To understand TyRhonda Henderson’s life, you need to understand the point where Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas meet.
Raised at Ashdown, about 25 miles east of the tri-state border, she earned a degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway then spent six years working for Roberts McNutt Inc. of North Little Rock while living in Sherwood and Jacksonville. (Her boss there, Michael Faught, remains the CEO she admires most.)
A cousin from back home introduced her to Jeffery Henderson, who lived at Tom, the southeasternmost community in Oklahoma, about 30 miles from Ashdown. When they decided to marry, “I wasn’t moving to Oklahoma and he wasn’t moving to Jacksonville. So we settled on my hometown.”
TyRhonda Henderson joined the city of Texarkana as a staff accountant and purchasing agent in 2011 and was promoted to controller the next year. After twice turning down the job, she was promoted to finance director in 2015. She also served as interim city manager in 2021. And through it all, she has continued to live in Ashdown and drive 20 minutes south every workday.
“I actually wanted to be a controller for a mid-size business. I am a behind-the-scenes person, and finance director is not something I wanted to do at first because the spotlight is on the finance director.”
The finance department she heads has only eight employees, so she has no choice but to be “a very hands-on finance director. I still do a lot of technical accounting.” And the position “did force me to get outside my comfort zone, and overcome a lot of things I was scared of, like public speaking, being out front, being the face of things.”
TyRhonda and Jeffery Henderson also founded a nonprofit called Worth to teach life skills and self-esteem to young people in their community.