On May 19, 2006, Jay Chesshir became the 15th President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in its 153-year history. He began his career at the Little Rock Regional Chamber in February 2005 serving as their Economic Development Vice President, Senior Staff Executive for Fifty for the Future and Executive Director of the Metro Little Rock Alliance, an eleven-county economic development marketing coalition.
Under his leadership, the Chamber has directly worked projects accounting for over $3.85 billion in new and expanded capital investment, more than 24,700 jobs and $883 million in new annual payroll for the metro Little Rock region.
In 2016, he was elected national chair of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Board of Directors, representing more than 7500 chamber professionals from over 1300 chambers of commerce across the United States and Canada. In August 2017, he became the only person in ACCE’s 103-year history elected to serve a second term as their Board Chair. In addition, Jay currently serves on the UA Little Rock College of Business Advisory Board, UA Little Rock College of Engineering & Information Technology Leadership Council, Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board, Venture Center Board and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is also a Ford Foundation Fellow of the ACCE Regionalism and Sustainable Development Program.
Jay was selected to serve on the Arkansas Task Force on Non-Baccalaureate Postsecondary Education to study workforce development issues facing the state as well as the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Higher Education. He is a former chairman of the Arkansas Economic Developers. The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas recognized him for his outstanding representation of the Arkansas business and economic development community during the 83rd Legislative General Assembly.
Jay served as Amendment 2 Campaign Committee Secretary for the statewide campaign which successfully led a constitutional amendment to create a “super project” incentive program for Arkansas. He has since been instrumental in helping lead two additional statewide election campaigns to maintain the competitiveness of Arkansas’ incentive programs. He was also selected as the Arkansas Economic Developer of the Year by the Arkansas Economic Developers Association.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas. Jay has been designated as a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and is a graduate of both the Institute for Organization Management and Economic Development Institute.