*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thank you, Anita, and thank you for your inspired pursuit of a vision for Texas women that is manifested in this remarkable conference.
As we begin our time here this morning, I want to take a minute to reflect on the tragic loss that we all suffered a week ago today when 13 of our fellow citizens lost their lives at Ft. Hood.
Investigators will ultimately discern what motivated the attack but I encourage you to focus your attention and prayers on the families of the dead and wounded and reflect on the remarkable community spirit displayed in the days that have followed.
The realization that we are all part of a larger community made up of people who face similar challenges draws us together to achieve so much more than we can alone.
I'd say a similar spirit of community is at the heart of this conference. What we see here at this conference and have seen for ten years is a manifestation of community spirit that can elevate all involved.
Were in this room today, we have people who are awash in success with strong business prospects flowing out of a comparatively strong state economy while others are dealing with the uncertainty brought on by the loss of a job.
No matter where you stand on that continuum you have something to offer this community of Texas women and much to receive.
This conference is a place where you can ask for advice without fear of judgment learn from the mistakes and successes of others and be reminded that you've chosen to live in the best of the 50 United States.
Surely you can accept me being a little biased toward Texas. I'm biased because this is a state where jobs are welcome where taxes are low regulations are predictable and frivolous lawsuits a rare occurrence.
I'm biased in favor of a state whose government leaders have embraced the principles of cutting spending investing in job creation and strengthening our school system to groom the workforce of the future.
Our state's pro-jobs approach to legislation, regulation and taxation has attracted employers being chased out of other states and given them a chance to excel with a lot less government interference.
When those employers get here, they're finding that our doors and our arms are wide open to welcome them while our high tech workforce gets stronger by the day.
If you prefer not to take my word for it, I can direct you to any one of several business publications that will affirm my optimism.
Publications like CEO Magazine, which has identified Texas as the best place to do business for the past four years.
Outlets like Moody's Economy, which just included seven Texas metro areas in their list of "first cities to emerge from recession."
Magazines like Forbes that just included all four major Texas metropolitan areas Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio in the Top 10 of their list: "America's Recession-Proof Cities to Retire In."
Those are indicators that things are better than average in Texas when it comes to the economy but I believe things can get better.
With people out of work and distant rumors of economic trouble across the country, uncertainty and fear are the enemy. As you all know, the best way to confront an enemy is in the company of the like-minded.
Here in this place, you are surrounded by sisters who understand the realities of business who face the same struggles and carry the same potential for success.
I strongly encourage you to use your time at this conference wisely building new relationships extending your professional network and looking for opportunities to invest in others.
You may not think your achievements qualify you to instruct another but there are just as many people walking behind you as there are walking ahead of you on the road to success.
If you're looking for a role model in your march to business success I'd like to introduce you to three of them who have pursued a vision that goes beyond just the balance in their bank account. As you know, Hewlett-Packard sponsored a contest called "boost your business by going green" to recognize business owners who have adopted practices that not only improve the environment but enhance their bottom line.
Joining me here on the stage right now are two representatives from Hewlett-Packard Lisa Baker and Naila Seif.
On behalf of everyone here, I would like to thank HP for not only supporting this conference but also supporting job-friendly innovation here in Texas.
Now, let's introduce the winners of the "boost your business by going green" contest.
Our third-place finisher, and recipient of $5,000 worth of HP technology equipment recognized for applying sustainable methods and materials to the events industry and the first Austin member of the Green Meetings Industry Council Xtreme Xhibits by Skyline.
Our second-place finisher, and recipient of $10,000 worth of HP technology equipment recognized for cutting energy use in the multimedia production business Abernathy Media Professionals.
Finally, our first place winner, and recipient of $15,000 worth of HP technology equipment. San Antonio's natural alternative to dry cleaning that has eliminated toxic solvents and poly-bags from the dry cleaning process Clothesline Cleaners.
How about a nice round of applause for our winners.
Congratulations again to all of our winners. They are proof that great ideas are just ideas until they are brought to life by hard work.
Our next speaker's life is an example of that truth.
Over the past ten years, she has burned the midnight oil in establishing herself as a nationally-recognized expert on women's issues in the workplace and helped countless people find better jobs, secure better salaries, and find fulfillment in their work.
Were at this conference, she is applying her experience and wisdom to the Rework Career Fair where she will teach you how to take that next step.
She is a mentor, an innovator, and an investor in human capital a woman who can help you get where you're going and an entrepreneur of the first order.
Ladies and gentleman, please join me in welcoming best-selling author and the founder of My-America-Works-dot-com your keynote speaker Tory Johnson.