BPE Honorary Alumnus

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Exceptional Award for an Honorary Alumnus


Ron Kessler

About the Award

The Exceptional Award for Honorary Alumnus is given to an individual who is not a graduate of Leadership Austin. The selection is made on the basis of lifetime achievement of statesmanship and community service—which epitomizes the highest standards of integrity and servant leadership—while demonstrating a commitment to the core values of Leadership Austin: Community Trusteeship, Inclusiveness, Collaborative Decision-Making, and Personal Responsibility.

Bio of Ron Kessler

Following a 35 year career as a lawyer, Ron created the Ron Kessler Group in order to provide one-on-one executive and leadership coaching to clients from enterprises of all sizes to achieve greater performance and profitability.  Ron focuses his leadership and coaching experience on individuals and enterprises seeking to maximize their full potential through “values-based” personal and professional growth, productivity and profits.  RKG’s vision statement is “to build leaders, one champion at a time”. The mission statement is “to come beside others to serve them to become all they can be”.  Because he was shaped by playing leadership roles in law firms, the church and community service Ron uses that experience to coach, model and encourage leadership capital.  Ron is passionate about regional and entrepreneurial economies and has served universities, chambers and the private sector in creating entrepreneurial networks that commercialize technology, create jobs and wealth and grow and retain indigenous enterprises.   RKG has alliance with WorldClassCoaches led by former UT All-American and NFL football star Johnnie Johnson.

Ron Kessler is a former Partner-in-Charge of the Austin Office of Jones, Day and former partner at Locke Lord.  He was the 1993 Chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce; a past president of Austin Area Research Organization and present Board Member; and serves on the advisory boards of Frost Bank/Austin; the Nature Conservancy of Texas; IC2 and the Center for American and International Law.  He is also former Board member of the Texas Civil Justice League; Advisory Council of the University of Texas, College of Fine Arts; Board member of Rites of Passage Development, Inc. and Adjunct Professor, Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. In Dallas he was Chair, Dallas Legal Services Foundation, Inc.; Chair, Dallas Assembly and Chair, Dallas Shakespeare Festival.

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, raised in Hutchison, Kansas he attended the University of Kansas and came to Texas in 1963 to attend law school at SMU.  After graduating in 1966 he serve in the Peace Corps in Venezuela.  He and Vicki were married in Caracas returning to Dallas to start their family and Ron’s legal career in 1968.  They are proud parents of Kristin Schell, Matt Kessler and Emily Carter and 9 grandchildren.  They have lived in Austin since 1987.