This year’s recipients for the award is Lowell Grisham and Uvalde Lindsey. Celebrate their legacy at the Fayetteville Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 20th. Reserve your seats here.
Lowell Grisham came to Fayetteville in 1997 as the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he served for just over 20 years before retiring in 2018. The congregation expanded its community outreach ministry during his tenure and created two ongoing community non-profits, 7hills Homeless Center and Magdalene Serenity House. Lowell grew up in Oxford, Mississippi and remembers the riots there when James Meredith integrated Ole Miss. That experience influenced his advocacy work on behalf of LGBT neighbors, immigrants and other minorities. He writes an opinion column in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Lowell has an interest in contemplative prayer. His book Practicing Prayer is available from Ascension Press.
Lowell and Kathy have been married for 43 years. She is the CEO of Community Clinic, a network of 13 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Washington and Benton Counties. They have two children and three grandchildren.
After graduation, Lindsey returned home to run his family’s auto parts business. Over the next 20 years, Lindsey grew the business until the 1982 sale to the O’Reilly family. During those 20 years, Lindsey served ten years in the US Army Reserve, and ten years on the Harrison City Council.
In 1982, Bill Clinton was re-elected to his second term as Governor of Arkansas, and Lindsey joined the Governor’s staff as the budget officer, a job that built on Lindsey’s experience working with city budgets, and introduced him to the internal workings of state government.
After leaving the Governor’s office in late 1983, Lindsey worked for Senator David Pryor in his 1984 campaign, and in 1985, Lindsey moved back to Harrison as the Executive Director of the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District.
During Lindsey’s five years at the District, the organization partnered with federal and state agencies to build $40 million in new water systems in the rural areas of Northwest Arkansas. The District also developed the plan for designating US-412 as a new federal highway between Tennessee and New Mexico.
In 1990, Sam Walton, Don Tyson and J. B. Hunt, the founders of the Northwest Arkansas Council, asked Lindsey to become its first Executive Director and assigned him the responsibility for generated plans, support and funding to build a new regional airport and a four-lane link from the region to I-40 at Fort Smith. By 2000, more than $750 million has been invested to complete those and other regional projects.
Lindsey retired from the Northwest Arkansas Council in 2005, and three years later started another career of public service by running for election to represent Fayetteville in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Lindsey served two terms, or four years in the House, before being elected to serve in the Arkansas Senate in 2012. Lindsey will retire from the Senate at the end of 2018 and begin his third retirement.
Lindsey and his wife Jo live in Fayetteville, surrounded by their eight children and eleven grand-children.
Celebrate their legacy at the Fayetteville Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 20th when we announce the Lifetime Pillar Award Winners. Reserve your seats here.