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Tommy R. Austin 

A first vice president and financial broker for Raymond James and Associates and a multiple “Broker of the Year” recipient, Rod has been described as “honest,” a “hard worker” and “well-respected as a person and business man.”  He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1964.

Rod started his career as a stockbroker and has managed the account for Lyndon Baines Johnson's family for over 20 years.  His business endeavors include being founder and chief executive officer of the National Bank of Waller County, now Texas Premier Bank; owning Redi-Smoke, which he later sold to Mr. Smokey; and purchasing the potato chip company that soon became Bob's Texas Style, which he also sold to a publicly-traded company.

Avid hunters, he and his family have traveled the world on safaris.  A life member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the NRA and the Houston and International Safari Club, as well as Ducks Unlimited and Quail Unlimited, Rod hosts “youth” hunts for the less fortunate and donates meats from hunting expeditions to the hungry.

In addition, he has chaired and been the honoree of many charities, such as the American Diabetes Association, the Ronald McDonald House, the National Rifle Association, Houston Safari Club, Safari Club International, and Westlake Club Wildlife Conservation Associations, among others.

“This man does so much for his family and friends,” his nomination form said. “He provides honest advice for his customers whom are all his friends. He is a great husband, parent, grandfather and person.”

Rod and his wife, Gay, have two children, Bobby and Michelle, a son-in-law, Steve, and one grandson.

As profiled at the October 13, 2006 Distinguished Alumni Banquet


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