Prior to the summer of 2017, ARVet’s vision was to ensure that all military, veterans and their families had a one-stop shop where all their needs could be addressed simultaneously.
While our organization is still entirely committed to carrying out this task, ARVets also recognizes the value of transitioning service members, Veterans and their families to our workforce and economy. “ARVets 2.0” will make Arkansas the national leader in attracting, equipping and connecting them to rewarding careers in our state.
To market, recruit, and connect a skilled and experienced Veteran workforce to targeted Arkansas careers that …
- Support and grow state’s economy
- Strengthen our small business sector
- Improve the quality of life for Arkansas Veterans, service members and their families
ARVets came into existence as a result of the research and work of the Arkansas Yellow Ribbon Taskforce, whose mission was to conduct an in-depth analysis of the needs of Arkansas veterans and how efficiently those needs were being met.
The outcome reflected that the system of care was shaping up to be something concrete and beneficial but needed a unifying factor to connect veteran-specific resources to veterans and their family.
ARVets is the definitive link to bring it all together. We provide the coordination of effort and resources for military, veterans, and families through a number of programs & services.
Don K. Berry
Don has 30 years of military experience as a Colonel in the United States Air Force where he piloted a variety of military transport aircrafts and worked heavily in logistics. His civilian career drew upon his senior avaiation expertise as he continued to work as a business strategist in the global air logistics field. Since 2013, he has been an active member of the Arkansas Veterans Coalition government affairs team. He has advocated successful legislative campaigns to exempt uniformed services retired pay from state income tax and expanded higher education in-state tuition eligibility to all members of armed forces, Veterans and their family members. He has also worked to successfully expedite occupational licensing for arriving members of armed forces, Veterans and military spouses. In June 2017, he took over ARVets and led the ARVets 2.0 innitiative.
Taylor is a native Arkansan growing up in Jacksonville. He joined the U.S. Army in 2003 and served as an infantry paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. He specialized in technology, communications, and logistics. Upon returning to Arkansas in 2013, he continued his education earning degrees in Arts, Science, Business, and Technology. Taylor is driven in his efforts in advocating for Veteran’s mental health. In 2004, he created the Central Arkansas Mental Health Council and has served in various capacities within the VFW.
Erin is a native of College Station, Texas and moved to Arkansas in 2003. She attended Sam Houston State University where she studied Communications and Graphic Design. She has freelanced since 2004 working with small businesses incorporate strategic branding and marketing in the Little Rock area. Her father is a Vietnam Era Combat Marine and she takes a special interest in supporting Veterans and their families affected by PTSD. She and her husband make their home in Maumelle with their 2 boys.
Rochelle is a native of Oakland, CA. She attended Southwestern Christian College where she received her AA and then transferred to Oklahoma Christian University where she earned her BS in Psychology. Rochelle made Arkansas her home where shortly after she began working at ARVets. Although she is a civilian, her family has a strong military background. Her father served in the Navy in 1964, and her sister served in the Army (OEF/OIF.) She has a number of cousins who have served in Army as well.
Angela is a graduate student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she will receive a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is currently working to obtain certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and state licensure as a Licensed Associate Counselor. She currently holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Criminal Justice. She is very passionate about empowering individuals with disabilities to be a driving force in the community and finding their own strengths. She is currently a member of the American Counseling Association, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Alumni Association.
Board of Directors
Jeff is a leader in the state of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas region involved with the creation of a lasting tech-focused venture/startup ecosystem. Jeff was previously Associate Vice Provost, Research and Economic Development and Director of the University of Arkansas Technology Ventures team, leading the commercialization of world-class research. He has held senior leadership positions in eight startup ventures and three Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Jeff teaches entrepreneurship at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Jeff is an advisor for Innovate Arkansas, which is chartered with the creation and support of a knowledge-based economy in Arkansas that has accounted for $208 million in public and private financing for Arkansas-based startups. Jeff graduated from US Naval Academy in 1984 and holds a Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas.
Laurie Lee, Founder and Managing Partner at Trace Strategies, LLC
Laurie Lee has an extensive career in public relations and community organizing. She is the founder and managing partner of Trace Strategies, a national consulting firm engaged with political and corporate clients in the areas of political advocacy, business strategy, communications, grassroots development and campaign consulting. For nearly a decade, Lee has helped individuals and organizations complete tasks and implement initiatives in a timely manner within the allotted budget. Earlier in her career, Lee worked with the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Diver. She also trained whales, dolphins and sea lions for the Navy’s Mammal Program. Lee has been a staunch supporter of the Arkansas Military Veterans Hall of Fame and the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.
