Event Details

The Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives (AEDCE) Annual Conference is the premier annual gathering of economic development and chamber professionals in Arkansas. This conference is THE place for chamber professionals and economic developers to gain classroom knowledge as well as glean wisdom from their peers while building their professional network.


Events at the AEDCE Annual Conference include the Annual AEDCE Awards Luncheon, Golf Tournament (additional fee), Networking Building Reception (Monday evening), the State of the State Breakfast featuring Mike Preston, and insightful general and breakout sessions tailored for the chamber or economic development professional.


This year's conference is in Fort Smith at the Fort Smith Convention Center. The conference will begin on Monday morning, August 26th and conclude on Tuesday afternoon, August 27th. Specific times are TBD and an agenda will be posted once complete.



Aug 25 - 27, 2019

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The Fort Smith Convention Center
800 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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Agenda

We are working to finalize the agenda/session information for the conference.

All times below are tentative and the final conference agenda including speakers/presenters will be posted by July 1st.  

  • Day 1 (August 25, 2019)
    11 AM - 5 PMAEDCE Golf Tournament
    2-man Scramble Golf Tournament

    Ben Geren Golf Course
    7200 Zero Street - Fort Smith

    $36 per golfer and includes green fee, cart, and range balls.

    To sign-up, please email Kevin Sexton at ksexton@hsvpoa.org. Please include your handicap in your email to Kevin.
    5 PM - 6 PMAEDCE Executive Committee Meeting
    6 PM - 7 PMAEDCE Board of Directors Meeting
    8 PM - 1 AMAT&T Hospitality Suite Opens
    Day 2 (August 26, 2019)
    8 AM - 8:30 AMRegistration/Continental Breakfast
    8:30 AM - 9 AMWelcome
    Mayor George McGill, City of Fort Smith
    Tim Allen, AEDCE President
    9 AM - 10 AMGeneral Session 1 - Talkin' Bout My Generation

    Libby Spears

    Educator, Liberator, Entertainer at Bravo cc

    10 AM - 10:15 AMNetworking Break
    10:15 AM - 11:15 AMGeneral Session 2 - Preparing Your Community for the Future of Work
    Technology jobs are required in every industry sector and the need for individuals with information technology skills continues to grow. Industry 4.0 is well underway and growing manufacturing jobs are exacerbating the shortage as the time to fill technology jobs increases and the supply remains well below what is needed. Community workforce development strategies must look beyond traditional training and implement plans to boost technology skills for emerging, transitioning and current workforce in every sector. Are Arkansas communities ready?

    Debra Lyons

    Principal Consultant at Lyons Workforce, LLC

    11:30 AM - 1 PMAEDCE Awards Luncheon
    1 PM - 2 PMConcurrent Breakout Sessions
    Choose from 1 of the 3 options below:

    Option 1: How can Chamber leaders and ED professions support and build their small business communities?

    Small business is the foundation of most local economies. A robust local business community typically means a strong local economy. A panel of representatives from the U.S. SBA, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Procurement Assistance Centers, SCORE, Arkansas Women’s Business Center and the Conductor will discuss how they serve small businesses and what local business support organizations can do to help their small businesses start, survive and grow.

    Option 2 - Economics Arkansas - AEDCE Pilot Project

    Option 3 - Chamber Relevancy, Millennials, and Gen Z

    Laura Fine

    State Director of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center

    Kim Lane

    Chief Executive Officer at Conductor

    Kim Magee

    Program Associate-Community & Economic Development at University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

    David Moody

    Deputy Director of United States Small Business Administration

    Chauncey Pettis

    Director of Arkansas Women's Business Center

    Tim Zimmerman

    Little Rock Chapter Chair at Score

    2 PM - 3 PMGeneral Session 3 - Arkansas's Transformation
    3 PM - 3:15 PMNetworking Break
    3:15 PM - 4:15 PMConcurrent Breakout Sessions
    Choose from 1 of the 2 options below:

    Option 1: Arkansas Steps Up Its Competitiveness With Tax Reform (Speaker: Boch)

    Arkansas underwent a thorough tax reform process in 2017-2018, culminating in major changes in the 2019 legislative session. Come understand what these reforms mean for your projects and learn about additional recommendations that would further boost Arkansas competitiveness.

