Gary Powell Awarded 2008 Austin Toastmasters

“Achievement in Communications”

By on 7-01-2008 in Speaking Engagements

gary powell austin toastmasters award
On June 24th, the Austin Toastmasters Club presented Gary Powell with their respected “2008 Communication Achievement Award.” The club’s 28th annual banquet was held at the Austin Country Club. Kristi Curry, owner of Survivorship Now, presented the award and introduced Gary Powell.

No one is quite sure how Mr. Powell was nominated for this award – much less how he won it. Club president, Scotty Burch, suspected foul-play. Others, however, because of the uncommonly beautiful club members, men and women alike, were simply suspicious of illegal Botox being smuggled from Mexico through Mr. Powell’s studio. We will continue to monitor how many Toastmasters’ music careers soon start to blossom. Regardless of the accusations, Gary Powell has the trophy displayed in a place of honor in his Austin recording studio.

Mr. Powell’s parents, longtime Austinites Max & Jessie Powell, who now reside in Huntsville, Texas were present at the event along with Gary’s life-partner and Austin psychotherapist Amy Person and her parents, Ralph & Peggy Person of Temple, Texas. This was a most gracious evening for Gary Powell, who would like to thank Scotty Burch, Kristi Curry and all the club members who gave him such a graceful reception. Mr. Powell’s speech is best described here by club member and presenter, Kristi Curry.

Our keynote speaker took us on a tour through the internal spaces of a producer, musician and someone who has a heightened awareness of changing the world with music. He told us how seamy the music business can be, and how this music industry is a barometer of the health of our culture … like canaries in a coal mine. Gary then took us on a tour of what it’s like to compose music. As he played on a baby grand piano, he walked us through the process. He added humor, drama, random thoughts and a little peek into the “other side” of a symphony production. Finally, he brought it all together with how he writes music with the most personal themes. He sang, “In My Palm,” – the lyrics describe what we all could only have wished for from our parents at our birth.” – Kristi Curry

Past Honorees

2008, Gary PowellComposer/Producer
2007, Ronnie EarleTravis County District Attorney
2006, Sarah Weddington – Attorney, Leadership Philosopher
2005, Judy MaggioAnchor, CBS-42 K-EYE News
2004, Kinky FriedmanHumorist, Performer, Mystery Writer
2003, Liz CarpenterAuthor; Lecturer
2002, Admiral Bobby InmanVenture Capitalist, Austinite of the Year
2001, Kirk WatsonMayor, Austin Texas
2000, Chuck MeyerMinister; Author
1999, John KelsoHumor Columnist; Author
1998, Marion WinikAuthor; Lecturer
1997, Willie KocurekCommunity Leader
1996, Toody ByrdHumorist; Lecturer
1995, Lloyd DoggettU.S. Representative
1994, Cactus PryorHumorist
1993, Brigid SheaDirector, Save Our Springs
1992, Nick BarbaroPublisher, The Austin Chronicle
1991, Molly IvinsSyndicated Columnist
1990, Ben SargentPolitical Cartoonist
1989, Wally Pryor – Sports Broadcaster (“Voice of the Longhorns”)
1988, Gonzalo BarrientosTexas State Senator
1987, Jodie ConradtU.T. Women’s Basketball Coach
1986, Barbara JordanLBJ Centennial Chair on National Policy, UT Austin
1985, Jim HightowerAgricultural Commissioner, State of Texas
1984, Ann RichardsTreasurer, State of Texas
1983, Ron Mullen – Mayor, Austin Texas
1982, Neil SpelceTV News Anchor

Mr. Powell has agreed to terms with his estate and airs to make the video, which was recorded during his speech at the Austin Toastmasters Club, available for release to the public 25 susan baughman, gary powell, max & jessie powell, helena escalanteyears after his death.

Pictured at left and from left to right are: Susan Baughman, Max Powell, Gary Powell, Jessie Powell, Helena Escalante.

One Comment

  1. What? “Seamy side of music”? I’m pretty sure that ethics, talent, hard-work, and “practice, practice, practice” were the only necessary components for a successful musical career. And seriously, how many ‘musicians’ are good communicators? I think there is probably more video footage captured during “The Making of A Bug’s Life” than we were originally led to believe!

    Congratulations, Gary. I can’t wait for the reunion tour with you, Kinky and John Kelso. Now THAT is something that should be recorded.


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