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Fort Smith
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Wilson Takes the Helm as United Way Board Chair


United Way of Fort Smith Area announced new additions to the 2021 Board of Directors. These business and community leaders bring their knowledge and talent along with a steadfast commitment to forwarding United Way’s mission.

Suzy Wilson, Assistant Superintendent for Greenwood Public Schools, will serve as board and executive committee chair. “One of the things I love about my job is the opportunity to represent Greenwood Schools within the community,” stated Wilson. Early on, I realized how important United Way is to our community and our students. It was a natural thing to become more involved with United Way and serve the community and Greenwood Schools. I appreciate the faith that the board has in my abilities to lead this year. I look forward to a great year of service!”

Wilson will spearhead the board comprised of business and community leaders who are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of United Way of Fort Smith Area. Wilson said, “I am excited to continue my work with United Way. The opportunity to work with such a great group of talented individuals who are all seeking the same outcome for our community is an honor. We will revisit our vision this coming year and work to ensure every decision is made with that vision and mission in mind.”

“Each year it is bitter-sweet when board members roll off and new board members come on board. I wish we could keep them all and just add to the slate of members. I feel the same way when a board chair rolls off and new a board chair takes the gavel.  We have been blessed in 2020 to have had the leadership of Rob Ratley as chair and he now passes the role to Suzy Wilson. Suzy has been so involved in every aspect of our operations from the executive committee, volunteer activities, fundraising/resource development, and community investment (allocations).  Suzy’s experience and leadership talents will guide us through the challenges that linger from COVID and ensure the health of our programs as we forge on”, said Eddie Lee Herndon, President and CEO of the United Way of Fort Smith Area.

Among the 2021 class of new board members will be: Dennis Anderson, Chief Customer Officer, ArcBest, Eric Burnett, Head Boys Basketball Coach, Northside High School, and Robert Herrera, Market President, First Western Bank-Booneville. Wilson added, “Every February, we welcome a few new members to our board. The addition of Dennis Anderson, Eric Burnett, and Robert Herrera will bring some great new talent to our group. I always enjoy getting to know our new members and look forward to their fresh ideas and contributions!

Board members serving on the Executive Committee of the board:

  • Vice Chair- Dr Gary Udouj, Director of Career Education and District Inovation, Fort Smith Public Schools
  • Treasurer – Katie Lejong, Personnel and Marketing Director, Landmark
  • Secretary – Michael Barr,President, WeatherBarr Windows and Doors
  • Immediate Past Chair- Rob Ratley,Community Volunteer

Returning board members:

Reverend Phillip Blackburn, Co-Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
David Cravens, President and Market Executive Fort Smith Region, Regions Bank
Pastor Paul Davis, Senior Pastor, St. James Missionary Baptist Church
Susan Devero, Executive Director of Community Relations, Arkansas Colleges of Health Education
Anne Dunn, Community Volunteer
Chief Jamie Hammond, Chief of Police, City of Van Buren
Kim Linam, Community Volunteer
Johnny McKusker, Global Operations Manager, ABB
Chad McReynolds, General Manager, Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland
Dalton Person, Attorney, Jones, Jackson & Moll, PLC
Beth Presley, Vice President-Marketing Manager, Arvest Bank-Fort Smith
Dr. Terisa Riley, Chancellor, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
Dr. Ken Warden, Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
Dr. Sandi Sanders – Community Volunteer – Endowment Committee Chair

Herndon added, “Each board member brings with them a vast array of experience and talents that will add to our collective leadership. The United Way of Fort Smith Area has been blessed to have some of the most forward thinking, energetic, and talented leaders in our community since 1928. We are very thankful for our new members, the entire board slate for 2021, and their dedication to our local United Way and community”.

To learn more about United Way’s board, executive committee, visit https://unitedwayfortsmith.org/board-of-directors/

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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