Maria Haley: She's Putting Her Talents to Work for Arkansas

by Bill Paddack  on Monday, Mar. 29, 2010 12:00 am  

What are you proudest of having achieved in Arkansas in the arena of economic development?

"There are numerous things of which I am proud. First, I lead a very effective agency with dedicated and knowledgeable people. Second, because of the support Gov. Beebe and the state Legislature provides us and the business incentives we offer, the state has been successful in locating, retaining and expanding a diverse business portfolio that pays higher wages that will ultimately raise the per capita income of our people. I am also very proud to be an Arkansan because of my respect and admiration of the resiliency and work ethic of our people."

Is there a project that got away from Arkansas that you really regret?

"Yes, but I would rather not discuss it because of the nature of our business. Trust is very important in our profession. We keep our company and site consultant relationships alive even with the projects that go elsewhere. One never knows what future opportunities may come our way."

What's the secret to your success?

"I am determined and optimistic. I also focus on solutions, not problems. I believe in collaboration amongst state agencies, communities and businesses resulting in greater efficiencies and better service to our clients and the Arkansas taxpayers. I also am privileged to work for a governor who believes that education and economic development are inseparable and works tirelessly on these issues."

Between meetings, travel and speaking engagements, you have a very busy schedule. Do you have any time-management tips you can share with our readers?

"I have an excellent staff that helps to keep me organized. I work early and late evenings to keep up with my e-mails, and Sunday afternoons are devoted to reading documents, thinking and planning. I make time to be alone and to be with my family and friends who sustain me. I love to listen to music, read and take long walks."

What do you do for fun?

"Being with friends and enjoying fine wines and cheese and good conversation.  Oysters and martinis on Fridays after work, and cooking with friends in my pajamas. Walk the Big Dam Bridge, and listen to opera on my iPod."

What's your favorite destination outside of Arkansas?


Future plans?

"My future is now. I am very happy where I am. All my life, opportunities have always come when I least expect it."




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