October 2017  


Internet Killed the Retail/Restaurant Star: A panel discussion on national vs. local trends and how local retailers and restaurateurs are thriving in today's consumer climate.

Friday, October 20
11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The Little Rock Club

Register for this Arkansas PRSA meeting

Nationally, we're seeing trends of major retailers, big box stores and restaurant groups struggling to compete in today's market. Consumers have changed their shopping and buying habits and online retailers, such as Amazon, are claiming more and more market share. Nine major retailers have filed for bankruptcy in 2017, as well as a host of restaurant groups. Just this month, Toys-R-Us announced it will join the growing list filing for Chapter 11. While locally, we're seeing restaurant groups and retailers thrive.

Please join PRSA on October 20 for a panel discussion with local entrepreneurs from E.Leigh's, JTJ Restaurants and Rhea Lana's Children Consignment Event to talk about how their businesses have adapted to a changing climate and the role PR and strategic communications has had in growing a small business to a regional powerhouse.


Erin Hohnbaum

Erin Hohnbaum

Erin Leigh Hohnbaum is the owner and CEO of E.Leigh’s Contemporary Boutiques. In 2011, at the age of 26, Erin took a leap of faith, quitting her full-time public relations position to start her own online clothing and accessories store. After less than a year of selling her products at home trunk shows and through Facebook, she opened the first brick and mortar E.Leigh’s location in Little Rock in 2012. What started as a small, home-based business has now grown into a six-store, multi-million-dollar operation spanning Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky. Erin was named Top 20 in their 20s by Arkansas Business in 2013 and one of Soiree Magazine’s Women to Watch in 2012. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas and is a member of the CARTI Auxiliary. She lives in Little Rock with her husband, Jackson Farrow, and their two rescue dogs, Penny and Charlotte.

Jim Keet

Jim Keet

Jim Keet is the current President of Keet Management Company – a consulting and real estate management firm he started in 1982. He is chairman of JTJ Restaurants in Little Rock and chairman/CEO of KO Construction Management. A hospitality- and real estate-industry veteran, Keet has helped create more than 5,000 jobs in hotels, restaurants, apartments and real estate development. During his career spanning more than 40 years, he served as one of the youngest innkeepers in the Holiday Inn system, brought Wendy’s Restaurants to Arkansas, and opened nine Taziki’s Mediterranean Café locations as well as Petit and Keet, a polished casual restaurant in Little Rock. Keet has also held top leadership roles at regional restaurant chains, an international hotel licensing company and a publicly traded extended-stay lodging company.

A public servant, Keet was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1988 and was then elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 1992. He also served as U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson's state director from September 2001 until June 2002. Keet was the Republican nominee for Governor in 2010, facing challenger Gov. Mike Beebe. He has served on more than 20 civic and charitable boards and is a member of the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Keet is a member of St. Andrew Church and has been married to Margaret Keet for 46 years. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Rhea Lana Riner

Rhea Lana Riner

In 1997, Rhea Lana Riner began her small business as a young mom with three small children after her husband changed careers, taking her family from a corporate salary to a ministry salary. Like so many people, she had a passion for fashion, but on a limited budget, she could not afford to dress her children as she hoped. Knowing many other moms who experienced the same challenge, she came up with an idea that would help them all: she invited a few friends to a small event in her living room to buy and sell their children’s used clothing. The positive feedback from the first event was overwhelming, and she quickly realized that there was an eager market among families of all kinds for gently used children’s clothing. 

From this humble beginning, Rhea Lana’s was born and grew. Now 20 years later Rhea Lana’s Franchise Systems supports 88 franchises operating in 21 states and has received numerous awards, most recently being named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchises in 2017. 
As a champion in her industry, Rhea Lana Riner has appeared in Washington D.C. before the Senate HELP committee to discuss Women in the Workforce and before the House subcommittee for Workforce Protections. She lives in Conway with her husband Dave. They enjoy visiting their grown children in Oklahoma and Texas.

