Member Spotlight | Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives

Member Spotlight

Vickie Williamson

Economic Development Director

Little River County Intermodal Authority

Vickie Williamson is the Economic Development Director for Little River County and the Little River Intermodal Authority; whose mission is to build an intermodal facility to assist manufacturers and shippers in Southwest Arkansas. Vickie has been involved in all areas of planning and development for the intermodal facility - determining the needs of local companies, marketing the facility to outside shippers, working with the railroad and shipping lines to develop routes, assisting in the design, and searching for funding to build the facility. Construction will begin after the tree clearing has been completed so her responsibilities are now evolving into securing the funding through various sources, determining the phases of construction, and business development in the logistic park as well as the county.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? The people – Arkansas has such a rich diversity of people from down-home country to quite urban, funny to serious, just plain ole common sense to very educated, and everything in between. If you enjoy people and personalities, this is a wonderful place to be!
  2. Very few people know that I love to operate equipment like small excavators, backhoes, tractors, etc.
  3. What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self? Enjoy the journey. Very few of us have any idea what we’ll be when we actually grow up and most of the things we worry about don’t even matter. The important things are the moments along the way.
  4. Top three things on your bucket list? Go to the Northeast in the autumn. I lose myself in the colors of fall. Open a country home market with a coffee shop, flea market flips, and farm-to-table goods. Learn to play the saxophone.
  5. If you were a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have? (Choose two) The spiderweb – there are definitely people I would like to contain for just a little while! Also, the ability to fly.
  6. If you weren’t in economic development/chamber work, what would you be doing? Teaching – I was probably born to be a teacher.
  7. The greatest risk I ever took was… Not taking a risk, I think. I have a few regrets.
  8. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community is most pressing in your mind? Assisting our small businesses through this most difficult year. Every time I read the record-breaking profits of the large retail chains, I see the worry and stress on the faces of my friends and neighbors as they try to just figure out how to survive.
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I’ve been in economic development for eight years. I am blessed to truly enjoy my job, but probably the role I enjoy most is as a community builder. I love working with others to determine what we want our community’s personality to be and how to get there. Economic Development is just one aspect of that goal.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Listen. Chamber/economic development professionals are so willing to share thoughts and ideas that have worked for them, as well as pitfalls to avoid. We all wish we had listened to our parents instead of making the same mistakes they tried to warn us about. It’s the same principle.

Bill Rogers, IOM

VP of Communications/Special Projects

Springdale Chamber of Commerce

Bill Rogers, after serving 22 years as vice president of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, has been promoted to succeed the retiring Perry Webb as president of the organization beginning January 1. In his various roles with the Springdale Chamber, Rogers provided lead staff oversight for the majority of major Chamber initiatives that helped grow the organization and support most of the city’s best-known infrastructure programs. His work in promoting Chamber-supported bond issues helped secure voter approval that has constructed Arvest Ballpark, major street corridors, parks, fire stations, and municipal facilities. He is a 2007 graduate of U.S. Chamber Institute and a 2003 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? We are a determined, resourceful, successful, friendly, and caring people.
  2. Very few people know that I… As public address voice for Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks from 1976-1981 and later as Associate Sports Information Director for the Hogs, I created the phrases “THEESE are the Arkansas Razorbacks”, and “Basketball Palace of Mid-America”.
  3. What advice would you give to your 21-year old self? Don’t worry that you have no idea what you want to do when you grow up.
  4. Top three things on your bucket list? Visit Europe, break 80 in golf, attend The Kennedy Center Honors awards.
  5. If you were a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have? (Choose two) Superman is the greatest superhero so super durability and flight.
  6. If you weren’t in economic development/chamber work, what would you be doing? Public Relations
  7. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community is most pressing in your mind? Growing in our efforts to be more inclusive and helping our emerging workforce prepare for tomorrow’s economy.
  8. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? Perry Webb hired me as his economic developer in June of 1998. I love that every day we have the opportunity to improve our community and help businesses grow and create jobs.
  9. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Make friends in the profession, develop strong relationships and spend time with those willing to mentor you.