The Board and Officers
David Bentley currently serves as Vice President of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and chairs the Public Relations Committee. Dave discovered the organization in 2007, after his retirement from 20 years in the Air Force at the rank of Major, and has been an active member ever since. He worked to create the Winter Solstice display in 2009 and has assisted every holiday season since then to set it up on the state capitol lawn. Dave served as President during ASF’s transitional year, 2011-2012, overseeing the largest membership increase in the organization’s history. Simultaneously he spearheaded a second federal lawsuit that preserved the freedom of speech for non-theists in Little Rock. He is the webmaster for the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason. He is a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists.
Tod Billings is the founder of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. He served as its leader, chairman, president, advocate and primary activist until 2011, shepherding the group through a major federal lawsuit that required the Arkansas Secretary of State to allow seasonal displays on the capitol lawn that represented non-religious reasons for the winter holiday season. Under his leadership, multiple organizations joined together under the mantle of the nonprofit Arkansas Society of Freethinkers that he had incorporated in 1996.
Chris Borecky, President of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and member of the board, began his freethinking journey as a child in Catholic school where none of the teachers could answer questions such as, “Why doesn’t God show itself?” and “How can a just God send people to hell for being born into other cultures?” Chris spent his college years studying the psychology of beliefs, then earned an MBA in 2010. He discovered ASF in 2008 and acted as the group’s first Fundraising Committee chair. Chris believes freethinkers should develop innovative social networks that provide a variety of valuable benefits and generate genuine enthusiasm. He is active on the Facebook Group and can be seen at many of our events.
Lisa Brents is a board member and serves as chair of the Programs Committee, ensuring that our Lecture Series and educational events are top-notch and appealing to a variety of interests. Born and raised in the Bible Belt, she realized and accepted her disbelief in deities as a college senior, but remained wholly closeted for 5 years until finding ASF in March 2012. Lisa, who is passionate about science, recently graduated from UAMS with a doctorate in Toxicology and currently studies the neuroscience of human addiction. She is excited to be part of a group that serves as a much-needed secular voice in Arkansas; one that advocates science, education, critical thinking, humanism, the separation of church and state and, most importantly, the freedom to seek truth by questioning and having respectful open discussions with others who are also earnestly seeking answers.
Jane Doe is the Registrar of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. The fact that she holds this position proves that not only can closeted non-believers benefit from and contribute to ASF, their anonymity can be protected while they take advantage of a friendly, supportive, secularist community. Jane lives in a small rural Arkansas community over an hour away from Little Rock, so she also proves that being in central Arkansas is not a prerequisite for involvement in ASF.
Susan Heffington is a board member and is a past president of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. Currently, she chairs the Membership Committee. In 2005, she founded Central Arkansas Freethinkers, one of several secularist groups that came under ASF’s umbrella in 2011. She served as a council member for Atheist Alliance International. She has been an RN for 28 years, and as an nontraditional student working on her B.S. in nursing, was active in the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She helped organize the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Arkansas, and has helped organize many of the secularist groups that currently exist in Arkansas. Her tireless efforts and unflagging positive attitude get things done with a cheerful smile.
Aaron Kelton is the Ombudsman for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, serving as a direct conduit between membership and the board. He is passionate about communication and leadership, and is an active member and promoter of Toastmasters. He discovered ASF after dating Christian women, only to find himself embracing his honest disposition of disbelief. He is currently married to a fellow freethinker and believes one ought to question everything, seeking the truth and understanding regardless of the outcome. Aaron earned a bachelors in chemical engineering and currently works as a business analyst. Follow @AaronKelton on Twitter.
Mark Love is a board member and serves as Treasurer of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. He is committed to science education and has a master’s degree in instrumental science, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and worked as an electronic engineer for 20 years, designing both hardware and software. He helped to create the Winter Solstice Display that graces the state capitol lawn every December, as well as the ASF holiday float used in Little Rock’s Big Jingle Jubilee holiday parade. He chairs the Leadership Development Committee. As the primary videographer of the lecture series and Reason in the Rock, he manages the YouTube Channel for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. He is a strong atheist and skeptic who, in almost any situation, challenges delusional thinking directly. He claims he actually looks forward to Jehovah’s Witnesses coming to his house, just for the stimulating debate.
Laney Pierce is an ASF board member. As chair of the Social Committee, she works to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all nonreligious people, and especially to those who are still “in the closet” or are getting their first taste of living without deities. Laney is a founder of Arkansans for Equality, a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving equality for all Arkansans. Feel free to add her to your friends on Facebook, as she is always excited to grow her circle of freethinking friends and help welcome all newcomers to the community. Laney is always looking for new ways for members to have fun and get to know each other better, so she welcomes all ideas and suggestions for new events and get-togethers.
Anne Orsi is a board member and chairs the Leadership Development Committee. She acts as one of the designated spokespersons for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, and is a co-organizer of Reason in the Rock. She is an attorney and writer. Her weekly column on Secularism and the Law appears Thursdays on the What Would JT Do? blog on Patheos.com. She is a member of the Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way, American Atheists, the American Humanists Association, the Skeptics Society, the Foundation Beyond Belief, and the Brights Network.
Robert Schafer is a board member. He founded Arkansas Atheists, one of several groups that came under the ASF umbrella in 2011. He established the popular First Tuesday meetings, when freethinking Arkansans gather over food and drink at local restaurants. He has a master’s degree in social work and travels internationally as much as possible.
LeeWood Thomas is a board member and chairs the Activism Committee. He is a devout Pastafarian. He has been a freethinker most of his life. He is the primary spokesperson for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason; in addition to making statements to local media, he appears on radio talk shows, podcasts, and anywhere else someone might be listening. He co-hosts the Pink Atheist Podcast on Blog Talk Radio. He volunteers with other community organizations, too: as vice president of his neighborhood association and as media contact and stage manager for the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He co-founded the newest Arkansas freethought group, Benton Atheist & Skeptic Society (BASS). LeeWood has been along for the ride since the very beginning of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers in 1996, and usually can be found in the thick middle of things with a grin on his face. Add him to your friends on Facebook – LeeWood is always looking to grow his network of freethinkers.
Interested in a leadership position with the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers? Contact us!