Visit El Dorado
Live Here
Do Business Here
Chamber of Commerce
« View All News

SHARE Foundation recognized as top Ark. workplace

Posted on August 12, 2019

From left: Jenifer McLelland, executive director of Life Touch Hospice; Debbie Watts,

vice president of community impact; Betty Dowty, receptionist; Heather McGarity, human resource manager;

and Andreka Curley, human resource assistant.

By Caitlan Butler
Staff Writer

The SHARE Foundation received recognition from Arkansas Business magazine recently, being named among the top workplaces in the state among 45 other local companies.

“It was quite a surprise. We did not do this to win a prize; part of our strategic plan was to find some benchmarks for our employees. We wanted to survey our employees and see how we compared and see if there were areas we needed to make improvements in,” said Brian Jones, executive director of the SHARE Foundation. “We did not even think about winning, so that was really, really cool.”

To qualify, SHARE Foundation employees across the organization’s many agencies, which include Interfaith Clinic, Life Touch Hospice and HealthWorks Fitness Center, among others, answered a survey about workplace culture, safety, management, benefits and other topics related to job satisfaction.

“It ran the gamut. It was several questions, I can’t remember how many,” Jones said. “We all took it; I took it, as an employee. We were not able to coach anybody; there were very strict guidelines.”

The nonprofit’s scores ended up being high enough to rank the SHARE Foundation among the best workplaces in Arkansas. The Medical Center of South Arkansas was also recognized by the magazine as a top workplace.

Jones said the SHARE Foundation works to have competitive benefits and ensure their employees receive a living wage. However, it’s not just the benefits that draw people to work at the SHARE Foundation; it’s also their vision-driven mission to improve the lives of Union County residents.

“People that work at Hospice, or if they work at Interfaith, or Health-Works, our chaplaincy program — we want to pay our people a living wage; we want them to be taken care of and to support them, but people come here because they believe in what we do,” Jones said. “That we make a difference in the community. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on that.”

Once survey results do come in, Jones said he and the employees and Board of Directors will use employee feedback to continue to improve the SHARE Foundation. Jones said he wants the organization to be an ‘employer of choice.’

“Part of our strategic plan is, we do want to be an employer of choice,” he said. “One of the ways we wanted to accomplish that is we wanted to ask our employees — ‘what do you like about working here? What’s good? What’s bad?’” Jones said.

SHARE Foundation employees celebrated their recognition last week, with leadership bringing Kernal Mustard’s Hot Dog Cart and Catering out to treat employees and serving cake. One may see a SHARE Foundation employee around town wearing a t-shirt commemorating the recognition.

For Jones, working for the SHARE Foundation feels like a lucky break.

“We all really feel like we have fun jobs. We work hard, but we enjoy what we do and we really feel like we can see that we’re making a difference in our community,” Jones said. “I’m very blessed, I’m very fortunate. I do feel like I have a very cool job. We have so many strong employees who are dedicated to the mission, and the Board who oversees the work here, they’re community-minded leaders. … It’s a fun place to go to work everyday, and it’s hard to leave some days because of the fun things we do for our community.”

Jobs don’t open up often at the SHARE Foundation, besides maybe summer lifeguard gigs, Jones said; when they do, though, applicants come in by the dozen. He attributes it to the SHARE Foundation’s Board working diligently to give employees a mission, the employees’ love for their jobs and the organization’s leadership’s transparency.

“It’s hard to pigeon-hole us,” Jones said. “It’s really cool that our employees feel like this is a good place to work.”

To learn more about the SHARE Foundation, visit

Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or