Defining Dads 2018


This Father’s Day, TXK Today wants to celebrate some of the defining dads of the Texarkana area. These men are model citizens and fathers that support our community. They exemplify selflessness and hard work ethic, making sacrifices in order to benefit their families and ours.

  1. Name: Richard Seymour
  1. Age: 53 years old
  2. Occupation: Executive Director, Literacy Council of Bowie & Miller Counties Inc.
  3. Community Involvement: Literacy Council of Bowie & Miller Counties INC., Northeast Texas Workforce Board, Arkansas Literacy, and anything that empowers people in the community.
  4. Family members: Loving Wife: Helen; Daughters: Amelia, Madeleine, Lindsey, Valerie, and Audrey
  5. Favorite thing about being a father: The lifelong journey you take with your children. I love the family adventures we share, but I really cherish the shared moments I have with each daughter. Taking one of my daughters out on a dinner date and bringing her a dozen roses, it shows them how very special they are to me, as their dad. Taking a trip to see a concert and visiting various musical landmarks, like seeing Queen in Nashville, TN, going to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame or Elvis Presley’s “Graceland.” Engaging with my daughters and being involved in their lives is my favorite thing about being a father.
  6. The favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Texarkana is centrally located for a day or weekend outings while allowing your family to grow up in a small expanding community.



1 Name: Pink Trammel

2 Age: 56

3 Occupation:Volunteer Coordinator


4 Favorite thing about volunteering with CASA Texarkana: It is  a great opportunity to help rebuild and reunite kids with their families it doesn’t get any better than that.

  1.  What are some things that makes Texarkana so family friendly? Texarkana has so many wonderful and affordable

summer programs for kids at the schools and the Boys & Girls Club

6.What do you want the community to know about CASA and becoming a child advocate?  Kids are our priority and being a volunteer gives those kids that are abused a chance to be kid.



  1. Name: Matt Young
  2. Age: 50
  3. Occupation: Emergency Medicine Physician
  4. Community Involvement:  I perform free physical exams for youth to attend camps, Athletics, etc., every year.  I also serve as Southwest Arkansas Regional Trauma Advisory Council (SWATRAC) Chairman and run their meetings as well as serves as a member of the Arkansas EMS Physician Council. I  serve as Medical Director for Texarkana College EMS program, Caddo Area Council Scouts Resident Camps, and LifeNet EMS. mash treatment).
  5. Family Members: Wife Cindy, Sons Logan-21 and Garrett-17

6.The favorite reason why you like being a father: Being able to spend time with my sons. I enjoy playing, teaching, and outdoor activities with them. We feel it is important to take the time to just talk but more importantly to listen. In hopes of building a relationship that they trust and appreciate your assistance and guidance with their problems and concerns. No one is perfect and for us as parents to realize this is important. I, we, and they will make mistakes, but to be help with solid faith-based solutions, in my opinion is our goal.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to have such a great family, my partner in life, my wife Cindy is amazing in helping raise our sons. I also had such great examples through my parents.

I wish all Fathers a happy Father’s Day.

  1.  Texarkana and the four states area are Home. I have so many wonderful memories as a child and now as an adult. I also have so many friends and family that I enjoy spending time with. I also feel an obligation to give back to such a wonderful community.


  1.    Name: Gary Stading
  2.    Age: 56
  3. Occupation:  University professor and Dean of the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology at TAMUT
  4.    Community Involvement: Some of the major ones include Chairman of the EDC at the Chamber, Board of the Red Cross, Board at TACOAD, Board at Hands on America – in the past:  President and Board Member of the Transportation Club of Houston, Chairman of Transportation Week in Houston, Board of Katy American Little League, Little League Coach, Katy Youth Football Coach, Katy Youth Basketball Coach, President, Coach and Board Member of the Katy Stallions Youth Baseball Organization
  5.    Family members: Spouse – Susan Stading, Children (from Oldest to Youngest – Jason, Jordan, and Rachel)
  6.    Favorite thing about being a father : I never stop being amazed at the miracle of their lives. From the time of their birth (I was of course right there in the hospital for their first breadths breaths), to learning to crawl, walk, and talk, to every step and progression in school, to teaching them about everyday “life” things, to all the activities they were involved in, to their graduations and career accomplishments.  It’s all so amazing, and as a father and as a parent, I never get tired of being intimately involved in their lives.
  7.    The favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana Texas (the kids basically grew up in Katy, Texas):     It is the family friendly environment which is fostered in the Texas community. I have found that Texas communities appreciate and reinforce each family’s value – so for instance if religion was important to your family, this value is easily reinforced by the community; if the arts are important to your family, this value is easily reinforced and appreciated by the community; if sports and athletics are important to your family, then this is appreciated in our Texas communities; if education is important, likewise this value is easily reinforced.  Our family links together around spending quality time together. As our children have scattered to pursue their lives beyond d high school and since we moved here just 3 years ago when our youngest headed off to college, Texarkana has become a favorite gathering place for our family time over holidays, weekends, summertime, etc. This community immediately embraced all of us in so many ways. So while we did not raise our children in Texarkana, it has became our home quickly due to its welcoming people. Our Texas communities have been magical and a utopic place to raise a family.



