About Town

AR Kids Read Announces New Board of Directors Members


AR Kids Read announces five new board members as well as new and returning officers who will lead the nonprofit’s efforts to help central Arkansas students reach grade-level reading. “AR Kids Read has seen a period of tremendous program growth and momentum as we have returned to in-person tutoring at schools and after school partner sites. This momentum is reflected in the tremendous enthusiasm of our new board members. The directors bring with them backgrounds in leadership, media, regional economic development, and community development. Their insights and acumen will only further expand our impact in central Arkansas and beyond.” said AKR Executive Director, Kathy French. “Our board’s passion for Arkansas and its children is obvious. Each one is committed to helping young readers close the gap, so they gain the literacy skills they need to catch up and keep up.”

UAMS’ Executive Director, Sheridan Richards, will continue her role as AKR’s Board President. Commercial Portfolio Manager, Andy Bingham will serve as the new Vice-President. President of Platinum Drywall, Anthony Brooks will continue in his role as Treasurer, and Kieng “Bao” Vang Dings, a Senior Scientist with CCS Associates, will continue her role of Secretary. The new board members begin their three-year terms with AKR effective July 1, 2023.

The new members are:


Scarlett Burks, Product Marketing Director with Acxiom LLC
A lifelong Arkansan, Scarlett has spent her professional career in various marketing and product roles with Acxiom, a Conway-based marketing solutions company. She is the daughter and spouse of educators, a certified bookworm and a huge supporter of the value of building literacy skills in children to open every possible door of opportunity for them. She has spent several decades volunteering in Little Rock public schools and serving in her local church.



Don Gooch, Regional Director of Community Banks with Arvest
Don has been with Arvest since 2001, when he started in Oklahoma City as a Business Development Officer. He moved to central Arkansas in 2008 as community bank president of Arvest Bank in Hot Springs and was promoted to his current position in 2020. He gives back to the community in many ways including serving 15 years on the board as President, Vice-President and Treasure for Hot Springs Chamber, 50 for the Future in Hot Springs and Hot Springs Rotary Club.




Rosa Perez, Mortgage Development Originator with Centennial Bank
Rosa was born in Venezuela and has been living in the US for 24 years. She began her mortgage career in 2013 on the servicing side and later transitioned to the retail sector. In 2020 she completed training and started her journey as a mortgage originator helping 55+ families to date. She has connected with the central Arkansas community by serving on the board of Seis Puentes, committee member of Conexion De Negocios Latinos and volunteering with Junior Achievement to teach financial economics in schools.




Marty Schack, President and General Manager with KTHV
Marty has worked in broadcast advertising for more than 30 years. He became GM in his current role with TEGNA after four years at KENS in San Antonio, and five years at KMOV, in St. Louis. Prior to that, Marty led sales teams with Weigel Broadcasting’s WDJT in Milwaukee and WCIU in Chicago. Marty has served on the boards for the Little Rock Rotary Club, Missouri Broadcaster’s Association and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of San Antonio.



Katrina Owoh, Chief Financial Officer with Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Katrina has over twenty years of experience in financial operations in various industries. Prior to her current role at the Clinton Foundation, she served as the Assistant Dean of Administration and CFO in the College of Pharmacy at UAMS, as well as the Associate Director of Internal Audit for the University of Arkansas System. She serves on numerous boards such as the Arkansas Department of Heritage Mosaic Templars for African American Culture and Business, Pulaski County Youth Services, and The Ivy Foundation of Little Rock. President Richards summarizes, “I believe this will be one of the most exciting years for AR Kids Read yet. Our board is increasingly representative of the different communities we serve. This is valuable as we continue to expand our mission throughout central Arkansas.”

About AR Kids Read:
Founded in 2012, AR Kids Read is 501(c)3 volunteer-based literacy nonprofit that offers one-to-one tutoring to improve student literacy and access to books to students without them for their personal libraries. Its high-impact community service strategy leverages the power of volunteers to help children attain reading level proficiency by the end of third grade. AR Kids Read’s mission is to nurture a love for reading through relationships. The board, staff, and tutors do so with the vision that EVERY child may one day read on grade level.

AR Kids Read | arkidsread.org

Inviting Arkansas

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on our latest news!