Distinguished Presenters
and Instructors

Distinquished Presenters

David Warm

David Warm

David Warm is the Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council. He is a recipient of the Walter Scheiber Leadership Award from the National Association of Regional Councils for making a significant impact in this region and at the national level. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and the recipient of the 2015 National Public Service Award bestowed by NAPA and the American Society of Public Administration. David earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of California, Riverside.

George Manning

George Manning

George Manning is a professor emeritus of psychology and business at Northern Kentucky University, is internationally known as a speaker, author of eleven books, and consultant to business, industry and government. His clients include AT&T, AMA, IBM, GE, Marriott, UAW, IRS, US Navy and the National Institutes of Health, among others. George’s unique approach and magic for connecting with people includes a blend of humor, interesting facts, and practical applications. He was selected “Outstanding Professor” at Northern Kentucky University and has received the “Strongest Influence Award” given by the Northern Kentucky Alumni Association.

Steve Luoni

Stephen D. Luoni

Steve Luoni is the Director and Prinicipal Designer at the UA Community Design Center, where he is the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies and a Distinguished Professor of Architecture. His work at UACDC specializes in interdisciplinary public works projects combining landscape, urban, and architectural design. In addition to being appointed a 2012 Ford Fellow by the United States Artists, he has regularly served as a resource team member for the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. Luoni has a BS in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.

Instructors

Jim Youngquist

Jim Youngquist

Jim Youngquist has served as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) since 2008. Prior to his appointment at AEDI, Jim served in both administrative, management, and project leadership positions in various University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach units, and, served as the Executive Director of the Green River Area Development District in Kentucky. He currently serves as a member of the National Association of Development Organizations Board of Directors. Jim holds a B.A. from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans, and, a Certificate in Executive Leadership from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Randy Wright

Randy Wright

Randy Wright is Deputy Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI), an attorney of 38 years and an instructor in the UA Little Rock College of Business. Within the Institute, he is active in Community and Economic Development. As an instructor, facilitator, and presenter he is also actively involved in multi-day seminars on leadership, team building, and related topics both locally and nationally. He has taught courses and given presentations on Interpersonal Negotiations, Conflict Management, Business Communications, Contract Law, Community Development, Organizational Behavior, Business and Employment Law, Human Relations and Business and Economic Development Ethics.

Grainger Ledbetter

Grainger Ledbetter

Grainger Ledbetter is a Community Economic Developer with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) and has developed curriculum and taught courses in a number of leadership areas including organizational planning and decision-making and situational and team leadership. Grainger has a degree in English from Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in History from UA Little Rock. 

Carlos Silva

Carlos Silva

Carlos Silva is a Regional Economist at Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI). Skilled in applied economic research, as well as economic and statistical modeling. He is a research professional with a Master of Science in Applied Economics with a specialization in Natural Resource Economics from Utah State University, and a Doctoral degree in the field of Economic Development from New Mexico State University. His research interests consist of economic development, natural resources, and their interaction.

April Campbell

April Campbell

April Campbell is a community economic developer at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) where she is committed to helping communities determine their best futures. She leads the ACCESS community development program at AEDI, and manages the institute’s social media and marketing efforts. A lifelong Arkansan, April has degrees in marketing and business administration from UA Fayetteville and UA Little Rock.

Michael Gerfen

Michael Gerfen

Michael Gerfen has worked in Workforce Development for the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) for 18 years.  Currently, his focus is supporting workforce community development efforts across the state through training and technical assistance. Prior to joining AEDI, he completed a twenty-year career in United States Air Force in numerous training and development positions. Mike received his Masters in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2005 and his bachelor’s in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1986. He currently serves as a board member for Central Arkansas’ Workforce Region.

Terre McLendon

Terre McLendon

Terre McLendon, a Senior Research Specialist in community and industry strategies at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI), has been helping position Arkansas communities to grow and thrive for nearly 40 years. Her list of projects has included economic development strategy creation; community assessment; marketing and communications; new business creation; community and economic development planning; and special topics affecting communities like housing, telecommunications technology, industry targeting, and competitive analysis. She holds Master of Science degrees in Marketing and Economics. She has lived all over the country, but has made Arkansas her home since 1976.