UACES Facebook LeadAR Class 19 Member Spotlight: Laura Wiles
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LeadAR Class 19 Member Spotlight: Laura Wiles

by Lisa Davis - January 7, 2021

Can you whistle? Laura Wiles wants to know. 

Laura Wiles is the election coordinator for Perry County. She is a volunteer 4-H leader and shooting sports coach, active in the school's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and an Arkansas River Valley Area Council (ARVAC) board member. She enjoys true-crime podcasts, Taco Tuesday, and living the quiet country life with her family in Bigelow. We asked Laura to share a little more about herself. Here are her responses.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Why is this surprising?
I can't whistle. Are there other people who can't whistle? Because I haven't met them yet.

Why did you apply to the LeadAR program? What motivated you? 
The LeadAR program is something I've wanted to do for several years. A few people who have been through the program encouraged me to apply.

What leadership quality do you admire most in others? Why?
I admire leaders who lead with humility and respect. Leaders who know they don't have all the answers and truly value what others bring. At the end of the day, they take responsibility - good or bad - for what happens.

What are your top three ingredients necessary for success?
Integrity. Admit your mistakes. Listen to all ideas.

What are your top three ingredients necessary for happiness?
Faith in God. Be content in all things. Family first.

Describe your personal leadership style.
I try to be the type of leader that I admire most in others which is to lead with humility and respect. Listen to others and help everyone to feel like a valuable member of the team. When decisions are made, you have to own them, and others have to know you will always have their back.

What is something you hope to gain from your LeadAR experience?
Relationships and experiences. I hope to build life-long friendships with my classmates and see issues from new perspectives.

How can effective leadership help move the state of Arkansas forward?
Our state's greatest resource is people. Effective leadership will bring people together to accomplish common goals that continue to move Arkansas forward.

You are stranded on a desert island. What are your three MUST HAVE items?
Emergency beacon. Freshwater. Sharp knife.

What is something that was difficult for you six months ago but easy for you now? 
Flexibility. I love a good plan. Google calendar is my favorite app. We've all learned plans can change every hour, and I'm learning to go with the changes and adapt. It's not easy all the time, but I'm getting better.

What else do you want others to know about you?
I'm excited to be part of LeadAR. Arkansas is where I chose to call home, and I can't wait to learn more about our state and the people who live here.