  1.    Name – Brandon Washington
  2.    Age 33
  3.    Occupation Dean of Workforce & Continuing Education
  4.    Community Involvement – Leadership Texarkana, Texarkana Economic Development Committee, Community & Military Affairs Committee
  5.    Family members Wife-Ashley, 2 daughters – Sydney (2 yrs old) Olivia (newborn May 30th)
  6.    Favorite thing about being a father – I am new to being a father and I still have the training wheels on, but I love it and it has taught me so much about myself. I thought I had everything in life figured out until these 2 girls arrived. In my experience working in education, I have learned the huge impact parents and the overall home environment has on young people and it is my responsibility to be here for these 2 girls, show them what true love is and to prepare them for the real world.
  7.    The favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana – Texarkana is home for me. I have 2 great parents that took good care of us, but I am grateful for having several people in this community to help raise me. This community if full of great teachers, coaches and business leaders that have helped me get to the position I am in now. Many of these community members I met when I was in elementary school working volunteer events with my dad or they coached my little league baseball teams. The educators invested a lot in me and I still keep in touch with many of them that taught or coached me from Pleasant Grove Elementary all the way up to Texas High School.



  1.    Name – Shawn Fitzgerald
  2.    Age – 48
  3.    Occupation- Police Lieutenant
  4.    Community Involvement – school board member, little league football commissioner, church youth sponsor
  5.    Family members – Wife Christy, Son Christian, older brother Eric and younger sister Andrea
  6.    Favorite thing about being a father – What’s not to like? Seeing him grow and mature and knowing that God allowed me the privilege of helping to raise a child along with my wife. It truly is an honor to be able to be a parent and I take that role very seriously.
  7.    The favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana. I’m from a small town in Louisiana, so when I applied with my current employer I drove up early to see if I would like it here. Texarkana was close enough to my grandparents at the time so I could still check on them and it was very similar to where I was from so I immediately felt comfortable here. I love the people, culture, cost of living and location being centered between Dallas, Little Rock and Shreveport.


  1. Name: Cody Howard
  2. Age: 40
  3. Occupation: Executive Director, Mission Texarkana, Inc. & Pastor, Church Under the Bridge Texarkana
  4. Community Involvement: I am the founder and pastor of Church Under the Bridge Texarkana, and executive director of Mission Texarkana, a life sustaining service organization and community center that has served the homeless, impoverished, and food insecure of our city for over 50 years.I have been an advocate of Christian community development in our city for many years. Church Under the Bridge has become a beacon of light and hope in northeast Texas, mobilizing dozens of churches and organizations to aid, befriend, and advocate for the homeless and impoverished. Currently, I am leading the transition of Mission Texarkana from a large, mostly relief based service provider, into a lively community development organization where lives are encouraged and restored spiritually, physically, and financially.vvI also as the vice president of the Texas Christian Community Development Network(TxCCDN), an organization based on God’s incarnational love for mankind through Jesus Christ, and is called to bring healing and hope to disadvantaged communities, neighborhoods and residents of Texas by connecting, educating, training, and advocating for the poor and marginalized.
  5. Family: I enjoy life with Jill, my beautiful bride of 19 years, and three children, Madelynn 16, Brooklynn 13, and Hollan 10.
  6. What is your favorite thing about being a father?  I love that all human fatherhood is meant to patterned on the divine fatherhood. My charge is to live in such a way that my children will see what God the Father is like. I have the profound opportunity to be a reflection – an imperfect one for sure – of my heavenly Father in his strength, grace, discipline, wisdom, steadfast love, and patient guidance. When I succeed this brings joy to the hearts of my children, and seeing my children joyful and satisfied in God thrills my heart.
  7. What is your favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana:  The heart of Texarkana is what I love the most. Every day I have the privilege of seeing the people of our city sacrificially care for their neighbors, and that’s something very unique to Texarkana. It’s easy to become cynical when you are confronted with so much suffering, need, and crime, but from where I sit the future looks bright. I have the pleasure of working with a police force that genuinely knows and cares for the citizenry. I welcome people into the Mission every day, young and old, who are working hard to make sure the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, and the lonely are welcomed as old friends.  I also have a particular love for the homeless population in which we live and move. The deep love and care they have for my family and I astonishes me daily.



Name: Jonathan Prazak

Age: 36

Occupation: Partner at Boyd Prazak, Attorneys at law

Community Involvement:  I’m involved with numerous businesses moving into the area and assisting in the growth of the community. I also do pro bono cases for Texarkana legal aid.

Family members:  I’m married to Virginia Ann Prazak, and we have 2 beautiful daughters Celia (2) and Esmé (5 months)

Favorite thing about being a father:  I definitely love cartoons and the excitement Celia gets from a bubble machine is priceless. I enjoy seeing the world from their eyes.

Favorite reason why you love raising a family in Texarkana:  There are many wonderful, humble individuals in this area. Texarkana is also a great hub to Dallas, Little Rock, and Shreveport. It’s nice to be near the cities for events, but to come back home to a softer pace.


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