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Toastmasters communications public speaking

Improve Your Communication with Bilingual Toastmasters


Would you like to improve your English AND Spanish speaking skills?  Regardless of your experience in either language, Bilingual Lady Toastmasters meetings can help you:

*decrease your fear of public speaking

*enhance the effectiveness of your message

*remove filler words from your speech like “ah” and “um”

*improve your grammar-immediately respond to questions you do not have much time to think about

Additionally, the Bilingual Lady Toastmasters club provides a warm and supportive environment made up of AMAZING ladies.
Be a guest at the next meeting at Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse (2001 W Anderson Ln in North Austin)  cellar room from noon to 1 pm.  Meetings are every 1st Wednesday (in English) and 3rd Wednesday (in Spanish) of the month. More on this group can be found HERE.
If you are unable to make these meetings and prefer a Toastmaster club at a different time or place, find a Toastmasters club near you at THIS LINK.
Valerie Chavez can also be reached at 512-919-9634 for any questions.

There is another Bilingual Toastmasters that meets in South Austin on Mondays’ from 12 to 1 PM at IHOP 1101 S Mopac Austin, TX 78746 . More about this group can be found HERE.

Meet Sheila Hawkins-Bucklew, Founder & CEO at Hawkins Bucklew Jewelry Designs and Showroom 808


Sheila Hawkins-Bucklew is an entrepreneur whose journey has been woven together with a common thread: the empowerment of women. She is a proponent of equality and women’s rights, something she has held close to her heart throughout her career.

Sheila was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned a B. S. Degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University. Sheila began her professional career in retail buying and store management. She lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to Austin, TX.

Through her servant leadership roles in the Austin community, she began to want to do more, she wanted to impact her global community by empowering women. In 2014 during Austin Fashion Week she launched Hawkins Bucklew™ Handcrafted Jewelry Designs as the face of her mission and the financial arm of the Hawkins Bucklew™ Foundation.

These two Hawkins Bucklew ventures tied perfectly together the common threads of Sheila’s creativity, business expertise, and passion for helping the under served.

In 2017 Sheila was selected by the U.S. Department of State for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Award. A flagship program of former President Obama, the Reciprocal Exchange program supports American professionals in their travel to Sub-Saharan Africa to engage in collaborative projects that demonstrates a substantial impact on the community and country of an African Fellow. Sheila partnered with Hauwa Liman, a Nigerian Fashion Designer to host their inaugural “Creative Entrepreneurship Bootcamp” in Lagos, Nigeria. This project focused on entrepreneurial programs for women who were creative entrepreneurs.

Sheila remains active in her local community as a member of the Greater Austin Black Chamber, the Four Point’s Task Force in District 6, and Jewelers of America. She is also a former member of The Links, Inc. Town Lake Chapter, National Black MBA Association, National Council of Negro Women, and National Association of Real Estate Brokers (RE-ALTIST). Sheila enjoys volunteering in the community dedicating her time to such organizations as the Capital City Black Film Festival, Austin Area Jazz Festival, and SXSW. Sheila has been featured in articles of the following periodicals: The Austin Chronicle Newspaper, Community Impact Newspaper, Austin Women’s Magazine, Tribeza Magazine, Eclectic Shades Magazine, and British Vogue.

Her most recent awards include the 2018 Profiles of Prominence Award given by the Austin Metroplex Chapter of the National Women of Achievement, Inc., the AFTV5 African Champion Award for 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year, and in September of 2018 Sheila was honored with the African Community Service Award given by the African community in the Washington, D.C. area. Sheila’s personal manta “I Am Because You Are” is what keeps her engaged in the community. Knowing what she has accomplished could not have been possible without the efforts of those who had come before her. Her current mission is to inspire mankind by empowering women through jewelry design. She hopes by sharing her personal story she can positively impact the lives of others.

Sheila, a life-long learner is a 2019 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in their Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy. This gained knowledge centered around social business enterprises has helped launch Showroom 808; a collaborative marketplace for creative women entrepreneurs.

