Friday, August 14, 2015

Chamber to Relaunch Leadership Academy

The Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the return of a
program that will enrich the local workforce and professional community.

The Leadership Academy of Osceola and South Mississippi County is slated to launch in September, after a nine year hiatus. "We have a lot of new people in leadership positions or on their way there, so the time is right to bring it back," said Chamber Director Ammi Tucker. The goal of the academy is to help identify and strengthen those that have community leadership potential, as well as help local businesses and industries cultivate potential leaders and increase opportunities to promote from within.

The Academy will take place in one day-long meeting per month from September through December, and culminate with a day trip to Little Rock in early 2016. Each session will be interactive, hands-on, and designed to equip participants with the tools that will better prepare them for leadership opportunities within the community as well as their organization or company. In a new twist to the program, sessions will be held at various locations in communities throughout South Mississippi County to help make participants more aware of the people, places, and resources in our area.

The Chamber is striving to keep the Leadership Academy rich in content yet still accessible. The tuition fee is $350 per participant and includes meals and snacks, program materials, transportation & meal during the Little Rock visit planned for early 2016. A discounted tuition per participant is available if any company wishes to enroll three or more employees. Also, a limited number of scholarships may be awarded to businesses or nonprofit organizations with 10 or fewer employees.

Sessions begin Wednesday, September 2, and the deadline for applications is Friday, August 28, 2015.  For more information about the Leadership Academy, or to inquire about sponsor and partnership opportunities, contact Ammi Tucker at 870-563-2281 or

Helpful quick links:

Osceola/SMC Chamber Offers Educator Incentives

Attracting and retaining educators to the Delta is a challenge, and the Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce education committee is taking strides to help show appreciation and reward local educators for their excellent work in our local schools.

Starting this academic year, the Osceola/SMC Chamber will recognize three Educators of the Quarter: one each from Osceola School District, Rivercrest School District, and Arkansas Northeastern College. From those that will accumulate over four quarters, an Educator of the Year will be selected.  In addition to the recognition, recipients will also receive monetary awards.

The nomination process will be conducted online, and is open to anyone that wishes to recommend an individual for consideration. Anyone that is employed at either of the three institutions is eligible for nomination, regardless of title, accolades, length of employment, or level of education. “It is an educator award, not exclusive to teachers or instructors, as all school employees have a direct impact on student success,” says Chamber Director Ammi Tucker. “It may be a bus driver that keeps a student encouraged to continue school, or a cafeteria staff member that holds conversations to keep them academically accountable. Every school employee matters.”

A perfect attendance bonus will also be awarded to eligible teachers at Osceola and Rivercrest Schools on a semester basis.

In addition to these awards, the Chamber coordinated with Osceola Municipal Light and Power to help encourage relocation to the area.  As a result, any employee of the three schools that is getting a new utility connection with OML&P is eligible for a waived utility deposit after providing proof of employment and residence. “We want our local educators to live close and be a part of the communities,” says Tucker. “Student accountability and development of a positive bond with their teachers is much more probable when they see them outside of school, too, such as at the grocery store, at community events, or at the gas station.”

For more information about the Chamber’s educator incentives, or if you or your company would like to partner with the Chamber in making these awards possible, contact Ammi Tucker at 870-563-2281 or

Helpful quick links:
Link to Nominate Educator of the Quarter
Osceola/SMC Chamber Initiatives information