Governor Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson is the 46th governor of the State of Arkansas. In 2018, he was re-elected with 65% of the vote, having received more votes than any other candidate for governor in the state's history.
He has won recognition for the state as a leader in computer science education, cut taxes by $150 million, and signed a law that exempts the retirement pay of veterans from state income tax.
Under his economic development policies, 70,000 more people are working in Arkansas than when he took office, and he has signed incentive agreements with nearly 400 companies that were expanding or opening in the state. For nearly two years, the state’s unemployment rate has stayed at or below the national rate.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Governor Hutchinson as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. In 1996, he won the first of three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his third term in Congress, President George W. Bush appointed him director of the Drug Enforcement Administration and later as an undersecretary in the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
His experience has established him as a national resource for his expertise on trade, energy, national security, and education. The governor has been invited to the White House several times to join discussions about health care, Medicaid, and education issues.
The Governor is the co-chair of the Council of Governors and the former chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) and the Southern Regional Education Board.
Governor Hutchinson grew up on a small farm in Gravette. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas law school. He and his wife, Susan, have been married 45 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Director for Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Department of Commerce
Charisse Childers, Ph.D.
Having spent all of her life in Arkansas, raised in Blytheville and now living in Little Rock, Dr. Charisse Childers is always working to make a difference in the lives of others. Her experiences, knowledge, and unwavering enthusiasm are demonstrated in everything that she does. With 30 years of work and personal experience in business, education, law enforcement, non-profits, and economic development, she has built friendships and has contacts in all parts of the state.
After graduating from Blytheville High School, Dr. Childers worked her way through college at Arkansas State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1988. Realizing that she wanted to continue her education and that additional education and training would open up greater opportunities, she later earned master’s and specialist’s degrees from Arkansas State University. Then at the age of 42, she graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy.
Dr. Childers’ career began in secondary and post-secondary education – giving her an opportunity to work with students and demonstrate the importance of an education. In addition to serving on a national education board and being recognized for her exemplary work in post-secondary education, she has written and administered federal, state, and local grants and has been a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education.
She served from 2006–2014 as the executive director of Accelerate Arkansas, an 80-member statewide group of business and education leaders dedicated to knowledge-based economic development in the state of Arkansas. She was appointed director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education in January 2015 where she worked with leaders around the state on education and economic development policy and career and educational services that prepare our youth and adults for jobs while meeting the needs of our businesses in Arkansas.
Most recently, Dr.Childers was recognized by her peers as the 2016 ‘Rising Star’ by Advance CTE – an association of state directors of career and technical education. Previously, she was recognized by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as one of 40 non-profit leaders in the state-based on her accomplishments and strong leadership traits that exemplify the legacy of Governor Rockefeller and who are contributing to moving the needle in Arkansas.
Dr. Childers served on the Arkansas State Police Commission for seven years and currently is a member of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. She serves on the board of the Arkansas State Alumni Association and Advance CTE. Dr. Childers most recently served as Director of Arkansas Department of Career Education from January 2015 to June 2019.
Commissioner - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Alan McClain has a passion for people with disabilities and is committed to helping provide positive outcomes for the clients of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). He is actively involved in several organizations focused on children and adults with disabilities and their families. In addition, McClain brings an incredible amount of knowledge of state government, regulatory, and supervisory experience to Career Education. Most recently, McClain worked as the Regional Director of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. Prior to the Institute, he worked with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission for thirteen years and was the CEO of that commission for almost nine years.
Deputy Commissioner - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Joe Baxter was born at Camp Lejeune, NC and raised in Nashville, TN. He holds a BS in Business Economics from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Financial Management from the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, CA. Mr. Baxter is a retired veteran with 26 years of military service. His extensive budgetary and programmatic experience includes service as an Acquisition Program Manager, and as a Budget Analyst at the Pentagon.
Chief Financial Officer with the Division of Workforce Services
Maria "Lorna" Claudio was born in the Province of Laguna, Philippines. After earning her Accounting Degree from Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the Philippines, she moved with her family to the United States in 1989.
Claudio began her career at Arkansas Children’s Hospital as an accountant, then worked as a Tax Auditor for the Department of Finance and Administration. Following that, she served as the Finance Manager of Home Health at the Department of Health and also completed the Leadership in Public Administration course during her tenure there. Claudio became the Finance Manager of Health Services Permit Agency where she served as the CFO of the agency for 8 years, a position she held until joining the Department of Career Education in March 2012.
