Through international exchange and the promotion of lifetime friendships, Global Ties Arkansas strives to empower individuals, communities, and nations to build trust and advance peace and prosperity, dispel stereotypes, and develop cultural sensitivity.
Global Ties Arkansas unites emerging and existing national and international leaders in networks of friendship and understanding through educational programs, cultural exposure and productive collaboration, linking Arkansas and the world to help build a state that is a thriving part of the global community.
Toni is originally from Dallas Texas and attended the University of Oklahoma holding a BS in Elementary Education, MEd in Educational Psychology and an MS in Early Childhood Education. She has been a teacher, public school administrator in early childhood special education, a consultant through Arkansas State University for the Arkansas State Department of Education and college professor in Ohio and Arkansas in Early Childhood Education. She has lived in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Ohio and Arkansas. She is married to Jim Carr, a former home builder and current Professor of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. She has two grown daughters and two grandchildren. Toni likes to walk in the woods with her dogs (Boomer and Bailey), read, garden, snow ski, and travel. Toni and her husband have been to 30 plus countries and every continent but one! She has made it to all but one of the 50 US states. Toni began her tenure with Global Ties Arkansas as a volunteer host and, although she became the Executive Director over 8 years ago, she and her husband continue to be home hosts and dinner/party hosts for many of the program visitors.
Tommy was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and attended Southwestern at Memphis (currently called Rhodes College) in the mid-1970s, and then Southeast Arkansas Technical College, and the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has been with Global Ties Arkansas for over 20 years, first serving as an intern for the organization when it was known as the Arkansas Council for
International Visitors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. While he was there, he majored in International Studies and minored in Information Technology. Both of those studies have served him well in his interaction with the many cultures that come to Arkansas via the various international visitor programs. He has traveled to Argentina, Australia, Greece, Japan, and Mexico; and spent 5 years in the U.K. performing and writing music. He is an accomplished keyboard player in several bands, and usually performs in various cities in Arkansas. Always fascinated by foreign languages, he is somewhat fluent in Spanish and Greek, and enjoys practicing his Japanese when we have visitors from that country. With his IT background, he is usually called on to troubleshoot technical issues that crop up at the office. He also develops software programs for a pioneering human bioacoustics company in Ohio. He also freelances as a mentor/tutor for this company, teaching the software to clients. International visitors love to visit the annual Greek Food festival in May to watch Tommy dance traditional Greek folk dances!
proposals and development
Bliss is a native of the Philippines, and moved to the US when she was 25 years old. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Trinity University of ASIA, Philippines.
Bliss has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, with 15 of those spent in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, she served in multiple roles of catering manager, sales
manager, director of catering and convention services and director of sales and marketing. She worked for several hotel Brands including Embassy Suites, Doubletree by Hilton, Crowne Plaza
Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Wyndham Grand Hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Garden of the Gods Club and Resort. She also worked with Carver Hotel Group and Strategic Planning Solutions. There she served on the sales and marketing task force as interim director of sales. Bliss currently works full time at the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau as a Sales Director. Prior to moving to Arkansas, she has also lived in Vallejo, California, San Diego California and Colorado Springs Colorado. Bliss loves to travel and has visited Italy, Australia, Tinian Marianas Islands, Saipan, London, France and Netherlands. It is her goal to visit all 50 states in the US, and she has already been to 41. Bliss loves to hike and will continue to be a fourteener for as long as she can. Her husband, David, was career U.S. Navy as a Data System Technician. They have two grown daughters, one in New York and one in California! She and her husband live with their dog Coco! Bliss joined Global Ties Arkansas because she enjoys meeting people from different countries and learning about their culture. She is also a member of the Arkansas Asian Business Association. Bliss believes when you do something that you love to do, the success of what you do becomes effortless.
Proposal Writing &
Ra’phael was born in Newport, AR the oldest of 7 children. He attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and majored in Philosophy and International Studies, before moving on to pursue his Ph.D. in political science. He is currently a Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University. He has traveled to Morocco, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and soon plans to spend time in Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone doing peace-building research. He speaks several languages: fluent in English, intermediate in Spanish, is formally learning French and is teaching himself Igbo
language. He is an accomplished musician and songwriter. He has served as a church musician
since he was 12 years old, and just published a song called “Friendless” as the 2021 New Year’s
Day rolled in. Ra’phael has been with Global Ties Arkansas for two years and focuses his time
on writing proposals, maintaining the company website, forging new relationships with our
greater Arkansas community and national partners, and making sure all virtual programs run
program proposals and
programing support and
program proposals and
development, social media
Kathleen Madden has been involved with Global Ties Arkansas for several years, involved in programming, hospitality, and group presentations. She is a native Arkansan with a family farm in the Delta which raises rice, soybeans, corn, and fish! Growing up in
Little Rock and attending Little Rock Central High, Kathleen then
attended college at Sophie Newcomb/Tulane in New Orleans
where she then became a travel agent. She has travelled extensively, including escorting groups of all sizes and nationalities. Kathleen is active in the central Arkansas cultural organizations and outreach programs such as the Arkansas Symphony.
She also volunteers regularly at the Clinton Presidential Center as a docent providing guided
tours. She is also a member of a downtown Little Rock church where she participates with
hospitality, community outreach and in the Parish Administrative Office.
She always welcomes visitors into her home and life and loves to cook!
Program proposals and development
Partner at Shults Law Firm LLP
Vicki has been an active volunteer with Global Ties for several years as a home stay volunteer.
She was born in Little Rock and has lived in the area her entire adult life. (Not counting the time
spent in Alaska!) She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of
Arkansas at Little Rock. Vicki’s work background is largely in merchandising and restaurant
ownership. She recently retired as the owner and chief chef at Kris & Sam’s Cookie and Box
Lunch Store. She has four grown children that she takes great pride in and enjoys spending
quality time with them and her grandchildren. Vicki is an avid Nascar fan! Her dog, Lyndy, is her
precious constant companion.
We pride ourselves on delivering hands-on programming. A staff person generally attends professional appointments and all cultural events with our international groups. We feel that this close contact with the delegates helps provide continuity, efficiency, and enables us to make adjustments quickly to better serve our visitors.
PRESIDENT OF THE ARKANSAS COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONS ASSOCIATION; FORMER PULASKI COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS
PRESIDENT | EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS AGENCY, INC.
Partner at Shults Law Firm LLP
PRESIDENT | RETIRED SAS INSTITUTE
Vice President | UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR, RETIRED
Sr. Vice President of Arkansas Capital Corporation
DR. KALEEM SAYYED
TREASURER - SECRETARY - CHIEF QUALITY MANAGEMENT OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS VETERANS HEALTH
“ AAAB is building business synergy between Arkansas and Asia.”
The Little Rock Regional Chamber is the principal business-driven leadership organization responsible for fostering the economic growth and development of the Little Rock region to ensure that business and industry may operate profitably and enhance the earning opportunities and quality of life for every citizen.
Providing association professionals, a community to learn, lead and connect.
Located in Little Rock, Arkansas Gibbs Magnet serves students PK-5th grade. There are roughly 280 kids total at the school, and 67% of the students scored above average in math and reading. We bring visitors to Gibbs to talk with the students.