When the Gridironers called Kent Eikenberry to ask him if he wanted to be the emcee this year, he echoed what some at our meeting said: “But he no longer works for the newspaper.”
The response to that was easy. “Right. Now that he’s in a more reputable job, we’ll ask him.”
That new job is president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. For someone as corny as Kent is, it’s perfect.
Kent has been a big fan of the show for years. As advertising manager for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he knew most of the people in the show. He has a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Kansas State University, so we’re not sure at all how he ended up on the dark side – advertising.
But now he’s doing a lot of good for the community and we figured he could counteract the damage the Gridiron does each year.
“I’m really excited to host the Gridiron,” Kent said. “I like these people. They said they asked me because of my wit. Everyone else calls that being a smart ass.”
Kent has been active in the community for a long time — as past chair of the Rogers Chamber of Commerce and Mercy Hospital Foundation. He’s on the board for Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and a member of the Rogers Downtown Rotary.
We’ve never had an emcee who actually wanted the job as much as Kent. We hope that’s not a sign of what Groucho Marx said: “I wouldn’t want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member.”