Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tim Allen has been selected to receive the 2023 Jack White Leadership Award. The award was created as a tribute to Jack White and to acknowledge the impact of leaders in the Fort Smith region.
Allen will receive the award Thursday (July 13) at the 2023 Leadership Fort Smith graduation event. The chamber manages the award program and the LFS program.
White was an employee of OG&E for 35 years, a U.S. Navy veteran, family man, and lifelong learner. He highly regarded for his service, leadership, reputation and collaboration to make the Fort Smith a better place.
White died in 1997 at the age of 57. The void he left has since been “filled by the work of other leaders that carry his spirit of servant leadership, hard work, and determination in pushing for progress to get things done to make our region a better place to live,” the chamber has said.
Allen joined the Chamber in November 2011. Prior to coming to the chamber, he was a project manager with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission during the administration of Govs. Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe. In 2020, Allen was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to serve on the Arkansas Military Affairs Council to represent Fort Smith.
In 2018, he, along with other local leaders, led a research team which led to the creation of the new state-of-the-art Peak Innovation Center built and operated by the Fort Smith Public School District. He was also the recipient of the 2020 & 2021 North America’s Top 50 U.S. Economic Developers.
Allen recently worked to help bring the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) training mission in Fort Smith. This project, managed by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force, will initially bring more than 1,000 military families to Fort Smith. Initial government reports suggest the economic impact of this project to be between $500 million to $1 billion annually.
Following are graduates of the 2023 Leadership Fort Smith class.
Kayla Anthony – Junior League of Fort Smith
Kristin Basham – 1st Lutheran School
Elliott Bell – Crafton Tull
Dr. Tiffany Bone – Fort Smith Public Schools
J.D. Brashear – Landmark PLC, Certified Public Accountants
Jennifer Caldwell – Arvest Bank
Caleb Cash-Tobey – University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
Heather Chaffin – PRADCO Outdoor Brands
Lyska Dilworth – ArcBest Technologies
Payton Efurd – ArcBest
Cody Elliott – 12th/21st Judicial Drug Task Force
Laken Emerson – Fort Smith Symphony
Ryan Geib – Mercy
Abdul Ghous – city of Grand Prairie
April Huffman – Summit Utilities
Martin Mahan – Fort Smith Public Schools
Mac McGhee – ABB
Jim O’Hern – Arc for the River Valley
Aaron O’Neal – O’Neal Real Estate
Dr. Savanna Robison – Arkansas Colleges of Health Education
Carrie Terry – OG&E
Tim Varner – MAHG Architecture
Amanda Waterbury – ABB