Conway- Tomorrow, Governor Mike Beebe will make a special visit to the ‘22nd Annual Community Development Institute Central’ at UCA to discuss the important relationship between education and economic development as part of building a stronger future for Arkansas.”This is the most exciting year in our 22 year history! We’ve gained tremendous support from our local municipalities and economic developers,” said, Kelly Lyon, Executive Director of CDI Central. She said, “We’re working to revitalize both the summer institute and fully mobilize the state and regional network of community and economic developers.” Dr. Leonard Seawood, Dean of Academic Outreach, said, “UCA is very fortunate to be able to provide additional access to educational opportunities to community leaders with our online Masters Degree program in Community and Economic Development.”Following Beebe’s presentation, Phillip Baldwin, President and CEO of Southern Bancorp, will address their community development work in Clark and Phillips Counties. Under new leadership, the CDI organized a new group of instructors and presenters for this year’s institute, such as: Joy Jinks, Co-Founder of Swamp Gravy: The Official Folk Life Play of Georgia, Eric Canada, a nationally recognized authority on business retention and expansion strategies, and Dr. Dave Kolzow, also a nationally recognized economic development consultant, who will direct the Advanced Year community assessment in Clinton, Arkansas. CDI trains representatives of chambers of commerce, private and public sector community and economic development organizations, utility companies, city planners, bankers, extension agents, municipal and county officials, faith-based affiliates, community leaders and groups, or any person with an interest in community and economic development on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. The complete institute experience involves a curriculum of over 100 hours with corporate, academic and governmental professionals serving as faculty. Community, education and business leaders are encouraged to attend the special presentation by Governor Beebe on Wednesday, August 5 at 1 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom at UCA.

For more information, contact Amy Whitehead at 501-852-2930.