The Burlsworth Legends Award is presented annually to an Arkansan who has made a significant positive impact on the state. The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation presented the first Legends Award in 2010 to former congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt. Brandon Burlsworth and John Paul Hammerschmidt are both from Harrison, Arkansas. Hammerschmidt served for thirteen terms in the United States House of Representatives for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district located in the northwestern quadrant of his state.
The Lindsey Reed Vision Award
Founding Brandon Burlsworth Foundation board members, Jim Lindsey and the late Stanley Reed were very instrumental in making the BBF what it is today. It is in appreciation to these two very important civic leaders that the Lindsey/Reed Vision Award was created.
In 1999, shortly after the accident that claimed the life of Brandon Burlsworth, Stanley Reed and Jim Lindsey reached out to Brandon’s family proposing to arrange a series of golf tournaments to benefit University of Arkansas students. These two gentlemen helped raise over 2 million dollars to endow the Brandon Burlsworth scholarships at the UA. Since 1999, over $1,610,000 in financial aid has been given to 306 UA students through the Brandon Burlsworth scholarships.
Beyond what Jim and Stanley did for UA students through the scholarship program, they continued to guide the BBF as the foundation grew and provided more programs for underprivileged children around the state of Arkansas.
2022 legends honoree
As Simmons Bank’s chief community banking officer, Freddie Black oversees all aspects of banking within his region. Previously, Freddie drove Simmons’ business development strategy, including marketing, product development and sales analytics functions. He also formerly served as Simmons’ regional chairman for Arkansas and southwest Missouri.
Freddie’s career with Simmons began in 1984 when the bank completed its acquisition of First State Bank and Trust in Lake Village, Arkansas, his then-employer. By this time, Freddie had completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance and business at the University of Arkansas, in addition to banking school at Louisiana State University. It was evident even then that Freddie believed in “going the duration.”
Freddie is known for wearing many hats in both the professional and civic sectors. He serves as a board member for the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, and as the governor-appointed chairperson for the Arkansas Beverage Control Commission. He previously served as chairman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the University of Arkansas Foundation. He is also a former board member for both organizations, and for the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Nature Conservancy.
In addition to his professional and civic commitments, Freddie is a family man. He and his wife Liz have four children and four grandchildren. One of his daughters works at Simmons in Little Rock, and another works as a producer for Apple in California. One of his sons is a farmer in southeast Arkansas and the other is a physician in Nebraska.
When asked what advice he would give to young professionals, Freddie’s response is to follow simple principles: “Work hard. Treat people with respect. Step up, do more. Strive to be the best. Be a top performer and understand that more will be required of you.”