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Ozark Opportunities, Inc. is a private, non-profit 501c3 established in 1969 as a Community Action Agency providing services to six counties in Arkansas: Baxter, Boone, Marion, Newton, Searcy and Van Buren.

 

The Agency is governed by a tri-partite board, meaning there are three representatives per county: one public official, one representing the private sector (business, law enforcement, etc.) and a low-income representative.

 

We are proud to say OOI is made up of a group of people who are passionate about the communities in which we live and serve. Community Needs Assessments are performed on a regular basis for all counties covered, and the information gathered is the basis for the CEO's vision incorporated into the Strategic Planning process. 

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Chief Executive Officer

Director of CSBG &

Head Start/Early Head Start 

Richard “Toby" Atkinson, MBA

870-517-5334

rtatkinson@ozarkopp.org

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Taff Grice, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

tgrice@ozarkopp.org

Chief Operations Officer -

Human Resources Director 

Hilary Cleaver, MBA, SHRM-CP

870-517-5336

hcleaver@ozarkopp.org

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Compliance Director

Rebecca Hanlin

870-741-2089

RHanlin@OzarkOpp.org

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Early Childhood Education Manager

Carrie Ragland, MSE

870-517-5329

cragland@ozarkopp.org

Family Services Manager

870-517-5328

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Healthy Families of America

Melissa Smyth

870-448-6488

msmyth@ozarkopp.org

Ozark Opportunities, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

Our Administrative office is located at 701 E. Prospect (P.O. Box 1400) in Arkansas and Harrison, Arkansas. We have an office in each county seat and 11 Head Start Centers (17 classes), 2 ABC classroom, and 3 Early Head Start Centers throughout the six counties. All of our programs require clients being certified as income-eligible. Guidelines vary from program to program.

Through the years, our agency has been involved or acted as the “Lead Agency” and/or secured funding for various projects and programs that were later spun off and/or operations assumed by other organizations. These include:

Creation of the Community Resource Group; Fayetteville, AR. to develop rural water & sewer systems in rural Arkansas counties in Northwest Arkansas. Now a multi-million dollar organization serving multiple states, their mission is “helping people build secure and sustainable futures by assisting small, rural communities in their work to solve water and wastewater problems, and by helping hardworking families realize the American dream of having a safe, secure place to call home.”

 

Past initiatives include: 

  • Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Harrison Arkansas.

  • Doctor-on-Retainer Program (Lead Agency for State-6 delegate Agencies).

  • VISTA Volunteer Program.

  • Feeder Pig Program (Seed program-similar to Heifer, International).

  • Rural Production and Marketing of Ozark Crafts Program.

  • Elderly Nutritional Feeding Program, precursor to Meals on Wheels.

  • Elderly Transportation Program.

  • Day Care Centers (Harrison & Clinton).

  • Before and After School Programs (Marshall & Clinton).

  • Grants for building Community Centers in Diamond City, Leslie, Harrison (RSVP Center) and Clinton.

  • Grants for local Volunteer Fire Departments.

  • Heavy Equipment Training Class-NAC (North Arkansas College).

  • WIC Program.

  • Fiscal Agent for TEA Coalitions for Marion and Searcy Counties.

  • Housing Preservation Grant Program.

  • Self-Help Housing Program.

  • Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Preschool classrooms.

  • Operated Community Centers; two in each county.

  • Fan & Blanket Program for Elderly.

  • Holiday Food Baskets, Thanksgiving & Christmas.

  • Individual Development Account Program; matched savings accounts for education.

  • Emergency Medical, Vision, Dental Program(s).

  • Wear & Share; Clinton.

  • Garden Program.

  • Cannery available to the public.

  • Family Planning Program.

  • Emergency Food and Shelter (FEMA).

  • Volunteers in Action, volunteering opportunities for individuals 55 and older

  • Weatherization Program (ARRA & DOE/LIHEAP & AWP).

  • Head Start backpack program.

  • Commodities (USDA surplus food)

  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

It is the policy of Ozark Opportunities, Inc. to provide equal opportunity for all qualified persons
and to prohibit unlawful discrimination in employment practices. Personnel are expected to be
capable and responsible, of good character and reputation, and be sympathetic with the
objectives of the agency. Since Ozark Opportunities, Inc. operates programs dealing with
children, all personnel are subject to the provisions of Arkansas Minimum Licensing
Requirements for daycare centers and the Head Start Program, Early Head Start Program and
Arkansas Better Chance Program.
Employees and applicants for employment may be required to apply for and pass criminal records
background checks, child maltreatment and sex offender background checks, and other
background checks as may be required by law or program guidelines. All employees may also be
required to submit to periodic drug testing. All employees are strongly urged to have a valid
driver’s license.
OOI will take affirmative action to assure the employees are treated properly during employment
without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or veteran’s status.
Such action shall include, but not limited to the following: employment, promotion, demotion,
or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other
forms of compensation; and selection for training. OOI shall base employment decisions on the
principles of EEO and with the intent to further OOI’s commitment to affirmative action.
Hiring, appointments and promotions shall be made solely on the basis of merit, fitness and
performance of duties. The attainment of a high level of education, or specialized training, may
be important to performance in certain positions. Prior to hire, qualified candidates are
interviewed, personal and employment references are verified and applicable background
checks are completed.
The Chief Executive Officer shall be hired by the Board of Directors utilizing a process in
accordance with the Head Start Act regarding the Policy Council role in employment of program
staff and consistent with paragraph (1)(E)(iv)(IX) of the Head Start Act. The Chief Executive
Officer shall be responsible for the hiring of all other personnel, and may delegate that authority.
The Chief Executive Officer shall utilize a process in accordance with the Head Start Act regarding
the Policy Council role in employment of the Head Start Director, Director of Human Resources,
Chief Fiscal Officer and any other person in an equivalent position with the agency.
The Human Resource Director has been appointed by the Chief Executive Officer as the
agency’s EEO Administrator. The HR Manager oversees the plan development, modification,
implementation, and reporting requirements, as well as responsible for conducting annual
management updates. The EEO Administrator also identifies and analyzes OOI’s selection
process in order to further the principles of equal employment opportunity.
OOI invites any employee or any applicant for employment to review OOI’s written Affirmative
Action program. The AAP is available for inspection upon request from the Human Resource
Director/EEO Administrator/Affirmative Action Administrator. Applicants are encouraged to
identify their race and gender. This self-identification is strictly voluntary and confidential, and
will not result in retaliation of any sort.

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