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

August 2011 Monthly Luncheon Recap

September 2011 Monthly Luncheon
EWTG Partners with WIB to host UT Club Happy Hour
Affiliates Giving - Udderly Fantastic
EWTG Star
September 2011 Mini-Course
August 2011 Mini-Course Recap
EWTG 25th Annual Professional Development Conference - Invest in Yourself!
Woman of the Year - Nomination Deadline September 15th
Third Quarter Scholarships Now Being Accepted
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.
September 2011
 
President's Corner - September 2011 
 
Barrie Cogburn, President 
 

Barrie Cogburn

 
Put a Positive Spin on Your Request 
 
Fall is soon approaching and much of our organization's energy is focused on the highlight of the EWTG year. Vice-President Mercie Zapata and her Conference Committee are hard at work making preparations for EWTG's 25th Annual Professional Development Conference - Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges. If you have reviewed the conference website, you already know that we're offering a fabulous line-up of keynote and workshop presenters. You do not want to miss it!
 
To attend the conference, most of us must first gain agency approval. What’s the best way to approach your supervisor and request approval?   Hopefully you were able to bring your supervisor to the Bring Your Own Boss luncheon in August. If so, your supervisor now knows a little more about the objectives of our organization and supports your participation in EWTG. But for those of you with supervisors unfamiliar with EWTG, put yourself in their shoes. Why should they support your attendance in the annual professional development conference? What's in it for them? These are a few questions that you should be prepared to answer when you make your request.
 
If you are required to prepare a training request, make sure it is complete. And don't forget to take the opportunity to offer additional conference information and perhaps a few details about your own activity in EWTG. Consider something along these lines, "This one-day conference offers a unique opportunity for me to expand my leadership potential as training is available through a choice of 35 break-out workshops. I am active in EWTG and currently serve on the Community Service Committee.  Since I pay my own membership dues - if approved, I would qualify for the EWTG member reduced fee of $179 (non-members $209)".  Make sure to attach the conference information provided at the EWTG website and circle the sessions in which you're interested. This lets your supervisor know what interests you, and it could even spark his or her interest in attending too. So get to work on your request and I look forward to seeing you at the conference in November!
 
Barrie Cogburn
EWTG President 
 
 
 
 
Valuing Excellence:
Woman of the Year Recipients Share Their Insights
August 24, 2011
 
By: Bobbe Walker
 
The August luncheon focused on honoring our Woman of the Year (WOTY) recipients, learning about the award process and inspiring members to nominate a deserving woman or even self-nominate.
 
The WOTY Award began in 1993 as a new initiative of EWTG President Susan McClure Johnson. There have been 18 years of WOTY recipients, of which 13 were present:
 
1993 Elaine Powell
1998 Mary Lambert Howerton
1999 Donna Rolland
2000 Denise Pittard
2001 Penny Johnson
2002 Jan Thomas
2003 Susan McClure Johnson
2004 Carol Willis
2005 Joelyn Weeks
2006 Betsy Ford
2007 Gaye McElwain
2009 Barrie Cogburn
2010 Shannon Kelley
 
Three panelists were selected: Elaine Powell (first recipient), Shannon Kelley (most recent recipient), and Donna Rolland. Each panelist was asked the following questions.
  1. What has the Woman of the Year award meant to you and your career?
  2. The Woman of the Year award recognizes incredible balance in contributing to EWTG, your profession and your community. How do you achieve this balance in your life?
  3. How have you ‘paid forward’ on the Woman of the Year award?
The women told of what the organization has meant to them, how they were impacted, and how they have impacted others.
 
Following the panel discussion, each table was given one of eight discussion questions listed below. Two Woman of the Year recipients were seated at each table; one facilitated discussion and the other recorded and reported out highlights from the discussion.
 
Table Discussion Questions:
  • What qualities do you admire in a woman – and why?
  • Why do you participate in EWTG events?
  • How could you be more strategic about documenting your career, community and EWTG accomplishments?
  • How do you get comfortable ‘tooting your own horn’?
  • What are the leadership attributes that you admire?
  • What are some leadership opportunities in your career, community or EWTG?
  • Why is community involvement important and how do you make time for it?
  • Why is it important to be a lifelong learner?  
It was said that men are more likely to nominate themselves for such a reward than women. In a time where the accomplishments of women can be seen in all aspects of life and business, women of today need to realize there is nothing wrong in nominating yourself, nor is it prideful. Be proud of your accomplishments.
 
You are able to nominate a fellow EWTG member (or yourself) for the Woman of the Year Award now. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 15. The Board solicits a slate of three external judges, unaffiliated with EWTG, to review the nomination forms and rate them according to pre-determined criteria. The results are tabulated and the Woman of the Year nominees and finalist recipient will be announced at the EWTG annual conference in November.
 
