Kim is a Fayetteville native, and one of his earliest memories is visiting the Roberta Fulbright Library on Dickson Street where he participated in summer reading programs and discovered his lifelong love of reading. In later years he studied medicine and became a pulmonologist. His hobbies include reading, hiking, listening to and playing music, and spending time with his wife Janie and their family.
Kim believes that our library is a place where all members of our community can come together for a special event, a meeting, or just to visit over a cup of coffee. It’s also a GREAT place to find new books!
On March 1 this year, Bittle officially launched his own independent insurance agency. Until then he had built his career in the financial services sector, working for some of the state’s largest and most recognizable companies. A Fayetteville native, Bittle spent three years working for Gary Head at Arvest Bank, then the next decade at Head’s startup Signature Bank of Arkansas, ultimately becoming Fayetteville market president at the age of 33. In 2014, Bittle was recruited by Dennis Hunt to Stephens Inc. to handle municipal bond funding in Northwest Arkansas.
Bittle’s community involvement started when he was just 23 with a seat on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA board of directors. He still sits on many boards, including the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and Life Styles Inc. (president), and is strongly motivated to give back to the community.
I have used the Fayetteville Library for almost 40 years, beginning in my own childhood and now taking my three young boys. With the creation of Crystal Bridges, our region has become a book of cultural experiences and the Fayetteville Public Library has become that bookend.
A former Texan who now calls Fayetteville home, Teresa is a wife, mom and grandma. She is a former elementary school teacher who loves biking, friends, and party planning.
Believing that public libraries hold a unique opportunity for inspiration and access to information for everyone in a community, Teresa challenges her fellow community members to drop in on Baby Bookworms and not leave with a smile on their face.
Grant moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2014 to continue his career pursuits within the Walmart business community and quickly realized that Northwest Arkansas is an awesome place to pursue life. Grant & his wife Kali have been floored by the depth & authenticity of the community and the philanthropic nature of Northwest Arkansas. When Grant is not working alongside vendors to grow their businesses with Walmart, he enjoys woodworking, photography, & traveling with Kali.
Grant believes that the Fayetteville Public Library is one of the best gateways in our community where everyone is welcome to learn, connect & invest in the future of Northwest Arkansas.
Carolyn Henderson Allen
Carolyn has lived in Northwest Arkansas for 18 years and has been the Dean of Libraries at the University of Arkansas the entire time.
She has worked in libraries for over 40 years and has extensive knowledge of both public and academic libraries and how they serve communities.
She is the former Chair of the Washington Regional Hospital Foundation Board, and served on the Walton Arts Center Board of Directors and the Walton Arts Center Foundation Board among others. She has participated in library renovations and expansions at four universities.
Carolyn believes that her contributions and experiences as a board member, librarian and proud citizen of this community will allow her to provide assistance to the continued success of Fayetteville Public Library. All Libraries play a vital part in educating our citizens and contributing to their well being and offering enlightening programs.
A fifth-generation Arkansan, Connie Hendrix-Kral has deep roots in Fayetteville, receiving both her B.A. And Ed.D from UA. Her doctoral dissertation was on capital campaigns in public universities. She is married to Dr. Tim Kral, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and parent to Bethany Kral.
Karen Hodges has lived, worked, and raised children in Fayetteville since 1979. A teacher by trade and inclination, Karen currently serves the University of Arkansas community as the Executive Director of Academic Initiatives and Integrity.
Karen believes that the Fayetteville Public Library is important to the community because it is a vehicle of equity and social inclusion, providing free access to information and the means to life-long learning.
Mike Russell recently retired from Procter & Gamble after a 37 year career—25 of those in Northwest Arkansas—where he had multiple sales roles across P&G portfolios. He has been married to Mary for 36 years and they have three children and four grandchildren. His interests include helping people, especially children who are in poverty, sports, and traveling.
Mikes believes that the Fayetteville Public Library is a hidden jewel in our community that serves the “entire” community. It provides full access to OMNI media from hard books to on line access! Education is one of the clear paths out of poverty and the FPL is a fabulous tool for our community to have everyone improve their standing.
As the Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Northwest Arkansas, Melody enjoys empowering nonprofits and volunteers to improve the lives of others. Through her professional positions and volunteer experiences, including mission trips to India, Mexico, and Nicaragua, she has cultivated a passion for creating education and empowerment opportunities for women and children.
Melody received her first library card at age four and has been in love with libraries ever since. She believes the Fayetteville Public Library is a community treasure. From its vast collection of resources, variety of programs, and spaces to convene and collaborate, the Fayetteville Public Library reflects the power of diversity in our community. She is excited about the Beyond Words campaign, because it will provide residents even more opportunities to explore, learn, and grow.
Mailena and her husband, both graduates of the UofA, moved back to Fayetteville in 2011 after living in Chicago and Japan. It was in Japan where they fell in love with private suite karaoke, and made it their mission to open one of their own in the US. After two failed attempts, the stars aligned for them in 2018 and they opened Big Box Karaoke on Block Ave. in Fayetteville, making it the first business of its kind in Arkansas.
Professionally, Mailena is a marketer who has worked with some of Northwest Arkansas’s favorite startup companies over the years. She recently started her own consulting agency, Concord Adams, that specializes in helping businesses who are stuck find sustainable marketing, strategy and design solutions to achieve their goals.
Perhaps her most notable career accomplishment has been her work at Collective Bias, where she was hired on as the 11th employee and got the opportunity to help build the core product, and develop a marketing strategy to put CB on the map as an industry leader in influencer marketing.
She and her husband live in Fayetteville with their two young children. As a child Mailena spent a lot of time at her hometown library in Van Buren, and now spends a great deal of time with her own children at the library, especially on Saturday mornings. Mailena believes the library is an anchor in our Fayetteville community, and is excited to help contribute in any way possible!