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NORTH METRO

NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

MAY 2019

BUSINESS JOURNAL


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MAY 2019

NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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UACCM hosts K-12 summer camps MORRILTON, Ark. – Parents looking to keep their children productive over the summer have plenty of options. The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is hosting activities and camps this summer in welding, creative writing, and math and literacy. The purpose of the camps is to provide young people a venue to forge relationships, learn new skills, or build on what they know under the guidance of UACCM instructors. Students must register to reserve their seat, as these camps have limited space. Registration is available at uaccm.edu.

Sr. Creative Writing Camp, Completers Grades 10-12 Monday, June 17 – Thursday, June 20 8 a.m. to noon This camp is a fun exploration of the art of creative writing with UACCM instructor Cindy Fields leading the group. Participants will learn how to write vivid descriptions based on what they see and eye-catching dialogue that will make your characters pop off the page and give them depth. Space is available for 20 students. The registration fee is $75 that covers lunch each day and a flash drive.

Kids College, Completers Grades K-3 Monday, June 10 – Thursday, June 13 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Kids College is an Ocean Animals-themed summer camp that provides kids an enriched environment with a focus on math and literacy. Kids will need to bring a sack lunch on Monday through Wednesday, and pizza will be served on Thursday. Space is available for 40 campers. The registration fee is $75, which includes a T-shirt.

Welding Camp, Completers Grades 10-12 Monday, June 3 – Thursday, June 6 8 a.m. to noon Participants will get hands-on experience with different welding techniques, with UACCM instructor Zackary Freeman leading the camp. They will get the opportunity using UACCM’s new facilities and will be able to take home whatever they create. Space is available for 18 students. The registration fee is $75.

Youth Institute, Completers Grades 4-6 For more information about the camps, contact Denise Pote, Monday, June 3 – Thursday, June 6 coordinator of workforce development and community education, at 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 501-977-2189 or potedenise@uaccm.edu. This is a spinoff of the Kids College, where older students can learn more about math and literacy and have fun. Space is available for 40 campers. The registration fee is $100 that covers lunch each day and a T-shirt. Jr. Creative Writing Camp, Completers Grades 7-9 Monday, June 10 – Thursday, June 13 8 a.m. to noon This camp is a fun exploration of the art of creative writing with UACCM instructor Cindy Fields leading the group. Participants will learn how to write vivid descriptions based on what they see and eye-catching dialogue that will make your characters pop off the page and give them depth. Space is available for 20 students. The registration fee is $75 that covers lunch each day and a flash drive. Career Tech Academy, Completers Grades 8-12 Monday, June 24 – Thursday, June 27 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Career Tech Academy (formerly called Career Exploration) is a four-day camp. Participants will walk through several of UACCM’s career technical programs by participating in hands-on learning activities and hearing talks from industry partners already working in these fields. Full session programs this year include Welding, HVAC, Computer Information Systems, and Automotive Services. Brief discussions will include Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance, Surveying, and Drafting. Register for the free event.


NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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MAY 2019

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“Step right up” Another Toad Suck Daze has come and gone. By every measure, it was a big success. Festival proceeds contributed $130,000 to education initiatives and nonprofits in several counties. Large and sustained crowds came from throughout central Arkansas and beyond. It was a great show. And throwing Arkansas’s biggest festival takes a lot of help. Here’s a look at who “stepped up” and made the 38th Toad Suck Daze possible. Sponsors. Fifty-eight businesses and their sponsorship dollars made the free event possible. Maybe the surest sign that the festival has become regional – if not statewide – in influence were the two presenting sponsors: Cherokee Nation Entertainment and First Arkansas Bank & Trust are headquartered in Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Arkansas, respectively. Volunteers. More than 30 Toad Suck Daze committee members were joined by more than 200 volunteers in donating thousands of hours of service to the event. Many of the same businesses that sponsor financially are also contributing time as

volunteers. Downtown Businesses. The people who make their living in downtown Conway the other 362 days a year make countless sacrifices during the festival and well as its setup and tear down. But perhaps their biggest contribution is everything they do to make downtown an exciting host venue for Toad Suck Daze. The restaurants, the shopping, and even the buildings themselves contribute to the festival experience. Nonprofits. Some of the most iconic Toad Suck Daze fixtures and traditions

