Town Crier News Staff
Barbara Payne Suber, of Monette, was installed as President of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, during a special ceremony held last month at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.
Suber served as senior vice president last year as well as chairman of the Planning Committee and Exhibitors Committee. She has received many service and merit awards during her 25 years as Monette Housing Authority executive director and NAHRO officer, on the district, state and national levels. Under her leadership Monette Housing Authority was chosen as the best agency of the year for Arkansas and high performance certification for 15 years.
She has maintained many professional affiliations which include Governor's Partnership for Children and Families, American Red Cross volunteer, Leadership Buffalo Island officer, Buffalo Island Central mentoring program volunteer, charter member of the Monette Beautification Committee, Crowley's Ridge Development Council volunteer, NEARK Workforce Committee, and was named grand marshal of the Monette Christmas Parade.
"I was humbled by your vote of confidence and am thankful for the opportunity to serve in this new leadership role," Suber said following her installation. "I want you to know that I am not here for my own gratification or my agency's glory, but I am here to work with you and for you."
Suber listed her NAHRO presidential platform as "creating positive images in our communities while helping people help themselves and each other."
"It doesn't matter how nice or modern your developments are, most communities still have a negative image in their mind when they hear the words "public housing" or "projects," she said. "I detest these words when I hear them used. Our apartments are excellent places to live. They are known as Country Estates East and Country Estates West, which do not have negative images when you hear them. Our neighborhood is a vibrant area to live, where families can flourish. We are an incredible asset to the community."
"Community action changes peoples lives and it embodies the spirit of hope," Suber said. We need to create positive images and utilize the talents in our chapter by mentoring each other. We need to share our successes and exchange ideas."
Suber was instrumental in developing new training techniques and literature, with the revision of the Arkansas Chapter of NAHRO bylaws and changes in district alignments.
Suber uses many innovative teaching tools during director training and has written a skit using the characters from Wizard of Oz to get her point across.
She presented the skit at the state NAHRO meeting and it was such a hit she has had requests to take it to district meetings. During a special training meeting this Thursday at the Manila Housing Authority, Suber and three NAHRO associates donned the traditional Oz costumes and played parts of the Tin man (Michele Haley of Rector), Lion (David Lange of Paragould), Dorothy (Ms. Suber) and the Scarecrow (Homer Thompson of Dell). In the skit Dorothy was lost but learned to lead through teamwork and a vision. The Scarecrow was looking for a brain and was encouraged to work smarter not harder. Tin Man found heart by getting emotionally involved in helping others. The Lion was a coward but gained strength by organizing his work.