Businessman, civic and church leader Stephen M. Studdert was presented the Distinguished Citizen Award on Thursday from the Great Salt Lake Council, Boy Scouts of America.

The award was presented during a fund-raising dinner at Little America Hotel. It is presented to a person who has "exemplified Scouting principles of good citizenship through community and a variety of other service."Studdert, who has many years' service at federal, state and local levels of government and in many other areas, is a "most deserving recipient of Scouting's highest community award. His life is an embodiment of the principles of Scouting," council officials say.

He is chairman and chief executive officer of Studdert Companies, an international investment banking firm, and founder and chairman of Fonix Corp., an artificial speech recognition technology company.

He has been a Scoutmaster, Explorer adviser, Cubmaster, troop committee chairman and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Utah National Parks Council of the BSA. He was chairman of Utah's Centennial celebration, chairman of the Mormon Pioneer Trail National Historic Advisory Commission and is chairman of the Board of Trustees of This Is the Place Foundation.

Studdert was White House adviser to U.S. Presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford and has represented U.S. presidents to more than 70 nations.

He directed the inaugural for Bush and was an adviser for two Reagan inaugurals. He was appointed by Reagan to the President's Export Council, the Export Now Advisory Council, the Foreign Trade Practices and Negotiations Subcommittee.

He is a recipient of the Utah National Guard Minuteman Award. He is a member of the Southern Virginia College Board of Trustees. He is president of the LDS Highland Utah East Stake and was president of McLean Virginia Stake. He and his wife, Bonnie, have six children.