Continuing the theme that 2020 is not a typical year, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce is honoring two individuals with the annual Jack White Leadership Award. Trent Goins, president and CEO of OK Foods Inc., and Fort Smith Mayor George McGill are recipients of the award.
The annual honor will be presented during a ceremony July 29. Started in 1990, the award has recognized leaders in the area who have consistently contributed time and energy in a multitude of ways for the betterment of the community, demonstrating vision, commitment and courage to achieve positive results while also displaying characteristics such as honesty, moral strength and compassion.
“The Jack White Leadership Award is a special moment for us each year, but more so this year with unprecedented dual recipients,” said Tim Allen, president and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The award process is rigorous starting with a nomination and culminating with a committee making the selection, so recipients really must have distinguished themselves over time and made an impact in the community. This year, these two individuals rose to the top of the process and the committee ranked them identically. We couldn’t be more pleased to have both Trent and George recognized for their achievements and vision.”
Goins is a member and former president of the Board of The Poultry Federation and is a member of The National Chicken Council. His community accomplishments include co-founding the popular Peacemaker Festival music event, being an active proponent for the trails effort in Fort Smith and positioning OK Foods as a supporter of countless non-profit agencies throughout the region.
McGill distinguished himself as a businessman and then with a long line of service as Arkansas state representative. He was elected mayor in 2018. His vision for the city and its people crosses economic and cultural boundaries, a news release said. He consistently works with area non-profit organizations as well as corporate entities to push Fort Smith to the forefront of state and regional attention, the chamber noted.
Jack White, whom the award is named for, was employed by OG&E for 35 years. He was the Arkansas manager for OG&E at the time of his death in 1997. In that position, he was responsible for the 70,000 to 75,000 customers the Oklahoma City-based company then had in Arkansas.
“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,” the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce said after his death. (Read more here about White.)