Each week, we highlight extraordinary individuals, who are shaping and influencing the culture of the Northwest Arkansas community.
There’s a certain allure that keeps folks hanging around Northwest Arkansas. Elizabeth Prenger knows all too well about the magic this area possesses. “There’s just something really magical about Northwest Arkansas.” says Prenger.
For Prenger, her journey started in Central Arkansas, took her to both coast and back to the Natural State. All in an effort to serve others. Prenger says, “Whatever a role I can play a part in, I’ll be glad to do it. I just want to be involved. “I just want to make an impact and leave the world a better place than when I found it.”
A native of Little Rock, Prenger graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Communications. Still unsure about her next chapter, she went the opposite route in politics, moving out east. “It sounded exciting and I did a little research on the candidate and really bought into what he was running on. So I packed up and moved out to Delaware.” says Prenger.
From Delaware, Prenger moved to Florida, California and finally to Washington D.C., serving as an inter for former Arkansas Senator, Mark Pryor. But while in Washington, she began plotting her next move. Prenger says, “Working out in DC, I was able to have an affiliation with a lot of nonprofit, national nonprofit organizations and just seeing the compassion, passion and the drive that those individuals have for their causes, really drew me to the nonprofit sector.”
The hustle and bustle of Washington became, what Prenger calls, “too stuffy.” So once again, she relocated. But this time, somewhere more permanent. “There was something about Northwest Arkansas that kept calling me back.” says Prenger.
And she hit the ground running. Prenger says, “It’s really hard for me to say NO if I think something is worth it.”
Prenger has served on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations, including Chilirhea and the Association For Fundraising Professionals. But it’s her work with the First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, as Executive Director, that has brought her purpose… full swing. “When I came here and learn more about the program, and really saw what kids were learning through this sport, I fell in love with the character development and the leadership that are taught, on and off the course through this program.” says Prenger.
There’s no magic potion for being generous. And maybe it was meant to be for Elizabeth Prenger to come home…giving her time and energy, for what she enjoys most. Prenger says, “I love what people are doing to impact this community and their are so many wonderful causes. And the ones I’ve been involved in, it’s been an honor to be involved in.”