News in brief

Thomas to take over

helm at trade center

Denise Thomas has been named CEO of World Trade Center Arkansas and is the first Black woman to earn the chief executive officer rank of a World Trade Center in the United States, according to a Monday release.

Thomas has been with the Rogers-based center for 14 years and most recently served as trade director overseeing activities in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She is taking over for W. Dan Hendrix, who retired in June. Hendrix was the Arkansas center's first CEO.

"I have big shoes to fill. Dan worked hard to lay an incredible foundation," Thomas said in a statement. "The center has helped enhance opportunities for bilateral trade with Arkansas businesses. I'm optimistic about the future role that the Natural State and the center will play on the global stage."

Arkansas exports in 2019 made up $6.2 billion in trade while supporting more than 25% of the state's workforce, according to data compiled by the center.

A California native, Thomas started her economic development career in 1998 in Florida at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

-- John Magsam

Arkansas company's

covid test available

Springdale-based NOWDiagnostics Inc.'s single-drop blood test for the covid-19 antibody is now available nationwide through the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, the company said Monday.

The test is now part of the IMPACT Care Transformation Network.

"As has been demonstrated since the pandemic began, pharmacist-provided care is essential to the public health and well being of communities everywhere, and we believe this opportunity with NOWDiagnostics and the APhA Foundation presents another excellent way for pharmacists to serve their patients and communities," Benjamin M. Bluml, RPh, senior vice president of research and innovation at the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, said in a statement.

In late May, NOWDiagnostics gained emergency authorization from the FDA for its single-drop blood test. The company had been working on the test since February of 2020 and sought emergency authorization for about a year.

The test has been approved by the FDA for use in various locations, including pharmacies, clinics and hospital emergency rooms.

-- John Magsam

State index slumps

to 609.73, off 16.45

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 609.73, down 16.45.

"A surge in delta variant infections sent Wall Street lower on Monday as investors feared renewed covid-19 shutdowns and a protracted economic recovery," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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