Paige Jernigan has joined Bentonville’s Heartland Forward as its new director of development.
In her new role, Jernigan will lead fundraising efforts supporting research and program work tied to the nonprofit’s mission of improving the economic performance of the center of the U.S. Jernigan will work in tandem with Blake Woolsey, chief communications and development officer.
A Pine Bluff native, Jernigan graduated from Hollins University in Virginia and received her MBA from Northwestern. She is a former research analyst for Goldman Sachs; is a consultant for numerous startups and initiatives; cofounded an English literacy company in Shanghai; and has served as a trustee to three independent schools in London and the United States, for which she helped create and execute capital campaigns and annual fund drives.
“The first thing I noticed when vetting Paige as a candidate is her passion for the Heartland as well as her entrepreneurial spirit and forward-thinking mindset,” said Woolsey. “While she has loved living in London and New York City, it is obvious her roots are tied to the Heartland as a native of Pine Bluff. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her joining this team as we work to achieve a mission serving so many at such a critical time in our economy. She is all about finding solutions, connecting the people who can make it happen and acting upon it.”
Heartland Forward’s mission is to improve economic performance in the center of the United States by advocating for fact-based solutions to foster job creation, knowledge-based and inclusive growth and improved health outcomes. Jernigan said she is eager to help turn the organization’s research into action.
“It is a thrill to be back in my home state to help with the important work of economic renewal in the middle of the country. I believe all humans are entrepreneurs, thinkers and doers, yet too few have access to the tools and knowledge to execute on their ideas and dreams,” she said.