Robert A. Young III, the former head of Fort Smith-based ArcBest, has stepped down as chair of the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation, with Northwest Arkansas real estate investor Laurice Hachem becoming the foundation’s chair.
Young, who was board chairman, president and CEO of ArcBest when it was known as Arkansas Best Corp., has been with the Marshals Museum effort soon after it was announced the museum would be built in Fort Smith. He served as chair of the foundation board for 12 years. The museum building is named the Mary Carleton and Robert A. Young III Building in recognition of their fundraising leadership.
In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the national museum. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in September 2015 on a site near the Arkansas River in downtown Fort Smith, and museum officials initially hoped to have the facility open by late 2017.
The museum is built but exhibits have not been constructed because about $8 million is still needed for that work. Museum officials and volunteer leaders have raised about $39 million for the building, campus, and Hall of Honor.
“Robert Young is an incredible advocate for the museum, guiding this process with smart, strategic thinking he honed during his more than five decades leading ArcBest,” Patrick Weeks, museum president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are excited for long-time board members Laurice and George to join him in ushering us through the final stages of fundraising.”
Hachem operates Hachem Investments, Inc., a privately held real estate investment company with offices in Northwest Arkansas and Florida, and 10 additional businesses, including an international medical software company. Her other volunteer work includes Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Equestrian Bridges, Hope Cancer Resources, Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter. She also serves on the foundation board of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
George Westmoreland was named as the foundation board’s vice chair. He is a decorated U.S. Army captain and retired banker. He is the founder of the Law Enforcement Assistance Program and former civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army. He is a member of the NWA Community Foundation Advisory Board, NWA Council and first-ever chair of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority.
“With their strong leadership skills and unwavering commitment to the museum, Laurice and George are well-equipped to fulfill these roles,” said Anthony Meyer, museum chief development officer and foundation president. “I look forward to partnering with them, and the entire board, to achieve our fundraising goals.”