Join us as we celebrate the remarkable careers of our honored guests:

July 8, 2023

5:00 p.m. Cocktails
6:30 p.m. Dinner and Awards

Robinson Center • Little Rock, AR

Steve Barnes

Gold Circle Honoree

Steve Barnes’s career in journalism began while he was in high school and continued in his college days, stringing for the Associated Press and United Press International and contributing articles to local newspapers and trade publications. In January 1968 he became a copyboy at the Little Rock CBS television affiliate, and soon was promoted to reporter and, eventually, substitute anchor.

Barnes shifted to the city’s ABC affiliate in 1972, again as a reporter and anchor. Fourteen years later he joined the Little Rock NBC affiliate as an editor and anchor. In 1987 he was recruited to the Arkansas Educational Television Network (now Arkansas PBS) to host its “Arkansas Week” broadcast and other public affairs programs, all the while continuing his work at the NBC station. Double-duty, as it were.

In the same period Barnes became a full-time free-lance, resuming his work in print journalism by working frequently for the Reuters news agency, the New York Times, Time and People magazines, and filing regularly to Mutual and NBC radio networks, and to the former MacNeil-Lehrer Report of PBS. His long-form print reporting has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Progressive and other regional publications.

Barnes has covered essentially all the major Arkansas news events of the past half-century, while focusing mainly on politics and policy. He has covered every Arkansas governor since Orval Faubus and every session of the Arkansas General Assembly, every member of the Arkansas congressional delegation since the mid-1960s, and the six presidential campaigns of four Arkansas politicians. He is said to prefer the company of his wife, Amy Oliver Barnes, their children Jennifer and Blair, and grandchildren Taylor, Lauren and Carson.

Numerous journalism awards have come Barnes’s way but, as he once told a colleague, “that’s not why we do what we do.”

Stephen Narisi

Gold Circle Honoree

Stephen Narisi is a well-seasoned, well-traveled newsman who was mentored by a generation of broadcast journalists who believed in “getting the story right” and “getting it first.” He was taught that journalism comes with privileges and responsibilities wrapped in a mantle of integrity and credibility.

Stephen began his career at KFPW-TV in Fort Smith, Arkansas where he was the film processor and production assistant before becoming a reporter and nightly newscast producer.

From his hometown, he moved to KARK-TV in Little Rock as a political reporter. Stephen’s beat was the statehouse, which at the time was governed by a young politician named Bill Clinton. He also reported on breaking news stories like the Cuban Refugee riot at Ft. Chaffee and the Titan II missile explosion that almost wiped-out central Arkansas.

Since those early days, Stephen has helped write the first draft of history for some of the biggest stories in the country and world.

As a staff producer with NBC News, he covered the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign. As a freelancer working with ABC News and top ten television stations in Dallas and New York City, he covered the Oklahoma City bombing, earthquakes in Turkey, Jihad terrorist’s cells in the Philippines, and the 2003 Iraq War. He also has worked for other broadcast networks, both domestic and foreign, reporting on national elections and Democrat and Republican conventions.

Stephen’s experience in broadcast journalism segued into documentary production before he moved on to other cable and broadcast networks. He was the Supervising Producer for the original America’s Most Wanted with John Walsh on Fox.

He’s a multiple Emmy® Award winner whose fondest memories are from his Little Rock days, working with talented colleagues and competitors in one of the best news markets in the country.

Stephen is currently the Exemplary Executive in Residence at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville teaching the next generation of journalists.

Craig O'Neill

Gold Circle Honoree

Randy Hankins’ radio career began September 3, 1969, at radio station KBTM, working while he attended Arkansas State University at Jonesboro.

Randy graduated in 1972 and took a job at KARN in Little Rock doing broadcasting and advertising sales. KARN’s program director felt that the name Craig O'Neill had a better ring to it than Randy Hankins, so that's when he made the switch to the name so many know him by today.

Fast forward to 1978, Craig joined KLAZ and began making his famous prank telephone calls. His first one was to Arkansas Governor David Pryor and his opponent in the U.S. Senate race, Jim Guy Tucker. Craig posed as Jimmy Carter and wished both luck in their upcoming election.

