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EWTG Star February 2017
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In This Issue

President's Corner EWTG Star Submissions Mini-Course
Monthly Luncheon Legislative Reception The Director's Chair
2017 Conference Committee Turn on the Lights Business Etiquette
The Training Room New and Renewing Members Scholarships
Volunteer Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors
President's Corner

Your EWTG Board of Directors have been working diligently to design a year’s worth of interesting events and inspiring programs for your edification and enjoyment in 2017. The Texas Legislature is in town, and our February mini-course speaker, Susan Biles, will be talking about current legislative issues. Early in March, we’ll be co-hosting a legislative reception at the Capitol with the L.B.J. School to honor a true Texas public servant and mentor to so many women, Patsy Spaw, the Secretary of the Senate. Details of this event are covered later in this newsletter. Our February luncheon speaker, Carla James, has been at the executive level in several state agencies and will be sharing her journey, which is sure to be interesting.

That said, it’s up to you to take advantage of these opportunities. You joined EWTG and paid your membership dues so that you could participate. If you were the recipient of a Scholarship in the past two or three years, one of the expectations is that you will continue to be active in the organization, so please don’t just take the money and run. Come to the luncheons, serve on a committee, and/or join an EST. If you have served on a committee in the past or participated in any of our events, such as the delightful cruise on Lady Bird Lake last October to see the bats, come join us as we kick off the 2017 year.

If you have not served on a committee, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to practice and hone your skills in a non-threatening environment with other women at your side. We are looking for people who would like to try their hand at a committee, perhaps reviewing scholarship applications, learning about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting on a conference for 900 people, or thinking of and planning an educational event to see a place you may have always wanted to know more about here in Austin or, if you are in one of our Affiliates, in your hometown.

As an organization composed of volunteers, we could really use your help. Let us know if you are able to step up this year by filling out the Committee Volunteer Form. I don’t think you’ll regret it one minute. Even if you aren’t able to work on a committee this year, do take advantage of our programs by making time to attend a few luncheons and mini-courses. We look forward to seeing you there.

Clare Dyer
2017 EWTG President

EWTG STAR Submissions

EWTG STAR loves to celebrate the accomplishments of our members. If you know of any members who have achieved any accolades, promotions, acknowledgments, recognitions or other achievements, please let us know. We want to share with other members.

Please send the information to with the subject line – EWTG STAR.

February submission deadline is February 17, 2017.

mini-course - february 8, 2017

85th Legislature Outlook


Susan Biles

Manager, Legislative Affairs and Program Strategy - Accenture

The 85th Legislature is here! This mini-course 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. Come get informed! 

Our featured speaker, Susan Biles, has 20 years of experience in governmental affairs and policy research with the State of Texas across multiple public sector issue areas. Her focus is on the development and passage of legislation, process improvement, and revenue enhancements. Her experience also includes management consulting and working as an adjunct professor of U.S. and Texas government, as well as teaching naturalization classes for immigrants seeking citizenship. Mrs. Biles holds a degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University.

Make plans to attend the EWTG mini-course on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The mini-course starts at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon and finishes promptly at 1:00 p.m. The session will be at the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina St., Tx. 78702. EWTG will provide pizza, loads of fresh green salad, and dessert for $10, or you can bring your brown bag lunch.

Reserve your seat and lunch selection today. Cancellations must be received twenty-four (24) hours before the event to get a refund for your pizza orders.

Online registration will end at 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 6, 2017.

Submitted By Denice Bettencourt
Mini-Course Director

Register Today

monthly luncheon - february 22, 2017

Then and Now – My Career Journey Leadership and Professional Development


Carla James

Deputy Executive Director - Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Carla James comes to TDLR from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, where she has served as the Appropriation Control Supervisor since 2012. She has extensive experience in Texas state budget and accounting policies and procedures related to appropriations and accounting functions.

