Coach Biz Solutions, Inc., Creator of the

Our legacies are written in how we choose to spend the minutes in every day. Either consciously or unconsciously, we all make compromises on how our time is spent. Your ultimate success and happiness, both personally and professionally, depends on the degree to which you are able to achieve peak personal productivity. In this presentation, you will learn that the single biggest “secret” of success is related to the use or misuse (or abuse by others) of your time. You will be armed with techniques and proven steps you can apply to defeat these “time vampires” to help you make more focused choices on how your time is spent.

Becky Lynn Smith has worked as an IT leader for world-class organizations, run multi-million dollar projects, coached small business owners, and gained experience in multiple industries including information technology, banking, investments, energy, and automotive distribution. Becky has mastered personal productivity.

Submitted By Karen Howard
EWTG Program Director

the affiliates
Executive Women in Texas Government - Brazos Valley
Brenda Grays - President
Strengthening Leaders

Thanks to the generous scholarships provided for professional development by EWTG, Brazos Valley Affiliate members Alsie Bond and Debbie Eller were competitively selected to participate in Leadership America 2016, along as a group of 58 women from 18 states!  Throughout the year-long program, they will have the opportunity to broaden their perspective and enhance their recognized leadership skills as the program visits three of our nation’s key cities. Each city’s agenda will feature some of our nation’s leading decision-makers and future-forward thinkers who will provide our participants cutting-edge information to inform their professional and community leadership for years to come,” said Martha P. Farmer, Founding and Executive Director of Leadership America, now in its 28th consecutive year. 

Submitted By Grace Nobles
Affiliates Director

From the Director's Chair
The Development Committee

The Development Committee identifies and pursues funding, sponsorships and other sources of support for the annual conference and/or other aspects of the organization's programs. This committee reaches out to sponsors to assist with additional funds that support the organization financially. The committee also partners with other EWTG committees to ensure that sponsors are recognized and highlighted at different events held throughout the year by EWTG. The Development Committee is also recruiting committee members. If you are interested in joining the Development Committee please fill out a volunteer form and list the committee name. More information is located on our website

Submitted By Shawana Abrams & Robin Smith, Co-Chairs
Development Committee

The Power of Collaboration
Leadership - Two Perspectives



EWTG is proud to collaborate with The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs to host a leadership reception. We were fortunate last year to host a joint reception with Texas Legislators and their staff during the legislative session. This is another opportunity to connect with the community and expand our knowledge about local Leadership programs, particularly, the exciting and innovative Executive Master in Public Leadership (EMPL) program.

THE EXECUTIVE MASTER IN PUBLIC LEADERSHIP is a -“Focused, Forward-Looking, Fast-Paced” program within the LBJ School of Public Affairs. If you’re already a member of Executive Women in Texas Government, the LBJ School’s innovative Executive Master in Public Leadership (EMPL) may be your ticket to realize your dreams of taking responsibility and making change happen. Designed for working professionals, with classes on Friday evenings and weekends spaced throughout an intensive year, EMPL provides the skills, practical applications, and advice for a new generation of public leaders.

Submitted By Dokpe Ogunsanya
Membership Director

Annual Conference Update

"Exceptional Women Transforming Government - Celebrating Our Diamond Anniversary With Four C’s Of Leadership: Character, Competence, Collaboration, And Creativity"

The theme of this year’s conference is “Exceptional Women Transforming Government - Celebrating our Diamond Anniversary with Four C’s of Leadership: Character, Competence, Collaboration, and Creativity.” Conference workshops and speaker presentations will be centered on this theme. The Conference Committee is working hard to make this the best conference ever.

Conference participants will be able to listen and learn from industry leaders, network with other professionals, attend seminars and gain hands-on experience, receive leadership training, develop analytical thinking skills, and gain new ideas on how to solve problems and advance careers.

Submitted By Bobbe Walker
Vice President and Conference Chair

executive success team


The 2016 Executive Success Team (EST) kickoff event on Thursday, May 19, was attended by representatives from many of the teams.  Members from various teams sat together and held lively discussions on topics ranging from the latest adventures at Leadership Texas to the state of the Texas prison system to more personal conversations, in many ways typical of discussions one might find at an EST meeting.  Everyone enjoyed the evening.  Thanks to Mercie Zapata, Heather Jones, and Jennifer Dormer for helping set up the event.   

View Photo Gallery

Submitted by Clare Dyer
President-Elect and Chair of Mentorship Committee
New and Renewing Members

See Who Joined and Renewed in June 2016!

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 Email your 2016 second quarter application to the Scholarship Committee by 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2016.

EWTG Board Meetings

The EWTG Board holds its monthly meetings at the Mitte Carriage House 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.

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."

Board of Directors

Cheryl Taylor, Editor
Communications Director

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