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President's Corner

EWTG Remembrance


April 14 EWTG Mini-Course 

March Mini-Course Summary

Dallas and Houston Affiliate News
March Luncheon Recap
April 15 Spring Social!
 May 5 EST Kickoff
Conference Announcement
New and Renewed Members
Quick Links
 
 
First Quarter 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 ewtg.org. The Scholarship Committee will accept applications for this quarter until 5:00 p.m. on March 31st. 
2010 EWTG Board Meetings
The 2010 EWTG Board holds its monthly meetings at the Carver Library 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."
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April 2010
 
President's Corner -
If You Feed It, It Will Grow!
Carol Lauder, President 
 

Carol Lauder

 

There are two times a year that I find particularly inspiring.  One is that first burst of coolness in the air after a long hot Texas summer.  It is like a breath of fresh air.  It gives me a little extra spring in my step and a feeling of newness and anticipation about what the coming months hold. The other is spring. In a matter of days, it seems like we go from the brown of winter to the green of spring.

 

After the coldest winter since 1984 (Austin had 23 freezes and more than 40 freezes outside the Austin area), the thought of spring and the impending bluebonnets is particularly invigorating.  I, like many of you, went out a few weekends ago and selected flowers and plants and began my annual planting.  When winter roared its ugly head the following weekend, I was again reminded of the uncertainty of Mother Nature in March! 

 

I am always amazed at watching the buds of trees suddenly blossom. The bluebonnets seem to pop up overnight, and everything seems right in the world.  From the cool morning air to the afternoon in the mid 70s, life is good. 

Spring is the time for renewal whether it is renewal of your garden, your dreams or your spirit.  Just as you plant seeds and through regular watering, they germinate, sprout and grow into something that is a hundred times their original size, our seeds of commitment do the same. 

 

Whether you are planting a tomato seed or “planting” a life “seed,” proper care and nurturing will make it grow. I’ve read many times and truly believe, “Your thoughts become your destiny.”  If you think about what’s wrong in life, you will notice more of the same, and if you think about what is right about life, the sky’s the limit.     

 

Why not envision our desires and believe we can have them?  I am not suggesting that anyone avoid dealing with problems that arise in life.  There will be plenty of opportunity for that.  What I am suggesting is that we are the creators of our future by our thoughts and our actions.  And, is a pair of rose colored glasses such a bad idea sometimes?

 

Putting our focus on something makes it grow.  Whatever we shine a light on becomes brighter.  If you have a project, from learning to sky dive or play golf to applying for a different job, plant the seed by taking a lesson or dusting off your resume.  Before you know it, you’ll have created the thing you “planted.” 

 

As Stephen Covey taught us, put the big rocks of life in first.  If we put the small rocks and sand in first, there’s no room for the big rocks. With the big rocks in place, the small rocks and sand will slide in between. The BIG rocks are the things in life that are most important to us. They are ourselves (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), our children, our spouse, our parents, our job, our extended family, our friends, or our hobbies. Identify the four to six BIG rocks in life, make sure to “feed and water” them and by making them a priority, we’ll look back with no regrets. 

 

So spring is in the air! Plant some seeds, of any kind, and enjoy watching them grow.  With the proper feeding, watering, and a little sunshine, we can accomplish anything!

 

Carol Lauder
President
 

 

 
 
 
Liz Carpenter passed away on March 20, 2010. She was 89.  Mrs. Carpenter was a champion of EWTG and we will forever cherish our memories of the time she spent with us. “I’ve always lived as outrageously as my family, friends, and the law would allow,” Mrs. Carpenter often joked. She is one example of why her generation is referred to as the Greatest Generation. The world is a better place to be because of her countless contributions.    --Carol Lauder, EWTG President
 

Liz Carpenter: A Remembrance
By Laure McLaughlin
 
News of Liz Carpenter’s passing recently immediately brought back memories of that day in June 2006 when she spoke at the EWTG luncheon.
 
Earlier in the year, EWTG past president Lynn Whitten had arranged for former Governor Ann Richards to be the June luncheon speaker. As the program director then, I was thrilled, as was the board. News was out that Gov. Richards was ill, and we kept our fingers crossed. But, in late April, Richards’ office called to say her illness had progressed too far and she would be unable to come to the luncheon.
 
Then we had a big ol’ dilemma: how do you replace Ann Richards, as a speaker, and with only a few weeks’ notice? Doing it on short notice is one thing, but replacing Richards? She was a force of nature. Who else, we wondered...who else?
 
