LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday named his policy director, Kelly Eichler, and former gas company executive Sheffield Nelson to the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, effective March 1.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday named his policy director, Kelly Eichler, and former gas company executive Sheffield Nelson to the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, effective March 1.


Eichler graduated from the University of Arkansas, where she was a Razorback cheerleader and member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, which was founded by her aunt, Mary Campbell Gregory. She earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law in 1991.


She has served as a law clerk at the Arkansas Court of Appeals, a Pulaski County deputy prosecutor, a partner in private practice and a special judge in circuit and juvenile courts. She also served in the administration of former Gov. Mike Huckabee.


Eichler’s husband, Brad, head of corporate finance at Stephens Inc., is a graduate of UALR and currently serves on its foundation board.


Kelly Eichler’s appointment will expire March 1, 2026.


Nelson earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, Little Rock Division, in 1969 and is a graduate of the Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas.


He has served on the boards of Philander Smith College and UALR and has been a member of the state Board of Higher Education and the state Game and Fish Commission, president of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.


Nelson is the former chairman, president and CEO of gas company Arkla. Over the past 30 years, he has been a senior partner at the law firm, House, Wallace, Nelson and Jewell, and a successor firm, Jack Nelson and Jones.


Nelson won the Republican nomination for Arkansas governor in 1990 and 1994, losing the general elections to Democrats Bill Clinton and Jim Guy Tucker, respectively. He served as co-chairman of the state Republican Party from 1991-1992 and as a member of the Republican National Committee from 1993-2000.


Nelson’s appointment will expire March 1, 2025.


"I am delighted to appoint Sheffield Nelson and Kelly Eichler to the Board of Trustees and have no doubt they will make tremendous additions to an already stellar group," Hutchinson said in a statement Monday. "Their individual backgrounds and experience — not to mention their respective ties to the University of Arkansas System — will benefit their colleagues and provide new perspective in the coming years."