Conway Development Corporation celebrates 60 years in 2019

President and CEO reflects on organization's history

Brad Lacy

Every day for the past 20 years (I almost can’t believe that’s true), I’ve had the great pleasure of going to work for the Conway Development Corporation. A partner organization of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, the CDC turned 60 years old this year. The organization has made a great impact on our community in those 60 years.

I’ll never forget the interview we did in 2012 with one of our founders, Felton O’Kelley. He told the story of how he knew the chosen route of Interstate 40 before many did and urged the CDC to buy the 314 acres that would become our first industrial park. Mr O’Kelley could have bought the property himself and solely profited from the information, but he understood that development of the park and the impact it would have on the economy would benefit everyone.

Conway leaders have demonstrated this same level of vision and community good since our founding. From recruiting the three colleges to the formation of Conway Corporation, local leaders have changed the course of our future since the 1890s. With any cohort of leaders comes criticism, second guessing, and skepticism, but real progress comes with some level of risk, vision, and occasional luck.

Time is the ultimate judge.

Thanks to the CDC for a great 60 years and to those early leaders like Felton O’Kelley, Bob Nabholz, Guy Murphy, and so many others who took the risk, personally guaranteed loans for development (let that sink in), and believed in what some thought was impossible. Conway and Faulkner County are better for it.

It seems that time proved you were right.

The Conway Development Corporation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

The Conway Development Corporation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019. The CDC Annual Meeting on Nov. 18, 2019, featured a timeline of the organization's accomplishments since its founding.

The Conway Development Corporation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

The Conway Development Corporation's annual meeting on Nov. 18 commemorated the CDC's 60th anniversary.


Brad Lacy, president and CEO, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway Development CorporationBrad Lacy, CCE, IOM, is president and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway Development Corporation.