The Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives (AEDCE) recognized Julie Allen, Katherine Holmstrom and Kimberly B. Dale during its 2021 Annual Conference award luncheon on Monday, Aug. 23, in Jonesboro.
AEDCE awards recognize volunteer and professional economic developers and chamber executives for significant achievement in his/her community, region, and state over the course of his/her career to include professionalism, experience, training and education, service to AEDCE and the profession.
“Each year Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to serve their communities and the state of Arkansas,” said J.D. Lowery, president of Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives. “Whether through recruitment, promotion, or working to retain employment opportunities, these are the people in our profession we all strive to be. Congratulations to all those being honored this year.”
Julie Allen, PCED, was recognized as Outstanding Chamber Executive. Allen has served as executive director of Newport Area Chamber of Commerce since 2002. She is a 1994 graduate of Arkansas State University. In addition to her duties as Chamber director, Julie volunteers with many Newport area organizations and non-profits. She was a charter member of the Downtown Revitalization & Volunteer Improvement Effort and the Newport School District Charitable Foundation, still serving on both boards. She is treasurer of the Jackson County Humane Society, board secretary for the Newport Country Club, is current president of the Newport Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She also serves on the board of the AEDCE and was named Jackson County’s Woman of the Year in 2019. Julie will be celebrating her 20th anniversary at the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce in April.
Katherine Holmstron, PCED, was recognized as Outstanding Economic Developer. Holmstrom is a senior project manager in the Business Development Division at the AEDC. Her primary responsibility is facilitating the growth of both new and expanding companies in Arkansas. She has worked with companies such as Amazon, Tyson, Walmart and Nice-Pak to help them expand or locate within the state. Katherine has 13 years of community and economic development experience in Arkansas.
rior to joining AEDC in 2011, Katherine worked for U.S. Congressman Marion Berry. A native of DeWitt, Arkansas, she holds a degree from Arkansas State University. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, the University of Central Arkansas’ Community Development Institute, and the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute. She currently serves as past president on the board of directors of the AEDCE and executive director for the Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association. She also currently serves on the War Memorial Stadium Commission where she was appointed by Hutchinson in May 2020.
Kimberly B. Dale was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Dale is a principal in the firm of Branch, Thompson, Warmath & Dale. She is a native of Rector, Arkansas and attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. Kimberly practiced law in Little Rock, Stuttgart and Fayetteville before moving to Paragould in 2005 to begin working at the Branch firm. Kimberly is a member of the Greene County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. Kimberly serves on the Arkansas Trial Lawyers board of governors and she is president elect for the Arkansas Land Title Association. She is involved in many community and civic organizations throughout her community and State of Arkansas.
Governor Asa Hutchinson commended the outstanding leaders, stating, “COVID-19 has pushed our state to the limits in all areas, but thanks to the leadership of your honorees, and to all the chambers, Arkansas is emerging from the pandemic on the firm economic foundation that chambers have been laying for years. These winners have produced a template for robust economic development in Arkansas.”