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Innovation Overdrive-Embedding Discernment into AI and Human Agent Teaming for Defense panel at the 2017 Defense & National Security Innovation Summit in Norfolk, VA. Many thanks to the moderator Kathleen Giotta Delano, CEO of PMIC Inc., Dr. Jean M. Vettel, Army Research Lab Senior Science Lead, Dana W. Hudson, President & CEO of c6 Strategies, LLC, COL. Carol J. Grady, Dr. Shanna Brewton-Tiayon, Sociologist & Dr. Jen Welter, first female NFL Coach

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Dear friends, I am so pleased to say that the special legislative session is over and we have won the battle twice over the bathroom bill. I am so proud of our coalition and all of the wonderful businesses, law enforcement, sexual assault experts and advocates who joined our cause. I am honored, humbled and grateful we have won, but more importantly the State of Texas wins and we will ensure that every single child and every single person in our great state is protected from discrimination. ...

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RMG is proud to partner with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, the top experts on sexual assault in the state of Texas. They are opposed to the bathroom bill. They spend every waking moment protecting women from sexual assault. Bathroom bill does not protect women and is being used as false reason for the other side to sanction discrimination ...

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RMG is proud to lead communications efforts against the bathroom bill. Today we joined Texas Women Leaders from across the state to oppose discrimination. ...

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Women Leaders Call the Bills Destructive to the Texas Brand and an Unnecessary Multi-Billion Dollar Risk to a Non-Existent Problem

Austin, Texas (August 8, 2017)—Today, Texas women rallied at the Texas Capitol to put an exclamation point on an unprecedented show of force against discriminatory bathroom bills. Texas women released the latest figures that show, as of today, more than 650 businesses, chambers of commerce, and convention & visitors bureaus have spoken publicly against these bathroom bills. Fifty of these companies are Fortune 500 companies. More than 400 are Texas small businesses. They represent a broad cross-section of the Texas economy, including technology and health care, financial services and energy, hospitality and retail, professional services and construction.

“The outcry from the business community is virtually unanimous. The data is clear, compelling and growing. Hundreds of businesses of every shape and size across our great state have joined with the Texas Association of Business to oppose these discriminatory bills, and today Texas women business leaders are once again speaking out calling on legislators to reject bathroom bills,” said Belinda Matingou Regional Executive Director, Texas Association of Business.

“Dell is proud to call Austin and Texas our home, but we are gravely concerned that discriminatory legislation like the bathroom bills under consideration by our Texas Legislature would deeply tarnish Texas’ reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families. Diversity and inclusion are a central part of who we are and how we do business. These bills will hurt our state’s reputation and will make it even harder to attract and keep employees, especially millennials, who value inclusion and diversity,” said Jennifer Davis, Vice President of Global Communications for Dell

“Gearbox has been proud to make its home in North Dallas for more than 17 years. We are the largest independent game studio in Texas, employing more than 300 of the best video game developers in the industry. Bathroom bills are directly contrary to our company’s core values. These bills are completely unnecessary and are discrimination, plain & simple. These bills will hurt the Texas economy and directly impact our ability to attract & retain talent in a highly competitive, very specialized tech field. We are already seeing impacts in our recruitment efforts due to increased negative perception of Texas related to the rhetoric and debate on these bills, “said Jenna Hardy, Director of Finance for Gearbox Software.

"There is simply no need for this bill, and dressing it up as protection for women and children is misguided and inflammatory. Laws and policies already exist to protect women from such criminal acts. I am also concerned about the negative impact such bills would have on Corpus Christi and its thriving hospitality industry, as well as the unprecedented investments we are seeing in the energy and manufacturing sectors. Bathroom bills are bad for business, unnecessary and are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist," said Libby Averyt, Chief Development Officer for the United Way of the Coastal Bend and a board member of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. Averyt previously served as president and publisher of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, where she worked for 30 years.

“We are mothers. We are small business owners and business executives. We are teachers. We are active in our communities, in local government and in our schools. We are conservatives, liberals and independents. Our common thread is that we are all Texans, and we are all women. We represent the rich diversity of our state, and we also stand united in our opposition of bathroom bills. We ask you, our Texas state leaders, to reject this discriminatory and unnecessary legislation, said Kate Andrade a mother of three Texas children.

