fbpx

Workmatters Institute 

connect young leaders to work with purpose.

Many young leaders want to live an integrated life. They are looking for purpose in what they do. And even the most talented leaders need development and coaching to be at their best and experience the growth they desire. 

At Workmatters we believe that you can develop young leaders in a holistic way, integrating expert professional and leadership development with personal development. And we’ve seen leader after leader experience transformation through the process. 

The Workmatters Institute is a transformational faith and leadership development experience for young professionals who want to find purpose in all they do. Participants will join a cohort of other like-minded peers as they understand their storyline for work, practical leadership application from executive speakers, and develop a personal and actionable Faith and Leadership Action Plan. For more than ten years Workmatters has equipped leaders to work with purpose through this unique career development experience – insightful personal growth, deep spiritual growth, and effective leadership growth all in one. 

 

The Workmatters Institute brings clarity to the purpose of work, and the personal and professional development is mind-boggling. You can never approach your work the same.

Kali Davis

Director, Harvest Group

Details & Outcomes.

Who is a good candidate 

The Workmatters Institute is world-class leadership development, but it’s not for everybody, Because the spiritual development is such a core component, it needs to align with a participants’ core values. While our participants come from a variety of industries and experience life-change in different ways, they have a few things in common: 

  • They are hungry to grow spiritually and professionally.
  • They value purposeful work.
  • They are passionate about making an impact on people with their work.
  • They are willing to wrestle with theological concepts and practical ideas.
  • Participants are typically 25-39 years old.

Course Outcomes

Participants will be able to: 

  • Articulate the events and stories that have shaped their worldview and approach to work. 
  • Apply a process for intentionally aligning their storyline with their faith. 
  • Apply specific servant-leadership behaviors and techniques in common workplace challenges. 
  • Master a framework to initiate change.
  • Be part of a community of other rising leaders.

    Part of Certificate Programs

    Workmatters Institute

    Course Themes

    Leadership Development       Spiritual Development

    R

    WMI cohort

    Time: one year

    Weekly class: January 25 – April 19, 2022
    Monthly mentoring: April – December 2022

    Location: Little Rock, AR and Rogers, AR

    }

    3 hours / week

    Reading + Exercises + Class

    $1000

    Real-time Impact

    the Guides and Speakers

    Workmatters draws from executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders from every industry you can imagine, each with a unique faith story and calling to serve Christ in the marketplace. Here are some of the speakers confirmed for the 2022 Spring experience.

    Access to these world class executives is one of the benefits WMI alumni point to that has made a lasting impact on them. As a participant in the Workmatters Institute – Arkansas, you will hear from these experts in person, have the opportunity to interact with them and get their valuable input on your real world questions. You will also be taught and led by our Workmatters Institute Director.

    Shelley Simpson

    Shelley Simpson

    Chief Commercial Officer; EVP of People and HR at J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.

    Biography

    After graduating in 1994 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a marketing degree, Shelley Simpson began her career at J. B. Hunt. Her career has included positions across various business segments including: Director of Pricing for Truck and Intermodal, Vice President of Economic Analysis, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, and in 2007, President of ICS. In 2011, she assumed the sales and marketing executive responsibilities and was appointed as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. In 2014, she also assumed the position of President of J.B. Hunt’s truck division. Shelley and her husband, David, have three children. The Simpsons are members of the Chancellor’s Society at the U of A, and Shelley is a member of the Walton College’s Dean’s Executive Advisory Board.

    Donnie Smith

    Donnie Smith

    Former CEO of Tyson Foods

    Biography
    Donnie was appointed as president and CEO of Tyson Foods in 2009 and continued through 2016. His passion is the hallmark of his tenure at the company, which he joined in 1980.
    Currently Donnie is the President, African Sustainable Agriculture Project which is a nonprofit corporation that has been formed to empower farmers and communities in African countries through the creation of sustainable agriculture endeavors. ASAP  seeks to establish agricultural businesses, enable the development agricultural entrepreneurship, and promote and facilitate education in agricultural practices. 
    D0nnie is a long-time advocate, speaker and mentor for the Workmatters Institute.
    Frank Scott Jr.

