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 current President and CEO of United Way of Fort Smith Area. He was born and raised in Fort Smith, having graduated from Southside High School and attended the University of Central Arkansas. Shea began his career in Fort Smith working for Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc. in Human Resources. During his tenure at Weldon, William and Lick, Inc. he was responsible for leading both internal and external initiatives to raise money for United Way of Fort Smith Area, as well as being involved throughout the community. Through his efforts and passion for both the United Way and individuals in the community, he was named the 2015 United Way Campaign Coordinator of the Year for the United Way of Fort Smith Area. Prior to joining United Way, Shea was a Practice Manager for Mercy Fort Smith where he oversaw the day-to-day operation of medical clinics. In 2018, Shea began his career at United Way of Fort Smith Area as the Resource Development Director where he was responsible for developing and executing annual workplace campaigns, retain and strengthen individual donor engagement, as well as identify and cultivate donor prospects. His compassionate heart and desire to help individuals within the community makes the United Way of Fort Smith Area a great fit.
Additionally, Shea has served on the Board of Directors for River Valley PRIME and the Fort Smith Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association where he served as President from 2019 – 2022. He is also a graduate of Leadership Fort Smith (Class of 2022) and Leadership Crawford County (Class of 2020).
Shea is most proud of his family. He and his wife Kristi reside in Greenwood with their son Hudson.
Mitzy Little, Marketing Director
Mitzy Little is the 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 came to United Way in 2010 after her retirement from the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department. For most of her career, she worked in communications, coordinating the 911 Emergency Services Dispatch Center. She also worked 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. Mitzy has a heart for public service and 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 by helping people in need.
Mitzy enjoys serving and being involved in the community. She is an ambassador for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and was named Ambassador of the Year in 2017. She is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Smith Class of 2020.
Mitzy 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 the 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 two grandchildren Baker and CeCe.
Reagan Heppner, Community Impact Coordinator
Reagan Heppner joined the staff in May 2022, directly after graduating from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Reagan is responsible for coordinating volunteer efforts and community initiatives such as Rising in the River Valley, Day of Caring, Touch a Truck, and Fill the Bus. She is also responsible for updating the Community Resource Guide and acting as the local coordinator for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Reagan has experience in planning university events, service events, and weddings; she is excited to learn and serve her community here at United Way.
Reagan is active in the community and is on staff at her local church.
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.