Pike Powers, courtesy photo.

One of the pioneers of Austin’s technology industry, Pike Powers has been named 2017 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference.

Powers is well deserving of the award. Powers is the long-time managing partner of the Austin office of Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright).

Past recipients of the award include his former law partner Leon Jaworski, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, and former First Lady Laura Bush.

Powers will receive his award at a reception the evening of March 23, 2017. The half day conference will begin the next day in New Braunfels.

“Pike Powers helped turn Austin from a university town into a high-tech powerhouse. He was instrumental in attracting MCC, 3M, Sematech and Applied Materials, as well as AMD and Samsung expansions and other manufacturing and research operations to Austin,” 2017 Conference Chair Doug Miller said in a news release. He has represented New Braunfels and three surrounding counties in the Texas House of Representatives. “Simply put, Pike has played an integral role for more than 30 years in developing the Austin and Texas technology economy.”

Powers is one of a handful of people who worked diligently to bring the MCC headquarters to Austin. That was the beginning of Austin’s big semiconductor tech industry and earned the region the nickname Silicon Hills. He participated on a panel discussion at South by Southwest Interactive last year on how Austin became a tech boom town.

Powers, who is from Beaumont and graduated from Lamar University and the University of Texas Law School, is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing Jefferson County. In 1983, he served as chief of staff to Texas Governor Mark White. Since that time, Powers has been instrumental in developing Austin’s technology industry and diversifying Texas’ overall economy. He has been an adviser to many technology companies moving to Austin and just starting out here.