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Mike Preston Announces Appointments to New Commerce Department

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Secretary Mike Preston of the Arkansas Department of Commerce, which was formed as part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s state government reorganization, has announced the following appointments, effective July 1:

  • Betty Anderson to chief of staff. Most recently, she was director of organizational efficiencies at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

  • Steven Porch to chief legal counsel. He was appointed by Hutchinson as circuit judge of the 10th Judicial District, Fourth Division, for 2017-18, was formerly a prosecutor in Monticello, and was managing attorney for the 10th Judicial District Office of the Public Defender.

  • Alisha Curtis, most recently executive assistant to Hutchinson and special projects director and liaison to the AEDC, to chief communications and legislative director.

  • Courtney Traylor to CFO. She has served as assistant deputy insurance commissioner for the state since 2015.

  • Nathan Smith, Ph.D., to director of research. He moves over from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, where he has worked as the director for the division of economic policy. 

  • Melissa Adams to executive assistant to the secretary of commerce. She has most recently served as liaison to the Arkansas Economic Development Council board members. 

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