13 Scouters to receive 2019 Silver Buffalo Award, Scouting’s top honor for volunteers

They’ve led giant corporations and highly ranked universities. They’ve skied at the North and South poles and chased eclipses around the world. They’ve volunteered with music education programs and at their places of worship.

Impressive stuff, but there’s something even more remarkable on the résumés of the 13 men and women receiving the Silver Buffalo Award this year.

I’m referring to their service to Scouting. Combined, this year’s Silver Buffalo Award recipients have given more than 400 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America.

In recognition of their commitment to this life-changing movement, these volunteers join the illustrious list of people who have received Scouting’s top honor for adult volunteers.

The list features massive names in Scouting (Robert Baden-Powell, “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt), Hollywood (Walt Disney, Jimmy Stewart), sports (Yogi Berra, Archie Manning) and government (Gerald Ford, Lyndon B. Johnson).

The Silver Buffalo Award is part of the so-called “Silver family” of BSA awards, alongside the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service within a council and the Silver Antelope Award for distinguished service on the regional level.

Let’s meet the Silver Buffalo Award Class of 2019. These Scouters are being honored this week at the BSA’s annual meeting in Denver.

The Silver Buffalo Award Class of 2019

2019 Silver Buffalo Award recipients, at a glance

Please join me in congratulating each of these outstanding volunteers for a job well done.

  • Dave Alexander, Grand Canyon Council (Phoenix)*
  • Jeffrey S. Bostwick, San Diego-Imperial Council (San Diego)*
  • E. Gordon Gee, Mountaineer Council (Morgantown, W.Va.)*
  • Dr. Kenneth D. King, Northern New Jersey Council (Forked River, N.J.)*
  • Robert E. Murray, Ohio River Valley Council (St. Clairsville, Ohio)
  • William E. “Bill” Rosner, Laurel Highlands Council (Pittsburgh)
  • James A. Ryffel, Longhorn Council (Fort Worth, Texas)*
  • C. Bari Saunders, Sam Houston Area Council (Houston)
  • Gary M. Schroeder, Chester County Council (Landenberg, Pa.)*
  • Alison K. Schuler, Great Southwest Council (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Daniel Thomas Segersin, Northern Star Council (Eden Prairie, Minn.)
  • Wesley J. Smith, Piedmont Council (Piedmont, Calif.)
  • Kaylene “Kay” Trick, Susquehanna Council (New Berlin, Pa.)

The * indicates the recipient is an Eagle Scout.

2019 Silver Buffalo Award recipients, in depth

Dave Alexander

Grand Canyon Council (Phoenix)

Dave Alexander’s proudest moment in Scouting was earning his Eagle Scout rank on his own at an early age, and he has championed efforts to promote Scouting at the local, national, and international level. Those efforts include purchasing promotional billboards, naming projects that promote outdoor activity at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, and creating the Alexander Triathlon to benefit councils, high-adventure bases and international Scouting.

Alexander, the founder of Caljet of America, is a member of the WP Society, Regal Circle, and Second Century Society, and is a James E. West Fellow–Diamond Level and a Baden-Powell Fellow. A National Eagle Scout Association member, he has served on the President’s Leadership Council, the National Executive Board, and the National Development Committee, and as a board member and executive committee member for the Grand Canyon Council.

Alexander, whose company has been recognized as the most innovative in Arizona, participates locally with the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association.

In addition to his involvement with the Grand Canyon Council, he serves youth through efforts with the Craniofacial Foundation of Arizona, the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Make-A-Wish Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the American Heart Association.

Alexander’s activities in his spare time include participating in triathlons, pen and watch collecting, card magic and spending time with his wife of 50 years, Marilyn.

Jeffrey S. Bostwick

San Diego-Imperial Council (San Diego)

Judge Jeffrey Bostwick considers his participation in the revamping of the Wood Badge course curriculum his most rewarding achievement in Scouting. As a task force member, he says the course will “foster a culture of servant leadership and help train all Scouters to be change-making leaders of our youth.”

A Scouter for 34 years, he is currently the chair of the national Merit Badge Subcommittee, a member of the national Scouts BSA Committee and an area commissioner.

Bostwick, an Eagle Scout, has received the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, the Silver Antelope Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the Order of the Arrow Founder’s Award. He is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

He has served youth through coaching girls softball and boys soccer, managing a girls traveling soccer team and serving as president of two girls softball leagues.

