SouthWest UU Women

Past Conferences

Keynotes and Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Vice-Mayor of Little Rock, AR Kathy Webb

Kathy Webb

Kathy Webb is the Executive Director of the AR Hunger Relief Alliance and the Vice Mayor of Little Rock. The Alliance is the statewide umbrella organization for Feeding America food banks, food pantries and agencies, and hunger activists, the lead partner for the AR No Kid Hungry Campaign, and the education and advocacy clearinghouse on hunger issues in Arkansas. Webb was elected to the Little Rock City Board in 2014, and was elected to serve as Vice Mayor by her colleagues in January, 2017.

Webb represents Ward 3 on the Little Rock City Board, and is the liaison to the Arts and Culture Commission, the Midtown Redevelopment Commission, and the Children, Youth and Families Commission. She is Vice-Chair of the Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force, and President of the Arkansas Cinema Society. She is an active member of First United Methodist Church.

Webb became Executive Director of the Alliance in 2012. Webb has long been active in the fight against hunger, working with the Alliance and the Legislative Hunger Caucus. The mission of the Alliance allows Webb to pursue her passion of providing immediate support for those in need as well as fighting for systemic change. In 2013, she received the National Advocate of the Year Leadership Award from Share Our Strength. The competitive award was given to Webb based on her tireless efforts on Share Our Strength's behalf, in the fight to end childhood hunger. 

 She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a BA in Political Science. Prior to becoming Executive Director of the Alliance, Webb co-owned Lilly's Dim Sum, Then Some. Webb lives with Maggie, her rescue dog, and Carl and Dash, her Katrina cats. 


Christine DeMeo and Cassie Lea Ford

christine demeo cassie lea ford

 Christine DeMeo is a full-time Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Performer who earns her living by doing what she loves. She started playing music at the age of 15, performing in churches and traveling around to provide music for different church camps. Before long she began to expand her musical horizons by delving into the secular music scene. She started her own band and after a while she also began playing guitar/ bass and drums for other artists: lead guitar for Maria Long, bass for Anna Jordan-Moonshine Mafia, and acoustic guitar and vocals for Ned Perme. During her musical career she has had many amazing opportunities such as singing in Carnegie Hall with National Park College Choir, traveling the United States, performing at Verizon Arena, playing multiple radio shows, and opening up for artists such as Relient K, Jars of Clay, Family Force 5, Justin Moore and Buddy Jewel.

 Cassie Lea Ford is a native to Hot Springs AR. She is married to Kyle A. Ford and is the mother to two boys, Kason and Charlie. Cassie has been surrounded by music her entire life. Currently Cassie is a Music Education Major at Henderson State University and plays professionally not only as a solo act but also with her duo partner Christine DeMeo, is a member of the Ned Perme Band, works as a studio recording vocalist for the Blue Chair Recording Studio, is the lead vocalist for the Henderson State University NuFusion Jazz band, is a part of the auditioning ensemble University Choral, and loves every opportunity she gets to collaborate with other artists. Cassie believes that by sharing her heart and her passion for music she is able to connect with others in the most beautiful of ways.


Rev. Jan K. Nielsen

RevJanNewRev. Jan grew up on a farm north of Van Buren and is a graduate of both the University of Arkansas School of Law and Harvard Divinity School. During her first year of college at Henderson State University, Jan realized that she always had been a Unitarian Universalist. Rev. Jan was ordained in 2002.

Rev. Jan and her husband, Roger Jeremiah, are the proud parents of three young adult children – Meredith, a ministry student; Hannah, an artist; and Nathan, a chef.