Childhood Hunger Panel

Since taking office in 2007, Governor Mike Beebe has made improving education, expanding Arkansas’s economy and cutting taxes his top priorities.  Under Beebe’s leadership, Arkansas has achieved more than $1.6 billion in tax relief.

Governor Beebe’s education policies and initiatives have garnered nationwide attention, and Arkansas now ranks fifth in overall K-12 education. To build a better-trained workforce, Governor Beebe has worked to match colleges and universities with local businesses and has led changes in the way schools teach science, math, engineering and technology (STEM subjects).

Arkansas also has significantly improved health care during Beebe’s time in office. The Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative has reined in rising costs by giving doctors financial incentives to provide better care more efficiently. Already, it has been noted as a potential model for other states. Additionally, Governor Beebe led the effort to fund Arkansas’s much-needed statewide trauma system. Arkansas’s Trauma Call Center has also established itself as a national trendsetter.

Born in Amagon, Arkansas, Beebe earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arkansas State University in 1968, and completed law school at the University of Arkansas in 1972, while serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 2011, Governor Beebe was honored by Governing Magazine as Public Official of the Year. He currently serves as the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association.

Governor Beebe and his wife, Ginger, have worked together to improve children’s health and literacy throughout the State and have been nationally recognized for their leadership in fighting childhood hunger.

Jeff Bridges

He was born into one of Hollywood's great acting dynasties, yet he's untouched by celebrity. He has the good looks that should have made him Tinslestown's top drawer by now and instead, his became one of Hollywood's most underrated careers.

Despite making his debut in 1951 in an uncredited role and going on to co-star alongside leading ladies, Bridges has managed to steer clear of scandal and hold onto a marriage for more than 25 years. So, given his talent, his lineage and the fact that he's made countless films, why isn't Bridges in a league with Robert Redford? Probably because there is no one defining role, we take the guy for granted - sort of like an old sweater that is comfortable, easy to put on, and will always be there for us.

Over the years, Bridges has matured into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, thanks to roles in 'The Fabulous Baker Boys' (alongside his brother, Beau), 'The Vanishing', 'White Squall', 'Arlington Road' and many other high profile movies.

He earned his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'The Last Picture Show', in 1971, again in the same category for 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' in 1974, and as Best Actor in a Leading Role in 'Starman' in 1984.

In 1983, he co-founded the End Hunger Network, a non-profit organisation which originally concentrated on world hunger and later shifted its focus to America.

Although many of the projects in between produced mixed results, Bridges' role in 'The Contender' (2000) helped him come into a new century with a big bang as the film earned him critical acclaim, with another Academy Award nomination thrown his way. 2003's 'Seabiscuit' also earned him further recognition as he was put in contention for a Satellite and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Despite 'The Door in the Floor' (2004) failing to deliver an accolade, his work on the drama earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead nomination. Bridges went on to appear in several productions, which helped to keep him busy and connected to his fans, with 'The Amateurs' and the animation 'Surf's Up' among his projects.

Bridges' appearance in the 2008 superhero film ‘Iron Man’, which was based on the Marvel Comics sharing a similar title, allowed him to work with director Jon Favreau, as well as co-stars Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow.

He also gained widespread critical acclaim for his role in 'Crazy Heart' (2009), which allowed him to achieve a career high as an Academy Award for Best Actor was awarded to him. He played the character of a down-and-out country music singer-songwriter trying to turn his life round in the film. Bridges missed out on bagging a second Best Actor Oscar with 2010's 'True Grit' as his role in the Coen Brothers' film went up against an unstoppable Colin Firth in 'The King's Speech'.

Bridges is also a musician and has been writing for years. His album, 'Be Here Soon', includes contributors ranging from Michael McDonald to David Crosby.

Billy Shore

Bill Shore is the founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America. Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 with his sister Debbie and a $2,000 cash advance on a credit card. Since then, Share Our Strength has raised and invested more than $376 million in the fight against hunger, and has won the support of national leaders in business, government, health and education, sports and entertainment. 

Shore is also the chairman of Community Wealth Partners, a Share Our Strength organization that helps change agents solve social problems at the magnitude they exist.

From 1978 through 1987, Shore served on the senatorial and presidential campaign staffs of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado). From 1988 to 1991, Shore served as chief of staff for former U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey (D-Nebraska). 

Shore is the author of four books focused on social change, including "Revolution of the Heart" (Riverhead Press, 1995), "The Cathedral Within" (Random House, 1999), "The Light of Conscience" (Random House, 2004) and most recently, "The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men" (PublicAffairs, 2010).

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Shore earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Shore served as a director of The Timberland Company from 2001 through 2011. He was also named one of America's Best Leaders (October 2005) by US News & World Report.

Shore has been an adjunct professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and an advisor for the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.