Out of Office: Carrie Price, Southern Bancorp

Carrie Price, Arkadelphia champion, in front of a Main Street mural by Dave Loewenstein.

The director of marketing of $1.2 billion in assets, Southern Bancorp, in Arkadelphia, Ark., is on the volunteer-based board of Downtown Arkadelphia, a group that hosts local events and uses the profits to create a more vibrant downtown.

Façade grants improved the look and feel of downtown tremendously, and Southern Bancorp made the initial contribution to start that program. Downtown Arkadelphia now manages the grants and with the assistance of Main Street Arkansas can help businesses with exterior and interior design, business planning, retail displays and much more for no cost to business owners.

The goal of Downtown Arkadelphia promotions is to bring people downtown in hopes that local merchants can benefit. When hotels are at max capacity and the restaurants and shops are full, the entire community benefits. If our population increases just for one day it can be huge for a town of 12,000. We want to be a catalyst for exciting and innovative things that help grow our community or bring people to visit. It’s a lot of fun for locals, too. 

It takes a village to pull off promotions and often requires several different groups joining together. Downtown Arkadelphia partners with numerous organizations to host such things as a craft beer festival and catfish cookoff, which increased our population by about 7,000, mostly out-of-towners. And things like Crawfest, an event hosted by the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Andy Allison Super Kids Run, which has a 30 year history. 

These events require time and money. I’m so thankful to work for a company that not only encourages us to get involved because they see the impact, but that also supports these events financially.

—Interview by Andrea Lahouze