Join the Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter on November 16 at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon and celebrate the collective compassion and dedication of this year’s honorees – individuals, organizations and businesses that are transforming the lives of all Arkansans.
By Barrett Gay | Photography by Sara Reeves
WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW HIM
His professional experience spans industry sectors – from health care practitioner to college professor and business executive. Now, as entrepreneur and investor, he discovers opportunities for innovation and strategic collaboration. Regardless of the project, Jeff Standridge remains focused and intentional with his time — investing his energy in the health, education and businesses of his community. An active member of more than half a dozen organizations including The Conductor, Conway KLIFE Ministries and Conway First United Methodist Church, Jeff and his wife collectively secured funds – more than $7 million total across his various ventures – for critical projects and initiatives throughout the years.
JEFF’S NEWEST PROJECT, THE CONDUCTOR, is a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie Consulting, designed to facilitate business development and entrepreneurial activity in Conway. “We’ve been in existence for 10 months, and we’ve served over 2,000 entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs,” Jeff notes. “We’ve directly engaged with over 300 students (K12-college) and we’ve launched the UCA Makerspace on campus that is open to the public.” Makerspace is a free, interdisciplinary workspace designed for collaboration and prototyping concepts. Amenities include six 3-D printers, a laser cutter, a CNC machine and more for entrepreneurs and inventors to bring ideas to fruition. Makerspace also offers workshops and classes with industry experts who provide invaluable insight.
HIS PHILOSOPHY FOR PHILANTHROPY is encouraging others to get involved and cultivating a community of support. “I’ve learned quite a lot about fundraising over the years,” Jeff notes, “not the least of which is that people must buy-in to the vision of your organization before they will feel motivated to give. If your organization is not different, if it does not have a compelling vision, if it does not have visionary leadership, it will be difficult to raise money to support your efforts.”
RECOGNIZING THE CRITICAL ROLE OF CIVIC LEADERSHIP, Jeff says, “Churches, ministries and other non-profits are the backbone of our country’s social justice efforts. Without them, kids go hungry, post-war veterans struggle, abused women struggle for alternatives and fewer people are ushered into a life of faith. I am very supportive of a variety of charitable causes for this very reason.”
“I retired from the Army National Guard as a reserve soldier; most of my time was spent as a military musician with the 106th Army Band.”
PHILOSOPHY TO LIVE BY
“Leave everything you touch better than you found it. That can be people, places and things.”
“What makes Jeff such a unique asset to Conway is not only does he give of his own time to participate on numerous boards, but he also offers free workshops to the community to make businesses better. He
understands the ripple effect knowledge can have and shares it with everyone.”
– Vice President for University Advancement T. Kale Gober, Ed. D., University of Central Arkansas