BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Education is a primary factor in Michal’s life, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff in 2006, Master of Business Administration with a focus in Human Resource Management in 2012 from Purdue University Global, and currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Grand Canyon University. He also received the following certifications: grant writer from Penn State University 2020, IBM Data Science Instructor Certificate, and Enterprise Design Thinking Co-Creator. He is a certified Apple HBCU C2 instructor. Michal works at Arkansas Baptist College as Faculty in the Public Administration Department.
In the community, Michal serves on Racial Cultural Diversity Commission for the City of Little Rock, Age Friendly Commission of Little Rock, President Elect-Kiwanis of Pulaski Heights, Vice President for Arkansas State House Society, Vice President for Arkansas Volunteer Association, Little Rock Citizens Review Board for City of Little Rock, Vice President For Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Pulaski and Perry Counties Board, Family Services Agency Board member, Family Home of Little Rock Board Member, Fox 16 News Victory Over Violence Member, Friends of Mosaic Templars Young Professionals Board Member, Hat Club of Little Rock member, Central Arkansas Young Urban Professional League, Arkansas Hunger Alliance, Little Rock Rotary Club 99, member Little Rock Chamber, Lead AR Class 19’, and University of Arkansas Partners Community Board Member.
Matthew R. Smith is a Senior Attorney and Governmental Affairs Representative with Mackie Wolf Zientz Mann, P.C. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas and his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.
Matthew lives in Little Rock with his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter Cora. He is the recipient of the 2015 Department of Justice Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award and 2016 NSVRC Visionary Voice Award. He is a member of the State Bar of Arkansas, Arkansas Bar Association, and Pulaski County Bar Association.
Kelly Shuffield was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. She attended Clemson University in South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision. Kelly is married to Mark who is an Arkansas native. They have two sons, Mason and Rhett.
Kelly has been a teacher for over 30 years and has taught all grades from PreK to 6th grade. She is currently a Keyboarding and Coding instructor at Cloverdale Middle School. Kelly has a love for all things technology and is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and an Apple Teacher.
In college, Kelly became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. The National Theta philanthropy is CASA, so it was a great fit for Kelly to become a CASA in August of 2015. She had several cases working toward reunification with the parents. Serving as a CASA was a rewarding venture, but because of her teaching schedule visitation with children was difficult. Kelly did not want to leave the work of CASA, so she happily joined the board in the spring of 2020. She is currently finding her niche with an amazing group of people serving on the CASA Board of Directors.
Alyssa Mraz is a Human Capital Management (HCM) Consultant at Paylocity Inc. In her role, she works strategically with the C-Suite & HR Departments to evaluate HR/ Payroll technology to streamlines processes, mitigate compliance risk, and integrate systems – all while creating an engaged organizational strategy. Alyssa also serves on the Executive Board of the Argenta Downtown Council as Secretary/ Treasurer, and volunteers to coordinate the tulip planting in Argenta each year. Last year she served as the NLR Young Professional Board President and as their Community chair.
Alyssa resides in her hometown of North Little Rock with her husband Eddie Mraz and their two dogs. She loves being outdoors (with Eddie) either hiking or biking, and often taking their nieces/ nephews to explore with them.
Quard is owner of Kingdom Properties LLC, a real estate investment company, and B & B Property Inspectors LLC, a home inspection company. Quard teamed with Angel’s Haven to provide quality living for women facing abortion decisions. Quard and his family were stationed here at Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB) in 2015. His role in the air force here at LRAFB was to serve on the executive team to oversee the Child Development Centers, Youth Programs, Home Day Cares, and Airman and Family Center. In service he was also a Victim’s Advocate volunteer for several years. Quard retired from the United States Air Force in 2018 after serving 24 years. His most recent tour was Afghanistan in 2016.
Quard earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Faulkner University and Master of Business degree from Harding University. He is currently enrolled as a Masters in Pastoral Counseling student at Liberty University. Quard has served as a Shepherd at the Sylvan Hills Church of Christ in Sherwood since 2017.
Rebecca Estep, currently is the Grants and Policy Director for Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. She has spent her entire career advocating for human rights. She began her career in Early Childhood Education as a Head Start teacher with NADC before moving on to accept the position of Executive Director for Family Violence Prevention in Batesville for over three years. As Development Coordinator at the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rebecca drafted, advocated and successfully passed stalking legislation in the 89th Arkansas General Assembly.
Rebecca transitioned as Executive Director to Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association for four years from her role as Cabot Program Administrator and Director of Waiver for Lonoke Exceptional Development Center serving individuals with disabilities. She holds an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education from UACCB and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services Management from the University of Phoenix. She is involved in a number of volunteer efforts including: Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Hospitality Committee, Little Rock Zoo Wild Wines of the World Steering Committee, Special Olympics, Real Images Power Circle Advisory Council, and Women’s Own Worth. She previously served on the Women’s Own Worth Board of Directors, Real Images Board of Directors, Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors, Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault Advisory Council and Batesville Rotary Club Board of Directors.
She is the mother of four children. Koby (15), Allie (13), Turner (12) and Benjamin (6).
Ms. Ford is a litigation attorney with Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC. Raised in Arkansas, Ms. Ford graduated cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law where she was chosen by her classmates to receive the Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Community Award. Ms. Ford received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she served as Student Body President. In 2015, she earned a Master’s in Accounting.
Tim is an attorney and partner at Hodge Calhoun Giattina. Tim graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2003. Following his graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked in various political capacities. In 2007, Tim moved to Little Rock to pursue a joint masters/law degree at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and William H. Bowen School of Law. After law school, Tim practiced with a nationally prominent personal injury attorney specializing in automotive and tire product liability litigation. He then worked in risk management, managing litigation and providing coverage analyses for insurance syndicates based in the Lloyd’s of London market. Before founding Hodge Calhoun Giattina, Tim worked as a litigation attorney specializing in civil defense.
