Betty Harp: More than just a friendly face

BettyWhen you call AAA Business Systems, you’ll most likely have the pleasure of hearing one of two voices, Betty is one of those voices. And if you stop by to say hi, it is her smiling face you’ll see at the front desk. However, I bet you didn’t know behind that smile and attentiveness is someone who met her husband at the race track and she happened to be the driver.
Before Betty Harp became a face of AAA and an expert in the printing industry, she was a drag racer. “The drag racing is a favorite memory of mine,” Betty says, “because it is how I met my husband.” When Betty graduated from high school, she began working for DH Baldwin. With her earnings, she purchased a brand new Chevrolet Chevelle four speed. When a friend asked her one Sunday to go to the races in Fort Smith, she says, “I got the bug real quick.” She went back the next week, started competing against men, and by the third race, she had her first win. “I still lived at home, so I couldn’t take my trophy home,” she laughs, “my dad would have been terribly mad at me.” However, it was that same first win that she met her husband, Ronnie. Ronnie wasn’t keen on his future bride racing either, so Betty ended her racing career before they were married. “My daughter just can’t believe her mother did things like that. She wonders how I had the nerve to be on the drag strip!” Betty says, lightheartedly, “Now I just watch others race from my recliner.”
Betty began her printing career with the same determination as her racing career. She joined her mother at the University of Arkansas’ food service department and took off from there. Over the years of working for U of A, Betty applied for new positions until she became the Assistant Director for Copying Services in the Printing Services department. Where, for 22 years, Betty managed their copiers. She oversaw the department during technological changes and growth with the department going from 200 copiers and two very small copy centers to 214 located all over campus for departmental use. Every month she visited each machine collecting copy codes off of the equipment for billing back to the departments. Because the department she helped manage was self-supporting and separate from the university’s budget, the printing department had to pay for each piece of equipment, the monitoring system, semi loads of copy paper, and all employees’ salaries and benefits. Betty was responsible for making sure things ran smoothly. She helped her department open a large copy center in the first transit facility on campus and installed a book factory which produced perfect bound books. Their department produced large copy jobs for departments, dissertations for students, and offered them numerous services, like, student walk-up equipment and Razorbuck Card dispensers all over campus in convenient locations. “We employed a lot of student help and I made friends with them, several being from all over the world.” Betty continues, “I became a ‘mother’ to a lot of them. I enjoyed the interaction with both the departments and the students and still have a lot of friends there.”
Betty has been with AAA Business Systems for 11 years and likes her position of working one-on-one with the customers. “It’s always nice when a customer calls you by name when they call. We really are fortunate to have a lot of nice customers who appreciate the services we offer,” she says.
One day, Betty plans to retire and use her time to travel, starting with the East Coast. Betty states, “I have never made it past Nashville and would love to go to the Smokey Mountains first.” However, right now she’s enjoying her time with her daughter and five grandchildren. She even has one of her granddaughters inheriting Betty’s green thumb and starting a garden of her own. “This year she started her plants in a cup and had several varieties of flowers that have produced some pretty flowers,” Betty states, proudly. “I have always had a small garden and Kaylee was always there beside me wanting to put the “seed” in the ground.” Even though Betty, as humble as she is, says, “I’m not a very interesting person,” we have a different opinion. From racing to worldly friends, and printing expertise to assisting others; Betty is pretty exciting and fun to talk to. This little insider may give you an opportunity for an interesting conversation the next time you call into AAA Business Systems.