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From the Chamber’s President/CEO … January 2022

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While you’ve had a few days to get used to writing the correct year on checks, on behalf of the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce team, Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed a blessed holiday season. The kids are back in school, and most people are settling into their ‘new year’ daily routine.

And 2022 is off to a great start. The Chamber is no exception.

Our mission — to be recognized as the premier business organization influencing Harrison’s and the greater Boone County’s business and economic development through leadership, education and investor partnerships — is one we take very seriously. We’re already engaged in each component.

Leadership. We have a fantastic 2022 Board of Directors, led by Chair Tara Willmott (Sam Alexander, Health Mart Pharmacy), with Directors Neil Both (FedEx Freight), Neal Mitchell (Farm Bureau Insurance), Jason Patience (Wabash National), Chris Graddy (City of Harrison), Joan Bell (Shelter Insurance), Scott Miller (Anstaff Bank), Dr Stewart Pratt (Harrison Public Schools), Mike Nabors (Neighbors Mill Bakery & Café), Scott Tennyson (Arvest Bank), Clint Broome (Strand Composites), Dr Rick Massengale (North Arkansas College), Emily Powers (Frenzy of Harrison), Jim Holland (Phillips Media), and Sammie Cribbs (North Arkansas Regional Medical Center). Melissa Collins (Weichert, Realtors-Market Edge) is the Past Chair. This group of dedicated community influencers sets the course and leads the way.

Education. Our workforce development emphasis is second to none. Working with our own WIN program, the Governor’s Ready For Life statewide initiative, the Commerce Department’s Future Fit upskill program and the CTE programs of 16 area school districts, we provide our valued employers a direct line to their future workforce. The Chamber’s Boone County Leadership Institute and Youth Leadership Academy – presented by Kinetic by Windstream – continue to educate and grow our future business and community leaders. And each day we take pride in communicating the compelling and accurate story about Harrison and Boone County in many different settings.

Investor Partnerships. Our success is based on the support we receive from our members, ‘investors’ in our community. We’re blessed to have over 400 – and growing – businesses that trust us to deliver as the voice of business in our region. From economic development, to public policy, to promotion of our many assets (quality of life, education, transportation, infrastructure, workforce), our partner investors allow us to tout business and industry, retirement, recreation, schools, churches, quality of life, giving back, and community spirit. Our investors are our key to success.

The 2022 pipeline begins with collaboratively identifying capital expenditures for the region exceeding $157M, over 650 new jobs forecast to provide over $24M in annual salary impact.

I hope you’ll agree … this is a nice way to begin the new year. You have our commitment in 2022 that we’ll continue Taking Care of Business! Cheers, Bob

Robert “Bob” Largent

President/CEO

Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce

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