Five-Oh-Ones to Watch 2024: Courtney Martin, Farm Bureau

The city of Morrilton promotes itself as “Small city. No limits.” Courtney Stell Martin, 34, has been a part of this promotion for several years. 

Martin is the incoming president of the Morrilton Rotary Club and will take office on July 1. She is also vice chairman of the Conway County Care Center Board of Directors, a nonprofit that helps ensure that “no one in Conway County goes hungry.” She is a past president of Main Street Morrilton and a member of the Morrilton Civic Alliance, and attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where she helps with the Christmas program and Vacation Bible School.

Martin is also an active member of the Conway County Eclipse Planning Committee. “We started this in 2017 when we had a partial eclipse,” she said. “After that, the mayor called a town meeting and we all talked about it. Then we took a few years off and restarted our efforts in 2021. We want to concentrate our efforts on science education and safety. We may not be the biggest city in the path of totality, and our bookings may not be the biggest, but we will have a large amount of total darkness, and we know people will come here. We just want everyone to be safe.”

Martin grew up in Center Ridge, a daughter of Teresa Stell and the late Ronnie Stell. She is a graduate of Nemo Vista High School and has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Martin worked at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton for seven years, first as coordinator of information and public relations and then as director of student activities. She currently works part time as a customer service representative for Conway County Farm Bureau and has her own business, Courtney Martin Creative.

“I love to build websites for nonprofits and municipalities,” she said. “My passion is to be a community servant and enhance my community. I always want to give back to my community.”

Martin said she credits her parents for her love of community. “I lost my dad in 2018,” she said. “He was not one to be in the spotlight. He gave back when he could, not for recognition but just to help and make things better. “And my mom, she would give you the shirt off her back and never expect anything in return,” Martin said, smiling. “I give thanks for my parents for showing me the importance of giving back to my community.”

Martin and her husband, Wesley Martin, were married in 2019. She has two boys—Mason, 12, who is her “bonus kiddo,” and Owen, 3. “They take a lot of my time,” she said. “Mason is very active in Greenbrier Middle School, and Owen is happy to tag along with me to most places I go.

“The Morrilton Eclipse Planning Committee is taking up a lot of my time right now,” she said. “But as far as the future goes … the next five to 10 years … I want always to give back to my community. I’m even considering running for mayor of Morrilton … but that’s for one day in the future. I just want to continue to be involved in the community, and to see Morrilton, Conway County and all businesses grow.”