|In This Issue
August 25 Luncheon
|EWTG 24th Annual Professional Development Conference
|Leadership Texas: A Life-Changing Experience
|Summer Membership Social - Bowling!
|Dallas and Houston Affiliate News
|July Luncheon and Mini-Course Recap
|August 11th Mini-Course Recap
|New and Renewed Members
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 September 30th.
|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."
|Follow EWTG on Twitter
Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people or organizations through the exchange of quick, short messages. Go to twitter.com/ewtg to sign up and start receiving EWTG's updates.
|President's Corner - August 2010
Carol Lauder, President
Do you know your internal operating system?
Whether it is in our daily personal life or our work life, we all have a framework to manage others or ourselves. Some people have referred to it as our internal operating system or paradigm. The way in which we operate affects the outcome of our interactions with others. Often times we are unaware of our "framework".
In 1996, I began my formal training as a meeting facilitator. I attended a workshop by the world-renowned author and facilitator, Roger Schwarz. This was my first introduction to the mutual learning model and the unilateral control model. Since that time I have used the mutual learning model when making important decisions or solving complex problems.
For decades, the unilateral control model was the primary model used in this country. It is one we are all familiar with. Its characteristics include the following values and assumptions: accomplish my goal by controlling the situation; win, don't lose; I understand the situation, those who see it differently do not understand the situation; I am right, those who disagree with me are wrong; I have good motives, those who disagree have questionable motives.
On the other hand, the core values and assumptions in the mutual learning model include: obtain valid information; make informed decisions and choices; be committed to the best outcome; I have information and other people have information; differences are an opportunity to learn; people have good intentions; care about others.
With the unilateral control model, the strategies used in interpersonal communication are: advocate for my position; keep my reasoning and information private; don't ask others about their reasoning or information. The results are misunderstandings, mistrust, self-fulfilling processes, limited learning and reduced effectiveness.
The mutual learning model results in greater understanding of a situation and in turn, increases trust, effectiveness, and work life quality.
Do you use a unilateral control model or are you using the mutual learning model? Did you choose your system or is it an unconscious choice? Were you taught to win at all costs? Is that working for you?
Now, 14 years later, and I still must work at using a mutual learning model, but it comes more naturally. The most intriguing characteristic of mutual learning is the element of true curiosity. To be truly interested and curious in why someone holds a different view is liberating. What is the reason that someone sees something so differently? It is this sincere curiosity that allows us an opportunity to obtain all the data and information that will in turn result in an informed decision.
Of course it takes time to practice a mutual learning model. Correcting a mistake or changing a decision because it was made without all the important information also takes time. By investing the time needed to include others and make informed decisions, the work life for you and those around you improves in a multitude of ways.
The mutual learning model isn't appropriate for all situations. For example it isn't suitable in an emergency situation. At those times, it's best to let someone or a defined group of people take charge. I am convinced that a mutual learning model is ideal for most other situations. The higher the stakes when solving a problem or making a decision, the more valuable this approach can be.
This model provides an opportunity for me to determine if I completely understand an issue. It also allows for clarification of the facts, provides an opportunity to ensure people are using the same words in the same way, and helps those involved have a better understanding of the reasons certain decisions are made. This does not mean everyone agrees about everything. That isn't the goal and that is not good for business, but it does allow for a healthy exchange of information and an opportunity to validate the facts.
How might your approach be limiting your effectiveness? When you operate using a unilateral control model your staff or a colleague may or may not be sharing all the relevant information with you. And if they are, you may not be hearing them. This can leave you vulnerable to making poor decisions or solving the wrong problem. If staff or colleagues know that you are open to hearing their concerns and the reasons they see a situation differently, you'll be equipped with more of the information needed to make good decisions. You may not agree with the way others see something, but you will know how they arrived at their position!
So, the next time someone disagrees with you, I hope your response is "tell me more..."
August 25th Monthly Luncheon
Dedicated to Helping Children and Families - Audrey Deckinga
By: Bobbe Walker
Audrey Deckinga, Assistant Commissioner for Child Protective Services (CPS), will be the guest speaker at the August 25th EWTG Monthly Luncheon at the Austin Women's Club.
Audrey Deckinga has worked in human services for over 35 years in three states. While living in Minnesota, she was a therapeutic foster parent for children in state custody. In Texas, she has worked for CPS over 20 years in positions such as directing delivery work of a caseworker, supervisor, and program director. At the State Office level, Audrey served as the Division Administrator for Placement and Services and as the Director of Policy and Program. She has also worked for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) as a senior policy analyst, gaining an understanding of the interaction of the programs within the enterprise agencies.
