Jessica Hughes Ford, who has Redfield ties, is the new communications director for Arkansas Community Foundation.

The foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities, according to a news release.

“Jessica’s communications expertise and nonprofit experience will enhance our ability to showcase the stories and impact of the community foundation,” said Heather Larkin, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Community Foundation.

Ford is the daughter of Tom and Deborah Hughes of Redfield.

She worked at Heifer International for more than 12 years, most recently as director of marketing and engagement. Additionally, she served Heifer in other positions including global communications manager and assistant to the CEO and board liaison. Ford spent a year in Peru as communications and research officer for Heifer Peru.

Arkansas Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs, according to the release.

By making grants and sharing knowledge, the community foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps.

Since 1976, the community foundation has provided more than $250 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve neighborhoods, towns and the entire state. Contributions to the community foundation, its funds and any of its 28 affiliates are fully tax deductible, according to the release.