AEDCE names 2023 board of directors

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,288 views 

The membership of Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives (AEDCE) has elected the following to its board of directors with terms that began January 1, 2023.

Robert Birch, City of North Little Rock
James Bell, Bentonville
Ashlee Vaughan, Arkadelphia
Allison Hestand, Paragould
Jack Thomas, Little Rock
Hugh McDonald, Little Rock
Candice Lawrence, Cabot

Birch is the director of development for the City of North Little Rock. He joins the board representing the Second Congressional District. His term expires December 31, 2024.

Bell is vice-president of economic development at the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce and Bentonville Economic Development. He joins the board representing the Third Congressional District. His term expires December 31, 2024.

Vaughan is the economic development coordinator for the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce. She joins the board representing the Fourth Congressional District. Her term expires December 31, 2024.

Hestand is the CEO and director of economic development of the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Corp. of Paragould. She joins the board as an at-large board member. Her term expires December 31, 2023.

Thomas is the vice-president of economic development at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. He joins the board as an at-large board member and State Director, SEDC. His term expires December 31, 2023.

McDonald is the Secretary of Commerce and leader of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission/Arkansas Department of Commerce. He joins the board as an Ex-Officio member.

Lawrence is the vice president of programs and partnerships for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas. She joins the board as an Ex-Officio member and serves as AEDCE’s executive secretary/director.

The officers of the board of directors for 2023 are President Nancy Lee McNew, CEcD, PCED with the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County; First Vice-President Gary Troutman, IOM with the Hot Springs Metro Partnership/Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce; Second Vice-President Steve Cox, IOM with the Rogers Lowell Chamber and Treasurer/Secretary Julie Allen, PCED with the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mallory Darby of Mississippi County Economic Development completed her term as board president at the end of 2022, but will remain on the board as immediate past president and an officer through 2023.

Other returning board members are:

Graycen Bigger, Northeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority and Farmers & Merchants Bank
Steven Lamm, Jonesboro Unlimited
Kellie Wall, Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce
Bill Rogers, IOM, Springdale Chamber of Commerce
Ellie Baker, PCED, Magnolia Economic Development
Randy Zook, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA