EWTG Banner with Members
EWTG STAR
In This Issue
President's Corner

July 2011 Monthly Luncheon Recap

August 2011 Monthly Luncheon
Membership Drive Update
Affiliates Members Network Socially
July 2011 Mini-Course Recap
August 2011 Mini-Course
EWTG 25th Annual Professional Development Conference
EWTG Board of Director Nominations
Save the Date - Wine Down Wednesday!
Woman of the Year - Now Accepting Nominations
Legislative Update - Bills of Interest
New and Renewing Members
Quick Links
 
 
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 ewtg.org. The Scholarship Committee will accept applications for this quarter until 5:00 p.m. on September 30th. 
EWTG Board Meetings
The 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 Logo
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.
August 2011
 
President's Corner - August 2011 
 
Barrie Cogburn, President 
 

Barrie Cogburn

 
Authentic Networking 
 
I was recently discussing the topic of networking with a younger colleague. During our conversation, we noted the usual observations on the topic of networking - that many women make the art of networking appear so easy, almost effortless; while others find it more challenging to make professional connections. However my colleague offered a comment that I found especially interesting. In her opinion, the term "networking" has been overused. So much so, that the exercise of making professional connections can sometimes seem fake or less than genuine. Her observance was simply that networking is a positive experience only when it's authentic. 
 
And she's right of course. The networking experience should be sincere and honest in order for both parties to feel that they've made a positive connection. Effective networking requires a commitment of time and sincere effort. It also means taking the time to listen and learn from others who might have a viewpoint different from your own. EWTG strives to offer members a wide variety of opportunities to make professional connections in an encouraging environment. What better way to ease into a future introduction than, "Hello Judy, I believe that we met at an EWTG luncheon earlier this year …". While this experience may challenge you to move out of your comfort zone, the new relationship can be both worthwhile and authentic.
 
Why not make a commitment towards authentic networking by joining other supportive women at an upcoming EWTG event? Our August luncheon will feature a diverse group of women, all past EWTG Women of the Year awardees. EWTG has recognized these women leaders because of the differences that they've made in their professions, their communities and in our organization. Join us and learn more about these remarkable EWTG members and how they've achieved such noteworthy goals.  
 
Barrie Cogburn
EWTG President
 
 
 
 
Anne Heiligenstein
Best Career Move - Getting Fired?
July 27, 2011

Ross Ramsey
 
By: Bobbe Walker
 
Anne Heiligenstein, Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, began her speech at the July luncheon stating one of the best things that happened to her career was losing her job. She then proceeded to tell us things she learned since that time.
 
  • Be good to others; it's the right thing to do. And those whom you meet on the way up, you'll meet on the way down as well.
  • Be kind to those of 'lesser' power, those assistants or people in the mail room. They can have your back, or they can wave as you go out the door.
  • It's just business. It's a job; it's not your life, your health, your loved ones, or the health of your loved ones. Keep things in perspective.
  • As a leader, learn to not be a part of the group.  Untether yourself from peer relations because it can cloud your thinking....
  • Hire people who are smarter than you. Then let them loose and give them the credit.
  • Read as much as you can. Even things that don't seem related can have a way of interlocking with your life.
  • Don't panic. Think first of what needs to be done to resolve the issue at hand. Later there will be time to reflect on how it happened. Reaction to bad news will define you as a leader.
  • Give your full attention to the matter at hand. Anne learned this working with Condoleezza Rice in the White House. Even with the weight of the world on her shoulders, Dr. Rice kept her focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Have a sense of humor. A sense of humor, used appropriately, shows confidence. She saw this in evidence with Margaret Spellings who was able to make President George W. Bush laugh in a meeting Anne attended, even when the events of 9/11 were heavy upon everyone's mind.
  • Passion is important. Anne gave the example of Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America. Beginning as a thesis statement, per passion evolved into an organization that finds the best and brightest people in America and encourages them to give back to society, teaching in the low-income communities for two or more years. Have a passion for what you do.
  • Communication skills were learned from Karen Hughes whose motto in the White House was 'bumper sticker'. Say what you have to say with the fewest words; convey a strong message with clarity. If you can't explain it to your neighbor, you are using the wrong words.
  • From Laura Bush, she saw the demonstration of compassion. When asked what she had to say to the nation after the 9/11 tragedy, Laura told the American people to go home to their children, comfort them and let them know they are okay.
  • Learn to forgive yourself. Don't beat yourself up. You can't obsess over mistakes and move forward.
Looking back on the many positions and opportunities in her life, Anne realizes none of these things would have happened to her if she had not been fired many years ago. She would never have left her comfort zone, pursued and accepted incredible opportunities. Sometimes the worst things turn out to be the best. So do not cower when bad things happens- jump out and see what is next for you.
 