 
 
 
Jodi Cole
Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
Septebmer 28, 2011

 
By:  Bobbe Walker

Prosecutors fear yet respect her. Defendants hail her as a friend and savior. No doubt about it, Jodi Callaway Cole, a petite legal ace with an Annie Oakley flair, is one of Texas' most successful and fair-minded defense attorneys. However, instead of wearing a holster, she wears stilettos.
 
Selected as a national "Rising Star/Super Lawyer" in both 2010 and 2011 by Thomson Reuters and featured two years straight in Texas Monthly, Cole is a fireball in court, arguing for the defendant in some of the most controversial and complex criminal cases in recent Texas history, including that of wrongfully accused death-row inmate Lonnie Johnson, which garnered her international attention in 2007. She has also been spotlighted in SuperLawyers magazine, which selects the best of the best from around the country, based on peer review. Just as equally important, Cole is a classic straight-talking Texan, whose southern drawl and legal prowess disarm her foes while assuring her clients. She makes it clear that she doesn't decide who's "sinned" or who hasn't. That's for the judge or jury.
 
From murder to sexual assault to DUI to white-collar crime charges, the Austin-based attorney represents the accused without reserve, and as a result, has been called both a charmer and a pit bull in court. She doesn't shrink from cases that would intimidate lesser lawyers, and her staff is currently gearing up for what Cole expects will be a complex, watershed issue -- "sexting" among juveniles and young people. Defending clients in both state and federal criminal courts, she has received multiple awards for a steadfast commitment to the poor, the under-represented, the wrongfully accused and, yes, even the guilty
 
Cole's tough-as-nails reputation stems from her insistence on treating everyone with equal respect -- an approach that's deeply ingrained in the native Texan, who herself overcame adversity and a broken home to become one of the state's most compelling young lawyers.
 
Since graduating Magna Cum Laude from St. Edwards University in Austin, and then from Texas Tech University Law School, entering at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, and ultimately obtaining a masters of law in trial advocacy from California Western, she has chosen not to be a prosecutor, but to be a defender. That choice was based on principle, she says: "There is a myth that former prosecutors are better criminal defense attorneys. This myth is not true. If I ever needed legal representation, I would personally prefer a lawyer who has always been committed to defending people."
 
Please join EWTG members at this luncheon by registering here by Monday, September 26th. 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.
 
 
 
 

EWTG Partners with Texas Women in Business for Happy Hour at UT Club
  

By: Jennifer Buaas
 
In addition to EWTG, there are many dynamic central Texas women's organizations that influence and serve the area. These organizations provide leadership in service and empower women by offering professional development opportunities.
 
Please join EWTG as we bring together two of these valuable women's organizations for a unique networking opportunity. Texas Women in Business (TWIB) is a non-profit women’s organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to local businesswomen through innovative mentoring, business development and professional expertise.
 
Event Details:
Date:  Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Time:  5:30pm - 8:00pm
Place: UT Club, 2108 Robert Dedman Drive, University of Texas Campus
 
The UT Club is graciously sponsoring a happy hour providing a back-drop for the finest women in business and state government to meet, collaborate and network. We sincerely hope that you can join us on the 20th. In order to provide a count for the complimentary appetizers and a drink ticket, please register here.  Guests of EWTG are welcome to attend.  If you would like to bring a guest, they may register using the same link.  
 

 
 

Affiliates Outstanding in their Field - Charitable Giving Udderly Fantastic 

 

By: Audrey Selden
 
If you visited Austin recently, you probably noticed the stampede that has taken over the city. The City of Austin and the Foundation at the Dell Children’s Medical Center are sponsoring the CowParade, a charitable art project featuring statues of 3-D cow sculptures designed by local artists, students, and community members. CowParade’s auctions raised more than $20 million for local nonprofits in more than 30 countries. http://cowparadeaustin.com/   Our Affiliates agree that charitable giving can be udderly satisfying. 
 
Our Affiliates have helped local charities throughout the year. All three Affiliates gathered school supplies to support area schools. The Brazos Valley Affiliate will host the Executive Director from Twin City Mission at its October meeting. Twin City Mission helps homeless individual and families. Whether it is shelter, meals, clothing, household items or whatever, Twin City Mission operates on the premise of not seeing through each other, but rather, seeing each other through. Please visit our Affiliate web pages for the October meeting schedule. 
 
If you are in the San Antonio area and interested in joining EWTG, please send your contact information to affiliates@ewtg.org. We welcome your participation. Let us corral you into joining EWTG to reflect on an honest graze work, share networking opportunities, and enjoy a little amoosement.
 
