June 24th, 2011

Well, this is it. AWC’s program year is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe that May
is already here and the year is nearly behind us.

We had, as always, a fabulous group of Newsmakers honorees, including our Newsmakers: Carmelita Skeeter, CEO of Indian Health Care Resource Center Inc.; Roxana Lorton, volunteer community leader; and Karen Morgan, retired CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. All of these women have made lasting contributions to the community, using their leadership abilities, vision
and expertise to lead organizations into new phases of growth and success. They
are determined and they are inspirational.

We recognized another notable woman at the Newsmakers Awards Luncheon, Missy Kruse, this year’s Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award winner. As a colleague of Missy’s at TulsaPeople Magazine, I am thrilled that she is receiving this honor. Not only has she made an impact on the communications field in Tulsa, but she has also made an impact on me personally. Missy hired me for my first job in Tulsa and since then has served as a mentor in a variety of ways, teaching me about writing, about working with writers and about telling Tulsa’s stories. She also introduced me to the Tulsa Chapter of AWC, inviting me to the Open House event nearly six years ago. I met AWC’s members there and have been hooked ever since.

Then, I had no idea that I would one day get to lead this fantastic organization. I am honored to have served as the chapter president this year and have been consistently impressed by the hard work, dedication and commitment of our members. We have laughed together at bull sessions, learned from one another at the monthly meetings and workshop, helped the community together through our military care packages and worked together to plan the upcoming national convention. Additional work has occurred behind the scenes as well, from launching our new website to engaging with our student chapter at OSU to growing our membership base. We have become better communicators and better friends, and I have loved every minute of watching this group work and grow.

Specifically, I would like to thank this year’s board members for the time they have committed to the day-today operations of this chapter. They have dedicated countless hours to the chapter this year, organizing events and serving members. I am thankful for all the work they have done.
Now, as Linda Jordan takes the helm as president, I hope you, AWC’s members, will consider taking an active role in the chapter in the upcoming year. We have a slate of board positions that need talented, dedicated and enthusiastic women, and I hope you will each consider accepting one of these roles or serving on a committee. AWC is what you make of it, and it’s in the board and committee work that you can truly get connected and share your insights and experiences with the organization.

It has been a great year. Let’s keep the momentum going.


April 1, 2011 (no foolin’)

April 1st, 2011

By Beth Turner

“Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits.” –The Hunger Project at thp.org

Title IX of the Education Amendment was enacted June 23, 1972, requiring schools to put as much emphasis on girls’ sports as on boys’ sports.  Yet, in Oklahoma, it wasn’t until 1995 that schools stopped teaching young women six-on-six basketball and began allowing them to run full court, five-on-five play.

Title VII was passed in 1962, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Yet, a USA Today article published April 2010 reports, “In the U.S., there is a 23 percentage point earnings gap between men and women.”  Here are two examples of how even when laws require our society to change; it isn’t until we stand up with it that it actually happens.  Ladies, it is time women stopped apologizing and started negotiating.  It is time we start researching salary grades and raising our expectations. It is time we own our self worth.

I say this to myself as much to you.  In my passionate 20’s, I was full of spit and fire.  I raised the roof against injustice, and consequently received several negative reviews on the job.  So, I did learn that throwing a fit is only good for getting in trouble and looking like a (bad) child.  But with my training in communication should come empowerment for my betterment, which should include my pay grade as well as my job title.

As an educator, I believe knowledge is power.  When we understand how much money a company, organization or institution has to spend we can better understand how much of that pie is deservingly ours.  When we understand market rates, pay averages and again, our own self worth, we can expect and demand like-compensation. 

However sickening it is, let us regard recent bailout bonuses to the CEO’s (all men) who helped put our nation in a recession, A.I.G. Chair, Edward Liddy wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner stating, “We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.” 

Think about it this way: If you are willing to accept less pay, you aren’t making a deal for yourself or your employer. In fact, you might cut yourself out of the running for the position because if you don’t demand good pay, they won’t respect you as much and in turn, believe you can do the job you are absolutely qualified to handle.  Think of this as professional dating, courtship, and marriage.  I expect a man to treat me right.  If he doesn’t, I don’t want him. Why would I want anything less from my employer?  It’s time we use some of that time and energy spent on personal relationships and put it towards a better paycheck for ourselves, our self worth and once and for all, towards truly breaking the glass ceiling.