 
 
 
Valuing Excellence: Woman of the Year Recipients Discuss Award's Meaning
 August 24, 2011

 
By:  Kathryn Harris

The pinnacle of EWTG membership is being nominated for the Woman of the Year Award. What’s even better than being nominated? Winning!
 
Within EWTG we are surrounded by women of excellence in all areas of life: professionally, personally, within the community, and in our EWTG organization. Each year we have the opportunity to recognize one such woman with the Woman of the Year (WOTY) Award. The winner of this award is announced at our annual conference in November.
 
The process to nominate yourself or someone else may seem daunting; however, the process is far from difficult. To better understand the meaning of the award and the best way to go about creating a nomination, please join us on August 24th for our monthly luncheon. The luncheon program will kick off with a panel of several past WOTY recipients who will discuss the award’s meaning in their lives. Following the panel we will have an opportunity to ask questions and gather suggestions in table group discussions about how to organize your award submission.
 
Please join EWTG members at this luncheon by registering here by Monday, August 22nd. Ample, free parking is available behind the Woman's Club on Nueces between 7th and 8th streets. Networking begins at 11:30 and the buffet - a hot, delicious entrée, salad, vegetables, rolls, dessert, tea and coffee - opens at 11:45 AM. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for guests. The program will begin at noon and conclude promptly at 1:00 PM.
 
 
 
 

Agency Membership Drive Update
 UT Southwestern Medical Center is in the lead!
 

By: Jennifer Buaas
 
There is still time to help your agency win the 2011 Agency Membership drive! Thus far, there are several agencies in the hunt, but the current front runner is UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. They have had 10 women join the Dallas Affiliate since June 1st. Way to go ladies!
 
Encourage your colleagues to attend EWTG events and join us in our mission to promote leadership in service to Texas by offering professional development opportunities. New members receive a $10 discount by joining at any luncheon, mini-course or membership social.
 
The membership drive ends September 30th and the highest percentage increase of new members during the June 1st – September 30th timeframe wins. The winning agency will receive public recognition and a reserved front table at the EWTG conference in November, a congratulatory letter to the agency head and most importantly…bragging rights to fellow EWTG members from other agencies.
 
EWTG develops leaders who create positive results in Texas state government. Please help EWTG continue to develop these leaders by encouraging colleagues to join.

 
 

LinkedIn, Facebooked, Twittered:  Affiliate Members Network Socially

 
By: Audrey Selden
 
Can you remember a pre-computer age? A world without cell phone traffic concerns because we did not or could not text or talk while driving? Some say that the information superhighway has created information overload and the true art of communicating with one another is under attack due to technology. Others argue that it is technology that has allowed the world to become smaller – that within minutes of major events, the world is on notice to a call to action. Whether you are engaged in social networking or like networking in a social setting, the EWTG Affiliates have great opportunities available for you. 
 
On July 28, the Dallas Affiliate hosted a meeting about Social Networking with presenter Brenna Smith. The Brazos Valley Affiliate will meet August 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Headquarters of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), with guest speaker TEEX Deputy Director Sue Shahan. Our Houston Affiliate will host an August networking luncheon at an area restaurant. Please visit our Affiliate web pages for more details. 
 
If you are in the San Antonio area and interested in joining EWTG, please send your contact information to affiliates@ewtg.org. We’ll be all a twitter to have you linked to us.
 
