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What does

stand for?

2012 Annual Report This book is dedicated to the many boys and girls who represent the future of Conway, and to the grown-up boys and girls who are bringing that future to life today.

is for


where we live and work and play, where flowers bloom (and children, too!) and families come to stay.

Designing a High-Quality Community A community like Conway doesn’t happen by chance. It takes commitment, thoughtful planning and constant attention to create a place where people never want to leave. Thank you to the many individuals and businesses that invested these things and more over the past year.

Main Street This summer, the public infrastructure along Main Street got a makeover. The beautification project included sidewalks, streetlights, curbs, gutters and landscaping, all of which complement private sector investments from Harkrider Avenue to Front Street.


Rogers Plaza Our downtown district represents the heart of Conway. Razing the “blue building” at Oak and Van Ronkle was the first visible sign of progress toward a landmark entrance feature and public space to welcome residents and visitors downtown.

Hospital Expansion Conway Regional Health System set a new standard for surgical facilities in Arkansas. After more than $30 million in additions and renovations, the new expansion opened its doors in the summer of 2012, bringing a new level of service and quality to our community.

New Schools Our residents invest in education. Thanks to the Conway2020 bond proposal, students are benefiting from two new, state-of-the-art facilities – Carolyn Lewis Elementary and the Conway High School West campus. Both of these facilities opened their doors in August.

is for our

culture here,

of school and great successes where learning comes with joy and shouts and sometimes toads and messes!

A Culture of Education and Achievement The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1891 with the mission of recruiting colleges to the community. Today, that commitment to education is as strong as ever, with Conway boasting premier learning opportunities for students ranging from diapers to doctorates.

Toad Suck Daze Perfect weather, record crowds and new attractions all made Toad Suck Daze 2012 a big success. Approximately 160,000 people came together for fun, food and entertainment. To date, the festival has raised more than $1.3 million in funds for education.

Pre-K In October, the Chamber announced a partnership with local nonprofit Lifelong Learners to develop citywide improvements in Pre-K education. Funded with a $50,000 grant from Toad Suck Daze proceeds, the new effort makes early childhood education a top priority in Conway – Arkansas’ education capital.

Academic Signing Day This is the day we recognize a select few of Conway’s highachieving graduating seniors who have received significant academic awards and substantial scholarships. In 2012, the 23 students honored had an average ACT score of 31.7 – more than 10 points higher than the national average.

Teacher’s Fair During the eighth annual Teacher Breakfast and Education Fair this past year, 69 Chamber member businesses welcomed Conway’s K-12 teachers back to school. More than 500 faculty and staff members attended the event.

is for the


we feel in future days, with leadership and tools and tips to help in lots of ways.

Earning a Degree of Confidence The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce has learned a great deal over the years. And we’ve put that knowledge into action, developing plans that benefit Conway now and for generations to come. These efforts haven’t gone unnoticed – 2012 brought impressive recognition for the Chamber and the community.

Accreditation When the Chamber was awarded accreditation by the U.S. Chamber in 2012, it joined some very elite company. The 4-star rank of accreditation places our organization in the top 2% of the nation’s 7,000 chambers of commerce. Receiving accreditation is a stringent process, involving a third-party review of every facet of organization management.

City Accolades During 2012, a number of media outlets spotlighted Conway and the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway MSA as one of the nation’s top places to live and do business. Recent recognition includes: • • • • •

13th “Best Place for Job Growth” in the United States, CNNMoney 73rd Fastest Growing County in the Country, US Census Bureau 40 Strongest U.S. Metro Economies, Forbes 10 Cheapest Cities in the Country, Yahoo! Homes Best Places for Business and Careers, Forbes

CFO of the Year Great leadership deserves to be recognized. In November 2012, the Chamber’s own chief financial officer, Laura Grimes, was recognized by Arkansas Business as Arkansas’ Nonprofit CFO of the Year.

Chamber Growth Advancing Conway is a group effort. After a record-setting April membership event, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce expanded to more than 1,500 members, becoming the third-largest chamber of commerce in the state.

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we’re making good things grow, like plants and planes and driving lanes all going with the flow!

Cultivate Business From the Ground Up Breaking ground might feel like a new beginning, but it’s actually the culmination of what can be a years-long effort to attract business and strengthen Conway’s economy. Maintaining a business-friendly climate – and generating new and better jobs – is critical to Conway’s continued success.


Airport Redevelopment

Conway offers a convenient, centralized location for businesses headquartered here. In July, PrivacyStar – the privacy app creator founded in Conway in 2008 – announced plans to add more than 100 jobs to its growing team.

Conway’s current airport sits on almost 200 acres of centrally located, high-visibility real estate. The Conway Development Corporation has already started a master planning process for this once-in-a-generation development opportunity.

New Airport

Convention & Visitors Bureau

We’re aiming high for the future. In May, Conway’s federal delegation announced a $5.8 million grant from the FAA that would accelerate the construction of a new airport. The expanded airport is expected to open in Lollie Bottoms in August of 2014.

