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The Guardians

For more information, contact:
Kathryn Norton - Development Officer

Download Membership Form

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, Art & Soul or Walk With Me), 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

Wren Ward

Wren Ward - Chair
Wren Ward attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she graduated with a B.A. in Speech Communication. Following graduation in 2008, she began her career with Chi Omega Fraternity as a National Consultant, later moving into an Account Manager role with Aerotek before becoming the Corporate Recruiter for Garver in Little Rock in 2013. In addition to serving on the Guardians Board, Wren is actively involved with Frassati Fellowship of Little Rock, Cathedral of St. Andrew parish, former member of the Junior League of Little Rock and former National Volunteer for Chi Omega Fraternity. Wren joined the Guardians Board in 2015 and currently serves as Vice Chair.

Emily Cobb

Emily Cobb
Emily Cobb attended the University of Mississippi on an Art scholarship, but decided very quickly she was not a big fan of structured art classes. After much thought, she returned to her hometown of Little Rock and received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and minored in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Upon graduating, she worked in property management for 7 years, got married and started a family. Currently, Emily helps run her father’s commercial cleaning business, Cleanco. Most know Emily as the very talented artist of Art E Cobb. In most recent years, her work has become more abstract. “I love the process of creating a piece and experimenting with color, medium, and texture." In 2014, Emily was named a Soiree Woman to Watch. Emily was raised to be an avid believer in giving back. She has been involved with Rock the Runway, Fighting Fancy, Junior League and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild’s Designer House. She joined the Guardians’ Board in 2016 and served as chair of Art & Soul in 2017 and co-chair in 2016.

Joey Lambert
Joey Lambert is the Recruiting, Sales, and Marketing Specialist for BKD in Arkansas. Prior to joining BKD, Joey worked as the Director of Development for the National Kidney Foundation of Arkansas and as the Director of Special Events for Easterseals Arkansas. In addition to the Guardians Board, Joey is a member of The Hat Club of Little Rock which is a socially responsible non-profit organization that offers access to unique community service and charity events. Joey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an M.B.A. from Harding University. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, Mallory, who also serves on the Board. Joey joined the Guardians board in 2014 and currently serves as vice chair. He also co-chaired Art & Soul in 2018 and will chair the event in 2019.

Tiffany Robinson

Tiffany Robinson
Tiffany is the Merchandise Manager for Barbara/Jean Ltd., Little Rock’s premier women’s fashion boutique. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art and Art History from Hendrix College. Tiffany was elected to the Easterseals Board of Directors in 2011 and has served on a variety of non-profit boards of directors. She has also worked on many charity events including Wildwood Park for the Arts, Women and Children First, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Junior League of Little Rock and Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXV. Tiffany joined The Guardians Board in 2014 and has served as Board Chair. Tiffany is married to Daniel Robinson, who also serves on the Guardians’ Board.

Mallory Rogers
Mallory is supervisor in the Medical Informatics Department at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. She has a B.A. from the University of Arkansas and a Master’s of Public Health specializing in Epidemiology from UAMS. Prior to working at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mallory worked at Easterseals Arkansas Children’s Rehabilitation Center as the Social Services Coordinator. She joined the Guardians Board in 2014.

Angela Strauss

Angela Strauss
Angela is the Contemporary Buyer for Barbara/Jean Ltd, Little Rock’s premiere designer clothing store. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Angela joined the Guardians board in 2016 and also serves on Peacekeepers, a young professional board for Women and Children First. Angela has been extensively involved with Fashion Event, serving as model coordinator in 2017 & 2018 and is co-chair in 2019.

Michael Westerfield

Michael Westerfield
Michael is a Senior Manager with BKD, LLP where he works exclusively with health care industry clients. He provides assurance and consulting services to hospitals ranging from small standalone providers to large regional systems. Michael is a graduate of University of Central Arkansas, Conway, with an M.Acc degree. In addition to his involvement with the Easterseals Guardians, Michael is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). He currently serves as a board member of the Arkansas chapter of HFMA and is certified as a Fellow of HFMA (FHFMA). Michael joined the Guardians Board in 2017.

James Chavez Use

James Chavez
James is a Partner at Encompass Financial Partners in Little Rock, Ark., where he helps clients achieve financial security. He graduated from Harding University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. In addition to his involvement with the Guardians, James is also a member of The Hat Club of Little Rock. James joined the Guardians in 2018 and served as co-chair of Art & Soul that year. He is excited to chair the event with Joey Lambert in 2019.

Wes Buchman

Wesley Buchman
Wesley graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After volunteering in Rwanda teaching science and math, he completed his training in dentistry at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Wes also completed residency training in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He is married to Jessica and they are members of Mosaic church. He works at Central Dental in Little Rock and Kidz Choice Dental in Conway. Wes is also involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as well.

