2018 – 2019 Co-Presidents Messages

Co-Presidents Messages August, 2018 – June, 2019

June, 2019

Springtime is renewal time for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which will begin on July 1. All of our  branch members who pay their dues early will be entered in a drawing at the board meeting on June 11 for a free year of local dues ($18). An application with payment categories is attached to this two-month newsletter for your convenience, and your early renewal enables the treasurer to submit payments to national before June 30. Please consider doing this today, or as soon as possible.

While the branch’s 2018-19 current board will continue to function during June, plans are already being made for 2019-2020. Newly elected executive officers are meeting with their predecessors and transitioning into their responsibilities. Co-Presidents Terry Whaley and Elaine Novak are strong leaders, well prepared to lead our branch and board in the coming year. We are fortunate to have a devoted Board of Directors and a supportive membership working together toward our mission. We can be assured of having purposeful and well organized branch and statewide activities as we strive to advance social equity in meaningful ways. I am looking forward to the opportunities to be presented by attending the state and national conventions in 2020. More details will be available soon!

Although there will be no branch meetings with programs during June or July, some interest groups may decide to meet during one or both of those months. Progress toward our strategic goals will be evaluated, the new budget will be developed, and programs for the new AAUW year will be arranged. An important part of our planning will come from the results of the branch survey recently sent to members. I urge all to participate and to return the survey by May 30. Your ideas and perspectives are invaluable as we chart the future of AAUW-Georgetown. Plans for the October 12th Duck Race will also be in full gear, with sponsorships and prizes being sought and with ticket sales starting in August, especially at our membership event at the Cowan Creek Center on Saturday, August 24.

As the “retiring” Co-President, I have appreciated working with and learning from many extraordinary women. At the 2017 national convention, a new mantra was “changing the climate for women.” I believe that we, as AAUW Georgetown Branch members, are doing that through our scholarship fundraising and awards to outstanding high school graduates. It was inspiring to “meet & greet” such optimistic and motivated young women and to hear their admirable dreams and goals for the future! Thank you for supporting our mission-related activities and programs! AAUW has been a valuable part of my life for over 40 years, and I’m hoping to continue in this endeavor for as long as I can.

Best Wishes,
Pat Rehm

May, 2019

What a great year we have had!

– Our Membership Tea with 11 new members joining that day.
– A successful Garage Sale netting over $500.
– Great monthly meetings with good attendance. Thanks, members!
– A successful Duck Race despite the weather thanks to Sharon Lesikar and the entire committee.
– A very charming holiday party at Connie Munoz’s home.
– Start Smart presented at Southwestern University for 22 students and four faculty. Great job, Marsi and Pat.
– Our annual Style Show and Silent Auction, a huge success thanks to Brenda Scholin, and to Elaine Novak for handling ticket sales.
– A complete slate of officers to continue the important work for next year.
– And most important of all, $12,000 awarded in scholarships to 5 Georgetown graduating women.

Annual Survey

In order to continue this impressive list of accomplishments for next year, the Board would like to get input from you. Please watch your email for a survey to help you provide ideas for the Board to consider. We need to know your preference for meeting times and formats, topics you would like for speakers to present, interest groups you might participate in, and any other ideas you have for the branch. We hope to have the survey sent out in May to help with planning for the 2019-2020 year.

National Priorities
The gender pay gap continues to be an issue for women across the employment spectrum. In Texas, women make only 81.43% of what men make for the same work.

Even if you have retired from the active work force, you probably have a friend or family member who is still employed. Please let them know about the resources that AAUW has to increase knowledge about how to negotiate for higher salaries and more equal treatment. We can help make changes if we work together.

Best Wishes,
Terri Whaley

April, 2019

Happy springtime! March featured two special events for our branch. The first was our 8th annual spring fundraiser, the fabulous Style Show Luncheon and Silent Purse Auction on the 23rd. Many thanks and kudos to Brenda Scholin, the organizer, and Elaine Novak, who handled ticket sales and seating arrangements. Then on the 26th, our branch co-sponsored an AAUW Start Smart salary negotiation workshop at Southwestern University. While we provided the license agreement with national AAUW to present the workshop, the Career and Professional Development Center Director, Daniel Orozco, handled the registration of students and the meeting arrangements on campus. Both Marsi Liddell and I took the facilitator training online and were privileged to lead the workshop. Through it, we hope to have empowered the students to start their professional lives knowing how to approach job interviews with confidence, job-related information based on research, and strategies to negotiate for a “target salary” which can meet their needs. Together we are working to close the gender pay gap!

