Throughout March, our Movers and Shakers series has celebrated the accomplishments of women in our community during Women’s History Month.
We profile new Bentonville Mayor, Stephanie Orman.
Not everything in life comes easy. You have to work at it. “When your passion takes over, you just have to go with it and I did.“
For new Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman, her devotion for community service, started during college at the U-of-A, graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1997. Mayor Orman says, “I really enjoyed behind the camera. I really enjoyed telling the stories.“
And the allure of storytelling led her family to put down roots in Northwest Arkansas. “We knew Bentonville was where we wanted to get to raise our family.“
As her family grew, so did her demands, doing what she could, to keep up with the pace. “I’ve been currently training with our Rush Running group for the Bentonville Half Marathon.“
I ask the Mayor if she was an athlete. Her response, “Well, I try really hard, so I don’t know if I would classify as an athlete.“
Orman took that competitive spirit, running for city council in 2012. She lost decisively, but she used that defeat as a stepping stone for the road ahead. Mayor Orman says, “It was a good experience. I learned from that. I really just continued to be engaged. I continued to go to city council meetings and sat in the back and listened. And I think through that process, people started to say, ‘Hey, she’s serious. She really wants to think through things. She wants to provide solutions.’“
In 2014, Orman would rebound, winning that seat on the Bentonville City Council for two terms. And last November, she was elected mayor. “I’m kind of an action person. I like to get things done. I felt like I had the passion to do that. It’s probably what motivated me and has kept me going. So, at the end of the day, I want to show results,“ says Mayor Orman.
And the outcome is proof that hard work, pays off. Orman’s role also serves as an inspiration and a message to young girls. “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can’t fail until you decide to quit. Sometimes you have to work through obstacles, but when you work through those obstacles, that’s how you earn.”