Wayne Miller (Moderator)

Wayne Miller

With more than three decades of proven performance in a variety of industries and leadership roles, Wayne serves as managing director of the VC Fintech Accelerator. He serves as the primary leader of the program (which is sometimes not unlike herding cats).

Before relocating to Little Rock from the Washington D.C. metro area, Miller was actively involved in the Kaufman Foundation’s Million Cups program where he served as an organizer and mentor. In 2006, he was inducted as a lifetime member of Kiwanis International for his fundraising efforts for children and is a recipient of the Governor’s Service Award from the State of Virginia for his efforts as a board member of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program to reduce impaired driving.

Yes, he knows he looks like Jeff Goldblum and/or Matt Lauer, and he doesn't mind if you say so. Also, he does a pretty mean Sinatra if given enough red wine.

Advice to entrepreneurs: You don't have to win and lose all on your own. It's OK to ask for help.

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Congratulations to the 2017 ARcom Award Winners

2017 ARcom Committee

ARcom Committee Members, from left: Stella Prather, APR, chairwoman; Kristen Vandaveer Nicholson, APR; Nikki Heck, APR; Becca Green, APR; Sarah Kinser, APR; Jeff LeMaster; and Anna K. Hubbard.

Thanks to our ARcom sponsors; the ARcom committee; our fabulous emcees Lisa Fischer and Roby Brock; and members and guests of PRSA Arkansas, IABC/Arkansas and AdClub Little Rock for making the first-ever ARcom Awards a success. We'd like to recognize our 2017 sponsors:

  • Bob Sells Best of Show Sponsor: Dignity Memorial
  • Table Sponsors: Communications Group and Democrat Printing and Lithographing Co.
  • Reception Sponsor: Ghidotti Communications
  • Print Sponsor: Allegra
  • Design Sponsor: Kara Darling Creative

We'd also like to thank David Lewis, APR for photographing the event. View, share and download high-resolution photos on David's website.

Congratulations to all of the ARcom winners! Read about the winning campaigns and tactics at

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Vote on the 2018 Slate of Officers

The 2018 PRSA Board of Directors Nominating Committee is pleased to present the final officer slate for board leadership.

Please take our online poll to indicate your vote for the candidates listed below. All votes must be submitted by Thursday, October 5, to be counted. The election results will be announced at the October chapter meeting.

Vote for PRSA Officers

Nominations Received:

President-Elect: Adena J. White, APR
Adena J. White, APR, is director of communications at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism (public relations emphasis) from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. She later completed a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Adena currently serves as vice president of Arkansas PRSA. Her previous chapter involvement has included two years as treasurer, a three-year term as director-at-large for membership and chairwoman of the communications committee for one year.

Vice President: Meagan Clark
Maegan Clark is the social media manager at Heifer International. In that position, she creates and implements the organization’s global social media strategy, content, analytics and engagement. Her position at global development organization provides with the opportunity to use her skills in digital engagement to improve the lives of those in need around the globe. Prior to Heifer International, Maegan worked in the public sector in marketing, public relations and social media. Maegan has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from Arkansas State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Treasurer: Kathryn Heller, APR
Kathryn Heller, APR, works for Ghidotti Communications, a full-service marketing communications firm, as account supervisor. She leads the team while managing day-to-day client relationships and creating strategic plans that address every client need. Kathryn supports the Ghidotti team in all projects and brings value to the clients through a deep understanding of key issues and industry trends. She also serves in a leadership role at Ghidotti Communications and works with the CEO on business development and agency direction.

Secretary: Jason Brown, APR
Jason Brown, APR, serves as director of public relations at The Communications Group, a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm. He is a member of the strategic advisory board for the College of Communications at Arkansas State University. In his spare time, Jason serves on the board of the B Street Rib Off, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2008. Jason attended both Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and guest lectures at both universities.