A member of the San Diego-Imperial Council, he has twice been honored by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society with its J. Clifford Wallace Community Service Award. Bostwick is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He and his wife, Mary, have five children — Jennifer Brailsford, Emily Webster, Melissa Bullock, Rebecca Barney and Kenneth Bostwick, an Eagle Scout — and 13 grandchildren: Mollie, Simon and Charlotte Brailsford; Colin, Graham and Maggie Webster; Cooper, Dean and Paige Bullock; Logan and Benjamin Barney; and Linden and Sullivan Bostwick.

E. Gordon Gee

Mountaineer Council (Morgantown, W.Va.)

For Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, the Scouting achievement that brings him the most pride is WVU’s development of a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership for nonprofits, which will prepare young people for careers with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America.

An Eagle Scout with 40 years of adult service, Gee, a member of the Mountaineer Council, is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and serves on the National Executive Board.

He has been the driving force behind a relationship between the Summit Bechtel Reserve and WVU that provided staff support for high adventure at the 2013 and 2017 national jamborees, including the Science Behind the Sport program and the canopy course.

Gee, whom Time magazine named as one of the nation’s top 10 college presidents in 2009, is in his second term as WVU president. He has also led Ohio State University for two terms, Brown University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Colorado.

He chairs the board of directors of the Big 12 Conference and serves on the board of the Royal University for Women in Bahrain. Gee also serves on the national 4-H Foundation board and has co-authored more than a dozen books, including his two most recent, Leading Colleges and Universities and Land-Grant Universities for the Future.

Gee, who is engaged to Laurie Erickson, has one daughter, Rebekah Gee, and five grandchildren: Ava, Elizabeth, Nathan, Elly and Ben. Gee is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dr. Kenneth D. King

Northern New Jersey Council (Forked River, N.J.)

The “opportunities and experiences, the skills it has taught me, and the friendships it has permitted me to develop” are what, according to Dr. Kenneth D. King, make his more than 55 years as a Scout and Scouter so special. That, and “the opportunity to expose youth to the wonderful world of Scouting.”

An Eagle Scout, he has received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the Silver Antelope Award, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the District Award of Merit. He is a member of the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame for both the Northern New Jersey Council and the Patriots’ Path Council.

King has served on the management team of the world Scout jamboree, as Northeast Region jamboree commissioner, and as a National Eagle Scout Association member. He served the Northeast Region as commissioner and vice president, and as Area 5 president. He served as Essex Council president and commissioner and as Northern New Jersey Council commissioner and vice president for endowment.

The president of King Educational Consulting, he is a past president of the New Jersey Council of Education. King has also served the youth in his community through service on the boards of the East Orange YMCA and the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.

King attends Lacey United Methodist Church, and he and his wife, Alease, have four children, Lorrie King-Morales, Douglas King, Leidene King and Dr. Tonya Cook.

Robert E. Murray

Ohio River Valley Council (St. Clairsville, Ohio)

For businessman Bob Murray, the chairman, president and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, his greatest contribution to Scouting has been helping the Ohio River Valley Council get back on its financial feet. In a similar vein, he has helped older youth through his endowment to the Department of Mining Engineering at West Virginia University and the funding of scholarships at the Ohio State University.

Murray, a former First Class Scout with 37 years of service as a Scouter, is a member of the Second Century Society and has received numerous awards from the Ohio River Valley Council.

Murray spearheaded the development and construction of the Robert E. Murray Leadership Ridge at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. He has also served as vice president of district operations of the Northern Lights Council and as an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 309 of the Greater Cleveland Council.

A member of the National Mining Hall of Fame, he is past president of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and is a lifetime member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration.

His community involvement includes the development of the East Richland Friends Church School in St. Clairsville, Ohio, and the Murray Family Veterans Memorial Plaza and Clock Tower in Bethesda, Ohio.

Murray attends East Richland Evangelical Friends Church. He and his wife, Brenda, have three sons— Robert Edward Murray, Jonathan Murray and Ryan Murray — and eight grandchildren: Colin, Julia, Jenna, Jillian, Grant, Sophia, Noelle and Evan. The entire family is involved in Scouting.

William E. “Bill” Rosner

Laurel Highlands Council (Pittsburgh)

Bill Rosner and his wife, Linda, are sponsors of the development of the International Leadership Academy, which will produce values-based leaders through a field of study that can be adopted by Scouting organizations.

Rosner, a former First Class Scout, has received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the Silver Antelope Award. He is a James E. West Fellow, a Baden-Powell Fellow, and a member of Second Century Society, the President’s Leadership Council, the Order of the Arrow and the Order of the Condor.

Rosner’s extensive contributions to Scouting include service as chair of the national Program Development Committee and membership on the National Executive Board, National Leadership Council, and the human resources and membership committees.

