40 Under 40

Enid Olvey

Arkansas Children's Foundation
Little Rock, AR

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • Enid is the highest-ranking woman to ever lead the Arkansas Children’s Foundation (ACF) and one of the youngest senior executives at Arkansas Children’s. She is directly responsible for 43 employees and shepherds resources of more than $41 million annually.
  • She was campaign director of Care Close to Home: The Campaign for Arkansas Children’s Northwest, raising $80 million—$10 million over goal—in 24 months to build the first and only children’s hospital serving the rapidly growing northwest Arkansas region. 
  • As COO, Enid is the executive leader behind Arkansas Children’s Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow to raise a record-breaking goal of $250 million. In 2017 and 2018, the team raised $52 and $52.5 million respectively—double the annual totals raised at the height of ACF’s previous comprehensive campaign.

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

I was introduced to philanthropy and fundraising when I was a student at Lyon College. I didn’t know it at the time, but my decision to join Phi Mu sorority would lead me to a fulfilling career in fundraising through Phi Mu’s national philanthropy of choice—Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). Through my work on the philanthropy committee, I had the opportunity to partner with the fundraising team at Arkansas Children’s, and I was given exposure to fundraising as a profession.

2. Why did you choose to make healthcare philanthropy your career?

Children need advocates. I feel it is our responsibility to speak up for those who don’t have a voice. Children’s hospitals have a long history of making sure every child has access to quality care tailored to meet their unique needs. I have the opportunity to go to work every day for a mission I’m extremely passionate about and spend time with incredible individuals who bring meaning to every philanthropic conversation and every dollar raised.

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

When I look back on my career, I can identify several breakthrough moments. One important career turning point was getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Stepping out of my comfort zone in small and big ways has been key to my growth as a fundraiser and a leader.

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

In high school, I was a cashier at a Dairy Queen fast food location. It taught me the importance of customer service, remaining calm under pressure and that any job can be fun when you have the right team around you.

5. What are your future aspirations?

To make Arkansas the safest, healthiest place to be a child.

Enid Olvey Headshot cropped

Fun Fact:

I owe my name and my marriage to my grandmothers. I am named for both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. And, my husband and I met through a lifelong relationship between his grandmother and my paternal grandmother who happened to be college roommates. My whole family, especially my parents and husband, keep me very grounded.