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Jack Thomas Wins National 40 Under 40 in Economic Development Award

Jack Thomas, Vice President of Economic Development at the Little Rock Regional Chamber, has been announced as a recipient of the 2023 Economic Development 40 Under 40 Award, the biennial award recognizing rising stars under 40 years old in the economic development industry.

The awards program is hosted by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based integrated marketing firm that works with economic development and travel organizations around the globe, and Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in non-profit, economic, and community development industries. An independent selection committee of six economic development leaders and site selection consultants evaluated nominations based on demonstration of strong leadership, commitment and innovation every day in the workplace.

“The purpose-driven work of economic development plays a vital role in communities around the world, and much of it is led by young professionals,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “These 40 rising stars are contributing their creativity, dedication and leadership to make a tremendous impact in their communities and our industry as a whole, and I so look forward to what lies ahead in their careers.”

“This recognition should really be a group award for the incredible teams I have worked with at the Little Rock Regional Chamber and Arkansas Economic Development Commission,” said Thomas. “It’s an honor to be listed alongside such a passionate group of individuals from across the country that are driven to improve their communities.”

Thomas is Vice President of Economic Development at the Little Rock Regional Chamber. In this role, Thomas leads a team of economic development professionals tasked with business attraction, business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurial development, diversity initiatives, and workforce development. Thomas also facilitates the Metro Little Rock Alliance (MLRA), a twelve-county economic development organization marketing Central Arkansas.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Thomas worked at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) as senior project manager in the business development division. In this position, he worked with companies such as Fiocchi, Hostess, Nucor, Sig Sauer, and Weyerhaueser on investments in Arkansas.

“The economic development industry continues to evolve and these rising leaders are stepping up to the challenge,” said Todd Jorgenson, managing director and principal of Jorgenson Consulting, Inc. “Congratulations to these 40 winners – and to the communities that are lucky to benefit from their expertise.”

Award winners were announced at a reception hosted by DCI and Jorgenson in Tucson, Arizona. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2023 Leadership Summit, the only conference held exclusively for Certified Economic Developers and senior managers in the profession.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 awards program and this year’s winners, visit


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