Member Spotlight | Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives

Member Spotlight

Tandee White

Program Manager, Community Development

Entergy Arkansas

Tandee White joined Entergy Arkansas in January 1995 and has worked in such departments as marketing, corporate communications, and regulatory affairs. The majority of her time with Entergy has been spent in economic development where she currently manages the community development program which includes a focus on site certification, community development improvement projects, and economic and community development training partnerships. She received her Professional Community and Economic Developer designation in 2003, serves on the University of Central Arkansas’ CDI Advisory Committee, and is the Vice President of Programs for the Arkansas Community Development Society.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? Arkansas is a beautiful state with diverse topography and plenty of opportunities for exploration, but the thing I love most about Arkansas is the people. I love traveling around the state and talking to people and learning about their stories. It’s not hard at all to make connections to people you know in common. I like to refer to people as friends I haven’t met yet. (A life lesson from my daughter’s Barbie movie.)
  2. Very few people know that I was very shy as a child.
  3. Favorite book, movie, and piece of music: I love to read so I do not really have a favorite book, but right now I seem to be interested in biographies. As for my favorite movie, Hidden Figures tops my short-list along with any movie with Denzel Washington or Sandra Bullock. If you ride with me, you will likely hear modern Christian music, 80’s music, or smooth jazz depending on the mood of the day.
  4. Website that I cannot live without (besides Google) The Weather Channel – I like to be able to be prepared, especially during weekend excursions.
  5. My first job was… working for my dad in his auto body shop and upholstery shop. My first official job was as a lifeguard at Butram’s County Club in Pine Bluff.
  6. The greatest risk I ever took was… moving away to college. I was the first in my family to attend college so there were a lot of unanswered questions. However, my parents always encouraged me, and it was just expected that I would attend college.
  7. The historical figure I admire most: Eleanor Roosevelt for her progressive work for civil rights in an era that was very unsettled. She was often in opposition of many of the male leaders of the nation as she worked to advance the rights of minorities and those less fortunate.
  8. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community is most pressing in your mind? I think increasing our STEM workforce is very pressing for our state as technology continues to advance in all aspects of our lives.
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I have been in the economic development profession for around 16 years all while working for Entergy. I absolutely love being able to work with so many communities and partners across the state on projects that help make a positive impact. There is always something new going on and plenty of opportunities to get involved.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? There is a saying we are hearing a lot these days – we are better together. That is most definitely true in the economic development profession. There is so much to learn from others, good and bad, and most are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Develop your network and know that relationships are key in this industry. You need to build a team of experts and volunteers to help build up your community. Everyone has something to contribute.

Jim Youngquist

Executive Director

Arkansas Economic Development Institute

Jim Youngquist is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) Founded by the University of Arkansas in 1955, AEDI provides applied research, technical assistance, and training to support and enhance community economic development throughout Arkansas. Jim has consulted nationally and internationally in the areas of regional governance, strategic assessment, urban and regional planning, and community economic development.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? The vast changes in topography and culture from the Delta to Mountains and from the capital city to small little towns.
  2. Very few people know that I helped design the parking structure and circulation patterns for One Canal Place in New Orleans.
  3. Favorite book, movie, and piece of music: … Book: Henry Clay: The Man Who Would Be President. Movie: The Sandlot. Song: “You’ve Got a Friend”
  4. Website that I cannot live without (besides Google) The website of the National Association of Development Organizations: www.nado.org.
  5. My first job was: Transportation Planner for Urban Systems & Associates, New Orleans, LA.
  6. The greatest risk I ever took was… Working through a bitter process to package a deal to reopen the Green River Steel Company in Owensboro, KY - working with U. S. Senators, Congressman, former owners, the United Steel Workers Union representatives, and hundreds of out of work former employees. The happy ending was that it opened back up but unfortunately at a much smaller scale.
  7. The historical figure I admire most: Henry Clay
  8. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community is most pressing in your mind? Lack of Workforce Housing
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? Working with and designing a structure for community leaders and citizens to address the challenges and/or opportunities they must act upon to make their community better; and, when they realize that it is them, not some outside expert that knows their community best; and it is them that must embrace making their community a better place.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Listen. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know but I will find out." Always be prepared to adjust on the fly. It is not my way or the highway. Be willing to compromise.