Gretchen and Sonny Williams
Named Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Recipients
DALLAS — Dallas
business and civic leaders Gretchen Minyard Williams and J.L. “Sonny”
Williams are the 2005 recipients of the Virginia Chandler Dykes
Leadership Award, presented by Texas Woman’s University and
the TWU School of Occupational Therapy.
The Virginia Chandler
Dykes Leadership Award was established in 2002 and is given annually
to Dallas residents who represent the caring, commitment and leadership
Mrs. Dykes exemplifies.
University is proud to honor these Dallasites for their commitment
to building a better and stronger community,” said TWU Chancellor
and President Dr. Ann Stuart. “They lead by example and demonstrate
we all can make a difference.”
A tea honoring Mr. and
Mrs. Williams and recognizing the award selection committee will
be held Wednesday, Oct. 6 at the Dallas home of Geraldine “Tincy”
Miller, 2004 recipient of the award. Dr. Stuart will present the
award Jan. 25, 2005, during a luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.
Gretchen Minyard Williams,
a graduate of Texas Christian University, is co-chairman of the
board and co-CEO of Minyard Food Stores Inc. She is a member of
the Baylor University Medical Center Board of Trustees, co-chair
of the Leukemia Association of North Central Texas and a member
of the board of directors of Marketplace Ministries Inc. and Bryan’s
House, a special care facility for children and teens affected by
HIV/AIDS. She also is a member of the Crystal Charity Ball Committee.
“My father always
taught us that nothing is more important to our society, and consequently
our city, than giving back to the community in which we serve,”
Mrs. Williams said. “We care about the people who shop with
us. We care about the neighborhoods in which we do business. We
care about making a difference in the lives of people who live in
the same community as ourselves.”
J. L. “Sonny”
Williams, president and COO of Minyard Food Stores Inc., began his
career with the company at age 13 as a package clerk. A graduate
of Dallas Baptist University, Mr. Williams is a member of the State
Fair of Texas and Southwestern Bell-SMU Athletic Forum boards of
directors, chairman of the Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Foundation
and a member of the Dallas Baptist University Board of Trustees.
He also is a minority owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
The couple received the
2004 Neighborhood Partnership Award from the Food Marketing Institute
for the Minyard First Class Teachers Program, a teacher appreciation
program that awards $1,000 to a different teacher each week and
a matching $1,000 to the teacher’s school. They also received
the 2003 Obelisk Award for Arts Partnership from the Dallas Business
Committee for the Arts, the 1999 Civic Service Award from the Jewish
Day School’s Akiba Academy and the 1995 Texas Family Business
of the Year-Community Involvement Award from the Texas Institute
of Family Business.
The couple has been married
26 years and has a daughter, Claire.
As a health care provider
and through her civic activities, Mrs. Dykes has spent a lifetime
committed to helping others. She is known internationally for her
work in occupational therapy. Locally, she is known for her leadership
in many cultural and charitable organizations.
Mrs. Dykes completed
the graduate occupational therapy program at Texas Woman’s
University in 1954 after earning her bachelor of arts degree in
art and psychology from Southern Methodist University in 1952. She
was director of the Occupational and Recreational Therapy Department
at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years. Mrs. Dykes developed
and supervised the occupational and recreational therapy programs
at Baylor in rehabilitation, adult and adolescent psychiatry, eating
disorders and hand splinting. She also founded the Boomerang Club,
the first support group for stroke patients and their families in
Her community service
activities include establishing the annual Fanny B. Vanderkooi Endowed
Lectureship for the School of Occupational Therapy at TWU; serving
on the board of directors for the Dallas Opera, Theater III, Fort
Worth Opera, Dallas-Fort Worth Ballet, Les Femmes du Monde and Dallas
Theater Center Guild; serving as president of the Diana Dean Head
Injury Guild; and chairing the auxiliary board of the Healing Environment
Program at Baylor.
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