CEO, Sunshine School & Development Center
A Kansas native, Jarrod Reeves worked in Adult Development Services as the CFO for 7 years before moving to Arkansas in 2003. He spent the last 11 years in Product Development and Marketing before coming to Sunshine School as the Director of Finance and Accounting. He served as the Interim Executive Director from July 2020 to March 2021, and he was officially hired as CEO in March 2021. Jarrod is a volunteer at heart and has enjoyed working with many nonprofits here in NWA. For the past decade, Jarrod has championed Sunshine School through volunteering, philanthropy efforts and board service.
What does it mean to you to be the new CEO of Sunshine School & Development Center?
I am proud to be part of the fantastic team at Sunshine School & Development Center and am amazed daily by the work we do. As a passionate advocate for children and adults with developmental disabilities, I look forward to the continued advancement of the mission of our organization. I’m a volunteer at heart so getting paid to do something I’m truly enthusiastic about is unreal!
What was it like running the school during a pandemic?
Operating during a pandemic was definitely a challenge! We have close interactions with our students and staff during services and therapies, so masks and sanitizing EVERYTHING several times a day were the biggest challenges. Being able to flex quickly and make adjustments to classroom or staff quarantines was an almost daily challenge. Vaccinations have been a game changer and have allowed us to get back to a welcomed new normal.
What changes did you make during the school year due to the pandemic?
Health screenings for all students and staff, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and moving meetings to a virtual work environment were all changes we made to flex with the times. More communication with parents was key to successfully making it through this year – explaining the quarantine protocols and changes to our procedures were necessary to the partnership we have with our families.
What do you do when you are not working?
When I’m not working, I enjoy anything relaxing – spa day, wine on the deck with friends – really anything to recharge my batteries so I can be focused and 100% present when I’m at work.
Where is your happy place?
Traveling makes me happy!
For years, my favorite quote has been: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
I’ve never met a Mexican dish I didn’t like – food truck, restaurant or some authentic dishes made by our amazing kitchen staff! I love to cap off my meal with buckets and buckets of chips and queso!
Best time of day for you:
Definitely mornings! I’m an early riser and like to prepare for the day ahead. Arriving at the school early also gives me the opportunity to cruise the halls and welcome the students and staff as they arrive. I enjoy a good cup of coffee and the peace and quiet in the morning to plan my day.
Favorite song on your playlist:
Still a ‘90s kid at heart – right now, I’m currently in an old school Backstreet Boys phase. There really isn’t a genre of music that I don’t like.
What book is on your bedside table?
Right now, I’m reading “ROI for Nonprofits: The New Key to Sustainability” by Tom Ralser. At Sunshine School, we are in the middle of updating our strategic plan so any book nonprofit-related I can get my hands on is added to the growing stack of reading material!
For more information on Sunshine School & Development Center, visit www.nwasunshineschool.org.