Advisory Council 2022 – 2023

The School of Business Advisory Council was created to (1) advance the objectives of the School of Business by providing guidance to the Director and the faculty, (2) function as advocates for the University and School in business and government communities, (3) assist the School in the development and solicitation of philanthropic resources, (4) assist the School in the recruitment and placement of students, and (5) provide engaged support and stimulate continuing self-examination.

Council Members

Chairperson: Cathy Tuggle

Affiliation: Tuggle Services, Inc.

Cathy Tuggle is the Owner and Principal Broker of Tuggle Services, Inc. DBA Apartment Hunters and Arkansas Suites. Cathy is a native of Central Arkansas and has over 31 years of experience in the multifamily industry through marketing, training, and property management. Not only is Cathy the Principal Broker, but she also holds the Certified Apartment Manager and National Apartment Leasing Professional designations through the National Apartment Association.

Cathy has been serving on the Executive Committee at the Little Rock Regional Chamber for the past 10 years as Membership Chair, Small Business Chair, and recently served as the Chairman of the Board in 2018. Cathy also serves on the AR Kids Read Board of Directors for the past 6 years. Cathy serves on the Arvest Bank Board of Directors, the Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock, and Fifty for the Future. She is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club 99.

And, Cathy is the past President for Apartments Across America, an exclusive professional locator organization, which includes apartment locators throughout the US. Cathy was named one of the 28 Women to Watch in Little Rock in 2015!

Chad Aduddell

Affiliation: CHI St. Vincent

Chad Aduddell file photo 2022Chad Aduddell is a Healthcare Executive with over 25 years of experience in Catholic Healthcare. Chad currently serves as the Market CEO of CHI St. Vincent and has been at St. Vincent for the past 10 years. He has leadership experience in Mission, Vision, Strategic Planning, Operations, Financial Performance, Innovation, Quality and Performance Improvement, and Employee Engagement.

Chad earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa, where he served as Captain of the Track team.  Chad completed his MBA with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration at Oklahoma City University. Chad participates on multiple community and state boards including Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Fifty for the Future, Healthy Active Arkansas, Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative Board, University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business, Health and Human Services Advisory Board, Mt. St. Mary Academy, LRAFB Honorary Commander, and the Arkansas United Soccer Club Board. Chad and his wife Angie have 4 daughters Sarah, Abby, Haley, and Alexis

Sam Baxter

Affiliation: First Orion Corporation

Sam Baxter is the Chief Legal Officer of First Orion Corporation.

Dan Berardi

Affiliation: Priority1

Dan Berardi file photoDan Berardi oversees the growth, culture, and direction of Priority1 as Chief Executive Officer, establishing Priority1 as one of the fastest-growing 3PLs in the nation.  Dan’s leadership has been invaluable in creating a distinct company culture and meaningful relationships with employees, carrier partners, and Agents during his tenure.  He leads under a simple philosophy: combine incredibly talented, motivated, and diverse people with remarkable technology to disrupt the transportation space.

Before joining Priority1, Dan worked at a Fortune 500 Telecom with positions in Human Resources, executive retail and business sales, retail strategy, sales operations, and call centers.  Dan is an advisory board member for Chaine and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Alicia Berkemeyer

Affiliation: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

berkemeyer headshot 2022

Executive Vice President and Chief Health Management Officer.

Alicia Berkemeyer is responsible for all programs related to provider networks, medical management, provider compensation, quality and value-based programs, primary care and commercial pharmacy for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliates. Alicia joined Arkansas Blue Cross in 1989 and has held several positions in the areas of claims, customer service, sales and marketing and pharmacy. She has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry with a focus on value based care, primary care and pharmacy.

Alicia played an instrumental role in Arkansas being chosen as one of only seven regions in the United States to participate in the federal Comprehensive Primary Care initiative and assisted our state in receiving significant funding from the Centers for Medicare Services Innovation Center in the form of a State Innovation Model grant. Alicia currently serves on the Cystic Fibrosis Board, University of Arkansas Little Rock Business Advisory Council, and the Divine Mercy Clinic Board.

