New Vision Newport – One Class Ends and Another Begins


A graduation dinner honoring the 2013-2014 New Vision Newport graduates was held in May at the Newport Country Club.  Sponsors, past graduates and the general public were in attendance to congratulate the following class members who committed their time to the nine-month leadership development program:


Lisa Banks, Wal-Mart; DeAnna Bowers, Jackson County Learning Center; Josh Brandt, Merchants & Planters Bank; Chris Clark, Farmers Electric Cooperative; Scott Cooper, George Kell Motors; Jarrod Eddington, Eddington Contruction; Bo Ellis, Jacksonport State Park; Jessie Emery, Harris Ford; Sherrie Hanley, Lindley Health & Rehab; Brittany Johnston, Purdy’s Flowers & Gifts; Ryan Lloyd, Highway Church; Lindsey McClellan, City of Newport; Sara Michael, ASU-Newport; Dallas Neal, Acxiom; Jorge Salinas, Newport Country Club; Sam Smith, Arkansas Steel Associates; Tristan Sweatt, Newport High School (student); Tim Watson, Jr., Watson & Watson; and Jessica Whitten, Harris Hospital.


In addition to the monthly sessions, the class was assigned to one of three community projects in conjunction with a partner organization.  With their hard work, the following projects have been completed or will be completed in the coming weeks:


  • Preservation of a well found underneath the Wishon building on the corner of Front and Hazel Streets in downtown Newport.  The team is in the process of installing a fountain, concrete pad and stone wall around the well using a grant from Sears Hometown Store and funds raised locally.  The partner organization was the Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort.
  • Completion of a Merchants in May event to promote local businesses in partnership with the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce.  This team had dozens of participating businesses showcasing their products or services at the Village Mall parking lot on May 31. The event included food and activities for children and was free for the businesses.
  • Addressing old or damaged signs at businesses in Newport.  Partnering with Keep Newport Beautiful, this team secured commitments from many local businesses who will either have their signs removed by the city or will apply for a ReNewport Grant through the Newport Economic Development Commission for a new sign.


We are very proud of these accomplishments by a great group of people!


We are taking applications for the new Class which will start in September.  If you are interesting in participating in New Vision Newport or in having one of your employees participate, please contact the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-523-3618 or


New Vision Newport is an adult leadership development program of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce.  It offer class members leadership skills, a greater knowledge of various aspects of our community, on-site visits to local businesses and manufacturers, a trip to Little Rock, team building and relationship building skills.  The goal of participants is to gain self-confidence, to achieve personal goals and to be a better and more productive citizen in the workplace and the community.