Ashley Smith, Executive Director of the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce has submitted her resignation. Smith, who spent two years as director will leave her post effective August 7th.
In a press release Chamber President Gregg Goss said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Ashley over the past year. She has done an amazing job as Executive Director of The Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce. I know the board members will miss her greatly. I wish Ashley all the best in her future endeavors.”
In an interview with Smith, The Pulse asked, during her time as Executive Director, what are some of the achievements of the Chamber is she most proud of, Smith stated, “That would be the progress we made in membership and the contract with the Mena Advertising & Promotion Commission”. Smith noted there are hurdles that the Chamber has overcome, mostly “instituting positive change” by “initiating new ways of doing things that people were not accustomed to”. She is also very proud of the extremely positive feedback she has received from last years Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run saying that “the 2018 Rod Run was so well attended and the feedback was so amazing on it, and I was extremely proud of that because the Rod Run is not an event the Chamber started and to take it over and see what we accomplished has made me very proud.”
Smith, who was born in Missouri, moved to Mena when she was 13. She attended college at the University of Arkansas and moved back to Mena in 2007. In 2010 she and her husband bought longtime family business Smiths Foods in Cove, which served the people of southern Polk County and the Watson and Smithville, Oklahoma area since the late 1960’s. They operated Smiths Foods until it’s unfortunate closing in 2018.
As for her plans in the near future Smith is, for now, tight lipped. She will announce her plans for the future soon. She has offered her services to assist with recruitment and training before she leaves. She will also be available to help the Mena/Polk County Chamber on a contractual basis in the future.
The chamber board is initiating the process that will lead to the hiring of a new Executive Director. Be sure to pick up the Pulse for all the latest.