Conway Area Leadership Institute Graduates 48

CONWAY, Ark. (Feb. 2, 2023) — The Conway Area Leadership Institute graduated 48 in its 2022 class and recognized several honorees in a ceremony at the University of Central Arkansas McCastlain Hall on Jan. 27.  

CALI is a 10-month program that prepares emerging leaders to serve the Conway community by providing first-hand experience with community leaders, businesses, and local organizations. Participants engage in a curriculum inspired by Conway2035, a long-range strategic plan developed with the input of more than 1,800 area residents.    

Ty Ledbetter, a captain for the Conway Fire Department, received the Dan Nabholz Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes a recent CALI graduate for leadership and community involvement. Ledbetter was selected for his leadership in organizing several COVID-19 vaccination clinics, establishing the Conway Fire Department EMS Division, and securing funding to support the paramedic program and install a Safe Haven Baby Box. 

Ty Ledbetter, Dan Nabholz Emerging Leader Award winner

Joel Shepard was named Class Champion of the 2022 class. The award recognizes one individual for contributions to the group throughout the year. Shepard and fellow 2022 class member, James Tyus, were added to the CALI Advisory Board, which provides feedback on curriculum and program structure.  

Joel Shepard, 2022 Class Champion

As part of its community impact project, the class raised more than $44,000 to support two local non-profits, Sleep in Heavenly Peace and the Conway Ministry Center. These funds were used to build 56 beds for area children in need and welcome kits for families moving into new homes. 

The Conway Area Leadership Institute is underwritten by Rock Pond Pros and sponsored by First Arkansas Bank & Trust. Session underwriters are Central Baptist College, Conway Corporation, Conway Regional Health System, H+N Architects, Klaasmeyer Construction, and Nabholz Corporation.  

This year’s class graduates are as follows:  

Deepti Nikam 


Doneshia Boyd 


Evelyn Landrith 

Arvest Bank 

Gary Mitchell 

Baptist Health-Conway 

Lindsey Paxton 

CareSource PASSE 

Destiny Lankford 

Centennial Bank 

Rachel Scott 

Central Baptist College 

Tyler Bailey 

Central Tube and Bar 

Cami Goodell 

Chambers Bank 

Ethan Barnes 

Chambers Bank 

Darrell Yates 

Conway Corporation 

Brittney Wood 

Conway Human Development Center 

Blaire Bledsoe 

Conway Regional Health System 

Jessica Smith 

Conway Regional Health System 

Josh Tennant 

Conway Regional Health System 

Taylor Shouse 

Conway Wealth Management 

Tara Robertson 

Cousins Office Furniture 

Morgan Lefler 

Engage Management 

Krissy McCurley 


Joe Sexson 


Timothy Thomas Jr. 

First Arkansas Bank & Trust 

Cameron Reesor 

First Community Bank 

Matt Wilcox 

First Security Bank 

Nate Bartlett 

First Service Bank 

James Tyus 

Gainwell Technologies 

Shawn Glenn 

Gainwell Technologies 

Amber Watkins 

HD Roofing 

Dawn Bramlett 

HJC CPAs and Advisors 

Jennifer Sutterfield 

J&J Sutterfield LLC 

Alexander Baney 

Malvern National Bank 

Ashley Spencer 

Mark V. Williamson Co., Inc. 

Derrick Anderson 

Mark V. Williamson Co., Inc. 

Maddie Hobbs 

McDonald Agency 

Ashlea Brown 


Reed Madden 

NRG Insurance 

Erica Robichaud 

Premier, Inc 

Jack Langston 

Rogers Group 

Joel Shepard 

Simmons Bank 

Tyler Goodell 

Sissy’s Log Cabin 

Alison Taylor 

University of Central Arkansas 

Cassandra McCuien-Smith 

University of Central Arkansas 

Kevin Carter 

University of Central Arkansas 

Melanie Watson 

University of Central Arkansas 

Andrew Moore 

Virco Manufacturing 

Landon Ezell 

Weaver-Bailey Contractors 

Datavian Bowser 

Willow Event Center 

Austin DuVall 

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute 

Tracy Kendrick 

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute