Movers & Shakers (July 18, 2011)

Agriculture
Mark Denman was elected chairman of the USA Rice Millers' Association. Denman, a native of Stuttgart, works for RiceTec Inc. at Alvin, Texas. He has been in the rice business for 32 years.

Accounting
R. Kevin Norton and Thomas G. May, both CPAs, are now partners at the accounting firm Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates LLP at Little Rock. May was previously a senior manager in the firm's tax department. Norton was previously a senior manager in both the firm's tax and audit departments.

Education
Benjamin Carter is now senior director of corporate and foundation relations for the Office of University Relations at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. For the past seven years Carter was the director of development for University Libraries at the University of Arkansas.

Financial Services
Charles W. Van Ness is now a credit analyst for Heartland Community Bank at Little Rock. Previously, Van Ness was an assistant vice president and credit analyst for Regions Bank.

Reba Roberts has been hired as the new vice president of credit administration for First Federal Bank at Harrison. Roberts was most recently a vice president and branch manager for Regions Bank in Harrison.

Grant Gordy was hired by Gulf Coast Business Credit of New Orleans as its new vice president of new business development in Arkansas. Gordy previously was a business development officer for an independent financial firm in Arkansas.

Health Care
Dr. Robert Parris was recently hired as an invasive cardiologist by Sparks Health System at Fort Smith. Dr. Sheharyar Ali and Dr. Ayhan Zia were also hired as interventional cardiologists. Parris completed his fellowship training in cardiovascular diseases at Harlem Hospital at New York, an affiliate of Columbia University. Ali and Zia both completed their fellowship training at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.

Robbie Johnson was named the new director of development for the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation at Jonesboro. The foundation raises funds for the NEA Baptist Healthcare System. Johnson has a background in pharmaceutical sales.

Kelly Hubbard, an advanced practice nurse, is now working at the Occupational Medicine Clinic on the campus of Summit Medical Center at Van Buren. Hubbard has a master's degree in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Hospitality
Alain Piraux and Bruce Skidmore were both named to The Peabody Little Rock's Executive Committee. Piraux will serve as the new director of food and beverage; Skidmore will be the new director of sales and marketing. Piraux was previously the executive assistant director of food and beverage for the Hilton Tysons Corner at McLean, Va. Skidmore was previously the director of sales and marketing for the Queen Mary steamship and hotel in Long Beach, Calif.

Media/Marketing
Manny Sepulveda is now the director of Hispanic markets for The Design Group at Little Rock. Sepulveda created the Amigo Cup, a state championship soccer tournament for Hispanic soccer leagues.

Jeananne Hawking, director of sales for the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel at North Little Rock, will serve as a director for 2011-12 on the board of Sales & Marketing Executives International. Hawking is currently the chairman of the board for SMEI-Arkansas.

Nonprofit
Harper Grubbs was hired as communication manager for Heifer Foundation of Little Rock, which oversees an endowment to support Heifer International. Grubbs previously worked for Verizon Wireless and is also president of the Arkansas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.