2023 FINALISTS2 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year | May 2023 NOMINEE We Salute our fearless leader - Patrick F. Doyle as a nominee for Citizen of the Year. We appreciate all that you do for your customers, staff and the community. PRESIDENT/CEO - TEXAN TITLE HOLDINGS, LLC PATRICK F. DOYLE2023 | Citizen of the Year | The Daily News | 3 MEET THE FINALISTS 4 Chris Armacost 4 Renae Bentley 6 Jennifer Burnett 6 Clay Burton 7 Robyn Bushong 7 Doryn Danner Glenn 8 Louis Decker 8 Josh Dorrell 9 Patrick Doyle 10 Shone Evans 11 Bonnie Farmer 13 Priscilla Files 13 Loretta Lee Grumbles 14 Katherine Herrin-Keith 14 Dedrick Johnson 15 Betty Massey 15 Angela McGhee 16 Rodger Rees 16 Joanie Steinhaus 17 Geny White4 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year | 2023 In what ways are you involved with the community? I serve/volunteer as mayor of Hitchcock, a board member for the Hitchcock Education Foundation, Hitchcock Economic Development Corporation and Hitchcock Chamber of Commerce and president of the Hitchcock Little League, as well as working for the school district and helping out with diﬀerent activities. I’ve helped with local charities and other youth sports organizations over the years as well. I also try to help our citizens whenever possible with whatever I am called upon to do. This past winter freeze, I was helping residents wrap their pipes free of charge. I love ﬁnding opportunities to give back to the community. What do you like most about serving the community? What I like most about serving the community is the joy I see in others. I’ve always been more of a servant starting at an early age. But, I will say I do not like the recognition it brings. Everything that I do is done to show the love of Jesus through my actions. What motivates you to get involved in your community? I live here, work here and serve here. But what really motivates me most is wanting to make Hitchcock a better place for all of our youth to grow up in. What does it mean to be named a finalist for Citizen of the Year? It is an honor to be named a Citizen of the Year finalist among all of the other finalists who do so much for our county. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? I believe it is important to give back to the community to set an example of what a servant looks like. In today’s society, too many people expect something back from their service, which is why organizations struggle to get committed volunteers. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I do not think there is anything I would do diﬀerently. Everything that God has brought me to or through is what has made me into the person I am today. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I do not like public speaking and am a very shy person. Going with this topic of serving, I have to push through being uncomfortable to help lead my community, which is something I gladly do regardless of how I truly am feeling on the inside. I’m very much a person who would rather serve behind the scenes than be in front of people or recognized for my service. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. 2023 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS CHRIS ARMACOST CITY OF RESIDENCE » Hitchcock OCCUPATION » Director of Technology, Facilities and Operations for Hitchcock Independent School District In what ways are you involved with the community? Currently, as I have recently opened my wellness center in November, I am in the process of plugging us in to the community by participating in the Adopt a Cop program and planning free beach yoga classes in May in partnership with the Park Board as part of Wellness Wednesday. Any donations made for the classes will be given to the humane society to help with purchasing needed supplies, especially dog and cat food. We are planning to host a humane society event at our building to encourage fosters and adoptions, maybe with a little doggie yoga! We collected human food to contribute to the Share Your Holidays food drive this past fall. At Classic, I helped organize our crawﬁsh boil fundraisers where we raised money for Texas EquuSearch two diﬀerent times, and our chili cook-oﬀs where we helped many diﬀerent organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Holy Family Parish, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Caveman Cookers, Galveston Urban Ministries, Houston Food Bank, Hope Haven Belize, SMART Family Literacy, Lemonade Day, Family Literacy Program, The Salvation Army and Mercy Ministries Zambia. The day of the events, I lead the dance party along with my ﬁtness instructor friends from all over the Galveston/Houston area. We, my husband Howie and I, have both been involved in supporting GISD, Project Graduation, West Isle (and now Galveston) Little League, Galveston’s Own Farmers Market and Young Gardeners Program, Galveston Island Humane Society, C-Crewe, Texas A&M University at Galveston and more through various galas, fundraisers and donations. I also have worked as a committee member for several years organizing, choreographing and teaching Take Five for Fitness at the Galveston Women’s Conference. I have led after-school dance sessions with elementary-aged students involved in the Young Gardeners Program. I also led dance breaks at the Black History Celebration held last year at Ball High. In 2021- 22, I participated in and graduated from the Leadership Galveston program. What do you like most about serving the community? I like meeting people and learning their stories. I enjoy serving alongside other volunteers, people who also have the gift of “helps.” I particularly like using my dance ﬁtness skills to get people moving and having fun! If you notice a theme in our service categories, children and animals are very important to us! Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? If we don’t take care of our community, it can’t take care of us. In the early days of our country, each community took care of its own: the sick, poor, elderly, orphans and widows. If we could do more of that, we would all be better oﬀ. