From the Publisher: Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame Inductees Inspire All

From the Publisher: Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame Inductees Inspire All
Mitch Bettis

When Arkansas Business and the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce partnered to launch the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame, we knew it was long overdue.

In 2014, the team at Arkansas Business Publishing Group began talking about a way to showcase women making unique contributions throughout the state.

Thirty years ago, Arkansas Business published for five consecutive years a magazine highlighting the top 100 women in the state in an attempt to persuade more corporate boards of directors to bring greater gender diversity to the ranks of their leadership. We started talking about the anniversary of those publications and the best way to celebrate the achievements of Arkansas’ women.

Little did we know that the North Little Rock Chamber and previous president and CEO Terry Hartwick was having similar thoughts. Terry had impaneled a chamber committee to evaluate whether the organization should launch the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 2014, both of these efforts came together.

When Terry asked if ABPG would be a partner to help create a sustaining effort to honor women who have made unique contributions to our state, it was an easy “yes” for us. Since then, the two organizations have worked side by side to create the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

There is a board of talented women and men who are helping lead this effort, and Nan Snow has provided vision and leadership as the board’s first president.

The board assembled another group of distinguished Arkansans to serve on a selection committee to vet more than 100 applications for this new class of inductees.

Everyone involved with our board and selection committee represents different parts of our state and different walks of life, but the one thing they have in common is a desire to bring attention to women who have been an important part of our state’s tapestry for more than 170 years.

You have likely heard of several of this year’s inductees. Many of them have or had a life in the public eye.

However, I suspect there are a number of accomplished women we are honoring with which you are less familiar. Therein lies one of the most important elements of the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame — shining a light on women have have made extraordinary accomplishments, even if they may not be household names.

The goal of the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame is to honor, in perpetuity, women whose contributions have influenced their communities or state.

Whether living or deceased, we recognize those who have been born in or achieved prominence within Arkansas. We aim to shine a light on those who have:

• made significant and enduring contributions to their field of endeavor, professional or otherwise.

• impacted the social, cultural, economic or political well being of the community, state or nation.

• elevated the status of women and positively impacted women and girls.

• helped open new frontiers for women and for society in general.

• inspired others by their example.

This year’s honorees meet these standards. What’s also without question is that there are many more women — contemporary and historical — who deserve consideration for future induction. That’s where you come in — we need you to nominate women you think should be considered for induction. Only those women who are nominated can be considered by the selection committee, and nominations can be made at

It’s not often a person gets the opportunity to be a part of creating something that can have such a lasting legacy. I’m grateful for this moment, and I’m thankful so many businesses and individuals have partnered with us for this endeavor.

The event on Aug. 25 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock will be a special night because we get to induct an accomplished group of honorees who have altered the trajectory of our state. We hope you join us for this celebration.

Mitch Bettis

President & Publisher
Arkansas Business Publishing Group

Discover more about the Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame Class of 2016.