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Emily Smith-CPEDPhone: 501-671-2138Fax: 501-671-2046 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
by Emily Smith - October 30, 2020
Lisa Davis joins the Community, Professional, and Economic Development (CPED) team
as a program associate in leadership. She brings more than 30 years experience in
project management, communication, and educational programming with her.
Davis' experience ranges from serving as an associate director of the Center for Management
and Executive Development at the University of Arkansas to new business program officer
at Winrock International. She has facilitated leadership training programs throughout
Arkansas, the United States and abroad.
Through grant funding from the Small Business Administration, she launched the Arkansas
Women’s Business Center (AWBC) in partnership with South Arkansas Community College.
AWBC provides training and technical assistance to women interested in starting or
expanding a small business. The Center is now in its ninth year of operation.
Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Business
Administration from the University of Arkansas. We've asked Lisa to share a little
more about herself and what she is looking forward to in her new role. We've shared
her answers below.
I am the new program associate – leadership responsible for the planning and execution
of Extension’s major leadership programs. Prior to joining the CPED team, I worked
in various project management and communications capacities for various academic institutions
and nonprofits organizations including: University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University
of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Southern California, University of Hawaii,
Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, and Winrock International. The depth and breadth
of my background have provided me with a balance of business acumen and service to
others. I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UALR and a MBA from UAF. I
am married and have a daughter who is a high school senior. I enjoy all things water—swimming,
boating, diving, fishing, floating, surfing, skiing, wading, noodling…no, I won’t
do that, so almost all things water.
I am an Arkansas native. I have lived in California, Hawaii, and Oklahoma, but I always
boomeranged home. One of my life goals was to travel to all 50 states. I achieved
this goal in 2017 when I traveled to Chicago, rented a car, and drove across the state
borders of two states I was missing, Indiana and Wisconsin. I have also traveled to
nearly 20 countries. My bucket list trip is to travel to Australia and scuba dive
the Great Barrier Reef.
I am most proud of founding the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) through grant
funding from the Small Business Administration. The AWBC provides training and technical
assistance to women who are interested in starting or expanding a small business.
The Center offered comprehensive business planning training culminating in a business
plan competition in which participants could earn seed capital to launch their businesses.
My favorite day of the week is Saturday because it is wonderfully different from my
weekday routine. On Saturday I usually have the opportunity to spend time with my
family, freedom to explore, and time to recharge. There could never be another day
of the week like Saturday.
My most recent eureka moment occurred during my first day. I participated in a “True
Colors” facilitator certification program. True Colors is a personality profile tool
that provides a way for people to quickly understand themselves and others. I have
always tried to live by the Golden Rule, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.”
In this session I learned about the Platinum Rule, “Treat others as they wish to be
treated.” This reframing will cause a profound shift in my life philosophy. Plus,
I love shiny things like gold and platinum.
I admire authentic leaders. Authentic leaders are all about sincerity. They are aware
of the values they hold and strive to reflect those values in the way they speak,
act, and lead. I find someone who is genuine is appreciated by others and are seen
as credible, respected, and trustworthy.
Through the Delta Regional Authority’s Leadership Institute I attended an executive
education training program at Harvard University. I never dreamed I would get to attend
an “Ivy League” school. It did not disappoint. The instructors were outstanding leaders
in their fields. My primary takeaway was that leadership requires COURAGE.
Unlike Dr. Fauci, I never in a million years dreamed I would be living in a pandemic
environment. It has certainly identified a lot of areas in my life that I have taken
for granted: “normal” work days, time with family, and freedom to move about. Though
it has been a challenging time, the pandemic has also afforded some benefits as well:
more time to reflect, reconsider, and innovate.
My advice is that earning trust will always be your most valuable personal asset.
You earn trust by keeping your word, building up others at every opportunity, and
standing for what is right.
I named a giraffe at the Little Rock Zoo. When I was in second grade, the Zoo held
a fundraising campaign to support their efforts to diversify their animal collection.
I spent my weekends with a “Have you ‘herd’?” coin canister at the front gate of the
zoo collecting money for the cause. I collected over $1,500, primarily in pocket change
so it took awhile. As the top fundraiser, I won the honor of naming the new giraffe
… I named her Patches.
Lou Holtz once said, “If you aren’t growing, you are dying.” This is especially true
of a community. Leadership development training gives community leaders the capacity,
creativity, and courage to inspire participation, development, and action to build
strong, sustainable communities.
My career has focused on providing access to education to change lives. As a first
generation college graduate, I fully understand the value education has on life opportunities,
freedom, and quality of life. I look forward to developing and delivering access to
transformational educational opportunities for participants across the state of Arkansas.