Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Names New President

(Joplin, MO) – The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce (JACC) announced on June 1, 2022 that the Chamber’s Board of Directors has selected Travis Stephens as the Chamber’s new President.  

He brings experience leading regional chambers and economic development knowledge to the organization. A graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, he later attended the University of Central Arkansas for graduate studies toward a Master of Science in Community & Development. Travis began his chamber career as the President & CEO of the Clarksville Regional Economic Development Organization, where he also served as the President & CEO of the Clarksville-Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, Travis and his family relocated to northwest Arkansas where he was hired by the City of Bella Vista to create the city’s first economic development program as the Economic Development Manager. Stephens returned to the Chamber industry to fill the role of the Chief Operations Officer for the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce where he has served since March of 2019. 

Betsy Kissel, Chair of the JACC Board and search committee member, said, “Travis comes from an impressive chamber background with knowledge and experience in community relations, economic development, and civic engagement. We are looking forward to working with him in the near future and for years to come.” 

Throughout Stephens’ career in community development, he has served on the Workforce Development Board of West Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce Executives (AEDCE). 

Jeremy Drinkwitz, Past Chair of the JACC Board, said, “After careful consideration of candidates brought to us by way of a national search, the Search Committee, Chamber Board, and stakeholders were pleased by Travis’ knowledge of chamber work. His ideas for leading our Chamber and building the local economy through leveraging collaborative partnerships will benefit the Chamber, community, and region.”  

The selection comes after an eleven-month process following a nationwide search conducted by Waverly Partners, LLC. The JACC President’s seat was left vacant after the departure of Toby Teeter in July 2021. After a thorough selection process, the search committee made up of Chamber members and community stakeholders conducted an extensive series of interviews.   

Stephens’ first day with the Chamber will be June 28, 2022. The Chamber has a rich history of providing strong support to the community and local businesses. Staff are excited to begin this new chapter under his direction.  


Erin Slifka, Marketing & Public Information Manager
Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

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