HOBY held the inaugural Leadership Awards Dinner in Dallas, Texas on November 1st, 2018 We were grateful and honored to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the evening’s honorees, Doug Dywer, Sara Fulmer, Meranda Cohn, American Airlines and Neemekh Mudvari. It was special to share a room with so many who believe in our mission to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.
Doug Dwyer who earned the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award commented, “HOBY creates an awareness in youth that they can make a positive difference at home, school, workplace & community and inspires them to do so. Hugh O’Brian said will an individual be a taker or giver in life. HOBY is about inspiring youth to lead, serve and innovate.” Throughout Doug’s franchising career, he has worked to keep his company centered on its service to people, both franchisees and customers. Dwyer’s other honors include leading DreamMaker to be named the 2004 Remodeler of the Year by Professional Remodeler magazine and repeated listings in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500. In 2012, Mission Waco/World named DreamMaker’s President and Chief Stewarding Officer Doug Dwyer as Philanthropist of the Year.
Sara Fulmer, the Leadership in Media honoree, has enjoyed a 30-year career in the television broadcast industry. She is currently the Station Manager for Tribune Media’s Dallas station, KDAF-TV where she is responsible for leading the station’s strategic plan and vision both internally and externally throughout the communities they serve. Sara’s true passion is giving back. Every Saturday she and life-partner Leah along with other Dallas Hope Charities volunteers serve a hot breakfast and a warm hug to almost 300 of our homeless population so they too can feel more worthy, loved and respected. She says, “HOBY doesn’t wait for age, their mission is to inspire our youth to discover this life lesson now, not later; creating powerful and positive social change for the better through our youth.”
The Alumni Achievement honoree, Meranda Cohn serves as the corporate spokesperson for Vistra and its retail and generation businesses and has responsibility for media relations and external communications. Meranda serves on the Food Allergy Family Experience Council at Children’s in Dallas, participates daily in her oldest son’s now two-year involvement in a medical research study to treat peanut allergy, and has appeared on television and in print articles related to living with potentially deadly allergies and the importance of access to emergency medication.
American Airlines was awarded the Corporate Citizen Award, which was accepted by Katy Phillips. The Corporate Citizen Award is given to a company who not only supports HOBY and our programs but truly represents the HOBY values of Volunteerism, Integrity, Excellence, Diversity and Community Partnerships. American Airlines has been a longtime partner and supporter of HOBY. Each year American supplies flight vouchers for travel to and from HOBY seminars around the nation along with financial support for scholarships. In 2015 American CEO Doug Parker was recognized with the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award and has been an active contributor to HOBY’s youth leadership programs.
Our Oustanding Young Alumni honoree, Neemekh Mudvari is a Mexican-Asian American teenager in his senior year at Westfield High School. After living in multiple countries, he settled in Spring, TX two years ago. The first few months, he faced the hardships of living without his parents, learning a new language and culture and being part of a marginalized community. Neemekh’s life took a different direction when he was selected to represent Westfield High School at the HOBY Texas West Coast Seminar in 2017. After HOBY, he returned with a purpose and a heart fueled with passion. He used his adversities to advocate for others by developing an “English as a Second Language Library” inside his high school. He volunteered to teach Spanish to teachers and staff, giving them language tools to better support students like him. Now, Neemekh serves as the Student Chairman for a district-wide drop-out prevention initiative created and led by HOBY Alumni. He shares, “I came back from HOBY determined to share what I had learned. I realized my purpose in my district, and my purpose in life.”
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens did not disappoint with its autumnal display and serene sunset as we shared an incredible meal together, prepared by the Royal Chef himself, Darren McGrady. Our hosts and dinner chairs Christopher Ryan of TIGER 21 and Megan Alexander, Correspondent for Inside Edition and HOBY alumna guided us through an inspirational evening, making the night successful and fun. Attendees helped us raise over $200,000, which will bring life-changing HOBY experiences to many students.
We’d like to thank all the sponsors, honorees, event chairs and donors for allowing us to reach more students like Neemekh, who with leadership opportunities and guidance, will make our global community kinder, safer and more prosperous for all. We’d like to welcome everyone to the extended HOBY family, together we are going to change the world.