Politics

Governor Asa Hutchinson joins Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives in honoring community, economic development, and chamber leaders

During the awards luncheon at their 2021 Annual Conference in Jonesboro, the Arkansas Economic Developers &  Chamber Executives (AEDCE) on Monday, August 23, will recognize Julie Allen, PCED as the Outstanding Chamber  Executive, Katherine Holmstrom, PCED as the Outstanding Economic Developer, and Kimberly B. Dale as  Volunteer of the Year. 

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.  

“Each year Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives recognizes those who have gone above and  beyond in their efforts to serve their communities and the state of Arkansas,” said J.D. Lowery, President of  Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives. “Whether through recruitment, promotion, or working  to retain employment opportunities, these are the people in our profession we all strive to be. Congratulations to  all those being honored this year.” 

“COVID-19 has pushed our state to the limits in all areas, but thanks to the leadership of your honorees, and to all  the chambers, Arkansas is emerging from the pandemic on the firm economic foundation that chambers have  been laying for years,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “These winners have produced a template for robust  economic development in Arkansas.” 

About the recipients: 

Julie Allen, PCED, is executive director of Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, where she has served the  community since 2002. She is a 1994 graduate of Arkansas State University with Bachelor of Science degree in  Communications – Radio/Television. Prior to her position at the Chamber, she worked as a radio DJ in  Jacksonville, Florida and Jonesboro, Arkansas. In addition to her duties as Chamber director, Julie volunteers with  many Newport area organizations and non-profits. She was a charter member of the Downtown Revitalization &  Volunteer Improvement Effort and the Newport School District Charitable Foundation, still serving on both 

boards. She is treasurer of the Jackson County Humane Society, board secretary for the Newport Country Club, is  current president of the Newport Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She also serves on the board of the  Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives and was named Jackson County’s Woman of the Year in  2019. Julie will be celebrating her 20th anniversary at the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce in April. She has  lived in Newport since 1998, the year she married her husband, Michael. They have two children – Jessica, age 18  and Meagan, age 15. 

Katherine Holmstrom is a Senior Project Manager in the Business Development Division at the Arkansas Economic  Development Commission (AEDC). Her primary responsibility is facilitating the growth of both new and expanding  companies in Arkansas including recruitment and expansion projects. She has worked with companies such as  Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Carvana, Tyson, Walmart, Mars Petcare, Aerojet Rocketdyne, SAF Holland, and Nice Pak to help them expand or locate within the state. Katherine has 13 years of community and economic development experience in Arkansas. Prior to joining AEDC in 2011, Katherine worked for U.S. Congressman  Marion Berry in several roles including constituent services, appropriations management, community  development, and intergovernmental affairs. A native of DeWitt, Arkansas, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree  in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Ag Business from Arkansas State University. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, the University of Central  Arkansas’s Community Development Institute, and the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute. She  currently serves as Past President on the Board of Directors of Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber  Executives (AEDCE), the professional association of economic developers in the state and Executive Director for  the Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association. She also currently serves on the War Memorial Stadium  Commission where she was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in May of 2020. Katherine and her husband,  Gabe, live in downtown Little Rock with their son, Gus, and dog, Rex Thunder. 

Kimberly B. Dale is a principal in the firm of Branch, Thompson, Warmath & Dale. She is a native of Rector, Arkansas and attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little  Rock School of Law. Kimberly received a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Finance at ASU and served as a financial  analyst while attending the University of Arkansas School of Law at night. She practiced law in Little Rock,  Stuttgart, and Fayetteville before moving to Paragould in 2005 and to begin working at the Branch firm. Kimberly  is a member of many professional associations, of the Greene County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar  Association, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. Kimberly serves on the  Arkansas Trial Lawyers Board of Governors and she president elect for the Arkansas Land Title Association. She is involved in many community and civic organizations throughout her community and State of Arkansas. She has  many hobbies – of which most involve enjoying the beautiful landscape of Crowley’s Ridge and the State of  Arkansas.  

See below for photos of award recipients. 

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.  

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