Managing Attorney - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Charles Lyford serves as Managing Attorney for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). He formerly served in the same capacity with the Arkansas Department of Career Education joining in 2018. Previously, Lyford served as Assistant Attorney General, working in the Opinions and Civil Litigation Department. His legal career began in private practice for a Little Rock firm.
He is active in the community, having served as a member of the Riverfest Committee for several years.
Lyford is a cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Chicago.
Chief Financial Officer - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
James McCune assumed the position of Chief Financial Officer for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) in November 2016. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Shreveport with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Mr. McCune worked in both
Chief Information Officer - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Otis Dixon serves as Chief Information Officer with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) formerly serving in the same capacity with the Arkansas Department of Career Education; however, his time with the agency began in 2013 as a Business Analyst and Interim Chief Information Officer.
While at the agency, Dixon has been instrumental in recommending and implementing cost-effective solutions that are critical for agency staff members to work effectively and efficiently. In addition, he has provided strategic input and best practices to protect agency personnel and business assets and data from outside threats and intrusion.
Dixon's professional experience also includes his serving in a leadership role at AT&T. For more than 25 years at the company, Dixon was totally immersed in leading-edge technology, prototyping, forward-looking research, and development.
Dixon earned a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Networking and Data Communications at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Mathematics and Physics.
Director of Communications - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Charles "Chip" McAfee serves as the Communications Director for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. He most recently served as Communications Director for the Arkansas Department of Career Education. In this position, he led all communication efforts for the agency and its four divisions.
McAfee, a Texarkana native, brings more than 20 years of leadership and communications experience to the team. He joined the Arkansas Department of Career Education in 2013 as the State Director for SkillsUSA, where he increased membership and implemented exciting new changes to the organization. He has also served as the agency’s Assistant Communications Director. McAfee’s professional background includes being a television meteorologist, an Associated Press award-winning television reporter, a broadcasting instructor, and a school campus Technology Director.
McAfee received both his Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and
McAfee is the proud father of three children.
Human Resources Manager - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Personnel Manager - Adult Education
Lisa A. Thompson serves as Personnel Manager for Adult Education. She formerly served in the same capacity within the Arkansas Department of Career Education. She joined the agency in June 2013 as Assistant Personnel Manager.
Thompson received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College.
Raised in Yorktown, Arkansas, Thompson has lived in Little Rock for nearly two decades. When not working, she enjoys reading, playing basketball, racquetball, traveling, and meeting new people. Thompson is a diehard football fan who can’t wait for each season to begin. Her passion is helping others through the outreach homeless ministry at her church.
Chief Of Field Services - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Carl E. Daughtery is a native of North Little Rock, Arkansas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Philander Smith College in Little Rock and a Master’s in Public Administration from Webster University in Jacksonville, Arkansas. He also graduated from the University of Arkansas Currents Leadership Institute in 2005.
Since August 2009, Daughtery served has as Chief of Field Services for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). Prior to this appointment, he worked as Interim Chief of Field Services. He was previously a District Manager for five years in the Vocational Rehabilitation Field Services Program covering the North Little Rock, Conway, Russellville and Lonoke field offices.
Director for Arkansas Career & Training Institute (ACTI) - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
EMAIL 501-624-4411, ext. 6310
Jonathan Bibb earned a Bachelor of Science degree in radiology from the University of Central Arkansas in 1995 and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2002. He is a registered radiologic technologist and a graduate of the Arkansas Academy for Public Health Leadership. Prior to his role as ACTI Director, Bibb was the apprenticeship program manager for the Arkansas Department of Career Education. Bibb’s first job in state government was as the administrator for the Mammography Accreditation and Compliance Program at the Arkansas Department of Health, a position he held for seven years.
Associate Commissioner of Access and Accommodations - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Nathan Winter assumed the position of Associate Commissioner of Access and Accommodations within Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) in May 2017. He has a dedication to seeing people with disabilities achieve their vocational goals and has worked diligently with various agencies and businesses to figure out ways to best accommodate individuals to attain or maintain competitive integrated employment. He received his masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas, a bachelors degree in Parks, Recreation, and Hospitality Administration from Arkansas Tech University, is an assistive technology professional (ATP) through the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America and is a certified ergonomic assessment specialist (CEAS). Before assuming his new role Nathan has been responsible for developing programs and performing individual evaluations that promote clients needs for accommodations to remain or attain success in the workplace, or with their education, through Arkansas Rehabilitation Services [email protected] and SAW/RTW programs.
