The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is pleased to announce that the following leaders have accepted appointment to our board of directors:

  • Lisa Willenberg, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
  • Dr. Deacue Fields, Vice President for Agriculture of the University of Arkansas System
  • Gus Vratsinas, Chairman of Bailey Construction & Consulting, LLC of Little Rock 

“It is a privilege to work alongside these outstanding leaders whose professional backgrounds bring diverse experience to our board, a vital component of the Rockefeller Ethic,” said Institute Executive Director/CEO Janet Harris.

“The Institute benefits significantly from the perspective of our University of Arkansas system board members, such as Dr. Fields and Ms. Willenberg, as they help us understand where our mission and services can help system campuses collaborate. Mr. Vratsinas brings valuable expertise in financial management, capital construction, and facilities, which will help take the best care of our historic mountaintop campus in service of Winthrop Rockefeller’s legacy.”

Dr. Deborah Baldwin, chair of the Institute board of directors and associate provost of UA Little Rock, commented, “Our new board members complement the current Institute board well and have shown a deep understanding of and dedication to the mission of this organization. As the Institute continues to execute the 2025 strategic plan and set new goals for the future, the addition of Dr. Fields, Mr. Vratsinas, and Ms. Willenberg has strengthened the board and make us better prepared to engage in the Institute’s myriad growth opportunities.”

The Institute is a 509(a)(3) proud supporting organization of the University of Arkansas System. In 2005, the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, in coordination with the University of Arkansas System, established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and has since supported the Institute’s operations and programmatic activity. Five of the nine Institute board members are appointed by Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System.

Lisa Willenberg

Board Member

Lisa Willenberg has served as chancellor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) since November 2019. Willenberg is a skilled administrator, certified public accountant, and lifelong resident of Conway County. She served as vice chancellor for finance and operations at UACCM since 2011, which includes the college’s finances, human resources, information technology, and physical plant operations. She earned her Master of Education at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Central Arkansas. She also graduated from the College Business Management Institute at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Dr. Deacue Fields

Board Member

Dr. Deacue Fields was appointed Vice President for Agriculture of the University of Arkansas System on July 1, 2022. As Vice President, he leads the University System’s coordinated agriculture program, including the Cooperative Extension Service and the Agriculture Experiment Station. With almost 1,200 employees, the Division has faculty and facilities across the state, including a presence in all 75 counties. The Division has a unique mission of serving the statewide agriculture community in Arkansas. He received his Bachelor of Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his Master of Science (1995) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a doctorate from Louisiana State University, all in Agricultural Economics.

Gus Vratsinas

Board Member

Gus Vratsinas has 50 years of management and professional engineering responsibilities in industrial, retail, commercial, health care, residential, high-rise, and institutional projects. He is also affiliated with Vratsinas Enterprises, LLC. Vratsinas holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He has been active in many civic and philanthropic endeavors. In 2004, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was named Arkansan of the Year in 2011. He has been inducted into the University of Arkansas College of Engineering Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame, and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. 

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