AEDCE Member Spotlight

Jennifer Harland

External Affairs Manager
Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) Texarkana District

Jennifer Harland is the External Affairs Manager for Southwestern Electric Power Company’s (SWEPCO) Texarkana District.  Her strategic focus is on community relations, economic development and public policy matters, particularly as they affect SWEPCO’s business in the increasingly competitive electricity industry.  She participates in building and maintaining external relationships with legislators, community leaders, city and county officials, customers and other stakeholders who have an impact on SWEPCO activities in Southwest Arkansas.

 

  1. Where were you born?  Where do you live today? Born in Pontiac, Michigan and live today in Texarkana.
  2. What do you love most about Arkansas? Natural beauty, friendly people, amazing lakes and rivers to explore!
  3. Very few people know that I… am a Limnologist (freshwater aquatic biologist) by degree – BS and MS.
  4. How would you describe Arkansas to someone that has never been here?  Beautiful, progressive, friendly, and full of education and career opportunities.
  5. What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Patience.
  6. The greatest risk I ever took was…? Leaving someone.
  7. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? Not having a skilled workforce available for expanding or new business opportunities in SW Arkansas.   
  8. Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? My friend that has cancer – so she can have a day with no worry or pain.
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession?  What do you like most about your job? 10 years – Helping the communities we serve to be stronger together.
  10. Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession? Get all the training you can, borrow great ideas, be authentic and NETWORK!

Steve Clark, IOM, CFE

President & CEO
Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

Steve Clark is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and its related enterprises.  The Chamber owns and operates 21 Mountain, a 28,000 square foot mixed use office building; an annual festival, the Hispanic Heritage Festival; the Northwest Arkansas Fab Lab, a digital fabrication laboratory and makers space; and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Robotics Training Center.  The Chamber contracts with the City of Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas Council to provide economic development services.

 

  1. Where were you born? Where do you live today? Born in Leachville, Arkansas (Mississippi County) and live today in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
  2. Very few people know that I have run 4 marathons and argued 8 cases before the United States Supreme Court.
  3. How would you describe Arkansas to someone that has never been here? Arkansas is a state where the sky is blue, the trees are abundant, the hospitality is warm and the friendships are forever.
  4. What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Realize that Life is tough. During your existence you may well be battered, bruised, bored and even broken. Remember do not quit because you can always begin again.
  5. The greatest risk I ever took was…? When at 30 I decided that I could be elected to statewide office even though I had never run for public office before. Good fortune shined its face upon me.  I did win that year.
  6. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community keeps you up at night? The speed at which the world is changing and the reduction of personal conversation in favor of other forms of electronic communication.
  7. Who would you most like to swap places with for the day and why? I would like to swap places with Jeff Bezos.   The why is he lives at the intersection of artificial intelligence and space exploration.   I want to know more about AI and I definitely want to travel in space.
  8. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I have been in this profession for 11 years.  I like that my job is to get up every day and work to make Fayetteville a better place to live, work and play.
  9. Best career advice I would give someone in the Economic Development or Chamber profession? Exercise your brain as well as your body.  Participate in at least one professional development course in our field every year.   Participate in at least one skills development course every year, i.e. welding, painting, tap dancing…  Recognize that aging wrinkles the face but quitting wrinkles the soul.  Don’t quit learning about our profession and its relationship to living.