Arkansas Money & Politics introduces its inaugural Future 50, a list of the state’s business and political leaders poised to shape the future. AMP wants to recognize these future drivers of Arkansas’ economic, political and even cultural engines.
“The future depends on what you do today,” Gandhi once said. AMP’s Future 50 is helping shape the future of Arkansas, today, and we suspect they’ll be doing so for a long time. This inaugural list was determined through nominations submitted by AMP readers. Read more on the pages ahead about those Arkansans laying the groundwork for future progress across the state.
Thomas founded Oculogx, which builds tech that makes order fulfillment more efficient. Oculogx customers include Google, Walmart and Newell Brands. Prior to founding Oculogx, Thomas was an internationally awarded wearable-computing researcher from Georgia Tech’s top-ranked industrial engineering program. Her work has been recognized by premier institutions like Microsoft, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Association for Computing Machinery, and she has been featured in top-tier publications like Forbes and Business Insider and on TechCrunch.com.
Arkansas Secretary of Commerce
Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Preston executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) in March 2015 and Secretary of Commerce in July 2019. Preston is highly regarded as a leading advocate in economic development. He has made successful business recruitment trips to Japan, China, France, Germany, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, United Kingdom, New York City and Silicon Valley. The trips continue to play an important role in the state’s economic development efforts and have led to more than 451 projects with companies signing agreements with AEDC to locate or expand in Arkansas. These companies are investing $9.24 billion and creating more than 19,794 new jobs.
Dreamline Mfg., Cabot
Dreamline is a mattress manufacturer that serves retail furniture stores such as Hank’s Fine Furniture and Dixie Furniture Co., while also holding the bedding contract for Arkansas State Parks & Tourism. As president, Tipton is responsible for overseeing company growth of the family business. He is an Ouachita Baptist University alumnus and contributor and serves on the boards of directors for Dreamline, Roberts-McNutt and the Cabot Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on a local economic committee called Loyal to Local and is a member of the Arkansas Young Republicans.
Vice President, Bulk Division
Riceland Foods, Stuttgart
Holt oversees Riceland Foods’ departments responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and sales to more than 70 countries. The bulk division he oversees includes food ingredient sales; re-packer sales, which are sales are to companies who own brands but don’t have rice mills; co-product sales, the selling of all other parts of the rice milling process like hulls, rice bran, etc. and international sales. A Stuttgart native, Holt attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he majored in business, and law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Bowen School of Law. He enjoys working for family farmers across the state and the South, all of whom are committed to the Riceland mantra of “United We Grow.”
Arkansas School for
Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Hot Springs
Alderdice was appointed director of ASMSA in 2012, and he now is the school’s longest-serving director. Since joining ASMSA’s community of learning, he has worked to bring national prestige to the state’s only public residential high school for talented students while developing new programs in computer science, entrepreneurship, global learning and visual arts that underscore the unique opportunities available through the school’s “college bridge” experience. During his tenure, ASMSA has been listed among the nation’s top 25 “public elite” high schools by Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post and the Jay Matthews Challenge Index.
Downtown Little Rock Partnership
Prior to joining the Downtown Little Rock Partnership in 2015, Holmstrom served as chief of staff to the Arkansas House of Representatives for the first Republican Speaker of the House in 138 years. Previously, he spent more than a decade running campaigns, working for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, the Arkansas Attorney General and Congress, both in Arkansas and in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of UA-Little Rock, where he studied political science.
Arkansas Cinema Society,
Filmmaker Tucker is a sixth-generation Arkansan who studied photography at the University of Pennsylvania and began a film career at Miramax where she worked on such films as Kill Bill and Chicago. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and worked on TV series and films such as Glee, This Is 40 and Oblivion. Tucker also produced the films All the Birds Have Flown South and Antiquities, and directed a documentary about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe. She remains dedicated to growing the film industry in Arkansas.
Vice President of Finance and Administration
Today’s Power Inc.
Bell previously served as controller for Today’s Power (TPI) following his transfer from Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., TPI’s parent company, as a senior accountant. During this time, he obtained his Cooperative Financial Professional Certificate. Prior to that, Chris was an auditor with BKD. He is a certified public accountant and was chosen as one of 41 individuals in the country by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to participate in its 2018 Leadership Academy. Bell earned a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas.
Encore Bank, Little Rock
Lopez is a graduate of UA-Little Rock where he completed a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public administration and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. He teaches public policy to graduate students at Webster University. Passionate about giving back to his community, Lopez serves on the boards of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Museum of Discovery, the Pulaski County Imagination Library and Goodwill of Arkansas. Lopez also competes in triathlons, having most recently completed Ironman Chattanooga.
and Marketing Manager
Entegrity, Little Rock
Originally from Northwest Arkansas, Ness moved to Little Rock to major in systems engineering while part of the Donaghey Scholars Program at UA-Little Rock. During his junior year, he began an internship with Entegrity, an energy services company and solar developer headquartered in downtown Little Rock. In his senior year, while still taking a full course load, Entegrity hired Ness full time to support the growing company. With a technical background and business instincts, Ness took to the multi-disciplinary field of energy and plays roles in Entegrity’s business development, regulatory and research-and-development efforts.
Senior Regulatory Analyst
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corporation, Little Rock
A graduate of the University of Tulsa with a degree in environmental policy and a juris doctorate, Sudduth’s energy career began in oil and gas before shifting to a focus on land and environmental issues. She joined the legal team at Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corporation (AECC) in 2016 and has felt honored to serve the statewide cooperatives providing reliable and affordable electricity to Arkansans. Sudduth’s commitment to AECC’s mission is fueled by the organization’s industry-unique nonprofit business model and service principles.
President and CEO
Newmark Moses Tucker Partners, Little Rock
Moses oversees the strategic direction of the Little Rock-based commercial real estate and development company throughout the state of Arkansas. Under his leadership, Newmark Moses Tucker Partners has become the second-largest real estate company and largest retail-advisory firm in the state. Moses currently focuses on tenant representation, landlord representation and investment sales. In addition, he has grown the firm’s property management division by more than 600 percent to more than 8.5 million square feet.
Campbell Ward, Little Rock
Lauren Waldrip serves as partner at Campbell Ward, a Little Rock-based public affairs and public relations firm. A native of Moro (Lee County), Waldrip oversees communications, promotional efforts, media relations, trade association management, event planning, marketing strategies, government relations and activities for state and federal political action committees. She previously worked as project coordinator for the Razorback Foundation, where she created and implemented a program that increased membership by 20 percent, and has provided public relations assistance for U.S. Sen. John Boozman and the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. Waldrip serves on the Little Rock Water Reclamation Commission and the Arkansas Foodbank board.
Flake & Company, Little Rock
In addition to co-founding member and partner, Schmidt is a licensed agent in his new venture, Flake & Company. Schmidt’s focus includes all things brokerage/development. Prior to launching Flake & Company, Schmidt spent five years at Flake & Kelley Commercial, where he excelled in the brokerage department. Schmidt grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Catholic High School. He then attended the University of Mississippi, where he earned a business degree in marketing. Schmidt has represented state and national clients including CenterPoint Energy, Arvest Bank and Sonic, as well as numerous medical groups and hospitals. In 2016, he was named to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
and Legislative Director
Arkansas Department of Commerce
In July 2019, Curtis was appointed the Chief Communications and Legislative Director for the newly created Department of Commerce that merged 10 stand-alone agencies into one . Previously, she served as the Executive Assistant to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Director of Special Projects and Economic Development Liaison. Curtis also served the Hutchinson administration as director of operations and office manager where she oversaw the operational budget for the governor’s office. As director of special projects, she coordinated and executed cabinet-level meetings and events, town halls and special events for the governor. She is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas.
Vice President of Public Relations
Mangan Holcomb Partners/Team SI, Little Rock
Under Nicholson’s leadership, Mangan Holcomb’s public relations department has grown into a national award-winning team that has helped the firm become one of the top marketing/PR firms in the state. She is very active in the community and has served on more than 20 nonprofit committees. Nicholson currently serves on the Junior Achievement Board of Central Arkansas, served as the President of the Public Relations Society of America Arkansas and currently serves on the organization’s Past Presidents Council. Additionally, she is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock and serves on the LGLR Advisory Board.
