Interim Director Andrea Allen has been promoted to executive director of the Delta Center for Economic Development located at Arkansas State University. Allen told Talk Business & Politics she is excited to be named the permanent director. She will replace former Executive Director Shawnie Carrier who resigned earlier this year.
“I am honored to be named executive director of the Delta Center and humbled by the trust placed in me by the A-State leadership,” Allen said. “A-State has a wonderful history of serving the community beyond campus and working with citizens, businesses, industry, schools and government to help improve the quality of life in eastern Arkansas. I am proud to continue this tradition and committed to moving it forward.”
Dr. Len Fry, vice-chancellor for finance and administration, said Allen has done a good job since taking over for Carrier five months ago.
“Andrea has proven to be a very capable leader of the Delta Center,” he said. “She has articulated a vision for the center that is consistent with the mission of Arkansas State University and I look forward to observing the continued transformation of the Delta Center under her leadership.”
Allen joined ASU as the deputy director for the Delta Center in 2016. During the last five months as interim director, Allen oversaw the expansion of services with key constituent groups, and added new programs, according to ASU. The most notable was the awarding of a five-year, $564,000 grant EDA University Center grant, and the re-establishment of University Center designation for the Delta Center.
“She was instrumental in acquiring the EDA University Center grant,” Frey said. “The re-establishment of that program is a signature achievement and indicative of the work she’s done thus far for the center. She has seamlessly continued and implemented initiatives previously in place and she has strengthened our relationship with key partners in the business community and with government agencies.”
She negotiated a renewal and support increase for the Delta Center’s role as the administrator of the Delta Leadership Institute and the Delta Leadership Network on behalf of the Delta Regional Authority. Allen contracted with Jefferson Regional Medical Center to facilitate focus groups and support work for JRMC in its strategic plan, which is leading to wider discussions about future partnerships with the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership.
Allen said she hopes to continue to expand Delta Center relationships with area businesses and industry, as well as with ASU System members like ASU-Newport and negotiating office leases with the UA Cooperative Extension Service.
Prior to joining ASU, she served as a deputy chief of staff for U.S. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro. Her leadership background included director of family programs for the National Guard Professional Education Center and serving for six years on the staff for U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark.