ASMSA celebrates entrepreneurship, innovation at luncheon

8 months ago

When Elise Mitchell moved to Fayetteville more than 23 years ago, she was at a crossroads of sorts.
She had established a successful career as a marketing and communications professional in Memphis. She was looking forward to bigger and better things in the future when her husband’s medical career led them to move to Fayetteville instead.
“As you all know, Fayetteville was not the same then as it is now,” she said.
Mitchell took the opportunity to start her own business, Mitchell Communications Group. She became focused on developing a successful company that would help her achieve her personal career goals. Her dedication and drive helped her establish Mitchell Communications as one of the top 10 fastest-growing firms globally and earn national recognition. She also gained clients such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Hilton Worldwide, Kraft, Canon, Del Monte and others.
Mitchell was the keynote speaker at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts annual Community of Learning Luncheon on April 6 at the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa. The luncheon’s theme was stARt here, celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mitchell focused most of her time on her business, always looking ahead to the next opportunity to grow and to add a new client. Someone suggested that since the company was in good standing after her years of hard work that she and her husband should take a vacation. They had not taken one in years.
After much discussion and negotiation, eventually they decided to do something together that she had never considered — a motorcycle trip. Her husband enjoyed riding motorcycles, but she had never ridden one.
While she wasn’t sure at first about riding on the back of a motorcycle for a couple of weeks, that trip changed her perspective. She realized that she needed to make time not only for her business but for life outside her company as well.
“I realized that sometimes it’s better to forget the map and enjoy the journey,” she said.
Now Mitchell has her own motorcycle — “all you need to know is that it’s red and it goes fast,” she said.
Mitchell said she decided to find ways to make more time for her husband and her children as well as for herself. She didn’t abandon her business, but instead it continued to grow. It did so well that she eventually sold it in 2012 to an international communications corporation.
She encouraged all those in attendance to find their own way to enjoy the journey of their lives while also seeking success in their chosen fields, whether they are longtime business owners or students in the audience who were still trying to decide what they want to do with their lives.
The luncheon also featured a performance by the ASMSA choir. Before the luncheon, several students displayed projects they had worked on during this academic year. Members of the BEST Robotics team demonstrated the abilities of their robot. Two students displayed works they had completed in their arts classes, including several paintings and woodwork pieces. Other students stood by the posters for the science fair projects.
Director Corey Alderdice also recognized the efforts of Vicki Hinz, director of institutional advancement. Hinz organized the luncheon and serves as the director of the ASMSA Foundation, which serves as a fundraising arm for the school. Hinz will be retiring in June.

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