Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Little Rock Soirée Announce the Top 100 Women of Impact in Arkansas

Following months of nominations and vetting more than 600 submissions, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Little Rock Soirée magazine and Arkansas Business Publishing Group are excited to announce the Top 100 Women of Impact in Arkansas honorees.

“The 100 women that appear on this list are impacting Arkansas today, and they are making it a better state for future generations,” WFA CEO Anna Beth Gorman says. “By sharing these stories in the Top 100 publication, we know that leaders across Arkansas will have the opportunity to learn the names of our state’s trailblazing women, and how they’re affecting change. Our goal is to inspire more women, businesses and leaders to support and replicate change-making work.”

The list is a revival of a publication helmed by former ABPG owner Olivia Farrell that helped launch the WFA 25 years ago. Honorees will be featured in a special publication in September and celebrated at WFA’s 2023 Power of the Purse event. 

“The new list recognizes 100 outstanding and ambitious women who reflect the spirit of ingenuity and ambition at every stage of their career journey,” says Mitch Bettis, owner and president of ABPG, the parent company of Soirée. “There are some names you’ll know who are now prominent CEOs at prominent companies — an idea 25 years ago that was a complete oddity. However, the list will also include women of impact from the four corners of the state you may not know, and that’s the point.” 

Read on: Recognizing 100 Women of Impact (Mitch Bettis Publisher’s Note)


Without further ado, here are the Top 100 Women of Impact in Arkansas:


Heather Albright

President, Bank of America Arkansas


Robyn P. Allmendinger

Member, Rose Law Firm


Elizabeth Burns Anderson

Senior Vice President, Farmers Bank & Trust

Executive Director, Farmers Bank Foundation


Katherine Andrews

Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, Department of Parks, Heritage & Tourism


Daymara Baker

CEO, Rockin’ Baker


Katherine Berry

Associate Professor & Founding Program Director, Southern Arkansas University


Graycen Colbert Bigger

Executive Director, Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority


Tracy Black

Partner, NewRoad Capital Partners


Jean Block

Chief Legal Officer, Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority


Mellie Boagni Bridewell

President & CEO, Arkansas Rural Health Partnership

Regional Director, UAMS Office of Strategy


Michele Brown

Retired Educator

President, Lamar School Board


Erika Buenrrostro

Director of Student Success & Enrichment, UA Cossatot


Leah Collins

Premarital Financial Coach, Leah Marie Collins LLC


Angie Cooper

Executive Vice President, Heartland Forward


Esperanza Massana Crane

Director of the Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise, Arkansas Economic Development Commission 


Sammie Cribbs

CEO, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center


Shunqetta N. Cunningham

CEO & Lead Strategist, KHARIS Group Consulting

Founder & Board President, OVER A CUP Initiative Inc.


Krista Cupp

Vice President of Corporate & Community Affairs, Runway Group


Breanne Davis

Arkansas State Senator, District 25


Cathy Dickinson

Chief Human Resources Officer, Baptist Health


Marcy Doderer

President & CEO, Arkansas Children’s


Annette Howard Dove

Founder & Director, TOPPS Inc.


Angela Duran

Executive Director, Excel by Eight


Tamika S. Edwards

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Southwest Power Pool


Kelly Eichler

Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office

UA Board of Trustees


Faith Elliott

Vice President of Operations, Amfuel


Laura Ferner

Partner, Crouch, Harwell, Fryar & Ferner PLLC


Rebekah Fincher

Chief Administration Officer, Conway Regional Health System


Quantia “Key” M. Fletcher

Director, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center


Tonya Fletcher

Executive Director, Paris Area Chamber of Commerce

City Council Member, City of Paris


Eliza Hussman Gaines

Publisher, WEHCO Media Inc.


Sarah Goforth

Executive Director, UA Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Gina Gomez

Executive Director, El Centro Hispano (Jonesboro)


Suzanne Grobmyer

Chief of Staff, Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage & Tourism / Office of the Secretary


Sarah Catherine Gutierrez

CEO, Aptus Financial


Janet Harris

Executive Director & CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute


Shannon Hendrix

Senior Vice President & Chief Administrator, Arkansas Children’s Northwest 


Marie Holder

Highway Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Transportation


Abby Hughes Holsclaw

Founder & CEO, Proper Southern Strategies


Lexanne Horton

Chief Financial Officer, Ritter Communications


Leslie Huitt

CEO & CFO, Bradley County Medical Center


Mandy Hunt

Co-founder, Athlete Advocate Consortium


Beckie Irvin

Nonprofit Consultant, Beckie Irvin Consulting


Jennifer James

Owner, H&J Land Co.