Corporate Communications Leader
Garver, North Little Rock
As corporate communications leader, Nick leads Garver’s in-house communications team, charged with all facets of branding, strategic marketing and internal communications throughout the firm’s 13-state footprint. Since joining the firm in 2011, she created the firm’s competitive recruitment program; developed GarverGives, the company’s employee-driven charitable giving program that prioritizes STEM partnerships; and spearheaded Garver’s multistate centennial year celebration. Nick serves on the executive board for the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas as well as the steering committee of Women Empowered for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
Leo Cummings III
Director of Sales
Conway Area Chamber of Commerce
In his full-time role as director of sales for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Cummings helps area professionals build successful businesses. He introduces prospective members to the Chamber’s suite of promotional opportunities and connects existing members with new ways to achieve their business goals. Outside of work, Cummings is the co-host of Black Dude White Dude, a podcast that explores a wide range of topics from the differing perspectives of two best friends. Black Dude White Dude routinely features guests from Conway and Central Arkansas, which gives him another avenue to cultivate relationships with those in his native city.
Springdale Market President
Signature Bank of Arkansas,
While earning her degree in banking and finance from the University of Arkansas, Gladden joined what was a brand-new bank called Signature Bank of Arkansas. Serving in a variety of capacities, Gladden’s natural leadership style earned her the role of senior vice president/loan manager and eventually, Springdale market president. She is an active board member for Hope Cancer Resources, Color of Hope committee member for Arkansas Children’s Northwest, a new member of the Fayetteville Junior Civic League and an alumna of Leadership Springdale.
Tori Pohlner Bogner
Vice President of Marketing
Signature Bank of Arkansas,
As vice president of marketing for Signature Bank of Arkansas, Tori Pohlner Bogner oversees marketing, advertising, public relations and community-engagement efforts on the bank’s behalf. She is an active member of the Leadership Fayetteville Alumni LINK Committee, Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae and the Arkansas Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors. She volunteers with the Children’s Safety Center as part of the Fund Development Committee and holds a member services adviser role in the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas. Tori was integral to founding NexT2, the young patrons program at TheatreSquared and serves as its advisory committee chair.
Founder & CEO
LIVSN Designs, Fayetteville
Andrew Gibbs-Dabney is the founder and CEO of LIVSN Designs, an outdoor brand focused on making versatile apparel designed to last longer. Gibbs-Dabney is dedicated to the values of sustainability and conscious capitalism and believes business success and social progress go hand in hand. He built LIVSN on these ideals from day one. A Fayetteville native, he previously worked his way from part-timer to CEO of Fayettechill Clothing Company where he learned every moving part of building an apparel brand.
Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer
Abaca, North Little Rock
A native Arkansan, Bauer began his career with 11 years of service in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter aircrewman and was awarded the Air Medal seven times during his deployments to Iraq. He completed his degree at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and entered the financial technology world, serving as program manager and then as managing director of the industry-renowned financial technology (fintech) accelerator programs at The Venture Center. Bauer co-founded Abaca, an Arkansas-based fintech that connects the cannabis industry with financial services.
R. Seth Hampton
Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC
Hampton has a diverse and innovative law practice focused on acquisitions, depositions, financing, leasing and developments of commercial, agricultural and recreational properties. He has also built a substantial agricultural law practice, advising clients on matters concerning water rights, irrigation permitting, farm program participation, risk-management aspects of agricultural lending and compliance issues involving environmental, wetlands and land-use regulations. His clients include institutional farmland investors, pension fund managers, real-estate investment trusts, private-equity funds, agricultural producers and cooperatives, as well as ag-tech companies and commercial real-estate and agricultural lenders.
City of Clarksville
Houserman moved to Arkansas in 2012 and currently serves as the economic developer for the City of Clarksville. He is a well-known advocate for Republican candidates statewide and is a former communications director for the Arkansas GOP. After eight years of service in the U.S. Marines, he pursued a degree at the University of the Ozarks in political science and received a graduate certificate from the George Mason University Institute on Economics & International Affairs.
