Statewide and Local Staff
Arkansas Community Foundation works both locally and statewide, through our central office in Little Rock, our satellite office in Fayetteville and 29 local affiliate offices throughout the state.
State Office Staff
President & CEO
Heather Larkin joined Arkansas Community Foundation in 1998 and became its President and CEO in January 2008. She is committed to and enjoys engaging people and connecting resources to build stronger communities in Arkansas. Heather has been named one of Arkansas’ Top Influencers by Arkansas Money & Politics and one of the top 20 Influential Women in Arkansas by Arkansas Business. She was also named as a “Scholar in Residence” at the Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy for exemplary contributions in the field of community philanthropy. Heather is a Hull Fellow and attended the Hull Leadership Program, a program to nurture and inspire the Southeast’s philanthropic leaders. In 2005, she was selected as one of five Americans to be a Transatlantic Community Foundation Fellow. The Fellowship enabled her spend three weeks in Europe exploring issues of nonprofit governance, strategic planning, grantmaking, investments and public/private partnerships. Heather is a native of Charleston, Ark. She attended Hendrix College in Conway and while at Hendrix, she competed in several sports including cross-country, track and basketball. Upon graduating with distinction in economics and business, she went to work for Ernst and Young, LLP and became a Certified Public Accountant. After working at Ernst and Young for a couple of years, she returned to the academic arena and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. While at the UALR School of Law she served as survey/comments editor for the UALR Law Journal. Heather serves or has served on the boards of Just Communities of Arkansas, Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation, Rotary Club 99 and Acansa Arts Festival. She was inducted into the Hendrix Athletic Hall of Honor in 2007. She is also a member of various organizations and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock class 19 and of Leadership Arkansas Class 1.
Chief Development Officer
Previously, Ashley has been senior director of development for Heifer International, senior vice president of major and planned gifts for Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation and executive director of the CARTI Foundation. She also spent eight years as a capital campaign consultant for various Arkansas charities prior to joining Arkansas Community Foundation. She was named to Arkansas Business Forty Under Forty and was a member of the Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XV in 2000. Her Master’s Degree in Business Administration was earned at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1997, and she graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1989.
Chief Communications Officer
Jessica Ford is the Chief Communications Officer for the Arkansas Community Foundation. A native (and proud) Arkansan, Ford holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Wyoming. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years with a two-year stint in the private sector and as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to joining the Community Foundation staff, Ford spent over 12 years at Heifer International in the Little Rock office. She piloted Heifer’s first “Women & Global Leadership Development Program” with a one-year assignment to South America working for Heifer’s Peru country office. She also served Heifer as the Assistant to the CEO and Board Liaison, Communications Manager, and most recently the Director of Marketing & Engagement. Ford is also an alumni of the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s “Emerging Leaders in the Social Sector” program. Ford’s experience ranges from strategic communications, public relations, brand strategy development and implementation, field-level program design, strategic planning, fundraising and high-profile event planning. She teaches yoga once a week in her hometown of Redfield, Arkansas to help balance the joys of raising a teenager. When not working or watching her son play sports, you can find her obsessing over her black lab, Otis, and drinking Dr Pepper.
Chief Program Officer
Sarah Kinser is chief program officer for Arkansas Community Foundation. In this role, she oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking, affiliate system, impact investing and community partnerships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., and a master’s degree in professional and technical writing from UA Little Rock. She earned the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential in 2012. Previously, she worked on the staff of the Arkansas Literary Festival and as a composition instructor at UA Little Rock. In addition to her work at the Community Foundation, Sarah serves on the board of PRSA Arkansas and the UA Little Rock College of Social Sciences and Humanities advisory board. She was a founding co-chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Little Rock chapter, a graduate of the Southeastern Council of Foundations’ Hull Fellowship and member of Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXX. She’s also a member of the Local Economy Foundation Circle through the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and serves on the steering committee of Arkansas Impact Philanthropy, an association of funders working toward an inclusive Arkansas where everyone thrives.
Chief Financial Officer
Corey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. He spent 17 years in public accounting – specializing in nonprofit and governmental accounting, and two years as the controller for a national trucking company. Corey is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Arkansas Society of CPA’s (ASCPA) and is a graduate of the Leadership Greater Little Rock program. He enjoys activities with his wife and 4 children, music and volunteering in various church responsibilities.
Katy Bland is Communications Associate for Arkansas Community Foundation. She is a native of Poplar Grove, AR but grew up in Cabot. A graduate of Cabot High School, Katy received her Associates Degree from Pulaski Technical College and spent two years at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Katy was hired at Arkansas Community Foundation in February 2016 as the Office Administrator and was promoted to the Communications Department in July 2020. She has two wonderful children, Skylar and Asa, who take up most of her time.
As Development Director working in Arkansas Community Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas satellite office, Jody Dilday provides donor services to existing fund holders, works to establish new partnerships, and supports our community-based affiliates in Fayetteville, Carroll County, and Western Arkansas. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, she has more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, she served for 10 years as the Executive Director of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas where she led a successful $3 million campaign for endowment. Jody was included in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2010, was selected by Arkansas Business as a finalist for the Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year in 2015 and was recognized by her peers at the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Philanthropy Day Awards ceremony as the 2017 Outstanding Fundraising Executive. Jody and her husband Mark live in Fayetteville, Arkansas and are enjoying the “empty-nest” stage of life as the proud parents of 3 (somewhat independent) adult children.
