AAA & DRAGONFLY ATHLETICS ANNOUNCE STATEWIDE TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) and DragonFly Athletics announced today a statewide technology partnership to streamline administration of school sports and activities. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, association and school staff will use DragonFly’s comprehensive management software for registration, medical records, communications, scheduling, and credentialing for all interscholastic activities.

One of the core objectives of the partnership is to eliminate excessive paperwork and processes, as DragonFly is a single, centralized platform to handle all of the AAA’s administrative needs.

“We are excited to bring this technology to Arkansas High Schools,” said Lance Taylor, executive director of the AAA. “This will create a one-stop portal for our member schools. We believe DragonFly is the perfect fit for the AAA and look forward to getting DragonFly up and running for our member schools. “

Another goal of the partnership is to develop custom technologies that allow the AAA to have more data for strategic decision-making.

“DragonFly is much more than a technology company; we’re invested in youth sports and want to help the AAA improve the game,” said Kirk Miller, chief executive officer of DragonFly. “Our software will give administrators the data they need in a timely fashion so they may improve the safety and experience of students.”

The new partnership is expected to be beneficial for everyone connected to sports and activities in Arkansas.

“There are key people who make sports and activities possible, including administrators, healthcare providers, officials and parents,” said Miller. “Our software provides tools for all of them – while creating a simplified, positive experience around previously mundane processes like paperwork. We’re especially proud that our technologies give athletic directors and coaches more of their time back to invest in students.”

For more information on the AAA, visit ahsaa.org. To learn more about DragonFly Athletics, visit dragonflymax.com or download the DragonFly MAX app from the App Store or Google Play. More information to schools is coming soon.

THE NATIONAL COLD WAR MUSEUM LAUNCHES WEBSITE AND FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
Blytheville, AR (December 5, 2019) – A website to promote the forthcoming National Cold War Museum in Blytheville, Arkansas has been launched. It is www.thenationalcoldwarmuseum.org. The website tells the story of a community vision to convert several sections of the former Eaker Air Force Base into a national visitor attraction in Arkansas. The National Cold War Museum will chronicle the historic events that took place during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and the role that the base played.  

"This former U.S. Air Force base has so many stories to tell because over 300,000 people helped fight the Cold War on this very ground,” said Liz Smith, museum board secretary. “We are excited that the website and social media will help us raise awareness and the funds necessary to bring these stories to life."

SAU STUDENT LEARNS IMPORTANT BUSINESS LESSONS AT GLOBAL SUMMIT IN CHICAGO
MAGNOLIA – Karly Chambers, a senior accounting major from El Dorado, Arkansas, learned some valuable lessons about herself and picked up some new skills to be applied to her future career goals by attending Beta Gamma Sigma’s Global Leadership Summit in Chicago.

Her experiences in the Rankin College of Business at SAU inspired her to attend the summit, which gathers some of the high-achieving students from business schools around the world for a unique learning experience.


Beta Gamma Sigma is an honors society for business schools that, like the Rankin College, are AACSB accredited. BGS hosts the summit annually, allowing students the opportunity to build their skills, network, hear inspirational business leaders, and meet successful entrepreneurs.

Shelia Pearson, faculty advisor of SAU’s BGS chapter, sent an email to inductees last spring letting them know about the summit, and Chambers immediately wanted to attend.

“I represented SAU, attended lectures given by various business leaders, and worked with a team of other students on a case study,” Chambers said.

Snow greeted Chambers on her arrival to Chicago. “It was a record-breaking snow day,” she said. “Snow in Chicago is nothing like it is in south Arkansas – it was breathtaking.” After two days in her hotel, Chambers organized a group of people to go sightseeing and eat deep-dish pizza. “Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart,” she said.

Before attending the session, Chambers took the Clifton Strengths Test, which reveals a person’s top five strengths based on a series of questions. “I learned that my strengths are largely based on building relationships,” she said. “They taught us to play to people’s strengths in order to better participate in and lead teams. We had hands-on practice when we broke up into teams to work on a case study competition.”

