Excel By Eight announced on July 28 that Adena J. White has been hired as its new communications director. Excel By Eight is a collaborative effort of more than 30 partner organizations, formed with the goal of making sure that every child in Arkansas is able to read at grade level by the third grade by providing a reliable resource grid for families and communities. As communications director, White will provide communications support to help achieve policy goals related to supporting families, early childhood education and healthy beginnings, according to the announcement.
“Strong, strategic communications is vital to our efforts to drive awareness to issues facing Arkansas’s children and families,” said Angela Duran, executive director of Excel by Eight. “With Adena on our team, we can streamline our messaging and focus on sharing the stories of children, families, educators, physicians and advocates who are working to build a dependable resource grid in our state.”
White comes to Excel By Eight with 15 years of experience in the communications and nonprofit sectors. In addition to working for over a decade as the director of communications for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, she is also an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and in 2017 she founded Blackbelt Media, the parent company of Blackbelt Voices, a podcast that tells stories of Black history and celebrates Black Southern culture. The podcast has been featured by Apple Podcasts, Oprah Daily, and Vanity Fair. She formerly served as the first Black president of the Arkansas chapter of the PRSA, and she currently serves as co-chair of the National Communications Committee.