Twenty-five individuals have been chosen for the 2013-14 class of Leadership Fort Smith, a community program designed to educate and inspire the participants to make a bigger difference in our community and region.

Participants for Leadership Fort Smith, which is beginning its 26th year, go through an extensive application and selection process. Leadership Fort Smith focuses on key community issues and leadership skills while engaging in dialogue with leaders in various fields.

New class members are:

Greta Barr of Fort Smith, associate broker for Nunnelle & Wright Commercial Properties.

Scott Branton of Van Buren, owner of Scott N. Branton Architects, PLLC.

Susan E. Brockett of Fort Smith, attorney with Nolan, Caddell & Reynolds.

Kay Lynn Clay of Greenwood, senior marketing manager of marketing and corporate communications with Arkansas Best Corp.

Denora Coomer of Fort Smith, circuit clerk of Sebastian County.

Sarah Davis of Fort Smith, director of engineering and measurement for Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp.

Renee Robinson Durham of Fort Smith, general manager for Harry Robinson Buick-GMC.

Todd Fretheim of Fort Smith, director of food service sales for O.K. Foods Inc.

Alison Houston of Alma, deputy prosecuting attorney with Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Larry Johnston Jr. of Fort Smith, vice president of finance and treasurer with Baldor Electric Co.

Joshua Keifer of Fort Smith, vice president of commercial lending for Benefit Bank.

Lee Krehbiel Fort Smith, vice chancellor for student affairs at University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

Katie Lejong of Greenwood, senior audit manager with Beall Barclay & Company PLC.

Neal Martin of Fort Smith, manager of software development with Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Inc.

Ty Matlock of Fort Smith, owner of Matlock Media.

M. Jered Medlock of Van Buren, manager and partner at Medlock & Gramlich LLP.

Brooke Moreton of Fort Smith, branch manager for First National Bank of Fort Smith.

Grant Morris of Barling, director of regional operations/interim director of primary care operation with Mercy Clinic Fort Smith.

Keia E. Peeples of Fort Smith, human resource manager with Kraft Foods Group – Planters.

Donny Rogers of Fort Smith, senior vice president/location manager for asset management division for Arvest Asset Management.

Stacey P. Rogers of Fort Smith, vice president of financial planning and analysis for Golden Living.

Kerrie Taber of Arkoma, Okla., assistant professor with University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

Barbara Webster-Meadows of Fort Smith, retired, volunteer secretary for Ninth Street Church of Christ.

Sharla Whitson of Fort Smith, principal at Bonneville Elementary School.

Leigh Zuerker of Fort Smith, deputy public defender for Arkansas Public Defender Commission.

Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, said Leadership Fort Smith is more than an education for its participants.

"Leadership Fort Smith is a launching point for real progress in a variety of different areas of our community, from touching the non-profit human service arena to economic development," he said. "These are energetic, ‘go to’ people, who will learn from each other and from the numerous experiences they will have together in the coming year."

Beran said the class members were selected by a Leadership Fort Smith committee in recognition of past involvement in the community and for their demonstrated potential to make an even greater difference in the future. The participants will then be challenged to assume additional leadership responsibilities and positions.

LFS director Barbara Harvel of Fort Smith is looking forward to the months ahead and what it will mean to the participants.

"It’s always exciting to welcome a new class to Leadership Fort Smith because we know how much each individual will learn during the year of the program," she said. "Even those who have grown up in Fort Smith and have stayed here their entire lives will walk away in amazement of the lessons learned about their community and region."