FRIENDS Holds Monthly Board of Directors Meeting on 06-18-2021
June 22, 2021
The FRIENDS board of directors held its monthly meeting on June 18, 2021 at 11:30 AM on the UA Cossatot De Queen Campus. In attendance were: President- Mike Branson, Vice President- Greg Revels, Secretary/Treasurer- Jay Bunyard, Angie Walker, Dr. Steve Cole, Ned Hendrix, Sevier County Judge: Greg Ray, De Queen Mayor: Jeff Brown, AEDC’s regional manager of community development: Kristen Dane, and Sevier County Economic Development Director: Tiffany Maurer.
The board began the meeting by approving the May 21 meeting minutes and receiving an update on funding progress from Tiffany.
Tiffany was offered a scholarship to attend an additional AEDCE conference this year, so the board voted to approve moving funds between travel budget lines to cover the additional cost for attendance.
Tiffany updated the group on the Hospitality Training, funded by FRIENDS, and her recruitment efforts for attendees with Christy McCullough (Executive Director of the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce), and Suzanne Babb. The trio invited owners/managers to attend the training and shared the information on social media as well as through local news outlets.
The board voted to table an official vote on the selection of a hotel feasibility study group until after it’s special meeting with AEDI to begin CEDS planning on June 30th.
The board then discussed the new SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program and the possibility of applying for funds to assist Sevier County businesses with minority owners (as the grant specifies). Members will reach out to grant professionals to gain more information about the program.
The board then voted to have Tiffany create and share a community calendar of events (in English/Spanish) with our businesses to help them to plan promotions in advance.
Tiffany notified the group that Sevier County went live with our application toward ACT Work Ready Community status on Monday, June 7th, and we have reached 70% completion toward our assigned goals.
Kristen Dane rounded out the meeting with an update about the new Opportunity Arkansas website, which explains opportunity zones and how communities can use them to gain support for eligible projects. For more information, visit: https://opportunityarkansas.com/
For more information about ACT Work Ready Communities, or questions about becoming a member of FRIENDS, please contact Tiffany Maurer at 870-584-1184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.