Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce Gets 24-Year-Old Exec. V.P.

February 10, 2004 -- Posted at 5:12 p.m. CST

POPLAR BLUFF--The Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce has announced a new executive Vice President. Former Vice President Ed Dust stepped down after 20 years of service and the new guy picked to fill his shoes was only four-years-old when Dust took the position.

Scott Faughn just turned 24, but he's no stranger to Poplar Bluff. For the last two years, he's served as mayor of the town of nearly 17-thousand people.

"Anytime a younger person is selected for a leadership role, a lot of times it's a great strength...I like to take things with a lot of energy and I like to keep a very positive attitude. But also, some people can judge you by you age, your sex, your race and sometimes you have to work twice as hard to earn their respect, and so far in my career I've had to do that," said Faughn.

But Faughn is earning respect in other places these days, he will soon become the new Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce...and remember, he's just 24.

"I think he's got some new ideas, fresh ideas. He's young and he's eager to bring in some new industry in Poplar Bluff...should be good for Poplar Bluff," said Van Rhodes of Poplar Bluff.

Michelle Crutchfield has worked at the Chamber of Commerce for the past five years and said, "While we will miss Ed (Dust) dearly, it's wonderful to have a fresh set of eyes looking at new ideas and some new things that are going on."

And boy, things are going on in Poplar Bluff. The town is booming....bringing in several major restaurant chains and with more developments on the way.

"There are a lot of retail developers looking, but obviously they are sworn to secrecy as far as who they are looking for. So we just provide them with all the information we can and sell them on Poplar Bluff, which is very easy because Poplar Bluff and Butler County are a wonderful place to live and raise a family," said Crutchfield.

Faughn says the development of the 67 bypass is one of the most important things that can happen in Poplar Bluff, bringing in industry and revenue to the community.

"It will be one of the most vibrant, successful corridors in the nation if we complete the Little Rock to St. Louis link, and that's one of the ways we can make a difference to every person's life in this community is by bringing that four-lane highway to Poplar Bluff. You name me a successful city and I'll tell you the four-lane highway that goes to it," said Faughn.

But Faughn's fresh and young outlook on the city isn't all just industry and retail...

"Ii want to see people, younger people like myself, that want the opportunity to come back here and live the Butler County way of life, with the kind of values they grew up with and have those opportunities to raise their family and be successful," said Faughn.

And with that kind of vision, it's easy to see why many are excited about the city's new ambassador. Faughn won't actually take over duties at the Chamber until March 1. When he leaves the mayor's office, his successor will be mayor pro-temp Lloyd Matthews.