United Way of NWA promotes 2 to lead fast-growing Arkansas 211 service

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 896 views 

Dallas Mudd and Christina Hinds.

Lowell-based nonprofit United Way of Northwest Arkansas announced the appointments Tuesday (Aug. 23) of Dallas Mudd and Christina Hinds to new positions with Arkansas 211. Mudd was named executive director, and Hinds is vice president of business development. Their jobs reflect the expansion of 211 services throughout the state.

Arkansas 211 is a confidential information and referral service that connects people to essential health and human services online and over the phone. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help with issues that include assistance with food, childcare, behavioral health, housing, utility assistance, domestic violence and much more.

“We’re thrilled to have these two United Way leaders who can take 211 into the future,” Jackie Hancock, United Way of Northwest Arkansas president and CEO, said in a news release. “The use of 211 has exploded in the last couple of years. Dallas and Christina have the expertise we need to guide 211 through this time of tremendous growth.”

From January 2000 to December 2019, Arkansas 211 assisted with more than 19,000 requests. In 2020, United Way of Northwest Arkansas assumed responsibility for administering Arkansas 211 statewide. Since January 2020, the service has responded to more than 63,000 requests.

“With a 330% increase in our services, we need people in place who could focus exclusively on Arkansas 211,” Mudd said in the release. “It’s critical that our 211 resource specialists understand clients’ situations and help them access services locally, so we’ve hired a full-time specialist fluent in Spanish. We have more plans for increasing access, and all of those plans take thoughtful time and attention.”

Mudd has been with United Way since May 2016, serving as vice president of operations. Mudd took on additional duties as director of Arkansas 211 when the organization took over operations of the statewide service. As full-time executive director, Mudd will be responsible for the operations and strategy of the statewide service. He is also chair of the National 211 Steering Committee, a professional volunteer group representing the national 211 network working collaboratively with United Way Worldwide and the Alliance for Information Referral Systems.

Before coming to United Way, Mudd held multiple roles with J.B. Hunt Transport Services. He was an adjunct professor for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, where he taught courses in business, economics, Excel and business law and ethics. Mudd served in the U.S. Army, where he was active duty for five years.

Hinds joined the United Way in May 2016 to lead the fundraising efforts, volunteer engagement and communications. Later, she led the corporate engagement team and focused on growing corporate relationships and partnerships. In her new role, she will focus on building collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, United Ways throughout Arkansas and funding partners to support Arkansas 211.

Hinds is also vice president of membership for the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a nonprofit professional organization for those working in philanthropy.

“Arkansas 211 receives grant support from organizations like Blue and You Foundation and Black Hills Energy,” Hinds said in a statement. “We have local, statewide and national partnerships with many companies and nonprofits, including UAMS, Hark, Lyft, DoorDash and others. These connections are part of what makes this service so valuable to Arkansans.”

Before joining United Way, Hinds spent 10 years with the American Heart Association in Northwest Arkansas, where she provided leadership in planning, development, implementation and stewardship of corporate and individual giving.

The Federal Communications Commission designated 211 as the three-digit dialing code for information and referral in 2000 to provide a simple way to access health and human services. United way has been instrumental in the service’s implementation in Northwest Arkansas and throughout the state.

Darinda Sharpe, a United Way spokeswoman, said Hancock would determine how Mudd’s finance and operations duties will be reassigned. Hannah Savage, United Way’s chief of staff, is assuming additional responsibilities in operations.

United Way is advertising for a fundraising position to fill Hinds’ role.