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Leigh Ann Biernat Joins Stephens as SVP (Movers & Shakers)

4 min read

Financial Services

Leigh Ann Biernat has joined Stephens Inc. of Little Rock as senior vice president in the Public Finance Division. Biernat brings 20 years of experience as a CPA working primarily for state and local government entities. Most recently, she was SVP of finance and administration for the Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission, and prior to that, she spent 14 years as VP of finance and administration for the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.

Katherine B. Pipkin has joined Iberia Wealth Advisors in Little Rock as vice president and wealth adviser. A certified trust and financial adviser and licensed attorney, Pipkin most recently served as an assistant vice president and trust officer at Bank of the Ozarks and previously worked as a tax accountant and attorney for Frost PLLC.


Eric Valderrama, Kristie Shirkavand, Celia Antoun, Vance Baronowski and Nick Guerrieri have joined ClearPointe of Little Rock.

Valderrama, a support engineer III, was most recently a senior systems administrator for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Shirkavand, an account manager in Little Rock, has nine years of sales experience, most recently with TEKSystems in Little Rock. Antoun, the new human resources and executive assistant, was formerly an operations and sales team manager at Belk’s Department Store. Baronowski is a help desk analyst I and comes to ClearPointe with three years of IT support experience at Torreyson Library at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. Guerrieri, a support engineer I, previously worked at Acxiom Corp.

Health Care

Caren Barnett has been promoted to director of rehabilitation services at White River Health System in Batesville. Melanie Creighton has been named director of women’s health services, and Jeff Reifsteck has been named director of information technology. Barnett earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Arcadia University and has more than 30 years of experience. Creighton, a graduate of the Arkansas State University nursing school, has worked at White River Medical Center since 1993. Reifsteck, who has 22 years of experience in health care IT, came to Batesville from northern Illinois.

Cheryl McFalls of Benton has joined Arkansas Urology as the business office supervisor. In this role, McFalls will oversee the daily operations of the clinic’s business office, including billing/collections, accounts management and customer service. McFalls brings more than 20 years of managerial experience, including experience in customer service, human resources and office administration.

Dr. Daniel Knight, chair of and associate professor in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Knight received his medical degree in 1985 from UAMS, where he also served his residency. He was named department chair in 2009.


Brad Rawlins, dean of the College of Media & Communica-tion at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, was recently installed as the president of the Association of Schools of Journalism & Mass Communication. A member of ASJMC since 2009, he will serve a one-year term as president.

John Kirk, Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been named director of the school’s Institute on Race & Ethnicity. A native of Great Britain, Kirk has been a member of the Chancellor’s Committee on Race & Ethnicity since he arrived at the university more than five years ago and has been involved with the institute since its inception about four years ago.

Davis McCombs, director of the Program in Creative Writing & Translation in the University of Arkansas’ Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, has been awarded the 2015 Porter Fund Literary Prize. The prize, given annually to an Arkansas writer, will be presented Oct. 1 at an award ceremony at the Darragh Center at the Central Arkansas Library System in downtown Little Rock.

Energy & Utilities

Mark Bowling has been named director of compliance and security by Southwest Power Pool of Little Rock, a regional power grid operator. Bowling served as a federal special agent for the past 20 years, in both the FBI and in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General. He is a Navy veteran and spent a year with General Motors.

Real Estate

Rawlon Ruddick has joined the Bentonville office of Weichert Realtors-The Griffin Co. as a real estate agent. Originally from Bentonville, Ruddick is a graduate of the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and previously worked in real estate evaluation.

Tammy Landry and Debbi Brawley of Brawley & Associates Real Estate in Greers Ferry have been awarded the Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist Certification by the National Association of Realtors.

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