Arkansas Economic Development Commission

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Mike Preston

Executive Director
501-682-7351
(501) 682-7394
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Mike Preston

Executive Director

Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Mike Preston executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission in March 2015. Preston is widely regarded as a leading advocate for economic development.

Before joining AEDC, Preston served six and a half years as the Vice President of Government Relations for Enterprise Florida. While in Florida, he secured hundreds of millions of dollars for the organization, the state's economic development toolkit, international trade initiatives and capital programs. During his tenure at Enterprise Florida he was part of the team that helped create more than 147,000 jobs paying an average wage of $56,437 and generating $10.07 billion in capital investment.

In his first year with AEDC, Preston and Governor Asa Hutchinson made business recruitment trips to Cuba, Japan, China, France, Germany, New York City, and Silicon Valley. The trips played an important role in helping more than 100 companies locate or expand operations in Arkansas, investing $2 billion and creating 6,000 new jobs. Among these companies were J.B. Hunt in Lowell (more than 1,000 jobs), Bad Boy Mowers in Batesville (160 jobs) and leading mobile app developer Metova (three locations totaling 190 new jobs).

In addition to his business recruitment efforts, Preston led AEDC as the agency merged with two other state agencies, the Arkansas Department of Rural Services and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority. The merger resulted in the savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars without one lost job. He is also leading the way as AEDC undergoes a new brand awareness campaign, Arkansas Inc., aimed at out-of-state decision makers looking to expand their businesses.

He also has experience working in the state legislature. Before joining Enterprise Florida he was the Chief of Staff to a State Senator and a Legislative Assistant to a State Representative.

He is a 2005 graduate of the University of Florida.

He and his wife Anne are happy to call Arkansas home.