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‘Arkansas 200’ list recognizes two from Batesville

Two Batesville community leaders have been selected among the top 200 influential people in the state, according to the inaugural “Arkansas 200” list compiled by Arkansas Business.

Crystal Johnson, president and CEO of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, was recognized among Economic Development leaders.  Phil Baldwin, president and CEO of Citizens Bank, was named among Banking and Finance executives.

“We looked for influencers making an impact in multiple professional and non-profit endeavors at the local, regional and state levels,” said Christopher Bahn of the Arkansas Business Publishing Group.  “We have a mix of people who are giants in their industry, those operating behind the scenes to get deals done, emerging business and political leaders, and folks involved beyond their chosen profession.”

Johnson and Baldwin were considered for the list along with nearly 700 of the state’s top business, government and non-profit leaders.  “Included are 200 Arkansans, and six ‘Living Legends,’ who are influencing the way we live, learn and do business in the state,” Bahn said.

“Johnson, now in her eighth year heading the Batesville Chamber, is working to implement IMPACT, a strategic plan for economic and community development in Independence County,” the Arkansas 200 report said.  “Batesville has established its first Advertising and Promotion Commission under her guidance.  She serves on the board of the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives.”

“Baldwin has earned national recognition for his work in rural community and economic development,” the report said.  “He was a key founder in KIPP Public Charter School in Helena and led the creation of the Arkadelphia Promise in Arkadelphia and currently serves on the boards of Lyon College and University of Arkansas Community College of Batesville.”

KIPP public charter schools are a non-profit network of college-preparatory schools educating early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students.

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