In September, the Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the “I’m a Fan” promotion. The athletic administrations from our three colleges and universities came together to celebrate the role collegiate athletics plays in Conway.

All-Star Game In June, the Arkansas Activities Association announced the return of High School All-Star Week to Conway. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, UCA, the City of Conway and Conway Public Schools assembled a winning bid to host the event from 2013-2017.

Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreakings Supporting business is key to our success. In 2012, the Chamber helped 55 member businesses celebrate a grand opening, reopening, ownership anniversary, new construction project or other special event by hosting ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies.

is for

connection –

where we’re going, where we’re from – and making even bigger plans for the best that’s still to come!

Our Connection to Conway, and to Each Other There are many aspects of the Conway community that make life here sweet. One of the best, however, is the people. Without the friendly faces, welcoming attitudes and spirit of cooperation that seem to come naturally to our residents, Conway could never be what it is today – or what it will be tomorrow.

Lunch and Learn

CEO Luncheons

The Chamber hosted six Small Business Lunch and Learn programs in 2012, covering topics such as cloud-based computing, social media marketing, safety precautions and taxation. More than 150 small business owners and their employees attended one or more of these events.

Three CEO Luncheons in 2012 featured top executives from the mobile technology, banking and clothing industries, attracting a combined total of more than 500 attendees.

Leads Groups In 2012, the three Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Leads Groups generated $1.4 million in additional business through referrals and shared contacts.

Business Expo & Taste of Conway The 2012 Business Expo and Retail Showcase brought together over 100 exhibitors for a businessto-business trade show, with a delicious finish provided by Taste of Conway. Nearly 30 area restaurants and caterers served up tempting creations to 500+ event attendees.

Bowling for Business The Chamber’s third annual bowling event drew 30 teams comprised of 155 total individuals.

Minority Enterprise Development During the 2012 MED Awards Gala, 240 attendees gathered to recognize the achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations committed to advancing minority business.

Spain In the fall of 2012, 21 travelers explored historic and modern sites in Barcelona and Madrid as part of the Chamber’s group travel excursion to Spain.

Women in Business The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce created a new event in 2012 celebrating the successes of women leaders in central Arkansas. This inaugural event attracted a sellout crowd of 300, and recognized five Outstanding Women in Business.

2012 Boards & Commissions Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Board Lori Case, Chair Jeff Standridge, Vice Chair Ronnie Williams, Immediate Past Chair Dave Cronk, Treasurer Brad Lacy, Secretary Bill Adkisson Mike Baldwin Marty Carley Bret Carroll Celeste Flanagin

Lee Harris Lane Housley Jim Lambert David Morgan Dr. Greg Murry Jay Myers Tim Nail Michelle Phillips Tom Poe Lori Windle Quinn

Jim Rankin Marc Shock Judge Preston Scroggin Mayor Tab Townsell Kevin Ward Shelia Whitmore Mark Williams Andrea Woods

Conway Advertising & Promotion Commission Ray Kordsmeier Chairman Angela Bagby Jeremy Gardner

Andy Hawkins Ray Kordsmeier Mike Kraft

Reggie Rose Sheila Whitmore

Conway Downtown Partnership Board George Covington Bill Bethea Lori Windle Quinn Jack Bell Bunny Adcock

Mike Coats Tom Courtway Frank Cox Alan English Greg Nabholz

Dot Welch Kent Welch Kim Williams Beth Yockey

Conway Development Corporation Board Bill Adkisson, Chair Jerry Adams, Vice Chair Johnny Adams Richie Arnold

Jack Engelkes Mark Ferguson Bill Hannah

Sherry Smith Tab Townsell Ronnie Williams

Chairman’s Circle Diamond City of Conway Conway Corporation

Platinum Hewlett-Packard

Gold Acxiom Corporation Conway Regional Health System Crafton Tull

Crain Automotive First Security Bank & Crews & Associates, Inc.

Southwestern Energy Company UCA Foundation

GARVER Hendrix College Nabholz Construction

Smith Ford, Inc. Sonic Drive-In

Conway Management, Inc. Delta Dental of Arkansas International Paper Kroger Marketplace Linn’s Auto Log Cabin Democrat

Regions Bank Snap-On Equipment US Compounding, Inc. Verizon Wireless Virco Manufacturing Corporation Weaver-Bailey Contractors, Inc.

Silver BHP Billiton Centennial Bank First Service Bank

Bronze Arkansas Democrat Gazette/River Valley & Ozark Edition Arvest Bank Bank of the Ozarks Caldwell Toyota Central Baptist College

866.7CONWAY | 501.327.7788 900 Oak Street, Conway, AR 72032

Conway Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Annual Report  

The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce's 2012 annual report asks, "What does 'C' stand for?"

Conway Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Annual Report  

The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce's 2012 annual report asks, "What does 'C' stand for?"