Couples: The Scroggins

HER   Lori Ross Scroggin

City: Conway

Native of: Center Ridge (Conway County)

Education: Nemo Vista High School; University of Central Arkansas, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.

Job: Chief development officer/corporate director of marketing and foundation, Conway Regional Health System.

Parents: Joseph and Geneva Paladino of Center Ridge (now residing in heaven).

Community activities: Current: 501 LIFE Editorial Board, MBA Advisory Board for UCA, Noon Rotary Club, Women in Business Committee of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. Past: Chairman of the Conway Corporation Board of Directors; chairman of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Faulkner County Community Foundation and several other community boards.

Church activities: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Pastoral Council; current chairman of the school bazaar executive committee; former school board member.

Hobbies/special interests: Singing.

How would you describe yourself: I have been very blessed, and I am sincerely grateful for those blessings. I rely strongly on my deep-rooted faith. I am proud of my Italian heritage and family and feel that the lessons learned from them of hard work and devotion have helped formed who I am today. I try really hard to learn from my mistakes, and I try to keep things in perspective of the bigger picture.  

Favorite restaurant in the 501: Mike’s Place.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Visiting with friends and family and spending time with Preston.

Favorite quote: My mother always repeatedly said, “This too shall pass,” and that is very true, whether you are in bad times or good; so relish and enjoy the good times and know that bad times won’t last forever.

“Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that God is with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” — Saint Pope John Paul II

What do you love about living in the 501: This is beautiful country, and so many people here are good, salt-of-the-earth kind of folks. I love the progressiveness and vibrancy of Conway and have truly enjoyed watching the growth of this community. 

HIM   Preston Reed Scroggin

City: Conway (formerly of Vilonia)

Native of: Springfield (Conway County)

Education: Morrilton High School; University of Central Arkansas, bachelor of science degree in political science and economics.

Job: Executive director, Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

Parents: Don and Doris Scroggin from Vilonia. Doris grew up in Morrilton, and Don grew up in Springfield.

Community activities: Current: Faulkner County Council on Aging Board of Directors, Faulkner County Public Facilities Board. Past: Faulkner County Community Foundation, Metroplan, president of the County Judges Association of Arkansas, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Board and many other community boards.

Hobbies/special interests: Farming and antique John Deere tractors. 

How would you describe yourself: I like to help others, and I believe in my community. I believe we have a duty to give back. We are blessed to live in Arkansas. 

Favorite restaurant in the 501: Big Ben’s in Vilonia.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Traveling to different places in Arkansas with Lori.

Favorite quote: “Stay in the truck, I got this.”

What do you love about living in the 501: It’s a beautiful, vibrant area with lots of opportunity for those who work hard.


How we met: We’ve known each other for years because we both grew up in Conway County. Our first date nearly two years ago ended up being with Lori’s cousin, a priest, Father T.J. Hart, at his parish’s annual fundraiser Karnawal, a Polish festival at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Marche (Pulaski County). We ended up spending the entire evening walking with him and his mother and family. It was very, very special. We knew early on that we had a strong, deep connection. 

After a couple of weeks of dating, Lori showed Preston one of her prized possessions — a bowl that she and her mother had used all the time and had made miles of spaghetti out of. It had been a gift from Lori’s grandmother, Minnie Paladino, to her mom, Geneva, long before Lori was born. Preston recognized the pattern immediately, looked at the stamp on the bottom of the bowl and then revealed to Lori that it was the same pattern as his own grandmother’s china. The next day he got the entire collection of his grandmother’s china out of storage and brought it over to Lori’s house. There sat the beautiful shiny, hardly-used bowl of Preston’s grandmother next to the identical, but well-worn bowl from Lori’s grandmother. 

It occurred to them that Preston’s grandmother, who ran a country store in Springfield, ordered that china from a flour company, Omar Flour. And she very likely delivered that flour to Catholic Point where Minnie Paladino lived, and helped her order that very bowl that she then gave to Lori’s mother. (Fortunately, that china was at Lori’s house in Conway and wasn’t lost in the April 27 tornado.)

Wedding bells: May 21, 2014, in the Adoration Chapel at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway.

Family: Four daughters: Morgan Reed Scroggin, a sophomore at North Eastern Oklahoma A&M College; Taylor Maria Ross, a senior at the University of Arkansas; Rachel Nicole Ross, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas; and Natalie Milan Ross, eighth-grader at St. Joseph High School. 

Pets: Preston has two barn cats that survived the tornado, Soup Kitty and Tippy Kitty. They are still recuperating. Tippy is at his parents’ home, and Soup is with their friend Valerie Waggoner in Heber Springs. His very old tomcat did not survive, but was about 20 years old. 

Family activities enjoyed together: We love to cook together and try new recipes. Our families are just now blending together, and we look forward to a beach trip in July and hopefully lots of laughter and smiles.