 
 
 

July 13 Mini-Course Re-cap
 Leadership Texas:  What's Up With the "W"?
Presented by Leadership Texas Graduates: Audrey Selden, Mary Castleberry, Heather Hall and Gena Minjares
 
By:  Denice Bettencourt
 
What is Leadership Texas? It is a statewide year-long women’s leadership program divided into five three-day sessions held in five different cities throughout Texas. Sponsored by the Foundation for Women’s Resources, the program provides valuable education, training and networking opportunities to Texas women. One Leadership Texas graduate commented that not only do participants in the program improve their leadership skills and increase their knowledge about Texas and global issues but they are also informally educated by the other women attending. Cutting-edge topics are addressed with behind the scenes access. A diverse class of 100 women from across the state is selected each year.   2012 is the 30th anniversary of Leadership Texas, which has 3,000 graduates to date.
 
Leadership Texas graduates described their experiences as exemplary, renewing, amazing, inspiring, and fabulous. Many form life-long connections with participants. 
 
What are the 2012 program cities and topics?
Session 1: Dallas, February 27-29, “The Future of Community”
Session 2: El Paso, April 23-25, “The Future of Security and Immigration”
Section 3: Amarillo, June 18-20, “The Future of Education”
Section 4: Houston, September 10-12, “The Future of the Economy”
Section 5: Austin, November 15-17, “The Future of Texas as a Global Leader”
 
Leadership Texas graduates noted the most significant topics which included environmental and health care legislation, stem cell research, women’s leadership, and cancer. The most meaningful places they visited were the women’s prison in Waco, the military base in El Paso, the women’s museum in Dallas, and the cancer center in Houston.
 
How do you apply?
The Leadership Texas application is on-line at www.womensresources.org/app and is due November 4, 2011. When completing the application, highlight what makes you unique, how you can bring a different perspective to the family of Leadership Texas participants, and why you want to become part of this life-long commitment. A non-refundable fee of $55, a head shot photograph, and a 150 word biography must accompany the application. Also, applicants must have three letters of recommendation submitted to the Selection Committee.
 
Previous Leadership Texas graduates have asked the following persons for recommendations: Chief Executive Officer, direct supervisor, former supervisor, professor, customer, EWTG President, friend, and former Leadership Texas graduate. One Leadership Texas graduate noted that it is always smart to ask your supervisor for a recommendation.
 
What are the expenses?
Tuition cost is $3, 7000. In addition, participants have to pay for their own travel and hotel accommodations. Tuition may be paid by participants, employers, sponsors, or scholarships. Scholarships are available through Leadership Texas and Executive Women in Texas Government. The EWTG scholarship deadline is September 30.
 
Questions?
For more information, you can visit the website at www.womensresources.org, e-mail the Foundation of Women’s Resources at info@womenresources.org, or call 214-421-5566. The Leadership Texas graduates are also great resources.
 
Listen to Audio Recording of Mini-Course: 
Click here if you would like to listen to the mini-course in its entirety.   
 
 
 
 

EWTG August 10, 2011 Mini-Course
"Navigating in Difficult Financial Times - 82nd Legislative Session Update"
Presented by Jan Thomas and Ray Hymel

                                           

Learning to navigate in difficult financial times has become a requirement for every state agency employee. At the beginning of the legislative session, Texas was faced with a $25 billion deficit. Across-the-board pay cuts, health insurance premium increases, elimination of longevity pay, mandatory furloughs, retirement plan design changes with funding reductions and hiring freezes were a real threat to the general state government workforce. How were these prevented in this severe economic time and what is the status of your benefits and retirement plan? This legislative update will share strategies and the final outcome of one of the most challenging legislative sessions in Texas history.    

Jan Thomas and Ray Hymel will provide valuable background information and insights into the legislative process and the difference that participation in professional associations can make in your career in state government. Jan is the former Director of Human Resources and Staff Development at the Texas Workforce Commission and Ray is the former Director of Governmental Affairs for the Employees Retirement System (ERS). Currently, Jan and Ray are putting their state government expertise to work on behalf of state employees and retirees at the Texas Public Employees Association (TPEA). TPEA is the oldest and largest non-partisan, non-union professional association for state employees and retirees.
 