Halley Hamon

Halley Hamon
Halley, a Little Rock native, attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she received a bachelor’s degree in literature. Halley has been blessed to work with wonderful organizations throughout her career in volunteer management, including Easterseals Arkansas, the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital where she currently serves as the Volunteer Engagement Programs Manager. She enjoys volunteering in her free time, and has served in a leadership role on the Big League committee for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and on the board of the Arkansas Volunteer Coordinator’s Association. Halley joined the Guardians Board in 2017 and is thrilled to continue her support of the amazing mission of Easterseals.

Chandler WiseChandler Wise
Chandler was born in Little Rock and grew up in a small community called, Williams Junction. He received his bachelor's degree in political science at Lee University in 2011 and then moved back to his home state. Today, he is the communications specialist for the Commissioner of State Lands Office. He joined the Guardians in July 2017 and has served on the event committees for Art & Soul and Fashion Event. He also volunteers as a Peacekeeper for Women & Chilren First.

jake keet

Jake Keet
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.

Erin DeesErin Dees
Erin Dees attended the University of Arkansas, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design. She began her career in commercial design in St. Louis then relocated to her hometown of Little Rock where she continued with residential design in 2003. However, she changed career paths after realizing her love for helping others, especially for children, and has been teaching elementary school ever since. She continues pursuing art and creating with her side business, Deesigns by Erin, by teaching paint classes. Erin was active in the JLLR and had roles of being the PR coordinator for Stuff the Bus, design chair for several committees and chaired KOTA Camp for Camp Aldersgate. She joined the Guardians Board in 2017 and served as chair of Art and Soul in 2018 and co-chair in 2017.

Tim HesterTravis Hester
Travis is the President of Eat My Catfish. A 2006 graduate of Northwood University, Travis obtained a bachelor's degree in banking, finance, and management. He returned to Central Arkansas where his love of cooking became the driving force behind opening his first Eat My Catfish location in Benton. As his team of employees grew, and he became more involved in his community, Travis realized that he and Eat My Catfish could have a positive influence on individuals and the community. Since that realization, Travis' desire to positively impact others has become his purpose and motivation in all that he does. That is why Eat My Catfish's mission statement declares the company's goal of "exceeding expectations" in the store and in the community. He knows this can only be accomplished "by partnering with local suppliers" and focusing on "developing the future leaders of our communities." It is Travis' focus on positive relationships, building up the community, and developing those around him that has led to his involvement in various organizations, including Easterseals Arkansas. After Eat My Catfish's fundraiser for Easterseals Arkansas in September of 2017, Travis toured the Little Rock Easterseals' Campus and knew that he had a strong desire to do more with the organization, which led to his joining the Guardians Board the January of 2018.

Jared LandrumJared Landrum
Jared Landrum, originally from Searcy, graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in business. Today, Jared is Vice President in Business Development for BOND.AI. Outside of work and the Guardians, Jared is actively involved with Make-a-Wish Foundation Young Professionals, UAMS Consortium, The Hat Club of Little Rock, Create Little Rock, and Rotaract Club.

Juli WaitsJuli Waits
Juli 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. Juli lives in Midtown with her husband and three dogs. In her spare time, she can be found cooking, remodeling their home, and searching for the best charcuterie board in town.

Kayleigh DulaneyKayleigh Dulaney
Kayleigh Dulaney is an attorney with Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP. She works on the firm’s business team advising clients in a variety of tax-related areas. Mid-South Super Lawyers has named Kayleigh a “Rising Star” in the areas of tax law, estate planning and probate administration, business and corporate law, and nonprofit organizations. She earned her B.A. in Finance from Southern Arkansas University in 2010. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a National Consultant for Phi Mu Fraternity and now serves as an Area Officer for the organization. She obtained her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and obtained an LL.M. in tax law from the University of Florida School of Law. As the parent of a son with Down syndrome, Kayleigh is active in the special needs community as an advocate and educator. She joined The Guardians Board in 2019.

Heath ShearonHeath Shearon
Heath Shearon is an insurance advisor at iTrust Insurance group. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University 2003, he spent nearly a decade in youth ministry before transitioning into the insurance business. Heath is very involved in the community, where he serves as an ambassador for the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of directors for the Rodney Parham Merchants Association, West Village, the Young Insurance Professionals and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Heath is also a member of the Hat Club of Little Rock and an active member of The Summit Church Little Rock. Heath is very involved with his family. He is blessed to be married to Staci Shearon, and the proud father of Reese, Sydney and Emma. Emma Shearon, the youngest, was born prematurely and spent five years at Easterseals, which propelled Heath’s interest in Easterseals.

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