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. RENAE BENTLEY CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Owner of Bent on Healthy Living Wellness Center; co-owner of Classic Auto Group dealershipsCongratulations Robyn Bushong We are so proud of you ! WE’RE HONORED TO HONOR YOU. 409.765.5561 | MoodyBank.com Congratulations to this year’s Citizens of the Year ﬁnalists. Your dedication and selﬂess service to others help make our community shine and the world a much better place. Thank you for being a true inspiration beyond measure. 2023 | Citizen of the Year | The Daily News | 56 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year | 2023 In what ways are you involved with the community? I have been an active member of the Galveston County community since moving here in 2004. I have served on multiple boards, including Resource and Crisis Center, Junior League of Galveston County, Galveston County Bar Association, Galveston County Family Bar Association, Galveston County Food Bank and Dickinson Optimist Club. I also have been involved with the Galveston County Adoption Day Foundation since the ﬁrst event in 2004 and continue to serve on this board to this day. I regularly interact with law enforcement agencies across the county as a result of my job at the District Attorney’s Oﬃce. I also interact regularly with community partners like the Family Service Center, RCC, UTMB, GCFB and do my best to assist with disseminating information to individuals in need of their resources and to assist these agencies as needed. What do you like most about serving the community? As a former Girl Scout, it was instilled in me to always leave a place better than you find it. My hope is that by working with these different groups I am achieving that. What motivates you to get involved in your community? I want to make it a better place. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? I’m truly honored to have been nominated for this. Honestly, I feel a bit unworthy of the nomination, but hopefully it means that I have achieved my goal of helping to better our community. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? I was taught from a young age you can’t just complain about an issue. If that is all you do, then you are part of the problem. I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I would go back and tell my younger self not to take everything so seriously. Work/life balance is important. Unfortunately, it is not something learned until the last few years. I do my best to remind my staﬀ of this. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I’m a bit superstitious. When something big is occurring, I will often wear a piece of jewelry from one of my grandmothers. Whichever one I feel would have had the best advice for the situation I’m encountering. I feel like it helps me draw a bit on their strength and wisdom. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Never cease to act because you fear to fail. 2023 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS JENNIFER BURNETT CITY OF RESIDENCE » League City OCCUPATION » Attorney In what ways are you involved with the community? In general, as a humanitarian volunteer, I work directly with organizations that help people living in crisis situations find the urgent care and assistance they need, which may include transitional living and safe houses for women and children of domestic violence, food pantry, non-insured coverage for medication, substance-use addiction, suicide prevention, transportation to appointments, employment, free legal services, displaced individuals and so much more. We believe that in order to build a better society we must help build better people by reintroducing them back into society with a helping hand, and also creating educational opportunities for children who are undoubtedly, all of our future. Let’s start there with prevention. It still takes a village, and always will. We promote community accountability and responsibility. My team of ROSC oﬃcers and members meet together monthly, along with many Galveston County, federally qualiﬁed, 501(c) (3) non-proﬁt and private sector agencies and organizations. We also are a body of citizen volunteer advocates and activists. We are resource information disseminators. Our meetings are a uniﬁed gathering for exchanges of resource information. We serve as a networking operation. We are aware that we can no longer “solely” depend on our government oﬃcials to do all that is necessary to heal our communities and advance our society without the intervention of citizen volunteers, elected oﬃcials, public servants and professionals working together. What do you like most about serving the community? Giving back, after taking for so long. Most of all things is the opportunity to give back to my community and to my family after so many years of being lost in emotional confusion and uncertainty. The root of fear and anger caused by negative environments too often prevents healthy emotional development. As a result of overcoming said adversities, I have acquired an applicable amount of wisdom and knowledge that for me, and others like me, likely could not have been achieved any other way. Even the state of Texas now recognizes that, although we need academic behavioral science, it has been shown that one crisis survivor can best help another crisis survivor by gaining their trust with experienced understanding. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. CLAY BURTON CITY OF RESIDENCE » Hitchcock OCCUPATION » Volunteer behavioral recovery coach and community outreach coordinator for Texas Health and Human Services, Galveston County, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) “IT STILL TAKES A VILLAGE, AND ALWAYS WILL.”2023 | Citizen of the Year | The Daily News | 7 In what ways are you involved with the community? Presently, I serve as publicity chair/photographer for the Galveston Island Humane Society Inc. as well as having been an integral part of fundraising for the shelter. And, I’m very proud to say that I was one of the original founders of the shelter when it was founded in 1980 as the Animal Shelter & Adoption Center of Galveston Island Inc. I also continue to serve on the shelter’s advisory board. I feel it’s so important to adopt animals from a shelter. Throughout my life, I’ve either found a stray and adopted it, and/or