Meet the new Amarillo City Council

Recently, Josh Craft and Les Simpson were sworn in as the newest members of the Amarillo City Council. Mayor Cole Stanley was excited to finally have a full City Council following the runoff elections in June.

“I was waiting to kind of bring a few things until we had a full council and I think that’s a courtesy of not trying to push certain things before everybody’s there and we can all push on our own interests equally and now that we have it, I think what you’re gonna see is a hard working, heavy push council,” Stanley said.

Here is more information on the new Amarillo City Council:

Mayor Cole Stanley

Cole was born and raised in Amarillo and has been in business as a commercial/residential builder since 1999.

He serves on the Arrow Child and Family Ministries board of directors and is a founding member of Arrow Health Solutions. Cole and his family are longtime members at Trinity Fellowship Church.

Cole has a heart for mentoring business owners. He has dedicated his life to encourage and foster small businesses through mentoring and has helped start nearly 30 small businesses in Amarillo, nearly all of whom are still operating today. “Above all else, I believe that access to opportunity should be across Amarillo and not limited by education, status, or zip code.”

Cole and his wife Shiloh have been married for 20 years and have two beautiful daughters, Avery and Addison. 

Cole served as Councilmember, Place 1 from 2021 - 2023, prior to taking the office of Mayor.

Councilmember Josh Craft, Place 1

Josh graduated Amarillo High School in 2013 and attended Amarillo College. He found his calling in 2015 and joined the Randall County Fire Department as a Firefighter. In 2019, Josh promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He brings logical, deliberate, and extensive decision-making capabilities that affect life or death daily. Also, he demonstrates a true servant leadership style by putting others before self. He will graduate from the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy in 2024.

Outside of firefighting, Josh is an Instructor at Amarillo College Regional Fire Academy. In 2020, he created his own small business Amarillo Fence Stain Unlimited. 

Josh and his wife Ashley have been together for 10 years, have two precious children, and are members of Trinity Fellowship Church.

Honesty, Integrity, Faith, Family, and Freedom define Josh’s core values. His compassion for the citizens he serves is steadfast. He has no agenda other than to serve his community to his fullest extent.

Councilmember Don Tipps, Place 2

Don is a dedicated and passionate member of our city council working to make our community a better place to live, work and thrive. Born and raised in Amarillo, Don has deep roots in our city and an understanding of its unique needs and challenges.

Don’s journey in education began at Amarillo College, where he laid the foundation for his academic pursuits.  He later completed his business administration degree at West Texas A&M University, equipping him with the knowledge and skill necessary for success in the business world.  In 2000, Don took a significant leap and started his own insurance agency, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to serving the community.  

Don’s personal life is anchored by his marriage to his wife, Kristi, and together, they have been blessed with 6 adult children.  

In 2019, Don and his wife embarked on a new venture by staring their own property investment company.  This endeavor further showcases his innovative thinking and determination to contribute to the economic growth and stability of our city.

Don’s character is defined by his unwavering integrity, which guides his actions both personally and professionally.  As a member and leader of Trinity Fellowship church since 1989, he has demonstrated his commitment to faith and service, fostering a sense of community and compassion among its members.

As a city council member, Don brings experience, business acumen, and a genuine love for our city to the table.  His dedication to improving the lives of our residents and his ability to tackle challenges head-on make him an asset to our city. His goal is to guide our city to a bright and prosperous future.

Councilmember Tom Scherlen, Place 3

Tom Scherlen is an Amarillo business leader, community servant, and graduate of Frank Phillips College and West Texas A&M University. Tom spent nearly four decades as a businessman, including time as the chief executive officer of Austin Hose.

Tom currently serves as President of the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association and as a member of AMBUCS. In the past, he served as a member of the 100 Club of the Texas Panhandle. Tom volunteers with numerous organizations in the community.

Councilmember Les Simpson, Place 4

Les Simpson was elected to serve on the Amarillo City Council in June 2023. He’s been a resident of Amarillo since 2002.

Les was publisher of the Amarillo Globe-News from 2002-2018. After leaving the newspaper, he started his own business, The Entrepreneur’s Source. He helps clients explore business ownership as a possibility to reach their goals and has worked with many clients who have started their own businesses in Amarillo and across the country.

He has served in a variety of community roles, including co-chairing the United Way fundraising campaign and serving on the board of directors of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, the West Texas A&M University Foundation, the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, the Amarillo Club and other community organizations.

He was the founding board president of Downtown Amarillo Inc. and a member of the City of Amarillo Local Government Corporation, which oversaw the development of several downtown catalyst projects, including Hodgetown, home of the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Les is married to Denise, a pharmacist. They are members of First Presbyterian Church, where Les has served as an elder. Their family includes daughter Faith, her husband Taylor and their son Miller; daughter Meredith and a mini-Australian Shepherd, Murphy.

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