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Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Kristi Barr Named 2019 Outstanding Economic Developer

LITTLE ROCK, AR (August 26, 2019) – During the awards luncheon at their 2019 Annual Conference in Fort Smith, the Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives (AEDCE) recognized Kristi Barr as the Outstanding Economic Developer for 2019. Kristi is the director of workforce development & education for the Little Rock Regional Chamber and has been with the organization for 15 years.

AEDCE awards recognize volunteer and professional economic developers and chamber executives for outstanding achievement demonstrated by significant achievements in his/her community, region, and state over the course of his/her career to include professionalism, experience, training and education, service to AEDCE and the profession.

“I’m very honored and humbled to receive this recognition from my peers,” said Kristi Barr, director of workforce & education. “Economic development is a team sport and I am very lucky to work with great colleagues at the Little Rock Regional Chamber which has allowed us all to have success.”

Over the past year, Barr played a major role in the successful location of CZ USA to Little Rock and has built a coalition among all four school districts in Pulaski County to explore systemic high school redesign through Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL). Previously, Barr worked as the Director of Business Retention and Expansion at the chamber managing company expansion projects representing more than 3,700 new jobs, $146 million in new payroll and $708 million in capital investment at the local and county level.

“For over 15 years Kristi has been a catalyst for the chamber’s economic development efforts,” said Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “Her professionalism and knowledge are well respected amongst her peers and at the core of what has made her so successful – we are blessed to have Kristi leading our workforce development strategy in metro Little Rock.”

Barr was recognized alongside three other award winners from across the state; William Graham Cobb III, IOM as the Outstanding Chamber Executive, Jason Green as Volunteer of the Year, and Sue McGowan with the Maria Haley Lifetime Leadership Award for Economic Development.


About AEDCE:  Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives (AEDCE) is the state’s premier association representing professional and volunteer economic developers and chamber executives in Arkansas. AEDCE’s objective is to advance, through educational and professional efforts, the business climate and quality of life in Arkansas by the development of employment opportunities through economic growth and community development.

About the Little Rock Regional Chamber:

The Little Rock Regional Chamber is the principal business-driven leadership organization responsible for fostering the economic growth and development of the Little Rock region to ensure that business and industry may operate profitably and enhance the earning opportunities and quality of life for every citizen.



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