The non-profit works on growth and development issues for the region, and members met in Rogers to celebrate the passage of a sales tax for highway improvements across the state.
Mike Malone, president and CEO of the council says the projects slated for Northwest Arkansas will create jobs and transform the region with desperately needed highway improvements.
"Some of these projects we've been waiting on forever," he says. "I was in high school when they were first on the drawing board and I've got gray hair now, so it took voters finally pulling the lever in support of a highway tax to get these things going."
The council also heard the results of a study on the way outside companies view Northwest Arkansas.
"If we're going to try to promote the area and convince businesses to relocate here, and talent to come here, we've got to know what they think of us before we start telling our story," Malone says. "It tells us what the challenges are that we need to overcome and share with them about the region."
The group surveyed business decision makers that help companies figure out where to relocate or expand, and Malone was surprised by the results.
"A lot of them don't know anything about the area," Malone says. "We're really a blank slate."
He says that's better than having to fight against a negative perception, but it also means recruiters need to do a better job of getting the word out about opportunities here.