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Methodist Folsom Fred Ciarochi, Sandi Ciarochi, Elaine Schneider, Dr. Allen Schneider

The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award is known for honoring its award recipients with an evening of fun surprises and warm personal tributes. The 2024 event honoring global business leader, philanthropist, speaker, artist, musician, and commercial pilot James W. Keyes was no exception.  More than 750 guests enjoyed the sounds of Alda Brass as they entered the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on May 17th. They soon learned that the trumpet is especially meaningful to Keyes who as a child wanted to play in the school band, but his family could not afford an instrument. A teacher recognized his talent and provided him with a trumpet, a gift that contributed to his lifelong love of music.

Event Co-Chairs Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, and Carolyn and David Miller were recognized by Dallas Regional Chamber CEO and President Dale Petroskey. As host for the evening, he welcomed guests and shared stories of his 20-year friendship with Folsom Award recipient James W. Keyes. As the former CEO of 7-Eleven and Blockbuster, Keyes has served on the board of public companies and as an advisor to many foundations, investment firms, and start-up companies. His philanthropic interests include UT Southwestern, American Red Cross, Southern Methodist University, The Cooper Institute, The Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and Columbia University Business School. He was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Junior Achievement Dallas Business Hall of Fame, and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Ring of Honor Award.  Recently, he became a published author. An autographed copy of his book, Education is Freedom, was provided for each guest.

Methodist Health System Foundation President James M. Johnston stated, “Methodist Health System provided over $182 million last year alone in uncompensated care, primarily to patients at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Charlton, its two hospitals in the southern sector of Dallas. Tonight, we are pleased to announce that in honor of Jim Keyes we have raised $1.7 million toward the transformation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.”

Johnston recognized presenting sponsors Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Carolyn and David Miller, The Lupe Murchison Foundation, Linda and Mitch Hart, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Jewel and Roland Parrish, Mary and Rich Templeton, and Mike and Mary Terry. He also recognized past award recipients in attendance: Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Bobby Lyle (2014), Jack Lowe (2015), Gerald Turner (2016), David Miller (2017), Texas State Senator Royce West (2018), The Honorable Mike Rawlings (2019), and Linda and Mitch Hart (2021), and Mary and Rich Templeton (2023). He paid tribute to Keyes, who exemplifies the legacy of the namesake of the award, Robert S. Folsom. Johnston introduced members of the Folsom family, followed by a video about Robert Folsom.

Following the invocation by Father Tony Lackland, Chef Richard Chamberlain spoke about his 30-year friendship with Margo and Jim Keyes. He stated that he was born at Methodist Dallas and was honored to be part of an event hosted by Methodist Health System. Chamberlain noted that during his years as CEO of 7-Eleven, Keyes developed a passion for Slurpees. Chamberlain introduced a lemon hibiscus Slurpee for the event, which was enjoyed by guests to begin the dinner. He then announced a special menu of baseball-cut succulent short rib in honor of Keyes’ love of baseball. Guests dined to the music of a solo trumpet which accompanied video images of original artwork by Jim Keyes.

Methodist Health System CEO James C. Scoggin, Jr. acknowledged members of the Methodist team, including physicians and nurses. He thanked Keyes for designating the proceeds of the event to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, ensuring that every newborn in Methodist’s service area in Southern Dallas has access to life-saving advanced neonatal services.

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, who was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first woman chair of the board of governors of the American Red Cross and U.S. Ambassador to Finland, introduced a tribute video to Keyes with these words, “For God so loved the world, he gave us faith, family, friendship, and Jim Keyes – who has changed every organization that has benefited from his leadership.”

Video tributes during the evening included a personal message of congratulations from the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox. A special video tribute of accolades from Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Bobby Lyle, David Miller, Margo Keyes, Drayton McLane, Suzanna Russell, Kim Noltemy, Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Adan Gonzalez, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Bishop Edward J. Burns, Charlie Duke, and Harvey Mackay was a highlight of the evening. They acknowledged many of the ways in which Keyes embodies a modern-day Renaissance man “His innovative mindset, social consciousness, and empathetic leadership collectively embody the ideals of versatility, curiosity, and humanism that define the Renaissance ethos. All of this – built on a foundation of family and faith and a passionate belief in the uplifting and transformative power of learning.”

Jim Keyes expressed his gratitude for being named the recipient of an award named after Robert S. Folsom, “a man who changed the landscape of Dallas in so many ways.”  In receiving this honor, Keyes shared five points of gratitude:

  • Faith. “Dallas is a community of faith. Faith-based organizations like Methodist are the unsung heroes that keep us safe and healthy.”
  • Family. “Dallas is family, and I feel a part of it.”
  • Friendship. “We are blessed with so many friends and thankful to all who are here tonight.”
  • Philanthropy. “I’ve traveled the four corners of this planet, and I’ve never seen a city more giving than Dallas.”
  • Freedom. “Dallas is a classic city in which anyone can unlock his or her potential through education. The more you dream, the more you can achieve. We all have adversity. The best way to eliminate it is through knowledge, light, and faith.”

Following the presentation of the Robert S. Folsom award to Keyes, he was honored onstage by a group of high school graduates who have been inspired and supported by Keyes’ Education is Freedom Foundation, which to date has presented over $450,000 in scholarships.

To close the evening, there was a video featuring a flyover complete with special effects similar to jet exhausts, “like a majestic eagle taking to the sky, Education is Freedom.”

About Methodist Health System

Methodist Health System is a faith-based non-profit organization established in 1927. Its Mission is to improve and save lives through compassionate quality healthcare. For almost a century, Dallas-based Methodist Health System has been a trusted choice for health and wellness. It offers nationally recognized medical services, a network of 12 hospitals through ownership and affiliation, and more than two dozen clinics located throughout the region. Methodist is known and recognized for its exceptional teaching programs, innovative research, and its strong commitment to the community. Methodist Health System provided more than $182 million in uncompensated charity care in fiscal year 2023.  Additional information is available at

About Methodist Health System Foundation

Methodist Health System Foundation is a nonprofit foundation led by community and civic leaders who donate their time, service, and expertise to assist Methodist Health System in funding its hospital projects. More information is available at


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