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Pat Patton Interviews
Interview with Carole Keeton Rylander
from the Archives
Tuesday, October 01, 2002

photos by Lynda GuidryMy interview is with Carole Keeton Rylander, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the theme of this interview will be “Women of Excellence”. Listen

 Comptroller Rylander is a real dynamo, and with her high energy and enthusiasm, the sparks were flying during the interview.  As hard as it is to believe, I have finally found someone who can out-talk me!!

Carole Keeton Rylander is the first woman in history elected Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  Comptroller Rylander’s slogan is “one tough grandma”, and she is a shining example of the slogan “Don’t Mess with Texas”.  In her successful battle to cut spending, empower state employees, and make sure taxpayers are treated like satisfied customers, you can count on the fact that no one is going to interfere with her focus on keeping Texas economy strong!!

Comptroller Rylander is definitely a trailblazer and has a resume full of “firsts” - first woman elected to the Texas Railroad Commission - and re-elected in 1996 with the highest vote total in a statewide contested race; first woman mayor of Austin and the only mayor elected for three successive terms; first woman president of the Austin School Board, and first woman president of the Austin Community College Board of Trustees.  A longtime friend of law enforcement, Comptroller Rylander is a lifetime honorary member of the Austin Police Association.  In 1999, she was the first recipient of the Friends of Texas Taxpayers Award from the Citizens for a Sound Economy.

In Carole’s outstanding career, she has received many honors and awards.  Just a few of these include the Trailblazer Award-Women’s History Month, San Jacinto College South, in 2002, being recognized as one of the Texas Women of the Century by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 1999, receiving the Outstanding Texas Leadership Award in 1999, Outstanding Public Servant, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, 1999, and Texas Public Employees Association Agency Administrator of the Year, 1999.  In 1979, TIME magazine named her “One of the 50 Faces for America’s Future.”

Her lifelong record of achievement and public service is rooted in her passion for education.  She began her career as a History teacher and Tennis Coach in Austin, Texas. 

From 1986 – 1994, she owned her own company, Rylander Consulting Group.  She was also a former television producer, and hosted her own TV show called “The Rylander Report,” a hard-hitting public affairs program.

As you read about Carole’s incredible accomplishments, you will be amazed to realize that while building her career, she also raised five sons.  She is a strong and powerful role model, and her life as a trailblazer with her resume full of “firsts”, makes her a perfect “Women of Excellence”.  When I read about the history of strong, powerful “Texas Women”, Carole is definitely at the top of the list!!

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