Stillwater Mining Co. CEO and lifelong Boy Scout Frank McAllister was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Award Thursday evening from the Boy Scouts of America, Montana Council, at the organization's annual awards gala dinner.
"It's quite humbling to have fellow scouters present this recognition to me," McAllister said. "But, the honor tonight is not just about me. We're here to honor all of our scouts who will be our future leaders and role models."
The Distinguished Citizen Awards Dinner and Eagle Scout Recognition was established by the Boy Scouts of America, Montana Council, three years ago to recognize the newest Eagle Scout class and honor the extraordinary leadership of a local citizen.
A committee composed of 10 community leaders and executives — most of whom have a deep scout heritage — selected McAllister two months ago for the honor based on his commitment to scouting and his contributions to the community, the organization's chairman, Tom Webber, said.
"This award honors McAllister for his representation of the values, standards and characteristics of a good scout," Webber said. “He leads his company and community like he led his troops— with integrity, ethics and strong values.’
It also recognizes McAllister's community leadership and commitment to providing opportunities for kids to participate in scouting.
"He is unique in that his generosity and commitment to the scouts and the community has created a ripple effect,” Webber said. “He’s very influential and a great role model for our future leaders.”
More than 200 scouts, their families and business leaders gathered for the annual event held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. During the event, scouts who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012 were honored and presented with buck knives.
Past honorees, First Interstate Bank President and CEO, Lyle Knight, and CEO of Billings Clinic, Dr. Nicholas Wolter, presented McAllister with the award.
McAllister serves as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and is chairman of its audit committee as well as chairman of its National Council Conference on Sustainability.
But his roots with the scouts started even before he was old enough to join the troop his father led. At the age of 5, his dad asked him to be the troop’s first-aid dummy, where scouts would practice their bandaging techniques.
“Even so, I considered myself part of the troop,” McAllister said. “I thought it was pretty neat and was forever captured by the movement.”
Years later, he became an Eagle Scout and eventually the father of two and grandfather of three Eagle Scouts.
McAllister became involved in the Boy Scout Council in the 1990s and moved up the ranks, eventually serving as president of the Northeast Region, which encompasses everything from Maine to Virginia and Puerto Rico.
Although scouting has come a long way since McAllister first joined, the values the organization holds at its core remain solid, he said.
“Scouting is truly a values-based organization, based on achievement and adventure,” McAllister said. “The skills and values instilled in these young people will serve them for a lifetime in all aspects of their life.
“Scouting creates character—good character—and we desperately need this in the world,” he said. “We teach our youth, and we learn from them too.”
Aside from the Boy Scouts, McAllister was named chairman of Stillwater Mining Co. in 2001 with operations near Nye and the East Boulder Mine south of McLeod, and refinery operations in Columbus. Most recently, the company has expanded development in Ontario, Can. and is exploring a project in Argentina.
Stillwater is the only U.S. producer of platinum and palladium — precious metals primarily used to make catalytic converters that reduce vehicle pollution.
He serves as lead director for Cliffs Natural Resources, an international iron ore mining company based in Cleveland, Ohio.
McAllister said one core focus of Boy Scouts as the program moves forward will be about sustainability. Beginning in July, scouts will be required to earn their sustainability badge before achieving the Eagle Scout rank.