10 Years Building History




Photography by Chach Bursey, shot on location at the Woman's City Building, JLLR's headquarters.

The Junior League of Little Rock has been known since its inception in 1929, as an organization that gives back in leaps and bounds to its community. This year marks the 10th anniversary of their purchase of the Woman’s City Building, thus saving this historic site from disrepair. The League completely renovated it, transforming it into their headquarters and an architectural gem for the city. The purchase of this building was a major stepping stone for the organization — known for its many successful projects including Riverfest, Bargain Boutique, Holiday House and more — to allow them a central location to meet, host events and focus on doing the best they can for the city of Little Rock. In honor of this anniversary, we profile 10 of the organization’s many esteemed Sustaining Members … 

 

Frances A. CranfordFrances Anderson Cranford

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Homemaker & Community Volunteer

Frances A. Cranford graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1959, and attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va., for two years before completing her bachelor’s degree in humanities at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been married for 49 years to J. Wayne Cranford, and they have three grown sons — Jay, Ross and Chris. She was Miss Arkansas and first runner-up to Miss America in 1961; elected “Arkansas Woman of the Year” in a state-wide poll conducted by the Arkansas Democrat in 1962; and was Arkansas’ first weather girl at KARK in 1963. She has served on the boards and committees of countless organizations in the state, and Junior League of Little Rock named her “Sustainer of the Year” in 2001 for all of her hard work.

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? 40 years. What attracted you to The League? I wanted to be involved in the community and to be able to help make it the best it could be. What was the first organization you joined? The Arkansas Arts Center. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? The Arts in Education program we did as part of the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? You learn that it is definitely more rewarding to give than to receive. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? When I was an active, we had the Bargain Box, which we ran like a business with store hours. The League teaches you to be professional in your volunteer work. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations  you serve? I served many years on the board of The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas; the U of A System Board of Trustees; and others. I now serve on the UAMS Foundation Board; the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Board; and the Mount Holly Cemetery Association Board. Is there a quote that has guided you in your JLLR community involvement? “Promise yourself to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best” — it’s from The Optimist’s Creed.

 

 

Kim H. EvansKim Henderson Evans

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Vice President of Development & Client Services — Arkansas Community Foundation

Kim H. Evans received a bachelor's degree in international economics from Georgetown University then attended the Wiliam H. Bowen School of Law at UALR. Evans is the vice president of Development and Client Service for the Arkansas Community Foundation. She previously served as the director of the Center for Nonprofit Organizations at UALR and is a former Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas. She serves on a number of nonprofit and for-profit boards that seek to improve the lives of Arkansans. Evans is a past president of the JLLR, and also served on the Nominating and Strategic Planning Steering Committees of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI).

How long have you been a member of the Junior League of Little Rock? 16 years. What attracted you to the Junior League? The opportunity to meet other women interested in civic engagement.  What was the first organization you joined? I volunteered at a daycare center in high school; a homeless shelter in college; and served on the boards of the Florence Crittenden Home; and the Quapaw Quarter Association in my 20s.  What is your favorite Junior League project/event? GROW (Girls Realizing Opportunity Within) and Holiday House. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I learned my own management and communication styles as well as what circumstances motivate me to do my best. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? CareLink; Centers for Youth and Families; St. Vincent Foundation; eSTEM Public Charter Schools; Carl B. & Florence King Foundation; and Southern Bancorp, Inc. How has the Junior League changed since you joined? The League has continued to remain relevant in the community by proactively adjusting to changes in the world around it rather than remaining stagnant and risking obsolescence. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? My experience in the JLLR enabled me to broaden my skills and experiences in a supportive environment.

 

 

Mimi Myer HurstMimi Myer Hurst

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Senior Vice President, Stephens Inc.

Mimi Myer Hurst graduated from El Dorado High School in 1975; graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1979; and was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1989. She has had an impressive professional career and currently serves as senior vice president at Stephens Inc. She has been a member of various civic boards, including Arkan- sas Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees; St. Vincent Wom- en’s Advisory Board; Central Arkansas March of Dimes Board of Directors; and Central Arkansas Red Cross Board of Directors.

