Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth was the guest speaker for the DuBocage Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association at their meeting held recently at the Pine Bluff Country Club.
Hollingsworth has lived, worked and raised her family in Pine Bluff for the past 36 years. She is married with two daughters, two sons and four grandsons. She serves as mission director for First United Methodist Church and was leaving on a mission trip to Honduras with a team of 21 the following weekend. The mayor is a busy woman with her family, church work, community involvement and her mission work as well as being mayor of Pine Bluff.
Hollingsworth graduated from Jonesboro High School and attended Arkansas State University and is a graduate of Melton School of Business. She has attended numerous banking schools and is a registered investment adviser, Series 7 License, Series 6 License, and Series 63 License.
She said she was honored to speak to and impressed with ABWA for the leadership and education it provides and she encouraged everyone to use these gifts in the community as a volunteer. To be able to see change in our community, we need volunteers. She thinks the city is moving forward with things we haven’t seen before but there is still a lot of work left to do. She said women in our community could make a dynamic difference by working to produce the changes needed. Women have the talent needed to focus on the direction we want our city to take. It takes a mindset that this is a great place to live and work to attract businesses that would want locate here.
The mayor gave an example of being in a local business and asking an employee their for help. This employee huffed and puffed as if it was an imposition and not his job to help. She found he had a very negative attitude about Pine Bluff and despised the city. This type of attitude would discourage people looking to move here. She said we needed to quit focusing on the bad because there is plenty of good things about our community with a lot of great things going on that should be everyone’s focus.
She told of forming a safety team with members of the fire, police, street, and inspection departments as well as the mayor’s office walking making a sweep of a 30-block area where the gutters and ditches are cleaned and undesirables are moved out by working with the landlords in the area. She said crime was down approximately 55 percent in this area. This team will continue the sweeps and will increase the areas of their sweeps to map out the hot spots and help landlords preserve their property. This won’t happen overnight but she is very proud of the statistics.
During the question-and-answer session of the mayor’s visit, someone asked if the theatre at the mall would stay open. Hollingsworth said she had met with the mall personnel. They are suggesting that the police patrol move back to the mall and if that happens she feels Carmike will be comfortable to remain in place. She did say she and her husband had walked the mall a couple of weeks ago and were impressed with how clean and well-maintained it was.
During the business meeting, President Donna Renfro recognized the quests attending the meeting. These were Lynette Frazier, Kelley Bohlmann, Billy Farrell, Mike Kerr, Everett Coburn, Sheila Cannon, Ron Renfro, and David Gammel. It was announced that Tammy Kiff, the incoming vice president, was moving to Dumas since she and her husband own the Big Banjo there and was resigning as vice president. Mary Coburn was elected as vice president to take office in August.
Judy Conn won the dollar pot. Billy Farrell won the door prize and Mike Kerr won the birthday gift.