Director of Small Business
Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce
Campbell provides guidance for small businesses, including minority- and women-owned enterprises, to help facilitate economic growth. He connects entrepreneurs to resources to help them start up and scale. Campbell has helped the chamber launch “AR Story,” Equip Small Business Success Series, SCORE Office Hours, Small Business Impact Awards and, in partnership with The Venture Center, the Spark! pre-accelerator. Campbell also develops Minority Enterprise Development Week and, as owner of Little Rock Fashion Week, brought the first fashion week to Arkansas. Campbell’s career began in entertainment, and he has produced at World Wrestling Entertainment, E! Entertainment and FOX.
Content Titan/Titan Concepts, Little Rock
As the founder and CEO of Content Titan, a digital content strategy and production company based in Little Rock, Disarro has been telling the stories of Arkansas businesses and the state’s most notable people, including more than 100 business hall of fame inductees, for the better part of a decade. Disarro influences both the business economy and culture of Arkansas through his ability to craft narratives that engage, educate and entertain. He is the host of the “Titans of Industry” podcast, telling the stories of industry innovators and influencers nationwide. When not creating, he also serves multiple nonprofits in Central Arkansas.
MORE Technologies, Fayetteville
Working with current and former students at the University of Arkansas, Reeves is a roboticist-turned-entrepreneur with a passion for developing cohesive mechanical, electrical and software systems for robots. He is working on making robotics and STEM education accessible with MORE Technologies and has shipped robots to students in over 23 countries and 25 states. He created his first MOREbot in 2018.
The Venture Center, Little Rock
In his role at The Venture Center, Schutte facilitates the growth and development of global start up companies through financial-technology (fintech) accelerator programs in partnership with FIS and the ICBA. The fintech accelerator programs are designed to immensely surge the growth of global fintech companies and drive strategic innovation for corporate partners. Schutte has extensive experience in program management, team leadership and process improvement and maintains expertise in early-stage ventures, entrepreneurship, business planning and financial services.
Lile Real Estate Inc., Little Rock
Gardner was introduced to the Arkansas Prairie and Delta at a young age by his dad. After earning a degree in finance from the University of Arkansas, he began work at Lile Real Estate Inc. pursuing his passion for agriculture and recreational lands. In 2018, Gardner was the youngest person to receive the REALTORS Land Institute Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation. He personally led and participated in several investment groups that acquired unimproved agricultural and recreational properties to be developed. He has also continued his community involvement through the Arkansas Outdoor Society and the The Hat Club.
Arkansas Bankers Association, Little Rock
Trogden began her career in human resources with Fortune 500 companies Acxiom and Alltel before transitioning into association management and spending 10 years as the associate executive director and director of government relations for the Arkansas Bar Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Central Arkansas, a master’s in operations management from the University of Arkansas and is a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives accreditation program. Trogden also serves as the vice president of the Arkansas Society of Association Professionals.
Partner & CEO
Few, Little Rock
If you’re in Central Arkansas and you’ve had your website redone in the past 10 years, there’s a high likelihood Hill could have been involved. Since 2007, Hill built a career working at agencies where he’s helped launch hundreds of web entities. As the CEO of Few, a digital experience company based in Little Rock, Hill and his team are tackling highly complex challenges for clients both locally and across the country.
Buffalo Outdoor Center, Ponca
Albers returned to the Buffalo National River, just minutes away from where he grew up, 10 years ago. A graduate of the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking, he was named president of the Buffalo Outdoor Center in 2016. Albers serves as a commissioner for the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and is a past president of the Arkansas Hospitality Association Travel Counsel and board member for America Outdoors Association.
EVP/Chief Financial Officer
Stone Bank, Little Rock
Ragland is a native of Leslie (Searcy County) who worked 18 years for Acxiom, ultimately serving as senior director for financial planning and analysis. Prior to Acxiom, he served as vice president of accounting for Bank of the Ozarks (now Bank OZK) and assistant vice president for Twin City Bank (now U.S. Bank). Ragland is a C.P.A., Chartered Global Management Accountant, who received his MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas. He is a former board member and treasurer for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Central Arkansas.
Anne Marie Doramus
Vice President of Special Projects
Arkansas Bolt Company, Little Rock
Doramus, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, works for the family company, a fastener distributor and OEM supplier based in Little Rock. She is a third-generation employee at Arkansas Bolt, which was founded in 1962 by her grandfather. Doramus serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show. Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed her to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 2019; she is the first woman appointed to a full term on the commission in the state’s history.
