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 The conference, titled “The Arkansas Delta: Why It Still Matters,” is designed to help government, business and civic leaders network with each other and discuss how communities can be managed in the face of a declining population base. 

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. A catered lunch will be served at noon. There’s no registration fee, but those planning to attend are required to register in advance at www.simmonsfirst.com/delta. 

Members of the economic development panel will be: 

Randy Zook, the president and chief executive officer of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce 

Joe Bailey of Entergy Arkansas, who is the board president for Arkansas Economic Developers 

Lou Ann Nisbett, the president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County 

J.D. Lowery, the manager of community and economic development for the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. 

Dr. Mary Benjamin, the vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 


There also will be panels on education, agriculture and health care that will include state leaders in each of those areas. 

Other speakers will include: 

Dr. John Kirk, the director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity and the school’s Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History. Kirk will speak on the history of race relations in the Arkansas Delta. 

Mike Preston, the executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, who will speak on economic development opportunities in the Delta. 

Dr. Greg Hamilton, a senior research economist, demographer and director of research at the Institute for Economic Advancement at UALR. Hamilton will speak on outmigration in the Delta. 


About Simmons First National Corporation 

Simmons First National Corp. is a financial holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Ark., with total assets of almost $7.6 billion. The company conducts financial operations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Simmons First National Bank, offers comprehensive financial solutions delivered with a client-centric approach. The company’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFNC.” 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Rex Nelson Senior Vice President 

Director of Corporate Communications Simmons Bank 

(501) 377-7606