Mitch Bettis

Affiliation: Arkansas Business Publishing Group

Mitch Bettis updated photo 2022

Mitch Bettis is the owner and president of Arkansas Business Publishing Group, the award-winning digital marketing and media company founded in 1995, and he is the owner and president of 360 West, a media and marketing company in Fort Worth. He has more than 30 years of experience in management and publishing.

He manages the daily operations of a publishing company that produces more than 30 publications and owns FLEX360, the digital marketing agency working with businesses across the United States.

Mitch serves as the publisher of Arkansas Business, the state’s business magazine. Additionally, ABPG produces some of the state’s more notable publications including Little Rock Soirée, Arkansas Bride, Little Rock Guest Guide, Arkansas NEXT and NEXT Pros: A Guide To Life After High School In Arkansas, Greenhead, Total, Venture, Hot Springs Guest Guide, Arkansas: Love Where You Live and Capital Assets.

Mitch is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, and he did his masters and doctorate work at Oklahoma State University.

Jean Block

Affiliation: Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority

Jean Block is a licensed attorney who has practiced law for twenty-two years.

Currently, Jean is the Chief Legal Officer at Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (LRWRA). She assumed this position in April 2016. She is responsible for all legal issues involving the utility including those related to contracts, personnel matters, the Freedom of Information Act, and legislation.  Jean also oversees LRWRA’s Human Resources Department and Environmental Affairs Department.  And she is a member of LRWRA’s four-person senior management team.  In this capacity, she participates in policy-making and strategic planning for the utility.

Jean holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law. Over the twenty years she has lived in Central Arkansas, she has served on numerous non-profit boards.  Jean currently serves on the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund board and is an Advisory Council Member for the UA Little Rock College of Business. In her free time, Jean enjoys traveling, reading, and working out.

TJ Boyle

Affiliation: Frost

Advisory Council photo TJ BoyleTJ Boyle is the Partner at Frost and Head of the Audit Department where he provides assurance and business advisory services primarily in the food and agriculture, manufacturing, and construction industries. He is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Boyle graduated from Harding University with a B.B.A degree.

Anthony Brooks

Affiliation: Platinum Drywall, Inc.

Anthony Brooks advisory council file photoAnthony J. Brooks has been a mainstay in the construction industry for over 30 years. He has been involved in all aspects of commercial construction from the ground up, including: Drywall Installation, Safety, Estimating, Project Management, Accounting, and President/Owner. In 2001, Anthony started Platinum Drywall, Inc. with the vision of delivering platinum level services. Anthony is actively involved in the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) at both the local and national level, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the Ceilings & Interior System Construction Association (CISCA).

His industry engagements have provided him the opportunity to travel across the United States attending several presentations and witnessing several keynote speakers on the dynamics of the construction industry. His position allows him to see the state of modern day construction and be able an advocate for the next generation of construction workers. In 2014, Anthony and Platinum Drywall, Inc. was recognized as the Arkansas Regional Minority Business of the year. Anthony believes in the importance of having a healthy work/life balance, so in addition to his work responsibilities and engagements, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Shelia and their two sons Asa and Alex. He is an active church member and is dedicated to advancing the mission of the church. He also enjoys hobbies such as cycling, boating, hunting, wine tasting, and networking.

Jay Chesshir

Affiliation: Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce

On May 19, 2006, Jay Chesshir became the 15th President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in its 143-year history. He began his career at the Little Rock Regional Chamber in February 2005, serving as Economic Development Vice President, Senior Staff Executive for Fifty for the Future, and Executive Director of the Metro Little Rock Alliance, an eleven county marketing coalition dedicated to central Arkansas’s becoming recognized as the premier location for new and expanding business within the mid-south.



Michael Considine

Affiliation: Entergy Arkansas

Michael Considine file photo 2022Michael Considine is the Vice President of Reliability for Entergy Arkansas, LLC and was named to this position in May 2022, with responsibility for all aspects of transmission and distribution safety, operations, engineering and regulatory within the service territory covering all or portions of 62 counties in Arkansas.  Considine leads a team of over 700 employees and hundreds of contract resources.

