2018 Citizen of the Year Finalists
This Westie is given to an individual in the Greater Westlake Area who has contributed time, energy, and heart to the community, sometimes unnoticed. They are an inspiration for others to follow as he or she can influence others to accomplish the objective by providing purpose, direction, and motivation. It is in recognition of their outstanding contributions through civic and community service activities that have made them an inspirational role model for the Westlake community.
Finalist: Ed Allen
Since joining the Westlake Picayune, running a community newspaper representing the heart of the Westlake community was Ed Allen’s passion. In May of 1995, Ed was named editor and his top priority was to get involved in the local Chamber of Commerce. When he learned there was no existing chamber, he and a group of concerned citizens created the Westlake Chamber of Commerce to give the growing area an economic shot in the arm. After 23 years, Ed retired last year and was celebrated as a valuable editor and community member. Ed knew everyone at the Chaps football games as well as at the city council meetings. However, Ed never let his many friendships inhibit his natural instincts as a newshound. From murder trials to the misuse of funds, Ed would lay out the facts for the readers of the Picayune, regardless of their ugliness. It angered some over the years, but Ed’s approach earned the respect of the community as well as those who governed.
Under his years of leadership, the Westlake Picayune won countless awards from both the South Texas Press Association and Texas Press Association, topped by multiple first-place awards for “general excellence” and “sweepstakes”. Whether you were a staff member, a guest columnist, or freelancer, Ed Allen appreciated your work. And he would sign off on any conversation or email with that simple, heartfelt message, “I appreciate your work.” Few careers, though, are more rewarding, as Ed would always point out. We work for the community, Ed would say, and it’s an honor to do our duty. Ed is humbled to be so appreciated for simply doing “a job that I loved”.
Finalist: Terri Frost
Terri is an Austin native, Westlake High School graduate and long-time Westlake resident, where she and her husband, Mike raised their six children. Her passion for kids, recovery and education fuels a love to serve her family and community.
She and her husband, along with a dedicated group of community leaders, founded University High School Austin, the only recovery high school in Central Texas. Terri currently serves on their Board of Directors. Founded in 2014, the high school serves ninth through twelfth grade students in recovery from a substance abuse disorder who are committed to remaining abstinent from alcohol and other drugs. Terri is also a founding member of the Austin 20, a group of community leaders who raise awareness and much needed funds for children who have been victimized by the insidious crime of Sex Trafficking. Terri currently serves on the Austin Leadership Team for Reinvent Ministries, sponsoring Transformational Training events, and is on the fundraising team for both the Westlake High School Business Incubator and Westlake HS Choir Parents Board. Previously, Terri has served on the Eanes Education Foundation Board of Directors; Austin Recovery Executive Board and Advisory Board; Westlake and Eanes Science & Technology Association (WESTA)- Board President; and Any Baby Can Board of Directors.
Professionally, Terri is a Realtor with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, serving West and Central Austin.
Finalist: Dr. Tom Leonard
Since joining the highly acclaimed Eanes Independent School District in July of 2014, Dr. Tom Leonard has focused on transparency, building relationships and maintaining active communication with the many constituents throughout the district. He embodies these beliefs in his everyday leadership and connections.
Under his leadership, Eanes ISD has:
- connected more than 100 people in the community with students in the Westlake High School Business Incubator program, which has seen eight-plus teams receive funding to continue their business model
- created a new culinary program, which has brought in area business relationships, including the new Sway restaurant
- passed a Tax Ratification Election (TRE), which lowered the tax rate for residents and businesses
- hosted an area realtors tour, which brought more than 50 realtors to tour Westlake High School’s state-of-the-art programs that make Eanes ISD and Westlake High School attractive to home buyer
- assisted with the Westlake Chamber’s Leadership Academy
- launched various public engagement initiatives and committees currently involving more than 300 stakeholders in district improvement efforts
Dr. Leonard is an experienced educational leader focused on a successful school environment built on relationships. He values the academic success of the school district but also understands the importance of developing well-rounded students to become engaged citizens in our community.
Last Year's Winner: Cord Shiflet
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