Co-Founder, Per Diems Against Poverty
Brittany Hodak co-founded Per Diems Against Poverty with Jennifer Barker after an “a-ha moment” occurred while Brittany was filming an episode of a hit television show for her first startup. She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to join the fight against hunger in America. Brittany has been named to Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 list, Inc.’s 35 Under 35 list, and Billboard’s 30 Under 30 list. She was a finalist in Entrepreneur’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year competition in 2014, and has been dubbed a “maverick” by Forbes and an “overnight success” by Inc. magazine.
Wine Glass Musician
Dan Ndombe is known on YouTube and social media as Dan Newbie, aka the "Wine Glass Musician." He is a University of Central Arkansas alum, Little Rock based filmmaker and YouTube personality, software developer, entrepreneur, photographer and musician. He is known for his videos on YouTube in which he covers musical hits and theme songs using everyday objects, including wine glasses, beer bottles, kitchen items, pvc pipes, rubber bands, etc, as a way to demonstrate how art and creativity ultimately have no limits.
President, American Scent Dog Association
Donna Waugh is President of the American Scent Dog Association. The K9 handler and scent dog trainer 2006 began using canines in research for human cancer scent detection. John D is a shelter rescued, mostly Border Collie, mutt. He has specialized skills in water recoveries and is the 2013 American Humane Association's Search and Rescue Hero Dog of the Year.
Founder, Artist's Laboratory Theatre
Erika Wilhite is founder and artistic director of the Artist’s Laboratory Theatre (ALT), an experimental, site-specific theatre that includes its community members in their process and productions in unique and meaningful ways. She is a writer, director, and performer for the ALT ensemble, and strives to create theatre of “extraordinary quality that encourages community input.”
She holds a MFA in Theatre from University of Central Florida, and has received additional training in physical and devised theatre from SITI Company with Anne Bogart, and Double Edge Theatre (America’s oldest “laboratory theatre”). Erika also leads “Play a Part,” a long-term performance residency through which she devises an original performance with a community group. She is currently in residence with ALT at the Northwest Arkansas Community Correctional Center in Fayetteville.
Chairman, Quapaw Tribe
John L. Berrey, of Sperry, Okla., has served as Chairman of the Quapaw Tribe’s Business Committee, the primary governing body, since 2002, a period of tremendous growth and success for the 4,000-member tribe. He is part Quapaw, part Osage, and is a fourth-generation rancher on his family’s original Osage allotment north of Tulsa.
Musician + American Idol
Kris Allen is a musician/singer/songwriter from Conway, AR. The American Idol shares with us his first love, soul music, and entertains us with some favorites.
Humanitarian & Global Leadership Scholar
Dr. Malcolm Elliott Glover is a humanitarian who has traveled the world helping people solve problems. As a crisis manager, communication analyst, educator, and award-winning journalist, he has worked with governments, organizations, and communities in over eight countries on four continents. For more than a decade, Dr. Glover has facilitated efforts to negotiate agreements among culturally diverse groups. Currently, he is director of the Delta Veterans Program at ARVets, an innovative Arkansas-based nonprofit organization that addresses the socioeconomic needs of military personnel, veterans, and their families. Dr. Glover is also a writer for the National Archives and Kettering Foundation’s Advise the President book series that explores the strategic decisions of U.S. presidents on domestic and foreign policy matters.
Matt Gardner is a graduate student at the University of Central Arkansas and a classical guitar wizard.
Executive Director, Syrian Emergency Task Force
Mouaz was born and raised in Damascus, Syria before moving to the United States as a teenager. He is currently the Executive Director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS).
Moustafa spent four and a half years working in Congress before leaving to work briefly with Egypt’s US-based opposition and later with the Libyan Revolution. He has also worked to implement projects for the US State Department and the UK’s Foreign Office, including civil defense and police training, and workshops on the rule of law and transitional justice.
Founder & Executive Director, The City of Hope Outreach
Phillip Demond Fletcher is the founder and director of CoHO, and the founder of Think-Love-Act, non-profit organizations in Conway, AR. Phillip frequently speaks and writes on issues concerning the local church, leadership, and social justice. He holds an M.A. in Theology from Liberty University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Regent University.
Music and Culture Critic
Rashod Ollison is an award-winning music and culture critic and native of Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been a staff critic at The Dallas Morning News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y., The Baltimore Sun and The Virginian-Pilot.
Robert Butler is a speaker, educator, life coach, and certified social worker.
He voluntarily dedicates his time to speaking at prisons and engaging the lives of youth through the K-12 system. He earned his MS in College Student Personnel Services by successfully defending his Graduate Thesis on College Preparation for African American Males.
Executive Director, The Locals
Sandra Leyva is the Executive Director of The Locals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making Conway a more unique, vibrant, and creative place to live.
She is involved in supporting small local producers, and promoting numerous community projects and events. Her work focuses mostly on the local food movement and she is currently managing a USDA grant to develop a stronger local food system in Conway.
Wes Craiglow is the Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the City of Conway. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Arkansas in Geography and Community & Economic Development, respectively. He is a 2009 graduate of the Community Development Institute, an inductee of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is a current student within the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium.