Sharon Trusty was born in Oregonia, Ohio, the only daughter in a family of five children.  Her parents brought the family to Arkansas in 1959, when they bought a farm in Sorghum Hollow, near Paris, Arkansas.  Soon after the relocation (which Sharon describes as “a huge cultural shock”), she met her future husband, John Trusty.  They married with only five hundred dollars, an as-yet-unpaid-for Ford Comet, and the American Dream to help them over the rough spots.

Before too long, the Trustys had a chance to buy stock in Russellville Steel Company, which they managed to do with the help of John’s father, who signed over some of his dairy cows as collateral for the loan.  They had three daughters, and as their financial situation improved, Sharon decided to expend most of her energy as a full-time wife and mother.

As the years passed and the American Dream grew more and more rooted in the Trusty household, Sharon began using her time as a volunteer and political supporter.  She was elected as a delegate to four National Nominating Conventions and worked in many campaigns.  She was active in civic and community causes as well.  She helped start the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center where she was a charter Board member, she was the first woman elected to the Board of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and she immersed herself in her spiritual life.  The Trustys taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and sponsored various youth programs.

Sharon’s proverbial charmed life -- the loving husband, the close-knit family, the successful business, the civic, political and social activities, the attainment of the American Dream -- came to a shattering end on July 23, 1994, when John died suddenly of a heart attack at forty-nine.  Sharon found herself catapulted into an alien world in which she was grief-stricken, immobilized, and utterly at a loss as to how to continue living.  Luckily, she found a “decision partner” in Barry Corkern, a certified financial planner who assisted her in sorting through the financial and economic repercussions of John’s death.  Along with her faith and her family, Barry helped Sharon begin living without John, and together Sharon and Barry authored Widowed: Beginning Again Personally and Financially.  “The spectrum of readers is wider than one book can possibly cover.  Hopefully, there will be some help for all who find themselves in a similar situation,” says Sharon.  “Loss is inevitable for everyone, regardless of one’s educational, intellectual, or socioeconomic level.”

Since John’s death, Sharon has resumed her commitment to community and state politics and become active in business.   She is President of Trusty & Associates, is a member of the Russellville Chamber of Commerce and has recently retired from 30 years of serving on the Board of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.   She still  serves on various boards and foundations and has recently completed ten years of service in the Arkansas State Senate.


Although he admits to being born north of the Mason-Dixon line, Barry Corkern readily christens himself both a Southerner and a country boy. He moved from Colorado to Missouri, and then to Louisiana during elementary school, and spent most of his formative years helping out on the farm milking cows, harvesting gardens and bucking hay. 'The full complement of farm life was a great teacher of proper work ethic,' according to Barry.

He began attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with law school in mind, only to discern that anything concerned with "making big money was not cool." He began working with a largest insurance company and eventually opened in own independent wealth management company, Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. in 1982. He has hosted a financial planning program on KARN in Little Rock, and appears monthly on THV11. He has appear in numerous publications including Money Magazine as one of the 200 best financial planners in the United States. He is also founding president of the Arkansas Chapter of the International Association for Financial Planning and was that organization's past chair.

He holds the following professional designations: Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst and CLU.  His firm is CEFEX certified.

Barry as served as an expert witness in over 60 legal matters in federal and state court, mediation and arbitration.

He lives in Little Rock with his family and a dog, Lucy, the 'third' child of the family

Widowed-Beginning Again Personally and Financially