Jason Green, vice president of human resources at ABB in Fort Smith and a community leader of the voter approved Fort Smith Public Schools millage plan, is set to receive the prestigious Jack White Community Leadership Award during the May 15 Leadership Fort Smith 2019 Class graduation.
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Leadership Fort Smith program and the Jack White Leadership Award, will hold the graduation ceremony at 6 p.m., in the Blue Lion in downtown Fort Smith. The event will also include recognition of the leadership classes of 1989, 1990, and 2009 on their anniversary of completing the program.
The Jack White award is the top honor from the Leadership Fort Smith program and is considered the premier leadership award given by any organization in the region. White was employed by OG&E for 35 years, and when he died unexpectedly in 1997 at the age of 57, was the Arkansas manager for OG&E. In that job he was responsible for the 70,000 to 75,000 customers the Oklahoma City-based company then had in Arkansas. The Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce said this of White after his passing: “This quiet leader was highly regarded by business, civic and political leaders across the country. In his travels throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Nation, Jack was a priceless and professional advocate and cheerleader for the Fort Smith Region.”
Green, a Fort Smith native who graduated from Southside High School in 1988, earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources from the University of Arkansas, and a master’s degree in business administration from Washburn University. He joined ABB (then Baldor Electric Co.) in 2007, moving from Kansas City, Mo., where he was in human resources for Hallmark Cards.
Green is a member of the chamber board, and his board membership includes Baptist Health-Fort Smith, First National Bank, Future School of Fort Smith, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Foundation, and Westark Area Council-Boy Scouts of America. Green is also a 2009 graduate of Leadership Fort Smith. He and wife Kim have four children and live in Fort Smith.
“I am truly honored about receiving that award. I think it makes it that much more special being raised in Fort Smith. Back in 2007, my wife and I made the decision to move back home, and that was for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted to raise our kids in Fort Smith, … and selfishly, I wanted to be able to do more for the community,” Green told Talk Business & Politics.
Green, 49, also said he could not be so involved without the support of his family. He also noted that one person may get an award, but it’s often because that person accomplished something that also required “the efforts of hundreds of other people. One person may get the award, but it takes a lot of people stepping up to do these things.”
His most recent example of community involvement was in the effort to gain voter approval for a Fort Smith schools millage increase. Fort Smith voters on May 22 said yes to a school millage increase, the first in 31 years, with approximately 62% of voters approving the 5.558 millage gain. The new millage rate rose to 42.058 from 36.5 that was set in 1987.
“The Jack White Community Leadership Award has been given since 1990 as a way to recognize exceptional leaders who have created a positive impact in our community,” the chamber noted in its statement announcing Green’s selection. “Jack White was a shining example of what community leadership should look like and we are proud to continue presenting this award in his name.”
Following are graduating members of the 2019 LFS class.
Laken Adair, program director at Littlefield Investment
Sunshine Bartlett, HR manager at Arvest Bank
Andy Dibble, senior project manager at McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Michelle Dodroe, deputy director of Utility Engineering at the City of Fort Smith
Amy Douglas, human resource services manager at OK Foods
Steph Gibson, front office director at the Future School of Fort Smith
Michael Griffin, director of the Fort Smith Regional Airport
Scott Houston, deputy prosecuting attorney in the Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Mark Kincannon, owner of CBI Team
Meredith LaFreniere, closing manager/attorney at WACO Title Company
Crystal Lougin, director of Behavioral Health at Baptist Health Fort Smith
Tara Lynch, digital sales manager at the Southwest Times Record
Angela Mackey, owner of Rethinking My Thinking
MSgt. Eric Martin, recruiting & retention manager at the 188th Wing ANG
Rachael McGrew, business development director at Landmark CPAs
Dr. Patricio Montiel, physician with Mercy Clinic
Travis Neer, VP private banker at First National Bank of Fort Smith
Megan Nichols, commercial loan officer at BancorpSouth
Joshua Parker, supervisor with Cox Communications
Patrick Pendleton, executive director of the Mercy Health Foundation
Claire Person, staff accountant at ArcBest Corporation
Nick Remy, commercial lending at Armstrong Bank
Amy Sights, private banker at Arvest Bank
Thomas Turner, shift leader at Glatfelter
Joni Wilbanks, assistant principal at Kimmons Junior High