    Option 2: Why Communities Fail & Succeed (Speakers: Games, Johnson)

    Matthew C. Boch

    Attorney at Dover Dixon Horne PLLC

    Danny Games, CEcD

    Director of Business & Economic Development at Entergy Arkansas

    Crystal Johnson, PCED, IOM

    President/CEO of Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PMGeneral Session 4 - Political Roundtable/Legislative Update
    5:30 PM - 7 PMNetwork Building Reception
    906 Lounge
    906 Garrison Avenue - Fort Smith

    Sponsored by:

    Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and Innovate Arkansas
    8 PM - 12 AMAT&T Hospitality Suite Opens
    Day 3 (August 27, 2019)
    8 AM - 9:15 AMState of the State Breakfast & Membership Meeting

    Mike Preston

    Executive Director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission

    9:15 AM - 9:45 AMSpeed Mini General Session - Highways
    Arkansas Good Roads Foundation executive director Joe Quinn talks about the fact that 25% of the roads in Arkansas are in failing condition. This matters in terms of our ability to attract business and tourists, as well as being a huge quality of life indicator. Next year Arkansans will vote on the extension of a half-cent sales tax that could go a long way toward addressing these issues. This discussion far is more about local roads, bridges, and streets around communities in Arkansas than it is about new highways. Passage of the measure in 2020 will also mean funding for road repairs and construction continues to flow to counties and cities.

    Joe Quinn

    Executive Director of Arkansas Good Roads Foundation

    10 AM - 10:45 AMConcurrent Breakout Sessions
    Choose from one of the 3 options below:

    2020 Census

    Economic Development Project Case Study

    Non-dues Revenue - EACH Health Plan
    10:45 AM - 11 AMNetworking Break
    11 AM - 12 PMGeneral Session 5 - Site Location Consultant Panel

    Carol Henderson

    Senior Director, Business Incentives Practice of Cushman & Wakefield

    Monty Turner

    Principal Consultant and Vice President of Operations at Global Location Strategies

Speakers

  • Matthew C. Boch (Attorney at Dover Dixon Horne PLLC)

    Matthew C. Boch

    Attorney at Dover Dixon Horne PLLC

    Read Bio
  • Laura Fine (State Director of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center)

    Laura Fine

    State Director of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center

    Read Bio
  • Danny Games, CEcD (Director of Business & Economic Development at Entergy Arkansas)

    Danny Games, CEcD

    Director of Business & Economic Development at Entergy Arkansas

    Read Bio
  • Carol Henderson (Senior Director, Business Incentives Practice of Cushman & Wakefield)

    Carol Henderson

    Senior Director, Business Incentives Practice of Cushman & Wakefield

    Read Bio
  • Crystal Johnson, PCED, IOM (President/CEO of Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce)

    Crystal Johnson, PCED, IOM

    President/CEO of Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce

    Read Bio
  • Kim Lane (Chief Executive Officer at Conductor)

    Kim Lane

    Chief Executive Officer at Conductor

    Read Bio
  • Debra Lyons (Principal Consultant at Lyons Workforce, LLC)

    Debra Lyons

    Principal Consultant at Lyons Workforce, LLC

    Read Bio
  • Kim Magee (Program Associate-Community & Economic Development at University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service)

    Kim Magee

    Program Associate-Community & Economic Development at University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

    Read Bio
  • David Moody (Deputy Director of United States Small Business Administration)

    David Moody

    Deputy Director of United States Small Business Administration

    Read Bio
  • Chauncey Pettis (Director of Arkansas Women's Business Center)

    Chauncey Pettis

    Director of Arkansas Women's Business Center

    Read Bio
  • Mike Preston (Executive Director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission)

    Mike Preston

    Executive Director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission

    Read Bio
  • Joe Quinn (Executive Director of Arkansas Good Roads Foundation)

    Joe Quinn

    Executive Director of Arkansas Good Roads Foundation

    Read Bio
  • Libby Spears (Educator, Liberator, Entertainer at Bravo cc)

    Libby Spears

    Educator, Liberator, Entertainer at Bravo cc

    Read Bio
  • Monty Turner (Principal Consultant and Vice President of Operations at Global Location Strategies)

    Monty Turner

    Principal Consultant and Vice President of Operations at Global Location Strategies

    Read Bio
  • Tim Zimmerman (Little Rock Chapter Chair at Score)

    Tim Zimmerman

    Little Rock Chapter Chair at Score

    Read Bio

Conference Hotel

DoubleTree by Hilton Fort Smith

700 Rogers Avenue

Fort Smith, AR 72901

(479) 783-1000


Room Rate: $89/night plus tax - Click here to book


Please reference AR Economic Developers Conference when booking via phone.


Room block closes on July 27, 2019.

Registration Fees

The pricing below includes all scheduled conference activities and meals. Daily pricing is available and includes only those items on the designated day.



AEDCE Member Pricing


  • Early Bird: $250/per person (through August 2nd)
  • Standard: $300/per person (after August 2nd)
  • Monday Only: $150/per person
  • Tuesday Only: $150/per person


Non-Member Pricing


  • Early Bird: $350/per person (through August 2nd)
  • Standard: $400/per person (after August 2nd)
  • Monday Only: $225/per person
  • Tuesday Only: $225/per person


IEDC Recognition


This event is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts towards the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs).

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