A special Thank you! also goes to the Nominating Committee, consisting of Vivian Davis, Barbara McGrail, Val Sandham, and the Co-Presidents, as well as to those who agreed to fill vacancies on the Branch Board: Elaine Novak, Pat Perkison, Niki Bertrand, Aileen Bailey, and Ellen Flynn. The slate of these new executive officers for 2019 to 2020 was presented to our board and received approval in mid-March. The full list of officers-elect appears in this issue in a separate article about the Annual Meeting on April 15. Notice that the location has changed from the Circle of Care to the new Keller Williams Building, 1003 S. Austin Ave. in downtown Georgetown.

Another group acting “behind the scenes” is the Scholarship Committee, including Sharon Lesikar, Marsi Liddell, Karen Limbaugh, Barbara McGrail, and Levera Patton. They have selected candidates to interview from 24 applications and will soon select the winners of our spring awards. Stay tuned for the date of our “Meet and Greet” with the winners and their mothers!

Best Wishes,
Pat Rehm

March, 2019

Spring has sprung. March is upon us. After a busy February with Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day we are ready for our big March event, our annual Style Show. Brenda Scholin has been very busy getting ready for this special event. Please get your tickets and invite your friends to enjoy a lovely lunch and fashion display at the Berry Creek Country Club on March 23. This event is a fund raiser for our Scholarship Fund, so please plan to attend.

Thanks to Connie Munoz and Margie Wright for bringing us a very informative presentation on finance by Ivona M. Kostulak from Frost Brokerage Services at our branch meeting on January 21. Her remarks serve as a reminder for us to be active participants in our financial investment decisions; and stay informed on all aspects of our financial lives.

This presentation ties in with one of the national AAUW priorities of decreasing the pay gap between men and women. Women are less likely than men to negotiate salaries and raises, so training is one way to narrow this pay discrepancy. AAUW has been ramping up its Work Smart Initiative by expanding workshops in communities across the US. Work Smart Online has just launched with a goal of training 10 million women in salary negotiations by 2022. This new version will allow women to train online at any time. The national AAUW organization has issued a “Members Mobilize a Million” challenge, asking members to share the course information with 20 people. Together we can make a difference.

Our initiative to sponsor a Start Smart workshop for college students at Southwestern University is now scheduled for March 26. Marsi Liddell has trained to be our presenter. Thanks to Pat Rehm, Marsi Liddell, and Daniel Orozco, Director of Career and Professional Development at Southwestern University for organizing this salary negotiating program on campus.

Similar to the way our January program topic tied into one of our national AAUW priorities, our branch program topic on February 18 tied into the very heart of AAUW’s mission. With our speaker, branch member Patricia Perkison sharing her expertise and enthusiasm, we enjoyed reviewing the history of and learning some surprising new things about, women’s suffrage in the United States.

See you at the Style Show on March 23!

Best Wishes,
Terri Whaley

February, 2019

February Greetings!  I hope that January has brought you and your family a respite from the lively pace of the holidays!  This month the nominating committee will begin to contact members to serve on the 2019-2020 executive board, and the strategic planning task force will review the progress of our specific goals after the first six months.  It is also not too soon for Duck Race planning to begin.  Reports on these actions will be shared when available.

On February 18, even though it’s President’s Day, our branch program will feature “Women’s Rights, A Historical Perspective,” by our own member and retired teacher, Pat Perkison.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM, but the community room at the Circle of Care facility on Williams Drive will be open by 6:15 PM, allowing members a chance to socialize.

Public policy remains a major focus of AAUW.  On the national website, the Two Minute Activist provides a quick and easy way to reach our legislators regarding important social issues related to our mission.  There are two issues there, in particular, which need our attention at this time.

First, AAUW opposes the U. S. Department of Education’s latest changes to Title IX, intended to weaken the law’s ability to prevent discrimination of all students in federally funded programs from kindergarten through college.  We have been asked to contact Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, before January 28, to declare our views on her proposed changes.  For more specific information, you could visit this link on the AAUW Website: www.aauw.org/article/theattack-on-title-ix.  It gives details of the proposals and confirms the January 28 date for responses.  Then you can use the direct Two Minute Activist link in our public policy box on page 4 to register your views.

