October 2021


DR. BRIAN MATTHEWS What motivated you to get involved with city government? What motivated me to get involved with city government was helping people. As a city councilman, one observation I made is that many of our citizens are the most gifted and charitable people you will ever meet. Other areas that motivate me are the untapped potential and vibrancy of Texarkana. Based on conversations I have had with citizens over the years, Texarkana is poised to experience great things and will see a rise in emerging leaders who will responsibly and smartly carry its legacy into the future. What is one thing you wish people knew about Texarkana? The one thing I wish people knew about Texarkana is the number of non-profit organizations we have. There are so many exceptional agencies that generously extend services to people in need in our area. Agencies like For the Sake of One, Literacy

What do you believe is the most pressing issue in 2022? I believe the most pressing issue in 2022 is responding to and navigating the

saving money since I was responsible for buying any luxury things I wanted like a pager (it was the 90s). How do you handle undeserved criticism? The way I handle undeserved criticism is just not focusing on the scrutiny. As an educator, the behavioral theories I study are foundationally based on the origin of ideas and feelings. I think that once you understand the genesis of another’s disapproval, the easier it is to convert the criticism into motivation. What superpower would you choose for yourself? I would choose the superpower of multiplicity and duplicate myself to meet and visit with multiple citizens at the same time. Tell us about your family. I am the oldest of four siblings, one brother, Dez Matthews, and two sisters, Alesha and Amber Garrett. My parents, Al and Deborah Garrett, live here in Texarkana and are both retired from Domtar. I have one son, Bradley Matthews, who is 15 years old and is in the ninth grade at Texas High School. Do you have any mentors? I have mentors for every area in my life including spiritual, political, educational and professional areas. I affectionately refer to my group of mentors as my “professional war chest”. Notably, I have been mentored by Robert E. Quinn, a renowned author, researcher and authority on organizational culture, and John Donovan, former CEO of AT&T Communications.

unpredictability of COVID-19. If you received a $1 million

grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it? If I received a

$1 million grant, I would not only demolish dilapidated

homes in derelict communities but would rebuild houses to replace those torn down to provide opportunities for homeownership and a sense of community.

If you wrote a book about

your career so far, what would

you title it? Because my research interests are organizational behavior, leadership and management dynamics, and motivation, the title of a book about my career would be entitled How to Get Away with Management . Next year, I plan to write a book that provides leaders with ways to manage employees effectively using the guise of leadership.

Council of Bowie and Miller Counties, HandsOn Texarkana, Harvest Texarkana, CASA, and many others that work heroically to enrich the quality of life and provide resources for those they serve.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include writing, drawing and playing basketball.

What is your favorite thing about Texarkana?

My favorite thing about Texarkana is the small-town feel the city has. Compared to larger cities, Texarkana is peaceful, quiet and serene and has a personality that is all its own. Our city has a unique welcoming and nurturing virtue that other cities lack.

Where did you graduate from high school? I am a 1997 graduate of Ashdown High School.

What was your very first job (that’s not on your resume)?

The very first job I had that is not on my resume is working at Sonic Drive-In as a cook when I was a senior in high school. Working at Sonic taught me the value of budgeting, spending and


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