Governor makes AEDC appointments
Gov. Sarah Sanders announced Tuesday (Feb. 21) that she will appoint Shash Goyal, Annemarie Dillard Jazic, Glen Johnson, John Schmelzle, and Jon Wickliffe to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
Each of these appointments will expire on January 14, 2027.
Shash Goyal will replace Mike Carroll, Annemarie Dillard Jazic will replace William Brewer, Glen Johnson will replace Gina Radke, John Schmelzle will replace Richard Barrows, and Jon Wickliffe will be reappointed.
“I am proud to appoint this group of talented, experienced business leaders to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission,” Sanders said. “Together, we will make Arkansas the best place to start and grow a business, attracting companies across the nation and the world to make their home here in Arkansas. Their expertise will be an asset to my administration as we foster a pro-worker, pro-business environment that will unleash our full economic potential.”
Goyal is the CEO and founder of I Square Management, directing acquisition and redevelopment of hotels and commercial properties. He has invested and developed multiple real estate projects in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
He is a graduate of the University of Gujarat, India, where he received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and his MBA in Finance. In 2013, he was appointed as a member of the State Parks and Tourism Commission, and in 2017 he served as chairman.
Jazic is the Vice President of Ecommerce and Digital Marketing for Dillard’s and has over two decades of retail experience with expertise ranging from visual merchandising, buying, trend direction, procurement, marketing, and ecommerce. She has held board positions on technology startups, Sapho (acquired by Citrix) and Venku and is as an active angel investor for several startup companies.
Jazic has a bachelor’s degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California where she graduated cum laude and was awarded the Marsha Israel award for most outstanding student in the Lloyd Greif School of Entrepreneurship.
Johnson is the President of Blue Flame Minerals and Co-CEO of DYNE Hospitality Group and DYNE Development. Blue Flame Minerals is an oil and gas company that invests in mineral rights throughout the country, including the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.
DYNE Hospitality Group is the largest Tropical Smoothie Café franchisee with over 100 cafes in six states, including 25 in Arkansas, and more than 2,000 employees. DYNE Development is a real estate development company focused on building real estate for Tropical Smoothie Café franchisees.
Schmelzle operates Schmelzle & Associates, a commercial real estate development and investment company focused primarily on Northwest Arkansas. The company also has active investments in the hospitality industry, including Walk-On, Slim Chickens and Freddy’s as well as a mineral exploration company.
In 2009, Schmelzle served in an operational capacity for Kingston Management Services, which in a partnership with the FDIC, acquired a $1.2 billion portfolio of mostly defaulted real estate loans, originated by the now defunct Arkansas National Bank. He then went on to acquire portfolios of distressed real estate debt in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crises.
Wickliffe grew up in Little Rock and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 1999, Wickliffe was appointed by the mayor to the Little Rock Port Authority. He served on the Board of the Port Authority for 19 years, including two years as chairman. In 2019, Wickliffe was appointed to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
He started his career working in the sand and gravel business with Jeffrey Sand Co. and is now responsible for business development in Arkansas at Vantage Health Plan. Prior to his work with Vantage, he spent 20 years in executive sales roles in pharmaceuticals.