“The woods of East Texas and Arkansas helped shape me into the man I am today.” That about sums it up for avid sportsman and Texarkana native Ryan Yarnell. Hunting and adventure have been a way of life for him since his earliest memories, and he has turned his love for the outdoors into an incredible career—traveling to some of the most beautiful places in America and beyond. … To read more about Ryan, make sure you check out “Blind Living.” … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Y2K. It snowed a lot in Texarkana and the power was out.
Sunni Cranfill West has a background of more than 30 years in the dancing and performing arts industry. She has studied and danced professionally with ballet companies, including Ballet Arkansas, Ballet Austin, The Lone Star Ballet, and the Russian Ballet. Eventually, Sunni turned in her pointe shoes for a pair of white cowboy boots. Sunni spent three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as one of America’s Sweethearts and performed in front of the NFL’s record-breaking crowd of 105,000 in the inaugural game at AT&T Stadium.
Dr. Blake Alkire is an otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeon—at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, Massachusetts, and an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. Given his interests in global health initiatives, he also is on faculty with the Program in Global Surgery at Harvard and co-founded the Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgeon Initiative (globalohns.org), an international collaborative research group with hundreds of members from more than 40 countries with a mission to expand access for ear, nose, and throat conditions around the globe.
Poteet Victory is one of the world’s most in-demand and collectible contemporary Native American artists. Although Victory’s work is abstract, his Cherokee-Choctaw influence still shines through his paintings. He has Native American heritage from his dad’s side; his grandmother was Cherokee, and grandfather was part Choctaw. … Born and raised in Idabel, Oklahoma, Victory was active in the rodeo circuit, riding bulls and wild horses by age fifteen.
Jonathan Jones spent his early years in Texarkana but has gone on to give life and personality to some of the most well-loved characters in sports. Currently, he is the community relations director for Indy Eleven Soccer and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been the mascot for teams across the nation and has performed internationally. Jonathan is also a photographer.
After graduating from Texas High School in 2014, Texarkana native Taylor Jackson received a scholarship to play football at the United States Naval Academy. Over the next four years, he earned his BS in Political Science and played in 35 football games for the Navy team. After graduation Jackson was chosen to be a Surface Warfare Officer on the USS Laboon, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and successfully completed one deployment from December 2020 to July 2021. He will now answer the call to be the Navigator on the USS Chung-Hoon, stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
After earning a Master’s in Personal Finance from Texas Tech University, Texarkana native, Brent Rodgers, began his career as a stockbroker with a Fortune 500 company and was quickly climbing the ladder of success. Questioning his trajectory, he began to look for the joy and passion that seemed to be missing in his daily work. Through travel and life’s adventures that passion began to manifest. … “My tastebuds were first tantalized in Peru, by a mixture of celery, carrots and beets,” Brent said. “Then with a frothing cup of fresh-blended spinach in the Middle East.
Texarkana native, David Michael Wyatt, who spent years perfecting his musical talents at Berklee College of Music, is a singer, songwriter and actor whose music fits perfectly into multiple genres including gospel and R&B. Wyatt was part of BET’s Sunday Best gospel talent show, has shared the stage with well-known singers such as Kirk Franklin, been featured on Grammy Award Winner Israel Houghton’s albums and has entertained leaders such as then President-Elect Barack Obama.
Lauren Hubbard is a freelance writer living in New York City and can be found in publications such as Town & Country, Elle Décor, Harper’s Bazaar and Fashionista. Covering beauty, shopping, entertainment, travel, home decor, wine and cocktails, Lauren is living her best life and sharing her perspective with the world. … What do you love about Texarkana? … Texarkana was a great place to grow up.
Kurt Williams is the co-founder and CEO of Casino Cash Trac, a company dedicated to utilizing data to streamline operations, optimize decision making and prevent fraud for casino customers. Williams always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From a very young age, he organized various ventures with his friends, from mowing yards to cleaning office buildings. “Just about anything we could do at that age we attempted.” Williams, like many young people starting school, didn’t know what he wanted to do. “My dad was a CPA and started his own firm when he was just 25 years old.