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Distinguished Citizen Award Luncheon

Support Scouting and Community Leadership

The Distinguished Citizen Award Luncheon is an event honoring 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.

Event Chair Patrick Rose thanks all who participated in the event! You can watch a replay below:


Thank you to our 2021 sponsors:


This Year’s Recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award

Elizabeth Christian, a fourth-generation Austinite and journalism graduate of the University of Texas, is CEO of Elizabeth Christian Public Relations, one of Austin’s oldest and largest PR firms.

Christian has a four-decade career in public relations, journalism and political affairs. In addition to running an award-winning PR firm, which serves such clients as Google and Google Fiber, St. David’s HealthCare, Austin FC, Texas Mutual Insurance, the Austin Board of Realtors, the Downtown Austin Alliance, and others, she is active in the community.

She is a vice chair of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and past president of the Headliners Club and of the Austin Area Research Organization. She is an active member of the board of trustees of the Greater Austin Crime Commission and Covenant Presbyterian Foundation.

She has long been active with the Austin Chamber of Commerce, having served at various times as chair of the transportation, education and communications committees. She has attended (and helped underwrite) virtually every Chamber intercity trip and has made numerous visits to Washington with Chamber delegations to lobby for Central Texas interests.

Christian and her husband, former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd, have two grown children.

Recognized For Outstanding Community Achievement

Since joining the Austin Community College District in September 2011, Dr. Richard Rhodes has worked to improve pathways into higher education, strengthen awareness of the community college mission, and give students the tools to accomplish their educational, professional, and personal goals.

A native of Alamogordo, New Mexico, Dr. Rhodes received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Master of Arts in Educational Management and Development from New Mexico State University. He earned his doctorate through the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving its Distinguished Graduate Award in 2001.

His professional associations include Board Chair Elect of the American Association of Community Colleges; Board Member of the Texas Student Success Council; Board Member of the Texas Workforce Investment Council; Board Member for the League for Innovation; and the Past Chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Rhodes is also a Board Member for the Trellis Corporation and Chair of the Trellis Foundation. Dr. Rhodes is active in the community, serving as Past Chair of the Board for American Youthworks as well as serving on the boards of local Chambers of Commerce. He is also a member of the board of the Boy Scouts of America, Capitol Area Council.

Prior to joining ACC, Dr. Rhodes served as President of El Paso Community College for 10 years and as Vice President of Business Services at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah, for seven years.

Dr. Rhodes is a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and New Mexico. He and his wife, Kate, have four children and nine grandchildren. Dr. Rhodes enjoys reading, golf, hiking, and spending time with his family.


Event Volunteer Leadership

Event Chair

Patrick Rose

Event Vice Chairs

Daniel Campbell Hill Krause Otto Swingler
Sam Cockburn Connor Lammert Tim Taylor
Tim Crowley Steve Matthews Doug Thomas
Justin Deming Sue Meller Terry Tottenham
Ben Green Jeff Miller Ben Turner
Clarke Heidrick Mike Morgan Ray Wilkerson
Joe Holt Jack Nash
Spence Howden Marietta Scott


Event Impact

For more than one hundred 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. 

Click here to learn more about Scouting in Central Texas