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Annual Meeting Closes Notable Year for AHCA

Lee Cooke knows how to close things out with a bang!

In a meeting filled with highlights, Cooke presided over the AHCA's 2021 Annual Meeting, on May 16, closing out the association's fiscal year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was conducted online and included a summary of accomplishments from 2020, a year in which the annual meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Headlining this year's meeting was the announcement that Hardeman Family Foundation has donated $1 million to AHCA's newly established endowment fund. Bryan Hardeman, the foundation's president, is also a member of the AHCA Board of Directors. The Hardeman family roots run deep in Texas, dating back to the 1820s and the “Old Three Hundred” – the first organized influx of American immigrants to Texas, who received their land titles from Stephen F. Austin. As part of the AHCA endowment, interest from the Hardeman Family Foundation donation will help support the AHCA's operations and work to support the Austin History Center.

Cooke also announced a gift of almost $33,000 from the estate of Val and Sam Dunnam for the long-term support of AHCA and its mission. Theirs is the third largest gift by an Austin family or estate in the AHCA’s 41-year history. That gift, too, will become part of AHCA's new endowment.

Former Austin Mayor Ron Mullen used the Annual Meeting to announce he is becoming one of eight Life Members of the AHCA. You can read about his Life Member status here.

Charles Peveto, who is chair of both the Annual Meeting Committee and the Katherine Drake Hart Award Committee for AHCA, announced Gloria Mata Pennington, Austin community leader and preservationist, as the winner of the 2020 award. Pennington was chosen from seven nominations for the 2020 award. Founding member of the AHCA, Martha Hartzog was one of the judges and was on hand for the presentation of the award, which is a sculpture by another founding member of the AHCA, Bob Coffee.

AHC and AHCA Volunteers of the Year for 2020 and 2021 were announced at the Annual Meeting. Vanessa Garcia Hutchins was named AHC Volunteer of the year for her work preparing files for uploading into the AHC's Digital Collections portal and the AHCA recognized four Volunteers of the year: Ted Lee Eubanks, Paullette MacDougal, Linda McCoy, and Trammel Cooper.

In keeping with tradition, people who have donated their oral histories to the AHCA during the previous year were honored at the Annual Meeting. Oral History Committee Chair Cynthia O'Keeffe presented the honorees for 2020 and 2021. Summaries of each oral history and links to their video interviews are accessible on the Oral History section of the AHCA website.

Nominations Committee Chair and former AHCA President Charlie Betts introduced the newest members of the AHCA Board of Directors. They are: Molly Alexander, Roxanne Evans, Mark McCormick, and Rosemary Morrow.

Rounding out the meeting was the transition of the AHCA presidency from Cooke to Kent Collins, who will lead the AHCA for the next two years.

A link to a video of the 2021 AHCA Annual Meeting will be posted on this website in the coming days.

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