UA Little Rock Hosting 18th Annual Taste of Little Rock April 4
February 20-26, 2023
By Angelita Faller
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host the 18th annual highly anticipated culinary and social event, Taste of Little Rock 2023, on Tuesday, April 4.
UA Little Rock’s premier event is set for 6-8 p.m. in the Jack Stephens Center by Presenting Sponsor
PepsiCo. The event raises funds for the UA Little Rock Alumni Association Scholarship Fund while introducing guests to some of the best food in the city from the finest restaurants in Little Rock. “As a longtime member of the Taste of Little Rock Committee, I can honestly say that I am most excited about this year’s event!” said Stephanie Caruthers, co-chair of the Taste of Little Rock Committee. “We anticipate several new participating restaurants, and we are sure to reach record-breaking fundraising. The scholarships that we are able to award because of the support of the community are so important. I think it’s safe to speak for all on our committee and our board members when I say that this event and the resulting scholarships are the perfect combination of the most fun and the most rewarding aspects of our service. It’s a win-win for everyone, and we hope you’ll all join us for Taste of Little Rock.” Along with Caruthers, Loris Fullerton also co-chairs the Taste of Little Rock Committee made up of UA Little Rock alumni who plan the event. Additional board members include Eundra Boles, Melissa Bravo, Guy Choate, Becky Flynn, Cameron Fuller, Audra Hinton, Jonathan Nunn, Sheena Olson, Bethany Siems, and Kim Kyle.
Taste of Little Rock attendees can look forward to tasty selections provided by fan-favorite restaurants like Trio’s, Sauced and Zin, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Waldo’s Chicken and Beer, Big Bad Breakfast, Count Porkula, Cypress Social, and Petit and Keet. Klassik Entertainment, owned by UA Little Rock alumnus Jonathan Nunn, will provide great music for the evening.
This year’s Taste of Little Rock will honor James Bobo, a well-known higher education volunteer and board member, for his lifetime of support to UA Little Rock.
“It’s definitely an honor and a humbling experience to represent UA Little Rock at Taste of Little Rock,” Bobo said. “I think learning is a lifelong effort. As long as we are on Earth, we should continue to learn to improve ourselves. I grew up with a single mother and two brothers and a sister. College wasn’t really on the radar, but my mom always wanted us to further our education. I think about kids who are in similar situations, whose families may not have the means to get them to college. That is one of the reasons I support the university, to help raise scholarships and help others get the opportunity to improve their education.”
The honoree has a passion for his alma mater and has demonstrated that through an investment of his time, efforts, and resources. He served two terms on the UA Little Rock Alumni Board of Directors and is a past president of the board. He now serves on the Centennial Campaign Cabinet, helping to lead the university’s largest fundraising effort to raise $250 million by UA Little Rock’s centennial anniversary in 2027. To date, UA Little Rock has raised more than $167 million for the Centennial Campaign.
“Time and again, James unselfishly gives his time and talents to the UA Little Rock Alumni Association,” said Kristi Smith, associate vice chancellor for alumni and development. “When I started back in 2016, he formally began his first term on the Alumni Board of Directors. Over the years, he has worked tirelessly - from striving to increase alumni participation in the Alumni Association to serving on the Centennial Campaign Cabinet. It is a joy to serve alongside him.”
After graduating from Little Rock Central High School in 1973, Bobo attended UA Little Rock for his undergraduate education. He also earned his MBA from UA Little Rock in 2005, having taken classes on nights and weekends through the Executive MBA program.
Bobo went to work for Entergy Arkansas in 1978 as a power plant operator. In 1984, he joined Entergy’s nuclear design engineering group as an engineering technician which he credits to the undergraduate courses he completed in UA Little Rock’s Engineering Technology program.
“Once I went back to school and got my MBA, I continued to be promoted to the level of senior staff analyst,” Bobo said. “I reported to the director of customer service at Entergy and managed the customer service budget for the Arkansas Customer Service Organization. My MBA really helped me to improve my critical thinking and analytical skills and move up in the company.”
Bobo would go on to spend nearly four decades working at Entergy, retiring in 2017. In addition to UA Little Rock, Bobo also serves as chairman of the Little Rock Diamond Foundation, a nonprofit he helped found in 2018 in cooperation with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. The organizations work together to provide education and mentorship opportunities for at-risk youth. He also serves as an elder at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock. Bobo and his wife Rose have four children and 14 grandchildren.
Along with Presenting Sponsor PepsiCo, Taste of Little Rock gold sponsors include Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Entergy Arkansas, and Natural State Private Wealth Group.
Silver sponsors include Southern Glazer’s, Stephanie and Brooks Caruthers, Loris and Jay Fullerton, USAble Life, HoganTaylor, Epic Glass Recycling, and Simmons Bank.
General admission tickets for Taste of Little Rock are $75, while tickets for Alumni Association lifetime members and UA Little Rock graduates within the last five years are $35.
For sponsorship or ticket information, please contact Catie Ross, associate director of alumni membership and engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-398-4373.