More than 200 attended a Thursday (Mar. 29) night “Business After Hours” type event and more than 300 attended the First Friday Breakfast as part of the launch of a Regional Business Expo by the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The expo features more than 75 vendor booths — including The City Wire — and is held at the Phoenix Expo Center.
Company representatives with a booth at the expo were able to mingle during Thursday evening event. They were also entertained by the Don Bailey Jazz Combo.
The First Friday Breakfast featured Sandy Edwards with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. Crystal Bridges opened in November 2011 and is having a huge impact on Arkansas cultural tourism. More than 200,000 people have visited since the opening.
The 201,000 square foot museum is situated in a deep ravine within a 120-acre forested campus and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Eight pavilions provide 12 distinct gallery spaces. The museum is dedicated to American art and provides a perspective spanning five centuries from the colonial to the contemporary. For the most part, the museum configuration sets up a counter clockwise progression that chronicles the style, focus and direction of American art from colonial settlement until now.
Expo events also include a Friday luncheon with featured speaker Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Associated Industries of Arkansas. Zook is expected to leads a discussion on how legislation affects business in Arkansas, specifically the proposed Severance Tax.
The City Wire will have full reports later today on the comments of Edwards and Zook.
Expo sponsors include:
Luncheon Sponsor: Westark Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Service
Supporting Sponsor: University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
First Friday Breakfast Sponsor: Alpha Packaging
Business After 5 sponsors: Hiram Walker and Phoenix Expo Center
Hospitality Sponsor: Cintas