Members Showcase—Don Ray George, Cindy Veidt and Lee Yeakel

Posted by on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Phil Thoden

President Dale Lowe called the Rotary Club of Austin (RCA) meeting to order. Richard Payton led the pledges and Arnold Garcia gave the invocation of the day. Jim Bryce led us in saying The Four Way Test. Sara Pantin served as greeter (with help from Richard Payton) and Melissa Muckenthaler introduced the large number of guests and visitors.

President Lowe called upon Austin Rotary Club Foundation (ARCF) Chair Jack Nash to give a quick overview of the Foundation and remind everyone to complete a ballot for determining the new Board of Trustees. He then introduced new members Girish Altekar (sponsored by Allison Allen) and Aaron Schmidt (co-sponsored by Jim Bushnell & Harold Ingersoll). Congratulations and welcome to Girish and Aaron!

Tillery Castillo came to the podium to talk about the upcoming RCA Family Day at Dell Diamond on Saturday, April 8 starting at 5:30pm. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Also, Mary Reynolds reminded everyone about the upcoming Strikes for Tikes bowling event benefitting Sammy’s House (for health fragile children) next Tuesday, March 28th at Main Event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis with Mary.

President Dale made the following announcements:

  • Rotary Reporters are needed for to cover the weekly luncheons for one or two weeks at a time (reporters are the ones who submit the wrap-up articles that are usually on page 2 of the weekly newsletters). The reporter “line up” is normally set every couple of months (via e-mail), and there are multiple volunteers to fill in with you! Please contact Jackie Sinex or Jennifer Olsen if you’d like to help!
  • Amy Jackson is recovering from surgery so please keep her and her family in your thoughts
  • Michael Portman is hosting a Wine Tasting at his downtown Austin home on Friday, April 7. The theme is “Blame It On the Reds” so plan to bring your favorite bottle of red wine! RSVP to: MICHAEL.PORTMAN@WELLSFARGOADVISORS.COM

Next, President Dale presented Paul Harris Fellowship Awards to Steve Grauberger (Initial); Wendy Jack (Initial); Bill Koen (PHF +1); and Cindy Veidt (Initial). Congratulations Steve, Wendy, Bill and Cindy!

After time for Fellowship, Jack Nash announced the Foundation Board of Trustees election results. The winners were: Sara Pantin, Richard Payton and Michael Portman! Thanks to all six nominees for their willingness to serve!

The speaker program for the meeting featured three of our own members: Cindy Veidt, Don Ray George, and Lee Yeakel, with Jim Bushnell serving as the emcee.

Cindy Veidt is a partner/member of Lippincott Phelan Veidt, PLLC and has been with the law firm since it was founded on April Fool’s Day, 2007. She serves as LPV’s Human Resources and Administrative Manager, in addition to maintaining her robust law practice. Cindy described herself as both a lawyer and ‘problem solver’ who uses good listening skills to serve her clients. After an early marriage and child birth, Cindy began her climb on the legal ladder by becoming a paralegal, then a law student, working at Travis County and then starting her own firm in 2007. She enjoys the teamwork aspect of Rotary.

Don Ray George has been in Rotary Club of Austin since 1977 and since that time has served as President, multiple stints on the Board of Directors, and been a Trustee on the Austin Rotary Club Foundation, as well as being a vice-president for one or more avenues of service and a member of most of our club committees. Don Ray moved his young family to Austin from Colorado in 1975 and started his oil industry consulting company. He now has 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren, and he also enjoys his extended Rotary Club family.

The Honorable Lee Yeakel was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, in July, 2003. Before confirmation for this position, Judge Yeakel served as Chief Justice and Justice of the Texas Third Court of Appeals. Lee says he is living his dream having grown up in Austin, attended the University of Texas and now serving as a U.S. District Judge. He joined the RCA in 1990 and says it is one of the best things he ever did. He shared with us some insight into the system for filling judges, noting that there are numerous vacancies (including 11 in Texas) that results in long waits for a court hearing.

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