Top 100 Women of Arkansas
The History of the Women's Foundation of ArkansasAbout
Founded by women for women.
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) initiated the efforts of a group of prominent women leaders to create a charitable fund dedicated to investing in projects for women and girls in Arkansas. In 2002, the WFA became its own 501(c)(3) organization. Arkansas Business Publishing Group began selecting and honoring the “Top 100 Women in Arkansas” in 1995. Each year ABPG sponsored a luncheon at which these women were honored. In 1998, the women were challenged to come up with a way they could collectively make a difference in Arkansas. The idea of a foundation for and by women emerged. The Arkansas Community Foundation and ABPG were asked to lead the effort. They organized a committee, developed plans for the foundation and raised the initial contributions establishing the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Our official Founder’s Day is January 11, 1998.
The WFA proposed to improve the educational status of Arkansas women and girls by encouraging women and girls to improve their skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The purpose of the WFA would be to train women and girls for emerging occupations, promote mentoring of women and girls, improve the economic status of Arkansas women and girls, and promote philanthropy by and for women.
All current and former Top 100 Women, as well as other prominent Arkansans were challenged to become founders of the WFA with $1,000 contributions. More than 150 women responded. Those listed below contributed and became founding members of WFA.
Betty Abbott // Dr. Dana Abraham // Sharon K. Allen// Sandy Alstadt // Virginia Bailey // Shelby Baker // Emma L. Bass // Dr. Carolyn Blakely // Jan Bolton // Sissi Brandon // Ellen Brantley // Patricia Rhine Brown // Dolores F. Bruce // Joan R. Campbell // Mary Cantrell // Charlie Cole Chaffin // Sandra Cherry // Ellon R. Cockrill // Ethel Cook // Judi S. Dawson // Lynn DeVault // Mary Dillard // Dr. Lee Lee Doyle// Joy Drummond // Helen T. Dyke // Audrey R. Evans // Olivia Farrell // LaVerne W. Feaster // Karen E. Flake // Maribeth Frazer // Sue Frueauff // Marion W. Fulk // Rebecca Garner // Greer Grace // Dr. Karen G. Grant // Barbara M. Graves // Ellen M. Gray // Jane Hardin // Diana T. Hueter // Catherine L. Hughes // Johnelle D. Hunt // Janet Jones // Myra Jones // Sissy Jones // Brownie W. Ledbetter* // Sharron Johnson Leslie // Jo Knight Light // Betty Lile // Pat Lile // Linda Linn // Margo Low // Diane S. Mackey // Cora McHenry // Dr. Shirolyn Moffett // Dorothy Morris // Beverly Morrow // Billie Ann Myers // Susan Newkirk // Wanda L.N. Hartz // Martha Ann Norton // Kay S. Patton // Stacy B. Sells // Karen E. Potts // Carolyn Pugh // Janet L. Pulliam // Lisenne Rockefeller // Judge Judith Rogers // Jane Ross // Amy Rossi // Jane P. Saunders // Charlotte T. Schexnayder // Helen Selig // Lottie Shackelford // Mary Gay Shipley // Billie Jo Starr // Jean D. Stockburger // Patti Upton // Cynthia VanWinkle // Sherry Walker // Helen R. Walton // Millie Ward // Carolyn B. Witherspoon