2018 Jim Harris
In 1972, Jim Harris graduated from Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of the Ozarks and a dual master’s degree in management and human resource development from Webster University. His certifications/license include Arkansas state license for disability and life insurance, a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP, and he is also a certified employee retention professional (CERP) by the Retention Institute.
Jim is retired from the US Navy as a submarine qualified, Senior Chief Petty Officer and former officer-in-charge of the Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, detachment 0328, a Seabee detachment, where he earned the distinction of being the only ‘non-occupational field 13” enlisted member to serve in this capacity and was recognized twice as the RNMCB 28 officer-in-charge of the year.
Throughout his career, he has been responsible for creating non-existent HR Departments for a local bank with 10 branches and for a local community college. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Arkansas State University, where he taught Organizational Behavior. He spent 2 years performing human resource functions for an out-sourcing firm and 15 years with Hiram Walker in various capacities, including engineering, production and finance. He was the Director of HR for Bost, Inc.
Today, Jim is the Director of Human Resources for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he is responsible for all aspects of human resources functions. He moved and “retired” to northwest Arkansas to be closer to his grandchildren (and his children.)
In his community, He is past president of the WAHRA and board member for the AR SHRM State Council. He served on numerous Arkansas Human Resource State Conferences and was the co-chair of the sold out 2014 Arkansas SHRM HR Conference & Expo in Ft. Smith. He was a board member for ABATE of Arkansas, Arkansas Bikers for Children and the River City Safety and Environmental Council. He is a national member of the SHRM and the American Society for Training and Development and is also an alumnus of the 2012 Leadership Fort Smith class.
In his personal time, Jim enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson, playing the drums with the Community Band of Western Arkansas and spending quality time with his grandsons teaching them that life is full of opportunities and to always color outside the lines.