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Russellville Area News


Date ArticleType
12/5/2018 Press Release


(Russellville, AR) - Close to 500 Chamber members gathered at The Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting held on December 4th at the Russellville High School Cyclone Arena to hear Governor Asa Hutchinson’s address and see Mr. Billy Newton named the 2018 Citizen of the Year.

Governor Hutchinson spoke about the economic and financial growth Russellville has seen as of late including a $50 million expansion at ConAgra Brands. He also spoke highly of Arkansas Tech University and his excitement to see the Governor’s School relocated to ATU, as well as their Computer Science and Game Design programs.

As Newton was introduced by 2017 COTY, Mr. Fred Teague, Teague highlighted three themes that Newton’s life has exemplified: generosity, beauty from ashes, and his love of baseball. All three have made a major impact on Newton’s contributions to the city of Russellville. Newton was a founding member of the Arkansas River Valley Boys & Girls Club, coached for youth league teams for many years, and in the wake of his son Stan Newton’s passing earlier in the year, created a scholarship fund for local students pursuing collegiate baseball.

One of Mr. Newton’s latest gifts to the community is his substantial investment into downtown revitalization in the form of the Old Bank Sports Grill, which has helped turn around the economy of our historic downtown district.

Kylia Stewart with Suddenlink Media became the first three-time recipient of the Red Coat Ambassador of the Year. Stewart was chosen by a vote of her committee peers based on several different factors including involvement for the year. Jarred Toland and J.D. Garrison were both recognized as Lifetime Red Coat Ambassadors upon completing ten years of service on the committee. The Russellville Chamber Red Coat Ambassador Committee is a group of volunteers supporting the Chamber’s mission, its members and activities.

The Chamber was presented with a plaque by Perry Webb of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the United State Chamber of Commerce. The United States Chamber of Commerce recently awarded the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce with 4-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

Mike Preston with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission also presented the Chamber and The Arkansas Valley Alliance with the City of Russellville’s designation as a Competitive Community. The Competitive Communities Initiative evaluation aims to ensure the city’s preparedness to successfully compete for jobs and investments. “We’re excited to recognize Russellville as the newest city to achieve certification through the Competitive Communities Initiative,” said Mike Preston, AEDC executive director. “The work done by the community leaders involved in this process will enable Russellville to better position itself to win expansion and new location opportunities.”

The Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce stands as a voluntary organization of businesses and professional men and women who have joined together for the purpose of promoting the civic, economic, professional, cultural, and industrial progress of our community. For more information about the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce and their programs call 479-968-2530 or visit

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Do you love the idea of walking down the main street in the morning, grabbing a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop and heading off to work only to finish your day in your kayak, taking a quick hike or bike ride? If so, Russellville is the place for you. With our increasing number of urban shops and living area, our growing cultural atmosphere, amazing schools and an increasing number of job opportunities, Russellville has something for everyone.