United Way of Fort Smith Area Staff
United Way of Fort Smith Area is a volunteer driven organization with the United Way staff supporting this structure. A local volunteer board of directors governs the United Way. The Allocation Council is made up of board members and volunteers who are responsible for ensuring that our donors’ gifts are invested wisely in our communities. Teams examine our community partners and ensure that all agencies meet accountability standards of United Way membership. They make informed decisions on how your gifts can make the most impact in our area. The United Way and community partners are good stewards of your money.
The Community Impact Team consists of board members and community volunteers who determine funding of programs and services. In addition to United Way being an effective and efficient fundraiser, its role as a conduit for community solutions has become increasingly more important.
The staff works to support the United Way mission: to improve lives by connecting people and resources in our six-county area.
United Way Staff
Shea Foldvary, President and CEO
Shea Foldvary is the Resource Development Director and the newest team member for the United Way of Fort Smith Area. He is responsible for developing and executing annual workplace campaigns, retain and strengthen individual donor engagement, as well as identify and cultivate donor prospects. He began his career in Fort Smith working for Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc. in the Human Resources Department where he was responsible for leading both internal and external initiatives to raise money for UWFSA, as well as being involved throughout the community. Through his efforts and passion for both the United Way and individuals he was named the 2015 Campaign Coordinator of the Year for the United Way of Fort Smith Area. Most recently, Shea was a Practice Manager for Mercy Fort Smith where he oversaw the day-to-day operation of three medical clinics. His compassionate heart and desire to help individuals within the community makes the United Way of Fort Smith Area a great fit.
Shea resides in Greenwood with his wife Kristi and son Hudson.
Mitzy Little, Marketing Director
Mitzy Little is Marketing Director for United Way of Fort Smith Area. She is responsible for marketing United Way to the community through various mediums and promoting year round awareness of United Way and its Community Partner Agencies. She began her career in public service in 1996 and came to United Way in 2010 after her retirement from the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department. For the majority of her career at the Sheriff’s Department she worked in communications where she coordinated the 911 Emergency Services Dispatch Center, and at the time of her retirement was in Administration serving as the Administrative Assistant to the Sheriff. She was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 2006 for her work in emergency service communications during Hurricane Katrina. She has a heart for public service and upon retiring wanted to continue her work in that field. She saw United Way as the organization where she felt she could continue to make a direct impact with helping people in need.
Mitzy enjoys serving and being involved in the community and is an ambassador for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was named Ambassador of the Year in 2017 and is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Smith Class of 2020. She resides in Mansfield with her husband Charlie. They have two children, Ashley and Chris and four grandchildren, Jacob, Kristen, Leena and Ledger.
Angie Ruth, Director of Finance and Administration
Angie Ruth is Director of Finance and Administration for United Way of Fort Smith Area. She is responsible for operational finances, office administration and management of internal information systems. She is also tasked with maintaining board reports, policy and procedural updates and by-law requirements. She is the event organizer for and oversees the management of the annual Power of Purse fundraising event in Fort Smith. She began her career at United Way in 2004.
Angie is a lifelong resident of Greenwood where she lives with her husband Jeremy. They have been married for over 20 years. They have two children, Ashley and Hunter and one grandchild Baker.
Carrie Terry, Resource Development Director
Carrie Terry joined the staff in September of 2015 as the Community Initiatives Coordinator. Carrie took on the very important and essential external role of working with Partner Agencies, area volunteers, and corporate partners in Franklin, Logan, Crawford, Sebastian, LeFlore, and Sequoyah Counties. Carrie was a former business development director with a background in event planning. Among her responsibilities, Carrie coordinates all volunteer efforts and community events such as Rising in the River Valley, Day of Caring, Touch a Truck, Fill the Bus. Under Carrie’s leadership, the 2018 Day of Caring amassed over 1,200 volunteers logging an estimated 6,000 volunteer hours for a total of $144,480 in a single day of service.
Carrie is also responsible for maintaining the Community Resource Guide working to update area programs and available services. Among other duties, she is the local coordinator for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Carrie is passionate about her community and actively participates in community organizations and boards. She is a graduate of Leadership Crawford County and the Van Buren Police Academy and she has been a volunteer cheer coach for 10 years.