Since 1985, Toad Suck Daze has awarded a Community Service Scholarship to Faulkner County students attending college at the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, Central Baptist College, or the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. The 2019 scholarship recipients are as follows (from left): Alaina Ellis, Haydyn Hudnall, Erin McCoy, Carissa Ansel, Alise Holloway, Talon Newton, Shelby Coats, Emily Lauryn McGuire, and Matthew Stubbs.

are provided by nonprofits and civic organizations. The Toad Suck Run (Kiwanis), the pancake breakfast (Rotary), frozen bananas (Junior Auxiliary), and much more are not only enjoyed by countless people; they ultimately fund programs that benefit our neighbors. Programming Partners. The Museum of Discovery, AETN, the Innovation Hub, the Conductor, more than 20 elementary schools, and several other organizations all partnered to provide an amazing Tinkerfest experience that spanned two full blocks. Sponsored by Acxiom, Toad Suck Tinkerfest entertained and educated thousands of central Arkansas children during the festival. Attendees. We know most people don’t come to Toad Suck Daze to support the sponsors or even the mission. But when they show up, that’s what they’re doing. Whether you’re a sponsor, volunteer, downtown business, nonprofit or civic club, program partner, or attendee…thank you! Thanks for stepping up and helping make this year’s Toad Suck Daze a success.


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MAY 2019

conwaychamber.org

4th Annual Outlook Conway

Thursday, May 23, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Centennial Valley Events Center Scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2019, the fourth annual Outlook Conway will take a deep dive into the North Metro economy and offer a comprehensive view of a team approach to economic development. This year’s presenting and economic sponsors exemplify four different qualities that represent the best of the area economy. Dynamic and Regional The Conway and central Arkansas economy is dynamic and regional in influence. Landmark CPA was formed in 2018 when two firms with more than 60 years’ experience combined to create one of the state’s largest comprehensive accounting firms. With established legacies in Russellville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, and most recently Rogers, Landmark CPA serves clients in multiple states throughout the region. Committed and Community Minded Smith Ford has been selling cars and satisfying customers in central Arkansas for more than 100 years. But this fivegeneration, family-owned business has also been building a city for just as long. From helping form Conway’s public utility during the Great Depression to having four generations of chamber of

commerce board leaders, the Smith family demonstrates the commitment and influence of locally owned businesses. Growing For decades Conway has been closely associated with – almost defined by – growth. Conway Regional Health System is the largest player in what might be Conway’s fastest growing industry – health care. With more than 1,000 employees and a $40 million expansion planned for 2019, Conway Regional is establishing Conway as a destination for health care. Emerging and Entrepreneurial Conway and central Arkansas have the deserved reputation as a great place to start your business. With an abundance of young, educated talent and an incredibly low cost of doing business, entrepreneurs are an increasingly important part of our economy. H+N Architects is only three years old. But this woman-owned startup has already turned the corner as a premier architecture firm in Conway. The firm is founded on the philosophy of designing with meraki, translated as “doing something with creativity, soul, and love—leaving a piece of yourself in the work.” What a perfect description of the passion it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Landmark’s Rogers office celebrated their new location and new name with an open house and ribboncutting attended by more than 100 community members.

Employees of the original Smith Auto Company stand in front of their Market Street location. This site was used as the original body shop from 1953 until Smith Ford moved to their current location in 1973.

Conway Regional’s four-story, 56,000-square-foot medical office building is part of the first phase of a $40 million capital investment and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Working with an aim to create beautiful spaces for all clients’ budgets, this rendering highlights a project that proposes an elegant design solution by using a simple, effective layout and conventional materials, such as brick, metal roof, and glazing.


