Cover Image:

This month’s cover shows a collage of real estate projects completed by Ghan & Cooper Properties, Ft. Smith’s largest commercial real estate developers. Photos courtesy Ghan & Cooper with their cube image by Jeff Genova. Design by Royce Fitzgerald.

What comes to mind when you think of a great salon experience? Do you want to look like that magazine picture? Do you feel unpretty and want to feel more self confident? Do you need to rant and vent and you know you'll get a listening ear from your stylist?

Michelle Cernak was an Air Force brat. Born with ambition. At the age of 13 she emancipated herself, got on a Greyhound and headed off to make her own way. She went to school, worked and started a small business. She was a numbers geek. 

Growing up in Hot Springs Village, Heather Rincon knew from an early age that she wanted to own a lady’s clothing store. Some days she imagined a full scale bridal shop. On others it was a trendy boutique. She didn’t know when, where or how that dream would come true. Her store was simply a young girl’s dream.

How does a poor black man from Fort Smith, Arkansas get to be a world traveler? For Walter Gregory Ahart it all began with the music--and his own God-given gift of voice.

When you wake up in the morning what do you and your children think about?

Downtown Van Buren is one of those quaint southern towns that is often full of surprises. Main Street offers a variety of stores to hold the interest of visitors. Nestled between an array of restaurants and retail shops is a unique gallery that is the home of Ralph Irwin’s Studio.

There probably isn’t a child in America who isn’t looking forward to Christmas. After all, the big retailers have been adding shelves to the toy section since before Halloween--making sure we remember Santa is indeed coming to town. (As though we could possibly forget!)

With enough coffee, anything is possible--just ask the Ramsey family. Stan, Bev and Devon Ramsey are becoming a trifecta of powerhouse family entrepreneurship.

Life and business require failure.

Every family has holiday traditions that are uniquely theirs. Maybe it’s the tree trimming, a special event that ushers in the season, or getting together at grandma’s house. For my family, it was “breaking bread” after our Candlelight Communion service on Christmas eve.

Our minister, Dr. Ed Pickard, was a first person story teller. He wrote beautiful first person Christmas stories in the voice of the visitors to the Christ child’s manger. From the grumpy innkeeper to the humble shepherd, each year the story was unique and carried its own special message. It just wasn’t Christmas if you missed his story.

Mother was a bread-baker. She loved baking her own breads throughout the holiday season. Days were preparing her specialty loaves and pastries for our celebration. After the Christmas Eve service she would invite guests back to our home to “break bread.”

As heavenly confections were baked, she would talk about Aunt Wilma who gave her the recipe or Aunt Vi whose recipe for egg custard pie was the best. Always she would include foods made from recipes passed down by her own mother, Big Mama.

Our brightly decorated home turned festive as guests arrived. The table, laden with breads, cookies, cakes and pies. Homemade fig and pear preserves, orange marmalade, spiced applesauce and muscadine jelly adorned ornate glass bowls. All these were luscious treats that she and I had painstakingly picked, peeled, pared, cooked and put into jars the summer and fall before.

Mother is no longer with us. But her tradition lives on. I never bake a loaf of bread or put homemade preserves on my table without remembering mother and her love for gathering friends around her table to break bread on Christmas eve.

Traditions are important and give us ties that bind us as family, neighbors, friends and community. And they are as diverse as the homes in which we live.

By Colleen Perry

We see the River Valley as having those overused and well-worn, if not worn out, “P”-words: Potential and Promise. But, those particular “P” words pale to Persistence. And it’s a persistence of optimism shown by a generation of experienced business people who are happily engaging the energy and enthusiasm of a following generation of business people and business people-to-be.

New concepts in how we educate offer unique opportunities for mentoring between students and the business community. What opportunities does the new Future School concept offer your business?

What happens when cash flow is slow and taxes payroll taxes are due? Do you pay late and plan to catch up later? Understanding the payroll tax and penalties attached to late payment.

When I think of a place to do business and what that place might look like, I think of Greenville, South Carolina. It’s a city with a highly popular trail system for walking and bike riding.

Courage, duty, destiny—noble words. But they cannot cover the brave journey that led Bev Ramsey out of her own experiences to become a harbor of hope and comfort to others.

Promoting growth in every way

The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce works hard every day to promote individual businesses, industry sectors, and the overall regional economy. The local chamber takes multitasking to a new level. 

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Website Development
3 Benefits of an Online Store

While a "No soup for you!" attitude might get laughs on the old Seinfeld shows, the real world is a different place. Berating customers won’t bring you more. Long lines of customers are more frequently due to good customer service, and this can lead to more sales.

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Family Business
Planning Family Business Succession

A step by step guide to passing on the family business.

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Downtown Business Association: New face promoting Fort Smith

A new organization of local businesses was born just after the first of this year. The Fort Smith Downtown Business Association LLC, or FSDBA, brings together the development and promotion of local services, shopping, entertaining, and dining, along with the history and values of the community’s traditions. 

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Business Growth
Shaping a Healthy Business through Healthy Employees

An important program for industry is preventive maintenance for facilities and machinery.  Preventive maintenance programs accomplish more than the routine servicing of equipment.

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Business schools vs trade schools: Not mutually exclusive

Over the last few years the rising cost of college education and student debt has generated a lot of heated discussion.  In this climate of anxiety, trade schools or vocational/technical (vo-tech) schools have emerged as alternatives to traditional colleges.

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Your Company PC: A Hacker’s Paradise

The Internet is a dangerous place. It is used by modern criminals to launch cyber-attacks on unprotected businesses.  From ransomware to phishing to fraudulent transactions, hackers are looking to access your files and steal confidential data. 

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In the late 1970s and early 1980s a man named Andres Duany and his architectural partners formulated the principles of new urbanism. These principles seek to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment by developing mixed-use, smart growth communities that encompass all aspects of life within walkable neighborhoods.

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BSavvy Magazine

PO Box 537
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Office Phone:


BSavvy Magazine

Colleen Perry

  (479) 653-1221