The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced four new members who will serve three-year terms on the UA Little Rock Foundation Fund Board of Directors.
The new board members include Ben Bailey, a partner at TMB Capital Partners, Alec Gaines, a partner at Steel, Wright, Gray PLLC, LaShannon Spencer, CEO of Community Health Centers of Arkansas, and Erin Wood, owner and director of Et Alia Press.
The board meets four times a year to oversee the activities of the UA Little Rock Foundation Fund. Members communicate the foundation’s mission and serve as ambassadors of goodwill for UA Little Rock in the community, state, and region, as well as support the mission and goals of the university as it relates to public higher education and UA Little Rock’s need for private and public support.
“It’s such an honor to join the Foundation Fund Board,” Wood said. “I look forward to being part of the vital role the board plays in fostering growth and opportunity for UA Little Rock students on campus and in our community, and I can’t wait to get to work on campus with other board members and staff. Many of the skills I use daily as a small business owner were honed and influential relationships were forged as I earned my master’s degree in professional and technical writing. I am energized by the chance to be of service to an institution that has connected me to so much.”
More information about the new members:
Ben Bailey has 14 years of experience in comprehensive financial planning guidance, investment management, life insurance, and more. He started his career at the investment firm Morgan Keegan until Raymond James purchased them in 2012. He holds the Wealth Management Specialist designation and is a partner of TMB Capital Partners, formed in 2017 through Raymond James.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance with an emphasis on financial management of investments from the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. He is a member of the Hat Club of Little Rock and past board member. He’s also served on the Little Rock Trojan Advisory Council and the UAMS Consortium Board.
Alec Gaines is a partner at Steel, Wright, Gray PLLC, where he practices in the areas of business, commercial, and general litigation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University. After graduating, he worked as a real estate appraiser in North Carolina before attending law school in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He moved to Little Rock in 2012 and worked at Williams & Anderson PLC from 2012 to 2020 before moving to Steel, Wright, Gray PLLC. He advises employers and leads workshops on issues pertaining to Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
As the CEO for Community Health Centers of Arkansas, LaShannon Spencer provides strategic direction to Community Health Centers of Arkansas, which represents 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers with over 130 site locations. She has served as an associate professor at University of Phoenix’s Las Vegas Campus, and lectured health disparities courses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.
Spencer serves on the board of directors of the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, the Arkansas Chapter of the Heart Association, Little Rock School District Community Advisory Board, and Delta Dental Foundation of Arkansas in Little Rock. In 2018, Spencer was recognized by the UA Little Rock School of Public Affairs as the Alumni of the Year.
Erin Wood is the owner and director of Et Alia Press, a “small press for big voices.” Et Alia publishes award-winning nonfiction and children’s books of national interest with strong ties to Arkansas and offers nonfiction and children’s book editing and publishing consultations. Wood is the author of “Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives,” editor of “Untold Arkansas: An Anthology,” and editor of and a contributor to “Scars: An Anthology.”
Her work in “The Best American Essays” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. An Arkansas native, Wood holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law, and a Master of Arts in professional and technical writing from UA Little Rock.