adopted from our shelter. Honestly, I’ve never had a beloved dog or cat that I knew what its birthday was. Next, I handle publicity for First Lutheran Church. And until last year, I had been First Lutheran’s Island Oktoberfest PR chair/ photographer, serving in that position since 2004. Since 2009, I have been the Rotary Club of Galveston’s PR chairwoman and photographer. I love being part of this club! In 2011, I was asked to join the “Share Your Holidays” team at Ball High School with an invitation from Lisa Schweitzer, then the school’s student council sponsor. (The annual ABC13 “Share Your Holidays” Food Drive was founded in 1980 and encompasses the entire ABC13/KTRK viewing area – 17 counties throughout the Houston area and southeast Texas. Galveston has been an integral part of this vital project since the beginning with Ball High School the original “drop oﬀ” site for Galveston/Galveston County.) Beginning in 2016, following Schweitzer’s retirement from Ball High, Mike Dudas was appointed the school’s coordinator for “Share Your Holidays.” My main challenge, responsibility and goal is to recruit and maintain – and to continue to recruit – Community Partners. These are leaders in Galveston/ Galveston County’s companies, schools, businesses, attractions, nonproﬁt organizations who will take an active role in hosting annual in-house food drives. All proceeds (monetary and/or non-perishable food items) collected in Galveston/Galveston County beneﬁt the Galveston County Food Bank. This year’s 43rd annual ABC13 “Share Your Holidays” Food Drive culminates right after the Thanksgiving holiday at Ball High School (Nov. 28.) I’m so proud to see how this event has grown from our ﬁrst Community Partner – American National Insurance Company in 2014 – to more than 50 Community Partners as of 2022! From raising $2,000 in monetary contributions in 2018 to receiving more than $41,000 contributed in 2022, along with over 27,000 pounds of non-perishable food items contributed last year, it is so exciting to think what – working together – we can accomplish in 2023! Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. 2023 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS ROBYN BUSHONG CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Owner/manager of What We Do Best, LLC; publicist/photographer for The Grand 1894 Opera House; project editor for Signature Travel Expert Select – Signature Travel Network In what ways are you involved with the community? I try to remain involved in the community in a number of ways. I have been associated with the Junior League of Galveston County for almost 30 years. Being associated with that group, which promotes the improvement of the community through the effective action of trained volunteers, has allowed me to be involved with so many wonderful causes (Ronald McDonald House, UTMB Children’s Hospital, fire prevention efforts and literacy programs, just to name a few). My 31-year association with the Galveston County Bar Association has oﬀered me additional ways to remain involved with the community while also supporting and promoting the judiciary and the Galveston County Justice System. My association with my church, First Lutheran Church in Galveston, has allowed me other opportunities to serve the community with options such as Feed Galveston and the opportunities to work with the youth to improve and guide their faith formation. Finally, my 20-year association with the Galveston County Adoption Day Foundation has allowed me remarkable opportunities to watch forever families be created right before my eyes. The foundation supports and facilitates the adoptions of children who have been in CPS care at little or no cost to the families. Oﬀering support and assistance to these children is an honor and a privilege. Watching their faith in the justice system be restored as they are legally united with their forever families is an experience like no other. It has truly been an honor to be associated with this foundation, which also seeks to promote the need for foster families in Galveston County. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with this, and all of the groups that I have been associated with over the last few decades. What do you like most about serving the community? I ﬁrmly believe that we are meant to share our blessings and give back to our communities in any way that we can. When you are able to give back to and work within your community in a meaningful way, you are enriched by the experience and inspired to continue to serve. I consider it a great blessing to have had the opportunity to serve this wonderful community that has provided a home to me and my family for generations. Many times you serve because you believe it will help others, but what you ﬁnd is that you are the one who is blessed by the experience. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. DORYN DANNER GLENN CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Attorney8 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year | 2023 In what ways are you involved with the community? City councilman 26 years (which is a record in Dickinson), 24 years in Dickinson Citizen’s Police Alumni and Citizens on Patrol, 26 years on Festival of Lights Board, Galveston County Emergency Communications District (911) 22 years, Dickinson Bayou Watershed Board (Galveston and Brazoria counties) 20-plus years, Knights of Columbus volunteer 12 years, Dickinson Beautiful, Library, and Historical Society 20-plus years. What do you like most about serving the community? Solving problems in the city and interacting with the citizens who elected me. I was always available to answer/return calls to talk to all citizens. What motivates you to get involved in your community? The chance to make a diﬀerence and add to growth of the city. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? It was a welcome surprise to be one of the 20 ﬁnalists in the county. It’s great to be recognized. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? To be part of growth of the city (21,000-plus) is very rewarding. Without volunteers, Dickinson would not be able to have enough support for all the community programs oﬀered. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? Nothing. I tried to live my life looking at pros and cons and make the best decision possible with all the facts involved. I have no regrets. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? BOI (born “oﬀ” the island), grew up in Galveston, graduated high school at Ball High, attended Lee College in Baytown while working, and earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. I’ve never lived outside of Galveston County. For nine years, I was in the Texas National Guard, and Army and Marine Reserves. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. 2023 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS LOUIS DECKER CITY OF RESIDENCE » Dickinson OCCUPATION » Retired from Monsanto/Sterling after 39 years as a senior safety specialist In what ways are you involved with the community? I have had the privilege to serve in the community we love in so many amazing ways. As the executive director for Galveston Urban Ministries, we have found so many ways in which we can serve, give and support the community. Apart from our organization, I am involved in a volunteer role in our church, coaching basketball, little league and several other areas. What do you like most about serving the community? Investing in the community you love with your time and energy is a great way to deepen and grow relationships. We also want to share with others that even with a young family, full work schedules and responsibilities, we can still make time to serve others. I really enjoy showing our children the value of spending time in service, and when you can do that with your family, it is a big win. What motivates you to get involved in your community? We want to be a part of the community, not simply by living there, but through the investment of time, energy and resources. There are so many amazing things taking place in our city, and we want to be proactive in continuing the progress. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? It is an absolute honor to be named among so many other incredible people. Each of us would most likely share, we did not do any of our service work with the intent to be recognized. We do it because we love it! I get to be a part of this honor as a leader within our organization, yet, it is in part of the incredible work from our team who accomplishes so much with excellence and hard work. To be named as a ﬁnalist is a humbling honor. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? It is a privilege to live, work and play in such an amazing community. It is part of our civic duty to give back, assist and promote the good, as we work to change the areas that need improvement and growth. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I would have spent more time investing in learning another language at a younger age. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I played varsity tennis as a freshman in high school. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? “Have grace for the journey; for yourself and others” and “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato JOSH DORRELL CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Executive director for Galveston Urban Ministries “TO BE PART OF GROWTH OF THE CITY IS VERY REWARDING. WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS, DICKINSON WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR ALL THE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS OFFERED.”
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2023 | Citizen of the Year | The Daily News | 9 In what ways are you involved with the community? I sit on the St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Development Board that assists in developing church assets to assist in deferring and paying maintenance costs on the church. I have also made signiﬁcant donations to the new church construction and audio-visual additions. I was a member of the TC/LM Jaycees for many years and held leadership positions with them. I served as elected Justice of the Peace – Precinct 5 and then two terms as Galveston County Commissioner – Precinct 1. I have hosted a charity ﬁshing tournament for the last 20 years, with proceeds purchasing two buses for senior citizen use and donations to the Boy Scouts, Texas City High School baseball and choir programs, Santa Fe Ten Warrior Spirit Memorial and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. This tournament has brought in record number of teams and well over $1.5 million in direct beneﬁt to these various charities. We plan to give $20,000 each this year to at least three deserving charities with proceeds from this year’s tournament. The tournament is the best legacy we have since my early days of public service and a mainstay of giving back yearly. What do you like most about serving the community? It gives me a sense of purpose knowing that I am contributing for the greater good of where I live, work and raise my family. What motivates you to get involved in your community? My family. My parents, Charles and Mary Ellen Doyle, instilled in me and my siblings since we were very young that the three most important things in life and as part of our family circle, each being equally important – family, faith and giving back to the community that has supported our family for so many years. Whether it is volunteering my time or building my business, if I can make a diﬀerence, that’s my mission. My wife and children contribute the same as me and sometimes more. The trickle down to the next generation makes it all worthwhile. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? It is a complete surprise and totally unexpected. I am very honored. I am in the company of many other deserving ﬁnalists. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? Your community is what you make of it. I don’t ever want it said that I didn’t do something for the betterment of it. I love the Galveston County community and I choose to support it. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. 2023 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS PATRICK DOYLE CITY OF RESIDENCE » Texas City OCCUPATION » Attorney/owner of Texan Title Holdings (parent company of group of title agencies across the state of Texas)Next >