Judge Greg Mathis in person is pretty much like Judge Greg Mathis on television making teasing but on-target remarks about the vicissitudes of urban life.
The chance to hear a speech by Mathis - whose show began its 17th season in September, making him the second-longest-serving television judge behind Judith "Judge Judy" Sheindlin -was one reason attendees packed North Little Rock's Wyndham Riverfront Hotel for the Oct. 30 Standout! Leadership Summit.
Sponsored by the Stand Foundation Inc., the event included workshops and an awards luncheon highlighted by remarks from Gov Asa Hutchinson as well as recognition of alumni of the foundation's Edward Coleman Leadership Institute.
Mathis' speech was the final event of the summit. Thanking viewers for their support, he also acknowledged those of ealier generation who lent their shoulders to "young men like myself."
Mathis gave a nearly 45-minute speech about leadership that frequently drew murmurs and shouts of agreement from the audience. "Leadership is achieved through service", he emphasized. "And when seeking leadership, first you must empower yourself to become worthy of a leadership (position). You can't get out here leading anybody if you're drunk on alcohol or high on crack."
Founded by former Arkansas legislator Tracy Steele, the Stand Foundation trains leaders for business and public service throughout the state through its institute.
Early in his remarks, Mathis pointed out that he has aged some over 17 seasons on television. Steele told him he looked just the same as Season 1, but "Senators can lie" Mathis joked.
Story by Helaine R. Williams