On September 22, 2023 Phil Dopson, Dakus Geeslin, Rafael Torres and Brad Garner gathered with Mark Dillow, at Lupe Tortilla’s in north Austin, for lunch and to present Mark with his GRTU Honorary Lifetime Membership.
GRTU wishes to acknowledge the dedication and significant years of service Mark Dillow has donated to our chapter and to the Trout Unlimited national organization. In recognition of Mark’s significant volunteer leadership with GRTU, we presented him with a Certificate of Recognition, a Crystal Plaque and a gift of fine dining. Mark will also be added to the list of GRTU Honorary Life Members for his contributions to GRTU and TU’s Mission.
Mark entered volunteer leadership in 2007 as an area rep, doing in-person presentations about the LAP at local Austin fly-shops. A year later, he became the VP of Chapter Affairs. He held that position until 2010, when he became the Chapter President due to the untimely death of then President, Bill Higdon. After completing Bill’s term, he was elected to 2 more terms as chapter president, terming out in 2015. In 2015, he became State Council Chair and moved on to NLC rep in 2017, where he served for five and half years. Since 2004, Mark has been an asset to the chapter and has served in multiple roles. The chapter has been very fortunate indeed to have benefitted from his contributions.
Some highlights of GRTU’s accomplishments while Mark was President:
- Winning the Gold Trout Award in 2013 in recognition as the top chapter in Trout Unlimited.
- Induction into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2015.
- Establishment of a new special regulation zone, extending harvest protection for trout an additional 3 miles upstream.
- Funding efforts to re-establish Rio Grande Cutthroat trout to McKittrick Creek in far west Texas.
- Partnerships with two breweries that will generate funds for our efforts on the Guadalupe.
- Five successful Troutfest TX events.
- Launch of our Women’s Initiative and coming in second place in a national contest to gain the most women members.
- Launch of our Trout Youth Camp.
- Multiple visits to the state capital to meet with lawmakers.
- Hosting the Trout Unlimited Mid-South Regional meeting in 2013.
- Launch of our new website.
- Funding multiple Coldwater Conservation Outreach projects, helping other chapters accomplish important work like saving Yellowstone Cutthroats in Yellowstone Lake Wyoming, restoring critical trout habitat in New Mexico, and repairing eroding stream banks in Wisconsin.
- While on the NLC, he served as the chair of the New Initiatives Workgroup, whose primary function was to act as the nominations committee for grassroots trustees, NLC officers, and to vet nominees for the Embrace a Stream program.