Randy Zook’s position atop the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas is actually a second career following a successful tenure as president and CEO of $200 million manufacturer Atlantic Envelope Co. in Atlanta. Zook said he considers it an honor to have the opportunity to strengthen the state chamber’s brand and increase the economic footprint of the state in all sorts of ways. Still, he said, there is a misconception that those at the planning tables have easy solutions to the often-thorny problems of creating jobs and growing communities. “It’s all just hard work and smart efforts,” he said.

 

Occupation:

President, CEO, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas

 

FAVORITES:

Beverage:

Decent red wine and good scotch

Restaurant:

The Terrace

Snack:

Anything salty

TV Series:

Lonesome Dove

Quote:

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Sport:

Pickleball

What is something you cannot live without?

A good book to read.

How have your experiences shaped you into the man you are today?

I’ve been blessed to work with lots of talented people, and I’m surrounded by people who care about me and encourage me every day — my wife, kids, grandkids, colleagues and friends.

What did you want your job to be when you were a kid?

Farmer and history teacher. Never did either.

What cliche do you think holds truth?

Life is determined by the choices we make.

What is the secret to overcoming adversity?

Persistence. Never give up — never.

What one thing changed the way you see the world?

Travel. It’s a big, wonderful world.

What historical event would you most like to have experienced?

The first Constitutional Convention in 1787.

To what do you owe your success?

Staying in my lane — most of the time, anyway.

Looking back, how was your father or grandfather right, after all?

Father: “Work hard, do your best. It’ll all work out.” Grandfather: “Remember who you are and where you come from.”

 

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See the full list of the 2024 Men of Distinction here.