Editor’s note: The following story appeared in the Jan. 21 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Amy Linimon, director of donor engagement for University Advancement, joined the University of Arkansas because of her love of the university and its mission, and to support Campaign Arkansas. Her position was recently renamed from director of donor relations and special events after a rebranding.
“I am a third-generation graduate of the UA,” Linimon said. “My grandfather and mother are both graduates — and interestingly, my grandfather met my grandmother at Carnall Hall when he was a busboy in the dormitory’s dining hall.”
The Fort Smith native earned two bachelor’s degrees from the UA — one in political science and a combined English and communications degree. She earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas.
She started in her position with University Advancement in March 2017, and it has offered her the opportunity to work with stakeholders and volunteers. She said she’s committed to the UA, and understands the benefit it offers to students.
Linimon oversees four employees on a team of five, including herself, who cultivate, engage and recognize donor stewardships. They also are responsible for events for the chancellor’s office and thank you letters for the chancellor and vice chancellor of advancement.
“We are really the office of saying, ‘Thank you,’” Linimon said.
When she was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class in 2013, Linimon, who is 44, had raised more than $18 million for various causes in 10 years. She’s more indirectly involved in fundraising in her work at the UA. Campaign Arkansas is expected to raise $1.25 billion for capital projects, scholarships and fellowships, endowed chairs and interdisciplinary academic programs. So far, the campaign has raised 82% of its goal, or $1.03 billion, and should reach the goal by June 30, 2020.
When asked about the most exciting thing about working on the campaign, Linimon said the opportunity to “be a part of the bigger picture, and the opportunity to support students, which benefits the state of Arkansas.”
Linimon said even though she’s worked at the UA for nearly two years, she continues to learn about it. And she expects to continue to learn and grow over the next several years. Linimon also serves on the leadership committee for Mark Power, vice chancellor for advancement, and helps to brainstorm ways to leverage others in its mission and to have the most impact.
Before joining the University Advancement division, Linimon worked at IMG Razorback Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for the UA athletic department. She worked there for about a year after working for six years at Washington Regional Medical Foundation as director of special events and director of development and external relations.
While at Washington Regional, Linimon started to wonder what another career would be like as she had worked in nonprofits for nearly 13 years. She thought the position at IMG would challenge her and seemed appealing. She left her position at Washington Regional in March 2016 to work as senior account executive for IMG.
“I truly made some lifelong friends in that role,” she said. The position also reinforced what she was best at doing, which is mission-driven work. “My gift is expressing gratitude,” she said. At the UA, Linimon found what she’s best at doing, and the position has long-term growth potential.
Over the past five years, she’s tried to do the things that matter the most to her and to focus on that. She used to work more than 60 hours to reach her goals, but her focus has shifted to things in which she can have the most impact. She stopped teaching classes at the UA after the fall 2017 semester to focus on her existing position, her family and volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
When asked about the highlight of her career, Linimon explained it’s when her work has inspired someone as she enjoys providing positive support to others. She enjoys interacting with students on campus and helping people achieve their dreams.
Linimon is married to Lenny Whiteman and has a 12-year-old stepdaughter. She spends her free time at the gym, reading and watching Netflix.