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By Glenda Graves | Portrait photo by Keith Branch

Brian Holt

Hope Cancer Resources: A Haven for Support

Hope Cancer Resources is a Springdale-based nonprofit that has touched countless lives in Northwest Arkansas and beyond. As a beacon of hope for those dealing with one of life’s toughest challenges, the organization offers a sanctuary where individuals and families facing the daunting journey of cancer find solace, support and strength.


Brian Holt has been with the organization — which was named Northwest Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, or NARTI, at the time — since 1993. Founded with the vision of providing comprehensive assistance, the organization offers a multifaceted support system tailored to meet the diverse needs of patients, survivors and their loved ones.


Brian is a Fayetteville native born in 1957. During his years at Fayetteville High School, he met his future wife, Debbie, to whom he has been married for 45 years. They have three sons together, now ages 43, 41 and 38, and later adopted two daughters, both from China, who are now 22 and 21.

Brian’s family has deep roots in education. His father spent his entire career with the Fayetteville Public Schools. He started as a coach, moved into school administration, and later became vice principal and then principal at Ramay Junior High. Holt Middle School in Fayetteville is named in honor of Brian’s father and annually presents the Joe Holt Award to an outstanding sixth-grade student. Brian’s mother also worked in the school system, starting as a librarian before becoming school secretary at Bates Elementary.


Despite initially aspiring to play baseball, Brian found his calling in numbers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Arkansas. Following graduation, he gained experience in the accounting field, working for a certified public accountant firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before transitioning to roles in trucking companies. In 1993, Brian returned to Fayetteville to serve as director of finance at NARTI, which provided radiation treatment services to cancer patients in the region.

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Over the years, Brian’s career at NARTI evolved, eventually leading him to the position of CEO. Under his leadership, NARTI successfully expanded its services and facilities. It transitioned into Hope Cancer Resources in 2009 by merging with H.O.P.E., Inc., focusing on education and support services for cancer patients and their families rather than providing radiation treatment.


The mission of Hope Cancer Resources is to provide compassionate, professional cancer support and education in the Northwest Arkansas region today and tomorrow. Its vision is to provide hope and enhance quality of life by expanding prevention, wellness and comprehensive cancer support services in the region.

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Brian Holt with his wife, Debbie, and their five children, daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren on Christmas 2023.

Having lost his father to the disease, Brian’s personal connection to cancer has driven his dedication to serving the community through Hope Cancer Resources. “I never imagined my career would lead me to working for a nonprofit, but helping people continues to motivate me,” Brian said. “When people come up to me and say, ‘You made this time so much easier on me and my family,’ that motivates me. I am proud to have been a part of this for most of my career.”


At the core of Hope Cancer Resources is a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers who embody compassion and empathy. Knowledge is power, and Hope Cancer Resources recognizes the importance of empowering individuals with the information they need. Through a series of programs, the organization equips patients and their families with the tools to navigate the complexities of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. In 2023, it provided 5,162 cancer patients and caregivers with support services. All of Hope Cancer Resources’ services are provided free of charge to those they serve.

The network of support given by Hope Cancer Resources transcends diagnosis and treatment. Just last year, the organization provided $725,970 to cover rent, mortgage, travel, gas cards, car payments, dental care, prescriptions and utilities for local cancer patients. It provided more than 300,000 miles of transportation to patients who were undergoing treatment in the area.

As Hope Cancer Resources continues to evolve and expand its reach, the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to serving Northwest Arkansas and beyond. With a focus on innovation, collaboration and compassion, it stands poised to meet the evolving needs of individuals and their families affected by cancer. Brian said a local woman who was served by Hope Cancer Resources, once said, “When you have cancer, the little things become big things. Hope Cancer Resources helps you with the little things.”

Today, Brian is looking to the future for both Hope Cancer Resources and his own family. He is planning to retire.


He intends to stay on to help the next CEO of Hope Cancer Resources as long as necessary to make sure things are running smoothly. “We aren’t looking for a candidate that will blow things up or change things drastically,” Brian said. “We have a good thing going here.”

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Left: Brian Holt and his wife, Debbie, at Cancer Challenge event in 2023.
Right: Brian Holt with his grandson Arlo at Onyx Coffee Lab in Rogers.

Brian enjoys spending time with his family, particularly his nine grandchildren, who all reside locally. In retirement, he looks forward to traveling around the U.S., exploring new places and rekindling his interest in golf. Brian and Debbie are active in their church and plan to increase their volunteer involvement in the community. He values staying active through daily walks and hiking, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


The greatest challenge he foresees for Hope Cancer Resources’ future leadership is simply keeping up with the immense and rapid growth of Northwest Arkansas — and the opportunity to continue serving cancer patients and their families for years to come. “Hope Cancer Resources and what we provide is unlike any other place in the United States,” Brian said, “and we hope the next CEO will continue that tradition.”


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