• Jessica Rivera has been named the vice president of hospital operations for Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock.

• Imaobong Dixon has been named senior manager of policy and engagement at Forward Arkansas.

• The Quapaw Quarter Association added three new board members: Myranda Grulke, Amber Haugen and Mark Stodola.

• Alzheimer’s Arkansas also added three new board members: Richard Jones, Victoria Leigh and Michael Squires.

High Praise

On Feb. 21, the 36th annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards will celebrate businesses, organizations and executives from across the state, including these finalists for Nonprofit Organization of the Year:

• ARcare

• Arkansas Foodbank

• Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

• Farm 2 Table Project

• Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas

Gifts & Grants

• Arkansas Children’s was recently granted $50 million to create the National Center for Opioid Research & Clinical Effectiveness. The 45,000-square-foot facility will be the first of its kind in the country and will provide findings to experts across the U.S. The funds were awarded by Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin as part of the state’s share of a $50 billion settlement with pharmaceutical companies.

• Fueled by a combination of institutional and private funds, UA Little Rock recently announced the Trojan Guarantee, a new scholarship program “designed to break down financial barriers and empower freshmen to earn a bachelor’s degree with no tuition cost.

Bright Futures

And this year comes to a close, we have lots to be thankful for over the past 12 months, and even more to look forward to.

• The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance planted some fresh roots with its new Broadway Community Garden, transforming two empty lots that will soon help feed hungry neighbors.

• Seis Puentes Hispanic Outreach recently broke ground on its new headquarters at 3207 MacArthur Drive in North Little Rock, a space that is 80% larger than its previous location.

• The Little Rock Zoo and EAST Initiative have teamed up for Project Zoo, offering local students the opportunity to use STEM and problem-solving skills to address real concerns while connecting with nature.

• With the Central Arkansas Library System’s main branch closed for renovations, the popular Friends of CALS Used Book Sale is also getting revamped. Tentatively slated for spring, the sale will take place at the Port Industrial Hub (where the administrative team is currently located) and will feature a fresh selection of books, food trucks and potentially even more sale dates.

Ending on a Good Note

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6, a nationwide economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts, recently found that Arkansas’ nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $306.4 million in economic activity in 2022 alone.

Keep it up, Little Rock.