UACES Facebook LeadAR Class 19 Spotlight: Shelby Fiegel
skip to main content

LeadAR Class 19 Spotlight: Shelby Fiegel

by Lisa Davis - June 23, 2021

The spotlight series shines bright on the next featured LeadAR class member, Shelby Fiegel, director of the Center for Community and Economic Development at the University of Central Arkansas.Shelby Fiegel Photo

Fiegel is also the director of the Community Development Institute (CDI). She is an honors graduate of Arkansas State University and holds a degree in public relations with minors in marketing and English. She is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer, designated by the Community Development Council and is a 2016 graduate of CDI.

In 2017, Fiegel received the New Professional Award from the Arkansas Community Development Society (ACDS). She currently serves as the Ex Officio for ACDS, serves on UCA Staff Senate, is a member of the Breakthrough Solutions Advisory Board, Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the PRSA Arkansas Chapter.

She serves on the Conway Historic District Commission and is an Arkansas Municipal League City & Town magazine contributor. She is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Conway Area Leadership Institute in 2017 and is a Certified Strategic Doing Workshop Leader.

We asked her to respond to the following questions.

Why did you apply to the LeadAR program? What motivated you?
I applied to the LeadAR program because I am always looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge and grow my connections across the state. LeadAR was highly recommended by many of my colleagues so it was a no brainer for me to want to participate in this fantastic program.

What leadership quality do you admire most in others? Why?
Jack Welch, retired chairman and CEO of General Electric, once said, "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." I admire leaders who bring out the best in others and help emerging leaders achieve their goals and dreams.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Why is this surprising?
According to my Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I am an introvert. In social settings, I tend to seem like an outgoing, overtly expressive person, but I draw my energy from my alone time. While I LOVE being social, my energy tends to wane after prolonged social engagements.

What are your top three ingredients necessary for success?

  1. Vision
  2. Predisposition to learn
  3. Empathy

What are your top three ingredients necessary for happiness?

  1. A solid, loving support system
  2. Personal fulfillment
  3. Dogs (golden retrievers)

Describe your personal leadership style.

I believe I am a leader who encourages innovation, personal development, and creates an environment for open communication. I also think it is important to find a work-life balance on my team.

What is something you hope to gain from your LeadAR experience?

As a young leader, I hope to learn best practices, lessons learned, and keys to success from my LeadAR colleagues, LeadAR staff, and from speakers we connect with across the state, nation, and globe.

How can effective leadership help move the state of Arkansas forward?

Good, effective leadership is the foundation of success for any place, organization, or business. Effective leadership can move our state forward by providing a vision, developing a strategy for that vision, and motivating citizens to work together to achieve that vision. "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but building on the new." – Socrates

You are stranded on a desert island. What are your three MUST HAVE items?

Is it fair to say a boat, gas, and a functioning GPS so I can leave said island...?

What else do you want others to know about you?

I am a proud born and raised Arkansan and love supporting my state! I hope that through my experience with LeadAR I am able to grow both professionally and personally.