Past members of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class spoke about developing relationships and taking opportunities in a panel discussion as part of an event Monday (Aug. 19) to recognize the 2019 Forty Under 40 class.
Nearly 400 company executives, business and community leaders and friends and family of the 23rd annual class attended a luncheon hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal at Embassy Suites in Rogers. Intrust Bank sponsored the event. Roby Brock, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Business Journal and Talk Business & Politics, led the panel discussion that included Forty Under 40 alums Eddie Armstrong, Brock Hoskins and Missy Kincaid.
Brock Hoskins, president of North Little Rock-based Garver, the largest engineering, planning, architectural and environmental services firm in Arkansas, spoke about career opportunities, company values and great mentors when asked about why he’s been so happy at Garver. Hoskins, who was a member of the 1999 Forty Under 40 class, joined Garver in 1990.
“Relationships are so important with clients and with supervisors and peers and mentors,” Hoskins said, adding that maintaining relationships is more difficult when changing jobs often.
Hoskins also spoke about working in a field in which one is passionate, and how opportunities can present themselves at any time. He explained how he turned down an opportunity to lead the Louisville, Ky., office about a month before the opportunity at the Fayetteville office became available.
Missy Kincaid, development director for the Northwest Arkansas office of Little Rock-based nonprofit Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families (AACF), explained the opportunities she’s had throughout her career, the significance of mentors and her background in the arts. A member of the 2004 Forty Under 40 class, Kincaid joined AACF in January and formerly was the vice president of development at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.
She was part of several projects in her 18 years at the Walton Arts Center, including the development of the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP) in Rogers and the capital campaign for the expansion of the Walton Arts Center. She noted the most satisfying part of working at the Walton Arts Center was when school children would arrive in buses, and for some, it would be their first experience of professional theater.
“What I loved at the Walton Arts Center was I had a passion for the mission and the people,” Kincaid said. “The relationships that I built not only with my peers at the organization but certainly the donors who invested in our community, and there’s no question here in Northwest Arkansas we are so fortunate at how our cultural amenities have grown.
“The relationships that you are building today are going to stay with you, or I hope that they will,” she said. “I really wasn’t ready necessarily to move onto the next job, but when those opportunities present themselves, it’s hard to say no.”
Kincaid spoke about how one knows when it’s time make a change even though it’s difficult. She was proud of the team she had built at the Walton Arts Center but knew it was time to step aside and allow her peers to lead. She looked to where she could make the biggest difference, and had the opportunity to join AACF as its first development director for Northwest Arkansas.
Eddie Armstrong, the CEO and founding partner of Cannabis Capital Group, a consulting firm in Chicago that focuses on the responsibility of medical cannabis, discussed growing up in Little Rock when it had the highest murder rate in the United States. He said he followed his mother’s rules and started developing relationships. Armstrong, who was a member of the 2005 Forty Under 40 class, was the national spokesman for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the second African American student body president at the University of Arkansas, a former Tyson Foods lobbyist and minority leader in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
“I was fortunate just to start collecting great people in my life,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been a people collector ever since.
“We are all made up of other individuals and other leaders that we’ve had to follow,” he said. “No one got here by themselves, no matter how wealthy you are and how many positions you’ve held. I just adopted that mantra, and I’m extremely blessed and fortunate.”