It didn’t take long for Liz Carpenter to come to mind. After I checked it out with other board members and gathered my nerve, I called her one day and asked her if she would agree to speak to EWTG in lieu of her good friend (I hoped) Ann Richards. I was counting on her friendship with the former governor to help us with the short notice, but I made the mistake of saying that Richards’ office had cancelled the previous week. “Well,” she said in that lovely belligerent drawl, “what have you been doing in the meantime?” Caught off-guard, I stammered something about trying to find someone of Richards’ caliber, hoping that I could somehow apologize for taking so long—a full week!—to call her. She agreed on the spot, to my great relief, and could not have been kinder.
 
The luncheon went off without a hitch, with an excellent crowd. Liz (it’s hard to call her Mrs. Carpenter, somehow) was funny and insightful, encouraging EWTG members to use humor and use it often. I mentioned to her that I had heard her give a speech to the National Press Club years before and recounted some of her funny lines. Ever gracious, she thanked me for remembering them.
 
Without Liz Carpenter and others of her ilk, I sometimes wonder whether an organization like EWTG would be what it is today. Would there even be such a thing as “executive women”? Probably, but we sure wouldn’t have had as much fun or come as far without her. We owe it to her to be the best executive women Texas government has ever seen. But we’ll all miss her punch line.

 
 
April 14 Mini-Course

And now, for something COMPLETELY different:  An Intro to Pilates with Jim Stein of The Hills Health Club

By Laure McLaughlin

You’ve told yourself you were going to have a new exercise regimen this year but haven’t gotten around to it yet. You might also have heard the word “Pilates,” but have absolutely no idea what, who or where it is. And not knowing something you think you should is, well, downright embarrassing.
 
Never fear! Your intrepid Program Committee is here to solve your dilemma and on Wednesday, April 14th will show you exactly what (and who) Pilates is. Jim Stein, a Pilates instructor from The Hills health club will give you a demonstration. Jim comes well qualified: he’s the former principal dancer at Ballet Austin and the former Pilates Director at Austin’s Dance Institute.
 
This won’t be your usual sit-around-the-table-and-take-notes kind of  minicourse. Bring a yoga mat, if you have one, and wear comfortable pants or change into light workout gear. (The ladies’ room is nearby, but will probably be full of ladies changing clothes, so wear yours in, if you can.) Jim will take you through Pilates fundamentals, such as breathing techniques, the “scoop,” and shoulder movements. You will also get a taste of the “hundreds,” rolling back and up, stretching, leg circles, some ab movements, the “swan,” the “saw,” and the “seal.”
 
The Hills will kindly provide a few yoga mats and EWTG will provide Mangia pizza, fresh green salad, dessert and drinks for a cool $10, or you can bring your own. (Don’t worry: EWTG is making sure the pizza and dessert will have absolutely no calories prior to Pilates.) Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to noon, with the program beginning at noon and continuing until 1 p.m.
 
Because of the extra room required for our Pilates introduction, RSVPs are critical and may need to be cut off to accommodate everyone. Please send yours in TODAY, saying whether you will or will not buy lunch, to ewtg@ewtg.org. As always, minicourses are held at the Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina.
 
Information on The Hills Health Club and Fitness Center:
The Hills offers a wide selection of Pilates Training. You can select from Private or Duet sessions and Mat, Tower Mat, and Reformer classes. Regardless of the format you choose, The Hills' Pilates rates are reasonable, and you'll be working with highly qualified and skilled instructors. The Hills’ mission is, "to improve the physical and mental health of our community." To that end, The Hills provides a casual, relaxing and natural atmosphere along the banks of Eanes Creek which promotes the achievement of physical health, mental health and spiritual balance through excellence and consistency in facilities, services, programming and products.
 
The Hills is located at 4615 Bee Caves Road and the phone number is 512.327.4881.
 
 
 
March 10 Mini-Course Recap
 
Barry Izsak
“Getting Organized De-Mystified: 7 Simple Strategies for Success”
By Laure McLaughlin
 
A record crowd of EWTG members turned out for the March 10th minicourse featuring Barry Izsak, a professional office, home and garage organizer.
 
Barry’s first revelation was that we shouldn’t confuse clean with organized. While that was news to some of the attendees, almost all were relieved to hear Barry say that one of the reasons we all struggle to get or stay organized is that, well, we have lots more stuff than we used to. There is more demand to be organized, and fewer people are around to help us with it. The old Mad Men-style days of a secretary for every executive, or a maid for every house just don’t exist anymore.
 
Barry went on to point out that the clutter in our lives is really all about postponed decisions. Good organization is all about flow—as mail or equipment or gifts from Aunt Sally come in, it all quickly finds a home, whether that home is a file, a trash can, a display case or the local charity. In fact, the word “clutter,” Barry explained, derives from the German word for “clot.” Just a blood clot impedes the flow of blood in the body, clutter impedes the flow in the stuff of our lives.
 
