Georgia Mjartan, a 2002 UALR graduate and executive director of Our House, won the Nonprofit Executive of the Year distinction during the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Our House is a shelter for the working homeless in Little Rock, offering educational programs, daycare, and job training. At 25, Mjartan stepped into her current leadership role at a time when Our House was crumbling under previous years of mismanagement.
“I knew I was taking a risk and wasn’t sure if it was the best ‘career move,'” Mjartan said. “But I was drawn by the mission of Our House and by the opportunity to change thousands of people’s lives.”
Five years later, Our House has made a complete turnaround as a financially stable program, exceeding all fundraising goals despite the economic downturn over the last few years.
As a UALR student, Mjartan was a Donaghey Scholar and was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship but opted instead to become Arkansas’s first George Mitchell Scholar. She earned bachelors degrees in English and political science from UALR and attended the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland to earn a master’s degree in public affairs and political communication.
Video from her acceptance speech is below. Read Mjartan’s business of the year profile on Arkansas Business.