Beebe names King commissioners | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beebe names King commissioners

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Gov. Mike Beebe has named his five initial appointees to the restructured M.L. King Commission. The House speaker and Senate president pro tem have four appointments each, which cut the total number of seats on the often fractious commission in half.


Governor Mike Beebe today announced his five appointments to the re-structured Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.  The 87th General Assembly voted to create a smaller, single-chair commission in hopes of avoiding previous infighting and logistical problems.
            "These new members will help re-emphasize the noble tenets at the foundation of the MLK Commission," Governor Beebe said.  "This Commission can once again help guide our State on issues of diversity and unity in the spirit of Dr. King's vision."
            Governor Beebe's appointees are:
Dr. Carolyn Blakely, Pine Bluff.  Fourth District Representative.
Dr. Blakely is Dean of the Honors College at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  She has previously served on the Arkansas School for the Blind and Arkansas School for the Deaf Board of Trustees.  This appointment expires September 1, 2010.
Don Bland, Rogers.  Third District Representative.
Bland is the Senior Managing Director of Outreach for the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas.  He is the former President and CEO of Wal-Mart Argentina and works with the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice.  This appointment expires September 1, 2012.
Phil Kaplan, Little Rock, Chairman.  Second District Representative.
Kaplan is an attorney at Williams and Anderson with extensive experience in civil-rights law.  He also has been a long-time adjunct faculty member at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.  Kaplan will serve as chair of the MLK Commission.  This appointment expires September 1, 2013.
Andy Montgomery, Batesville.  First District Representative.
Montgomery returns to the MLK Commission after serving as co-chair of the previous version of the Commission.  He works as a loan officer for First Community Bank and serves on the City of Batesville's Public Facilities Board.  This appointment expires September 1, 2013.
Rev. Carolyn Staley, Little Rock.  At-Large Representative.
Rev. Staley is the Minister of Education at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church.  She has worked extensively in the Mississippi Delta region and is involved with HIV/AIDS literacy and education missions to Africa.  This appointment expires September 1, 2011.

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