Governor appoints commission to encourage computer and data business | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 17, 2017

Governor appoints commission to encourage computer and data business

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 10:52 AM

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced formation of a commission aimed at creating more computer and data analytics business in Arkansas.

The Blue Ribbon Commission to Report on the Economic Competitiveness of Computing and Data Analytics in Arkansas will report by fall on: 1) business challenges; 2) potential niche areas, and skills needs.

Charles Morgan, former CEO of the Acxiom data company, will co-chair the Commission along with Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Other members:

· Jerry Adams, Arkansas Research Alliance
· Dr. Donald Bobbitt, University of Arkansas System
· Dr. Charles Welch, Arkansas State University System
· Maria Markham, Arkansas Department of Higher Education
· Andrew Clyde, Murphy USA
· Ed Drilling, AT&T Arkansas
· John Haley, Circumference Group
· Walter Smiley, formerly with Systematics
· Todd Hillman, MISO
· Rich Howe, Inuvo
· Sonja Hubbard, E-Z Mart
· Gaylon Lawrence, The Lawrence Group
· John Roberts, J.B. Hunt
· Jerry Jones, Acxiom
· Monica McGurk, Tyson Foods
· Warren Stephens, Stephens, Inc.
· Clay Johnson, Walmart

From the release:
“This esteemed group of Arkansans, through their expertise and guidance, will allow the state to address the opportunities and obstacles we must address to create an environment in which our technology sector can thrive,” said Governor Hutchinson. “This is the next step in growing the computer coding initiative as it will allow our higher education institutions and workforce development agencies to address the specific needs of Arkansas companies in the computer science and data analytics sector.”

The Commission will begin meetings in March

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