Our
History

The concept of Thrive dates to 2007, followed by a formal launch in 2009. Since then, Thrive has been an energetic leader within Delta regional development.

Located on Cherry Street in Helena, Arkansas, Thrive began by offering affordable strategic planning and marketing services to local small businesses and non-profits. These efforts were then stabilized in 2010 through the creation of the Helena Entrepreneur Center (now the Helena Start-Up Program), a small business incubator that provides business plan classes and one-on-one consulting as well as branding and design services. In 2011, Thrive created the monthly downtown celebration Helena Second Saturdays (now the Cherry Street Fair) to provide a marketplace for local merchants, artisans, and musicians—leveraging the cultural assets of the region towards downtown investment and rejuvenation of community pride. 

As of 2015, Thrive has expanded to include two new staff designers, a newly-renovated design studio located at 308 Cherry Street, and has broadened its design services to include product design—fulfilling the Thrive dream of becoming a multidisciplinary design studio focused on economic and community development in
the Delta.

 

 

Executive Leadership

WILL STALEY, FOUNDER

An Arkansas native, Will studied at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture for two years, received his BFA in Graphic Design at the Kansas City Art Institute (2004) and a Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt in New York City, where Thrive was birthed as a thesis project in 2007. Will was a design intern at the Smithsonian Institute and then worked for a year at the William J. Clinton Foundation in Harlem, NYC, as a Fellow in the Department of Domestic Policy. A co-founder of Thrive, Will acts as the director of the Cherry Street Fair, is Creative Director of Thrive’s Design Services department and manages all of Thrive's marketing. 

TERRANCE CLARK, FOUNDER

Hailing from Bloomington, Illinois, Terrance obtained his BFA in Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2005. After working in the exhibit/signage design industry he obtained his masters degree in Design Management at Pratt Institute, NYC, in 2009. Terrance serves as the Director of The Helena Start-Up Program and he manages the business administration and development activities at Thrive. As a co-founder of Thrive, Terrance works with new and existing business owners in Phillips County to develop their long-term business plans and marketing strategies. Terrance’s ability to work with small-business owners and his personal creative background make him uniquely qualified to lead Thrive.

 

 

Staff Members

ABBY clark, DESIGNER

Born and raised in and around Kansas City, Abby studied Interior Design at Texas Christian University for two years before attending the Kansas City Art Institute, where she received her BFA in Graphic Design in May of 2013. She moved to Helena immediately after graduation and has been with Thrive since June 2013. 

 

 

Board of Directors

Mollie Palmer, board president

Mollie Palmer serves as the director of  Together For Hope Arkansas, a faith-based nonprofit that focuses on developing community through programs in literacy and youth development. Mollie has lived in Helena for five years, during which time she also worked at the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce and served on the Leadership Goal Team of the Delta Bridge Project. Mollie and Together For Hope Arkansas have served as the captains of the Cherry Street Fair Kids Zone since the 2014 season.

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JUDGE KATHLEEN BELL

The Honorable Judge Kathleen Bell is a resident of Helena-West Helena, and is very active in civic affairs. She is a founder of the Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County and is a strong advocate for the community and its citizens of all ages.
    
   
 
    

DR. STEVEN MURRAY

Steven Murray has served as the chancellor of Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas since 2003. He holds a BA and MA in English and a doctorate in higher education.  A consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, he chairs the Executive Committee of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges and serves on the Arkansas Commission for the Coordination of Education and the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. 

 
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Arkansas state REP. WARWICK SABIN

Warwick Sabin joined the Thrive board in 2014. In addition to being active in politics as an Arkansas State Representative for District 33, he is also the Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and former Director of Development for the William J. Clinton Foundation in Little Rock.