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MAY 2019

NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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Conway Corp celebrates 90 years of serving Conway

On May 6, 1929, Conway city leaders signed the charter to create Conway Corporation and built a framework to benefit future generations over and over again. They created an opportunity powered by Conway Corp and its commitment to this community. Early in 1929, Conway was confronted with the possibility of losing two of its oldest educational institutions – Hendrix College located in the city in 1890 and Central College located here in 1892. Both colleges were in financial trouble; the two Methodist conferences were discussing moving Hendrix College, and the Baptist convention was discussing having to abandon Central College. To avoid the economic consequences the loss of the colleges would bring upon Conway, the Conway Chamber of Commerce proposed to the Methodist board in charge of its


NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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colleges that it would donate $150,000 to Hendrix College on two conditions: that a sufficient sum be raised outside to qualify for a $150,000 gift from the General Education Board, and that Hendrix College be definitely and permanently located in Conway. On March 13, 1929, the Methodist board formally accepted the proposal. This posed the question of how and where the $150,000 could be raised. After several weeks of deliberation failed to produce any practical plan for raising money, it appeared that Conway would lose the two colleges. However, Frank Farris, attorney R.W. Robins, and attorney George W. Clark conceived the idea of capitalizing the earnings of the municipal electric plant over a period of years and

1946 Electric Department

issuing bonds against these earnings. The electric plant at that time had a net annual revenue (over operating expenses, free street lights, and other services furnished to the city) of about $20,000, which would be sufficient to amortize a bond issue large enough to cover the needed funds. The plan was unprecedented and may have seemed crazy. However, the lawyers could find no law prohibiting such a proceeding, and, if it were not enjoined by the courts, and, if anybody could be found to purchase the bonds, it was thought worth a trial. Conway Corp was chartered with V.D. Hill, R.H. Maddox, J. Frank Jones, J.J. Hiegel, and Frank E. Robins appointed as the first board members. Shortly after incorporation,

MAY 2019

Conway Corp took over the city’s water system and then in 1957, its wastewater plants. In 1980, keeping pace with Conway’s growth, Conway completed construction on the cityowned cable system. In 1995, the company spent about $5.6 million to rebuild its hybrid-fiber-coax infrastructure, making way for the 1997 launch of cable internet service. The launch made it the fifth company in North America to offer high-speed, broadband cable internet service. In December 2016, the company launched a 1 gigabit internet offering for residential customers citywide. Since 1929, Conway Corp and its employees have worked to honor the commitment made by those early leaders to make a difference in the

1985 Electric Crew

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place they call home. The company proudly continues the efforts of those leaders who captured the spirit of Conway and created a vision of the city powered by Conway Corp. Conway Corp’s mission is to exceed its customers’ expectations in producing and delivering safe, affordable, reliable, innovative, and environmentally sound utility and telecommunication services while enhancing the quality of life in the community. Knowing the community and its needs helps Conway Corp keep homes, businesses, and public places powered year-round. But the company also believes in enhancing the city through community projects and educational opportunities. Conway Corp was founded to support area education, and today it provides technology, scholarships, and more to local schools and colleges. Its employees invest in the community because they are the community. The 2018 annual report features Conway Corp’s core values, centered around the very things found in the company’s early history – customer satisfaction, innovation, reliability, safety, responsibility, and community. The annual report can be viewed online at https:// issuu.com/myconwaycorp.

NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

This section of Conway Corp’s 2018 annual report highlights the company’s electric, broadband, and telephone reliability. View the full report at issuu.com/myconwaycorp.