Director-at-Large: Heather Haywood, APR
Heather Haywood, APR, is a public relations and communications professional serving in the non-profit, government, arts and education sectors for more than 20 years. She is the director of marketing and public relations for Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., where she leads strategic marketing and public relations initiatives to strengthen and expand the firm’s brand and visibility. Haywood served as vice president of corporate communications for Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. She served as director of communications and marketing for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and the Arkansas Insurance Department. Haywood completed PRSA’s Reputation Management Certificate Program in June 2017.

Assembly Delegate/APR Chairman: Denver Peacock, IABC, APR
Denver Peacock, IABC, APR, brings more than 20 years of experience as principal of The Peacock Group, the public affairs and public relations firm he founded in 2014. At the firm, he has provided communications, strategic counsel and event support for a number of companies, foundations, government entities and non-profit organizations. He previously worked for nearly 12 years at CJRW. A licensed attorney, Denver has worked with clients on the passage of critical education reform legislation in the Arkansas state legislature and other initiatives through coalition development, grassroots strategies and media outreach efforts. Prior to joining CJRW, he worked on two presidential campaigns and served a stint at The White House.

The following positions are pre-determined from year to year and not up for a vote:

Immediate Past President: Sarah Kinser, APR
Sarah Kinser, APR, is chief program officer for Arkansas Community Foundation. In this role, she oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking, affiliate system, impact investing and community partnerships. Previously, she led the Foundation’s communications department for nine years. Sarah 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 credential in 2012.

President: Kristen Nicholson, APR
Kristen Vandaveer Nicholson, APR, is a public relations practitioner with more than nine years of experience in the areas of media relations, news writing, social media, strategic planning and crisis communications. Currently, she is director of public relations at Mangan Holcomb Partners. In this role, she manages the agency's public relations team and provides support for a variety of clients from a myriad of backgrounds.

Director-at-Large, Prisms: Stella Prather, APR
Stella Prather, APR, has more than 25 years of experience helping organizations communicate more effectively. Since 2010, she has been a voice for the children and families of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, sharing their stories of hope and restoration. Prather is actively involved in advancing the public relations profession. She has been a member the Baptist Communicators Association since 1996, serving as president in 2014/15.

Director-at-Large, PRSSA: Lamor Williams
L. Lamor Williams is the communications and marketing manager for the City of Little Rock. A Pine Bluff native living in downtown Little Rock, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Philander Smith College, where he graduated with honors in 2015. Before joining the City of Little Rock, Williams worked as a public relations account executive for Mangan Holcomb Partners and was a newspaper journalist for nearly 20 years for such publications as the Arkansas Democrat-GazetteFort Worth Star-Telegram and Pine Bluff Commercial.

Vote for PRSA Officers

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PRSA National

Triple Play Membership Promotion

October 1 – November 30, 2017

Fall Triple Play - PRSA Membership

If growing your professional network is important to you, then you won’t want to pass up this amazing deal! When you join PRSA by Nov. 30, 2017, you will have three surefire ways to make industry connections. In addition to your national PRSA membership, you will also receive a Free Section* membership and $100 off your Arkansas PRSA chapter membership!

  1. PRSA National Membership: Access to more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals 24/7 via the members-only online community MyPRSA. Plus, you have access to dozens of other member benefits!
  2. PRSA Chapter Membership:Connect with Arkansas PRSA to take advantage of the networking and educational events and connect with local industry professionals.
  3. PRSA Section Membership: PRSA has 14 professional interest groups, known as Sections. Each Section focuses on a specific industry that public relations and communication professionals serve, and a few of the Sections are geared toward career level and business owners. Members of these Sections are able to connect with industry peers who have similar needs and share the same challenges. These groups share important and relevant information about their area of interest through a variety of channels throughout the year. View all 14 Sections.

Use the code FALL17 at checkout!

*RESTRICTIONS: The Counselors Academy Section is not included in this offer. Chapter dues are covered up to $100. N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer here for details.


Have you explored MyPRSA? MyPRSA is PRSA’s members-only, secure, private community that empowers PRSA members to create meaningful communication and share resources. In addition to this versatile community and resource library, you will have access to all of your membership account information. Be sure to take advantage of this valuable member benefit.

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