New Board of Directors Members to Receive Oath of Office

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January 07, 2019
Karen Santos, Communications
479.784.2230 /


Meeting Will Be Mayor McGill’s First

(January 7, 2019, Fort Smith, AR) — Two new members of the Board of Directors will take the Oath of Office on Tuesday, January 8, at about 6:00 p.m. The swearing-in for Directors Robyn Dawson (Position 5 At-Large) and Neal Martin (Position 7 At-Large) is the first item on the regular meeting agenda. The oath will be administered by Judge R. Gunner DeLay of Sebastian County District Court, Fort Smith Division.
WHEN:             Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
                        Regular Meeting – Board of Directors
WHERE:           Fort Smith Public Schools Service Center
                        3205 Jenny Lind Road
The January 8 meeting will be the first presided over by newly-inaugurated Mayor George B. McGill. City of Fort Smith Board of Directors members currently include:
George B. McGill                      Mayor/At-Large
Keith Lau                                  Position 1 Ward 1
André Good                              Position 2 Ward 2
Mike Lorenz                              Position 3 Ward 3
George Catsavis                       Position 4 Ward 4
Robyn Dawson                         Position 5 At-Large
Kevin Settle                              Position 6 At-Large
Neal Martin                               Position 7 At-Large
McGill replaces Mayor Sandy Sanders, who served two terms (eight years) and did not run for reelection last November. McGill is the first African-American to hold the position of mayor of the City of Fort Smith.
Dawson defeated three opponents to win the seat formerly held by Tracy Pennartz. Dawson will be the only woman serving on the Board.
Incumbent Director Settle ran unopposed in the last election.
Martin ran unopposed and fills the seat formerly held by Don Hutchings.

Brief biographies of new directors
Director Robyn Dawson, Ed.S., is an elementary school principal with Fort Smith Public Schools and a small business owner. She earned a Bachelor’s in Education from Arkansas Tech University and a Master’s in Administration and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She has served on the Civil Service Commission, Mayor’s Bicentennial Committee, Lincoln Childcare Board, and sits on Mercy’s Community Health Board. Dawson was named Volunteer of the Year for the Chaffee Redevelopment Authority in 2017, presented with the Above and Beyond Service Award by the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators in Little Rock in 2018, and received the Human Rights Award in 2018. Dawson is from Fort Smith, and she and her husband have five children and five grandchildren.
Director Neal Martin is the information technology (IT) director of a local Fort Smith area healthcare company. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he majored in Computer Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis (CISQ). Martin was born and raised in Fort Smith, and he and his wife are raising their four children—ages four to 14—here.