The second issue of public policy concern relates to passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (Senate Bill 3220) which will soon be introduced in Congress. According to the Two Minute Activist, “you can be a critical part of the work to pass it by urging your members of Congress to become original cosponsors and to call for its swift passage.”  If you haven’t already acted on this concern, please consider doing it now. See page 4 for a direct Two Minute Activist link on this issue.

For your information, we still intend to co-sponsor the Start Smart workshop for students at Southwestern University, and we are working with Southwestern to determine the date. The plan is to include a dinner for the student participants and AAUW observers before presenting the program. Marsi Liddell, our immediate Past President, will receive the Start Smart training this month, in order to be our presenter.  More details will be available soon for branch members who may wish to observe. For information about AAUW’s Start Smart program, see salary.aauw.org.

Best Wishes,

Pat Rehm 

January, 2019

Happy Holidays to the Georgetown AAUW Branch Members! Our Holiday Tea was a great success at the home of Connie Munoz. The food was delicious, the setting beautiful, and the participants were in the holiday spirit. Thanks to everyone who helped us with a wonderful event.

In January, it is back to business. Our January meeting on the 21st will be presented by Ivona Kostulak from Frost Bank. She will be discussing retirement investments for women. Since many of us are retired, or will be, it will be a timely topic to start the new year. The program will be at the Georgetown Health Foundation Circle of Care Community Room at 6:30.

National AAUW has been active on our behalf promoting better, equal pay for women. Successes include:

Helping 40 states and Washington D.C. introduce or consider pay equity legislation and 6 states to pass laws.
Joining Kansas City Mayor Sly James and the Women’s Foundation launch Work Smart in Kansas City.
Launching the free, online version of Work Smart, which is instrumental in our efforts to close the gender pay gap by 2030.

Supporting plaintiff Aileen Rizo in a critical court decision in the fight for equal pay. The Ninth Circuit ruled that using prior salary alone wasn’t enough to justify a wage differential by gender- a huge leap forward in addressing compensation equity.

The Georgetown Branch is still planning to do a Start Smart workshop at Southwestern University in February to help undergraduates, both men and women, learn the basics of pay negotiation. Please stay tuned for more details on that program.

Also in the coming events category: The 2019 Duck Race Committee has openings for members! The group has to meet only a few times, but members perform tasks, such as choosing a date, contacting sponsors, getting prizes, printing tickets or tracking sales. Planning needs to begin soon. Please tell either Pat Rehm or me that you would like to help with this important fall fundraiser.

Happy New Year to everyone for a healthy and prosperous new year. See you in 2019!

Terry Whaley

December, 2018

As 2018 is coming to an end, the branch board members and I are looking forward to the Holiday Tea and 95th Charter Celebration on Sunday, December 9. That event promises to be an interesting and pleasant afternoon at the lovely home of Co-Program VP, Connie Munoz. We hope that you can join with us to enjoy friends, food, and fun as we meet past branch presidents and hear some shared personal AAUW experiences.

Let us recall some branch highlights during this calendar year. Although our January 15 meeting at the Ride on Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) was cancelled due to heavy storms, it was rescheduled in the fall. On February 19, new member Cynthia Posey presented “Managing Communication in the Age of Social Media & Constant Crisis” about her extensive responsibilities as Director of Internal and Campus Safety Communications at UT in Austin. March 17 brought our Seventh Annual Style Show Luncheon and Silent Auction, organized by Brenda Scholin. April was a busy month, including our Annual Meeting & Dinner on the 16, with elections & special branch awards, and then a trip to Houston the next weekend for several of our members who attended the AAUW Texas Convention, led by State Board President, Pam Wolfe. The “Meet & Greet” on May 1 introduced branch members to our four college-bound scholarship winners and their mothers. No branch meetings occurred in June and July, but dues collection and planning for the next fiscal year were on-going. The Annual Membership Tea on August 18 attracted seven members to our branch. At our first fall meeting, on September 17, Teri Jansen, Director of Education at TheKey2Free, spoke about helping victims of “Human Trafficking in Williamson County.” On October 15, we finally found our way to R.O.C.K. and heard about its programs that provide “Healing thru Horses.” We also said, “Good-bye and Best Wishes!” to former Treasurer, Sandy Wilson and “Welcome!” to new Treasurer, Ellen Flynn. On November 19, Judith Dullnig told us about the Women’s Storybook Project of Texas that enables imprisoned mothers to record readings of stories for their children. A special “Thank You!” for this impressive schedule goes to our 2018 Program VPs, Phyllis Folarin, Margie Wright , and Connie Munoz, as well as to all officers and appointees of the two boards of directors during 2018.
It is notable, also, that our three fund raising events continued to provide substantial results, in spite of having our actual Duck Race cancelled by high water twice and instead having to do a public drawing of the three prize winners. Please say, “Good Job!” to Duck Race Chair, Sharon Lesikar and her committee members, to Brenda Scholin and her workers for the Style Show, and to those who supported the fall garage sale at Sun City. According to new Scholarship Chair, Marsi Lidell, that committee is eager to resume its activities in early 2019.
Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season!
Pat Rehm

