Announcing 2016 Community Builder Award Recipient


This year, the recipient of the Community Builder Award from Hill City Lodge #456 is Richard Bagdonas. Richard reflects several of the best and most noted characteristics of Austin through his work in technology, his commitment to serving the community and his being widely known for his genuinely caring, compassionate approach to life. Please take a moment to read Richard’s interesting bio below.

We will present the award to Richard, with his wife, Tina Schweiger, at an Open Called meeting of the Lodge on 19 April. It will be a Family night so please bring your family, friends and anyone who might be interested in learning more about, or joining, the Fraternity.  As usual, dinner will be served at 6:30 and we will head upstairs about 7:30 for a short Open meeting.

Richard Bagdonas

Richard headshot-big


Richard Bagdonas has been building technology and service companies for over 25 years with a focus on healthcare and hospitality integration since the early 2000’s, but he is far more than a technology creator.

To be sure, Richard’s technical career has had major impact in and beyond Austin. Back to 1987, the companies he has founded and grown include Voicer Technologies, SubtleData, SpeedMenu, Remote Operations, Mahana (acquired by Crunchtime last year) and several others. The jobs created by these companies and the wave he has created of innovation, productivity and leadership through the rest of the technology, healthcare and hospitality industries amounts to serving and building a rather large community, but it doesn’t stop there.

Richard created a national phenomenon on Thanksgiving in 2000 that began with his feeding a single homeless person in Austin a warm Thanksgiving meal. Since then the organization has grown to tens of thousands of volunteers serving meals in 5 states. This year the organization will feed 40,000 homeless individuals in our community and others. Richard remains involved in promoting this activity and inspiring the thousands of volunteers as Operation Turkey’s Chairman and Executive Director Emeritus.

For those who have the blessing of knowing Richard personally, and enjoying one of his famous hugs, it is easy to tell that he is one of the most genuinely caring people one might ever meet.

Traveling Gavel Comes to Hill City

On Tuesday, October 9, seventeen Hill City Lodge members visited our wonderful brethren at the T Neal Porter Lodge. it was a great night of fellowship and stated meeting proceedings. In attendance was a visitor from Minnesota, 2 Grand lodge officers, and 17 past masters. PM, Byron Townsend prepared his annual Fried Catfish dinner. During the proceedings, WM, Chris jeans of the T Neal Porter lodge was presented with a several special gifts from Onion Creek Lodge and Hill City Lodge. Onion Creek WM, Raul Sully, presented a custom made gavel and Hill City SW, Philippe Dewailly presented his signature custom made coin. It was a wonderful night of masonry for all in attendance. Hill City Lodge was presented the Traveling Gavel by the Worshipful Master and the brethren of T Neal Porter lodge.

this photo is courtesy of brother David Hill of Hill City Lodge.