Prior to his current position he served as the Vice President of Customer Service, a position he held from January 2019 until May 2022, with responsibility for all aspects of customer service in Entergy’s service territory within Arkansas.  Considine led a team whose main priority is exceptional customer service to all residential, commercial, governmental and industrial customers across the state.

He served as the Director of Customer Service – Central Region from 2017-2019 for Entergy Arkansas Inc. with responsibility for safety, customer service, operations and engineering for Pulaski, Saline and Lonoke counties.  Considine served as the Finance Director for Entergy Arkansas, Inc. from 2014-2017 with responsibility for the financial performance of Entergy Arkansas, Inc.  and held numerous positions prior dating back to his start with Entergy in 2001.

Considine spends time giving back to his community through volunteerism with his church family, with a special passion for the Arkansas Foodbank and Our House.  Considine has served as an ambassador for the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign as well as the Susan G. Komen’s Three Miles of Men.  Considine serves on the executive committee and the board of directors for the Museum of Discovery and is in Rotary Club 99.  Considine was recognized by Arkansas Business’ 40 Under 40 in 2017 and is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas Class XIV.

Considine holds a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana and has completed an executive program through the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business as well as Entergy’s Senior Leadership Program in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

E. Scot Davis

Affiliation: Arkansas Urology

E Scott Davis 2022 file photoE. Scot Davis joined Arkansas Urology as CEO in May 2013. With more than 25 years in physician practice management serving in a variety of executive roles, Scot has developed an expertise in physician recruitment, joint-venture arrangements, compensation modeling and operational efficiency. Before moving to Little Rock, Scot was CFO at Baptist Medical Group in Memphis. Prior to that, he was CFO at Northeast Arkansas Clinic in Jonesboro, also serving in an interim COO capacity.

Scot is a member of the Arkansas Medical Group Management Association and the American Medical Group Association. In 1999, he earned the Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) designation from the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Active in leadership, community and civic organizations across Arkansas and Tennessee, Scot is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Jonesboro and a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock (Club 99). Scot also is a Class XXXII graduate of the Greater Little Rock Leadership Program and serves as the Board Chair of the Central Arkansas Heart Association.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA).

A native of Memphis, Scot earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Memphis State University and a master’s in business administration from Christian Brothers University. Scot and his wife, Amy, have three children.

Brad Eichler

Affiliation: Stephens, Inc.

Brad Eichler file photoMr. Eichler is the Head of Investment Banking for Stephens Inc.  He currently oversees the Company’s Investment Banking operations which span eight offices in the U.S. and (through its Stephens Inc. affiliate, Stephens Europe Limited) offices in London, England and Frankfurt, Germany.  Currently the department has over 170 professionals.

Mr. Eichler joined Stephens in July 1991 as an associate in the firm’s Research Department. From 1992 until 1999, Mr. Eichler covered the property and casualty insurance industry. From 1999 until his move to investment banking, he focused on building the firm’s research effort in Information Technology and Services.  In 2006 he was named Director of Research.  In 2007 he was named Co-Head of Investment Banking and in 2015 he was named Head of Investment Banking Group.

Prior to joining Stephens, Mr. Eichler spent two years with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. He holds a BBA in finance from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and earned the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 1995.

Allen Engstrom

Affiliation: CEO Network

Allen Engstrom file photoAllen Engstrom has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and previously worked for Motorola Semiconductor as well as Intel Corporation in a variety of roles within Finance, Strategy and Business Development. For years prior to joining CFO, Allen has been involved in small business development and mentoring, serving on the Planning Committees of both the Arizona Venture Capital Conference and the Arkansas Venture Forum.

Allen has also been involved in working with universities such as Arizona State on developing technology into growing companies. Allen’s last role at Intel was an Alliance Manager where he worked directly with small companies to form partnerships with Intel. Prior to that, Allen spent 2.5 years working for Intel Capital executing mergers and acquisitions for Intel’s Communications Group.

Shawn Grotte

Affiliation: Forvis

Shawn Grotte file photo 2022Shawn Grotte is a member of the Insurance Practice, the Regional Industry Leader for the Southwest Region and is a member of the firmwide Insurance Committee. He has more than 22 years of experience providing accounting and audit services to large and small privately held and publicly traded companies in a variety of industries, including insurance and financial institutions.

