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Shana Chaplin Joins Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

2 min read

Community engagement specialist Shana Chaplin has joined the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain as the institute’s chief program officer.

The nonprofit institute, whose mission is to promote collaborative, positive change in the manner of former Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, announced Chaplin’s hiring on Thursday.

Previously the director of Engage Arkansas, Chaplin will develop and lead programs and educational services for the institute, as well as cultivate and steward relationships with partners and donors, the institute said in a news release. Chaplin will also work directly with the institute’s executive director and CEO, Janet Harris.

“Shana is an accomplished and well-respected leader in community engagement in Arkansas, and we are fortunate to have her contribution as part of the Institute’s executive leadership team,” Harris said in a statement.

“Our mission is to continue doing what Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller did during his time on the mountain – helping Arkansans work together and collaborate on some of our most pressing issues in the state – and Shana’s expertise in civic engagement and her commitment to the Rockefeller ethic make her a perfect fit for our organization,” Harris added.

At Engage Arkansas, an organization that promotes civic engagement to fight social inequities, Chaplin launched Arkansas’ first statewide volunteer portal, helped grow incoming grants from about $600,000 to $1.7 million, and secured private grands to help launch the Collegiate Service Leaders network, the release said. 

A 35-year veteran in public sector community engagement, Chaplin also worked to grow the Mayor’s Youth Councils and launched a program to certify “Engaged Cities.” She has experience in program management, organizational engagement, volunteer management and public advocacy. 

“It’s an honor to join the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, especially as we launch Civic Arkansas, a new program dedicated to civic engagement and health,” Chaplin said in the release. “Gov. Rockefeller believed in the power of local people and emphasized the importance of investing in civic infrastructure and fostering a culture of connection and collaboration for a thriving Arkansas. Civic Arkansas allows us to apply a civic lens to all programming, aligning with Rockefeller’s belief that ‘every citizen has the duty to be informed, to be thoughtfully concerned, and to participate in the search for solutions.’” 

Chaplin recently was named one of Arkansas’ 250 most influential readers by Arkansas Business Publishing Group, and she serves on the Pulaski County Homeless Village Advisory Board.



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