Councilman Bob Townsend named Chamber’s Citizen of the Year
There’s a bumper sticker that easily can be modified for Bob Townsend – he wasn’t born here, but got here as soon as he could.
And once here, he made a huge mark: mayor, city councilman, Texas Instruments employee. His dedication to his adopted home town has earned him the Citizen of the Year from the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.
Frank Kozel, 2015 COY, presented this year’s award at the RCC Annual Meeting.
To see the slide show that accompanied the presentation speech (below), click here:
Our honoree this year described by his peers and friends in many glowing terms: one of the most pleasurable people around; philanthropic and patriotic; a committed family man; a close friend; and, a pretty grandiose one…. the Godfather of Richardson. Today we can add Citizen of the Year to that list of descriptors and to a truly elite group of Richardson benefactors.
Our Citizen of the Year is a native of Durant, Oklahoma. He acquired both an undergraduate degree, and a bride, while attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University and The University of Oklahoma. He is a lifelong Sooners fan. He later earned an MBA from SMU.
In 1959 he and his young family moved to Richardson. He went to work for a small local company you may have heard of, Texas Instruments. His 37-year career at TI supporting Information Systems took him all over the world. But his heart was, and is, in Richardson.
Our honoree has long been active in Richardson neighborhood associations. He was the founder of the Cottonwood Estates Neighborhood Association and, later, president of Richland Meadows.
As many of us know, leading a Home Owner’s Association is a gateway to politics!
He was first elected to the Richardson City Council In 2001. He served as Richardson’s Mayor from 2011 to 2013 and has also served as Mayor Pro Tem --twice. Over the years, he served on numerous city and community committees.
You may be thinking, this man surely must have been released from civic responsibilities by now for "time served." But he was re-elected to City Council in 2015! 20 years AFTER he retired from his paying job.
He and his wife Lynn have been married for 64 years. They have three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He and Lynn have traveled widely. However, he can’t leave for a trip until after the City Council meeting on Monday and must return before for the next one.
Here are the Top Ten Reasons Bob Townsend is Citizen of the Year:
1. Bob has a great passion for the city of Richardson.
2. For the past 20 years, he has only eaten dinners out in Richardson in order to support local restaurants.
3. Bob has more energy than anyone in the room. No matter the size of the event, Bob shows up with a welcoming hand and great conversation. Bob makes everyone feel like the most important person in the room.
4. Bob has a deep pride in the Richardson Parks system, and in infrastructure as a whole. Coming out of TI – the land of creators and producers – he champions infrastructure and musters city resources. He is terribly proud of CityLine.
5. Bob has contributed to the financial stability of Richardson, which maintains a Triple-A bond rating. Many times he has been at the table meeting with bond rating agencies with their evaluations.
6. Bob can relate to all types of people. He converses intelligently and humanely with corporate leaders, neighborhood kids and RISD teachers.
7. Bob has created deep relationships with family, friends, colleagues, fellow homeowners, community leaders, and the City Council.
8. Bob understands how neighborhoods work. He appreciates the perspective of the homeowner and the investments people make in their homes and properties.
9. Bob’s a great cook. He always made a batch of fried pies to take to HOA meetings, often 40-50 pies. At one meeting, a little lady was loading up her purse with his pies; He heard later she wanted to know how to make them. Bob told her, “Come on over to the house and I’ll teach you how.” She did, he did, and instead of her purse, this time she loaded up her car with pies.
10. Bob is the first to arrive and the last to leave. During the annual Wildflower Festival, he is the first person to walk through the opening gate on Friday morning and the last person to walk out on Sunday night.
Bob has lived a lot of life and has lived it to the full. He continues to give back to this community as if it were his first day on City Council. The warmth he exudes as Richardson’s Godfather is represented in everything that he’s done. Please join me in honoring Richardson’s Citizen of the Year, Bob Townsend.
Bob has been in ill health in recent weeks and is unfortunately not able to be with us today. Last night, we presented the Citizen of the Year award to Bob. We are fortunate to have Bob’s family with us today and I would ask them to stand and be recognized. We are pleased that Bob’s daughter, Valerie McMahon, will accept this year’s Citizen of the Year Award of her father, Bob Townsend.