AEDCE Member Spotlight
Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce
Bob is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harrison (AR) Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he is responsible for the economic development initiatives and daily operations of the Chamber. In this role, he provides collaboration with other non-profit and government entities in the state and region to fulfill the Chamber’s broad mission of economic, business, and community development.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? Natural beauty.
- Very few people know that I… – Flew over Arlington National Cemetery in a P-51 WWII fighter.
Performed a nuclear weapons evaluation on the crew of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier underway in the Atlantic. Attended the 50th Anniversary Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America in Colorado Springs, CO, 1960.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Listen, listen, listen.
- Top three things on your bucket list? Fly in an F-15 jet fighter; visit Ireland; drive a NASCAR.
- Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? Steve Largent, Pro-Football Hall-of-Famer with Seattle Seahawks & former US Congressman from Oklahoma.
- If you weren’t in economic development/chamber work, what would you be doing? Retired!
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? Riding a Ferris wheel; getting stuck at the top.
- What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? Will the community ever be willing to ‘break the mold’ and venture into the future?
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? 15 months as a professional; 6 years as a volunteer. What do you like most about your job? Love the interaction and collaboration with other visionaries about ‘what-if’ and the future.
- What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Listen, learn, and collaborate with others in the profession; they are most giving.
Director of Workforce Development & Existing Industry
Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce
Shelle Randall serves as the Director of Workforce Development & Existing Industry for Jonesboro Unlimited and the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce. Primary responsibilities include the creation and advancement of initiatives that result in employer engagement, collaboration between industry and education, and talent attraction/development/retention as it serves Jonesboro’s BRE program and overarching economic development strategy. Shelle directs strategic initiatives related to talent and quality of life for Jonesboro Unlimited and has management responsibilities of the Chamber team that serves over 1,300 members.
- What do you love most about Arkansas? My husband and I have chosen Arkansas to be our adopted home – which is saying something because we’ve lived from coast to coast in many different states. It sounds so cliché, but isn’t it always about the people and relationships we build? Besides great people and unlimited opportunity, Arkansas has beautiful outdoor spaces.
- Very few people know that I … love destination road races and have run in more than 200 in at least 23 different states – it’s a “thing” for my husband and me to do together.
- What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Prepare for the future with a stellar education, develop lifelong good health habits, appreciate every family moment, and live each day with gratitude and a smile – but have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Top three things on your bucket list? 3-month private boat cruise with friends through the Bahamas 2. Hike around the Mont Blanc Massif 3. Chasing those grandbabies every time I get to see them!
- Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? Nope
- If you weren’t in economic development/chamber work, what would you be doing? I would be advancing my education in some capacity – maybe law school or a healthcare-related direction. Because I’ve had to recreate my professional life a zillion times thanks to the many geographic moves precipitated by my husband’s career, I feel like I’ve had a chance to “try out” lots of sectors in our economy; as an analyst for a defense contractor in Washington, D.C., for a multi-national staffing company, for a boutique investment banker in Texas, as an HR professional for a global manufacturer, for a veterinarian in a small town, and more. I’ve come to the conclusion that economic development is the best fit for me – it allows me to draw upon all of those experiences.
- The greatest risk I ever took was…? Snow skiing down a black diamond slope as a novice skier.
- What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? Growing and attracting the next generation of leaders who will have the vision and the will to continue Jonesboro’s upward trajectory.
- How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I’m celebrating my 10th year in the chamber/economic development profession. I love knowing that our profession can make a positive impact on so many – it is all about strengthening, collaborating, innovating – making the future a better place to be.
- What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Learn best practices from great chamber/ED professionals – those in your own community and state and reach out to those across the country. Also, make it a priority to participate in educational and professional development opportunities. Keep learning, keep evolving, stay enthusiastic.