Before working for the Comptroller, Carla served as Deputy Securities Commissioner and Director of Staff Services for the Texas State Securities Board (2003-2012). Carla has also served as the Executive Director of the Texas Incentive and Productivity Commission and as a Budget Analyst with the Legislative Budget Board.

Carla received her B. A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Steering Committee Member of the Texas Fiscal Officers Academy, Past President of the Texas State Agency Business Administrators Association, and a former board member of Executive Women in Texas Government.

The luncheon is held at the Austin Woman’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street, Austin, Texas, 78701 – view map (ample free parking is located at the rear of the building on Nueces Street between 7th & 8th Streets). Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. The program starts at noon and concludes at 1:00 p.m. The cost is $20 for EWTG members and $25 for guests.  Remember to register early for the luncheon in anticipation of a “full house,” thank you! 

Online registration will end at 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 20, 2017.

Submitted By Barbara Chavis
EWTG Program Director

Register Today

legislative reception - March 7, 2017

EWTG members, mark your calendars NOW for Tuesday, March 7th at 5:30 p.m. That’s the evening EWTG and the LBJ School of Public Affairs will be co-hosting a Capitol reception honoring the long-time Secretary of the Senate, Patsy Spaw, for her distinguished public service.

The event will be in the Capitol’s Legislative Conference Center, E2.002, and open to all EWTG members and LBJ School alumni and interns. EWTG will also be inviting statewide elected officials, state Senators and Representatives, and legislative staff. Come out to honor Patsy and mingle with legislators while enjoying a little beer or wine and a few hors d’oeuvres with your friends and colleagues.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the reception, please contact event chair Laure McLaughlin at or 512.925.7043.

Submitted by Laure McLaughlin
Legislative Event Coordinator

the director's chair - meet the board of directors

I am very excited to be the Membership Director for 2017. It is my job to recruit, with your help, new members to join our organization. But an even bigger part is to ensure we retain the many wonderful members we currently have, and maybe even bring some of our former active members back into the fold.

We need to have events where the membership can interact, in addition to the mini-courses, monthly luncheons, and annual conference. I will be looking at past events and exploring new possibilities. I welcome suggestions from everyone.

A committee will be established to help me, as this task is bigger than one person. I have had a couple of volunteers already, but I will need many more volunteers to assist so that we can have the best possible year ever.

I have big shoes to fill following Dokpe Ogunsanya. My committee and I will set goals for this new year, and we look forward to interacting with many of you over the course of the year. Want to join us? Shoot me an email at and join the adventure or fill out a volunteer form.

Submitted by Bobbe Walker
Membership Director

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2017 ewtg conference committees

Hello, I’m Karen Howard, currently serving on the 2017 Board of Directors as the Vice President. One of my key responsibilities is overseeing the 2017 EWTG Annual Conference. The first meeting of the conference chairs was held on February 1, 2017, so planning could start on the 2017 Conference. If you would like to volunteer for a committee or if you have an interest in being the Chair of the Silent Auction Committee, please contact me at or fill out a volunteer form.

The 2017 EWTG Conference Committee Chairs are:

Conference Registration Committee
Robin Agnew, Chair

Conference Program Committee
Beulah Foley-Matlock, Chair

Welcome Reception Committee
Audrey Selden, Co-Chair
Kim Kizer, Co-Chair

Conference Silent Auction
Vacant – Please email if you are interested

Conference Exhibits Committee
Theresa McShan, Chair

Conference Facilities Committee
Mercie Zapata, Chair

Conference Evaluations & Resolutions Committee
Kara Kelly, Chair

Submitted by Bobbe Walker
Membership Director

turn the lights on

Someone turned on the light. After watching “Hidden Figures”, I thought how much more history is tucked away in a dark room waiting for someone to turn the lights on. In 1959, human computers existed and played an important role in our history. These computers were women armed with pencils and chalk – masters of math and science. The myth back in the timeframe of the movie was that girls were not good at math and science. Watching Hidden Figures reminded me of the Mini-Course speaker we had last year, Savita Raj. Ms. Raj is the Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering ( I wanted to interview her about “Hidden Figures,” the book that now appears on the big screen now. Educating and encouraging our young girls can help keep the lights on and not allow their accomplishments and talents be hidden away in the darkness.

