Forty Under 40: Rhonda Hughes
Few people who know Rhonda Hughes today would recognize the person she was upon graduating from Elkins High School.
“I was very, very shy, very self-conscious and not at all outgoing,” says Hughes, who today, at 37, could hardly be called shy or retiring.
Except for one brief year off, Hughes has worked at the Springdale Chamber of Commerce since August 1981, shortly after she graduated from what was then called Northwest Vocational Technical Institute.
Even before officially beginning her job as a chamber secretary, Hughes found herself working three nights at the annual Albert E. Brumley Gospel Sing, “sitting in mud up to my knees and thinking, ‘What have I got myself into?'”
As it turned out, Hughes had gotten herself into a job in which she excelled and which she loved. Until fairly recently, the Chamber was heavily involved in the annual Rodeo of the Ozarks, and Hughes admits she misses that involvement.
But there’s still the annual Brumley gospel sing as well as several new events, including Feather Fest and the annual Northwest Arkansas Business Expo.
Although she lives in Elkins, Hughes leaves no doubt about her loyalties. “My heart’s in Springdale.”