LITTLE ROCK – The Little Rock Regional Chamber is pleased to announce that Ben France has been named Vice President of Economic Development. In this capacity Ben will lead all economic development work for the chamber including new business recruitment as well as existing business expansion and retention. For the past year Ben has served as Director, Business Attraction and Expansion for the chamber. Prior to that, Ben spent five years as a Senior Project Manager in Business Development for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). His duties included managing corporate client new location and expansion site needs in Arkansas while also providing site selection and incentive negotiations with site location consultants across the world.
This move comes less than a month after the chamber released its long-term economic development strategy MetRock 2020. “We are excited that Ben has stepped up to take on this additional leadership responsibility,” said Jay Chesshir, President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “Ben’s economic development experience at the state and regional levels makes him the perfect person to implement the chamber’s new MetRock 2020 economic development strategy.”
“As a Little Rock native, I am very excited and grateful to begin this new position. I take this opportunity very seriously,” says France. “My goal is to ensure that Little Rock consistently competes on a global scale, and I look forward to helping the region reach its full potential.”
France graduated from the University of Memphis and received his MBA from the University of Tampa. In 2014, Ben completed Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute.
For the past two years veteran economic developer Paul Latture has held the position of Vice President of Economic Development at the chamber. In 2016, Latture came out of retirement to help the chamber navigate through some challenging times. Moving forward he will serve in a consulting role with the chamber. “We want to sincerely thank Paul for his commitment to the chamber these past two years. Paul’s work has positioned this organization and our region for success moving forward,” said Chesshir.
The chamber will be looking to add two additional members to the economic development team over the summer including one position focused on small business and diversity and another focused on business retention and expansion outreach.