    Frank Scott Jr.

    Mayor of Little Rock, Ark.

    Biography

    Little Rock voters made history on Dec. 4, 2018 when they selected Frank Scott Jr. as the City’s 73rdmayor and first elected Black chief executive.  Since that day, Mayor Scott has worked to unite our diverse neighborhoods into one City and one people, cooperating to expand our economy and improve our quality of life. He brings a unique combination of skills to the job with significant experience in both the public and private sectors.

    Scott began his public-service career in the office of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe where he served for five years, first as deputy policy director and later as director of intergovernmental affairs. While on Beebe’s staff, Scott continued his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. That degree, with a concentration in finance, complimented Scott’s undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the Fogelman College of Business at the University of Memphis.

     

    Ed Choate

    Ed Choate

    President and CEO of Delta Dental

    Biography

    Choate joined DDAR as president and CEO in 2000 and over his 20-year tenure has built a reputation as one of the state’s most influential and active champions for a healthier ArkansasChoate joined Delta Dental of Arkansas as president and chief executive officer in July 2000. Prior to joining Delta Dental, he worked for 20 years in the managed healthcare industry in leadership roles at NovaSys Health, HealthScope Benefits, and Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. Choate’s work as president and CEO also focused on creating and growing the company’s philanthropic arm, the DDAR Foundation. As the leading foundation in Arkansas focused on improving the oral health of all Arkansans, the DDAR Foundation has invested more than $25 million back into the State through its various grant programs. The DDAR Foundation provided funds for the dental clinics at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, UAMS, and CARTI.

    Choate earned his B.B.A. in business management in 1975 and his B.S.E. in business education in 1977. While attending SAU, Choate was a member of the SAU football team and was chosen to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All America Team in 1974.

    He was chosen the 2006 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year, was a 2007 SAU Distinguished Alumni selection, 2008 SAU Executive in Residence, and the 2010 Rotarian of the Year in Little Rock. He and his wife, Marilyn (a 1975 SAU graduate), live in Conway.

    Sheerah Davis

    Sheerah Davis

    Global Human Resources Lead at dentsu Sports International

    Biography

    Sheerah is an experienced HR leader with an interest in helping businesses succeed by tying business strategy with results through the effective management of people and processes.

    She has over 20 years of experience across various industries including PR, advertising and marketing, healthcare, and distribution. Sheerah enjoys solving problems, building long-lasting relationships and strengthening fun and positive workplace cultures. 

    Sheerah is passionate about investing in young leaders and is also a Workmatters Institute mentor.

    Dawn Prasifka

    Dawn Prasifka

    President & Chief Executive Officer at Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

    Biography
    Dawn is the President & CEO of Girl Scouts – Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma & Texas. Recently, she was named one of four “2021 Remarkable Women” in Central Arkansas and one of “2020 Intriguing Women” in Arkansas. In 2012 she was awarded Outstanding Fundraising Professional in Arkansas. Dawn is a graduate of 2019 Arkansas Leadership class and 2007 Leadership Greater Little Rock. In 2008 Dawn was recognized as a “Power Woman” in Little Rock Soiree Magazine and featured as “High Profile” in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

    Previously, Dawn was the Executive Director of The Centers for Youth and Families Foundation and the Director of Operations at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. As Arkansas Hospice, Volunteer Manager Dawn helped implement the first inpatient hospice facility. Dawn started her professional career as an elementary school teacher.

    Besides her skills of public speaking, Dawn is very strategic and analytical minded. Dawn has created and implemented gift processing procedures, moves management and stewardship tracking, and was instrumental in managing the conversion of a donor database with over 200,000 constituents. She has experience designing and presenting in-service training programs.

    Dawn’s desire to make the world a better place is demonstrated in her mentorship of young people. She has been a panelist and mentor for Arkansas Leadership Forum since 2016 and Workmatters. She believes in working from peoples strengths and bringing emotional intelligence into the workplace to maximize relationships resulting in a more positive work environment and outcomes.

