The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Annual Banquet May 4 will be headlined by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Gov. Huckabee will provide a total entertainment program with true but hilarious stories from politics, the South and his travels. Nothing serious here but laughter when the audience just wants to have some fun.
Mike Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest-serving governors in his state’s history, and was only the fourth Republican elected to any statewide office since Reconstruction, serving longer than the other three combined. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on the less expensive approach of prevention than the costly big-government approach of intervention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials.
Governing Magazine named him as one of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005, and Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. He has been honored by numerous organizations for his commitment to music education. He served as the chairman of the prestigious National Governors Association as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission.
Huckabee was lieutenant governor for 3 years in July 1996 when his predecessor was forced to resign due to felony convictions.
After his 2008 campaign for president, Gov. Huckabee launched the top-rated weekend show on the Fox News Channel for 6 1/2 years, and hosted a nationally syndicated radio commentary on over 700 radio stations.
He left his media platforms in 2015 to seek the Republican nomination for president. He ended the race in February 2016 and in April re-joined the Fox News Channel.
Gov. Huckabee is also a New York Times bestselling author, having written 12 books.
Huckabee, an avid musician since age 11, is a bass player. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and music. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential People” for Conservation by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named "Man of the Year" by the American Sportfishing Association in 1997. The former governor and his wife, Janet, have three grown children and five grandchildren.
The Chamber banquet is May 4 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center, Missouri Southern State University. Social hour begins at 5:30 pm; dinner begins at 6:15 pm; and the program and keynote speaker begin at 8 pm. Tickets are $95 per Chamber member and may be purchased at www.joplincc.com. A portion of the ticket price goes to the Chamber Foundation and may be tax deductible as a charitable donation.
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