Donald Boone is not from Arkansas, but has spent the past 15 years working in Jacksonville and living in Cabot. During this time, he said, he became more of a part of the city he works in than of his place of residence, and much of that feeling is a result of his involvement in the chamber of Jacksonville trade.
“There is no doubt that we are all hoping that we can come together as business owners and residents of Jacksonville and continue to keep the two up to date with what is going on,” Boone said. “It is essential to stay in touch and build relationships between us and our members.”
Boone is the chairman of the chamber board this year. He replaces Steven Pawloski, under whom Boone served as vice president.
“Steve was very vocal and very involved,” said Boone. “I believe the year before (2019) he was named Volunteer of the Year.
“I’m here to be very involved and for us to support each other. Steve did a good job pushing this and getting everyone to do it. “
Pawloski said Boone was great working with him and always volunteered and tried to help with the goal of improving the room.
“We were hit with COVID-19 pretty badly, and there wasn’t much we could do, but Donald has his own ideas, and I think we’re in good hands,” Pawloski said. “He has two things in mind, and they must help [members’ businesses] grow and help Jacksonville grow as a city.
Pawloski said that as president in 2020, he wanted to institute many programs, but hadn’t had a chance because of COVID-19.
“We went from prosperity to survival, but we made sure that each member received all the information they needed, including on the [Paycheck Protection Program] loans and updates on mask mandates, ”Pawloski said. “We also had an additional golf tournament to try and network a little more, as all the events we had planned inside have been postponed.
“Hopefully, with Donald in charge, we can host some of these events this year.”
Boone was born and raised in Nevada, moving to the Biloxi, Mississippi area as a teenager because his father worked in casinos. Boone said he magically traveled to Arkansas 14 or 15 years ago and the state has been kind to him, both professionally and to his family.
He said he moved to Arkansas after following one of his parents to the state. He said that a few years after moving here he got married.
Boone has worked in the banking industry since moving to Arkansas. He worked for Centennial Bank in Jacksonville for nearly six years as Market President for the Jacksonville Market. He said he was mainly involved in commercial loans.
“I love what I’m doing, especially during this time,” he said. “We help business owners find creative ways to keep businesses going – it’s really great doing what I do.
“It certainly goes hand in hand with what the bedroom is.”
Boone said the banking industry “found it.” When he moved to Arkansas he was working in the mobile phone industry as a sales representative and after taking some time off he immediately found a job in the banking world. He said it was fun building relationships and leading people towards financial stability.
“I’m proud to be part of the group of people who can do this stuff,” he said.
Courtney Dunn, chief executive and director of economic development for the chamber, said she was excited about Boone and his new role as chairman of the board.
“He has played a very active role in the chamber and the board leading up to his role as chairman, and I know that will continue this year and in the years to come,” said Dunn. “Donald is a great candidate for chairman of the board for 2021. He understands the challenges companies have been facing recently and can help me and the board find other ways to reach our goals. businesses and provide them with the resources they need. ”
For more information on the Jacksonville Chamber, visit jacksonvillear.org.
Boone said the bedroom affects all phases of business owners and for him networking is a huge plus for what he does for a living.
“Resources, as well as contacts, are good to pass on to others, as well as ongoing networking,” Boone said. “The more I get involved, it’s been good for me and for the chamber – it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.”
As vice president of the chamber in 2020, Boone participated in his annual golf tournament, as well as trap sessions or whatever could be done outside due to COVID-19. He said that, just like in other businesses, there were plenty of Zoom calls, emails and interactions through social media to help business owners stay informed.
“The chamber went out of its way to always be there and involved,” he said. “They all did a great job of keeping things afloat and still had a fun year.”
Boone said one of his goals this year is to help the chamber have more face-to-face interactions and bring things back to normal.
“We’re a good resource for other businesses to call and help and bring everyone together,” he said. “We want to do more than emails and phone calls.
“The more involved you are in the bedroom, the more you come out of it.”
Editor Sam Pierce can be reached at (501) 244-4314 or [email protected]