She wears many hats: daughter, Christian, wife, and mother. She’s holds down a full-time job, works with the Chamber of Commerce, and she also just happens to be the mayor.
Meet Tabitha Hester.
Tabitha Hester is no stranger to Charleston. She is a 1997 graduate of Charleston High School and an alumna of Westark in Fort Smith. Like most young adults, she wanted to see the world outside the limits of the greater Fort Smith region.
But the Charleston roots kept pulling her home. The reason she left, she said, was the same reason that she returned: life in a small town.
Hester said that she came home, looked at her hometown and knew that it could be better. So, she tossed her hat into the ring and ran for the position of Mayor in 2018 against two opponents. She won. There were obstacles but Hester was used to challenges. She has a competitive spirit which manifested itself in early on through her involvement in sports. By her own admission, she says she doesn’t like to lose. She is plain spoken and a good listener. Charleston will benefit greatly from that spirit.
Hester doesn’t fit the profile of a “politician,” she’s a doer, and a hard worker. Her goals include improved infrastructure: water, adequate housing availability adnd economic development.
Her goals throughout her four years as mayor include making Charleston “the Greenwood of the East.” Greenwood was once the size of Charleston until they experienced a quick and tremendous growth in both population and business. By that city’s own admission, they were not prepared for that growth at first. Mayor Hester is preparing now to make that vision a reality.
Hester is also employed as an Asset Manager for a management company. She is married to her husband Steve Ervin who is the Dean of Admissions at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. They are the proud parents of two young children, Rebel and Radley.
Mayor Hester is interested and eager to work with the council, community, Chamber of Commerce and other local cities within the River Valley. She is quick to name the many people around the town who have been working hard to the benefit of Charleston, giving credit to others for their commitment that she shares.
Mayor Tabitha Hester is not only a great asset to the people in Charleston, but to the surrounding community as well. With her vision and drive, the city and it’s commerce is on a progressive path forward.