Marquita Little Numan
Foundation, Little Rock
A native of Little Rock, Numan has spent her career tackling issues from affordable housing to health reform and economic empowerment. Her passion for public policy and systems change recently led her to the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. She also owns a consulting firm, Little Consulting Company, focused on supporting equitable community solutions. She previously served as CEO of the Urban League of Arkansas where she oversaw revitalization of the historic civil rights organization. Numan has served on several boards and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She attended the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and Hendrix College.
CARTI, Little Rock
After more than 12 years’ experience in health care administration, in addition to four years with the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, Head joined CARTI as president and chief executive officer in 2017. In his role, Head drives CARTI’s vision to be the preeminent cancer-treatment destination in Arkansas by transforming the way cancer care is delivered. Under his leadership, CARTI has opened three new comprehensive cancer centers in less than two years and increased its total treatment locations in Arkansas to 16 with ongoing expansion plans underway. Head is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).
Director of Media Relations
University of Central Arkansas, Conway
As director of media relations at UCA, Hoelzeman works with local, state and national media to tell the UCA story. She crafts the public messaging strategy around new initiatives, programs, events and people at UCA. In addition, she helps lead crisis communications efforts, both public facing and internal, and is the “custodian of the record” for all Freedom of Information Act requests. Prior to joining UCA, Hoelzeman served as communications director for Little Rock nonprofit Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, as editor of Little Rock Soirée magazine and managing editor for several other statewide and regional publications. A native of El Dorado, Hoelzeman holds a bachelor’s degree from UCA in writing.
Chief Development Officer
Baptist Health Foundation,
Moore joined the Baptist Health Foundation in December to oversee its operations. She leads the team and collaborates with the Foundation board of trustees to accomplish its mission to provide financial support and advance the healing ministry of Baptist Health through purposeful and philanthropic partnerships. Previously, Moore worked for the Clinton Foundation for 15 years. As deputy executive director, she provided leadership to the staff and was directly responsible for fundraising for the Clinton Presidential Center. Moore received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
Director of Marketing
Pain Treatment Centers of America
Gray has worked with major organizations from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles to develop strategic health care marketing initiatives that helped drive revenue and sustainable growth. As marketing director for Pain Treatment Centers of America, she serves as the principal consultant to referring providers as well as develops physician marketing practices that include referral development, corporate branding, social media and web marketing, physician-to-physician communications and public relations. She built a successful marketing career in the health care industry by understanding the importance of business-to-business relationships, community networking and building strategic marketing plans that create volume and revenue growth.
Director of Scheduling/
Arkansas Attorney General
Leslie Rutledge, Little Rock
Land joined the Rutledge staff after serving as director of operations and faith and homeschool liaison for Gov. Asa Hutchinson. In her role at the AG’s office, the Heber Springs native has worked to create efficient processes, conserve state resources and increase interdepartmental communication. She also serves as a leader in numerous local, state, and national organizations for the Young Republicans and recently was elected as an alternate delegate for the 2020 Republican National Convention. Land was named a 2020-2021 Taste of the Finest Honoree by the Arkansas Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Dr. Mark Tait
UAMS Health, Little Rock
Tait specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery with an emphasis on microsurgery, brachial plexus injuries and nerve injuries. He treats both adults and children at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and at Arkansas Children’s. He graduated with honors from Brigham Young University and completed a residency in orthopedic surgery through UAMS and Children’s. Tait completed a fellowship in hand and microsurgery at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte with Dr. Glenn Gaston, a hand consultant for the Carolina Panthers and NASCAR, and received further training in brachial plexus and nerve injuries on a traveling fellowship with Dr. Christophe Oberlin in Paris, France.
Gilmore Strategy Group, Little Rock
Gilmore founded his firm in 2016, specializing in lobbying and political consulting, after serving as the first deputy chief of staff to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He managed the day-to-day operations within the governor’s office as well as the organization of state agencies under the new administration. Gilmore continues to serve Hutchinson as his pollster and chief strategist on political affairs. Previously, Gilmore managed Hutchinson’s successful 2014 gubernatorial campaign and has worked as a strategist and pollster for candidates and entities across the nation. He also has worked for the Republican National Committee, the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign and the White House.
