Syard (pronounce Say-erd) Evans is currently the Deputy CEO and soon-to-be CEO at Arkansas Support Network. She has a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Education and Research from the University of Arkansas. Syard has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and a trained mental health counselor.
“For the past 18 years Arkansas Support Network has been a significant influence in my development as a person, an advocate, and a leader. While I know I have extremely large shoes to fill in the role of CEO, I’m honored and excited about the opportunity to lead this organization into the future. With the changing landscape of services in Arkansas and in the US, there will no doubt be challenges ahead. We will continue to rely on the support of our community and the people committed to the work of this organization now more than ever, but I look forward to the on-going opportunity to support people with disabilities to live meaningful lives in their communities and to make a difference in all the ways we can.” Dr. Syard Evans
Currently, Syard is the chair of the Northwest Arkansas ArkSTART council, a member of the Arkansas Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council, a member of the board of directors for the Arkansas Waiver Association, a coach at CrossFit Fayetteville, the Strongman Corporation’s Arkansas state chair, and a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities. In 2014, Syard was a featured speaker at TEDxFayetteville, and in 2015 she presented at the Siloam Springs Q Commons event and gave the commencement speech at the Northwest Arkansas University of Phoenix local campus graduation.
Syard has served as an Associate Faculty member at the University of Phoenix Arkansas campus, a member of the Board of Directors at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center, a contributing writer to the Hampton Institute, and worked as a member of the Fayetteville Forward Inclusion Committee. She is a founding member of the Northwest Arkansas Disability & Violence Collaborative. Syard has also provided private practice counseling services, served as a contract facilitator providing disability education to law enforcement through Ozark Guidance Center, and volunteered as a lead counselor for Camp Compassion, an annual bereavement camp for children.