Press Release

Ray Wilkerson named 2018 Austinite of the Year

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Dec 11, 2018
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Wilkerson to be honored at Austin Chamber 141st Annual Meeting on Feb. 5

AUSTIN, Texas—The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce today announced Ray Wilkerson, president and CEO of Ray Wilkerson Companies, Inc., has been named "Austinite of the Year" for 2018.

Wilkerson has been a community and civic leader in Austin—and the state—for decades.

In 2000, Wilkerson co-founded HeartGift Foundation, an organization that has provided life-saving heart surgery for more than 400 children from 34 countries. The organization is projected to provide 72 surgeries in 2019. Wilkerson currently serves as the organization's vice chair of finance.

"Ray is a man who loves his family and his community," said Austin Chamber Board Chairman Phil Wilson. "He’s a strong, thoughtful leader who cares about doing things the right way while sharing credit along the way. Austin is better because Ray Wilkerson stepped up in so may ways."

Wilkerson has dedicated 31 years to serving the state on various boards and commissions. He currently serves as chairman of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), a position he was appointed to by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009. Under his leadership, CRMA has built billions of dollars in roadway projects, accelerating mobility by decades.

In addition to his role as presiding officer of CTRMA, Wilkerson is board member of the Colorado River Foundation Tributary League Endowment, a board member of the Colorado River Land Trust, a board member of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, and a life member of the Austin Travis County Livestock show.

In 2001, Gov. Perry appointed Wilkerson as the first chair of the Lower Colorado River Authority. Previously, he was appointed vice chair of the Texas Rehabilitation Commission by Gov. William P. Clements and was reappointed by Gov. George W. Bush.

Wilkerson received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

The prestigious Austinite of the Year Award represents the highest honor of the chamber. It will be presented at the Chamber's annual meeting scheduled for Feb. 5, 2019.

A photo of Wilkerson is available here.

The Chamber created the special award in 1984 to recognize significant leaders in the local community who were instrumental in making Austin an even-better place to live, work and do business. Recent honorees include Bobby Jenkins (2017), Dell Medical School Drs. Ken Shine and Clay Johnston (2016), Mobile Loaves and Fishes CEO, Alan Graham, (2015), Mayor Lee Leffingwell (2014), Clarke Heidrick (2013), and Lynn & Tom Meredith (2012). Other winners include the 45th Texas Governor Ann Richards, Dr. Patricia Hayes, and Wilhelmina Delco.

In addition to honoring Wilkerson, the Chamber’s Annual Meeting provides the community with the opportunity to celebrate successes of the past year, look ahead to the future, as well as recognize new leadership. The Chamber also plans to recognize its Volunteers of the Year in several key areas. Registration details for the meeting can be found here.


Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin region works. We serve as the voice of business for our member organizations and their employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.