LeadAR Class 19 Member Spotlight: Jennifer Terry
We continue to feature the current class members of LeadAR Class 19. Jennifer Terry is a registered nurse and certified case manager. Her interest in patient care began with a high school academic program which led to her career in nursing. She began her career as an oncology nurse, eventually working her way into case management.
Terry worked as a coordinator for a nonpartisan judicial campaign from 2019 - 2020 and was selected to be a member of the Leadership Fort Smith Class of 2021. She was recently appointed as a member of the Future Fort Smith Committee, which is charged with implementing the goals and policies contained in the Fort Smith Comprehensive Plan to set a direction that will be used by the City of Fort Smith to proactively manage future change.
Terry is the vice president of the Western Arkansas Tennis Association and is a United States Tennis Association Junior Team Tennis manager. She and her family are very active in the local tennis and running communities, and frequently participate in local and statewide events.
Why did you apply to the LeadAR program? What motivated you?
I applied for LeadAR because I wish to gain more knowledge about the state of Arkansas, to network with other motivated individuals around the state, and to utilize these benefits to make a difference as a leader. I am Fort Smith proud, and I love my home state of Arkansas. I am driven to be a difference maker for my family, our community and for future generations. I want to work alongside others to identify issues, and to craft innovative solutions to pave the way for a better tomorrow.
What leadership quality do you admire most in others? Why?
I admire leaders who possess the ability to engage transparently, with truth and positivity. I believe this always leads to better relationships, which then yields positive outcomes for the entire organization.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Why is this surprising?
I once jumped into a pool to save a child from drowning. This is surprising because I was dressed in jeans and high heels at the time, definitely not swimming attire! I ran in my heels across two different patio decks, then jumped over an elderly man near the pool to save the toddler who was face down in the water.
What are your top three ingredients necessary for success?
Communication, collaboration, and perseverance.
What are your top three ingredients necessary for happiness?
Faith, family, and exercise.
Describe your personal leadership style.
I always strive to exhibit transparency, truthfulness, and positivity: leadership traits that I admire in others. I have consistently held leadership roles in the medical field, most recently as director of case management for a rehabilitation hospital. I have always possessed a passion to help people. My career path as a nurse, as a case manager, and as a director has certainly been fulfilling in that regard. I continue to strive for greater understanding of complex issues and how I can better lead and serve.
What is something you hope to gain from your LeadAR experience?
I hope to gain a deeper insight into issues facing Arkansas, to network with other visionary leaders, and to continue developing my professional skills to contribute to my city and state’s continued success. One aspect of Arkansas’ strength is its diversity. Each region of our state faces unique challenges and opportunities. I believe programs like LeadAR that foster collaboration with people from different backgrounds are critically important to achieve true success.
How can effective leadership help move the state of Arkansas forward?
For effective leadership to help move the state of Arkansas forward, it is important for us to lead by example, to accept responsibility for past mistakes, and to be willing to advance new ideas. Leaders must focus on people to achieve engagement from within all communities.
You are stranded on a desert island. What are your three MUST HAVE items?
Knife, metal pot, and fire starter kit for basic survival. Book, socks, and music for entertainment.
What is something that was difficult for you six months ago but easy for you now?
Asking personal friends and professional colleagues to write letters of recommendation to promote me for leadership programs (like LeadAR) and for consideration for nonprofit boards.