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Distinguished Citizen Award Luncheon

Support Scouting and Community Leadership

The Distinguished Citizen Award Luncheon honors individuals who share Scouting’s belief in leadership, determination and values, and have contributed significantly to the growth and vitality of our community. It also provides critical financial support through the Friends of Scouting campaign for all our programs across 15 counties in Central Texas.

When: March 28, 2024
Where: Hilton Austin, 500 E. 4th St., Austin, 78701

Registration opens at 11:00am
Lunch and program at 11:45am-1:00pm


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This Year’s Recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award

2024 honoree: Ray Wilkerson

Eagle Scout Ray Wilkerson, a longtime real estate executive in Austin who has also played an outsized role in shaping the region’s utility and transportation infrastructure, is the 2024 recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award.

Wilkerson is the President and CEO of Ray Wilkerson Companies Inc., which has been involved in real estate brokerage and development in the Austin area for more than 40 years. But he’s equally known for his three decades helping lead state government agencies, including as the first appointed chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority and as past chair of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.

Ray spent 31 consecutive years on the boards of state agencies, starting with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission in 1988. In 2001, he was named chairman of the board at LCRA, a nonprofit public utility that manages the lower Colorado River and generates power with hydroelectric dams and natural gas- and coal-fired power plants.

He followed that assignment with ten years on the board of CTRMA, the independent government agency that has built hundreds of miles of toll roads in Central Texas, as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths. Wilkerson left the CTRMA board in 2019.

Wilkerson keeps busy on the philanthropic front. He’s lived the Scout Oath’s call to “help other people” by co-founding the HeartGift Foundation, which has provided life-saving heart surgery for over 1200 children from 34 countries since 2000. He’s also honored the Outdoor Code’s admonition to be “conservation minded” by co-founding the Colorado River Land Trust, a conservation and water quality trust.

Wilkerson is past winner of the “Austinite of the Year” award from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Gary S. Farmer Commendation of Excellence from the Real Estate Council of Austin.

Event Volunteer Leadership

Event Chair

Joe Beal

Honorary Event Chairs

Mayor Kirk Watson
Gary Farmer

Event Planning Chair

Mollie O’Hara Leach

Event Vice Chairs

Elizabeth Christian
Bobby Jenkins Patrick Rose
Wade Cooper Conner Lammert Marietta Scott
Tim Crowley
Tom Martine David Singleton
Jay Fox
Steve Matthews Tim Taylor
David Glass
Mike Morgan
Tim Timmerman
Daniel Gonzalez
Mary Scott Nabers
Ben Turner
Clarke Heidrick Robert Neblett Phil Wilson
Mike Heiligenstein Mark Rose Pete Winstead


Event Impact

For more than 110 years, the Boy Scouts of America has provided programs with a mission of preparing young people for adulthood – and to be responsible citizens. Scouting offers exciting programs designed to inspire, build character, and instill the values boys and girls need to succeed today. Funds from the Award event benefit nearly 500 Scouting programs across 15 Central Texas counties serving youth regardless of ability or economic level.