The Arkansas Economic Development Commission on Monday announced new leadership roles for Jennifer Emerson and Bob Kucheravy.
Emerson was named deputy director and executive vice president of operations. She takes over for Jim Hudson, who vacated the positions when he was named chief of staff at the Department of Commerce.
Emerson has worked in AEDC's finance division since 2013 and as business finance director since 2019. She specialized in facilitating competitive financing options to assist businesses with the purchase of land, buildings, technology and equipment to expand operations and provide employment opportunities in Arkansas, AEDC said in a news release.
Emerson also oversaw the bond guaranty program and worked closely with the Arkansas Economic Development Commissioners to strategize effective deployment of those funds.
She'll continue doing that in her new role, which includes oversight of several divisions including business finance, grants, rural services, community development and human resources.
"She has always given 110% of both her time and her talent," Commerce Secretary Mike Preston said. "Her previous leadership, combined with her background and experience in the financial industry, made her the ideal choice to fill the deputy director position. I am confident she will bring nothing but the best in her new role."
The AEDC named Kucheravy its next director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development Division, where he'll work with small business owners and guide efforts to identify ways to increase entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas. The division was established in May 2021.
Kucheravy has been a part of the Manufacturing Solutions team within AEDC’s Existing Business Resource Division since 2016. He oversaw client services, which included the management of initiatives such as Energy Efficiency Arkansas, the Technology Transfer Assistance Grant Program, and the Medical COVID Assistance Project.
Prior to his time at AEDC, Kucheravy gained more than 15 years of experience as a senior claims adjuster for BoatUS/GEICO Marine Insurance Company in Alexandria, Virginia.
"Bob has a wealth of experience providing assistance to businesses and working directly with individuals and clients,” Preston said in a news release. "I am confident that these experiences, combined with his knowledge of small business entrepreneurship, his skill in organization, and his understanding of management, will position Bob for success as he leads this division and serves Arkansas’ small business enterprises—the heartbeat of our business community."