Wedding speech

Advance your speaking and leadership skills with Austin PM Toastmasters


Does the mere thought of standing up to say a few words fill you with fear?
If so, you’re not alone! Fear of public speaking is reputed to rank even higher than death! Whether it’s the upcoming wedding speech, an important pitch to a client, or simply making your point in a meeting of colleagues, it’s easy for the fear to take over – so that you don’t perform at your best. There are consequences for how you’re viewed by friends, family and your boss, with follow-on emotional and economic impacts.

So what would you like to do about it? If you’re employed in a reasonable sized organisation, you might have already attended a presentation skills course.  If you really want to tackle your fear, and also if you’ve not got access to in-house training, Toastmasters is the perfect answer.

Our wide network of clubs and their learn-by-doing program are sure to help you become a better speaker and leader because you’ll be building your skills at a pace that you choose. And the regular meetings (typically twice per month) ensure you practice and develop your skills – just as you might build your muscles through regular exercise .

Here are just some of the benefits of joining Toastmasters:

  • Regular and constructive feedback from other learners as you practice organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly
  • Access to a wealth of educational materials and resources on public speaking, listening skills and effective communication in conferences and meetings.
  • Insights on communication, leadership, club activities and other relevant topics.

Members quickly gain the skills that allow them to excel at job interviews, present humorous, informative or special occasion speeches or give powerful business presentations.

Attend the next meeting to find out more and see it in action. Guests are welcomed. Austin PM Toastmasters may be the place for you. The group originated to serve Project Managers, but it is not limited to professionals in that field. This group meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month at 6:30 pm in North Austin at Asian American Resource Center (8401 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78754 ). For more information on this group, visit HERE.

What Local Registrations are Required?


Provided by George Ellison with LegalShield®

Whether you operate your business in a corporate office or a home office, some type of permit, licensure or registration will most likely be needed. The type and method of securing these permits and licenses often vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; so it is important to contact local governing bodies to make sure you have the proper documentation. However, almost every business will require some form of permit or license.

Get specific information

Our best advice is that you seek information that is specific to your location. The registration process in Chico, CA may be completely different from the one in Atlanta, GA. Often, your local city or county clerk will be the best person to speak with and should be able to direct you to the necessary paperwork required to legally run your business within the jurisdiction. If any state or federal documentation is required for your business type, the city office should also be able to advise you on this. Obtaining a permit or license may also require a minimal fee.

While changes in local law can impact your licensure or permit status, local governments are required by law to notify businesses within their jurisdiction of these changes. So keep an eye out for any communication from your local government. The Small Business Administration’s website ( also has a robust database on the required registrations for your business at the federal, state, and local level.

Home-based businesses are not exempt from these requirements many times, and a special permit may be required to conduct business in your home due to zoning laws. Depending on your area (some local governments allow almost no commercial activity in residentially zoned areas while others may require special permits, etc.) you may be required to obtain special permission or a variance in order to conduct business out of your home. To find this information, we would recommend going to the horse’s mouth and asking your local authorities, as they will be most familiar with the particular requirements of your area.

While this article addresses local registration, some businesses may also require separate state and/or federal permits and licensure. State licensure is often required for the following business types:

  • Accountants
  • Bill collectors
  • Private security guards and private investigators
  • Real estate agents

This is just a small sampling of some business types which may require special state licensing. Again, the best advice will be to contact your local government for more information on any licensing required for your business type in your business location.

Industries that are heavily regulated by the federal government may require additional permits or licensure at the federal level. Examples of these business types include:

  • Drug manufacturing
  • Ground transportation
  • Alcohol, tobacco, or firearm manufacturing
  • Preparation of meat products

Again, these represent a small sample of the types of businesses which may require federal licensure. And again (you can probably guess where we’re going here) it is important to contact your local governing bodies for more information on the types of permit or licensure that is required for your business type in your location.

Your LegalShield attorney can help with local requirements. Contact George Ellison with any questions at [email protected] .

The Rundberg Educational Advancement District (READ)Alliance


Rundberg Educational Advancement District (READ) Alliance is a coalition of local individuals and organizations who work together to create a healthier and more vibrant Rundberg area for school children and their families.   READ Alliance supports the Rundberg neighborhood through local family events, student-led beautification projects, and sharing ongoing events in the Rundberg area. Some of the ongoing collaborative projects for the Alliance included:


In collaboration with students from the R.E.A.D. Alliance, local artists painted the cistern at Barrington Elementary School in the rain garden. The images incorporated drawings from students who live in the Rundberg Education Achievement District.