Before joining FORVIS, he was a senior manager with an international firm. Shawn also has worked as a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting manager for an international offshore drilling contractor and as controller for an international telematics service provider.

A licensed CPA in Texas and Arkansas, he is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and Insurance Accounting & Systems Association. He is a frequent speaker at the IASA national conference. Shawn previously served on the firm’s accounting and auditing (A&A) committee, which was responsible for internal accounting and auditing policies and procedures.

He currently serves on the advisory board for the School of Business at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

Shawn is a 1996 graduate of Texas A&M University, College Station, with a B.B.A. degree in accounting.

Marcus Guinn

Affiliation: Arvest Bank

Marcus Guinn file photo 2022Marcus Guinn currently serves as Loan Manager in the Central Arkansas region of Arvest Bank.  In this capacity he is primarily responsible for overall growth and profitability of the loan portfolios.  His primary focus is Commercial Banking, Small Business Banking, Leasing and Credit Analysis. Under his leadership, his division surpassed the Billion Dollar mark in growth and continues to exceeded profitability goals. Marcus serves on loan committees, various other Executive Committees and reports monthly to the Board of Directors.

Marcus earned his Bachelor of Finance Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1998.  He completed Omega Commercial Lending Courses along with many continuing education courses.  He received a Graduate degree of Banking from LSU-Baton Rouge in 2016 where his TEAM won the Bank Simulation contest, a capstone of the senior year. He has over 34 years of banking and client management experience.

Derrell Hartwick

Affiliation: North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce

Derrell Hartwick file photoDerrell Hartwick has been a lifelong resident of the state of Arkansas. Hartwick grew up in the North Little Rock chamber of commerce, where his father served as President and CEO for 15 years. After graduating from North Little Rock High School as an Arkansas Scholar and a three-year letterman, Hartwick earned his B.A. in communication while playing football for the Arkansas Razorbacks. After college, Hartwick moved back to North Little Rock, where he worked with the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau as Tourism Manager.

Later, Derrell took a position at the Little Rock Regional Chamber. Shortly after starting, Hartwick was promoted to Director of Sales, where he managed the sales team. While at the Little Rock Regional Chamber, Hartwick earned his IEDC Mid-South Economic Development degree. Looking to advance, Derrell took over as President and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber of commerce in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Derrell moved back home in 2021 to take over as President and CEO of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Jay Heflin

Affiliation: Legacy Termite and Pest Control

Jay Heflin - COB Advisory CouncilJay founded Legacy Termite and Pest Control in 2009 and currently serves as VP-Administration.  They cover a 75 mile radius around Little Rock with current offices in Little Rock and Arkadelphia.  They provide residential and commercial termite control, general pest control, and wildlife control.

Jay has served on the board of directors for the Arkansas Tennis Patrons Association, the CareLink Board, The Oauchita Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan Board of YMCA, and the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers.

Drew Holbert

Affiliation: Colliers International

Drew Holbert file photoDrew is active in the areas of industrial, office, retail, and investment brokerage and provides clients with various acquisition, disposition and real estate analysis expertise. Drew joined Colliers International  Arkansas’ brokerage team in 2005 prior to earning his BBA in Professional Sales from Harding University.

He later completed the requirements and earned his MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s MBA program, graduating with high honors. In 2013 he became a shareholder of Colliers International | Arkansas and Vice President of Brokerage Operations. He was named a Principal with the firm in 2015.

Bryan Hosto

Affiliation: They Haybar Group, LLC

Bryan Hosto file photo 2022Bryan Hosto is a founder of Hosto & Buchan, PLLC, a law firm which practices in several states.  He is also Managing Director of The Haybar Group, an investment fund that focuses on the acquisition, management, and disposition of  distressed financial instruments, special opportunity commercial real estate, and numerous startups and private equity investments. The Haybar Group seeks investments in which it can add expertise, experience, and resources in addition to the capital it invests.  Bryan currently serves on the board of RxResults and SFC Fluidics, along with several other startup companies.

