Two States on the Same Side (Letter from Lundy Kiger)

The Fort Smith Regional Alliance (FSRA) has spent the past four years building a regional coalition that takes in people, business and industry from eight counties in two different states. The most important accomplishment we’ve achieved to date is knowing who we are and specifically what our overall mission entails.

The FSRA does not create jobs, but we work to create a better environment for our Economic Development Professionals to promote our area in being ready for new prospects to locate. We have developed key relationships within our specified area, and we have the ability to reach out to state agencies, elected officials and business owners allowing us to work together for “Our” common good.

We’ve had the opportunity to help others in our region when called upon for specific work needed in passing legislation and making leaders aware when an industry or agency is experiencing financial problems or hardships that could affect our area and quality of life.

We’ve learned from each other and we help each other because what’s good for Fort Smith is good for Poteau, Okla., and every other part of our region.

If you’re a member of the FSRA and you live in Poteau, you will know the mayor of Mulberry, Ark., and what that particular small city has to offer or if Ozark, Ark., has a college. Without the Alliance, we might not even be aware that Mulberry exists or that Ozark has a technical school producing a stronger workforce.

Our goal for the future is to continue building a stronger cohesive Alliance and to train new leaders with the vision to continue the effort of working together. The FSRA is two states, but we’re all working together in having “One State of Mind, Together.”

Lundy Kiger

Chairman, Fort Smith Regional Alliance