Brandt Rydell ’96 Named “Citizen of the Year” in Taylor

Portrait of Taylor, Texas, Mayor Brandt Rydell, a member of the Class of 1996.
Mayor Brandt Rydell, from the Taylor, Texas, official website.

We’re sending out a Texas Law “Hook ’em!” to Brandt Rydell ’96, who has been honored by the Rotary Club of Taylor as the “Citizen of the Year.”

Rydell serves as the Mayor of Taylor, just 35 minutes northeast of Austin. A Taylor native, Mayor Rydell is assistant general counsel for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and has been a longtime volunteer in public service in his hometown, including on the Planning and Zoning Commission and with numerous charitable organizations.

We reprint, with permission, the Taylor Press coverage of Rydell’s honor. You can also read more about Mayor Rydell and Taylor on the town’s official website.

Rydell wins Citizen of the Year

JANUARY 23, 2021

Taylor’s mayor is also Citizen of the Year.

Brandt Rydell was named Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Taylor at the 2021 Taylor Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. The event took place virtually through an online video presentation Jan. 19.

Regina Jo Carlson, Rotary Club president, announced announced Rydell as this year’s winner. She mentioned that Rydell is a Taylor native and Taylor High School graduate who, like many citizens, has had to serve as the primary homeschool tutor over the past school year in managing school assignments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Brandt Rydell and his wife, Julie Rydell, come outside of his home to warm welcome after winning Citizen of the Year during the 2021 Taylor Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Jan. 19. Fernando Castro

“Our winner delivers Meals On Wheels and is a volunteer for the Mentoring a Pasemann Student (MAPS) program and the Taylor Conservation and Historical Society,” said Carlson. “With degrees in English and history from the University of Arkansas and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, Taylor’s 2020 Citizen of the Year is employed as assistant general counsel ERCOT and was recently elected to be the first vice chair of the executive committee for the Capital Area Council of Governments.”

Rydell has represented District 3 on the City Council since May 2012. He has been selected by his fellow council members to serve as mayor since 2017.

“While continuing to work in his real job, for the last 10 months the Citizen of the Year has spent countless hours diligently attending COVID related meetings with city, county & state officials,” said Carlson. He has answered hundreds of calls, emails and messages from Taylor residents and constituents, while assuaging concerns and listening to grievances.”

Carlson also noted Rydell’s nearly 150 COVID-19 video updates for social media. Rydell is married to his wife, Julie, and is father to Mathilda, Dagney, Ursula and August Rydell.

“Our winner exemplifies the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self’ and the Rotary Club of Taylor is proud to name Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell the 2020 Citizen of the Year,” said Carlson. “We thank you for your service.”