2020 Woman of the Year
Becky Paneitz, PhD
CEO/founder, Inseitz Group
Dr. Becky Paneitz credits her parents, both who were career educators in Arkansas’ K12 system, with inspiring her to become an educator herself and influence students’ lives for the better. She came to Northwest Arkansas from Charlotte, North Carolina, 17 years ago, to serve as president of NorthWest Arkansas Community College and has proven herself as a dedicated mentor, motivator, and business leader in the community ever since.
After retiring from NWACC after ten years, she founded her company, the Inseitz Group, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership training, organizational development, and board relations. Through the company’s women empowerment programs, Paneitz and her team work to uplift and encourage women who are juggling their personal and professional lives. The signature program for Rising Female Leaders is designed to guide women through coaching, hearing successful women tell their stories and to develop a personal mission statement and professional/personal life plan.
Giving back to the community remains forefront in Paneitz’ mind, who through her nonprofit organization, Inseitz Group Women’s Empowerment Center, has raised more than $30,000 for scholarships for women who work in nonprofit organizations to attend Inseitz Group’s Rising Female Leaders program.
To date, 110 rising female leaders from corporate, nonprofits, higher education, and small business have completed the program.
2020 Emerging Leader of the Year
Owner, Big Box Karaoke + Concord Adams
Mailena and her husband, both graduates of the UofA, moved back to Fayetteville in 2011 after living in Chicago and Japan. It was in Japan where they fell in love with private suite karaoke, and made it their mission to open one of their own in the US. After two failed attempts, the stars aligned for them in 2018 and they opened Big Box Karaoke on Block Ave. in Fayetteville, making it the first business of its kind in Arkansas.
Professionally, Mailena is a marketer who has worked with some of Northwest Arkansas’s favorite startup companies over the years. She recently started her own consulting agency, Concord Adams, that specializes in helping businesses who are stuck find sustainable marketing, strategy and design solutions to achieve their goals.
Perhaps her most notable career accomplishment has been her work at Collective Bias, where she was hired on as the 11th employee and got the opportunity to help build the core product, and develop a marketing strategy to put CB on the map as an industry leader in influencer marketing.
Service is at her core. She is a new member of the Fayetteville Library Foundation board of directors and has served on the board of Feed Communities, now merged with the NWA Food Bank. Through BBK, she’s been able to raise awareness for kids with food allergies through Be(A)ware, an allergy-friendly Halloween event. Big Box Karaoke has also supported several local causes through its Sing for a Cause events.
She and her husband live in Fayetteville with their two young children and schnoodle Sammy. You’ll find them outside on Beaver Lake, canoeing on the Buffalo River, biking on the Greenway or exploring the mountain bike trails.