Ralph Burns, NVRA Outreach Coordinator
“I don’t think I will ever retire.” These are the words of our featured employee, Ralph Burns. He is not interested in being idle for even a short period of time. He enjoys working – especially doing what he does for the Secretary of State.
Ralph may be seen loading boxes, banners, easels and other items into a vehicle when you arrive in the morning. He is preparing to go out and shake hands, hand out publications from the Secretary’s Office or he may be promoting the right to vote and urging people to register to vote.
His first assignment in the Secretary’s Office was HAVA (Help America Vote Act). This was the early introduction of voting machines and Ralph loaded one up and made his way around the state showing people it was not formidable task. He laughed as he indicated that at one senior citizen center, he taught a 90 year old lady to use the voting machine and she vowed to her friends that “there’s nothing to it.”
Before going any further, there is a little background about Ralph to share. He has had a varied career life, but has majored in sales and customer service. Early on, after graduating from Arkansas Tech, he worked for an oil company. Then, he owned a Dairy Queen in Searcy for 28 years. When he burned out there, he moved to Western Foods, working with national and international customers. He is also past president of the Arkansas Restaurant Association and has served on the board of the Arkansas Hospitality Association.
In February, Ralph will celebrate ten years with the Secretary of State. He is now the NVRA Coordinator (National Voter Registration Act) for the Office. His favorite part of the job is being able to participate in outreach for the Secretary’s Office.
Ralph is not all work and no play. No sir. He plays golf and is an avid Razorback fan. He likes to take his family to the games – which includes his wife of 34 years, Sally, his three children and four grandchildren.