Board of Directors
Those interested in serving in a leadership position should complete a Volunteer Form under the "How to Help" section.
Katrina Betancourt, DHEd, AGM, CPM, ArCOP President
Cell: (501) 712-2002,
Katrina Betancourt is the President for the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP). She has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Kinesiological Science and a Doctorate in Health Education with an emphasis in Health Program Planning and Health Policy. Her focus area has been concentrated in worksite interventions to promote lifelong health by increasing community and organizational level worksite program systems and through education and training of best practice interventions. She is a Certified Public and Government Manger and currently works with over fifty Growing Healthy Communities (GHC) across the state. Her mission is to increase access to healthy and affordable foods and physical activity through policy, environment, and system changes while increasing the economic value of communities.
Andi Ridgway, ArCOP Chair
Office: (501) 280-4561
Cell: (501) 425-33376
Andi Ridgway is currently the Branch Chief for Hometown Health Improvement in the Center for Local Public Health at the Arkansas Department of Health. Andi is a registered dietitian by profession and also a Certified Diabetes Educator. Andi works with ADH colleagues and state partners to improve the health of Arkansas’ communities through Hometown Health Improvement. Andi is responsible for developing and maintaining state-level partnerships, coordinating staff training and program development at the state level, managing fiscal appropriations, and producing state and federal reports. Andi currently serves as the Past Chair for the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention and Second Vice-President for the Arkansas Public Health Association.
Andi graduated from the University of Central Arkansas for her BS degree in Dietetics, and then attended Oklahoma State University for her Master’s Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Institution Administration. She has received the Certificate of Public Health Leadership and participated in the South Central Public Health Leadership Institute.
Sherry Johnson, Treasurer
Office: (501) 661-2585
Cell: (501) 218-5763
Sherry Johnson has been with the Ark. Dept. of Health for more than 33 years. She is currently the Hometown Health Section Chief in the Center for Local Public Health Branch at the health department. She received her BA from the Univ. of Central Ark and her MBA from the Univ. of Phoenix. She received her Certified Public Manager and Arkansas Governmental Manager Certificate from the Univ. of Little Rock. She enjoys people and never meets a stranger. She enjoys working with the public in any capacity and is always thinking of ways to help others.
Joy Rockenbach, Founding Chair
Office: (501) 661-2757
Cell: (501) 944-5357
Joy Rockenbach, BSE, graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in health education. She has worked in public health and chronic disease prevention for over 20 years. For the last 8 years, she has worked on obesity prevention efforts. She joined the staff of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement to help develop the strategy for weighing and measuring all Arkansas students in accordance with legislative Act 1220 of 2003. In 2005, she moved that work to the Arkansas Department of Education in a joint agreement with the Arkansas Department of Health. She is currently the Past-Chair of the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention.
Emily English, Access to Healthy Foods Team Co-Chair
Office: (501) 773-7136
Emily English is the Program Director of Arkansas GardenCorps and a Program Administrator in the Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program. She received her Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service and her Master of Public from the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where she spent much of her time working on developing farm to school initiatives in Arkansas. Prior to graduate school, Emily worked on and managed small, organic farming operations in Arkansas and Oregon. When not in the office, Emily spends her time gardening, cooking, wrangling a toddler, and trudging her way through a doctoral program in public health leadership.
Dave Roberts, Built Environment Team Co-Chair
Office: (501) 748-8252
Cell: (501) 590-5956
Dave is the Vice President of Planning at Crafton Tull, a multidiscipline Engineering & Architecture firm with 6 offices in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He is responsible for overseeing the daily management of site planning and urban design projects that include community planning & urban design, corridor revitalization plans, campus master plans, parks & recreation system master plans, as well as bicycle & pedestrian network plans. Under Dave’s leadership, the Crafton Tull Planning Department has received six planning and design awards in recent past from ASLA and APA Arkansas Chapters. In 2010 Dave and his team were honored with the Achievement in Urban Design Award from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Planning Association for the 12th Street Corridor Plan in Little Rock. This revitalization project was one of the first in Arkansas to focus on redevelopment of underserved neighborhoods while incorporating a complete street solution for the connecting corridor.
Vanessa Smith, ArCOP Built Environment Team Co-Chair
Office: (501) 912-4760
Vanessa Smith is the director of the Arkansas Disability & Health Program at the University of Arkansas. Vanessa began her career in mental health and eventually began working at a local developmental disability provider. With that experience, she decided to further her education and obtained her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in Management & Community Practice. In 2002-2005 Vanessa coordinated the development of the Direct Support Professionals training; the first comprehensive collection of a foundational knowledge set for direct care staff in the developmental disabilities field. From there, Vanessa joined the Disability & Health Program where she served as the Coordinator for 11 years. Vanessa has facilitated training with an array of audiences on a variety of topics: healthy lifestyles, nutrition, emergency preparedness, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer health education for individuals with IDD, colorectal cancer education, community planning, access in the built environment, making the case for an in inclusive built environment, disability etiquette 101, adapting health education materials, etc. Vanessa has worked on adapting evaluation tools for individuals with disabilities. She participates on many different state and local coalitions to raise the awareness of the needs of the disability community. Now, as the director of the Arkansas Disability & Health Program, her goal is to infuse disability and inclusion information into all aspects of life – our health, our homes, and our communities.
