The Go Forward Task Force introduced their logo Tuesday afternoon before a large crowd at Simmons Bank.
The simple black and red design incorporated the initials GF above the words go forward, and below that the initials PB with the words Pine Bluff.
It was designed by Aisha Shelton, a student at Pine Bluff High School, who was one of 13 students who submitted proposals.
Mary Pringos, who has served as the chairwoman for Go Forward Pine Bluff, said, “there were so many designs it was difficult to chose a winner. [The designs] showed that these kids put a lot of thought into them and knew about Go Forward Pine Bluff.”
In addition to Shelton, other students who submitted designs were Tylor Johnson, Justin Thomasson, Danyelle Johnson, Belanie Allen and Kaleigh Howard, all from Pine Bluff High School; Brian Thomas, Julia Green, Raelyn Geigger and Osaze Cole, all of Ridgway Christian School; Shayla Grimmett and Jeff Cheney from Southeast Arkansas College; and Diamond Compton from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Shelton received a $1,000 college scholarship to the college of her choice.
“We’re proud that each of you participated in the contest and we hope to keep you in Pine Bluff,” Pringos said.
Shelton said she wanted to symbolize what Go Forward Pine Bluff is all about.
“It’s for Pine Bluff to go forward,” she said.
Pringos said that there were two purposes to the meeting Tuesday, one to unveil the logo, the second to say thanks to the 100 or so volunteers who provided input into the recommendations that will be announced Thursday.
The idea for the task force was announced in November 2015 by George Makris, the chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Corp., which provided funding through a grant to the Simmons Foundation, headed by former Simmons CEO Tommy May.
That grant was used to pay for consultants from the Institute for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Four pillars — or steering committees — were created which included economic development, education, infrastructure and quality of life and those were overseen by Karla Martin from UAPB.
The chairman of each of those committees was introduced and they in turn introduced the members of their committees, with each member being presented a large red bag with the Go Forward Pine Bluff logo on it.
“This could not have been done without the leadership of Tommy May and Mary Pringos,” Martin said. “You’ve come today to see the logo but we want you to come Thursday to hear what we propose for Pine Bluff and we want you to buy in and prepare to help move Pine Bluff forward.”
May credited Pringos and Martin with the work of getting the plan together, coordinating the committees and “trying to make Pine Bluff better for all of us.”
The task force report will be presented at 5 p.m. today at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.