He has served on Family Scouting task forces, on the staffs of three national jamborees, and on faculty at the Philmont Training Center. For the Laurel Highlands Council, he served as an assistant Scoutmaster, troop committee member, merit badge counselor, advancement chair and council commissioner. Rosner has also served as a member of the Northeast Region executive board and as area commissioner and area president. He currently serves as a member of the Laurel Highlands Council executive committee and board.

Rosner retired as chief human resources officer for the PNC Financial Services Group. He attends First Church of Christ,
Scientist, in Winter Park, Fla., where he has served on the church board and taught Sunday school.

They have three children — Brad, Katy (Diego) and David (Barbara) — and they are expecting their first grandchild in July. Both of their sons are Eagle Scouts.

James A. Ryffel

Longhorn Council (Fort Worth, Texas)

Jim Ryffel’s most rewarding experience in Scouting has been his membership on the Philmont Ranch Committee, for which he is currently the chair.

Ryffel, an Eagle Scout, is a member of the Regal Circle, and he has received the Silver Beaver Award and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He has served Scouting as a member of the National Executive Board, the National Foundation’s board of trustees, the National Finance Committee, the National High Adventure Committee, the World Scout Foundation and the Longhorn Council Foundation.

A real estate developer and entrepreneur, he is the president of Woodcrest Capital. Outside of Scouting, Ryffel volunteers with youth through involvement with Camp Eagle youth camp in Rocksprings, Texas. He skied at both the North Pole and the South Pole on the centennials of their discovery, and he enjoys hunting, fishing, flying and camping with his family.

Ryffel and his wife, Linda, attend Christ Chapel Bible Church. They have four children: Travis, Hunter, Madison and Elektra.

C. Bari Saunders

Sam Houston Area Council (Houston)

The most rewarding aspect of Bari Saunders’ 50- plus years as a Scouter has been his involvement in international Scouting. He describes bringing Scouts together from around the world as “the most effective means we have for overcoming cultural and racial biases and promoting peace.”

Saunders is a recipient of the Silver Antelope Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the Venturing Leadership Award. He is a Baden-Powell Fellow and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow. A former Life Scout, Saunders will serve as lead of guest services at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. He has served as national representative to the World Organization of Scouting Education Conference, as a state department/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts representative in leadership exchange with Algerian Muslim Scouts and as contingent leader with the BSA/Scout Association of Japan Scout exchange.

Saunders has also served as chair of the national properties committee, on the Florida Sea Base committee, on the national Venturing committee, on the Southern Region executive board, as a Wood Badge course director, as council president and as an assistant Scoutmaster.

Saunders and his wife, Carolyn, attend St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Katy, Texas. They have four children — Kristen Goldman, Paige Burton, Emlyn Minor and Justin Saunders — and 10 grandchildren: Hailey and Kyle Goldman; Lilly and Chloe Burton; Abby and Evie Minor; and Mason, Tanner, Smith and Fletcher Saunders.

Gary M. Schroeder

Chester County Council (Landenberg, Pa.)

The proudest moments in Scouting for Gary Schroeder and his wife, Laurey, have been the development of their sons into Eagle Scouts and senior patrol leaders, and through national junior leadership training and their subsequent service on the staffs at Philmont.

Schroeder, who has 45 years of service to Scouting, is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the Silver Antelope Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the District Award of Merit. He is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

He serves nationally as chair of the Pilots Committee, the National Youth Leadership Training Leadership Academy, the Jamboree Adventure Program and the Summit Program. For the Northeast Region, he is vice president of membership and serves on the board of directors, and he is a board member of the Chester County Council.

He has served the Northeast Region as vice president of marketing and helped found the NYLT Leadership Academy. For the Chester County Council, he founded and was Scoutmaster of Troop 62, founded and was Advisor of Crew 62, and served as assistant Cubmaster. He has also served as a Philmont Scout Ranch ranger and as Urraca Camp director.

The CEO of Oakshire Naturals, Schroeder counts hiking, backpacking, and hunting among his favorite pastimes, and he founded Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve to promote and protect the state park.

The Schroeders attend Kemblesville United Methodist Church and have three sons — Zachary, Quintin and Wyatt — and one granddaughter, Ella.

Alison K. Schuler

Great Southwest Council (Albuquerque, N.M.)

For Alison Schuler, her most significant experiences in Scouting have been the journey of her son, Theodore Schuler-Sandy, through to Eagle Scout rank and her fellowship with the “superb and dynamic volunteers” by whom she has been surrounded during her 23 years of Scouting.

