The Brownwood Education Foundation has announced that its fundraiser for the year, the 2nd Annual Lion’s Pride Gala, will be held October 14, 2017, in the Brownwood Regional Airport hanger.
Entitled “A 40’s Affair,” the evening will be comprised of catering by Perini Ranch, live music by Buzz and the Blue Cats from Austin, and the presentation of the annual BISD Alumni of the Year and Lion Legacy awards. No speaker is planned for the evening, as it will be a night of entertainment including dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions. The theme for the evening is based on the big band sounds of the late 1940’s and the ambiance of the classic 40’s nightclubs. Dress for the occasion will be dressy casual and dance appropriate.
John D. Harkey, Jr, a 1979 graduate of Brownwood High School, will receive this year’s BISD Alumni of the Year award. Mr. Harkey furthered his post-graduate studies at the University of Texas, earning a B.B.A. with honors in Finance in 1983; at the University of Texas School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1986, and at Stanford University School of Business, earning his M.B.A in 1987. Mr. Harkey is a successful entrepreneur and restauranteur, with business interests globally. Chairman and CEO of Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc., Harkey oversees the direction and operation of all of the restaurants under the Consolidated umbrella, including Black Oak Grill, Silver Fox, III Forks, Luckys, El Chico, Cool River Café, Cantina Laredo, and Good Eats. Under Harkey’s leadership, Consolidated Restaurants operates more than 91 full-service and 24 franchise restaurants in 17 states, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Among his restaurant accomplishments, he has overseen the largest single franchise agreement for fine dining restaurants in the Middle East; developed the largest upscale dining venture in the Mexican brand segment; the fastest growing full service Mexican brand restaurant, Cantino Laredo, and the top-grossing Texas steakhouse, III Forks ($12 million). Through his many dining establishments, Harkey’s group serves more than 14 million meals annually.
Beyond his restauranteur success, John has successfully practiced law and served in the business and non-profit sectors of the country with major accomplishments. With over 25 years of experience as a private-equity investor, Harkey has merged or acquired companies with combined worths exceeding $500 million dollars, often staying on to direct those companies through transitions. He serves as a director on a number of national corporations and charities, donating countless hours and dollars to various organizations. He has served on the Executive Board of Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America for more than a decade. Locally, John has served the President’s Development Council of Howard Payne University and supported the Brownwood Lyric Theatre’s building campaign. John and his family also run a 5,000- acre cattle ranch situated in the Brady area, running Angus cattle and a number of exotic breeds, as well.
Larry Mathis, retired BHS theatre teacher, will receive this year’s Lion Legacy award. Mr. Mathis served BISD for 30 years as the UIL Coordinator, Speech and Debate Coach, and Theatre Director. During that time, Mathis coach 60 students to the State UIL Meet in the four speaking events, 24 CX Debate teams and One Act Play. His students won 16 District Championships in Speech and Debate and 18 in One Act Play. In 2014, Mathis was honored by the University Interscholastic League with the prestigious “Sponsor Excellence Award.” Also that year, Mr. Mathis was named the Professional of the Year by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. Larry served for six years on the UIL Regional Advisory Board and is presently a consultant and UIL Clinic Adjudicator and Contest Judge. He enjoys radio work with KXYL as co-host of the Morning Show. Elected in 2015 to serve on the Brownwood City Council, Mr. Mathis also serves on the Board of Directors of the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions and the Brownwood Public Library. He is the Technical Director of the Lyric Performing Arts Company, where he also serves as a director, actor and set designer. Larry is married to wife Terri and proud father and grandfather to a beautiful family. John D. Harkey, Jr., a former BHS debater, will present the Lion Legacy award to his former teacher, to whom he credits much of his educational success.
Tickets for “A 40’s Affair” will go on sale beginning September 3. Individual tickets are priced at $100, and tables of eight are available. Accessible on-line at the Foundation’s website, www.supportbisd.com, tickets can also be purchased at the Brownwood ISD Central Office, the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, or from any Brownwood Education Foundation Board Member.
If you have any questions about BISD’s registration process, please call 325.643.5644.
Brownwood Education Board Members, left to right, Peter Romig, Michelle Brasher, Eric Evans, Executive Director Priscilla Monson, Board President Mike Smith, Valarie Scull, Julie Moore, Sam Stewardson, Shawntay Hubbard, Dr. Joe Young, and Kara Bessent. Not shown are board members Dan Garza, Brad Wells, Larry Mathis and David McCullough.