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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureJan. 31, 2018
(681 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
LITTLE ROCK – New changes are coming to LeadAR, the state’s premier leadership program.
The program, founded in 1984 and operated by the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture, was originally modeled after the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s leadership
training program. Over more than three decades, LeadAR has trained hundreds of participants
to serve as leaders in businesses and communities throughout Arkansas, especially
in rural and agricultural areas.
Noah Washburn, LeadAR program director, said a series of changes have been implemented
for Class 18, which kicks off in mid-February and will conclude in late 2019.
“The purpose of LeadAR is to enhance these emerging community leaders using the latest
research tools to expand their self-awareness, increase motivation, and enrich their
communication skills as a leader,” Washburn said. “Over the past decades, thinking
about leadership in general has expanded to look at individual leaders’ roles within
New program objectives include preparing emerging leaders to assumer greater responsibilities
within their own organizations, industries and communities; providing participants
with diverse perspectives to analyze complex cultural and economic issues, and much
The course will be taught through a series of eight three-day seminars, in addition
to a week-long study trip within the United States later this year, and a two-week-long
international study trip in 2019.
The first seminar is scheduled for Feb. 7-10 in Little Rock. This seminar will focus
on leader development and will be held at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center.
In addition to the Division of Agriculture, LeadAR also is supported by the Arkansas
Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Credit Midsouth, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, AgHeritage
Farm Credit Services, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, many LeadAR alumni, individuals
LeadAR Class 18 includes 28 participants from 16 counties throughout the state. Those
class members are:
Anthony Armstrong of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyProject Consultant/Loan Mobilization Manager - Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Sudha Bande of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyProgram Operation Manager – Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
Jacob Box of McGehee, Desha CountyVice President Lending – First Natural State Bank
Gayla Bradley of Clinton, Van Buren CountyDental Assistant - Hensley Dental
Lori Burrows of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyAttorney, Vice President and General Counsel - Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
Ethan Dunbar of Lewisville, Lafayette CountyRetired Military
Jonathan Duran of Benton, Saline CountyDeputy Director – Arkansas GIS Office
Arlisa Harris of Forrest City, St Frances CountyLibrary Director - Forrest City Public Library
Marc Harrison of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyBusiness Development/CEO - Kenwood Strategic
Jason Hayes of Brinkley, Monroe CountyVice President/Branch Manager – AgHeritage Farm Credit Services
Jennifer Johnson of Blytheville, Mississippi CountyDistrict Treasurer/Director of Finance - Blytheville School District
Stephanie Malone of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyPolicy & Advocacy Director – Community Health Centers of Arkansas
Rickey McCauley of Proctor, Crittenden CountyManager-CIO – East Arkansas Family Health Center
Tyler McDonald of Lewisville, Lafayette CountyCo-owner - T and R Farms
Ryan McGeeney of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyAg Writer/Content Specialist – University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Brad McGinley of Sheridan, Grant CountyStaff Chair/ County Extension Agent – UA Cooperative Extension Service
Dr. Kyle T. Miller of Helena, Phillips CountyMuseum Director – Delta Cultural Center
Curtis Moore of Lincoln, Washington CountyOwner, Moore Farms
Christian Olson of Little Rock, Pulaski CountyMarketing Director – AR Agriculture Department
Ana Phakhin of Springdale, Washington CountyCommunity Impact Director – United Way of Northwest Arkansas
Gina Radke of North Little Rock, Pulaski CountyBusiness Owner/CEO – Galley Support Innovations
Rick Reed of Batesville, Independence CountyGeneral Superintendent with Delk Construction Company in Searcy, AR.
Elizabeth Solano of Little Rock, Saline CountyElectricity Transmission External Affairs/Regional Director - MISO
Donette Spann of Cabot, Lonoke CountyPromotions Director –AR Beef Council
Maddison Stewart of Little Rock, Pulaski CountySocial Media/Public Relations Specialist – Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation
Yolanda Wallace of West Helena, Phillips CountyAdministrator/Therapist/ CEO/COO/ Counseling & Education Center – The Family Center
Chris Wasson of El Dorado, Union CountyCustomer Service Representative - Entergy Arkansas
Mary Wood of Russellville, Pope CountyExecutive Assistant – USDA Forest Service
To learn about LeadAR, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org