Dr. Marta Loyd ended her eight-year tenure as executive director/CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute earlier this month with a two-day retirement ceremony and party. Members of our board of directors, University of Arkansas System administrators, past program partners, staff members and their families, and many other friends of the Institute came to grant “all good wishes” to Marta.
“What a beautiful celebration this has been,” Marta said at the event. “Thank you for this beautiful party, but especially for your presence. Every single person here has been a part of this journey with me. Celebrating this next phase in life with you is something I will never forget.”
The two-day celebration began with Marta and her family visiting each of the 12 departments at the Institute. Marta has spoken many times about her accomplishments, the challenges she’s faced, and what she’s most proud of during the time she served as the Institute’s executive director/CEO.
The latter has always been her relationships with the people who work here, and how those relationships create a foundation for the next executive director’s success. It was important to Marta for her family to meet and spend time with the people who have helped her bring the Institute into a new era. While speaking to guests later that evening, Marta illustrated her point further.
“So with the theme of celebrating, I will take a few moments to highlight some of the things I think are worth celebrating. I will start with a quote from Winthrop Rockefeller who said, ‘When I arrived on the mountain in 1953 and looked over what would become Winrock Farms, the obstacles were obscured by my dream.’ There were obstacles over the past eight years, but I always had faith that, together, we could move the Institute forward and truly honor the legacy of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller.”Dr. Marta Loyd
Afterward, guests and staff met in the Institute’s dining hall for comments from Janet Harris, who recently accepted the position of executive director/CEO, and a toast delivered by Marta’s son, Bryan. Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, and Dr. Stephanie Gardner, chair of the Institute’s board of directors, spoke during the dinner service as well.
“Like so many people on this staff, I have benefitted from Marta’s encouragement,” Janet said. “She has challenged me to grow and picked me up when I fell. Most of all, she’s been my friend. It is my honor and pleasure to host you all this evening and to celebrate and honor the service of Dr. Marta Loyd. Even though I know she won’t be here every day, I, like so many others on our staff, know that her friendship will be with us always. All good wishes, Marta. We are so proud of you.”