    She is passionate about what she does to make an impact in other peoples lives.

    Darrel Harvey

    Darrel Harvey

    Director, Workmatters Institute

    Biography

    Darrel Harvey has directed the Workmatters Institute since 2019. Building off of a rich background in church leadership, pastoral ministry, and small business, Darrel is an expert spiritual guide and loves walking with young leaders as they navigate calling and career.

    Ben Kirksey

    Ben Kirksey

    COO, Workmatters; Co-Founder of Workmatters Institute

    Biography

    Ben helped found the Workmatters Institute in 2010 and joined the Workmatters team in 2013 to fully run and grow the program. Today he serves as COO, leading all daily operations of the ministry. He is passionate about helping people develop and flourish, discovering the good works that God has prepared for them (Eph. 2:10). 

    Executive Mentorship

    Mentoring is key element of the 12-month Workmatters Institute experience. Over the course of nine months participants will poured into by a seasoned executive who has a wealth of leadership experience and spiritual wisdom. These small groups (3-4 participants per executive mentor) are focused on contextualization, application and implimentation of what you learned in class.

    Click the video to hear from mentor Franklin Shirrell, EVP, Simmons Bank. 

    What they’ll Learn

    Every session in the 12-week class portion of the Workmatters Institute-Arkansas experience features live facilitation and teaching from our expert Workmatters staff, live executive speakers, and group discussion with like-minded peer community. See below a more detailed outline of what you’ll learn and experience, and feel free to reach out to Darrel Harvey, Workmatters Institute Director, for more information (dharvey@workmatters.org).

    Week 1: THE FULL STORY OF GOD

    Key questions to answer in this session:

    1. Why are stories important?
    2. What are the components of a full story?
    3. Why is it crucial that we work with the full story of God?

     Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion on articles provided
    • Teaching
    • Group Processing
    • Teaching
    • Personal Reflection
    • Wrap-up
    Assignment
    1. The Prayer of Examen is outlined in the Workmatters Institute Guide. Choose at least two days to incorporate this practice into your devotional routine.
    2. Read the article on pages 30-33 of your Workmatters Institute Guide, “God’s Story and My Work,” and be prepared to discuss.
    3. Do the reflection questions on pages 34-35 in your the Workmatters Institute Guide.
    Practical Application

    Our lives are often driven by half stories – narratives that we are not even aware of. Half stories also leave room for other competing half stories that fall short of God’s glorious full story.

    The Examen is organized to slow us down and in the presence of the Holy Spirit, probe the stories and modes that sit beneath the surface. It helps cultivate a posture that says, “Open my eyes. Show me what you see and do in me what you want to do.”

    Week 2: GOD'S STORY AND YOUR WORK

    Key questions to answer in this session:

    1. What is God’s intent for my work?
    2. What is currently misaligned with the Kingdom of God?
    3. How does the gospel address the fallen nature of work?

    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion of the article provided and reflection quesions
    • Teaching
    • Group processing
    • Teaching
    • Small group application conversation
    • Teaching
    • Personal reflection
    • Wrap-up

    Assignment
    1. Read the article on pages 42-44 of the Workmatters Institute Guide, and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Respond to the reflection questions on page 46 of the Workmatters Institute Guide.
    3. Practice your Daily Liturgy paying attention to your experience and noting what changes you may need to make.
    Practical Application

    God has purpose for your work.

    The virtues of work that we see in the Garden of Eden are present in your work.

    The fall has misaligned our work with the Kingdom of God.

     

    Week 3: GOD'S STORY AND THE MARKETPLACE

    Key questions to answer in this session:

    1. How should the Lord’s Prayer be answered (“thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”) through your industry?
    2. Which half stories are shaping your industry and workplace?
    3. How can I develop a vision for how my industry will function in Jesus intent to renew all things?
    Class Flow
    •  Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion of the article provided and reflection questions
    • Teaching
    • Group processing
    • Teaching
    • Large group discussion
    • Teaching
    • Personal reflection
    • Wrap-up

    Assignment
    1. Continue to practice your daily liturgy.
    2. Pay attention to the level of connection to God that you experience throughout the day.
    3. Prepare a response to this statement: I would be more effective, and the organization would be more successful if there was more or less of ___________.
    Practical Application

    God has ordained seven spheres of culture, each with its own unique and distinct responsibility toward human flourishing.

