The Leader Of The Year Award is the highest award given by Leadership Texarkana annually, to honor outstanding graduates of the Leadership Texarkana program; it is given in memory of Idalee Raffaelli Hawkins who set a lasting and inspirational example for her willingness to serve our community.
This year’s Leader(s) of the Year was presented to John and Julie-Ray Harrison. The Harrison’s founded ‘Partnership for the Pathway’, a non-profit organization in 2006. Their vision then was to create trails in our community, for walking, running, hiking, and biking. Through their tireless efforts they have advocated, fundraised, navigated the regulatory and legal environment and brought miles, and miles of trails to our community. For 16 years now they have tirelessly worked to enhance our community for the better making the two Texarkanas friendly to pedestrians, families and mobility impaired persons. Through the Partnership for the Pathways organization, the Harrison’s have also been responsible for attracted many thousands of runners to Texarkana USA annually to compete in the community’s unique Run the Line Half Marathon, generating many thousands of tax dollars through the tourism it generates. This region will forever be better because of the determination and vision of the leaders honored this year.