STAR: How do you combat the myth that girls are not smart in science and math?  

SAVITA: Girls and women have always been very good at math and science. The math and science in everyday life from the start of the American colonies - medicines and home-remedies, the science of cooking/baking, calculating supplies for quilting, drafting, sewing, food preservation, etc. to that of today are taken for granted. But women and girls have excelled at math and science in these family-centered pursuits and the area of pure science as well. Rosalind Franklin (DNA Structure), Marie Curie ((Nobel prizes in Physics & Chemistry), Ada Lovelace (mathematician, helped develop the first mechanical-computer) Rachel Carson (Wrote Silent Spring), etc. are some of the pioneers who are well known. But there are countless others, who have remained ‘hidden figures' while advancing pure science. Check out the following TAME boards for more inspirational women!

Helpful Links:


STAR: How do TAME prepare young girls to succeed in life?

SAVITA: Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. Encouraging this curiosity and sustaining it is critical in helping girls develop a sense of self – a prerequisite for success in STEM careers and in life.

Submitted By Cheryl Taylor
Communications Director

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business etiquette

In the business world, good communication is golden. Communication is expressed in many forms from personal conversation, to presentations, to telephone calls, to written documents and emails. In the real-estate world, you may hear location, location, location. In business, you may use communication, communication, communication. Most companies and state agencies rely on email for daily communication. The structure and content of your emails make a difference.

In the most offices, email is an essential means of communication. On a weekly basis, an employee spends a majority of their time going thru emails. Email is just another tool for communication. With any tool come rules for proper usage. The dictionary defines etiquette as rules of acceptable behavior. Are you following good etiquette rules when you create and reply to emails? Your email may be your only method of communication to some customers - your first impression.

Submitted By D. A. Messenger
STAR Staff

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the training room

The Training Room (TR) will be moving to the Website this year. This will provide members with a continuous flow of learning opportunities. This also gives our members the opportunity to share learning opportunities with all of our readers. As we believe, learning is an activity that never ends and a must for success, whether formal or informal.

Udemy - Online Training

Looking for reasonable priced online training classes, then check out Udemy? Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where more than 12 million students learn from an extensive library of 40,000 courses taught by expert instructors in 80 different languages. Whether learning for professional development or personal enrichment, students can master new skills through self-paced, on-demand courses, while instructors have a way to share their knowledge with the world.

There are varieties, of courses, for your selection. Several classes allow you purchase once then allow unlimited access to the course. This site also has free classes, as well as discounted courses. The site has been known to offer courses for as little as 10 dollars during certain times of the year. Below are some of the categories in which Udemy offers classes:

  • Business
  • Design
  • Development
  • Health & Fitness
  • Music
  • IT & Software
  • Marketing
  • Office Productivity
  • Personal Development
Go out to Udemy and start learning. Increase your skill-set and go for that new job. Learn a new hobby which could turn into new income. Sign up to be an instructor. Remember knowledge is power and learning can be fun. If you have taken some of the classes, tells us about your experience with Udemy.

If you have knowledge of educational opportunities that you would like to share, please contact us at Please include “The Training Room” in your subject line. Let’s continue to grow and share. A true test of leadership is helping others succeed.

Submitted By EWTG Communication Staff


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New and Renewing Members

See Who Joined and Renewed in January 2017!

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 2017 first quarter application to the Scholarship Committee by 5:00 p.m. on March 31, 2017.

EWTG Scholarships

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.

EWTG Board

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."

Get Involved

Board of Directors

Cheryl Taylor, Editor
Communications Director

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