Women in Business: Amy Wenger

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Class of 2022 Women in Business Amy Wenger Vice Chancellor, Northwest Arkansas University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Fayetteville

Residence: Fayetteville

Education: B.S., health/science, University of Arkansas; M.H.S.A., University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Professional background: In 2021, Wenger was named the vice chancellor of UAMS’ Northwest Regional Campus. Since 2005, the Fayetteville native has served in multiple leadership roles at UAMS, including as vice chancellor for regional campuses and the chancellor’s chief of staff. She also was administrator for several areas such as women’s health, surgical specialties and the department of nursing, and business officer for nursing and the Psychiatric Research Institute.

What was your dream job as a kid and why? When I was a kid, I thought being an astronomer would be so cool. I had a telescope and was enamored with looking at the stars and planets. I even wrote to and heard back from an astronomer professor when I was around 8 or 9 years old. When I was a teenager, I was sure I would be a psychologist because I enjoy listening to and helping people.

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top? Companies will benefit from having more women and other diversity in leadership roles because women can provide a fresh perspective to customers or a patient population. Women also bring a unique practicality and fairness to problem-solving and maintain a high level of consistency when managing conflict.

What is something distinctive that people would be surprised to know about you? I am not sure this will be a surprise to people who know me, but while my professional life is people-centric, I am a natural introvert and observer.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? The advice I would provide for a career in healthcare administration is simple: be adaptable, listen, foster teamwork, and utilize resources to the fullest.

What is a leader’s best asset? I have been fortunate to have observed several extraordinary leaders through the years. In my opinion, their best assets are compassion, communication and decisiveness.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? My mentors throughout my professional career are a lifeline for me.   Mentorship offers counsel, tangible advice to real experiences, and good company. I am lucky to have several mentors — both women and men — I call upon, and their advice has been present in my choices throughout my career and personal life.

You stay busy professionally. How do you take care of yourself and maintain good mental health? Like anyone else, my success in taking care of myself fluctuates up and down. My husband and I are purposeful to schedule activity and time with our kids. I also need a good amount of time to myself to reflect and recharge. In my opinion, there is no set formula. Do what works best for you at the present time. You also need to be adaptable. What works well today may not work well next week.

Most recent book you’ve read? One of the most recent books I’ve read is “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein. A book I’ve started but not finished is “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant.

If you have a bucket list, what are the top three things on it? My bucket list is nothing formalized, but a few wishes are a trip to Ireland, watching my kids grow up, and learning to can vegetables from a garden. I watched my grandparents do this while I was growing up. It is a wonderful memory and something I would love to be able to do.