Bryan was recently honored as Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Business in 2022, but he has also received the President’s Award from UA Little Rock in 2001.   Bryan has served in leadership positions for UA Little Rock including serving as President of the Alumni Association and being a member of the Foundation Fund Board.  He has also guest lectured at UA Little Rock on the subject of Entrepreneurship, and was a founder of the Arkansas Angel Alliance.

Bryan has served in leadership positions in several philanthropic organizations including serving as President of the Arkansas Chapter of JDRF and the State Chair of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation. He has also led the Arkansas chapter of Make-A-Wish, and has served on the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish Mid-South which includes Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Bryan has been married for 26 years to his wife Sherrill Barrett Hosto, who is also a graduate of the UA Little Rock’s College of Business, and they have two children Hayden and Barrett.

Rich Macy

Affiliation: USAble Life

Rich Macy file photoAs chief operating officer (COO), Rich Macy leads all of the company’s operational areas and has profit and loss responsibility for the life, disability, and supplemental lines of business. With more than 30 years of experience, he oversees product management, technology, human resources, and service delivery. Rich works closely with the leadership team to formulate and operationalize business strategies that deliver value to Partners and the more than 27,000 groups and 2.7 million insured served by USAble Life.

Since joining USAble Life in 2012, Rich has been instrumental in identifying opportunities that leverage technology to improve business processes, deliver superior customer service, achieve scale efficiencies, and create competitive advantage.

Previously, Rich served as COO and chief information officer for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in Washington, D.C., the self-financed, quasi-government agency that acts as an insurer of private-sector pension plans. Prior to PBGC, he spent nearly 20 years in leadership roles, including vice president and general manager at Automatic Data Processing Inc. in Roseland, N.J. (ADP).

Rich holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Wesleyan University.

Esperanza Massana-Crane

Affiliation: Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise

Esperanza Massana file photo 2022Esperanza Massana-Crane is the director of the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE) Division for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. In her role, Esperanza facilitates the growth, development and expansion of minority and women-owned businesses by helping them gain access to valuable information, new market opportunities and financial resources.

She began her career at AEDC in 2013 in the Business Development division where she worked as project manager and then transitioned to serve as marketing director in 2016.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Arkansas Library System, the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts – Diamonds and is a member of the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission. She is a graduate of the Greater Little Rock Class XXX and a graduate of Leadership Arkansas Class XII. In 2018, Esperanza was recognized in Arkansas Business’ “40 Under 40” list and in 2021 was honored as one of Arkansas’ 250 most influential leaders.

Esperanza graduated with honors from Harding University with a double major in Marketing and International Business and has an MBA from Harding. She lives in the Hillcrest community of Little Rock with her husband Christopher, son Sebastián, and their two furry rescue pets.

Lester Matlock

Affiliation: Natural State Private Wealth Group

Lester Matlock - COB Advisory Council

Lester Matlock is the Chief Executive Officer and owner of Natural State Private Wealth Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.

Lester received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and has now celebrated 27 years of helping clients reach their personal and financial goals. He began his career as an intern with Ameriprise in 1995 and became a licensed financial advisor with the firm in 1996.

Lester currently holds the credentials of APMA® Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor℠, CFP® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, and CRPC® Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠.

He has been awarded the Ameriprise Circle of Success award from 2002-2018, and 2020-2021.

He is also active in his community. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for UA Little Rock College of Business, the Advisory Board for UAMS College of Pharmacy, and the UAPB Foundation Fund Board. He also volunteers with Arkansas Special Olympics, Little Rock and Pulaski County Special School Districts, and Arkansas Food Bank.

Though Natural State Private Wealth Group works with clients of all ages and backgrounds, Lester’s passion and specialization are in the individualized needs of those planning for and through retirement.

Wayne Miller

Affiliation: Venture Center

Wayne Miller file photoMiller joined the Venture Center in May 2017.  Previously, he served as CEO of Enovative Technologies LLC, a private equity-backed medical device manufacturer in Bishopville, Maryland.

Miller has worked with twelve startup technology companies in health care, cybersecurity, advertising and internet consulting and has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.

