Barbara Suber receives Charles L. Farris Award
Last month Monette Housing Authority Executive Director Barbara Suber was awarded the Charles L. Farris Award at the conclusion of the 77th annual Southwest National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials conference, in San Antonio, Texas.
The Charles L. Farris award is the most prestigious award an individual can receive from Southwest NAHRO, which includes chapters in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas. The distinguished Farris award is given in recognition of those whose unselfish and inspiring personal commitment have shaped the future of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials of the Southwest Region. Farris was known and remembered for his extensive involvement in the rejuvenation of St. Louis, Mo., and best known for his role in building Busch Stadium and many other projects that ridded the blighted areas of downtown St. Louis and helped rejuvenate the entire city.
“I was caught completely off guard when Arkansas Chapter President David Lange walked back to my table to escort me to the podium as Jim Coleman, of Camden, called my name as the Farris Award recipient,” Suber said. “Southwest NAHRO President Darrin Taylor and former Missouri NAHRO President Donna Dunwoody and former Southwest President Katie Anderson presented the personalized plaque to me, along with a scrapbook filled with letters of congratulations from 30 NAHRO leaders that I have known and worked with through the years. I am so very honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from my friends and peers in our Southwest Region. It was a very special night for me and my husband Steve. I will never forget the night, as I replay and treasure the surprise videos that were put together of my past 37 years in housing and the presentation of this award.”
As Monette Executive Director Suber was instrumental in changing the public’s impression of the Monette Housing Authority being known as “The Project.” The property was renamed Country Estates East and West and the area became known as simply rental property. Suber is also the Monette City Beautification chairman and led in beautification efforts to make the apartment complexes attractive as well as energy efficient. She has worked in close alliance with the City of Monette, as well as Buffalo Island Central School. Some of the BIC programs Suber has developed include Soup for Seniors, Grand Friend Program, Earthquake Kit distribution, Back Pack Snacks supplied to students weekly through the Buffalo Island Better Life Experience (BIBLE) food bank center, which was built and is maintained by MHA. Suber was the first to merge multiple organizations under one roof to include Head Start, senior citizens, and County Health Department services brought to rural Arkansas.
“I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this award that my dear friend and colleague Barbara Suber,” said Darrin Taylor, of Lee’s Summit, Mo. “When we were faced with the challenge of raising rents on our families, because of new mandates, she was right there leading the charge to make sure everyone’s voice was heard. She is an outstanding housing advocate. She is held in the highest esteem by her friends and colleagues.”
“This distinguished award is a testimony to the improvements you have made in the community of Monette,” said State Representative Dan Sullivan. “Your work is impressive and appreciated by the City of Monette, and the State of Arkansas.”
“Barbara knows hard work,” said MHA board chairman Jerry Reed. “I can attest to the fact that she runs a tight ship and cares deeply for the tenants. Because of her, we have one of the most outstanding housing authorities in the nation. Her office walls are covered with plaques of her great achievements.”
“Barbara stands for all the good things that make our city a better place to live,” said Monette Mayor Chub Qualls. “Her service is not only in helping to provide housing for our citizens but in serving tirelessly on the City Beautification and Veterans Park committees. She is an asset to our community, and we are thankful.”
“Barbara is passionate about helping the people she serves,” said Paragould Executive Director David Lange. “She is always looking for ways to make their lives better.”
“I can’t remember the first time I saw this tinker bell size lady at one of our state meetings, and wondered who in the world she was and from what city,” said James Coleman, of Camden. “She was and is a package of dynamite waiting to become involved in our state and regional organizations. She has served on numerous committees and our Arkansas chapter has been much improved by her input. I would have resigned many terms ago as chairman if it had not been for Barbara being willing to be my co-chair.”
“Barbara is very deserving of the Farris award,” said MHA Administrative Assistant Angie Rolland. “She always puts everything she has into each project, no matter how small or large, and strives for a better community. I have seen the heartfelt struggles she has had when it concerns the residents or people. Her work shows throughout the entire community and she does not always get the recognition she deserves. She doesn’t do this for recognition, but just because it is the right thing to do.”
Along with the plaques, Suber was also awarded a check for $1,000 to be donated to her favorite charity. She has not decided yet which charity to choose.