Cham­ber ex­ec­u­tive re­ceives state award

The Sentinel-Record - - FRONT PAGE - MAX BRYAN

The out­go­ing pres­i­dent and CEO of The Greater Hot Springs Cham­ber of Com­merce and Hot Springs Metro Part­ner­ship re­ceived statewide recog­ni­tion for his work this week.

The Arkansas Eco­nomic Developers & Cham­ber Ex­ec­u­tives on Mon­day named Fram Out­stand­ing Cham­ber Ex­ec­u­tive dur­ing the Awards Lun­cheon for the as­so­ci­a­tion’s 2017 an­nual con­fer­ence, which con­cluded Tues­day at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

“It’s a tremen­dous honor,” Fram said. “I’ve been do­ing this a long time, and you get a lot of things over the years, but to have the peo­ple you work with nom­i­nate you and rec­om­mend you re­ally adds a lot to it.”

The con­fer­ence drew Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tives from all over the state, with ses­sions that fo­cused on eco­nomic mat­ters af­fect­ing Arkansas and how to re­spond to them.

AEDC Chair­man of the Board Sue McGowan said the con­fer­ence fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion to Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tives so they can bet­ter serve their com­mu­ni­ties. McGowan de­scribed two dif­fer­ent “tracks” the fea­tured speak­ers can take — an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment track or a

com­merce track.

One ses­sion was Tues­day’s State of the State Break­fast, de­liv­ered by Mike Pre­ston, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the AEDC.

“We talked about ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, my vi­sion for the next 12 months and where we see things go­ing, and how we can all work to­gether to pro­mote Arkansas as a state, and bring in more jobs,” Pre­ston said.

Pre­ston said the eco­nomic chal­lenges fac­ing Hot Springs are statewide is­sues, as well, and in or­der to be suc­cess­ful in the future, the city needs an eco­nomic draw for col­lege grad­u­ates.

“Some of those who end up go­ing off to col­lege don’t end up com­ing back. They might go to an­other state,” he said. “We need to make sure that there’s op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to come back, and we have to rec­og­nize that not ev­ery kid that grad­u­ates high school is gonna go to col­lege. We need to make sure that they’re pre­par­ing that work­force for jobs that they can go out and make a great living do­ing.”

The award Fram re­ceived Mon­day is given each year to a nom­i­nated Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive in Arkansas who is seen as out­stand­ing by their peers.

Fram is in his 33rd year as a Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive, hav­ing pre­vi­ously served in Har­ri­son, Lincoln, Neb., and Tulsa, Okla.

In his five years of ser­vice in Hot Springs, the Cham­ber of Com­merce has gained five-star ac­cred­i­ta­tion by the United States Cham­ber of Com­merce. The Metro Part­ner­ship be­came the only pro­fes­sional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion in Arkansas ac­cred­ited by the In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil.

In three weeks, Fram will pass the torch for both the cham­ber and the Metro Part­ner­ship to Gary Trout­man, of Hot Springs, re­cently an­nounced as the new pres­i­dent and CEO of the or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Fram said he will serve an as­sist­ing role at the Cham­ber of Com­merce un­til Dec. 31, then plans on launch­ing a con­sult­ing busi­ness.

“He’s been so in­stru­men­tal in as­sist­ing oth­ers in their ca­reers,” McGowan said. “He’s been a men­tor for many years to a lot of peo­ple, and a lot of those are do­ing very well in the state.”

“We’ll cer­tainly miss Jim, but he’s cer­tainly built a strong foun­da­tion and a strong legacy here in Hot Springs,” Pre­ston said.

The Sentinel-Record/Richard Ras­mussen

CHAM­BER TALK: At­ten­dees at the Arkansas Eco­nomic Developers & Cham­ber Ex­ec­u­tives’ an­nual con­fer­ence lis­ten to a speaker Tues­day at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

The Sentinel-Record/Richard Ras­mussen

FRAM AWARD: Jim Fram, pres­i­dent and CEO of The Greater Hot Springs Cham­ber of Com­merce and Hot Springs Metro Part­ner­ship, at­tends the Arkansas Eco­nomic Developers Com­mis­sion’s an­nual con­fer­ence at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Tues­day.

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