Other positions he has held include director of business development for Proxicom in Reston, Virginia; national director of business development for Deloitte in Washington, D.C.; director of national accounts for Hill-Rom in Batesville, Indiana; and marketing manager for Kraft Foods.

Miller has also owned and operated a national multi-unit automotive franchise and New Orleans Emporium, a restaurant in Washington, D.C.

He attended the University of Pittsburgh and serves on a variety of boards.

Mike O'Malley

Affiliation: FIS Global

Mike O'Malley file photoMike is an IT executive with over 25 years of experience in the creation, sales, and delivery of financial services IT solutions. He effectively analyzes the competitive landscape and designs product vision and market strategies. Mike’s strength is in directing cross-functional and R&D teams to manage full solution life cycle. He is an effective evangelist and product champion able to present value propositions to large audiences at industry events and in one-on-one meetings with key analysts, clients, and prospects.

Areas of specialization include Bank Operations, Core Accounting Systems, Direct Banking, Retail Banking, eCommerce, Channels Applications, Distributed Systems, Product Planning and Budgeting, Thought Leadership, and Client Relationships.

Phyllis Rogers

Affiliation: AFMC

Phyllis Rogers is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of AFMC. She previously served as the CFO of Delta Dental of Arkansas for 17 years and as CFO for Forevercare. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and gained her CPA in 1987. In 2017, Rogers was named Distinguished Alumni of the Year by the UA Little Rock College of Business.

In 2013, she was honored by Arkansas Business as CFO of the Year for Large Private Companies and by the Arkansas Society of CPAs as Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry. Ms. Rogers’ serves on the board of Ronald McDonald Charities of Arkansas where she is also treasurer. She is a member of the UA Little Rock College of Business Advisory Council and Rotary Club 99.

Mike Ross

Affiliation: Southwest Power Pool

Mike Ross currently serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Stakeholder Relations for Little Rock based nonprofit Southwest Power Pool (SPP).  As a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designated regional transmission organization, SPP manages the electric grid for all or part of 17 states, and ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices.

His responsibilities include leading SPP’s government affairs at the federal level and the 17 state region it serves; and has responsibility for external affairs, stakeholder relations and corporate communications for the company.

Before joining SPP in 2013, Mike served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, including as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Energy Subcommittee. During his 12 years in the congress, Mike was also member of the House Financial Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Agriculture Committee, House Small Business Committee, and House Science and Technology Committee.  He was also elected vice president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Additionally, Mike spent 10 years in the Arkansas State Senate, owned a family pharmacy and home medical equipment business, was a retail sales manager for McKesson Corporation and was a licensed independent insurance agent.  He got his start in politics as the travel aid to then gubernatorial candidate Bill Clinton during his 1982 “comeback” campaign and also served as chief of staff to then Lt. Governor Winston Bryant.

As a fifth generation Arkansan and native of Hope and Prescott, AR, Mike is a graduate of Hope High School in Hope, AR and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, working his way through college as a radio announcer.

Gordon Silaski

Affiliation: Centennial Bank

Gordon Silaski file photographGordon Silaski began his over 30 years in commercial banking as a Credit Analyst with the original Twin City Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Mr. Silaski joined what is now Centennial Bank in 2000 and has since served in various capacities including Regional Chief Lending Officer.  Since 2010, Mr. Silaski has served as President of the Little Rock Region and is a member of the Bank’s Executive Loan Committee.  Mr. Silaski holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  He is a graduate of the Mid South School of Banking in Memphis, TN and The National Commercial Lending School in Norman, OK.  Mr. Silaski serves on various community boards including the Little Rock and North Little Rock Chambers of Commerce, the Quapaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Heart of Arkansas United Way.

Mr. Silaski serves on advisory boards of the UA Little Rock Department of Economics and Finance and the UA for Medical Science College of Public Health.  He is a Trustee of the Arkansas Arts Center, and a member of Little Rock’s Fifty for the Future.

Chris Smith

Affiliation: The Circumference Group

Portrait of Chris Smith COB Advisory Council MemberChris Smith is Director of Consulting and a founding partner of Circumference Group.

