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Untitled - McWilliams and Associates

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									                                BE FIERCE! from page 50                                   and pragmatism” with which his wife balances her
                                October 2005 began a series of personal challenges        time, as she hurries home from the Capitol to tuck
                                which tested McWilliams’ fortitude and resilience as      the kids in before returning for one of the many late-
                                never before.                                             night meetings that stretch on into the early morning
                                   A stickler for self exams, while breast-feeding        hours throughout the legislative session. (Actually,
                                Max she’d taken a break. Two months after she de-         he said many more complimentary things about her
                                livered, she quit breastfeeding and immediately did       – as did all her friends, clients and business associ-
                                a breast exam. She found a lump. Cancer.                  ates – however, space permits us only to say that the
                                   The day following the news, she had the lump re-       overwhelming consensus on her was “amazing.”)
                                moved – and received what she describes as “the gold         To maximize their time at home, the McWilliams
                                standard” from surgeon Dr. Ames Smith, namely             prefer to entertain clients and business colleagues in
                                clear margins around the tumor. One week later, in        their lovingly restored historic Enfield house (She’s
                                January 2006, and still recovering from her lumpec-       a board member of the Heritage Society of Austin
                                tomy, McWilliams happened to be at Nau’s Drugstore        and the immediate past president of its under-40s
                                in Old Enfield. In line, she happened to spot the preg-   group, Inherit Austin). It not only gives them the
                                nancy tests. During her two previous pregnancies,         opportunity to invite people into a relaxed environ-
                                McWilliams had lower back pain. And on this day           ment but also means that five-year-old Madison can
                                – yes, you guessed it – she happened to have lower        join them for part of the evening.
                                back pain. She purchased a pregnancy test. For two           Sitting in the drawing room of her French Cha-
                                years she had stared at them, hoping to get pregnant.     teau-inspired home, dressed in a cream-colored Ar-
                                “Now, I had two red lines,” recalled McWilliams. “I’m     mani suit and sipping tea from a china cup, Andrea
                                pregnant and I’ve got to do chemo,” the rarely rattled    McWilliams appears the epitome of inherited wealth.
                                McWilliams kept thinking.                                 Otherwise how would she and husband Dean, at ages
                                   Although it was Saturday, Dr. Youngkin opened          34 and 39, be able to afford their exquisite 1922
                                his office to discuss her options. McWilliams soon        house? They’ve restored it to include a guest house,
                                learned that with the correct medical care, both she      swimming pool and wine cellar, filled it with French
                                and her baby would survive. She was treated by two        antiques and even commissioned a mural-adorned
                                specialists from Texas Oncology – Austin-based Dr.        ceiling, where one of the cherubs has the face of
                                Michael Kasper, who administered all her chemo-           daughter Madison (To avoid any sibling rivalry, Max
                                therapy and oversaw her day-to-day treatment; and         and Marcus will be added soon.)
                                Dallas-based Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy.                        Yet their financial success is thanks only to hard
                                   Steadfast in her determination to beat her cancer      work, said McWilliams, using her 10-year wedding an-
                                and avoid any recurrence, McWilliams requested the                           See ANDREA MCWILLIAMS on page 54
                                most aggressive treatment possible, given her preg-




                                                                                                                                                   DON ROGERS PHOTO WWW.DROGERSPHOTO.COM
                                nancy. At the recommendation of Dr. O’Shaughnessy,
                                who is co-chair of the breast cancer research commit-
                                tee at Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center, Texas Oncol-
                                ogy, P.A., US Oncology; McWilliams received standard
                                Adriamycin-Cytoxan chemotherapy while pregnant,
                                followed by Taxol after she delivered Marcus. (Like
                                many cancer survivors, she continues to take Tamoxi-
                                fen.) Both oncologists concur that her survival chanc-
                                es are excellent. “The long-term chances of remaining
                                disease-free are very high. In the range of 95% or even
                                more,” said Joyce O’Shaughnessy. “She’s in the high-
                                est category of breast cancer survivability.”
                                   Throughout 2006, as her pregnancy and her chemo-
                                therapy progressed, McWilliams maintained her poise
                                so effectively that only her closest confidants knew of
                                her illness. It takes an “enormous amount of energy,
                                discipline and confidence to pull that off,” comment-
                                ed breast cancer survivor Mayor Laura Miller.
                                   McWilliams exercised regularly throughout her
                                pregnancy, and hired Stephanie Caillabet, a former-
                                Hollywood wig maker, who custom-made a full-
                                length human hair hand-tied wig to replace McWil-
                                liams’ own hair. Yet it wasn’t only her appearance
                                she maintained. It was also her work schedule. In or-     The McWilliams family holiday portrait, 2006.
                                der to maintain her long work days, she employs two       Dean and Andrea with Max, Madison and
                                live-in nannies. Dean McWilliams admires “the grace       Marcus in their historic Austin home.

