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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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May 2010
President's Corner -
FAQs and NFAQs (Not So Frequently Asked Questions)!
Carol Lauder, President 

Carol Lauder


What does "Executive" in Executive Women in Texas Government mean?


It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that the title of our organization may deter eligible women from joining EWTG.  If my assumption is correct, then we are missing the opportunity to help foster the careers of women who are destined to be leaders.  In my agency, an Executive is typically a Director or above.  EWTG membership includes anyone who manages people or projects or who earns more than $35,000 a year.  Our structure of luncheons, mini-courses, one-day intensive fall conference, networking and special events is intended to broaden a state employee's knowledge of local and state issues and provide training that can be applied quickly.  Each speaker and training opportunity is designed to foster leadership and engender knowledge, the key traits of an executive. 
Do board members pay for their lunch, mini-course and attendance to the conference?  Board members serve the organization without recompense.  They are not paid nor do they get a discount on any events.  With the exception of the association management company, EWTG is an all volunteer organization. 
Who is eligible to receive an EWTG scholarship?  All current members in good standing are eligible to apply for a scholarship with the following exceptions:  members of the Finance Committee, which includes the President, President-Elect, Financial Officer, and Treasurer, and current Scholarship Committee members.  These individuals may not apply during the year of their service. 
Only one scholarship per year per person will be awarded.  Scoring of applications is based on participation and service to EWTG, benefits to the applicant, and benefits to our organization.  Members may apply for aid to attend Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, Training, Formal Education, Power Pipeline and Leadership Texas. 
Scholarship applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis.  Award recipients are required to commit to remain in good standing and participate actively in EWTG for one, two or three years, depending on the type of scholarship award. 
What measures are in place to ensure no one can abscond with EWTG funds?  EWTG has checks and balances in place to ensure there is a good audit trail for all financial transactions.  The first measure is the annual budget.  The budget is developed by the board members, approved by the Finance Committee, and then adopted by the board at the beginning of the year. 
Oversight of the annual budget is the responsibility of the Finance Director.  No one is authorized to spend funds that are not in the budget.  EWTG credit card use is limited to the President and CMP Management.  In addition, board members must complete a reimbursement form and provide receipts for all expenditures.  CMP posts all expenses to the budget. 
The Treasurer reviews all expenses to verify proper posting to the budget, pays the credit card bill, and issues checks for reimbursements.  CMP personnel balance the check book and prepare the profit and loss statements.  The Treasurer, Finance Director and President review all documentation, along with an account of all spending and revenue, each month. 
EWTG financial books are audited annually to ensure that the checks and balances in place are sound and the organization is complying with all state and federal requirements. 
Why don't we have an Executive Director?  In 2009, the board of directors hired CMP Management to perform the responsibilities previously performed for EWTG by an executive director.  CMP is an association management company that specializes in supporting organizations like ours. 
We have one primary contact at CMP, Debbie Peterson.  Debbie handles day-to-day affairs, responds to email requests, facilitates communication between the membership and the board, as well as performs numerous other administrative duties.  Lindy Jordan has expertise in conference administration.  She works closely with the conference chair and committee.  Carolyn Price, the President of CMP, manages the finances, produces profit and loss statements, and posts expenses to the budget.  Some of you have met Clair Walters, who assists at the monthly luncheons and works on conference activities. 
There are other CMP employees who work behind the scenes as well.  CMP employees are a hard-working group of professionals who provide an assortment of services that we have come to rely on in a short amount of time. 
How much money do we make on luncheons and mini-courses?  EWTG does not make a profit on the luncheons or min-courses.  Our goal is to provide meals as close to cost as possible so these events are affordable.  If a reservation is not kept and we are notified too late to lower the number of reservations with the caterer, EWTG must pay for the lunch reservation.  The $20 cost of the monthly luncheon pays for a salad, side dish, main course, bread, dessert, tea, coffee, beautiful surroundings and convenient parking.  We recently researched other venues and discovered that parking presents a major obstacle for many other possible locations.  With the price of food increasing due to lower supply from farmers, we could see an increase in the cost of luncheons in the future. 
EWTG is 25 years old.  The women who have come before us have done a wonderful job of ensuring we have a solid program structure and are financially healthy.  We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.  Show your thanks by taking advantage of all the benefits of membership. 
Carol Lauder
EWTG President

May 26 EWTG Luncheon
Bill Spelman:  City Councilman, LBJ School Professor and Leader
By Laure McLaughlin

This month, EWTG is pleased and honored to have Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman as our guest speaker. 

Turning theory into practice has been the cornerstone of Bill Spelman's career.  He earned a PH.D. in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, then spent seven years with a national association of big-city police chiefs developing nationally recognized community-policing programs. 