Chambers attended lectures on business basics, the power of grit, emotional and social intelligence, leadership qualities, and more. The purpose of the summit is to teach business students to be the best person and leader they can be. “All the speakers were very inspiring,” Chambers said.

The Rankin College of Business was instrumental in preparing Chambers for her experience. “I researched SAU’s business program and was very impressed,” she said of her decision to come to SAU. “Graduates from SAU are doing amazing things and this school seemed like it would be the best one to prepare me for the future I want. Choosing SAU has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Chambers expressed gratitude to her professors, especially Megan Whitehead, instructor of finance, and Jody Nations. “They have helped me so much in and out of the classroom,” Chamber said.

She plans to sit for her CPA after graduating, having worked for a local firm as well as Southern Aluminum in the accounting department. “I want to eventually open a non-profit to help educate and provide financial advice to underprivileged families,” she said. “That is my ultimate dream and is a cause very close to my heart.”

In addition to the website, The National Cold War Museum has established a Facebook page and GoFundMe account to strengthen fundraising efforts for the second phase of development, which includes the January 2020 opening of the first on-site exhibit and welcome area.  This first exhibit, the Blytheville Air Force Base Exhibition, will be a historical perspective on the base and will set the stage for and highlight the vision of the museum.

Future phases of the museum will feature on-site experiences including a museum welcome center, self-guided tours, an interactive alert tower, B52 bombers, the Cold War Legacy Gallery, and more.

“This is an exciting time for the city of Blytheville and the entire state of Arkansas,” said Mary Gay Shipley, board chairman. “We believe that this museum will be a major national attraction for people with a keen interest in American and military history.”

For additional information about The National Cold War Museum, visit www.thenationalcoldwarmuseum.org.

RUTLEDGE JOINS 13 OTHER STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL IN SUPPORTING MOVING FORWARD WITH FEDERAL EXECUTIONS 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced her support in keeping federal executions on schedule. Rutledge joined a multistate amicus brief backing the U.S. Department of Justice, which asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the currently scheduled federal executions to move forward, beginning with white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee accused of killing an Arkansas family in January 1996.

“Even in the most egregious cases, capital punishment helps bring closure to victims’ families,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “It is time to let these families rest knowing justice has been served in their loved ones’ cases. The federal court should not stand in the way of their relief.”

President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr announced in July 2019 that the federal government would resume capital punishment after a nearly two-decade lapse. Five convicted murderers are to be put to death. Rutledge expressed her support of this decision in this Op-Ed coauthored by Senator Tom Cotton.

In addition to Arkansas, the amicus brief was joined by Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

BOOZMAN HIGHLIGHTS WORLD TRADE CENTER ARKANSAS REPORT IN PUSH FOR USMCA 
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) highlighted data from a new report produced by the World Trade Center Arkansas to make the case that ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) needs to happen now.

During a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman argued that the U.S. House of Representatives, which must act first on ratification, is unnecessarily delaying the process and stifling economic growth as a result. 

“House Leadership’s refusal to move this trade deal is preventing additional job creation in our country and is sending the wrong signal to our trading partners across the globe. We ought to be spurring economic activity by striking fair trade agreements globally, not sitting on our hands and refusing to approve an agreement between two of our top trading partners,” Boozman said.

Boozman cited the findings of a recent report from the World Trade Center Arkansas, entitled Arkansas International Trade and Jobs Data Summary 2019, to make the case for how important the Canadian and Mexican markets are for Arkansas exporters.

“The Arkansas World Trade Center—which has played a valuable role in connecting businesses in my state with international partners for over a decade—recently released a report summarizing trade and jobs data for the Natural State. The report underscores just how crucial Canada and Mexico are for Arkansas’s economy. Natural State exports to Canada amounted to $1.2 billion last year. Our exports to Mexico totaled $870 million in that same time span. Combined, these two countries account for a third of Arkansas’s total exports,” Boozman said.