This mini-course is scheduled July 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The presentation starts at noon. We look forward to visiting with you at the Carver Library located at 1161 Angelina Street. EWTG will provide terrific pizza, loads of fresh green salad, dessert and drinks for $10 (or no charge if you bring your own lunch).  RSVP to insure you get both a chair and lunch.  
 
Something worth remembering, especially in tight budget times: EWTG mini-courses and luncheons can count toward state employees’ annual training hours. Where else can you have a catered meal with friends and learn about something new, all while fulfilling a job requirement?

 
 
 

Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges.
EWTG Professional Development Conference
Save the Date - November 21, 2011
 
 
By: Mary Howerton
 
If you haven’t already marked your calendar for November 20 – 21, then stop everything and block those days!   You will not want to miss EWTG’s 25th Annual Professional Development Conference. The theme of the conference is “Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges.” and that is exactly what the EWTG Founders envisioned when they formed EWTG 27 years ago.   The conference will be held at the Hyatt Lost Pines in Bastrop, Texas again this year and the EWTG Conference Committee has a wonderful event planned. 
 
This conference will “Make History” by marking the 25th anniversary of the annual conference.   The opening keynote address will be given by Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders. Also, as Advisor to Goldman Sachs, Ms. Liswood's career has focused on globalization issues and workforce diversity. The luncheon keynoter speaker will be given by Connie K. Duckworth, founder and CEO of ARZU STUDIO HOPE. She will share her philosophy of economic empowerment through ARZU's goal of providing sustainable income to Afghan women by sourcing and selling the rugs they weave.
 
This conference will “Create Leaders” by providing 35 workshops for developing your skills as well as opportunities for networking with attendees and sponsors to broaden your knowledge of the issues and concerns facing women in leadership positions.   You’ll also be inspired by the EWTG Woman of the Year Presentation, which honors one of our members who has demonstrated leadership skills, dedication to service and commitment to community. 
 
When it comes to “Embracing Challenges” EWTG members are ready to tackle tough issues and problems. We all know that budgets are leaner than ever, so EWTG has opened registration early to allow you to register now and have the information you need to prepare your budget requests for the 2012 fiscal year.   You can learn more about the Keynote Speakers, Workshops Sessions, Exhibitors, and Silent Auction by visiting the conference webpage.   The Early Registration Discount is available so click here to register!   The annual conference is an exceptional educational value and we hope to see you there. 
 
So, have you marked your calendar? 

 
 

           Board of Directors Nominations
 
By: Carol Lauder
 
It is that time of year when we begin looking for those women who want to serve EWTG by membership on next year’s board. Carol Lauder is chairing the Nominating Committee for the 2012 Board. If you would like the nominations committee to consider you for a board position, please email pres@ewtg.org.
 
The Nominating Committee makes every effort to achieve diversity of ethnicity, age, job titles, and agency representation when developing its slate of candidates. The corporate bylaws provide that the Nominating Committee will present a recommended slate of candidates to the Board at its October meeting. Nominations from the membership are due by October 1, 2011, and must be supported by a petition of at least 15 voting members. The list will indicate which candidates are recommended by the Nominating Committee and which candidates are recommended by petition. If no candidates are recommended by petition, the slate is elected by acclamation. If there are petition-recommended candidates, then a vote will be taken and voting instructions and eligibility information will be published in the November newsletter.
 
You can find a description of the board officers’ duties on our website. If you or someone you know has been active in EWTG and is ready to develop new knowledge and skills, board participation is a great way to serve the organization and a great learning opportunity.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Save the Date: Wine Down Wednesday

By: Carolyn J. Fry
 
Save the date August 31st … and join the Education Events Committee for Wine Down Wednesday at the ”W” to include live music, an EWTG cash bar, snack vendor and a tour of their new building! Be sure to look for an upcoming email with more details and a request for your RSVP!
 

 
 

EWTG Woman of the Year
Now Accepting Nominations

By: Mary Howerton
 
She may be your colleague, best friend, boss, acquaintance, employee, or sister. She may be single or committed, a mother, grandmother, aunt, or simply a daughter. One thing is certain: she is a fantastic lady in all aspects of life.
 
