Name: Heather Larkin
Hometown: Charleston, AR
Title/Position: President & CEO, Arkansas Community Foundation
Briefly describe your role:
I lead an extraordinary team in our work with communities and donors. Our team works to raise those precious and often limited charitable dollars to meet unlimited needs across the state. We pride ourselves on promoting smart giving to improve communities.
Q: Is what you’re doing now what you always pictured you would do?
No. When I entered the community foundation field, I did not even know what a community foundation was. On the other hand, I love every minute of the work, and feel very fortunate.
Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for women in your chosen industry? What are the greatest opportunities?
I am fortunate that women leaders are common in the community foundation field and my mentors as I was coming up in the field were mostly women. The challenge, and at the same time the opportunity, for women leaders in community foundations is to create an environment where donors and local community leaders work to determine local needs and meet those needs through smart giving.
Q: Who has inspired you in your life/career?
Certainly, my mother who is a role model in work and family. And, Pat Lile, who taught me how to speak in public and gave me every opportunity to learn and grow at the Community Foundation
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional?
Work hard and don’t take yourself too seriously. Be flexible. Be cautious of praise and learn from your critics.
Q: What’s been your secret to success?
Hiring great people and seeing my role as supporting them in their work.