Shawnie Carrier has been appointed chief of staff for Dr. Tim Hudson, chancellor of Arkansas State University.
President and CEO of the Arkadelphia Regional Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce for the past four years, Carrier’s experience includes working with business and community development, marketing and recruitment strategies. A graduate of Arkansas State, she spent a decade working in regional economic development and building community relations.
“We live in times that require state supported higher education to reach out to new partners, not only to enhance our mission of educating our future leaders, but also to enrich our communities,” Hudson said. “Shawnie’s success with public and private sector groups in her previous leadership positions is important to our goal of building strategic partnerships to benefit Arkansas State.”
"I am thrilled to be returning home to East Arkansas and Arkansas State, where I got the educational base from which to launch my career," Carrier said. "These are exciting times to be at A-State, and it's a great opportunity to come back here to Jonesboro and be a part of it."
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Rick Stripling chaired the faculty-staff screening committee that recommended the pool of applicants for further consideration.
“Her outside CEO-level experience and her track record of work coordinating between public and private sector organizations were important to the committee,” Stripling said. “She knows how to build consensus for progress. As an alumna, Shawnie has an understanding of our institution and a passion for Arkansas State.”
As Chief of Staff, Carrier serves as the liaison for the chancellor to various constituent groups, providing project leadership for specific non-profit or board directed organizations, community and economic development project oversight and management of stakeholder relationships.
“Shawnie is a proven professional with outstanding strategic problem solving skills,” Hudson said. “The ability to work with current stakeholders and guide Arkansas State toward new regional and statewide relationships is essential to our future. Her track record of fostering positive community relationships for the Arkadelphia region is something we look forward to here at A-State.”
Joining the Arkadelphia area chamber in June 2008 as the director of economic development, Carrier rose to the organization’s CEO position the following spring. Among her major achievements were creation of a regional intermodal authority that secured grants and funding for a $5 million regional transload facility and the recruitment and expansion of businesses in diverse industries including reconditioning/recycling, education and health care.
During her tenure, city leaders created the “Arkadelphia Promise,” a funded endowment to pay for the college education of every student graduating from Arkadelphia High School. In the community development sector, she created a countywide leadership program out of which grew the Boys and Girls Club, the Rally on the Ravine Festival, a local farmer’s market and a Main Street Program for Arkadelphia.
Prior to working with the Arkadelphia Alliance, Carrier served as director of external affairs with the Cross County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corp. in Wynne for eight years. She assisted with recruitment of major industries, including Eakas Arkansas Corp., an automotive supplier, and the expansion of several local industries including Mueller Copper Tube Products. She developed a new communication strategy and economic development approach for the county’s chamber and economic development organization and initiated a county leadership program.
Carrier received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from A-State, and continued her education as a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and the Institute for Organizational Management, receiving a professional IOM certification. She begins Sept. 16.