Arkansas Rep Board Announces Officers, New Members for 2018-2019


Arkansas Repertory Theatre has announced its 2018-2019 slate of officers and named seven new members to the board of directors of the state’s largest, nonprofit professional theatre.

Ruth Shepherd is the newly-elected board chair. Retired since 2016 as executive director of Just Communities of Arkansas, Shepherd is also one of three volunteers recently appointed to serve on the interim leadership team of the organization since the board announced the suspension of productions earlier this year in order to reassess, refocus and rebuild the theatre. An announcement about resuming MainStage productions  in 2019 is expected in September.

Joining Shepherd as incoming board officers are fellow board members:  Chuck Cliett, vice chair; Abtin Mehdizadegan, secretary; and Michelle Mann, treasurer.  Cliett is a partner at Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, while Mehdizagegan is an attorney with Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon and Galchus.  A certified public accountant, Mann is tax senior manager with HoganTaylor Accountants and Consultants.

New additions to The Rep Board of Directors, each elected to serve three-year individual terms, include:

  • Randall L. Bynum, of Little Rock, is managing partner at Dover Dixon Horn PLLC where he primarily concentrates in the areas of energy, utility, telecom, insurance and medical marijuana regulation. Bynum is an alumnus of the University of Arkansas where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration before earning a law degree at George Washington University.
  • Laura Martin, of Little Rock, currently serves as community relations coordinator for the Little Rock Police Department and is the South Central Regional Educational Advancement Coordinator for Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in management from Philander Smith College, Martin later received her Master’s degree in public administration and human resources management from Webster University.   
  • Lori Maxwell, of Sherwood, is a certified public accountant and graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. A founding partner in Maxwell Certified Public Accountants in Sherwood, Maxwell also serves as chief financial officer of Pool Fisheries in Lonoke and co-owner of O’Hara Automotive in North Little Rock.
  • Sharon Meador, M.D., of Little Rock, is a physician with ARcare in Conway. A native of Jonesboro, Meador earned her medical degree at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and performed her residency in Charleston, SC.  
  • Lanny Nickell, of North Little Rock, is vice president of engineering at Southwest Power Pool. Nickell holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
  • B. J. Walker, of Little Rock, is a member of the Rose Law Firm specializing in complex civil litigation. In addition to chairing his firm’s litigation practice group since 2013, Walker is also a past president of the Pulaski County Bar Association. A native Arkansan from Ben Lomand, Walker was a member of the inaugural graduating class of the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences. Receiving his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University, Walker later earned his law degree at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Herman Williams, of Little Rock, currently serves as director of legislative affairs for ARcare and is co-executive director and vice president of networks for the Arkansas Family Health Foundation. Williams formerly served as community affairs director and senior advisor to Governor Mike Beebe and is a retired military veteran who served in the United States Army.

Also joining the board for a limited one-year term as incoming chair of Stagehands, the theatre’s auxiliary volunteer organization, will be Barbara Harpool, a tax accountant with P. Andrew Carpenter, C.P.A.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre was founded in 1976 with a mission to produce a diverse body of work intended to illuminate the human condition through great storytelling and is the largest non-profit professional theatre company in the state. Having produced more than 350 shows (including 40 world premieres), the 377-seat theatre is located in downtown Little Rock where it serves as the anchor of the city’s Creative Corridor.

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