Annemarie Dillard Jazic

Vice President, Dillard’s Inc.


Lisa John-Adams

Quality Director, Nucor Steel Arkansas


Colbie Jones

Director, Keep Arkansas Beautiful


Debbie Jones

Superintendent, Bentonville Schools


Jerrilyn Jones

Associate Director for Science, Office or Preparedness & Emergency Response Systems, Arkansas Department of Health

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine , UAMS


Cherisse Jones-Branch

Dean, Arkansas State University Graduate School 

Fellow, Agricultural History Society


Julie Joyce

Senior Manager of Community Partnerships, UAMS Community Health & Research


Kim Koch

Founding Principal, Insight Engineering


Laura Landreaux

President & CEO, Entergy Arkansas


Marcina Langrine

Programs Manager, Marshallese Educational Initiative


Heather Larkin

President & CEO, Arkansas Community Foundation


Toni Lindsey

Director of Governmental Affairs & Leadership Arkansas Program Director, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associate Industries of Arkansas


Heather Loftis

Co-owner, Mountain Lakes Broadcasting Corporation


Meredith Lowry

Partner, Wright Lindsey Jennings


Brookshield Luarent

Chair & Associate Professor, NYIT

Executive Director, Delta Population Health Initiative


Nirvana Manning

Chairman & Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UAMS


Susannah Marshall

Bank Commissioner, State Bank Department


Julie McCallister

President, ECCI


Judy McReynolds

Chairman, President & CEO, ArcBest


Cherilyn Grant Minnis

AP English Teacher, Academies of West Memphis


Debrah Mitchell

President, Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus


Brooke Montgomery

Assistant Professor, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, UAMS


Danyelle Musselman

Community advocate, wife of Razorback Men’s Basketball Head Coach Eric Musselman


Creshelle Nash

Medical Director of Health Equity & Public Programs, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield


Karama Neal

Employee, U.S. Federal Government


Kim LaScola Needy

Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Arkansas


Shannon Newton

President, Arkansas Trucking Association


Keegan Nichols

Vice President for Student Affairs, Arkansas Tech University


Marnie Oldner

CEO, Stone Bank


Jamie Pafford-Gresham

President, Pafford Medical Services Inc.


Katherine Pickus

Vice President of Sustainability & Global Impact, Tyson Foods Inc.


Rebecca Pittillo

Executive Director, Blue & You Foundation


LaTasha Randle

Assistant Vice President of Retail Marketing, Relyance Bank


Sandra Register

Principal, Jefferson Elementary School, Little Rock Public Schools


Karen Reynolds

Immediate Past President, Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association


Talicia Richardson

Executive Director, 64.6 Downtown


Sondra Rodocker

Director of Supportive Services, Arkansas Family Doulas


Mimi San Pedro

Chief Strategy Officer, The Venture Center


Sarah Sanders

Governor, State of Arkansas


Hallie Shoffner



Shelley Simpson 

President, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.


Rickie Smith

Director of Public Relations, Wright Lindsey Jennings


Margarita Solorzano

Executive Director, Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas


Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Dean, Clinton School of Public Service


Barbara Sugg

President & CEO, Southwest Power Pool


Melissa P. Taverner

President, Lyon College


Denise Thomas 

CEO, World Trade Center Arkansas


Lenore Trammell

Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel, Big River Steel


Erendira Vazquez

Founding Executive Director, Pioneros Unidos (Pioneers United)


Shirley Moorehead Washington

Mayor, City of Pine Bluff


Jeanne Y. Wei

Executive Director of Reynolds Institute on Aging, Professor & Chairperson of Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, UAMS


Mindy West

Executive Vice President of Fuels, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, Murphy USA


Anika T. Whitfield

Former tri-chair, Arkansas Poor People’s Campaign

Co-chair, Grassroots Arkansas


Kara Wilkins

Owner & Co-founder, KWilkins Consulting Group/Tidal Partners


Alison R. Williams

Founder, Tidal Partners

Founder, Wilco Consulting


Keli Wylie

Assistant Chief Engineer of Program Delivery, Arkansas Department of Transportation


Learn more about the Top 100 Women of Impact and the milestone year on the WFA’s website.

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