Commission unveils 2013 Fayetteville Insider’s Guide, local profile selections

Marilyn Heifner (right), executive director of the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, announces the selections for this year’s Fayetteville Profiles included in the 2013 Fayetteville Insider’s Guide during a news conference held Monday inside the Fayetteville Visitors Center on the downtown square.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission unveiled the 2013 Fayetteville Insider’s Guide, along with an updated website during a news conference held Monday afternoon on the downtown square.

The annual publication offers information for visitors and people looking to relocate to the area, and serves as a resource for local residents. The guide features a pull-out map, lists of attractions and dining options, a festival calendar and more.

2013 Insider’s Guide

As usual, the book features profiles of five local people who help shape the community. This year’s list includes Mike Anderson, head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas; Cheri Bohn, a wood and stained-glass artist whose work is displayed at several area art galleries including Fayetteville Underground; Joe Giles, a local musician who also serves as director of the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally; Wendy J. Poole, executive director of the Ozark Literacy Council and organizer of the PIGShibition project; and Hannah Withers, co-owner of Little Bread Co. and Maxine’s Tap Room, and a chief organizer of the annual Block Street Block Party.

The Fayetteville Visitors Bureau website received a complete makeover and now includes an expanded events calendar, updated press section, enhanced social media engagement options and a mobile-friendly platform.

The guide will be distributed through all 12 state tourism information centers, and at several local attractions including the Arkansas Air & Military Museum, the Clinton House Museum, the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market and at the Fayetteville First Thursday events.

Included below are all five of this year’s profiles from the 2013 Fayetteville Insider’s Guide:

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson

When people think about the state of Arkansas, they think of the Razorbacks. Mike Anderson is the head coach of the University of Arkansas’ men’s basketball team and he couldn’t be happier to be back in Fayetteville. Anderson was the assistant basketball coach for 17 years at Arkansas, and came back two years ago to accept the head coaching position.

“I wanted to come back because I have a lot of fond memories and great relationships that I built here, and I wanted the opportunity to be a part of such a great athletic program,” Anderson said. “The people of Arkansas are extremely passionate and loyal to the Razorbacks and it’s exciting to be a part of it.” He said that the fans show great pride in the university and their enthusiasm is unparalleled anywhere else in the country.

“With a long tradition of school spirit, it makes recruiting great athletes a lot easier,” Anderson said. His main focus is helping his team both on and off the court. He views his players as his family, and wants to see them excel in all areas of their lives, from academics to athletics. Anderson has high hopes for his team and is working to fulfill his dream of leading the Razorbacks to another national championship.

Cheri Bohn

Cheri Bohn

As Fayetteville continues to grow into one of the best art destinations in the region, local artists have had more opportunities to showcase their creative works to the public. One such artist is Cheri Bohn, whose work is displayed at several art shows across the area and at the Fayetteville Underground, where she has an artist studio.

She fell in love with art in high school and chose it as her major in college, where she began working with stained glass. In 2002, Bohn began combining her stained glass pieces with unique tree roots she found in her yard to create whimsical creatures.

Bohn begins each project by analyzing the design elements of the wood that she finds in nature. Her sculptures are created with the idea of “expressing the fusion between humans and nature, the balance we need to have,” Bohn said.

She has had her works on display all over the nation, but she loves that Fayetteville has such a “unique and open-minded” art community. Bohn’s body of work is displayed monthly at the Fayetteville Underground and across the area in places like Eureka Springs and Terra Studios.

Joe Giles

Joe Giles

The music scene in Fayetteville wouldn’t be the same without the talents of Joe Giles. A musician for nearly 50 years, Giles has been playing in Fayetteville “forever.” His current band, Joe Giles and the Homewreckers, has been together 12 years and each member of the four-piece band is a professional road musician with years of experience under his belt.

No matter what kind of music you like, chances are you will enjoy the eclectic mix the cover band plays: classic rock, blues, disco, Motown, country, and jazz to name a few. You can find the band playing gigs at George’s and Jose’s, Bikes Blues & BBQ and other venues around town.

“Fayetteville is truly an island of uniqueness, because there is just no place quite like Dickson Street when it comes to music and entertainment,” Giles said.

As the Executive Director of Bikes, Blues & BBQ, the fourth largest motorcycle rally in the nation, Giles has a huge responsibility to make the event bigger and better each and every year. A large part of Bikes, Blue & BBQ’s success is the music. Giles brings in bands to play each day of the event, always free-of-charge to the public. “The rally would be just a shadow without the bands we bring in,” Giles said.

And with a musical background like his, it’s easy to see why he is the right man for the job. For more information on Joe Giles and the Homewreckers, visit

Wendy J. Poole

Wendy J. Poole

In 2012, The Ozark Literacy Council and the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission worked together to bring PIGShibition to Fayetteville. The community art project was created to raise money for the Council and local artists, raise awareness about literacy and promote the city and its local art community.

Wendy J. Poole, Executive Director of the Ozark Literacy Council, spearheaded the creation, planning and execution of the project. Poole wanted to raise awareness and funds for the Council while heightening awareness of literacy issues through the creative work of local artists. The project was a huge success.

After receiving 150 art submissions from local artists, the six-foot pig sculptures were created as a blank canvas for the artists, and sponsors chose the designs they wanted painted on their pig. Twenty-five larger-than-life pig sculptures were displayed throughout the city and several can still be found throughout the town today. PIGShibition also included a “Piggies Go To Market” fundraiser, where the pigs were auctioned off to raise money for the Council.

“This project and the work of the Ozark Literacy Council could not be possible without our board members, special event committee co-chairs, staff, artists, sponsors and, most importantly, our volunteer teachers and tutors,” Poole said.
For more information, visit or

Hannah Withers

Hannah Withers

The Little Bread Company is one of Fayetteville’s best-kept secrets, located on Block Avenue downtown. Owned by husband and wife Ben Gitchel and Hannah Withers, the community bakery focuses on quality, made-from-scratch cuisine. Their customer service makes everyone who comes through the door feel welcome.

The company started off as a wholesale bakery in Eureka Springs, and eventually opened a retail location in Fayetteville in 2007. “We have the best location downtown. It’s a slice-of-life of what the people of Fayetteville are all about,” Hannah said.

All their food is made with ingredients from local farmers whenever possible. The bakery gets much of their produce at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, which allows them to get creative with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

As a locally owned, independent business, Ben and Hannah feel that it is important to support other local businesses and the community. They are actively involved in the Block Street Business Association and support events that draw people into Fayetteville.

Ben and Hannah are also co-owners of the old Fayetteville staple Maxine’s Tap Room across the street, one of the area’s oldest, historic bars. They are remodeling the building and said they want to pay homage to Maxine herself with a throwback to when it opened in the 1950s. The bar, decorated with old black-and-white original photographs, will serve vintage cocktails.