The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce honored Mayor Lee Leffingwell as the 31st recipient of the "Austinite of the Year" award during the Chamber's 137th Annual Meeting.
This event celebrateed our successes of the past year, looked ahead to the future, honored the Austinites of the Year and recognized the change of leadership at the Board of Directors. The Chamber also recognized the Volunteers of the Year in areas such as Federal & State Advocacy, Talent, Education, Technology & Innovation, Economic Development, Ambassadors, Regional Mobility, Local and Regional Policy, Membership Engagement, Communications, and Membership Development.
2013 Austinite of the Year
Heidrick played a critical role in the passage of Central Health Proposition 1 in 2012 which would allow for
the establishment of a teaching hospital in Central Texas. As a part of these efforts, Heidrick was a member
of the Organizing Committee for the creation of a medical school at The University of Texas at Austin and
currently serves as a member of the Search Committee for the first Dean of the medical school.
About the 2013 "Austinite of the Year": Clarke Heidrick
Heidrick is currently the Immediate-Past Chair of the Austin Chamber and has been a lawyer with Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, P.C., since 1977 where he has previously served as the Firm's President and as Chair of its Board of Directors.
Clarke Heidrick is widely recognized as an outstanding lawyer in the areas of business law, finance and mergers and acquisitions. He has been listed in "Best Lawyers in America" since 1993 and was recognized by that publication as Austin Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year in 2009, as the Austin Corporate Lawyer of the Year in 2011, and as the Austin Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the year in 2012.
Moreover, Heidrick has taken countless leadership roles for impactful organizations in Austin. These positions include: Chair of the Board, Shivers Cancer Foundation; Chair of the Board, Rebekah Baines Johnson Center; Executive Committee, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce (Immediate Past Chair); Board Member, Central Health (f/k/a Travis County Hospital District (Chair 2004-2007)); Board Member, Headliners Foundation; Board Member (Chair of Transportation Committee) and Past President, Austin Area Research Organization (AARO); Former Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees, St. Stephen's Episcopal School; Past Board Member, TexHealth Central Texas; Past Chair of the Board of United Way Capital Area; Co-Chair of the 2009 United Way Capital Area Campaign; Advisory Director of Texas Capital Bank; Lifelong member (and Former Senior Warden) of the Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd; Former Director of YMCA of Austin; Former Director and President of Boys and Girls Club of Austin; and Former Director of Heritage Society of Austin, Inc. (now Preservation Austin).
Throughout his career, Mr. Heidrick has earned many awards and honors related to his work and services for the community. These include the Neal Kocurek Award for Healthcare Advocacy in 2005 from People's Community Clinic, the David Walter Community Excellence Award in 2007 from the Austin Bar Association, the Byron Cox Community Caring Award in 2008 from The Care Communities, the First Tee Award for Judgment in 2010, the Health Care Advocacy Award from University Medical Center at Brackenridge in 2012, the Gary Farmer Commendation of Excellence Award from the Real Estate Council of Austin in 2012, and the Anti-Defamation League Jurisprudence Award in 2013.
Heidrick has been married to his wife, Catherine, for 31 years and they have four children, Robert, Margaret, Charles and Kirkland.
2012 Austinites of the Year
The Austin Chamber of Commerce honored Lynn and Tom Meredith as the 2012 Austinites of the Year during the Chamber's 135th Annual Meeting on February 15, 2013.
As co-founders of the MFI Foundation, Lynn and Tom Meredith are dedicated to improving the well-being of the community and have been actively promoting excellence in education, healthcare, the arts, and stewardship of the natural environment.
"Austin's unique character continues to be enriched through the community leadership of Tom and Lynn Meredith" said 2012 Board Chair Clarke Heidrick, Attorney and Chairman, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody. "From building great businesses, to providing critical support for the arts, education and unique resources such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center and the Dell Children's Museum, to amazing civic entrepreneurship in affordable housing, urban design and the Waller Creek Conservancy, Tom and Lynn are at the heart of what makes Austin a great place to live and work."
In addition to honoring the Austinites of the Year, the Chamber recognized its most outstanding volunteers for 2012, review successes and outline priorities for 2013.
Tom and Lynn Meredith
Tom and Lynn Meredith have received numerous accolades and awards for their generous support throughout the years including the 2010 Austin Community Foundation Philanthropy Award; the Torch of Liberty Award given by the Anti-Defamation League in 2006; Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year given by the Association of Professional Fundraisers in 2004; and an Honorary Alumni Award given by Leadership Austin in 2003. Lynn also received the Woman of Distinction Award by the Long Star Girl Scout Council in 1999.
Lynn Meredith currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the MFI Foundation, established and endowed in 1998. She is a founding member and Chairman of the Board for L3 - Lives of Leadership and Legacy, a non-profit organization engaging accomplished individuals in the prime of life in activities, conversations and relations that drive members from success to significance.
Lynn has served as the Austin Children's Museum President of the Board of Directors, 1995–2012, chairing the 1996-98 capital campaign. Currently, she presides as Honorary Chair of the $20 million capital campaign for the new Museum site at Mueller. A member of the Board of Trustees at St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Lynn has also served as the Parent's Association President.
Additionally, Lynn is a Member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. She led the strategic planning committee that set the stage for the Center to be acquired as an organizational research unit of the University of Texas at Austin, and served as Chair of the Board during the acquisition transition year.
Lynn co-founded the first Austin Chapter of the National Charity League, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization. Active in the Association of Junior Leagues International, she is a sustaining member of the Junior Leagues of Palo Alto, CA and Austin, TX.
Tom Meredith is a co-founder and general partner of Meritage Capital, L.P., an investment management firm specializing in multi-manager hedge funds. He is also chief executive officer of MFI Capital, the Meredith family's private investment arm. He has served as Acting Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Motorola, Inc. Formerly, he was managing director of Dell Ventures and senior vice president of business development and strategy of Dell Inc., from 2000 to 2001, and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dell from 1992 to 2000. Prior to joining Dell, Tom served as a Vice President and Treasurer at Sun Microsystems, Inc.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Bazaarvoice, Brightstar Corp, Rallyhood, Inc., and The Nature Conservancy. In addition, Tom plays a leading role as one of the founders and Chairman of The Waller Creek Conservancy. The Conservancy acts as a steward of Waller Creek by playing a vital role in the preservation, redevelopment and maintenance of the creek's surrounding parks, nearby businesses, adjoining neighborhoods and the community at large.
In addition, Tom is a supporter of PeopleFund, which works to create economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and resources to build healthy small businesses. Last year, PeopleFund cut the ribbon on its new, Silver LEED-certified headquarters on land donated in 2009 by the MFI Real Estate, LLC and the Meredith Family.
Tom is an adjunct professor at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas and also serves on the advisory board of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas.
Married for 40 years, Lynn and Tom enjoy spending time with their four children and one grandchild.