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North Metro Economy at a Glance Population US ..........................325,719,178 Arkansas .....................3,004,279 Conway ...........................65,782 Cleburne County...............25,048 Conway County................20,916 Faulkner County.............123,654 Perry County....................10,348 Van Buren County.............16,506 Unemployment Rate February-2019 Seasonally Adjusted US ..................................... 3.8% Arkansas ............................ 4.1% Not Seasonally Adjusted US ..................................... 4.1% Arkansas............................ 4.3% Conway.............................. 3.7% Cleburne County ................ 5.9% Conway County ................. 5.0% Faulkner County ................ 3.7% Perry County ...................... 5.4% Van Buren County .............. 6.2%

Conway County 2018..............................$358,473 2017..............................$382,665 Percent Change ..............-6.32% Faulkner County 2018...........................$2,192,595 2017...........................$2,052,122 Percent Change ............... 6.85% Perry County 2018................................$72,986 2017................................$71,596 Percent Change ............... 1.94% Van Buren County 2018..............................$276,171 2017..............................$277,646 Percent Change ..............-0.53%

Faulkner County 2019.............................$712,565 2018.............................$688,273 Percent Change................ 3.53% Tax Rate ........................... 0.50% Perry County 2019.............................$110,206 2018.............................$117,871 Percent Change...............-6.50% Tax Rate ........................... 2.50% Van Buren County 2019.............................$308,948 2018.............................$290,394 Percent Change................ 6.39% Tax Rate ........................... 2.00%

Bank Deposits June Conway County 2018...........................$1,827,728 2017...........................$1,686,727 Percent Change ............... 8.36%

Restaurant Sales* Year to Date (February) Conway Sales & Use Tax Collections 2019........................$30,925,296 April 2018........................$30,988,949 Conway Percent Change...............-0.21% 2019..........................$2,341,074 *Includes mixed drink sales 2018..........................$1,819,851 Percent Change.............. 28.64% Hotel Sales Tax Rate ......................... 2.125% Year to Date (February) Conway Cleburne County 2019..........................$2,321,062 2019.............................$439,827 2018..........................$2,323,502 2018.............................$458,817 Percent Change...............-0.11% Percent Change...............-4.14% Tax Rate ......................... 1.625% Residential Building

Cleburne County 2018..............................$554,248 2017..............................$524,244 Percent Change ............... 5.72%

Conway County 2019.............................$408,056 2018.............................$405,369 Percent Change................ 0.66% Tax Rate ........................... 1.75%

Permits Year to Date (April) Conway 2019........................................80 2018........................................50 Percent Change.............. 60.00%

Residential Units Sold** (New and Existing) Year to Date (April) Conway 2019......................................183 2018......................................228 Percent Change ............-19.74% Year to Date (February) Cleburne County 2019........................................50 2018........................................44 Percent Change ............. 13.64% Conway County 2019........................................22 2018........................................14 Percent Change ............. 57.14% Faulkner County 2019......................................187 2018......................................187 Percent Change ............... 0.00% Perry County 2019..........................................7 2018........................................10 Percent Change ............-30.00% Van Buren County 2019........................................26 2018........................................32 Percent Change ............-18.75% Values of Residential Units Sold** Year to Date (April) Conway 2019........................$34,608,678 2018........................$41,898,347

Percent Change ............-17.40%

2018.............................$216,125 Percent Change ............-16.60%

Year to Date (February) Cleburne County 2019..........................$9,012,250 2018..........................$9,509,500 Percent Change ..............-5.23%

Conway County 2019.............................$150,513 2018.............................$112,221 Percent Change ............. 34.12%

Conway County 2019..........................$3,311,286 2018..........................$1,571,094 Percent Change ........... 110.76%

Faulkner County 2019.............................$176,990 2018.............................$175,119 Percent Change................ 1.07%

Faulkner County 2019........................$33,097,130 2018........................$32,747,253 Percent Change ............... 1.07%

Perry County 2019.............................$136,928 2018.............................$122,160 Percent Change ............. 12.09%

Perry County 2019.............................$958,496 2018..........................$1,221,600 Percent Change ............-21.54%

Van Buren County 2019.............................$107,925 2018.............................$102,665 Percent Change ............... 5.12%

Van Buren County 2019..........................$2,806,050 2018..........................$3,285,280 Percent Change ............-14.59% Average Price of Residential Units Sold** (New and Existing) Year to Date (April) Conway 2019.............................$189,118 2018.............................$183,765 Percent Change .................2.91% Year to Date (February) Cleburne County 2019.............................$180,245

Proud sponsor of Pulse of Conway Sources: 2012-2016 ACS 5-Year Data Profiles, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, C2ER, Sperling’s Best Places, Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Cooperative Arkansas Realtors’ Multiple Listing Services, Arkansas Realtors Association, and City of Conway. **Includes sales of residential units only.


