Steve Carr, Chair
Steve is currently Director, Category Management and Insights for the JM Smucker Company where he has worked since 2008. Prior to that, Steve worked at Procter & Gamble for 23 years in various roles. Originally from Philadelphia, Steve received his undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and MBA from St Joe’s University.
Amanda Rosen, Treasurer
Amanda Rosen serves as Treasurer on our Board of Directors. She grew up in NWA, is an oil painter, and is passionate about creating more ways to build accessible and memorable art experiences for the NWA community. She currently serves as Vice President for VMLY&R Commerce and brings over 12 years of marketing/advertising experience in designing profitable business models, pioneering new capabilities, and leading large agency teams across North America for some of the world’s most recognizable brands and retailers.
Courtney Backus, Secretary
Courtney Backus Norton is a Territory Manager for Align Technology/Invisalign. Courtney is originally from Little Rock, AR where she graduated from the historic Little Rock Central High School. Courtney then moved to NWA to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She received her B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Advertising / Public Relations and Marketing.Courtney believes in giving back to the community where she lives and actively participates in fundraising events as well as gives her time to several organizations in the area. Courtney is involved in the following organizations throughout the community: Board Member of the Community Creative Center; member of the Junior Civic League of Fayetteville; a past member of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, served as a board member for two years; mentor at Saving Grace for 10 years; participated as an Art Educator with Art Feeds NWA; volunteered for the American Heart Association where she has served as Chair of the Purseonality Purse Auction for 5 years and was a LipSync Contestant at the Heart Ball where she won the Community Awareness Award; President of the Tri Delta Alumnae Chapter for Northwest Arkansas; member of the Tri Delta House Corporation, as well as Recruitment Specialist for the National Tri Delta Fraternity for the South Central Region and helped serve the local Tri Delta Chapter; and volunteers her time with Open Avenues as well as the Susan G Komen Ozark. She was a 2015 Kiss A Pig Candidate for the American Diabetes Association where she was awarded the High Hoof Award for raising the most community awareness. Also, she was a member of the Leadership Benton County Class X.Courtney grew up going to art class in her hometown of Little Rock, AR at the Arkansas Art Center. Courtney has always been a big supporter and believer in the arts, especially exposing children to the arts at a young age can help children with their development, feeling of expression, self confidence and creativity. When we value not only children’s creativity, but value people’s creativity in general it builds value into their hearts and souls and can lift their self esteem. There are no wrong answers in art and that is what makes it so beautiful.Courtney and her husband Hunter reside in Fayetteville with their daughter Lawson and son Nash with their two dogs Onyx and Rufas.
Marcella Thompson, Emeritus
Retired from the University of Arkansas after 28 years of teaching Sociology. I took my first class at CCC at age 65 and was immediately addicted to clay. Within a year, I had my own home studio and was President of the CCC board. I was involved in the first grant application process to the Walton Family Foundation and have been on the board ever since. I served well past the time limit for board members and two years ago was made a board member emeritus. The CCC community has been an important part of my life all these years and I want others to share that sense of community. While most of us will never be defined by the broader art community as great artists, at CCC we ARE artists, and we make sure that everyone who walks through the doors can be a part of that. Can be that artist they never thought they had in them. That is why I will stay involved with CCC until I’m too damn old to roll out a slab of clay. To create art is the gift we give the community.
Chris is a professor at the University of Arkansas in Sociology and Criminology, and previously worked as an attorney. Chris is a clay artist who got started by taking classes at the CCC and continued to hone his skills over the years. He regularly sells pottery at the holiday market and via shops in Eureka Springs and is building a studio at his home in Eureka Springs. Chris loves teaching at the University of Arkansas, but considers Pottery his second calling. He joined the board of directors in 2018. Shortly afterwards, he began teaching wheel one classes. Chris dedicates as much time and energy to the CCC as his schedule allows. Chris says “I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn pottery and tumble down the rabbit hole like I did.”
Jeannie Hulen is a Professor of Ceramics and Associate Dean in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, over Art, Music, Theatre and World Languages at the University of Arkansas. She received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and an MFA from Louisiana State University. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Recent notable activities include stewarding historic gifts from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and Windgate Charitable Foundation to inaugurate a School of Art at the University of Arkansas, as well as serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana, West Africa during 2018-19.
Sofia Vawter is a Multicultural Evangelist and a Non-profit Champion. She has vast experience in the retail, beverage, financial, real estate, advertising, and non-profit sectors. Sofia grew up in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, then moved to the United States and has lived in several states during the course of her professional career. Being Bi-cultural and bilingual-fluent in English and Spanish- has allowed her to see the world through a multicultural lens and with an inclusive mindset. She worked for the world’s largest company: Walmart, where she spearheaded the creation and implementation of the first ever Hispanic Marketing department for Walmart U.S. that included recruiting the Hispanic Advertising Agency of record, media agency, and working closely with many top Hispanic organizations, suppliers and Walmart’s merchandising teams to ensure implementation of culturally relevant in-store programs, advertising and marketing efforts. Sofia also has experience in the advertising industry, where she managed advertising efforts for global and national brands such as Budweiser, Michelob, Bank One, and Money Gram. Her philanthropy interests have led her to serve as a Board Member of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas and St. Joseph Catholic School in Fayetteville. To learn more about Sofia follow her on LinkedIn.