What’s in a Name? Too much information if you’re a woman.

March 11th, 2011

By Beth Turner

They’re called, “courtesy titles,” but how courteous is it to be forced into judging a woman’s age and marital status just to introduce her to a friend or write her an email?  When referring professionally to a male counterpart, you simply type or say, “Mr.”, right?  But with a woman, you must choose between “Miss,” Mrs,” and “Ms.” In my opinion, this is an insidious form of age and gender discrimination.  As a businesswoman, I do not consider my marital status or age bracket necessary information for the professional setting.  I believe my ability to handle the work at hand is first and foremost. 

A holdover from the days when women were the property of husbands or fathers, when we couldn’t own land, and certainly were not allowed our own names the old cigarette phrase certainly comes to mind:  We have come a long way, Baby.  But oh! Our work is not complete.  In researching my grandmother’s history, I realized that it wasn’t until newspapers needed to refer to women in military service that we began seeing our actual names in print.  A reporter just couldn’t refer to a woman as “Mrs. John Smith” if she was a sergeant in the army.  But we still have this holdover of a time gone by when incorporating courtesy titles to our names.

So, I would like to kick off a campaign to officially change grammatical rules…any professional relation to the gender of a colleague, the standard response should simply be “Mr.” when referring to men, “Ms.”, when referring to a woman. This will help alleviate the pressure of reference etiquette for the modern-day workplace and also help copy editors when working with type space and uniformity.   We can get into cross-gender topics later.  But for now, I think this is a good place to start.  Thoughts?  Ideas on how to get this concept into an official communications rule? Email bethturner@me.com.

From the President

March 9th, 2011

For the last few weeks, I have been participating in The University of Tulsa’s Mini-MBA program. Thanks to my company, several of my co-workers and I have had the opportunity to attend these courses and hear expert speakers share their thoughts on a variety of topics, from understanding financial statements to creating a strategic plan to managing organizational change.

 The class I attended most recently was particularly interesting. This session focused on two topics: effective leadership and communication. During the class, the speaker touched on a variety of best practices to becoming a successful leader. He described the importance of “vision-powered leadership,” which, coupled with an organization focused on learning and team-spirited relationships, can lead to success. He described the differences between managers and leaders (coaching versus administering; developing versus maintaining). He shared qualities of authentic leaders (passion, solid values, leading with heart, establishing enduring relationships, self-discipline). And he shared the qualities people value in leaders (honesty, forward-looking, competent, inspiring, fair-minded, supportive).

In describing the qualities of effective leaders, the speaker also frequently mentioned the importance of communication. He provided a list of history’s most effective leaders, all of whom were highly skilled communicators. He said effective leaders use communication in a variety of ways, such as giving recognition for good work, building self-esteem among employees, encouraging differing opinions and asking for employees’ suggestions in solving problems.

When I considered leadership and communication, and the qualities that make each effective, I couldn’t help but think that AWC Tulsa has an abundance of riches. Our members embody so many, if not all, of these qualities. So many times and in so many ways this year, I have seen AWC members step into leadership roles, with impressive results.

From the work our programs and reservations chairs put into planning our monthly luncheons to the Newsmakers committee’s ongoing efforts to create a successful awards event. From Michelle Fourroux’s efforts to connect with our student chapter at OSU to our technology team’s efforts to develop our website, social media and database. And from the many members working to make the national AWC conference a success to one member’s idea to collect donations for care packages for a troop serving in Afghanistan, our members’ creativity and dedication have been evident in so many ways.

And this month, the special event committee, led by Barbara Jacoby and Lari Gulley, will present “Communication Bootcamp,” which is sure to be yet another useful and inspiring learning opportunity.

I could share so many more examples of the fantastic work you, our members, are doing to make AWC so dynamic and effective. Every time a group of AWC members gets together, magic happens — ideas are shared, friendships are formed or strengthened and effective leadership and communication are at work. I am thankful that not only am I getting to learn about these skills; as a member of AWC, I also see them at work every day. Vision-powered leadership, indeed.


Welcome to our Blog!

February 25th, 2011

Stumbling Through the Web

New sites that knock your socks off! And can also be useful…

By Kendra Blevins

Welcome to the inaugural blog of the Association of Women in Communications, Tulsa Chapter. My name is Kendra and I’ll be writing the first blog for the website. I wanted to start it off by introducing you to some funny, hip, interesting and useful websites that I found stumbling through the internet via Stumbleupon.com; a fascinating way to explore new sites in that vast and spacious virtual land.