10 MAY 2019

NORTH METRO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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Conway seniors recognized for academic achievement Organized Lyon College; Baker by the Conway Kendrick, Ouachita Area Chamber of Baptist University. Commerce and Haydon King, presented by Acxiom, University of Academic Signing Arkansas; Timothy Day recognizes high Loftness, University school seniors in of Arkansas; Lane Conway who have McSpadden, UCA; received significant Kendon Moline academic awards (National Merit and substantial Semifinalist), scholarships. Brigham Young The ceremony took University; Archer place April 24 in the McCastlain Ballroom Murray (National on the campus of the Merit Semifinalist), Forty-seven seniors from Conway’s high schools were recognized at the 2019 Academic Signing Day presented by Acxiom. University of Central UCA; Abigail Arkansas. One by Oudekerk (National Scholarship. one, the 47 honorees The 2019 honorees, along with their college Merit Semifinalist), Rice University; Kate stated where they plan to attend college, Parrack, Brandeis University; Isabel Powers, signed a placard indicating their choice, and or university of choice if known at the time University of Arkansas; Annette Quinn, of the event, are as follows: received an award. Dr. Maria Markham, University of Arkansas; Madeline Raup, Elizabeth Ablondi; Bailee Atkinson, UCA; director of the Arkansas Department of Abby Austin, UCA; Mary Barre, UCA; Devin Arkansas State University; Julia Razer, Higher Education, delivered the keynote University of Arkansas; Jaclyn Reifeiss, Battle, Henderson State University; Jacob address. Bowman, Ouachita Baptist University; Hendrix College. Graduating seniors from Conway High Payton Brady, University of Arkansas; Kyja Allie Rogers, University of Arkansas; School, St. Joseph High School, Conway Chatman, Arkansas Tech University; Alexa Natalie Ross, University of Arkansas; Trent Christian High School, and those homeCormier, Arkansas State University; Emily schooled in the Conway School District Summerlin, UCA; Berris Teague, UCA; Kylee Daniel, UCA; Jayla Dill, Evangel University. Tollefson, United States Air Force Academy; were eligible to apply. This year’s honorees Abigail Doran, University of Arkansas; maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher William Ward, UCA; Brynn Ward, UCA; Lynn Duncan, University of Arkansas; on a 4.0 scale and have been recognized in Alivia Williams, UCA; Elena Wiltgen; Joseph Hunter Fleming (National Merit one of these five areas: Winningham, Hendrix College; and Bryant • the recipient of a top scholarship from the Semifinalist), University of Arkansas; Xie, University of Arkansas. Kate Freyaldenhoven (National Merit four-year accredited college or university In addition to Acxiom as presenting Semifinalist), Rhodes College; Claire they plan to attend; Gillaspy, Furman University; Claire Greene, sponsor, other sponsors for this year’s • a National Merit Scholar or National Academic Signing Day included UCA Arkansas State University; Blake Hopkins, Merit Finalist designation; Division of Outreach & Community • acceptance into a U.S. Service Academy; University of Arkansas; Russell Jackson, Engagement, Conway Corporation, Hendrix College; Aaryanna Janowiecki, • the winner of a state or national Klaasmeyer Construction, Virco, Snap-on Hendrix College; JoVoni Johnson (National scholarship program; and Equipment, Aramark, Crafton Tull, Simmons Merit Semifinalist), Rice University; Chloe • the recipient of a Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship or Governor’s Jones, University of Arkansas; Sarah Kemp, Bank, and Textbook Brokers.


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Profile for Conway Area Chamber of Commerce

Conway Corp celebrates 90 years of serving Conway (May 2019)