After a week of intense voting and speculation, the readers of The Amarillo Pioneer have spoken. Randy Burkett is the 2016 Pioneer of the Year.
With nearly 100 votes cast, Amarillo City Councilmember Randy Burkett was chosen by the readers of The Amarillo Pioneer as Pioneer of the Year, with about 23 percent of all votes cast. Burkett was the only elected official to be nominated for Pioneer of the Year.
Along with his wife, Debby Burkett, Randy Burkett has made a large charitable impact on Amarillo in 2016. Burkett kicked off the High Plains Food Bank's 2016 fundraising drive with a contribution of $5,000. Burkett also is a well-known animal advocate. As a long-standing tradition, which continued in 2016, Burkett paid adoption fees for multiple animals at the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society.
As a City Councilmember, Burkett has been very active in 2016. In a highly publicized move of the City Council, Burkett supported appointing Roasters Coffee & Tea owner Craig Gualtiere and attorney Brian Heinrich to the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. Burkett was also instrumental in the City Council's appointment of a replacement for Dr. Brian Eades in 2016.
With his impact on Amarillo in 2016, the readers have declared Randy Burkett as the recipient of Amarillo's first annual Pioneer of the Year award.