Intimate Conversation with Kasey Summerville

Kasey L. Summerville is the first African American to be elected to a county-wide office in Clark County, Arkansas. Currently in her fourth term as Assessor for Arkansas’ Clark County, she was born in Flint, Michigan. Kasey relocated to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to live with her grandmother at the age of eleven (11).

Kasey has been involved in her community all of her adult life. An active member of the Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, she has faithfully served in many capacities. Mrs. Summerville also serves on a few local boards and works with many organizations. She was distinguished as the State of Arkansas’ Assessor of the Year in 2005, and noted as one of 20 to watch in 2007 by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Tri-Lakes Edition. She further received the Kenneth Eddy Award in 2008, an annual award designated for an outstanding assessor who made a positive difference for the Assessors Association. Governor Mike Beebe recently appointed Kasey to the State Land Information Board.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music, exercising, and reading inspirational books and magazines. Kasey and her husband, William, have two children.

BPM: Who or what inspired you to write your book?
The book is a collection of quotes that I have collected for the past several years. It started out as me just regularly sharing them with selected friends and family. One suggested I should consider preserving all of them in a collection. At that moment I thought to myself, “One day I will create a book that will contain some of my favorite quotes.”  Hence, the book was conceived.

BPM: How did you come up with the title, Bridges & Footstools?
As I got closer to completing the book, it occurred to me I still had no title. I reflected on how these quotes were encouraging to my own journey. Daily, they have helped me negotiate some difficult bridges and enabled me to continue to forge ahead (and higher).

My late grandmother, Mrs. Delia Mae Stephens, use to always quote a Bible verse that says the Lord will "...make your enemies your footstools.” The word “footstool” stood out to me and seemed to resonate in my spirit. The idea of “bridges” and “footstools” continued to loom in my mind, and eventually that title was chosen. My hope is that these quotes will, too, inspire others to overcome their bridges and to confidently mount their footstools so they can reach higher.


BPM: How does it relate to you, your family, and friends?
This book represents a rich tradition in our family of self-definition, entrepreneurship, networking, teamwork, and community. The entire project was accomplished networking with family, friends, and associates. As it begins with an inspirational foreword by Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the book is a collection of thought-provoking and insightful words for people of all ages. It also offers readers an opportunity to journal their thoughts and ideas.

BPM: Is this the beginning of many more to come?
I really hadn’t given the idea of a sequel or other publications any thought. This project sort of emerged out of my passion to share with others a positive message. Remarkably, I have found this to be a great way to do just that.

BPM: Since the launch of Bridges & Footstools, has your life changed? If so, in what ways?
Since the conception of Bridges & Footstools my life has not really changed that much. I am simply more aware of my purpose to encourage others, and this endeavor serves to confirm my commitment to continue. It does give me a delightful sense of accomplishment and I am very grateful for the opportunities God presents to allow me to lift the spirits of others.

BPM: How long did it take you to write Bridges & Footstools?
My habit to save quotations began ten years ago, and never with the thought to ever compile them into a book. Once the idea was presented and I obtained peace about publishing them, the assignment took several months.

BPM: Who did you tell first about your book?
Of course, my immediate family was first. Beyond them, a few individuals became my sounding boards for loving and critical advice. Most assuredly, my pastor, Rev. James H. Giles (St. Paul A.M.E. Church), offered wise counsel as I traversed these unchartered waters.

BPM: What do you hope this book does for the readers?
Prayerfully, the book will do for readers the exact same thing it has done for me; and that is to motivate and inspire the reader to "march on" irrespective of their given challenges.

BPM: Is it a book geared for the family, or an individual?
The book is designed for everyone to read, however it could easily stimulate a family or office conversation about overcoming difficulty and staying determined.

BPM: There are hands and butterflies on the cover. Do these have any significance to the book?
This cover was designed by Denise Billups with Borel Graphics in Chicago, IL. After several conversations with Denise, the cover was created. She gave much thought and consideration to my heart and personality, as well as the overall content of the book. I think the cover will speak to an array of browsers in an appealing way. The open hands aim to portray inclusivity and letting go, and the butterflies convey the ideas of growth and freedom.

For more information or to order the book, visit my website www.KaseySummerville.com.  


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