How long have you been a member of the Junior League of Little Rock? 26 years. What attracted you to the Junior League? I grew up with parents and my grandmother all involved in the community. What was the first organization you joined? The Fine Arts Club at the Arkansas Arts Center. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? Holiday House is so positive in many ways for the Junior League. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I am fairly adaptable. Over the years, I worked on various projects in the community and in the League, and learned that typically there is more than one path to the goal. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? The issues and needs of people served by the JLLR projects, and events that help fund the projects are genuine, and the people are grateful and appreciative of the help received. Have you remained as active in the community as you were as an active member? Although I have reduced my volunteer commitments, I am a member of the Little Rock Garden Club, serving as treasurer and I'm a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America serving as the Arkansas Registrar. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? Absolutely! I grew by learning about flexibility, group dynamics and needs in the community I didn’t know existed. Leading a group of dedicated volunteers, as president, was a considerable experience and journey.

 

 

Stacy HurstStacy Hurst

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Little Rock Board of Directors

Stacy Hurst was born in 1962 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., and then moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. She retired from the Arkansas Chil- dren's Hospital Foundation as vice president in 1996, after 12 years of service, to dedicate her time working for Tipton & Hurst. She served a two-year term as vice mayor of Little Rock beginning in 2007 and has served on the Little Rock Board of Directors since January 2003. She and husband Howard Cates Hurst have a son, Conley and a daughter, Johanna.

How long have you been a member of the Junior League of Little Rock? 24 years. What attracted you to the Junior League? Because I grew up in Pine Bluff, I saw it as a way to meet people and make new friends in Little Rock. Plus, I liked the thought of being a part of an organization with such a strong history of giving back to the community. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? During my active years with the League, I led the effort to acquire the historic Woman's City Club. Even today, 10 years later, that project makes me proud because it was such a significant effort on the part of the League and a lasting gift to the community. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? Through the effort to acquire the Woman's City Club, I learned that I am "project" driven, and I love a crusade. I had the opportunity to work with women who are so talented and resourceful, and I developed a great admiration and affection for them that I still hold today. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? I serve as board chair on the Little Rock Board of Directors. Through Tipton & Hurst, my husband and I support many worthwhile causes by providing auction items and flowers for galas and special events. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? Absolutely! Several of my League placements taught me new skills that I've continued to rely on professionally and in volunteer work.

 

 

Cathy MaytonCathy Hamilton Mayton

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Development for Episcopal Collegiate School

Cathy Mayton has served in her current position at Episcopal Collegiate since September 2003. Her job description includes: raising money for financial assistance; faculty development; and any other needs identified by Administration or the Board of Trustees. Previous to her work with Episcopal Collegiate, Mayton worked at Baptist Health in the Foundation for 14 years. She and husband, Michael R. Mayton live in Little Rock with a cat, who adopted them, and a rescue spaniel the couple adopted in Fayetteville. Though they do not have any children of their own, they consider all 686 students at Episcopal Collegiate their children.

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? My provisional year was 1983-1984. What attracted you to the Junior League? The JLLR allowed me to work with other great women; we worked together to make a tremendous impact on any effort. What was the first organization you joined? My first volunteer work was the training I received through the Girl Scouts. I was in Girl Scouts for years and went on to become a First Class Girl Scout. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? An afterschool program in east Little Rock called Cornerstone. We volunteered to tutor or provided educational programs for them. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? Volunteering teaches you that one person or one group can and will make a difference. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? Every effort helps someone, some way, somehow. No gesture is too small. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? I work for Episcopal Collegiate in development, and this is where I volunteer, raise money and serve as an ex-officio member on the Foundation Board. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? I made great friends along the way who are still great friends today. I learned a tremendous amount — organizational skills, people management, fundraising and more!

