More from our Newsletter Sponsor

Learn More

Back 2 School Bash

Each year, the Chamber and its members like to express our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of area teachers and faculty. The Back to School Bash events allow our members the opportunity to give back to public, private, and charter school faculty.

We celebrated Private & Charter Schools on August 8th and Fort Smith Public Schools on August 10th. Over 2,200 educators joined us for breakfast foods, stopped by sponsor booths, and entered to win giveaway items. We hope you have a wonderful school year!

Thank you to our sponsors and volunteers for such great Back to School Bash events!

Leadership Fort Smith

Class of 2024

Leadership Fort Smith is a 10-month program that offers participants a backstage pass to the Fort Smith Region. The class will focus on the strengths, challenges, needs, and overall community issues that participants can directly address. Only 25 participants are selected each year for Leadership Fort Smith. Selection criteria include but are not limited to demonstrated leadership, potential leadership ability, and commitment to the community.

The Program Presenting Sponsor for the Class 2024 is Ritter Communications. We truly appreciate their support of this program!

The 25 participants were selected and announced to the community on Thursday, July 13th at the Leadership Fort Smith Commencement & New Class Reception event held at Wyndham Fort Smith. During this event, the Class of 2023 graduated from the program, and the new Class of 2024 was announced. 

Opening Retreat

The Leadership Fort Smith Class of 2024 had their Opening Retreat at Mount Sequoyah this month!

This retreat allowed the classmates to get to know each other, become a close-knit team, develop key leadership skills, and have fun! Thank you to McClure Professional Services for facilitating this retreat for the past 18 years!

A special thank you to Arvest Bank for being our Session Sponsor for the Opening Retreat.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2023-2024 program year. Contact Hannah Cabe at for more information! 

Thank you to our Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: Ritter Communications

Partner Sponsors: BHC Insurance, Mercy Hospital-Fort Smith, The City of Fort Smith, and the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Session Sponsor: Arvest Bank

Lunch Sponsor: Firstar Bank

Jack White Community Leadership Award

For more than 30 years, the Leadership Fort Smith program has honored community leaders who have gone above and beyond to impact our region in a positive way. This year the recipient was Tim Allen, President & CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tim joined the Chamber in November of 2011. Prior to coming to the Chamber, he was a Project Manager with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission during Governors Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe’s administration.

His efforts have generated close to $790 Million in net investment in manufacturing and over 1,800 net new jobs. In 2018, he, along with other local leaders, led a research team that led to the creation of the new

state-of-the-art Peak Innovation Center. Tim also helped create the first official “Signing Day” in Arkansas for graduating high school students entering the workforce.  

Most recently, Tim has been working diligently to help secure a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) training mission in Fort Smith. On March 15, 2023, the Record of Decision was signed, and Fort Smith was officially named the home of FMS. This project will initially bring more than 1,000 military families to Fort Smith, bringing an estimated economic impact between $500 million to

$1 billion annually.

Jack White Leadership Award Recipients:

1990    Hazel Evans

1991    Nancy Orr

1992    Ross Pendergraft

1993    David Olive

1994    Sandi Sanders

1996    Robert E. Miller

1997    Ray Baker

1998    Jim Spears

1999    Josie Decker

2000    Joel Stubblefield

2001    Benny Gooden

2002    Robert A. Young III

2003    Carter Hunt

2004    Charles Shuffield

2005    Roland S. Boreham, Jr.

2006    Dorothy Rappeport

2007    Don Flanders

2008    Edward "Sandy" Sanders

2009    Mark Rumsey

2010    Sister Judith Marie Keith

2011    Philip H. Merry, Jr.

2012    Sam M. Sicard (posthumously)

2013    Melody Trimble

2014    Ivy Owen

2015    Col. Mark "Casper" Anderson

2016    Steve Clark

2017    Sam T. Sicard

2018    Dr. Jerry Stewart (posthumously)

2019    Jason Green

2020    Trent Goins & George McGill

2021    Charlotte Tidwell

2022    Bill Hanna

Junior Leadership & Career Academy

Class Reception & Orientation

We had a wonderful Reception/Opening Retreat this month where we celebrated and introduced the 39 students selected for the JLCA Class VIII!

Congratulations to all who were selected to be in this wonderful program.

During our Opening Retreat, the incoming ninth graders learned conversation tools and played team-building activities that allowed them to become a close-knit team.

Thank you to Resolution Equity Partners for sponsoring the Opening Retreat and to McClure Professional Services for facilitating this day!

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor: OG&E

Annual Lunch & Break Sponsor: Georgia Pacific

Platinum Sponsors: AT&T & University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Gold Sponsors: ABB, Hytrol, First National Bank of Fort Smith, and Rheem

Health Sciences Academy at Darby Middle School

Baptist Health-Fort Smith has partnered with the Health Sciences Academy at Darby Middle School to provide innovative academic learning through a healthcare lens. 


Project-based and hands-on learning will accelerate academics in the areas of math and science, as well as expose students to occupations within the healthcare industry. In addition to rigorous academic preparation, this academy will help students develop proper workplace skills, terminology, ethics, and procedures for the ever-changing medical field by using an established curriculum from Project Lead The Way (PLTW). Through the academy experience, students will also receive opportunities for clinical site work, job shadowing, and mentoring in the local healthcare industry.

The 6th grade students will stay on campus for all their classes. 7th grade students will conduct their core classes and Health Professions Class at Baptist Health Medical Plaza, while 8th grade students will do the same at Mercy Hospital. This partnership provides an incredible experience that is unlike any other middle school in the state of Arkansas. Students will be challenged academically while having the opportunity to experience real-world application in the classroom. This is not just for students who have already shown an interest in the medical field or a related area in STEM but for any student who wants to be challenged by their teachers and peers to think and learn at a high level!

Upcoming Events

Member Resources

August Ribbon Cuttings

Massard Creek Animal Hospital

TDJ Contractors

Mike & Mika Realty

Janet McGeorge with Heartland

Morada Senior Living - Fort Smith

Member Benefits

Career Ready Fort Smith

Attention Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma Employers!

You can post your open jobs directly to Career Ready Fort Smith to get those career opportunities in front of jobseekers immediately. Career Ready Fort Smith is a valuable resource for individuals looking for positions in Sebastian, Crawford, and Franklin County, AR, as well as Le Flore and Sequoyah County, OK. Use this link to go to Career Ready Fort Smith and register today! 

Career Ready Fort Smith

Add us to your safe sender's list & never miss an issue!

Fort Smith Regional

Chamber of Commerce

612 Garrison Avenue

Fort Smith, AR 72901

(479) 783-3111

Send Us A Message
Facebook  LinkedIn  Web