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CONWAY NOTEBOOK: 3 seniors receive national honors | Conway Corp. exec gets magazine nod | Officers installed by Kiwanis Club

by Jeannie Roberts | October 3, 2021 at 3:28 a.m.

3 seniors receive national honors

For the third year in a row, three Conway High School seniors have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Leandro Menon, Fletcher Pearson and Alan Sun received letters of commendation on behalf of the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corp. last week.

Conway High School Principal Buck Bing says this year's senior class at Conway High School is outstanding.

"These National Merit Commended Scholars join our National Merit Finalists in demonstrating a high standard for academic excellence," Bing said. "They set an example for others here on our campus and throughout our district and community."

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. recognizes the students for their outstanding performance in being among the top scorers on the 2021 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Conway Corp. exec gets magazine nod

Conway Corp. chief marketing officer Crystal Kemp was named the Independent Marketer of the Year by Cablefax: The Magazine.

Cablefax: The Magazine provides coverage of business developments affecting the cable, broadband and digital markets.

Kemp was recognized as a "respected and hardworking colleague and leader who is the best at what she does primarily because she works harder being a better person every day," said Matt Polka, president and chief executive officer of American Communications Association.

Kemp has been recognized locally for mentoring youths, serving as a Girl Scout troop leader for 17 years and volunteering for more than 20 years with the Conway Area Youth Leadership Institute. She is also a Circle of Influence leader for the University of Central Arkansas Women's Leadership Network.

Kemp joined Conway Corp. in 2000 as a marketing and communications coordinator.

Cablefax honors individuals and companies that represent the best in a variety of areas, including marketing, technology, finance, lifetime achievement, customer service and community involvement.

Officers installed by Kiwanis Club

Jessica Faulkner was installed as president of the Kiwanis Club of Conway during a regular meeting last week.

Also installed were president-elect Patrick Lewis, vice president David DeRosa, treasurers Ryan Creswell and Richard Plotkin, and secretary Kathy Turner.

Immediate past president Brett McDaniel will continue to serve on the club board for the next year.

The club also installed board members for the coming year. Returning board members are Jack Bell, Charles Finkenbinder, Mary Lackie, Scott Sanson, Cole Schanandore and Jimmy Toal. New board members are Lindsey French, Richard Hammond, Bruce Henricks, Courtney Leach, Don Potter and Nicole Rappold.

Board members serve two-year terms.

UCA announces leaders academy

The University of Central Arkansas Division of Outreach and Community Engagement announced recently the establishment of the Women's Leadership Academy, a 6-month program to equip future women leaders for excellence in the workforce.

The academy -- funded by a grant from the UCA Foundation of Women's Giving Circle -- provides speakers, hands-on experiences and community service. The first session begins in January and will run through July.

"This academy is women-centric," said Shaneil Ealy, associate vice president of UCA Outreach and Community Engagement and co-director of the Women's Leadershp Academy. "The personal development infused throughout this academy, along with the thread of diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity, make this academy unique."

The inaugural class consists of 17 women: Marie Abrams, administration, New Zion Temple COGIC; Kendis Chenoweth, life optimization coach and Enneagram specialist; Carole DeLaney, principal broker, CD Real Estate Group; Amy Ferdowsian, Conway Public School Board member; Margaret Hacker, graduate assistant, UCA Center for Community and Economic Development; Mya Hall, UCA Student Government Association president; Claudette W. Holt, president, Enginuity212; Laura King, agency engagement director, United Way of Central Arkansas; Yennifer Lopez, creative producer of Silverlake Design Studio and owner of Yennifer Lopez Photography; Dianka Moton, CEO of L.A. Beauty Bar & L.A. Eventz; Jamisa Nuness-Hogan, owner and director, Kids World Child Care Center; Ashton Pruitt, Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce president; Amy Reed, director of development, Central Baptist College; Brandi Rodgers, owner and mental health therapist, Because You Matter Counseling PLLC; Maureen Skinner, owner, Catalyst Counseling PLLC; Adrienne Tolbert, owner and cosmetologist, Adrienne's Ultimate U Salon LLC; and Samantha Valencia, manager, Mainframe Training and Development, Ensono.

Plotkin chosen Kiwanian of year

Richard Plotkin was recently recognized as the 2021 Kiwanian of the Year by the Kiwanis Club of Conway.

Plotkin, who is the club treasurer, was recognized for his contributions to the club, most notably as chairman of the Bookcase Project committee.

The Bookcase Project provides personalized bookcases and a starter book collection to 50 children enrolled in Community Action Program for Central Arkansas Head Start.

"In a year, where we were unable to have our regular fundraiser, Richard made sure this project continued," immediate past president Brett McDaniel said. "We are so thankful for his dedication to the club and to the children in our community."

Mallett promoted to loan originator

Tara Mallett was recently promoted to secondary mortgage loan originator at First Community Bank in Conway.

Mallett, who has more than 11 years of banking experience, was previously a business development officer with the bank.

"I'm so excited for this next chapter in my banking career," Mallett said. "My goal has always been to be helpful and available to my clients and referral partners, and I am thrilled that I can extend this service to the mortgage side of banking."

Bank president Grant Gordy said Mallet's background in relationship banking will be a great resource for customers and the community.

"I'm confident that she will excel at this position," Gordy said.

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