NEA Women in Business: Rep. Fran Cavenaugh

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 324 views 

Rep. Fran Cavenaugh
Cavenaugh Auto Sales CFO & State Representative
Walnut Ridge

Residence: Walnut Ridge
Professional background: Rep. Cavenaugh is serving her second term in the Arkansas House. She represents District 60, which includes portions of Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp and Greene counties. For the 92nd General Assembly, Rep. Cavenaugh serves as chairperson of the Joint Budget Committee on Claims. She also serves on the Joint Committee on Advanced Communications & Information Technology, the House Education Committee, and the House City, County & Local Affairs Committee. Rep. Cavenaugh is the Chief Financial Officer for Cavenaugh Auto Group in Walnut Ridge. She has previously served as president of the Arkansas Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

What was your dream job as kid and why?

To be a veterinarian because of my love of animals.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far?

When I’m able to help one of my constituents resolve an issue they thought was overwhelming. Helping them is one of my greatest joys.

What advice would you give young women who are at the beginning of their careers?

Don’t be afraid and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. If you think you can, you will do it. Don’t stop at the first failure – keep going. We learn from our failures and we improve.

Rep. Fran Cavenaugh, R-Walnut Ridge.

What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success?

I’m a bulldog and don’t give up. I’m tenacious. I’m a positive person and feel that positivity helps me achieve more. I try to have empathy for people, to try to understand what they are going through.

How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies?

I don’t have much free time, but when I do it usually revolves around horses. I do like to do interior design if I get the time.

Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why?

I would say that has been my husband. He’s taught me to not give up. He’s taught me to step back when necessary and not make rash decisions, to look at all sides.

What’s your biggest passion and why?

Helping those who can’t speak for themselves. Helping our communities to become better. I feel it is our responsibility to leave our communities better than we have found them. We need to make them better for our future.

What is something distinctive that people would be surprised to know about you?

That I’m really pretty good at interior design and event planning.

Can you share what you have learned about your business from the COVID-19 pandemic?

That you can adapt quicker than you thought you could. This pandemic has taught us there are different ways to accomplish the same goal.

What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on?

Becoming a world class breeder of quarter horses.

What’s the last good book you read?

I’ve been reading books on horse breeding and horse pedigrees.

What’s your favorite app at the moment?

I really don’t use apps that much, but when I do it revolves around horses. Horse Races Now is one.

If you have a bucket list, what are the top three things on it?

Go to Machu Picchu, breed a horse that wins the All American Futurity [race for two-year-old American Quarter Horse racehorses], and enjoy our grandkids.

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