The education panel, which will cover K-12 education and higher education, will be moderated by Dr. Fitzgerald Hill, the president of Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock. In addition to Alexander, members of the panel will be:
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.
- Dr. Mark Gotcher, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education
- Tracey-Ann Nelson, executive director of the Arkansas Education Association
- Dr. Richard Abernathy, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators
- Scott Smith, executive director of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center
- Scott Shirey, executive director of KIPP Delta Public Schools
There also will be panels on health care, agriculture and economic development 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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