Questions and answers about new Alliance VP


Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Nikki Chandler stands with her husband and two children who are all heavily involved in the city of Arkadelphia.

Members of Oracle staff have been receiving emails from a member of the community with concerns about the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce hiring a new executive vice president that does not currently reside in Arkadelphia.
On paper, this seems to be a reasonable concern, that someone unfamiliar with the area and its needs would be brought into a position of some authority to handle local economic issues. However, this executive vice president is by no means a stranger to the area.
Nikki Chandler, the Alliance’s new executive vice president, came to Arkadelphia as a student at Henderson State University in 2010, and continued to live here for a decade. She married her husband, a coach in Arkadelphia Public Schools, at the courthouse here, and her children were born here and attend school here. Her family attends Second Baptist Church in Arkadelphia.
Before taking the job as executive vice president at the Alliance, she was a Chamber Ambassador and on the Parks and Recreation Committee, and she currently is also a member of the Henderson State Alumni Board and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park Board. It is true that she does not reside within city limits, but her heart and life seems to be very much in the city of Arkadelphia.
Chandler says that she asked herself before applying if her residence would affect her ability to perform her duties to the city.
“Although I live outside the boundaries on the map, I am much invested in Arkadelphia—Clark County and so are my husband and children,” she said via email. “I have a love for this community that has been expressed through years of volunteerism. I have a servant’s heart and will use my marketing skills to innovate the Chamber and bring new awareness to our members and our community.”
Last year, at the first spike of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chandler was instrumental in setting up an Easybins operation in Arkadelphia. The service provides grocery delivery to houses every day from multiple stores in Arkadelphia. She and her husband served as branch managers for the city, and Mr. Chandler even personally handled some deliveries. Chandler stepped down from her Easybins job to work for the Alliance, but the service is still in operation.
“She was a great manager,” Kyle Canale, a delivery employee for Easybins, said. “She was really nice to work for. I think she’ll be really good for [the] chamber of commerce.”
On a personal note, she made sure to attend the funeral of my late, beloved father Coak Matthews and speak to me afterward to offer her condolences even after I gave her a tough interview for this article, which meant a lot to me.
It’s safe to say that Nikki Chandler is highly involved in Arkadelphia, and will certainly perform as executive vice president of the Alliance with the community’s best interests at the forefront of her mind.