    Just as individuals are drawn to half stories, so are industries.

    It is critical that we understand where the culture – and our industry – aligns with God’s story and where it breaks.

    Week 4: IDENTIFYING BROKENNESS IN & AROUND ME

    Key questions to answer in this session:

    1. Where do I have an opportunity to make a difference?
    2. What is keeping me from doing that?
    3. What will I commit to doing?

    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • The impact of our instincts
    • From complaint to commitment
    • Partner processing
    • Crafting an empowerment and value statement
    • Partner processing
    • Getting to root causes
    • Identifying competing commitments
    • Group processing
    • Completing our Faith & Leadership Roadmap

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask. 
    Practical Application

    Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

    Week 5: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 6: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 7: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 8: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 9: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 10: EXECUTIVE SPEAKER

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Executive Speaker Presentation
    • Q & A

    Assignment
    1. Read the article provided in the Workmatters Intitute Guide and be prepared to discuss.
    2. Do the devotionals and reflection questions for next week’s topics.
    3. Get to know our Executive Speaker for next week and prepare 2-3 questions to ask.

     

    Week 11: Processing Night

    One of the great values of the Wormatters Institute is having access to world class leaders. These leaders share their personal faith stories, give us insight on their vocational journey, address one of the 7 Pillars of Faith & Work, and they field questions with wisdom and transparency.


    Class Flow
    • Mindfulness
    • Small group discussion
    • Theology review
    • Large group processing
    • 7 Pillars revisted
    • Individual work on Faith & Leadership Action Plan Presentations

    Assignment

    Prepare for your Faith & Leadership Action Plan Presentation.

    • Create your presentation in Power Point. This will keep you on topic and on time.
    • The Workmatters Institute Director is available if you would like to walk through your presentation before next week.

     

    Week 12: FAITH & LEADERSHIP ACTION PLAN PRESENTATIONS

    Tonight is the highlight of our time together. Each participant is given 5-7 minutes to present their Faith & Leadership Action Plan:

    1. Define the brokenness you feel called to address.
    2. Reimagine what it looks like for this brokenness to be renewed in God’s Kingdom.
    3. Plan for action – What steps are necessary to carry out your plan?
    4. What personal habits and practices will you have to commit to in order to pursue your plan?

    Watch a Sneak Peek

     

    What Participants Are Saying

    Any young leader, no matter where they are in their faith or leadership journey will get value from being a part of the Workmatters program and be able to apply what they learned immediately in their practice.

    Eddie Mraz

    North Little Rock, ASBTDC

    Learning to see work as part of God’s plan for the world really impacted how I come in to work every day. I highly recommend the Workmatters Institute for anyone looking for meaning and purpose in their work (with the added bonus of networking with other young professionals and making lasting, meaningful friendships)!

    Lauren Sova

    Customer Experience Representative, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.

    WMI helps resolve the tension for those that feel stuck between ambition and purpose and don’t know how to connect the two.

    Dwayne Houston

    National Account Executive, Procter & Gamble

    My experience with the Workmatters Institute was second to none. My entire attitude at work changed and I learned how to appreciate the small wins. Through the institute, I met so many wonderful people and it was amazing to hear their stories.

    Brittney Johnson

    Order Fulfillment Manager, Safe Foods

    The Workmatters Institute brought to light the idea that work was created by God and it was good. Through the institute I was able to grow a deeper understanding that work was created not to be a curse, but an act of worship.

    Trevor Gies

    Senior Marketing Manager, Cobb-Vantress

    Next Steps

    Need some more information? Sign up to learn more about the Workmatters Institute Experience