Friday, January 06, 2017

TOP STORY >> Chamber hires top assistant as new director

The Lonoke Chamber of Commerce introduced Han-nah Harris as its new executive director during its monthly luncheon on Thursday.

Harris, a Lonoke resident, was previously the chamber’s part-time administrative assistant and first vice president of its executive board.

She succeeds longtime director John Garner, who retired in April.

“I have a strong commitment to unity and growth for Lonoke. Moving forward, the chamber is going to be a place where business can come together in unity and grow as we implement the strategic plan that is being developed through Kick Start Lonoke. I am blessed to have this opportunity and am looking forward to serving Lonoke as the leader of the chamber,” Harris said.

Chamber president Adam Starks said, “We are excited to have Hannah as the executive director of the chamber. Her commitment to the community and region is a great asset to the chamber, and we are looking forward to her enthusiasm and leadership going forward.”

It was also announced that Sue Stewart was hired as administrative assistant.

“Sue is a longtime resident of Lonoke and has been looking for a way to give back to her community. Her love for Lonoke is true and her efforts to give back to our community are going to be greatly valued,” Starks said.

“In hiring both Hannah Harris and Sue Stewart, the Lonoke Chamber of Com-merce is positioned to enter into a new season guided by optimistic leadership with a passion for supporting the local community,” an announcement from the chamber said.

The chamber also welcomed its new board members during the luncheon.

Gary Elmore will become chamber president in April. Ryan Biles will become its first vice president.

“The Lonoke Chamber of Commerce is one of the key stakeholders in the ongoing strategic planning and economic development efforts in the area,” according to a news release from the chamber.

“Following John Garner’s departure, the opportunity emerged for a new executive director to bring fresh energy, creativity and forward-thinking outreach methods to the Lonoke chamber. After a months-long process of soliciting and considering numerous résumés submitted by applicants statewide, a committee composed of chamber board members and community leaders selected Harris,” the release said.