When it comes to pushing a community forward, Trent Goins has a message: create, engage, disrupt.

Goins, president and CEO of OK Foods, said in a presentation at the Prime: River Valley Professional Summit Thursday evening that Fort Smith professionals need to make change on all levels in their community. He said they should look for ways to make these changes inside and outside of their businesses, which he said will push the entire community into the future.

"(What) you have to think about is, 'Who are my employees, how do they interact with the communities in which they live, and how do we create a better environment to where they want to move to the communities in which we operate?'" Goins said.

Goins said people can sometimes apply the "create, engage, disrupt" mantra inside and outside of the business world. He gave the mural on the OK Foods feed mill on Wheeler Avenue, which Propak CEO Steve Clark convinced him to agree to as part of The Unexpected Art Festival, as an example.

"The emails I get today are, 'Hey, will OK Foods build picnic tables outside your feed mill so we can eat lunch and look at the mural?'" he said.

The mural is symbolic of the kind of creative vision professional people of all ages need to execute in Fort Smith, Goins said. This mindset, he said, will keep workers employed in the city and create experiences outside the walls of companies.

Goins said initiatives like Peacemaker Festival and The Unexpected have started to create entertainment experiences that have drawn people to the town. He said these kinds of experiences are crucial for attracting both employers and employees.

"Kids today will move to the city they want to live in and then find a job. If you think about that, it’s not only what you’re providing in the job for those kids coming out of school, it’s what is your community providing?" he said.

Goins also said employers need to look for ways to keep talent within their own companies. One example Goins gave from OK Foods is how they draw an employee's name for a new car every quarter. Employees must show up to work every day they are scheduled that quarter and work their assigned hours to qualify for the drawing.

OK Foods management has also started their own leadership course for people within the company who their coworkers believe have potential to move up.

"I know there’s a guy who works for me who want to have my job, and that’s what I want. I want people to have that kind of attitude where they come to work every day and their mindset is, they want to do the best job for the company so they can advance forward," he said. "We have to track it, harness their energy and put them on trajectory so they don’t leave our company or look for work somewhere else."

"Create, engage, disrupt" also applies to fostering education within a community, Goins said. He pointed to the 2018 millage increase for Fort Smith Public Schools and the creation of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine as examples.

"We have doctors who, when they get out of school, will be acclimated to our community," he said.

As for the future, people in business in Fort Smith need to take all of these things into consideration and find ways to create change in Fort Smith.

"All it takes to be involved is to be present. I don’t know of a single charity in this town, I don’t know of a single organization in this town, that doesn’t want more volunteers. I think if you find something you’re passionate about, reach out to that organization and show up," he said. "I believe it’s that simple."