Last night, at a special graduation and alumni event, the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a not-for-profit part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), also bestowed on Gary Farmer the Laura J. Kilcrease Civic Entrepreneurship Award. As 21 stellar Austin technology companies were recognized for their participation in, and graduation from, ATI, Farmer was also recognized for his amazing contribution to the Austin community. Farmer joins esteemed past winners of the award, which began in 1998, including Michael Dell, Luci Baines Johnson, Dr. Neal Kocurek, William G. Bock, Pike Powers, Lee Walker, and Governor Rick Perry.
“Gary completely exemplifies this Civic Entrepreneurship Award,” said Laura Kilcrease, ATI’s founding Director and Managing Director at Triton Ventures. “I’ve got to believe he has somehow found the secret of the 25 hour day because this man balances a beautiful family life, successful business career, and literally more charity and civic commitments than you could begin to list. Gary is an Austin treasure and we are so proud to recognize his countless contributions to our Austin community.”
Initiated in 1989 by Dr. George Kozmetsky and founded by Laura Kilcrease, over more than two decades, ATI has worked with over 200 start-up companies, helping them raise close to $1 Billion in capital. Kilcrease, who made time in her own busy career, to dedicate to growing other companies through ATI, has had a lasting impact on Austin. Her involvement in the Austin community – business and beyond – began in earnest in 1989 with the start of ATI, but continues today through her own personal leadership, as well as the award which bears her name.
Gary Farmer is an ideal recipient of the Laura J. Kilcrease Civic Entrepreneurship Award as he epitomizes the meaning of this award for being both a successful entrepreneur by building and growing his own businesses in Heritage Exchange Corporation and Heritage Title Company; along with his outstanding civic entrepreneurship work with Opportunity Austin. But more than that, Farmer too has found time to dedicate to others, in a variety of civic and charitable endeavors.
Farmer is currently active on the following boards:
· The University of Texas Chancellor’s Council
· The UT Development Board
· The Director’s Council for UT’s Department of Theatre and Dance
· The Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation
· The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
· The Real Estate Council of Austin
· The Greater Austin Crime Commission
· The Colorado River Foundation
· The Trust for Public Land
· The American Heart Association
· Boy Scouts of America
· Capitol Area Council
· Children’s Medical Center Foundation, and
· The National Multi Housing Council.
Farmer is also the Immediate Past Chair of Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation and Opportunity Austin (1.0 and 2.0), among other former chairman roles. Farmer has also chaired five Capital Campaigns, which have raised approximately $55,000,000 for community endeavors. Additionally, Farmer has served on three Mayoral Task Forces dealing with the economy, the environment and healthcare. In 2009, Boy Scouts of America honored Farmer with its Distinguished Citizen Award and in 2006, the Greater Austin Chamber named Farmer its “Austinite of the Year.” In 2005, the Austin Business Journal honored Farmer with the W. Neal Kocurek Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1998; Farmer received the Sam Walton Business Leader Award by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Last but certainly not least, Farmer and his wife are UT graduates now enjoying all three daughters at UT as well.
Laura Beck for ATI