Distinguished Alumni Award Winners


2023 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner – Smittee Root

It’s time to nominate your fellow Leadership Tyler graduate(s) for our Distinguished Alumni Award for 2024. This award is an opportunity to recognize an outstanding Leadership Tyler graduate for their ongoing fulfillment of the Leadership Tyler mission:


 “Equipping Leaders to Enrich Our Community.” 


For the nomination, you will be asked to answer a few quick questions about the individual’s personal and professional achievements and community service. We will take care of adding their Leadership Tyler service to the nomination information.


That’s all there is to it!  If your nominee is selected, he or she will join our outstanding list of past award recipients and be honored at Leadership Live 2024.


Nominations are due by January 15, 2024.

One of the greatest honors is to be recognized by your peers.  The Leadership Tyler Distinguished Alumni Award is an opportunity to say thank you to an outstanding Leadership Tyler graduate for their ongoing fulfillment of the Leadership Tyler mission:  “Equipping Leaders to Enrich Our Community.”


Each year the alumni of Leadership Tyler nominate their fellow leaders to be recognized for their continuing work in our community. This year’s winner is Smittee Root. Since graduating LT as a part of Class 21, Smittee has shown her commitment to enriching our community. She volunteers, has served on the Leadership Tyler Board, and served as its Executive Director for eight years. But it is Smittee’s devotion to making our community a great place to live, work, and play and her encouragement to other leaders to do the same that are the reasons she is receiving this award.


Her time serving the Women’s Fund of Smith County, her devotion to her mentee, and her heart for every person who wants to contribute their time and talents to those who need it show the heart that she has for Tyler and Smith County. Congratulations to the Leadership Tyler Distinguished Alumni Award Winner for 2023: Smittee Root.

Distinguished Alumni Award Winners 2000-2022

2000 & Prior – Linda Fleet Ferguson, Sharon Howell, Steve Roosth, Carol Lott, Jimmy Tallent, Ron Shaffer, Barbara Bass

2001 – Rev. Dr. James Ballard

2002 – Felicity Reedy

2003 – Joey Seeber

2004 – Mike Thomas, CPA

2005 – Paula Anthony

2007 – Don Pinkerton

2008 – Gary Swindle

2009 – Dawn Franks

2010 – Kay Latta

2011 – Mitch Andrews

2012 – 25th Anniversary

2013 – Donna Spann

2014 – Henry Bell

2015 – Shannon Dacus

2016 – Brian Brandt

2017 – Rabbi Neal Katz, Jerry Woolverton

2018 – Dr.  John English

2019 – Rev. Orenthia Mason

2020 – Judge Nathaniel Moran

2022 – James and Leah Wansley