After serving two years on the Austin Water and Wastewater Commission, he was elected to the Austin City Council in 1997 and served until 2000.  While there, Bill championed downtown development, neighborhood-based service delivery, performance measurement, and civilian oversight of police operations. 

Ever talented, Bill is also a professor at UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs teaching courses in applied mathematics and statistics, urban policy and operations, and criminal justice.  His favorite research topics are police operations, prison policy, and urban economic development.  As the executive director of the Texas Institute for Public Problem Solving, Bill helped to train 14,000 police officers and community residents throughout Texas in the practice of community policing. 

Bill is currently Chair of the Waller Creek Citizens Advisory Committee.  He is married to Niyanta Spelman and they have two sons.  Please come early, ready with questions for EWTG's guest speaker and your Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman. 

The luncheon will be on Wednesday, May 26th at the Austin Women's Club, 708 San Antonio Street beginning at 11:30 a.m., with the buffet ready at 11:45 a.m.  To accommodate Bill's schedule, he will begin speaking at noon and will leave early to attend another meeting, so come early!

Ample free parking is available behind the Club at the parking entrance on Nueces Street between 7th and 8th Streets.  The cost for a hot delicious entree, salad, rolls, vegetables, dessert, tea and coffee is only $20.  RSVP today to ewtg@ewtg.org

We'll see you there!

May 12 EWTG Mini-Course

Cindy Leffingwell:  Making Summer Travel Plans?

By Laure McLaughlin and Sharon Buckley

Before you do, you will want to attend the Wednesday, May 12th EWTG mini-course presentation by Cindy Leffingwell, the marketing manager of Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas.  
Cindy is an expert on the highways and byways of Texas and will share with us her recommendations for day and weekend trips around the state.  You will learn about every bug, critter, fruit, vegetable and historical festival this state has to offer.  Cindy holds a BS in Advertising from the University of Texas and has more than 20 years of marketing experience.  Cindy enjoys promoting the State's Official Travel Magazine to Texans and those who love the state...almost as much as Cindy loves to travel the Lone Star State herself!  
The mini-course begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon, ending promptly at 1:00 p.m.  The mini-course will be held at the Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina, eight blocks east of I-35 just off East 11th Street. 
EWTG will provide pizza, loads of fresh green salad, dessert and drinks for a cool $10, or you can bring your own.  RSVP to ewtg@ewtg.org by Monday, May 10th. 
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 nice, quiet catered meal with friends and learn about something new, all while fulfilling a job requirement? 
April 15, 2010 - Spring Social at Nuevo Leon
The Board of Directors and the Membership Committee hosted the first membership social of 2010 on April 15, 2010.  The spring social was held in the private room at Nuevo Leon on East 6th Street. 
There was a great turn-out for the event.  Members took advantage of the chance to catch-up with old friends and make new ones.  The Board of Directors provided a brief orientation to members and informed them about all of the great ways that members can get more involved with EWTG. 
Participants enjoyed nachos, quesadillas and other refreshments, while several received door prizes!  More pictures are available on the EWTG web site.  If you missed this event, we hope you will join us at our next social.  More details to come! 
May 2010 - Affiliates Update
Lunchtime Affiliates Events Generate Increased Participation
More Dallas and Houston area women are taking advantage of the informative meetings and networking opportunities sponsored by the EWTG Dallas and Houston Affiliates.  Attendees commented that interesting speakers and networking accompanied by delicious meals make luncheon meetings an important bargain in these economic times. 
Doing Right Things Instead of Doing Things Right was the discussion topic during the April EWTG Dallas meeting.  Steve Crews, toastmaster extraordinaire, shared excellent strategies to keep us in good stead.  Thirty-seven people attended the presentation.  Stay tuned for announcement of the May meeting.  Nancy Northington, EWTG Dallas Affiliate Chair, encourages Dallas-area women to visit the EWTG website for more details about our activities:  www.ewtg.org.
Carolyn Kirkwood, EWTG Houston Chair also noted increased participation for the Houston area.  On May 13, Carol Lauder, EWTG President, and Audrey Selden, Affiliates Director, will join the EWTG Houston Affiliate for its May 13 luncheon meeting.  Carol will share her plans for 2010 for our organization.  Audrey will conduct a Speed Networking exercise.  EWTG members in the Houston area are welcome.  The Houston meeting location is 5425 Polk Street, Room 2E and F, from noon to 1:00 p.m.  Membership applications will be available at the March 13 meeting.  New and renewing members are welcome. 
EWTG is partnering with the Foundation for Women's Resources, the nonprofit organization that produces Leadership Texas and Power Pipeline.  We'll be on the road again later this year to co-host meetings in College Station, San Antonio, and Tyler.  Perhaps your agency or business has offices in these locations.   Let us hear form you if you would like to join us as we begin work to form additional EWTG affiliates in these cities.  We welcome your ideas about venues, presenters, and networking events.  The general requirements to create a new EWTG Affiliate include having 10 members, approval from the EWTG Board, and at least two meetings conducted in 2010.  Send us an email so that we may increase our list of invitees for these recruitment events:  affiliates@ewtg.org.