Amy Routt, Early Childhood & Schools Team Co-Chair
Office: (501) 514-8414
Amy Routt is the Program Development Coordinator for Curricula Concepts. She has a background in education and is a licensed teacher in Arkansas, as well as working in the health and wellness field for 17 years. She currently assists in providing tools for family engagement among early childhood educators as well as partnering in the state with many different early childhood initiatives. Amy believes that a healthy child is a happy child and will continue to work on providing resources and opportunities to increase the overall wellness of the children in Arkansas. Amy is committed to serving the whole child where they live, learn and play.
I am currently employed by the Arkansas Department of Health as a Coordinator for Hometown Health Improvement (HHI) in the Northwest Region. In my role as HHI Coordinator for the last 5 years, I have worked with numerous health coalitions and community groups focusing on grass roots concerns addressing health improvement across the region. I truly believe in the mission of the Arkansas Department of Health and the mission of ArCOP and the importance of our work to educate, educate, educate communities. I believe we have to make a difference on the community level and I believe each of the focus areas of ArCOP are intertwined and dependent on each other for overall success.
Kenya Eddings, MPH, CRS, Worksite Wellness Team Co-Chair
Office: (501) 661-2381
Cell: (501) 366-2481
Kenya L. Eddings received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama and her graduate degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is new to the workplace wellness field having joined the Arkansas Department of Health as Worksite Wellness Coordinator in April 2016. Previously, she worked as a Research Scientist with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Her research interests included behavioral weight loss and maintenance in African American women, access to healthy food and food deserts. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Junior League of Little Rock, Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXIII, Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society and serves on the boards of Just Communities of Arkansas and the Beverly Divers-White Foundation.
Trudy Redus, Member-at-Large
Office: (870) 536-0925
Cell: (870) 413-1779
Trudy Redus is the marketing & communication manager for Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department. She also serves as the special event coordinator and manages the farmers market. Focusing on “Healthy Lifestyles.” She recently served as President of the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association. Providing networking opportunities and resources for farmer markets in the state. Trudy has been named to the 2015-2016 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. She presently chairs the Jefferson County Growing Healthy Communities Coalition in Pine Bluff. As chair she has implemented an annual 5K to end childhood obesity, held in September; National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Derek Lewis II, MBA, Member-at-Large
Office: (501) 207-0711
Derek Lewis II is the CEO/Founder of Lewis Consulting Group which is a health care consultant firm. Derek is married to Karen Lewis and has three children. Derek’s hobbies are cooking and reading. Derek also is the president of their family foundation the Derek Lewis Foundation which was created by his father Derek Lewis, MD in 1993. The foundation focuses on improvement community through health and wellness projects.
Jennifer L. Conner, DrPH, MPH, MAP, ArCOP Member-at-Large
Office: (870) 265-8055
Dr. Jennifer Conner has extensive experience in behavioral research, clinical health services research, grant administration, community-based public health programming, and policy evaluation. She has brought together academic institutions, hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, municipalities, and non-profits to investigate and evaluate a broad range of health topics. She has also examined healthcare system topics such as access to quality care, safety net benefits, and incentive-based insurance. Dr. Conner recently graduated from the Delta Regional Authority DLI Executive Academy and was accepted into the Community Development Institute – Central. Dr. Conner has served on the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention Executive Committee and served as Built Environment Subcommittee Co-Chair for several years.
Staff and Contractors
Jeremy Adams is a native of Arkansas with early childhood exposure to Agriculture. His dad was a high school Agriculture teacher and his grandparents had a multi-acre kitchen garden well into their 70’s. Jeremy has a Natural Resource Science degree from Colorado State University but came back to Arkansas. The last 3 years he has been manager of the “Arkansas Gleaning Project” securing 1.5 million pounds annually for the food bank system in Arkansas. During the 2016 market season he was Program Manager for the launch of ArCOP’s “Double Up Food Bucks Program” increasing access to fresh food in Arkansas and supporting local agriculture. The Double up Food Bucks Program Manager coordinates the ArCOP Double Up Food Bucks initiative that provides SNAP recipients with double the value of fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmer’s Markets around the state.
Jaleesa Jones, Worksite Wellness Project Manager
Cell: (501) 819-2335
Jaleesa is a current student at Middle Tennessee State University studying for a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. She is interesting in implementing healthy alternatives in the community's lifestyles. Her interest in worksite wellness stems from seeing her mother work twelve hour shifts as a nurse and not having leisure time to live healthy.