Barry also helps seniors move out of their homes into smaller apartments, not by telling them what they should get rid of, but showing them or their family what will fit in their new home.
 
Barry can be reached through his website, www.arrangingitall.com and offers personal consultations, organizing and moving assistance. 
 
 
Spring has Sprung – Affiliates Blooming with Activities
 
Having survived the daylight savings time change, our Dallas and Houston Affiliates are welcoming the spring season with wonderful community service and networking activities. 
 
The EWTG Dallas Affiliate put together Easter baskets for the Community Partners of Dallas (CPD). Members learned that CPD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring safety and restoring dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services. Each year CPD’s goal is to provide more than 1,000 neglected and abused children with the joy of having a special Easter basket. CPD serves children from birth to 17 years old. What a wonderful community service project for the EWTG Dallas Affiliate. The April 8 meeting topic is generational differences. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Dallas-area women are welcome to join us. 
 
Mmmm. Mmmm. Good. The EWTG Houston Affiliate will take its April meeting on the road to the Pappas Seafood Restaurant. The Houston meeting is scheduled April 8 and begins at 11:30 a.m. The restaurant is located near I-45 and Woolridge. EWTG members in the Houston area are welcome to join us for this lunchtime networking event. Please continue to visit the EWTG website for more details about Affiliate activities: www.ewtg.org.
 
The EWTG Board approved our partnership with the Foundation for Women’s Resources, the nonprofit organization that produces Leadership Texas and Power Pipeline. Later this spring, EWTG will work with Women’s Resources to co-host meetings in College Station, San Antonio, and Tyler. We welcome your participation to provide additional networking opportunities in other Texas cities. For questions about EWTG Affiliates, send us an e-mail at affiliates@ewtg.org.
 
Your enthusiastic participation is welcome. Happy Spring, everyone.
 
 
 

 Houston Affiliate Has Record Meeting Attendance!

 Sixteen persons attend the March 11th meeting. For a nominal fee, a lunch of rotisserie chicken, salad, fresh vegetables, strawberries and drinks was provided. Many comments were heard about the tasty food. It was also mentioned that having lunch provided allowed attendees to come to the meeting more relaxed as they did not have to concern themselves with arrangements for food. Thanks to Affiliate Chair Carolyn Kirkwood for coming up with the idea and Parliamentarian Karen Morse for coordinating the food for this meeting. This idea was so successful; we plan to provide lunch several more times this year.
 
The Affiliate has selected Haitian Relief as its first service project of the year. Fundraisers will be conducted to provide funds for this worthy project. Hats off to Sherbert Mims, Chair Special Projects, for presenting this project for consideration and leading the fundraising efforts.
 
Thanks to Karen Morse, for the first of two planned presentations on parliamentary procedures. Karen gave background information on “Roberts Rules of Order” and provided two informative handouts regarding guidelines for making motions.
 
The Affiliate plans a departure from the usual meeting site for April 8th. We will meet at 11:30 AM at Pappas Seafood, 6945 Gulf Freeway. Luncheon cost will be the responsibility of each attendee. If you’re interested in attending this meeting, please contact Glenda Wall, Chair-Elect @ 713 767-2294, by COB Tuesday, April 6, 2010.
 
 
 
March 24 EWTG Luncheon- Recap
The Honorable Elisabeth Earle, Travis County Court at Law Judge
By Jan Lunday and Laure McLaughlin

The dynamic and inspirational Elisabeth Earle, a judge in Travis County Court at Law Number Seven, treated EWTG members at the March luncheon to a lively discussion about her work and the problems in the community she is determined to challenge.
 
As the daughter of a hard-working, single mother without a college degree, Elisabeth determined at an early age never to be dependent upon someone else’s income. She graduated from UT-Austin with a sociology degree, uncertain how to use it until she decided that her next step should be the law. From her experiences working in a high profile American law firm in London to St. Mary’s University law school to becoming a wife and mother of two girls, to her current elected position at the Travis County Court of Law, Elisabeth recounted her story with pride, passion, and humor.
 
Ironically, even she was sure she would never put her sociology degree to use, Elisabeth has found her passion in helping defendants who have come before her court on charges stemming from alcoholism, drug addiction and family violence. She encourages them into rehab and counseling, and requires many of them come to her office weekly as a condition of probation so that she can monitor their progress. Elisabeth is equally, if not more passionate about helping the families and children of these defendants escape irreparable harm.
 
Elisabeth shared with attendees her vision for her initiative as the presiding Judge of the Travis County DWI Court. She has embraced this opportunity to make a difference for people who need help and support to deal with a problem before it becomes a felony.

