SRACC GENERAL MEETING Sept. 19th FEATURES LAURA MILLER FROM ASBTDC (Posted by Ginger Smith)

The Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce General Meeting will be held at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 19, at Rebel Time Out restaurant in Highland and will feature Laura Miller, director of the Arkansas State Business and Technology Development Center.

Laura Miller joined the ASBTDC in September 2000. She previously held the positions of training coordinator and business consultant and was promoted to center director in January 2014. Laura provides consulting assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs in her 15-county territory primarily in the areas of market research, business planning and loan proposal development.

Miller obtained an MBA from Pittsburg State University and her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She previously worked as a small business consultant in the Kansas SBDC network. She is a Certified Business Advisor and has obtained her Export and Trade Counseling Certification designation. Laura received the Arkansas State Star award from the Association of Small Business Development Centers in 2008 and earned ASBTDC Employee Excellence Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The General Meeting is open to the public and lunch is available for purchase.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.