For more information, contact:
Kathryn Norton - Development Officer
Who We Are
The Guardians are a group of young professionals whose goal is to support Easterseals Arkansas in its mission to help children and adults with disabilities achieve independence. The Guardians accomplish this through volunteering, educating members to be advocates within the community for Easterseals and developing leaders to serve on the Easterseals Arkansas Board of Directors.
What We Do
The Guardians have two parts – the Board and the Membership Group.
The Membership Group provides young professionals with the opportunity to learn about Easterseals and be involved without a large time commitment. Members of The Guardians are asked to select at least one or more commitments from a list of volunteer and financial giving opportunities. For example, you can volunteer at an event (Arkansan of the Year, The Fashion Event, or Art & Soul), sponsor a child or adult at Christmas, volunteer in Easterseals' programs or organize a donation drive. The Membership Group also meets twice a year at social gatherings hosted by The Guardians Board, which will give members a chance to learn more about specific programs and needs at Easterseals.
Become a Member
To become a member of this exciting and dynamic group, fill out a Membership Form and return it to Kathryn Norton, Development Officer at Easterseals.
The Guardians Board
Chloé Smith – Vice-Chair
Chloé Smith was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. She became involved with Easterseals Arkansas at the ripe age of three, when her mom began working for the organization and Chloé eagerly followed along. From participating with friends in Rollin’ on the River to volunteering at nearly every program Easterseals Arkansas has operated, to having one of her first jobs at Easterseals Arkansas Children’s Rehabilitation Center, this organization has always held a special place in Chloé’s heart. After earning two degrees and accomplishing a lifelong dream of being a professional dancer for an international entertainment company, Chloé returned to Arkansas to pursue new endeavors and spend more time with her family. Chloé serves as the Director of Admissions, Communications, and Events at Arkansas School for the Deaf. Ever eager to continue supporting Easterseals Arkansas, Chloé joined the Guardians in 2022 and currently serves as the Service Project Chair. In the in-between moments, Chloé loves trying local restaurants with friends, running around with her nephews and family, and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.
Brittany Keil – Service Chair
Brittany Keil is a writer, and researcher with SchoolCEO, a magazine dedicated to helping school leaders take control of how their communities think and feel about their districts. Prior to working as a writer full-time, Brittany taught English and Special Education for eight years in Arkansas and in Washington, D.C. Brittany has worked in educational advocacy for her entire career and is passionate about equity and fighting for communities in which all families can thrive. Brittany is an alumna of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Central Arkansas, and is a former Fulbright Scholar. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and showing her toddler, Rosemary, just how wonderful our world can be.
Katrinka Shields went to the University of Central Arkansas and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She has spent her career in the Human Resources field in different industries including telecommunications, engineering, and the medical field and is currently the Director of Human Resources at the EdTEch start-up, Apptegy. She also currently serves on the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association board as the Vice President of Communications. Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her friends, family, and Goldendoodle, Oliver, and frequenting any restaurant with good queso.
Jake Keet was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from Florida State University. In 2008, Jake brought Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe to Arkansas with his brother, Tommy Keet, and father, Jim Keet. Over the past ten years they have opened seven locations in Arkansas along with three in Oklahoma. In the meantime, they opened a construction management company with Luke O’Gary, called KO Construction (Keet O’Gary Construction.) This last year they partnered with Louis Petit to open Petit and Keet Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Jake is blessed to be married to Stephanie Keet since 2009 and have two wonderful sons, Holden and Dashiell.
Juli Waits was born in Paragould, Arkansas, but has called Little Rock her home since 2009, and began her dream job as a hairstylist. She currently works behind the chair at Red Beauty Lounge in The Heights. In 2016, she became an ASK Educator for Schwarzkopf Professional. Through this opportunity, she gets to travel and teach new skills and techniques to Hairstylists and inspire them with new trends in hair color and cutting. She became involved with Easterseals Arkansas in 2014, when she was asked to do hair and makeup for the Easterseals Fashion Event. In her spare time, she can be found cooking, remodeling her home, and searching for the best charcuterie board in town.
SaraCate Moery is an attorney with Hilburn & Harper, Ltd., where she primarily practices family law, estate planning, and probate administration. She earned her B.A. from the University of Arkansas in 2012. SaraCate obtained her law degree from the UALR Bowen School of Law and passed the Bar in 2015. Outside of work, SaraCate enjoys visiting Greers Ferry Lake, traveling, and playing tennis. She is also actively involved with Easterseals Arkansas, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Pulaski County and Arkansas Bar Associations. SaraCate and her husband Robert live in Little Rock with their daughter, Mary Trent, and their two dogs, Carl and Ernie.
JC Keeton serves as SVP, Controller for Simmons Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Arkansas, a Master’s of Accountancy from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is CPA. In addition to the Guardians, JC is involved with The Hat Club of Little Rock and the University of Arkansas Little Rock School of Business.
Chase Cain is a Little Rock native and graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2017 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. He serves as a Clinical Pharmacist with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and an Advisor for PatchRx. Prior to working at Arkansas Blue Cross, Chase worked for Walgreens as a Project Manager through the corporate headquarters in Deerfield, IL. In his spare time, Chase enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and supporting Razorback sports.
Nate and Abby Talley
Nate is an audit partner and CPA at Erwin & Company, a public accounting firm based in Little Rock. After growing up in Little Rock, he attended and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, with an emphasis in accounting. Soon after, he obtained his Master's in Accountancy from the University of Arkansas. Abby also grew up in Little Rock and graduated from University of South Carolina, Columbia in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management. Upon graduating, she moved to Chicago to pursue a career in baking and pastry while attending The Illinois Institute of Art's culinary program. After a few long, cold winters, she decided to move home to Little Rock where she went back to school and acquired her CPA. After several years in public accounting where she specialized in audits of nonprofits, governmental entities, and employee benefit plans, she took a position as Accounting and Finance Manager at Travel Nurse Across America, where she currently works. After returning to Little Rock, Nate convinced his high school sweetheart, Abby, to marry him. They have two beautiful children, Collins and Andersen. Collins began attending Easterseals in May 2022 after a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which encouraged them to get more involved with the school and its outreach. Nate & Abby also attend Christ Community Church in Little Rock where they are involved in the early childcare program.