Randy Zook, Board Chair
President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas
A native of McGehee, Arkansas, Mr. Randy Zook graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Before serving as deputy director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), he spent nearly 34 years with Atlantic Envelope Company of Atlanta, serving as president and CEO of the $200 million company from 1989 to 2004. After his retirement, he began his second career involved in economic development efforts. In 2006, he served as chairman of the Central Ozarks Task Force for Economic Development and currently serves as a member of the Melbourne Airport Commission.
Mr. Chalk Mitchell grew up in Helena, Arkansas, and graduated from Eliza Miller High School before pursing his undergraduate degree at Morehouse College and graduate degrees at both Georgetown University Law Center and Harvard University. He is currently Helena’s City Attorney. He serves on the board of several community groups in his hometown and recently completed his term as chair of KIPP Delta’s Board of Directors.
Executive Director of Teach For America (TFA) in Mississippi
Mr. Ron Nurnberg has presided over the expansion of the Delta corps from 32 corps members in 1996 to 520 in the 2010-2011 school year. Prior to joining TFA, Ron completed a master's degree in southern studies at the University of Mississippi. He also served as executive director of Main Street Helena, project coordinator for the Center of Southern Culture in Oxford and Vicksburg, assistant director of Central College's American Program at Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales, and operated a highly successful pub and restaurant business in St. Louis. His undergraduate degree is in business administration and interpersonal communications.
Community Development Consultant, Southern Bancorp Community Partners
Mrs. Cathy Cunningham is a community development consultant at Southern Bancorp Community Partners and a longtime member of the KIPP Delta Board of Directors. She also sits on the boards of several other local organizations including Southern Bancorp, the Helena-West Helena Advertising and Promotion Commission, and the Phillips Community College/University of Arkansas Foundation. Past honors include being named the Phillips County citizen of the year in 2011 and receiving the "Beyond Z" award at the KIPP School Summit in 2006. Cathy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas, Monticello and her graduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas.
Chief Executive Officer, Southern Bancorp
Representative Darrin L. Williams is the Chief Executive Officer of Southern Bancorp, Inc., a family of a community development bank and a nonprofit affiliate that work in concert to revitalize underserved communities in the mid-South. With over $1 billion in assets, over 80,000 customers and 39 branches throughout the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta, Southern Bancorp, Inc., and its affiliates comprise one of the most effective and largest community development organization in America. Darrin is also a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, where he serves as the Speaker Pro Tempore. Darrin has been recognized nationally for his progressive legislative work, including being selected as “one of the rising stars” in American government and offered a prestigious Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership by the Aspen Institute and being recognized as one of twelve legislators to watch by Governing Magazine. Darrin holds a LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law and a B.A. from Hendrix College.
Joseph K. Wood
Deputy Secretary of State, Arkansas
Mr. Joseph Wood serves as Deputy Secretary of State in Arkansas. He leads both the Communications & Education Division and the Business and Commercial Services Division for the agency. He is responsible for reaching across the state to educate Arkansans about the State Capitol, Arkansas history, citizenships, and the importance of voting. He is responsible for driving communications for the agency including public relations, website maintenance, newsletters, and constituent services. Wood was appointed by Secretary of State Mark Martin taking the oath of office in January 2011 and again January 2015. Joseph has been actively involved in politics and community outreach since 1988. He is a former chairman candidate for the Republican Party of Arkansas and served two terms as the State Treasurer for the party. Joseph continues to serve the people of Arkansas working with various non-profits and schools around the state including serving as University of Arkansas Chancellors Advisory board on diversity and the board of governance for Ecclesia College.
President and Partner, Sharp & Sharp Law Firm
Mr. Baxter Sharp graduated in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in German and European history from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He followed that up with a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1991. His love of community service was solidified in college, where duty and honor were emphasized. Highlights from Sharp's civic involvement include board member and tutor at the Literacy Council of Monroe County, Brinkley City Council, assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, Monroe County Heart Association, Lawyers for Literacy Committee and board member of the Arkansas Community Foundation. Sharp currently serves as President and Partner of Sharp & Sharp Law Firm in Brinkley.
Houseworth Hotels and Restaurants, LLC
Mrs. Robin Houseworth is a native Arkansan. She obtained a Chemistry and Biology degree from Henderson State University and a master's degree in Education. She and her husband reside in Blytheville and have been in the hospitality industry for 37 years. Robin is a Certified Hotel Administrator, and recently launched Houseworth Hotels and Restaurants, LLC with her husband and two daughters. Robin has been a volunteer for 28 years with the Miss America Organization, and a 20 year member of the Arkansas Chapter D PEO. Both organizations concentrate on providing women with scholarships to further their education. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Miss Arkansas Pageant. Robin enjoys travelling internationally, spending time at Lake Norfork, and entertaining her grandchildren and her two Yorkies.
Quality Systems Director, Nucor Steel Arkansas
Mrs. Lisa John-Adams has been with Nucor Corporation since 1994. She has led the implementation of NSA's Quality Management System, which has kept its certifications since first certified in 2001. She is a certified Quality and Environmental Systems Lead Auditor. Lisa holds a Master of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of the West Indies and the University of Toronto. Lisa is the 2014 President of the Board of Directors of the Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce. She is also the President of the Board of Directors of The Haven, a domestic violence shelter. Lisa is a member of the Mississippi County Solid Waste Board and chairs the Board's recycling committee. Lisa is married to Tracy Adams and together they have three children. Lisa and her family live in the Blytheville area.
Kristen Collier Wright
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, AutoZone, Inc.
Mrs. Kristen Wright joined the AutoZone team, based in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2012. Kristen currently serves on AutoZone's Executive Committee and oversees the Legal Department, Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, and Community Relations. Prior to joining AutoZone, Kristen was a partner with the law firm Bass, Berry & Sims in Memphis, focusing on complex litigation, commercial and financial transactions, and intellectual property and technology. A native of Forrest City, Wright graduated from Forrest City High School in 1994, then went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in English and a law degree from the University of Arkansas. Kristen is married to State Representative Marshall Wright, also an attorney in Forrest City, and together they have twins, Collier and Syble. Kristen serves on the Board of Directors of Memphis in May International Festival and SFC Elves, a Christmas toy drive serving over 700 children.
Vice President, Capital Financial Service Group, Inc.
Mr. Vince Billingsley lives in Forrest City, Arkansas, and services customers in the areas of Employee Benefits and Insurance. Vince is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor's degree in marketing. After graduating, Vince moved to Vail, Colorado, for three years where he worked in the hospitality and service industry. He taught children's ski school in the winter, worked on golf courses in the summer, and also worked as a waiter and cook in a variety of restaurants. In 2003, Vince moved back home to Forrest City where he began his career in the family insurance and financial services sector. Vince married his wife, Amber, in 2008 and they have three daughters, Ona, Norah, and Emily. His family attends St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church where Vince currently serves as Chairman of the Finance Council. He is an active member of the St. Francis County Master Gardeners, Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute's Technology Advisory Committee, and the Forrest City Downtown Revitalization Commission.