Every year, R.E.A.D. Alliance hosts a Spring Festival to celebrate the many incredible cultures present in the neighborhood.


Every October R.E.A.D. hosts a Fall Festival and Trick-Or-Treat Safe Zone on Rundberg Lane. Families and kids can enjoy activities and games while walking Rundberg Lane. Local business owners open their doors for trick-or-treating. Neighborhood Police greet families and ensure everyone has a fun and safe night on Rundberg Lane.

The Rundberg Educational Advancement District (READ) was created in 2014 at the initiative of Austin Police District Representative Ray Kianes as a way to sustain the tremendous reduction in criminal activity at I35 and Rundberg Lane as part of the Restore Rundberg neighborhood revitalization initiative, when he realized that, with the opening of IDEA Rundberg in 2015, the whole area located along Rundberg Lane between North Lamar Boulevard and Cameron Road, from Barrington and Guerrero-Thompson Elementary Schools to Dobie Middle School and Dobie Pre-K.

Interested in Getting Involved? Below is some contact information
Events: [email protected]
Beautification: [email protected]
Communications: [email protected] you’re not on the READ listserv but would like to be please email: [email protected]

Interested in staying connected? Follow the at Facebook by clicking HERE.

A heart attack is predictable and preventable: The risk of a heart attack is measured at the waist


By Jorge Ramos, Director of Prinso Health Center

When a fatal heart attack occurs, it takes everyone by surprise even loved ones.  The reality is that the heart attack is actually predictable and preventable.

As more and more of the risk factors for heart problems are known in a person, a heart attack or real chance of having a heart attack can easily be anticipated.  This is something important to take into account. With data from the Texas Heart Institute, studies say that about one third of people who suffer a heart attack in the United States die before arriving at the hospital.

The main risk factors that develop cardiovascular problems and heart attacks are:

High pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and overweight, the latter being the most relevant in terms of its close relationship with cardiovascular problems.  This is true even if the first factors were not present or were of low intensity.

Other influencing factors are: Male gender, lack of physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle, a history of cardiovascular disease in parents and siblings, age, which was previously over 65 years and now from 40 to 45 is seen increased risk.  And then there is a very relevant factor: stress.

Taking into account all the factors, both those that cannot be changed as those that can be changed, the most important factor in forecasting and in the prevention of a heart attack  is overweight.

Currently the cardiologists that measure the risk of cardiovascular problems in men, give much more importance to the measure of the widest part of the abdomen, than to the altering cholesterol levels or triglycerides.

Thus, a lot of the media today and based on the findings of experts from the World Health Organization, are saying that:  Today the risk of heart attack is measured at the waist.

If in men the widest part of the abdomen measures 94 to 102 cm, there is an increased risk of having a heart attack and if that measure goes beyond 102 cm or 40 inches, the risk is much greater and is practically only a matter of time before the person were to have a heart attack.

Due to the above information, a heart attack is predictable.

If the person with an enlarged abdomen is treated in a serious, formal and specific way the underlying problem of overweight, which is the service, approach and solution offered by Prinso Health Center, it can be said that from now on, the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular problems begins to decrease.  That’s why we say that heart attack is preventable.

The Prinso® Program is 100% natural and effective to specifically resolve the cause of overweight, increasing longevity, and quality of life for the benefit of ourselves & our loved ones.

You can book an appointment online at or call Austin at 512 450 5150 or San Antonio at 210 547 8500 to start lowering the risk of a heart attack as soon as possible.

Meet Roland Murphy, President of the United States Disability Chamber of Commerce and Naval Chief Petty Officer Retired


Roland Murphy’s cultural competency is built on a lifetime of military leadership and international experiences. Acknowledging the strong connection between disability, innovation, diversity and inclusion; the challenge he faces as the founder of the Disability Chamber of Commerce is to help future leaders and fellow professionals understand that connection.

The United States Disability Chamber of Commerce is a national business organization representing the interests of more than 64 million people with disabilities and the 8 million small businesses designated as

Disabled Owned, Certified disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs), Veteran disability-owned business enterprises (V-DOBEs), Service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises (SDV-DOBEs), Certified Disability Confident U.S.A. businesses, and Organizations that assist people with disabilities.

