Becky Rutledge named 2018 Athena Leadership Award

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A large crowd awaited the announcement of the 2018 Athena Leadership Award recipient at the Brown Center on Tuesday afternoon. The annual event changed the time of the presentation this year to a luncheon instead of breakfast.

Becky Rutledge was named the winner this year.

Becky Rutledge has dedicated her life to community service. She was born in Orange and spent her early years here as a sports-crazed tomboy. In 1973, she graduated from Bridge City High School and began a 45 year career in the road materials business. She is currently the Materials Sales Manager for Gulf Coast, an Oldcastle company, according to a press release.

Becky is married to her high school sweetheart, David who is currently the Mayor of Bridge City. She is the mother of three daughters – Kara Hagen, Annie Reeves, and Erin Wheat. She is the proud grandmother of five grandchildren – Reilly Shaw; Emmet and Becca Hagen; Kade Wheat; and Aiden Reeves.

For many years St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has been the major focus of her family life. She currently serves on the Vestry (governing board) and Altar Guild. She is also a member of the Daughters of the King, a group dedicated to prayer and service to others.

Becky has served on the Bridge City ISD School Board since her election in 1997. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and was recognized in 2013 as a Master Trustee.

In 2007, Becky became involved with Leadership Southeast Texas (LSET), a leadership organization dedicated to promoting regional cooperation among the nine counties that comprise Southeast Texas. Each class program examines the strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and opportunities for economic development, regional unity, and quality of life. She is currently serving as Chairman of the Advisory Council. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Francis K Monk award for her leadership role in LSET.

For over 25 years Becky has served the City of Bridge City as Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission. She is also the current Secretary on the South East Texas Tennis Association (SETTA) board.

When not serving on a board or committee, Becky enjoys cooking, gardening, and playing tennis.

“I am in awe of the previous winners,” Rutledge said. “To have my name called with them is an honor.”

Rutledge added she accepted the award humbly.

“I hope to live up to this award.”

Stephen Lee ,of First Financial Bank, said it was an honor and privilege to honor the women each year.

“My dad brought this award to Orange many years ago. We have so many incredible women leaders in this community.”

The Athena Leadership Award is presented annually to a person that is being honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting others in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.  This year’s ceremony at the Brown Estate was sponsored by First Financial Bank and Capital Title.

Past winners of the Athena award:

Pam Crew Honeycutt                                     1993

Gisela Houseman                                             1994

Anna Jean Caffey                                             1995

Marcelle Adams                                               1996

Louise Maberry                                                 1997

Alexine Adams                                                  1998

Jane Whitfield                                                   1999

Cecily Varner                                                     2000

Eula Hoffpauer                                                 2001

Mary McKenna                                                 2002

Vivian Kelly                                                         2003

Pauline Hargrove                                             2004

Debbie Hughes                                                 2005

Betty Harmon                                                    2006

Beth Rach                                                            2007

Katherine Frey                                                  2008

Ruby Wimberly                                                 2009

Theresa Beauchamps                                     2009

Cecil Broom                                                        2010

Nancy Vincent                                                   2011

Mary Behnke                                                     2012

Beverly Perry                                                     2013

Honorable Judge Courtney Arkeen           2015

Elaine Meyers                                                   2016

Loretta Hughes                                                 2017