WHO WE ARE

Mission

       To encourage, sustain, and promote a respect for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death at every stage of existence and in every situation.

Vision

        To create a viable culture of life in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Christian faith.

Goals

1.Provide resources and alternative life-giving options that respect the dignity of women and couples seeking abortion services.

 

2. Educate individuals and families about the dignity of human life from conception to natural death through community outreach.

 

3. Foster valuable learning opportunities to help parents instill in their daughter's the virtues of purity, and personal responsibility. 

Click to learn more about What We Do

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

SHEILA PURSELL

Executive Director

Sheila brings over 30 years of pro-life experience to NWA. After graduating from the University of Kansas, she moved to Dallas, TX and became actively involved in the Pro-Life Action League, Operation Rescue and the Catholic Pro-Life Committee. In 1993, Sheila moved to New York and worked with John Cardinal O’Connor in the Archdiocese of New York, giving numerous pro-life talks, raising funds, and joining efforts to establish a maternity home.

Returning to Dallas in 2000, Sheila briefly worked for Life Dynamics before moving to NWA after her marriage to Arthur Pursell in October 2009. Formerly a Human Resources Manager for Mosaic in Dallas and a Benefits Consultant for Colonial Life in Fayetteville, Sheila now works full-time as Executive Director for the NWA Respect Life Council. Sheila and Arthur are parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Rogers, and Sheila has been a member of the Council since 2010.

JOHN CONRAD

Vice President

John is a retired advertising, marketing and sales executive whose career spanned 45 years. After receiving a BS Degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois in 1968, Conrad began his career in consumer “hard goods” with Admiral Corporation and Rheem Manufacturing. After a few years as an account executive in the advertising agency business he joined a Business to Business magazine publishing company and remained in that industry for over 25 years. He ended his business career as Publisher of a national weekly publication called The NEWS which was read by air conditioning and heating contractors and wholesalers. During his tenure with The NEWS, the magazine was ranked among the top 50 business to business publications in the United States.

 

John has been an active member of the St Vincent DePaul parish in Rogers since moving to the area in 1998. He serves as a lector, a communion minister and also takes communion to the homebound. He is an avid supporter of the pro-life movement and has participated in the last two campaigns for 40 Days for Life.  John lives in Rogers with his wife Barbara. He also has a daughter, Erin and two grandsons, Lucas and Evan in Fayetteville.

MARCO REYES

Secretary

More about Marco coming soon...

MATT ABIDE

Board Member

 

Matt has been married to his wife, April, for 16 years and together they currently have 9 children.  

He believes a society is only as good as it treats its most vulnerable.  The challenges of raising a family or taking care of the elderly are sacrifices, but are rewarding ones that bear good fruit.

DEBI SNYDER

President

Debi has served on the NWA Respect Life Board for the past two years and has been involved in pro-life activities since 2006.  Her vision is to continue to promote, educate and foster a growing awareness of the dignity of every human life from the unborn to natural death. 

 

Debi received a B.A. in Business Administration and was recently awarded Certification as a Spiritual Director and Director of Retreats from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.  After working in sales management for 10 years, she now works as Adult Faith Formation Coordinator at her church.  Debi and her husband of 26 years, Jeff, have lived in NWA since 2003 and have raised their two daughters here.  

JOEY SMITH

Treasurer

Joey has been involved with the Respect Life Council since 2016 and before his current role as treasurer he served as Vice President. He is passionate about the organization's mission and enjoys strategically thinking about how to best effectuate its mission.

 

Joey is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Law at Missouri Southern State University. He is married to Amylynn Smith and they have a son, Max. In his free time, he enjoys the strategy games of chess and poker.

JOHN LA TOUR

Board Member

John was born and raised in Ville Platte, Louisiana, the son of a land surveyor and public school teacher. Upon completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Accounting, he moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1979.

 

Graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, he has practiced accounting as a CPA since 1981 in the same office building in downtown Fayetteville.

 

In 2007 he earned a Juris Doctorate from Oak Brook College and established his law practice in 2010. Mr. La Tour has participated in various entrepreneurial ventures in northwest Arkansas. He and his wife of 22 years, Elizabeth, have nine children.

CINDY STOPHLET

Board Member

As a passionate supporter of pro-life issues for years, Cindy has been involved with crisis pregnancy work, pro-life fundraising, and coordinating 40 Days for Life campaigns.

 

She and her family moved to Fayetteville in 2013 after living throughout the US and abroad.  With psychology and  physics degrees and a doctorate in optometry, Cindy taught learning-disabled students before practicing optometry for several years and then choose to be a full-time mom to their four children.  Later she worked in Development for Anchorage Public Television and presently helps her husband run their cattle ranch.  Cindy and her family are active members at St Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville.

“Fundamentally, I am pro-life because of my love for Jesus Christ – He is the Fountain of Life, the Source of Life, the Author of Life, the Fullness of Life and the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are unconditionally loved by Him, not because of what we do, but just because we are. We must be all we can to be a loving and faithful witness to the sacredness of every human life.” - Sheila Pursell, Executive Director

© 2016 Northwest Arkansas Catholic Respect Life Council

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