November, 2018

It finally feels like fall outside! That reminds us that the holidays are right around the corner. Be sure to plan to attend the Holiday Tea on December 9 at the home of Connie Munoz.  October has been a busy month for AAUW Georgetown. The Sun City Garage Sale was quite a success.  Thanks to all who participated and donated items. We made $548 for the Scholarship Fund from your efforts.

We had a great program this month at R.O.C.K.  Heidi Derning gave us an orientation to the facility, presented a wonderful talk on the work R.O.C.K. does for women veterans, and our very own Sandy Wilson introduced us to the miniature horse named Peggy Sue. There are many volunteer opportunities if you are interested in working with horses, students, or veterans. R.O.C.K. provides a very important service to our community so contact at them rockateers@rockride.org, or 737-300-7625, if you would like to get involved.

Due to the flood in San Gabriel Park in September, the Duck Race was postponed to October 18 only to be canceled again due to heavy rain and flooding. It was too much water for even real ducks! A drawing for the prize winners was held at Georgetown City Hall instead. (See the article later in this issue that announces this year’s winners.) Thanks so much to the Duck Race Committee for their dedication despite all the setbacks. They were successful in raising $4,920 for the scholarship fund. Great work!

We are still looking for community contacts to spread the word about AAUW and our scholarship fund raising efforts. Don’t forget to complete your Community Relations Information form and include contact names and phone numbers of people we need to provide with brochures or flyers. We want AAUW to become a recognized community organization that supports women and girls.

Have you checked out the AAUW National website? Just a brief reminder of our Biennial Action Priorities listed on the website. Each priority has several goals listed. National priorities inform state and local action. Biennial priorities for national action are chosen according to the criteria of viability, critical need, strong member support, and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution or leadership. No order of importance is implied. AAUW national priorities are to advocate: 1) to support a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity, 2) to achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women, AAUW advocates, 3) to guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society.

One way the Georgetown AAUW branch is supporting these priorities is by sponsoring the Smart Start program for college women in conjunction with Southwestern University. It will be held on their campus in 2019. Please watch for further details on how you can support this important program.

Another of our 2018 goals is to have mentors for all our new members. If you would like to volunteer, please let Pat Rehm or Terry Whaley know so we can connect you with one of our new members.

A great big THANK YOU goes out to Sandy Wilson for the work she has done as our treasurer. Due to family issues, Sandy and her husband will be moving to Columbus, Ohio for a couple of months to determine if that is the best solution for their future. Sandy’s hard work has left our accounting in excellent condition. She is passing the baton to a new member Ellen Flynn. Please let Sandy know how much she will be missed and thank Ellen for stepping up to the treasurer’s position.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at the November meeting.