Laurence Miller, M.D., Senior Psychiatrist, Arkansas DHS Division of Medical Services and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
Dr. Laurence Miller has over 40 years of experience as a psychiatrist. He is Board certified with special interests in addictions, geriatrics and veterans. He received his psychiatric training at Boston University School of Medicine where he worked in community mental health before he was selected to serve as the Director of Psychiatry at Boston City Hospital from 1984-1994. He then moved to Arkansas to become the Medical Director for the Arkansas State Hospital, a position he held for 10 years. He also served as Medical Director of the DHS Division of Behavioral Health Services for 14 years before moving to his current position 3 years ago. He represented DHS on the Governor’s Yellow Ribbon Task Force, chairing the health and disabilities subcommittee. He is a Vietnam-era veteran having served as a Lt. Commander in the Public Health Service. Dr. Miller teaches medical students and residents at UAMS.
Heide Harrell, Public Relations & Senior Account Manager, Stone Ward
With more than 10 years of public relations and brand management experience gained through a number of roles in corporate, nonprofit and agency organizations, Heide Harrell has established herself as an integral part of Stone Ward in her role as senior public relations account manager/senior brand manager. She leads the internal communications efforts for Terminix, while also overseeing all efforts for eVersity, the state’s first online university. Heide also leads the public relations practice for a number of other Stone Ward clients, including the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Portable Kitchen, MEMS and Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. Heide is also a graduate of the Leadership Greater Little Rock Leadership (Class XXIX) program.
Representative Reginald Murdock, Sr., Arkansas State Representative, District 52
Representative Murdock received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He is the owner of Murdock Enterprises, Inc. and is a School Board Member of the Lee County School District. Murdock is a member of the Church of Christ as well as U of A Alumni Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and National Society of Industrial Engineers. He also founded several scholarship funds including Murdock Enterprises Leadership Scholarship, U of A Reginald K. Murdock Jr. Memorial Scholarship, and the Lee High School Reginald K. Murdock Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
Josh Steed, Business Owner & Youth Pastor, First Baptist Church of Camden
Joshua Douglass Steed, Ph.D., is a small business owner, youth pastor, and teacher in Camden, Arkansas. Steed has always expressed a passion for taking care of and supporting the concerns of Veterans. Through outreach efforts at his church, as well as employment opportunities at his businesses, Steed often counsels and hires former servicemen and women. An author, who offers sports fans and athletes a clear message of hope through his writings, Steed recently published a book titled “Faith & Football: A Look At Life Through A Facemask.” With advocacy work in the United States and abroad, Steed lectures community groups about the importance of faith, family, good sportsmanship, and public service.
Sherman Tate, President & CEO, HT & Associates
Sherman has held senior management positions with the State of Arkansas, Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company and Alltel Corporation. In the public service category, he is the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, is a past chairman of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. Sherman is the first and only African American to serve as Chairman of the Little Rock Chamber. He served with distinction as an officer with the Arkansas Army National Guard reaching the rank of Colonel. In 1998, when he first joined the Alltel Corporation, he was Vice President/General Manager of telephone operations for Arkansas and Mississippi. With this assignment Sherman again became the first African American to have the responsibility for management of a corporate business unit for Alltel.
Arthur L. Woods, Division Director, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
Arthur joined the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) as Division Director of the Division of Federal Surplus Property (ADEM/ DFSP) in July 2009. Before joining state government, Mr. Woods dedicated over 20 years of his life in service to his country as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in the United States Air Force (USAF) retiring in May 2007. His USAF career included assignments at Little Rock Air Force Base, AR, Kadena Air Base, Japan and Pope, Air Force Base, NC. In addition, he is a veteran of both the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and has seen tours of duty in the Middle East in support of operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch, as well as a tour of duty to the Korean peninsula in support of operation Foal Eagle.
Arkansas Community Foundation
Arkansas Community Foundation engages people, connects resources and inspires solutions to build community. We make grants to improve the quality of life in our state and partner with individuals, families and organizations to strengthen Arkansas’s communities through philanthropy.
Arkansas Family Health Foundation
Arkansas Family Health Foundation is committed to the residents of Arkansas regardless of who they are, where they live, or their ability to pay. Our vision is to offer all those in Arkansas the opportunity to improve their health and to create healthy communities by fostering and funding education, wellness, economic development, and transportation-related initiatives throughout the state.
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
For over 35 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, we are working even harder to help close the economic and educational gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty. Working together, the needle can and must move from poverty to prosperity for all Arkansans.