Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
By Renarda A. Williams | Photography by Rett Peek | Hair by Haydon Howard with Face Your Day Salon | Makeup by Aaron Perkins with Face Your Day Salon
Her community service and civic leadership spans nearly two decades. Diana Smithson has generated more than $1,570,000 for Central Arkansas nonprofit organizations … proof that she’s passionate about improving lives in Little Rock.
One of the beneficiaries of Diana’s devotion is Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. She currently serves as chairman of the board of directors and has served as chairman of the agency’s annual fundraiser, Chocolate Fantasy Ball, twice – at which more than $500,000 was raised to support families of critically ill children. Diana has helped with the ball’s planning committee for nine years – providing sponsorship and auction support, community engagement, event coordination and recruiting volunteers.
In addition to her professional commitment at Iberia Bank, Diana serves on two other board of directors: Women and Children First, for which she is board chair-elect, and the American Heart Association. Diana has supported so many organizations and fundraisers that she has developed a loyal group of friends — her “mobile committee” — that help her with projects.
“There is no one more driven, more dedicated, more hard working, and more passionate than Diana Smithson. She is absolutely the first person to solicit, to sign up, to donate, to recruit, to encourage, and to help wherever needed. Diana is a difference-maker, and for that all of us at Ronald McDonald House are eternally grateful,” adds Executive Director Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas Janell Mason.
As the mother of an adopted teenage daughter, Diana believes in leading by example and hopes to instill the spirit of volunteerism in her daughter and other Arkansas youth.