Welcoming Kevin Spears

A New Chief Executive Officer to Lead Butterfield into the Future

Searching for the right kind of leader for a place like Butterfield Trail Village means finding a person with more than just solid business acumen and years of experience; it requires finding a champion for the culture and a heart for the people who call it home. Newly named chief executive officer Kevin Spears quickly emerged as a fantastic choice after an extensive series of interviews with residents, staff and members of the BTV Board of Directors. Now officially in place, it is clear Kevin is not only up to the task – he is genuinely excited about Butterfield and the opportunity to relocate to Northwest Arkansas.

Kevin grew up in Marianna, a small town located about an hour southwest of Memphis near the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River. His family has roots in the delta, and he recalls a trail through the bean field that he and his two brothers would use to ride to his grandmother’s house by motorcycle. In keeping with most small communities where everyone knows everyone – Kevin met his future wife, Kerri, in kindergarten. They started dating his senior year of high school, her junior year, and a storybook romance soon unfolded between the pretty cheerleader and the football captain. “I’m one year older, but she’s a year smarter,” he quipped.

The pair dated for seven years, both taking time to earn Bachelor of Science in Education degrees at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro. With that significant milestone freshly behind them, Kevin and Kerri married the weekend following graduation. Kerri began working as a second-grade teacher and Kevin accepted an opportunity to teach high school biology and coach football – first in Arkansas and later in Alabama. After a handful of years, he decided it was time to switch career directions and he attended the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to earn an occupational therapy degree.

A few short months after accepting a staff occupational therapist position at the Helena Regional Medical Center, Kevin was tapped for the role of acute rehabilitation program director for the same facility. Then, with a few years of leadership under his belt, Encompass Health – Central Region hired him to be the regional director of therapy operations. That experience, plus a master’s in Business Administration from Harding University, provided the foundation for Kevin to make a significant jump into head administrator and chief executive officer roles – first with Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Memphis, followed by Stone County Medical Center in Mountain View, Ark., White River Health System in Batesville, Ark., and finally with Encompass Health in Jonesboro, Ark.

Along with growing a successful career, Kevin and Kerri also grew their family – adding a daughter, Grace, and son, Walker. Now 24, Grace married last summer after finishing her degree at ASU. Walker is a rising high school senior and football player. To allow Walker to remain in Jonesboro to finish his last year of high school, Kerri is remaining there for the next year and the couple will stay connected over the coming months with frequent travel back and forth between NWA and northeast Arkansas. Despite the challenge of distance in the short term, Kevin and Kerri are convinced the CEO role at Butterfield is a long-term win as they approach the empty-nester phase. “I was looking for just the right 20-year opportunity, a chance to stay put in a great place. The future this position offers, the growth of the community, the endless possibilities – it’s exactly what we were looking for.”

In his free time, it’s likely to find Kevin following Razorback sports or traveling the open road on his BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorcycle. He enjoys riding with friends throughout multiple states, and even as far as Canada. One of Kevin’s claims to fame is knowing every single high school mascot in the State of Arkansas, and he is an avid sports trivia fan – knowledge likely enhanced by his 11 years as a football play-by-play commentator for 93.5 FM, a radio station that broadcasts widely throughout the Mississippi Delta. As Kevin and Kerri become more acquainted with NWA, they look forward to trying new restaurants, exploring the region and making new friends.