Stressing? Affiliates Have the Cure!
By: Audrey Selden
Please take the following quiz. Answer Yes or No. Tally your “yes” responses.
Do you frequently . . .
Review your score:
Scores of 1-6 Few hassles.
Scores of 7-12 Pretty Good Control.
Scores of 13-17 Danger Zone. Watch out!
Scores of 18+ Stressed Out. You may need help.*
Our Affiliates are working with their members to combat stress. The Houston Affiliate tackled financial stress and arranged for individual discussions based on lesson learned from the May Texa$aver presentation. Dallas hosted Dr. Jawhari who discussed the effect of stress on weight and overall health. His topic, The Weight of Stress, was well received. Subway Sandwiches provided a nutritious lunch for the Dallas attendees. On June 22, the Brazos Valley Affiliate hosted a potluck pampering event with a charitable touch. Fostering a calm atmosphere, the Brazos Valley members relaxed while gathering school supplies for area schools.
Consider joining our Affiliates in Brazos Valley, Dallas, and Houston. Also, if you live or work in the San Antonio area, contact us. Your participation as we relaunch a San Antonio EWTG Affiliate is encouraged. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stressed or not, join us.
*Survey and scoring from www.lessons4living.com.
June 8 Mini-Course
The Daytripper with Chet Garner
By: Shawana Ellison
Chet started out as an attorney three years ago. He soon discovered that the law was not his passion. He really enjoyed traveling and vacationing with his family. Chet realized that there are many interesting and exciting sites and locations to visit right here in Texas. Did you know that Texas has 198 million visitors a year? And that these visitors spend $57.5 billion? With the economy weighing heavily on many minds, Chet reminded us to think about smaller vacations. He discussed the fact that we should be a in a “day trip zone.” He described a day trip where we can travel two hours one-way and enjoy the vibrant culture, scenic landscape, and fabulous food that Texas has to offer. He discussed his ten top day trips for the Austin area.
1. Austin: Be a tourist in one of the "coolest" cities in America.
2. Fredericksburg: Hike Enchanted Rock
3. Become a Que-noisseur (barbeque connoisseur) at any of these "must try" BBQ places: Louie Mueller - Taylor, Kreutz Market - Lockhart, Snow’s - Lexington, Smitty’s Market - Lockhart or City Market - Luling.
4. Fredericksburg: Tour National Museum of the Pacific War
5. Brenham: Tour Blue Bell Creamery
6. Dripping Springs: Swim Hamilton Pool
7. San Anotnio: Feed Wildlife at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
8. Burnet: Take a Plunge at Devil’s Waterhole
9. Waco: Drink a DP Float at Dr. Pepper Museum
10. Austin: Kayak the Colorado River
If you are looking for a great weekend getaway, Chet mentioned seven Texas locations that are fun and inexpensive. They include Hill Country-Burnet, Piney Woods-Tyler, Gulf Coast-Beaumont, Prairies and Lakes-Bryan, South Texas Plains-San Antonio, Panhandle Plains-Amarillo, and Big Bend Country-Marfa. Many of these locations offer campsites, hiking and biking trails, great restaurants, and exciting activities for the entire family.
Is it time to plan your day trip or getaway! Consider these ideas or watch Chet’s television show (new episodes begin July 2nd) and visit his website for additional ideas.
Television: PBS Wednesday–5:30am, Thursday–8:30pm, Friday–4:30am, and Saturday–10am
gusto. grit. determination.
Leadership Texas: What’s up with the “W”?
By: Audrey Seldon
Gusto, grit, determination? Why are these words important to Leadership Texas (LT) graduates? Join Audrey Selden, Women’s Resources Board Vice President and EWTG Board member, EWTG members Mary Castleberry (LT 2007 graduate), Heather Hall (LT 2009 graduate), and Gena Minjares (LT 2010 graduate) for a lively, informative discussion about the LT program.
We’ll share the meaning of the “W.” We’ll tell how this year-long, five-Texas cities adventure helps women enhance their leadership cache, causes transformational change, and generates an incredible statewide network. You will learn about the competitive application process for the 2012 class and EWTG scholarship opportunities.
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 Austin History Center located at 810 Guadalupe. 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. Metered parking is available around the building. Carpooling is encouraged.
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?
EWTG Professional Development Conference
Mark your calendars and make plans to attend EWTG’s 25th Annual Professional Development Conference on November 21, 2011, at the Hyatt Lost Pines Hotel, Lost Pines, Texas.
