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Fred Markham named 2022 Palmer winner

by Sharda James, Texarkana Gazette | January 27, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. | Updated January 28, 2023 at 3:34 p.m.
Fred Markham gives his acceptance speech after being named the Clyde E. Palmer Award winner during the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at Texarkana Convention Center on Cowhorn Creek Drive. (Staff photo by Sharda James)

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Fred Markham, president and executive director of the Texas Pioneer Foundation, is recipient of the 2022 Clyde E. Palmer Award.

The presentation was made Friday during the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.

The audience erupted in applause as Markham's made his way to the stage to accept the award.

"I understand the weight of this honor ... I appreciate you recognizing the work we've done," said Markham, who attended Texarkana College from 1961 to 1963.

Markham said when people ask him what he does for a living, he says, "I find outstanding people doing outstanding work or have outstanding ideas and try to put down the resources."

The banquet, which carried the theme "Welcome to a Night of Jazz," was held at Texarkana Convention Center on Cowhorn Creek Drive. Jazz music, sparkly dresses and lots of smiles filled the room.

The annual celebration is the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce's largest event to commemorate the accomplishments of the past year and ignite excitement for the year to come.

The award was established by the Palmer family in 1941 and is Texarkana's most prestigious recognition of a lifetime of dedication and service to the community. Clyde Palmer was a businessman who acquired several newspapers in Arkansas, including the Texarkana Gazette.

Community service and education are two things that are important to Markham. He serves on several boards, including the Texarkana College Foundation, Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties and the Caddo Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Markham spent 30 years in banking before founding the Texas Pioneer Foundation, a private nonprofit organization that grants money to over 190 schools across Texas.

"He's an honorable man, incredibly thoughtful, truly cares about all people," said Dr. Jason Smith, TC president.

Markham has served as president of the San Marcos Education Foundation and of the Friends of the Libraries of Texas A&M University and on the advisory board for the Texas State University College of Education. He is a member of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Development Council and the Texarkana College Foundation and the advisory director of Domestic Violence Prevention of Texarkana.

He also is a member of the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board and serves as national chairman of the BSA Exploring & Learning for Life Programs.

This story and headline have been corrected. A previous version stated the wrong year of the award. Fred Markham won the 2022 Palmer, not the 2023 award. The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce announces the previous year's awardee each January.

Print Headline: Fred Markham named 2022 Palmer winner


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