 
 

EWTG Star
 
 
EWTG congratulates Susan Biles on her promotion to the Director of Governmental Affairs at the General Land Office. Way to go Susan!

EWTG also congratulates Gaye Greever McElwain on her new position as the new Public Information Officer at the Railroad Commission of Texas. Great job, Gaye!
 
If you or someone you know has recently been promoted and would like to be mentioned in an EWTG newsletter, please contact the Communications Committee.
 
 
 

EWTG September 14, 2011 Mini-Course
"Career Transitioning in Challenging Times"
Patricia V. Hayes
 
 
 
By: Denice Bettencourt
 
Is your professional life in turmoil as a result of downsizing, economic downturns, or just feeling down and out? Well, “turn that frown upside down” as you learn to reframe your mindset and pursue your professional dreams and goals in today’s ever-evolving workplace. Leave the negative, limiting mindset at home so you can be open to a world of opportunities. In this interactive session you will be presented with a host of practical tips and helpful resources to start you on your journey to a new, fulfilling career.
 
Patricia V. Hayes will lead this interactive session. Patricia is the Owner of PVH Consulting Group, LLC., www.pvhconsulting.com, a public affairs and management consulting firm in Austin, Texas. A dedicated and experienced executive who is creative, visionary and solution-oriented, Ms. Hayes has served as a respected policy confidante, advisor and strategist to executive leadership in state agencies and legislative leadership as well as in non-profit organizations. A skillful public speaker with more than twenty years of experience, she has written and prepared speeches, presentations, legislative testimony and training materials for an array of audiences, from lay persons to chief executives in statewide agencies and legislators. A lifelong learner, in her current role Ms. Hayes is able to expand upon her skills and professional experiences to provide additional personal and professional development training opportunities to help others achieve individual success. A licensed attorney, Ms. Hayes earned her bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from the George McConnell School of Law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She is happily married and the mother of two.
 
The mini-course begins at 11:30 AM and the program begins at noon, ending promptly at 1 PM. The mini-course will be at the Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina, eight blocks east of I-35 just off East 11th 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?
 
 
 
EWTG August Mini-Course
“Navigating in Difficult Financial Times - 82nd Legislative Session Update”
Presented by Jan Thomas and Ray Hymel
August 10, 2011
 
 
                    
 
By: Laura Johanssen
 
Jan Thomas opened the session by discussing the Texas Public Employees Association's (TPEA) history. TPEA is the state's oldest and largest employee member organization. It has represented the interests of all Texas state government employees and retirees since 1946. TPEA has more than 16,000 members who vote, write and call their legislators and who work to promote the interests of state employees and retirees.
 
TPEA's focus is on the salaries, benefits, and retirement of Texas state employees. Its role is critical to protect the rights of state government employees and retirees. TPEA staff members use their expertise and ability to build key relationships with legislators and their staff. These relationships are crucial in preserving and enhancing state employee benefits. 
 
TPEA also provides data to legislators to help them make decisions. Jan Thomas shared a key bit of data. Over the last 10 years the population of Texas has grown 20%, but the state employee population has only increased by 3%. We are all members of an extremely lean and efficient work force. 
 
Due to the hard work of Jan, Ray and the rest of the TPEA staff, they were able to influence the following committees positively during the last legislative session:
  • The Finance Committee
  • The Appropriations Committee
  • The Speaker’s Staff
  • Legislative Budget Board (LBB)
  • The Pension Committee
TPEA's efforts combined with the support of key legislators led to preserving affordable state health benefits and maintaining a strong ERS retirement fund for state employees. There will be no medical services deductible and no changes in co-pay or co-insurance costs. Longevity pay was also maintained at current levels for state employees. When legislation was proposed which could have negatively affected state employees’ longevity pay, TPEA mobilized members to conduct a grass-roots email campaign. This grass-roots effort had an overwhelming response and the bill was not passed. 
 
TPEA prevented passage of other bills which would have negatively affected state employees:
  • Hindered legislation to impose unpaid employee furloughs
  • Helped stop amendments to impose across the board salary reductions
  • Assisted to shut out efforts to impose agency hiring freezes
  • Prevented passage of bills to change nature of state retirement pension plan
  • Blocked legislation to create high deductible health plan with HAS.
Ray Hymel emphasized the importance of developing relationships with legislators and their staff whenever possible. He encouraged attendees to go to events and get to know the legislative staff. He also advised that if given the chance to interact with legislators or their staff on a professional level, ensure that you give prompt and courteous service to enhance credibility.
 
The mini-course concluded with a quick overview of two interim studies of interest to state employees. TPEA will be working with the legislature to study the state employee health benefits and retirement plans.
 
