A longtime economic development official has been named the interim leader of the Arkansas State University Delta Center for Economic Development, university officials said Monday.
Shawnie Carrier, who also serves as chief of staff at Arkansas State University, was named Friday to the post, Chancellor Tim Hudson said.
Carrier succeeds Alan McVey, who resigned Friday after serving in the role since 2006. His immediate plans were not disclosed.
“Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit on a university campus is vital to our success in the education of the next generation of business leaders,” Hudson said. “Building on current programs and seeking out new opportunities to support growth will be Shawnie’s mission. She brings years of experience working in local and regional economic development.”
Carrier’s appointment was made in consultation with the dean of the A-State College of Business, Dr. Shane Hunt, and the university’s provost, Dr. Lynita Cooksey.
“I am excited to welcome Shawnie Carrier into this role at the Delta Center,” Hunt said. “Shawnie brings a wealth of experience to this position, and I am excited for the great things that she and the Delta Center team will do in the weeks and months ahead.
“I am very thankful for the great work that Alan did in his time at the Delta Center,” Hunt added. “Alan’s leadership and dedication have made Arkansas State and the entire Delta region better, and I thank him for his service.”
Carrier said she looks forward to working with the staff and the community partners of the Delta Center.
“I appreciate the confidence shown in me by the university to step into this additional leadership role,” she said. “Bringing the Delta Center into additional university outreach projects is a positive. It can lead to new ideas and new ways to impact both our projects and the business community across the region.”
Carrier joined Arkansas State in fall 2014 as the chief of staff for the chancellor after several years of work with economic development groups in the state of Arkansas.
As the chief of staff, she leads discussions regarding public-private partnerships related to A-State’s commercial land development and work toward a hotel and convention center complex.
Hudson indicated she will remain as chief of staff while adding the management of the Delta Center to her duties.
“Shawnie is a proven professional with outstanding strategic problem solving skills,” Hudson said. “Her ability to work with current stakeholders and balance priorities is a key strength. This provides us with the opportunity for increased coordination between our Executive Council and the Delta Center’s programs.”
Carrier brings local and statewide connections to the Delta Center. She is president of Arkansas Economic Developers, which is the state’s leading association for the profession. She is a member of the Downtown Jonesboro Association board and an active member of the United Way of Northeast Arkansas.
Prior to Arkansas State, Carrier’s career included several years of experience working in local and regional economic development. She was CEO of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and director of external affairs for the Cross County Chamber and Economic Development Corporation. A graduate of A-State, Shawnie continued her education as a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and the Institute for Organizational Management, receiving a professional IOM certification.
Started in 1989, the Delta Center provides technical assistance, applied research, and guidance for business development across the region. As a member of the Economic Development Administration’s University Center Program and backed by the A-State College of Business, the Delta Center coordinates the economic development outreach services of Arkansas State.
Along with supporting entrepreneurial efforts in the private sector through research studies, economic impact analysis, and feasibility studies, the Delta Center provides professional and workforce development through online and in-house classes. It is also the home of the Small Business and Technology Development Center.