Member Spotlight | Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives

Member Spotlight

Darryl Treat

Executive Director

Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce

Darryl Treat is the Executive Director of the all-volunteer Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce that is charged with promoting 200+ members and serving as the tourism bureau and lead economic developer in all of Searcy County. Darryl graduated from Marshall High School and the University of Arkansas before embarking on an almost 27-year career in the Air Force where he was a B-52 master navigator and also flew on other aircraft in an airborne battle staff capacity. Darryl also put to use a broadcast journalism degree in Air Force Public Affairs and was the recruiting squadron commander at Little Rock AFB. He also has a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Rhode Island.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? Arkansas is home! I’m the eighth generation of my family to live in Searcy County! We’ve been here since the 1830s.
  2. Very few people know that I… am a gospel preacher for the Marshall Church of Christ and I also own a small business in Leslie, Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC.
  3. What song describes your life right now? “Ole Baugh Road” by Alabama
  4. If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be? Learn to speak Spanish.
  5. You can have a fictional character as a friend. Whom do you choose and why? I might identify with George Bailey of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Two people laboring in a small town, but both blessed by the love of the community that they serve.
  6. My first job was: Probably picking strawberries here in Searcy County. We were known at one time as the Strawberry Capital of the World! I also worked in the green tomato industry and hauled hay.
  7. The greatest risk I ever took was flying for the United States Air Force.
  8. Thinking about your community, what is the one thing of which you are most proud? We’ve made a difference! Over the course of nine years, we’ve grown our chamber of commerce substantially, we’ve won a Henry Award in tourism and created several new local attractions, we’ve professionalized the chamber, we’ve helped to bring national attention to Searcy County, and we have one of the most followed and engaging chamber of commerce Facebooks in all of Arkansas!
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I’m now beginning my 10th year as our chamber of commerce director. The freedom to create, innovate, and improve and then rapidly implement is what I like most! A dedicated support staff and the trust of our membership and our community allow us to be dynamic and agile.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? Read a daily newspaper! Being informed alerts you to opportunities and threats and also exposes you to benchmark quality ideas!

Suzy Griffin

VP of Economic Development

Arkansas Valley Alliance for Economic Development and Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce

As Workforce Development Director Suzy serves as the point of contact for the Russellville Regional Workforce Development Cabinet to area school districts, employers, and businesses. The goal of this program is to develop and support activities that meet workforce needs and increase local career awareness. A long-term vision is to facilitate earlier career path exposure and involvement of students while enhancing the effectiveness of career conversations in the region.

  1. What do you love most about Arkansas? The spirit of the people. Most are fair, willing to help, and understand that we are in this together.
  2. Very few people know that I am raising my grandsons, ages 9 and 8.
  3. What song describes your life right now? “When You Believe” performed by Pentatonix
  4. If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be? Learn to play the piano, because my grandmother played for her church for many years and I inherited her piano.
  5. You can have a fictional character as a friend. Who do you choose and why? Phoebe from “Friends” because I understand how she thinks
  6. My first job was… When I was 14 and it was clearing brush with the Youth Conservation Corps around the shores of Lake Dardanelle.
  7. The greatest risk I ever took was…? The greatest risk I ever took was flying in a small plane with a pilot who looked like he was 16, around the peak of Mount Denali. Totally worth it.
  8. Thinking about your community, what is the one thing of which you are most proud? The thing I am most proud of about Russellville is our stability due to a balance of manufacturing, education, and tourism.
  9. How long have you been in the chamber/economic development profession? What do you like most about your job? I have worked for the Chamber for fourteen years, in several capacities. Over the last five years, I have focused on economic development and workforce development.
  10. What is the best career advice you would give someone in the chamber/economic development profession? My advice for anyone in the field, new (or old like me), follow the State Chamber, the AEDC, and AEDCE on social media.