Nine individuals representing a cross section of finance, education and business have been appointed to the Board of Visitors at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The board was approved by the UA System Board of Trustees and will serve in an advisory capacity to the UAM campus.
The board members are:
• James R. Daniels of McGehee, president and chief executive officer of First Natural State Bank and a 1992 UAM graduate with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He is a member and past president of the McGehee Industrial Foundation, a member and past president of the McGehee Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.
• Roger George of Warren, president of Merchants and Planters Agency, Inc., and a 1974 UAM graduate with a bachelor of business administration degree. George is a former member of the Warren City Council and a former member of the Warren School Board.
• Dr. Bettye Gragg of Monticello, federal coordinator for the Monticello School District and a 1979 UAM graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in early childhood education. Gragg holds master’s degrees in elementary education from UA-Fayetteville and elementary guidance and counseling from UA-Little Rock and a doctorate in education administration and supervision, also from UALR. She is a member of the board of directors of the Monticello Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Homeless Coalition.
• George Harris of Monticello, president of Commercial Bank and Trust Company and a 1965 UAM graduate with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. Harris holds a master’s of business administration degree from UA-Fayetteville and is a certified public accountant.
• J. Michael Jones of Dumas, president and chief executive officer of Merchants and Farmers Bank and a 1976 graduate of UA-Fayetteville with a bachelor of science in business administration degree. Jones is a board member and past chairman of the Delta Technology Education Center, a member of the Hope Enterprise Corporation and a board member and past president of the Dumas Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past chairman of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
• Mellie Jo Owen of Monticello, a retired school teacher and a 1972 UAM graduate with a bachelor of science in education degree. She also holds a master’s degree in education from UA-Fayetteville. Owen taught 30 years in the Star City, Monticello and Drew Central School Districts, was the Monticello District Teacher of the Year, the Walmart Teacher of the Year and has served on both the UAM Alumni Board and the UAM Sports Association Board.
• Gregg Reep of Warren, a retired state legislator, current sales manager for salineriverchronicle.com and a 1976 UAM graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. Reep served as director of community development from 1976 to 1986, was mayor of Warren from 1987 to 2005 and served in the Arkansas General Assembly as a state representative from 2005 to 2010, including a term as chairman of the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.
• Scott Saffold of Monticello, executive vice president and senior loan officer at Union Bank and Trust Company, a certified public accountant, and a 1991 UAM graduate with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.
• Michael Walker of Star City, assistant director and teacher center coordinator at Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative and a 1986 UAM graduate with a bachelor of science in education degree. He also holds a master of science in education degree from Henderson State University.
The new board is pictured above (from left, seated) Gregg Reep of Warren (B.A. ’76), Mellie Jo Owen of Monticello (B.S.E. ’72), Dr. Bettye Gragg of Monticello (B.A. ’79), Roger George of Warren (B.B.A. ’74), (standing, from left) Scott Saffold of Monticello (B.S. ’91), James Daniels of McGehee (B.S. ’92), George Harris of Monticello (B.S. ’65), J. Michael Jones of Dumas, and Michael Walker of Star City (B.S.E. ’86).