Member Spotlight | Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives

Member Spotlight

Julie Murray, PCED

President & CEO

Van Buren Chamber of Commerce

Julie Murray is the President and CEO of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for leading the Chamber in its mission to prepare, develop, and promote the Van Buren community for economic growth. Julie has earned the certification of Professional Community and Economic Developer and serves on the boards of the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District and the Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? It’s beauty and wildlife. Our state has the most beautiful scenery, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and abundant wildlife to watch.
  2. Very few people know that I was an adjunct professor at John Brown University in the Graduate Business Program.
  3. What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self? Just because your passionate about something, doesn’t mean you are right.
  4. Top three things on your bucket list? There is only one right now. And that is to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends when this pandemic comes to an end.
  5. If you were a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have? (Choose two) I think we would all like to have the superpower to kill a virus!!!! The second superpower would be to prevent future viruses.
  6. If you weren’t in economic development/chamber work, what would you be doing? I would be teaching grad school.
  7. The greatest risk I ever took was… Naively, taking a job to lead a Chamber of Commerce when I had no idea what a Chamber does. Although I had no concept of how big that risk was at the time, it was one of the best career decisions I have made.
  8. What issue facing Arkansas, or your local community is most pressing in your mind? Like everyone else in this profession at the moment, I am focused on making sure our businesses have what they need to navigate the pandemic.
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I have been in this profession for 6 years and I love that what we do can have an immediate positive impact on the quality of people’s lives.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Go to every meeting and every conference that you can. Take every opportunity to learn about this profession and get involved. Meet as many people as you can. Most of those people are going to become great friends. Learning and networking is the quickest and most valuable way to expand your resources and the resources for your community.