Tim lives in North Little Rock with his wife Annie and their two dogs. A former college athlete and sports fan, Tim plays tennis, basketball, and golf, and most Fall Saturdays you can find him watching college football.
Will is the Vice President of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships at inVeritas where he leads the firm’s government relations and strategic partnerships division. He previously served as a senior staff attorney for the Pulaski County Attorney’s Office, service as a legal advisor to county officials and representing the County’s interests before the Arkansas Legislature and Public Service Commission. Will’s broad range of legal experience encompasses both the public and private sectors. He served as an assistant attorney general in the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and a deputy prosecuting attorney for the Arkansas Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He later worked in private practice where he represented clients in circuit and district courts and before the Arkansas Real Estate and Fair Housing commissions. He began his career serving the Arkansas Air National Guard where he later achieved the rank of staff sergeant.
Will is active in his community, serving on the board of directors of the Next Generation Young Professional of the North Little Rock CHamber, and as an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association and Think Big Little Rock. He has also served as a big brother in Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Amanda graduated from Harding University with a Bachelors in Social Work in 2005 and again from UALR with a Masters in Social Work in 2006. While at Harding University, she was a social work intern at DCFS in Jackson Co and got her first taste of the DHS system, foster care, and CASA.
Amanda is a Licensed Certified Social Worker currently working as a Patient Experience Specialist at UAMS. In her current role, she serves as an advocate for patients and families while working to improve experiences they have within the hospital setting. Prior to her current role, she served as a family coordinator with the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency where she helped families navigate through grief, loss, and the organ donation process. Before that, Amanda was the director of the Homeless Day Resource Center and as a crisis mental health evaluator for Professional Counseling Associates. Amanda has also previously served as adjunct faculty and a field liaison for social work interns through UALR and has volunteered as a Big for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Arkansas.
The love of work with the community, systems, advocacy, and volunteerism has brought Amanda to the CASA Board of Directors in hopes that her knowledge and background can be of service to the children they serve.
While she is a native of San Antonio, Texas, Amanda has called Arkansas home since 2006. She lives in Little Rock with her husband, son, and two dogs. They are members of Central Church of Christ and love to travel whenever they can.
Juan Carlos Hernández is an Immigration Attorney originally from Guadalajara, México. He works at The Hernandez Law Firm, PLLC with his brother Guillermo. He has been Assistant Counsel for the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock, AR since 2015. He graduated from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law in 2013 where he served as Vice-President of the Hispanic Law Students Association. While in Law School he worked part-time for the IOLTA Foundation and clerked at the Prosecutor’s Office 6th judicial District. Before that he lived in Miami, FL working in the banking industry. He earned the degree of Bachelor in Business Administration, and Master’s Degree in Business from Harding University. While in college he was a member of the Harding University tennis team, and was awarded a tennis scholarship as a player and later as a Graduate Assistant Coach.
Juan Carlos has a passion for helping immigrants, as an immigrant himself going through the immigration process from a student visa holder to become a U.S. Citizen in 2015. He has represented clients in Immigration Court, in Memphis, TN; Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Jena, LA; as well as in Arkansas Circuit Courts and Federal Court. Juan Carlos has been a member of numerous minority associations and Hispanic committees during his career, especially while he resided in Miami, and the South Florida area.
Juan Carlos lives in Little Rock, AR. as a former college athlete, he enjoys all kinds of athletic activities outdoors. On weekends you can find him riding a motorcycle or paragliding, and during the winter months, he tries to go snowboarding as much as possible.
Skye Martin is an attorney at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. At DHS, Skye handles appeals involving Medicaid, child care licensing, and adult maltreatment. She graduated fifth in her class from the Bowen School of Law in 2012 and has returned to the law school in recent years as an adjunct professor. Skye currently serves on the executive boards for the Arkansas Bar Association, the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, and the Peacekeepers (a volunteer group for Women & Children First). Skye also serves as a Commissioner for the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission and as a volunteer for various nonprofits including the Arkansas Foodbank, Junior League of Little Rock, Make-A-Wish MidSouth, and Women’s Own Worth.
Skye lives in North Little Rock with her husband Jonathan Martin. Jonathan is an immigration attorney at Monterrey Law Firm.
Shalanda L. Walker is a proud native of Malvern, AR. After graduating from Malvern High School in May 2000, Shalanda went on to further her education at the Historic University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. While pursuing her degree, Shalanda was highly involved in an array of organizations such as Tau Beta Sigma Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the UAPB Marching Band; where she was Head Captain of the 24 Karat Golden Silks Flagline. In May 2005, Shalanda graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Since January 2013, Shalanda has been employed with the law firm Mackie Wolf Zientz & Mann where she currently holds the position of Referral Team Lead and oversees the intake department for Arkansas and Tennessee. With an endearing love for her country and fellow man, Shalanda proudly served as an Arkansas National Guardsmen for the United States Military from February 2015 to October 2021 as a Human Resources Specialist. Being able to serve her State and Country has given her much joy and fulfilment.
Shalanda is an active member of the Saint Mark Baptist Church of Little Rock. She’s highly involved as a volunteer for their Feast of Hope Outreach Ministry; which feeds thousands in the Little Rock community, as well as the church’s annual job fair that helps to provide jobs for thousands of residents throughout the community. She’s also involved in the Music Ministry; however, her calling is working in the Deaf Ministry, where she provides sign language for those members of the deaf community that attend service.
Shalanda resides in Little Rock, AR with her husband Jefferson D. Walker, Jr.; and together they are the proud parents of Thomas and Christian.