Best Wishes,
Terry Whaley

October, 2018

The fall season is here, and our branch activities have had a great start! Unfortunately, our 3rd Annual Duck Race was postponed from September 22 due to flooding on the San Gabriel River. A new date will be announced soon! Our first branch meeting was well attended, allowing the budget and strategic plan to be approved for 2018-2019. The program focused on “Human Trafficking,” a serious social problem in our county, state, and nation, and Teri Jansen supplied answers to our questions.  This month’s program on October 15, “Healing Through Horses,” will take us to the R.O.C.K. therapy center southeast of Georgetown, but we will return to the Williams Drive location for our November 19 branch meeting. [program information and driving directions to R.O.C.K.]  On Sunday, December 9, we will gather at Connie Munoz’s home for the Holiday Tea, with a special recognition of the branch’s 95th charter anniversary.
Our updated strategic plan includes three new goals along with those continuing from last year’s three-year plan. These focus on (1) providing mentors for our new and inactive members, (2) increasing collaboration with the AAUW Austin Branch, and (3) improving awareness of AAUW in our community. An ongoing goal in the Developing Partnerships section is to present an AAUW Start Smart workshop, a two-hour salary negotiation program for senior college women, at Southwestern University in early 2019. Interest in this project was sparked at our November 2018 branch meeting during a program on the “Gender Pay Gap” by San Antonio lawyer and longtime AAUW member, Malinda Gaul. More details will be coming soon!
The national level of AAUW also has a new strategic plan, based on feedback from thousands of members. The four designated ”pillars” of the plan include education & training, economic security, leadership, and governance & sustainability. Achieving pay equity by 2030 and training 10 million women to negotiate their salaries by 2022 are two specific goals focusing on economic security. Have you consulted the national site at www.aauw.org lately? You can find photos and pertinent information on important social issues, available resources for advocacy, and highlighted programs throughout our organizational network. I recommend occasional visits!
Best Wishes,
Pat Rehm

September, 2018

Greetings, Branch Members and Guests!

One of our new goals this year is to make AAUW better known to Georgetown and the surrounding communities. At the branch meeting on September 17, we plan to survey the members for local groups or organizations that have missions similar to AAUW’s. We wish to contact them directly with personal visits by our members whom they know, to provide information (using a script, if desired) about the AAUW Georgetown Branch and the important work we do to empower women and girls. We are also interested in learning about special public locations where we can place posters and fliers about AAUW events. Please come with pertinent contact information. We will appreciate your help to get the word out about our activities and the benefits of branch membership!

Our first branch meeting this fall will also present the important and timely topic of trafficking women and some local efforts being done to combat this human rights violation. The new budget and new strategic plan for 2018-19 will be explained and voted upon, and a quorum of current members (25% or an estimate of at least 15) will be required for approval.
At the membership tea on August 18 in the Cowan Creek Center in Sun City, members and guests had time to get to know one another. We shared information about AAUW’s structure as an organization, its mission, and our branch’s upcoming events. Six new members joined that day!

The Board is looking forward to a great year! Don’t forget to get your Duck Race tickets and plan to attend on September, 22 at 11:00 a.m. in San Gabriel Park, Georgetown, on the College Street side of the river. It will be a lot of fun, and you just might be a winner of one of our fabulous prizes!

Terry Whaley & Pat Rehm

August, 2018

Welcome to the 2018-2019 AAUW Georgetown Branch program year! We are very excited that you are going to participate with us. Several programs will educate us on local projects that support Georgetown and surrounding communities. Our September 17 meeting features Teri Jansen from TheKey2Free on Human Trafficking in Williamson County. We will continue to meet on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Georgetown Health Foundation’s “Circle of Care” Community Rooms on Williams Drive.

Although our branch activities usually occur from August through May, the summer has not been a period of inactivity for your board of directors. Officers, committees, and interest group leaders have continued to work “behind the scenes.” Our first gathering will be our annual Membership Tea, on Saturday, August 18 at the Cowan Creek Center in Sun City from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. We hope you will attend and bring friends. It will be a pleasant way to introduce potential members to our branch and to AAUW’s mission-related goals and activities.

Please consider getting involved with the monthly interest groups, and feel free to suggest new ones. Currently we have the Mystery and Contemporary Book Clubs, the Bridge and Mah Jongg groups, and the Lunch Bunch. Check the first page of this issue for details.

Fundraisers for this year will include the Duck Race on September 22, the Sun City Garage Sale on October 6, and the Style Show on March 16. Your support of these activities will make possible our branch scholarships to local high school graduates, as well as our yearly contributions to the national organization’s grants and fellowships for graduate women.

Since there was no board meeting in July, the 2018-2019 proposals for the new budget and for the revised strategic plan must be approved at the next board meeting on August 14. These  documents will be presented to members in the next newsletter and will be voted upon by members at our first fall meeting on Monday, September 17. We hope to see you there!

Both of us are looking forward to another great year of stimulating programs and community service. Get involved, and help us to continue the advancement of equity for women and girls.

Pat Rehm & Terry Whaley