The Woman of the Year (WOTY) Award recognizes an individual woman who has distinguished herself in the EWTG organization, her profession, and her community. The recipient of the WOTY Award epitomizes the values for which EWTG stands and represents the best of who we are as women and as leaders.
 
‘Tis the season to nominate yourself or another fabulous woman for the prestigious WOTY Award. Do you or someone you know deserve recognition for the service and leadership you have provided at work, within EWTG, and to better our communities? The WOTY Award is the platform to honor those women around us who inspire us to be better.
 
The nomination process is time-sensitive and the effort put towards a nomination may touch someone’s life forever. To assist with the nomination process, the August EWTG Monthly Luncheon will feature a panel of past WOTY Award recipients who will discuss what the award has meant in their lives. The panel will be followed by table group discussions, also led by past WOTY recipients, on how to best go about the nomination process. For additional information about the August luncheon, please see the Monthly Luncheon article in this newsletter.
 
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 can be found here.
(3) Submit your nomination by the due date, September 15, 2011.
 
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Mary Howerton, EWTG Public Relations Director. Happy nominating!
 
 
 
 
 
The 82nd Legislative Session:  Bills of Interest
 
By: The EWTG Legislative Issues Committee
 
The EWTG Legislative Issues Committee would like to provide you with a recap of some of the bills that passed during the recent 82nd Legislative Session. The most important of those bills is House Bill (HB) 1, the General Appropriations Bill.
 
HB 1 by Pitts, effective September 1, 2011, appropriated $172 billion or an 8.1 percent decrease from the current two-year budget. On a general revenue basis, HB 1 appropriated $80.4 billion which is a reduction of 2 percent for the biennium.
 
Regarding state employee and retiree compensation and benefits, the following summarizes the outcome of the 82nd Legislative session.  
 
Retirement
  • The state’s contribution to ERS will decrease from 6.95% to 6.0 percent in 2012. In 2013, it will increase to 6.5%. During both years, the employee’s contribution will remain at 6.5%.
  • ERS will be required to conduct an interim study related to potential pension retirement system changes, such as eligibility, final average salary, benefits multiplier and the creation of a hybrid plan. The study report is due to the LBB and the Governor by September 1, 2012.
Insurance
  • A tobacco user monthly premium fee of $30 a month will be applied to any tobacco user covered under the ERS health insurance plan. ERS will begin covering tobacco cessation prescription drugs effective January 1, 2012, to better assist those desiring to stop tobacco use.
  • State agencies and participating higher education institutions will contribute an amount equal to 1% of their base payrolls to ERS to maintain the current health insurance plan.
  • The dependent children eligibility age will increase to age 26 effective September 1, 2011.
  • ERS will be required to conduct a sustainability study of the health insurance plan, including its design and funding. The study report is due to the LBB and Governor by September 1, 2012. 
Other
  • Retirees will be able to contribute to the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) through monthly annuity payroll deductions. 
  • All proposals for state employee furloughs, across-the-board pay cuts, elimination of longevity pay, mandated hiring freezes and additional restrictions for return-to-work retirees did not pass.  
Other bills of interest can be found on the EWTG website.
 
 
 
 
   
 New and Renewing Members July 2011

 
New Members 
Alicia Adams, UT Southwestern
Cheryl Bedford, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Anna Benefiel, UT Southwestern Medcial Center
Carolyn Bradley-Guidry, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Karen Copeland, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas
Betty Faust, Mywellbeing
Trissi Gray, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Lasheryl Harris, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Wendeline Jongenburger, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Michelle Nichols, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Minerva Regalado, Texas Water Development Board
Kametra Roberson, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Meagan Warncke, TCEQ
Taya Retterer, Texas Department of Transportation
 
Renewing Members
Teresa Cabral, Attorney General of Texas
Mary Goehring, Lower Colorado River Authority
Valvree Kerr, State Comptrollers
Carolyn Kirkwood, DADS
Alice A. Mehringer, Texas Veterans Commission
Scarlett Spivey, RETIRED - Texas House of Representatives
Julie Warton, Commission on State Emergency Communications