Women’s Foundation of Arkansas announces 2024 Power of the Purse Honorees

LITTLE ROCK – The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas recently announced honorees and co-chairs for the Power of the Purse luncheon to be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. Presented by Arkansas Children’s, the annual Power of the Purse event recognizes the accomplishments of women in Arkansas, celebrates the work of the organization and raises money to continue making progress toward economic security for Arkansas women and girls. Sponsorships, tables and tickets are now available at womensfoundationarkansas.org/power-of-the-purse

Lenore Trammell

This year’s honorees are:

  • Woman of the Year in Public Service – Dr. Nirvana Manning, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine
  • Woman of the Year in Business – Lenore Trammell, chief administrative officer, chief compliance officer and general counsel, Big River Steel 
  • Woman of the Year in Philanthropy – Cathy Tuggle, CAM, NALP, owner and principal broker, Apartment Hunters and Arkansas Suites

Event co-chairs are: 

  • Shamim Okolloh – vice president, community outreach officer, Encore Bank
  • Marnie Oldner – director, Stone Bank

“It is our privilege to announce this year’s Power of the Purse honorees and co-chairs,” said Anna Beth Gorman, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA). “For the past quarter century, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas has championed inspiring women who are shaping our state, and we can’t wait to spotlight even more business leaders, philanthropists and public servants whose dedication creates boundless opportunities for all women and girls in Arkansas.” 

Nirvana Manning

UAMS’ Dr. Nirvana Manning will be honored as the Woman of the Year in Public Service. She is a steadfast advocate for women’s health and has implemented numerous projects designed to improve health outcomes for women and girls across the state. Arkansas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, and Dr. Manning has played a vital role in bringing national attention to the issue. She is currently participating in several grants aimed at improving postpartum maternal outcomes in populations experiencing health disparities as well as providing prenatal care in rural areas without access to providers. She is also a member of the Arkansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee and is one of only 10 providers in Arkansas to become a Certified Menopause Practitioner. 

Lenore Trammell, who holds an executive leadership position in one of the state’s leading STEM industries, will be honored as the Woman of the Year in Business. She juggles multiple roles at Big River Steel in Osceola, including general counsel, chief administrative officer and chief compliance officer. Committed to mentoring and uplifting the next generation of women in STEM, she also serves as the executive sponsor for Big River Steel’s employee resource group, NextGen, and is the president of the Greater Memphis Chapter of the International Association of Women and a member of the Great River Economic Development Board. 

Cathy Tuggle

Cathy Tuggle, principal broker and owner of Tuggle Services, Inc. DBA Apartment Hunters and Arkansas Suites, will be honored as Woman of the Year in Philanthropy. In addition to her professional work, Tuggle is known for her dedication to Arkansas’s nonprofit community. Described as the “first to roll up her sleeves,” she serves on the UA Little Rock Real Estate Advisory Board, the Arvest Bank Board of Directors, Fifty for the Future and is a member of Rotary Club 99 and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she was chair of the Board in 2018. She has served on the AR Kids Read Board for the past eight years and is a past chair. She is the current chair of the UA Little Rock Advisory Board. 

Co-chairs of this year’s event are Shamim Okolloh, vice president, community outreach officer at Encore Bank, and Marnie Oldner, director, Stone Bank. Together, Okolloh and Oldner have decades of experience as women leaders in the banking industry and are committed to continuing to create space and opportunities for other women in banking. 

Okolloh recently authored a book with her 10-year-old son, Liam Sprinkle. “Ella the Banker” was inspired by Okolloh’s daughter, Ella, who wants to become a banker, and the book seeks to inspire young girls, especially girls of color, to consider a banking career. 

Recently retired as CEO of Stone Bank, Oldner spent four decades in banking, helping Stone Bank grow its assets from $65 million to more than $750 million. She remains a member of the bank’s Board of Directors. The WFA honored Oldner as the Woman of the Year in Business in 2020. 

“Arkansas Children’s is proud to continue our partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas as presenting sponsor of Power of the Purse,” said Gena Wingfield, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Arkansas Children’s. “Our organizations share the goals of creating a healthier state for children, encouraging women in STEM and supporting families in Arkansas. This year’s Power of the Purse event will amplify our work together, and we look forward to supporting WFA in their efforts.”

For more information about Power of the Purse, this year’s honorees and co-chairs, and to purchase tickets to the luncheon, visit womensfoundationarkansas.org/power-of-the-purse.