DETCOG Honors Jim McReynolds with the 2021 Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year Award
Lufkin, Texas – Jim McReynolds has been named the 2021 Ralph W. Steen
Memorial East Texan of the Year. Former Lufkin Mayor Bob Brown made the announcement
Friday during the Annual Membership Meeting of the Deep East Texas Council of
Governments (DETCOG) at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin.
After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, McReynolds
received his bachelor’s degree in English from Abilene Christian University, a Master’s in
History from Lamar, and his Ph.D. in History from Texas Tech University. He also served
honorably in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, attaining the rank of Sergeant.
The nomination for McReynolds to receive the award noted that “Jim has been a
member of two of the most honorable professions known to man – a Teacher and a Truck
Farmer.” It went on to say that McReynolds has done a lot of other honorable things in his
Sunday School teacher and Deacon in the Church of Christ
Scoutmaster, and recipient of the Faithful Servant Award
Board Member of the Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas
Co-Founder and Board Member of East Texas Community Health Services
Board Member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and Boys & Girls Club
He founded Project Belize, a non-profit organization that supplied doctors and
support staff to Central America to promote the improvement of primary health care.
In 1981 he started his own oil and gas company, Chaparral Energy.
McReynolds is most recognized for is being a Member of the Texas House of
Representatives. He served for 14 years in the Texas House, representing the citizens of
Angelina, Houston, San Augustine, San Jacinto, and Trinity counties.
DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt said after the presentation: “Even if your
the county was not within the boundaries of his House District, I can guarantee you he was
representing you, too – always looking out for the interests of ALL our Deep East Texas
McReynolds received many accolades for his service in the Legislature:
Freshman of the Year
Top Ten Legislator
Multiple Legislator of the Year Awards
The Best of Texas Award…. And the list goes on and on….
Jim McReynolds is currently serving on the boards of Burke and the Family Crisis
Center of East Texas.
The Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year Award has become one of the
most prestigious and longest running, recognitions bestowed in East Texas. In 1976, Dr.
Ralph W. Steen was retiring after 20 years as President of Stephen F. Austin State
University. He had guided SFA from a small college to a large regional university, and in
the process, he contributed greatly to the development of the Deep East Texas region. To
honor his legacy DETCOG created this award and presented it to Dr. Steen -- and then
named the award after him.