Top 100 Women of Impact: Abby Hughes Holsclaw

Abby Hughes Holsclaw

Founder & President, Proper Southern Strategies

About me: As the founder and president of Proper Southern Strategies, a Little Rock-based, independent consulting firm, I provide an array of services to philanthropic, nonprofit and corporate leaders striving for positive change. Growing up on a farm in Arkansas, I experienced the transformative power of hard work and the importance of equal opportunities for all Arkansans. This upbringing fueled my unwavering passion for supporting the economic mobility of lower-income families, driving my deep commitment to strategic philanthropy and partnership building. With a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Baylor University, I approach every endeavor with a determined spirit, constantly seeking to make a bold and meaningful impact in the lives of others.

Lives/Works in: Little Rock

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Delegating and empowering others to grow and find balance is essential. Investing in people, especially women who may not fully recognize their worth, leads to longer-term, more sustainable impact. Building strong support networks, transferring skills and cultivating trust among women benefits us personally and professionally and contributes to stronger communities.

Call to Action: Many of the individuals whose work we depend on every day — your child’s favorite preschool teacher, your grocery clerk, your parent’s health aide — aren’t earning enough to make ends meet. Today, 47% of all Arkansas households are ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed), often working two or three jobs, but unable to afford basic household expenses. When we work to reduce barriers to upward mobility, the entire state will succeed and grow.

What Keeps Me Motivated: The strongly held belief that hard working members of our community deserve a voice, and each of us plays a crucial role in shaping the future. Striving to improve our home communities is a worthy endeavor that brings meaning, fulfillment and joy to our lives in unexpected ways.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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