BY JACLYN ROSE –
Shelley Staggs is a native of Rockford, the second largest city in the state of Illinois. At the age of 8 her parents decided a small town would be better to raise their only child, and they moved south to Mena. “It was definitely a big change going from a large city to Mena but I really enjoyed the small town. We moved to a farm and I really enjoyed that also.” Shelley began attending Mena Public Schools and after graduation went on to attend Rich Mountain Community College.
Shelley and her husband of twenty-two years, Danny, a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force, met on a blind date. “We were set up by a family member and the rest is history. I firmly believe God is the key to all of it. Making sure He is in the family and is the center of the marriage is what makes our marriage work,” she explained.
Together the couple has two boys, Shawn and Josh. When Shelley began talking about her role as a mother, her eyes filled with tears and she spoke with sincerity and passion. “Our focus with the boys was to make sure they were raised in church and beyond that, raised to know God. I think the greatest thing is to bring your kids to knowledge that God knows them and then to watch them grow in that relationship. If you get that, then nothing else matters. They have to know Christ loves them and has a plan for their lives. I so enjoy being a mom.”
After their wedding, Shelley and Danny, a Waldron native, moved to his hometown. And it was there, through a series of events that she defined as only God ordained, Shelley began her career in banking, at the Bank of Waldron. After living away and working in various towns and at various banks for 13 years, the couple began praying about moving home. “My parents were aging and I wanted to come home to help them, although since living here it is really them who have helped me,” Shelley explained, and a job was opening up at Arvest in Mena. I was currently employed as a Loan Officer for Arvest in Paris. We asked our family and close friends to pray with us about our future without telling them our plans. Right before our eyes God began answering prayers and giving us confirmation and we were able to move back to Mena.” Shelley now works as a Mortgage and Consumer Loan Officer and is the Assistant Vice President of the Mena Branch of Arvest Bank.
Upon moving home, Shelly and her family put down roots and became involved in many areas of Polk County. Their 15 year old son, Josh, attends Acorn where he is involved in Archery and Shooting. “We love the Acorn School System. I went to Mena, and Danny Waldron, and we both enjoyed our schools, but Acorn just fits so well with Josh. We love the small community and small classrooms and we feel like they take such great care of our son.”
Shelley and her family are also very involved with Dallas Avenue Baptist Church, the church Shelley was raised in. She is the Treasurer for the Ouachita Senior and Retirees and the Polk County Smart Team. She is also on the Polk County Fair and Rodeo Board.
Additionally, Shelley is a graduate of Leadership Polk County where she went on to complete the 2nd year as well. “Leadership was the best thing I’ve ever done in Polk County. It opened my eyes to industry and arts I didn’t know existed in the area. I feel like I can now see a much bigger picture and I learned a lot, so much about the community. It really helped me see what and why things happen and see the uniqueness of this area- the local theater and the airport are two great examples. Polk County really has a lot to offer but unless you utilize those areas you do not know they exist. I’m very thankful to be raising my family in this area.”