In March 2009, Audrey accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner for Child Protective Services, a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
Notable achievements while working for CPS include supervising the implementation of the Kinship Care and Family Group Decision Making programs and the development of the Exceptional Care pilot.
Ms. Deckinga holds a BA in psychology from Calvin College in Michigan and a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Texas at Austin.
Please join EWTG members and Audrey at this luncheon by registering online by Monday, August 23rd. Ample, free parking is available behind the Woman's Club on Nueces between 7th and 8th streets. The buffet, a hot, delicious entrée, salad, vegetables, rolls, dessert, tea and coffee, opens at 11:45 AM and costs $20 for members and $25 for guests. The program begins at noon and concludes promptly at 1:00 PM.
EWTG Woman of the Year: Now Accepting Nominations
EWTG Woman of the Year is the prestigious award given to a woman who has distinguished herself professionally, personally, within the community, and has been an active member of EWTG. Nominations are now being accepted! Don't wait, start now:
(1) Think of that person who deserves to be recognized.
(2) Link to the nomination form here.
(3) Submit your nomination by the due date, September 15, 2010.
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Dee McIlroy, EWTG Public Relations Director.
EWTG Stars: YOU!
Big Congratulations to Carol Lauder! The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas School Safety Center of Texas State University awarded Carol the 2010 Tobacco-Free Texas Lifetime Achievement award for her efforts over the past decade managing the Texas Comptroller law enforcement grants. This program assists local law enforcement agencies and school-based police across the state in enforcing the state's tobacco laws concerning minors' access to tobacco. Now that's smoking hot!
EWTG 24th Annual Professional Development Conference
Creating Leaders. Delivering Value.
cre·ate [kree-eyt] verb, -at·ed, -at·ing, adjective
1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
2. to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
The 2010 EWTG Professional Development Conference committee is hard at work planning a learning and networking experience of value to all attendees. Presenter abstracts are being reviewed, silent auction donations are coming in, exhibit booths are being reserved and a unique networking reception is being planned for Sunday prior to the conference.
Next month’s Star will contain the Call for Moderators. Please consider supporting our annual conference by volunteering to moderate a session. Moderating provides you with an opportunity to represent EWTG by introducing a workshop presenter. It is easy and the job comes with a detailed job description!
Watch for on-line registration opening on Tuesday, September 7.
Leadership Texas: A Life-Changing Experience
By: Mary Cheryl Dorwart
From the Leadership Texas (LT) website:
Since 1983, Leadership Texas has been providing valuable education and travel/study opportunities to Texas women leaders who seek to improve their leadership skills and expand their knowledge of the diverse issues, dynamics and cultures that impact the State of Texas. Leadership Texas brings together Texas women who have demonstrated their leadership ability in their profession, community or workplace. The vision of the program is to identify and develop Texas' women leaders by providing them with essential information, an awareness of ongoing changes, sharpened skills and an enduring network of women from diverse backgrounds.
Leadership Texas seeks to educate and inspire the individual woman leader. Participants also benefit from establishing relationships and becoming part of a national network of more than 3,000 Foundation program graduates.
What the LT website doesn’t tell you is that the LT experience is life changing. Sure you gain knowledge about this great state we call home. And yes, you travel to communities you might not have visited before. You even develop a fierce pride in your own LT class. Mine is the Class of 2007, which happened to be the 25th LT class. We call ourselves the “Silver Ones”.
As EWTG members, we can apply for an EWTG scholarship to attend Leadership Texas. We are so very fortunate to have this incredible benefit, and I urge you to apply for Leadership Texas and an EWTG scholarship.
Any of the women quoted in this article will be glad to help you with your LT application. Applications for the 2011 Leadership Texas Class are due October 1 and can be found here: https://www.womensresources.org/appLTApplication.asp. EWTG scholarship applications are due September 30th.
Many EWTG members have attended Leadership Texas and are reaping the benefits of the experience. I asked several LT alums to share their experiences with you for this article.
Audrey Selden calls her LT experience “magical”. She went on to say, “I met more than 100 incredibly accomplished women” and “completed a year-long journey of personal and professional growth. “ Audrey visited MD Anderson Cancer Center during her year. Years later, the knowledge she learned during her LT session was instrumental in helping a dear friend and her brother beat cancer.
Audrey chairs the Leadership Texas Committee and travels with the current Leadership Texas class. The more than 3,500 graduates is a formidable network. One call to a LT alumni, state you are a LT or Power Pipeline graduate, and get immediate help with your particular question or job search. LT graduates are in leadership positions in corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and the private industry.
Our President, Carol Lauder, received an EWTG scholarship and is a 2009 Leadership Texas graduate. Carol says her LT experience is one she finds difficult to put into words. The amazing women she met stand out the most. Remarking on her LT experience, Carol said, “I am a better person for having been through the Leadership Texas program. “
Barrie Cogburn said of her LT experience, “I like to consider myself fairly aware of current events ... LT afforded me the opportunity to learn so much more about many of the major issues that affect Texans. Seeing some of these issues up close and personal truly opened my mind (a maximum security prison in the panhandle) and my heart (a veteran's hospital in the valley). The experience reminded me that it will take women from many different backgrounds, with many different opinions to solve the issues of the future.”
Mary Castleberry said that during her LT experience she “Met five lifetime friends, learned more about Texas, and enhanced my leadership skills.” Imagine making five new lifetime friends in one year!
Gaye McElwain received an EWTG scholarship, which allowed her to participate in the 2002 Class of Leadership Texas. She said, “It would have been extremely difficult for me to have done the program without the financial assistance from EWTG. That year proved to be one of the most memorable of my life. “
Since Gaye’s LT year in 2002, she continued, “I’ve faced challenges in my career, cared for aging in-laws and parents, survived cancer, and worked to make my community a better place to live. Leadership Texas developed the leadership skills I needed to navigate these challenges, and my network of LT women provided the support and inspiration I needed to stay strong and positive. “
Gaye closed her remarks by saying, “I truly believe the investment of EWTG dollars not only benefited me personally, but also benefited my family, employer and community by helping me develop and act upon my potential. The EWTG scholarship program is an incredible member benefit, and Leadership Texas is a life-changing experience.”
Paula Griffin is experiencing LT this year. Her story will entice you to apply to Leadership Texas and inspire you to apply for an EWTG scholarship.
I am a member of Leadership Texas Class of 2010, (we say we’re the best class ever) and I am so glad that I applied for this wonderful experience! I had previously told myself that I was too busy to travel to five cities in a year, but I am a member of Executive Women in Texas Government and when they encouraged members to apply for a scholarship, I decided to apply and hope for the best. I was delighted to learn in October 2009 that I had been accepted to the program, and that EWTG would pay for my tuition.
While still in the program, I have visited three Texas cities: Dallas, and two cities I had never been to before, Laredo and Lubbock. In each city, I have learned about unique things that each city is proud of, as well as financial, educational, and social issues that each city faces in the current economic environment. It has been both thought provoking and educational for me.
The best part, however, is that I have made some great friends in Leadership Texas, from all over the State. The Austin gals have monthly gatherings in the months that we aren’t meeting for Leadership Texas. I believe I will remain close to them in the years to come; being in the same class with them has created a special bond. Several of us from Austin and Dallas were on the same flight to Lubbock recently, and since Southwest Airlines is one of the proud sponsors of Leadership Texas, the flight attendants gave us a shout out to LT on both flights! We all enjoyed that attention; it was fun!
I would encourage anyone to step outside of her comfort zone and apply for this opportunity. One of the motivating factors for me when I applied is that I have a challenging and interesting position at the Comptroller’s office as the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note Manager, but I rarely had the occasion to talk to other professional women. I am in awe of the credentials of the engineers, educators, and business owners that are in my class this year.
So, go girl! Enjoy a life changing and delightful experience!
Summer Membership Social - Bowling!
On Tuesday, July 20th, 18 EWTG members participated in the second annual bowling social. The social was fun and provided a great opportunity for members to get to know each other through friendly competition. The evening was filled with lots of laughs and cheering! The team with the highest average score consisted of Carol Lauder, Laura Johannsen and Regina Martin.
The highest score trophy was awarded to Ashley Schweickart. Other prizes were given throughout the evening for raffle door prizes, most improved bowler, and second and third highest scores.
The Community Service Event in June was a Success!
In June, the EWTG Community Service Committee collected donations for Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) at the monthly mini-course and luncheon. Between the two events, dog food, cat food, pet treats, kitty litter, blankets, pet toys, animal carriers, a bed and $245 dollars in cash were collected. The Community Service committee would like to extend a heart-felt thank-you to all of the members who supported APA! with a donation.
Mercedes Pang, from APA!, spoke briefly about the organization and the work they are doing in the Austin community at the monthly luncheon. APA! is a 501(c) 3 organization run almost exclusively by dedicated volunteers. Their mission is to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals in Austin.
If you would like more information, please visit their website at www.austinpetsalive.org.
Delivering Happiness - EWTG Affiliates Continue Support of Women Leaders
Our Dallas and Houston Affiliates continue to provide strong programming to our members in those areas. In September, each chapter will share the new book from Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos.com, Inc.), Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.
At the age of 24, Tony Hsieh sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million. He joined Zappos.com as an adviser and investor, and eventually became the CEO. Zappos.com has grown to more than $1 billion in gross sales and made Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. Lance Armstrong remarked, “In Delivering Happiness, Tony reveals the secret to his success at such a young age: leadership in culture and happiness.” This book is already on The New York Times bestsellers list.
Executive Women in Texas Government Affiliates know the importance of helping women develop personally and professionally. Often our focus on agency culture results in a high-performing state organization. The ability to be resilient and to have a sense of humor helps as well. Delivering Happiness suggests that the Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Read This Book are:
10. You want to learn about the path Zappos took to get to more than $1 billion in sales in less than 10 years.
9. You want to learn the lessons learned along the way.
8. You want to avoid the mistakes made.
7. You want to figure out the right balance of profits, passion, and purpose in business and life.
6. You want to build a long-term, enduring business and brand.
5. You want to create a stronger agency culture, which will make employees and coworkers happier and create more employee engagement, leading to higher productivity.
4. You want to deliver a better customer experience, which will make your customers happier.
3. You want to build something special.
2. You want to find inspiration and happiness in work and in life.
1. You ran out of firewood for your fireplace. This book makes an excellent fire-starter.
We are gathering support for additional Affiliates in College Station, San Antonio, and Tyler. We will co-host meetings with the Foundation for Women’s Resources, the nonprofit organization that produces Leadership Texas and Power Pipeline. We welcome your participation. Contact us at email@example.com.
Judy Maggio, Making Austin Hearts Purr
By: Laure McLaughlin
Delighting the 65-plus EWTG members and guests at the July luncheon, television news anchorwoman Judy Maggio spoke of her love of Austin, journalism and the best part of her job and her life – the people she meets along the way.
News programming is vulnerable now to constant news programming, whether by cable and Internet outlets, or by social networks, she said. When she began as a reporter in 1981 for KVUE in Austin, Judy said that the evening news enjoyed a 40 percent share of the viewing public. Now, she says, on a good night the evening news garners just 10 percent. Youth today don’t wait for the regular 6 and 10 PM news shows anymore, so KEYE and others are working hard to reinvent themselves by using Twitter, Facebook and iPhone apps.
But news programming has come a long way from its male-dominated roots, she said, reminding the audience that two of the three major traditional networks today – ABC and CBS – have female anchors, Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric. Judy also recalled hearing Lesley Stahl, a 60 Minutes reporter and female television icon, talk about the first time she was invited on set as a political commentator at a national political convention many years ago. Judy said that Lesley, arriving on the set, found four seats, one labeled “Mudd” for veteran newsman Roger Mudd, one labeled “Cronkite,” legendary news anchor, one labeled “Wallace” for veteran Mike Wallace, and her chair, labeled “Female.”
Being a recognizable person in Austin for the past 29 years has its ups and downs, Judy said. She has received critiques on everything from her hair to her makeup, her clothes and her voice. Going to a convenience store once dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, Judy said the clerk kept looking at her and her driver’s license before the clerk finally said, “Hey, you’re Judy Maggio. I like your disguise.”
But her favorite interview, she said, was Lady Bird Johnson. Judy asked her why she chose the environment as her cause as First Lady. Mrs. Johnson’s reply became Judy’s mantra: “you have to choose something that makes your heart purr.”
Austin is lucky that Judy Maggio’s heart purrs for all things Austin. And EWTG is lucky to have had her as our July luncheon speaker. Many thanks, Judy!
To see photos from the luncheon click here.
July 14th Minicourse Recap
Preventable Medical Errors: Learning to Make You and Your Family Safer
By: Joanne Holshauser and Laure McLaughlin
Laura Batz Townsend knows from personal experience how tragic the consequences of a series of seemingly minor hospital mistakes can be. In 2009, it cost her the life of her mother, Louise. Turning tragedy into action, Laura and her friend Rachel Armbruster shared with EWTG members their stories and their work on behalf of hospital patients and their families.
Since Laura’s beloved mother lost her life due to a preventable medical error, Laura, her family, and a few key staff have worked tirelessly trying to understand how this error was possible and how they could help other families avoid this suffering. The family formed the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation and dedicated the past year to creating a booklet to help hospital patients and their families know what to ask and look for while in the hospital. EWTG members were the first to receive the booklet, which is also online at www.louisebatz.org.
Laura requested EWTG’s help in sharing ideas to improve the booklet with her at 512-699-1640 or at LauraBTownsend@gmail.com. She also requested that EWTG members help her spread the word of the packet’s existence to friends, family and loved ones so that they, too, will prevent needless hospital deaths. Rachel Armbruster is assisting Laura and can be reached at 512-944-3417 or Rachel@rachelarmbruster.com.
Summary - August 11th Mini-course
What You Always Want to Know about Life after Retirement
By: Laure McLaughlin
OK, ladies, time to 'fess up'. Most of you know exactly when you're eligible to retire from the state, if you haven't retired already. Or perhaps you know retirement is a few years off and, while staring through your office window, you're beginning to fantasize about the radical notion of "free time".
The August 11th EWTG mini-course was about just that.
Elaine Powell and Hazel Barbour discussed how they are handling life after retirement, each from a very different perspective. Carol Willis, who was scheduled to attend but ultimately couldn’t, retired and immediately resumed her very busy career.
Elaine Powell, a former EWTG President and its first Woman of the Year, retired in April 2009 after 28 years in state government. In that time, she worked for two governors, the Public Utility Commission, the Texas Incentive and Productivity Commission, the Department of Insurance and two commissioners of Health. Elaine's extended "sabbatical" has given her time to travel, study genealogy, paint and go to movies with her husband Jeff Bohm. She was elected by her Leadership Texas class to serve on LT's board of directors. Her genealogy pursuits led her to discover the 1784 church death record of her grandfather Clarchick's great-great-great-grandfather in what is now the Slovak Republic.
Her advice is to determine what interest you want to pursue before you retire so you have something planned. Her passion for genealogy began when she was just a teenager and it was “shelved” all these years. She is having so much fun finding out about her ancestors, working in her garden and reading. Elaine plans to go back to work doing something but isn’t quite ready.
Hazel Barbour retired in 2004 from her position as the Mobile Source Programs Manager at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Since then, she has been an independent consultant working on programs and strategies to reduce emissions from gasoline and diesel powered engines. Hazel has written grants for the City of Austin, the Texas Facilities Commission and private companies. She is also Board Chair of the Rainforest Partnership; an Austin based nonprofit organization established in December 2007 to work with communities in Latin America to reduce deforestation and its harmful impacts on the world's climate.
Hazel loves being retired not only because she doesn’t have to be up early and dress for the office, but because she can do what she chooses. She works part time doing contract work and also spends up to 20 hours per week doing volunteer work with the Rainforest Partnership. Her advice is to be sure to do something that you are passionate about.
In January 2004, Carol Willis, retired and was soon rehired as the manager of the Texas Education Telecommunications Network (TETN), a data and video network used by the state's twenty education service centers and 900-plus school districts. Carol is a former EWTG president and Woman of the Year. She is also the Executive Chair of the Internet2 K20 Initiative, an appointee to the Texas Educational Technology Advisory Committee, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration and the Texas Distance Learning Association. So, although Carol retired, she went right back to work doing something she really enjoys.
EWTG Welcomes New and Renewing Members!
Lesli Fitzpatrick, Texas General Land Office
Mary Goehring, Lower Colorado River Authority
Carolyn Kirkwood, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Taya Retterer, Texas Department of Transportation
Donna Clay, Texas Department of Information Resources
Lara Coffer, Texas Department of Information Resources
Shawana Ellison, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Melinda Eppler, State Preservation Board
Jodie Erickson, Texas Department of Information Resources
Leah Folgate, Texas Department of Information Resources
Jennifer Hamilton, Texas Department of Information Resources
Kathleen Hamilton, Retired, Texas Department of Health
Katherine Holtz, Reynolds, Smith and Hills CS, Inc.
Louis LeDoux, Texas Workforce Commission
Jebron McCue, TDOA- Retired
Scarlett Spivey, Retired - Texas House of Representatives
Marietta Storey, Texas Department of Information Resources
Trudy Tassin, Retired - Texas Department of Information Resources
Joelyn Weeks, Texas Department of Information Resources
Lynn Whitten, Texas Department of Information Resources
Mercie Zapata, Texas Department of Information Resources