“I am the mother of two beautiful children, a CEO and I am opposed to bathroom bills. These bills have nothing to do with protecting my daughter or myself. There are already laws that keep us safe. But what I am worried about is the very real impact these bills will have on my business, the people I employ, and my industry. You see my job is to sell San Antonio, to tell everyone about our warm, welcoming and diverse city. But these bills are bad for business and bad for Texas. The economic impact to San Antonio has already been $3 million dollars,” said Casandra Matej, CEO of Visit San Antonio.
“Workers with talent, passion, and education in STEM fields are the lifeblood of our success. If the Texas Legislature passes a bathroom bill that would legalize discrimination against LGBT people, the impact on the Texas technology and business communities will be both immediate and far-reaching,” said Diane Crawford, Global Commercial Operations Director, of Celanese Corporation, a Fortune 500 company based in Irving, Texas.
“I’m a Conservative and a proud Texan. I am especially proud of our state’s reputation for being a warm and welcoming place to live. I deal with safety issues for my company every day so I understand the desire to have laws that keep everyone in our state safe. Fortunately, numerous law enforcement officials have said we already have the laws in place needed to handle anyone who intends to harm another person in a bathroom. We don’t need to give our state a reputation for being a place that has laws that discriminate against people. And I personally don’t need a law like a bathroom bill to make me feel safe in a public restroom. As a lifelong Republican and as a Texas business leader, I ask the Texas Legislature to make the common-sense choice for our state--oppose discriminatory legislation that takes us backwards,” said Sally Larrabee, Safety Director of Process Control Outlet, a process control and electronics company serving the oil & gas industry and based in Baytown, Texas.
“We’ve already lost $10 million in events because this bathroom bill debate has dragged on. Events representing another $15 million will cancel as soon as one of these bills passes. A further $77.5 million in events have said they’re watching closely and may cancel, too. Our peers in other Texas cities have tracked more than one billion dollars more in potential meetings and event losses. And that’s just the start. Our industry data shows that HALF of meeting planners will avoid booking events in states with discriminatory legislation on the books. Those lost opportunities mean lost wages, lost revenues for small businesses, lost orders from rural suppliers whose food and products are sold in our stores and restaurants. We can’t afford this. Bathroom bills and discrimination make Texas a less welcoming, less hospitable state, and that’s bad for both businesses and families. That’s why we oppose it,” said Julie Chase, VP and Chief Marketing Officer of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We are the premiere experts in the state on sexual assault and the only statewide organization in Texas solely dedicated to protecting and assisting victims of sexual assault. We speak for the more than 80 rape crisis centers in the state. Unfortunately, the proponents of the bathrooms bills have chosen to use disingenuous propaganda to create a rape scare that isn’t based in reality. TAASA finds it inexcusable to use the fear of rape as a tool to promote discrimination. It is so disheartening that many in our state have fallen victim to this deceptive bathroom boogieman campaign and honestly believe they are protecting innocent women and children from sociopaths that are pretending to be women for greater criminal access. I implore the citizens of our state to support legislation based on actual facts rather than misplaced fear. So, given that lack of evidence I challenge the architects of this bill to have the integrity and moral fortitude to be honest about their motivations for trying to pass this law. The public has the right to know what the actual goal and to provide or deny that support based on open dialogue. Rape survivors have countless unmet needs and our state has miles to go to be safe from sexual violence. We can ill-afford to waste time and resources going though dangerous detours,” said Rose Luna, Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
“As a co-founder of both Capital Factory and SoftMatch, I’ve seen literally hundreds of companies created. Startups are where innovation and invention begins, and the Texas economy will most certainly suffer if we continue pushing discriminatory legislation that puts the recruiting, sales, and investment pipelines of these companies at risk. Business people don’t like seeing politicians waste precious time, public resources, and money on problems that don’t even exist. And nothing will unite us faster than threatening our success, our employees, and our families. I urge everyone to get engaged, stay engaged, and hold accountable the politicians that have sponsored, supported, or voted for legislation that discriminates against a group of people simply because they are perceived to be different. That also means that, regardless of party lines, we need to rise up to support politicians that have stuck their necks out to Keep Texas Open for Business,” Mellie Price,Co-Founder of the Capitol Factory.
Texas women at the Capitol today urged state leaders to focus on funding for the prevention of sexual assault, on adequate funding of our public education system and continued reform and support for child protective services. The leaders gathered at the Capitol made clear that bathroom bills are a distraction from the issue that matter most to Texans and that will improve the safety and lives of every Texan, free from discrimination and fear-mongering.
For a list of tourism stakeholders opposed to discriminatory bathroom bill, please visit the Texas Welcomes All campaign. The Keep Texas Open for Business coalition, which represents businesses from across the state, are also urging top lawmakers to reject discriminatory bills.


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