Finance & Grants Associate
Lisa Duckworth is Finance Grants Associate for Arkansas Community Foundation. Lisa is a native of Forrest City, Ark., where she graduated from Forrest City High School. After graduation, she spent 2 years at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. She moved to Little Rock and was hired at IMPAC Learning Systems Inc., where she worked for 18 years until the company closed in March 2004. Lisa was hired at Arkansas Community Foundation in June 2004 and has worked in several capacities. She was hired as the Executive Assistant to the President, was promoted to the Finance Department in April 2006, and worked with scholarships for a year before landing in her current position as Finance Grants Associate.
Donor Stewardship Officer
Bethany Hilkert recently was named donor stewardship officer for Arkansas Community Foundation. She is responsible for developing and nurturing relationships with the Foundation’s donors. Previously Hilkert was business manager for Arkansas Repertory Theatre, where she started as front of house box office associate and moved to development and special events manager. Before working at The Rep, she was a branch manager for Arvest Bank. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Hilkert received a BA in English emphasizing creative and technical writing.
Jane Jones is a native of Blytheville, Arkansas, but really grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She returned to Arkansas, though, to attend Harding University in Searcy. Jane has served in several capacities at the foundation, but currently works as program associate.
Lauren Morris moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 2012 and has since been dedicated to improving the quality of life for Arkansans. She studied international public health and received a Master in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health in 2008. She proceeded to take on a program working with school-based programs as a Nutrition and Physical Activity Specialist for Save the Children US Programs in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Passionate about leading rural programs to improve opportunities for youth and children, Lauren moved to Little Rock to serve as Deputy Director of Programs for Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska to address early childhood education, K-5 literacy, and childhood nutrition and physical activity programs before refocusing on a local garden-based program in Little Rock schools. Lauren most recently served as the Project Coordinator for a new initiative through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service that worked with local coalitions to guide policy, systems, and environmental changes to make healthier Arkansas communities. Lauren has a strong commitment to and values quality community and economic development to build stronger communities and continues to contribute her knowledge and skills at Arkansas Community Foundation.
Nickole Perry is the staff accountant for Arkansas Community Foundation. In 2014, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. During that time, she transitioned into an accounting role at Arvest Bank Central Mortgage Company. Nickole comes to Arkansas Community Foundation with over six years of accounting experience and 11 years of mortgage servicing experience. Nickole was born and raised in central Arkansas, where she attended and graduated from North Little Rock High School. Nickole and her better half, Rolando, have three amazing children, Destiny, Kaleb and Aaliyah. Nickole and her family enjoy long walks and spending quality time with one another. Nickole has always had a passion for helping others and volunteering her time.
Alexandra Rodery Rouse
Planned Giving Director
A native of Piggott, Arkansas, Rouse most recently was deputy chief of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). Previously she was deputy Human Resources chief, and chief of staff at DHS. Before joining DHS, Rouse was policy advisor at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, deputy prosecuting attorney for Pulaski and Perry counties, and judicial law clerk to the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Third Division. Her nonprofit experience includes work with the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance, the World Disaster Management Community College in Kanana, South Africa, and Partners for Inclusive Communities in Little Rock. Rouse earned a juris doctor degree with Honors in 2014 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law, a master’s degree with Highest Honors in Public Service in 2014 from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with Honors and graduating first in her class in 2009 from Arkansas State University.
Julianne is the office administrator at Arkansas Community Foundation, joining the Central Office team in August 2020. Raised in Nashville, TN, Julianne studied Organizational Communications and Business Administration at Middle Tennessee State University. Her journey then brought her to Little Rock, where she met her now-husband Steven. They are happy to call the Natural State “home.” Mrs. Unger considers it an honor to be part of Arkansas Community Foundation and its mission.
As Affiliate Officer at Arkansas Community Foundation, Dr. Shannon D. Williams administers statewide outreach through the affiliate program and provides liaison support between the central office and local affiliate staff and advisory boards. He is a native of Lake Village. He most recently served as an Organizational Development Consultant for the University of North Texas System. Before that, he served as an Organizational Development Specialist for Baptist Health System. Before joining Baptist, he served as the Retention Counselor for the University of Central Arkansas’ (UCA) College for Education’s Partnership for Transition to Teaching Grant Program. Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies from UCA; and a master’s degree in Higher Education and three bachelor’s degrees—Speech Communication, Sociology, and Criminal Justice from UA Little Rock. He is a certified StrengthsFinder Facilitator and a trained coach. He is passionate about serving and advocating for nonprofits, communities, and underserved populations. Dr. Williams is excited to contribute his knowledge and talents to help respond to Arkansans’ needs and achieve the mission of Arkansas Community Foundation to engage people, connect resources, and inspire solutions to build community throughout the state.
Affiliate Executive Directors
Texarkana Area (Bowie, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Sevier Counties)
Pine Bluff Area (Jefferson County)
Hot Springs Village
St. Francis County
Twin Lakes (Baxter, Fulton, Izard, Marion Counties)
Ouachita Valley (Ouachita and Calhoun Counties)
Fayetteville Area (Washington County)
Western Arkansas (Crawford and Sebastian Counties)
Delta Area (Desha and Lincoln Counties)
North Delta (Clay, Randolph and Lawrence Counties)
Hazelle M. Whited
Hot Springs Area (Garland and Montgomery Counties)
Southeast Arkansas (Ashley and Chicot Counties)
Arkansas Community Foundation Local Affiliate Offices
Find the Arkansas Community Foundation affiliate office nearest you.Affiliate Offices