Director of Program Planning, Development & Evaluation - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Robert P. "Bob" Treviño serves as the Director of Program Planning, Development & Evaluation for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). He joined ARS in 2005.
Treviño was born in Warrington, Great Britain. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science at Louisiana State University-Shreveport and a Masters of Public Administration Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. While in graduate school, Treviño was the recipient of the Arkansas City Manager Association Scholarship and the LULAC National Education Scholarship.
Before joining ARS, Treviño served as the Policy Advisor for Economic Development to Governor Mike Huckabee.
Transition Director of Special Projects - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Judy Seriale Smith serves as the Transition Director of Special Projects with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). She joined the agency in May 2007 and has also served as Interim Director for the Arkansas Career Training Institute (ACTI).
Before joining the agency, Smith served as the Executive Director of Arkansans for
In 1990, Smith was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives where she served for eight years. During her tenure, she was elected Deputy Majority Leader, served as Vice-Chair of the House Public Health, Welfare, & Labor Committee and chaired its Human Services sub-committee. She also served on several local, state and national committees. In 1998, Smith was the Democratic Nominee for Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District.
Smith’s community involvement has ranged from working with young children to helping youth develop intergenerational activities. She was instrumental in the development of the UAMS Project SEARCH® site and the development of the 38 million dollar AR PROMISE research grant.
Smith is a graduate of Grambling State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, is a Certified Volunteer Manager, and Certified Career Development Facilitator (CDF).
Director of Business Engagement - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
Rodney Chandler serves as the Business Engagement Manager for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) where he oversees and leads the agency’s Business Engagement efforts to support businesses to drive success through disability inclusion.
Rodney’s background includes experience in multiple disciplines and industries gained from employment with numerous fortune 500 corporations. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Philander Smith College in Little Rock. He serves on numerous charitable boards giving his service and time to help others.
Director - Adult Education
Trenia Miles, Ed.D. is a Pine Bluff native with over 15 years of experience in higher education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling at the University of Arkansas. She holds an Ed.D. in higher and adult education from the University of Memphis. Dr. Miles worked at the University of Arkansas for six years, working in the Career Services program where she held the positions of
She has worked for Southwest Tennessee Community College Workforce Development Center in Memphis, and later for Mid-South Community College (MSCC) in West Memphis. During her tenure at MSCC, she oversaw the offices of Student Activities, Academic Coaching, Career Services
Associate Director - Adult Education
Bridget Bullard Criner serves as the Associate Director of Adult Education within the Division of Workforce Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine
Prior to joining the Department of Career Education in 2010, Bridget spent over 10 years in the areas of Adult Education and Professional Development within Illinois higher education institutions.
Director for Office of Skills Development Division, Department of Commerce
Cody Waits, a native of Fort Smith, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Arkansas. He was appointed Deputy Director of the Office of Skills Development in 2017 when it was under Arkansas Department of Career Education. Waits possess both public and private sector experience, most recently utilized in the Governor's Office. Prior to his work in the public sector, Waits managed multi-million dollar accounts and directed the sales efforts in multiple states in the transportation, logistics and information technology industries. He currently serves as Director of the Office of Skills Development Division within the Department of Commerce.
Waits' experience in sales, data analysis, customer service, communications, and team building, along with his education, served to benefit the Arkansas Department of Career Education as it maximized the investment of state dollars and served to develop relationships with education and business partners.
Internal Auditor - Office of Skills Development Division
Don Bellcock serves as the Internal Auditor for Office of Skills Development Division within the Department of Commerce. He formerly served in the same capacity with the
Strategic Planning and Development Manager - Office of Skills Development Division
Kelly Hunt Lyon, Ed.D. serves as the Strategic Planning and Development Manager Office of Skills Development Division within the Department of Commerce. She formerly served in the same capacity with the
Prior to joining the agency, Dr. Lyon led Webster University's two Little Rock campuses with nine staff and 35 adjunct faculty members. The campuses offer seven classroom-based graduate programs. In 2013, she was one of 15 staff and faculty selected for Webster University's Global Leadership Academy.
Dr. Lyon earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The fifth-generation Arkansan has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, and the EAST Initiative.