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2009 Hall of Fame Inductee
Ben F. Tahmahkera

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Ben F. Tahmahkera
2009 Hall of Fame Inductee

Ben F. Tahmahkera was born on August 12, 1947, in Lawton, Oklahoma.  He is the son of Franklin and Lorene Cable Tahmahkera, grandson of Benjamin and Virginia Poahway Tahmahkera, great-grandson of Tahmahkera and Weryokhi; great-great-grandson of Quanah Parker and Weckcah.  Ben attended Cache High School and graduated 1965, and attended Tarrant County Community College and Texas Christian University.  Ben has been married for 35 years to Debbie Gibbons Tahmahkera.  They have two children and three grandchildren.

Ben has acquired twenty-seven years of leadership and management experience through the law enforcement profession, retiring as a Captain for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Worth, Texas.  He supervised employees in various law enforcement management capacities and several thousand prisoners in the Tarrant County Jail.   Ben is also experienced in crucial aspects of Tribal government with an in depth understanding of Federal, State and Local government relations.  Serving as the Comanche Tribe Economic Development Committee Chairman, Ben has spearheaded the development of 11 small businesses for the Comanche Nation.  Under his leadership the CEDC has 120 full time employees, with an annual payroll of $2 million dollars.

No leader can hope to lead others through difficult terrain or territory that they have not been able to get through themselves first.  It’s unlikely you will hear much from Ben Tahmahkera about the difficult losses and adversity he has experienced over the years.  He doesn’t talk about himself or things of that nature very much.  However, those who know Ben well are continually impressed with the courage, toughness, and good spirit he maintains throughout life’s hard tests.  He simply is one of those rare individuals who, no matter what circumstance he faces, uses situations of challenge and adversity to grow even stronger and more determined.  Ben is a person with a tremendous compassion, commitment, and concern for others.  Ben Tahmahkera is a spiritual person, a Comanche, a good family man, a good friend, and a servant to anyone who is in need.  There is not a deceptive or dishonest bone in this man – truly, as the saying goes, “what you see is what you get.”  The Ben Tahmahkera you meet today will still be the Ben Tahmahkera you will meet next week or next year.  There is great stability in this man.  Here is a real human being – a person of maturity, judgment and character.

Around the City of Fort Worth, Texas and Tarrant County, Texas, Ben Tahmahkera has an excellent reputation among city, county, state and federal officials.  For the past 30 years, Ben has been quietly but effectively advocating and promoting the interests of the Comanche and the American Indian community.  The City of Fort Worth is, of course, proud of its “Cowtown” heritage.  However, people like Ben Tahmahkera have successfully educated policymakers and citizens in the community that there is also a rich Comanche heritage and history in the Fort Worth area that must be acknowledged as well.  Hence, there is rarely any kind of local, official event that could happen without Ben involved and making sure that the Comanche are involved in planning and implementing the event.  An outstanding example is Ben’s key role over the years in organizing the Quanah Parker Pow-Wow each year as part of Fort Worth’s Annual Chisholm Trail Roundup.  Ben has the ability to negotiate relationships with key leaders, policy makers, and those with resources with which to help tribal citizens achieve a better quality of life.  A gentle and humble man by nature, Ben will typically be found getting others involved and encouraging them to achieve their own potential.

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