In 1981, Craig began working at KKYK, becoming the #1 disc jockey in Little Rock. He continued to make prank calls and traveled to Hollywood on several occasions. He even appeared in a movie made in Arkansas, titled "Pass the Ammo."

After ten years at KKYK, Craig moved to neighboring radio station KURB. During that time Craig’s love for charity work really took off and to this day he has emceed thousands of charity events.

On January 1, 2000, Craig made the transition from radio to television. He began at THV11 as a sports anchor, later becoming a news anchor, but above all else he sees himself as a public servant. Another passion Craig shares is his love of reading. He's visited dozens, if not hundreds of schools for his reading tour.

Throughout his time in broadcasting Craig's covered countless stories, earning prestigious recognition for his work, and raising more than $40 million for Arkansas charities. But his impact on Arkansas extends well-beyond the numbers, if you ask him, it’s about the lives he's influenced for the better.

Dave Woodman

Gold Circle Honoree

Three months after Dave’s seventeenth birthday, his University of Alabama professor father arranged and audition at the university’s public radio station. Dave had no interest in radio, but he was hired as a summer replacement announcer. Dave transitioned to Alabama Educational Television his senior year and has the distinction of being the first student director of a live statewide telecast.

Upon leaving school at age 20, Dave was hired as a staff announcer at the NBC affiliate in Montgomery, Alabama. Two months later he married his next door neighbor Lydia Ryan, a union that has lasted 67 years and produced four children, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

From Montgomery Dave moved to the CBS affiliate in Monroe, Louisiana and eased into sports casting and play-by-play. In 1969 he pursued a business opportunity that failed, but his career was resurrected at the NBC affiliate, and he was assigned as Arkansas news director at the El Dorado studios.

A TV Guide ad drew an invitation to interview for news director by KARK-TV General Manager Robert L. Brown, but overwhelmed by the size of the Little Rock market Dave withdrew from consideration. Brown also needed a sports director for his new anchor team, and the dream team of Roy Mitchell, Tom Bonner, and Dave Woodman debuted in March of 1970, immediately grabbing the top spot in the ratings and holding it for sixteen years after being joined by Carolyn Long.

In 1991 Dave moved from sports to the morning and noon anchor desk and “retired” in 2000. He was called back to produce KARK’s “Community Service Awards” in 2002 and continued in that capacity until his second “retirement” in 2012. In 2015 he was called back to do one more CSA, and is still active in the freelance market.

Tim Hamilton

Silver Circle Honoree

Harding University Professor Bill Brant’s decision to send Tim Hamilton to KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock in the fall of 1979 for his internship, led to his 32-year career at Channel 7.

Tim worked as a photojournalist covering news and sports events in Arkansas and around the world. It was a series of reports on Peru’s war on drugs that led to his second Emmy. The Bill Clinton presidential campaign in 1992 was his first. He was nominated for five total. He has won a national Edward R. Murrow Award and four regional Murrow awards.

Growing up in Melbourne, Arkansas with a population of 800, Tim dreamed about being the Voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Working at the campus radio station at Harding and doing play-by-play for basketball and baseball, he realized that wasn’t a realistic goal.

However, the thrill of his time at KATV was covering the Razorbacks with Paul Eells, the voice of the Razorbacks. The decade of the 90’s included three final fours and a national championship in basketball. Witnessing history from the front row was extra special.

In 2012 Tim had an opportunity to return to Harding University to supervise the sports broadcasting program and teach students interested in the profession.

The best part of his job is hearing from students who are working in broadcasting, and they call or text to tell him where they are and what they are covering.

Tim is married to the former Laura Roper. They have one son, Chandler and daughter-in-law, Hannah. And a dog named Toby.

Marcus McDonald

Silver Circle Honoree

Marcus W. McDonald was born and raised in Magnolia, Arkansas where he accepted Christ at a very young age as a member of Homes Near Baptist Church. After graduating from Magnolia High School, Marcus attended Southern Arkansas University and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 1981. He was honored as a Southern Arkansas University Distinguished Alumni in 2004.