Arkansas Surgery & Endoscopy Center, Little Rock
From the age of 9, Samad worked summers at the Pine Bluff gastroenterology practice of his father, Dr. Syed Samad. During his time there, he realized his true calling was in health care management and in managing clinics and surgery centers. Samad now serves as CEO for Arkansas Surgery & Endoscopy Center. He completed his MBA and holds many top credentials in his field. His hope is to help others and lead by inspirational qualities of honor, integrity and hard work.
Brantley Farming Company,
Marsh manages the Brantley family farm, a 10,000-acre, row-crop family farm consisting of rice, cotton, corn and soybeans. A native of McCrory and a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Marsh grew up working on his family’s farm and gaining a passion for agriculture and a commitment to continuing his family’s agricultural legacy. These days, Marsh also devotes his time to public service as a member of the Arkansas State Plant Board. Now a Little Rock resident, Marsh and his wife Brittany own Cornerstone Pharmacy.
Chief Operating Officer
Metro Disaster Specialists,
North Little Rock
Smith worked for his third-generation family business throughout high school and college to obtain knowledge of the business and completed the company’s management training program. A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate, he served as Metro’s restoration production manager and marketing specialist for nine years and in 2018, was named the company’s COO. Smith continues to oversee the operations of the restoration division. In 2015, he received the Certified Restorer® certification through the Restoration Industry Association, the highest certification in the restoration industry. and is a Leadership Arkansas graduate.
Vice President of Marketing
First Security Bank, Searcy
As vice president of marketing, Thurmon serves as publisher of OnlyinArk.com, the content marketing site for First Security Bank that celebrates all the wonderful things about the Natural State. The 21-year banking veteran also manages the bank’s social media department. A 1997 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Thurmon received her MBA from Harding University. She is a board member of Main Street Searcy, Make.Do. and the Miracle League of Searcy and serves on the Searcy Get Down Downtown and Searcy Holiday of Lights committees.
Craft SEO, Little Rock
Throne has grown to be a widely experienced, known and accomplished go-getter. He got his start in football as an Arkansas Razorback. After college, he continued to learn and push his limits through a successful stint as a player manager in the NFL. He then made the jump to marketing, serving as vice president of an Arkansas agency before deciding to make his next leap — founding Craft SEO, a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Throne also is a contributor to Pig Trail Nation and works as a real estate agent as well.
Chief Marketing Officer
Rock Dental Brands, Little Rock
Sligh leads the marketing efforts for Rock Dental Brands, which supports more than 75 multi-specialty dental clinics in Arkansas and Missouri. He joined Rock Dental Brands as CMO in 2017 and has led the communications, marketing, advertising and call center functions throughout the company’s rapid transformation. Prior to joining Rock Dental Brands, he spent seven years leading marketing efforts for Arkansas Business Publishing Group and Flex 360 as well as for Gatehouse Media in central Missouri. Sligh earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Ouachita Baptist University and a master’s degree in digital marketing from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.
KARK-TV, Little Rock
Williams, a former Razorback football star who played several years in the NFL, has always been the type of person who loves to see what all he could accomplish, whether it be in football, real estate, painting, photography, playing piano or even juggling. In addition to his work on KARK and with Pig Trail Nation, he has also hosted Nexstar Media Group’s New Year’s Eve celebration (Lone Star NYE!) in Dallas in 2018 and 2019. The event is aired live on television and via live stream on 21 websites across Texas and beyond. Williams also has been an advocate for victims of domestic violence and has shared the personal story of his own family leaving his abusive, drug-addicted father when Williams was a child.
Gomez holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from La Sabana University in Bogotá, Colombia. Prior to becoming the director of the Hispanic Center in 2004, she volunteered for the Hispanic Ministry at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Gomez is a graduate of Leadership Jonesboro (class of 2014), is active with the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, serving as a board member, Goodwill Ambassador and on the Community Benefits Organization committee. She is a board member for the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame, Craighead County Community Foundation, St. Bernards Hospice Advisory Council, Jonesboro Transportation System, and the Northeast Arkansas Hispanic Professional Network.