Board of Directors
Southern Bancorp Community Partners Leadership
President & CEO
Herman Davenport is owner and principal consultant with The Davenport Group Inc., an independent consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, project management, and program planning and development targeting corporations, foundations, government and non-profit organizations. He has more than 35 years of experience in strategy and policy development, non-profit management and philanthropy.
Earlier in his career, he was a regional manager with Levi Strauss & Co. responsible for overseeing the company’s philanthropy, impact investments, corporate giving and corporate engagement activities within the Mid-South Region.
He was a founding member of the Little Rock Public Education Foundation, the Little Rock LISC Local Advisory Committee and was a member of the inaugural admissions committee of the Clinton School of Public Service. He is a former board member of the Arkansas Community Foundation and the national Rural Community Assistance Program, a network of organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural America.
Clinton School of Public Service, Retired Assistant Professor,
W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Program Coordinator
John C. Edwards
Edwards Law Office
John Edwards is principal at Edwards Law Office and serves as General Counsel & Economic Development Director for Helena Harbor in Helena, Arkansas. He has served as an aide to former United States Senator David Pryor, where he was responsible for working with agricultural related issues. In 1996, he was appointed Arkansas State Director of USDA Rural Development, the lead federal agency providing funding for rural housing, businesses, and water systems. Edwards is a veteran of the Iraq War and was part of a National Guard unit that provided relief to New Orleans residents after Katrina. He left service in 2012 as a Colonel.
Appalachian Community Capital
President & CEO
Donna Gambrell was not only the first African American woman to hold the position of director of the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund, but she was also the longest serving director in the fund’s history. During her tenure, she oversaw significant growth in the CDFI Fund as well as the creation of a number of new initiatives targeting underserved communities. Prior to leading the CDFI Fund, Ms. Gambrell served in several leadership positions within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), including Deputy Director for Compliance and Consumer Protection, where she oversaw the FDIC’s national compliance bank examinations, as well as the agency’s community affairs, consumer affairs, and deposit insurance programs. As a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Ms. Gambrell advises Federal Reserve leadership, economists, community stakeholders, and policy-makers on community development related initiatives.
Hudson Cisne & Co. LLP
Sarah Gentry is a Certified Public Accountant and Principal with the Little Rock accounting firm of Hudson, Cisne & Co. LLP where she focuses on audit and tax services. A 2002 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Henderson State University, Gentry also received her MBA from HSU. In addition to her service to Southern, she currently serves on the board of the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance and is a member of both the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Building Excellent Schools
Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services, Inc.
Jacquelyn W. McCray
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Jacquelyn W. McCray retired as dean of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Having served most of her professional career at UAPB, McCray came to administration from a faculty position in the Department of Human Sciences. For more than 20 years she conducted housing and community development research in Arkansas.
During this time she served as Chair of two Southern Region Housing Research Projects, conducted contract research for the Lower Mississippi Delta Commission, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.Professionally, McCray is a long-time member of the American Association of Housing Educators having served on its board of directors (1982-85), chair of the research section (1989-90), and national president (1991-92). She has been a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, DC and is widely published in major Housing, Family and Community Development Journals and has more than 50 referred publications to her honor. Though no longer engaged in housing research, McCray has given professional expertise in support of housing and community development initiatives through the Jefferson County Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and the Pine Bluff Community Housing Resources Board.McCray has served as chair of the Association of 1890 Extension Administrators and as a member of the National Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. She is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, and Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society for Family and Consumer Sciences. She is listed in Outstanding Young Women of America and International Who’s Who and is a recipient of the Arkansas Women of Achievement Award in Energy.
Hope Enterprise Corporation
Vice President of Commercial Business Development
Patco Services, Inc.
Walt Patterson is currently the principal at Patco Services, Inc. Formerly, he served as Senior VP at ACS, Inc., (a Xerox Company) as well as Director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. He is also past National Board Chairman of Volunteers of America and the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. His past affiliations include The National Council of Human Services Administrators, the Arkansas State Job Coordinating Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Healthy Futures Advisory Council.
Mary Gay Shipley
That Bookstore in Blytheville