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Trina Jones works with Tess Tumble- son in the Van Buren Royalty Depart- ment which is located in the Van Buren County Annex.

I have been very blessed to have a loving family not only at home but at work as well. I have always tried to treat others the way I would want to be treated. If we all remem- bered that one thing then this world would be a better place for every one.

— Trina Jones

n What time do you get up most mornings? 6:00 a.m. n What is your favorite TV show? NCIS n If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Dauphin Island, Ala. n What is your favorite cuisine? Chicken Alfredo n Favorite dessert? Snickers Cheese Cake n What kind of vehicle do you drive? Corvette n Where would you visit if you had the chance? France n Favorite time of day? I love to get up early before anyone is up and set on the back porch and have my first cup of coffee. n Favorite sport to watch? Football.

n Are you a morning person or night? Morning. n Do you have any pets? Yes, 2 Pomeranian: Spud and Gigi; 2 English Bull Dogs: Samson and Hoss; 1 horse: Gracie n What did you want to be when you were little? Veterinarian. n What is your best childhood memory? The day my neighbor gave me a horse after I had returned it to him. Every time it would get out of his field it would come to our house. So he told me to keep it. So I did and loved that little mare. Her name was Sugar even though she was solid black. n Any pet peeves? Being late for work and having to step over shoes to get in the front door of my house because my kids and husband don’t put them up. n Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? The Grand Showroom in Dennard, an antique furniture store. n What was your favorite vacation? Cancun with Ronnie. n Do anything spontaneous lately? My husband and I renewed our wedding vows while on a family vacation in August. n Have a motto or personal philosophy? “Hard work never hurt any- one,” and “If you are going to do a job, do it to the best of your ability.”

87,157 mineral-producing parcels at $296,716,398. Jones said mineral values are about three times more than real estate

values in Van Buren County. She also said the arrival of the natural gas industry has also increased business and personal property values from about $8 million in 2005 to $154 million today. Te county now employs three full-time positions in the mineral department alone. In 2008, just three years after the natural gas industry came to town,

Van Buren County would endure adversity that was brought home by mother nature.

An EF4 tornado ripped a path of destruction 122 miles long in

Arkansas on Feb. 5, 2008, and Van Buren County sustained significant damage.

“Tis storm changed every one in our county,” Jones said. “We no longer take our homes for granted. We are grateful to have our homes to come home to because it can be taken away in seconds just like so many homes were that day.” Te storm claimed several lives in Arkansas that day and three were

Van Buren County residents. “Our county annex building was hit that day with only minor dam- age compared to houses all around us,” Jones said. As the community forged onward and continued rebuilding their homes and their lives, another storm hit the community only three months later. “It was so heart wrenching having to go from house to house taking

pictures of the devastation of people’s homes knowing that some of them didn’t have insurance at all,” Jones said. “My heart broke for those families.” Jones’ passion for family and children spans much further than her

role in county government. Tose values direct her volunteering as well. Giving back In her spare time, Jones volunteers for Court Appointed Special

Advocate (CASA) and a new local nonprofit, Te Call, which stands for Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime. “I am a voice for abused and neglected children in my county,” Jones said. “I go to court with them. I visit them when they are at home or in a foster home. I make sure they are getting the help they need with school, emotional issues, supplies and clothing.”


CASA advocates, in most cases, are the only person that will stay consistent during the whole process until adoption or reuniting with family. “Sometimes it is sad and is very difficult,” Jones said. “My heart goes out to those kids and parents. I’m there to be their voice and share what their needs are.” Jones also serves as the fundraising coordinator for Te Call. She said

they recruit, train and equip foster parents. “Tere are only two foster homes in Van Buren County and about 36 foster kids,” Jones said. “Te Call has four sets of parents in training right now so we hope to add four Van Buren County foster homes this year. Our overall goal is to establish 25 foster homes in our county.” Te Call hosted its grand opening in September. Jones also serves Pleasant Valley Baptist Church where she has at- tended for 26 years. She has been the church treasurer for the last two years and church clerk for eight years. Family and leisure

When the demands of the job, volunteering and life in general put a

little extra stress on Jones, she said she finds peace in nature. “I walk out into the field where my horse, Gracie, is and sit down in the grass and just watch her,” Jones said. “I just sit there and look at the beauty she is and the trust she has with me and I know every thing will just fall into place. She gives me peace when I need it the most and she doesn’t even know she’s doing it.” Jones was born in Leslie during a snow storm in February. Her family

lived in Crabtree which is a small area west of Clinton. Jones said she married the love of her life, Ronnie Jones, in 1984 just after graduating high school. Teir first child, Megan, 26, was born on their second wedding anniversary. Tey have two other children. Whitney is 24 and they call her their “miracle baby” because she was born at five months. Whitney is set to graduate from pharmacy school soon. Jeremy, 20, “the baby,” is attending registered nursing school in Morrilton. Te Jones live in the fourth house that they built together. “I take great pride in my work and I want my office to be known for its efficiency and fairness to everyone,” Jones said. “I want to be able to look back at my time as assessor and say, ‘I did my best.’”


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