The conference committee is working diligently to plan and host another great event that will include educational workshops, keynote speakers and opportunities for networking with other conference participants.
This year’s keynote speakers are impressive. 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.
The conference format continues to include an Exhibit Hall and Silent Auction activities.
As the plans and details of the conference activities are solidified, additional announcements and newsletter articles are planned to keep you informed. In the meantime, ensure your calendar is noted for this event. You will not want to miss another terrific conference.
Third Quarter Scholarship Reminder from the
EWTG Scholarship Committee
Third Quarter Deadline: September 30th
By: Susan Durso
Hard to believe this is the third quarter of the year, isn’t it? The third quarter is the one in which you should submit a scholarship application for the EWTG Annual Conference or for Leadership Texas. Leadership Texas Scholarships will be awarded contingent upon your acceptance into the program, so don’t worry if you haven’t received word back on your LT application.
Did the last legislative session offer you a new job responsibility? Or, a new job? If so, this is the perfect time to take a class that will help you with your new duties. Would you be more effective if you knew all the ins and outs of Excel™ spreadsheets? Community colleges have skills improvement classes for many popular software programs used in the workplace.
EWTG’s mission is to help state employees--including state higher ed employees--develop the skills that will help them become leaders in their organizations. EWTG does that in part through its scholarship program, which is only available to its members--full members, retirees, and public/private partners—in the Austin chapter and all affiliate chapters. Scholarship categories are: training seminars and classes (up to $500), formal education classes (up to $1000), and the Leadership Texas Program (up to $5000, if accepted).
Third Quarter Deadline: September 30th
Tour of Oakwood Cemetery…A Success!
Donations to “Save Austin’s Cemeteries” Welcome!
The Education Events Committee hosted a tour of Oakwood Cemetery for EWTG members, family and guests Saturday, June 11. 2011. Twenty-two (22) people participated. Our tour guide was Mr. Dale Flatt of Save Austin’s Cemeteries, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and preserving historic cemeteries in Austin.
Oakwood Cemetery, originally called City Cemetery, is the oldest city-owned cemetery in Austin, Texas. Situated on a hill just east of I-35 that overlooks downtown Austin, the once-isolated site is now in the center of the city. The cemetery dates officially from the mid-1840s. The cemetery was renamed Oakwood in 1907. Paupers were typically buried in unmarked graves on the cemetery's south side. Graves without permanent markers were subject to reburial after a given period of time.
The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985; its annex was added on October 30, 2003. The cemetery now covers more than 40 acres. Despite its protected status, the cemetery has been subject to crime, vandalism and decay for decades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakwood_Cemetery_(Austin,_Texas), Wikipedia, 2011).
Mr. Flatt described the style, material and composition of grave markers and pointed out the oldest marker in the cemetery which dates back to 1842. He directed us to the graves of famous persons buried there and discussed some of their contributions, such as Susanna Dickinson, survivor of the Alamo. He also discussed the sections historically set aside for the city’s different ethnic populations.
Mr. Flatt described the difficulties both Save Austin’s Cemeteries and the City Parks and Recreation Department have in maintaining the Oakwood Cemetery, since no fees or taxes are dedicated to the site and maintenance of individual plots are the responsibility of the families of the deceased who may no longer exist. Occasionally, Save Austin’s Cemeteries is able to obtain rights to the grave so that they can cleanup and repair headstones and grave markers. The city has a contract in place for mowing the grass and general cleanup; however, Save Austin’s Cemeteries is in serious need of donations to assist with preservation activities. Please visit their web page www.sachome.org or email Ms. Leslie Wolfenden, their president, President@sachome.org if you would like more information.
Education Events Committee Members:
Debbie Mitchell, Chair
Jane Haney Rivera
YuVonda GallowayAshley Schweickart
In Remembrance of Janis Guerrero-Thompson
By: Barrie Cogburn
We are saddened to report that Janis Guerrero-Thompson, 2004 EWTG President, passed away in early June due to ovarian cancer. Janis was a loyal supporter of EWTG who led our organization with grace and style. Her leadership qualities were evidenced by the many fond remembrances that we received from members when they learned of her passing. Each reminded me of something that I've always known to be true: EWTG is an organization made up of loyal and loving women who truly care for and about each other. A donation was made to Janis’ Scholarship Fund on behalf of EWTG.
