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PROFILE


year before being promoted to chief deputy. “I was very interested to learn everything,” DeShields said of that year. “I would stay and learn other people’s jobs.” She spent 13 years as chief deputy clerk and is now in her


15th year as circuit clerk. During that time, DeShields has made several innovations in her office. She implemented imaging in 2003, and the paperless sys- tem is a more efficient way of conducting business, she said. Customers with real estate records “don’t even have to wait on their documents. It’s instant recording.” Benton County also was the second county in the state to implement e-recording. “Pulaski County and I were pretty much in a race to be the


first to e-record,” she said of her friendly competition with former Pulaski County Circuit/County Clerk Pat O’Brien. DeShields attended college to study elementary educa- tion but did not complete her degree. She has been married for 29 years to her high school sweetheart, Keith. Tey have two children — Keeshia, 25, who is secretary of the Benton County Quorum Court; and Josh, 20, who is a student at the University of Arkansas and plans to marry in the fall. Teir 14-year-old Schnauzer, Pepper, is another beloved family member. DeShields is a member of First Baptist Church in Rogers,


where she is an outreach coordinator. While her children were in school, she served on the school board. Few probably know about DeShields’ love of basketball.


Brenda DeShields Benton County Circuit Clerk


Circuit Clerks Association on the AAC board, she is parliamentarian of her as- sociation’s executive board. She also is on the grant committee, legislative com- mittee, continuing educa- tion board and audit com- mittee. She was appointed by the Governor to the E- Recording Commission, of which she is chair; and she was appointed by Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp to serve on the Criminal Code Committee, a sub- committee of the state’s Court Automation Committee. “We’re sort of in that empty nest stage,” DeShields said.


W “W COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2017


“So now I have more time to spend here helping.” DeShields’ love of learning kick started her almost 29-year


career in county government. She worked in the Benton County circuit clerk’s office as a criminal court deputy for a


ith both of her children grown, Benton County Circuit Clerk Brenda DeShields has decided to expand her role in government. In addition to representing the Arkansas


Her favorite NBA team is the Miami Heat, and she regular- ly plans springtime vacations to Miami so she can watch the Heat play on their home court. She has done so eight times. DeShields shares her love of basketball with her son. Te two keep a list of which NBA home courts they have visited — a total of 13 so far. And they get NBA updates on their phones so they can keep up with players’ playoff chances. “I’m also proud of being a native of Benton County, so to be an elected official is very humbling and exciting to me,” DeShields said, noting that the favorite part of the job is “the interaction with the people and part of being some- thing good in the community.”


hen you ... can step up and do something different, it just helps


you grow even more in your capacity.


something I thought I would have an interest in. I wanted to help with that relationship between the association and the AAC, to make a difference.” DeShields spent a good deal of time at the state Capitol during the 2017 legislative session. She said she enjoys be- ing involved with legislative issues. And that involvement has helped her grow. “When you have the roles that you have, and you can step up and do something different, it just helps you grow even more in your capacity.”


” 41


When a circuit clerk seat became available on the AAC board, DeShields said she was “intrigued.” “I’ve been in county gov- ernment for so long and so active in the Circuit Clerks Association. When this va- cancy came open, I asked more questions, and it was


COUNTY OFFICIAL


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