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Retired Columbia County Clerk Sherry Bell receives award for ‘boldly advocating for the counties of Arkansas’


Longtime Columbia County Clerk receives 2018 Wes Fowler Advocacy Award.


Retired Columbia County Clerk Sherry Bell receives award for ‘boldly advocating for the counties of Arkansas’

LITTLE ROCK— Retired Columbia County Clerk Sherry Bellhas been awarded the Association of Arkansas Counties’ (AAC) 2018 Wes Fowler Advocacy Award for her “tireless work in boldly advocating for the counties of Arkansas.”

The award was established last year following the death of Wes Fowler, who spent decades working in Madison County government before finishing his career at the AAC as Governmental Relations Director.It will be given annually to a county or district official that has exhibited great passion for advocacy over the previous year. The AAC Board of Directors Scholarship Committee will select the recipient of the award. Recipients will receive an Arkansas County Diamond Award at the AAC’s annual conference and will be honored at the AAC with a permanently placed plaque and names added each year.

AAC Executive Director Chris Villines and Debbie Wise, AAC Board President and Randolph County Circuit Clerk, presented the advocacy award to Bell during the AAC’s 50thanniversary conference, held Aug. 8-10, 2018, in Rogers/Benton County. Villines said Bell “probably never envisioned as a child in Chicago that she would someday be a revered county official in Arkansas.”

Bell began her career in county government in 1982, when she was hired to work in the Columbia County Assessor’s Office. She became a Level 4 Appraiser during her 15-year tenure in that office. She was unsuccessful in a bid for county treasurer in 1996, but ran for county clerk in 1998 and was elected.

Villines called Bell “self-driven” and “persistent.” She was sworn into office in January 1999 and “since then she has advocated tirelessly, as an AAC Board member, AAC Legislative Committee member, and president of the Arkansas Association of County Clerks,” Villines said.

“Like Wes Fowler, who had a broad knowledge of several offices in the county, Sherry is a Swiss army knife of a courthouse with an understanding of many facets,” he said.

About the Association of Arkansas Counties

The AAC supports and promotes the idea that all elected officials must have the opportunity to act together in order to solve mutual problems as a unified group. To further this goal, the AAC is committed to providing a single source of cooperative support and information for all counties and county and district officials.

The overall purpose of the association is to work for the improvement of county government in the state of Arkansas. The association accomplishes this purpose by providing legislative representation, on-site assistance, general research, training, various publications and conferences to assist county officials in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office.

The AAC Board of Directors is comprised of 18 members — two representatives elected by each of nine member associations.

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