52 austinwoman   January 2007
Wolens. “She has a [wide] breadth of             Top: McWilliams
knowledge and is the consummate
                                                    and her father
multitasker... She’s always been a sort
of tiger, with an independent mind and
                                                  Frank Beynon at
very certain of what she does... A tor-      daughter Madison’s
nado in Armani!”                             third birthday party,
   “One of the signs of being on the          October 2004. Like
bottom rung at the Capitol is having               her father, who
the furthest parking spot,” recalled
                                              died in September
Dean McWilliams. However, back in
                                                2006, McWilliams
the early ‘90s that proved to be a ben-
efit, as one day he spotted a “beauti-         attends Hyde Park
ful young woman” also headed to the          Baptist Church. She
Capitol. Her confidence, drive and               credits her father
intensity drew Dean to her and, de-                with her strong
spite initially rebuffing his request for
                                             work ethic. Bottom:
a date, by February 1994 the couple
                                                   Honeymooners
were married.
   Her ethos has always been to arrive          Andrea and Dean
early and stay late and be prepared                   McWilliams,
to take on the smallest job, because               February 1994.
you never know what it will lead to,          They were earning
or what you will learn from it. McWil-           peanuts working
liams discovered that her husband
                                              at the Capitol, and
shared her can-do attitude, and with
both holding low-paying Capitol jobs,
                                             Dean’s parents paid
the enterprising couple began their          for the honeymoon.
own side business, printing so-called              The newlyweds
“slate cards” for state trade associa-          couldn’t afford an
tions. In 2000, with a stint at public af-        overnight stay in
fairs consulting company Public Strat-
                                               nearby Las Vegas.
egies under her belt and after working
with other independent lobbyists, An-           Their fundraising for then-Gover-       tographs and thank you notes adorning
drea merged her practice with Dean’s         nor Bush catapulted the McWilliams         her swanky offices – the closest lobby-
to form McWilliams & Associates, Inc.        to national prominence. In 2000, the       ist offices to the Capitol, she observed –
   Combining their talents paid off. In      couple was among the first to be-          disabuse yourself of any notion that the
2005, The Dallas Morning News fea-           come “Pioneers” – which meant they         Bush fundraising gives them any kind
tured the couple as two of the top three     raised at least $100,000 for the Bush      of inside track, maintained McWilliams.
lobbyists in the state, and Texans for       presidential campaign. Today, they         “That’d be laughable. I get a letter that I
Public Justice recognized her as the top     maintain their connections with the        can frame when each of my children is
female lobbyist in Texas on their list of    White House. Both serve on the Bush        born. That’s it. For anyone to represent
“Million-Dollar Lobbyists.” His wife has     National Finance Committee, and were       anything else is ridiculous.”
“a pattern of succeeding where people        members of the Honorary Committee              McWilliams is proud, however, of
do not expect her to,” explained Dean.       for the 54th Presidential Inauguration.    her firm’s emphasis on working both
“She always goes that extra yard.”              Despite the collection of framed pho-   sides of the aisle. “She has clients
                                                                                        across the political spectrum,” concurs
                                                                       Dean and         Steve Wolens. That’s unusual in lobby-
                                                                       Andrea           ing circles, particularly in Austin, she
                                                                       McWilliams       explained, and is a unique advantage.
                                                                                        Although she works with clients from
                                                                       with the
                                                                                        both parties, she has the Democratic
                                                                       President
                                                                                        roots, whereas A&M alum Dean has
                                                                       and First        the Republican background. They gain
                                                                       Lady             strength as a team from their differenc-
                                                                       at their         es. He is the quieter, less effusive of the
                                                                       Crawford         two. And he prefers to delve down into
                                                                       ranch,           the details of a client’s case, where she
                                                                                        is all about strategy. Her mind works
                                                                       2002.
                                                                                        on a three-dimensional level as she rap-
                                                                                        idly weighs all the factors influencing a
                                                                                                          See LOBBYIST on page 57

                                                                                                                                      January 2007   austinwoman 55

								
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