Business Briefs (Sept. 14, 2009)

● Hot Springs National Park will be featured in the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The coin will be the first to be released in the new series beginning in 2010. Hot Springs was established as a national site in 1832. The quarters will be issued sequentially each year, in the order in which the featured site was first established as a national park or site. To place subscription orders, visit  www.usmint.gov/catalog or call (800) 872-6468.

● Scott Price has been named executive vice president, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia. He will have responsibility for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s operations in Asia, including China, India and Japan, as well as business development in the Asia region, an area that has 630 retail units with more than 100,000 associates. He will be based in Wal-Mart's regional office in Hong Kong.

● Fayetteville Community Foundation recently joined the Arkansas Community Foundation family of philanthropists, becoming ARCF's Fayetteville Area Community Foundation local affiliate office. Kim Dutton, who has been Fayetteville Community Foundation's president and CEO, becomes the community director for FACF, and board members of the previous foundation make up the new FACF advisory board.

● Harding University's electrical and mechanical engineering programs have received accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology.

● Allegiant Air of Las Vegas is adding a twice-a-week nonstop jet flight from Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport to Sandford International in Orlando, Fla., beginning Nov. 19, with introductory fares as low as $69.99 each way. Regular fare is $89.99. The flights will be on Thursday and Sunday.

● Charley's Grilled Subs opened last week at McCain Mall in North Little Rock. The national chain restaurant, which grills sub sandwiches in front of customers, is located near the center court.

● Little Rock Wastewater has been selected for the 2009 Best of Little Rock Award in the wastewater treatment category by the U.S. Commerce Association. Each year, the USCA identifies companies it believes have achieved exceptional marketing success in their communities and business categories through service to their customers and community.

● A 67-room Country Inn & Suites by Carlson has opened in Conway at 750 Amity Road. Danny Patel is the general manager. The nonsmoking hotel offers a variety of guest room styles, including standard rooms, studio suites, one-bedroom suites, Jacuzzi rooms and extended-stay suites.

● Verizon Wireless has been recognized for the "Highest Call Quality Performance Among Wireless Cell Phone Users in the Southwest," which includes Arkansas, in the J.D. Power & Associates' 2009 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, Volume 2. More than 24,000 wireless phone subscribers were surveyed in the first half of the year about their experience with dropped calls, static/interference, failed connection on the first try, voice distortion, echoes, no immediate voice mail notification and no immediate text message notification. This year alone, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $21 million to expand and advance its network in Arkansas.

● The Arkansas Health Department is seeking immunization providers for its coming H1N1 vaccination campaign. With financial support from the state and federal government, the department is planning to provide protection from both the seasonal flu and the new 2009 H1N1 flu this fall. It is recruiting medical professionals who are authorized to administer H1N1 vaccine in Arkansas, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacists and community vaccinators. Immunization providers may pre-register their interest at www.healthyarkansas.com or call the Immunization Network for Children Help Desk at (800) 574-4040.

● Rafal Laski, a vice president of Heifer International and director of its Central/Eastern European program, has been fired after $34,000 in "irregularities" was found in his travel expenses. He had been with Heifer since 1998 and was promoted to vice president in 2005. Heifer said the investigation was continuing and that it planned to pursue full restitution. Audit findings will be turned over to the prosecutor's office.

● The Small Business Administration, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and O'Neal Technologies will provide a free business development workshop titled "Business Development-Strategic Marketing" from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the chamber office in Little Rock. Those wishing to register should visit www.onealtectraining.com.

● The Arkansas Governor's Council on Fitness is accepting nominations for the 2009 Leadership in Physical Fitness Awards through Sept. 30. Organizations and individuals who have helped promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles are currently being sought for recognition in the following categories: corporate, government agency, individual, group, senior, health and fitness club, school or school district, physical educator and trails. Individuals or organizations interested in applying for an award or nominating an individual or organization should visit www.arkansasfitness.com or call (501) 918-5321.

● Anthony Forest Products Co. of El Dorado has won the first ever "Safest Company Award" in its category of three or fewer APA- The Engineered Wood Association member mills for 2008, one of only two awarded. Anthony Forest's Arkansas Laminating Plant at El Dorado and Georgia Laminating Plant in Washington were also recognized in the "Incident Free Honor Society."