LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the creation of the Economic Recovery Task Force, chaired by business leader and philanthropist Steuart Walton.
In a press conference Saturday afternoon, Governor Hutchinson detailed the task force’s mission to recommend a strategy on re-opening the economy after evaluating specific industries.
Established by Executive Order 20-20, the task force will include 27 leaders from the private sector and public agencies who will examine the impact COVID-19 had on the state.
Members of the 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
- Annemarie Jazic, Dillard’s Inc.
- Charlie Spakes, Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association
- Montine McNulty, Arkansas Hospitality Association
- Kelly Eichler, Indoor Recreational Facilities
- 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
Governor Hutchinson selected Steuart Walton to head the committee saying, “Steuart’s Arkansas roots run deep, and he knows and loves the state. He 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.”
On Friday, Governor Hutchinson set May 4th as the date he hopes to begin to ease restrictions on businesses in the state.