Arkansas Foodbank Announces New CEO (Movers & Shakers)


(Arkansas Foodbank)

Brian Burton has been named CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, effective Oct. 10. The Arkansas native spent 11 years as president and CEO of the Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas. He succeeds Rhonda Sanders, who is retiring.


Earl Jasper
Earl Jasper (Disability Rights Arkansas)

Earl Jasper has joined the board of directors of Disability Rights Arkansas of Little Rock, a nonprofit authorized by federal and state law to protect and advocate for the civil and legal rights of people with disabilities.


Beth Weldon
Beth Weldon (Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund)

Beth Weldon has been named development manager of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Little Rock. Weldon was most recently vice president of marketing at First Financial Bank of El Dorado. Before that she was the executive director of the United Way of Union County.


Nelio Zamorano
Nelio Zamorano (Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)

Nelio Zamorano has been named conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Community Orchestra. A violinist, Zamorano teaches strings at the Anthony School in Little Rock, teaches violin at Young Musicians of America in Little Rock and the Palmer Music School in Conway, and is adjunct instructor of violin at Central Baptist College in Conway. He succeeds long-time conductor Victor Ellsworth, who retired.


Brett Arrington has been named executive director of institutional research at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Arrington was previously an institutional research associate at Arkansas Tech University, and he was president of the Arkansas Institutional Research Organization in 2020.


Aryabrata Basu
Aryabrata Basu (UALR)

Aryabrata Basu, an expert in virtual reality and digital visualization, has joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as an assistant professor of computer science and research fellow for the Emerging Analytics Center, the university’s research center for virtual/augmented reality, visualization and interactive technologies. Basu comes from Emory University, where he was a visual information specialist and research scientist at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship. 


Kara Brown
Kara Brown (UALR)

Kara Brown has been named the new assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she will lead the Student Experience Center and the Multicultural Center. Brown joins UA Little Rock from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she was dean of student life and associate dean of students for activities.


The University of Arkansas at Little Rock athletic department has hired three people and promoted three others. Cynthia Dedner has been hired as assistant athletics director of business operations; she previously worked as a budget specialist in the chancellor’s office. Wendy Ellis Jones has been hired as director of development; she previously worked as vice president of operations for Honey Shine Inc. of Miami. Michael Johnson has been hired as director of ticketing; he previously worked in minor league baseball and for the Arkansas Travelers. Phillip Blake has been promoted to coordinator of student-athlete development and retention; he was previously a graduate assistant in the compliance and academic services department. Justin Early has been promoted to director of facilities and game operations; he was previously assistant director. And Patrick Walsh has been promoted to director of communications and brand strategy; he was previously associate director of communications.


Lisa Hunter of White Hall and Jeff Wood of Little Rock have been appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Board of Education. Hunter, executive vice president and chief data officer at Simmons Bank of Pine Bluff, replaces Beth Anne Rankin, whose term expired. Wood, an attorney, replaces Charisse Dean, whose term expired.


Robin Maynard
Robin Maynard (Harding University)

Robin Maynard has been appointed to the board of trustees at Harding University of Searcy. Maynard is counsel at law firm Lathrop GPM of Minneapolis. Maynard graduated from Harding with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law.


Maribel Nelson
Maribel Nelson (University of Arkansas-Monticello)

Dr. Maribel Nelson has been hired as an assistant professor in the animal science program in the College of Forestry, Agriculture & Natural Resources at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. Nelson previously worked for Ceva Biomune in Lenexa, Kansas, as an animal service supervisor. 


Chris Smith
Chris Smith (Arkansas Colleges of Health Education)

Christopher D. Smith has been hired as director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education of Fort Smith. Smith will be the chief diversity officer to develop strategies to enhance the recruitment, retention and academic success of ACHE students. Smith was previously dean of student services at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana.


(From left) Amy Fusting and Laura E. Bates
(From left) Amy Fusting and Laura E. Bates (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law)

Professors Laura E. Bates and Amy Fusting have joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Bates has taught literature and writing courses in the U.S. and internationally; she completed her undergraduate work at Ouachita Baptist University and her graduate work at the University of Arkansas. Fusting most recently served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Maryland. The Arkansas native earned her law degree at George Washington University.


Rose Law Firm of Little Rock has earned recognition in the 2022 Chambers High Net Worth guide as a Band 1 law firm in private wealth law. The guide also recognized Wilson Jones, of counsel, as a senior statesperson, and member Dan Young as a Band 1-ranked attorney.


Jennie Stewart has been elected regional managing partner of law firm Kutak Rock’s offices in Little Rock, Fayetteville and Rogers. Stewart earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. Stewart succeeds Terry Pool, who is returning full time to his law practice.


(From left) Jillian Wilson and Robert M. Wilson III
(From left) Jillian Wilson and Robert M. Wilson III (The Wilson Law Group)

Jillian Wilson has been named co-managing partner of Wilson & Associates PLLC, and Robert M. Wilson III has been named co-managing partner of Attorney’s Title Group, both affiliates of The Wilson Law Group of Little Rock. Jillian Wilson is a partner at Wilson & Associates and serves as the supervising attorney of the firm’s Arkansas and Mississippi foreclosure legal departments. Robert Wilson is a partner at Wilson & Associates and acts as the supervising attorney of Attorney’s Title Group.


Amber Austen
Amber Austen (The Communications Group)

Amber Austen, a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, has been selected to participate in CGXperience, a paid internship program at The Communications Group of Little Rock.


See more of this week's Movers & Shakers, and submit your own announcement at ArkansasBusiness.com/Movers.