New chamber head | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New chamber head

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 6:53 PM

To Joe Six-Pack this doesn't mean squat, but trust me, it at least means squat. The fellow who'll be heading the lobbying effort of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in the next legislative session is Randy Zook, moving over from AEDC.


SPRINGDALE – June 26, 2008) After a four month nationwide search, the Executive Committee of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas has named Randy Zook as President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization.  Zook currently serves as Deputy Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.  He will assume his new position July 28.

Said Randy Wilbourn, Chairman of the Search Committee, “Randy Zook is exactly what this organization was looking for in a President and CEO.   Paul Harvel has given us more than two great years of his talents in resource building and financial stability.  We now look forward to a new era of leadership with Randy and the passion and expertise he brings to business, industry and economic development for the state of Arkansas.”

In his new position, Zook will be responsible for leading the state’s largest public policy and business and industry advocacy organization through a shared vision and collaboration among private and public sector leaders.   The State Chamber advocates for policies and provides programs that seek to improve education, economic development, tax structure and a more competitive and prosperous Arkansas. 

Zook said of his appointment, “It has been an important and meaningful time working with Governor Beebe and AEDC Director Maria Haley as we have helped to create almost 10,000 new jobs in our state.  This opportunity to lead the State Chamber of Commerce allows me to continue this work at a different level and in a different arena but with the same partners who share a vision for successful economic outcomes.  Collaboration will be the key to building a successful prosperous Arkansas. I am ready to work with the membership, the local chambers of commerce, economic developers and the Arkansas General Assembly as we forge ahead to create even greater opportunities for Arkansas and her people.”

A native of McGehee, Zook is a 1966 graduate of the University of Arkansas where he earned a bachelor of science in business administration.   Prior to joining AEDC, he spent nearly 34 years with Atlantic Envelope Company of Atlanta, serving as president and chief executive officer of the $200 million company from 1989 to 2004.  After his retirement, he began his second career involved in economic development efforts. In 2006, he served as chairman of the Central Ozarks Task Force for Economic Development and currently serves as a member of the Melbourne Airport Commission.

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA represents over 1,070 businesses and business interest organizations statewide.  For over 80 years, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA has been the leading advocate for continually enhancing the business climate of Arkansas.


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