 

 

Cynthia MillerCynthia Coates Miller

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Arkansas Consultant for the Roy & Christine Sturgis Educational & Charitable Trust and Administrative Assistant to Judge David M. (Mac) Glover, Arkansas Court of Appeals

Cindy Miller received her bachelor’s degree in political sci- ence and history from the University of Arkansas in 1972, followed by postgraduate work in secondary education at UALR. She has worked for the Arkansas General Assembly; the Arkansas Court of Appeals where she remains administrative assistant to Judge David M. Glover and also serves as the Sturgis Educational & Charitable Trust Arkansas Consultant. Miller is an active member of the community, working to better the Natural State on many committees and boards, such as the Arkansas Arts Center, the Little Rock Wastewater Utility Commission, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock Rotary Club, Riverfest, American Heart Association and more. She serves on the JLLR Foundation Committee.

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? 36 years. What attracted you to the Junior League? At an early age, I knew that community service was a big deal, and I wanted to be a part of it. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? By far, my favorite placement was being editor of Traditions — A Taste of the Good Life! I made great friends while working on this cookbook. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I am committed to our community and will continue working towards making Little Rock an even greater city. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations that you serve? CareLink; Centers for Youth and Families; St. Vincent Foundation; eSTEM Public Charter Schools; Carl B. & Florence King Foundation; and Southern Bancorp, Inc. How has the Junior League changed since you joined? The move from secret to informed-candidate admission, and the inclusion of both day and night actives and meetings. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? My role with the Sturgis Foundation makes me aware of so many needs within the non-profit communities, and it’s my commitment to make sure any group that applies has a voice and that their application matters.

 

 

Linda NewbernLinda Baird Newbern

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Housewife & Mother

Linda Baird Newbern was raised in Huntsville, Ala., and re- ceived her bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College. Newbern worked as a systems analyst for 10 years in Washington D.C. She married David Gordon Newbern in 1987, and retired from her work to raise their four children: Elizabeth, Mollie, Baird and Sarah. Newbern has served as president of Junior League of Little Rock; chairman of AY Magazine’s Runway for a Cause; and PTA president at Pulaski Heights Elementary. She is on the board of KUAR public radio. She is proud to be a 14-year breast cancer survivor.

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? I joined the Junior League of Washington D.C. when I was 22 and remained a member until I was 40. What attracted you to the Junior League? I was interested in doing service work, understanding more about my community as well as meeting new people. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? My last active year in the League was the year we purchased the Woman’s City Club. I am so proud to have been a part of that for several reasons: we saved a building with such history in Little Rock; the building continues to serve as a headquarters for a woman’s organization; and we contributed to the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I think anyone who works to enhance the lives of others learns that it benefits you just as much as them. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? That they are just like you and me. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? Komen Race for the Cure, AY’s Runway for a Cause, Little Rock Public Schools and KLRE Public Radio. Is there a quote that has guided you in your JLLR community involvement?  "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." — Mahatma Gandhi. 

 

 

Renie RuleRenie Prentice Rule

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Senior Development Director at UAMS within Psychiatric Research Institute & College of Medicine

Renie Rule was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Malden, Missouri. She attended Trinity University in San An- tonio, Texas; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Uni- versity of Arkansas at Little Rock; and Henderson University to graduate with a degree in social work/sociology. She currently serves as a Senior Development Director at UAMS, where she raises money for the Psychiatric Research Institute, ALS program and Maternal/Fetal Medicine Programs. She enjoys traveling, playing bridge, reading, gardening and working with non-profits.