Prior to joining Circumference Group, Chris was Executive Vice President of Network Services of Alltel Corporation, the fifth largest wireless company in the U.S. Prior to its acquisition by Verizon in January 2009, Alltel served over 14 million customers with revenues of approximately $9 billion.

As EVP of Network Services, Chris was responsible for all new technology evolutions, short- and long-term network planning, engineering, operations, capital budgeting and management, and wholesale roaming relationships. In 2001, Chris led a major initiative to shift Alltel’s Engineering and Operations from a de-centralized model across 10 geographic operating areas to a dominant centralized model. This reorganization was the first major centralization effort within the wireless industry, and resulted in significantly reduced operating costs, industry leading capital investment metrics and industry leading network quality.

Chris joined Alltel in 1991 in a management role within sales and marketing. He subsequently served as a General Manager of Operations in two of Alltel’s largest markets, Springfield, Missouri, and Charlotte, North Carolina, respectively. In 1997, when Alltel merged their wireless and wireline companies, Chris became President of the Southeast Region based out of Jacksonville, Florida. In this capacity, Chris was responsible for all aspects of market operations, which included sales and marketing, customer service, budgeting and financial management, and network engineering and operations. He was promoted to EVP of Network Services in 2000.

Prior to Alltel, Chris worked within marketing at Dillard’s headquarters and at Acxiom’s headquarters, both located in Little Rock.

Chris is a graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in business management.

Bill Sowell

Affiliation: Sowell Management

Bill Sowell file photoBill Sowell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Sowell Management.

Bill began his career in the financial services industry in 1990 and quickly became a top producer within the industry. In 1995, he began a fee-only practice now known as Sowell Management, which services a broad spectrum of some of the top Independent Advisor Representatives (IARs), and Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) in the United States. He and his wife, Cindy, have worked as a team for more than 20 years.

Bill has strong roots in the community. He has served as past president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He has been a board member and is past chair of Leadership Greater Little Rock and is a past board member of numerous other nonprofit organizations. He was named to AY Magazine’s 2021 Men of Distinction. Bill enjoys golfing, boating and duck hunting.

Bill is a bridge builder. He is passionate about helping advisors see an independent and prosperous future and guiding them through the entire journey.

David Stogsdill

Affiliation: Simmons Bank

David Stogsdill is the Market President of the Little Rock Metro Banking Group, Simmons Bank.

Scott Teague

Affiliation: US Bank

Portrait of Scott Teague COB Advisory Council MemberScott Teague is the Middle Market Commercial Real Estate East Executive for U.S. Bank. He began his career in 1988 in Little Rock with Union National Bank and spent 14 years there through acquisitions to what is now Bank of America. His previous responsibilities ranged from branch manager, indirect lending, consumer loan manager, business banking market manager, to senior client manager.

He joined U.S. Bank in July, 2002. He is a past member of the North Little Rock School District Board of Education and the United Way of Arkansas Board.  He serves on the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Board.

Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl

Affiliation: Mangan Holcomb Partners/Team SI

SPortrait of Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl COB Advisory Council Memberound strategic thinking, flawless execution and measurable results are the hallmarks of the tightly integrated marketing programs Sharon delivers for agency clients. Launching her agency career as an intern at Mangan Holcomb in 1994, Sharon became a principal in the firm in 2005 and was named president in 2010. Along the way, she has nurtured many advertising and public relations campaigns from strategic development to award-winning recognition.

A member of the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Sharon was selected by Arkansas Business as a “40 Under 40” honoree in 2005 and was recently named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Little Rock.

Doug Weeks

Affiliation: Baptist Health

Advisory Council photo Doug WeeksDoug Weeks is the executive vice president of strategy and innovation for Baptist Health. He is responsible for overall system strategy development and is the leader of all of Baptist Health’s partnership and collaborative efforts across the state. He serves as the corporate administrative officer and oversees Arkansas Health Group, Human Resources, Information Technology, Strategic Development, Governmental Relations, the Baptist Health Foundation, Parkway Village, and Community Outreach.

His career at Baptist Health began in 1989 as an administrative resident. Since then, Weeks has held a number of positions including senior vice president of hospital operations and administrator of Baptist Health-Little Rock and Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University and his master’s degree in hospital administration from Tulane University.