From Susan Durso, EWTG President 2008:
I was saddened to see the obituary this morning for Janis Guerrero. I did not know she was ill. Last time I spoke with her she told me she was enjoying retirement to visit with her grandchildren in North Carolina and she and Chuck were having changes made to their home so her mother could move in with them. Janis was a role model for me. My first time on the board, Janis was President. During my tenure as president, when I was faced with the sudden need to hire a new executive director, I called upon Janis to head that committee and she did so willingly. I asked her because I knew that with her organizational skills and discipline she would make short work of a difficult process, and she did.
From Ginny Booton, EWTG President 2005:
Janis was a role model of grace and strength. She was successful in her career and touched the lives of others in every position she held. EWTG was the beneficiary of someone so gifted who generously shared her many talents with us. She and I agreed that we should mentor and teach our members the importance of leading was to be confident, bold and courageous women and to do so with kindness and grace. She was the epitome grace which is the greatest strength of all. It was what made Janis stand out and accomplish all that she was able to for so many in our organization and our community.
From Shannon Kelley, EWTG President 2009:
I met Janis in 2001, when we both served on the EWTG Conference Committee, and had the privilege of working on her committee when she was the Public Relations Director in 2002. She was a natural leader and an inspiration to others – focused and driven, while at the same time caring and insightful. Her tireless energy, willingness to take on responsibility and gracious nature will forever guide those who were lucky enough to have known her.
Janis was committed to the Austin community and the following is excerpted from a notice that was distributed by her former employer, the Austin School District:
It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Janis Guerrero-Thompson, former Executive Director of Planning and Community Relations for the Austin School District. Janis will be remembered for her contributions and commitment to education and to the students of Austin Independent School District. Her kindness, compassion, and sensitivity toward others were always appreciated and will be greatly missed.
Janis devoted a lifetime to the education of children and, particularly, to opening doors of opportunity for students who face challenges while working to realize their dreams.
A graduate of Travis High School and the University of Texas, Janis began her teaching career at Dobie Middle School. She also taught at Austin High School and served in the district’s office of Gifted and Talented Education. She served as project director for middle school policy at the Texas Education Agency, and as a program director at UT’s Dana Center prior to returning to the Austin School District as Executive Director for Planning and Community Relations in 2004.
Janis led the district’s work in reaching out to the diverse communities of Austin, developing district strategic plans, working with the District Advisory Council, and improving customer service, including major upgrades of the district’s translation and interpretation services. She was particularly influential in strengthening the district’s ties to the Hispanic community, and increasing access to campus and district functions for Spanish-speaking families. All her work had been conducted with the best interests of the children of Austin as her measuring stick.
In addition to her work at AISD, Janis served on the Boards of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, GENAustin, Executive Women in Texas Government, and the City of Austin Civil Service Commission. She also served as a volunteer with the chaplain services at Brackenridge Hospital.
A scholarship fund has been established in Janis' memory to honor her many contributions to AISD and the Austin community. Contributions may be made to the Janis Guerrero-Thompson Scholarship Fund at the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, 1107 S. 8th Street, Austin Texas 78704.
New and Renewing Members
Suzanne Bradford, Gibson Consulting Group
Andrea Costley, Texas Department of State Health Services
Mirna Gonzalez, The University of Texas at Arlington
Pamela Jones, University of Texas
Natacha Pelaez-Wagner, MGT of America, Inc.
Erin Prather Stafford, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Amy Redmond, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Shannon Strank, University of Texas at AustinJennifer Wright, Texas Department of Transportation
Ardra Alexander, Texas Workforce Commission
Susan Biles, General Land Office
Katrina Burch, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Teresa Cabral, Attorney General of Texas
Sarah Clawson, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Shawana Ellison, Texas Health & Human Services Commission
Mary Goehring, Lower Colorado River Authority
Sam Gotsdiner, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Kathleen Hamilton, Retired Tx Dept of Health
N.J. (Jodie) Harrison, UT Health Science Center
Abbie Hinesly, Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services
Jennifer Jones, Legislative Budget Board
Carolyn Kirkwood, Department of Aging and Disability Services
Diane Mazuca, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Alice A. Mehringer, Texas Veterans Commission
Stephanie Nestlerode, Omega Point Int. Inc.
Elaine Powell, Retired, Department of State Health Services
Taya Retterer, Texas Department of Transportation
Wendy Sanchez, Employees Retirement System of Texas
Joanne Severn, Texas Department of Information Resources
Susan K. Steeg, Texas Department of Health
Darla Walton, Texas Department of Transportation
Julie Warton, Commission on State Emergency CommunicationsGrace Windbigler, Texas Department of Information Resources