For additional information about the 82nd Legislative Session, please click here for a link to the summary of the bills of interest written and provided by the EWTG Legislative Issues Committee members. For additional information about the TPEA 2011 legislative accomplishments, please click here.  For additional information about the Texas Public Employees Association, please call 512-476-2691, fax 512-476-1138, visit website http://www.tpea.org or email mail@tpea.org.

 
 

Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges.
EWTG Professional Development Conference
November 21, 2011
 

By: Mary Howerton

Many of you have already taken advantage of the early opening of registration for EWTG’s 25th Annual Professional Development Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges.”   It is easy to envision the EWTG Founders could have used this theme for the first EWTG Conference because making history, creating leaders and embracing challenges is what the founders wanted to accomplish with the creation of EWTG. You too can think of your attendance at this year’s conference in the same context and we hope you’ll take this opportunity to register now!
 
You will be Making History by being a part of the 25th conference. You will also make a little bit of your own history by investing in your professional development and learning from the outstanding keynote and workshop speakers, networking with other attendees and being a part of a tradition of excellence in leadership education. You will be Creating Leaders by providing yourself and your staff with the opportunity to attend the premier development conference for women in state government. You will be Embracing Challenges by learning new tools and techniques to bring back to your agency or university to start to tackle those day-to-day “opportunities” we all face. 
 
We hope you’ll take a few minutes and visit the conference webpage to learn more about the Keynote Speakers, Workshops Sessions, Exhibitors, Silent Auction and Networking Reception. 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 as we continue “Making History. Creating Leaders. Embracing Challenges.” 
 
 


Woman of the Year
Hurry.....Nominations Close September 15th
By: Kathryn Harris
 
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 featured a panel of past WOTY Award recipients who discussed what the award has meant in their lives. The panel was 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. Complete the nomination form on the EWTG website.
  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!
 
 
 
 
 
A Reminder from the EWTG Scholarship Committee:  Third Quarter Deadline is September 30th
 
 
By: Susan Durso
 
Your professional development is EWTG’s mission. Scholarships are available for training seminars, formal education and Leadership Texas. Training seminar scholarships can be used for registration costs for the EWTG Annual Conference, up to the earliest registration amount applicable to members. Leadership Texas applicants can submit a third quarter scholarship application, even before they know whether they have been accepted into the Leadership Texas Program. Awards for Leadership Texas can include travel expenses and tuition up to a maximum award of $5,000. The Leadership Texas scholarship is the only scholarship for which travel expenses are eligible costs.
 
Get your third quarter scholarship applications submitted by September 30th for the EWTG Annual Conference, for Leadership Texas, or for any other formal education, seminar or training program that will help you develop your professional and personal skills.
 
 
 
 
   
 New and Renewing Members August 2011

 
New Members 
Stephanie Baggett, Texas Department of Transportation
Wendy Benestante, Health and Human Service Commission
Sheila DeLeon, Legislative Budget Board
Renee Drabier, UNT Health Science Center
Tamala Fletcher, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Nancy Foster, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Sissy Gillis, Department of Information Resources
Janet Gilmore, Department of Information Resources
Twyla Heslop, Texas School for the Deaf
Erin Hutchins, NIC, Inc.
Aurora Meza, Texas Department of Transportation
Sheila Mills, Texas Department of Transportation
Shirley Mitchell, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Karen Morse, Texas Workforce Commission
Melissa Neeley, Texas Department of Transportation
Minerva Regalado, Texas Water Development Board
Jennifer Savoy, NIC, Inc.
Maggie Shepardson, State of Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations
Isis Vaughn, Texas Department of Public Safety
Raquel Vogt, State Comptroller of Texas
Dana Collins, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
 
Renewing Members
Sandy Barling, Texas Department of Transportation
Denise Benbow, Texas Board of Nursing
Ginny Booton, Department of Motor Vehicles
Terry Boyce, Texas Department of State Health Services
Katharine Chambers, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Mary DeShazo, Sam Houston State University
Clare Dyer, Texas Legislative Council
Roxanne Gruhlke, Texas Workforce Commission
Karen Howard, Comptroller of Public Accounts
Patricia Kuntz, Texas General Land Office
KaLyn Laney, State Bar of Texas
Jebron McCue, TDOA-Retired
Dianne Mendoza, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Nancy Northington, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Carolyn Penn, Texas Departpment of Family & Protective Services
Machelle Pharr, Texas Department of Public Safety
Tanya Skaarup, Office of the Attorney General
Marietta Storey
Ronda Tewell, Department of Aging and Disability
Gladys Tinsley, Texas Department of State Health Services
Marie Virtue, Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services
Julie Warton, Commission on State Emergency Communications
Carolyn Wofford, Texas Department of Transportation
Marianne Woods Wiley, Teacher Retirement System of Texas