Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce
Monthly Newsletter
September 2020

For the latest information or updates on events check our website at
This Newsletter Edition Sponsored By:
Upcoming Events
We plan to celebrate our healthcare community in September and want you to be a part of it! Please see the information below or click here for a downloadable flyer. The deadline for inclusion on sponsorship materials is Monday, August 31st. Email Lindsey Trantham for more details at
Event Description:

Healthcare is key to economic development and essential to the overall health and well-being of the Fort Smith Region. In lieu of the traditional “Healthcare Reception” event, appreciation and gratitude will be expressed to the Healthcare Community throughout the month of September. This includes announcing our annual “Physician of the Year”.

Each Week on our Chamber Facebook Page we will be taking nominations for a weekly "Healthcare Champion Winner". Winners will be chosen at random and surprised with a Gift Basket filled with items from our Sponsors. Check out our full page ad in the Times Record on September 6th recognizing our "new to the area" physicians and our "Physician of the Year" winner. At the end of the month another ad will run with a recap of the month. 

2020 First Friday Breakfast-September 11th
Date and Time:
Friday Sep 11, 2020
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT

Due to the Labor Day Holiday during the first Friday of the month, we are hosting "First Friday Breakfast" on the second Friday of the month in September

Limited Seating, but you can attend virtually during our live Simulcast!

University of Arkansas Fort Smith
Smith-Pendergraft Building
Reynolds Room

In-person (Exclusive to Members): $18
Simulcast Registration: $5
Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Terisa C. Riley, Chancellor, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
Dr. Riley is an experienced higher education administrator who has spent more than 25 years serving in virtually every facet of higher education, from academics to administration. Before her appointment as UAFS Chancellor in 2019, she served as Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Administration at Texas A&M University – Kingsville, as well as holding previous positions as the institution’s chief student affairs officer, chief financial officer, chief administrator, and chief enrollment management officer. Dr. Riley earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and her doctoral degree from Saint Louis University in higher education administration and research methodology.  She is also a graduate of the National Police Institute and the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
Join us for In-Person Networking!
The September Breakfast Club event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18th. Limited capacity for attendees! Only 20 in-person attendees allowed per health recommendations for the spacing available.

Must register to attend
This will be an in-person networking event. To meet Arkansas Department of Health requirements for this event, prior registration is required. No walk-ins will be accepted.
Annual Network Presenting Sponsor:
Early event registration is suggested due to the limits in capacity.
Date and Time:
Tuesday Sep 15, 2020
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT

Doors open at 7:30am

We begin at 8:00am

Fort Smith Chamber (Board Room)
612 Garrison Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72901

Free for Chamber members
$5 for Guest (cash, check, or credit card accepted at the door)

To provide beneficial networking opportunities for our Members, the Chamber hosts "The Fort Smith Chamber Breakfast Club!" The goal of this event is to allow our members the opportunity to meet other members, promote their business, and grow their network. Be sure to BRING your business cards, brochures & any other information with you to place on an Info Table. Door Prizes welcome.
The Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Employers’ Advanced Cooperative on Healthcare would like to invite you to attend one of the webinar options introducing new employer health insurance options. This will include the introduction of the EACH CARE NETWORK (ECN) featuring the Mercy Health System. The benefits of these new employer options include:

  • No deductible health plans
  • Several 100% covered benefits including primary care visits
  • Better access to data and information about your plan expenses
  • A chance to “earn a refund” in good claim years
  • Underwriting by national “A” rated carriers
  • You will also benefit from being a member of The Employers’ Advanced Cooperative on Healthcare joining other community members like Sebastian County, Weldon Williams and Lick and Carco, to name a few.

For employers who are not currently able to afford health insurance because of cost, you will want to attend and hear about the CARE Packages designed especially for you. These programs start at $35.00 per employee per month.

Look for more details on day and times of the seminars for September in upcoming communications.
Congratulations to our Back-to-School Shop Local Campaign Contest Winner, HOTWORX!

HOTWORX joined the Fort Smith Chamber in early 2020 and is a new local business. You can find out more about HOTWORX and the great workout options they have available here:

Remember to #supportlocal #shoplocal #eatlocal #becauseyoulivelocal
We had a great Washington Fly-In event held here in Fort Smith in August. We appreciate our Congressional Delegates and our sponsors for helping us host a great event.
If you would like to see the presentation made last week at the Fort Smith Chamber by Arkansas Department of Education's Secretary Johnny Key, you can access the event here on our YouTube channel:

We are very thankful for Sec. Key joining us this morning and helping inform our community in more detail about "Returning to Learning" in our school districts."
Education News & Events!
Thank you to our sponsors for helping us celebrate our teachers during the month of August.
Here are some of the ways we celebrated them!
Leadership Fort Smith Opening Retreat Class of 2021
Next Session: Past, Present, Future Fort Smith
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Session Sponsor:
Junior Leadership Academy
Opening Retreat Class of 2021
Next Session: Innovators & Entrepreneurs
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Session Sponsor:
Member Spotlight!
Ambassador of the Month
Congratulations to Megan Steidley for being selected for our Chamber Ambassador of the Month for July. Megan Steidley has served as a coordinator in the Career Services Department at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith since February 2017. Megan assists students in securing internships, part-time and full-time positions and also assists students who are participating in the Doug and Kathy Babb Center for Student Professional Development program. She has a love for economic development, photography and serving her community.

Over the past 20 years, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) has transitioned from a two-year community college (formerly known as Westark College) into a four-year institution as part of the University of Arkansas system. During that time, UAFS has created more than 45 bachelor’s degree programs, and now offers two master’s degrees in healthcare administration and education. In the past 10 years, UAFS has had 7,000 complete their bachelor’s degrees through their institution.
In November 2020, Sebastian County residents will have the opportunity to continue their support of UAFS by voting to extend the current 0.25% (1/4 of one cent) sales tax. This tax will help to ensure the continued growth of this wonderful asset in our region!