Archive for March, 2014

How could one not love Jeremy ? … Just look at that Smile ?



In Little Rock, we are blessed to have great restaurants and excellent hotels.  We are also fortunate to have awesome staff … staff behind the scenes and those out front  … those who set the tables, serve our meals and clean up after us when we’re gone. Unfortunately, we often take them for granted. Shame on us !!!

My dad set an example for me and my sisters by always acknowledging our servers … maybe a “hello, how are you today, thank you for your service” … little things like that.  What a life lesson for me and a pretty darn good one for all of us.

I’ve attended a life’s worth of Chicken and Green Bean lunches and dinners 

I’ve met and/or been served by thousands of the individuals who make large Civic and Convention luncheon or dinner events work in a timely fashion.  Hopefully, I’ve followed my dad’s example by acknowledging my servers with a smile and kind word.  During my years as Mayor, I came to know their faces and some of their names.  Virtually all have been wonderful … One stands out !!

Jeremy at the Little Rock Marriott Convention Center … My local hero !!!

Let me tell you why Jeremy is my hero … why he stands out.  Well, Jeremy is hard to miss … hard to miss not because he’s a pretty big guy but because he always has a pretty big smile, hard to miss because he always greets me with a big bear hug and hard to miss because he always gives big service, big attention and a big friendly hospitable attitude. Jeremy has been around for quite a few years … from the Excelsior to the Peabody to the now Marriott and I bet I’m not alone in recognizing this very special human being.  I also bet, whether he is acknowledged by all or not, that he has enhanced the meeting experience, the customer experience and the image of Little Rock as much or more than anyone.

Thank you, Jeremy, for just being you !!!



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Credit for this photo goes to Ben Crain of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette

In 2002 the Little Rock Marathon Started in my office …

Well, it didn’t exactly “start” in my office. However, the Dream, the Vision, the Spirit, the Fire did get ignited that day in 2002 during my third term as Mayor.  I will never forget the moment two smiling, supercharged young women, along with then Parks Director, Bryan Day, appeared in my office with the simple statement … “Mayor, we want to start the Little Rock Marathon”…               Gulp!!!

I had run marathons, 10Ks and some bicycling events.  Even as a participant, I knew a little bit about how much it takes  to put on any event, much less a 26.2 mile marathon.  I mean, we were talking about closing streets, water stations, medical teams, police and city staff overtime  … and … Volunteers Galore!!!  My gosh, what was I about to say “yes” to?

Thank God, I did say “yes” 

And thank God as well, Gina and Geneva are still at it in 2014.  Because of these two fun loving, dedicated, high energy leaders, the Little Rock Marathon has become one of the most successful in the United States drawing over 15,000 this year from all over the world.  From that first office visit, not only has the marathon grown, but the signature Marathon Medal has grown.  I must admit I will no longer be a candidate for the Big Medal but I proudly accepted my smaller medal for completing the 10K on the most miserably cold, windy and wet day of the year.  In fact, because of thunder and lightning the race was cut short for the first time in history. Sure it was disappointing for some but a wise decision regardless.

Thank you Gina and Geneva and thank you volunteers …

With over 2000 volunteers, 15,000 entrants and 40 – 50,000 family members, friends and supporters, The Little Rock Marathon has become huge, not just huge in numbers, not just huge in medal size but huge in community spirit.  I believe the benefit goes well beyond  Marathon day.  I believe it is carried in each of our hearts, memories and passions as we come together to create a better Little Rock and a better world.

Thanks again to my special friends … the untiring Dynamic Duo … Gina and Geneva.

You are  …………..   MY LOCAL HEROES !!!!!

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