A retirement celebration for Public Information Director Terry Payne will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 12 in the Board Chambers at City Hall, 133 Convention Boulevard. The public is welcome to attend.
Payne, a New Orleans native, received a bachelor of music education degree with honors from Loyola University of the South in New Orleans. After an active 15-year career in pastoral music leadership, choral conducting, music education and vocal music performance, she moved to Hot Springs in 1988 and became involved in historic downtown development. She was hired by then-city manager Gus Pappas and shortly thereafter joined the Public Information Department after he created it in 1990. Her department of two serves as the communications link between city government and its customers, which include citizens and visitors, elected officials, city employees and the news media. Her long-term motto is, “Citizens are not the interruption of our work; they are the purpose of it.”
Payne has served as a board member of the Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation, United Way, Imagination Library and Hot Springs National Park Medical Center Women’s Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Hot Springs Class VI. A Paul Harris Fellow and two-time Rotarian of the Year, she is president-elect of the Oaklawn Rotary Club. She launched the city’s website, winner of multiple national and statewide awards, and grew the nationally-recognized Historic Downtown Farmers Market under her 12-year management. During her tenure with the City of Hot Springs, she initiated city board meeting broadcast and live streaming, established City12, the City of Hot Springs’ government access television channel, created multiple social media channels, coordinated many special events and designed and published an array of city publications. She documented city activities through thousands of hours and approximately 20 years of local government access video programs. She personally produced and hosted more than 450 video segments and took more than 10,000 photographs for the city’s archives. During the span of 29 years, she worked under the leadership of six mayors and six city managers.
Payne’s volunteer service also includes the Muses Creative Artistry Project, Garland County Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Chamber of Commerce City-County Government Committee, Downtown Merchants Association and Women’s League of Voters. She has five children and five grandchildren.