Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson ended 2014 with an announcement that he will keep two agency directors and bring back a Huckabee administrator to a third one.
On Wednesday, Hutchinson said Amy Fecher would be the new Director of the Department of Rural Services. She replaces John Andrews, who confirmed on Tuesday (Dec. 30), he would not be retained.
“I am pleased to announce Amy Fecher as the new Director of Rural Services. Amy understands rural Arkansas, and her experience, background and familiarity with this department makes her the obvious choice to lead the department and its mission. I have no doubt that she will help enhance the quality of life for rural Arkansans and serve the state well.”
Fecher is the former Deputy Director of the Arkansas Department of Rural Services under Gov. Mike Huckabee. She is currently the Manager of Campaign Research for the Voices for Healthy Kids Team with the American Heart Association, a position she has held since 2013. Prior to that, she worked for the international non-profit, Save the Children, for six years.
In addition, Hutchinson said he will retain Lawrence “Larry” Bengal as Director of the Oil and Gas Commission and John Felts as Chairman of the Arkansas Parole Board.
“Natural resources are critically important to our state, and Larry understands that better than anyone. He has done an outstanding job as Director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission for the last 10 years, and I am pleased to announce that he has agreed to continue in that position in my administration,” Hutchinson said of Bengal.
Bengal is currently the Director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, a position he has held since 2004.
Regarding Felts, Hutchinson said, “Keeping our communities safe, while giving those, who deserve it, a second chance is a vital part of growing a robust economy. John has shown fine leadership in this department as Chairman of the Arkansas Parole Board, and I am pleased to announce that he will continue that role in my administration.”
Felts is currently the chairman of the Arkansas Parole Board, a full-time position he has held since 2011. He was first appointed to the board in 1998 by then Gov. Mike Huckabee. He was reappointed by Gov. Beebe to a new 7-year term in 2012, which runs until 2019.