Bob Dix, cell phone in hand, stood outside the entrance of the Teen Center talking to his wife.
It was supposed to be quick call to make sure she was finding her way all right. Reminiscent of so many public events during his eight years as the Hunter Mill District supervisor during the 1990s, Dix’s conversation stalled and restarted as he paused to greet and hug people walking into the gathering.
But this time, the crowd of about 45 Restonians and county officials were meeting in his honor.
“A lot of memories here today,” Dix said.
THE RESTON YMCA paid tribute to Dix last Friday afternoon for his role in bringing the Teen Center to Reston more than six years ago.
“We’re here today to honor Bob because these two buildings, [the YMCA and Teen Center], which wouldn’t have happened without him,” said Jim Cleveland, former president of Reston Land Corporation when the facilities were under consideration. “We’re forever in your debt.”
While still serving public office, Dix led efforts to ensure that the teen center was integrated into the YMCA’s plans.
“This was a tremendous public-private partnership,” said Dix, proud that it didn’t require “one penny” of taxpayer money.
WHEN ORGANIZERS unveiled a plaque acknowledging his contribution, a teary-eyed Dix made his way to the podium as the crowd stood clapping. “We had a community objective,” said Dix, “It was about the children.” In his speech, Dix credited the community for the establishment and the success of the Teen Center, a 10,000-square-foot facility.
“It was our goal to have this be an important part of the community and make a difference, and that’s happened,” said Dix, who added that he was humbled by the recognition. “I’m happy to have played a small part in it.”
THREE COUNTY supervisors were on hand during the presentation, including Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D), who defeated Dix in his bid for a third term in 1999. “Bob has been a champion for young people,” said Hudgins, who thanked him for his contributions to the community.
Since leaving politics, Dix has worked in the private sector as executive vice president of Citadel Security Software. While the company is headquartered in Dallas, Tex., Dix works in an auxiliary office in Reston.
When asked if he had any plans to re-enter local politics, Dix parried: “One should never say never.”