Gov. Asa Hutchinson has created the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force to develop an industry-specific strategy and make recommendations to the Governor for Arkansas’s economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19, the Governor announced at a news conference on Monday.
The task force, established by Executive Order 20-20, will include 27 leaders from the private sector and public agencies who will examine the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and industries in the state. The task force will recommend a strategy to the Governor for our economy to shift out of low gear consistent with public-health guidance.
On Friday, Governor Hutchinson set May 4 as the date he hopes to begin to ease restrictions in Arkansas. The task force will meet next week.
Steuart L. Walton, a business leader and philanthropist who holds degrees in business administration and law, will chair the committee.
“Steuart’s Arkansas roots run deep, and he knows and loves the state,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Steuart is engaged in the hospitality, manufacturing, and retail industries. He understands the needs of small business. He is engaged in philanthropy across Arkansas. He is the perfect choice to lead this task force to help restore our economy.”
Members of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force are:
Steuart Walton, Runway Group (Chair)
Wes Ward, Department of Agriculture
Mike Preston, Department of Commerce
Stacy Hurst, Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism
Ted Thomas, Public Service Commission
Randy Zook, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
Sylvester Smith, National Federation of Independent Business
Joey Dean, Associated General Contractors of Arkansas
Charlie Spakes, Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association
Montine McNulty, Arkansas Hospitality Association
Kelly Eichler, Indoor Recreational Facilities
Annemarie Jazic, Dillard’s Inc.
Deke Whitbeck, Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation
Lance Taylor, Arkansas Activities Association
Hunter Yurachek, University of Arkansas
Shannon Newton, Arkansas Trucking Association
Charles Frazier, Rock Region METRO
Lorrie Trogden, Arkansas Bankers Association
Dr. Sonny Tucker, Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention
Bishop Gary Mueller, Arkansas Conference of United Methodists
Bishop Michael Mitchell, African Methodist Episcopal Church 12th District
Dr. Richard Abernathy, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators
Andy Goodman, Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities
Andrea Henderson, Arkansas Association of Community Colleges
Dr. Chuck Welch, Arkansas State University System
David Wroten, Arkansas Medical Society
Bo Ryall, Arkansas Hospital Association