Bryant Chamber names new President and CEO
Courtesy of The Saline Courier
By: Elisha Morrison
The Greater Bryant Area Chamber of Commerce has named a new president and CEO.
“I want to make a difference and I want be part of an organization that makes a difference,” Jason Brown, new president and CEO, said during an exclusive interview with The Saline Courier. “I want to help Bryant become a better place to be and live.”
Brown is not a stranger to the Bryant Chamber. He served on its board for eight years before he sold his Farmer’s Insurance Agency and moved on to work for a different company.
As a member of the board, he was proud of his contributions in helping start the annual Duct Tape Boat Race that has been a part of Fall Fest, helping institute a point system to determine Ambassador of the Year and starting leads groups at the Chamber.
He has served as chairman of the Chamber board as well. During his time on the Chamber board, Brown also was a member of the board at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bryant for six years.
Before owning his own insurance company, Brown owned several Firehouse Subs locations.
David Hannah, current chairman of the Chamber board and the leader of the search committee, said the board had “very specific qualities, experience, energy and personality it was looking for to fill the position and Brown fits those requirements.”
Hannah described Brown as a “real go-getter who already has contacts in the area with the background and expertise the board wanted.”
He also feels Brown is a great compliment to the staff already at the Chamber. “Jason is the kind of leader who can develop relationships and partnerships that can carry us to the next level as we grow with the community,” Hannah said.
Brown is leaving a position working for ABI Insurance company in Hot Springs Village to take on the new role. While working for ABI, Brown was a member of the Hot Springs Village board and served for a time as its president.
When Brown heard that Bryant’s previous president and CEO, Todd Rhoden, resigned to take a position closer to his wife’s family, he decided he needed to apply for the job.
“I was ready to come back to Bryant,” Brown said, adding he was born and raised in Arkansas. He is originally from Sheridan, but now lives in Little Rock with his wife, Sheri, and his 16-year-old son, Gabriel.
He plans to buy property in Bryant and build a house.
Brown feels his community service, focus on relationships and experience as a business owner makes him a good fit to take on the president and CEO role.
He believes building relationships is an integral part of his position.
As a former board member, Brown thinks he will have a good idea of where board members are coming from and better understand their needs. He also believes his experience will help foster better communication.
Before Brown sets definite goals, he wants to hear what the board, Chamber staff and members feel is needed to move forward.
Cheryl Smith, director of operations, thinks Brown is a good choice for the role because of his experience as a former board member who can understand the Chamber’s needs.
“I am excited,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to see the changes he makes. I can’t wait to see the goals he sets and to begin to work toward them.”
His most-important priority from the start is member retention. Brown wants to keep the members happy and grow the Chamber.
Brown plans to promote member businesses and he is a big supporter of shopping local. He believes if a member business has an item, there is no reason to go elsewhere.
Brown describes himself as a fair, honest person who doesn’t play games or sugar coat the truth. He said he is business minded and wants to bring stability and steady growth to the Chamber.
“I am excited about where I think we can go as a Chamber,” Brown said. “The potential is there, and it is our job to bring it out and make it happen.”