Schuler has received the Silver Antelope Award, the Silver Beaver Award and the District Award of Merit. She is a Second Century Society member and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow. Currently, she serves as a member of the National Executive Committee and the National Executive Board, and is the chair of the National Audit and Enterprise Risk Management Standing Committee, the first woman to head a national standing committee. Schuler, a Senior Scout in Girl Scouts of the USA, is a former Western Region vice president, area president, and council president and vice president. She still serves on the council board and as chartered organization representative for her troop.

Now retired, Schuler practiced business, corporate, securities and complex transactions law. Her service outside of Scouting includes volunteering with special programs of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. She is also a trustee and former president of the museum. Schuler participates in the Rotary Club of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Astronomical Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of New Mexico.

She enjoys archaeology, astronomy, reading, national and international travel (which includes chasing eclipses), hiking, music and art.

Schuler is the widow of Lyman G. Sandy. She attends St. Luke Lutheran Church, where she serves as lector and communion assistant.

Daniel Thomas Segersin

Northern Star Council (Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Dan Segersin’s most significant experience in Scouting was serving as incident commander for the army of Arrowmen, staff and U.S. Forest Service personnel who built 12 miles of trail, road closure points and primitive campsites in the Teton Pass area, during the Bridger-Teton segment of the 2008 ArrowCorps5 project.

He is also proud to have been a stem cell donor for his twin sister and believes that “donors can and do change lives.”

A retired senior vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Segersin has received the Silver Antelope Award, the Distinguished Commissioner Award, the Silver Beaver Award, the Order of the Arrow Centurion Award and the Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award. A Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, he has also served as a Wood Badge course director.

With 45 years of service as a Scouter, he has served as vice chairman of outdoor programs and on the national committee for the Order of the Arrow, as an incident commander with SummitCorps and on the National Camp Accreditation Program task force. He has served on the Central Region board, as Central Region OA chairman and on the North Central region’s Ethics in Action task force.

Segersin, a member of the Northern Star Council, has also served as Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, assistant Cubmaster and den leader.

Segersin and his wife, Carol, attend Prairie Lutheran Church and have three children — Sean (Carolyn), Leanne and Thomas (Boo) — and two grandchildren: Alorie and James.

Wesley J. Smith

Piedmont Council (Piedmont, Calif.)

Wes Smith’s proudest accomplishments during his 44 years of Scouting are his work that promoted inclusivity at a national level and working with local councils to improve performance. In doing so, he has helped strengthen councils and is proud to be part of the teams that have advanced those causes.

A former Star Scout, Smith has received the Silver Antelope Award and the Silver Beaver Award and is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow. His service to the Piedmont Council includes two terms as president and as a Cubmaster and Webelos leader. He is a former council vice president, district chair, unit commissioner, Cubmaster and Webelos leader for the Aloha Council.

Smith has chaired the national finance support and fund development committee and the National Advisory Council, and he has served on the National Executive Board, the Executive Committee and the National Leadership Council. He has served on the Philmont faculty, as Western Region president and as area vice president. A staff member at three national jamborees, he will be on staff at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

Smith, whose hobbies include hiking, fishing and woodworking, is also involved with fundraising for his alma mater and with the Oakland Symphony’s Schools Music Education program.

He and his wife, Jill, attend St. John’s Episcopal Church. They have two sons, Matthew and Peter, and two grandsons, Desmond and Reid.

Kaylene “Kay” Trick

Susquehanna Council (New Berlin, Pa.)

Helping to guide 37 Scouts to the rank of Eagle Scout and serving as a mentor to many stand as high points for Kay Trick in her 35 years as a Scouter. That includes her son’s Scouting experience, which she says was “a wonderful and fulfilling journey.”

Trick has received the Silver Antelope Award, the Silver Beaver Award, the International Scouter Award, the Lutheran Lamb Award, the District Award of Merit and the Distinguished Commissioner Service Award. She is a Vigil Honor member and Legacy Fellow of the Order of the Arrow and the first woman to receive the Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award.

A Northeast Region Area 4 assistant commissioner and outdoor program chair, and a member of the regional camp visitation team, Trick has served as a Wood Badge course director, on five national service projects, and on the staffs of the Philmont Training Center, nine national jamborees and three world jamborees. In May 2007, she became the first woman to serve on the national Order of the Arrow committee and continues to serve as a member of that committee today.

A member of the Susquehanna Council, she has served as a coordinator and trainer with the Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar, day camp program director, Scoutmaster, assistant Webelos den leader and den leader.

Retired from a career in manufacturing and retail management, Trick volunteers with the New Berlin Historical Society and the Eastern Star, Order of the Amaranth.

Trick is a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, where she teaches Bible school and participates in other youth activities. She and her husband, Ron, have one son, Nicholas.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.