First annual young professionals, entrepreneurs summit comes to downtown Fort Smith

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 535 views 

Prime: River Valley Professional Summit, a one-day event for young professionals and entrepreneurs, will be hitting The Bakery, DoubleTree Hotel, and Temple Live in downtown Fort Smith on Friday (Sept. 21).

Prime will include two keynote speakers: Troy Asberry, managing director of Scapa Industrial, and Josh Heuser, founder of AGAR.

Asberry joined Scapa in April 2010 as Director of Sales, NA. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Sales for Volex and previously held the role of Business Unit Manager for Distribution at Amphenol RF. He spent the early part of his career in operations, product engineering and sales at Sanmina-SCI, MEMC Inc., and Texas Instruments.

Heuser started AGAR after a career of owning and operating entertainment venues. His company counts Toyota Motor Company, Lexus, Procter & Gamble, and U.S. Bank, among its clients. AGAR’s mission is to act as a “growth medium” that leverages human experiences, event production, digital platforms, music, art, and content design to strategically grow a brand’s culture.

The event also will feature multiple breakout sessions. Two, in particular, are “Managing a Side Hustle While Keeping Your Day Gig” featuring local entrepreneurs, and an afternoon panel moderated by Dr. Ron W. Darbeau, Dean of the UAFS STEM College, and featuring Propak owner Steve Clark, Rachel Reynolds of the Artists Laboratory Theatre, and Arvest Bank President Rodney Shepard.

“The goal here is attraction, retention, and development of our young talent by providing them an opportunity to engage with other young professionals at a forum specifically aimed at that crowd,” event organizer Dalton Person of Jones, Jackson & Moll, PLC, told Talk Business & Politics, adding that it would be a “collaborative project from 64.6 Downtown, the Fort Smith Rotary Club, and UAFS Alumni Association.”

The first breakout session will include a $1,000 entrepreneur pitch contest sponsored by Northwest Arkansas-based Startup Junkie and a presentation on money management directed at millennials. The second session will cover personal branding in the age of social media, creative engagement in the workplace, and “leadership through X’s and O’s,” emceed by UAFS Men’s Basketball Coach Justin Bailey and UAFS Women’s Basketball Coach Tari Cummings. Clark, Reynolds, and Shepard will be part of the final breakout session starting at 3:30 p.m.

Check-in is at 9 a.m., and the after-party will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for the event range from $15-$25 and can be purchased from EventBrite.