Breakthrough Solutions Presents 2019 SOAR Awards
Two Arkansas communities eagerly engaging volunteers and residents to improve their hometowns were recently presented with the 2019 Breakthrough Solutions SOAR Awards.
Kickstart Sheridan and Baxter County Forward received the awards at the Breakthrough Solutions Conference on June 26 for their exemplary vision and accomplishments. The Breakthrough Solutions SOAR Awards are given to communities, regions, or individuals who best exemplify the Breakthrough solutions principles and spirit in their community development work.
A community partner was also recognized at the recent conference in Little Rock. Tandee White, with Entergy Arkansas, took home the SOAR Partner Award for her exemplary service to the Breakthrough Solutions Program and the people of Arkansas.
White joined Entergy Arkansas in January 1995 and has worked in marketing, corporate communications, and regulatory affairs. The majority of her time with Entergy has been spent in economic development where she is responsible for the design and coordination of Community Development programs at Entergy.
White provides consultation services to communities on site identification, development and certification; community and economic development education and training; and community and economic development planning.
With the theme “This is Our Time,” Kickstart Sheridan successfully completed its strategic blueprint and action plan with a launch event on May 7, 2019. A collaboration between University of Central Arkansas' Center for Community and Economic Development and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service's Breakthrough Solutions Program, Kickstart Sheridan was formed after a team of Community Development Institute graduates interacted with Sheridan, Grant County, and the Sheridan School District representatives last summer.
Following a community survey, action teams formed and included: Downtown Development, Recreation and Things to Do, Education and Economic Development, Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship, and Infrastructure.
Likewise, Baxter County Forward started out with the future in mind. Initially sponsored by the Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce, a broad-based steering committee was formed to engage in the Breakthrough Solutions development process, leading to a strategic blueprint and action plan.
The county’s population loss and its effect on the community was major catalyst for this initiative. After a community survey, the following actions teams emerged: Drugs, Business and Industry, Education and Workforce Development, Quality of Place, Tourism, Marketing, Branding, Retirees and Retiree Attraction, and Funding and Finance.
Congratulations to the 2019 Breakthrough Solutions SOAR Award winners.