April 28th EWTG Luncheon Recap
Denise Davis:  Chief of Staff to Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus
By: Laure McLaughlin
Denise Davis, chief of staff to the Speaker of the Texas House, enthralled a ballroom full of EWTG members in her trademark low-key, thoughtful way at the April luncheon. 
Denise pointed to her upbringing as giving her three key traits that account for much of her success as a wife and mother, a lawyer, the parliamentarian for the Texas House and now The Speaker's chief of staff.  Her mother, with an eight-grade education and an indefatigable positive attitude, raised Denise as the youngest of eight children.  From her, Denise learned the value of education, the value of being prepared and the extraordinary value of personal relationships. 
Denise credits several women, besides her mother, as her role models.  After graduating from UT-Austin with a government degree, Denise's first job was in The Texas Senate mailroom.  Quickly, her intelligence, persistence and talent led to her being a speechwriter for then-Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby.  In his office, she said, was a large portrait of his mother, Oveta Culp Hobby.  Mrs. Hobby was twenty years old when she was parliamentarian of the Texas House early in the 20th century.  She was the first commander in the Women's Army Air Corps (the WAACS) during World War II.  Denise said she admired Mrs. Hobby so much that the same portrait hangs in her Capitol office today. 
Denise's life motto could be summed up with Louis Pasteur's quote, "Chance favors the prepared mind," or more popularly, Darrell Royal's statement that "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."  Add a lot of integrity, intelligence, calm humor and a recognition of the extraordinary value of creating goodwill and you have Denise Davis. 
April 10 Mini-Course Recap
Intro to Pilates with Jim Stein of The Hills Health Club
By Laure McLaughlin
Ladies, if you weren't at the April min0course learning the basics of Pilates with Jim Stein, you missed a terrific session. 
After spending some time explaining who Joseph Pilates was and the exercise regimens he developed 80 years ago, Jim, a professional dancer and Pilates instructor at The Hills Health Club, led EWTG members through a light workout on yoga mats. 
EWTG members did "the hundreds" (laying on your back, legs curled up, head raised and pumping straight arms up and down one hundred times), leg circles and rolling like a ball.  Jim explained that Joseph Pilates was an acrobat of Greek and German descent who believed that mind, body and spirit were integral to any physical activity. 
During World War I, Pilates was assisting wounded veterans and used whatever equipment was handy to develop exercises.  Hence, the "Cadillac" resembles an old-fashioned hospital bed.  Other types of Pilates equipment with intimidating names like the "Guillotine" and the "Reformer" (a personal favorite), aren't the human pasta machines they sound like.  Jim explained that the "Reformer" is really more like a cot with a sliding seat, with steel springs providing resistance.  The "Guillotine" or "Tower" is a vertical structure that assists with mat workouts. 
EWTG members appreciated Jim's training and even expressed interest in developing more Pilates classes for EWTG members.  How about it, ladies?  Contact Program Directors, Laure McLaughlin if you are interested!
EWTG Welcomes New and Renewing Members!
New Members
Bonnie Cone, Texas Board of Nursing
Elisabeth Earle, Travis County Courts
Araminta Everton, Texas Legislative Council
N. Jane Ireland, Department of State Health Services
Teresea Madden-Thompson, The University of Texas at Arlington
Kristen Reynolds, Texas Education Agency
Amy Simmons, Amy's Ice Cream
Renewing Members
Ardra Alexander, Texas Workforce Commission
Kay Arnold, Retired
Stacy Avery, Texas Education Agency
Sarah G. Bauer, Waddell & Reed, Inc
Dr. F. Ethelynn Beebe, MHMR
Susan Biles, General Land Office
Sarah Clawson, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mary Anne Clement, CIBER
Dee Copeland, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Susan K. Durso, Texas Public Finance Authority
Kathy Garrett, Texas Department of Transportation
Cynthia Hale, Retired
Barbara Harcketts, Texas Department of Transportation
Carol Lauder, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Sherbert Mims, Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services
Grace Nobles, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Dokpe Ogunsanya, Dupsy Enterprises
Cathy Qualls, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Roberta Rincon, University of Texas System
Janet Spies, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Tammy Sturm, Texas Department of Transportation
Frances J. Torres, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Melanie A. Williams, Texas Department of State Health Services
Linda Young, Austin Community College District