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David Alley – Striving to Make Mena Better


David Alley is one of those folks who got a good education, put it to work with a strong company, and was rewarded with a lasting career. But he had a history with Mena, and after retiring he and his wife came back, and by their very natures they began to find ways to help and improve our community.

Alley was born in Texas but his parents and grandparents were from Mena. His family moved back to Mena in 1952, and he attended the old Central School, then the downtown high school near the courthouse.

“After high school, I went to The University of Texas in Austin and graduated with an accounting degree,” Alley explained. “After graduating, I went to work for PPG Industries, which is a plate glass and chemical company, and I stayed with them for my entire working career. I enjoyed my job as it took me to New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and more exotic places like Bangkok.

“My wife, Kay, grew up in Austin, where we met,” he continued. “We were married in 1963. Kay worked as a registered nurse while we lived in Texas and in Ohio. She retired from nursing when we moved to Mena. We have been married 50 years, and have two daughters living in Ohio with their families. We have been fortunate enough to have retired early and have time to follow other interests. In our case we enjoy assisting elements of the community, like the RMCC Foundation and the 40 Year Club, because of their ability to provide educational and cultural opportunities for the community.”

David has been a member of the RMCC Foundation Board for four years and a member of the reunion committee of the MHS 40 Year Club for the past several years. He explained that the RMCC Foundation helps with fund-raising activities in support of scholarships and other community activities involving RMCC. For example, the Foundation partners with the MHS 40 Year Club in some of their reunion activities, and in managing the scholarship endowment funds raised by the MHS 40 Year Club. The MHS 40 Year Club has provided three $25,000 endowments, whose earnings produce scholarships for Mena High School Graduates.

“In addition, a number of individuals, families, businesses and organizations have made financial gifts to the college through the Foundation and these funds provide scholarships and also support for other college activities,” Alley explained. “These gifts, when invested, have produced the income that provided over $48,000 in scholarships in 2012, and also supported other developmental activities for RMCC. In the past few years, the Foundation has also received gifts from the estates of friends of the college.”

On August 24, the RMCC Foundation will be supporting the 2nd Annual Bert Hensley Memorial Golf Tournament at the Glenwood Country Club,” he continued. “This was a very successful event last year, with great participation from golfers and sponsors. The late Bert Hensley was an enthusiastic supporter of RMCC, and was instrumental in the early days of the Foundation in building and managing the organization’s assets.

“With the RMCC Foundation, we’re really looking for people who want to be part of RMCC’s cultural and educational efforts,” Alley added.

Coming up in the next 12 months RMCC will be presenting the Johnson Learning Commons and the new Cultural Center – both under construction at the present time.

Aside from her work with the RMCC Foundation, Kay’s efforts have been more medically oriented because of her background. She is a volunteer with the 9th Street Clinic, and is a member of the Polk County Cancer Support Group.

David and Kay are members of the First United Methodist Church of Mena, and are both members of the Polk County Master Gardeners.

“Aside from the learning opportunities there are with the Polk County Master Gardeners, they also provide international travel opportunities,” he added. “This past March we traveled to the Republic of Panama with the Arkansas Master Gardeners and had a wonderful time. We’ve also been to New Zealand and Australia as part of the program. But it’s always nice to come home to Mena. This area is doing the very best it can with the resources it has and we’re proud of its efforts, and we’re pleased to be a part of this developing community.”