Below are some of the best sites I found from my latest stumble.

1. If you ever wanted to know how to write the alphabet awesomely then check out: www.metacafe.com/watch/1857110/how_to_write_shape_relief_alphabet/   Blurr your vision, like looking at a magic eye poster, to see this alphabet pop!

2. Don’t you love it when newscasters just can’t seem to get the words out right?

For example, Newscaster 1 says, “A tractor trailer transporting Black and Gus, there’s Black or Gus, was stopped along the beltway while changing a tire…”

Newscaster 2 says, “I wonder if those cows named Black or Gus were actually black angus cows?”

Just watch this: www.funnyordie.com/videos/66deca8fe8/reporter-slip-ups-from-that-happened

3. Oh, H-E-to-the-double-L, yes. Who doesn’t want more fonts?

4. And who doesn’t want to know what rhymes with H-E-to-the-double-L?

Clamshell; That’s what. Type in a word and rhyme, end rhyme, double rhyme, to your heart’s content.

5. A writer’s dream, an editor’s nightmare: Other Words For “Said”

6.  Gotta love these Mad Men-esque bad ads from the good ol’ days: “If your husband ever finds out, you’re not “store testing” for fresher coffee…” 

7. Have you experienced the money saving power of coupons? Well Sara Roe, our Money Saving Queen  has, and is telling all.

8. Lastly, a great quote to end this stumble: “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

John Lennon 

Facebook anyone? Waste on my friends.

From the President

November 4th, 2010

10 Thankful Thoughts

So, it’s official. The holiday season has begun. The day after Halloween, I saw my first Christmas commercial. And although I still have a skeleton dangling from my front porch, I can’t deny it — the holiday hustle and bustle has arrived.

Although it may get overlooked in favor of December’s wealth of activities, Thanksgiving is still an important holiday in my book. It’s an opportunity to gather with the ones we love, eat a huge meal and consider all the blessings we have enjoyed throughout the previous year.

So, to honor this oft-neglected holiday, I am going to celebrate an organization that certainly has become a benefit in my life — AWC. Here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons why I am thankful for Tulsa’s AWC chapter.

1. Membership luncheons. I look forward every month to getting together with fellow members to catch up, enjoy lunch and listen to an informative speaker. I always take something interesting away from these gatherings, whether I am hearing from politicians, nonprofit leaders, technology experts or even fellow members.

2. Bull sessions. Who isn’t thankful for these, right? I love getting together with the other women of AWC to chat, share a glass of wine and a few snacks. Sometimes we stay an hour or two; sometimes the host is kind enough to let us stay even later. Fortunately, there’s always plenty to talk about!

3. The annual workshop. This event is always informative, engaging and helpful. Great speakers, great topics and great opportunities to put what we’ve learned into action. It was at an AWC workshop that I first heard the word “Twitter” and how to implement social media into work strategies. #grateful.

4. Newsmakers. This was the first committee I joined as a Tulsa AWC member, and I’ve loved every event with which I’ve been involved. We are always blessed with a truly impressive group of honorees, and I always leave the awards luncheon inspired and motivated.

5. Community involvement. Our chapter has always been dedicated to serving the community in which we work and live. Recently, I was thrilled when our board decided that AWC would become a Partner in Education with Webster High School Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet. This will be an opportunity for our members to get engaged with a great group of young people who are learning about the communications field.

6. National attention. What an honor that Tulsa was chosen as the site of the 2011 national AWC convention. The planning has already begun, and I know members are in store for some exciting and informative programs, speakers and events.

7. Making connections. One of the perks of AWC membership is receiving AWC Job Alerts. I love hearing stories that a member has found the perfect job because of these alerts. I also love when our members connect for other reasons — freelance work, nonprofit involvement, business partnerships. Just another reason why joining AWC can have a major impact.

8. Tech gurus. From databases to social media to websites to webinars, there is a lot to learn, and I’m glad we have members who help us stay on the cutting edge.

9. The holiday party. Many of the same perks as the bull sessions, but with a festive twist. Great food, great friends, great conversation.

10. Our members. I am constantly impressed with the dedication and ingenuity of our members. They are master planners, communicators and managers, and I know every event, project, program or social gathering with which they’re involved is going to be a hit.