Jessi Rice Woods

Communities Director, Excel by Eight

Jessi Rice Woods is communities director with Excel by Eight, supporting policy and local planning work in Conway, Independence, Jefferson, Union, and Sevier counties as well as the city of Little Rock. Early in her career, Jessi led global learning and community development programs for Peacework, an international education nonprofit. She previously served in startup technology companies as an operations manager and communication consultant. She holds a Master of Public Service degree from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

My favorite song when I was a child was: “Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell

My favorite childhood Halloween costume was: A black cat costume my grandmother sewed from scratch.

When I was a child, an adult who made a difference in my life was: my 9th-grade drama teacher.

As an adult, one child who I serve as a mentor/role model to is: my 5-year-old niece—my chosen family—who knows her mind and has a strong sense of self.