The Golden Triangle Economic Development Council is hosting its 18th Annual GTEDC Dinner Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the El Dorado Conference Center, 311 Southwest Avenue in El Dorado, Ark.
Michael “Mike” Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), will deliver the keynote address. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Dinner tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at the GTEDC Office at Southern Arkansas University, online at www.gtedc.org, through the local chamber of commerce and economic development offices in El Dorado and Magnolia, and at the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development in Camden.
Preston, who is highly regarded as a leading advocate in economic development, was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to executive director of the AEDC in March 2015.
Since that time, Preston has made successful business recruitment trips to Japan, China, France, Germany, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, United Kingdom, New York City and Silicon Valley. The trips continue to play an important role in the economic development efforts of Arkansas and have led to more than 300 companies signing agreements with AEDC to locate or expand in the state. These companies are investing $8.06 billion and creating more than 16,000 new jobs.
Before joining AEDC, he served more than six years as the vice president of government relations for Enterprise Florida, the state’s primary economic development organization. While there, he was part of the team that helped generate $10.07 billion in capital investment and create more than 147,000 jobs that paid an average wage of $56,437.
In 2018, Preston was selected to join The Wall Street Journal’s prestigious CEO Council. It is an invitation-only group that connects some of the world’s most ambitious and influential leaders to discuss the issues shaping the future. The members lead companies that collectively employ more than eight million people, generate $2.9 trillion in annual revenue, and represent 20 countries in a wide cross section of industries.
A 2005 graduate of the University of Florida, Preston and his wife, Anne, are proud to call Arkansas home. They both volunteer in the community in a variety of ways, including the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.