Regional Economic and Community Development Officers
The regional economic and community development officers (RDO), which are based throughout the Delta region, will support communities by helping to identify and fill capacity needs in support of local and regional project development efforts. The RDOs will serve as a key resource for project development, coordination of outreach and information sharing, funding acquisition, and implementation of local and regional projects that emphasize place-based strategies.
The officers will be based out of local development districts and partner organizations in strategic locations throughout the Delta region in order to best serve the communities in their respective region as boots-on-the-ground support.
Meet your RDO
ILLINOIS: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, White, Williamson
KENTUCKY: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Todd, Trigg, Union, Webster
MISSOURI: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Reynolds,, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Wright
Christina Wade of Caruthersville, Missouri, will work with communities in the 66 counties of southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and southeast Missouri. Christina has worked in community development and low income housing for 14 years. Most recently, she was a housing contract specialist for the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation (DAEOC), a strong local support organization for regional community development. While at DAEOC, Christina administered state and federal grant contracts and oversaw the corporation’s low income housing portfolio, housing staff, and fiscal staff. Christina is also a graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy.
ARKANSAS: Arkansas, Baxter, Clay, Cleveland, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Dallas, Fulton, Grant, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Searcy, Sharp, St. Francis, Stone, Van Buren, White, Woodruff
MISSISSIPPI: Benton, Coahoma, Desoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Union
TENNESSEE: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Shelby, Tipton, Weakley
Tiffny Calloway of Jonesboro, Arkansas will support Delta communities in Arkansas, northeast Mississippi, and Tennessee. Tiffny formerly served as the Northeast Arkansas Regional Manager in the Community Development Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. At the AEDC, Tiffny worked with 20 counties to build regional partnerships and provide technical assistance, programs, and services to communities across the state in their economic development efforts. Before joining AEDC, Tiffny worked for the Governor of Arkansas as the liaison to Boards and Commissions. In this role, she advised the Governor on board vacancies and needs to approximately 150 health, medical, and education-related boards. Tiffny is an alumna of Arkansas State University where she served as the Student Government Association President and received the Distinguished Service Award.
ARKANSAS: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Desha, Drew, Ouachita, Union
LOUISIANA: Bienville, Claiborne, East Carroll, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, Webster, West Carroll
MISSISSIPPI: Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Copiah, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jasper, Leflore, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Warren, Washington, Yalobusha, Yazoo
Grover Ainsworth of Vicksburg, Mississippi, will support counties and parishes in southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, and the Mississippi Delta. Grover comes to the Delta region after eight years working abroad in international private enterprise and infrastrucure development with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan and with Peace Corps in Kenya as a small enterprise developer. In these roles, he provided expertise in inter and intragovernmental strategic planning and policy formation, stakeholder training and coordination, capacity building, project design, and community mobilization for local and national governments, U.S. military entities, communities, nonprofits, and small businesses. He has also served five years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
LOUISIANA: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, DeSoto, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lafourche, Livingston, Natchitoches, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Vermillion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Winn
MISSISSIPPI: Adams, Amite, Covington, Franklin, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Walthall, Wilkinson
Quiana Brown of New Orleans, Louisiana, will support parishes and counties in Louisiana and southwest Mississippi. Quiana is a native of Louisiana who has worked in Mississippi and Arkansas as a Program Associate with the Foundation for the Mid-South, where she lead the development, budget management, and monitoring of grant-making and investment strategies portfolio for the Education priority area. Quiana brings with her more than ten years of experience in public service in post-secondary education and nonprofit organizations, with additional experience in strategic planning, community facilitation, and program management. Quiana is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and the William J. Clinton School of Public Service.
ALABAMA: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, Russell, Sumter, Washington, Wilcox
Michael Mills of Birmingham, Alabama, will work with the communities in the 20 counties of the Black Belt of Alabama. Michael is a native of Alabama with a range of community and economic development and planning experience at the local and regional level. Michael was selected as a City Management Fellow by the City of Phoenix, Arizona in 2013, before returning to Alabama as a Community & Regional Planner with the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG), a predominantly rural region, in Decatur, Alabama. Michael worked to provide technical assistance to 26 member governments in the areas of strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, community outreach, project development, and grant-writing. Michael also administered NARCOG’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund providing businesses with access to capital to support start-up and expansion costs to create and retain local jobs. Before joining DRA, Michael most recently held the position of Senior Long-Range Planner with the City of Birmingham. Michael is a graduate of the Intensive Economic Development Training Course at Auburn University and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Michael received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2013.