SAN ANGELO, TEXAS – The Citizen of the Year is selected each year by a committee of past Citizen of the Year (COY) recipients. The deliberation and selection process behind the COY honor is highly respected and is privy only to previous COY recipients and revealed to the public at the Chamber’s Annual Banquet.
Each year a committee of previous COY recipients meet to deliberate on and choose the next COY. Qualities of a COY, as defined by previous recipients include an individual or group who has contributed significantly to the quality of life in the community and who has been involved in quality and effective volunteer work. A COY will also exhibit the leadership needed to achieve success for all in San Angelo and passionately pursues the best for this community.
The 2020 Citizen of the Year is Matt Lewis!
Matt Lewis was born in the Dallas area, where he lived until he was 5 years old when his parents moved the family to Brownwood. Mr. Lewis comes from a musically inclined family and grew up singing with them at church on a regular basis. A step stool was used in his early years so he could reach the pulpit and stand alongside his siblings. His first stage appearance was in a performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors, where he was cast as the lead role of Amahl. After this performance, Mr. Lewis realized his love of the theatre and never looked back.
Mr. Lewis graduated from Brownwood High School in 1980, where he received numerous accomplishments and was involved in several extracurricular activities including:
· Receiving the Architectural Drafting Award
· Being cast in the role of Old and Young Joe in the production of Damn Yankees
· Performing in the All-State Choir as 2nd Chair and 2nd Tenor
· Playing football before sustaining an injury that forced him out of the sport, then taking on the role of a Football Manager
Mr. Lewis then attended Howard Payne University with a focus on art and music and a minor in accounting.
In 1982 Mr. Lewis began working as a meter reader, then later a lineman, at the Texas Power & Light Company, working his way into management at TXU Energy until 2002.
Mr. Lewis and his wife, Charlotte got married in 1995. The couple have four children – Lauren, Abigail, Luke, and Samantha. The family moved to San Angelo in December 1997.
In 2002, the San Angelo Area Foundation hosted a nationwide search for their next President/CEO. Mr. Lewis applied and interviewed for the position, his love for San Angelo evident.
The San Angelo Area Foundation was established in 2002 with a $1M grant from the San Angelo Health Foundation. As of 2020, more than 7,000 donors have contributed over $200M dollars since inception and have created more than 330 funds. Over $100M have been awarded in grants and the Foundation has over $150M in assets, all supporting a wide array of causes in San Angelo and the surrounding area.
Mr. Lewis and the Foundation directed and raised funds for the Stephens Central Library and the San Angelo Performing Arts Center (SAPAC). With Mr. Lewis’s leadership, the Foundation was able to apply
for a $1M grant for each project. His love for the theatre as one of the driving forces of the SAPAC project, Mr. Lewis helped to acquire the 44,000 square foot Coca-Cola bottling plant building for the campus.
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are both active in the performing arts community in San Angelo. They were both in the Dallas Symphony Chorus prior to moving to San Angelo. The couple have performed in a multitude of local productions and musicals and are longtime members of the San Angelo Chamber Singers. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis received Angelo Civic Theatre’s Legacy Award in 2011. Mr. Lewis has made and served on many Walks to Emmaus as part of the music team.
A man who keeps confidentiality close to his vest, and is intentional with his communication, Mr. Lewis’s impact can be seen and felt across San Angelo and the Concho Valley. With the priorities of God, his family, and his work, his contributions and leadership over the past 19 years are immeasurable.
Congratulations to Mr. Matt Lewis, the 2020 Citizen of the Year!