In less than three years, the The United States Disability Chamber of Commerce has assisted their now 500 members, 75 disabled and veteran owned companies. With Roland’s strong leadership the chamber has helped these businesses with ideation, built their websites (with additional training to update the web sites), assisted with marketing tools, set-up their business in accordance with SSI, SSDI, medicaid income rules, and introduced business owners to grants to apply for or fundraising ideas to make their businesses a reality.

In his professional opinion, diversity means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing individual differences, which can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio economic status, age, physical ability and religious beliefs. Accepting and exploring these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment to him is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Roland,Murphy (80 % disabled )

Naval Chief Petty Officer Retired (Naval Expeditionary Forces Sailor of The Year)

President United States Disability Chamber of Commerce

President The Disability Chamber of Commerce (Non-Profit)

Workforce Development Manager Housing Authority Of The City Of Austin

Demand Job Training

High Demand Job Training Program


The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has dedicated one million dollars to support collaborations between Workforce Development Boards (Boards) and Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) to provide high-demand occupational job training in local workforce areas. Funds will be available through August 30, 2020.

The High Demand Job Training Program is intended to support Boards in partnering with local EDCs that use their local economic development sales taxes for high-demand job training. To achieve that purpose, TWC wants to enable Boards to collaborate with local EDCs and match their local economic development sales tax funds to jointly support the provision of such training. Funds are available to the Boards on a first come first serve basis or until funds are exhausted.

Boards may use Agency grant funding to support Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)-allowable, high demand job training activities and related direct costs, including individual participant recruitment; skills assessment; job search skills improvement, job search, job referral; equipment; and minor renovation of facilities used for Program-related job training.

For more information on this program, click HERE.

Or contact  [email protected].

How Small Business Owners Save on Taxes


Provided by George Ellison with LegalShield®

By forming your own business, you may be able to lower your taxable income. Plus, you gain the flexibility to decide exactly how you want to file your tax return. In addition to be taxed as an S Corp., an LLC can choose to file as a sole proprietor or partnership to continue claiming your earnings as an individual or you can petition to file as a corporation for even more options.

There are many tax benefits that corporations may qualify for.

  • Potential tax savings based on your income bracket. Corporations are taxed at different rates than individuals.
  • Depending on your level of income, your earnings may be taxed at a lower rate for your business than they would be if claimed by you as an individual.
  • The option to pay yourself a fair salary, which can be deducted from your taxable earnings as a business expense.

You can also deduct the cost of doing business.

  • Operating a small business allows you to write off various expenses such as work computers, relevant software, employee salaries and even your internet and phone bills.
  • You can formally lease your own personal assets to your business to deduct the costs from your taxable income. This can include anything from property for an office space to a company car.
  • In many cases, you can even deduct the cost of forming your LLC. (Certain rules and restrictions apply. You can only deduct up to a $5,000 for this purpose).

Protect your assets.

There are several additional benefits to forming a business and lowering how much you pay in taxes is just the beginning. Properly utilizing a business entity can also help provide personal liability and asset protection. This added layer of protection is why it’s called a Limited Liability Company.

Find out more about how forming a small business can help you save.

This is not intended to be legal or tax advice. Please contact an attorney or tax professional for any legal or tax advice and assistance.

With LegalShield® Protection Plan get Access to a Team of Attorneys for only $24.95/Month. Contact George Ellison with any questions at [email protected] .

Goal Setting for the New Year’s Marketing Efforts


By Monica Peña with MUNDU Media, LLC

When communicating the value of services or products to potential customers and clients, there are several things to keep in mind to make sure your company is always moving forward.

Keep the consumer in mind. Efforts should always have the correct target audience.

Be realistic. Make sure to create goals that can be accomplished.

Incorporate action items in your schedule. Taking time to strategize on the requirements to make your goals achievable will make all the difference.

Determine how to measure outcomes. The benefit of creating metrics is to define which efforts have favorable results and which do not.

When needed, modify. Don’t be scared to adjust goals as needed.

Remember that goals should not be handled as something for the far off future, but should be worked on in a consistent basis and reflected upon with pride when accomplished.

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