How long have you been a member of the JLRR? 20 years. What attracted you to the Junior League? My degree is in social work/sociology, so I am drawn to non-profits and volunteer opportunities within those organizations. Have you always been a volunteer or active in your community? Yes, since I was in the second grade I have loved to organize groups and do parties and make money and give it to a cause. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I am an extrovert, I think out loud. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? President, Tucker Max Chapel Board of Directors; President, Evergreen Garden Club; Elder, Second Presbyterian Church; 14 years as 4-year old Sunday School teacher; Chairman, Capital Campaign for Second Presbyterian Church; Volunteer with fundraisers for the: Arkansas Arts Center, The Rep, Wildwood, Wolfe Street, Symphony Designer House, Homeless Center, UAMS Cancer Center. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? Because of the Junior League, I have the confidence to lead organizations as an officer; speak publicly; organize events; encourage/draft volunteers to implement plans; and believe “nothing” is impossible when you put the right mix of brains and personalities with the right energy in one room and let those volunteers “figure it out” and “make it happen.”

 

 

Susan SmithSusan F. Smith

Junior League Status: Sustainer & Community Advisory Board Member
Occupation: Senior Executive Vice President, Metropolitan National Bank

Smith attended Hall High School in Little Rock, Ark., then enrolled in Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where she obtained her bachelor’s degree and became a CPA. She has had an extensive professional career and currently serves as senior executive vice president and CEO of Metropolitan National Bank, where she has been employed 14 years. She has been involved in many prominent community organizations including: The Downtown Partnership; Arkansas Women’s Forum; Arkansas Executive Forum; former St. Vincent Development Foundation Board & Chairman and more. She has been named “Top 25 Women to Watch” by US Banker, “Top 100 Women in Arkansas” and “Forty Under Forty” by Arkansas Business.

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? I joined as a provisional member in November 1990. What attracted you to the Junior League? Several community organizations I was working with at the time had JLLR members serving in executive capacity on their boards, and I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and leadership they contributed. What is your favorite Junior League project/event? Riverfest. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? The Junior League really gave me confidence to go beyond my comfort zone and volunteer in new ways. As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? Volunteers are the lifeblood of the community. Everyone can have an impact. As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations you serve? I am currently serving on the Downtown Partnership Board and serve as an advisor on the Arkansas Commitment Leadership Program. How has the Junior League changed since you joined? With advancements in technology. Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? My life has been enriched from the friendships and experiences I had in the Junior League. The confidence and experience I gained were also a great help in my career.

 

 

Mary WorthenMary Fletcher Worthen

Junior League Status: Sustainer
Occupation: Retired

Mary Fletcher Worthen was born on a farm outside of Scott, Ark., in 1917. She attended Little Rock Junior College followed by a brief stint at Vassar College before resigning school to marry the late Booker Worthen in 1937. After marriage, Worthen threw herself into her family and began a career in volunteerism. Worthen’s love of music drew her to a number of activities. Her husband helped found the precursor to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and she has remained active in the organization since their marriage. She served as president of the ASO Society Board, and was named a lifetime board member. She helped establish the Chamber Music Society and served as its president. 

How long have you been a member of the JLLR? I have been a member of the Junior League for 73 years, since 1938. w What is your favorite Junior League project/event? I was chairman of the Speech School, and we brought the first speech therapist to Little Rock. w As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about yourself? I learned about serving others and that I could make a difference. w As you worked with the various projects/events, what did you learn about those you serve? I learned about how you go about serving others — study their needs, then organize to fill them. w As a sustainer, what are some of the other organizations that you serve? I’ve served the ASO Society board; Chamber Music Society board; Scott Connections board; and Herb Society board locally and nationally. I worked in the Medicinal Garden at Historic Arkansas Museum more than 30 years; Mount Holly Cemetery board more than 50 years; Old State House Museum board; Pulaski County Historical Society board; UALR Alumni board; Family Service Agency; and the Elizabeth Mitchell Home. I was president of several boards. I also wrote a history of my church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. w How has the Junior League changed since you joined? Everything has changed since I became a member of the Junior League — television came in the '50s — but the goals of the Junior League haven’t. w Do you see how your involvement in JLLR has caused you to grow, evolve? I have been a better volunteer because of my Junior League training.

 

Reader Comments:
May 11, 2011 10:17 am
 Posted by  DianneHocut

Such an wonderful story on some of the most inspiring women in Arkansas. Thanks!

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