Randy Zook is the president and chief executive officer of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas. Prior to taking the helm of the State Chamber/AIA, Randy was the deputy director of administration and finance for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For 34 years, he worked for Atlantic Envelope Company of Atlanta, Georgia, a $200-million manufacturer of custom-printed envelopes and business products, serving as president and CEO of the company from 1989 to 2004. He is currently serving on the boards of KIPP Schools in Helena-West Helena, Economics Arkansas and McGehee Farm & Real Estate Co. He and his wife, Diane, have three grown children and five above-average grandchildren.
Kenneth R. Hall, J.D.
Executive Vice President
As chief lobbyist, Kenny represents the positions of the two organizations on issues related to, and focusing on, the enhancement of a quality business climate in Arkansas before selected government entities, including the legislature, the governor’s office and various state agencies, committees and boards. He helps develop and implement State Chamber/AIA legislative strategies and is responsible for enlisting support for these goals. Kenny coordinates the activities of the State Chamber/AIA issue committees.
Vice President of Programs and Partnerships/Executive Director of AEDCE
Candice Lawrence is vice president of programs & partnerships of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA and is responsible for the development, management and execution of the chamber’s programs and strategic partnerships. She also serves as the executive director of Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives (AEDCE), the professional association of local chamber executives and economic developers in the state. Candice most recently served as the State Chamber/AIA’s director of communications where she guided the strategy of the State Chamber/AIA’s internal and external communications, marketing, events and media outreach. Before joining the chamber, she served for 12 years as a communications representative, visitor’s services manager and community outreach coordinator for a leading global manufacturer of construction equipment. Candice is a proud graduate of Leadership Arkansas Class XVI, Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXV and currently serves on the Junior Achievement of Arkansas’ Central Board of Directors and the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. She began her career as a broadcast journalist after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Vice President of Membership Development
Marcus is responsible for new business development and retention of existing State Chamber/AIA members. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Arkansas University and an MBA from Texas A&M University in Texarkana. Marcus has been the recipient of the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Platinum Lifetime Achievement awards from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). In addition, from 2010 – 2016 and 2021, Marcus was ranked #1 nationally for membership dues income by the ACCE. In 2014, Marcus was nationally recognized by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives with the Million Dollar Club award for cumulative sales over $1 million and in 2017 with the Diamond award for cumulative sales over $1.5 million. He is the only chamber professional in the state to have achieved these milestones.
Director of Governmental Affairs & Executive Director, Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation, Inc.
Andrew, a licensed attorney and graduate of the William H. Bowen School of Law, is part of the governmental affairs team and works to enhance the business climate in Arkansas by representing the positions of the two organizations before entities that include the following: committees, boards, various state agencies, the governor’s office and the legislature. He is the Executive Director of the AIA Foundation and has led the Be Pro Be Proud Initiative since its launch is 2016. Andrew previously served as Regulatory Counsel for the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Director of Governmental Affairs & Leadership Arkansas Program Director
Toni is responsible for fostering community relations with local chambers/chamber members and elected officials in Northwest Arkansas, while representing the positions of the State Chamber and AIA before entities that include the following: committees, boards, various state agencies, the governor’s office and the legislature. She also serves as the lead staff person for our Leadership Arkansas program. Toni previously worked for the University of Arkansas Department of Athletics for 16 years as director of special events, television show coordinator for the head football and basketball coaches’ shows and in several other capacities. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and communication from the University of Arkansas in 2000 and has completed coursework for a master’s degree in communication from the U of A. She also has extensive experience serving on various 501(c)(3) boards in a leadership role, plus additional philanthropic experience from a member, volunteer and donor role.
Executive Director for the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence
Trish Villines brings a diverse background in public relations, nonprofit development, higher education and health and human services to the State Chamber/AIA. Prior to her initial post as executive director of the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, she worked for North Arkansas College where she wrote and secured more than $3 million in grant funding. She also coordinated special projects such as applying for the Governor’s Quality Award. With her assistance, North Arkansas College became the first institution of higher education to receive the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence in 2015. She returns to the State Chamber after serving as North Arkansas Regional Director for Pathfinder, Inc., a disability service provider that serves children and adults. Early in her career, she worked for Northwest Arkansas public relations firm Mitchell Communications Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Master of Public Administration from Arkansas State University.
Director of Communications
Chelsea O’Kelley serves as the director of communications for the State Chamber/AIA. In this role, O’Kelley coordinates and oversees public relations, marketing, and communications strategies for the State Chamber/AIA. Prior to joining the team at the State Chamber/AIA, O’Kelley served as communications director at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, where she led the agency’s efforts to coordinate and implement public relations strategies to promote business activity and economic growth throughout the state. O’Kelley formerly served in the Governor’s Office under the leadership of Governor Asa Hutchinson. She held several different titles over the course of her five-year tenure in the Governor’s Office. In 2018, she was named Governor Hutchinson’s press secretary, becoming at that time the youngest gubernatorial press secretary in the nation. Governor Hutchinson later promoted O’Kelley to deputy director of communications, a title she held throughout the remainder of her tenure in the Governor’s Office. A native of Garland, Texas, O’Kelley graduated summa cum laude from John Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. She is a member of Leadership Arkansas Class XVII and an active member of her local church. O’Kelley has also been involved in nonprofits Immerse Arkansas and Dwellings. She and her husband, Clint, live in Little Rock with their daughter.
Manager, Scheduling & Events
Deb coordinates many of the details of the organizations’ scheduling and events. A former teacher, she performs, coordinates and oversees technical and office administrative and financial duties in support of the president and CEO.
Manager, Event Sponsorship
Bill is responsible for sales of sponsorships to Arkanas State Chamber/AIA members.
He previously worked as vice president of membership development for the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Jeanette provides administrative support to the President/CEO and office personnel. She is a former teacher and executive assistant for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas.
Carol works the front desk and is administrative assistant to chamber staff. She brings extensive experience in legal, banking and retail industries.