Marcus worked for Magnolia Banner News for three years before moving to Little Rock in 1983 and joining KATV Channel 7 as a photojournalist. During his forty years at Channel 7, he was a former Emmy® nominee and has earned numerous AP Press awards. He currently serves as KATV’s Chief Photographer.

He has been married to his beautiful wife Renee for thirty-nine years and is a proud father and grandfather. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Marcus is the Associate Pastor of Greater Archview Baptist Church and he is always excited to be a servant of God. He continues to live by the scripture, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Amy Oliver

Silver Circle Honoree

Amy Oliver Barnes recently joined the ranks of the partially-retired after nearly 50 years as first a broadcast journalist, then as a public relations professional, eventually sharing that knowledge and experience in the classroom.

She began her broadcast journalism career while still in college at a small radio statio in Russellville, Arkansas – KARV, the voice of the Arkansas River Valley – first as a reporter and then as news director. From there she moved to covering the entire state as a reporter, anchor and producer for KATV- Channel 7 and as a producer, assignment editor and assistant news director for KARK-Channel 4.

She left commercial broadcasting in 1990 to become a writer and media relations representative for then State Health Department Director Dr. Joycelyn Elders. From that position she joined the Arkansas Educational Television Network as Operations Manager and public affairs producer for Arkansas Week and other network public affairs programming. After more than 25 years in broadcasting, she began a second career in public relations, serving as executive communications director at Arkansas Childrens Hospital and the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

She then joined the faculty in the UALR School of Mass Communication, taking emeritus status in 2020. She still teaches a class each semester. During her tenure at KATV and KARK, Barnes wrote, produced and supervised newscasts and documentaries that won a variety of Associated Press, Radio and Television News Director Association, regional Emmy® and United Press International awards. While working with Dr. Elders, Barnes served as consultant and editorial advisor to a KARK teen pregnancy documentary which won a George Foster Peabody award, a regional Emmy® and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and was chair for the Southwest PRSA district serving 2500 members in six states including Arkansas. Some of Barnes proudest moments, however, have come with her adored children Jennifer and Blair, and adorable grandchildren, Taylor, Lauren, and Carson.

Donna Terrell

Silver Circle Honoree

As a junior in high school, Donna Terrell thought she wanted to become a print journalist until she saw, for the first time, a TV news studio while attending a journalism workshop. From that point, she knew she wanted a career in television news. She is now in her 37th year in the industry and currently anchors FOX 16 News weeknights in Little Rock at 5:30, 6:30 and 9. This is her 19th year at FOX 16.

Donna arrived in Little Rock from Detroit, Michigan, where she served as an anchor for WKBD-TV and WWJ-TV. Before moving to Detroit, she worked at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. She also held anchoring and reporting positions in South Bend, Indiana, and Battle Creek, Michigan.

Through the years Donna has received multiple honors. Most recently earning a regional Edward R. Murrow award and a regional Emmy® for her story on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In addition, she earned a national award from the American Legion Fourth Estate Awards and Associated Press for her special reports titled Grieving a Child. She has a regional Emmy® for her work as a news anchor and has collected and been nominated for numerous other awards and recognitions.

She is very passionate about community service, creating Donna Terrell's Yoga Warriors Fighting Colon Cancer, affectionately called Yoga Warriors, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises money for yoga classes for cancer survivors and caregivers. The organization is in memory of her daughter Queah (pronounced: Quaya) who died from colon cancer, but during her battle found health benefits from yoga. Yoga Warriors also provides numerous necessities for survivors including help with lodging when they have to travel a long distance for life-saving cancer treatment.

She has served on the boards of Women and Children First, a domestic violence facility, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House. She is a former Ambassador to the Arkansas American Cancer Society and makes appearances at events all over central Arkansas.

Donna has a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan University. She is a member of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Little Rock Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Donna is married to Dr. Kenneth Lambert, who is an OB/GYN in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Together they enjoy golfing, traveling, movies, and cooking at home.