Carrie is the proud mother of four children, Elizabeth, Carolina, Jackson and Annabelle. They reside in Crawford County and are active in basketball, softball, track, dance, rodeo, and cheerleading.
Heather Edwards, 100 Families Sebastian County Coordinator
Originally from Illinois, Heather Edwards most recently served as the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas before joining the United Way/Restore Hope team. She holds a BA in Religion from Pepperdine University and an MA in English Studies from Minnesota State University. She also completed a Graduate Program Assistantship in Outdoor Education through Wheaton College focusing on teambuilding and facilitation. She has a diverse background in both for-profit and non-profit work, beginning her career in Yellowstone National Park as Housekeeping Manager at the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Shortly thereafter, she moved into the position of Manager of Training and Standards for all nine hotel housekeeping departments in the Park. During that time, she served on the Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship Council and the Parkwide Safety Committee.
Upon moving to Fort Smith in 2012, she taught English as a Second Language and Composition classes at UAFS before joining the Literacy Council. Through her association with the Literacy Council, she has built strong partnerships with United Way and Restore Hope. She is active in the community, currently serving on the Local Complete Count Census Committee. She is a member of the Fort Smith Historical Society and is active in the Fort Smith Downtown Business Association. She lives in Fort Smith with her husband and son.
Tara Watkins, 100 Families Crawford County Coordinator
Tara is the Crawford County Coordinator for the 100 Families Initiative. She began this role in late February 2022. Before starting work with the 100 Families Initiative, Tara worked for the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services for over eight years. Tara worked as a program assistant, family service worker, and unit supervisor during her time with DCFS landing her the role of County Supervisor for Crawford County DCFS from April 2019 to February 2022. Tara served hundreds of children and families during her time with DCFS and hopes to continue to do so in her work with 100 Families.
Tara is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith with a Bachelors in Psychology. She is a lifelong resident of Crawford County and currently lives in Mulberry with her husband, Charlie, and their daughter, Isla.
LaShanna Bruce, 100 Families Pulaski County Coordinator
LaShanna Bruce, a native of Little Rock, AR and a graduate from the historical Little Rock Central High School, has always loved serving her community. LaShanna currently serves as the Coordinator for the 100 Families Initiative in Pulaski County. She is responsible for meeting families where they are in their current area of crisis and helping them to move into a thriving and balanced career and lifestyle. She works with and serves as an advocate for children and families that are a part of the 100 Families Initiative by connecting the 100 Families Alliance, local non-profits, state and local government personnel, community business leaders, and the faith-community.
This type of work is not new for LaShanna, prior to coming on board, she served on the mission’s team for a local church in Little Rock for over ten years and worked with a local nonprofit as the Director of After Schools services. She worked directly with the community and local schools to help children and families thrive in their local schools. During her tenor with the school district, she was recognized for student literacy increasing from 35% rate to 64% in 2015-2016 school year. That increase of literacy was maintained throughout her leadership term there.
LaShanna is also a business owner of Mommies and Curls LLC. Mommies & Curls was created to embrace beauty and culture in adoptive & foster families. She provides parents of all backgrounds with the tools to raise kids that are healthy, happy & proud of who they are. She works directly with DCFS and adoption agencies offering training and classes for foster parents to have a better understanding of the hair, skin, and culture of African American children.
The love for helping children and families has been her dream, her mission, and her goal. A goal that she has been achieving for quite some time.
Dana Baker, 100 Families White County Coordinator
Dana is working and serving back in her hometown, Searcy, as the 100 Families Coordinator for White County. She began working as the Alternative Sentencing Case Manager in 8 district courts in White County for Restore Hope in 2018. Prior to moving back to White County, Dana worked for Arkansas Baptist Family Ministries as a houseparent at the homes in Paragould and Judsonia. She was also a foster parent for several years in Franklin County where she helped start The CALL.
Dana and her husband of 30 years, Shayne, are both White County natives. They are the proud parents of four children- Jill, Jenni, Peyton and Josie Cate.