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Darrin Williams and Scott Ford will be among the speakers at Next Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy

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Westrock Group CEO and co-founder Scott Ford and Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams are among the featured executives scheduled to speak during the spring 2021 Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy.

Ford and Williams are part of a speaker lineup that also includes Kelley Commercial Partners CEO Hank Kelley, The Design Group CEO Myron Jackson and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute CEO Marta Loyd. The Executive Leadership Academy, an exclusive, five-session leadership development program, begins March 5 at the UA Little Rock Downtown location in Little Rock’s River Market district.

Arkansas Business launched the Executive Leadership Academy in 2017 for the state’s rising stars with help from Insight Leadership Group of Northwest Arkansas. The Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy is a unique learning experience that includes a personal strengths assessment, one-on-one coaching, problem solving and mentorship.

Those poised to be the state’s next CEOs, presidents or executive directors, and Arkansas’ small-business owners and entrepreneurs, are encouraged to apply. Feb. 8 is the deadline to submit applications to attend the exclusive program.

“We are thrilled to again have some of the state’s top leaders join us to share their insights on running a successful organization,” said Chris Bahn, publisher for business special publications at Arkansas Business Publishing Group. “Pairing their wisdom with custom-built leadership curriculum and personalized strengths assessments make the Executive Leadership Academy a unique learning experience.”

Dates and session topics scheduled for spring 2021 include:

March 5
Build Your Foundation: Leading from Core Values
Marta Loyd, CEO Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

March 19
Build Your Culture: Leading an Engaged Workforce
Myron Jackson, CEO The Design Group

April 2
Build Your Endurance: Leading Through Conflict/Crisis
Darrin Williams, CEO Southern Bancorp

April 16
Build Your Pipeline: Leading through Organizational Change
Hank Kelley, CEO Kelley Commercial Partners

April 30
Build Your Future: Leading an Empowered Organization
Scott Ford, CEO Westrock Group

Class size is limited. High-potential candidates and business owners can apply. Class members will then be selected to participate in the academy, which consists of five Friday sessions between March 5 and April 30.

Tuition for the program is $3,250. Sessions will be held at the UA Little Rock Downtown event venue.

Insight Leadership Group of Northwest Arkansas has conducted leadership training for Tyson Foods, Arkansas Children’s, Metova, the Hatcher Agency and St. Joseph Health, among other companies across the country. Insight Leadership Group has developed a custom curriculum for participants and will provide Total SDI strengths assessments and one-on-one coaching for class members.

“It is a great opportunity to engage with leaders from across the state,” said program graduate Russ Aikman, director of sales for ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith. “The curriculum is solid and the people that are engaged with the program are top shelf.”

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