ForwARd Welcomes Four New Board Members

ForwARd Arkansas is proud to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors. Together, the new members bring a wealth of knowledge to the organization, with backgrounds in philanthropy, asset investment, non-profit management, legal services and higher education.

ForwARd is excited to welcome this prestigious cohort of professionals to the Board as the organization broadens its reach and drives critical policies and practices to advance public education in Arkansas.

Meet the full Board of Directors.

Tamika Edwards, J.D., Executive Director, Philander Smith College Social Justice Institute

Tamika S. Edwards, a native of Little Rock, AR, serves as the Executive Director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College (PSC). She is responsible for formulating, communicating and implementing a vision of social justice that reflects a holistic, contemporary view to infuse social justice principles campus wide and beyond.

Prior to joining PSC, she served as Director of Governmental Affairs for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF).  In that role, she advanced the mission and policy agenda of AACF by directing the development and execution of AACF’s legislative strategy and managing key relationships with elected officials and other policymakers.  She also played a central role in facilitating AACF’s team approach to lobbying.

Edwards was the Director of Public Policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners where she led family economic security public policy efforts in Arkansas and Mississippi and she also served in the Office of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln for nearly eleven years, ending her career there as a Community Affairs Specialist.  During her time with Senator Lincoln, Edwards worked with municipalities and community organizations to identify resources to further community and economic development efforts and served as the Senator’s grassroots representative to elected officials, community leaders, and other constituent groups.

Edwards is a contributor with Talk Business and Politics, a news website that covers business, politics, and culture across all the Arkansas regions.

Edwards earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a Master’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and a Juris Doctor from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.

Her current and previous community leadership includes the Board of Visitors for UA – Pulaski Tech, Friends of Mosaic Templars Board of Directors, Delta Dental of Arkansas, Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Community Development Advisory Council, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Board of Directors.  Edwards is a member of Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XX, Leadership Arkansas Class I, the Junior League of Little Rock and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  In 2010, Edwards was named one of the top 40 Under 40 Business and Community Leaders by Arkansas Business.  In 2017, she was recognized in the Inaugural edition of The Arkansas 200, published by Arkansas Business, as a leader “who influences the way we live, learn and do business in the state.”

She resides in Little Rock with her husband, daughter and son.

Jerry Jones, Chief Legal & Ethics Officer and Executive Vice President, LiveRamp

As Chief Legal and Ethics Officer, Executive Vice President for LiveRamp (formerly Acxiom Corporation), Jerry C. Jones leads the Legal and Privacy teams in addition to being responsible for the strategy and execution of mergers, alliances and other strategic initiatives company-wide.  During his 20-year tenure, Jones has spearheaded several high-profile projects such as Acxiom’s expansion in international markets including Australia, Japan, China, Europe, Brazil, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. He has also played a significant role in moving the company into digital and interactive marketing services as well as leading Acxiom through the successful acquisition of two public companies, in the US and in France.

In addition as Chief Legal & Ethics Officer at LiveRamp, Jones is a member of the board of directors of Agilysys, Inc., Heifer International and the Board of Visitors of UALR.  He also was the chairman of FASTERArkansas, connecting students to a 21st century education in trying to bring high-speed internet to every public school in Arkansas. His passion for community-relates challenges has been the driving force for the creation of several programs, including Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: A Focus on Women.   As leader of the initiative, Jones was responsible for bringing to Arkansas the annual meeting of the Club de Madrid, an organization comprised of 93 former heads of state of 65 democracies to the Clinton Presidential Center where Jones serves as a Special Advisor.

Jones holds a degree in public administration and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas.

Vicki Saviers, Former Arkansas State Board of Education Member

Vicki Saviers is a Fort Smith, Arkansas native and graduated from the University of Arkansas. She became interested in education reform and policy while volunteering in her children’s public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Vicki founded the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock and served as its first Executive Director. Other education involvement includes serving on Arkansans for Education Reform, Chair of the Advisory Committee for the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, founding board member of eSTEM Public Charter School, and a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of The Academy for Educational Equity and the Arkansas Teacher Corps, and the Board of Visitors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Other volunteer involvement includes past service on the boards of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Arkansas Arts Center, Potluck, Inc., the Arkansas Repertory Theater and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Vicki is married to Mark Saviers and they are parents to two married sons and have four grandchildren.

Darrin L. Williams, CEO, Southern Bancorp, Inc.

Darrin Williams’ career is a unique combination of law, business, and politics. As CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc., he oversees the strategic direction and operations of three Community Development Financial Institutions: Southern Bancorp, Inc., Southern Bancorp Bank, and Southern Bancorp Community Partners (a 501(c)(3) development finance and lending organization), collectively known as “Southern.” Southern is a $1.4 billion asset organization with over 50,000 customers and 46 locations throughout Arkansas and Mississippi.

Prior to leading Southern, Darrin served as managing partner at the law firm of Carney, Williams, Bates, Pulliam & Bowman, PLLC, representing institutional investors and consumers in class action litigation against some of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies. He served three terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, serving as Speaker Pro Tempore of the 89th Arkansas General Assembly, and recognized nationally for his legislative accomplishments. Darrin received his B.A. from Hendrix College, his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, and his Master of Laws degree in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Darrin married his law school classmate, Nicole Sippial, and they have two children, Darrin Jr, a junior at Wake Forest University and Payton, a sophomore at Spelman College. He is actively involved in his church, where he serves as a deacon and leads the service ministry, and with several community and civic organizations, including serving on the boards of Southern Bancorp Bank, the Little Rock Tech Park, Hendrix College, and KIPP Delta Public Schools.