Barbara Harvel named LFS director (Updated)
Barbara Harvel will begin Oct. 1 as director of the Leadership Fort Smith program.
Harvel, who moved to Fort Smith when her husband, Paul, was named president and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, was hired in November 2009 as the director of development for the U.S. Marshals Museum to be built in downtown Fort Smith.
Leadership Fort Smith is administered by the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and focuses on key community issues and leadership skills. The 25 members of each class engage in sessions that offer firsthand information and provide opportunities for dialogue with leaders in various fields. The 2011 class has been named and has already participated in an orientation (Aug. 5) and was formally introduced in an Aug. 26 "New Class Reception" sponsored by the Leadership Fort Smith Alumni Association.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we have named Barbara Harvel as our Leadership Fort Smith Director. She comes to us from the U. S. Marshals Museum where she served as director of development. Her extensive background in leadership roles made her an outstanding candidate for this position,” noted a letter from Dr. Arleene Breaux, vice chancellor for university relations, to the LFS program supporters and alumni.
Barbara Harvel has served as president of the Better Business Bureau of Arkansas; public affairs manager of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States; executive director of Arkansas Quality Award, Inc.; director of career and corporate development at Ouachita Baptist University; and general manager of the Chamber of Commerce in Enid, Oklahoma, where she established Leadership Enid. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Texas A&M University.
Harvel served on the Little Rock Civil Service Commission for 12 years and as its chair for two years and was a member of the Rotary Club. She is also a graduate of Leadership Arkansas, the FBI Citizens Academy and the Little Rock Police Academy.
Leadership Fort Smith was created in 1986 following the public call by then-Times Record Editor Jack Moseley for business and civic leaders to create a leadership program. The first class was organized in August 1987.
Goals of the LFS program are (according to the LFS website):
• Identify and select highly motivated potential/existing leaders each year to participate in the program;
• Systematically educate and challenge the participants as to the needs and opportunities of the community and the dynamics of social and economic change;
• Develop an esprit de corps among the participants to provide a common ground for working together on present and future community projects;
• Create a dialogue and rapport between the participants and existing community leadership;
• Stimulate within the participants an increased level of commitment and participation in the community; and,
• Develop a renewed sense of enthusiasm and "can-do" attitude in the community.
Jim Dunn, director of the Marshals Museum project, said a replacement for Harvel would not be immediately hired. He said the museum recently hired Jim Johnson of Springdale as a full-time “fundraising counsel.”
In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the national museum. The cost to build the 50,000-square-foot museum — including exhibit work — is estimated at around $50 million.