The presentation of the Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Award will highlight the Annual Membership and Awards Luncheon of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG).  The event will occur on Thursday, June 27 at 12 noon at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin.  The public is invited to attend.

“We are gathering to celebrate Deep East Texas and our regional collaboration,” said DETCOG President and San Augustine County Judge Jeff Boyd.  “We’ll be honoring some very deserving award recipients, celebrating another successful year of service, and looking forward to more progress in the future.”

This marks the 49th consecutive year for the presentation of the East Texan of the Year Award.  In 1976, Dr. Ralph W. Steen was retiring as President of Stephen F. Austin State University.  To honor his contributions to the region DETCOG presented the first East Texan of the Year Award to him and then decided to make it an annual presentation in his honor.

“The Steen Award honors an individual who has played a major role in leadership and service to Deep East Texas,” Judge Boyd added.  “We’re excited to carry on this tradition as we honor another worthy recipient who has done so much for all of us.”

Other awards to be presented include the President’s Award which recognizes outstanding service on a DETCOG committee.  The Key Contributor Award recognizes a staff member who has contributed greatly to the organization’s success.  The Star Partner Award honors a partner at the state or federal level who supports the work of DETCOG.  The DETCOG Employee of the Year and Program Director of the Year for 2023 will also be recognized at the event.

Luncheon tickets are $25 and RSVPs are appreciated.  Anyone needing information may contact Executive Assistant Lacy Sargent at the DETCOG office in Lufkin at (936) 634-2247 extension 5254 or by email at

Organized in 1966, DETCOG is both a Regional Planning Commission of the State of Texas and a federally designated Economic Development District.  It serves an 11-county region encompassing all of Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties

DETCOG’s membership includes 11 counties, 34 cities, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, plus a number of other entities including school districts, river authorities, special purpose districts, and sustaining members.

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