More information about Judge Earle and her education and experience is on her website, www.elisabethearle.com.

EWTG thanks Judge Earle for her time, her talent and her passion to better the lives of those in our community. Kudos! 
 
 
 
EWTG Spring Social April 15th!
 
The Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG) Board of Directors and Membership Committee would like to invite you to our Spring Membership Social and Orientation on April 15, 2010.  It will be a fun evening and a great opportunity to meet and network with members of EWTG!
 
The Board of Directors will be at the meeting to provide an overview of the programs, events, committees and ways that you can get more involved in the organization.  This orientation will help new and long-time members get to know more about all that EWTG has to offer in the coming year.
 
We'll have appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages.  A cash-bar with also be available.  There will also be door prize drawings throughout the evening.  We will meet in Nuevo Leon's private room in the back of the restaurant. The social begins at 6:00pm and the orientation will begin at 6:45pm.
 
We are looking forward to celebrating Spring with you!
 
Location:  Nuevo Leon, 1501 East 6th Sreet
                   Austin, Texas 78702
 
When:       Thursday, April 15, 6:00PM 
 
 
 
Getting Off to a Great Start –
Executive Success Team Kick-off Reception   
By Barrie Cogburn, President-Elect
 
All new and current Executive Success Team members are invited to attend a reception at the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina, on May 5th at 5:30. This informal meeting will be a great opportunity for everyone to meet their new team members and brainstorm future meeting topics and locations. Current team members are also encouraged to attend and share their thoughts about the Executive Success Team experience. 
 
Join us on May 5th to learn why being part of an EWTG Executive Success Team is so much fun!
 
 
 
2010 Professional Development Conference Planning in Full Swing
The 2010 EWTG Professional Development Conference planning is off to a great start! An enthusiastic committee is working hard to produce a meaningful professional development experience for conference attendees.
Mark your calendars for the 2010 EWTG Conference!
EWTG: Creating Leaders. Demonstrating Value.
The 24th Annual Professional Development Conference
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort, Bastrop, Texas
Your 2010 EWTG Professional Development Conference Committee Chairs are listed below and are energized and ready to deliver a meaningful conference experience! 
Conference Chair – Mary Cheryl Dorwart, DIR
Evaluation Committee Chair – Susan Durso, TPFA
Exhibits Committee Chair – Joanne Severn, DIR
Facilities Committee Chair -- Mercie Zapata, DIR
Program Committee Chair – Grace Nobles, CPA
Registration Committee Chair – Melinda Eppler, SPB
Resolutions Committee Chair – Deborah Arellano, TRCC
Silent Auction Committee Chair – Karin Darnell, TxDOT
 
As the Conference planning unfolds look for updates in the newsletter.
 
 
 
EWTG Welcomes New and Renewed Members!
New Members
 
Sarah Hall, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Zellena Jay, Texas Department of Transportation (Retired)
Valerie Onyett, MAXIMUS
Ashley Schweickart, Texas Dept. of Housing & Community Affairs
Linda Caldwell, Texas Department of Aging & Disabilities
Kate Canby, Texas Department of Transportation
Sheri Givens, Office of Public Utility Council
Sam Gotsdiner, Texas Department of Aging & Disabilities
 
Renewed Members
 
Shelly Baumgartner, Charles Schwab
Cindy Bordovsky-Stone, Texas Department of Transportation
Jennifer Buaas, Texas Department of Information Resources
Yolanda Chavez, Texas Department of Aging & Disabilities
Barrie Cogburn, Texas Department of Transportation
Lillie Gilligan, Gilligan Consultants
Shelley Harris-Curtsinger, Texas Racing Commission
Donna McCain, Texas Comm. on State Emergency Communications
Joy Anderson, Retired
Mary Castleberry, Health and Human Services
Karin Darnell, Texas Department of Transportation
Jennifer Dormer, Texas Department of Aging & Disabilities
Mary Cheryl Dorwart, Department of Information Resources
Mary Gerdes, Teacher Retirement System
Deborah Giles, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Cynthia Hale, Retired
Joanne E. Holshouser, Teacher Retirement System
Rosy Moore, Retired
Dee Copeland Patience, Texas Department of Housing
Brigitti Perry, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Jamie Pierce, Teacher Retirement System
L. Michele Price, Teacher Retirement System
Julia C. Schacherl, Texas Legislative Council
Jan Thomas, Retired
Nancy Van Loan, Office of the Governor
Denise Voigt-Crawford, State Securities Board
Connie Williams, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Vickie Willis , Texas Department of Transportation
Mahshid Moaddeb, Texas Department of State Health Services
Mary Ann Shallberg, University of Houston - Clear Lake